Thursday, May 31, 2012

BLOG TOUR + Giveaway: ANGEL EYES by Shannon Dittemore




Welcome to the ANGEL EYES by Shannon Dittemore blog tour hosted by YA BOUND and Thomas Nelson Fiction!

EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: May 29th, 2012
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: Thomas Nelson Fiction for honest review

GOODREADS
ANGEL EYES (ANGEL EYES TRILOGY #1)
Angel Eyes (Angel Eyes Trilogy, #1)Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .

Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.


My Thoughts:
I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! I fell in love with the characters and the story quickly, and I was dying to find out what Jake's secret was and how Brielle fit into that secret.

The story moved quickly and the subject was incredibly interesting. Angels have become very popular in the literary world, and from my experience, the majority of these stories do not really incorporate God, prayer, and faith beyond the history of the angels. What I absolutely loved about ANGEL EYES is that Shannon didn't shy away from those details; she embraced them. Jake and the angels continually talk about God and their personal relationships with him. I value this not only because it is rare in today's literature, but because it adds so much to the story. It is relevant and important, and Brielle's struggle with her role, her faith, and her relationship with God and religion are integral parts to her character and her story, without being preachy.

The relationship between Brielle and Jake was also very interesting to me. Jake's secrets are revealed with perfect timing and Brielle's reactions were completely believable. I felt very connected to both Jake and Brielle. Brielle's loss was heart wrenching, and her reasons for doubting her faith are strong and so common. She felt like a real person, not a character on a page.

I look forward to more secrets being revealed, more answers to questions revealed in ANGEL EYES, and the future of Brielle and Jake's relationship. I cannot wait for book two, and I strongly recommend ANGEL EYES!

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BUY ANGEL EYES

Connect with Shannon

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And now for the GIVEAWAY! One winner will win an E-copy of ANGEL EYES! This giveaway is International and will end at midnight on June 12th, 2012.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

REVIEW: CITY OF LOST SOULS by Cassandra Clare


GOODREADS:

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

*************************************************

MY THOUGHTS:
Up until now, My favorite book of this series had been City of Glass, but now I think City of Lost Souls is my favorite. It is wrought with tension and each character faces intense consequences, difficult decisions, and life altering events.

Maia and Jordan: Well, they obviously had some interesting things to work out after City of Fallen Angels. In CoLS their relationship changes and their feelings toward each other are revealed. I really like Jordan, so this relationship was pretty interesting to me. We also get to see a little glimpse of the Praetor Lupus.

Simon and Isabelle: There is ALWAYS something interesting going on with these two. But in CoLS, Izzy's changing. And she's not really good with change. We get to see her character come to some serious realizations when it comes to Simon, and Simon realizes some pretty important things too. He's come so far from the little geeky mundane he once was, and Izzy's is beginning to discover who he really is, while Simon is discovering himself as well.

Jace and Clary and Sebastian: This little triangle is interesting. I don't want to give too much away, but these three are inextricably intertwined in CoLS. Even more so than they have been in the past. Clary must come to terms with some pretty heavy discoveries. The relationship among these three is twisted and convoluted and poor Clary is confused beyond reason at times. I even found myself wanting to believe things that I, just like Clary, knew couldn't possibly be true. Clary has to make the most difficult (which doesn't even begin to describe the seriousness) decision in the serious so far.

Magnus and Alec: Yes, everyone's favorite couple. I love them too, and my heart broke with this relationship. Magnus and Alec have had their problems in the past, but I want so much for them to work out. In CoLS, this is the most strained relationship in my opinion. While the events Alec participates in are more subplot, they play a pivotal role in the overall story. Alec is probably my favorite character in this series, and the poor boy just doesn't know when to stop. The strain in his relationship with Magnus has always been fraught with tension, love, and unexpected surprises and uncertainties. Alec's insecurity really shines (which really isn't a good thing) in this book, and the consequences of his actions are brutal.

Overall, City of Lost Souls left me dying to know what is going to happen next! And even left me with questions about The Infernal Devices series. Some SERIOUS questions! I have a feeling there are MANY more surprises to come in both series.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: OPEN MINDS by Susan Kaye Quinn

I have a little post long weekend surprise for all you lovely readers! I am part of author Susan Kaye Quinn's Share A Book giveaway. What does that mean you ask? Well, in short, it means that I won a copy of her novel OPEN MINDS, and that now I am going to share it with you! Now there are going to be some very specific rules for this giveaway. But before we get to the rules, here's a little more info about the book.

OPEN MINDS: THE MINDJACK TRILOGY #1
When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can't read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can't be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf's mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she's dragged deep into a hidden underworld of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

My Thoughts:

Wow, OPEN MINDS was so creative and well developed! I was sucked in from the first page. I mean, everyone can read minds! First off, that's just creepy. Second, that's a pretty detailed world to develop. But Quinn mastered it! All the details of being a changeling were explained, without the boring explanation part. How? Easy, she flawlessly wove explanation with experience and history through the characters.

The story was packed with suspense! I never knew what was going to happen, and I was often surprised with the way things turned out. I could feel Kira's inner conflict, and I wanted to trust certain characters so badly. The betrayals in this book were intense, and the relationships were severely strained as a result.

All Kira's relationships are interrelated and consumed by lying and fear. Her relationships with her best friend Raf and her family are all affected by her connection to Simon, who I actually like (you might get that statement when you read the book). I will admit, Simon had his moments when I really wanted to punch him, but he was also the most fragile character in my opinion. I really want to know more about his past, but the mystery is so important to his character. Then there's Raf, who I kind of felt sorry for for a while. He really likes Kira, and they've been best friends for a long time. I really hated to watch him go through all the pain Kira puts him through.

The most interesting character of them all was Kira. Her character changes and develops so beautifully throughout the book, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for her as the trilogy continues. Her bravery, determination, and unique skills are all bound to increase throughout the story arc, and I expect great things of her. She's a strong female character, and her concern for others is inspiring. I'd like to think that if I were in her position I would react in the same way. Quinn did an amazing job with Kira.

Overall, this is a fabulous book with an interesting and well developed story and world and wonderfully interesting characters. It's packed with suspense and secrets, and is definitely a must read. Don't miss OPEN MINDS, and the 2nd book in the MINDJACK TRILOGY: CLOSED HEARTS, available NOW!

BUY OPEN MINDS
Amazon: Paperback or E-book
B&N: Paperback or E-book
BUY CLOSED HEARTS
Amazon
B&N
And don't forget to check out Raf's story Mind Games:
Amazon


Connect with Susan Kaye Quinn
Susan's Website
Facebook
Twitter


Ok, now that you've heard how fabulous OPEN MINDS is, it's time for the GIVEAWAY! That's right, I have a SIGNED paperback copy of OPEN MINDS.  But this giveaway works a little differently than normal. The whole point is to help spread the word and SHARE the book. So, there are rules for the WINNERS of the book. Please pay close attention, because I really want the winner to follow the rules for the SHARE A BOOK giveaway:


1) Read OPEN MINDS
2) Take a bookmark (an envelop will be mailed with the book, the winner keeps one (1) bookmark)
3) Pass the book on! Yes, you must SHARE the book! (you can give it to a friend, a favorite teen, a random stranger at Starbucks, or hold a giveaway if you like) 
4) Repeat step 1 until you get to the last bookmark. The last person can KEEP the book or keep passing it on!


So, the point of this giveaway is to SHARE A BOOK! Obviously I can't come to your house and make sure you follow these steps, but shame on you if you don't! I'd also love it if the winner posted a review somewhere. It can be on your own blog, Goodreads, Amazon, etc. This is not required, but it helps out the authors and helps other readers find the book. So, this giveaway will run for 2 weeks. At the end of the two weeks (you can look on the rafflecopter form for when exactly that is. I don't like math.) I will pick the winner and notify them. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email. Please, please, please follow the rules if you win. Not only will I appreciate it, so will Susan! And maybe we can have some more giveaways! So, go on, you know you want to.... get entered below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

BLOG TOUR: SOUL SAVERS series by Kristie Cook


Welcome to the SOUL SAVERS Book Tour! Tour information can be found here. I absolutely LOVE this series and cannot wait for the next installment. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series you can read my reviews for the books here:
Genesis a Soul Saver prequel novella

Devotion, is the latest book in the Soul Savers series.

Add it to your goodreads list:
-Book Summary:
With powerful abilities gained from the Ang’dora and Tristan back by her side, Alexis thinks she’s ready for the next challenge— protecting her son from what appears to be the inevitable. But she has so much to learn about her powers, her new world and the people in it. Nothing is what it seems to be on the surface, including the Amadis.
Power-hungry politicians comprise the council and make impossible demands. A traitor lurks among them all, inciting trouble that could destroy the Amadis and, ultimately, humanity. The Daemoni wreak havoc in the human world, with the ultimatum that they’ll continue attacking innocents until Alexis and Tristan are expelled from the Amadis’ protection. The couple’s own society begins to shut them out. But that’s not all.
Someone’s keeping a secret. A big one. Faith and hope in Alexis and Tristan will be restored if she can uncover the truth in time.
But the search for answers leads only to the discovery of more betrayals by those closest to Alexis. Her devotion is put to the test—devotion to her husband, to her family, to her people and to her beliefs—leaving her to question whom she’s fighting for and why she should even bother. But if she won’t fight . . . who will?

-Purchase Devotion:

I had the opportunity to as Tristan, yes sexy Tristan, one question about the topic of devotion. Here is what I asked and his response.

QUESTION: Is there anything that could/would cause you to betray your closest friends and family?

Tristan: The Amadis comes before everything. I have sacrificed myself, to the detriment of my wife and son, for the greater good of the Amadis. I betrayed Alexis and Dorian’s trust that I will always be there for them, to love and protect them. I have to live with that for the rest of my life. Would I betray them again? I hope I’m never put in that situation again, but if I am, well, God first, then Amadis, then my family. That’s how it is for all of us.


Tour Giveaway:
Grand Prize – Nook Simple Touch (US only)
1st Prize — All 4 of my books signed (US only)
2nd Prize — Soul Savers Swag bag (US only)
International Prize — All 4 books as ebooks


Rules: Just need to leave a comment on THIS tour post to be entered to win.
Each comment left throughout the tour will count as an entry.
Please include your email address and if you are international or in the US.
Visit http://www.kristiecook.com/2012/05/on-tour-and-you-could-win-nook.html for a list of the tour stops.

Giveaway for LIVING FICTITIOUSLY (ends Friday 6/8):I have 1 ebook copy of book 3 in the Soul Savers series, Devotion. It is FANTASTIC and you won't want to miss it. One winner will be chosen from the comments left on THIS post who answer the question posed to Tristan. Is there anything that could/would cause you to betray your closest friends and family?

Stop by Good Choice Reading  -  http://www.goodchoicereading.com/ to see today's other stop on the SOUL SAVERS tour.


About Kristie Cook:

Kristie Cook is a lifelong writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at www.KristieCook.com.

- Kristie’s Links:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Release Day! SUFFOCATE by S.R. Johannes

It is May 21st and guess what that means?
S.R. Johannes’ Suffocate is out today!

Suffocate is the first novelette in THE BREATHLESS series. It is a 15,000 word young adult thriller that combines the dystopic and science fiction genres.
 

Here’s a little about the novelette…


“For centuries, the world outside the Biome has been unlivable. Today, marks the first time anyone will attempt to leave the suffocating ecosphere. Eria is not worried because her scientist father has successfully tested the new Bio-Suit many times. It's a celebratory day until something goes horribly wrong. In the midst of tragedy, Eria uncovers a deep conspiracy that affects the very air she breathes. 


If those responsible find out what she knows, they won't stop hunting her until she takes her last breath.”

The 2nd novella in the series, CHOKE, is scheduled for Fall 2012. The 3rd, EXHALE, is scheduled for Winter 2013.


You can purchase Suffocate for only 99 cents at


B&N

Also you can add it on Goodreads! - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13648347-suffocate

And in case you were wondering here is a bit about the author –

S.R. Johannes is author of the Amazon Bestseller Untraceable and a current nominee of the Georgia Author of the Year in the Young Adult category. After earning an MBA and working in corporate america, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She lives in Atlanta Georgia with her goldendoodle Charley (notice he is listed first :), her British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.  You can find her hanging out online and visit her at srjohannes.com





Tweet about it!

“Today is the release of @srjohannes’  novelette, Suffocate! Check it out on Living Fictitiously www.living-fictitiously.blogspot.com!




Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: PROTECTED by Cindy Hogan (WATCHED book #2)



Protected
Author: Cindy Hogan
Publisher: Brigham Distributing
Publication Date: March 24, 2012
Source: Author for honest review

She has the guy. The terrorists have been taken care of. She has a shot at becoming popular.
Life is great!
Until they find her.
Now she must run and leave behind everything she knows, including herself.



 My Thoughts:
In Protected, Christy has returned to her boring life after an intense and dangerous adventure in DC. But the monotony doesn't last for long. When playboy Alex show up out of the blue shattering the boring world Christy has returned to, he brings more than his winning smile. The bad guys are back, and they aren't going away easily.

Protected is full of danger, action, and survival. I really enjoyed the suspense level since Christy was constantly looking over her shoulder and having to avoid attacks from the bad guys as well as the good guys. She's not only forced to learning new skills to survive, but she has to learn to be a whole new person, well, people actually. The struggle of holding on to her identity while having to leave behind everything and everyone she has ever known was well portrayed and I could feel the delimas her conscience was having.

When the bad guys make their move, the DC group comes back together, but it's not the reunion Christy was hoping for. Pick this one up and find out if Christy can not only save her life, but her identity.

Buy it now:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BLOG TOUR + Giveaway: SWIPE by Evan Angler


Welcome to the SWIPE blog tour, hosted by YA BOUND and Thomas Nelson Fiction!

Author: Evan Angler
Paperback, 275 pages
Publication Date: May 8th 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Fiction

Logan Langley is just months away from his thirteenth birthday and the biggest day of his life- the day he will finally be Marked. The Mark lets people get jobs, vote, and even go out to eat or buy concert tickets.

Becoming Marked means becoming free. Or so he is told. Five years ago when Logan's sister went to get her Mark she never came back. Now Logan can't shake the feeling he's being watched...

And then he finds the wire.

My thoughts:
A Middle Grade novel that will appeal to kids and adults alike!

I'm not usually a huge fan of Middle Grade novels. I don't have anything against them, I just don't have kids and I tend to prefer a little heavier subject matter. But SWIPE is an amazing MG novel. As an adult reading it, I didn't feel like I was reading about children. In fact, I often had to remind myself that these were 12 and 13 year old kids. The topics in this story are complex enough to appeal to adults and keep the story interesting while still being simple enough for the MG reading level to understand and relate to. It hinges on the basic concept of freedom. What is freedom and in a world where people have to believe one specific way in order to have their basic needs met, can that really be called freedom? There is mystery, action, danger and betrayal all over the place in this book. And the politics involved were intriguing. There is definitely a political aspect to this book, but it's a valid examination that adults will enjoy and kids will question. Which in my opinion is a good thing. It creates a need for answers and examination.
 
 
This book captured my attention completely. I found myself thinking about Logan and the Dust and what was really going on under the Dome Umbrella while I was working, eating, sleeping. It captured my attention, and I couldn't escape the story. Much like Logan can't escape those after him. I am very much looking forward to the sequel, SNEAK, due out next Fall. I would recommend this book for reluctant readers as well as fans of dystopian MG and YA. Adults, don't count this one out. It's marvelous!

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Now for the giveaway! Thomas Nelson Fiction has generously offered one (1) paperback copy of SWIPE  for a giveaway. Enter below for your chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
http://storybookescape.blogspot.com/ : May 14 – Review*



http://themagicatticreads.com/ : May 14 – Spotlight*





http://adiaryofabookaddict.blogspot.com/ : May 15 – Why We Differ? Guest Post


www.goodchoicereading.com : May 16 – Swipe Playlist

Www.epiloguerreview.blogspot.com : May 16 – Review*


bookmarkbelles.blogspot.com : May 16 – Reviews*

http://cecesreviews.blogspot.com : May – 16 – Review


www.readandrepeat.co.uk : May 16 - Review

bookbriefs.blogspot.com : May 16 – Review



http://thebookgalaxy.blogspot.com : May 17 – Review*

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com : May 17 – Review*

http://www.blookgirl.com : May 17 – Review*





http://www.thebooklife.com : May 18 – Review*

Books With Marshmallows : May 18 – review


www.novelsontherun.blogspot.com : May 19 – Review*




www.thehauntedrose.blogspot.com : May 19 – Review*

http://wefancybooks.blogspot.com : May 19 – Author’s Top Ten




Thursday, May 10, 2012

BLOG TOUR: STREAMLINE by Jennifer Lane & TOP 10 WITH AUDREY


Welcome to the Streamline by Jennifer Lane Blog Tour, hosted by AToMR Book Tours!


Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone.




Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter--her father--is in prison for murder.
Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline.
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Top 10 with Audrey 
Jennifer's pick for Audrey.
1. Favorite movie/actor/actress? Bridesmaids / Robert Pattinson / Emma Stone
2. Favorite song/singer? “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele / my dad
3. Favorite place you would love to visit? Italy. My dad said it was awesome.
4. One item you cannot live without? My cell phone
5. Who would you like to meet? (dead or alive) My grandparents. They died before I was born or when I was too young to remember. 
6. Favorite hobby? Scrapbooking (I’m making a scrapbook of photos of my dad and me)
7. Guilty pleasure? Chocolate. Elaine and I polished off a bag of Halloween candy in two days.
8. Favorite author and/book? The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I cried buckets!
9. Do you collect anything? All the letters Leo’s written me. His dad won’t let him get on the computer much so he has to resort to snail mail. It’s adorable.
10. Favorite color? Purple—it’s my school color! 
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My Thoughts:
This book is PACKED! So much happens! This is not your average teen-angst story. There is NEVER a dull moment. While the numerous topics covered in this book, from abuse to addition to murder and more, are incredibly heavy and intense, the author has done a beautiful job exploring the effects of each with grace and detail. I genuinely empathized with Leo and Audrey and their families, and I really disliked (which is too kind a word) Leo's father. The emotion sucked me in and I felt a deep connection with the characters, which I think is SO important in a story. I really enjoyed the swimming and military elements too. I could tell the author was knowledgeable about the intricacies of swimming and the Navy.

Overall, this book was much better than I expected, and I don't mean that I didn't expect it to be good. I was really looking forward to reading it; however, I never in a million years could have expected Streamline to blow my mind like it did.  It is a fantastic read full of emotion and turmoil. I definitely recommend it to fans of YA contemporary and murder mysteries. Get ready to dive in!
Jennifer Lane is giving away a $20 Gift Card to the winner's choice of location (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) throughout the whole tour. You don't have to wait until the end to enter! Just go visit Jennifer's blog. And you can check out Jennifer's Dream Cast for Streamline while you're there! The giveaway will run May 7th -16th.
Find Jennifer and Streamline online:
Twitter: @JenLanebooks  https://twitter.com/#!/JenLanebooks

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

BLOG TOUR: UNBREAK MY HEART by Melissa Walker w/ Guest Vlog

WELCOME to the Unbreak My Heart blog tour. Please welcome Melissa Walker to the blog today to share some of her writing methods. And she is here is person! Well, in video form at least.

video
Thank you so much for sharing Melissa!


Unbreak My Heart
Author: Melissa Walker
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date:
Source: Bloomsbury via Netgalley for review

The year that broke her heart. The summer that healed it. Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart? Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.

Now, as some of you may remember, I really enjoyed Melissa's Small Town Sinners earlier this year. You can read my review here. So I was really excited when Bloomsbury asked me to join the blog tour for Unbreak My Heart.  Yep, I jumped up and down a little and ran to tell my husband (who stared at me blankly and asked "Is that some chick-lit stuff?" Ugh, men! Anyway, I love it! So....

Here's what I thought:

Unbreak My Heart is a beautiful coming of age story about discovering who you really are and how mistakes help you ferret out the paths of life appreciate yourself and those closest to you.
Clementine Williams had a rough end to her year. She leaves for a summer sailing trip with her family with no friends and thinking she is an awful person who deserves to be alone and miserable. I really liked the way Clem revealed what happened little by little through small flashbacks, and as she reveals the pieces we learn more and more about the person she really is and how harshly she judges herself. 

When she meets James, things start to change. James is so lovable and happy and such a genuine person. I really loved his character and would love to actually be able to know him. (You know me and my fictional boys). Clem's relationship with James transforms her and eventually she takes a risk and finally tells her family and James what happened with Ethan and Amanda.

By far, my favorite character was Clem's little sister Olive. She is a funny, honest and insightful little girl who loves her sister unconditionally. Olive sees Clem for who she really s and forces her remember her true self. She is constantly trying to get the old Clem back, and eventually, she succeeds.

Overall, Unbreak My Heart was a great story about overcoming and coming to terms with mistakes, moving on, and truly understanding one's self. I recommend it to fans of YA contemporaries such as The Summer I Turned Pretty and Jennifer Echols' novels.

Check Out Melissa's Website
Buy Unbreak My Heart

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Blog Tour: ENDURE (NEED #4) by Carrie Jones with Special Guest post

I am so super duper (yes, I know, cheesy. But oh so true) excited to have our special guest here on the blog today. Some of you may remember our special Valentine's day giveaway... well, even if you don't will you please give a BIG OLE ROUND OF APPLAUSE and welcome the very fabulous Carrie Jones to the blog today!

Thank you so much for having me here, any blog about crushing on hot characters in books is totally a blog where I want to hang out. 
So, I'm supposed to write about my writing methods, and that's a bit hard for me to break down. I have a million writing methods, and most involve:

a. typing

b. hitting my head against the wall

c. revising

d. petting my dogs and staring out the window wishing there were cute men walking by

e. standing up and running away from the computer.

But basically what I do is this: I walk the dog. I think about plot. I walk the dogs more. I think about character, and while doing so I roam the block aimlessly, humming. I walk the dogs even more, think more about character, try not to obsess about the cute cop with the super large hands, hum really loudly so the dogs cock their heads at me. Go home. Feed the dogs. Pace. Turn on Pandora Radio. Hum along to Pandora Radio songs. Make tea. Eventually, a sentence gets stuck in my head. I go with that and just write until I can't any more. I stand up. I go back and put in more sensory details and action. I add in an objective correlative because I am addicted to objective correlatives. I kiss my dogs' noses. I write more. I see if I've reached my word count for the day. I wonder how I can be so lucky to be a writer. I start all over again and go walk the dogs. Have I said I have very healthy dogs? And I personally have big calves from all the walking. I need to find a new method or I won't fit in boots any more really. That's probably a bit too much information, isn't it? 

Thank you so much Carrie! If you ever need some more dogs to walk, I'd be happy to offer mine. They would be so happy to get to go for so many walks!

And now... Carrie's newest release...

ENDURE (NEED #4)
AUTHOR: Carrie Jones
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Children's Books
PUBLICATION DATE: May 8th, 2012
SOURCE: Bloomsbury via Netgalley for review

It’s all-out war (and no-holds-barred romance) in the climactic conclusion to Carrie Jones’s bestselling series.

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .

Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.



MY THOUGHTS:

I have truly enjoyed this creative and original series. When I first read NEED, it was the first time I had ever read a book focused on pixies, and its still the only series I've even seen about pixies. From their blue skin and pointy teeth, to their "need", Carrie's supernatural creatures captivated me (no play on the second book's title intended, although it was a happy coincidence). CAPTIVATE and ENTICE continued to take the creativity up a notch and drew me more and more into Zara's world. I was so excited when Bloomsbury asked me to be a part of the blog tour for the final book in the series, ENDURE.

****WARNING: If you have not yet read books 1 - 3 in the NEED series, there may be spoilers in the review below. Proceed at your own risk, or skip to the last paragraph :) ****

In the fourth and final installment of the NEED series, Zara has accepted her pixie nature and begins to really embrace it. Unfortunately, not everyone in her circle has done the same. While relationships are challenged, renewed, and bloom, Zara and her friends prepare to fight Frank and avert the apocalypse. I loved how Zara really discovered herself in this book and took charge of life while staying true to her nature. She faces numerous obstacles in her relationships and her battle against the evil pixies.

The Norse mythology that has played a role in the previous books continues in ENDURE and is really fascinating. There are some new gods and mythology introduced that was really interesting. The rivalry between Nick and Astley continues and the intensity skyrockets. The good news is I am really happy with the way things were resolved in this triangle even though it wasn't exactly what I was expecting.The best part of ENDURE for me was the involvement and development of the secondary and even seemingly less significant smaller characters as well as past characters. I know that really doesn't make much sense if you haven't read it yet, I promise it will be great!

After all was said and done, I was VERY happy with the way things were wrapped up and my favorite character, after Zara of course, was Astley! I won't go into detail, but I will say that his character is really revealed in this book and you won't be let down.

*** This is the last paragraph... you know... for my skippers. :) ***

Overall, ENDURE was a fabulous end to an amazingly creative series. If you have read any of this series, I strongly recommend completing it. If by some miracle you haven't yet picked up NEED, I HIGHLY recommend it! Fans of the supernatural genre will love it. But if you are one of those people who feel that the supernatural genre is a market flooded with vampires, werewolves, and faeries, I really think you should give this series a shot. Pixies are the new vampire! FEED THE NEED - PICK UP THIS SERIES TODAY!

Buy ENDURE
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