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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (60): Killer Insitnct


Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Series: The Naturals #2

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.
          But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?
          With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.

I loved The Naturals, it's an amazing young adult crime book that I could literally not put down (and i highly recommended if you love mysteries) and I am so very, very excited about this next book.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 565
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

        buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 
          While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
*An advanced readers copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*


I've been nothing but patient when it comes to the Throne of Glass books, only because I forget everything that happens in the previous novel and then get stuck in muck while trying to remember the details of the last novel and also progress in the current one. Heir of Fire was a coaster that had its moments, but it only shined during the latter part of the novel.

Heir of Fire starts out with our feisty, but adoring assassin, Celaena, in Wendlyn following the ending of book two with all of her emotions in a jumble. It might just be me, but I wasn't feeling all that pumped for the beginning of book two with Celaena moping around Wendlyn roofs, getting drunk off her ass. It took me quite a bit to really get back into the connection that I had with all of Maas' characters, even the new ones like Rowan and Manon took me quite a ways to actually find something of merit in their character traits and personalities, and finally connect with them on a personal level. Unfortunately that happens in the very last part of the novel. Yet, Celaena's growth in Heir of Fire brought me to my knees, and her back story was engrossing and powerful, bring back my adoration for her fiery, stockaded character. I await her powerful presence in book 4.

The last part of Heir of Fire is the best part of the entire novel. Literal shit goes down. As always. Like Maas likes to do with every single character. And boy does it get dark. And I LOVE it! Just like the previous book, and book one, the ending is what keeps me reading the Throne of Glass series again and again. Though there are bumps and lagging portions along the way, Maas is able to snap her fingers and keep me captivated to read the next book. Not to mention her Pintrest does entice me to keep up my reading.

Final Summation: Despite the diminutive interest I had during the beginning and middle parts of the novel, and some character's scenes and POV, I am highly impressed by the ending of the book. Maas' additional characters in HEIR OF FIRE brought even more depth to Celaena's story and the world-building. I cannot wait to watch the battle continue in book 4 as I am on the edge of my seat for the fate of every character I've ever encountered and loved. All hail the Queen!! 



 Four targets slayed by Celaena Sardothien. One feisty assassin.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (59): Hellhole


Hellhole by Gina Damico
Publication Date: January 6, 2015

A devil is a bad influence . . .

There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder.

Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch-surfing and junk food—and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high. With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time—and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss—run out. Gina Damico, author of the Croak series, once again delivers all the horror, hilarity, and high-stakes drama that any kid in high school or hell could ever handle.
I know that this is going to be deliciously funny and I want it now!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Friday Hops (8/8/14)

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Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 272
Genre: Horror

        buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
The Ring meets The Exorcist in this haunting and lyrical reimagining of the Japanese fable. Okiku has wandered the world for hundreds of years, setting free the spirits of murdered children. Wherever there’s a monster hurting a child, her spirit is there to deliver punishment. Such is her existence, until the day she discovers a troubled American teenager named Tark and the dangerous demon that writhes beneath his skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. Tark needs to be freed, but there is one problem—if the demon dies, so does its host. With the vigilante spirit Okiku as his guide, Tark is drawn deep into a dark world of sinister doll rituals and Shinto exorcisms that will take him far from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Japan. Can Okiku protect him from the demon within or will her presence bring more harm? The answer lies in the depths of a long-forgotten well
As far as horror novels go, Rin Chupeco's The Girl from the Well is my first this whole year and I craved this book like I crave Kit-Kats. Right off the bat, The Girl from the Well opens with the lines "I am where dead children go..." and I knew this novel was going to be a great book. It's short, the killings were right on point and I wanted Okiku to keep on going, and though it has some snags along the way, it is a great adaptation for a very famous fable/horror movie.

Okiku is a ghost with a vengeance, killing men who ravage and kill innocent children. And when she spots Tark and his ominous tattoos and a demon he just can't get rid of, Okiku helps keep the boy and his cousin safe once they are in the thick of it. The names in this novel are extremely out there for a Japanese horror re-imagining from Calliope to Tarquin to Kagura to Doug. And then there is one murder's name that I won't even revel in because it is completely up and over the hill. Besides the names, the characters are easy enough to distinguish between: Tark being sarcastic and quirky, friendly towards his cousin. Callie looks out for Tark, putting herself in danger to make sure he remains safe. Okiku, and this took me a while to finally understand , has two sides to her: the gentle apparition wanting to help Tark and Callie, and then the unadulterated rage towards her murder. And I was rooting for Okiku the entire time, wanting to know more about her past, and wanting her to finally see peace.

One of the snags with this novel, though, is the narration. Okiku is the central narrator of the story. A wallflower in most scenes. Sometimes it was difficult to distinguish if the narration shifted from first person observer to third person omniscient because there were specific scenes where the narrator would know what the characters were thinking, feeling, etc. Is it plausable for Okiku, a ghost, to understand what the characters are thinking, feeling, seeing while being a disembodied narrator from across the room? I didn't think so while I was reading, and it made The Girl from the Well jumbled when POV would change from Callie and Tark straight into first person I.

And as far as pacing goes, it stars off very well in the beginning but then it feels like some pieces almost stuck together neatly, and that also goes back to narration where it isn't completely informed that Okiku can ghost from one place to another at the blink of an eye or that she knows pretty much everything that the characters say, think, do, feel, yada yada. But, once everything starts to get explained after I was thoroughly confused, the ending picks up nicely with an epic final battle. And the juxtaposition between Okiku's enraged spirit and her calm demeanor around the Callie and Tark was my favorite parts to read. Especially when the talk of fireflies comes in. Absolutely gorgeous.

Final Summation: The Girl from the Well received a plentiful amount of brownie points for re-imagining one of my favorite Japanese fables. And The Ring happens to be one of my favorite horror movies, so even more props. The balance between horrific and gentle imagery that Okiku describes throughout was one of my favorite parts of the novel. Who doesn't like bloated dead bodies one second and then beautiful firefly imagery of the souls of children departing to the afterlife. A short horror novel, easily read in one day. The Girl from the Well, does The Ring and the story of Okiku justice in a horrific yet stunning retelling.


*ONE* winner will receive a copy of THE GIRL FROM THE WELL
You must be 13+ years or older to enter
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 About the Author:
Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She’s been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living. The Girl from the Well is her debut novel. Connect with Rin at www.rinchupeco.com.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (58): The Fine Art of Pretending


The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Series: The Fine Art of Pretending #1
According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.
          With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.
But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

I cannot truly explain why I'm excited about this book, but somehow the idea of just two teenagers that are friends that become something more reminds me of the books I use to read before Supernatural, John Green and Dystopian literature found my bookshelf.  Does it sound unrealistic? Yeah, but it reminds me of the books used to bridge between preteen/children books and young adult and I miss a plot I can just enjoy without fear of someone dying.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Blast & Giveaway: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee


Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee
Series: Gates of Thread and Stone #1
Publication Date: August 5th, 2014
Publisher: Skyscape
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 335
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
      buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.
          In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

          Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
Praise for GATES OF THREAD AND STONE

“Lori M. Lee excels in building a world of intrigue, oppression, and magic amidst a Labyrinth setting as twisted and winding as the secrets hidden inside her characters’ hearts. Fans of strong heroines who don’t need a boy to hold their hands, action-packed fighting scenes, and whispers of steampunk and mythology, will find themselves wishing they, too, could manipulate the threads of time, if only to stay inside the story a little longer.”
A.G. Howard, the SPLINTERED series

“Inventive, romantic, and gripping. I was hooked from the first page!”
Amy Tintera, REBOOT and REBEL

“A fast-paced, heart-wrenching whirl of a story full of magic, immortals, and a romance that will leave readers gasping for more. I adored the tough, scrappy narrator and fell in love with the boy chasing after her heart. Lori M. Lee introduces us to a fantasy world unlike any other and gives us the first taste of an epic love story in the making. I can’t wait for more!”
Mindee Arnett, THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR series and AVALON series

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lori is the author of young adult fantasy Gates of Thread and Stone, coming August 5, 2014 from Skyscape. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.
Website • Goodreads • Twitter  Facebook  Tumblr  Pinterest

 
 Giveaway is open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter


1 Winner will get (1) $25.00 Amazon Gift Card + a Swag Pack


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes By Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 423
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

   buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
A  heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
          Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
          Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
          So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
*An advanced readers copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

What would you do if your home was gone?

   I was honestly dreading reading this book after the first chapter. In the beginning, Raasch uses a lot of explanation and does more telling than showing which is such an epidemic in fantasy literature. However, I am very pleased to announced that this book is an interesting, face-paced ride that literally will get your heart pumping with anticipation and action. I could not put this book down once I got into it.  There's a lot of mystery to this book and emotion plays a large factor in the way the narrator, Meira, tells the story; it's not just about getting back the source of Winter's magic, it about what makes a country a place a citizen calls a home.  It's book that's more than just about magic or battles, it's a story about the value giving people something to believe in.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (29): HarperCollins Christmas in August

Welcome to the Stacking the Shelves, a feature by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews, post for this week. All weekly updates that have happened around the blog will take place below as well as the books that I have received this week for review. Please don't forget to leave a comment on this post and link me to your Stacking the Shelves so I can see what you've gotten this week and comment back. Thank you!

Recent Events & Past Reviews:

Son of War, Daughter of Chaos $50 Giveaway, Enter Now

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For Review:

   
Thank you to HarperCollins for everything this week!