Review: Prelude and Fugue by Laura Haley-McNeil

Name of book: Prelude and Fugue
Author: Laura Haley-McNeil
Publication: May 11th 2012 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Won from a giveaway!
Goodreads

The Prelude-Olivia St. Claire wanted to be good at something. What better way than to start studying piano again? And what better teacher than former concert pianist Liam Wallace? She found him attractive, beyond attractive, but her heart was safe. He was married and he showed no interest in her. If he wouldn’t love her, she would make sure he loved the way she played.

The Fugue-But her heart couldn’t be controlled. She now had the opportunity to perform with him. And that’s when everything fell apart. When she heard the music, she couldn’t control what she might say or do. She wanted to be good at something. And when that happened, she lost more than her heart. She lost a chance to capture something that meant more to her than anything she’d ever dreamed.


-- My Rating --


-- My Thoughts --

     I have never said this, but I am a HUGE fan of music. I listen to anything musical, and I play the piano. I love playing the piano. So, I was really excited to read this one. The author knew how to play the chords of this novel!
     Olivia, is a pretty, forty-something woman, who is living with her parents. Her past, unsuccessful relationships had led her to lose her belief in love. So, she decides to embark on her college dream; continue learing the piano. But when she meets her piano teacher, Liam, she is captivated. Liam is sweet, kind, handsome, and .... married.
     Between playing scales and practicing compositions, Olivia's feelings for Liam grow. But is it a one-sided feeling? Olivia's life is in a state of turmoil, and nothing can prepare her for what is to come. Will she ever tell Liam how she feels? What will happen to Olivia's love of piano and hate of performing? Find out more when you read this heart-wrenching tale, Prelude and Fugue, a tale that says it's never too late to embark on your dream...
     I liked this book. There were a couple of good things, and a few bad ones. First, I really liked the references to music made in the novel. When Olivia has her music lessons, she learns the piano more and more. So, I loved watching her do that. Second, I liked the authors' writing. She is expressing exactly what Olivia feels, it was very nice to be in her head.
     The first thing that irked me, is the quick-pace, I felt as if someone was rushing me through some queue, and I didn't like that. I wanted the book to explore the characters' feelings more, and I wanted it to slow down a bit. Second, I didn't really like Olivia. I know that she is forty-something, but I feel like the author should have changed that. She doesn't really act like a forty-year-old woman, more like in her late twenties. But this was pass-able and I didn't mind it that much.
     This book was a nice diversion from my other reads, although it was too typically contemporary,  it was a very quick read, I finished it in one setting. If you want a nice break from serious stuff, or a light romantic read, or a quick-paced book, then Prelude and Fugue has the right pace and a far-fetched plot! ( a very nice one, at that)

ARC Five-Star Review: The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Name of book: The Mad Scientist's Daughter
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Publication: January 29th 2013 by Angry Robot
Genre: Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...
Goodreads

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is the heartbreaking story of the journey from childhood to adulthood, with an intriguing science fictional twist.

There’s never been anyone - or anything - quite like Finn.

He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is to tutor Cat.

When the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.



-- My Rating --



-- My Thoughts --

     I have been tracking Cassandra Rose Clarke's writing ever since I have read her "The Assassin's Curse", which I absolutely adored. I love the complexity of her characters and her superb world-building. This book didn't disappoint.
     Cat, is a little girl when her father brings Finn home. When she first sees him, she thinks he is a ghost. But as years pass by, she realizes that Finn is one-of-a-kind robot, a complex mix of machines that is supposed to be her tutor. And as she grows up, she can't help her growing attraction to him.
     But robots don't feel, they are programmed, and Cat goes on with her life. But forgetting Finn is something Cat's mind was never programmed to do. What is the story behind Finn? Who created him? Will Cat's life be whatever she hoped for. The Mad Scientist's Daughter will leave you enchanted, heartbroken, and perfectly happy.
     Cassandra Rose Clarke never disappoints. As I was reading her second book, I realized some things. First, her "The Assassin's Curse" had a lot of world-building but this one, was more of a character-driven story. Second, she tends to write complex, slow-developing romances. But she makes them truly believable. Third, just like her romance aspect, Cassandra makes up characters that you feel for, feel with, and fall in love with. Complex and multi-layered, her characters are strangely realistic, even in such a not-so-ordinary world!
     I absolutely adored this novel. it made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me think about the true meaning of love. True love, not something cutout of cardboard and taped together with lies. This is recommended to anyone who enjoys a very powerful, realistic, character-driven story!

Review: The Rising by Temple Mathews

Name of book: The Rising (The New Kid #2)
Author: Temple Mathews
Publication: 2012 by Teen Libris (first published 2010)
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Provided by the kind publisher..

Will Hunter’s had a rough few months. He just survived the battle of his life. He learned the devil was his father. And his newly demonic best friend Rudy is trapped under glass until Will can find a way to bring him back from the dark side. All Will wants is to lay low for a while with Natalie, the girl he loves, and focus on saving his friend.

But Will never seems to get what he wants.

In Seattle, Will encounters a dangerous new breed of female demon, faster and more deadly than anything he’s ever faced, and a mysterious, striking girl who arrives just in time to save his life. Natalie doesn’t trust her, but Will is drawn to her in a way he doesn’t fully understand. Is she a powerful new ally? Or will her secrets destroy him and everything he cares about?

As the devil’s minions work to reassemble their leader’s body piece by piece, Will must once again become the New Kid to prevent the Dark Lord from rising—this time for good.


-- My Rating --


-- My Thoughts --

     I fell in love with this series immediately after I read the first book. I loved the uniqueness and the author's style. I couldn't wait to start reading this, but because of my HUGE TBR list, it took me a long time. I am disappointed that I didn't read it sooner.
Warning. minor spoilers if you have not read The New Kid, the first book in the series (my review here).
     Will, has fought of demons, demonteens, and the Devil himself. But winning a battle does not mean that you'll win the war. And as Will finds out, the devil's body has been cut into pieces by the explosion, and his slaves are trying to collect them. But Will has to get there first, or darkness will engulf the world?
     Will loves Natalie, but he can't let her get hurt. So, he slips further away, while she is left confused and hurt. Going into a new high school, Will is attracted to a mysterious girl like he has never been before. Who is she? Will Will find the body of the Dark Lord? Will he and Natalie grow back into an item? Find out more when you read The Rising, a heart-stopping, action-packed thrill ride.
     I love this novel. I think that I have grown tired of the same stories done over and over again. This novel is a unique one, I love the author's writing style. In the first book, I thought it was a little middle-gradey , but in this one, it fit the pace and the story perfectly. Pacing is something Temple Mathews is a pro at. He knows the exact same pace that the story should be written in, when and were.
     I am in love with Will. His pride, his confidence, his protectiveness, and his unconditional love. He is a boy that I wish the best of the best for. Natalie definitely suits him with her shy attitude and vulnerability. This book left with a CLIFFHANGER (shouty capitals to ensure you!), I CANNOT wait to start the third book in this breathtaking series. Recommended to you, fantasy lover, and you, paranormal fan, and you, too, romance geek!

Review: Lunatic Revenge by Sharon Sala

Name of book: Lunatic Revenge (Lunatic Life Series #3)
Author: Sharon Sala
Publication: October 5th 2012 by Bell Bridge Books
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Provided by kind publisher...
Goodeads

Do Tara and Flynn stand a ghost of a chance?

The bad guys are after a hidden fortune that belongs to Flynn O’Mara’s dying father—they think Tara can use her psychic powers to find it for them. She’ll need plenty of help from her spirit friends if she and Flynn are going to get out of this trouble alive. 

“Look out!” Tara screamed, as the sports car spun toward them. 
The car hit them twice—first on the driver’s side fender, then as Flynn’s car started to spin, again on the back bumper.
“Hold on!” Flynn yelled, as their car flipped once, then went airborne, over the guard rail, and into Boomer Lake.
Tara came to as the car was sinking nose first into the water and quickly unbuckled her seat belt. If they were going to survive, they would have to get themselves out.
“Flynn! Unbuckle your seatbelt. I’m going to roll down the windows so we can swim out.”
Then she saw Flynn, unconscious and slumped over the steering wheel. Frantically, she unbuckled his belt and tried to pull him toward her, but the steering wheel was too tight against his chest. 
“I can’t breathe,” he groaned. “Help me, Tara, help me.”
Tara began screaming at Flynn, begging him to move as the water rushed up to their chests—then their necks. She was holding Flynn’s face out of the water, pushing him as far up as she could until their heads were touching the roof of the car. She couldn’t believe this was happening. It was just like her dream. They were going to die. Where was her backup when she needed them? 
“Millicent! Henry! Uncle Pat! Someone! Anyone! Help! Help!”
Seconds later, the water was over their heads.


-- My Rating --


-- My Thoughts --

     I have had this book for a while, but I had to read the first two in the series, so it took me sometime to get to it, and I am SO glad I did!
Minor spoilers if you have not read My Lunatic Life and Lunatic Detective (see my reviews of first and second)
     Tara Luna is done being a psychic for a lifetime. She has fought off crazy stalker, found a missing girl, and found a dead body. But it seems like the universe is definitely not on her side. Flynn is slipping further away, and Tara can't help but have a bad feeling about it. What's more? Everyone wants a piece of her. Tara is tired, famished, and ready to give up.
     What is Flynn hiding? What will jump on Tara's road this time? Will she be able to keep her life intact? Find out more when you read this absolutely heart-wrenching, realistic account (kinda!) of how hard a teenage life can be in Lunatic Revenge.
     I absolutely love this series. I liked the first book, really liked the second, and I LOVE the third one. Sharon Sala's writing keeps improving and improving until, I am pretty sure, it will be perfect at the fourth book. I have grown used to Tara's powers, and they are really useful to her, at times. But still, I love Tara's bravery and her will, I wish she was my friend to comfort. Flynn, oh Flynn, is such a sweet, sensitive guy. I adore him. Sharon Sala's characters are superb. And her pacing is flawless.
     It's pretty strange. When you hate a book, you can write a 2000-word essay about its bad side. But when you love when, you are left speechless "wierd facial expression". I just want to tell you that this series is definitely worth your time!

Review: Ethos (Equinox #2) by Desiree Finkbeiner

Name of book: Ethos (Equinox #2)
Author: Desiree Finkbeiner
Publication: October 21st 2012 by Hydra Publications
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Provided by author...

Death separated them... but the will of the Universe gave them a second chance to be together. Brianna and Kalen embark on a difficult mission to save their civilizations from the evil designs of Ellette and her minions. The laws of Ethos that forbid their relationship are challenged by their undying devotion to one another. Can they change the law or will the fight destroy their love? 

Lives are lost as they're caught up in a conspiracy that goes deeper than they ever imagined. Untold secrets are exposed sending Kalen and Brianna down a path from which they discover a hidden past, and an unknown future. When prophecies fall short of predicting the outcome, where can they turn for answers?


-- My Rating --



-- My Thoughts --

     I wasn't that excited to read the second book in the series, since I didn't like the first book. The idea of this series is very unique and refreshing, so I decided to give this one a try. And I am NOT disappointed after reading this, at all.
Minor spoilers if you have not read the first book in the series, Morning Star (read my review here.)
     Bree and Kalen have been through so many ups and downs. It should finally be the time for them to relax and drawn in their love in Ethos. But the universe has different plans. The council is not very keen on letting them be joined together, since they have proof that Kalen is not suitable to be the "morning star"s mate. At the same time, Ellette is getting more power from her minions -the banished Ethorians- and she is ready to conquer the Earth.
     As Bree and friends begin to save the Earth, they meet new friends, new enemies, until it's impossible to tell the difference. Will Kallen and Bree ever be able to be together? Will they save the Earth before it's too late? Will they be able to end Ellette's rule, once and for all. Find out more when you read this imaginative, thought-provoking tale.
     I have to admit that this book was WAY better than the first book. The writer's style has improved and it is very enjoyable. I love her world-building of Ethos, although we don't get to see so much of Ethos in this book, unfortunately. I love the twist that this book took, it was definitely not what I expected. One thing that irks me with this series, and I think will always do, is: Bree. I just don't connect with her. I feel nothing for her, at all. I don't really care what happens to her. But because the characters care about her so much, I can't help but wish that she will make out of the mess alright, poor Kalen! I adore him.
     I cannot wait to see what Desiree has in store for us in the third book. Definitely much more kick-ass and action scenes. This book is a hell of a ride. Full of unexpected twists, heartbreaking betrayals, and ever-lasting true love. You should start reading this series, now.

Review: The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Name of book: The Best of Me
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publication: October 11th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Romantic Fiction
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Goodreads

THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they've taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

-- My Rating --



-- My Thoughts --

     If you have been following my blog for a while, you would know that I am a HUGE fan of Nicholas Sparks. Before I started this blog, I had read "A Walk to Remember" and "A Bend In The Road", so I don't have reviews for them. I have also read "At First Sight", which you can find my review here. I love his books, the way the make me feel is exceptional, and this book was no exception. 
    Teenagers, Dawson and Amanda fell in love in the summer of 1984. But they were different. Way different. Amanda was a Collier, one of the royal families in town and expectations rose high for her.. Dawson was a Cole, a family famous for its criminal record, people expected him to be behind bards and have an empty future. They found comfort in each other and they were able to escape the cruel world. But at the end of the senior years, circumstances tear them apart.
     Now, twenty-five years later, they go back home to their mutual friend's funeral. When they meet again, they can't deny the spark that is still there. None of them has lived the life they imagined. Dawson should have died a couple of times, but fate always brings him back. Amanda is stuck in a marriage with an alcoholic. Will this weekend change their  lives? Find out the power of love in this striking new novel, by the ever talented author, Nicholas Sparks..
     I loved this book. It was a great love story, just like Nicholas's author books.. He is a very talented author. I love the way he makes me cry in all his books. There was something bugging me in this novel, I don't think I can pinpoint it. Maybe it was the "ghost" aspect of Dawson's life. You don't know what I am talking about, but once you read the novel, you will.
     This is a very enjoyable, romantic read. That left me crying. I will definitely read any books Nicholas Sparks writes. Recommended to fans of romance!

ARC Review: What We Saw At Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Name of book: What We Saw At Night (What We Saw At Night #1)
Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard
Publication: January 8th 2013 by Soho Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

Like the yearning, doomed young clones in Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, three teenagers with XP (a life-threatening allergy to sunlight) are a species unto themselves. As seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Allie Kim, they roam the silent streets, looking for adventure, while others sleep. When Allie's best friend introduces the trio to Parkour, the stunt-sport of running and climbing off forest cliffs and tall buildings (risky in daylight and potentially deadly by darkness), they feel truly alive, equal to the "daytimers."
 
On a random summer night, while scaling a building like any other, the three happen to peer into an empty apartment and glimpse an older man with what looks like a dead girl. A game of cat-and-mouse ensues that escalates through the underground world of hospital confinement, off-the-grid sports, and forbidden love. Allie, who can never see the light of day, discovers she's the lone key to stopping a human monster.


-- My Rating --



-- My Thoughts --

     This time, I am going to do this review a little differently. I won't give you a summery of the book like I always do. No, I will just tell you the good and the bad (if there is.). I am doing this because I am afraid to spoil the GREATNESS of this novel. Yape, it was that good...
     Allie, Rob, and Juliet are the best of friends. What brings them together is their XP; allergy to sunlight. I have to say that this idea is very creative. Since I didn't even know that this allergy existed. One day, Juliet starts teaching them Parkour, a type of sport that includes leaping off roofs and balconies. This idea is very creative, too. I didn't know about this kind of sport. It requires a very great momentum, confidence, and fitness. I loved watching Allie and Rob learn it. 
     But while practising their new sport, they witness something. Something they shouldn't have seen. Something that might or might not be murder. They are not sure. Right here, the mystery part of the novel starts. I loved this. At first, we don't know who the villain is. But little by little, we get more clues as Allie digs more into the "incident". At the same time, Juliet is getting more detached from them. . There is an air of mystery around Juliet which I was very curious about. I loved the growing relationship between Allie and Rob.
     This story gripped me from the very first pages. I thought it would be some kind of middle grade novel. I was wrong. The very first thing that I should say, is that I abso-freaking-lutely ADORED the characters. I have never felt more connected, or more in rhythm, with characters this much. They were absolutely phenomenal. They were individuals, not stereotypes. I loved Allie, even though she knew nothing about living in daylight, she was so easy to connect to. She went by her heart AND her mind, a great combination. I have never loved a main character this much.
     There is also Rob, who was absolutely adorable. Oh, and about the incident. They see something really terrible, and Allie sees it twice! But no one believes her, not even her friends, so she is frustrated. I loved how this part of the story unfolded. Every time I THOUGHT they would catch the "doer" was, Ms.Jacqulyn threw in another twist and I was caught off guard again. It gave me chills!
     If you leave me be, I can talk about this book for a week! (which would be very boring, because all I would do would be gushing and raving about it "wink") I never knew it would be so good!  This book is one of the BEST books I have ever read. I have not doubt. I cannot wait to read the second book, What We Lost In The Dark and meet Allie again. Please, guys, please. Go read this book. I promise you will not regret it.

P.S. Jacquelyn Mitchard has an AMAZING writing style, so I couldn't help but grab a few quotes:

"Juliet kept smiling. “Everybody dies,” she said, turning her face so it was out of the light. “But not everybody really lives.”"

"But now that it was happening . . . everything fit like finely chiseled wood, smooth and soft and funny, tasting like the wasabi we’d had with dinner."

"Short strands of questions and suppositions snapped and rolled like a cheap Mardi Gras bead string in my mind."

"At the base of my mind was the solemn unspoken thought: tonight was our only tomorrow, and we would bet the limit on every hand."


Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Name of book: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publication: May 1st 2012 by HarperTeen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Borrowed from a friend

One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

"New York Times" bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian "Divergent" series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.


-- My Rating --


-- My Thoughts --

     When I read Divergent, I liked it. But not as much as everyone else who was raving about it. I kinda like this series, and since my friend had both books, I decided to borrow this one. And I will just say: Veronica Roth, please hurry up writing the final book!
Minor spoilers if you haven't read the first book in the series, Divergent (See my review here)
     Beatrice "Tris" has escaped the horrible stimulation control of the Erudite, only because she is Divergent. But it is not over. And the Erudite have even ore horrible plans this time. If that wasn't enough, her relationship with Tobias "Four" is being reduced to only: heated arguments.
     As Tris tries to find out the plans of the Erudite, the conflict between the factions increases dramatically. The Candor are confused, the Dauntless and the Amity are divided, and The Abnegation are lost. There are also the faction-less, who seem to be much more organized than everyone thought they were.
     Secrets are revealed and lives are lost. Will Beatrice stay true to herself or will she lose her inner battle? What are the faction leaders' hiding? Will the factions every grow back into one unit? Find out much ore when you read this action-packed, though-provoking book about what it means; to be human.
     I LOVED this book. Divergent was a nice dystopian novel. It was action-packed but I felt like Tris was cold-blooded and I didn't feel for her. In this book, I LOVED the action. There was always some fight scene or some intriguing twist. I loved it. Although, I love Tris's bravery, I still don't like her at times.
     This book was such a wonderful sequel. And the end was SUCH a cliff-hanger. I CANNOT wait for the second book. It is just impossible to wait one year! If you want an enjoyable, exhilarating novel, then Insurgent is definitely the one!

Review: Lunatic Detective by Sharon Sala

Name of book: The Lunatic Detective (Lunatic Life Series #2)
Author: Sharon Sala
Publication: November 2011 by BelleBooks
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: E-book owned
Goodreads

As Tara and Flynn are closing in on Dee Dee Broyles' killer, a deadly new ghost begins to threaten them. It's just another day in Tara's lunatic life . . . 
All during the day at school, Tara kept picturing the moment when she and Nate would find DeeDee's grave. Even the classes she had with Flynn, who made everything fun, never seemed to end. By the time the last bell rang, she was fired up like a roman candle on the Fourth of July. She bolted from her seat, made a quick stop at her locker, and slipped out a side door instead of taking the front, knowing full well she was going to miss seeing Flynn. She didn't have time to delay or explain, and she had a feeling he wouldn't be all that thrilled in what she was doing. He was pretty cool about her psychic stuff, but digging for bodies fell way out of the realm of normal-even for her. 
Sharon Sala is the bestselling author of romance, suspense and historical novels for adults, and now, of the popular Lunatic Life mysteries for young adults. She's hard at work on her next Lunatic Life novel. Visit her at www.SharonSalaBooks.com


-- My Rating --



-- My Thoughts --

    When I read the first book in the series, I was very excited to get my hands on the second book! I love the light air of mystery in this series, and I couldn't wait to start this! Sharon Sala knows exactly how to captivate readers in Tara Luna's lunatic life. She does not disappoint.
There might be minor spoilers for those who have not read My Lunatic Life, the first book (my review here...)
    Tara Luna is done with adventures, she found Bethany and brought her home safe. But life can never be too perfect. Ghosts turn up at every corner asking for her help. Her boyfriend, Flynn, is drifting away. She still hasn't found the body of the girl who dies in her house years ago. The dead girl's brother is stalking her. And suddenly, Tara begins experiencing a very evil force that knocks her out cold every time it is near.
     But Tara is not a quitter. And she is determined to find the body of DeeDee, and help her ghost pass into the light. But she can't just dig around every corner of her backyard. Will Tara ever find the body? Will she find out who is the source of the evil power lurking everywhere she goes? And will her relationship with Flynn mend itself? Find out much more when you read Tara's adventures in Lunatic Detective. An action-packed, light and mysterious read!
     I love this series. Many paranormal novels are all about forbidden love, and saving the world, blah blah blah. It's so good to have a break from it, sometime. And this series is my guilty pleasure! I love the characters, Tara is such a wonderful girl! She is pretty easy to connect to. Flynn is gorgeous, understanding, and ever so patient. I love him! Tara's two companion ghosts are absolutely hilarious and adorable! I love Milicent and Henry! The supporting characters all add to the story. Sharon Sala is a talented writer, indeed.
     I CANNOT wait to read my review copy of Lunatic Revenge, the third book in the series. Want a break from all the serious stuff? Want to read something that has a mix of paranormal and light romance? Want to be engrossed in an enjoyable, sarcastic book? Then I assure you, The Lunatic Detective is the ONE!

Review: Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman


Name of book: Crashing Eden
Author: Michael Sussman
Publication: May 11th 2012 by Solstice Publishing
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Won from @Realms of An Open Mind

For one boy and his friends, the path to Paradise comes at a cost—one they may not be prepared to pay.

When a biking accident leaves 17-year-old Joss Kazdan with the ability to hear things others can't, reality as he knows it begins to unravel.

A world of legends exists beyond the ordinary life he's always known, and he is transported to the same Paradise he's studying in World Mythology. But the strange gets even stranger when his new friends build a device that delivers people through the gates of the Garden of Eden.

Now Samael, the Creator God, is furious. As Samael rains down his apocalyptic devastation on the ecstasy-seeking teens, Joss and his companions must find a way to appease Samael—or the world will be destroyed forever.



-- My Rating --



-- My Thoughts --

     I won this book from a giveaway. The cover is really nice and creative. I love the color blending and the subject. I liked the blurb, too. It was really captivating. I have to admit, I thought the book would be better, but it was still good.  I am glad I read it.
     Joss is not your typical teenage boy. He has been in detention numerous times, he has been suspended from his school more than once, and he even spent some time in juvie. But behind all this violence, there is a broken, vulnerable boy who is showered in guilt.
     After an accident, Joss begins hearing a very strange non-stopping sound. After this incident, things start to unfold, it appears that the strange sound transports people back to Eden. When Joss and his friends start distributing a device to listen to the sound, the creator god is enraged and out for revenge. 
      What has Joss done to land him in juvie? Why can't anyone hear the frequency? Why did Joss suddenly start hearing it? And why is the creator god so enraged? Does he think that they are crashing his Eden? Find out much more when you read this imaginative, intriguing novel, Crashing Eden...
     I like this novel a lot. The idea was really intriguing and I loved how the story played out. Yes, I was a bit worried that it was touching the religious side, but it never actually concentrated on the creator god stuff, which was fine by me. I loved Joss, I really felt for him, and understood his motives. He really touched my heart. His sister is equally amusing and so LOVELY, I just wanted to hug her and pull her cheek. She was so adorable!
      What bugged me in this novel was the fact that the pace was too quick. This novel could have been lengthened into a 500 page novel and there were still many ideas to be explored in another novel. Yeah, the pacing kept me from giving this book five stars. Other than that, I really didn't like the creator god stuff. But this book really was intriguing and it was a very different type of paranormal.
     This book is recommended to every paranormal fan who is looking for a quick and interesting read. I can't wait to read more by the author, Michael Sussman. 

Review: The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond

Name of book: The Beach Cafe
Author: Lucy Diamond
Publication: June 2011 by Pan Macmillan
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Won
Goodreads

Evie Flynn has always been the black sheep of her family - a dreamer and a drifter, unlike her over-achieving elder sisters. She's tried making a name for herself as an actress, a photographer and a singer, but nothing has ever worked out. Now she's stuck in temp hell, with a sensible, pension-planning boyfriend. Somehow life seems to be passing her by. Then her beloved aunt Jo dies suddenly in a car crash, leaving Evie an unusual legacy - her precious beach cafe in Cornwall. Determined to make a success of something for the first time in her life, Evie heads off to Cornwall to get the cafe and her life back on track - and gets more than she bargained for, both in work and in love...



-- My Rating --



-- My Thoughts --

     I won this book from a giveaway. I haven't heard of the author before, nor have I read the blurb. So I dove in blindly into this, I didn't even know that it was an adult coming-of-age story (somehow...) I LOVE the cover, the font, the texture and the colors, it's beautiful!
     Evie has always been the black sheep of her family. She had faded in comparison to her two over-achieving sisters. She tried everything, from being an actor to a photographer, but nothing ever worked out. Now, she is trapped in a boring life, trapped in a relationship where the passion had been lost for years.
     All that changes when her beloved aunt dies, and she inherits the lovely cafe at the beach. Evie isn't sure whether she should sell it or start running it. Will she ever have the courage to leave everything behind and go to beach? Will she ever find her heart's true desire? Evie doesn't believe she will, but fate has different plans. Maybe being the black sheep isn't all bad.
     I liked this novel a LOT. The first couple of chapters were a bit slow, but then, when I got to know Evie, I began enjoying it very much. Lucy Diamond has a -I don't know how to name it- daring writing style, she is not afraid to express her ideas and this showed in her characters. Not even one of them were cardboard cut-outs or two dimensional. 
     I loved Evie. Yeah, I know she is much older and her thinking ways are different, I felt for her and related to her. What I loved the most about her was her sarcasm, she made me laugh out loud in every page. She is really smart, and adorable. Ed is amazing, too. He is mysterious, but funny and like-able. Every other person in the town are amazing, I wished I could live with them (if they were real, that is.) Just so you know, there is no love-triangle.
     I loved the uniqueness of the story and the author's unique writing style. This book is definitely not something I would have read, but I don't regret reading it at ALL. I will be checking out the other books by Lucy Diamond. This is recommended to romance and coming-of-age fans.

Review: The New Kid by Temple Mathews

Name of book: The New Kid (The New Kid #1)
Author: Temple Mathews
Publication: 2009 by Teen Libris
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

Will Hunter is used to being the New Kid; Harrisburg High School is his fifth new school in less than three years. By now, he knows not to be fooled by the bright pep rallies, the wholesome jocks, the innocent cheerleaders. He knows the evil lurking underneath. It’s the same evil that took his dad eight years ago: the same evil he battles every day.

Natalie Holand’s life fell apart the night her sister Emily disappeared. No one believes her when she tells them what she saw: yellow and green eyes, glowing beneath the surface of the water in which Emily supposedly drowned. And Emily isn’t the only person to go missing in Harrisburg lately. The town is changing, not for the better, and Natalie doesn’t know why. What she does know is that, whatever’s happening, it’s bad, and the New Kid is right in the middle of it.

Because Will has a secret even bigger than Harrisburg’s, and there’s more to it than even he knows.

This fast-paced, action-packed first novel by veteran Hollywood screenwriter Temple Mathews takes the idea of high school as hell to a whole new level. Will’s story, part wish-fulfillment sci-fi adventure and part iconic hero’s journey with a side of budding romance, will appeal to teen readers of both genders.


-- My Rating --



-- My Thoughts --

     I didn't actually expect that much from this book. Yes, the premise is strange. And yes, the cover is truly fabulous. But still, I didn't expect the "wow" factor in this book, and I was pleasantly surprised.
     Will has been moving around from school to school for the last couple of years. His mum thinks that its due to her ever-changing job, but no. It's Will who needs to move around. He needs to hunt down the things. The things that ruined his life when he was only eight years old. The things that are corrupting one town after another. The things that turn every helpless teenager into a slave.
     Will is always following his rules when settling into a new town: never get too attached. But in this new town, it's different. He can't resist Natalie's pull and Rudy's strange friendship. Will knows it's wrong to get attached, he knows that they will get hurt in the end, but can he live this lonely any longer? Can he save this town from getting infected? Can he find the master of the creatures? And will he ever live a normal teenage life? Find out much more when you read The New Kid. An action-packed, thrilling new kind of paranormal tale.
     I loved this book. Having no idea what I was reading, I got a little confused at first, but then, it got much better. I have to admit that I was worried, reading from a boy's POV. Although, the book is in third person, much of the focus is on Will. And being in Will's mind is such an experience! I never knew that boys were so thoughtful, so caring, so efficient. I loved Will, every single part of his personality.
     Temple Mathews has created a lot of supporting characters, and i liked all of them. April, Will's mum, is hiding something, but she is also caring. Natalie is an intelligent, head-strong girl, she is like a copy of me. I loved the growing attraction between Will and Natalie, it was so sweet and believable.
     If you want to have the roller coaster ride of a lifetime, with so many twists and turns that will leave your head dizzy and your heart racing, then The New Kid is you new favorite

Review: My Lunatic Life by Sharon Sala


Name of book: My Lunatic Life (Lunatic Life Series #1)
Author: Sharon Sala
Publication: August 27th 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: E-book owned

She plays for Team Spirit.
High school senior Tara Luna's got all the usual teen problems: a new school, her attraction to a hunky guy, feuds with the Mean Girls, being regarded as an oddball outsider-PLUS she has psychic powers, a duo of protective, meddlesome ghosts AND an angry, threatening teen girl ghost who wants Tara to solve her murder-or else.
Now you know why she calls this "my lunatic life."
Sharon Sala's books repeatedly make the big lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly lists, and she's been nominated for a RITA seven times, which is the romance writer's equivalent of having an Oscar or an Emmy nomination. MY LUNATIC LIFE is the first book in her Lunatic Life series for teen readers. Coming soon: THE LUNATIC DETECTIVE.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I don't know why. But I feel like I am in a very strange luck with books for the past month and a half. Every book I read, I end up giving it four or five stars. They are just so good, and it's not fair to give them less. I have the third book in the series, Lunatic Revenge, for review. So I had to read the first two books. I knew this series was about ghosts, but I had no idea that it would be so good!  A lovely, light paranormal read.
     Tara Luna, is tired of moving around so much. Yes, she loves her uncle, but moving into a new school every year is very hard. She can never fit in, and she can never make friends, or fall in love. How could she fit in anyway? She is psychic, is able to see ghosts, and feel people's emotions. When she arrives into a new town for her senior year, things are a bit different.
     First of all, there is a ghost at Tara's new house. Who, surprisingly, has her body buried in the backyard and wants Tara's help. Second, there is the absolutely-gorgeous Flynn who is the ultimate bad-boy and every girl's fantasy. The surprise of the year? He seems to be interested in her. Don't forget the mean girls who want nothing more than humiliate Tara. But when one of these girls, Bethany, disappears, it's up to Tara to find her.
      Will Tara find the body of the ghost? Will she be able to find Bethany in time? And will she take it a step further with Flynn? Find out what it's like to be psychic when you read Sharon Sala's imaginative, light, and quirky novel, My Lunatic Life...
     I liked this book a lot. It reminded me of Kim Harrington's Clarity series. But it was different and even better. On one hand, I loved Sharon Sala's writing. It is short, to-the-point, and quirky! I loved her simple manner. One the other hand, I loved the characters. Not all of them. But most of them, I loved. Tara is one hell of a psychic. She is smart, and not afraid to follow her heart. Flynn is also gorgeous, the typical bad boy with the sincere heart. I wonder why I can't find these kinds of guys here, in my HUGE town?
     This book was a really good mystery ride. We catch glimpses of where Bethany's kidnapped. But never the true place, which leaves Tara to find out. Loved the interactions between the characters and I think Tara's uncle is adorable! If you want to read a funny, mysterious book, then why not try this one?


Review: The Forgotten by Claudia Carozza

Name of book: The Forgotten (The Barronlands #2)
Author: Claudia Carozza
Publication: September 23rd 2012
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Provided by the kind author...
Goodreads

Hazel's job at the Antioch didn't work out at all like she had planned. After a daring escape and one very risky delivery of the first baby born in years, she's still holding on to the hope of a better future. Out of the Antioch and on the run, who can Hazel turn to for help and can they really be trusted? In the second book of the Barronlands Trilogy, relationships are tested and even more secrets are revealed. Hazel tries to put the pieces together, hoping everything doesn't fall apart. Will she be able to hold it all together or will there be those who slip through the cracks?



-- My Rating --



-- My Thoughts --

      I won the first book in this series in a giveaway, and when I read it, I was immediately HOOKED! I l couldn't wait to get back to Hazel's world. And this book was a hundred times better that the first book. (See my review here)
     "Take care if you haven't read the first book in the series,  there might be minor spoilers."
     After leaving her sister and one of the Elects in her uncle's house, Hazel and her friends set out on a journey to find out what the officials are hiding. When Margaret (Hazel's friend) decides to use the help of one of her informants, Hazel is shocked that it is none other than Shane, the guy she met when she was back home.
     Things are getting worse. The officials are looking for Hazel, and they will stop at nothing. Even if it means killing her best of friends. And if that was not enough, Hazel can't help but feel torn between the two equally-captivating boys, Luka and Shane. How can she choose when everything she has ever believed in is at stake?
     What are the officials hiding? Will Hazel and her friends ever find out? And will Hazel be able to choose between the two boys? Find out much more when you read The Forgotten. An action-packed, breathtaking roller coaster ride!
     I LOVE this book. After reading The Twenty, I was anxious to read this book. But not very "anxious". I didn't know how the author would develop the characters more. But I was hell wrong. Claudia Carozza is an AMAZING writer! And she made Hazel even more adorable.
      I LOVE the characters in this book. Hazel is very head-strong and she is determinant, which I love. The supporting characters are really good, too. I LOVED Justin, and Maria, and many others. The boys. I can't even talk about them. Luka is the ultimate bad boy with a soft, sincere heart. He is not shy to show his true feelings to Hazel. I couldn't help but fall in love with his sweetness and protectiveness. Shane is pretty different. He is sweet and wonderful as well. But he doesn't show his emotions easily, although it's obvious that he cares about Hazel. The love triangle is believable, but it is very difficult to choose a side.
     If you want a very enjoyable, romantic dystopian read, then The Forgotten is the one for you! I loved the twists, the turns, and the vulnerability of the characters. I loved reading this book, and this time, I am VERY anxiously waiting for the next book in the series. I just miss being in Hazel's world!

Review: Cornerstone by Kelly Walker

Name of book: Cornerstone (Souls of the Stones #1)
Author: Kelly Walker
Publication: October 22nd 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Provided by the kind author...
Goodreads

In a world comprised of three rival kingdoms as different from each other as the families that rule them, Emariya Warren is unique in being a daughter of not one but two of the ruling families.

Sixteen years ago, Emariya narrowly escaped dying on their cold estate floor beside her mother. Now, after learning her father has been captured, Emariya makes the desperate decision to follow in her mother's ill-fated footsteps and journey to marry the prince of a rival land, Torian Ahlen. But when Emariya discovers the secrets of the three families and an ominous prophecy warning the three bloodlines must never be combined, she begins to fear the handsome prince waiting for her may desire more than to steal her heart.

-- My Rating --




-- My Thoughts --

     I didn't put too much expectations into this book when I started reading. So I dove in blind expecting a typical paranormal romance with minimum world building. Oh, I  was wrong. Way wrong.
     Emariya Warren is daughter of the Lord of Warren's Rest. Her father was the head of the council that rules Eltar  - one of the three ruling kingdoms - before he went missing. Now, Emariya lives a normal life with her brother, Reed. But suddenly, everything comes crashing down when she is informed that her father is still alive and imprisoned in Sheas - one of the three ruling kingdoms- The only way Emariya can save him is by accepting Prince Torian Ahlen's hand in marriage, and travelling to Thalmas -one of the three ruling kingdoms- to be his wife and the kingdom's princess. 
     But, as Emariya gets to know; the road to Thalmas is not an easy one. And everywhere she goes, the more about her past, present, and future, she learns. Why has Sheas imprisoned her father? Why has Torian requested her hand when no one even knew that Lord Waren had children? Will Emariya ever reach the Ahlen Castle? And will she ever come to love Prince Torian? Find out much more when you read this action-packed, enchanting tale, Cornerstone...
     I LOVED many aspects in the books. The first is the author's writing style. She is very... I can't find the right word ... philosophical, maybe that is it. I loved how she twists and turned the words into meaningful sentences.

“I think you owe it to them to consider the possible, as well as the definite. Should you not prepare for a storm because it is only a possibility? Should you not fear a man wielding a sword, because it is only possible that he will strike true? As leaders, it is our obligation to prepare for possibilities.”

     I also loved the way the characters spoke. It was, at times, old-fashioned. But I LOVED it. Just like the quote above. Second, I LOVED the world building. I could vividly imagine every part of the magical world. Emariya experienced the new landscape and we did, too. I could almost feel the breeze and see the mountains with the raging waterfalls. Lovely, indeed. 
     Third, I LOVED the characters. Emariya is a friendly, but stubborn girl. Even when she is weak, she would never ask anyone for help. Which I loved about her. Although there is a love triangle, it was sweet and believable. Garith and Torian both captured my heart, and I don't think I can choose a side, yet. There was one "little" thing that I didn't like about this book. It was the connection-at-first-sight between Emariya and Torian. Which was a little unbelievable. Loved the development between them, though.
     This book is full of unexpected twists and turns, that will leave you breathless. I loved it. A very promising debut. Definitely one of my favorite reads this year. If you want an exhilarating, romantic story then this is the one! I cannot wait for the sequel, Second Stone.

Favorite quotes:

"Here, the flat spacious plain met the rocky, barren mountains in a perpetual battle that the plains were fated to always lose."

“ Blood and Stones as one brings darkest night.” (you wouldn't know the meaning of this if you haven't read the novel)

"Perhaps fear stemmed from the unknown. The agony was in the need to make a choice. Weighing the options, trying to predict the outcome. Once a choice was made, all that was left was to see it through."

Launch Day: Living In The Dark

Hey, guys!
Today is the lunch day for my friend, Rebekah Camplbell's Living In The Dark
She is here today to give you an excerpt and talk about her excitement.



It completely baffles me that LitD is now out there in the real world but it feels like the greatest adventure I'm going to embark on. Yes, that was completely cheesy....I apologise. It's so difficult to pick an excerpt when every sentence is so dear to me but I thought I'd go with this one. Eric is one of my favourite characters, every scene I wrote him into had me grinning from ear to ear. So without further ado:
“You don’t normally wear hats, Em,” Eric commented as I met him outside the arcade. My cheeks flushed as I self-consciously pulled the beanie a little farther down my head to hide the bandage.
“Maybe I wanted to surprise you?” It didn’t throw him off the scent as I’d hoped, but he knew I wouldn’t admit what happened.
Eric took a deep breath and raised his eyebrows as we trudged down the street. “So...” He wasn’t going to make it easy for me.
“Who have you got for Registration this year?”
“Oh, Mr. Carter.”
“The Physics teacher?”
“That’s the one. The Bogeyman!” Eric swooped beside me and tried to dig his fingers into my sides.
I smiled as I dodged him and couldn’t help but give him a playful punch. “It wasn’t bad enough that you caught him digging for gold so now he has to put up with your face for the next year?”
Eric’s jaw dropped in mock disgust. “What’s wrong with my face?” His hands pawed at his perfectly chiselled jaw.
“Oh you know, you just have a little something,” I waved my hand in a circle in front of him, “right around here.”
“Your words cut me to the very core, Em.” A wry smile passed over his handsome face, and my stomach clenched in response.
“I’m sure you’ll survive. Maybe you and Mr. Carter could comfort each other?”
“Maybe you’re right. Maybe I’ll tell Mr. Carter about crying myself to sleep at night because you don’t like my face.”
“I didn’t say that.”
A wicked gleam leaped into his brown eyes, and a grin stretched at my cheeks. “So you like my face?”
“I didn’t say that, either.”
What do you think? I'm so excited about the release that I am also giving away five electronic copies of the book. FIVE! So be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post. However, you must be over 13 to enter. The winner will be announced on 1st December at midday GMT. I'll send out an e-mail to the winners and they'll have 72 hours to respond or I'll pick another. I hope you enjoy Living in the Dark as much as I loved writing it. Now to get cracking with the sequel..... Buy Living in the Dark for your ereader from: Amazon (UK)    Amazon   Smashwords And if you'd like a paperback copy:  B&N    Amazon (UK)   Amazon a Rafflecopter giveaway