ARC Review: The Boy From the Woods by Jen Minkman

Title: The Boy From the Woods
Author: Jen Minkman
Publication:December 1st 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Provided by the kind author...

Julia fell down on her knees next to his lifeless body, her heart filling with dread as she noticed the left side of his face was covered in blood. He had fallen off the motorbike, hitting his temple on a sharp-edged rock. His head injury looked really, really bad.
“Michael?” she whispered softly, putting a trembling hand on his forehead. “Can you hear me?”

Julia has been in love with Michael for years. He’s the hottest guy in school, and she can’t believe her luck when they finally hit it off during Senior Prom. Her dream doesn’t last, though: after a few dates, he callously dumps her out of the blue. Summer vacation starts with Julia feeling heart-broken and miserable.
But then she rescues Michael in the woods when he has a motorcycle accident in a heavy thunderstorm. From that point onward, her life is turned upside down. Michael has changed completely after the blow to the head that nearly killed him... and he wants her back. But why is he so different? And will she be able to trust him this time around?

Can the boy who broke your heart ever win it back again..?

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     Jen Minkman is not an unfamiliar author to me. I have read two of her books in her series, The Island, before and they have been really good. Although short, they expressed a lot of individuality. This book was not short, by any means and it was much more beautiful than I expected it to be.
     Julia has been in love with Michael for as long as she can remember. But when they spend a fabulous night together and he never calls her back, she's devastated. Then Michael has an accident in the woods, and Julia is the one to find him. But is that the Michael she knew?
     The thing i LOVED the most about this book were the characters. They were unique individuals, with flaws and misgivings and talents and everything in between. I loved Julia, even though she was naive at first, she did grow on me and she developed into a beautiful and brave young lady. I loved her interactions with her family, and her family living without a father figure in their lives, it was a bit hard. I felt all her love and devotion to her mother and her little sister and that moved me.
     I also liked her interactions with her friends. They were a very close-knit group and i loved their freedom with each other. It reminded me of my friends and I, and how loyal we are to each other. The romance in this book is at its peak of glory. The two guys are like two gems, just waiting for someone to find them. Michael is a jerk, at first. But after the accident, it's like another side of him is unleashed, and although we find out the reason for that in the end, it was still beautiful watching him with Julia and you could truly feel his love for her. On the other side, there's Thorsten. He's cute, genuine, and her truly cares for Julie, too. Michael is the mysterious and dark personality and Thorsten is the open-hearted one. But you can never choose between any of them, even in the end.
     The ending is fabulous. It's truly amazing and I have to admit that it made me cry a bit, too. It was heart-breaking and i could have never imagined it ending that way, but it was still beautiful and hopeful, and it made me realize that even though it might not work out, love will always stay. Jen Minkman has moved herself to the list of my favorite authors and i am waiting, on edge  for her new books to come out, she is a great and talented author. And an amazing person to talk to!

ARC Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author(s): Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publication: December 10th 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Provided by the kind author

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.


A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

-- My Rating --

5/5 Oscars: Really loved it

-- My Thoughts --

     I realized I'm not a fan of science fiction when I began quitting books without finishing them in the middle or even sooner. Bad book after bad book, I became sure that this genre is one that I'll never like. But, our talented, out-of-this-world authors, Kaufman and Spooner made this belief of mine turn to ash. And now, I am probably IN LOVE with science fiction.
     Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the galaxy. She has everything she wants, and what's better than a trip on board the Icarus, the newest and most luxurious spaceship. But when a typical day turns to hell, and she becomes stranded on a lone planet with an infuriating guy, all her future flies out the window. Tarver didn't expect his trip on the Icarus to be good, and it wasn't. Coming from a not-very-high-on-the-social-status family, he is used to being looked down upon. Especially by people like Lilac. He didn't even expect her to look at him, let alone be stranded with him on a planet. Will these two people who are as far from alike as humanly possible, ever survive?
     This book is more of a survival story. And most of the book is about Lilac and Tarver, with no one else around. So, the authors had a lot of opportunity to develop their two characters. And they did so perfectly. Lilac and Tarver are both amazing individuals with background stories and a believable past. But together, they make a perfect team. 
     The romance is at the peak of its glory. Lilac and Tarver start off hating each other, but secretly intrigued by each other, too. Their romance is slow and delicate and believable and it's the most beautifully developed romance I have ever seen in a science fiction novel. Another thing I loved was the world-building. Kaufman and Spooner made me fall in love with science fiction by their detailed descriptions and vivid imagery. I could see eveything about the developed world they created in my mind, like I had already been there. And that takes a lot of effort, I am sure.
     I am absolutely delighted that this book has a sequel in the future. Because I would have been so sad not to go back to Tarver and Lilac's tale. If you are or are NOT a fan of science fiction, believe me, this will appeal to you. It will appeal to anyone who loves a real, sweet romance in a futuristic world!