ARC Review: Captive by Aimee Carter

Title: Captive( The Blackcoat Rebellion #2)
Author: Aimee Carter
Publication: November 25th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Dystopia
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancĂ© cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever. 

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. 

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price? 

-- My Rating --
5/5 Oscars: Loved it

-- My Thoughts --

     The first book in this series, Pawn, made it to my five-stars favorites. It was absolutely phenomenal and I thought there was NO WAY to top the first book, but Aimee Carter proved me wrong.
     Kitty Doe has been playing her role as Lila Hart, surrounded by enemies and friends, it's becoming harder for her to know who to trust. But when a series of events shake the foundations of all the lies the government has been built on, and Kitty has the hardest decision to make; give up, or fight for freedom.
     This book  has no dull moments, not a second passes by without something major happening, there is no boredom. I LOVED the plot. It's fast. It's electrifying. It's thought-provoking. It's suspenseful. There are even MORE things at stake in this book  than in the first one.
     Of course, Aimee Carter's discriptions are still to-the-point and vivid. But the strongest suit of this book is definitely the characters. Kitty amazes me.  I love her bravery, her loyalty, her commitment to the cause. Her love. There is not ONE moment that I didn't like her. Then, there's Knox who got a lot more of appearances in this book. But we had little of Benjy. I hope we see more of him in the next book.
     Of course, there is romance. But I am not sure whether I can consider this as a love-triangle or not. It's been two books now and I still don't know if one of the guys is considered as a love interest or not. I guess it will all be resolved in the third book and I can't wait!
     The ending was thrilling and such a huge BANG that left me with millions of questions. I cannot wait to get my hands on the third book! This is definitely one of my favorite series to date! If you are a fan of dystopia and survival stories like The Hunger Games and Divergent, then this book is the one for you!

Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication: April 8th 2014 by HarperCollins
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Owned

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

-- My Rating --
5/5 Oscars: Loved it

-- My Thoughts --

     I have heard a lot about Kelley Armstrong, who hasn't it? So, I was expecting a lot from her writing and her world-building, and it totally blew me away!
     Ashyn and Moria, two twin sisters, are the Seeker and the Keeper in their little town. They rest the souls of the damned in the Forest. But this time, the souls do not want to rest. And with terrifying creatures, shadows, and much more, the path of the two sisters is separated. And with their journey to the Empire's capital, they might even find love in their path.
+ World-building: This is the book's strongest suit. The world that Kelley Armstrong created is so full of imagery and so vivid, it's like you're there. Her descriptions are never boring and never too much. They make you imagine the world in your head, every little detail, and it was such a beautifully terrifying world she created.
+ Characters: So, many authors excel at creating three-dimensional characters. So, it wasn't a surprise for me. BUT a lot of authors concentrate on making the main characters seem three-dimensional, that they forget the supporting characters, and they come out as shallow and unreal. But Kelley Armstrong made her main characters, plus the secondary characters, as real as possible. None of them were perfect in anyway, so it was easy to connect with them on many different levels.
+ Character Development: The most evident character development, as usual, was with the main characters. Ashyn and Moria are polar opposites, but twins. Moria is the kind of confident, sure, strong-willed girl that everyone wishes to be. But Ashyn is the shy, emotional, and low-self-esteemed one that most of us are. But throughout the book, they develop and become more aware of their flaws and trying to fix them. I loved witnessing that.
+ Plot: The plot was swift-moving and it was not boring, not even for one second. Then they're are those horrible, scary creatures that the author created, that are so chilly, they scared me to the bone. With the plot she created in this book, Kelley Armstrong has a LOT to follow in the follow-up to this amazing first introduction.
+ Romance: This is what I LOVED the most about this book. Okay, so it wasn't full of romance, there were only small touches of romance here and there. But the love interests were so real. For Moria, we have Gavril, who is a warrior and is anything but open with his emotions. They hate each other, at first, but underneath it all, you can see the love. With Ashyn, we have Ronan, who disappeared after three-fourth of the book, but his presence was there. The attraction between them was obvious but Ashyn was very hard on herself and believing that a guy would actually like her, not her sister. I think there is much more potential to the romance, and the book in general, for the sequels to come!

Review: The Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

Title: Biggest Flirts (The Superlatives #1)
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publication: May 20th 2014 by Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Owned

Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger. 

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…

-- My Rating --
3/5 Oscars: liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     I received the second book in this series for review. And so I had to read the first book too. And Jennifer Echols is such a well-known author, so the book was as I expected, fabulous.
     Tia is not the one to do relationships. She wants everything simple and casual. Up until she meets Will, but when she rejects his advances and he finds someone else. She realizes that her feeling run deeper than she thought.
     The first thing I noticed is the beautiful, bubbly writing style of Jennifer Echols. She has such an amazing lyrical voice. It's like you can feel the characters in their teenage years. And since I am still a teenager, I could really connect. Jennifer Echols definitely knows how to capture the true essence of a teenager.
     As with most contemporary books nowadays, it definitely doesn't catch you from the first page. You need time to get to know the characters better and get familiar with them and care for them. But otherwise, I really liked the characters in this novel. but I definitely didn't love them. Tia is such an impulse-decider. She decides everything without even thinking about the consequences. I just wanted to get into the book and slap her. And Will, as well.
     I just wanted them to get over their egos and just admit their feelings to each other. The ending was definitely much better than I hoped it would be. I cannot wait to read the second book in the series, because I am feeling that i will like the MC of the second book much better.

ARC Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Title: Solitaire
Author: Alice Oseman
Publication: July 31st 2014 by Harper Collins Children's Books
Genre: YA Contemporary Thriller
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

This incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers.

-- My Rating --
2/5 Oscars: It was Ok

-- My Thoughts --

     When I saw the cover of this book, I fell in love. And the blurb was so intriguing that I immediately jumped at the chance to read this. Unfortunately, it was not as good as I hoped it would be. And it seems that I am one of the few people who didn't enjoy this book.
     Victoria (Tori) Spring is  a pessimist. There's nothing that matters to her in her life except her brother, Charlie and her blog. But all that changes when; her childhood best friend, Lucas appears in her life again. And a group called Solitaire starts pranking the whole school. And she meets Michael Holden.
     What intrigued me was the idea of this Solitaire blog that starts up at Tori's high school. They prank the whole school with the most innovative and unique pranks ever. I really liked that. But after a while, things get really out of hand. When I read the blurb, I imagined horror or at least a lot of thrill. But I didn't get any of that. The whole Solitaire aspect was just mild. There was nothing that scared me about them or intrigued me to find out who they really are.
     Then, there are the characters. My main problem with this book is the fact that I didn't like Tori, at all. No matter how much I tried, I couldn't connect with her and her negative nature. She was moody about everything and her decisions were ridiculously stupid. I guess it has to do with the fact that I am as optimist as a person can be. Then, there was Michael, whom I liked but I thought his actions were unbelievable. He felt two-dimensional to me.
     There is a bit of romance in this book which was also unbelievable. Like, it just came out of the blue. With no precaution or anything. That was just weird. Finally, when the villains were discovered, I felt nothing. I was just okay with it and it was no surprise for me considering who was the real bad guy. I knew it already.
     Overall, I imagined this book to be much better. But sadly, it did not live up to my expectations. But that does not mean that this book was horrible. Actually, there might be a lot of people who will love this book or already love this book.

Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Title: Hopeless (Hopeless #1)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication: December 19th 2012
Genre: NA Contemporary
Source: Owned

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

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

-- My Thoughts --

     I have been hearing so many great things about Colleen Hoover for years now. And i felt really bad for not being a part of the wagon for this incredible author. I expected so much from this book and thankfully, it was just as great as i expected.
     Sky's life has never been quite normal. Always secluded from the world. but as her senior year approaches and she decides to go to a normal high school this time, her whole life changes when she meets Dean Holder. Enigmatic, mysterious and dangerous Holder. He's everything Sky never knew she needed. And everything she shouldn't want.
     This book is a character-driven romance, which is obvious. But there is also a huge plot going on. I loved that even though this book concentrates on the romance, there is still much more going on than we think. I loved that it tackled many different subjects; there is abuse, family drama, and friendship. There is not one dull moment throughout the whole book.
     Then, there is the romance. OMG, the romance is absolutely everything I wanted. It was so beautiful and real and the chemistry between Sky and Holder was palpable. I just loved every scene where they were together. It was so full of feelings, perfect.
     And the ending was absolutely amazing. The huge revelation and the little twists were not what I was expecting, but they were a really good surprise. Now, I finally understand why so many people are in love with Colleen Hoover, how can you not be? She writes the most amazing characters, ever. I can't wait to read another book of hers.

ARC Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Title: A Little Something Different
Author: Sandy Hall
Publication: August 26th 2014 by Swoon Reads
Genre: Upper-YA Contemporary
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. 

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really Liked It

-- My Thoughts --

     This book is exactly what the title says; a little something different. It's different from any YA novel I have ever read. And that is a really good thing.
     Everyone thinks Lea and Gabe should be together. Everyone but them. First, there are I think at least 14 POVs. There's their Creative Writings teacher, the barista at Starbucks, the Chinese delivery guy, Lea's friend, Gabe's brother, Gabe's friend, a bench, and a squirrel. The most unique are definitely the bench and the squirrel, it's just never been done in YA before. But my favorite were definitely the English teacher and the barista, Charlotte. I loved their POVs so much and they were really keen on bringing Gabe and Lea together.
     Then, this book is mostly about the romance between Gabe and Lea. And it takes so much time to develop. I have to admit that it was just a tiny bit boring at times. But I flew past this book in only one night. Maximum of three hours. I loved watching their relationship unfold and people trying to get them together. They were both such shy and introverted people. They were so easy to connect to and they felt real.
     Although Gabe and Lea are in college and they have problems and insecurities related to college, I never felt like this book was NA. There's nothing about it that makes it more upper-teens than just the fact that both the characters are in the new-adult-age-group. So I am not sure about the classification of this novel.
     Although you never really get to know Gabe and Lea very well because you never read anything from their point of view. This book is a really unique love story. I loved it much more than the books I have been reading recently and it's definitely one of my favorite contemporaries of 2014. I am looking forward to reading more from Sandy Hall, she's an author to watch out for!

Gears of Brass COVER REVEAL

Gear up for GEARS OF BRASS!

A world like ours, but filled with gears of brass, where the beating heart is fueled by steam and the simplest creation is a complex clockwork device.

Within this tome, you’ll find steampunk fairy tale re-tellings, as well as original stories that will send your gears turning.

Welcome to the steampunk realm, with eleven authors guiding your path.
GEARS OF BRASS is a steampunk anthology published through Curiosity Quills.  It will be available for purchase on November 10, 2014.  Within the pages, you’ll come across clockwork inventions and steampunk-ified fairy tale retellings.  Eleven authors will guide you through worlds filled with airships, top hats, and corsets.

Meet The Authors

Jordan Elizabeth writes young adult fantasy for Curiosity Quills, including ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW which was published in October and the upcoming TREASURE DARKLY; she’s represented by the Belcastro Agency.
J. Million is the author of Last of the Giants and can always be found reading or writing.
Lorna MacDonald Czarnota is a professional storyteller and author of several books including, Medieval Tales That Kids Can Read and Tell, Breadline Blue, Legends Lore and Secrets of Western New York, Wicked Niagara, Native American and Pioneer Sites of Upstate New York, and Dancing at the Crossroads: Stories and Activities for At-Risk Youth Programming.
SA Larsen is represented by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary and is the author of published short stories, community-interest stories, and magazine articles focused on children.
Grant Eagar is an Engineer who would take the tales he told his children at bed time, and transform them into fantasy stories.
Clare Weze is the author of The House of Ash (forthcoming) and the co-author and editor of Cloudscapes over the Lune.
Eliza Tilton is a gamer, writer and lover of dark chocolate; author of the YA Fantasy, BROKEN FOREST, published by Curiosity Quills Press.
Heather Talty's stories have been featured in Enchanted Conversation, as well as her own fractured fairy tale site, Mythopoetical (
W.K. Pomeroy is a third generation writer who has published more than 70 short stories/articles/poems across many genres and styles, which now includes Steampunk.
Christine Baker is the author of Lana's End, The Guild of Dagda, and many more.
Natalia Darcy: a bookilicious reader, tea drinker and Zumba aficionado who enjoys playing cards against humanity and washing her hair with ice cold water.

You can get your steampunk fix before GEARS OF BRASS is released in November.  To enter for your chance to win a copy of GEARS OF BRASS, you will need to share the cover.  This can be on your blog, Facebook, Twitter… Each time you share the cover image, log it into Rafflecoper to record it.  It will give you more chances to win.  The drawing for the winner will be held on October 27th.

ARC Review: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Title: Belzhar
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Publication: September 30th 2014 by Dutton Juvenile
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be  at home in New Jersey with her sweet British  boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching  old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing  him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.

-- My Rating --
3/5 Oscars: Liked it

-- My Thoughts --

      I have been hearing so much about this novel these past couple of weeks. All sorts of reviews, mostly negative. So -as a rule- I was immediately intrigued but now, I am left feeling confused and cheated.
     Jam has been sent to The Wooden Barn for troubled and intelligent teens after her boyfriend Reeve dies. Everything changes when she receives her assignment in Special Topics in English class, and there she meets a group of misfits who are just as troubled as she is.
     First thing, the setting. I loved the setting and the plot it revolved around. It was the whole boarding school setting with the eerie background and the creepy stuff. I loved it. And the descriptions were vivid and lovely.Kudoos to Meg Wolitzer for her descriptive writing style. It was amazing and wholesome.
     The characters were not my favorite. I never got her motives and I never understood why she did what she did. And sometimes, I didn't trust anything she said. That's very hard to overcome in a novel and I guess I never did. But probably my favorite character was Griffin, the guy was such a mysterious but insanely sweet guy. I just loved him. I wanted to see more of him but unfortunately, that was not the case. He was kind of overlooked.
     The romance is mainly what the story revolves around as Jam has some flashbacks. I loved the idea of Belzhar and what it signified and I guess this book was very fast-paced because I read it in only a couple of hours. This book was going all good until the ending chapter and then BAM! It just decreased my rating by two stars. I knew I should expect something dramatic at the ending but THAT was just, NO!
     Even though I feel betrayed and cheated by the book, the ending was just WRONG! Otherwise, this is quite a good book,  even though I didn't like Jam, at all. You might feel different about this book though.

Review: The Nightmare Dilemma by Mindee Arnett

Title: The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy #2)
Author: Mindee Arnett
Publication:March 4th 2014 by Tor Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Owned

The second in a thrilling new fantastical mystery series

Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies. 

To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart.

As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really Liked It

-- My Thoughts --

     The thing is, I read the first book in this series a long while ago. So, many of the details were not very clear in my mind. And I had forgotten some of the characters' names, but luckily, from the first page,  I got back into the world like I had never left.
     Dusty, one of the rare Nightmares, defeated the most evil of enemies. And she thought her problems are over. But there's much more to come. Someone has almost killed one of Dusty's friends. And the rumors are spreading. And Dusty can't really see anything from the dreams of her crush, Eli. On top of that, Paul has come back to the academy and he's reminding her why she fell for him in the first place. Evil lurking around every corner, and two boys grabbing her attention, it seems that Dusty is in for much more than she expected.
    First things first, what I absolutely love about this book is the idea of Nightmares. It's just something so unique, I've never heard of it before I stumbled upon this series. And the author really takes it up to the next level in this sequel. There's much more action and suspense, and many lives at stake. You can feel the tension building up and there's wasn't one moment when I felt bored.
     Then, the characters. As I said in the first book's review, I adore Dusty. She is such a beautiful person, inside and out. She cares for her friends, supports them, but she's also naive and too-trusting at times. She is a flawed person. A real person. And I appreciated the author not making her a PERFECT character. And the other characters in this book are also delightful, they really add a lot to the story and it's fun reading Dusty's interactions with her friends.
     The love interests. We had Paul and Eli in the first book. But in this one, there's much more Eli than Paul, for a good reason (you'll know when you read the books!). But, still these two boys are swoon-worthy and altogether amazing. Although Eli really got on my nerves a lot of times, his care and love are evident. Their relationships felt real and that's what I want from romances in YA.

     The ending was thrilling, but I feel like there's much more potential in this series. I'm waiting patiently to read this author's magnificent works to come! And I'm sure they'll be as amazing as these!