Books & Bytes Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Books & Bytes blog hop hosted by Oh, Chrys! This blog hop has been organized so that some awesome bloggers can give away e-books to lucky entrants worldwide! We anticipate your entries, and hope you enjoy hopping away to the participating blogs!

This is my very FIRST giveaway hop! So I decided to do something new! 
These books are some of the books that I really WANT to read, and some that I have read and LOVED. 
One winner gets to choose two-ebooks from below:

Enter by using the raffle-copter below:

Don't forget to hop over to the other participating blogs!

Review: The Twenty by Claudia Carozza

Name of book: The Twenty
Author: Claudia Carozza
Publication: June 6th 2012
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Paperback Won
Goodreads     My Review

Imagine living in a time when infertility runs rampant and babies are no longer being born. The world is crumbling around you as people start talking about the end. This is the world Hazel DeSales grew up in. After her mother dies from a mysterious cancer, Hazel finds herself taking care of her younger sister Netty and alcoholic father. 

It's not until twenty women, known as the Elect, become pregnant all across the Barronlands when things start looking up. Hazel and Netty apply for jobs working as domestics in the Antioch Center where the Elect will be taken care of and protected. Hazel feels change in the air and her outlook for the future starts to improve. 

But she soon learns that change is not without consequence. Rumors are brewing about a government cover up and Hazel finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. So begins the unraveling of secrets that uncover things from her past and, threatening her future. Hazel is determined to seek the truth and promises herself to do whatever it takes to succeed....

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I had this book for a while, but when I saw the cover of the 2nd book on the author's website, I had to start reading it. And let me say, I regret not reading it sooner.
      Hazel lives in Ward Seven of the Barronlands (her country) that had been dominated by cancer. That cancer started an infertility disease. So now, no female can get pregnant. Hazel takes care of her younger sister, Netty and her drunk father. She has lived on her mother's jewels and money for years but they are running out and she has to find a job soon. Suddenly, twenty women, called The Elect, get pregnant across the Barronlands. The government looks for domestics to take care of them, Hazel and Netty apply for the job. Strangely, both of them are accepted.
     Hazel arrives at Ward Eight, and gets to meet her Elect, Elisa. Elisa is fragile and had a hard time with her pregnancy. But Hazel is just glad for the amount of money she can make, although she can't see her sister as much as she likes. Hazel makes new friends, the lovely Maria, and the adorable Luka. But when Hazel is in the wrong place at the wrong time, she hear something that will cost her life if anyone knew. But someone does know, and he is assigned to kill her...
     What is the government hiding? Will Hazel be able to save her life? And will she surrender to Luka's charm or has she left her heart at home? Find out much more when you read this exhilarating, action-packed novel that will make you say goodbye to sleep and bite out all your nails...
     I LOVED this book. Finished it in ONE setting. I honestly couldn't put it down. Claudia Carozza has a beautiful writing style. You can imagine everything she writes. I loved how her world building. The characters are AWESOME! Hazel is a head-strong, always-reasonable, adorable young woman. I would love to have her as a friend! Netty, Hazel's sister is also very realistic and she acts exactly like younger sisters. Loved her! The boys, oh God, they were so love-able. Shane is gorgeous, but vulnerable, and he has different colored eyes, ohmigod! I loved Luka's protectiveness and I envied Hazel every time he laid hands on her. :P
     The only little flaw this book had was that it was a little slow at the beginning, but it got much better throughout. I can't wait for the sequel, The Forgotten. If you want an exhilarating, believable, imaginary dystopian one-in-a-million novel then this is the ONE and ONLY! 
You NEED to get your hands on this. Like..... right now! PLEASE!

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Name of book: Divergent (Divergent #1)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publication: May 3rd 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Paperback Borrowed

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series--dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     OK, I know. You are SHOCKED that I haven't read Divergent. I wanted to read it for so long, but other books always turned into priority. So, when one of my best friends bought a paperback, I BEGGED to borrow it! This book was not what I expected, and not all in a good way.
     Beatrice lives in a world where everyone is divided into five factions: The selfless (Abnegation), the peaceful (Amity), the intelligent (Erudite), the honest (Candor), and the brave (Dauntless). Beatrice has lived in Abnegation all her life, but now she is turning sixteen, and she has to choose which faction she will belong to, forever. Her choice will shock her family, friends, and even herself.
     Arriving at her new faction's headquarters. She is thrust right into the initiation to choose new members (only 9 of the 20 initiates are chosen). Beatrice knows that she has to work hard to earn her place between the others. But among the training and seriousness, Beatrice gets to make new friends, the lovely Christina, the sarcastic Will, and the oh-so-mysterious Four. Still, fate has a very different road for Tris (Beatrice) and she won't expect what is headed her way or whose way she is headed.
     Which faction does Tris choose? Will anything serious start between her and Four? And what are these factions hiding? Find out when you read this intriguing, action-packed novel, Divergent...
     OK, so I liked this book. I heard so much about it for years that I had to read it, sometime. I liked the idea of the book, it is not a typical dystopian and it was pretty believable. I liked the characters a lot, too. I liked Tris, I loved how brave she was. But I hated the way she hid from her own feelings. And Four, oh God, I LOVED Four! Isn't he just adorable? Brave, realistic, protective, mysterious, and charming! OH MY GOD!
     One thing that put this book OFF for me was the pace. I had to DRAG myself to finish this book. I finished the first 100 pages in THREE days, and the other 200 in only one day. After almost 1/3 through the book, the pace quickened and the action started. But the slow pace at the beginning was what kept me from giving it 5 stars.
      If you want an enjoyable read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then Divergent is the ONE! And if you haven't already read it, you should or you are SERIOUSLY missing out! I can't wait to read Insurgent, watch out for my review!

Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Name of book: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publication: August 28th 2012 by HarlequinTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

    I have heard so many good things about Hannah Harrington's "Saving June". When I got a copy of this book, I started building so many expectations that when they didn't all come true, I got depressed and disappointed. But overall, this was an insightful read.
     Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot cannot keep a secret. She has always been the gossip-girl, spreading gossip and secrets about everyone, without thinking about the consequences. When she discovers a new secret at a party, she immediately tells her friends. But what should have been just a little joke, turned into a disastrous fight that lead someone to the hospital.
     Chelsea decides to take a vow of silence. She needs to keep her mouth shut, so that nobody else will get hurt. Turns out, being mute has its advantages. Chelsea gets to make many new friends, build strong relationships, know her true self, and even fall in love. But a journey like Chelsea's is not so easy to start, to keep going, or to stop.
     What did Chelsea do that caused so much trouble? What will she learn from her vow of silence? Will she find her true self or stay speechless forever? Find out much more when you read Hannah Harrington's realistic, thought-provoking novel, Speechless...
    I liked this book VERY much. I was pretty confused while rating it between 3.5 stars or 4 stars. But I decided to go for 4 stars. I have to admit that I LOVED Hannah Harrington's style. I am such a sucker for simple and straight-forward writing. It was a beautiful style, a little amount of description, and a whole lot of feelings laid bare.
     The thing that I didn't like about this novel is some of the characters. Some were hallow, like a pieces of card box. I admit that I still don't like Chelsea very much. She was an arrogant and a little self-centered girl. But as the plot progressed, she began to grow on me. I began to respect her decisions and admire her strength to keep the vow of silence even when she get bullied, and assaulted. Overall, I think that I like her. The secondary characters were believable and relate-able, I loved them!
     This book addressed a very interesting subject and I got to see it from a very different perspective. The plot plays out very well and the story is deeply intriguing. Even though it lacked the "wow" factor, I still enjoyed Chelsea's journey. I will be going back to read Hannah Harrington's "Saving June" very soon! Speechless is recommended to every contemporary lover, old or young. Specially the ones who have been through a tough high school life, or the ones who are still going through it. You'll find out that YOU are not ALONE when you read this heart-wrenching journey, SPEECHLESS.

Review: Solid by Shelley Workinger

Name of book: Solid (Solid #1)
Author: Shelley Workinger
Publication: July 9th 2010
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Provided by the kind author...

Clio Kaid may be 17 and just beginning the last summer before her senior year, but her life is anything but typical.

She's just discovered she was genetically altered before birth and is now headed to a top-secret Army campus to explore the surprising results of the experiment.

Follow Clio and the other teens as they develop fantastic super-abilities, forge new friendships, and find love as they search for answers.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I had this book since FOREVER.  I always put it at the end of my TBR list but when I started seeing very positive reviews, and the second book popped up, I had to start reading it. I wish I had read it sooner!
     Calliope (Clio, for short) was always the "normal" girl. She was used to travelling with her mum on book tours, and never staying too long in once place. But then, nothing stays the same for long. Clio finds out that she has been genetically-engineered before birth by a secret group of military scientists. The government has found out about the experiment 16 years after it has started. And now, they want to know what the "kids" are able to do.
     Clio is transported to the base, where almost a hundred other kids are. She gets to make new friends, and learn new things. But she never expected to be able to do things normal people couldn't and find out about a conspiracy within the military.
     Who conducted the experiment in the first place? Why did it take 16 years for the military to find out about it? What are Clio and the other kids able to do? Will Clio find out who started the conspiracy? Find out much more when you read this thought-provoking, action-packed novel, Solid...
     I really liked this book. I have to say, it was different. I expected a "normal" paranormal read, a damsel in distress, a love triangle, an insta-love connection, and an unbelievable plot. But it was NONE of those things. Shelley Workinger has a wonderful writing style, it's simple, delicate, and straight-forward.
     I liked the characters, too. Clio is funny, sarcastic, but shy and stubborn at the same time. I liked the love interest, Jack, too. But  he wasn't swoon-worthy enough for my taste :P I liked all of Clio's friends, they were funny and supportive. The only complain I have about this book is that the beginning was a little "TOO" slow, I had to drag myself to the middle, but then, the pace sped up and got so action-packed and tense that I was holding my breath the whole time. 
     If you want an enjoyable, light paranormal read that is both, mysterious and intriguing, then Solid is the one! I will definitely be reading the second book in the series. I can't wait to get my hands on it, I have such high hopes for Shelley Workinger. You better get your hand on this!

Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Name of book: And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
Publication: May 3rd 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin 
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Source: E-book Owned

First, there were ten - a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal - and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion..

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I am afraid that I didn't tell you, before. I am one of the HUGEST fans of Agatha Christie. I have read almost 6 books of hers. Three of them, I have read more than twice. She is a true writing goddess. It is still IMPOSSIBLE to believe that she was able to write so MANY novels, and none of them are replicates of  each other. May her soul rest in peace... Writing this review is REALLY confusing, since the book contains of SO MANY characters.
     Mr. Justice Wargrave, Mr. MacArthur, Mr. Marston, Mr. Blore, Mr. Lombard, Mr. Rogers, Mrs. Rogers, Ms. Brint, Ms. Vera, and Dr. Armstrong are all invited to the mansion of Indian Island in Devon. Each one of them has been invited based on a different reason. They don't  know each other at all, but one thing they all have in common is: They were all invited by one man, named U. N. Owen.
     When they arrive on the island, things start to get creepy. Mr. Owen and Ms. Owen have not arrived yet. When the 10 guests decide to rest, they find out that there is the nursery rhyme "10 little Indian Boys" hanged over all the fireplaces in each of their bedrooms. And in the evening, a voice on the gramophone accuses each one of them of killing somebody. And the voice knows the EXACT date of each murder.
     The 10 guests are not scared yet. Tomorrow they can leave the island on the boat. But when tomorrow is here, they realize that the boat is not coming at all. Things start to get deadly. Someone is killing them, one by one in the style of the nursery rhyme "10 little Indian boys". They are all starting to get mad. They should find a way to leave the island, because the only other choice is getting killed...
     Who is the killer? Have these 10 people really killed somebody, in some stage in their lives, knowingly or not? Find out when you read this horribly-scary story of justice-seekers, secrets, and survival, And Then There Were None.
     This story was REALLY scary. I had a really hard time trying to find the killer. No matter how much I guessed, it always turned out wrong, WAY wrong. I got SO frustrated. And when I finally found out, I was like "WHAT? WHO? SERIOUSLY?" It was totally, utterly UNEXPECTED. I am sure that the shock registered on the faces of people who read this is exactly what Agatha Christie was hoping for.
     I love how the plot played out. I love thrillers and mysteries. The joy of finding out who is behind something, is truly one of a kind. Don't you think? If you want a scary read, that you will NOT be able to put down until the LAST page, then And Then There Were None is the one for you, and you, especially you...

Review: The Oracle Rebounds by Allison Van Diepen

Name of book: The Oracle Rebounds (Oracle of Dating #2)
Author: Allison Van Diepen
Publication: November 1st 2010 by HarlequinTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: E-book Owned

As the “oracle of dating,” Kayla is supposed to have all the answers about love and relationships. She’s supposed to have the perfect relationship. But now that Jared is “taking a step back,” Kayla feels like a total fraud.

So the expert on dating starts taking her own rebound advice—and some from her friends—and stops moping around. Yeah, there are other possibilities out there—including the beyond-cute French foreign exchange student she’s showing around town. But when controversy erupts about the Oracle’s advice, Kayla is sent reeling once again. Will anything work out for her this year? Yet when her friends start seriously needing the Oracle, Kayla begins to focus on what really matters: Viv, Sharese, Amy and Ryan, her trueblue buds. And suddenly, everything starts making sense again…

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     After reading the first book in the series, The Oracle of Dating (find my review here) and liking it. I decided to give the second book a try. Better watch out for spoilers if you haven't read the first book. I admit it, I was very reluctant to start this one. Since I didn't know what will the author add to the ALREADY very good story. I thought that it will be just a stretch, a twin of the first book.
Hell, I was wrong.
    Kayla's happily-ever-after with Jared was supposed to last FOREVER. But when Jared decides to "take a step back", Kayla is confused, hurt, and enraged. What did she do that got her hurt that much? There is only one thing that Kayla can do. Find a rebound. A cute, funny boy who will be able to take Jared's place. But it's not all that simple.
     When Kayla's mom accepts a new exchange student, she is terrified. But when a hot-as-hell boy with a sexy accent arrives on her doorstep, well, it doesn't look so bad after all. But he is only staying for two short weeks. To take her mind off things, Kaila starts guest posting for her "website". But even THAT doesn't turn out as good as it should. Can Kayla take anymore?
     What will Kayla do? Who will she take as her rebound? Will she every forget the boy who has her heart? Find out much more when you read The Oracle Rebounds. A funny, light, and quirky contemporary novel.
     I liked this book so MUCH. Just as much as the first one. I was dreading reading this one, I was afraid that it will make me hate the series altogether. But it didn't. It made me love the series much more. I really like Allison Van Diepen's writing style. She simplifies everyday lives and puts dots on the letters. She is a straight-forward, great novelist.
     I liked the characters, too. They are very simple and teenage-y :P Even though they can be very stupid sometimes and make the stupidest decisions, I still felt for them and loved them. Kayla is much more mature even through her heartbreak. I liked every single thing in this novel.
     I still recommend this novel to everyone who wants to have a good time, and have a fun read. I am not very sure if there is a third book coming out, but if it is. I WILL be the one of the first to read it. FOR SURE...

Review: The Oracle of Dating by Allison Van Diepen

Name of book: The Oracle of Dating
Author: Allison Van Diepen
Publication: May 1st 2010 by Harlequin Teen 
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: E-book Owned

For five bucks, the Oracle of Dating will tell you:* How to flirt* If that cute guy you're crushing on likes you, too* Whether your new romance will last through lunch period* And much more What shewon't tell you? Who she is.No one at Kayla's school knows she's the famous Oracle of Dating— the anonymous queen of dating advice. She doesn't even have a boyfriend. Two relationship disasters were enough to make Kayla focus on everyone else's love life.But then her advice backfires on her own best friend. And Kayla starts to seriously obsess about Jared Stewart—the very cute, very mysterious new guy in school. Suddenly, the teen queen of advice needs her own oracle of dating—and she knows just where to find one….

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     Even if I am not a very good fan of contemporary; sometimes, you just need to get away from the books that discuss serious subjects and enjoy a light, fun read. I LOVED the aspect of this book, and I was surprised to hear that this is a series!
     Michaela, "Kayla" for short, has a job at at a store, a bunch of loyal friends, and a loving sister and mother. Well, aside from that, she is The Oracle of Dating, the author of a website that gives the best tips on teenage relationships, dating, and love. Judging from that, you would think that she had a hell lot of boyfriends. But, no. She only had two: Case Study no.1 and Case Study no.2. Apparently, she has learned a lot from them.
     Kayla is keeping dating at bay until college. She understands teenage boys and knows that she cannot have anything serious with them. But when she meets Jared, every rule flies out of the window. Jared is dark, mysterious, funny and an artist. Definitely not her type. Fortunately, the Oracle of Dating is getting famous, and Kayla gets to help many of her friends who don't even know that she is The Oracle.  But not all the advice she gives works out in a good way...
     Why is Kayla keeping a secret identity? What will happen between her and Jared? Find out when you read this hilarious, love-able, realistic story of teenage love, angst, and cravings: The Oracle of Dating...
     I liked this book too freaking much. I never thought I would like it THAT much. The Oracle of Dating is funny. No, it's hilarious. Kayla has one of the most unique voices I have ever had the pleasure of digging into. She is witty, funny, friendly, and flirty :P I liked her so much. The characters are all very believable. Since the story is about teenagers, you wouldn't expect something serious, but it was fun nonetheless. I liked taking a break from the SERIOUS stuff.
     There was really nothing that I disliked about the book. And believe me, this book will appeal to everyone who is in for some good time and some serious laugh-out-loud moments. This book is one of the most enjoyable, lightest books I have read up until now! 
Aren't you annoyed at my constant babbling? I know you are.
So, GO GET YOURSELF A COPY! You won't regret it, and if you do. I will send you back the money you spend on the book (Just kiddin').

Review: Perception (Clarity #2) by Kim Harrington

Name of book: Perception (Clarity #2)
Author: Kim Harrington
Publication: March 1st 2012 by Scholastic Point 
Genre: YA Paranormal Contemporary
Source: E-book Owned

When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you? 

Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past. 

Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her. 

But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back? 

One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I got back to this series, FINALLY! I read Clarity about a month ago (Check out my review here), I enjoyed it but didn't like it very much. But I decided to just finish the series, and since it's only two books, why not? Let me tell you, this book was MUCH MORE enjoyable than the first one.
     Clare (Clarity) can have visions of the past when she touches an object. She was always the "freak", the "psycho" but when she found the murderer of a young girl in their town, she become a local celebrity. Now everyone wants to be her friend, but Clare knows that these friendships are fake. 
     Even after finding the murderer, her life will never be back to normal (or at least, how it was before). Her brother, Perry, is always locked up in his room; he isn't the lovely jerk brother he used to be. Clare's feelings are still very confusing. She can't seem to be able to choose between; Gabriel who turned her world upside down, and Justin who almost got himself killed for her, once.
     But now is not the time for her feelings. Sierra, a high school senior had been missing for a few days, but now, they found her dead body. She has been killed, and Clare wants to help, somehow. But Clare has problems of her own; she has a secret admirer or better still, a secret stalker. Leaving notes in her locker is innocent enough, but taking pictures of her when she doesn't know; well, that's something else.
     Who killed Sierra? Who is Clare's secret admirer? There's not much time left, who will Clare choose;  Gabriel or Justin? Find out when you read this breath-taking, mysterious sequel, Perception...
     I liked this book A LOT. It was much better than the first book, due to the fact that I knew the characters well, and felt for them more. I still feel like Kim Harrington's writing style is way TOO simple. But I liked the characters more. Clare is more mature in this sequel, and I fell in LOVE with Gabriel. He is truly the dream guy, and Justin's flirty attitude is oh-so-adorable!
     I am pretty much satisfied at how the story ended. It was expected and lovely. If you want a partially-paranormal, slightly-romantic, completely-enjoyable read, then Perception and Clarity are for YOU!

Showcase Sunday #2

This feature is called 
Showcase Sunday and its aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

-- Bought --

PAPERBACK: Modern British Short Stories, edited by Macolm Bradbury

PAPERBACK: The Lord of The Rings (Part 1,2,3)  by J. R. R. Tolken

HARDCOVER: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer (blogger won't  let  me put the pic )

E-BOOK:  The Love of My Life by Louise Douglas

-- Won --

PAPERBACK: Everyday by David Levithan

For Review --

Word and Breath by Susannah Noel

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Review: Circle of Silence by Carol M. Tanzman

Name of book: Circle of Silence (WiHi #2)
Author: Carol M. Tanzman
Publication: July 24th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary Thriller
Source: Provided  by the kind publisher...

The biggest story of my life could be how it ends

It’s my turn to run a Campus News crew, and I’ve put together a team that can break stories wide open. And Washington Irving High has a truly great one to cover, if only we can find a lead.

A secret society has formed in our school. It announced its presence with pranks: underwear on the flagpole, a toilet in the hallway, cryptic notes. A circle of silence keeps the society a mystery. No one knows its members, agenda or initiation secrets—until a student lands in the hospital under strange circumstances.

will blow this story wide open and stop others from being hurt... …or worse. And while my ex, Jagger, might want to help, I don’t trust him yet. (And, no, not because of our past together. That is notimportant to this story.)

But whether you find me, Valerie Gaines, reporting in front of the camera, or a victim in the top story of the newscast…be sure to watchCampus News at 9:00 a.m. this Friday.

-- My Rating --

4.5 Cupcakes

-- My Thoughts --

     I am a huge fan of thrillers and mysteries. I love it when the book makes me think deeply about something, or discover who is behind something. I read so MANY mixed reviews about Circle of Silence, that I just HAD to try it. And proudly, I am on the good side :) By the way, do I have to remind you? I was not paid to write a positive review, all ideas expressed are mine and mine only. Now, for the review...
     Valarie Gaines (what a CUTE name!) has always had a dream. To win a scholarship for journalism, so when group B of Campus News vote for the leader, she is thrilled to be chosen! Now, she has to direct and produce many segments for the high school TV. Fortunately, her group are reliable and hardworking. There is her supportive best friend, Marci. There is the tech-genius Henry and the hard-working Raul. There is the love-able Omar. The group collection cannot get better, but it can get worse. Val (Valarie) is not so happy when another member is added, the handsome, flirty Jagger. The only guy who broke her heart and never gave it back to her.
     Fortunately for Valarie, stories are flowing. Well, particularly, one story. Someone named MP is doing horrible pranks in their high school. From hanging underwear in the place of flags, to putting a toilet in the hallway. Val takes over the story with her group; interviewing students, teachers, and scanning hallways. She is determined to know who is behind the pranks. Turns out, the MP is not just one person, they are a group, and they do not want Val to mess up their plans. It looks like threatening will not stop Val, but will putting her loved ones in danger make her stop?
     Who are the MP? Is Val getting close to find out? And will she be able to forgive Jagger for what he had done or will she move on? Trust me, feeling shocked is an understatement when you find out who the MP are. Still want to find out? Well, you better read this mysterious, exhilarating, action-packed novel, Circle of Silence....
     I LOVED this book. Like, absolutely, perfectly, fell in love with it. I never knew I would enjoy it THAT much. Yeah, I will confess, I am not a very good fan of Contemporary. I hate predictable stories, but this one was different. It was utterly unpredictable. I had NO IDEA who MP was until Val found out. I loved the mysterious aspect of the book. A combination of romance, thrilling mystery, and contemporary high school life, I couldn't put this down! Carol M. Tanzman is a PRO.
     I noticed that the author didn't concentrate on the description very much, which was fine by me. When you get into the story, you won't even want to get away from it to read what the surrounding is like. It's THAT captivating! The characters are wonderful. Val is one of the strongest, most hard-headed person I have ever got to know, I ADMIRED and RESPECTED her. Although, my favorite was Marci. If I could describe her in one word, it would be: ME. I loved her. All of the characters are very much believable and relate-able, although not very third-dimensional, but still realistic!
     I never knew I would enjoy this book THAT much or I would have read a LONG time ago, I don't know why I kept delaying it! I will definitely be going back to read Carol M. Tanzman's other novel "Dancer Girl" which is the first book in this series, but the two books are companion novels so they can be read as standalone(s). If you want an enjoyable, utterly-compelling read that will keep you on the edge of your chair, then Circle of Silence is the ONE!

Review: Fade ( Fade #1) by Kailin Gow

Name of book: Fade (Fade #1)
Author: Kailin Gow
Publication: August 15th 2011 by Edge by Sparklesoup
Genre: YA Paranormal
Soucre: E-book Owned

Celestra Caine, a 17-year-old senior at Richmond High, never thought it would happen to her--but it does. She's one of those people you see every day, go to school with, remember seeing at the supermarket or the mall, and then one day you don't hear about them any longer. They're gone, and eventually, you forget them.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I fell in love with the cover at first sight, and the blurb was captivating.  Fortunately, this series is a bit "old" so book 1,2, and 3 have already been published. This is much easier for me, so I don't have to wait for the new books to come out. This was a promising start to the series.
     Celestra Cain, is a happy high school girl, she has a family who loves her, a boyfriend who adores her (Grayson), and she is gorgeous. But all that changes when one day, she comes home and nobody is there. Then suddenly, she receives a phone call from someone who tells her that she is "about to fade".
     Waking up in an abandoned building, with a handsome, mysterious boy, named Jack isn't the most of Celestra's worries. A group of people called "The Underground" think that she has special abilities and want to  know more about her, but another group "The Others" want her, too. What's more? Two boys are fighting over her like a piece of meat. Things cannot get worse. Except that they do.
     What (who) is Celestra? What happened to her family? Is she going to fade or not? And who will she choose; the mysterious Jack or the protective, caring Grayson? Find out much more when you read this intriguing, breathtaking story, Fade...
     I liked this book. It's my first Kailin Gow book. I googled her a little bit, and I was shocked to find out how many books she has and I never heard  of her, so I had to read something of hers. I will definitely be reading more. Kailin Gow has a simple writing style, which I hated before. But now, I am beginning to appreciate the style, it's very easy to keep up with and to understand.
     The plot is different from anything I have read before, but part of it is very common. For example, many books start with a girl/boy who doesn't know that she/he is special, then suddenly something happens and her/his powers are unleashed. I like the fact that Kailin Gow doesn't explain everything in the first book and she ends it with such a cliffhanger that I am DYING to read book 2.
    I liked most of characters. Celestra is wonderful, she would make a great friend, although I hated the fact that most female protagonists nowadays, are all gorgeous and model-looking girls. I liked Grayson, he is over-protective and helpful, but I didn't like Jack that much, he grew on me eventually.
    I have to try to keep my reviews SHORT these days. So let's rap it up. I will  surely be reading the next book in the series, and the third book, and maybe more. So, if you want an enjoyable, paranormal, and mysterious read then Fade is the one for you... Go grab a copy!

Review: Whispers In The Woods by T. J. Dell

Name of book: Whispers In The Woods (The Complete Collection)
Author: T. J. Dell
Publication: May 21st 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Provided by the kind author...

Vol. I
When Evie Parker meets Lucas Spencer she begins to feel hope again. Lately she's been going through life in a fog and Lucas is all about teaching her how to have fun again. For the first time since the accident she knows what it means to be happy.

So who cares if Lucas is a little odd. It isn't that strange that she's never met his parents, or that teachers never seem to notice when he's late for class. Evie tries not to care, but on top of all his peculiar behavior she's been feeling kind of sick lately-- ever since she met Lucas actually.

When Lucas decides it is time to come clean with all his secrets Evie has to make some hard decisions. 

Vol. II
All Evie wants is a little bit of normal in her life-- is that really too much to ask?

Lucas isn't normal, but he makes her happy. That should count for something. Evie thinks she can find a balance that will let her be normal and also be with him. 

Of course she hadn't counted on adding his family into the mix, or his ex-girlfriend.

Life with an elf is never boring. 

Lucas and Evie were finally at a place where Evie was comfortable with her mix of normal human teenager and fantastical elf boyfriend. Then she went and got herself crushed by a tree.

Evie wakes up with a whole lot of extra issues to deal with. Not the least of which is a trip inside the Veil to see Lucas's home. She never would have agreed to go if she'd known she was going to have her own secret to hide.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

      I had no idea what to expect from this book. I thought it was one of those books; where there is a damsel in distress who is saved by the PERFECT, SEXY boy. I hate those types of books, but this one, wasn't like that. It concentrated on some other aspect entirely: Elves.
     Evie has just moved in with her Grandma after her parents died in an accident. She is heartbroken, depressed, and has only one friend, Anna. But all that changes when she meets a handsome, mysterious boy, named Lucas, in the woods. Now, she has a bunch of friends, she can get away from her grandma whenever she wants, and she has a protective but still very strange and mysterious boyfriend. 
     Turns out, Lucas is an elf, a third-lord in the kingdom of elves in an otherworldly place. He can control the energy in his surrounding and use it to disguise himself or to easily make people believe what he says. As if things aren't weird enough, he has "accidentally" made Evie his bonded (forever-partner). What Evie doesn't know is that there is still MUCH MORE to come.
     Why isn't Lucas in his own kingdom? Why does Evie experience immense physical pain if she is away from him? And is this really love when it causes so much pain? Find out when you read the complete collection of T. J. Dell's heart-warming, intriguing paranormal novel.
     I liked this book. It was a nice combination of paranormal and teenage love. Maybe it was a little "cheesy" for me,  but altogether, I liked it. T. J. Dell has a wonderful and simple writing style, it was very easy to keep up with it. But there were some stuff that I didn't like: I didn't like the plot of the book, it was the all-too-common teenage girl who "accidentally" meets a mysterious boy, and they fall in love. I am grateful that it wasn't insta-love. Although I hated the "rush" in Evie and Lucas's relationship, they just RUSHED into their relationship, it was TOO QUICK and unbelievable. 
     I didn't connect with the characters as much as I wanted to. They were good, but not TOO good. I liked Evie, she was easy to love and relate-able. Lucas was totally hot and swoon-worthy but I didn't like him, I thought that he was too bossy and arrogant. I liked the side-characters much more. Anna was my favorite, I know that every girl should have (and has) an Anna-like best friend. I liked Lucas's parents, too.
     Aside the minor flaws, this book was pretty enjoyable. There is a nice story going on, it's three volumes, but the end of each volume is with a cliffhanger so you NEED to read the next volume. This book was a wonderful edition to my reads for 2012. It is recommended to fans of the YA Paranormal and Contemporary. This was exhilarating!

Swoon Thursday #1: Soul Shattering Kisses

It's that time again! YA Bound created a HOT meme, and if you're new to the game, here's how to join in the fun:
From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering. 
Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound

My swoon is from The Oracle of Dating by Allison Van Diepen, p. 134

"He takes my face in his hands and kisses me. My knees start to crumble. I close my eyes, clutch his shoulders. His kiss is open-mouthed and hot. It isn’t shy, it’s electric and demanding. He must have prepped for this—his mouth tastes like peppermint. Oh, God, I hope I don’t taste like the spaghetti and garlic toast I had for lunch!
He lets me go too soon. My arms are still locked around his neck. I need him to keep kissing me senseless."

I love hearing Kayla's thoughts. She is so lively and cute! 
I finished the book yesterday, stay tuned for the review :)

Review: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Name of book: Nineteen Minutes
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publication: 5th 2007 by Atria Books
Genre: Contemporary Thriller
Source: E-book Owned

Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper and The Tenth Circle, pens her most riveting book yet, with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy. Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens--until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened before her very own eyes--or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show--destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I have heard so many good things about Jodi Picoult. So, I felt like I had to try some of her books, and this one was in a collection that my friend gifted me, once on Amazon. And all I can say is that: Count me as a HUGE fan of Jodi Picoult. 
     Alex is a great judge, but her job has build a huge wall between her and her daughter, Josie. Lacy lost one of her sons a few years ago, she will not let herself lose her other son, Peter, too. Josie became one of the popular kids, once she started dating Matt, but that's not who she wants to be. Peter has been bullied by the popular kids all his life, he has been thrown into lockers, humiliated, etc... He doesn't think that he can take anymore.
     On March 7, Peter changes the lives of Alex, Lacy, Josie, Matt, and everyone living in Sterling, forever. He loads two pistols and two shotguns, and drives to his high school. In a state of determination, Peter kills 10 of his classmates and teachers and injures 19. 
     When Peter is caught, the trial starts. Patrick is the detective on the case, he has never thought that he will witness something like this happen in Sterling, and he never knew that he might fall in love with the judge, Alex. Jordan is Peter's lawyer, he has nothing that might save Peter from jail, but he still wants to know WHY Peter had done this. Alex is the judge on Peter's case, but her daughter  is one of  the injured, and she is slowly falling in love with the detective, Patrick. Lacy is heartbroken over the lose of yet another son. Matt is dead, but Josie is alive, and she doesn't even remember what happened that day.
     Will Alex be a fair or will her fair for her daughter cloud her judgement? Will Patrick be able to find out the truth about that day? Will Jordan be able to save Peter from a life-long sentence? Will Lacy lose both of her sons? Will Josie ever remember what happened that day? And why has Peter done this? Find out the answer to all those questions when you read this heart-wrenching, realistic to-the-core story, Nineteen Minutes...
     I truly loved this story. I am such a HUGE fan of realistic novels, novels that tell the story of out everyday lives. This was one of them. Jodi Picoult portraits bullying and high school truthfully but perfectly. I liked her writing style a lot.  The plot is very unpredictable (in a good way), and you really get to know the characters. I wanted to know why Peter killed 10 people,  I wanted to know what would happen to Josie, Alex, and Patrick. I craved their happy ending!
     Now, let's talk about the bad side. The book was told in 3rd person. The narrator talked about each of the characters back and forth (he did that. She did that...), but  the focus was on almost 10 characters, which is too much. There weren't any indications of when the focus on main characters changed, one minute I was inside Josie's head, another  minute I was inside Peter's, I got really confused sometimes, and I didn't even know whose thoughts I was reading. Another bad thing, (although, it is not exactly a bad thing) was that the book was really depressing, TOO depressing for my taste. The end was pretty satisfying but not happy.  I didn't cry my eyes out, but I was depressed and sad throughout the whole book.
     Aside from the confusion, this book was very enjoyable and different from the books I have been reading this year. I will recommend this book to Thriller/Suspense fans and Realistic Fiction fans. You better try something from Jodi Picoult or you're missing out!