Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Giveaway!




Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! Since it's about to be a new year and a fresh start for me after a very chaotic two years, I thought I would start the year out right. And how is that? With a giveaway, of course!

I'll be randomly setting up giveaways on Missy's Reads & Reviews every once in a while through 2013, just as a thank you to my wonderful followers/readers/subscribers. And while I normally go through Book Depository for everything, I thought I would switch things up and check out Powells. I've bought a few books through them but not as many as I should. So, let's remedy this now! 

For this giveaway, you can choose any book valued up to $10.00. If you're selected as the winner, I will contact you via e-mail and ask your book selection then - so no pressure to find something right now! 

For this giveaway, it will be US only (sorry!) since that is where Powells ships. However, I promise US only giveaways will be RARE this year!

Giveaway ends THIS coming Saturday, January 5th so ENTER NOW!

Good luck!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New This Week!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013




Wednesday, January 2, 2013

These are just some of the books available this week. For more information on each book, please click the image to be redirected to the book's Goodreads page. If you're interested in purchasing the book, click on the title to be taken to the book's purchase page on Book Depository.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Alice in Zombieland, by Gena Showalter


Author: Gena Showalter [F] [T] [W]
Publisher: Harlequin Teen [W]
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover; 404 pages
Series: The White Rabbit Chronicles (Book 1)
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance, Zombies
Avg. Rating:

Goodreads | Book Depository
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

With the exception of Warm Bodies and a few others, I'm really not the biggest fan of zombie books. I can read them.. I just don't enjoy them all that much, and I really don't go out of the way to read them completely voluntarily. And I definitely don't go out of the way to contact a publisher for a zombie book. HOWEVER, this IS Gena Showalter we're talking about. Everyone has their exceptions.

For me, the best part of picking up a Gena Showalter novel is knowing before I even hold the book in my hands that I will enjoy it. Is that biased? Maybe, but it's completely true. There's something very genuine and unique about Showalter's writing that stays completely true to her style to let you know the book is definitely hers, yet she still manages to keep every story's tone its own and every character has their own individual voice. It's something rare that you may not always see in an author's work, especially when they have so many books under their literary belt. 

Having said that, it shouldn't be a total shocker that I really loved this book. I know that I read about people being disappointed with the fact that the title of this novel is very similar to Alice in Wonderland, so it was assumed that it was a highly-imaginative retelling when it really didn't have much to do with the classic tale at all. I can say that wasn't the case for me - as a matter of fact, that little bit didn't bother me one single bit. There's also a twist on the actual zombies in this book that some people didn't like much. Again, didn't bother me. Just the opposite actually.. I really LOVED the twist on the zombie lore of this book. It's something that I have never EVER in my life come across in a book, and that made it just that much more special of a read for me.

Alice was a great female lead. Very independent, strong and need I say hard-headed? Especially when it came to a certain boy. Cole was the sexy bad boy in the novel and I thought he was a great opposite for Alice - and I definitely mean opposite. Their ways always seemed to clash (which I'll admit at times got a little tedious for me), but the chemistry was off the charts for these two. I also enjoyed Alice's quirky best friend, Kat. She brought that special magic to the story that only some characters can pull off and managed to keep an aura of mystery to her that kept me intrigued.

The setting to this story was perfect and helped to really set the tone for the book. I loved the pace and the plot, which isn't short of amazing - but I expect no less from Gena Showalter. This is definitely a great read that I think all of my paranormal readers would enjoy. And if you're a Showalter fan, I think this is really a given that you MUST read this book. ;)

My Rating:
Book Source: Publisher
 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ripped, by Shelly Dickson Carr





Author: Shelly Dickson Carr [T] [W]
Publisher: New Book Partners [W]
Release Date: December 1, 2012
Format: Paperback; 520 pages
Series: N/A
Genre: YA, Indie, Thriller, Time-Travel
Avg. Rating: (via Amazon.com)

Goodreads | Book Depository
Katie Lennox wishes her parents were still alive. Having to leave Boston to live with Grandma Cleaves in London was hard, but she's making new friends, working on her British accent and even learning some Cockney rhyming slang. London's cool and actually feels like home in some ways, like she's been here before, belongs here. When a museum visit with her cousin and his cute friend turns funky, Katie finds herself in a long, uncomfortable dress, wearing a ridiculous hat, wondering what happened to her jeans and high-top sneakers? And where's her iPhone?... It's London, 1888. Smart and gutsy, Katie knows she's here to stop Jack the Ripper. The serial killer didn't just slash his victims' throats; he butchered the women. Katie has read about the Ripper, knows the names of his victims and where and when they were killed. She's watched her fair share of CSI. Can Katie save their lives?

Ripped was one of those random finds that I discovered while browsing around for new books to read. Loving all things Jack The Ripper related I knew that, fiction or not, I had to check this book out. I ordered, waited and read as soon as I received it in the mail.I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I don't know what exactly I was expecting, but for some reason I wasn't expecting it to be so good that I devoured this book in very little time. 

This book is told from the point of view of a fifteen-year-old girl (Katie) that goes back in time to try to stop Jack The Ripper from butchering women - one being an ancestor of Katie, whom her rock star sister looks a lot like. I loved Katie's voice in this book and, between her dialogue and references to modern-day pop culture, I think she really made this story very easy to read - even the gory and violent parts.

This story is very detailed and historically accurate when it comes to the facts about Jack The Ripper - someone definitely did their research and stayed true to history where it mattered. Seeing a book that is 500+ pages long about history and time travel may seem daunting but the intrigue in the mystery of this book definitely sets the pace and you'll be through it before you know it. 

If you're a fan of Jack the Ripper, time travel or just a good mystery then I would definitely recommend this book. 

My Rating:
Book Source: Purchase

Monday, December 3, 2012

Special Announcement!


I know I told you all in my last post that I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my little bundle of joy. Well, he's here! My little Riley was born two days before his due date after only eleven hours of active labor and thirty minutes of pushing. I'm completely over the moon in love with him and it's still sometimes hard for me to believe that I birthed this amazing little boy. But, I did.. and he's here.. and we're enjoying every moment together!

I expected to start blogging a little sooner, but Riley has definitely taken up more of my life and time than I could have ever imagined. We also have a few things we're working through like cluster feeding and fighting sleep. Both of these things are making my free time almost non-existent right now. But, he's definitely worth it. 

I'm hoping to have a better schedule worked out soon because I'm so behind on reviews it's not even funny. I can tell you I have at least a good 50 new reviews I need to post, and that's not including the back-up of reviews that I had before and during my pregnancy that still needs to go up. Eesh! 

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday and I hope to be speaking to you guys again BEFORE the Christmas holiday. 

XOXO

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hey! What's Going On??

Hey, guys! Long time no post, eh? Sorry about that. As most of you may or may not know, the past year and a half has been c-r-a-z-y for me and not always in a good way - but mostly in a good way, especially the past nine months almost.

So, what's been going on??

Let's start from the beginning. Early last year, due to some miscommunication between myself and my doctor (but mostly just the doctor - lol), I went through a bout of crazy high blood pressure and weight gain. At first, no one knew what was going on because everything except for one thing had stayed the same - and it just so happened that one thing is what brought it all on. 

Once that was figured out (by a new doctor, I might add), I was on the road to getting everything back in order and everything seemed to start going splendidly again. So splendidly in fact, that my husband and I decided it might be time to add an addition to the family after four years of marriage - we wanted to have a baby. Being the overly paranoid type, I decided before we started trying that I wanted to go to the doctor to make sure everything was 100% ready to go - and that's when the second big road block came around. I found out I had cervical cancer. Luckily for me, I caught it super early and it was still superficial, so all I had to do was undergo a small surgery to get rid of it - no radiation and no chemo of any sort. But, that put a HUGE stop on plans to have a baby because not only did I have to recover for months and months, there was also the very high possibility that my cervix might not be strong enough to carry a child full-term. There was a lot of crying and depression on my part, but ultimately I came to the conclusion that things in life happen for a reason and, if I wasn't meant to have a child, then that just meant I'd grow old with just my husband and our animal babies. 

After my months of recovery, I just decided to let nature take its course even though my doctor had warned me it could take forever to conceive after my surgery.. or it just may never happen. A little over a month later, I found out I was pregnant. 


This coming Monday, I will be 38 weeks pregnant. That pic up there is a 3D picture of my sweet baby boy that will be gracing us with his presence so very soon. My pregnancy hasn't been ideal with morning sickness, allergies, sinus issues, aches, pains, etc. HOWEVER, as far as pregnancy and his development goes, it's been pretty textbook and I couldn't ask for anything more than that. At my appointment today, I found out that he weighs 7 pounds already and they're expecting him to make it to his due date of November 12.

So, what does that mean for the blog??

I would first like to say a huge thank you to all of my followers that have stuck around, even though there hasn't been much going on lately. This blog has suffered more than anything else in my life from my health issues and everything else going on. But I haven't forgotten about it and I most certainly am NOT ready to give up on it. Even though I haven't been around and I have not updated.. my love of books has never waned. I still read a lot and I have a TON of books that I need to review.. I just haven't gotten around to it because it's so uncomfortable for me to be on a computer for more than a few minutes. If it wasn't for my phone, I probably wouldn't have any online communication whatsoever. 

I can say one thing, though: I miss blogging and reviewing. And I'm ready to get back on track. However, I am a lot more realistic about my life and my priorities now versus what I would like to get done. It will be a slow process, but it WILL happen. If my baby goes full-term, then that means I have a little over two weeks to prepare for him.. and I still have A LOT to do to prep for him. So, that comes first. And I know that once he's here, my world will be turned upside down for a little while. There's no physical way I can just come back to blogging 100% from the very beginning. So, I'm making a compromise.

In some of my down time, I have revised a small plan that may help me get back on track. First, I know there's no way I can post reviews on a daily basis - even though I probably have a year's worth or more of reviews I could post if I did it daily. (I told you I've still been reading!) I have a list of at least 50% of my books that I have read and need to do reviews for. When I have some time to myself, I will start scheduling those.. and these will probably start showing up around the time I have Riley or maybe later in November. Second, I don't think sporadic reviews will be enough and I'd like to start up a feature again to keep this blog active. A lot of bloggers do IMM, Teaser Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesday, or some type of weekly top ten list. I love those, but I don't know if I can be consistent with any of those. What I thought I would do that seems more feasible is the Before & After feature that I started a couple years back with debut authors. Before & After is an easy enough deal to keep up with. The most energy spent for the project is finding debut authors (already have a list), contacting them and formatting each blog post for each author that participates. It's simple - and something that I really enjoy because it goes with what I like doing on my blog, which is promoting good books and new authors. 

So, that's the plan. Hopefully, this blog will be up and running again very soon and I will be able to join the bookish world once more during my journey of becoming a new mommy. :)

Once again, thank you all for sticking around. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I'll see you all very soon!! <3

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wicked Nights, by Gena Showalter {Giveaway!!}

I'm holding a week-long giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this book. If you'd like to enter, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to find out about the rules!


Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed nearly too dangerous, too ruthless--and if he isn't careful, he'll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions at any cost...until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he's never known before.

Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation--or her ultimate damnation?

 I don't think that it's a secret I love Gena Showalter's books, especially her Lords of the Underworld series. When I found out there was a spin-off series, I was excited. When I found out the first book was about Zacharel.. I almost hesitated. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bias - I love the angels, demons and other supernaturals that pop up in Showalter's books just as much as the Lords. But, Zacharel? He's so serious! Could there really be a girl out there that would turn him around like the heroines in my LoTU books? Not too be too spoiler-ific but, after reading Wicked Nights, I can definitely answer this with a resounding YES!

At the beginning, there is no mistaking that the Zacharel we encountered briefly in the Lords of the Underworld books is exactly the same Zacharel that we are introduced to here.. just as serious as ever. Then there's Annabelle, who is a bit on the vulnerable side but still has a hard, kick-ass side to her. Honestly, I think she has to have that hard side to live through all of the things that she has in order to live to see another day. The chemistry between the two is pretty explosive from the very beginning, though not necessarily the way that you would think. It's fun to see these characters evolve into what I would consider almost better, stronger versions of themselves throughout the story - as well as seeing the attraction between the two build up and explode. 

Like all of Showalter's books, the story doesn't just revolve around the romance between the two main characters. There is an amazing plot to this book that doesn't just center around these two, though it does definitely involve them. This plot just scratches on the surface of what is the beginning of a major storyline in the Angels of the Dark series. After reading this story, I don't think this new spin-off could have started with a better main character than what it did. There are also a ton of supporting characters that you will fall in love with, some you have met before if you've read the Lords of the Underworld series - including some of the Lords themselves! 

I know that I have mentioned the Lords of the Underworld a lot in this review because I'm a little obsessed with that series. Make no mistake though, you will NOT get lost in this book if you've never read that series before. While there are references, the Angels of the Dark series is an entirely different brand with it's own story that may run parallel to the other story but definitely does not run on the same story. 

If you're a huge Gena Showalter fan like me, make no mistake that you WILL love this book. If you've never read her books before but you like paranormal romance, you will definitely fall in love with her stories after reading this. Showalter delivers and definitely does not disappoint with her new series. 


Rating: Avg 4.33
Source: Little Bird Publicity



Title: Wicked Nights
Author
: Gena Showalter
Series:
Angels of the Dark
Publisher:
HQN Books
Format:
Paperback, 411 pages
Release Date:
June 26, 2012

Purchase




Giveaway!

Thanks to Little Bird Publicity, Harlequin and Gena Showalter, I am to give away a copy of Wicked Nights to one lucky reader!! The rules are simple:

You must live in the US.
You must comment on this post with a VALID e-mail address.
You must get your entry in before Wednesday, July 4th. 

Good luck!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Forsaken, by Estevan Vega


DON'T LET IT IN.

The first victim has no natural wounds. No prints left behind. No lacerations. But the life has been gruesomely drained from the corpse, and a broken cross is now imprinted inside the skin.

Left for dead a year ago by his former partner, reckless and medicated Detective Jude Foster now endures mindless therapy sessions in order to be given another chance at his life.When the chief of police discovers the first victim strangely killed in this sadistic fashion, Jude enters a dark world all-too-familiar. He knows he’s seen this method of murder before, but he never caught the killer.

Could this be a copycat, or is it the one that got away?

Forced to take on a new partner for the case, Jude must come to terms with the fractured memories of his past, attempt to keep his younger brother safe, and chase down a ghost killer who is collecting human souls. But time is against him. How many more victims will there be before the killer is satisfied? And will Jude Foster be able to survive this new hell or in the chaos, will he risk becoming something else entirely?

Beautifully written, dangerously dark and inexplicably twisted.

I think that I could honestly stop my review right there and it would pretty much sum up how I feel about The Forsaken almost as well as anything else that I'm about to write. Just when you think Estevan Vega has delved far enough into the dark side of things, he goes just a little further with his next story.

Short of swooning and expressing my absolute love for this book, I just want to say that it's probably one of the darkest and best written books that I've read so far this year. The main character, Jude, is a character that you want to follow and can't help but cheer for throughout the story. The flashbacks of the past really help us to understand exactly what Jude has gone through and why he is the way he is. I'll admit, it's unusually depressing but it adds to the intrigue of the story.

There's an emphasis on a more surreal feeling to this book than just our reality that we are used to, which really takes the story to that next level. The twists and turns in this book will have you dizzy trying to keep up with everything going on in, but you'll stay on the edge of your seat anticipating what will happen next. And not everything is what it seems in this book. There was a time when I thought I knew exactly what was going on... and then there was another huge twist at the end, completely blowing all of my theories out of the water.

This book is not full of sunshine and rainbows, but I guarantee that you'll be hooked once you start this amazing book. If you like dark books, you'll definitely want to grab a copy of The Forsaken. If you're a fan of psychological thrillers, I guarantee you'll fall in love with the genre all over again once you read this book. It's just THAT good.

Rating: Avg 2.71
Source: AuthorLink


Title: The Forsaken
Author
: Estevan Vega
Series:
N/A
Publisher:
StoneHouse Ink
Format:
Kindle, 158 pages
Release Date:
March 13, 2012

Purchase

Unbreak My Heart, by Melissa Walker


Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life.

Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now.

Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart?

Melissa Walker has been an author on my radar ever since I read her novel, Small Town Sinners. The story and writing were both amazing, so I had some high expectations when it came to this book. Those high expectations were met with a lot of hesitation when I read the synopsis of Unbreak My Heart, only to find it dealt with what I would consider a form of cheating. Cheating is a huge no-no for me, but I thought I would go against my better judgment and give this book a shot - and I'm definitely glad that I did.

This book is told from Clementine's POV with alternating chapters, going between the past and the present. Clementine is a character that is very easy to relate to, and I'm sure that her story is also one that many can sympathize with. Though I cannot say I'm one of those sympathizers, I can say that reading about what happened between her and her best friend's boyfriend definitely helped to understand her side a lot better. It was hard not to hurt for Clem when she was being ostracized for something that was just not only her fault - it takes two. Thankfully, we have James in her present that turns out to be a good reprieve for her. I love the relationship that develops between these two characters, their interactions with one another seemed to flow so easily.

I also have to point out that we have a book where there are actual parents that are involved in their teenage daughter's life. No dead parents, no absentee parents, no self-absorbed parents... it was one of the best aspects of this book because, sadly, it's not something that you see a lot of in young adult books these days. There's also Clementine's younger sister Olive, who shines brightly and pretty much steals the show in each and every single scene that she's in. It's another point in this book that you don't see in many others, the secondary characters actually play a role in this book and aren't just lifeless fodder that fills all the extra pages. This is a definite plus in my book.

There's no complex storyline that's hard to follow, the plot of this book is fairly easy and straight-forward. The writing, like Melissa's other work, is amazing and flows well from page to page. Unbreak My Heart is a nice, easy read whose characters will steal your heart - though I don't think your heart will be broken when you finish this book. ;)

Rating: Avg 3.98
Source: Purchase



Title: Unbreak My Heart
Author
: Melissa Walker
Series:
N/A
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Format:
Hardcover, 240 pages
Release Date:
May 22, 2012

Purchase

Monday, May 21, 2012

Music Box, by Estevan Vega





Esther is getting old. No, she is old. Aging with every blink, with every breath.

After a life full of power and purpose, she is met with the harsh reality that she is now obsolete, and her fragile moments are short. On the eve of the last night in the city she has called home for years, Esther and her lover Jacob share their fears and their romance for this world over one last meal, as they wait in fearful unrest for what is coming.

Considering this is a short story (a little over 30 pages), I am going to be making this one of my short but sweet reviews as I do not want to give away too much of the actual story.

Much like Vega's other works, Music Box delves a little into the dark side of the story. The description and perspective in the story keeps a thrilling edge that seems to evoke a million different emotions in the reader as you read. Quite honestly, I think that my only complaint about this story is that I want more - even though "more" is not necessary. This story is most certainly complete, touching on many points. The main character, Esther, is trying desperately to hold onto the life that she has that seems to be coming to an end entirely too quickly. She reflects on herself, nit-picking at things that her husband tries to assure her is not necessary. I found her character to be extremely real and her husband to be a noble character.

Obviously, there is more to the story than one woman's self-obsessions... but I don't want to delve too much into any more for fear of spoiling something for someone. There's a level of suspense as the end approaches that keeps you on the edge of your seat - which is a feat that Vega seems to excel at. The characterization and descriptions in this book are amazingly strong that really pull you into the story and keep you there until the end. This is a must-read for fans not only of the author, but also for those who love suspense and thrillers. As always, I continue to be a huge fan of Estevan Vega's work and look forward to many more stories from him in the future.

Rating: Avg 4.43
Source: Author

LinkLink

Title: Music Box
Author
: Estevan Vega
Series:
N/A
Publisher:
StoneHouse Ink
Format:
Digital Short, 33 pages
Release Date:
March 28, 2012

Purchase

Of Poseidon, by Anna Banks








Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.

I think that I can safely say that, on my blog, books involving any type of mythology are set to a higher standard than just light and fluffy reads. Is it unfair? I don't think so. I think any time you're going to put your own spin on some type of lore that has been around for many, many years that you need to make your book stand out to be recognized among the masses. With that said, did I think that Of Poseidon stood out from all other mermaid books that came out before it? Yes and no. My opinion of this book kept wavering throughout and, even now while I'm writing this review, I cannot honestly say exactly how I feel about this book.

The most prominent problem that I had with this book has got to be the actual characters. There was a strong scene at the beginning of the story that showed a lot of promise, but the first glance of the characters really didn't live up to that hype throughout the rest of the novel. For instance, I think Emma has to be one of the most bi-polar female leads that I have read in a while. With her, there is the person that she thinks she is... then, there is the person she actually is. While she seems to see herself as a very sweet girl, some of her actions are actually quite sour and pretty much the polar opposite of what you would see from a "sweet" girl. Her internal dialogue and rationalization never quite match up to her actions and statements outside of her head, which was more annoying than anything.

Then, there's Galen. Oh, Galen... he seemed to have the potential to be a completely swoon-worthy male lead, but ended up being the douchey jerk that you always want to steer clear of. While sometimes playing coy and being a little possessive over someone you like is somewhat appropriate and cute, being that way 24/7 is not. I found his attitude to be entirely too self-serving and vain. He had a few nice moments, but definitely not enough to overshadow all of the rest.

Now, despite my lack of fondness for the characters I did find the mythology of this book to be up to par. The world-building and description in this book was nothing short of beautiful, minus a few inconsistencies that are so minor the point of bringing them to light is almost moot. Even though this book is over 300 pages, I found it to flow so exceptionally well that the pages seemed to fly by. Overall, I found Of Poseidon to be a decent read that is worth the time to give it a try. The cover is absolutely stunning and, of course, the writing is right there with it. As far as debut books are concerned, this one definitely made the cut for me in many aspects - just not the characters. ;)

Rating: Avg 4.21
Source: BorrowedLink



Title: Of Poseidon
Author
: Anna Banks
Series:
Of Poseidon, Book 1
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Format:
Hardcover, 324 pages
Release Date:
May 22, 2012

Purchase


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Adorkable, by Sarra Manning


Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop talking to him?

After reading Adorkable, my first thought was that this book should come with one warning: "All is not what it seems to be in the beginning." To me, it's almost vital because I was thisclose to putting the book down because the main characters irked me that much.

This book is told from alternating view points of the two main characters: Jeane and Michael. To be frank, they both rubbed me the wrong way from the start. Judgmental and pompous would probably be the best two words for me to describe them. They both seemed a bit bitter and, most importantly, just acted as though they were so much better than every single person around them. It wasn't cute, nor was it necessary... and I just didn't like it. Period. I wanted to put this book down. I was going to put this book down. But something stopped me. I can't tell you what it was, I just knew that I needed to keep going.

Then, it happened.

As you continue through the story, there's more to each character that is revealed. The pompous side of them suddenly doesn't stand as the forefront of their personality, and you find yourself actually liking the characters. Well, I did at least. More importantly, I started to understand why the characters (especially Jeane) were the way they were. Everything clicked and it all made perfect sense. As an added bonus, the chemistry between these two characters really heat up the pages in many ways. Actually, I think the best parts of this book for me would have to be the scenes between Jeane and Michael. They make a great book couple.

Overall, this is a quick and easy read. The plot is light and quirky - there's no deep, poetic plot that puts this book into some sort of great philosophical debate. It's more a simple read to enjoy in one or two sittings, with an ending that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. I definitely think this is a great read for teens and older, though I would venture to say that some of the content would lean more toward the more mature teen audience rather than younger.

Rating: Avg 4.23
Source: Borrowed



Title: Adorkable
Author
: Sarra Manning
Series:
N/A
Publisher:
Atom
Format:
Paperback, 385 pages
Release Date:
May 24, 2012

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Last Rite, by Lisa Desrochers


In this final installment of the thrilling, edgy Personal Demons series, the battle between Heaven and Hell has become critical, and Frannie Cavanaugh is right at the center of it.

With the help of the powerful angel Gabe and demon-turned-mortal Luc, Frannie has been able to stay one step ahead of the forces of Hell. But when the demons killed Frannie's best friend and destroyed her brother, they raised the stakes. If Frannie wants to keep her family and friends safe, she knows she has no choice but to go on the run.

Their best defense is the power Frannie has been struggling to master, but her attempts to hone her skill go horribly awry. If Frannie doesn't learn fast, the consequences could be devastating--even apocalyptic.

What happens when you can't outrun Hell...or trust the ones you love?

This is the third and final book in the Personal Demons trilogy by author Lisa Desrochers. To read my review of the first two installments, click a link for the appropriate book: Personal Demons (Book 1), Original Sin (Book 2).

The Personal Demons trilogy has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. I have enjoyed this series immensely for many, many reasons but I find that I am still struggling with a few of the personal feelings that I had with the two previous books through this book as well.

I think the most obvious would be how I feel about Frannie as the main character. Like always, she keeps the same two guys tugging after her, though I will say not as bad as before. And, like the other two books, I have an issue with the decisions that she makes and the oh-so-obvious details that she seems to almost blatantly ignore for one reason or another. The worst part is that the story (or at least the part I'm referring to) is actually told from her point of view and she describes these things that we catch onto almost immediately, yet she seems to just say them as an afterthought and give it no other mention. That was probably the worst things for me that I couldn't seem to digest.

Now, having said this and getting it off of my chest, I can say that I really enjoyed this book. Although there was some issues for me with Frannie, I can honestly say that I do like her as a main character. She still carries that spunk that I have admired since the very first book and, even though I don't agree with her decisions, I do understand the reasons as to why she makes the choices that she does. As a whole, every action she takes is a selfless act, no matter how wrong that action may seem to someone on the outside - there's always a reason to her madness.

The other characters were still as enjoyable as before, even the smaller (minor) characters had a bigger role in this novel and I absolutely squealed with joy to see that some of the other characters had their own special abilities that weren't necessarily talked about in the previous books. The descriptions of anything and everything, like before, is uncanny and Desrochers has a way with her writing that makes you feel like you're right there experiencing everything with the other characters. There was a lot of good and a lot of evil in this book, though the evil didn't seem quite as strong and vile as in Original Sin. The ending of the series was very satisfying, though it left a little room for more story that made me a little antsy. Actually, that's probably just on me because I want to read more about Frannie's life. But, if this is the end, I couldn't fathom a better ending for the trilogy.

Last Rite is a delightfully wonderful ending for an equally wonderful trilogy. While I'm sad that this series is over, I'm quite satisfied with how the story ended and cannot wait to read more from Lisa Desrochers in the future.

Rating: Avg 4.38
Source: Publisher



Title: Last Rite
Author
: Lisa Desrochers
Series:
Personal Demons, Book 3
Publisher:
Tor Teen
Format:
Paperback, 368 pages
Release Date:
May 8, 2012

Purchase Book
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound


Friday, May 11, 2012

The Fame Game, by Lauren Conrad


In Hollywood, fame can be found on every corner and behind any door. You just have to know where to look for it. Nineteen-year-old Madison Parker made a name for herself as best frenemy of nice-girl-next-door Jane Roberts on the hot reality show L.A. Candy. Now Madison's ready for her turn in the spotlight and she'll stop at nothing to get it. Sure, she's the star of a new show, but with backstabbing friends and suspicious family members trying to bring her down, Madison has her work cut out for her. Plus, there's a new nice girl in "reality" town—aspiring actress Carmen Price, the daughter of Hollywood royalty—and she's a lot more experienced at playing the fame game... When the camera's start rolling, whose star will shine brighter?

Filled with characters both familiar and new, Lauren Conrad's series about the highs and lows of being famous delivers Hollywood gossip and drama at every turn.
Reality TV isn't really familiar to me, though it isn't completely unfamiliar either. With this book, I felt as though it was pretty much like reading a book based on a reality television... and I'm not talking about the part of the book that is indeed about a reality show. If that was the intended outcome, then Conrad definitely succeeded in that. If it wasn't... well, it was.

This is a spin-off series from Lauren's L.A. Candy series. I have to admit, I tried reading L.A. Candy and it really just didn't work out for me - which is why you will never see a review for that book on this blog - I don't review DNF's for many reasons, including being fair to the author and giving them more positive publicity through those that do enjoy the books. With that being said, I can say that it was a good thing that I did read at least some of L.A. Candy because it helped the scoring of this book.

One of my big things in reading a book is checking out the writing - and every single aspect of it. I can honestly say that the writing in this book compared to L.A. Candy is much MUCH better, and it really shows that the author has evolved with each of her stories. I also enjoyed Madison as a character, which was surprising to me considering that I spent a good portion of the book having a very love/hate relationship with her.

As a matter of fact, I had a love/hate relationship with most of this book and its characters - ultimately finding more "hate" with the other characters than "love" like I did with Madison. Unlike her role in the L.A. Candy series, Madison is definitely more fleshed out and developed in this book, which is its own saving grace considering this is her book/story. The other characters fell a little flat for me. There wasn't much growth nor maturation, rather the characters seemed to be shallow and not much more past that. However, they were pretty good for some laughs.

The plot of this book was pretty much non-existent... or just seemed to play hide-and-go-seek with me, and I failed miserably at seeking. I couldn't tell you a single commentary about what the actual storyline of this book was as it felt more like a story told the way stories are told in tabloids - which, again, could have been a nod to that whole "reality television" feel that seemed to have been missed on me.

I'm sure it seems that I am ripping this book a new one because I hated it, but it's not true. In fact, it wasn't an incredibly atrocious read - it was actually fun. I'm just being hard because I feel like this story could have been taken to the next level because it does have the potential to get there. Having said all of this, even though this wasn't my favorite read of the year... I could definitely see where a lot of teens and reality show fans would love this book. If you're one of these, I would recommend checking this book out and forming your own opinion.

Rating:
Avg 3.57
Source: Young Adult Books Central



Title: The Fame Game
Author
: Lauren Conrad
Series:
The Fame Game, Book 1
Publisher:
HarperTeen
Format:
Hardcover, 313 pages
Release Date:
April 3, 2012

Purchase Book
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blog Tour: Character This or That List with Velvet {Giveaway!}



This post is part of THE FORGETTING CURVE Blog Tour. To view other posts, click here. Want the chance to win a hardcover copy of The Forgetting Curve and/or some really awesome swag? Read below to find out more!


Velvet's This or That


Cats or Dogs? Cats. Although she likes dogs—and her house is full of them—she’s more a cat person. Fiesty, independent, and particular.

Autumn or Spring? Autumn. It’s more suited to her wardrobe.

Movies or Music? Music. Velvet writes songs and promotes underground concerts.

Books or Computers? Books. She’s not that into technology.

Black & White or Colors? Black and white for her clothes, a touch of color for her hair.

Group or Solo? Group. She hangs with a group of friends, but she often feels alone.

Day or Night? Night. That’s when she promotes her secret concerts.

Reality or Virtual Reality? Reality. She has no interest in the virtual world.

Rain or Sunshine? Rain, but with an undercurrent of sunshine.

Half-Empty or Half-Full? She starts off half-empty, but grows toward half-full.



Want to win a copy of The Forgetting Curve?

I have a hardcover copy of The Forgetting Copy, along with some (signed!) swag that I'd like to give one lucky follower. As much, five other followers will be chosen to also receive some TFC swag. Want to enter? Just make sure you follow this blog and leave a comment below with your e-mail address.

Winners will be chosen May 15, 2012 and notified via e-mail. There are NO restrictions - because I love you all, I am making this giveaway international!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Blog Notes

Hey, everyone! I'm sure you've noticed that I've been spending a considerable amount of time away from my blog lately. There's a few reasons for this that I'd like to tell you about, as well as some changes that's going to be going on around here in the near future.

First thing first. You see that little blob to the left of this? That's my baby! I'm currently 12 weeks pregnant and seriously over the moon. BUT, with this pregnancy comes with something I wasn't prepared for - crazy fatigue and nausea. I've literally been in my bed and on the couch more these past few weeks then all my life combined. It's to the point where simple things like household chores and just getting online is a challenge because it zaps what little energy I have in a matter of moments. Add to this the fact that Blogger hates me and has decided to start randomly deciding to not post a majority of my scheduled posts and... well, I think you see my dilemma. Up until now, there's really nothing I could do about it. But with the homestretch of the end of my first trimester in the midst and my health slowly (but surely) returning back to normal, I can happily say that this is about to change - very soon.

So, here are the changes I'm looking into....

More reviews. I have a ton of books that I have read and never reviewed on this blog. We're talking hundreds. Add to this my book-buying obsession has not waned much at all, and the result is a ton of books that could be reviewed for this blog. I'd like to post at least two or more reviews a day to try to catch up. Not only is this more exposure for the books (past, present and future), but this is a lot more substance for my blog - which is something I've wanted for a while.

Less requests. This one hurts my heart but, for right now, it's something that has to be done while I play a very extensive game of catch-up. I've decided the best way to deal with this is to cut out all requests except for published authors (this includes the publicists and publishers that work with said authors), authors I have already established a relationship with and, of course, Young Adult Books Central. I am too in love and believe in this site entirely too much to give it up. Everything else - the printed publications, the writing and self-published works - has been cut out. I don't like doing this, but my time is too limited to do as much as I was doing before.

To meme or not to meme? I still haven't decided on this, but I think the memes will more than likely be cut out on the blog. Right now, I'm playing around with the idea of highlighting the best part of the memes on my Facebook page instead - it's simpler and adds more content there.

Keeping the blog tours. I will still continue to set up a few blog tours and participate in tours as well, but it will be more selective and limited than before.

This list seriously gives me a headache and makes me want to scream, but it's something that has to be done. With these decisions, I'll be able to concentrate more on what I started this blog for - the book reviews - and less on outside distractions. This may change in the future but, for now, this is all I can figure out to keep me sane.

I've drafted many posts already that I'm going to manually post starting next week. By giving myself this week-long window, I am much more confident that I will be able to keep up with this ideal pace on the blog.

I thank you all for still following. As a matter of fact, I'm planning something special very soon to show you exactly how much I appreciate the loyalty.

XOXO

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa


In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

THE IMMORTAL RULES, by Julie Kagawa, has to be the best book that I have read this year. At first a skeptic (Dystopian with a side of vampires? Yeah, I've seen that quite a few times!), the story quickly transformed me into a true believer. Though, to be honest, I don't think it surprised me any. Kagawa has a way with words that is like magic, turning simple descriptions into realistic settings that you can almost sense with all five of your senses.

For me, the characters were probably the selling point to the whole story. You have an incredible female lead that not only grows, but stays consistent in herself no matter what is happening in the book. This works incredibly well because Allison (lead) starts off as a strong character, yet somehow manages to grow and become an even stronger character by the end. The other characters stayed very true to their own stations as well. It's a very harsh world that THE IMMORTAL RULES takes place in and everyone seems to know their place in that world very well. Though, no matter how dark and dreary the world seems to be, there are always a handful of those who believe that it is better somewhere else and they will stop at nothing to get to that place. To be honest, their drive is endearing and I love the fact that it seems none of these characters seem to want to give up - no matter how hopeless they may feel at times.

This book is a little heavy... on descriptions, character emotion, story leads, etc. However, I couldn't see the book working any better with less story. Everything written in this story has a place and has a reason to be there. Every sentence has a purpose and to read it all is even more enthralling than reading a book with less... it has that much of an impact on the entire book. With Kagawa's twist of her own mythology on vampires, I know that all of my paranormal lovers will enjoy this tale. And even if you don't like vampires, if you like Dystopian stories then you will not want to miss this one. This story is about much more than vampires, but you'll have to read for yourself to understand what I'm talking about. Believe me, you won't be disappointed.

My Rating: 5.00
Avg Rating: 4.29



Title: The Immortal Rules
Author
: Julie Kagawa
Series:
Blood of Eden, Book 1
Publisher:
Harlequin Teen
Format:
Hardcover, 504 pages
Release Date:
April 24, 2012

Purchase Book
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Kiss Off Blog Tour Kick-Off


Hello, lovelies! Today is the beginning of the newest tour that I'm hosting, THE KISS OFF! This is an incredible book by author Sarah Billington and I hope you enjoy this tour (and book!) as much as I have enjoyed putting everything together. Below are the dates and blogs participating in this tour. Be sure to keep an eye out, as the tour is filled with more information on THE KISS OFF, as well as fun interviews, guest posts from the author herself and much more.

Tour Schedule
Monday, April 23 - Review @ ChickLitGirl
Tuesday, April 24 - Interview & Review @ Readinista
Wednesday, April 25 - Review @ The Writer's Republic
Thursday, April 26 - Review @ Simplistik
Friday, April 27 - Guest Post & Review @ A Word's Worth
Saturday, April 28 - Review @ Shweta's Book Journal
Sunday, April 29 - Guest Post @ Chocolate Coffee Books
Monday, April 30 - Review @ The Secret Life of An Avid Reader
Tuesday, May 1 - Interview & Review @ Dead Trees and Silver Screens
Wednesday, May 2 - Guest Post & Review @ I Love YA Fiction
Thursday, May 3 - Guest Post & Review @ The Reader's Antidote
Friday, May 4 - Review @ The Life of Fiction
Saturday, May 5 - Guest Post & Review @ Crazed Bookie
Sunday, May 6 - Interview @ Review @ Maji Bookshelf
Monday, May 7 - Guest Post @ The Magic Attic
Tuesday, May 8 - Feature @ The Australian Bookshelf
Wednesday, May 9 - Review @ Book Briefs
& Feature @ Candice W. Coghill's Blog
Thursday, May 10 - Interview @ 1001 First Lines
Saturday, May 12 - Guest Post @ The Bookshelf Muse
Monday, May 14 - Interview & Review @ Pages of Forbidden Love
Tuesday, May 15 - Guest Post & Review @ The (EPIC) Rat
& Review @ The Magic Attic
& Official Release of THE KISS OFF
Related Posts with Thumbnails
 

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5/26/2013: If you're here and you're reading this.. thanks for sticking around! I know I've been gone for a while but I am definitely coming back. This blog will be going through some crazy transitions (layout and such) for the next few days, but I should be back up and ready to review VERY soon. Thanks so much for your patience and support!! xoxo, Missy
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