Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #92!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

So, what book am I very much impatiently awaiting for it to already download to my Kindle this week? Until The Beginning by Amy Plum!

Goodreads Summary:

"When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people - and herself - Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of."

Why am I eagerly awaiting Until The Beginning? Weeell, Amy Plum ended the first book of this duology in a rather evil cliffhanger and I cannot wait to see what's to come next!!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

An Amber in the Ashes Release Day Blitz!!


I am so excited that AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir releases today and that I get to share the news, along with a special introduction from Sabaa herself!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Sabaa Tahir, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for signed copies of the book and some of those awesome sword letter openers we’ve seen around courtesy of Sabaa, Penguin Teen, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

A letter from Sabaa Tahir.

Dear Readers,

Today, my“baby” AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is finally out in the world! From inception to pub date, this journey took eight years. And what a journey it was: writing, rewriting, revising, editing, querying, submitting; Meeting other debuts, bloggers, booksellers and librarians, and hearing their thoughts on EMBER.
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the radness.

And now, the book is here! I am so excited to see it in the hands of readers. I hope youenjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To celebrate release day, I’m giving away two signed, first-edition hardcovers of the book. Details below!

All my best,


Author: Sabaa Tahir
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 464

Find it: AmazonBarnesamp; Noble, iBooks, Goodreads

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Check out the book trailer!

About Sabaa:

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.


Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a signed hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. US Only.
3 winners will receive a hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and a Sword Letter Opener! US Only.
Ends on May 9th at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: Something Real by Heather Demetrios!!!

Hey there guys!

Happy Monday! I am quite excited for the new week because I'm getting a few days off finally, and also because I might be finally getting the news of WHEN I'm getting the keys for my apartment and even might be getting the keys proper!

I'm starting the week with a new Mark This Book Monday edition, and this week's is April's book for The Reader's Lounge Book Club! And not only that, since I had bought the copy quite a while back from Book Outlet, it is also part of the 105 Challenge in the Books from the TBR pile category, and since it was released in 2014 and it was the author's debut book, it's also counted towards my 2015 Debut Author Challenge!

Something RealSomething Real by Heather Demetrios

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Something Real was April's book for my book club: The Reader's Lounge Book Club! I was so very excited when it was chosen because A) I already had a copy and B) I had already read and loved another book by Heather Dremetrios!

This is such a poignant and fantastic book and a debut to boot! It's the story of Chloe, a girl that grew up in front of the cameras (that was actually born on camera) in the family's reality show. Then the show ends for various reasons, one of them to do with Chloe, then known as Bonnie with a trademark, and she works hard at patching herself up and getting a normal life as a normal teenager, and then one day, the cameras are back.

This book is both entertaining and deep, makes you try and see things from all sides, but no matter what, I ended up on Chloe's side. I have never been a big fan of reality shows (I think the only one I really like is The Amazing Race, and I'm not entirely sure it qualifies 100% as a reality show, but I disgress!) and so I must confess to be predisposed to support Chloe on her opposition to losing her normal life.

Family dynamics are a huge part of this book, from Chloe's relationship with Benton and Lexie and the rest of her siblings, the relationship with her mother and the nearly non-existent with her father, to the Chloe's friends, to the entire crew of MetalReel and Chuck (whom I despised and wanted to Force-choke) with the family. And of course the non-familial relationships between Chloe and Patrick, and Benton and Mark.

There are so many characters in this book, but you won't feel like any of them are simply fillers, you'll find yourself getting to know them all a lil better here and there, and seeing quite much more to many of them of what they seemed at first. Character development was very much strong for most of the characters, and the way their relationships and dynamics grew and evolved was a joy to read.

Seeing the ugly behind the scenes side of reality TV was extremely interesting and very upsetting on occasions. Everything seemed like an opportunity to get more viewers and make more money and the people involved, the kids for f's sake!, they are just entities to be directed and used! Show must go on and everything is fair in show biz. It was sick how Chloe was blamed and manipulated to stay in front of the cameras, and how all her childhood was directed and shaped, and once she felt like she wanted out, she was blamed and shamed and judged every which way.

We get to see Chloe with her friends, and handling a crush as a normal girl, and then fighting as much as she can to keep her normal life separate and protected from the MetalReel showbiz, and I was really glad to see how her friends came through for her, so very happy to see such a positive friendship, with girls supporting each other, demanding honesty and offering protection and comfort and support. And even happier to see the relationship that developed between Patrick and Chloe, and how it did develop, with its starts and stops and all the wonderful moments!

I feel like I will continue to read anything and everything that Heather Demetrios writes, and I highly recommend for anyone and everyone to read this book, contemporary lover or not! Very much deserved 5 stars!!

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Pages: Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins!!

Hey there guys!

Getting a review up for today has been quite a close call, because last night I was too tired to schedule one and I was not sure if I'd have time to write one today before work with everything that I had to do this morning, but I was inspired enough to write a quick one!

This Saturday Pages is all about a quite awaited sequel that didn't suffer from middle book syndrome or sequel slump and that as a 2015 release is part of my 105 Challenge!

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle, #2)Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I read Rebel Belle last year I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did, and since it was my first Rachel Hawkins I had no idea I was in for a treat with the banter and the humour, but this time with Miss Mayhem I knew what to expect when it came to that.

What I wasn't expecting were the new twists she threw into the relationships between the different characters and the turns and twists that the plot would have!

Harper finds herself trying to juggle her role as Paladin and protecting David with the lies she has to tell her friends and family to explain absences, strange events and all mananers of oddities that keep on popping here and there, and it all gets even more complicated when the Ephors appear again! I was very annoyed as was Harper when they came demanding and blackmailing and generally putting everyone in danger and not giving any answers.

Harper finds that trying to juggle having her ex and her new boyfriend as part of the team as well as her best friend back, but not quite as she was before she was taken... can be a bit much, even for her. And as she tries to get everything sorted, she finds herself learning to work with others in a way that she didn't have to before.

It was very interesting seeing Harper & David work both as a team and as a couple, and how Harper needs to learn to give up her control freak tendencies a bit, because David needs to make his own choices, no matter how much she has to protect him. Their dynamics were full of banter and humour but thankfully no unnecesary drama!

The dynamics between Bee and Harper also undergo a pretty big change and one that I was not expecting, but it's fantastic that they didn't have a competitive friendship where when there's a hitch they try to tear each other down, instead there's talking and figuring out things and asking for time to do so when necessary.

I loved that Harper's family continue to be present, and that despite her powers and all the crazy stuff going on, her parents are present in the story and not as oblivious as you'd expect. And I simply adore her aunts, Aunt Penelope in particular!

The ending was quite the unexpected twist and quite horribly cruel, so be aware that the wait for the final book is gonna be BAD! I have no idea what aces Rachel Hawkins is hiding in her sleeves, but I cannot wait to find out! Very much deserved 4 stars!

View all my reviews

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Reads: ARC Review of The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott!!

Hey guys!

I've been rather off-kilter as of late, with too many things and plans about the apartment and the move as of late, and if then you add the Star Wars trailer that was revealed at the latest SW Celebration and the fact that the next Celebration in 2016 will take place in London... I have been a bit of a mess this week! I already got my tickets for Celebration London 2016, and I got news yesterday that I might be getting the keys to my apartment NEXT WEEK!

So yeah, probably the blog will go on a hiatus as soon as I get the date for my apartment keys confirmed, because I'm gonna be waaaay too busy!

Now back to the review at hand... this week's Friday Reads is also the book I am adding to my Alyssa Recomends category for the 105 Challenge and the book for April!

The Shattered CourtThe Shattered Court by M.J. Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I saw this one on NetGalley and wondered about it, but once I saw my friend Alyssa from The Eater of Books's review for it, I knew I had to read this one, and it didn't disappoint!

I found the world building fascinating, even if we are left with many more questions about the history of the kingdoms and why in Anglion there are such restrictions on what kind of magic can be used and by whom. It's not that information is simply kept from us, it's that almost no one in the kingdom know the reasons behind why women can only use earth magic or why they have to be married off as soon as possible after coming into their powers, it just is... but I know we'll probably be getting more information as the series progresses, and I cannot wait!

Sophie was a great character, not very keen on simply accepting everything as is, and stubborn enough to trudge along even when she's scared and she doesn't like what's going on. She disagrees with the rules of the society she lives in, but she knows that she cannot disobey them too upfront if she wants to keep breathing. But she's more than willing to take risks and wants to find a way to control her power and her destiny.

Cameron... well, he's a very swoony guy after a while, but at first I wasn't 100% keen on him, he just seemed too dismissive and did seem too happy with the status quo and given that it includes women being married off and their powers being used and controlled... I was NOT keen on that!

Their chemistry was quite off the charts as soon as they connected, magically induced at first but once it all progresses we can see that they seem to be a very good match for each other, even if at first it seems more lust than anything, but then they start working together as allies to protect each other and to face the threats against Sophie coming from those in power. Be warned that this should not be considered YA because there's sex and not the fade to black kind at all!

The plot could be the weakest part of the book, because we aren't clear on why what's happening is happening or how things are relevant or what are we moving towards in here, but we do have loads of hints and info a few unexpected twists by the end that made me glad it was not what I expected at all!

The ending was open enough to make me really want to get my hands on the next book soon, but not awfully cliffhangery as to make me pull my hair out, so that's something!

A very intriguing start for a new fantasy series, one that I'll be sure to keep an eye on and plan to get my hands on the sequel as soon as possible! Well deserved 4 stars for this one!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #91!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

This week the book that I'm extremely excited and cannot wait for it to be released is Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge!!

Goodreads Summary:

"When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption."


Why am I eagerly awaiting Crimson Bound? Well, I'm not usually too fond of fairy tales retellings but I heard so many great things about the author's debut book and I'm very intrigued about a Little Red Riding Hood retelling where the main character is fighting to save the world!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday Pages: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda and My Heart & Other Black Holes!!!

Hey guys! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, in my case I'm hoping to have slightly less busy shifts during the weekend! And I hope to have some time to read ARCs because I need to catch up and finally reach the ever ellusive 80% on NetGalley!

For this week's Saturday Pages I have two mini reviews since I don't want my pending reviews to end up piling up as usual! Both books are contemporaries, both highly recommended by The Midnight Garden ladies (thank you Wendy & Kim) and both will be counted towards my 2015 Debut Author Challenge and my 105 Challenge as Contemporary YA is one of my categories in that challenge!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm usually not a big fan of contemporaries but when one comes as highly recommended as this one, I know I need to check it out, and Simon didn't disappoint at all.

Simon is a wonderful character, one that feels real and genuine, a teenager struggling with not just his being gay and coming out to his friends and family, but with many of his choices and actions, since he sometimes feels like he has to explain himself to everyone around him, and that can he hard enough when you're not sure about yourself.

I loved that this book dealt with many things, some lighter issues and some tougher issues. From bullying, to underage drinking, to misunderstandings with friends, family dynamics, falling in love and coming out and being upfront about who you are.

Simon & Blue start talking to each other via e-mail, and they slowly but surely become friends, support each other and help each other to be brave enough to face whatever's to come. They end up falling in love and it was so heartwarming and cute and adorable and *sigh* full of feels!

I loved the rest of the characters, because they're all there, real and genuine and with their own strenghts and flaws. Simon's family are wonderful, with great sibling dynamics & support and very present parents that are both supportive and parental enough to set up boundaries and limits.

A wonderful debut and contemporary read, a book that made me so very happy and made me cry and left me with a wonderful book hangover and a massive craving for Oreos! Very much deserved 4.5 stars!

My Heart and Other Black HolesMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those fantastic books that need to be read despite the fact that it will break your heart, but it will also give you hope. And I must thank my dear Kim from The Midnight Garden for telling me that I HAD to read this book no matter what!

This book deals with the very tough themes of depression and suicide, and it does so in a way that feels genuine and realistic and that makes it very easy for you to feel what Aysel and Roman are feeling.

Both Aysel and Roman are at that point of feeling that they want the sadness and the pain to stop, and since they cannot see a way out of the blackness, they feel like they need that to stop and so they're planning their own suicide and find each other as "suicide buddies".

I love how by getting together to plan their suicide, they end up talking about their reasons for wanting to end it all, and how that made Aysel feel a lil different, how it make her finally find some hope, even if it was just the tiniest bit and she decided that she wanted to hold onto that hope. And how she decided that she needed to hold onto Roman and try and spark the same hope in him.

Prepare yourself for being overloaded with the feelings of sadness and black tunnel and then feel the relief of finding a lil spark that can make you see that there's more than just that darkness. A fantastic contemporary book that gave me a massive book hangover! Very much deserved 4.5 stars!

View all my reviews

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Reads: Love in a Time of Monsters by Teresa Yea!!

Hello there guys!

Friday is here and with it another working weekend looming ahead for me. My brain is on overload thinking and worrying about expenses and the apartment and the plans for BEA... and I have been half tempted to just put the blog on hiatus already, but I shall wait till May 1st to start the official hiatus, minus some blog tour posts that I have scheduled.

For this week's Friday Reads I have a wonderful book that has been flying under the radar and I feel deserves to reach more readers because it's a fantasy NA and it is fantastic! It's counted towards my 105 Challenge for my Fantasy books category!

Love in a Time of Monsters (Golden Age of Monsters Book 1)Love in a Time of Monsters by Teresa Yea

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I discovered this book through the amazing artist that did the cover (our dear Jenny from Supernatural Snark) and once I read the summary I knew I had to get it and read it.

And I was right, I loved this one so much! I started reading it at work (night shift) and finished it as soon as I got home and got some sleep. I'd describe this as gothic fantasy with retelling elements, because we get references to novels and characters that know, so maybe it's a gothic fantasy retelling of the events that inspired the classics? Something like that!

I loved the world building and how wonderfuly visual the descriptions for everything was, from the landscapes, to the characters, to the feeling of the places and the monsters.

I loved how well crafted the characters are! None of the characters felt too typical or underdeveloped, because from main to secondary, all have more going on that you see at first. Cat is a survivor, a monster hunter, fragile and strong and an addict. She's broken and so very far from perfect, but I loved her to bits even at her worst moments and I loved how Rob always managed to see the best in her and so make her try to be that best. Same with Liam, even if it took me quiet a while to warm up to him, he's a fantastic character, complex and the perfect mix of antihero and villain. And Rob, well... Rob is of course a very complex character, a reluctant hero if there's ever been one, but with enough strenght and love to make others want be better.

The book takes place in a time of monsters, where sirens drag sailors to their death and get hunted for their scales, where monster hunters are necessary and where the most dangerous of all monsters was brought to Scotland to try and save a life. Mixing POVs and moving from past to current events, this story kept me riveted to the pages, wanting to know more, to see what happened and hoping for as few deaths as possible, but the book really doesn't pull any punches, and I had quite a few weepy moments along the book!

Rob is Robert L Stevenson and some of the events in the book inspired him to write his Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, and this is the part that made me call this book a bit of a retelling.

Before wrapping up this review I must talk about the romance, because there was a love triangle but it was done is such a different way that I just didn't bother me at all, and that's almost a first! Hooray for diversity, and even more diversity in fantasy books! And as a NA book, do consider yourselves warned, there are sexy times ahead, and there's also great humour, fantastic quotes and a lil bit of magic.

All in all a very recommended book to all the lovers of fantasy that will appreciate something fresh and unique and very well crafted! Very well deserve 4 to 4.5 stars!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #90!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

What book is the one that I'm not-so-patiently waiting for my preorder to arrive in the mail this week? Rogue by Julie Kagawa!!

Goodreads Summary:

"Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant.

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?"

Why am I eagerly awaiting Rogue? Well, I read Talon and really enjoyed it, even if I wasn't too keen on the love triangle, but I cannot wait to learn more about the world of dragons and their past history with the Order of St George!!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell!!

Hello guys!

How's your Monday going? Mine has started rather well, with some highly awaited book mail and some really good sleep last night, so I'm ready to start this new week! And the fact that I'm off work till Thursday after working 6 days last week is obviously helping with that good feeling too!

For this week's Mark This Book Monday I have a book that I will highly recommend to everyone, because it's both funny and full of depth and makes us think and makes us laugh. I also count it towards my 105 Challenge as part of my YA contemporary category!

Summer on the Short BusSummer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got Summer on the Short Bus shortly after release last year but for one reason or another it got buried under more books in my Kindle library and remained unread. Then I took part on the 1 year anniversary blitz for it and thought that it was about time I read it and it took over my Sunday!

Constance "Cricket" Montgomery is a spoiled brat with an hilarious and offensive inner (and outer) monologue that made her feel extremely real and infuriating and that once confronted with a summer sentence working at a camp, tries every one of her tricks with her daddy to get out of it. And once she can't and has to face working on Camp I can with kids with special needs... she literally faints!

This story is full of snark, laughs and some serious fuzzy feels! I love how Cricket has to get off her spoiled rich girl horse and face more than her own share of prejudice and realize how that hurts when it's directed at you, as opposed as being the one spewing it. The best thing about Cricket though is how upfront she is with everything. She doesn't have a politically correct filter that makes her pretend to be one thing while snarking inside as another and that makes her honest and genuine, even in her spoiled brat self.

I love how Cricket learns a lot about empathy and about herself and her past and her own family, in a way that she could have never imagined, and even if it all might have been initiated by making the most out of spending time with the resident hottie and Zac Efron look-alike, it is not a change done only on surface. She is not faking for Quinn's sake, so she'll look good, the campers and other counselors are making her see things differently, and see herself differently, and she doesn't want to go back to being who she was anymore.

All the characters had a lot of depth and personality, from the campers, counselors to even Cricket's dad. There is so much more to them all than what we see at first when we meet them, and even if we don't get to know them all in depth, the characters have that realness to them.

A fantastic book that made laugh and snicker, and smile and gave me quite a few swoony feels and that managed to give quite a few lessons on diversity, equality, empathy and being honest with outselves and others without ever feeling preachy or self-righteous!

Very well deserved 4 stars and a very much recommended read for all of those that love contemporaries and all of those that aren't entirely sure if it's their genre too!

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday Song: Wonderful Life by Alter Bridge!

Hey guys, given my work schedule and blue mood for this last pair of days, I just couldn't have a review ready for today...

And since I felt like I needed a good cry to get it out of my system since it had been brewing for a while... I'll leave you with a fantastic song by a brilliant band. I'm now going to bed to cry and then hopefully get some proper sleep so I handle another night shift at work tonight.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Reads: I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios!!!

Hey there guys!

It is Friday! And I'm hoping to get a pair of books in the mail and to have some time to read before going to work night shift, because then I work night shift on Saturday again, which means I'll spend most of my Saturday sleeping...

For this week's Friday Reads I have a book that punched me in the feels in the best of ways and that made me sob and ugly cry and any other actions involving tears that you might think of. I preordered it from Book of Wonder signed and personalized and I got a special promo letter from Josh to Skylar for V-day and that was just wonderful too!

Since it is a 2015 release it will count towards that category on my 105 Challenge!

I'll Meet You ThereI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My ratings usually come from gut feelings and when I've been through so many emotions and I've cried as much as I did with this book, it deserves 5 and more stars for sure. And this is particularly relevant for me since this one is a contemporary book, and it's not a genre that I am drawn to much. I usually am very picky when it comes to contemporaries and this one was an absolute bullseye for me!

Skylar is our main character and it's a girl that wants to get out of the small town she has always lived in, and that dream of going away, all the planning and saving and thinking, is what has kept her sane through a very crappy and tough and all around messed up family dynamic, with her dad dead and her mum not being much of a parent for quite some time. Skylar has just graduated high school, has a scholarship for a fantastic art school and she just needs to get through a final summer before she can follow her dreams.

The relationship between Skylar and her mum was painful to read at times, but so raw and real and heartfelt. Skylar has been the one taking over the adult role and being the one responsible for herself and her mother for a lot time already and once her mum falls into another dark hole, Skylar feels like she'll have to give up everything to pull her mum out of it. It was very much a role reversal with the teen being the responsible one and the mum being the one in need of care. I found myself wishing that Skylar would stop feeling so responsible for her mum and would decide to focus on herself more, and feeling like crap for wishing that because her mum is her only family, and we do take care of those we love.

Then we got her friends, Dylan and Chris, both excellently written secondary characters that break through the possible sterotypes. Dylan is a girl that wears tight clothes and has a baby boy, a teen mother that is madly in love with her son's father and that has managed to graduate. Chris is Skylar's ally on the quest to leave their town, to be more and a genius at math. I loved how their relationship went through some hardships due to their different choices about staying or leaving for the future, and how despite it all they were there for each other through and through!

And then we got Josh, and he is such a broken and complex character and one that I simply felt for so much! He also wanted to leave town and did so as a soldier, to fight in Afghanistan, and he is injured, loses a leg and returns suffering from PTSD. A mess if there ever was one. I am very happy that we got both Skylar and Josh's POV, because his chapters if shorter, were even more emotionally heavy and poignant and made me cry like mad! Being in his head was both amazing and painful and was necessary to get us readers to not hate him after one pretty big mistake he makes, but seeing things from his POV... well, we know he made a BIG mistake and we still want Skylar to kick his arse but also to forgive him.

I'm glad that Skylar and Josh's relationship is built by working together, hanging out together, becoming friends by feeling like outsiders and not really belonging in a place, and after quite a few false starts here and there, with communication and a lil help from others here and there, they find a way to be together. They have to work on their relationship a lot, but they do have dreams to achieve and someone to share those dreams with. And an amazing black lab doggie that made me cry even more!

This book was an amazing read for me and not only because it was extremely emotional for many reasons and not just the romance, but so many important relationships like between parent and children, friends, co-workers, parental figures. And it makes you really think and wonder about the consequences of war for those that come from it and their families. A brilliant book through and through.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #89!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

So what book am I dying of anticipation while I wait for it to arrive in the mail because it's been preordered since forever this week? An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir!!!

Goodreads Summary:

"Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself."


Why am I eagerly awaiting An Ember in the Ashes? Well, it's fantasy, and I'm a fantasy reading binge this year, it's a debut, it's got Roman and Greek references and almost all my blogging friens that have read it have loved it to bits, so how could I not be excited for it?? It's preordered and I cannot wait for it to arrive already!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of Made For You by Melissa Marr!!

Hey there!

Monday is here and it's a new week to look forward to! I'm having a heavy on the workload week, but I'm hoping that some book mail will improve the week for me! I'm also awaiting a few things for my new apartment, so I cannot wait for them to arrive!

For this week's Mark This Book Monday I got the review for an eARC that I was approved for via NetGalley, thank you so much for the auto-approval Harper Collins UK!! It counts for my books for review category on the 105 Challenge!

Made For YouMade For You by Melissa Marr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had been really intrigued about this book for quite a while, so when I was approved for an eARC for it via NG, I was quite eager to start reading it!

Eva Tilling is your super popular girl in a small Southern town, where popularity and status comes from who your family is and how long they can claim to have been in the town. Thankfully Eva is not your mean queen bee, but instead we get someone that isn't sure of continue fitting in because it's how things are, or to ignore convention and do what she feels right. She has the perfect boyfriend and a group of friends she's known forever and Grace, her non-Jessup-native best friend.

Made For You could feel like your typical and topical contemporary story about privileged teenagers but then we get a few twists, one is the murder mystery that starts with the attempted murder of Eva herself and two is the paranormal element introduced after Eva's accident and her seeing visions if someone touches her.

Those two twist are not the only things that make this feel less topical than usual, I must say that one of the topics I loved seeing twisted & broken were the absent parents that we usually see in YA. Eva's parents are always travelling and busy with their work, so Eva has always been very self reliant, but after her accident/attempted murder, her parents really are shocked into a change of attitude, and I loved how Eva's mum reacted to everything. I love how she decided that she needed to take charge and responsability and that being a mother was something she had been failing at. Not something common seeing an adult admiting fault AND taking steps to fix it, and even less in something as parenting.

We get 3 POVs in this book, Eva, Grace and Judge, the serial killer aka completely-off-his-rocker-guy. Being in the killer's head was utterly creepy and disturbing, but it was incredibly well done. I was always wondering about who Judge would be from Eva's group of friends and although I suspected right, waiting for Eva to connect the dots wasn't as fustrating as it could have been.

I think the bit that worked less well for me were the visions, even if they were clearly key to actually apprehend Judge and to save Grace and Nate. But we really don't get much of an explanation or clue as to why visions are possible, or other clues about paranormal stuff, so it was a bit odd.

As for the romance... I was happy to see Eva and Nate working things out and talking and being upfront with each other and that Eva decided to stop acting the way she is expected to for social convention. And I loved that she was strong and sent her bf packing when she found out about the cheating and that she was adult enough to avoid bitterness and still help him when he desperately needed it.

I really enjoyed the writing and the pacing even if not everything clicked 100% for me, and I was particularly happy to see the way nurses were depiced in this one, so thank you for that Melissa Marr! Definitely I'm gonna check more books written by her. Well deserved 3.5 stars for this one.

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Saturday Pages: Empire At Night by Kelley Armstrong!!

Hi there guys!

Happy Saturday! Having the weekend off is quite amazing and a nice change, so I'm going to the cinema with a friend and spending some time reading and relaxing, and continue plotting apartment decoration!

I'm starting this week's Saturday Pages with the review of the sequel of the very first Alyssa Recommends book!! I'm gonna be counting this one as part of my 105 Challenge since this is a 2015 release and that's one of my categories in the challenge!

Empire of Night (Age of Legends #2)Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Last year I read Sea of Shadows as my first ever Alyssa Recommends book and it was a fantastic start. I loved the world building, the magic, the main characters and the way the plot was progressing as an overall series ARC and the plot driving the book. So I was extremely intrigued and awaiting eagerly the sequel.

It was a happy coincidence that the edition I happened to preorder in my Kindle not the US one and ended up downloading on April 1st instead of having to wait till April 7th!

Despite having read the first book a year ago and not having the clearest memory of everything that happened, I never felt lost or confused, and we quickly get up to date with what's going on now after the events of book 1. Ashyn and Moria are at the Emperor's palace as guests, and both are uneasy because they feel they ought to be doing something more after what they witness and being Keeper and Seeker.

Empire of Night is a fantastic sequel. We get character growth for both Moira and Ashyn, we learn more about Ronan and Tyrus and even Gavriel and the Emperor. When we're not having quiet moments of character development and dealing with court politics and intrigues, we finally start moving into the action to the moderate happines of Moira, that was chaffing at the inaction.

There's so much plotting and crafting in this book and despite having the sisters together for a good portion of it, since they're dealing in their different ways with the aftermath of what happened in book 1 and their grief and guilt about it, they are emotionally stranged somewhat. Then once they start being on the move again, they find themselves working together and dealing with the dangers as a team once again.

The mission they find themselves in ends up quite disastrously and the sisters end up once again separated, Moria kidnapped, Tyrus with Ashyn and Ronan and a big mess underway for them all. Treachery, political intrigues (again) and lies all over the place makes any rescue plans or direct action complicated, so there's a lot of hiding and spying and escaping.

There was very subtle romance in the first book and in this one things are less subtle but still didn't take over the book either. The romance not only was adorable even with some heartbreak in there but also was a fantastic way to get to know and develop our characters even more. Moria and Tyrus make a fantastic team as friends and as a couple and I love how their relationship developed.

I love the nuances of the culture and world building, how there's more to everything that we think at first, and then once the book it's almost over... we encounter not one but TWO cliffhangers, of very different sort with each one of the sisters' POV! Both equally intriguing and maddening and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

Very much deserved 4 to 4.5 stars to this one, when does the next book comes out?!?!

View all my reviews

Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday Reads: ARC Review of Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill!!!

Hello there guys!!

Happy Friday!! It is a Friday after night shift from me, so although it's a pretty awesome day since I have it off, it is also a bit inconvenient since I really need my nap in the morning after work. Do forgive any typos that might happen right now!

For this week's first Friday Reads entry I have an ARC that I was approved on NG by Quercus books and that is an amazing book but also extremely tough to read! As an ARC it shall count towards my 105 Challenge in the books for review category and also as part of the Dystopian Reading Challenge 2015!!

Only Ever YoursOnly Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brilliant, relevant and enraging all at once. Is this an amazing book? YES! Will it be easy to read and give you fuzzy feels? HELL NO! But I think it's something every woman of every age NEEDS to read!

This was a particularly hard book for me to read, and I'm pretty sure it'll be for any woman out there, because it holds a mirror to the ugliest parts of ourselves: our envies, our self-hate and self-doubt, how we've all sometimes agreed to some injustice to stay on someone's good side, how we lose control of ourselves and our bodies... and all that hate and those messages about the perfect body, the Vomitorium, the kcal blockers... it reminded me of some less than stellar moments of my teenage self and made me want to go eat some chocolate because I could.

A dystopian story set in a future where women are designed and created, not born, raised together in Schools where they're prepared for their future as companions, concubines or chastities, the only roles allowed to women now. And as the best dystopians, it is so scary because it could be true. Women, specially young girls, have no real rights, no right to think for themselves or to ask questions, they only exist to give birth to sons, please men or care for the other eves. What are the eves? They're the women, and they are as unimportant as to have their names without a capital letter.

So many of the things that happen in the book are already happened, albeit in a smaller scale. Women are still treated as property in many countries, and even in the first world ones, the pressure to look perfect, to be perfect, to be thin, to look perfectly composed, to not be overly emotional and the fact that women still turn against each other for petty reasons instead of focusing on fighting for what's important really, like true equality.

We follow the story from freida's POV, one of the eves in her final year at the School, hoping to be chosen as a companion. I had the biggest swings with freida that I've ever had with a character, I kept on going from hating her to pitying her to understanding and empathy to loathing and wanting to shake her, time and again! She wants attention and she puts up with so MUCH to get it, risking everything for approval.

As I said, this is a MUST READ BOOK and if you know or find any girls out there that think feminism is not their issue or relatable, give them this book and make them think about that it says!

Despite how I needed a break now and read from reading the book, this is a brilliant book and deserved to ger more out there!

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Anniversary Nerd Bast for Summer On The Short Bus by Bethany Crandell!!

Hey guys! Happy Thursday!

Welcome to the Anniversary Nerd Blast for Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell hosted and organized by Jean Book Nerd!!

Summer On The Short Bus by Bethany Crandell
Publisher: Running Press,U.S.
Format: Paperback | 256 pages
Publication date: 17 April 2014
Publication City/Country: Philadelphia
ISBN 10: 0762449519
ISBN 13: 9780762449514

 Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell.

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

Summer on the Short Bus is a very non-P.C., contemporary YA with a lot of attitude, tons of laughs, and a little life lesson along the way.

You can purchase Summer on the Short Bus at the following Retailers:

 Bethany Crandell lives in San Diego with her husband, two daughters (one of whom is differently-abled), and a chocolate lab with no regard for personal space. She watches too much TV, savors avocados, and is still waiting for Jake Ryan to show up at her door. She writes YA because the feelings that come with life’s “first” times are too good not relive again and again.



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