Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace

The Truth About You and Me

NOTE: I received my copy of this book through Netgalley.

The Truth surprised me. I had no idea that I'd like the letter style of writing but I really did. It was new and original and quite refreshing.

I liked that it wasn't a long book, so I could breeze through it. But the story baffled me. I honestly don't understand how things could progress and turn out the way they did.

For one, Bennett, being a teacher and all, should've take notice how young Maddy actually looked like. And, if he was all that interested in her, wouldn't he, you know, make a little research on who she was - since she was his student? You know what I mean? After all, he seemed to be determined to be legal, so for his own sake, he should've checked her records for himself. After all, people are often dishonest if they want to catch a prize no matter the cost. Because of Bennett's own carelessness he lost a lot, learning his lesson the hard way.

I didn't like how Maddy wanted to take all the responsibility on her shoulders, even though she did put Bennett in that awful situation. Yes, he was the victim, true, but he could've saved himself a whole lot of trouble, had he just used some common sense. Still, Maddy did play him pretty bad.

As much as I liked the story, I can't say the same for Maddy. She was supposed to be this super smart girl, going to college at 16 and all, but she lacked any sense of right and wrong. She was selfish and a liar. She told Bennett she loved him, yet, if you really love somebody you'd do anything to NOT hurt them. She did the exact opposite. She not only hurt him emotionally, she almost completely ruined his reputation and carrier!

I just wonder where her parents were in all this. They seemed to be involved to the point of trusting her so much that they didn't really ask the right questions. Ever. They never really paid attention to her lies, her change in clothes/character/schedule. She was getting home later and later, but who actually cared?

Then of course, everyone rushed to blame Bennett. Poor guys, seriously. I know how most novels feature an ultimate bad boy (a.k.a. a player), but Bennett was so far from that sort of image it's not even funny.

I'm not exactly sure whether to recommend this book. It's not that it was good or bad exactly. It was rather average. But if I'd known what would happen in the end, I don't think I would've read it at all.

My rating is: 3/5

Book Review: A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook

A Really Awesome Mess

NOTE: I received the eARC through Netgalley.

I don't remember another book like this one. I hated and loved it at the same time. For one, it was full of messed up kids. Or rather, kids with messed up lives. Some had been abused, others had been abusers. Regardless, lots of problems are addressed, relevant to adolescents and I'm pretty sure this story could be quite a guide on what NOT to do in life.

A little side note here: There is a whole lot of offensive language here (both cussing and sexually oriented). Most of the time that felt quite offensive to me as a reader, but I guess I get it. Most of those kids have been abandoned or abused by parents or relatives. They'd so much alienated themselves from the world that they had no idea how to communicate with it, the right way.

Neither one of those kids, when first accepted to Heartland (or Assland as they preferred to call it) was aware of their individual destructive behaviors. Emmy for example, was anorexic but no one could really convince her of it. Justin was on a destructive path to suicide. Diane was verbally and physically abusive. One of the guys was a liar of amazing proportions, and another one was a computer game addict (so much so that he actually bought himself diapers so he won't have to get up from the computer to use the bathroom!). And the last girl of the group chose not to talk to anyone at all because her pet pig was killed after a competition.

Each kid was completely miserable on their own, suffering internally and sick beyond repair. But once they were put together as a group, they made a team that could conquer any obstacle. I was impressed by their improvement, by the development of strong bonds that lasted way after the institution.

I'm glad that each one of those kids, because of their special group bonding, was able to grow, to see their own problems and limitations and to decide to not be an isolated individual anymore, but a part of a better, functional group.

My rating is 4/5.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: Second Hearts by G.J. Walker-Smith

Second Hearts

Needless to say, I'm completely obsessed with this series. Saving Wishes had my emotions flaring, so there was absolutely no way I'd pass up on reading Second Hearts right away. It was an amazing continuation to Charli and Adam's story. Here we meet Adam's world - his family and friends, and are guided to take a look at his world through Charli's La-La-Land lens.

First we meet Adam's brother, Ryan, who acts like a player and I guess he kind of is one, seeing that he's with a different girl every week. But he's got a super kind heart underneath all the cold exterior. He's very hardworking and knows how to invest his time and money well. Also, he's not blind to other people's issues and affairs and does whatever he can to help out. Secretly, of course. But, to see the truth that's pointed right at his face... umm, no. He's kind of blind to that.

Then there's Adam's father, Jan Luc, who seems to be a remarkable man even though we don't see all that much of him. He is supportive though, and quite successful in his lawyer carrier. And let's not forget the incredible family he's got. A remarkable man indeed.

But Adam's mother, Fiona Decarie, is a harpy - a real monster to be revered. She was all over Charli, blasting her with hatred every chance she got. Then she tried the false love thing until everything exploded right into her face. Good thing Charli is so good-natured and offered her the olive branch. Otherwise that family would've been toast. Anyway, I was so thrilled to get to know the real 'queen' underneath all the layers of society and such. She was truly an amazing woman.

Another character that I really got to love was Charli's friend, (shame on me I don't remember her name) who also had a thing with Ryan some time back in the day. She gave Charli the best kind of advices when needed and was the one to help her come down to earth when La La Land seemed to take over.

And now onto the two lovebirds:

Charli, this amazing free-spirited girl, who can only imagine her life traveling and taking pictures of the wild wide world, decides to take a break and go find her boy Adam. In New York. I need to say here that she's just as magnificent as in Saving Wishes, book one of the series. Her brain is totally operation on La La Land frequency, complete with the unique fairy stories and all. I loved those fairy stories and to be quite honest, I got addicted to them.

Anyway, so in this installment, as a result of living outside of home for a year, we see that Charli has grown strong, independent and decisive. She knows exactly where her heart lies - which is in two very different places. That duplicity was the reason her heart got split (or rather broken) up so tragically. I do hope that there will be a way to mend it.

And Adam... oh, Adam! My fictional boy-crush made me feel so excruciatingly miserable!!! *sniff, sniff* He was both incredible and incredibly selfish. I couldn't believe that he'd do what he did to Charli, even though I figured it out way before she did. I cried for both of them by the end of the last chapter. My hart was raw with all the emotions raging inside me - mainly disappointment, passion, love, and frustration. And the impossibility of the whole situation devastated me. I was like a balloon that blew up into million pieces when I was finished reading.

Obviously, I can't wait for book three to come out. This is turning out to be the #1 contemporary series for 2013 as far as I'm concerned.

My rating is 5/5

Book Review: Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Some Quiet Place

Oh wow! I can't believe I actually loved this book! I read some negative reviews, and decided not to expect anything spectacular of it. Boy, how wrong I'd been!!!

Some Quiet Place was a sophisticated read. It was full of drama, tragedy, romance and whatever else a nice teen book should have. The story telling is really captivating. The reader has no clue what's going on until the very end, and I liked that. It worked amazingly for the story. There are so many unanswered questions, so many hidden truths that it's impossible not to get sucked into the life of Elizabeth, the lead female.

Also, every single character - be it human, emotion or elemental has it's own specific purpose; it's own role in the world. It's own depth and individuality. Motives for acting and being. I really liked that.

So, this is the story of a girl named Elizabeth. Only, she isn't like any other normal teenager. She's different in that she can't feel a single emotion. No fear, no love, no friendship. Nothing at all. Not that she doesn't want to, but there's a barrier inside of her that makes it impossible to feel. And to deepen it all up, the lack of emotion in Elizabeth brought out so much more emotion around her! It was incredible! Where she was lacking, everyone else seemed to be supplying the emotions for her - be it rage, love, disappointment, fear or whatever.

It's important to note here that Elizabeth knows who she's supposed to be, until she realizes it's all a big scam. Who is she? What is she? Her family - is it her own?

Things get even more complicated as her nightmares intensify. The guy who follows her everywhere (in dreams and in life alike) - who is he? What does he want?

It was very well written and explained, how completely empty of all things emotion-related Elizabeth is. Let's take those nightmares for example. They were scary as hell - burning, destructive pain oozing from each and every one of them. But all she feels is a sense of numbness. She knows she should feel fear or despair, and even pain, but she doesn't.

Until she starts paying attention to a certain boy, and a certain Emotion's words. Then slowly but decisively, hell breaks loose and nothing's left as it used to be.

Who is Elizabeth now? And who does her heart belong to?

I must say that Elizabeth was a deep and thoroughly depicted character. I loved everything about her. Even when she couldn't feel. But my favorite character was Fear. With his icy blue, piercing eyes, and his white-to-silver hair, he was perfect. He was the only persistent character, who cared enough to solve the mystery that was Elizabeth. He resembled his name in appearance, and his touch did entice fear in whomever he came to place his hand on. But there was extreme beauty (inner and outer) to his coldness too. He was loving, compassionate, gentle. He was also selfless and ready to sacrifice everything he had for the sake of his true love.

In conclusion, I want to say that Some Quiet Place was amazingly refreshing, intriguing and touching. It introduces a lot of problems that we as humans should pay better attention to.

My rating is 5/5

Friday, September 13, 2013

Book Review: Saving Wishes by G.J. Walker-Smith

Saving Wishes

NOTE: I received the eARC through Netgalley. Many thanks!

Awesome beginning, awesome middle, and even awesome ending cliffhanger! It left me gasping for air and had me laughing through the whole story.

Saving Wishes was a light read with deep and complicated characters. It was full of secrets, hopes, undying love and the most beautiful promises. It sounds kind of like a love at first sight story, but it's not exactly so. It's more like attraction at first sight, which I think is completely normal. After all, how could you fall in love with a person you don't feel attracted to, right?

The characters, their beautifully crafted identities and realistic personalities were incredible. I'm not talking only about Charli and Adam, who by the way were the perfect impossible star-crossed lovers. I'm talking about Alex, Gabrielle, Nicole, the Tates... Practically everybody. Some were protagonists, others weren't and still others switched camp as the story developed. All that made them even more realistic, because in real life people change, turn bad(or good) and continue living with new hopes and dreams.

The romance was incredible as well. I fell in love with Chardam (Charli-Adam) and I think that together they will always hold a special place in my heart. Their relationship was unique in the way that they had nothing in common but the attraction (and later love) that they had for each other. And still, it was enough.

Charli was the restless spirit in the couple. The traveler, the fairy-tale lover who would never grow out of the world of La La Land. She was always ready to tell Adam those absolutely crazy, yet beautiful and somehow relevant stories about fairies from all over the world. I loved those stories. Even the tragic ones.

Adam on the other hand, had his future all planned out. He's a law student with great ambitions and aspirations. he'd never planned on meeting and/or falling in love with Charli though. So, ever since that faithful moment when they locked eyes in the parking lot of Alex's cafe, Adam's world sort of made a one-eighty. I loved watching him get out of his perfectly manicured shell, out of his comfort zone and slowly but surely stealing Charli's heart.

He stole mine too. He'll steal yours also, if you'd only let him.

My rating is 5/5

Cover Reveal: Open Gates by D.T.Dyllin

Title: Open Gates
Author: D.T. Dyllin
Series: The P.J. Stone Gates Trilogy #3
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Expected publication: November 12, 2013 by Dragonfairy Press 

Bryn is gone. Jenna isn’t…herself, and the world has been taken over by the alien Riders. The only constant in P.J.’s life is Khol. But even he might not be able to help her pick up the shattered pieces of her life.

P.J. finally gets the answers to all of her questions, but will she be able to handle the truth? And will she be strong enough to face her own destiny when the time comes?

About the Author

Cynical-Optimist. Chocolate-holic. Sarcasm Addict. Paranormal Believer. Self-Imposed Insomniac. Sci-Fi Geek. Animal Lover. Writer…are just a few words to describe D.T. Dyllin. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two very spoiled GSDs.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Review: Shallow Pond by Alissa Grosso

Shallow Pond

NOTE: I received the eARC through Netgalley.

Let me first say that I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this one. The summary made it sound like an interesting story. However, it turned out to be flat and one of those reads I just want to be through with, you know?

I think this would've made a much better futuristic novel if there were more details provided on how those girls ended up being the same. Not just claiming they were clones and that's the end of it. Seriously, the entire book (except the last few chapters) was full with incredibly silly speculations that made me want to just close it and never open it again.

Like I said, providing the necessary details can go a long way. As it were, we were just presented with a mystery that turned into a secret that simply came out in the open. And we were just left to wonder "what on earth?" There wasn't even a good romance going on to compensate for the dullness of the storyline. So, most of the time I was left wondering why I was reading this book in the first place.

I guess the topics the author addresses are relevant, but the way they're presented is flat and boring. There's talk of abuse, sick obsession, misinterpretation of facts, yada yada. But I couldn't care less. Which makes the book not good enough.

My rating is 2/5

Book Review: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend

I received the eARC through Netgalley.

I really like this series. It's cute, it's brave. But for some reason I felt like something was missing. Perhaps the end came kind of soon or something.

Anyway, I'd like to point out that there's considerable growth in Rose since book one and I was seriously impressed. She'd become a girl who could count on herself to know what's right and what's not. And she knows how to figure out exactly what she wants.

The writing itself is also improved. the author has made serious progress in style and ways of expression. I really enjoyed the story, the pacing, the characters. Everything, basically.

So, Rose Zarelli. The girl with the confessions returns for another round of high-school slash family slash romantic drama. At school the bullies are back, now even more fierce and intent on causing serious damage. At home things aren't any better. Rose's brother comes home carrying secrets of his own and her mom is pushing her to see a family shrink.

And if none of that's enough, Jamie Forta is back in her life acting hot and cold again. Apparently, the life of a teenage girl could be extremely confusing, especially when extraordinary circumstances come into play. Like a passionate, desperate kiss. Or a jealous ex-girlfriend. Or said ex-girlfriend's gay brother. Or someone's abusive father.

Well, all of that is more than enough to make any girl shatter/break/close off. But not Rose Zarelli. Because even though she's once again been blamed for making the right choice, this time she knows that she's actually done the right thing. And so, now she could move on with her own life. Figure out her own dreams. Get to know her own self.

I'm extremely proud of Rose. She didn't sound or act like a silly little girl anymore. She fully (or almost) realized that her happiness doesn't lie in someone else, but in her own hands.

Jamie Forta could only feel sorry he didn't see how special Rose truly was. I would be happy to give Jamie some choice words of my own, but you know what? This time he's not really worth it. Perhaps book three would redeem him somehow, present him in a different light or whatever, and I'd get to like him once again. For now though, he deserves nothing.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Book Review: Angel of Mercy by Shannon Dermott

Angel of Mercy

NOTE: I received my eARC from the author. Thanks Shannon!

Where to begin, where to begin...? I'm a bit twitchy writing this review. I really wanted to give it 5 stars, but it's got some problems with typos and the occasional Mercy-ness that made me go for a 4 star rating.


But the story development was really brilliant. There were so many twists and turns, it was impossible to figure out what to expect round the corner. I really, really enjoyed it.

So, as the story develops in each consecutive volume, it gets more and more complicated. Secrets are revealed one at a time (which is irritating the patience out of me!), feelings develop, relationships form and break. It gets more complex to follow all the action and take a side.

What I didn't quite like was Mercy, her poor denial, her silly determination to prove everyone wrong when it was completely obvious that she was the one who didn't know what was going on. For starters, I never felt that she belongs with Luke. It feels forced somehow, unnatural. As if she's trying her hardest (and she is) to ignore her true feelings. Which, of course, are inclining her towards Flynn. Her behavior is enough proof. I mean, she can barely find it in her to breathe when Flynn's in the room, and she constantly feels pulled toward him. She cares for him, and I know she's in love with him. Like he is with her. But instead of seeing the truth and beauty that could be Mercy-Flynn, she's stubbornly pushing herself in Luke's arms. It annoys me how she takes her relationship with Luke as the real deal when she constantly has to remind herself not to think of Flynn. Girl! Get a grip over yourself and go follow the right course.

I don't really remember a time I was head over heals for Luke. I mean, he's supposed to be a half-angel, for goodness sake! Why on earth doesn't he ever act the part? At least a little? He's as much the demon/sinner as Flynn is, even before Mercy came in the picture. Which is why I don't even understand how Mercy could possibly be the reason he became even a bigger sinner. It's just that who Luke's supposed to be doesn't match who is really is and I don't like that.

Sebastian was greatly missed in this installment. I love his dark humor and his complicated mannerisms. He makes all the craziness around Mercy a little less cheezy and ridiculous. Of course, he's got his own agenda which we know nothing about. it makes him even more interesting. I just wish we saw more of him than the occasional popping in to save Mercy's rear.

Now onto Flynn. The first chapter had me almost gasping for breath. The way it was written, I thought my hero had died, or was about to. It had me going through the previous installment so I could figure out what was going on! Thankfully he was alive. Not well, but alive nontheless. I hoped that would make Mercy realize her real feelings for him, but no. She's just as clueless of her own heart as usual. Sometimes she acts so dumb that I can't find it in me to feel any mercy toward her. Pun intended.

Anyway, by the end of the novel you would have laughed, cried and pulled at your hair. I most certainly did all those things and more.

My rating is 4/5

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review: Not Your Average Joe by Nell Carson

Not Your Average Joe

NOTE: I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Clean, fast-paced and light is how I can sum up this NA novel. Truth be told, I love clean NA novels. The other kind is jut too intimate and personal and not my type of read. Most of the time.

Anyway, the story was quite simple. Girl met boy and fell in love. He knocked her up and ditched her. She told him nothing about the baby. They met again after years but he didn't even recognize her.

And that's how the story begins.

Jennifer had a hard time dealing with her new status of a teenage mom with nowhere to go to and no one to get help from. But she made it through. Now she has a job that supports her and her son and she's about to make it through college. Now that's a good definition of a hardworking, independent woman, who knows what she's capable of. it's sad though that there is even a need to be like that.I mean, the best case scenario is almost always a family where there is a mom and a dad. But Jennifer is doing her best to fill up for both parental roles.

Enter Jason and Jennifer's world goes 180 degrees in a different direction. He didn't recognize little Jenny, the sweet girl he'd so easily broken the heart of. But she recognized him right away. Of course, Jennifer didn't welcome him with open arms, nor did she tell him who she was. I can't blame her. He was an unreliable playboy whose list of female conquests was quite long.

Then a bunch of drama happens and we finally get a glimpse of Jason's real personality. The truth is that Jason is unsure of himself. He's been told some things about his male predecessors that horrify him. Because of them he believes that he could only ever hurt the woman he ends up falling in love with. Which is why he doesn't allow himself to get so attached that he'd end up loving anyone.

To be honest, out of all the characters (besides Jennifer), I liked Jason's sister the most. She was brilliant in scheming and figuring out how to solve the whole mess of problems and drama that had been so easily manufactured.

Summary: This was a truly amazing book about the strength of a mother's character. I loved it, every bit of it. And the contents were clean, no in-depth intimate scenes or offensive language. Exactly my kind of read!

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Author Interview: G.J. Walker-Smith

Hello Everyone!

I'm really excited to introduce to you author G.J. Walker Smith.  Hers is The Wishes Series, and I can tell you - those books are amazing! She is a really talented writer, who makes intricate stories, complicated plots and great characters.

So, for the indulgence of us all, I invited her to answer several questions. She, of course, was amazing answering them all! Read on and learn more about her and her awesome books!

Me: How did you come up with Charli's strange-at-times personality? She's so quirky and unpredictable, I could never follow her thinking process. It was magnificent!

Gemma: She’s a little bit out there, that’s for sure! I didn’t set out to create such a quirky girl. Her personality seemed to just take over. Part of her charm is her spontaneity. I love that she’s so unpredictable.

Me: Those fairy stories Charli always told Adam were absolutely fabulous. Did you make them up? Did you read about them somewhere?

Gemma: Thank you! I did research a little bit, but most were dreamt up by the fairy living in my brain. There are no rules in magic. Anything goes!

Me: Adam and Charli don't have anything in common besides their love. Do you think that true love can conquer anything? Even when it all looks hopeless?

Gemma: I like to think so. Charli sums it up perfectly in Storm Shells (book 3) when she says “True love is still true, even if you can’t live it the way you want to.”
I think it could work out for them if they can just manage to find some common ground.

Me: In our world, much like in fiction, nothing's perfect. Charli and Adam are far from it too. However, Charli seems to be the more giving one, the braver one. Why is that?

Gemma: Poor Adam! He struggles for the simple fact that he isn’t as brave or giving as she is. If Charli was a weaker character, she might have stuck it out in New York. Leaving him was the ultimate show of strength. I think the ball is back in Adam’s court now. He behaved badly in Second Hearts, and many readers were totally frustrated by that. I didn’t want to create a flawless prince charming. Adam is just as determined to live out his dreams as Charli is. He just went about it the wrong way. Book 3 is a huge turning point for him, make or break. If he has any hope of winning her back, the effort has to come from him.

Me: Do you think Adam ever regretted his whim decision to visit Gabriel in the Cove?

Gemma: No. I don’t think he regrets anything. Charli changed him for the better. Adam just hasn’t realized it yet.

Me: In book one, Alex was always Charli's safety net when she fell of her La La Land tree. Why did he distance himself so much in book 2?

Gemma: I think Alex was determined to let her go her own way. I’m sure it was rough on him. He was really disappointed to find out they got married. I think distancing himself was probably a coping mechanism. Alex plays a huge role in book 3.

Me: If you could sum up the personalities of the major characters in one word, what word would you use for each of them?

Gemma: Just one? I need more than one!

Adam – The dumbest smart boy I know.
Charli – Determined to stay true to herself.
Alex – Good to the core.
Ryan – Not as badass as he thinks he is. 

Well, Gemma you were amazing! Thank you so much for your time, and honoring me and my audience!

You can find Gemma, a.k.a G.J. Walker-Smith here:
Good Reads

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review: Piece of My Heart by Lynn Madelenna Menna

Piece of My Heart

NOTE: I received the eARC through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Many thanks.

I would like to begin this review by saying that what I got from this book was definitely NOT what I had expected. I expected a huge amount of drama and physical violation over Marisol (a.k.a. Marie), but I'm glad that I was mistaken.

The writing style was flawless. I loved the narrative, as it provided just the right amount of world building. I loved the dialogues because they sounded realistic and true. I loved the concept and the story line.

Most of all though I loved Marie. She was this amazing girl - brave, creative and smart - she won me over from the first time she opened her mouth. She wasn't selfish, although her friends and on-again off-again boyfriend, Julian, always called her that. No. She was just a hard working girl with big dreams.

Marie was offered the easy way out (or in this case, 'in'), and we all know what it entails for a young girl who wants to be a pop star. There are too many movies about that (8th mile comes to mind). But she despised the idea. Marie wanted her success to be her very own, and that made me like her even more. I was also impressed by the way she stuck for herself and fought with everyone who wanted her to change her direction. No boyfriend, no friend could make her waver from her dreams.

And last, but definitely not least, Marie was not stupid. She knew exactly how far she was willing to go in every situation. She knew where her heart and mind lie.

Of course, she made some questionable choices, but she did figure out how to maneuver herself from under the consequences and shine bright again.

Marie's boyfriend, Julian, annoyed me most of the time. He was so undecided about what he wanted, I really felt like slapping some sense into him. And at one point of time he struck me as the kind of guy who'd give an ultimatum to a girl, just so she'd sleep with him. I mean, how low could you go? Then he seemed to be playing ping-pong with Marie and this other girl, leading both on. Grrr! Just figure out who you love and stick with them already! Or don't bother either one of them, you jackass!

With one exception, Marie's friends were all hypocrites. He all played good friends in front of her face, but behind her back.... it was really ugly. There was just one girl, and shame on me for not remembering her name, who really stuck by Marie and helped her out in any way she could. I admire that kind of a friend. The true kind.

So in conclusion I can only say that Piece of My Heart is a really great read. I recommend it to anyone who loves a strong lead female who knows what she wants.

My rating is: 5/5

Book Review: Gemini Rising by Eleanor Wood

Gemini Rising

NOTE: I received the eARC from MIRA INK in exchange for my honest review.

First, let me say that this is not my usual type of read. What I mean is that I like me some good mystery, especially when the spiritual is involved. But by spiritual I usually mean the Christian side of it. Not the occult. Even though I've read a bunch of witchy books too. I'm just saying that the Ouija boards and tarot cards aren't really my cup of tea.

However, the idea caught my attention, as well as the twin thing that's going on. Much like the author herself, I love mysteries involving twins, so you know, I just thought I'd give it a try.

Let's begin by saying that the writing style is neat and captivating. It flows well, and is almost grammar free. The narrative (i.e. descriptions) are very nicely balanced and there is a lot more showing than telling. One thing that I think the editors didn't notice (although my copy was a proof so it might've been fixed afterwards) was the constant switch from present to past tense inside the narration itself. At first I thought that there was a special effect meant to be accomplished with this switch. But it became obvious that this wasn't the case and it just didn't sound right.

Then there were the characters, who were really awesome in a fictional kind of way. To be honest, I can't imagine them sounding realistic at all, in a real world situation.

Sorana was supposed to be a down-to-earth, sensible girl, but she turned out to be anything but that just because of the sisters. I was quite a bit disappointed in her because of her inability to stand up for herself. True, in the end she did understand how wrong she'd been the entire time, but still. I really couldn't understand how it could be obvious to everyone else that something was wrong with the twins, except Sorana. Of course. She continued calling Elyse 'her friend' even when it was crystal clear that this was not the case at all.

Nathalie was the most sensible one of them all, it seemed. Until she completely freaked out and went wacko.

The twins Elyse and Melanie were mysterious alright, but in a more creepy way than I'd thought. In the end, my opinion of them came out to be actually true, in a really freaky way. So, I guess it's safe to say that I didn't like them at all.

A bunch of teen problems were addressed here, although I don't think it was done on purpose. Smoking weed, drinking and sleeping around seemed to be taken for the norm, which actually disgusted me. More so, every scene involved some form of the above and none of the characters reacted to it in any particular way. I didn't like that at all. It was as if it was normal for girls to do any and all of those things on a daily basis. Well, I think that it's not normal, so I don't really understand the point of it.

With all that said, Gemini Rising could be interesting to you, if you don't mind any of those things I mentioned.

My rating is: 3/5

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #55

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

My pick this week is:

Title: Storm Shells
Series: The Wishes Series, Book 3
Author: G.J. Walker-Smith
Release date: November 25th, 2013


The only way to move forward was to go back to the very beginning….
After three miserable weeks without Charli, Adam makes the decision to follow her, desperately hoping to find a way of following through on his promise of a happy ending.
He finds her back in Pipers Cove, healing her broken heart by spending time with the one person who never lets her down.
Both know nothing has changed. They're desperately in love, hopelessly stuck in limbo, and unable to find common ground.
When fate offers them a chance at a different kind of ending, it’s a one-shot deal. Running with it means changing their plans – something neither of them has ever been willing to do before, even for each other.
Just as one begins to find their way, the other completely loses direction – and neither of them realise that time is running out.

 Why I want to read it:

Are you kidding me? I'm addicted to this series! It's the best contemporary series I've read this year! I love Charlotte and Adam so much, I want to treasure them forever!

So how about you? What amazing book are you waiting on this week?  

Book Review: Spark by Brigid Kemmerer


Just how good can this series get? Seriously.

I must say that after reading all three books (so far) in this series, Spark remains to be my favorite. I love Gabriel and his hot attitude way too much. I love his 'don't mess with me' glare and I don't think any of the other brothers could ever take his place. He is simply unique.

Gabriel runs hot. Always. Not only because his element is fire, but also because he's always up to something dangerous and reckless. No one can copy him or be quite like him. Not even his twin, Nick.

And to top it all, Gabriel has got a really sweet heart. He helps the needy and protects whose who could and do get harmed. He isn't afraid to get in a fight if that will protect people he cares for.

When Layne enters the picture, Gabriel's blood runs even hotter than usual. She isn't the super hot mess Gabriel is used to, but she is sweet and attractive. Also, without the glasses and a little make-up and care... well she could be hotness personified. Top this with genius brains and you may just get close to imagining her sort of correctly.

Unfortunately, pretty, smart girls never have much confidence. Especially when there are a bunch of family problems involved. You can't believe how happy I was that Layne caught Gabriel's attention. Not because he's all the way up on that pedestal, but because she could and did make him more approachable, kinder, understanding and also gave him a reason to work hard. The slacker that he was needed a serious push.

Then there was the mysterious arson, who burned several houses in town. Why would everyone (including Gabriel's brothers) blame him for the fires is completely beyond me though. I mean, he does act like a hard-core jackass most of the time, but seriously? At least Nick should've known it could never be Gabriel.

Spark was so full of passion, devastation, happiness, anger and even fear that I found myself laughing hard in one place, then on the verge of tears in another. It was a brilliant roller-coaster of emotions that I'm definitely going to revisit.

My rating: 5/5

Book Review: Storm by Brigid Kemmerer


Well, let me tell you that after I read Storm, I just went on straight ahead and read Spark and Spirit as well. Because they were that good! So, I'm writing this review kind of in a retrospect, analyzing all three books and mainly focusing on Storm.

One thing I noticed, and to tell you the truth, it's quite amazing, really, is how Kemmerer has been able to capture and match the tone of each novel to the personality of the lead male character. For example, Storm features Chris Merrick, who has affinity to water. The voice of the book is calm and relaxing, like flowing water.

Spark features Gabriel, whose talent is to work with fire and well, the tone of that book is passionate, irrational and well.. fiery.

Then there's Hunter's voice in Spirit. And it's so emotional, going hot and cold all the time, it's utterly incredible!

And to think that the author could come up with individual writing styles for each boy's book... well that's pure talent.

Anyway. So, Storm.

it's beautiful. It's full of mystery (though the reader is privy to it all). it's the story of Becca, an average girl, living in an average tow, who finds herself at the wrong place in the right time. She saves Chris Merrick from nearly being killed and that's how the saga begins.

Unfortunately (or rather fortunately for us readers) it's definitely NOT where it ends. There are yet more secrets that are revealed gradually. There are relationships that get developed and others that get broken. New people come, new things happen. Who's who is incredibly difficult to tell.

And in the midst of it all, love springs to life where least expected. Brothers' ties are broken/mended/developed.

One thing is sure. The ride is exhilarating and will blow your mind.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cover reveal: Vision of Shadows by Vincent Morrone


Is Bristol Blackburn about to meet the love of her life...or her killer? 

After the death of her parents, Bristol Blackburn's life is thrown into chaos and she's forced to move to Spirit, a small town where shadows are stirring. As she learns to navigate her new school and figures out how to keep her psychic abilities secret from her family, Bristol comes face to face with the boy who makes a regular appearance in her dreams: the gorgeous, possibly deadly, Payne McKnight. Soon she’ll find out if Payne will be the love of her life, or the end of it — and she has no idea which possibility scares her more.

And that's not even the worst of it. Strange shadows are haunting her dreams, and they're up to something that could put Bristol and the lives of everyone she loves in jeopardy.

You can add Vision of Shadows to your to-read list on Goodreads:

Information about the book:

Title: Vision of Shadows

Series: Vision series

Author: Vincent Morrone

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

Lenght: 210 pages

Release Date: December 30, 2013

About the Author:

Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Vincent Morrone now resides in Upstate NY with his wife. (Although he can still speak fluent Brooklynese.) His twin daughters remain not only his biggest fans, but usually are the first to read all of his work. Their home is run and operated for the comfort and convenience of their dogs.

Vincent has been writing fiction, poetry and song lyrics for as long as he can remember, most of which involve magical misfits, paranormal prodigies and even on occasion superheroes and their sidekicks.

As they say in Brooklyn: Yo, you got something to say to Vincent?

Check out where you can learn about Vincent and leave him a comment. You can also connect with Vincent on Twitter and Facebook

You can find and contact Vincent Morrone here:

Vincent also participates in a group blog called YA Rush which consist of YA and NA Entranced authors. You can find YA Rush here:

Book Review: Darker Days by Jus Accardo

Darker Days

Thank you Entangled TEEN for this eARC. The review that follows is as honest as they get.

Wow! Just. Wow!

I must say that this is the first book I've read by Jus Accardo, and if I have to judge by it, boy - I've missed a lot of action! And drama. And romance. Darker Days was amazing! Reminded me of other similar books, but it had its own spunk and mentality. I simply fell for it!

Jessie was at the center of it all, of course. A bad-A teen heroine determined to hold her own no matter what the situation entailed. She never backed down when things started getting ugly, only proving how brave (and okay, sometimes stupid) she could be. She couldn't be bothered to listen to her mom's plea to stay safe, which got her in more trouble than not. But I liked it. Made the pages fly by and the action fly high.

When Lucas first came in the picture, it was obvious where he'd land. Right into Jessie's arms. But to be honest, I've got nothing against that. They fit together like a glove on a hand. Besides, they did go through a bunch of obstacles before that happened. And the drama was hyped up enormously. Not to mention the few arguments they had, and the differences in ... well... everything. They were just bound to work out in the weirdest way.

Crazy chick Meredith was one heck of an insane witch. She was more messed up than I originally thought, so I definitely give a high five to Jus's imagination. I hated her, for who she was, and loved the depth of her character development. It was refreshing to have a well written villain for a change.

And the ending? I never even saw that coming. I hoped for some kind of a sensible resolution, and I got it. It wasn't perfect by any means. But it definitely left me satisfied and hanging on for more.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review: The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross

The Girl with the Iron Touch

NOTE: I received the book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was really impressed by the cover design. Just like the other two before it, TGWTIT looks fabulous! Which is why I was seriously afraid to start reading it. I mean, the cover is fantastic, and the previous volumes were good (especially Clockwork Collar which I adored), I wasn't exactly sure how Iron Touch would hold up.

Then I started reading and was terrified! What - the book was narrated through Emily's POV? Arghh! I was not brave enough to turn the pages until the end of chapter one! But in the end I did, and whew! There it was - a switch of POV's and finally, my Finley was back. There they were, her thoughts on the page and I was finally able to exhale. A shared book I could definitely handle.

That had been close!

But wait, just when I thought I could relax and just read on, what happens? I'm thoroughly disappointed by the story itself. It feels weak and silly in places. It feels rushed and lacking precision. It's a bit upped in the intimacy/passion department and honestly, I did like those scenes between Finley and Griffin, but the rest of it felt under-done.

I did like Mila somewhat. She is this automaton who's got human organs and flesh and feelings even. Who she was and why she was important was even more bizarre, but I guess that author saw it was the right approach.

I can't say I agree. The whole plot lacked coherency and in my opinion could've been done in a more intriguing way.

Concerning Emily and Sam... well, I was never really intrigued by those two. Although, Sam does seem to be on the verge of some sort of evolution/development. That remains to be seen however.

My rating: 3/5

Book Review: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Traitor

NOTE: I received this book from Mira INK in exchange for an honest review.

First of all, I want to say that I love this cover even though Keirran looks very scary (and not at all 17). But it fits his moods and change of heart/soul pretty well.

To be honest, I was left with the impression that I like Ethan's story more than Meghan's. But when I think of the burning passion that Meghan and Ash shared.... and all the incredible quests they went on together.... goodness, Ethan's got nothing on it. So I guess I can say that The Iron Traitor, if looking at it separately, is quite an impressive piece of read. But if compared to the rest of the Iron Fey books... it's a bit weak.

For example, Ethan only ever questions things in his head, without really voicing his concerns, or thinking of the consequences of his actions. None of the information that is given to him is ever considered important enough to remember and act on. Like that prophecy that he was told of...why not learn more? Or the vision the Oracle shared with him... why not heed it's warning somehow? Being a smart guy and not figuring things out... well let me say that I was quite a bit disappointed in him.

Then there's Keirran. Goodness, did I want to smack him in the head with a brick! Why oh why did he have to try all things dark and forbidden to save Annwyl before trying the light and easy path first? Why is the obvious way always the disregarded one? A little bit of thought on his side would've saved at least a couple of lives. But no. Prince Dark and Brooding is determined to do things his own way, fight his own battles, even though the price for the outcome he wants is always way too high to pay.

Gosh and Kenzie? I have not seen more stubborn girl in my life. Even though she's struggling with leukemia, which by the way is taking it's toll on her, she decides that she had to follow Ethan into the Nevernever and bring even more trouble their way. Because truly, the only thing Ethan ever worries about is whether she's safe, which takes a lot of his concentration no matter what he's in the middle of doing. I understand her view - not wanting to go down without a fight; wanting to see things beyond the normal; yada yada. But honestly, if her safety and health is all that Ethan worries about, then he's bound to get deep in trouble. So, I guess, I think she doesn't care that much about him, and that's just sad.

Well, the characters aside, this book was packed with lots of action scenes that got me reeling. I was really taken deep into it, enjoying every bit of the countless adventures that Julie crafted for us readers.

My rating is: 4/5