Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay


Release Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Format: Hardcover (also available in eBook format)
Age Group: Older Young Adult (16+)
Pages:
448
ISBN:
0062023586
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy
love.
When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father.

By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this “vacation” has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up. But understanding love, especially when you’ve watched your parents’ affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? Can you even know it until you’ve lost it?

Love and Leftovers is a beautifully written story of one girl’s journey navigating family, friends, and love, and a compelling and sexy read that teens will gobble up whole.
Review:

Marcie is forced to leave everything she knows behind when her parents split. She has to say goodbye to her boyfriend, Linus, her friends (affectionately known as The Leftovers), and even her father and his new, younger boyfriend. She has a hard time fitting in at her new school in New Hampshire, and with her mom wallowing in depression as a result of the divorce, Marcie finds herself trying to find friends at school and be a normal teenager while playing the parent at home and watching over her mother. Her boyfriend keeps talking about how much he misses her, which causes Marcie to be more upset. She feels alone and left out, and all she wants is someone to pay her some attention and hold her. When a boy at her school starts showing some interest in her, she finds herself spending more and more time with him, and soon things start to escalate physically. But what about the love she has for Linus? Is what they have real, or will their love crumble like her parents’ did?

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Love and Leftovers. The story is told from Marcie’s point of view, and consists of her entries in her poetry journal. I do not particularly care for poetry, so I had some reservations when I started reading, but those reservations quickly vanished and I really got drawn into the story. This book is beautifully written and I really enjoyed reading it. Maybe I should try giving poetry another shot?

I really felt for Marcie. After trying to start afresh at a new school, she finds herself unable to fit in, and she feels isolated from everyone. She starts having doubts that many girls have. Is there something wrong with her? Is she socially awkward? She also starts thinking about her relationship with Linus. He never made a move on her, but doesn’t every 16-17 year boy want to get intimate with their girlfriend? Could Linus possibly be gay like her dad, which could explain why he never tried anything? Or is she just unattractive?  Her emotions came across really well through her journal, and I felt like I understood Marcie. All the pain, sadness and happiness she feels, and even the doubts she has about herself, really make her character easy to connect to. Through her journal, the reader gets to see how Marcie matures and learns from the mistakes she makes, and I really liked her growing process.

Overall, this was a really well written, cute story, and I really enjoyed reading it. I had a big smile on my face at certain times and there were other times where I laughed out loud. I would definitely check it out if you haven’t already! This was an excellent debut by Tregay and I am excited to see what she comes out with next! 

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Forgive My Fins (Fins, #1) by Tera Lynn Childs

Release Date: May 19, 2010
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Hardcover (also available in paperback and eBook formats)
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 293
ISBN: 0061914665
Buy the Book: Amazon

Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Review:

Forgive My Fins is a cute, quick read about a half-human, half-mermaid named Lily. She goes ashore to learn more about her mother and human family, and also to try and find love and ‘bond’ to that one person for life. She thinks she has found her optimal mate in a fellow water lover named Brody, a guy she has loved from afar for over 3 years. She is ready to tell him her feelings and make her move, but her annoying, biker boy of a neighbor, Quince, will not give her the chance. He is constantly ruining her attempts to ask Brody to the big dance of the year, not to mention that he cannot help but constantly make fun of her. When Quince unintentionally bonds himself to Lily, her life becomes a turbulent whirlpool as she tries to deal with a range of emotions and problems brought on by the bonding. Will she get her fairy tale ending? (I should have said fairy ‘tail’ ending, no? Hehe.)

As mentioned earlier, this book is a romantic, rather quick read. The plot is very simple and rather predictable, but the story is cute nonetheless, and I really enjoyed it. I actually find it refreshing to read a short, noncomplex book every now and then, and forgive My Fins was exactly what I needed!

I have to admit that I really liked Quince (and not just because he is a biker boy, which is incredibly alluring ><). It was pretty obvious that he is one of those guys who loves to annoy and make fun of the girl he likes in order to get their attention. (Oh, boys and their ways. Do they ever grow up? XD) I felt bad for him in the beginning, since his feelings for Lily were fairly blatant and she hardly looked his way. Even though he likes to irritate her, he really cares for Lily and just wants to see her happy, and I really like that about him. I also liked Lily’s character. She is strong and resilient, and I love how she is willing to stand up for herself and those she loves. There were times when I got frustrated with her brooding for Brody and blaming her developing feelings for Quince on the inadvertent ‘bond’ that formed between them. (In my opinion, Lily blamed the ‘bond’ for her feelings a little too much, and it got to be slightly annoying.) However, I understood her concerns about the bond and Quince. She always thought she hated Quince and vice versa since he seems to get lots of pleasure from making her angry, so when she starts feeling drawn towards him, she is left pretty confused. But to be honest, I think their slow developing love is the best aspect of their relationship. Lily has known Quince for years and she has never been attracted to him. But as she starts to learn more about him, she finds herself slowly falling for him. It is not instant attraction, which is very common in most YA books today, but rather an attraction that slowly develops over time as they discover more about one another. It makes their relationship and feelings for one another seem more real, and I really respect Childs for that.

The second book in the series is Fins are Forever. I am a little wary of reading it since the synopsis mentions a possible love triangle with Brody involved (I HATE LOVE TRAINGLES WITH A FIERY PASSION, especially when one of the people should already be out of the picture), but I will give it a try. It should be another quick read for a rainy day, and I looking forward to seeing how the relationship between Quince and Lily develops further! 🙂

Destined by Jessie Harrell


Release Date: November 17, 2011
Publisher: Mae Day Publishing
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook format)
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages:
260
ISBN:
0615500951
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.
As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she’s come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.
Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.
Review:
After Psyche turns down Aphrodite’s request to marry the callous Eros, Aphrodite’s son, Psyche is cursed with a grave fate. She is to become the wife of a monster, a thing even the gods themselves fear. However, Eros accidently strikes himself with one of his arrows, falling in love with Psyche, and he creates the curse. He steals her away to a grand palace he made for her, and he visits her under the cover of darkness night provides so she can never see his face. He then tries to win her love while Psyche tries to come to terms with her destiny of being tied to a monster.
I love Greek myths, especially the story of Cupid and Psyche, so I just had to get my hands on Destined!  As with most myths and epic stories, there are many different versions of the same story, making it extremely difficult to write a good retelling. However, Harrell does an excellent job! She combined some of the versions together to make Destined and I really enjoyed it. In some versions of the Cupid and Psyche story, Pysche hurls herself off a cliff after certain events go down (which is not a satisfying ending, if you ask me). Sorry for mentioning that there is an absence of cliff diving, but would you honestly want to read a book where the main character falls to her death? (If you do, I would suggest reading some of the other versions of this story. J)
I liked Psyche and Eros a lot. Psyche is beautiful both inside and out, and I really adored her. Even with being the most beautiful woman in the world, she seems like any other girl and is rather humble. She hates being extremely beautiful, for she wants people to like her for who she is on the inside, not what she looks like on the outside. She wants the guy she’s going to be with to like her for personality and mind, and I really respect that about her. Her life has become quite a mess after Aphrodite’s offer to marry her son, and she takes it in stride, remaining strong and mature through most of it. I just really appreciated how real her emotions and thoughts were and I really liked her character. Eros was also pretty awesome. Even as the god of love, he was not saved from heartbreak when a previous lover of his left him. He is on the defensive when it comes to love, but he slowly reveals a little more about himself to Psyche. The chemistry between them took a while to build up, but towards the end of the story, I really felt the love they had for one another. Besides Eros and Psyche, I really did not care for the other characters. I did not mind Aphrodite, but I could not stand Iris. Darrell probably wanted to make her seem all clingy and annoying (I hope), and she did a bang up job.
Destined is an amazing retelling of one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful (not to mention monogamous) relationships in Greek myths. Even if you are not a fan of Greek mythology, this book is one that you will still enjoy. It is more of a love story than a myth, and I enjoyed every page. Harrell has made me a fan! She has written a short story for an anthology called In His Eyes, scheduled to come out February 14, 2012 (Valentine’s Day!!). I will definitely be checking it out!

Tempest Rising (Tempest #1) by Tracy Deebs


Release Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0802722318
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):
Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water’s temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean’s future hangs in the balance.

Review:

Tempest Rising tells the story of Tempest, a girl with unparalleled skills on a surfboard and a strong love for the water. But Tempest knows that the pull the sea has on her is not normal, even for surfers. Her mother was a mermaid, and after her seventeenth birthday, she could become one, too. As her birthday approaches, she has a decision to make: to remain on land as a human with her family, boyfriend, and friends, or answer the call of the ocean and become a mermaid. Her mother left her father and brothers behind to return to the water, something that Tempest resents greatly. She does not want to be like her mother; she does not want to abandon her family. Add to the fact that a sea witch would like nothing more than for Tempest to either succumb to her power or die by her hand, Tempest has plenty of reasons for staying human. But when she meets Kona, a fellow sexy surfer, she notices that he is not all that normal himself. Kona shows her the beauty in being a creature of the sea, and the want to become a mermaid is stronger than ever. But will Tempest leave behind all she knows to stay with Kona and the new underwater world she discovered, or will she stay on land with her family, forever longing to be one with the sea?

Ah…mermaids. I cannot remember the last time I read a book about mermaids. I also forgot how much I love stories about them, and boy, oh boy, did I enjoy Tempest Rising.

The story and descriptions are just beautiful. Deebs creates a stunning and picturesque underwater world that really draws the reader in. The storyline was well thought out and developed, and while the plot may seem simple to some, it was actually pretty complex at times. There were some slow moments in the middle, but overall, the book was well-paced. I really enjoyed the plot twists, and with action scenes and some intense emotional moments, it was a great read that was impossible to put down!

I really liked the characters. I connected with Tempest pretty easily and I could not help but feel for her. She had such a wide range of emotions throughout the book, from sheer happiness to despairing to the point of feeling numb inside. It was truly an emotional rollercoaster ride! And now on to Kona (originally called Kai in the book summary and ARCs, but later changed). [sigh] I feel that no matter what book I read, I am always enamored with one (if not more than one) male character. Well, I love Kona. In the beginning, he is super mysterious and unknown (and he grabs my attention), then he becomes sexy and secretive (and then I start to fall in love with him), and then he becomes passionate and even more sexy (and then I am A LOST CAUSE). It happens with some character in every book, guaranteed. I do not even know why I am surprised anymore. But anyway, Kona is an amazing character and even though he is secretive and mysterious, he is a good guy. But the best thing about the whole book (and this is very biased) was…..my name got dropped! YAY! The character Bri may have only been present in the story all of ten pages, but they were an AWESOME ten pages. J

Something that I think deserves its own paragraph was the chemistry between Kona and Tempest. Did you know that Tracy Deebs is actually a pseudonym for romance novelist Tracy Wolff? Trust me when I say that she is the master of sexual tension/chemistry. She owns it like no one’s business. The attraction Tempest feels for Kona is immediate, and usually something like that in the story makes me groan. But Deebs/Wolff is so good that it was not over the top, and I found it pretty believable! And when things got physical….wow. WOW. It was just kissing scenes, not even any heavy petting, and I was speechless. The descriptions Deebs/Wolff uses were lyrical and breathtaking (literally) and the emotions were just crazy intense. I ate up every word! ><

The sequel to Tempest Rising is due out June 5, 2012, and it is entitled Tempest Unleashed. I am super excited to get my hands on it! I cannot wait for some more Kona/Tempest action! 

Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare


Release Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 502
Format: Hardcover (also available in eBook format)
ISBN: 1416975888
Buy the Book: Amazon

Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):


In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
Review:


I just have to start out by saying that I am completely enamored with Cassandra Clare. The Shadowhunters and the world she created around them just draw me in and leave me wanting more. She is a gifted storyteller and I devour every word. I honestly do not think she could ever disappoint me! (As long as no male characters are killed off, that is. I might be a little enraged then.)


In Clockwork Prince, we are transported back to Victorian England, a time when carriages were the main form of transportation and candles (or witchlights) were the only ways to see in the dark. I love Clare’s use of history and her knowledge of Victorian England. Her descriptions make the reader feel like they are in London themselves, getting a personal tour of Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner with Jem himself. It is so real! Victorian England is not just captured in Clare’s descriptions of London and facets of life, but also in the characters themselves. Tessa’s actions and ways of thinking are those of a true Victorian era woman. There are instances where she speaks out and others when she is too forward, and she is always dwelling on the improperness of it. It is even in the minor details of the story, such as how is it scandalous for a woman to ride in the carriage with a man when they are not married or how Shadowhunter gear is too inappropriate for a woman since it shows feminine curves. The details are breathtaking and spot-on, and coupled with Clare’s amazing prose and dialogue, the story itself becomes so much more beautiful.

Of course, the main focal point of the story is the dynamic relationship between Will, Jem, and Tessa. The three of them are just pure…magic. I do not know how Clare created these brilliant characters, but I am so glad she did. Jem really shines in this book. He is finally able to step out from Will’s shadow, and as I understood more about him, it is impossible not to fall in love him. He is sweet and charming, and it is obvious he cares deeply for both Tessa and Will. In Clockwork Angel, he was always Will’s support and the nice guy that Tessa could always run to for advice or help. But in Clockwork Prince, we get to see more of who Jem really is. He gets angry with Will, embarrassed with Tessa, and there are moments when he says what he really feels. We get to know him in a much deeper way, and my heart went out to him. Tessa, in my opinion, is the perfect female heroine. She is brave, intelligent, and all in all, a strong soul. I love how much she loves books and her frequent use of literary quotes. She is a true kindred spirit, and it is so easy to relate to her. The turbulent emotions and conflicting love she holds for Jem and Will breaks my heart, just as it does hers. And I cannot forget Will! Will’s past and his curse are finally revealed and I got to understand what makes Will….well, Will. The façade he puts on for others finally begins to crack, and the real Will can be seen. His emotions are so raw and intense, and I could not help but feel for him. And of course, Will is not without his sharp tongue and repertoire of retorts!

Now about Tessa and choosing Will or Jem… I am so conflicted! I seriously love them both. Will is a troubled soul who really deserves happiness after all the sadness and pain he has been forced to endure. And Jem is a great guy who also deserves love with the limited time he has left. They are both amazing, and I love them both for different reasons! I can never choose between the two of them! I SERIOUSLY HATE LOVE TRAINGLES. This booked just helped reinforce my hatred. How can I decide, much less Tessa? However, this love triangle is well written and developed, which I think makes it a little more bearable. So many triangles today have the two men facing off in a battle of physical prowess, immediately hating and constantly insulting one another, and any other possible way of claiming the girl as their own. This is blissfully absent in Clockwork Prince, so while I hate the love triangle itself, I love how the relationship between Jem and Will remains intact and just as strong as ever. I, personally, think Tessa should just become Mormon and take them both, but I am not too sure how keen she would be to the idea. But I honestly see no downside to it! She would have two wonderful, gorgeous, funny, caring, [insert any other adjective here] men at her side! Better yet, she should find a way to just give them to me. I will keep a close eye on them. Yes, I will watch them very closely, so have no fear. I have always wanted an English man (but I guess in this case, I get two!).

Why, ‘ello, govna.

But in all seriousness, I am so conflicted. I want to pull for them both and they both deserve to be happy with Tessa, but only one will be the ‘winner.’ I hate the idea that one of them will be hurt and brokenhearted. ><

Something else I really appreciated about this book was how the relationships between characters besides Tessa, Will, and Jem developed. These developments may be a little overshadowed by the main love triangle, but they were amazing all the same. I have a new respect and liking for Henry and I think the blossoming relationship between him and Charlotte is adorable! One of the new characters, Sophie, is a great addition to the story, and her relationship with Gideon is super sweet. The growing affection they have for one another really warms the heart and I will be rooting for them! J And do not even get me started with Magnus. I really thought it was impossible for me to like him more than I already do, but I have been proven wrong. I am glad he ditched Camille and was able to find Alec!!

The story itself has plot twists galore, and with a little action thrown in now and then, it is a rollercoaster ride that makes this book physically impossible to put down. The dialogue is ridiculously witty and I cannot help but laugh out loud sometimes. Clare also is a master at writing dirty, sexy scenes, as is evident with the dirty sexy balcony scene (which was hot)! Clare really is in a league of her own. I cannot even put into words how excited I am to read the conclusion of the series, Clockwork Princess, due out September 2012. Cassandra Clare, with her flare for writing, has created an amazing series and I will eagerly be awaiting the end of it! Go Team Will and Team Jem!!

Shades of Blood by Samantha Young

Release Date: December 12, 2011 (PB), December 5, 2011 (eBook)
Publisher:
CreateSpace (PB), Smashwords (eBook)
Age Group: Older Young Adult (16+)
Pages: 342
Format:
Paperback (also available in eBook format)
ISBN: 1468009575
Buy the Book:
Amazon
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):
Eden’s life has taken a turn she would never have imagined. She’s gone from soul eater to warrior, left behind a family she was ashamed of and moved in with one she admires. She has a purpose, a future, and… she has Noah.
Life should be good.
But… the most fervent and powerful soul eaters are determined to take down the Ankh and Eden is the key to the destruction of the warrior race. Moreover, a shadowed enemy is still after Eden, and the mortal Warriors of Neith have chosen the worst time imaginable to start an uprising.
With an enemy in every corner, the problems before her are overwhelming. Then again, Eden hasn’t come this far to let anyone snatch her new life from her…
However, just when Eden thought she’d battled the monster within and won, the warrior who took something precious from her comes back into her life, tempting Eden to take a course of revenge there is no turning back from.
Vengeance is such a bitch…
… So is Eden when the stakes are high.
A YA Paranormal Romance recommended for ages 16 and up.
Review:

I am pretty conflicted right now. One side of me is like, YES! This series was AWESOME, this book was AWESOME, and Samantha Young is AWESOME. And then there is the five year old in me: What? What do you mean it is over? I want moreeee. [sigh] I am never really going to grow up, am I?

Eden has more problems now than ever before. Just when she thinks everything is going smoothly, someone just has to come and ruin it all. Cosmina is breathing down her neck, a small rebellion is rising in the Neith that would like to see Eden dead, and Romany has come back which drives a wedge between Noah and Eden and reminds Eden how much she would like to see Romany dead. Eden also discovers a few things about herself as an Ankh warrior that she is not sure how to deal with. All she wants is to catch a breather and spend some quality time with Noah. Will she ever have peace?

So as I have already mentioned, this book was amazing, and it was the perfect conclusion to the series. I honestly think it is the best book in the series. It is packed with action and raw emotions that just left me wanting more afterwards. The action scenes were intense and the flashbacks to moments between Eden and her brother, Stellan, tugged at my heart. Also, I did not think it was possible, but the chemistry between Noah and Eden got even more intense and the reader can definitely feel the depth of their love for one another. They face some hardships and some enemies from the past, but through these obstacles, they become closer than ever before. Noah and Eden have officially become one of my favorite book couples! >< Overall, this series was AMAZING and WICKEDLY AWESOME and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. 🙂


Be quiet, inner child! Go and read some other Samantha Young book!

Existence by Abbi Glines


Release Date: December 13, 2011
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Age Group: Older Young Adult (16+)
Pages: 194
Format: eBook
ISBN:
B006LFVZ8E
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):
What happens when you are stalked by Death? You fall in love with him of course. Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, instead, she falls in love with him.
Seventeen year old Pagan Moore, has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, they left her alone. Until she steps out of her car on the first day of school and sees an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he’s dead. Not only does he not go away, when she ignores him he does something none of the others have ever done; he speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What Pagan doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul. He is Death and he is about to break all the rules.
Review:
Hello, pretty boy on the cover. Is it shallow of me to say that I wanted to read this book after I saw you and all of your glowy eyed-ness? Because that is what happened.
But anyway, enough of the beautiful boy cover and on to the actual story. This book was a great read. The premise of the story was very original, so if anyone is looking to escape reading books about vampires, werewolves, or any kind of thing thereof, this is something you should definitely check out. I also really liked Glines’s writing style. When a good story line and good writing are coupled together, you get a good book. And that is what Existence was.
I really liked all the characters for the most part. Pagan is a great female lead. She is a smart and strong, and her emotions came across really well. When she was afraid, there were moments I would look around my room to make sure no one was watching me. I also liked Dank (although I am not a fan of his name). He is a brooding and dark man with a sexy smirk, which is otherwise known as my weakness. He and Pagan together make a decent couple. But I gave my heart to Leif. (I have to admit, when his name first came up, I went and made sure that this book was not written by Maria V. Snyder. I was like, What?? Leif Zaltana? I thought this was a story about Death, not the Study series…? Whoops. My bad.) In any case (quit getting distracted, Bri!), I really liked Leif. He was all about breaking stereotypes. Here was the star of the football team who used to date the most popular girl in school. I know, you have heard this story, right? But things are revealed about Leif that broke all the stereotypes and really surprised me. Here is a guy who beat some pretty unfavorable odds to become the person he is today and he just happens to fall in love with a girl who is enamored with Death. I couldn’t help but root for him! He really cares for Pagan and I thought the chemistry between them was nice. I really hope there is a sequel to this story and he can find his own happiness.
I still have some questions after reading Existence. How was Dank able to become human and why, oh why, did he even bother with Kendra? Was there a point to it? Did he want to make Pagan jealous or try to forget about her? And why did no one remember him once he left school? Hopefully there will be a sequel (*COUGH*PLEASE*COUGH*) and some of things will be explained! Plus, with the ending Glines wrote, there HAS to be a sequel! ><
I recommend this book to any fan of paranormal romance! I have never read any of Abbi Glines books before, but I will be catching up on her other works pretty quickly if they’re anything like Existence. I have definitely become a fan (and I am an absolute sucker for any kind of romance). Glines has another book, Because of Low, due out February 7, 2012 and I am excited to read it! 

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally


Release Date: December 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Older Young Adult (16+)
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook format)
ISBN: 1402262272
Buy the Book: Amazon

Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though – she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.



Review:


Even after finishing this book hours ago, I still have a big, goofy grin on my face. I cannot stop smiling!! (I really think I started to scare my Japanese co-workers. They were probably thinking, Oh, God, the foreigner is laughing to herself. Why, out of the hundreds of thousands of people in America, did we get stuck with the crazy one?) But seriously, I cannot help it! This book was all kinds of ADORABLE and CUTE!


I fell in love with Jordan! She is a six foot tall tomboy who eats, sleeps, and breaths football and is considered to be ‘one of the guys.’ But deep down, under all that tomboyish-ness, she is still an angsty and confused teenage girl. When the arrival of a sexy Texan has her finally looking at a guy, not as a teammate, but as a romantic interest, she has no idea what to do! She has never had a boyfriend, never kissed a guy, and certainly does not know how to date one. She feels the confusion that all girls feel when they have a crush, and she just wants to find a girlfriend to ask about the scary, unknown people called teenage guys. She is adorable and my heart went out to her!

The chemistry in this book was PURE AWESOMENESS. It was awesome in so many different ways! The love chemistry left me swooning and thinking about taking up football myself and finding a good man, and it was soooo cute.  But there was not just chemistry between Jordan and her boy toy; there was chemistry between Jordan’s family and her football team. The guys on her team were like her big brothers, overprotective and ready to pound anyone if they so much as looked at her funny. And Jordan constantly argues with her father about whether or not a girl should play football, and when they start to understand one another and really reconnect, it tugs at the heartstrings. Everything was so believable and I felt what Jordan felt, whether it was anger, heartbreak, or love.  

Catching Jordan is not just an adorable and emotional love story. It is the story of a tomboy who falls in love for the first time, learns how to overcome obstacles and gender barriers, and never gives up on her dreams. I recommend it to anyone, regardless of whether or not you like football! I am sure you will enjoy it and have a huge smile on your face when you finish! J

Obsidian (Lux, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian (Lux, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Age Group: Older Young Adult (16+)
Pages: 266
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
ISBN (13#): 9781937044237
Buy the Book: Amazon

Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Review:

Jennifer L. Armentrout, what have you done to me? I was perfectly fine until couple weeks ago, or at least until I read Half-Blood. I spent the next couple of days pining over Aiden and wishing I could find a man like him. And then you released Obsidian and introduced me to Daemon.

I am so far beyond being a lost cause it is not even funny. If he represents what aliens are really like, then they can feel free and come inhabit or take over the Earth anytime.

I am not even sure where to start. This book is without a doubt one of the best books I have ever read! I could not put it down. When I finished it, I immediately wanted to read it again. I HAVE ALMOST NEVER WANTED TO READ A BOOK AFTER JUST FINISHING IT. In fact, I have already gone back and read certain parts a couple of times already! >< It was just that good.

Katy is forced to move to a new, out-in-the-boonies town and her next door neighbors just happen to be the crazy sexy Daemon and his sister, Dee. She immediately hates Daemon after a few of his snarky comments, but she quickly becomes best friends with Dee, thus being drawn into their lives. She soon finds out that they are aliens and her life becomes a bit more… interesting. The story itself is great and I love Armentrout’s explanation as to why Daemon and others have come to Earth.

However, the best part of the whole book is the amazing characters and awesome dialogue. I instantly liked Katy. She is AWESOME! She is an avid reader and even has her own book blog (just another reason to love her) and she instantly takes a dislike to Daemon. Daemon infuriates her and knows all the ways to push her buttons, but what I love about her is that she pushes back. She does not just roll with the punches, she doles them out. I love how she takes none of his crap and throws his snide remarks back in his face (and the spaghetti scene was EPICCC). Plus, her emotions and reactions are real. When she first discovers that Daemon is not exactly human, she does not get all goo-goo eyed and stare at him in awe. No, she does what any (relatively) normal person would do in a situation like that: she runs away. Seriously, if I just discovered the boy next door was an alien with the ability to stop time and tear hundreds of trees out of the ground without even moving, I do not think I would stick around very long. Daemon’s sister Dee was also great. She seemed like the perfect best friend to have!

But the spotlight stealer is none other than Daemon himself. He is hardheaded, arrogant, infuriating, and (just sometimes) a little douchey, but he is one of the best (and HOTTEST) male characters ever. There were moments where what he said would make me cringe or want to shank him (which I’m sure is also how Katy felt), but there was a reason for everything he did or said. He just wants to protect his sister and his race, and if it means being unkind and callous to one human girl, he will do it. I LOVED reading some scenes from his point of view at the end of the book. By getting his perspective of things, it made me understand why he acts the way he does and how he is not a total jerk. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love his character…. I just can’t. He is pure awesomeness wrapped in out-of-this-world sexiness. Let’s leave it at that.

When Daemon and Katy are together, the chemistry between them is just….crazy. I seriously have no idea how Armentrout did it, but it is wicked good. The dialogue between the two of them is super witty and I ate up every word. AND THE ANGST! OH GOD, THE ANGST! I cannot think of a moment where I have ever enjoyed angst this much. Everything about this book was brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

The second book in the series, Onyx, is scheduled to come out sometime in May and I am so excited! The ending to Obsidian left me wanting more and May cannot come fast enough! I have to warn you, Mrs. Armentrout, you have created two dream men in Aiden and Daemon, and I will continuously be checking up on your blog for any info relating to the Covenant and Lux series for more of them (ahhhh, boys).

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: November 15, 2011

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Age Group: Older Young Adult (16+)

Pages: 346

Format: Hardcover (also available in eBook)

ISBN: 0062085484

Buy the Book: Amazon or Barnes and Noble

 

 

 

 

Review:

OK, I am sorry, but I need to just say that Adam is…… WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

I am going to warn you now, this review could just end up being a total ode to Adam and full of a fangirl’s ranting. (OHMYGODHEISSODEADSEXYIDONOTKNOWWHATTODOWITHMYSELF.) Alright, I got some of it out. I am going to try and stop there. Try being the key word.

I really liked Juliette. I think what I liked most about her was how mentally strong she was. If I had been stuck in a small cell for over 264 days, I think I would be doing a little more than counting the cracks in the ceiling and walls. I would probably be slamming my head into the walls to make some more cracks (and then be able to count some more!). Seriously, with everything she has been through and all the tough times she faced, I am surprised she has not gone insane. I really liked her for that. One of the other characters I feel in love with was Kenji. HE IS SO FUNNY! I cannot wait to see more of him in the second book. In the span of a few pages, I almost instantly fell in love with him (but I had already given my heart to Adam). And then there was little James. I would love to make him my teddy bear. He is soooo adorable.

I really liked all the characters (save Warner and his confusing obsession with Juliette- why IS he so obsessed?)! Especially Adam. Ahhhh….. Adam. There is something about a hardcore soldier who can be a softie at times (especially with his little brother) that is just so…..hot. I loved how he would get emotional with Juliette and then turn into a super soldier around Kenji, where every other word out of his mouth was a curse word and he would die to protect those he loves. It’s pretty sexy. ><

Mafi’s writing style is very unique. She is very descriptive and constantly uses metaphors, which some people really did not like. I did not mind it that much. In fact, I really liked it! It was very new and refreshing and sometimes the details and descriptions she gave were gorgeous. Granted, there were a few times where I had to pause and be like, wait, what….? Sometimes her writing was TOO GOOD and TOO BEAUTIFUL and I lost a bit of the story and focused more on her prose. But honestly, I would rather be distracted from a story due to good writing and delving into the meaning of it all instead of being totally uninterested in it. Who wouldn’t? And trust me, I got plenty distracted enough by daydreaming of Adam. So, needless to say, I did not mind her writing style at all!

Some people also did not care for the ending. I did not mind it, and I am excited to see where it all leads! I would have liked to have a little more information about the politics and social structure of the world. It was laid out briefly, but I would like to know a little more, especially how The Reestablishment came to power. But that could all be explained in the next book!

As a brief side note, I have to say that 2011 has made me a fan of dystopian literature. Between Divergent, Shatter Me, and Delirium, it is almost impossible NOT to be a fan.

The second novel, which is not yet titled, is due out in 2012. More Adam? I am so there.

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