Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard
"Allie Kim suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum: a fatal allergy to sunlight that confines her and her two best friends, Rob and Juliet, to the night. When freewheeling Juliet takes up Parkour—the stunt-sport of scaling and leaping off tall buildings—Allie and Rob have no choice but to join her, if only to protect her. Though potentially deadly, Parkour after dark makes Allie feel truly alive, and for the first time equal to the “daytimers.”

On a random summer night, the trio catches a glimpse of what appears to be murder. Allie alone takes it upon herself to investigate, and the truth comes at an unthinkable price. Navigating the shadowy world of specialized XP care, extreme sports, and forbidden love, Allie ultimately uncovers a secret that upends everything she believes about the people she trusts the most."- summary from Amazon

I'm going to say this upfront- I HATED this book's ending. When I started this book, I thought it was a stand-alone. I mean, it's a mystery, so the mystery should be wrapped up by the book's end, right? I know there are mystery series, but there's the overarching plotlines and then there's the mystery which is solved at the end of the book with a new one cropping up in the next book. But that's not how this series works; instead, Mitchard stretches out this mystery to fill up however many books there will be, so this book ends rather abruptly and with no real conclusion. Now I have to wait a year to find out how this mystery either ends or continues. You find out who the murderer is, but with no evidence by the end of the book, he's not arrested. Do you hear that? NOT. ARRESTED. OMGWTFBBQ?!!?! Even just writing this up, I'm getting angry all over again. There was absolutely no need to stretch out this mystery; it should've and could've ended with this book.

I could go on and on about the ending but I'll stop because I've said enough. You get the point. On to some good things. I liked the whole idea of the kids having XP, which I'd never actually heard of and Mitchard does a good job of explaining it and showing us how it works and how it affects these kids. I liked their interactions and seeing the romance bloom between Allie and Rob. Throwing in the sport of Parkour made things even more interesting. I enjoyed reading about their various adventures doing it and learning more about the sport.

The mystery too is intriguing and kept me reading, which I think is part of the reason why I'm so angry about the ending. I had expectations (valid ones, I should point out) and was disappointed when they didn't come to fruition. Instead, the reader is given a brief sample of the second book, which doesn't do much of anything in the 12 pages or so that I read.

Overall, this book was good up until the ending, which really left a sour taste in my mouth and ruined the whole book for me. If you want to give it a shot, wait until all the books are out and read them back-to-back.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, July 29, 2013

From What I Remember... by Stacey Kramer and Valerie Thomas

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
"KYLIE: Mexico? What a nightmare! I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger??

MAX: It started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics and it ended in Ensenada. It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded here, with less than twenty-four hours before graduation.

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.

LILY: This cannot be happening. It's like some cruel joke. Or a bad dream. I close my eyes and when I reopen them, they're still there. Max and Kylie Flores, freak of the century. In bed together. If Kylie thinks I'm giving him up without a fight, she's dead wrong."- summary from Goodreads

I took so long to read this book and I'm berating myself for it! It's such an awesome contemporary read that's perfect for summer. I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives, though most of the book is narrated by Max or Kylie, as they're the main characters and stuck together on this journey before anyone else shows up. Will and Lily show up quite a bit too, and there's also the occasional chapter narrated by Kylie's brother Jake, who has Asperger's so it was interesting to read those chapters and see how the authors dealt with portraying it.

It's just a roller-coaster ride of a read and the characters are deeply layered. While the whole jock-falling-for-the-brain may be a bit cliché, Kramer and Thomas do a good job of making it believable and giving the characters depth and a real connection. Seeing the events from all different perspectives helped keep the book moving too and I was never wanting to put the book down. I'd always be surprised at how far I got in just one sitting. I also loved the character of Will (I'm gay too, what can I say?) and wanted to see more of him, but I loved getting to see his journey too.

Overall, a perfect summer read and a great contemporary. I can't recommend it enough!

FTC: Received hardcover from authors. Link above is an Amazon Associates link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau

The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau
"In The Wonder Bread Summer, loosely based on Alice in Wonderland, 20-year-old Allie Dodgson has adventures that rival those Alice had down the rabbit hole. Or those of Weeds’ Nancy Botwin.

Allison is working at a dress shop to help pay for college. The dress shop turns out to be a front for drug dealers. And Allison ends up on the run—with a Wonder Bread bag full of cocaine.

With a hit man after her, Allison wants the help of her parents. But there’s a problem: Her mom took off when Allison was eight; her dad moves so often Allison that doesn’t even have his phone number…"- summary from Amazon

I absolutely loved Blau's debut and I really enjoyed this book too. I like the time period of the 80s for this book- Blau likes using different decades for her books and it's fun reading a story that's set not too far in the past just to see how things were back then.

This was just a fun, crazy story, though it's a bit misleading calling it "The Wonder Bread Summer" when the events of the book take place over a period of less than a week, it seems. But that doesn't really matter, lol; just made me expect something a little different.

I had no idea this was loosely based on Alice in Wonderland until I found the summary for this post, but I can totally get that from the book. It's a wild ride and makes the story very compelling, keeping the pages turning. Allison meets a LOT of interesting characters while on her journey (including a famous rocker), and there's some intriguing twists and turns through the book.

Overall, another wonderful summer read from Blau and after reading this, it really makes me want to read her second book which I never got a chance to get a hold of. I miss her wonderful, breezy writing.

FTC: Received e-galley from Edelweiss. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
"Olivia Tithe was excited for the summer and spending it with her best friend, Stern. But that was ruined when he was mur­dered...by Olivia's mother. Flashing forward, Olivia's life has been transformed since that awful night.

After her mother's incarceration, Olivia must move on, but she hates her father's new fiancée, Heather, and with her dad's new real estate development (she calls it Ghost Town) in the works, she barely sees him. But a new boy, Austin, has kindled feelings inside her that she hasn't felt since Stern's death.

Arriving at the same time as this new guy is a mysterious note that brings Stern's murder back to the forefront; Olivia knows that she must discover the truth behind her friend's death once and for all."- summary from Amazon

I absolutely adored Ellison's debut The Butterfly Clues (and also may have scared her with my enthusiasm for it at last year's BEA) and was excited to read this sophomore effort from her. It's seriously just as good as her debut- there's a great, atmospheric feel to Ellison's writing that just really pulls you in. The mystery at the center of it too really helps as well; it's very intriguing and has so many layers to it. The ending was absolutely amazing.

Olivia is a great main character, and I liked seeing her interactions with Stern and Austin. It's nice also seeing the girl have a male best friend (albeit a dead one) and a separate love interest (although probably mainly because her best friend is dead, but still!). It showed some depth to her character and different sides of her when dealing with both.

Overall, definitely a book to check out and if you haven't read The Butterfly Clues, get on it!

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell

Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell
"The seventeen original stories in Defy the Dark, an eerie, mind-bending YA anthology, could only take place in darkness.

Open the pages and discover: A creepy guy who stares too long. The secrets of the core of the earth. Dreams of other people’s lives. A girl who goes mad in the darkness. Monsters in Bavaria. A generational spaceship where night doesn’t exist. And other mysteries and oddities.

The contributors to the enthralling collection are: Sarah Rees Brennan, Tessa Gratton, Rachel Hawkins, Christine Johnson, Valerie Kemp, Malinda Lo, Myra McEntire, Saundra Mitchell, Sarah Ockler, Jackson Pearce, Aprilynne Pike, Dia Reeves, Beth Revis, Carrie Ryan, Jon Skovron, Courtney Summers, and Kate Espy, winner of the Defy the Dark new author contest."- summary from Amazon

I figured the best way to do this was just go story by story. Enjoy!

Sleepstalk- OMG CREEPY. Summers does a wonderful job setting this story up and unraveling every layer as the story goes on and it ends just on the right disturbing note.

Nature- Interesting premise from Pike, but the story didn’t connect with me. It was just okay.

The Dark Side of the Moon- This made me want to read Reeves’ sophomore novel which I haven’t gotten around to yet. She goes back to her world of Portero (and may even be using characters from her novels but it’s been so long I don’t recall their names) and I loved it. It was creepy, absurd, out-of-this-world insane, and a fair amount of humor too.

Ghost Town- I love how Lo set this story up, starting at late in the evening, then going back through events of the night. It starts out creepy and ends VERY creepily. I was actually reading this while alone in a house that wasn’t my own (I was pet-sitting) and it may have caused me to turn on a few more lights.

Eyes in the Dark- Hawkins’ tale is interesting, starting out as a fun, romantic little thing of a story then takes a turn for the scary mid-way through. It was a nice little twist.

Stillwater- I liked the idea of this, but I hope this is the beginning of something more from Kemp. There’s something wrong with a town but we never figure out what it is or why it’s like that, so it felt like there should’ve been more exploration. It was an interesting story, but fell a little flat for me because of that.

I Gave You My Love By the Light of the Moon- I don’t really have much to say about this, but it was a cute little story from Rees Brennan with a shape-shifting twist to it (dealing with were animals).

Night Swimming- This is a prequel story to Revis’ Across the Universe trilogy and I liked getting a little glimpse into this event that’s mentioned in the books. It was nice getting to learn a bit more about some characters before the events of the trilogy.

Almost Normal- This story was just okay for me. I also may be getting a bit tired of seeing Ryan always doing zombie stories. I know that’s what she’s known for and what she likes writing, but I kinda want to see something new and different from her; I did feel the same way about Revis’ story, but not as much since it’s the first short story I’ve ever read from her. This is like the 3rd or 4th that I’ve read from Ryan.

There’s Nowhere Else- I absolutely love Skovron’s novels (so excited for his upcoming one!) and so was happy to see a short story from him included in this anthology. It did not disappoint. I loved the concept behind it and the story takes an unexpected turn in the end, which was fun to read. I liked the characters and flew through this story.

Naughty or Nice- I really liked the focus on Krampus in this tale- don’t really see much of it, so it made the story interesting. I thought it was a bit cute, but the ending was very abrupt and the action too short. Everything happened in like two paragraphs, and then the story was over. I wish there had been a bit more to the climax.

Shadowed- I’ve never read anything by Johnson before, but heard wonderful things and now I see why. I’m usually not a fan of historical fiction, but I really liked this story. It had some quick action scenes that were written well, a spooky concept at the center of it, and a killer ending.

Now Bid Time Return- This was a very intriguing and wonderful ghost story. Mitchell did a great job building up the world and we learn things as the main character Dacey learns them. The ending had a fun little twist to it.

The Moth and the Spider- It’s an interesting story and told in a compelling way, which was really fun since it’s been a while since I’ve read anything from Ockler (though this is different from what she normally does). But I’m not quite sure I really grasped what was going on in the story and I just had questions after finishing it. I thought there could have been more to it.

Where the Light Is- A new kind of paranormal creature is explored in this story and I love Pearce for introducing the reader to it and for giving something new. It’s an interesting story with a little romance at the center of it. I really liked it.

This Was Ophelia- Gratton’s story is fascinating and I really need to read more from her stat, after finishing this story and reading a bunch from her in The Curiosities. It’s a different kind of story too and ends with a twist that I didn’t expect to see. I really liked what Gratton did with this story.

There’s a 17th story from the winner of the Defy the Dark contest, which was not included in the advance copy though they had picked a winner by the time it went to print, I believe, so not sure why they didn’t include it. But anyway, I haven’t read it so I cannot comment on it in this review.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Author Event- Love and Legend YA Panel at Hooray for Books

This past weekend, I made a quick trip up to Alexandria for the Love and Legend YA author panel at Hooray for Books. The panel featured P.J. Hoover (Solstice), Diana Peterfreund (For Darkness Shows the Stars), Bennett Madison (September Girls), and April Lindner (Catherine).

I love coming to Hooray for Books- it's such a cute little children's book store and they have some wonderful events. When I got there, I had just set my stuff down on a chair when P.J. Hoover walked in. P.J. and I go way back to when her debut came out and we've hung out at a couple conferences together, but it's been FOREVER since we last saw each other so it was really cool to catch up with her. I also had no idea that she had family in the area, hence why she was doing events here when she lives in Austin, TX.

A lot more people came in (including Jon Skovron, author of the upcoming Man-Made Boy) and the event got started. The authors first talked a bit about their books; Bennett did the best job, as his was hilarious. After that, they each read a snippet from their books. P.J. picked the perfect spot because I had just started the chapter she read from (Chapter 5), so I got a couple pages done just from listening to her, lol.
Then they took questions from the audience. There were some really interesting questions, ranging from why YA to the role of parents in YA novels to what they're all working on now. I was called out at one point by Diana when they were talking about the enthusiasm of YA readers and the blogosphere community. But it was really interesting to hear from all of them and there was some great discussions going on.

As for what they're each working on next, Diana has a new book out this October (which I have an ARC of and got signed, since all my other Diana books are signed already) Across a Star-Swept Sea and she recently sold a middle-grade book called Omega City, which sounded really cool. There was also talk of the differences in writing for different age groups, from middle-grade to YA to adult (and new adult, though Diana hates that term). Bennett is supposed to be working on another YA book, but instead has started an adult book about reality television stars and I kinda really want to read it. I love books about that sort of subject. April is working on another modern-day retelling and she did say what book, but I've forgotten. I should've taken notes! P.J. is working on a middle-grade book, which I think she said would be out next year about King Tut as an immortal 8th grader. It sounds very fun!
Once the QnA was over, I got my books signed. I didn't have any for April, though her books do sound very interesting and I'll have to pick them up sometime. I had gotten my For Darkness ARC signed by Diana at a Hooray for Books event that she was attending earlier this year and I got excited seeing that she had written "For James, Your Friend, Diana" I was happy to see that she considered me a friend! Well, I have since read the book and it turns out that she actually writes "Your Friend" in EVERY copy of For Darkness because of the letters that Elliott and Kai send each other, which they sign "Your Friend". Diana reassured me that I am really her friend though so all was made right again in my world. :P For Bennett, I'd brought my ARC of September Girls and the two Lulu Dark books he'd written a while back. He was pleased to see a little mini-collection of his books. I would've brought my copy of The Blonde of the Joke (the old ARC, before they pushed the release date back a whole year) but I couldn't find it. I have way too many books. While Bennett signed my books, April and I talked about my shirt, which said "Authors are My Rockstars." I told her that I've had the shirt since 2010 and have only worn it like once. How sad is that? I plan on wearing it to every author event I go to now. And finally, P.J. signed my copy of Solstice, which I'm reading now and loving. All in all, a wonderful event and an all-around awesome day.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sight Reading by Daphne Kalotay

Sight Reading by Daphne Kalotay
"On a warm spring day after a long New England winter, Hazel and Remy spot each other for the first time in years. Under ordinary circumstances, this meeting might seem insignificant. But Remy, a gifted violinist, is married to the Scottish composer Nicholas Elko--once the love of Hazel's life, now struggling with a masterwork he cannot realize. In the twenty years since Hazel' s world was tipped on its axis, these three artists have faced unexpected joys, mysterious afflictions and other puzzles of life, their fates irrevocably interlaced.

As their story unfolds across two decades, moving from Europe to America and from conservatory life to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, this moving novel explores how the desire to create something real and true--be it a work of art or one's own life--can lead to deeper personal revelations, including the secrets we keep, even from ourselves."- summary from Amazon

I don't review adult books very often and when I do, it's for a reason- mostly that reason is because it's a YA author I like writing adult (Meg Cabot, Sara Shepard, Richelle Mead), but the reason for this one is a little more personal. Kalotay was the visiting writer for a semester on my college campus, and I took a course from her. I read her short story collection before the course started, and then read her debut novel Russian Winter after getting a signed ARC of it at BEA my first year there (and yes, she recognized me). This sophomore novel caught me completely by surprise, having come across it just a month or so before release on Edelweiss' digital review copy list; her debut caught me by surprise too- didn't realize it until I saw her name in the BEA schedule! I was so lucky that Harper approved me to read the book.

I had to read it very quickly (because Edelweiss works differently from Netgalley in terms of downloading and expiration dates), but Kalotay's prose and characters made this very easy. The way that Kalotay writes is so engrossing that the pages just fly by. Like Russian Winter, the story is told from the POVs of three different characters (Hazel, Remy, and Nicholas) over the course of many years (in this case, 1987-2007). The reader spends a lot of time with these characters, really getting to know them and their history, flaws, friendships, relationships, and the core of who they are. This isn't a fast-paced, action-packed book; it is true to say that not much happens, but these characters become like real people and it becomes hard to put this book down. You can feel and see yourself in these characters in at least some small way.

The story is set up against the classical music scene in Boston (though other locales do appear) and I will be honest that sometimes the music talk did confuse me, but that's a very minor complaint. There is a handy little music terminology guide in the back of the book though. But even though I may not have understood the music terms or how a note or piece would sound, Kalotay's prose was still beautiful to read and very lyrical.

Overall, another fantastic book from Kalotay and I look forward to her next novel and many more to come!

FTC: Received e-galley from Edelweiss. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Ruining by Anna Collomore

The Ruining by Anna Collomore
"Annie Phillips is thrilled to leave her past behind and begin a shiny new life on Belvedere Island, as a nanny for the picture-perfect Cohen family. In no time at all, she falls in love with the Cohens, especially with Libby, the beautiful young matriarch of the family. Life is better than she ever imagined. She even finds romance with the boy next door.

All too soon cracks appear in Annie's seemingly perfect world. She's blamed for mistakes she doesn't remember making. Her bedroom door comes unhinged, and she feels like she's always being watched. Libby, who once felt like a big sister, is suddenly cold and unforgiving. As she struggles to keep up with the demands of her new life, Annie's fear gives way to frightening hallucinations. Is she tumbling into madness, or is something sinister at play?"- summary from Amazon

I really liked this book. I have seen some mixed reviews of it (one of which led me to an awesome blog- David Reviews!), but I enjoyed it. I had problems stopping and just wanted to keep reading until I got to the end. I would read so many pages in one sitting.

Throughout the book, I was trying to figure out if Annie was being an unreliable narrator, or if Libby was really being manipulative and/or just plain crazy, thus making Annie doubt herself. It was a nice twisty tale, keeping me on my toes. I did have a suspicion about the reveal way before it happened, but there were still some parts of it I wasn't sure about until they actually came to light. It was a crazy ending and while it did seem to end a bit abruptly and too neatly tied up, I liked it.

The romance was a bit one-dimensional; the guy would kinda come and go throughout the novel, and we never really saw much of him. He just seemed too perfect, especially his promise in the end. But it's such a small aspect of the book that I don't mind it that much.

Anyway, this book is definitely worth a look. It's not an amazing book, but it really provided some great entertainment for a few days.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Author Interview- Kasie West

1) How did the idea for The Distance Between Us come to you?

Funny story. I've been taking my daughter to guitar lessons once a week for the last couple years to this fun little music shop in the small downtown area of our city. Cute, eclectic, farmer's-markets-in-the-summer, antique-shops-on-every-corner type section of town. Her lessons are only half an hour and not worth driving all the way home. So I sit in my car reading or tweeting or whatever. And right next door to the music shop is a porcelain doll shop called Dolls, Bears, and More. And as I've stared into the window of this shop (and gone in a few times) for the last couple years I thought to myself, that would be the best setting for a YA novel. A girl who works in a porcelain doll shop. At first I thought it would make a good creepy novel, but instead it turned into more of a funny/quirky novel and I'm glad it did because it was so much fun to write.

2) Your first two books are coming out in the same year, just a few months apart. How crazy is that, and how did it end up happening?

It is crazy. And fun. It wasn't on purpose. In fact, The Distance Between Us was slated for late fall originally but it felt more like a summer read. Mainly it happened because I have a rock star agent and a very supportive editor. I finished DBU and my agent loved it and said, we should try to sell this now and see what happens. My editor loved it and said, we should put this out between Pivot Point 1 and 2. And I, kind of dumbstruck, said, uh......okay??

3) Going back to both books, they're so very different from each other. Pivot Point is darker and has more of a supernatural twist to it whereas The Distance Between Us is funny and contemporary. You must feel comfortable writing both genres; is this something you'll continue in the future- a back and forth between light and dark?

I do love both genres. And for now, yes, I will continue going back and forth. Not necessarily between light and dark but between supernatural/paranormal and contemporary. After the sequel to Pivot Point comes out, I have another contemporary ready for the summer of 2014 with HarperTeen.

4) In your bio, aside from your (very cute) husband, you also have two boyfriends: Adam Levine and Hugh Jackman. Tell us how the two boyfriends came into your life and how you make this polyamorous relationship work.

I agree, my husband is very cute. As for the others, Hugh has been in my life for as long as I can remember, but became my official boyfriend when he played Wolverine in the original X-Men. Loved. Then my husband (who supports my Hugh-love and can appreciate a good-looking man) took me to Hugh's one-man show when we went to New York. I got like seventh row seats. It was awesome. He's very charming. Adam Levine is a more recent addition. I've always liked his music. But again, my husband bought me tickets to his concert several years ago and he is seriously one of the most charismatic performers ever. We made eye contact and there was no going back after that. The relationships aren't too hard to maintain. It's a I-send-them-occasional-creepy-love-tweets-and-they-ignore-me kind of relationship. It works well for all of us.

5) What are you currently working on? Can you tell us anything about it?

:) I am currently working on something not even my agent has seen and I love it so much. It's more in the supernatural/paranormal vein. It involves solving a mystery and cute boys (of course) and....that's all I can say. Hopefully you'll be hearing all about it soon.

6) I ask this question of every author: What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor(s)? Or, if you don't like those, favorite snack while writing or as a reward for writing?

Are you kidding? I love Jelly Bellys. I like watermelon the best probably. But I like a lot of the fruity ones. Not such a fan of like the buttered popcorn flavor or the coffee flavor. I don't treat myself to those a lot though. I'm more of a chocolate girl.

7) What book(s) are you currently reading, or are about to start?

My TBR pile is so big right now. When I'm writing I don't read as much as I usually do. But let's see, I just finished Transparent by Natalie Whipple. Loved it. Before that I read How My Summer Went Up In Flames. It was adorable. And Game.Set.Match. Also very good. Of course, by the time this interview goes up on your blog, I'll probably be in the middle of a completely different book. Because I love books. I love to read.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cover Reveal- A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers + Giveaway!

So a couple weeks ago, I helped reveal the cover of A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers. Well, they scrapped the old cover and we're doing another cover reveal today. Here's the new, sexier cover, which I'm told is inspired by a scene in the novel:

Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother.In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for better part of the last few years…and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to Confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt…and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy on the eyes deacon…only eight months away from becoming a priest. As Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.

"More than a ridiculously sexy, HOT read, Desrochers takes you on a wild ride of self-discovery and bittersweet romance." —Jennifer L. Armentrout (J. Lynn), New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You.

The book goes on sale September 17 and you can pre-order at these places: iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon

Here's an excerpt from the book:

Sneak Peek of A LITTLE TOO FAR by Lisa Desrochers

And an awesome giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
"Money can't buy a good first impression.

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom's porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence—he's tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be one of the first people who actually gets her, she's smart enough to know his interest won't last. Because if there's one thing she's learned from her mother's warnings, it's that the rich have a short attention span. But just when Xander's loyalty and attentiveness are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn't a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she'd ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?"- summary from Amazon

This book was simply adorable and hilarious. I picked it up on a whim when I wanted to read something that wasn't out until summertime (I read this book in May) and also something that wasn't dark or paranormal. I needed a light, romantic read and this definitely hit the spot. Filled with tons of wit, loveable characters, and a swoon-worthy romance, it's the perfect summer read.

I absolutely loved Caymen's voice; any time a character uses sarcasm, I immediately like them as it's my main form of humor. Her interactions with Xander were a joy to read and seeing them grow closer together as the novel went on was so much fun. I read this book very quickly for me (I'm not exactly the fastest reader), and had problems putting it down. I just wanted to keep reading, it was so compelling; the whole money issue was handled really well here and there are some interesting reveals.

Overall, I absolutely love this book to pieces. I would recommend it to pretty much anyone and, even though it's not contemporary, now I need to read West's debut, Pivot Point, which I've been meaning to for a while.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Book Giveaway- Precious Blood by Tonya Hurley

I'm so excited to be holding a giveaway for Precious Blood by Tonya Hurley (previously published as The Blessed last year). Simon and Schuster, in conjunction with Big Honcho Media, are offering up two copies of Precious Blood as well as a Precious Blood bookmark for each! The contest is open to US residents only, and all you have to do is just leave a comment on this post by Friday, July 12 at 9pm EST. Learn more about the book below, including the awesome book trailer!

Learn more at http://theblessed.com
Like The Blessed on Facebook
Follow The Blessed and Tonya Hurley on Twitter and join the conversation using #PreciousBlood
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About Precious Blood

What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?

Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy are three lost girls—each with their own personal demons. These girls meet one night when they all end up in the same hospital…and each wake up with a token from a boy they’ve only just met. Sebastian is gorgeous, mysterious, and has a plan for all of them. As each girl gets wrapped up in finding out just who Sebastian is, they each discover their own strengths, and realize the only way to save themselves is to save each other.

The story begins in PRECIOUS BLOOD, which is available now in paperback, and continues in PASSIONARIES, available 1/7/14.

About the Author

Tonya Hurley is the New York Times best-selling author of the highly acclaimed “ghostgirl“ book series; creator, writer and producer of animated and live action hit television series; writer and director of independent films; writer and director of commercials for Playstation, Gameboy and Warner Home Video; and creator of groundbreaking videogames. Her new young adult trilogy, THE BLESSED, begins with Precious Blood.

Praise for Precious Blood

“Our new favorite dark, sexy rock-n-roll thriller.” (SugarScape.com)

“Intriguing premise, fiery dialogue, and digs about celebrity-obsessed culture that moves at the speed of Twitter…” (Publishers Weekly)

"...Hurley brings her deadpan wit and blackest humor to the first tale in this trilogy about spirituality, sacrifice and supernatural romance." (MTV Hollywood Crush)

Author Photo by Kevin Mazur.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Awaken by Meg Cabot

Awaken by Meg Cabot
"Death has her in his clutches. She doesn't want him to let go.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she'd be forced to live forever in the one place she's always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.

But now her happiness -- and safety -- are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.

If the balance between life and death isn't fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce's home back on earth will be wiped away. But there's only one way to restore order. Someone has to die."- summary from Amazon

I have been looking forward to this book since I finished reading Underworld last year. I was so excited when I got an advance copy of it that I seriously started it the next day and was done with it shortly after. It's such a great feeling diving back into a Cabot book, no matter the genre or age range. There's just something about her style that feels refreshing to read.

This is quite simply a perfect conclusion. I absolutely loved this final book and think Cabot did a great job wrapping things up. For me, it was such an action-packed book (but still filled with Cabot's usual humor) that I had problems putting it down, which makes it difficult when I spend much of my time reading it on my work breaks.

Again, this is another review where I don't want to say too much because it's part of a series and so don't want to spoil anything. But seriously, this is a very interesting and darker trilogy from Cabot and it was fun reading this different side to her writing.

Overall, check out this series. I mean, it's Meg Cabot, for crying out loud!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
"With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war."- summary from Amazon

First off, if you haven't read this series yet, just leave this review and go read it now. That's how good this is.

For those who've read the first book and loved it, this sequel will absolutely not disappoint. I could not put this book down and loved following Cate's adventures within the Sisterhood. There's several twists and turns, and crazy stuff happens. I loved seeing Cate and Finn together again- those two are just so fun to read about!!

I don't know what else to say because I don't want to reveal too much since it's a sequel, but I will warn you about the ending. It's a huge cliffhanger and you will be upset and may cry a bit (I teared up when I read it). Let's just hope Book 3 doesn't have a delay like Book 2 did because I need to read the conclusion as soon as possible.

Overall, a fantastic follow-up to Born Wicked, and a wonderful take on witches. I cannot wait to see how the trilogy concludes!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.