Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Existence

Existence by Abbi Glines

(Kindle Location, 1303) "You're the one thing I want the most in the world yet the one thing I cannot have. Because to have you completely would be impossible."


Pagan has maintained normalcy in her life by ignoring the wandering souls she has seen since she was young. With her cold rebuff, they leave her alone. But Dank is different. Not only can he speak, but she finds herself unable to deny the passion between them. Who is this mysterious soul and what does he protect her from?


I'm not sure my review can be too descriptive without some spoilers so I will avoid that. Honestly, I'm tired of weak female protagonists that simply lose their minds over the loss/disappearance/rebuff from a boy. Is this what teenage girls are supposed to connect with - where is the girl power from the 90s? Life can be much tougher people. 

Pagan is a very one dimensional character - not in that she is shy or has "geeky" hobbies, but the truth of the matter is that in order for the author to have her solely interacting with Dank, she has a very absentee mother and a friend who simply disappears once she resumes dating her old boyfriend. What are Pagan's hobbies? What was her past boyfriend like? What does she find funny? What are her dislikes? We never know. 

Towards the end the book seems very rushed. One minute Pagan sees other people die, then she volunteers at a hospital, then she's in the hospital and then she almost dies again...and so on. Also, we never find out - why does Dank appear so young? Can he change bodies? Faces? Why does he pretend to like the popular girl? Why are some souls chosen to transport people? What's the difference between transporting and being claimed by Death? 

Then the last line of the book comes as a shock but in a really underdeveloped way. It's as if all of a sudden Top Model ended with Tyra Banks turning to the camera and declaring she's a vampire - when we've seen absolutely ZERO evidence of that. This is how it is with one of the characters. 

Bottom Line: I won't be reading the next book in the series. Perhaps if Pagan's character was more developed and likable it would save the weakness of the plot but the combination is just not worth it. 

Rating:  = eh, not so good

Review: Immortal City

Review for Immortal City

By: Scott Speer

(Kindle) Location 746 "It was one of those moments in life, Maddy thought, one of those moments where you had to choose between what you knew was right and your friend." 

Angel City is an alternate universe where instead of the media and general populace worshiping celebrities and keeping up with their day to day activities - the world instead worships Angels. At some point after WWII, Angels decided to come out of the closet so to speak and turned the business of saving lives into just that - a business where only those who can afford to pay for protection benefit. 

Maddy is a "poor" girl with a close group of friends who doesn't care about the Angels. She spends her time focusing on college apps and the scholarships she needs to attend. However, that all changes when Maddy captures the attention of THE hottest Angel and she likewise feels a irresistible attraction to him. 


This review is going to come off a little...biting...but I just can't help it. 

It's very easy to write a novel where you simply take everything from the real world and instead of the word "celebrity" you simply insert "Angel." Granted the author did try to put some flesh to Angel history by having had them reveal themselves around 60 years ago, but simply put - I was not impressed by this so called alternate universe that was really in fact too similar to reality. 

And I just have to say... I could not get over that the author felt that if someone shops at Target - it means they are poor! Oh poor Maddy - she can only afford Target! What? Hello, Michelle Obama shops there...and honestly the $100 I end up spending there goes way further at say Walmart for example. Maybe this wouldn't have bothered me if he hadn't mentioned it like 5x...

Lastly, what is this book about? Love? A message about society? It's difficult to tell because there isn't a clear cut focus. The result is that I didn't feel a real connection between Maddy and Jackson and I didn't really care to find out more about the Angels. 

Then as usual I looked up the author to see if he had a website - and lo and behold what did I find out? He is the ex-boyfriend of a celebrity. Scott Speer So not only does this now sound like he has a bone to pick with the very world in which he exists!!!! but now I was able to understand why he thought Target was such a low grade store! 

Bottom Line: While the premise is very clever and original - that's about all that's interesting about this novel. I also can't help but think author uses himself as a canvas for his main male character's supposed good looks!

Rating:    = eh, not so good

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Exciting April/May Releases

There are some many new releases coming in April and May. Here is a list of what I am most looking forward to reading!

Kill Me Softly
by Sarah Cross
Release date: April 10th

 I am a huge fan of the retelling of fairytales! Plus the cover is one of my favorites this year.

The Selection
by Kiera Cass
Release Date April 24th

A new take on the dystopian genere. A novel without a war or disease looks very interesting!

by Veronica Roth
Release Date May 1st

Divergent number 2 need I say more??

by Kathleen Peacock
Release Date May 8th

A werewolf story with a romantic cover, what's not to love?

Eighteen Kisses
by Laura Jane Cassidy
Release Date May 2nd

I stumbled upon the first book in the series Angel kiss while searching the Kindle Store and it became one of my favorite Kindle Hidden Gems stories.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review: Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky
by Veronica Rossi
Published Jan 2012
374 pages

Description from Goodreads:

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.


Over the last year I have fallen in love with dystopian novels. Under the Never Sky highlights everything that makes this genre so captivating. I was hooked by the first chapter. Aria lives her life within the dome where nearly everything is done virtually. After a night gone wrong Aria is unjustly thrust from the only world she has ever known into the un-domed world. Aria is an amazing character. Even though she is alone and terrified her inner strength shines through as she makes her journey through the new world.  All of the characters were really well developed, Perry is definitely swoon-worthy.  Aria and Perry’s budding romance is super sweet and builds slowly through the novel. I really can’t think of any negatives about Under the Never Sky except the wait for the second book! This is a story you can get lost in. I wanted to read it quickly to know what happened but I also didn’t want the book to end J

So what’s the bottom line?

Read, read, read!!!!!! Under the Never Sky is an enthralling read with a few surprises and a sweet love story. This is truly a great debut novel from Veronica Rossi and I cannot wait to read what comes next.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ = awesome book- a must read! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review: Starters

Starters (Starters #1)
by Lissa Price
Published March 2012
368 pages

Description from Goodreads:


Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . .


I am loving that there are so many dystopian novels out there!  Starters is a story about with the allure of eternal youth. When I saw this on Netgalley it immediately grabbed my attention. The main character, Callie, is living in a world where the Spore Wars have killed everyone from age 20 to 60. Teens like Callie are pretty desperate having lost their parents and have no one else to help them. Enter a business where the youth (Starters) can rent their bodies to the elderly (Enders) for a huge sum. For Callie the money is too great to pass up because she is trying to take care of her little brother. Callie is supposed to be in a deep sleep while an Ender “rents” her body, unaware of the activities taking place. But something goes wrong and Callie wakes up in the middle of the rental. She learns that the Ender renting her body is planning on murdering someone. While trying to figure out how to stop her renter from committing murder while in her body Callie learns some shocking truths.

As a whole I enjoyed the story. The characters were well developed and the story was fast paced with a shocking twist at the end.  I do wish there was better world building. I was left with a lot of questions, like what caused the Spore Wars, or why the elderly live to like 150 years old. Even with these questions running through my mind I was still able to enjoy Starters. The concept is different from any other dystopian novel that I have read it definitely had a high creepy factor.

So what’s the bottom line?
If you love dystopian type books I would give this book a try.  Overall Starters is an enjoyable read with some unexpected twists.

♥ ♥ ♥ = really liked it

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hidden Gems: Review of Ascent (The Party Series, Book One)

The growing popularity of electronic reading devices has resulted in an abundance of ebooks that are cheap and some that are even free! I mean who doesn’t love a free book? Hidden Gems are reveiws for these rarely talked about books. These are the books that may not get a lot of press but we have found them to be pretty great.
The first Hidden Gem is Ascent (The Party Series, Book One) and the best news is that it is free!!!!

Ascent (The Party Series, Book One)
ebook by Amy Kinzer

Description from Smashwords:

For three teens, returning to the past is the only way to save the future.

After years of recession a new political party is ascending to power. To control the United States they must offer leaders people will vote for. The Party has chosen a select group of teens to attend the Institute for Youth Development (IYD) for training to become the nation’s next leaders. But no one has a perfect past and in a world where every moment is captured on film it has become increasingly difficult to find future politicians. Everyone has something from their past they wish they could change.

Matt wants to go back and change the night he drove drunk and ended the life of his girlfriend and best friend; Farrah-Kate, the daughter of America’s most tragic actress, wants to save her movie star mother; and Rick is ordered to go back and change the night he hacked the governments computers.

Marvin Winn, a casino billionaire and Party founder has funded a device that will take the chosen back in time to alter their past. But not everyone is attending the Institute because they want to join The Party. And while everyone returns to their past, one person will choose not to come back, putting everything The Party seeks to achieve at risk.


The best news about this book is that it is FREE!!!!  On  you download this book for free in a number of formats including for your Kindle! I am always searching the internet and my Kindle for free or extremely cheap books.  Once in a while I come across a hidden gem of a book.  Mostly I never finish these free books that I get most just aren’t for me. When I find one that is actually good I tend to get quite excited.

 Ascent kept me hooked. Set in an alternate world where the United States is now a one party state and the Party is quite content to control everything.  The book centers around 3 teens sharing their stories in alternate POVs. Farrah-Kate, Matt, and Rick are among a number of teens to receive the elusive golden envelope to join the Party’s summer program.  After graduation they will become a member of the Party from which there is no going back. The characters were well developed but I found the world in which the story is set to be lacking.  I needed more information to understand exactly what was going on. Basically the Party chose these candidates because they are flawed but they have the capability to allow the students to go back in time and change the one event in their past that makes them flawed. When they return from their time travel essentially the idea is that they will have fixed the flaw in their records making them the ideal Party candidate. 

I admit I usually stay away from time traveling books because I often find them confusing.  The simplicity in the story kept me hooked.  Matt and Farrah-Kate have extremely personal reasons for returning to the past, they both wish to prevent the death of someone very close to them.  Rick on the other hand is a total conspirator nut who wished to gain entry into the Party, but I am not exactly sure if he just wants conformation of the conspiracies or if he wants to bring the Party down, either way he is an entertaining character.  I really liked Farrah-Kate and Matt they were both hurting so much and willing to give up everything to change the past, I really felt for them. There is not much romance in the story but there are some tender moments between Farrah-Kate and Matt. 

I don’t want to give away too much of the story but it is a quick fun read that has me wishing book 2 is coming out soon. I tried to research it but didn’t have much luck. I would definitely recommend this story for anyone who loves dystopia type novels.  What have you got to lose its FREE!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Review: Juliet Immortal

Juliet Immortal
by Stacey Jay
Published August 2011
304 pages

Description from Goodreads:

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.


I didn’t know what to expect from this book. Usually before starting a book I have a pretty good idea of the plot and tend to read other’s reviews but with Juliet Immortal I just glanced at the back before reading. Almost immediately I was swept into Juliet’s story. I can’t say enough good things about the author’s writing style it allowed me to connect with Juliet from the very first page and honestly I may have put the book down once only to find myself running back to it, I just had to know if Juliet found her happy ending. The retelling of Romeo and Juliet’s story was brilliant and truly original. There were no tragic lovers in this story instead Romeo led Juliet to her death for the promise of immortality by a group called the Mercenaries. Juliet was offered a chance to thwart Romeo by becoming an Ambassador. As an Ambassador Juliet battles Romeo for the life of soul mates throughout time.

The story begins with Juliet entering the body of teenager Ariel. In her quest to save soul mates from Romeo she meets Ben. Will Juliet finally find true love? I could really feel Juliet’s anguish and her need for revenge throughout the story. Her emotions were so raw everything from her hatred and her desire to love and to be loved all of these feelings were clearly conveyed to the reader. I spilled more than a few tears throughout this story. With each new body she enters her hatred for Romeo grows as she tries to stop him from making one lover take the life of another. Romeo oh Romeo….you can’t help but hate him through most of the story as he is selfish and destructive with little to no redeeming qualities. By the end of the story I didn’t quite like him but I had hope that he could be something better.

Ben was so charming and a perfect match for Juliet. Juliet struggled with her need to be loved for her real self and not the body she was occupying. From her first encounter with Ben she felt that he was seeing Juliet and not Ariel. I loved their chemistry. Everything was so intense between them but it never felt forced. I have to admit I was kind of hoping in the beginning of the story that Romeo would redeem himself for Juliet but I forgot all that after I met Ben :P  I wasn’t crazy about the ending but I think that is mostly because the story was so emotion filled and action packed that I was expecting a bigger bang but the ending was sweet. I did find Romeo’s new story to be intriguing. I am not sure if there will be future book about his new task?

So What's the Bottom Line?

Juliet Immortal was such a creative retelling of Romeo and Juliet and the character’s emotions made the story for me. The story ended up being a powerful love story reminding me of fairy tales where the battered princess overcomes all. If you like stories that add a twist to classic tales this one is definitely for you!

♥ ♥ ♥ = really liked it