Friday, January 10, 2014

Fates by Lanie Bross

Author: Lanie Bross
Publication Date: 02/11/2014
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
What if your destiny was to kill the one you love?

One moment. One foolish desire. One mistake. And Corinthe lost everything.

She fell from her tranquil life in Pyralis Terra and found herself exiled to the human world. Her punishment? To make sure people’s fates unfold according to plan. Now, years later, Corinthe has one last assignment: kill Lucas Kaller. His death will be her ticket home.

But for the first time, Corinthe feels a tingle of doubt. It begins as a lump in her throat, then grows toward her heart, and suddenly she feels like she’s falling all over again—this time for a boy she knows she can never have. Because it is written: one of them must live, and one of them must die.

In a universe where every moment, every second, every fate has already been decided, where does love fit in?
Picture and Summary from Goodreads
**I received this as an eARC through Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  In no way does that effect the thoughts and opinions expressed here.  I did not get compensated in any way for this review.**
Fates was a very interesting story.  The idea that there are all these different layers/worlds to the universe and that the balance depends on everything falling into a certain place based on unseen powers was hard to wrap my mind around.  The different worlds created for this book were so imaginative and crazy that I had a hard time following them all. 
But to be blunt I found the book boring.  Seriously there was a lot going on but none of it was stimulating enough to get me excited about reading it.  I found myself putting it down a LOT.
I ended the book feeling NOTHING for any of the characters.  I kept hoping it would change, that something would happen to make me invested in their outcome but it never did.  I will say that I felt a little more attached to Luc than I did Corinthe but mostly because of his loyalty to his sister and that he would do anything for his family while Corinthe seemed really cold and stand offish.  The relationship between Luc and Corinthe has me so confused.  Apparantly love has formed between the two even though there isn't a whole lot of interaction between them.  But it must be strong because....well, just because.
I think part of the problem was that there was a lot of internal dialogue and not so much interaction between characters.  It was also told from the POVs of Corinthe and Luc which I struggle with.  But also I'm left confused about the whole background of the story.  The author tried explaining it all but I just don't get who the power players of the story are supposed to be and how it's all supposed to work.
Overall Fates is a quick read and the idea of the story is good I just wish there had been more action and more interaction for the characters. 

Lanie Bross was born in a small town in Maine, where she spent the next 18 years dreaming of bigger places. After exploring city life, she and her husband and two young sons ended up coming right back to the wilds of Maine where they now live just one house down from where she grew up. Fate, perhaps? She loves chasing around her rambunctious kids, playing tug-o-war with her 95 pound Lab, and writing for Young Adults. Fates is her first novel.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Make Me A Match by Lori Brighton

Author: Lori Brighton
Publication Date: 11/2013
Publisher: Lori Brighton
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Teenager Emma Watts doesn’t believe in true love. After all, she’s worked for two years in her family’s P.I. business catching cheating husband’s in the act. Then Owen Emerson arrives (while she’s in the middle of a stakeout, no less) claiming Emma has inherited a deceased aunt’s ability to supernaturally match soul-mates. Emma wants nothing to do with her aunt’s powers, nor with the frustrating and perfectly handsome Owen Emerson. Too bad she’s stuck with both for the rest of her life.

Owen Emerson is a Protector, a person fated to protect Matchmakers for eternity. A guy who does things by the book, Owen figures he’ll rationally explain to Emma her newfound abilities and they can have the professional relationship he’d had with her much older aunt. But as he soon finds out Emma Watts is anything but professional. Fortunately, when she has her first vision matching two friends she has no alternative but to believe Owen’s claims. But Owen isn’t the only one interested in Emma. When the supernatural world discovers how to exploit Emma’s matchmaking abilities for their own, she has no choice but to trust the man who holds her life, and her heart, in his hands.
Picture and Summary from Goodreads
Ugh I hate myself for doing it but this was a DNF.  I really, really, REALLY tried but by page 50 I was so fed up with the characters that I couldn't force myself to waste anymore of my time.  The idea behind the book was soo good and I looked forward to reading about it but the fact is that by chapter SIX the only thing I had really learned was that the MC and her love interest both found each other amazingly attractive.  Talk about insta-love!! They kept going on about how they despised one another but in the same sentence talked about how they were attracted to each other.  I just couldn't get past the fakeness of it, considering this was a fantasy and I went in not expecting it to seem real that's saying a lot. 

As a child, thoughts of far-off places and adventure consistently kept Lori up late at night. After graduating high school, she came to the conclusion that there was no better way to seek adventure and nourish her love of history than to become an archaeologist. She went on to receive a degree in anthropology, but digging in the dirt during humid Midwestern summers wasn’t exactly as fun as she thought it would be.

Instead, she went to work in an air conditioned museum where she spent her days surrounded by creepy Victorian animal mounts. Still, she wasn’t satisfied.

Deciding the people in her imagination were slightly more exciting than the dead things in a museum basement, she set out to write her first romance novel. That book was soundly rejected. As was the next. Years went by and she began to wonder if she’d ever see her dream fulfilled. Until one day she came up with an idea for a book that brought together her love of history and adventure: a book now titled Wild Heart. Since Wild Heart's release, Lori has written Historical Romance, Contemporary Paranormal Romance and Young Adult.

Lori currently resides in the Southern U.S., where she juggles her time between a husband, a son, a golden retriever, a cat and the many, many people in her imagination.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Bane by Keary Taylor

Author: Keary Taylor
Publication Date: 03/06/2011
Publisher: Keary Taylor Books
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Before the Evolution there was TorBane: technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter. It had the ability to grow new organs and limbs, to heal the world. Until it evolved out of control and spread like the common cold. The machine took over, the soul vanished, and the Bane were born. The Bane won't stop until every last person has been infected. With less than two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction.

Eve knows the stories of the Evolution, the time before she wandered into the colony of Eden, unable to recall anything but her name. But she doesn't need memories to know this world is her reality. This is a world that is quickly losing its humanity, one Bane at a time.

Fighting to keep one of the last remaining human colonies alive, Eve finds herself torn between her dedication to the colony, and the discovery of love. There is Avian and West – one a soldier, one a keeper of secrets. And in the end, Eve will make a choice that will change the future of mankind.
Picture and Summary from Goodreads

Oh my goodness this book!  I was so confused when searching for this book on Goodreads because it's actually under the name "Eden" evidently it's been revamped into a series since everyone loved it.  I don't know if that means the author wrote more or if it was originally longer and she just split it up.  Also I love the cover of this edition better, very badass!
The MC, Eve, is so badass and tough and all "I can take care of myself", I really love a strong female lead.  The only problem I had with her was her confusion over who she loved and really the only reason it bugged me was because I was sure she would choose the wrong one!  I also loved the idea behind the story.  That in our quest for immortality humans built something that ended up taking us over and destroying our world.  This is actually a real fear of mine or really any dystopian setting.  I need to stop reading dystopians...or start doomsday prepping.  The story is told from Eve's POV so we follow her along as she struggles to keep the small community of people who she considers family alive.  Not long after the start of the book three new people stumble upon Eden (the name of the community) one of them being West who has his own secrets, one of which will make Eve rethink her entire being. 
The book is full of action, never feeling dull or slow and as I've already stated the romantic tension of "whose she going to choose" really had me turning the pages.  Overall I feel this book was good both for it's action and for it's romance though I feel that it's a little on the heavier side of Romance but I'm okay with that.  I'm pretty excited to pick up the next book!

Keary Taylor grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now resides on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two young children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night. She is the author of THE EDEN TRILOGY, the FALL OF ANGELS trilogy, and WHAT I DIDN'T SAY.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Where You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher

Author: Erin Fletcher
Publication Date: 01/07/2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape methods (vodka, black hair dye, and pretending the past didn't happen) are more traditional, but who is she to judge?

Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley's trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate's recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn't sure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one.
Picture and Summary From Goodreads
**I received this as an eARC throught Netgalley from the publisher.  In no way does that effect the thoughts and opinions expressed here.  I did not receive compensation in any way for this review.**
I feel like most of the good books I have read recently have been full of deep feels and have been mostly contemporary stories. This book was no different, it gave me sooo many feels!  There were moments of sadness but the happiness outshines them! 

I loved Hanley.  I loved how sarcastic she was, a lot of her witty retorts had me snickering, even if it was a self defense mechanism for her. I felt for her and wished she could come to terms with her grief and that her parents would realize what they were doing to her. Then she finds Nate, or is it he that finds her, either way I love him.  I loved them together!  Nate became Hanley's leaning post, the person she could trust with her sadness.  While I kept hoping for her to find the strength in herself to overcome things I was really glad she had him.  But Nate has his own secret and unfortunately Nate wasn't ready to share his secrets. I felt for Hanley because of it, I mean she opened up and made herself vulnerable but Nate won't do the same in return.  Of course when he does it's a bombshell!
There were also some rock solid supporting characters, I kind of wish we had more time to see their interactions, they were just the type of friends Hanley needed and I'm left wishing we could have seen them grow and develop more, it read like they each have their own story to tell.

The pacing was excellent and when I wasn't swooning I was dying of suspense over what Nate's secret was and how it would effect his and Hanley's fragile relationship.

Coming off my happy buzz I have to say that the ending left me with a few questions and you could say I'm now secretly hoping for a follow up book so those questions are answered.

In short: Where You'll Find Me is a quick, cute but at times serious read that I loved and know I will read again. I highly recommend!

Erin Fletcher
YA writer. WHERE YOU'LL FIND ME coming 1/7/14 from Entangled Teen. Lover of coffee and flip flops. Represented by John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Author: Rose Warburton
Publication Date: 01/02/2014
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal
London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.
Summary and Picture from Goodreads
**I received this as an eARC through Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  In no way does that effect the thoughts and opinions expressed here.  I did not receive compensation in any form for this review.**
I must admit that I let other's reviews of this book sway me into putting this book off until the last moment.  I'm here to tell you that it really wasn't that bad.
I really liked the historical aspect of the story and with the magical aspect mixed into it the book became an interesting read.  The story is told from the POVs of Rosa and Luke.  If you know me at all you know that I do not like alternating POVs but in Witch Finder it was well done and I didn't have any trouble connecting with both characters.  The story line flowed decently and I never found my mind wandering, in fact the closer it got to the end the faster I read.
I do understand some of the issues others had with the book, like the insta love thing.  Though I really feel that some of that is due to the historical setting.  Back then people's stations in society prevented them from really getting to know anyone who was better off or worse off than themselves.  I really feel that the whole "love" situation is purely driven from the fact that Luke sees Rosa in a hopeless, desperate situation and wants to save her from that.  Rosa in turn suffers from "Knight in Shining Armor" syndrome due to Luke's need to help her.  Of course this contradicts the whole point of his being but who didn't see that coming?  I am interested if their love could last in the long run or if they would wake up one day and say "What did I like about you again?"
The main issue I had was with Rosa.  I mean, come on! You're this awesome witch!! Quit letting your mother and brother and Sebastion walk all over you!  Grow a backbone and stand up for yourself, you don't need Luke!!
Overall I AM glad I read Witch Finder and though it was a longer book (over 300 pages), that I feared would take forever to get through, I ended up finishing it in less than 24 hours.  It turned into an exciting read that I couldn't put down until I knew what would happen to the characters.

Ruth Warburton
What can I tell you about myself... well, I love coffee, hate tea.

I prefer cheese to chocolate (but would eat either, if you're offering).

I grew up on a reading diet of my mum's classics (Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice) my dad's sci-fi/fantasy (A Wizard of Earthsea, Dune) and the Jilly Cooper novels passed around school at break time. I always wanted to be a writer but I never thought it would happen.

I was born and raised in Sussex on the south coast of England, and I went to school in Lewes and Brighton, but I now live in London, and A Witch in Winter was my first book.

Impostor by Susanne Winnacker

Author: Susanne Winnacker
Publication Date: 05/28/2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller
Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late?

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.
Picture and Summary from Goodreads
**I received this as an eARC through Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  In no way does that effect the thoughts and opinions expressed here.  I did not get reimbursed in any way for writing this review.**

We have another winner folks!  I could not stop reading this book I just had to keep going till I knew what would happen!  I also love how the cover totally reflects the book! Win!

Tessa is the MC, she is a variant which is someone who has some sort of evolved power, her ability is to turn into anyone she wants.  Her body captures DNA from the people she touches and holds onto it until she needs it.  She lives in the FEA compound where she has been working and training for the past two years to become a super spy.  The book revolves around her going on her first real mission in which she becomes Madison (who has been murdered) to hunt down a possible variant serial killer.

This book captured me from page one.  I instantly forged a connection with Tessa whose own parents didn't want her after finding out about her variance.  She fills that hole with Alec and Holly along with a handful of other characters who make up her circle of friends. Tessa's BFF Holly makes for a great partner in crime but I was disappointed that she didn't have a bigger part in the book but it's understandable since Tessa doesn't spend much time at the compound.  Hopefully in the next one we can see more interactions between Tessa and her FEA friends.  The people Tessa meets while she is impersonating Madison make her wish she were just a normal girl, you can feel her longing for a family to love her and I found myself wishing she could be Madison forever.

Alec is her best guy friend but it's obvious right away that she has more than just friendly feelings for him.  Their relationship is dripping with sexual tension which is only made worse by the fact that for some reason their relationship seems like it is forbidden.  There is some secret there that I still haven't figured out.  Now I am all Team Alec but Devon (Madison's Twin Brother) could quickly become more than just a runner up if Alec doesn't change his tune.

By the final chapters I had no idea who the killer was going to be and how we found out was an intense situation.  The final wrap up of the book was well done, while it didn't leave me recovering from a cliff hanger, it gave me just enough info to be able to highly anticipate the next book!  Seriously! When does the next one come out?!

Bottom Line:  Impostor is a thrill ride filled with excitement, suspense, and emotional tension.  It keeps you guessing until the end and leaves you wanting more!
Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog and three bunnies in Germany. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals.

When she isn't writing, you can usually find her in the kitchen, experimenting with new vegan dishes.

Her YA thriller IMPOSTOR will be published on May 28, 2013. It has been optioned for TV by Warner Brothers!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Faking Normal

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It features books we are eagerly anticipating getting our hands on.
My Pick This Week:
Faking Normal
Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Expected Publication Date: 02/25/2014
Publisher: HarperCollin's Childrens Books
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.
A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.
Picture and Summary from Goodreads
~ Goodreads ~
I'm really getting into a Contemporary groove lately..that and science fiction, go figure.  What are you waiting on this week?


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