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REVIEW: DAUGHTER OF THE RED DAWN BY ALICIA MICHAELS

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Synopsis:

These are dark times in the land of Fallada, and I fear that they will only continue to grow darker. Only the return of those we’ve lost will even the score.
It will begin with first line of the prophecy, which foretells of a red sun over the desert sky…
–Adrah, Queen of the Fae

On the outside, seventeen year-old Selena McKinley is like any other teenage girl. Yet Selena has always felt as if she doesn’t belong and is counting the days to graduation and her freedom from the small town that makes her feel so out of place, when the arrival of a stranger turns her world upside down. Selena will learn just how different she is and the truth of where she comes from.
A lost princess, they call her, the catalyst for a war involving a world that Selena was taken from as a child. An evil queen obsessed with her own beauty with a plan to enslave the human race.…the notion seems so silly, yet Selena knows in her heart that it is true. Then there is Titus, the shape shifter whose blue eyes and claims of destiny hold her heart captive. Can Selena find the strength to do what she must while following her heart?

REVIEW

Selena is a young girl from a small town with only one ambition: to escape Twin Oaks, Texas. Never having fit in with any of the cliché cliques at school, Selena always felt like an outsider, never having belonged anywhere. That is until one day she meets a boy in a field with the most beautiful blue eyes, and everything changes.

Thrust into a world that is a hundred percent crazy and a thousand percent magical, Selena finds that for the first time in her life, she may actually belong. And who knew her once seemingly useless existence could bring about such a revolution?

Okay, so this was a surprisingly good book for me. It had been a while since I read a good fantasy YA, and this just hit the spot. I loved the vibrant descriptions the author used to describe the fantastical world Selena was thrown into. And I was really impressed with the originality of the plot along with how it was beautifully executed. You could connect with the characters on a personal level, which gave a sense of reality to an otherwise insane storyline.

My only complaint with this book were the amazing amount of editing errors. Names were changed 3/4 quarters of the way through, and there were missing letters to words, and sometimes missing periods at the end of a sentence. Despite how awkward that was to read through, I didn’t find that it took away from the story. It’s just something I’m a stickler about.

Overall I was very impressed with this first installment of ‘The Lost Kingdom of Fallada’ series, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Daughter of the Red Dawn by Alicia Michaels = 4 faerie stars

AUTHOR INFO

Alicia Michaels

WEBSITE: http://www.fantasybyalicia.com/

Mother of 3 and Army wife. Lover of coffee, chocolate and good books. Writer of YA Fantasy that stretches the imagination. When not writing, I can usually be found reading.

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REVIEW: ADORKABLE BY COOKIE O’GORMAN

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Synopsis:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.

Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal–even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties.

The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life–and he’s completely clueless.

This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question:

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

REVIEW

To start this review, I’m going to list some of the things I adore most in life.

  1. Romance
  2. Sports
  3. Romance novels with sports

 

And when I found a book with all three?

Yeah, so, I really liked this. If you couldn’t tell by Elaine and I’s shared reactions.

I thought ‘Adorkable’ was an incredibly cute and sweet first love YA romance. One of the better ones I’ve read in a while. I really enjoyed how Sally embraced her nerd card and didn’t change the fact for anyone. She was a lovable, relatable character and I thought she was written to perfection.

Now for Becks…what a sweetie ❤ I was expecting him to be the annoying jock with the ego to match, and I was happily surprised by just how genuine and down to earth he was, especially around Sal. They made a hysterically mismatched pair but that made it all the better. It’s nice to see us nerds win from time to time 😉

Now for the only part I couldn’t stand.

Hooker.

Dear sweet Lord I wanted to strangle her right out of the book. She was written more as a bully than a supposed ‘BFF’. In those contexts I was severely disappointed, but even more so by the fact that she was incessant about matching Sally up with someone. As though at seventeen years old Sally was an effing spinster for not having a man. I know how annoying that is personally to have done to you, so to read about it happening to such a young girl, and by her ‘best friend’, essentially saying that she’s worthless without a boyfriend was disheartening to read.

So listen up, girls. It’s about to get preachy in here.

You are perfectly amazing, accomplished, and worthy without a man. All a man should bring to your life is happiness, respect, and love. Not the title of being ‘interesting’ or ‘whole’ now that you are attached. Your worth as a person is not, and SHOULD not, be centered around whether you have a partner in life.

Okay, so now that my maternal PSA rant is over, I really did love this refreshing read. It was exactly what I needed to get out of my disappointing reading slump.

ADORKABLE BY COOKIE O’GORMAN = 4 GOALS

AUTHOR INFO

Cookie O'Gorman

Cookie O’Gorman writes YA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her debut novel ADORKABLE is out now!

WEBSITE: http://cookieogorman.com

 

 

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REVIEW: ME BEFORE YOU BY JOJO MOYES

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Synopsis:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

REVIEW

So…this will probably be the shortest review I ever write, and that’s because: This effed me up. I mean, this effed me up BAD. Example A:

I’m not even going to leave a star review. Because…I got nothin’.

Read at your own risk, fellow bookies. Read at your own risk…

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CURRENT READ: LADY MIDNIGHT BY CASSANDRA CLARE

So my current read at the moment is the first installment in the Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare, and it seems like I’ve been waiting for this book’s release a life time too long. At this point, expect many memes in the review to come 😉

P.S.

Let me know in comments if any of you are reading this book at the moment or plan to in the future!

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Synopsis:

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

 

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REVIEW: RUSH (CITY LIGHTS #3) by Emma Scott

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Synopsis:

To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable. –John Milton

Charlotte Conroy, Juilliard-trained violinist, was on the cusp of greatness when tragedy swooped down on dark wings, crushing her hopes and breaking her heart. The music that used to sing in her soul has grown quiet, and she feels on the verge of setting down her violin for good. To pay the bills, she accepts a job as a personal assistant to a bitter, angry young man who’s been disabled by a horrific accident …

Noah Lake was an extreme sport athlete, journalist and photographer. He roamed the world in search of his next adrenaline high, until a cliff-dive left him in a coma. He awakes to find his career gone, his dreams shattered to pieces, his world an endless blackness that will never lift.

Charlotte begins to see that beneath Noah’s angry, brittle exterior is a young man in a pain. She is determined to show him that his life isn’t over, that he has so much to live for, never dreaming that she would become the only light in his darkness, or that he would help her find the music in hers.

The life he knew is over. The life she wants is just out of reach.
Together, they must face their fears and rediscover what it means to really live.

RUSH is Book III in the City Lights Series, and each can be read as a standalone.

REVIEW

I really, REALLY liked this book. Actually, I was surprised with just how much considering a few weeks ago I read the sample and decided to pass on it. But then the other day I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I don’t know why, and I saw that it was still on sale for only $.99, so I picked it up and thought I’d give it a second chance. I am so happy that I did!

Noah has lost everything that mattered in his life, not only his sight. He pushed his family away, his friends, and anything existing outside the walls of his townhouse in New York City after the accident. With nothing but darkness surrounding him, it moved into his heart, fueling his rage at the injustice of it all.

Charlotte had everything she ever wanted until one phone call changed everything, setting a domino effect of horrible events into motion that a year later she is still trying to reconcile with. When a chance opportunity comes along to help her out of her financial troubles, she nearly jumps at the chance, even knowing the consequence is having to live with Noah’s horrid and vile attitude.

Both are broken.

Both are lost.

But can two broken pieces be enough to make a whole?

With beautiful scene description and world building mixed with a romantic aspect that will ruin real life love for you, “Rush” is a book I won’t soon forget. And if you give it a chance, I don’t think you will either.

Rush by Emma Scott = 5 stars

AUTHOR INFO

Emma Scott

I write romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. I love to write book lovers; those who have found refuge, companionship, and escape in books, much as we do in real life. I like realism, honesty, authenticity in storytelling. I love to write about enduring love, soul-deep love, in as real a setting as I can make, but with big smooshy HEAs. I believe in diversity, open-mindedness, and inclusion. I like sweetness mixed with steam, love conquering all, and above all, hope.

Love always wins.

WEBSITE : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emma-Scott/305284739664184?fref=nf

TWITTER : EmmaS_writes

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REVIEW : Pull (Seaside, #2) by Rachel Van Dyken

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Synopsis:

Jaded rock star, Demetri Daniels, is in Hell — also known as Seaside, Oregon. Sent to rehab after nearly getting himself killed last year, his record company wants nothing more than for him to lay low, away from the limelight.

Irritated and more alone than he’s ever been in his life, Demetri tries desperately to rebuild his shattered reputation as a drug addict and player, which proves to be difficult when he meets Alyssa.

Alyssa is everything he should stay away from. She’s beautiful, smart, but above all else, she’s damaged. And one thing Demetri has learned is two broken hearts don’t equal a whole.
In the end, he has to decide if he can rise above the life he’s created in learning from his past mistakes, or fall into the darkness of his choices.

REVIEW

I thought that this was a great sequel to “Tear”, and I loved reading from Demetri’s perspective and also Alyssa’s. There was a lot of pain, and drama, and angst, and…wow. A lot was going on here lol. This author is a master at intertwining different characters’ pasts into heartbreaking tales of betrayal, loss, and tragedy. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, you’re thrown through yet another loop and left in a heap of confusion and shock. If you love suspenseful plot lines, then I definitely recommend you read this series.

Demetri is a mess. He’s a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, something that he deals with on a ridiculously hard day to day basis. Watching his brother find love, he wonders if he too will ever be lucky enough to encounter his soul mate one day. And that maybe, just maybe, he isn’t too broken to be pieced back together again.

Enter Alyssa.

Alyssa is just as screwed up as Demetri. Her past is filled with ghosts that refuse to leave her. That is until she encounters Demetri Daniels. She finds a similar flame in him – a brokenness that they both seem to harbor. It was amazing watching these two characters’ relationship evolve with the pages, filled with hope at times and others despair. Finding the right balance between the two is what this story was all about. It’s not about finding an instant solution, it’s about slowly letting go and letting life move on, remembering to find joy and happiness in every moment – despite the guilt one might feel at doing so.

There were only a few things I didn’t particularly like about this book. For starters, there were quite a few editing issues – something I forgot to mention in my review for “Tear”. It wasn’t so distracting that it left the book lacking, but it was enough that I found it something worth mentioning in this review. Second, I feel like Alyssa let what happened to her affect her life a little bit too much. With what she went through, I can imagine harboring guilt. But to the extent she let it build and how much it controlled her seemed a bit dramatic, and at times, stupid. She took it out on Demetri most of the time which I did NOT agree with.

All in all I was impressed with this sequel detailing my favorite character in the Seaside series. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

Pull by Rachel Van Dyken = 4 stars

AUTHOR INFO

Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

EMAIL ME: rachelvandykenauthor@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-…

WEBSITE: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com/

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REVIEW : Capture (Seaside Pictures, #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

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Synopsis:

Losing your ability to speak at the age of seventeen; it’s not normal or fair.
But trauma, has a way of throwing normality out the window.

Dani lives anything but a normal life.
Her sister is married to one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Her best friends are rockstar duo AD2.
And she has more love around her than most people experience in a lifetime.
But that doesn’t change the fact their parents are dead.
Or that it’s her fault.

It seems her new normal is being a mute, living on the inside, unable to actually communicate on the outside.
That is until Hollywood’s newest heartthrob Lincoln Greene hires her as his assistant for the summer.
He’s gorgeous, completely unavailable, and unobtainable.
But that doesn’t stop her from wondering…if things were different…would he want her?
If she was whole, would he be the other half?

REVIEW

This was so cute! And I can’t believe that I haven’t read something from this author before now. But I’m so glad I discovered “Capture” because now I have a new series to be hooked to!

Let me tell you now why I’m going to be obsessed with this new series.

Dani is mute by choice, having gone through a tragedy few have survived — the simple act of speaking feels like it could break her. Her sister, brother-in-law, and two best friends ( all of which are in the entertainment industry ) are concerned with her unwillingness to get out there and experience life again. So devising a plan, they arrange for Dani to become the new assistant for Lincoln Greene, one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood. The issue? Dani isn’t so on board with this scheme of theirs.

I really love stories like these where the family and friends are so involved in the story. Dani couldn’t have a better support system, and I loved most watching their sweet and at times, hilarious, interactions with each other. I also loved the dual POVs, because you really got to experience what they both were going through at different times, giving the story better depth.

Linc was an adorable character to me. He was sweet, funny, awkward with Dani at times ( which was so freaking cute! ), and really had a great heart. I loved how he and Dani slowly became friends and shared their pasts, connecting them further. Dani herself was a good character, too. I admired how she didn’t fawn all over Lincoln simply because he was a movie star. In fact it was quite the opposite lol. But despite their rough beginnings with each other, these two had a great chemistry I very much enjoyed reading. Something I didn’t know (but kind of suspected) until after I read this was that there was a whole other series before this one ( called the Seaside series ), and this was sort of the beginnings of a spin off to it. Needless to say you don’t necessarily have to read the other one first, but it would definitely set things up better in the story if you did.

I really did love this book. I have a soft spot in my heart for Hollywood romances, and this book hit the mark perfectly for me.

Capture by Rachel Van Dyken = 5 Seaside Stars

P.S.

I can’t wait to read Zane’s story!

AUTHOR INFO

Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

Website: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-…