Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Amazon / Goodreads

Blurb via Goodreads-

"Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright.

Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required"

Kissing Shakespeare was a great read. This was an interesting take on time travel and was wonderfully written.  Although I'm not a big historical fiction fan, I found the story to be very intriguing. The Shakespeare aspect was creative, but I found the story to be slow in a few spots. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending, though. I think it was a realistic ending however, it leaves you wondering if there will be a sequel or not and I hope there is!

Great Read! 4 out of 5 stars

Special Thanks to Random House Children's Books and Netgalley for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life changing decisions... part 1

Hi everyone!

I decided to start posting a "diary of sorts" regarding a life changing decision I recently made. I suppose this will really be for me to read, to help my stay focused, and to look back on in the future. But, I'd like to share my journey.  Just as a warning, I will be most likely sharing extremely personal details. I am not the first person to struggle with this issues/ decisions and certainly wont be the last. However, This is going to be my story, my thoughts, and what I've learned.  I do wish that if anyone would like to comment on these posts, please do so, however please keep them mature.

 So, here goes...

I have been overweight my entire life. I am currently morbidly obese. I HATE the term morbidly obese. I hate it, I'm ashamed to be it, and I'm tired of being it. For years I have attempted to do something about it. Ive tried diets and just gained more weight.  My father use to tell me that he thought it was his fault that I was overweight. He was a big guy most of his life. He would tell me "Brianne, if you were skinny, your life would be so different, you would be so beautiful." In fact, the last conversation I had with my father regarding my weight was in 2006 or 2007, my father was diabetic and I would drive him to dialysis. Before dropping him off, we would stop and get him a McDonald's happy meal. (**note, i would rarely get anything for myself- will go into this more later**) While waiting through the drive-through, my father said that he would pay for me to get lap-band surgery, yet again saying how beautiful I'd be if I just lost the weight. That i would have had such an easier childhood, high school years and boyfriends.. At that point in my life, I was embracing my size. I was okay with who I was and who I had grown to be. I snapped at my father, I told him "Dad, I think I am beautiful no matter how much I weigh, I'm a much stronger person for what Ive gone through in my life and I'm happy." I also told him that I have never had any problems dating men because of this either, something I never really talked about with my dad.  So, he finally listened to me and dropped the subject all together.  My father passed away on June 14th 2007 from complications due to being diabetic. I understand why my father would say things to me about my weight. I understand completely that he just didn't want me to be in pain like he was, he wasn't saying it to be mean. I suppose I understand this more now than back then, as then I mostly thought he was just ashamed and thought I was ugly.

**Id like to now point out now that while being overweight, Ive never really been a food gorger. I am by no means a saint but I love fruit and veggies. I RARELY drink anything but water, Ive been that way most of my life.**

So, embracing my size was fun for a while. But certain issues started bothering me. I stopped having a normal menstrual cycle when I was 15. I turned 33 last week and have had 4 periods since the age of 15.  I have seen a gynecologist about this, she never really explained whats happening and never said anything was wrong.  I always assumed it was the weight.   I married the love of my life in 2011, I was the one who asked him out back in 1999. He is not a "chubby chaser" he loves me for me, no matter what size.  After years of assuming that I just couldn't get pregnant and trying to keep my mindset in the "eh kids, who needs them" , my biological clock started ticking.  While feeling the clock tick away, Ive also started noticing that my knees hurt, my back is killing me, I can't walk very far without getting out of breath. Its even starting to get painful to shower and put clothes on.

On July 18th I decided to go to a seminar of weight loss surgery. Something that has been in my mind for years. Something that I just felt I would never do..I didn't want to be miserable the rest of my life.  But Ive finally realized that I might not have many years left if I don't do something about my weight.  The seminar changed my mind. I was able to listen to two people who have had surgeries and they are happy, healthy. I also learned that the chances of fertility are highly increased.

So, Dad, your wish has finally come true. I plan on getting roux en y gastric bypass surgery. I am doing this for myself. I am doing this to get healthy. To hopefully have many more birthdays. I am hoping to get the surgery in November.

An interesting bit of information is that I actually have to loose weight before getting the surgery. I am to TRY to loose 70 pounds before November.  Ive started a diet, recommended by a dietitian and I've started exercising.

Things Ive learned so far:

chew chew chew chew your food!! enjoy it. Ive learned really fast to enjoy my food. I honestly would jut bite and swallow. I really feel that my whole relationship with food has changed.

Do not drink anything before, during, or after your meal. In fact wait an hour after your meal. No fluids aids in healthy digestion.     Also, sip your water, don't gulp.

The amount of support I've received from my family and coworkers is amazing. My wonderful mother is so proud of me. She has always supported me and has never "told me what to do" she is a firm believer that you have to let people make their own decisions. I am so greatful to have her in my life.   My coworkers surprised me the most, I usually keep to myself but I thought Id share my decision. I got hugs and shopping trip offers when I loose my weight. Most importantly I have a coworker who has offered to walk around the building with me daily.

and exercise can actually be FUN (I cant not believe I just typed that)  Ive been exercising the past 5 days now and I have found that disco is the best music to work out to. I have learned some amazing ab exercises!

Speaking of exercising, I better get off my butt and listen to some Bee-Gee's

Creative Commons License
Life changing decisions part 1 by Brianne Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://memoriesovertakingme.blogspot.com/.

The Sand Bar by Rebecca Bryan

Amazon / Goodreads

Blurb via Goodreads-

"Based around the Twenty-fourth of July celebration that takes place every year in the author's real hometown, The Sand Bar is a women's Fiction novel that is a little bit "Hope Floats " with a dash of "It's a Wonderful Life." With her marriage annulled and her emotions in tatters, Marlo returns to her hometown of St. Anthony, Idaho, to care for her sick father and get back on her feet. She runs into Brandon, the boyfriend whose heart she broke before she left town, and finds him unhappy in his marriage and his life. Marlo fears she has not only ruined her own chance for happiness, but that of a man she once loved. When she meets an old woman who offers her a chance to make things right by going back in time, Marlo feels she has nothing to lose. She accepts the elixir and soon finds herself not in the past, but two years in the future, married to Brandon and living the life she had always dreaded: stuck in a tiny town with a toddler she doesn't know or love. Things get more complicated when she begins to suspect that Brandon had a part in his first wife's mysterious death. With the help of handsome Luke Dawson, an old classmate and now a police officer, Marlo must solve the mystery of what really happened the night she took the elixir, and fix her broken relationships before she can return to the present and truly have a second chance at happiness."

The Sand Bar was a wonderful read! Everyone has those "could have, should have" moments in time and The Sand Bar was an excellent example. The descriptions of the town and situations were wonderfully written and detailed. The story was interesting and unpredictable. I can easily see the Sand Bar become a movie.

Highly Recommend - 5 out of 5 stars

Special Thanks to Rebecca Bryan for providing The Sand Bar in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

Amazon / Goodreads

Blurb via Goodreads-

"Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some CONFESSIONS to make... #1: I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

#2: I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who "might" be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.

#3: High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry-get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.) (Sorry. That was rude.)"

I really enjoyed Confessions of an Angry Girl! It sort of had a "John Hughes- Pretty in Pink/Breakfast Club" feel to it, which of course I love. The characters really stood out and were written well.  The scenarios in the book were interesting and well thought of.  The only thing I didn't enjoy was that the end was left open for a sequel. Grr!!  But, I enjoyed this enough to definitely be picking up whatever comes next!

Great Read!!  5 out of 5 stars  Recommend to YA and older 

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

Amazon / Goodreads

Blurb via Goodreads-

"Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents' separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn's bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be "touched" by Annaliese...or if Annaliese even exists.

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about--not to mention her own--she can't help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

Annaliese? Or herself"

The Unquiet was a wonderful read. The plot was original and I enjoyed the drama/paranormal aspect. The story and characters were well thought of and written well. I absolutely LOVE urban legends and this book was a great example. I also enjoyed the authors note at the end. I did find myself towards the middle/end just wanting to get the book over with, it dragged a bit for me. However I did enjoy The Unquiet and rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

Special Thanks to Bloomsbury Children's Books and NetGalley for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

The Unloved by Jennifer Snyder - Cover Reveal

"Sometimes the love our heart needs to heal can be found in the familiar eyes of a childhood friend...

Julie Porter learned the hard way that trust is something which must be earned and not something to be given out lightly, those who say they love you are those who hold the power to hurt you most, and best friends can help you survive anything—until they move away.

Nick Owen knows a thing or two about a hard life. At a young age Nick learned how to take a hit and to make lemonade out of the lemons life tossed his way. Returning home after nearly two years of being away, all Nick cares about now is protecting his mom from the abusive hands of his father and catching up with his best friend—the girl who lived across the street, the girl he can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Finally reunited after two years apart, Nick and Julie are about to learn that age does nothing to protect you from life’s trials and tribulations, heartache and loss, but maybe together they’ll find a way to survive.

(Mature Young Adult, contains violence, language, and sexual situations.)"

Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15763978-the-unloved

Author's Blog: http://jennifersnydersblog.blogspot.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Catalyst by Zoe Winters- Review & Excerpt

Blurb via Goodreads-

"It started with one lost, shivering pup; it may end in a war...
Panthers don’t do responsibility. They don’t do long-term relationships. They definitely don’t raise kids. But when Z discovers a young wolf in the forest, he takes him in, unaware of the powerful beings hunting the pup.

Fiona is a witch who can’t leave her house; the birds have told her something bad will happen. The mailbox is as far as she’ll go, but even that may provide more danger than she’s bargained for. When a wolf pup stumbles into her garden, her safe, wrapped-up world heads for a free fall.

But along with danger, the pup brings a chance at love—a chance an agoraphobic witch and a bachelor panther shifter aren’t likely to find on their own.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The Catalyst is an ensemble book that also features Jane and Cole (from Blood Lust) and Cain (from Blood Lust and Save My Soul)


I really enjoyed The Catalyst. This is book three on The Preternaturals series and The Catalyst is the first Ive read from this series. I was able to read it by itself without knowing the details of books one and two. However, since The Catalyst was so good, I have to pick up books one and two!!

I was pulled in from the start and could not put it down. The characters were well written and had great chemistry. The Catalyst was a fast-paced read filled with paranormal characters. The story was well thought of and imaginative.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Catalyst and will be reading more from Zoe Winters!

4 out of 5 stars.

Buy links via Zoe Winters Blog-

Barnes and Noble
Amazon (please check other Amazon sites separately. They could be live or they may take up to 48 hours.)
Smashwords (All other formats are available here. The Catalyst will eventually be available at Apple, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel, but it takes awhile.)
Amazon.com (Amazon has chosen to delay availability of this book, so I’d just recommend you grab it at B&N if you want it fast.)
Amazon.uk (other Amazons most likely available. See those sites for availability.)
The Book Depository (Great for International readers. They deliver worldwide.)
Barnes and Noble (They are shipping within 24 hours here.)
You can also special order from your local bookstore."


"Just have to make it to the mailbox. Everything will be okay. Fiona Patrone stared out the window at the lonely box at the end of the driveway. Her house was surrounded by trees in a heavily wooded area of Golatha Falls—so far out it was amazing the mailman delivered. And yet it felt so open and unknown out there. It was safer inside.

There probably isn’t any mail. Just check it tomorrow. Nothing important. Not worth going out. The thoughts tunneled through her mind like vicious moles. If she didn’t venture out, she’d be even more a prisoner of her own mind and fears. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d gone past the mailbox. If she got to the point where she couldn’t even get that far…

The birds outside screeched then, chattering warnings, screaming the same awful things they screamed at her every day. If you go out there, something bad will happen. She believed them. Birds had no reason to lie. They were excellent seers, so much so, that for centuries people had read bird entrails, not realizing that you needed a live bird to get any knowledge of value.

Something bad. They could at least give her a little detail, some clue as to what she should fear, but the threat remained the same—vague and foreboding as ever.

Fiona had been able to understand the language of animals before she could understand that of humans—a rare and special gift for a witch to inherit. Though she’d always seen it as a curse. If not for those damned birds, she’d be outside living her life. Maybe she would have found love, a job, something.

Well, she had a job—on the Internet. Her money was direct-deposited. She ordered her clothes online and had her groceries delivered. Thanks to the web, agoraphobia had never been so easy. At least from a logistics standpoint.

She took in a slow, measured breath, her hand poised over the doorknob. You can do this. You can do this. You can do this. Fiona mentally repeated it like a subliminal message she prayed would take hold. The doorknob clicked in her hand. She moved through what felt like invisible molasses as she forced herself out the door and into the throng of screeching, angry birds.

The wind had a new crispness. Almost Halloween. As a witch, shouldn’t she be in her element right about now? But the idea of ghosts and goblins and veils thinning served to make the whole ordeal seem more dangerous.

Fifty-five steps. She counted them every day because counting them was the only way she could make herself get there. It wasn’t far. She could run back into her house if the birds were right.
The mailbox held nothing of interest: an electric bill that could have waited until tomorrow. On her way back, step twenty-four, she became aware of the eerie silence. The birds had stopped their squawking, and a stillness blanketed the yard. She would have run straight for the front door except for the plaintive cry coming from somewhere nearby.

Ignore it. It’s not your concern, she told herself. Thirty-five. But the noise happened again. So sad, scared. Her heart softened at the sound. She’d want someone to help her if she were in distress. Fiona tucked the electric bill into the waistband of her jeans and struggled through the wild growth of the front yard. She hadn’t worked on the garden in five years, and it showed.
When she reached the side of the house, she found a wolf pup with wide, brown eyes, crying. He was old enough that he should have started learning the language of his kind, but he hadn’t. There were no words she could pick up and decipher. She could still get emotions and basic information, especially if those emotions were strong. In some circles, this made Fiona dangerous; in others, it would make her a pawn of those who might want to capitalize on such information.

The pup was lost, hungry, scared.

She didn’t sense a mother wolf nearby. Had he been abandoned? Her mind screamed at her to leave him there. But he was so hungry and pathetic. She couldn’t stop herself from scooping him up and taking him inside.

She sat him on the kitchen counter, and he stared curiously at her, turning his little wolf head to the side. He was reddish-brown and white, the cutest thing she’d seen in forever. At least he seemed old enough to be weaned.

She’d made a roast the previous night and wasn’t sure how that would fly with the little guy, but it was what she had. She cut some meat up and put it on the counter. The pup’s tail wagged as he gobbled up the food. She placed a bowl of water down, and he took care of that, too.

He stared at her from the top of the counter as if to say What next? Oh wow, yeah. She hadn’t thought through that part. If he was just lost, his mother would be coming soon. If he was all alone, she couldn’t have a wolf in her house. Even understanding what he needed, it was just insane. And probably illegal.

He positioned himself on the edge of the counter, shifting his weight from paw to paw, negotiating the drop to the ground. His full concentration was on the jump. When he made it to the linoleum floor, he looked up at her, all pleased with himself, and she melted. So cute.
“Well, maybe you can stay for a little while. Until I figure out what to do with you.” Those words had barely tumbled past her lips when the window over the breakfast nook shattered, and a large ball of black fur leaped into her kitchen.

It must be the mother. But no. As her confusion cleared, she could see it was a large, angry black panther.
Fiona edged back, afraid he’d pounce if she made any sudden moves. What she wouldn’t give right now to have a few handy incantations at the ready. For spells, she needed all the proper tools: sage stick, herbs, candles, salt, etc. She could incant a little if she was very focused, but now, with her heart pounding so fast, wasn’t one of those times. Her own name was a blank—forget coming up with a snappy protection chant.

She grabbed at stray pots and pans and emptied a whole drawer of utensils as she threw everything she had at him. But he batted the objects away, prowling closer, his growl low and menacing. Within seconds, he had her backed into a corner, claws out, swiping at her.

She screamed and grabbed her arm, which was starting to bleed. Her side burned as well. All at once, her brain snapped into sharp focus. She was going to die in a matter of seconds if she didn’t figure something out right now.

He’d stopped clawing at her for a minute and was growling, something about her taking the pup, wanting to hurt him, people after him. Oh, wait. Wait! She could feel the magic crackling around the panther. Therian! That meant there was a person in there. Somewhere.

She called on every reserve of courage she had to form words. “I wasn’t trying to hurt him. He was lost and hungry. I brought him in to feed him. That’s all. I’m not whoever you think I am.”
The panther stared at her hard and growled again.

“Yes, I understand you.”

How is that possible? He growled.

“Rare gift. I meant the pup no harm. I swear.” She held her hands out defensively, hoping he believed her. An insane panther therian in her house wasn’t how she wanted to go out. Blood dripped in a steady flow down her arm; her shirt was torn near her ribcage where more blood was pooling. Oh God. That swipe alone could have killed her.

Breathe, Fiona. He’s calm now. Everything will be fine. Thank God he was a therian and could understand her as well as she understood him.

She still couldn’t figure out what a panther’s concern with a wolf pup was. But really, all she wanted was to get the both of them out of her house and call a window repairman. She was trying to forget the bleeding part. She vowed she’d listen to the birds next time.

So you can understand him? The panther’s gaze shifted to the pup who gingerly stepped around the broken glass, sniffing things.

“Well, he doesn’t have language like you have yet, but I know what he needs. My gift runs a little deeper than just speech.” Not to toot her horn or anything.

He shifted—–right in the middle of her kitchen. Her eyes didn’t know where to go. Tanned, muscular legs. And… oh dear, skip that, skip that! But her brain had already processed parts of a man she’d never seen outside of television or the Internet, due to her phobia. There weren’t a lot of opportunities to hook up with men when you never left your house.

Farther up, there were very nice abs and pecs—–and those arms. Oh boy. She swiped the back of the hand that wasn’t bleeding across her face, afraid she might be drooling. She wanted to lick him, but under the circumstances that seemed a little weird. Her arm and side burned like fiery hell, but damn, he was pretty. So sleek and lithe, just like what he shifted into.
When her gaze made it up to his face, a boyish smirk graced his lips. There was a twinkle in his brown eyes. His dark hair was longish, but somehow still masculine. Oh yes, there wasn’t an unmanly bone in his body.

“So,” he drawled, moving closer by mere centimeters, “should we just get it on now?”
Her mouth dropped open. He couldn’t have just said that.
A strange look crossed his face. “Sorry. Wild animal here. A little amped up. That was inappropriate.” He extended a hand, attempting to move past the new awkwardness. “Let me look at you.”

The pain in her arm and side flared fully to life as she processed everything that had just happened in her kitchen. When she didn’t respond to his request, he pulled her toward him and lifted her shirt to inspect her side.

He frowned. “Not as bad as it could have been. Nothing major harmed.”

She was about to get angry and indignant about his flippant attitude toward what he’d just done, but then his eyes met hers, warm and honest.

“I’m very sorry about your injuries. I was afraid for the pup and sensed the magic on you. I thought you were one of the ones who tried to take him. I’m all he’s got.” The pup, as if sensing he was being talked about, clomped through the kitchen debris to sit between them, his little wolf gaze going back and forth.

Fiona looked back at the man standing in front of her, so sincere and intense…  and attractive, and then the waterworks started.

“Oh, no, don’t cry,” he said, almost in a panic over the concept of female tears.

It wasn’t pain that had brought forth the tears; it was the fact that this was what it took to get near a hot guy for her: a near-death experience, and him breaking into her kitchen: the idea that he was going to take the pup and go on his merry way, and she’d have the memory of him emblazoned on her brain, but that would be all. Her close brush with maleness. Inches from her, but no dice.

It wasn’t that she wanted to take him up on his carnal offer. He was a stranger. And, as he said, a wild animal. And she wished he’d cover himself with something, because judging from outward signs, he was all raring and ready to go. Like most therians, he was unaffected by his own nudity or arousal. Something she wished humans shared in common with them, so she wouldn’t feel so freaked out by his nearness… or so much longing for something she wasn’t going to ever have since she couldn’t make it past her own mailbox.

His smooth, deep voice interrupted her mental hysteria. “Do you have bandages?”
“Bathroom, down the hall,” she said absently, feeling stupid for going all blubbery on him. Thank God he couldn’t read her mind and know why she’d been crying. That would have been too mortifying for words. Better for him to think she was just a big wimp who couldn’t take surface abrasions than to know the truth.

Copyright 2012, Zoe Winters."

Special Thanks to Zoe Winters and Dark Mind Tours for providing an e-book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Drain You by M. Beth Bloom

Amazon / Goodreads

Blurb via Goodreads-

"There’s normal, and then there’s paranormal, and neither is Quinlan Lacey’s cup of Diet Coke.

Quinn’s life is a red carpet of weird fashions, hip bands, random parties, and chilling by the pool with her on-and-off BF Libby. There’s also her boring job (minimum wage), a crushed out co-worker (way too interested), her summer plans (nada), and her parents (totally clueless). Then one night she meets gorgeous James, and Quinn’s whole world turns crazy, Technicolor, 3-D, fireworks, whatever.

But with good comes bad, and unfortunately Quinn’s new romance brings with it some majorly evil baggage. LA is crawling with gangs of the undead, all aching to drain something. Now, to make things right, Quinn has to do a lot of things wrong.

Quinn’s goal: to stay sane, cool, in love, and alive.

With a one-of-a-kind protagonist, high-fidelity friendships, wicked LA nightlife, and a restless romance, this unforgettable debut from M. Beth Bloom is perfect for fans of Heather Brewer and John Green."

Drain You was a very interesting read. I really loved Quinn, she is a snarky hot mess. The story was extremely intriguing, the 80's/90's references were fun. I was really into Drain You but towards the end, I'm sad to say that it just fizzled out for me.  I just somehow lost interest in the book.  However, I did enjoyed the beginning enough to want to read more from this author.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Special Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for providing an ARC e-book in exchange for an honest review.

Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel

Amazon / Goodreads

Blurb via Goodreads-
"At 7:45 a.m. on the day before Thanksgiving break, a bomb goes off at Edison High. Nine people die instantly. Fifteen are critically injured. Twenty-two suffer less severe injuries. And one is blinded. Those who survive, struggle to cope with the loss and destruction. All must find new meaning for their lives as a result of something they may never understand.

Lurlene McDaniel's signature expertise and finesse in dealing with issues of violence, death, and physical as well as emotional trauma in the lives of teens is immediate and heartrending."

Red Heart Tattoo was a heartbreaking short read that grabbed me from the beginning. This was a emotional novel that didn't go into much detail about why this tragic event happened, but how the victims were affected and their lives. Red Heart Tattoo does have multiple points of view, which can be confusing but Lurlene McDaniel wrote them well. That being said, I would have liked to have read more from each character, so I could have felt a stronger connection. I enjoyed the ending but I wanted more.

4 out of 5 stars Highly recommend!

Special Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children's Books for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Burn Mark by Laura Powell

Amazon / Goodreads

Blurb via Goodreads-
"Glory is from a family of witches and lives beyond the law. She is desperate to develop her powers and become a witch herself. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition—the witches’ mortal enemy—and his privileged life is very different to the forbidden world that he lives alongside.

And then on the same day, it hits them both. Glory and Lucas develop the Fae—the mark of the witch. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together, whether they like it or not . . ."

I enjoyed Burn Mark. The world that Laura Powell created was creative and interesting. I did have a hard time getting really involved in the book, there was quite a lot of descriptions and details that I found myself skipping through paragraphs.  Glory was a great character, however I just didn't connect with Lucas. Overall this was a good read and I recommend to anyone NOT looking for a light, fast -paced read.

4 out of 5 stars.

Special Thanks to Bloomsbury Children's Books and NetGalley for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

The Académie by Susanne Dunlap

Amazon / Goodreads

Blurb via Goodreads-
"Eliza Monroe-daughter of the future president of the United States-is devastated when her mother decides to send her to boarding school outside of Paris. But the young American teen is quickly reconciled to the idea when-ooh, la-la!-she discovers who her fellow pupils will be: Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine Bonaparte; and Caroline Bonaparte, youngest sister of the famous French general. It doesn't take long for Eliza to figure out that the two French girls are mortal enemies-and that she's about to get caught in the middle of their schemes.

Loosely drawn from history, Eliza Monroe's imagined coming of age provides a scintillating glimpse into the lives, loves, and hopes of three young women during one of the most volatile periods in French history."

I have to say that if you love Historical Fiction, then you will love this book. Unfortunately, I am a Contemporary lover, I just can't ever seem to get into Historical. Knowing right away that this was Historical, I did decide to give it a try anyways. I had a really hard time connecting with the characters mainly because the POV changed a lot. Susanne Dunlap is a good writer, the descriptions were well written, however I just didn't get a "wow" feeling.  Her authors note at the end was a very good addition to the book and made me appreciate the time an effort Susanne Dunlap put into this book.

Overall, I rate The Académie 3.5 out of 5 stars-

Special Thanks to Bloomsbury Children's Books and Netgalley for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Final Life by Rose Garcia

"Eight lives. You'd think Dominique would get it right, but she's failed every time. Now on her final life, Dominique must discover the secrets of her past before confronting the Transhuman hunter who wants to kill her for the last time. Farrell, a mysterious Transhuman protector, and Trent, a hot guy from school, want to help her. But it's up to her to get it right this time—or she’ll be dead. For real."


Final Life was a quick fast-paced suspenseful read. I enjoyed the sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal concept of the story and that the characters were kept realistic.  The writing flowed well and held my interest through-out the entire book. There were a few characters that I would have like to had read more about but the ending left me hoping that book 2 will let the readers explore more into those characters. This was a fantastic debut!

4 out of 5 stars

About the Author:
Rose Garcia is a lawyer turned writer who’s always been fascinated by science fiction and fantasy. From a very young age, she often had her nose buried in books about other-worlds, fantastical creatures, and life and death situations. More recently she’s been intrigued by a blend of science fiction and reality, and the idea that some supernatural events are, indeed, very real. Fueled by her imagination, she created The Transhuman Chronicles—a series of books about people who have overcome human limitations. Rose lives in Houston with her husband and two kids. You can visit Rose at www.rosegarciabooks.com. Check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads!
 Rose Garcia Website     Rose Garcia Facebook      Rose Garcia Twitter     Rose Garcia Goodreads

Special thanks to AToMR Book Blog Tours and Rose Garcia for providing an e-book in exchange for an honest review

tour site schedule   http://atomrbookblogtours.com/2012/05/04/final-life/

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Streamline by Jennifer Lane

Amazon / Goodreads

Blurb via Goodreads-

"Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He's captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother's crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father's abuse, battered and alone.

Leo's girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida's top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there's an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter-her father-is in prison for murder.

Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything's on the line . . . streamline"

Streamline was an emotional and powerful read.  I was pulled in from the start and the writing is excellent. Streamline deals with a lot of different subjects, from abuse, murder, teen pregnancy, addiction and Jennifer Lane did a fantastic job combining the subjects.  I would recommend reading this in a quiet room with little interuptions because there is a lot going on in the book and you miss out on something important!

Streamline is a beautiful read that I highly recommend to mature YA and adults.

5 out of 5 stars.

Special Thanks to Jennifer Lane for providing an e-book in exchange for an honest review.

Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

Amazon / Goodreads

Don't You Wish is about a nerdy, unpopular teen named Annie Nutter. Her dad is a crazy inventor (I instantly pictured Rick Moranis from Honey I Shrunk the Kids) and her mom becomes depressed after seeing a magazine article about a successful former boyfriend.  After somehow getting zapped by one of her dad's creations, Annie wakes up in a parallel universe. Her new universe appears to be perfect, her name is Ayla Monroe, shes beautiful, popular, and rich! But is her new life really better?

Don't you Wish was a fantastic read and a perfect example that the grass isn't always greener on the other side! The writing flowed well and was extremely interesting. I loved the fun realistic characters. Don't you Wish was a great read and had a perfect ending! I highly recommend this to anyone!

I rate Don't You Wish 5 out of 5 stars! This has made it to my favorites list!!

Special thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children's Books. I received an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.