Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry


Pushing the Limits



Genre
YA Contemporary Romance

Publication Date
July 24th, 2012

Publisher
Harlequin Teen

Available At
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Formats 
Hardcover
Ebook







So wrong for each other...and yet so right.


No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.  Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.


Review
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!


Two characters striving to re-find a normal that doesn't exist anymore which forces them to find a new normal. 






I'm a huge fan of split perspectives, and Katie McGarry did not disappoint in that aspect. There was a vast difference between Noah's voice and Echo's voice that was hugely appreciated by this reader. Echo is more refined where Noah is more gruff, it was perfect. Also, since I'm a details person, I loved the little tells that McGarry threw into the mix, it was a successful way to connect the reader in a broader way. 


"Luke use to give me butterflies. Noah spawned mutant pterodactyls"
                                                                                              - Echo


Noah drinks, smokes pot, has sex, skips school and curses. You can label him the quentessential 'bad boy', but to me he was just a troubled teenager that was letting his past shape his present. I like, no love, when authors put in the not so pretty aspects of high school, or life in general. I don't know about you, but I was surrounded by Noah-type and Echo-type people throughout high school, may have been a little of both. As much as some parents don't want to admit it, this stuff really happens in high school, so why should authors not write about it? I was more than grateful that Katie McGarry put real-life instances into Pushing The Limits.


"Depth perception and beer obviously weren't related"
                                                                     - Echo


Another great thing? The character growth wasn't dependent on the romance. Echo and Noah grew together just as much as they grew separetely, which is pretty realistic, because some things you just have to learn or do on your own. They also gained insight from their friends which helped their individual or couple growth. All in all, there wasn't a single aspect of Pushing The Limits I didn't like. I found it realistic, with awesome characters and many deeper meanings buried within the story. 






If you love YA Contemporary Romance then make sure to read Pushing The Limits. If you are looking to dive into the YA Contemporary genre, there is no better place to start than Pushing The Limits. If you've read this book. . . I want your thoughts :)


PS, Katie McGarry is writing her next book about a supporting character in Pushing The Limits. Can. Not. Wait!


*Received my copy of the book from NetGalley*







Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: One Moment by Kristina McBride


One Moment




Genre
YA Contemporary

Publication Date
June 26th, 2012

Publisher
Egmont USA

Available At

Formats
Hardcover
Ebook






This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.


Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?


As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?


The latest novel from the author of The Tension of OppositesOne Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.


Review
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


One word. Intense. One Moment had me in a constant anticipation mode, but not the eager anticipation, the nervous anticipation. I was stuck with a perpetual free-falling feeling. You know the one, jittery nerves, rapid heartbeat, stomach jammed up into your throat while you wait for it to drop out from beneath you. Like I said, intense. You want to know what happened, you want to know the secrets that were being kept, but you just know that they will be devastating, especially because Joey is so damn likable. 


Thick in mystery, Kristina McBride leads us on an adventure that will throw suspicions all over the place. I loved that we got information as Maggie got information, it allowed me to connect to her and feel with her. The writing also added to Maggie's character because it was almost desperate, depressed, and a little bit hopeless until that little flicker of light reveals itself to help lead Maggie out of the dark. To say I was captivated is an understatement. I was eager to finish, but also reluctant because I fell in love with so many of the characters. There is no way possible for you to read this and NOT feel the powerful emotions behind this story. They were sometimes suffocating, but only because Kristina McBride successfully portrays each emotion and character to the T. She has amazing talent that has made me a fan for life.


If you want real characters, an intense plot and completely entrancing writing then check out One Moment. Just make sure you have tissues near-by and are prepared to read until the end because this book was simply unputdownable.




*Received my copy of this book from NetGalley*

Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Tyler Falls by Lori Clark


Tyler Falls


Genre
YA Contemporary

Publication Date
May 26th, 2012

Publisher
Self-Published

Available At

Format
Ebook








By the time seventeen-year-old Tyler Falls meets Emma, his "Thirty-Days-Left-to-Live" plan is already in place -- and falling in love isn't part of that plan.


Tyler has suffered from manic depression for as long as he can remember. Through medication and therapy, he manages to keep his life together. But when his parents are murdered, he decides he's had enough of living as a broken person with a broken life. So, in thirty days, he plans to stick the barrel of his Ruger SP101 into his mouth and pull the trigger.


Emma Perez's brother, Ethan Giovanni, sits in a mental institution for the murder of Dr. and Mrs. Falls. Deemed mentally incompetent and unfit to stand trial, Ethan has one weekly visitor -- Emma. She doesn't deny his guilt, he's her brother and she loves him spite of the fact he's paranoid schizophrenic.


They say when you cross paths with someone more than once, it's fate -- you're destined to meet. Tyler doesn't know Emma is Ethan's sister, and Emma doesn't know Tyler's story either. When Tyler learns who Emma's brother is, the world he's rebuilt around her begins to crumble all over again and it leaves both of them wondering why fate has such a cruel sense of humor.


Review
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars


Tyler Falls is a really sweet romance, but for a story about a 17 year-old guy with plans to commit suicide and that unknowingly falls in love with the sister of the guy that changed his life forever, it shouldn't have been sweet. It should have been a gut-wrenching love story that rips the emotions from you as you read.


The struggles of the characters just didn't come across as plausible, they were too light for the depth that was trying to surface. There should have been many layers to peel back as we read, but I found the story too simple and straight forward to successfully pull me in. Especially with Tyler's tormented past and "Thirty-Days-Left-To-Live" plan. There should have been a monumental struggle with Tyler and how his plan was changing, but there wasn't. He just simply accepted the change in his life and the change of his feelings without any difficulties. The story revolved around a romance when I think it should have been more focused on two individuals that found the power to heal with each other. Which can be classified as the same thing, but it's not.


The story alternated with chapters from Tyler's perspective and Emma's perspective and while in most cases I revel in being able to get inside each characters minds, I was a little put off by the redundancy. Each scene that involved both Emma and Tyler were told from both perspectives with scenes of the same dialogue. There were some added scenes that took place prior or after, but sometimes the wording was different from the scene in the others perspective. 


My favorite aspect was the relationship between Tyler and his Uncle Kyle. That was the one thing that was the most natural and the most endearing. I also greatly appreciated that the characters were portrayed in a more natural light. Meaning: they cursed, drank a little and so on. Tyler Falls is a book that needed that 'uncleanliness' to show the roughness of the characters.


I did enjoy reading Tyler Falls, I just wish that the story wasn't so light considering the heavy-hitting premise. I can say, though, that I'm very intrigued to see what other stories Lori Clark will produce.


*Received to review via the author through Making Connections YA Edition*

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: Morning Star by Desiree Finkbeiner

Many thanks to the author for allowing me the opportunity to read and review her book

Morning Star (Ethos, #1)



Genre
Paranormal Romance
Series
Ethos (Book 1)

Publication Date
March 28th, 2012

Publisher
Hydra Publications

Available At

Format
Ebook







When a mysterious stranger interrupts Brianna’s mundane routine, her eyes are opened to the dark underbelly of reality… immortal rogues, ancient conspiracies, prophetic revelations, savage tribes, mammoth dragonflies… 


She’s thrust into a race for her life when Kalen, a warrior from Ethos, discovers that she is harboring a secret… a secret that he’d give his life to protect. 


There’s just one little problem… they are tempted by a forbidden romance, which threatens to compromise a divinely appointed mission. They are faced with a choice… love eternal, or the end of the world…


Review
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Desiree Finkbeiner created a fabulous world that came to life through bright, vivid imagery. I instantly became lost in the enchanting world of Ethos and can't wait to go back.


The main characters, Bree and Kalen, were definitely likable, perhaps even lovable at some points. I wasn't completely swept away by either of them. One problem that I had was that there was a huge emotional struggle between Kalen and Bree that should have lead up to an intense emotional scene, but I found that scene to be lacking in the intensity that should have been present. I felt that they gave in too easily for such an important struggle. It also seemed that Bree's diction, for the most part, was more old-fashioned than it should have been for a 21 year-old woman living in the 21st century. Bree would comment on Kalen's diction (a lot) but I found that hers matched Kalen's more than it should have (which wasn't a huge problem if she didn't keep ragging on Kalen). But, they were each great characters and although I wasn't completely swept away by them, I could still feel the emotions that Finkbeiner was trying to portray. I must say though, that my favorite character was Athena. Once you read Morning Star, you'll see why. 


I loved the concept that Desiree Finkbeiner introduces to us in Morning Star. She took a popular genre and crafted it to make something that came across as new and refreshing. I was riveted to my seat as each new aspect was produced and I was constantly anxious to see how everything would play out. There were expected twists, but also a lot that weren't expected. Finkbeiner definitely has a knack of keeping up the suspense without drawing it out in unimaginable lengths. I'm ready to dive back into Ethos and begin from where we were left!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler

The Shapeshifter's Secret
Genre
YA Paranormal Romance

Publication Date
June 12th, 2012

Publisher
Cedar Fort
~Sweetwater~

Available At

Formats
Hardcover
Ebook
                                             





Julia is finally discovering what–not who–she is.


Like any sixteen-year-old, Julia's used to dealing with problems. From her overprotective father to her absent mother to a teacher who definitely has it in for her. But everything changes when Julia's reactions become oddly vicious and angry---more animal than human. This action-packed adventure has it all: humor, romance, and a plot that will keep you guessing to the very last page.


Review
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


There was plenty of mystery within The Shapeshifter's Secret that fueled my intrigue and kept me interested, but I was just not wholeheartedly invested in the characters.


For one, I felt that the romance aspect was greatly lacking. I felt that the characters both fell in love too simply and this may be due to the fact that they weren't together very often. Plus, the whole time I was reading, I kept getting this feeling that this is only a prelude to the real romance which will take place in future books. I may be completely off base with that assumption, we all know what happens when you assume, right? 


I was not a huge fan of Julia, but she did have great moments. She was completely unrelatable to me and I'm usually a reviewer that can relate to a lot of characters. The big thing that bothered me was Julia's obsession of the evil entity. I just didn't find it natural or normal as she kept trying to find a connection. I'm hoping that this was a process to show Julia's growth and to strengthen her resolve in the books to come. I don't blame her for being curious, but it was just too much for me. 


However, the wheels in my head were in constant motion as little clues were strewn every so often, revealed at perfect moments to keep my interest piqued. The world that Heather Ostler created was beyond fascinating and even though I didn't love the characters, I loved the world and plot enough to be curious about the next book. 


*Received my copy from NetGalley*

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)Series
Lies Beneath
(Book 1)

Genre
YA Fantasy Romance

Publication Date
June 12th, 2012

Publisher
Random House Children's Books
~Delacorte BFYR~

Available At
Amazon
Barnes & Nobles

Formats
Hardcover
Ebook





Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.


Review
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!


There are so many great things that Anne Greenwood Brown did with Lies Beneath that kept it refreshing and original. I was instantly blown away and eager to read every word as the story unfolded. 


First, male point-of-view, do I need to say anything more? Probably not, but I will. I am so damn, unbelievably happy that male pov's are on the up rise. Oh, but that's not all. Usually we get saddled with the humans side of the story while the 'paranormal' person is cast in a dark, mysterious light (not a bad thing, I might add). Well, meet Calder. He's dark and a little mysterious and most importantly, he's a merman. And the story is told through his voice, which was absolute perfection. Also, this is the non-romanticized version of merpeople and I absolutely loved it. Brown casts them in a completely different light that portrays them in a much different way. It was fascinatingly eerie. 


I loved the fact that Calder questions the nature vs. nurture thing. Am I a product of nature or nurture? It's such a profound question for him and it simply added to his depth, forming more of a connection. Lily was fabulous. Slow to trust, fights her attraction towards Calder and is just plain human(in a good way, fleshed out). I felt like I knew her. 


I don't often need pretty words to transport me into a story, but Brown has a natural knack for writing that the prose was beautiful in itself. Descriptive. Vivid. Brilliantly flowing from sentence to sentence. I was mesmerized.


I'm recommending Lies Beneath to everyone. It was such an adventure that I was reluctant to say good-bye, but at least I (or we) can be mollified that there will be more to come.









Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1)


Series
Nightwatchers 
(Book 1)

Genre
YA Paranormal Romance

Publication Date
May 29th, 2012

Publisher
Harlequin Teen

Available At

Formats
Paperback
Ebook



I don't do dangerous.  Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. 


Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me....


Review
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


There are some awesome characters in Dark Kiss. Kraven and Bishop will be fast favorites as readers flock to their desired 'team'. One's a demon and the other is an angel, but don't let that define them. There are layers upon layers of Bishop and Kraven that Dark Kiss only allows a glimpse of. The surrounding characters were also well done. Between Zach, Roth, Connor, Stephen, Carly, and Natalie; they all have genuine characteristics that will endear them, make them suspicious, or a little of both. As for Samantha, was she my favorite female protagonist? No, but she is absolutely likable and had moments that made her shine. For the most part, I really enjoyed her voice. I have a feeling that Samantha is going to keep growing stronger as a character.


I completely loved the plot. I love when an author is fully capable of crafting a story that has twists and mystery that you didn't see coming, but should have. Sometimes the unanswered questions can be left unanswered for too long, but in Dark Kiss it was a more natural flow that captured and kept my interest. The romance was tingle inducing when it had the possibility of ending up in the 'insta-love' category. The struggles were tangible and helped make the romance glide in a more realistic way portraying the connection between them. 


I labeled Dark Kiss as 'potential love-triangle' (meaning: possible love-triangle in the next installment) and you know how those drive me crazy, unfortunately not in a good way. There are a few that are well done and actually add the wanted tension instead of making me want to pull my hair out, so. . . I'm kind of interested to see how Michelle Rowan will play this out.


Wicked Kiss is the next in the series, and I'm curious to see what will happen.



*Received my copy of this title from NetGalley*

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

I received Something Like Normal from the publisher through NetGalley



Something Like Normal

Genre
YA Contemporary Romance

Pub Date 
June 19th 2012

Publisher
Bloomsbury Children's Books


Available At
Amazon
Barnes & Noble


Format
Hardcover
Ebook








When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother's stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he's haunted by nightmares of his best friend's death. It's not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he's had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis's dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.


Review
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!


The first thing that grabbed my attention was the cover in it's beautiful simplicity. Then I read the blurb, noticing that it would be told from a males perspective, I was instantly hooked. There is something about reading from a males point-of-view that just makes me so incredibly giddy.


Travis is a unique voice, he's blunt, and like mentioned in the blurb, he has a dry sense of humor and his sense of honor is amazing. I fell in love with Travis Stephensen the instant he walked off that plane and into my life, as a reader. He's suffering from post-traumatic stress, something that can happen to anyone. He's extremely fleshed-out, he's so real that he could be any of the real-life Marine's walking around on this planet. In fact, each and every character is real, they have qualities that are real, struggles that are real and a camaraderie that is real. Trish Doller does an exceedingly great job of NOT romanticizing the relationships that Travis maintains, be it with his mom, dad, brother, Harper, Paige, a fellow Marine or whoever else. They just are, they just happen, and everyone and everything flows together with perfection.
Something Like Normal has a raw gritty truth staring you in the face, impacting the emotional level up an infinite magnitude. Trish Doller doesn't gloss over the abrasive facts, she doesn't breeze by the embedded layers. This is deeply intense, I had tears dripping down my face the whole time I was reading, even in the happy moments. Heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time. The romance between Harper and Travis lends a sweetness to the unyielding harshness that is Something like Normal. Trish Doller rose above by choosing to write in Travis's voice. His thinking wasn't hidden behind lyrical, descriptive prose, it was straight to the point, simplistic bliss. It was brilliantly genius. There wasn't any mystery to wade through, the story was laid out right from the beginning, yet another wise choice from Trish Doller. Something Like Normal, didn't need the extras, it was just a story that needed to be told.
I recommend Something Like Normal to every single reader of both genders(well, maybe 16+), it is a book that needs to be read. There is some mature content, but in this book it is a necessity. Also, highly, highly recommend to anyone who has family, friends, loved ones in any military. This is an extremely eye-opening novel that shouldn't be missed.


I've been to Doller's blog (click here! Absolutely gorgeous!) and I've read the little snippets (one or two sentences) that she has placed all over of her next projects. I will tell you now that Trish Doller is going to be a HUGE hit among readers. She exudes natural talent when it comes to writing and those snippets, they have me anxious to read everything and anything that flows from that beautiful mind.





Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Special Offers by M.L. Ryan

Thank you to the author for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!

                                                                     Genre
Paranormal Romance

Series
Coursodon Dimension
(Book 1)

Publication Date
February 11th, 2012

Publisher
Running with Scissors Publishing


Format
Ebook




Hailey Parrish is quick-witted, irreverent, and hasn’t had a date in three years. She only wanted an eBook reader because her collection of paperbacks threatened to take over her small living space. Little did she know that the "special offers" that prompted the purchase included much more than a reduced price in exchange for a few ads. The device came pre-loaded with the essence of Sebastian Kess, an erudite womanizer with magical abilities from a parallel dimension. When she inadvertently releases him and he inhabits her body, she finally has a man inside her, just not in the way she imagined. And soon her predicament introduces her to yet another supernatural, the handsome could-be-the-man-of-her-dreams Alex Sunderland. Can Alex and Hailey find a way to return Sebastian to his own body, stay one step ahead of the criminals who want to keep him where he is, and not lose their sense of humor?


Review
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!


M.L. Ryan gives us a range of characters in Special Offers. The smart, sarcastic female protagonist; the hot, understated male interest; the womanizing, cocky male; the quintessential villain; the loyal friends; and some characters that end up surprising you. A colorful bunch of characters that were extremely fun to read about and really helped round out an already great story. The only issue character-wise that I had was that Hailey considered herself a 'plain jane', that was a little bit of a downer, but other than that she was an awesome character. 


"The truth you can deal with, it's all the speculative crap that makes you nuts"
                                                                                                          
Oh! And I can't forget her cat who was initially named after a Norwegian female swashbuckler. That was an added plus since I'm obsessed with my Norwegian heritage. 


There was a lot of hilarious witty banter (mostly between Hailey and Sebastian) that greatly added to the entertainment of my reading experience. Do you ever wonder what people think when you start to laugh out loud while reading? Something that cannot be helped while reading Special Offers!


" 'Hailey, I'm really sorry, but Harrison has some sort of stomach bug and he's currently curled in the fetal position on the bathroom floor moaning 'kill me', over and over' "


The concept was absolutely amazing and so unique. It was a little twisty, but without being overly complicated. Basically, just enough (complicatedness) to draw you in and keep you hooked. I must admit that I was initially a little disappointed in the subtle romance that happens between Hailey and Alex, but then I came to the realization that Special Offers is, in fact, the first of a series. I should have done a tad bit more research, huh? In my defense, I was really excited to dive into this story. So, after that realization, I was able to look at the romance in a different light and see that it actually fits with the characters perfectly. 


"Seriously, if God had wanted us to to get up when it was still dark out, he wouldn't have given us eyelids"


All in all, Special Offers is a fantastically fun, extremely entertaining read that will have you laughing out loud and eager for the next in the series. I'm anxious to see where the series will take us, especially with the little clue at the end.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reveiw: Corpalism by Arun D. Ellis

Note: I received my copy of Corpalism from the author in exchange for an honest review


Publication Date
March 26th, 2012

Publisher
Self-Published

Available At

Format
Ebook











Corpalism is an exciting and often funny mixture of timely political commentary that moves in a believable way, between fact and fiction. 
The book begins in a dystopian world – a casually dark and callous future wrought by unchecked corporate greed. 
The timeline moves back and forth 20 years, using inter connected characters and storylines. Situational humour lightens the mood and the characters are well-crafted, individual and interesting; ranging from the cynically evil, through the surprisingly likeable to the positively evangelical. 
Corpalism remonstrates against the evil of corporate greed, puts forward a credible alternative to the duopoly of current party politics and offers hope of an alternative future if we act now. 
A unique experience – a page turner with a message.



Review
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Corpalism is an extremely interesting book that I can't even begin to describe. This is the type of book that it won't matter what I say because Corpalism is a book that will give each reader their own perspective and their own opinions. As it should, but with one main focus.


The characters, for the most part, all tie together, but we don't start to see that until we get near the end. There are parts that take place 20 years in the future and there are parts that take place a few months in the future. The main focus of Corpalism, in my opinion, is to bring attention to certain happenings and make people aware, make people more conscious of their economy and government. Make them think. Corpalism takes place in Britain, but in reality, Americans can draw similarities from this story. As the author says, Corpalism is a mix of fact and fiction. Is it humorous? There were moments that had me laughing, but there was a more serious tone to it.


Corpalism was beyond thought-provoking and engaging, and will force you to open your eyes if they aren't already open. There were parts that I loved, characters that I loved, parts that I didn't like, characters that I didn't like, and some characters that I really didn't like. You get the picture, there's a wide range of characters and sub-plots that tie into almost all of the other sub-plots. 


Corpalism would be the perfect read for an economics and government class, or for people who are just graduating into the voting age. It's a story that will challenge you while also holding your attention. It's not my typical read, but I did end up enjoying it more than I thought. Anything that makes me think, will gain my respect. And that is what Corpalism has done. This is a story that will have you thinking even after you are done reading it. I recommend to everyone, even if it's not your genre, it should be read.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: First Light by Samantha Summers

Thank you to Samantha Summers for allowing me the opportunity to read and review First Light!

First Light (Project Five Fifteen #1)
Genre
YA Thriller/Romance

Series
Project Five Fifteen (Book 1)

Publication Date
May 2012

Publisher
Self-Published

Available At

Format
Ebook







What do you do when you’ve always dreamed of a hero; your knight in shining armour, only to find when he arrives he isn’t a hero at all?

... He’s a killer.

Ronnie Rose is trying to cope with the loss of her father; now it looks like she might lose everything else that’s dear to her too. Huge debts threaten to destroy her family, her childhood home and her future. Only one person cuts through her pain.

Kalen Smith has just moved to town. He’s trouble and everyone knows it. He and his mysterious friends keep to themselves and the town likes it that way.

But when Kalen mourns at her dad’s funeral, Ronnie wants to know why and her investigation plunges her into a dangerous world of murky government secrets, with deadly consequences. Ronnie knows she should walk away from Kalen before it’s too late. Problem is, she’s falling for him…

Can we choose who we fall in love with?

Review
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!

Reading the blurb for First Light, I was instantly attracted and eager to start reading. I could sense the excitement, the struggles and the romance from just that tiny amount of words. You know I love those inner, emotional struggles and First Light did not disappoint! In fact, it way exceeded my expectations. 

I was drawn to the two main characters in an instantaneous moment. Kalen and Ronnie, two opposites in many, many ways, but with one major struggle to overcome. Samantha Summers, in my opinion, successfully portrayed Ronnie and Kalen in a way that showcased their strengths, weaknesses, and sheer determination. In my opinion (and I hope others will agree), Ronnie and Kalen are high-ranking favorites. But let's not forget the surrounding characters, because I found them (even the not-so-nice ones) to be just as well-placed, and pivotal. They were very effectual.

There is one major struggle that both Ronnie and Kalen fight with, and that's the choice between following your head or your heart. This is a key factor for the romance of this book and like it says up above in the blurb, can we choose who we fall in love with? Samantha Summers successfully tackles this hurdle with genuine inner turmoil that will appeal to readers without making it cliche or overly done. It added that much needed tension between characters and will also help the reader see the surrounding characters in a new way. The thriller aspect was absolutely phenomenal! I was constantly on the edge of my seat, held in anticipation and trying to predict the ending outcome. There isn't extreme mystery, but that's a good thing. First Light doesn't need that mystery, the thriller aspect mixed with the heart-tingling romance is what this book is all about. As you read, you'll kind of know what is going to happen, but you won't know the specifics. . . that was what I wanted from First Light, so I was happy to receive that. Plus, mystery would have fogged over the glorious details. Well, actually, Kalen is the mystery, but only because he's such a complex character with many layers to investigate. The flashbacks that Samantha Summers provides (from Kalen's past) are extremely important in digging deeper into his character. First Light would definitely not be the same if those flashbacks were missing. They allowed us to get inside his head, see the inner workings of Project Five Fifteen, and witness his change. 

There is some action, mostly towards the end, but it's still satisfying. First Light is laying the groundwork for the books to come, it's that necessary first step for a series that I know will be insanely good. First Light is introducing us to the important characters, showing us some of the history that we need, but mostly it's all about that decision to lead with your head or heart. A decision that will fuel the series. 

I can openly admit that I'm extremely finicky about endings. A lot of them don't hold up to my expectations, but I can happily say that the ending in First Light is by far one of my favorite endings. It was just pure perfection. I was not left wanting, there was a finality, but it also leads perfectly into the next phase of the story and adventure. Well, that's an assumption since I haven't read the next book, but it's just one of those things that I know. I was grinning ear to ear as I read those last two chapters. 

If you are looking for a book to sweep you off your feet with thrilling entertainment and sweet yet scalding romance then read First Light.

I just have one question: When can I get my hands on the second book?





Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pre-Release Party:Bold As Love #3 by Lindsay Paige

Lindsay Paige is partying the month away in celebration of her expected release date of June 13th for Whatever It Takes, the third installment of the Bold As Love series. I wanted to join her in celebrating so this post is dedicated to the Pre-Release Party!

The Bold As Love series introduces us to the two characters of Emily and Jake as we follow them through their senior year of high school and into their freshman year at college. They are thrown through some pretty hefty loops, but hopefully we're headed to that HEA that we all really, really need. 

We first met them in Sweetness. . . 
Sweetness (Bold As Love, #1)


















Emily wished she was invisible. But after moving to a new town with her dad, a charming boy makes it impossible for her to disappear. Despite her feelings of unworthiness, Emily soon finds herself drawn to the safety of Jake's world.


Good looking and the star of the hockey team, Jake has a lot going for him. What most people don't see is the difficult life he has at home. When quiet Emily steals his heart, Jake vows to help her discover she is worthy of love. 

Just when the two of them realize the sweetness of their relationship, they are put to the test. Only together can they overcome their haunted pasts to fight for a future together.


See my review


. . . followed them into I'm Yours. . .
I'm Yours (Bold As Love, #2)


















After the incident with Claire, Emily encounters more problems. Conrad is back with explanations and hope. Emily wants to give him a chance to explain himself. She can't help but wonder why he left. However, Jake isn't comfortable with Emily going out to eat with an old lover. 


Will things be too much for Emily to handle? Will Emily do the one thing she knows best and withdraw? Will Emily and Jake's love for one another keep them from shattering?


See my review

 . . . and now into Whatever It Takes.
Whatever It Takes (Bold As Love, #3)


















Their first year of college isn’t what they expected. Emily is still struggling with the loss of her baby, while Jake seems to have no trouble with it at all. Emily is so conflicted about how to deal with the miscarriage. On top of that, she’s having nightmares. 


Can Jake help his Sweetness? Will she allow him? Their relationship is suffering and Jake is determined to do whatever Emily asks of him. But when Emily makes a suggestion that she feels will help with her grief, could it tear the couple apart forever?


See my review








Lindsay Paige is having a giveaway of Whatever It Takes on Goodreads so click here if you want a chance to win one of the three signed copies! Good luck and happy reading!