This is Sarah by Ally Malinenko Review

Release Date: July 3rd, 2014
 Summary from Goodreads:
When Colin Leventhal leaned out his bedroom window on the night of May 12th and said goodbye to his girlfriend, he never expected it would be forever. But when Sarah Evans goes missing that night, Colin’s world unravels as he transforms from the boyfriend next door to the main police suspect. Then one year later, at her memorial service, Colin makes a phone call that changes everything. Is it possible that Sarah is still alive? And if so how can he bring her back? As Colin struggles with this possibility, across the street, Sarah’s little sister, Claire learns how to navigate the strange new landscape of life without her sister. While her parents fall apart, Claire remains determined to keep going even if it kills her. THIS IS SARAH serves as a meditation on loss, love and what it means to say goodbye. 

Review:

*I received an eCopy in exchange for an honest review.

Hi, this is Sarah. You know what to do.

This is Sarah is a harrowing tale about the disappearance of a teenage girl and the devastating impact it has on the two people closest to her. Although the book is called This is Sarah, it isn’t Sarah’s story, but rather the story of the people Sarah left behind.

Although the subject matter of This is Sarah is tough to stomach, it was one of my favorite reads of 2014. The story is told from alternating POV between Sarah’s boyfriend, Colin, and her sister, Claire. It was an emotional journey through the minds of both Colin and Claire. Colin struggled to deal with his own anger and grief, while Claire was suffocated by the impact Sarah’s disappearance had on her family. It was devastating seeing them both react to Sarah’s disappearance.

Where are you, sweetheart? Where did you go that you can’t come back from? Why can’t you come back?

 I really liked both Claire and Colin. I thought Malinenko really breathed life into them.  I think it would have been easy for Claire and Colin to tell us about their grief and pain and devastation but instead through Malinenko’s words the reader is really able to feel what they both felt. I was really able to delve into the deepest, darkest parts of both characters thoughts. I think the rawness and realness of both characters was what drew me into the story most. It was painful to see both characters suffer through this tragedy but what I found most heartbreaking was Claire’s struggle. Not only was her sister likely abducted, but she also felt the “survivor’s guilt” of being the sister left behind. Her whole world was turned upside down and she wasn’t able to find solace in her family, instead she found more pain. This was really hard for me to stomach. As for Colin, his love for Sarah was one of the purest loves. He is undeniably loyal to her, even a year after her disappearance. However, his feelings for her and the guilt he feels over her disappearance is crippling and begins to tear his world apart.

I still see her face, turned up at me, with that smile. My God, how she smiled.

The mystery that surrounded Sarah’s disappearance kept me thoroughly engrossed and invested in the story. Malinenko was able to plant seeds of doubt in my mind that left me wondering if someone closest to Sarah could indeed be responsible for her disappearance. I enjoyed the artful way the mystery was entwined with the characters’ stories.

With its gut-wrenching and heartbreaking subject matter, This is Sarah is a powerful book that will take readers on an emotional rollercoaster.  Although I found the ending to be rather satisfying, This is Sarah is definitely one of those stories that concentrates more on the journey than the destination so it may leave some readers wanting more. I highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more from Malinenko in the future!

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Supernova by Dani Morales Cover Reveal

With 2 full length novels and 1 novella out in the New Adult Genre, Dani Morales decided it was time to branch out into the Young Adult crowds with Supernova, a Scifi Romance novel. Release date is set for JUNE 9, 2013 so be ready for it!

When the one place you call home is destroyed and the very life you know is no
longer an option, what do you do? For seventeen year old Nova Michaels, life in
Calyx is over. Following the plans of her father, Nova and her mother, Luna, leave
their home in hopes to blend in with the humans on Earth – Newport Beach, California.
Out of the five Celestials, Calyxians are the only beings who resemble humans,
and they’re the only ones who eat, talk, and dress like them.
Aaron McCarthy is a typical high school boy enjoying his summer break, until
something drops from the sky. And when a girl with fire red hair walks to shore,
he knows his summer just got interesting.
The captivation and pull is something neither can explain. They get lost in each
other every time they lock eyes and when they touch, a spark ignites with a
blinding light encompassing their skin. Nothing is as it seems; Nova isn’t what
she seems. Before you can have a future, sometimes you have to deal with the
past.
With all of Nova’s secrets out on the table, can Aaron look past it?



Add to Goodreads HERE

 

Author Bio

Dani Morales is a native Texan currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada with her three boys and her mother. She adopted the boys in December of 2011 and loves spending every minute playing with them. On her spare time you can find a book in her hand or sitting in front of the computer typing out stories that run rampant in her mind. Her debut novel Entrelacen released in April 2013, followed by Deviation, her second novel and first in the Deviate Series, in August 2013. 
Links

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Review

Release Date: September 10th, 2013
Summary from Goodreads:
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review:

When Fangirl went on sale a while back I had heard wonderful things about Rainbow Rowell so I checked out some ratings and decided it was well worth a shot. I saw that the reviews had been a little mixed which piqued my interest, I probably shouldn’t admit it but when there is discord among readers it often convinces me even more to buy/read a book. I really had no idea what this book was going to be about other than a girl who is obsessed with a fictional character named Simon Snow, so I pretty much went in blind.

I’m really glad I read Fangirl. I had been in a bit of a rut, not reading much and when I did read I just wasn’t enjoying it the way I always have. But Cath, Levi, Reagan, and the gang changed my tune. I loved Fangirl. A lot. I thought it was sweet and quirky and really reflected that sometimes holding onto something so tight can blind you from all the good things in store.

The book starts with Cath heading off to the start college with her identical twin sister Wren. Cath and Wren may be identical on the outside but their personalities are very different. When Wren tells Cath she doesn’t want to room together it pretty much shatters Cath’s ideal college life.  That is how Cath ends up with upperclassmen, Reagan. At first Cath doesn’t know what to do with Reagan. She’s bold, she’s intimidating, and she’s extremely blunt.  Along with Reagan comes Levi, a guy Cath suspects is Reagan’s boyfriend since he spends so much time waiting outside their door for Reagan or with Reagan herself.

On top of the pressure of learning to blend in to collegiate life Cath is faced with the daunting task of finishing Carry On, Simon, a fanfic of her favorite books about the one and only Simon Snow. So this is where readers of Fangirl seemed to be really divided. Some loved the idea of a fellow fanfic writer telling her story and some thought it was a totally mockery. In my opinion, I think Rowell was trying to tell the story of a girl who let her life be so consumed by fantasy that it blinded her to real life. I don’t think the book was meant to be mocking and granted there were a lot of parallels between Simon Snow and the world’s favorite boy Wizard but I think that was a plot tool to help readers relate. That’s just my opinion and I’m sure some will completely disagree but that’s their prerogative. That being said, the story does alternate between Cath’s life, to her fanfic and the actual Simon Snow stories. I know some readers found this annoying but I thought it was a clever parallel between Cath and Simon Snow’s lives. I think it was purposefully written this way so that the readers could see Cath and Simon (and even Baz) grow into the characters they were meant to be.

I have to say of all the things I loved about this book (which I will definitely get to); I most loved the normalcy of the story. There were no big, deep, dark secrets waiting in the background. There was drama, including family and boy issues, but there wasn’t some huge issue that needed to be brought to light. It was a bit refreshing in my eyes.

I also liked the slow-burn romance. More often than not, in YA there are a lot of really quick romances. I don’t have a major problem with insta-love but it’s nice to see the other side of the coin now and then. Not every teen jumps into love head-first. I loved the chemistry and the lack of pressure put on Cath. Cath’s romantic journey felt real to me, however innocent it might have been, and I enjoyed falling in love with her.

As for the characters, I loved them. Cath was a bit naïve at times but I don’t think it was unrealistic. Not every 18 year old goes into college with the same experiences. I know people like Cath, so I know that her type of person does exist. As for Levi, Levi was a doll. I always say this when I come across nice boys in books but goodness do I love the nice ones. Levi was just an average guy but just reading about him put a smile on my face. Levi always smiles so even through a book it’s contagious. And as for Reagan, I loved her, as well. She was one fierce girl and I loved that she took Cath under her wing and helped her navigate the college life a little better. As for Cath’s family, as dysfunctional as they seemed to be, I’m glad they got their time in the spotlight. I think it’s important for YA authors to build a strong familial background for MC’s (unless the MC doesn’t have a family); it makes the character more believable. I also will admit that I even loved Simon and Baz. It’s funny because they weren’t even the main characters in this story but I found myself wanting to know how their story ended, as well. It was like getting the cliff-note version of their story with some of the best parts.

Anyways, I loved Fangirl. I thought it was a really good book about growing up and letting go of childhood fantasies. I know it won’t appeal to all readers due to the nature with which it is told and the subject of which it is about. But hey, that’s books. I would personally highly recommend this book to YA contemporary lovers. It was a well-written and engrossing read for me. Plus, everyone needs a little Levi in their life.

True Connection by Rachel Walter Blog Tour: Review

Today is my stop on the True Connection blog tour! I’m really excited to share my review with you all!
Blurb:
It’s going to take a fight, I know that. But it’s more than just a fight for my life. It’s a fight for my soul and my soul mate.’
Jazzy Williams is not your average coffee-loving teen. She’s struggling with her grief, her famous uncle’s fans, an overprotective big brother, and a depressed mother, all while trying to make friends at her new school. In the first week, she meets a gorgeous green-eyed hottie who turns out to be more than just some high school crush – he’s more than human. And she unknowingly enrages a very dangerous breed of immortal who wants her soul or life as payment. With the help of supernatural friends and protectors, Jazzy thinks she’s safe until what remains of her family is put in danger. Does Jazzy have what it takes to save her family, life, soul and soul mate, or will all be lost?
*Warning* Mature Content. This contains some profanity, mild sexual situations, innuendoes, and violence. Recommended for ages 17 and up, depending on maturity level.
Links:
Cover:
Review:
*I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 
I so enjoyed this book. It had me captured and enthralled within the first 5%. I thought it was sweet, funny, and thoroughly captured young adult relationships –  including friendship, family, and love. I loved Jazzy. She was the kind of girl I would love to be friends with. She’s sweet, funny, and compassionate. Jazzy and her family suffer quite a tragedy and it tears a hole into their little universe. Upon moving in with their Uncle and to their rival school, Jazzy and her brother, Henry, have to make new friends and deal with all that they loss. On their first day Jazzy meets Skeeter, and quirky but friendly girl in her art class, and Seth, a quiet, gorgeous, and mysterious classmate. Both of whom I’ll get to in a minute but first I want to talk about Jazzy and Henry, plus the three giants.
Jazzy has a very close relationship with her brother, Henry. At first I was worried it was going to get creepy but it didn’t, they’re relationship is so refreshing and sweet. It’s nice to see siblings in a novel that actually get along and appreciate each other. Furthermore, I just love Henry, he’s so sweet and good to the people he loves. However, he has quite the protective streak. I found it hilarious when he introduces the three “giants” (Flynn, Barry, and Tony) to Jazzy and the four of them begin harping on Jazzy about her friendship with Seth. Between the four of them I don’t know how Jazzy doesn’t literally pull her hair out. Despite their over-protectiveness, they’re a bunch of goofballs. I loved the comedic relief they offered the story.
Onto Seth…he was a doll. He was kind and caring and just a total sweetheart. Which warrants a pause and wild applause for Rachel for writing such a sweet guy. I applaud the fact that she took a leap and wrote a nice guy! He wasn’t a big jerk like a lot of male MC’s are in YA these days. I loved Seth. He was nice but he wasn’t boring and he treated Jazzy and her family with the utmost respect. He also says and does some of the most romantic things, ever. I found myself swooning over him on page after page.
My favorite part about this entire book was the paranormal aspect. The story-line and characters were unique and I had a blast trying to figure things out. Jazzy’s revelations of the creatures surrounding her and of her stalker had me intrigued from beginning to end. The plot was very engaging and I found myself unable to put the book down. Plus, I loved Jazzy and Henry’s friendships with Skeeter and the “giants”. I always love stories that include friendships, especially ones with such strong characters. I loved Skeeter, she was hilarious and I cannot wait to see what crazy things she’s going to say and do in book 2.
This was a strong series debut and I cannot wait to see what happens in book 2!
Author Bio:
Rachel lives in Central Pennsylvania, is a stay at home mom, has a wonderful husband, total of 4 kids, 3 of which are step kids. She’s a true Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers fan. She’s an insomniac that loves coffee, Johnny Depp movies and bonfires, dislikes driving on the interstate, bugs of any kind, and a too quiet house. When she’s not playing with the people inside her head, making her family think she belongs in the loony bin or writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, finding new music, new books, helping someone or plotting something equally crazy with her Critique Partners.
Author Links:

The Warrior’s Code by David James Release Day Promo, Excerpt, & Giveaway!

In case anyone was wondering or at all unsure, I love David James’ writing. It’s lyrical, magical, and beautiful. I fell in love with it while reading Light of the Moon so when I saw he was releasing The Warrior’s Code I fan-girled, hard. Well guess what, IT’S HERE!!

P.S. There’s also a link to a giveaway at the bottom!!!

Summary:

The Warrior’s Code (Book 1.2) is an e-format prequel short story in the Legend of the Dreamer series that can be read before or after Light of the Moon (Book 1).

Live by the Code. Die by the Code.

In the magical world of the Order, Warriors fight for justice, freedom, and peace. Becoming a Warrior is an honor given to few, and twelve-year-olds Zackery Solts and Kate Black will do anything to have a place among the elite.

Zack and Kate must compete against eighteen others and pass three deadly tests of courage and skill. Above all, they must be strong because while the dangers of the tests are unknown, one thing is clear: not everyone will survive.

Purchase Links:

Amazon – Amazon UK – Nook

Author Bio:

David James writes books about stars and kisses and curses. He is the author of the YA novel, LIGHT OF THE MOON, the first book in the Legend of the Dreamer duet, as well as the companion novellas, THE WITCH’S CURSE and THE WARRIOR’S CODE. A Legend of the Dreamer anthology, SHADES OF THE STARS, will be released in July 2013, and will include the exclusive novella, THE ENCHANTER’S FIRE. The final book in the duet, SHADOW OF THE SUN, will be released in late 2013. Living in Michigan, he is addicted to coffee, gummy things, and sarcastic comments. He enjoys bad movies, goofy moments, and shivery nights. Be sure to visit David’s blog and facebook to learn more about his various addictions and novels.

Giveaway time!

Raffelcopter Code

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s a link to an excerpt from The Warrior’s Code!

http://djamesauthor.blogspot.com/2013/05/birthday-warrior-teaser.html

Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

Summary from Goodreads:

Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things. 

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

Goodreads Link

Cover:

Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy, #2)

Review:

Back when my blog was still in its infancy I reviewed Sweet Evil. I loved it. I was totally and completely skeptical of another nephilim story but it was definitely well done and different. So if you couldn’t tell by my three (two? I don’t know) posts about Sweet Peril, I was pretty excited for its release.  Before I actually began reading it, I was worried I’d be disappointed by Sweet Peril because I was so hyped for it. My worries were pretty unfounded. Sweet Peril was way better than I could have imagined.

You know how I love the boys, so let’s begin there. Kaidan is so hot. He makes me feel a little pervy for lusting after him because he’s only 17. But let’s be honest. He is HOTT (remember Anna says he warrants and extra T). He’s English, he’s bad, and he’s the son of the Duke of Lust. Yeah…definitely sexy. Anyways, moving right along… I loved seeing more of Kaidan’s human side. I was also VERY excited he appeared early in the book, even if it was only for a few pages. Never fear, though, we get plenty of Kai-time later.

In addition to our English bad-boy we also get more of Kopano (son of the Duke of Lust) and Blake (son of the Duke of Envy). It was great “seeing” them again. Both Blake and Kopano play a much larger role in the plot this time around. I didn’t realize in the previous book just how deep and conflicted Kopano is. I enjoyed his character. Although he’s the son of the Duke of Envy he often plays the voice of calm reason which I find entertaining. His crush on Anna is a little annoying, though. Honestly, I think I’m just over the ever present love-triangle in YA novels. And Blake, he’s awesome. I enjoy his wit and humor and ever present protectiveness of Kai and Anna. He’s a good guy and I hope we get to see more of him in Sweet Reckoning.

I had a difficult time getting into Sweet Evil because Anna grated on me a little bit. However, I found her to be a much better character this time around. She was funny, brave, and independent. She didn’t let Ginger or Kaidan walk all over her in this book and I loved it. She’s easily becoming one of my favorite YA heroines.

The plot of Sweet Peril was easily way more action-packed than Sweet Evil. There was CONSTANTLY something going on and I devoured the book (when I wasn’t forced to put it down due to school/work/research obligations). I also really enjoyed that the book took place all over the world. It was fun getting to “see” other countries and cultures. One thing that could prove confusing for some is the plot fast-forwards through a year to a year and a half of time. Normally I wouldn’t enjoy the giant gaps in time but it worked for this book. If Higgins had written it over the course of weeks or had drawn out the timeline I fear it would have been really drab and confusing. The ONLY complaint I have about the plot was the ending. Everything led up to what could be an EPIC ending and it was totally anti-climatic. It was the only disappointing aspect of the book. Otherwise, Sweet Peril literally had my heart racing and butterflies erupting in my stomach. I’m a sucker for a bad boy with an accent, especially when he’s showing his many vulnerabilities.

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Anna and the rest of the nephilim in Sweet Reckoning. I feel like all the information we get in Sweet Peril is leading up to something BIG!

Waiting on Wednesday #1 – The Warrior’s Code (Legend of the Dreamer 1.2) by David James

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

The Warrior’s Code (Legend of the Dreamer 1.2) by David James

I cannot WAIT for this to come out. I love David James’ writing so much. It’s beautiful and wonderful and just everything.

Anyways. It’s due to release May 14th!

Here’s a blurb about it: 

A prequel short story featuring Kate and Zack on their journey to become Warriors.

They must pass three tests to survive.
Fail one, fail them all.
They will fight for life-
and death.

Also, this is a prequel to Light of the Moon – which is a fantastic and awesome read so you should get on that. Here’s my review

So what does this mean for me now that The Warrior’s Code has a release date (5/14)? I can finally read The Witch’s Curse! I’ve been saving it so I can spread out all the magic that is David James’ writing. 

David’s Link on Goodreads where you can find all his books is here

And here are the pretty covers of Light of the Moon and The Witch’s Curse.

Light of the Moon (Legend of the Dreamer, #1)

The Witch's Curse (Legend of the Dreamer, #1.1)

What’s everyone else waiting on?