ARC Review: Playlist For the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Title: Playlist For the Dead
Author: Michelle Falkoff
Publication: January 27th 2015 by HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...
Goodreads

A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend's suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel.


Here's what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you'll understand.

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it's only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now, Playlist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that's always defined you—and the struggle to redefine yourself. But above all, it's about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really Liked It

-- My Thoughts --

    I was in mood for some dark contemporary when I stumbled upon this one. I think I put a lot of expectations into this book and it almost reached them.
     There's nothing left after Hayden dies. Only a playlist of songs that he leaves for his best friend, Sam. Sam doesn't get what happened and everything changes when he meets Astrid and her group of misfits. And Sam begins to question everything that has happened.
     First thing I loved about this book is the main character, Sam. I loved him. He felt so real, with his inner turmoil and his insecurities. A real fleshed-out character. Then, there's Astrid. I was very conflicted about my feelings for her. She reminded me a bit of Alaska from John Green's Looking For Alaska. The whole mysterious sexy girl attitude. The other characters were all one-dimensional. I didn't feel much for them.
     Then, there's the romance aspect. The romance was such a sweet and fluffy thing. I loved how it started from scratch and grew into a more stable thing. But the plot definitely surprised me. I didn't expect the ending chapters and they were somehow of a shock, but a good kind of one.
     The reference to the playlist and all those songs was very enjoyable! The ending was bittersweet and hopeful and I loved it. I am not such a big fan of happily ever afters so this was perfect for me. Although this book was not my favorite, I am definitely waiting for more books from the author.

ARC Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: This Shattered World (Starbound #2)
Author(s): Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publication: December 23rd 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: YA Science Fiction, Romance
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...
Rating: Five Stars
Goodreads

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

-- My Rating --
5/5 Oscars: LOVED it

-- My Thoughts --

     I have found my favorite book of 2014, period. I read These Broken Stars such a long time ago and it blew me away! It was beyond amazing and I was afraid this wouldn't match up! It totally did!
     Jubilee Chase is the Captain of the forces on the planet Avon. She's fearsome and fearless. Flynn Cormac is one of the rebels. It's in his blood. He has to do everything to keep his people safe. Even if it means kidnapping Jubilee for ransom. But these two people might actually find unlikely allies in one another.
     I am absolutely in LOVE with the world that these two authors have created. I love their world-building. It's intense and vivid. I could almost picture it in my mind. All those secret passages, the swamp, the cave, the bases. All so believable and so beautifully crafted. They are masters of descriptions.
     Then, there are the characters; Jubilee and Flynn. Jubilee is fearless, smart, cunning, badass and she has a heart of gold. I loved her and loved her personality. She was as cold as iron at first, but she grew on me through the course of this book. Then, there's Flynn. Oh, Flynn "gushing". I don't know how Kaufman and Spooner write these perfectly flawed swoon-worthy male leads that will leave you awwing and ahhing over them (I just made up two words :P ). He was kind and maybe a bit too nice, but I fell absolutely in love with him.
     The romance was sweet, slow, and beautiful. It felt real. There aren't any dull moments in this book. It's fast-moving, suspenseful and thrilling. It kept me on the edge of my seat with every new revelation. The whispers in the first book make an appearance in this one too. And they are seriously creepy. I was creeped out by the scenes with them in it and I LOVED that.
     But my absolute favorite thing is the cameo that the main characters of the first book make in this one! We meet Lilac and Tarver again! I LOVED them in the first book. And seeing them with Jubilee and Flynn was amazing! I loved the interactions and their back-story together was PERFECTLY INTERWOVEN!
     I noticed that some reviewers said that the characters act too old for their age. But I didn't mind then. Imagine living in such a world and going through so many things at such an early age definitely changes a person. For worse or for better. And I understood the way the characters acted and they were smart, I loved that.
     I can go on and on about how amazing this book was but it would never be enough. I am sad that we are drawing nearer and nearer to the end of this series and I do NOT want it to end. It's one of my favorite series EVER and these two books are on my all-time favorite shelf. They are masterpieces and I admire the way these two authors co-write this series. It's flawless. If you're into fantasy, science fiction, and a touch of romance, then you will LOVE this!

ARC Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publication: April 3rd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...
Goodreads

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


-- My Rating --
5/5 Oscars: LOVED it

-- My Thoughts --

     I have been hearing so much about this series for a long while now. I didn't know exactly what genre it was but when I had the chance to read it, I jumped at it! And I am SO GLAD I did.
     Ismae has lived a harsh childhood and when she has the chance to become one of Death's handmaidens, she thinks that she finally has a chance to fit in. But with Brittany on the edge of war and siege and in a place where loyalties are tested and nobody is what they seem, executing Death's wishes has never been harder.
     First, the setting. Brittany. In a time where there is a threat of war from France. The MOST wonderful thing is that everything in this book has been taken from true historical events. Of course, some of the characters are fictional, but most of them were real people! The book has some actual historical events and it was so thrilling getting to read about them. I loved that the author took this approach and I think she excelled at it.
     The characters are definitely this book's strongest suit. I LOVED Ismae. She is the true definition of a bad ass heroine with a  brave heart and a kind soul. She had a unique voice. The other secondary characters were also quite believable, whether they were likable or not.
     Then, there's our love interest, Duval. This is by far one of the BEST romances I have ever read. Believe me, nothing compares to the excellence in which this romance was served. It developed slowly and it was believable. There was true chemistry and tension and passion. And I LOVED every single moment they were together.
     The events in this book are extremely thrilling. It's been a long while since I have read a book that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout its length and i didn't feel bored for a second. I cannot wait to start the second book and dive more into the depth and the wonderful imagery that is in Robin Lafevers' writing. PS I realized while reading this book that I am a HUGE fan of that era. I can picture myself walking in a castle with a huge gown. PERFECT!

Twelve Days of New Adult Giveaway Hop


Hey, guys! It's been such a LONG time since I have done a giveaway!
And what better way to get back into the groove than doing a giveaway of great New Adult books!
SUPER excited!
You can check out the original post on Stuck in Books here!
ONE winner gets to choose an ebook of his/her choice from the list of books below:






Good Luck
And
Don't forget to hop on to the other blogs!


ARC Review: Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols

Title: Perfect Couple (The Superlatives #2)
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publication: January 13th 2015 by Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...
Goodreads

Perfect Couple is #2 in the Superlatives series about seniors at a Florida high school who are selected for their class's superlative categories in the yearbook, and how the labels change the way they view themselves and alter the course of their lives.

Can your heart be put to a popular vote?

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for capturing those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents' bitter divorce has left her wondering what a loving relationship would look like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody the “Perfect Couple That Never Was,” her friends have been on her case to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack in female admirers, but Harper can't see herself with him. He seems confused about why they were matched together, too. They’re total opposites—the last people in the world who would ever be compatible, let alone the “perfect couple.” Yet ever since the class paired the two of them, they've found themselves drawn together--first by curiosity, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they're very attracted to each other and both of them admit this, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating clearly. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But after they walk away, both of them feel so changed from making the effort that they can’t forget each other. What if that means this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really Liked It

-- My Thoughts --

     I read the first book in the series not a long while ago. It was quite a cute contemporary read, though not the best. But I was definitely excited for the second book, because I felt I would like Harper more. In more ways than not, I did.
     Harper has always been the good girl all her life. She has followed the rules, had the perfect boyfriend. But when the school couples her with Brody for the Perfect Couple That Never Was, everything changes. For her and for Brody. And finally Harper might realize that the only thing that is making her to find her true self has always been there all along.
     As always, the characters are absolutely adorable. I just love the way they talk and behave and they sound like normal teenagers with all the insecurity and angst. It was absolutely refreshing to read something that felt so real. Then, there's Harper. Although she was not as goody-two-shoes as I pictured her to be, she was still likable. Not always, though. She made very, very stupid decisions that she knew she would regret afterwards.
     Then, there's Kaye and Sawyer. I LOVE both of them and I literally cannot wait to read their book, which will be the next one in this series. The romance  in this book is sizzling hot at times, but absolutely cringe-worthy at other times. I didn't know why the characters did what they did, I wanted to jump into the book and slap some of them. Otherwise, the romance was quite cute.
     This book is definitely a very cute and fluffy contemporary read. I definitely liked it better than the first book and thankfully it didn't have the second-book-in-a-series syndrome and it turned out better than I hoped it would be. I am patiently waiting for the third book :)

Review: Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira

Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Publication: April 1st 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Owned
Goodreads

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?

It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that's as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl's journey through life's challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty. 

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really Liked It

-- My Thoughts --

     I've heard a LOT about this book from the blogging world, recently. And in reading, I'm definitely a follower of the pack. I wanted to know what was all the buzz about, and yes, they were right.
     Laurel doesn't know how to cope with the tragedy in her life. And now that she's starting high school, it's even harder. But then her teacher assigns them a homework. They have to write a letter to a dead person. But once Laurel starts writing letters, she doesn't stop. She can't stop. They're finally holding her up.
     What I loved most about this book is the whole idea of it. Writing letters to dead people and coping with tragedy through that. It's such a beautiful idea and I am so impressed that the author thought of it this way. Then, the writing style is fabulous. I cannot believe this is the author's debut novel, because she sounds like an experienced writer through her writings. She makes the characters come out of the pages.

Sometimes when we say things, we hear silence. Or only echoes. Like screaming from inside. And that's really lonely. But that only happens when we weren't really listening. It means we weren't ready to listen yet. Because every time we speak, there is a voice. There is the world that answers back...

     Laurel is a shy, insecure, and sad young girl. You can feel every emotion she's feeling through her letters. On top of that, she's also really smart. It shows through her writings and you fall in love with her immediately. Then, we  have the love interest, Sky. Although I didn't like him a lot, he's good for Laurel and I liked them together. But otherwise, he's really not my kind of book-boyfriends.Too unbelievable.
     The letters are amazing. Since this book is told in letters throughout, I loved the references to the people that Laurel is writing to. I admit that I learned a lot from her references. There's Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Bishop, Amelia Earhart, River Phoenix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Allan Lane, E. E. Cummings, and many others. So many different people, but Laurel feels connected to them somehow. Then, there's the reference to all the different music in this book. I loved that. I loved how Laurel felt connected to different musicians and singers, also different poetesses.  It was all beautiful.
     All in all, I LOVED this book. I loved what it offered and what it had in it. This is not just a love story. This is a story about love,redemption, about finding your true self, and finally coping with the truth of the world. Finding the beauty in things.

Review: To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Title: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Publication: April 15th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Owned
Goodreads

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

-- My Rating --
5/5 Oscars: Loved it

-- My Thoughts --

     Who hasn't heard of Jenny Han and her amazing contemporary novels? I had heard a lot about her, and when her new book came out and it was immediately raved about, I knew that I needed to read this.
     Lara Jane Song lives with her two sisters, Margot and Kitty, and their single father. Her life is as normal as it can be. But then, Margot is leaving for college. And Lara Jane is alone taking care of her family. And then, the five letters she'd secretly written to the boys she'd loved before, are all send in the mail. She has to confront all her previous loves, for better or for worse.
     I absolutely adored this novel. First, there's the setting and the idea of the novel. Lara Jane lets go of her loves by writing them a final letter and sealing it and keeping it hidden. But accidentally, all her letters get sent. Then, it's all about confronting the boys she loved before. I loved this idea. It's something so unique that I wish I had thought of myself (I'm jealous of Jenny Han's mind!)
     Then, there are the characters. Which are, by far, this book's strongest suit. I LOVED Lara Jane. I don't think I have ever loved a character as much as I love her. She's so loyal, encouraging, teasing, selfless, smart, and quirky. She's the kind of girl I want to have as my sister. Share my experiences with her. I loved that she was also half-Korean, which added a lot of traditional details to the novel. Then, there are the secondary characters. There's Margot, Lara Jane's sister, who has like a lovable control-freak and a great symbol of a role model, then there's Kitty, Lara Jane's younger sister, who is just adorable. There was not one single character in this book that wasn't three-dimensional and lovable.
     Then, we'll go to the boys. There's Josh (Joshy), who is Margot's boyfriend,  but he is also one of the guys Lara Jane loved. So he received her letter. Then,there's Peter K, who also receives her letter. These two guys are polar opposites, but they are both adorable. Specially Peter with his arrogant attitude but heart of gold. I just want to jump into this book and hug this guy tight! i loved him that much.
     The romance in this novel is beautiful. It might just be for pretend, at first. But Lara Jane's feelings are so real and palpable. I felt for her and I felt with her. I loved all the confrontations she had with the guys, other than Josh and Peter. She is incredibly funny, sweet, and shy. And I definitely did NOT expect who she ended up with at the end.
     The ending was beautiful. It wasn't what i expected, not by a long shot. But I was so happy about it. When I turned the last page on my e-reader, I was grinning so wide my mouth hurt, and I was half-sad that such a great book was over. It's been a LONG time since I've found a contemporary that I enjoyed so much. This book is a gem;  it will make you laugh out loud, get into a thoughtful trans, and fall in love all at the same time. It's beautiful, truly. And I just found that a second book is coming out! YAY! Can't wait for more of Lara Jane!

Sisterhood of World Book Bloggers


Although I always say that my blog is an award-free zone but I really wanted to do something fun besides all the reviewing (not that reviewing isn't FUN itself!). I wanna thank Dana @ DanaSquare for nominating me for this award!

So, here are the guidelines for Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award:
  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you, and link back to their site.
  2. Post the award's logo onto your blog.
  3. Answer the 10 questions you've been asked.
  4. Nominate 10 other bloggers and ask them 10 questions.


And here are my answers :

1. What was the last book that you gave 5 stars to?
Follow Me Through Darkness by Danielle Ellison. A PERFECT DYSTOPIAN!

2. What book got you into reading YA?
I think it was The Host by Stephenie Meyer. My ALL time favorite book.

3. What character from a series deserves their own spin-off book or series?
Ashley, the main character's brother in The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer

4. What is your most recent favorite genre?
Definitely Horror. Although I read a couple of books in the genre before but i have just realized that I adore creepy books!

5. Do you collect anything other than books?
Well, I wouldn't say I collect anything else. But I do LOVE movies and I have SO MANY DVDs.

6. What is you favorite TV Show?
The Vampire Diaries. DAMON "sighs"

7. What is the next book in you TBR pile?
The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (One of my FAVE series!)

8. Who is your most owned author?
Hmmmm, it's probably either Sarah Dessen or Sara Shepard (strange coincidence!)

9. When did you start blogging?
Two years ago. In 2012.

10. Which book that you love do you think deserves more hype? 
Definitely The Setti Saga by Stephanie Judice. It's SO good!



Here are my 10 questions for those I have tagged:

  1. What is your ALL TIME favorite book?
  2. Do you like it when a book is categorized in a mixture of genres? Like, there is no specific genre for it?
  3. Who is your favorite author and why?
  4. Do you like it when authors use a LOT of metaphors in their books? Like, "his eyes were as blue as the sky" or "He wrapped his arms around me like octopus tentacles" (yes,  I have actually read the second one in a book)
  5. Do you like listening to music while reading books or does it distract you?
  6. Do you prefer audiobooks to be read by the same voice throughout or different voices for different main characters?
  7. Are you a fan of highlighting favorite passages in books?
  8. Be honest, do you pick a book for your TBR list (sometimes) based on the cover ONLY?
  9. If you could be a main character in a book, which book would it be?
  10. Do you like it when bloggers post some updates about their personal life along with the main subject of the blog?

And I tag:

ARC Review: Follow Me Through Darkness by Danielle Ellison

Title: Follow Me Through Darkness (The Boundless Trilogy #1)
Author: Danielle Ellison
Publication: October 21st 2014 by Spencer Hill Press
Genre: YA Dystopia
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...
Goodreads

The truth won't always set you free.

Less than a year ago, Neely Ambrose’s biggest worry was having the freedom to follow a path that wasn't chosen for her.

Less than a year ago, she believed she could trust the Elders who said they had everyone’s best interest at heart and who said they were keeping them safe from the outside.

Sixty days ago, she discovered what they had planned for everyone she loved—and that all of it centered around her.
Now she’s on the run through a dangerous wasteland full of killing machines, secret organizations, and people who want to sell her back to the Elders for their own safety. The whole world outside the Compound is living proof that everything in Neely’s life was a lie manufactured by the Elders, which may even include the boy she loves.

All Neely wants is the truth, but each new piece of it drives her further from what she thought she knew. With only forty days until everyone she loves falls under the Elders’ mind control, Neely must decipher who to trust, what questions to ask, and how to get one step ahead of the Elders, who will do anything to keep their secrets buried.

-- My Rating --
5/5 Oscars: LOVED it

-- My Thoughts --

      Okay, so I admit it; I thought this book was contemporary when I started it. I didn't read the blurb, so sue me :D Although I am SUPER glad that I didn't because diving into this book blindly was the best thing I did.
     Neely is on the way to the Old World. She has left everything she knew and loved behind to pursue something that's gonna save everyone she loves. She has been trusting the Elders for too long but now she knows what they are really after, and what plans they had for her.
     This book is YA dystopia and a great one at that. It's a futuristic world where the United States has been destroyed and some of the elite and rich people live in Compounds (kinda like closed domes) thinking that there is no life left outside their city. The plot was a bit slow at the beginning but that was needed to get the story started. But when it picked up, there was no slow moments. Everything was fast-paced and exhilarating and i loved it.
     I loved the way the author told her story. We get the book in first person POV from Neely, our protagonist, but some of the chapters are flashbacks and the flashbacks are absolutely MY favorite part of this book. I feel like they were essential to the story and leaving ONE of the flashbacks out would have ruined it.
     I love Neely. She's kick-ass, brave, kind, selfless, forgiving, and loving. I just adored her. She is everything girls wish they could be. But she wasn't without flaws. She made mistakes and did wrong things and she recovered from them. IN a nutshell, she was real. The other secondary characters also made this story come alive. Although they were constantly changing, most of the secondary characters were only there for a couple of chapters, they still left a huge impression.
     Then, we have the love interest(s). I just simply fell in love with two different guys at once. I am not going to give anything away but guys, this is not the kind of love triangle that you can hate. Because you fall in love with the three main characters and I rooted for both of the guys. Though I kinda do have a favorite that I hope Neely ends up with. They're both so brave and so loving and caring and just SO swoon-worthy. Oh, Danielle Ellison, you broke my heart so!
     The ending was PHENOMENAL, to put it mildly. I fell in love with everything this author has written and i literally cannot believe that this is her debut novel. She is already a pro. I cannot wait to read more and I am impatiently waiting for the second book in the series and to dive more into Neely's world.

Feel by Karen-Anne Stewart Cover Reveal!

Hey, guys! Today, I have an exciting Cover Reveal for ya!
Feel's cover is AWESOME, don't you agree?



Feel by Karen-Anne Stewart 
Publication date: December 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Goodreads

Synopsis

The one whose emotions I can’t feel is the one who makes me feel the most.
I was a sensitive, at least that’s what I was told by the boy who saved me from the overwhelming emotions that consumed my soul, the boy who saved me from myself when my gift became stronger. Through the years, he was my redemption, my reason to take my next breath…then, he was gone.
Jensen always told me I was strong, but I didn’t believe him until I was forced to be strong on my own, and I kept breathing without him. I’ve taken 42 million breaths since the moment he sent me away. Now, four years later, he’s standing in front of me, and I can barely breathe.
This isn’t just a story about the abilities I possess; it’s a story about something much stronger…the love of the man who possesses every part of me.
***Disclaimer – Feel is intended for readers 18+ due to strong language, mature scenes, and some violence.


-- Author Bio --

Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards and is a nominee for the 2013 RONE Awards.

When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.

Author Links

http://www.karen-annestewart.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6920317.Karen_Anne_Stewart
https://www.facebook.com/SKarenAnne
https://twitter.com/SKarenAnne


Review: Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Title: Dear Killer
Author: Katherine Ewell
Publication: May 21st 2013 by Chronicle Books
Genre: YA Contemporary, thriller
Source: Owned
Goodreads

Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really Liked It

-- My Thoughts --

     This book caught me at first sight with its wonderful cover and intriguing title and exciting blurb. I knew I needed to read it , so, when I had the chance, I jumped at it and it was such a delight!
     Kit is London's most famous killer, known as the Perfect Killer. Every police officer is on her case, looking for clues, Kit is a smart serial killer, but she's also a 16-year-old girl. So, when she receives a killing order for someone in her own high school, she is very intrigued and the young police officer, Alex, also intrigues her with his wit and his insistence on the Perfect Killer case. Will these draw Kit finally into the hand of the police?
     A sixteen-year-old hired killer? Count me in. Although we might have heard a lot about young killers, mostly in the fantasy and dystopia genre, this was the first time I've read of such a young girl with an absurd job. And you cannot deny that it was as interesting as ever. This book was fast-paced and i could not pull myself away from it, not for one second. I needed to know every single thing that happened and that made me finish this book in only two days.
     This book's main center, is not romance, it's mostly the philosophical and moral part of what Kit does. Is it right to kill people? Is it wrong? Do "right" and "wrong" really exist or are they results of the human society's misplaced ideas? That was really intriguing and i loved Kit's take on it. How she rolled it over in her head and kept thinking about it and its consequences. She is one of the smartest girls I've seen in YA, but she also had her insecurities and flaws, she wasn't perfect.

     There's a little something going on between Alex and Kit, but we don't see anything, not even kisses. I was a bit disappointed in the romantic aspect, that's probably why I put four stars instead of five. This book is a thriller at times, a contemporary some other times, but it was still as amazing as I hoped it would be. This is for fans of thrillers and a little mystery on the side, you'll definitely like it.

Review: Dangerous Girls by Abigai Haas

Title: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas
Publication: July 16th 2013 by Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary Thriller
Source: Owned
Goodreads

It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. 

As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...


-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     I started paying attention to all the hype about Abigail Haas when her new book, Dangerous Boys came out. Both her books sounded so intriguing and I couldn't stop myself from finally reading one of them.
     It was just a vacation between friends. It was never supposed to turn so ugly. Nobody was supposed to die. But now, Anna is accused of killing her best friend. And there seems to be nobody who can help her. Except herself.
     The first thing about this book is there are a whole bunch of characters. But fortunately, we only focus on three or four in our flashbacks. Yes, this book is mostly told in different chapters. Some in the time of the trial, some in the time of the vacation, and some much before then. I loved that and I thought it was essential for the story to be told this way. The flashbacks were executed perfectly.
     The characters are definitely not meant to be likable. All of them had "ugh" moments and I basically hated each one of them some time or another. But Anna is definitely a very intriguing main character. She makes you question everything you know about her story, whether she is lying or not,you never know.
     The ending was by far, the most unexpected ending I have ever read in ANY book for that matter. It left me so shocked I kept looking back at the last page, and being like; how the hell did this even happen? Anyways, I absolutely LOVED how the author did that. She turned everything around in the last second and it was amazing! I cannot wait to read more of her thrilling, dangerous books.

ARC Review: Captive by Aimee Carter

Title: Captive( The Blackcoat Rebellion #2)
Author: Aimee Carter
Publication: November 25th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Dystopia
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...
Goodreads

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancĂ© cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever. 

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. 

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price? 


-- My Rating --
5/5 Oscars: Loved it

-- My Thoughts --

     The first book in this series, Pawn, made it to my five-stars favorites. It was absolutely phenomenal and I thought there was NO WAY to top the first book, but Aimee Carter proved me wrong.
     Kitty Doe has been playing her role as Lila Hart, surrounded by enemies and friends, it's becoming harder for her to know who to trust. But when a series of events shake the foundations of all the lies the government has been built on, and Kitty has the hardest decision to make; give up, or fight for freedom.
     This book  has no dull moments, not a second passes by without something major happening, there is no boredom. I LOVED the plot. It's fast. It's electrifying. It's thought-provoking. It's suspenseful. There are even MORE things at stake in this book  than in the first one.
     Of course, Aimee Carter's discriptions are still to-the-point and vivid. But the strongest suit of this book is definitely the characters. Kitty amazes me.  I love her bravery, her loyalty, her commitment to the cause. Her love. There is not ONE moment that I didn't like her. Then, there's Knox who got a lot more of appearances in this book. But we had little of Benjy. I hope we see more of him in the next book.
     Of course, there is romance. But I am not sure whether I can consider this as a love-triangle or not. It's been two books now and I still don't know if one of the guys is considered as a love interest or not. I guess it will all be resolved in the third book and I can't wait!
     The ending was thrilling and such a huge BANG that left me with millions of questions. I cannot wait to get my hands on the third book! This is definitely one of my favorite series to date! If you are a fan of dystopia and survival stories like The Hunger Games and Divergent, then this book is the one for you!

Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication: April 8th 2014 by HarperCollins
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Owned
Goodreads

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

-- My Rating --
5/5 Oscars: Loved it

-- My Thoughts --

     I have heard a lot about Kelley Armstrong, who hasn't it? So, I was expecting a lot from her writing and her world-building, and it totally blew me away!
     Ashyn and Moria, two twin sisters, are the Seeker and the Keeper in their little town. They rest the souls of the damned in the Forest. But this time, the souls do not want to rest. And with terrifying creatures, shadows, and much more, the path of the two sisters is separated. And with their journey to the Empire's capital, they might even find love in their path.
+ World-building: This is the book's strongest suit. The world that Kelley Armstrong created is so full of imagery and so vivid, it's like you're there. Her descriptions are never boring and never too much. They make you imagine the world in your head, every little detail, and it was such a beautifully terrifying world she created.
+ Characters: So, many authors excel at creating three-dimensional characters. So, it wasn't a surprise for me. BUT a lot of authors concentrate on making the main characters seem three-dimensional, that they forget the supporting characters, and they come out as shallow and unreal. But Kelley Armstrong made her main characters, plus the secondary characters, as real as possible. None of them were perfect in anyway, so it was easy to connect with them on many different levels.
+ Character Development: The most evident character development, as usual, was with the main characters. Ashyn and Moria are polar opposites, but twins. Moria is the kind of confident, sure, strong-willed girl that everyone wishes to be. But Ashyn is the shy, emotional, and low-self-esteemed one that most of us are. But throughout the book, they develop and become more aware of their flaws and trying to fix them. I loved witnessing that.
+ Plot: The plot was swift-moving and it was not boring, not even for one second. Then they're are those horrible, scary creatures that the author created, that are so chilly, they scared me to the bone. With the plot she created in this book, Kelley Armstrong has a LOT to follow in the follow-up to this amazing first introduction.
+ Romance: This is what I LOVED the most about this book. Okay, so it wasn't full of romance, there were only small touches of romance here and there. But the love interests were so real. For Moria, we have Gavril, who is a warrior and is anything but open with his emotions. They hate each other, at first, but underneath it all, you can see the love. With Ashyn, we have Ronan, who disappeared after three-fourth of the book, but his presence was there. The attraction between them was obvious but Ashyn was very hard on herself and believing that a guy would actually like her, not her sister. I think there is much more potential to the romance, and the book in general, for the sequels to come!

Review: The Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

Title: Biggest Flirts (The Superlatives #1)
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publication: May 20th 2014 by Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Owned
Goodreads

Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger. 

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…


-- My Rating --
3/5 Oscars: liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     I received the second book in this series for review. And so I had to read the first book too. And Jennifer Echols is such a well-known author, so the book was as I expected, fabulous.
     Tia is not the one to do relationships. She wants everything simple and casual. Up until she meets Will, but when she rejects his advances and he finds someone else. She realizes that her feeling run deeper than she thought.
     The first thing I noticed is the beautiful, bubbly writing style of Jennifer Echols. She has such an amazing lyrical voice. It's like you can feel the characters in their teenage years. And since I am still a teenager, I could really connect. Jennifer Echols definitely knows how to capture the true essence of a teenager.
     As with most contemporary books nowadays, it definitely doesn't catch you from the first page. You need time to get to know the characters better and get familiar with them and care for them. But otherwise, I really liked the characters in this novel. but I definitely didn't love them. Tia is such an impulse-decider. She decides everything without even thinking about the consequences. I just wanted to get into the book and slap her. And Will, as well.
     I just wanted them to get over their egos and just admit their feelings to each other. The ending was definitely much better than I hoped it would be. I cannot wait to read the second book in the series, because I am feeling that i will like the MC of the second book much better.