June 20, 2015

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry Review!


 
An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.
Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.
Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.
No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Nowhere But Here took me completely by surprise. I picked up this book because the idea of a motorcycle "gang" and the long lost daughter of its leader coming back to meet her father had me wanting to know more. You know the feeling you get when you pick up a book and you know it's going to be good, but when you finish it you are completely blown away by how amazing the book was? That was my reaction to Nowhere But Here. Just by reading the synopsis, I knew I was going to like this book, but I didn't realize that I would fall in love with the story and its characters so quickly.
Emily was one hell of a character. As I read Nowhere But Here, I got to see her grow from a girl that was scared of the world to a girl who decided to take the world by storm. Emily was the kind of character that slowly made her way into your heart. I started out being fascinated by her, especially after reading the very first sentence of the book. I ended up thinking of her as another part of myself. By the end of the book, I felt a certain kinship to her. After all she went through and all the hurt she had to deal with, she was still strong and a force to be reckoned with. I laughed at her fire and quick-wit more than a few times.
Speaking of fire, Oz, the hot "bad boy", immediately caught my attention. I am such a sucker for a man on a motorcycle. So when tall, dark, and handsome strolled in with a devil may care attitude I was hopelessly lost. You combine a sexy as hell guy on a motorcycle with dark hair and blue eyes and you can count me as a goner. Basically, I REALLY loved Oz. Aside from the fact that he was very sexy, he was also the kind of guy that loved deeply and protected his own. At first, I didn't quite like him because he was so standoffish to Emily, but once he let his guard down and got to know her then I finally started to see a different side of him. As the book progresses, Oz got sweeter and sweeter and my heart melted even more. The tension between him and Emily didn't hurt either. Those two were on fire. Add that to the fact that he opened his heart to Emily, and you have one mushy reader on your hands. I have to applaud McGarry because she definitely knows how to write amazing characters. All of them were characters that I felt connected to in some way.
She also knows how to write a damn good book. The storyline for this book is one that will have you hungry for answers from the very start and it will have you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. The book started with a bang, and it ended just as strongly. As the book switched from Emily and Oz's POV, I got to see two sides of the story and both of them were as infuriating as the other. Emily was searching for answers to her and her parents past throughout the whole book, and I was getting just as irritated as Emily with everyone for keeping the past a secret. Oz, on the other hand, knew a little about Emily's past, but refused to tell her. That was infuriating enough. Anyway, this book really stirred up my emotions, and at one point, I was having to hold back tears. This book had everything from secret pasts, a motorcycle brotherhood that was thicker than blood, a love story filled with struggle and tension, and a surprise that no one saw coming. I have to say, I had so much fun reading Nowhere But Here. I was never bored and the story held my attention until the very end and even after that. I really liked the atmosphere of the book too. It is categorized as a YA book, but it really felt like a New Adult book to me. Just the atmosphere of the book seemed more mature. No, there weren't any sexy times, but I mean the whole feel of the book seemed more NA rather than YA. You will understand what I am talking about when you read the book hopefully.
Needless to say, I loved this book. I read it in one day, and by the middle of the book, it had already earned its place in my favorites list. I wish it were longer than 482 pages because I seriously needed more of Emily and Oz and the whole gang. Everything about the book had me falling in love with it, and I highly recommend it to everyone looking for a fun read filled with everything you love in a book. This is the first Katie McGarry book that I've read and I can assure you that I will be back for more. My bank account may hate me for it, but my heart will be happy. I give Nowhere But Here five out of five stars!

June 19, 2015

Daisy and the Front Man by Rebekah L. Purdy Review!


 
Hell hath no fury like a fangirl scorned…
When Daisy Morris finds out she’s spending the summer with her dad, bodyguard for Seconds to Juliet—the hottest boy band around—she knows it couldn't be more perfect. But not because she’s a fan. Oh, no. Because ever since front man Trevin Jacobs completely humiliated her by standing her up for homecoming, Daisy is out for a little revenge. Yup, Trevin Jacobs is goin' down...
When one of his bandmates bets Trevin he can't make Daisy—the gorgeous but surprisingly ice-cold daughter of their bodyguard—fall in love with him, it’s a bet he can’t resist. Sure, Daisy won’t give him the time of day for reasons he can't understand, and her dad’s hell-bent against his little girl spending time with a superstar. But the terms are set, and Trevin is determined to make Daisy fall…hard.
But every front man should know never to trust a girl with a pretty face…
This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, sexual situations, and seriously hot boys. It may cause swoony daydreams involving a certain super-cute front man.

Daisy and the Front Man had me when the synopsis hinted at revenge to be honest. If there is a girl set on revenge and a boy band involved then you better believe that I will snatch that book up faster than you can say boy band. I am a sucker for revenge stories especially when it seems like love gets tangled into the mix. One thing I really loved about this book was the prologue. I have to tell you, that prologue has me calling for Trevin's blood just like Daisy was. You know a book is going to be good when you are hooked before the first chapter even begins. I need a book to grab my attention very quickly and Daisy and the Front Man did just that.
I believe that it goes without saying that I was rooting for Daisy the whole time. She was energetic, thoughtful, and very focused and it showed throughout the whole book. She is definitely a great revenge plotter. Some of her antics had me laughing my butt off. You can also tell that she has had a rough time in the past and it just made me want to hug her. I also wanted her to get her revenge on Trevin. Especially when he made his little bet with his friends. Let me tell you that had me fuming. I could tell that this book would have me tied in knots by the second chapter. I know someone is going to get hurt and while that doesn't bode well for the characters, it makes things a whole lot more interesting for me. 
As the story went it on, it got harder and harder to hate Trevin and soon I was a goner. The way he treated Daisy and the things he did for her just melted my heart. I said "aww" quite a few times in this book that is for sure. Trevin was a real jerk sometimes throughout the book, but his sweet moments outweighed the bad in the end. It did not hurt AT ALL that he was extremely hot and in a boy band. That mixture is deadly to a fangirl’s heart like mine.
I'm going to admit it; I teared up at one point. I don't know what it is about stories like these but they just pull at my heartstrings. This is the kind of book that will have you gunning for revenge one moment and melting your heart the next. Every interaction between Daisy and Trevin was either filled with tension, love, or heartache. It was just a rollercoaster ride.  Some of you may know that I don't read a ton of contemporary novels, but contemporary novels like these make me realize how amazing they are all over again. Seriously, I read this book in one sitting. I was up until 5 AM reading it. I haven't done that in a long time so you KNOW I loved this book. There was never a moment when I was bored. The whole time I wanted to get to the climax of the story because I had to know what happened, but I had to pace myself because the wait was worth it. It was SO worth it.
Anyway, all you need to know about this book is that it is filled with crazy revenge plots, stupid bets, hot band members, drama, and fun times in between all that. I am definitely adding this book to my favorites list. I'm telling you, Entangled Teen is on point with their books lately. You go, Glen Coco. I give Daisy and the Front Man five out of five stars!

June 14, 2015

Even Angels Fall by F.L. Darbyshire Review!


After suffering an unthinkable loss, Abbey Miller and her family move to Leeds to rebuild their lives and start again, but the pain and grief that Abbey carries with her is impossible to escape. As she finds herself becoming increasingly isolated from her family, she develops a firm friendship with Lucy, Nathan and Liam, who introduce her to a brand new and exciting world, far removed from all of her problems. But will her new friends bring her the light hearted relief she has longed for? Or will she find herself getting drawn deep into their dangerous and intoxicating world?

Even Angels Fall had a really great start. The prologue really captured my attention and made me want to read more. I have to say that I wasn't really in the mood for a contemporary book, but I still enjoyed this story. Abbey's story was one that stirred up my emotions. Although I didn't connect with her on a personal level, I still felt for her. She was going through a really tough time and her grieving process, however extreme, was still compelling. Alex, the hero of the story, was also a character whose background is really interesting. The way he saw his friends as family was really endearing. Plus, the fact that he helped Abbey when she needed it really pulled on my heart strings. As for the rest of the characters, I couldn't connect to them either. The situations they placed themselves in are ones that I couldn't picture myself in so it was hard to connect with them. However that is a personal thing, not the author's fault. The characters were interesting nevertheless.
I did feel like this book was very description heavy in the beginning, and some people like that. However for me, I love interactions and dialogue between characters. I wished I had seen more of that in the beginning instead of so much description. The dialogue picks up towards the end, but more dialogue in the beginning would have been an added bonus. In addition to a lot of description, the book was a long one. I feel as if it could have been two book. Although I love long books, sometimes too much happens in one book. I liked the book, but the amount of action, events that occurred, and changes that happened in this book were a lot. Again, that's just my preference, and somebody else might love it.
I have to say this book REALLY picked up in the end. Those last few chapters pushed the book from three stars to four for me. I really wish the whole book was like the last few chapters. My heart was really in the story by then, and I finally connected with Abbey in the end. Then that horrible thing happened and I almost cried. What a heartbreaking way to end a book. I did NOT expect this book to end like that, and now I don't even know what to do with myself. I can't even believe the book I started with was the book I ended with. I wasn't in the mood for a contemporary like this, but the ending really captured my attention and that mood changed quickly. I just wish there was more to the ending. I have to say, if the whole book was like that ending then it would have been a five star book for me. In the end, my emotions were triggered and my heart strings were pulled.
If I step away from the fact that I wasn't really in the mood for this book then I would still say I liked the story. The characters are really interesting, and the story is full of great content. It had drama, action, romance, dangerous people, and all of the stuff that good books require. All in all, I liked the book. This book was a 3.5/4 star book for me.

June 9, 2015

The Keepers: Declan by Rae Rivers Review!



Declan Bennett has zero tolerance for thieves. He and his brothers, the Keepers, are fiercely protective of their witch, Sienna, and their privacy.
So when Kate Carrigan breaks into their estate, he'll be damned if he lets the little wildcat get away with it – especially after she seduced him three months ago, leaving him buck-naked in a New Orleans hotel. Declan wants payback – and some answers.

Before she was murdered, Kate's mother ingrained it in her not to trust anyone. Kate’s magical powers make her a pawn in the war between good and evil, a war she’s always avoided. Declan is everything she’s been taught to fear, even if she can’t forget the memory of his touch that one night…
Trouble is brewing as the powers of evil regroup – bolder and hungrier than ever – and Kate is forced to choose a side.
Hot romance, epic battles and action abound in Book 2 of The Keepers.

Right off the bat we are thrown into a tension filled scene where Kate is trying to steal from supernatural warriors and I have to say, I love it when books start like that. I also loved the fact that Kate is a badass. She can fight with the big boys and win. Not only did the first chapter spike my interest, but it also made me laugh, which is a bonus point towards The Keepers. Another thing that I loved about this book is the fact that it is partially set in New Orleans. I love New Orleans, and it always makes for a great setting for the paranormal.
Now for my favorite part, the characters. I loved how unpredictable Kate was because she always shocked me. I also liked the fact that Kate was vulnerable too. She was a fierce heroine, yet she still believed throughout most of the book that Declan only wanted her for her power. It is those kind of vulnerabilities that I can relate to in a character and Kate was really relatable. I really felt for her in this book because everyone saw her as a pawn and not a person until the very end. The whole time I just wanted to shout "SHE IS A PERSON WITH FEELINGS AND SHE MATTERS". Honestly, it irritated me that Declan, the hero of the story, didn't stand up for her like he should have in the beginning and middle of the book. I wanted to throttle him sometimes. All I wanted was for him to say that Kate mattered because he cared for her, not because of her powers. Speaking of her and Declan, the tension between them was delicious. You can tell those two will either kill each other or fall in love. Watching her battle it out back and forth with him was just entertaining as hell. Those are always the most interesting couples to read about in my opinion.
Now for the nitty gritty. This was a romance/action book that I needed. I love books featuring strong heroines who have a knack for being reckless and gorgeous heroes who are extremely protective but still deny their feelings. This paranormal romance was practically made for me. I loved the balance of action and romance this book had. It's not over done and that is sometimes easily done with romance books. The author builds tension between Kate and Declan and at some point they were bound to explode. The action in The Keepers was amazing, and the fight scenes had me on the edge of my seat. Rivers knows how to write a fighting scene that is for sure.
All I have to say is that if you love paranormal romance, witches, protective gorgeous men, a heroine that is fierce, and a book filled with both action and romance then this book is for you. It is going on my favorites list for sure. I give it five out of five starts.
P.S. This is the second book in The Keepers series; however, it can be read by itself.

June 5, 2015

Author Interview: Janet Lee Carey, Author of In the Time of Dragon Moon!


 
 
Beware the dark moon time when love and murder intertwine
                All Uma wants is to become a healer like her father and be accepted by her tribe. But when the mad queen abducts her and takes her north, Uma’s told she must use her healing skills to cure the infertile queen by Dragon Moon, or be burned at the stake. Uma soon learns the queen isn’t the only danger she’s up against. A hidden killer out for royal blood slays the royal heir. The murder is made to look like an accident, but Uma, and the king’s nephew Jackrun, sense the darker truth. Together, they must use their combined powers to outwit a secret plot to overthrow the Pendragon throne. But are they strong enough to overcome a murderer aided by prophecy and cloaked in magic? 

The book sounds amazing, right? Spoil alert, it is. You can even read my review of it here: http://thehopelessreader.blogspot.com/2015/05/in-time-of-dragon-moon-by-janet-lee.html I was so happy when Janet approached me about doing an interview, and I immediately jumped at the chance. So here is my interview with Janet, a fellow dragon lover and amazing authors, and I hope you enjoy!
Ivey : Janet, I am a huge dragon fan. Since your most recent books have been about dragons, I had to read them. What inspired you to write about dragons?

Janet: I read fairytales in winter. After reading too many stories about perfect princesses and nasty dragons, I decided to mix it up a little, and create a flawed princess (with a dragon’s claw) and a brilliant, ferocious dragon readers could meet in his own domain. Thus Wilde Island book one Dragon’s Keep was born. After that there was no looking back. Dragons have been a central part of my fantasy storytelling ever since.  
 

Ivey : I have to say, I appreciate your decision to write about dragons. What is the most difficult part of creating a whole new fantasy world?

Janet: Making an imagined world seem real. From chapter one, the reader should feel as if they have entered a real place. This means deft description, sensory writing, and a lively vivid setting. It also means giving the world a cosmology, a history, unique peoples, languages, and cultures. It’s such a tough set of challenges, I teach a world-building workshop on the subject.
 
Ivey: You do a wonderful job of creating your own world I have to say, and I wish I could attend your workshop. I am all for writing workshops. That being said, what is your favorite thing about being an author?

Janet: The whole crazy creative process of novel writing. Stephen King likens it to archeology—digging down for story. I also love being a part of a great local writing community, and connecting with readers.

Ivey: What a beautiful way to put the process of writing. Speaking of, do you have any writing projects in the works that you can tell us about?

Janet: I’m working on a fantasy set in yet another world which brings in a new undersea kingdom, but I won’t say more than that. It’s a secret project right now.
 
Ivey: Oh I love secret projects. I am excited to discover what you have in store for readers next! On another note, do you plan to explore any different genres in the future?

Janet: I sometimes write for younger audiences. So I’m also working on a zany fantasy for readers 4th grade and up, laughing a lot as I write.

Ivey: That is so cool. Now time for the fun part! If you had a dragon, what would he/she look like and act like?
 
Janet: She would look like this:



And she’d act like Vazan from In The Time of Dragon Moon. A no nonsense regal dragon who would never demean herself, yet would go to the ends of the earth to fight for those she loves.

Ivey: That sounds like a dragon I would love! What about you guys, the readers, what would your dragon look like? Comment below and let’s talk dragons!

(Photo credit: Heidi Pettit)

A little bit more about Janet:
Janet Lee Carey grew up in the bay area under towering redwoods that whispered secrets in the wind. When she was a child she dreamed of becoming a mermaid (this never happened).She also dreamed of becoming a published writer (this did happen after many years of rejection). She is now an award-winning author of nine novels for children and teens. Her Wilde Island Chronicles are ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She won the 2005 Mark Twain Award and was finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Janet links each new book with a charitable organization empowering youth to read and reach out. She tours the U.S. and abroad presenting at schools, book festivals and conferences for writers, teachers, and librarians. Janet and her family live near Seattle by a lake where rising morning mist forms into the shape of dragons. She writes daily with her imperious cat, Uke, seated on her lap. Uke is jealous of the keyboard. If Janet truly understood her place in the world, she would reserve her fingers for the sole purpose of scratching behind Uke’s ear, but humans are very hard to train.
Now that you know a little bit more about Janet you can head over to her website and discover her books! I highly recommend it

Also, if you want to know more about In the Time of Dragon Moon, you can watch the book trailer for it here. Trust me, you will definitely want to.
 

June 2, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas Review!



A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

I started this book knowing that Maas was going to blow me away with this series just as she had with the Throne of Glass series. I had so much fun reading ACOTAR. It took me to another world full of shape shifting high faes, big bad creatures, and characters that put the bad in badass. I always have fun reading Maas' books and ACOTAR is no exception. This book is definitely one that is going on my favorites list.
The first chapter in this book was just so poetic and beautiful that it just captivated me and it lulled me into the story. It also helped that I loved how Feyre was introduced to us. She is such a strong character that it's hard NOT to love her. I can see aspects of myself in her, which I love, and it helps put myself in the story. She is dedicated to helping her family survive no matter the cost, without a second thought of herself and it's really admirable. I love characters like that. Also, as I read through ACOTAR my heart continued to break for Feyre. The things she missed out on, the things she was forced to do to survive, and the loneliness she had to endure was just heartbreaking. It really made me connect with her on a personal level because we get deeper than just the surface of her feelings.
Speaking of captivating moments in this book, that first scene when Feyre leaves her home was intense and so cool. I immediately knew I would be interested in Tamlin right off the bat especially the way he barged into Feyre’s house like that. Tamlin and Lucien are just a pair of fictional characters that I immediately added to my boyfriend list. Tamlin is quiet, reserved, allusive, and dangerous. However, he is protective and determined to get to know Feyre. As the story progresses, we get to see Tamlin loosen up and actually start going out of his way to make her comfortable. Whereas, Lucien is the funny one. He is always looking for a laugh and flirting. However, as the story goes on we delve into his brutal past which makes us see him in a totally different light. Both are types that I adore greatly. It also doesn't hurt that they are gorgeous. Maas is the queen of gorgeous and ethereal men. She also knows how to create all of her characters so that they are full of complexities and it shows in her work. Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, Rhys, and Amarantha are characters that are complicated and full of history. They all contribute so much to the story and never for a moment do they seem out of place. All of these characters seem so well written that it's hard to remember that they are fictional.
On another note, the world building and sheer genius that went into this book is what also helps make this book great. Once I started reading I practically fell into Feyre and Tamlin's world, and I had trouble coming back to reality when I finished. Even when I put the book down I still thought about it.  Even after finishing this book, I felt inspired to write my books and conquer the world. Books like ACOTAR leave readers inspired to do the impossible just like Feyre did.
For those wondering if this book is similar to Maas’ other works, I am here to tell you that ACOTAR is so different from the Throne of Glass series. Feyre and Celaena are different but they both struggle with being saddled with troubling pasts and uncertain futures. I love how different these books are, but they still contain the features that makes it a Maas work of art like strong and fierce heroines, gorgeous heroes that will have you melting, and action filled journeys full of mystery and adventure. I mean, that scene of the summer solstice was just *fangirls* amazing. God, I love this book.
Then, just when I thought the action of this book was over, I was hit with even more and better adventures and action. This book takes the reader through such a captivating and all-encompassing journey that it is hard to imagine that in the end, the book you started out with was the same book you ended with. So much happens in this book, and so many feelings are summoned that you cannot help be feel entranced by it.  I can't put into words how much I loved this book and how much it means to me. It had my emotions in its grasp and my intention all the same. There was never a moment that I was bored, and it’s obvious that Maas knows how to keep readers on the edge.
This book is filled with lessons, mystery, the promise of an exciting future, intrigue, and so much more, and I couldn't have been happier with how this book turned out. There were a few times a teared up just because some scenes tore at my heart strings. It's rare that books affect me so much, but Maas has a way of working her way to my heart through amazing characters and even better story lines. This is a book that everyone has to read. If you haven't thought about picking this book up then do it now because you couldn't possibly be prepared for the journey you will experience in ACOTAR. It is very safe to say that this book easily gained five out of five stars.