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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review: Illuminae

Illuminae Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Illuminae was a long and interesting sci fi book.

Summary from Goodreads:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

This book was very long. It was way too long for my tastes. I don't like sci-fi enough to make it through 500 pages too often. This book started out really slowly. The first 300 pages were really slow, and confusing. After that, it got really fast paced, and good.

This book has two main characters, Kady and Ezra. I liked Kady a lot better than Ezra. She was awesome, tough, and determined. Ezra kind of seemed whiny and stuff.

There were many good things about this book, but also many bad. Here is a list of pros and cons.
Pros:
-ending fast paced
-great character building
-descriptive world

Cons:
-too long
-confusing plot
-AIDAN

Overall, this was a good book, but not one for me.


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Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Between the Lines

Between the Lines Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Between the Lines was an adorable fantasy/realistic fiction mashup.

Summary from Goodreads:
Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.
And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.


I loved this book on almost every level. It was very fluffy, yet hard to put down. This was my first Jodi Picoult book, and it really didn't disappoint. It was a book I wasn't sure whether I wanted to read because I am not a huge fantasy or fairy tale fan. I was also skeptical of what a realistic fiction/fantasy mashup would look like. What it turned out to be was a cute book. I read it is like one day, because it was easy and sweet.

I totally could relate to Delilah. Books were her solace and her comfort. When I was younger, I was like her and had a few comfort books. Except for the fact that for her, it's only one comfort book. This book is "Between The Lines." Delilah reads this child fairy tale almost every day. It is just for fun, until one day when a book from the character starts talking to Delilah. She realizes that the characters have lives of their own, and are like involuntary actors.

The boy she is talking about is Oliver. Oliver is sweet, caring, and perfect. I don't know what is is that makes me love him, but I just do. He is also patient with Delilah when they are trying to get out of the book.

The only complaint that I have is that I think they spent a little too much time figuring out how to get Ollie out of the book. They also resolved the book pretty quickly.

Overall, this was a great, sweet, YA fairy tale that gave me happy feelings.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Review: All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

All the Bright Places was an interesting novel about mental illness.

Summary from Goodreads:
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.


I was kind of skeptical to read this book at first. It had gotten so much hype, but I didn't like the part of the summary that said, "Theodore Finch is fascinated by death.'' I wasn't real sure that that would be my type of book. But when it popped up of a competition book list, I finally decided to read it.

I have heard so many rave reviews about this, and it disappointed me. It was very depressing and theological. However, I did like the beginning off this book. It started out in the bell tower, where they both tried to kill themselves. As I progressed through the book, I felt like Violet was misrepresented in the beginning. She was said to be a really popular girl, but she seemed nerdy and depressed.
Violet had lost her sister in a car accident, and she believed she was at fault. Otherwise, she was halfway likable.

Finch was strange. He was supposed to be quirky, but he actually had a mental illness. He was nice and sweet to Violet, but was also kind of strange, like knowing about a bunch of poets.

The romance was one of the redeeming qualities in this book. Once Violet warmed up to Finch, they were a very cute couple.

This was a okay book that reminded me a lot of The Fault in Our Stars.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review: Switching Gears

Switching Gears Switching Gears by Chantele Sedgwick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Switching Gears is a good book about families and biking.

Summary from Goodreads:
Still mourning the loss of Lucas Nelson, the boy she loved in secret for years, seventeen-year-old Emmy Martin turns to her passion for mountain biking to try to fill the empty void in her life. But just when things start looking up, Emmy discovers her mom has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Confused and angry that her parents didn’t tell her sooner, she throws herself into mountain biking like never before.

When Cole Evans, the rich boy who usually doesn’t care about anything but himself, offers to train her for the biggest mountain biking race of the season, she accepts, determined to beat her nemesis, Whitney, and prove she’s good enough for a sponsor. The more time she spends with Cole, the more she realizes he’s different than she’d expected, and, to her surprise, she’s falling for him. Torn between the deep feelings she still has for Lucas and her growing ones for Cole, she knows she must choose a path: one offers her the chance to love again, while the other is blocked by the overwhelming heartache for the boy she lost.

As she drifts further away from her family and closer to her dream of being sponsored, a terrible accident threatens any semblance of peace and happiness she has left. Instead of closing herself off to the people she loves, Emmy must learn to rely on those she has pushed away if she’s going to have any chance of getting her life back again.


I really liked Emmy's character. She was kind, caring, and always knew what was right. However, she got really jealous and crabby.

This book deals with the competitive side of mountain bike racing. Emmy is a good biker, but she keeps losing to other teens in her town. When she meets Cole, she trains with him. The look at competitive biking was cool, and I enjoyed reading a book with a non-mainstream sport.

The romance was very good. Cole was sweet and gentle to Emmy, which is just what she needed. He truly loves her, and it isn't the main aspect of the book.

Emmy's mom was diagnosed with early Alzheimer. Emmy is having a hard time dealing with that. She thinks her mom will forget her, and kind of shies away from her. I hadn't heard of early Alzheimer's before this book, and it taught me a lot about it.

This book gave me a lot of feelings, both good and bad.

(view spoiler)

Overall, this is a really good book about many topics.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: The Sun Is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also a Star The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Sun is Also a Star was a pretty good book.

Summary from Goodreads:
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

I thought this book was written in a very interesting way. It was mainly written between two characters, Daniel and Natasha. There were also a few chapters where minor characters were telling the story. One of those sort of minor characters was the universe. It was a strange way to do it, but helped the book out.

This book was kind of like a Romeo and Juliet. It is a love tragedy that taks plac over a very short amount of time (instalove). It mad ethe day really slow, but interesting.

I liked how Natasha and Daniel were multicultural. Daniel was Korean, and Natasha was African American. This made the book seem more like Nicola Yoon.

Overall,, this is a good book, but I liked Everything Everything more.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Review: Mosquitoland

Mosquitoland Mosquitoland by David Arnold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mosquitoland by David Arnold is strangely good.

Summary from Goodreads:
"I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange."

After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.

So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, "Mosquitoland" is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

I really thought this book was odd. It was not exactly in a bad way; it just wasn't as good as I expected.

I thought Mim was a hilarious character, and a good representative of a teenager with a screwed up life. I would have thought it would be so neat to travel on a greyhound bus like she did. I really enjoyed reading about her relationship with the old lady on the bus. It was nice seeing Mim try to find her mom.

Beck and Walt were very cute characters. Walt was a boy who had a mental illness that made him kind of immature. He was still the sweetest, and was a foil to Beck's seriousness. Beck was an adorable love interest. He was sweet and perfect to Mim.

I loved Mim's journey. She went out to find her mom, but ended up sort of finding herself. She realized that she had to take care of herself.

Overall, this was a quirky book with quirky characters.

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Review: Because You'll Never Meet Me

Because You'll Never Meet Me Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Because You'll Never Meet Me is a very interesting novel.

In a stunning literary debut, two boys on opposite ends of the world begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives forever.

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.

I am writing this review now because I realized I finished the book a long time ago.

I started out reading this book thinking it was a realistic fiction. It definitely wasn't. The characters were abnormal and they talked about strange labs. I don't even know what genre this book would be considered. Maybe modern sci-fantasy?

Ollie was a little weird. He only loved one girl, and would do anything possible to get to his Liz. The relationship between them seemed false, and Ollie's mom was also strange. I don't really know what was going on with her. One good thing about Ollie is that his attitude was usually better.

Moritz was a bit more abnormal. He didn't seem to act like a real teenager. His friends were also strange, and the whole bully problem was just plain weird.

There were some redeeming qualities of this book. The letter format really worked, and the flashbacks were nice. It just wasn't my type of book.

Overall, this is a really strange book.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review: Spin the Sky

Spin the Sky Spin the Sky by Jill MacKenzie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I RECIEVED THS BOOK FROM SKY PPONY PRESS THROUGH EDELWEISS IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.  THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY VIEWS OR OPINIONS IN ANY WAY.

Spin The Sky by Jill MacKenzie is an amazing book!

Summary from Goodreads:
Magnolia Woodson wants nothing more than to get her and her sister, Rose, out of the pitifully small, clamming-obsessed Oregon town that hates them—she just doesn’t know how. Forced to put up with the snide comments and hateful looks the townspeople throw at them, Mags thinks she’s destined to pay for the horrible, awful thing her mom did—and that she’s left her and Rose to deal with—until the day she dies.

But when a nationwide televised dance competition posts tryouts in nearby Portland, Mags’s best friend, George, says they have to go and audition. Not only have they spent the past fourteen years of their lives dancing side-by-side, dreaming of a day just like this, but also it could be Mags’s chance of a lifetime—a chance to win the grand-prize money and get her and Rose out of Summerland, a chance to do the thing she loves most with everyone watching, a chance to show the town that she’s not—and has never been—a “no-good Woodson girl,” like her mother. But will the competition prove too steep? And will Mags be able to retain her friendship with George as they go head-to-head in tryouts? Mags will have to learn that following her dreams may mean changing her life forever.

I really loved the whole concept of this book. The dance part was so interesting, and it made me root for Mags. Any books with competitions and TV are up my alley, so this was great.

Despite the kind of trivial setting, this book is also surprisingly deep. It is about a girl who's mom killed someone. She got this teenage girl hooked on drugs until she died, and the made the whole town turn on her. Mags keeps feeling like she has to care about what the people think about her. She thinks they can control her live.

The drama in this book was amazingly huge. There were these scenes between Mags and her best friend George, and also scenes about drama scattered throughout.

I really liked the characters, and how everyone had two sides to them. Jill MacKenzie does a good job creating realistic characters.

This book started out slow. I couldn't put the book down from like 40% through on. I am glad I didn't, because it was all worth it in the end. The ending was amazing and kind of sad.

There were so many feelings in this book. I couldn't stop my emotions while reading it. There were some points where I was laughing in my head, others where I was inwardly screaming and crying.

Overall, this is a great book about the reality of a reality TV show.

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Cover Reveal: Fading Frost


Title: Fading Frost
Author: Alicia Rades
Genre: YA Paranormal
Cover Designer: Clarissa Yeo of Yocla Designs
Publisher: PaperPlane Publishing

Blurb:
Where do you turn when you lose a piece of yourself?

CRYSTAL FROST has known for a year that she's psychic, but a car accident leaves her sixth sense weaker than ever. When she begins sensing a ghost she can't actually see, Crystal isn't sure if she has what it takes to help. Meanwhile, her friend Derek is going through something personal, only Crystal doesn't know what's wrong. Will she be able to help this ghost cross over, help Derek find peace, and save her own life in the process?



Alicia Rades is an award-winning young adult paranormal author with a love for supernatural stories set in the modern world. When she's not plotting out fiction novels, she's running her own professional writing business, plowing her way through her never-ending reading list, or preparing for the backpacking trips she takes every summer. In college, Alicia majored in communications with an emphasis on professional writing. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two cats.

Don't miss a thing related to Alicia's books. Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.aliciaradesauthor.com/newsletter/

Author Links:
Website: http://www.aliciaradesauthor.com/



Buy Links:
Book 1 – Fire in Frost – Perma Free http://amzn.to/1Om5FwZ
Book 2 – Desire in Frost - $2.99 http://amzn.to/1Om5xh1
Book 3 – Inspired by Frost $2.99 http://amzn.to/1Uwb1SR

Pre-order Links:





Sunday, November 6, 2016

Review: Landry in Like

Landry in Like Landry in Like by Krysten Lindsay Hager
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I RECIEVED THIS BOOK FROM THE AUTHOR IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY VIEWS OR OPINIONS IN ANY WAY.

Landry in Like is an adorable book about friendship and first love.

Summary from Goodreads:
Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes.

Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cup-cakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with her best friend Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?

Sorry I got to this review so late. In all honesty, I forgot I still had to write a review.

I really liked Landry in this book. She was a sweet and kind teenager. I liked the way that she didn't always want to do what was popular. That is something you don't usually see, but that really happens.

I thought that this book was pretty predictable. It seemed like the other books, but with different drama. However, in this tye of thing it kind of worked. It made it seem like real teenage problems. However, most teenagers seem to have more serious problems along with the trivial ones.

This book could really help a tween or young teen learn how to act as they get older. It teaches about doing what you think is right, not letting little things get to you, and about how friends are very important along with family.

Overall, this is a great book with great morals.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Review: Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful Chaos Beautiful Chaos by Alex Tully
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I RECIEVED THIS BOOK FROM YA BOUND BOOK TOURS IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY VIEWS OR OPINIONS IN ANY WAY.

Beautiful Chaos by Alex Tully is a beautiful novel about love with unusual circumstances.

Summary From Goodreads:
While most seventeen year-olds work part-time delivering pizzas or whipping up frappuccinos, Brady O’Connell’s job is a little less conventional. Helping his dad with the family ‘business’ is a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly, especially when thousands of dollars are being exchanged. There are rules to be followed, timetables to be kept. But when his best friend Jay gets backstage concert tickets, and business interferes with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet their favorite band, Brady decides to break the rules, just one time.

And one time is all it takes to send his life spinning out of control. When an envelope full of cash ends up in the wrong hands—specifically in the hands of a pretty red-head named Vivienne—things get messy in a hurry. Where Vivienne goes, a whole lot of chaos seems to follow.

But sometimes…chaos is a beautiful thing.

I really enjoyed this book. There were many good things going ofr it, and also some not so great things about it.

I liked the character of Vivienne. She was sweet and a good girl. I liked her way of speech too, and her mindset about Brady was great and realistic.I loved how her best friend was so spunky and carefree. Brady was a decent character, but I didn't feel as much of a connection to him.

The way that the book switches between the two character is great. It was like seeing both sides of a love story. I liked seeing how both sides thought, especially during the rough patches of the story.

The writing style of this book was not my favorite. It was very generic. At some points in the book it worked, in others it didn't

Overall, I enjoyed this love story.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Review: Inspired by Frost

Inspired by Frost Inspired by Frost by Alicia Rades
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I RECEIVED THIS BOOK FROM LADY AMBER'S PR IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY VIEWS OR OPINIONS IN ANY WAY.

Inspired by Frost is a pretty cool YA paranormal fantasy.

Summary:
Crystal Frost is back again, and hoping to get a break from mysteries. However, that doesn't happen, and she runs into a ghost named Melissa while dress shopping for her mother's wedding. Melissa warns Crystal that the next time she wears that dress, someone will die. That sends Crystal on a mad hunt to save Sage, the girl who is going to die.

I have already read the rest of the books in this series, but I had somehow forgotten about reviewing this one until now.

I think this book is filled with even more adventure and action that the past ones. It is more suspenseful because it deals with emotions, along with terrifying things. Sage is a girl who is going to die. It is Crystal's job to save her. When Crystal first meets Sage, she seems lonely and depressed. However, she opens up to Crystal at least a little bit.

I thought this book was so well written because the killer was not the one they thought it would be. It was hiding in plain sight the whole time.

I loved how fast paced the end of the book was. It started out really slow, but the end made it all worth it. The writing style was pretty good, but it was the story that kept me hooked.

All of the characters in this book were really intricate. Crystal, Sage, and Melissa all have their own definite personalities, and Teddy and the other side characters really help the story blossom.

Overall, this is a very good fantasy about murder and death.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Blog Tour: Distant Dreams

Distant Dreams Distant Dreams by Alicia Rades
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I RECIEVED THIS BOOK FROM THE AUTHOR IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY VIEWS OR OPINIONS IN ANY WAY.

Distant Dreams was an interesting and mysterious murder mystery.

I really liked Kai's character. She did many very relatable things, like running. I could totally understand her love of it, yet her hesitance to join cross country. She was hard-working and wanted to earn money for her future more than be in a sport.

Kai could astral travel. That basically means that when she fell asleep at night, she could travel places with her spirit. It was quite literally an out of body experience!
Kai dream traveled one night to the bluff near her house. While there, she saw a murder happen. One of her classmates was killed. Kai struggles with solving the mystery of who killed Carla.

I found the whole astral travel concept interesting. Kai's spirit stepped out of her body, and she could go anywhere.

The writing style in this book was very good. It has a certain unique style, and was just descriptive enough.

There is a romance in this book between Collin and Kai. it is sweet, and revolves around their shared love of running. As a romance fan, that was probably my favorite part of the book.
The biggest complaint I have about this book is the fact that the resolotion happens really quickly. It all wraps up in the last 5% of the book.

Overall, this is a very good fantasy romance.

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Title: Distant Dreams
Author: Alicia Rades
Genre: YA Paranormal

Blurb: 
Kai Watson is only 16, but she’s never had a real dream in her life. Each night, she leaves her body, travels to a new location, and adds the sites she sees to her “dream book.” When she witnesses the brutal murder of upperclassman Darla Baxter while astral traveling, Kai is determined to stay out of it. She never saw the murderer’s face, and who would believe her anyway?
Now Kai has lost her ability to astral travel, and she’s forced to relive the murder each night in a nightmare. With no word on Darla’s body, Kai decides to take the mystery into her own hands to find closure and get back to her travels. As she searches for answers, she continues to bump into Darla’s brother, Collin. Can she catch the killer and still open her heart to Collin, or will she lose her gift forever?
      

Alicia Rades is an award-winning young adult paranormal author with a love for supernatural stories set in the modern world. When she's not plotting out fiction novels, she's running her own professional writing business, plowing her way through her never-ending reading list, or preparing for the backpacking trips she takes every summer. In college, Alicia majored in communications with an emphasis on professional writing. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two cats.
Don't miss a thing related to Alicia's books. Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.aliciaradesauthor.com/newsletter/
Author Links: 
Website: http://www.aliciaradesauthor.com/
                
Buy Links:
I fell onto my back, my toes still dangling off the edge of the cliff. I just want to get out of this tiny town, I thought. I wanted to truly touch the sand on the beach and let it fall through my fingers. I wanted to share that experience with someone. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that unless I traveled for real and took my body with me.
A shrill cry cut through my thoughts.
I jolted to my feet quickly, immediately alert. I couldn’t tell where the sound had come from, so I didn’t move right away. Then another scream resonated from somewhere near the parking lot.
“What the…” My words drifted off.
A third shriek sent me running toward the source. Someone was in trouble. It’s not like I could do anything about it, but instinct overcame me. I pushed through the trees. When they began to thin, I slowed and crouched low. I don’t know why I did. No one could see me, but I guess that didn’t register in my mind at the moment.
My eyes locked on a bush where the sound of shuffling bodies and weak coughing was coming from. A thud came, throwing long brown hair into view. The girl’s head smashed into the ground violently. She let out a grunt, but it was barely audible.
All I could do was stare in horror at the scene unfolding before my eyes. My heart slammed against my rib cage, and my lungs burned in protest to the breath I was holding.
Then, before I could manage to breathe, a rock came down on the girl’s skull. Blood oozed from a fresh wound. One more time a concealed figure cracked the rock against the girl’s forehead. It was only when she went limp and her head swiveled in my direction that I saw her eyes. They stared my way lifelessly while blood trickled down her familiar face.
A shriek of horror ripped out of my lungs. Before I could really process what I had just seen, the bluff washed away from my vision. I felt my spirit spring back to my body as if they were connected by elastic. I bolted upright in bed, my heart hammering. I didn’t even realize I was truly screaming until my mother burst into my bedroom.
“What’s going on?” she demanded.
I forced myself to swallow the bile rising in my throat without answering her. After a few moments, I finally realized what had just happened. I’d just witnessed Darla Baxter’s murder, and I had no idea who killed her.


                    



One Summer With Autumn

one-summer-with-autumn1Seventeen-year-old Autumn Teslow arrives at her father’s job fair knowing she’ll never measure up to the perfect image of daddy’s little girl—her twin sister.
Wearing anger management issues like a second skin won’t help Autumn win her dad’s approval for the big trip she’s been planning—or meet his condition that she successfully complete a summer internship for college.
Autumn’s cool unravels when her sister lectures against disappointing the family again. And when a young, bearded guy steps through the crowd to settle the growing argument between siblings, Autumn lashes out, dubbing him a “Duck Dynasty wannabe.”
At Nineteen, Caden Behr is clueless as to why his man parts are threatened by the fearsome girl before him. He'd only come to find an intern for his recreational equipment company, not break up a girl-fight between two sisters.
Unfortunately, the only candidate left is the girl who just told him off. Without her, he’ll never prove to his CEO mother that he’s ready for more responsibility.
Autumn and Caden agree that if they can keep from killing one another, they can use one another to get what they want and then never have to see each other again. Which is what they want.
Until it isn’t.
Because despite her best efforts to scare him off, and his fading desire to push her into the lake, they’re beginning to enjoy the time they spend together. But pride is a hard habit to break. And if neither will admit their changing feelings, they could lose a whole lot more than one summer.

Author Bio

As a child, Julie’s summers were about horseback riding and fishing, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all. She struggled with multiple learning disabilities, and spent much of her time gazing out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) she fought dyslexia for her right to read and won.
Afterward, she invented stories where powerful heroines kicked bad-guy butt to win the hearts charismatic heroes. And then she wrote one down…
Writing ever since, Julie weaves southern gothic, contemporary, fantasy, and young adult romances. She enjoys sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. Her writing is proof a dream and some hard work can overcome any obstacle.

There will be a author interview to be added to this post later!

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Review: Audrey, Wait!

Audrey, Wait! Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Audrey, Wait! is a hilarious and funny look at breakups and music.

Summary from Goodreads:
Everybody's singing, "Audrey, Wait!"

Audrey Cuttler's life hasn't been the same since that song, "Audrey, Wait!" hit the airwaves. All she wants to do is go to concerts, hang out with her friends, and maybe score a date with the cute boy who works with her at the Scooper Dooper.

But now, her ex-boyfriend's song about their breakup is at the top of the charts and she's suddenly famous! The paparazzi won't leave her alone, the tabloids are trying to make her into some kind of rock goddess, and the Internet is documenting her every move!

Will Audrey ever be able to have a normal life again? Get ready to find out, because it's time for Audrey to tell her side of the story.

I really came into this book with not so great expectations, and continued to feel that way during the first part of the book. It was generic and sort of dumb. But then things started to get interesting.

...“Harry Potter nerd.”
“Whatever. Take the damn phone.”

As this quote says, this book was really filled with humor. I enjoyed it, because it was the best part of the book. One bad thing about this book that the quote shows is that there is a lot of swearing in this book. That could be good, but it is a little excessive.
There were also a lot of references in this book. It kind of reminded me of Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here in that sense.

The story itself was pretty good. Audrey was a relatable character, even though her situation was kind of hard to believe. I mean, how crazy would the media get about a girl a song is about? I liked Audrey's character, despite her lack of responsibility.

I also really enjoyed James as the romantic interest. He was so sweet and kind. I also liked how he was like the opposite of her ex. He is now one of the book boyfriends.

Overall, this is a cute and fluffy read with a great ending.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review: Running Away to Home

Running Away to Home Running Away to Home by Lita Hooper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I RECEIVED THIS BOOK FROM THE AUTHOR IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY VIEWS OR OPINIONS ABOUT IT IN ANY WAY.

Running Away to Home by Lita Hooper is an interesting and unique read.

Summary from Goodreads:
How do you find your way home when your home no longer exists? For 17-year old twin sisters Sammie and Ronnie and their father, Willis, the answer to that question becomes a life raft when they are displaced after Hurricane Katrina.

Identity….Fear….Family

Loss.…Memory….Family

After leaving New Orleans for Atlanta, Ronnie and Sammie are separated and find themselves living in different parts of the city. Each sister is lured by false promises of love and security as they initially believe the people they encounter.

Love….Change….Family

I thought it was interesting how this book was written in verse. It made it more relatable and true. The verse had a good rhythm. However, the grammar wasn't the greatest. I know that the author is trying to show how some african american teens might really talk, but it didn't work for me. I am someone who can't stand books with improper grammar.

The story itself was pretty good. Ronnie and Sammie are twin sisters. They live in a place that gets hit by Hurricane Katrina. They have to move to New Orleans, and lose each other. The fact that it showed a family displaced after the hurricane was intriguing. It made in more interesting, because it is not a topic usually used in young adult books.

Ronnie and Sammie's dad was a very important character. He was an alcoholic because his wife had died. After his girls had been forced to leave him, he started to miss them and shape up his life to help them once he can find them.

This story was told in many perspectives. It was told in the perspectives of Ronnie, Sammie, Dad, and a few people who they meet along they way. This made it confusing, but at the same time it added to the story.

Overall, this is a decent poetry novel about a unique topic.

View all my reviews

Friday, September 30, 2016

Cover ReVamp: Distant Dreams





Title: Distant Dreams


Author: Alicia Rades


Genre: YA Paranormal


Expected Release Date: Oct. 12, 2016


Hosted by: Lady Amber's Reviews & PR









Blurb:
Kai Watson is only 16, but she’s never had a real dream in her life. Each night, she leaves her body, travels to a new location, and adds the sites she sees to her “dream book.” When she witnesses the brutal murder of upperclassman Darla Baxter while astral traveling, Kai is determined to stay out of it. She never saw the murderer’s face, and who would believe her anyway?




Now Kai has lost her ability to astral travel, and she’s forced to relive the murder each night in a nightmare. With no word on Darla’s body, Kai decides to take the mystery into her own hands to find closure and get back to her travels. As she searches for answers, she continues to bump into Darla’s brother, Collin. Can she catch the killer and still open her heart to Collin, or will she lose her gift forever?








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Alicia Rades is an award-winning young adult paranormal author with a love for supernatural stories set in the modern world. When she's not plotting out fiction novels, she's running her own professional writing business, plowing her way through her never-ending reading list, or preparing for the backpacking trips she takes every summer. In college, Alicia majored in communications with an emphasis on professional writing. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two cats.




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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: Just Pretending

Just Pretending Just Pretending by Dana Burkey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just Pretending is a cute romantic story.

Summary from Goodreads:
Everything in Cam’s life is finally going right. Despite many of her best friend being out of town for the summer, she is ready to have some fun. With her good friend Josh by her side, Cam is just starting to really enjoy the time off school, when Nick comes wandering back into her life. It’s been a year since Cam last saw Nick, but the wound is still fresh. The heartbreak Nick caused so long ago left Cam in pieces. Now that he is back, she is quickly falling apart one again. And the fact that he brought his new girlfriend Gina along for his vacation is only making it worse. Not wanting to see the shell of a person Cam once was thanks to Nick, Josh comes up with an idea: he will play the role of Cam’s boyfriend to make Nick jealous. Although the plan seems impossible, Cam quickly realizes it’s working. Or at least it seems like it’s working from the outside. But to everyone on the inside things get messy fast. With feelings, emotions, and kissing flying all around, will Cam ever stop the pretending and land the true love she’s been looking for?

Cam is a sweet yet overly romantic girl. She had a huge crush on Nick, a boy she met last summer. When she sees him with another girl, she gets jealous. I thought she was a little too lovesick. She just wanted Nick, no matter what.

Nick was a very sweet boy. I liked how he was just pretending to be in love with Cam to help her get Nick back. I could tell they were going to really fall in love, and I was glad, because Nick was so cool. I would have liked to hear more about him.

The ending was so sweet. SPOILER: Nick and Cam were meant for each other, and it was so romantic.

The writing style was ordinary, but not the greatest. It was kind of monotone and had no real unique voice.

I listened to this as an audiobook, and the reader was good. It was also a perfect length.
Overall, I enjoyed this good romance short story.

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Review: Best Friends... Forever?

Best Friends... Forever? Best Friends... Forever? by Krysten Lindsay Hager
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Best Friends... Forever is a great and very cute contemporary romance.

Summary from Goodreads:
Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her besties make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.

Landry gets her first boyfriend, but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry has to deal with learning how to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American IngĂ©nue modeling competition.

I loved Landry's character. She is so blunt, honest, and immature sounding. It makes her sound like an actual 14 year old, and not an teenager with an adult's voice. Landry is an awesome girl who is a model yet very self conscious.

I liked how Landry's mom is a realistic mother. She was really a part of the story, and did not let Landry do modeling if it would interfere with school. She was also very cautious about letting Landry go out with friends.

The issues they talk about in this book are normal teenage ones. Landry deals with parental issues, friends dissing her, and having an older boyfriend. The overall moral of the story is that being a kid is hard, yet something that should be fun.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and all of the friendship aspects that Hager put in it. Landry had real friend disagreements, yet became a better person because of it.

View all my reviews

Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Blitz: Shadow of a Girl



Shadow of a Girl
Shannon Greenland
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: September 19th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Use cash and keep moving.

After I ran away from home, these were the two rules that dictated my life. Scoring a job as a roadie fit perfectly for what I needed. Traveling, cash, and life out of the spotlight. But when my path collides with West, the lead singer of Bus Stop, I can’t seem to stay out of his spotlight—especially since we’ll be touring together for an entire year.

West is determined to break down my walls. He won’t give up. And little by little they come crumbling. But if he knew what lurked behind them, he wouldn’t be so eager to get rid of them.

The more time we spend together, the more the lines of our friendship become blurred. He makes me dream of things I never thought possible. But while our friendship has been evolving into a romance, my secrets have been closing in. And just when I’ve decided to reveal my past to West, I’m confronted by it. The cost of my freedom could ruin the life of the guy I love…




EXCERPT:

His hand stills. He doesn’t move. Neither do I, and neither one of us speaks. Then West shifts first, gently pushing me away, and rolls to a sitting position. He rubs his eyes and looks around and finally with a sigh, glances over his shoulder at me where I still lay on the blanket.

“It’s late,” he says, “and you’ve got to be up early for work.”

I nod, completely confused that he’s the one who pulled away.

He gets to his feet and holds out his hand. “Come on, I’ll walk you to your room.”

I let him pull me up, and together we fold the blanket. But as I come toward him with my ends of the blanket, he slides one arm around my back and holds me to him. “Hug me,” he whispers. “Please?”

His words liquefy my insides, and I don’t hesitate as I slip both arms around his waist and lay my face on his chest. With the blanket smooshed between us, I listen to his heartbeat as he pulls me in snug, resting his head on top of mine. Gently, he rocks me, humming a song I don’t recognize, but the tune buzzes through me, and I sink further into the embrace.

We stand this way, gently swaying, as he hums the whole song. I haven’t cried in many years. The last time I did I was in excruciating pain. So when the wetness pools in my eyes, I blink my lids, surprised, realizing they’re tears of happiness.

Exactly what tears should be.
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Author Bio:

Shannon Greenland is the award winning author of several novels including the teen spy series, THE SPECIALISTS, and the YA romance, THE SUMMER MY LIFE BEGAN. Her latest teen novel, SHADOW OF A GIRL, is due out 9.19.16. She also writes thrillers under S. E. Green and lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her at www.shannongreenland.com





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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Review: Graceling

Graceling Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Graceling is a cool action paced fantasy novel.

Summary from Goodreads:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...

I have really put off writing this review, so it might not be the greatest. However, I really liked the book. It is a fantasy, but an interesting one. Katsa is a Graceling. Gracelings have special powers, but live in an everyday world. As a Graceling, Katsa has two separate color eyes.

I loved how Katsa had a lot of self development. She figured out how to use her power for good. I also liked the plot twist. (view spoiler)

I loved Po. He was so cute, and sweet. I loved how he hid his grace, and became her fighting partner. He was perfect and their romance was destined. I just wished Katsa would marry him.

The ending dragged a little bit with the travel, but the part with Leck was really sinister and evilly cool.

Overall, this is a good book for a fantasy.

View all my reviews

Friday, September 16, 2016

Book Blitz: Dragonfly Nightmare



Dragonfly Nightmare
Erin Richards
(Once Upon A Secret, #1)
Publication date: September 12th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Suspense, Young Adult
To be a normal teenage girl.


To forget about the past.


To fall in love for the first time.


Is that too much to ask?


Sixteen-year-old Allie Bailey just wants a break—a break from her overly-protected life. And Dragonfly Meadows summer camp is the answer. A summer away from her parents in the California Sierras with her best friend is exactly what she needs.

But once at camp, Allie notices that things are a little off. Paid excursions are cancelled and staff is replaced with shady new people. When the camp’s founder goes “missing,” Allie starts to worry. Unable to let it rest due to her past, she starts to investigate, enlisting the help of Logan Montgomery, her best friend’s older and adorably geeky brother.

When hauntingly familiar flowers appear in Allie’s cabin, she’s not sure what to think—has her past caught up to her? Yet, after Allie stumbles across a murder conspiracy and chases down the truth, she becomes a target. Pushing through her paranoia and fear to find strength, it’s up to Allie to save herself and the campers from a deranged killer before it’s too late.



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EXCERPT:

My life turned a corner today to a kickass summer. A glorious day sliding past go and collecting $200 on the highway to my freedom, two days after the ultimate Independence Day. I wanted to shout my bliss to the world, but I refrained from killing my mother’s eardrums any further. Nerd, much?

For the first time in my short sixteen years, I was headed to summer camp. How stupid exciting was that? For others it was no big deal, or even lame. For me, camp meant paradise, considering I’d begged my parents to let me go for the last four summers and got the big, fat no every flipping time. It wasn’t even about money. Just major overprotectiveness due to The Incident That Shall Not Be Cloned.

Although I was joining the Teen Leadership Program as a Cabin Leader, I was coming apart at the seams to revel in the whole camp experience. Not all would be work, though. My best friend slash partner in crime, Laurel Montgomery, and I had dibs on fun. Escaping the house for two weeks was a major step toward more freedom in my life. I just wished my parents held my same excitement. The thought deflated my insane joy.

My gaze bounced to Mom’s white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel. I brushed my fingers over her thigh. “It’ll be okay. You have to let me go sometime.” The four black beads rolled on my leather cuff as I withdrew my hand from her leg. I spun the beads around the band, ignoring their significance for a change.

“I know, Allie. I’m just—”

I curbed the urge to pull more of my hair out before baldness set in. “We’ve hashed this out. You’ve checked out the camp a zillion times. Carla Amadori’s family has owned the joint forever. Laurel and Logan love her, and you spoke to all the other parents.” Overkill if you ask me. “And you know Laurel and Logan will kill anyone who even looks at me wrong.” Even though I kidded, I mentally kicked myself for dredging up that bit of paranoia.

Four years ago on my twelfth birthday, a psycho abducted me and held me at gunpoint for twenty-four hours. My father’s investment brokerage had fired the freak and he flipped. I knew the man from attending various company events. I was lucky he didn’t lay his grubby paws on me or physically harm me. The mental damage was bad enough. Now everyone looked suspicious, and I couldn’t go anywhere without spying one person who looked like a deranged kidnapper. After counseling, I’d learned ways to cope with the trauma, but I still watched my back whenever I left the house. Seriously, I had developed eyes in the back of my head.

The Incident shaped my teenage existence in so many ways. Worst of all, it royally curtailed my freedom. Four smothering years later, because Laurel and her seventeen-year-old brother, Logan, my appointed watchdogs, talked my parents into letting me go, promising they’d stay with me 24/7, I was on my way. Without Laurel’s nagging, I’d be stuck at home this summer with the swimming pool, my cat, and the housekeeper eagle-eyeing my every move.

For the most part, I had buried the memories of the abduction. When I dwelled on them, I made myself believe The Incident was a fictional movie about a girl named Alex. Now, I just wanted to appease my mother before she changed her mind and locked me up at Casa Bailey for the summer. The gates to my prison had opened. By the skin of my dead body, I wasn’t going back inside.

“Happened a long time ago, Mom.” I fingered the bangles on her right wrist. “You have to let it go.” You have to let me go. “Everything will be fine.”

“I know. I know.” Mom’s fingers loosened on the steering wheel. “You have your phone?”

Groaning, I knocked my head on the headrest. “For the millionth time, you know we aren’t allowed to bring them.” The camp was electronic-free, back to nature, home to crappy cell reception. I had no problems living off the grid for two weeks. I wasn’t big on social media or texting anyone except Laurel anyway. The parentals also forbade me to engage on social media, so my phone was simply a phone.

“Right.” Eyes on the road ahead, Mom dug through her purse and withdrew a new smartphone. “Take this.” She stuck it in my hand. “Keep it with you at all times.” A charger landed on my lap.

“Are you kidding me? Mom!” I held the phone as if dog crap coated it. My nose wrinkled. “Paranoid, much?”

“No, I’m not kidding. Don’t tell anyone you have it. Not even Laurel or Logan.”

“You planning to call me every flipping day?” I stuffed the phone in my hobo purse and clutched the bag to my chest, my irritation fading as we neared the school.

“Watch your tongue.” She wheeled the car into the parking lot.

We passed through the familiar scrolled wrought-iron gates of my private school. The campground had a deal with the San Francisco school to use their bus to cart local kids to the camp. Otherwise, you wouldn’t catch me dead or alive on school grounds during the summer.

Vehicles jammed the small parking lot, ignoring the white parking lines. Logan stood by the Montgomery’s silver van. He’d morphed into a taller, sinewy geek with pale skin sorely needing a tan. Maybe he’d buy one at camp, far, far away from me.

Ugh. Why’d he agree to come this summer? Seeing him set off a tumble of thoughts inside my head and an odd crick in my heart I wanted to avoid. I’d once had a tiny crush on the gangly, too-tall-for-his-body loner. Into mixed martial arts, he had a black belt which made him king of the geek squad. Laurel, Logan, and I used to hang like birds on a wire at their home when my parents worked, which was all the time. Then the abduction happened. Next thing, I had the plague as far as he was concerned. He’d disappeared without a word to boarding school in Arizona, and then abruptly returned home this past December for his final semester of junior year. My crush evaporated along with many emotions and feelings that year. We’d avoided one another since his return, both of us burying our heads in the sand. Logan had much ado about the kidnapping, and neither of us had confronted each other about that gruesome event. Talk about lame times ten. Blame, resentment, guilt, sorrow, it all boiled up into a mixed stew when I thought about him. Confusion skewered me most of all. I repeat, ugh.





Author Bio:

Erin Richards lives in sunny Northern California. She writes young adult fiction and adult romance, where you’ll typically find her characters in peril, whether based in reality or a contemporary fantasy setting. Magic, murder and mayhem are all in a days’ work! In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, and re-landscaping her backyard, even though she hates digging holes…unless she’s burying fictional bodies! Erin also confesses to a fascination with American muscle cars…and reality TV shows. Keep up with Erin’s latest news, exclusive content, and giveaways and subscribe to her Newsletter.





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