Category Archives: Teen Romance

Blog Tour
March 14, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Atlantis Rising by Gloria Craw

atlantis quest gloria craw

Atlantis RisingAtlantis Rising (Atlantis Rising #1) by Gloria Craw

Published January 6th, 2015

Published by Entangled Teen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22236535-atlantis-rising

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Atlantis-Rising-Gloria-Craw/dp/1622665198

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/atlantis-rising-gloria-craw/1119572586?ean=9781622665198

You’ll never see me unless I want you to…

I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger. So I hide in plain sight, wearing drab clothes and thick glasses and trying to be invisible. I’m so good at hiding, no one has ever noticed me. Until Ian…the mysterious and oh-so-cute boy I know I need to avoid.

Now I have been seen. And more terrifying still, I am wanted—by those who would protect me and those who would destroy everything and everyone I love. But if they’re all terrified about who I am, wait until they see what I can do…

 

My Review:

The first thing I want to discuss about Atlantis Rising is the cover. I went into this book knowing that it wasn’t about mermaids, but the cover might be a little confusing to someone who hasn’t read the synopsis. So, this is your up front warning that Atlantis Rising is not about mermaids.

Atlantis Rising was a good read full of action, adventure, and a simmering romance. The characters were intriguing; I especially enjoyed Ian’s character [; Overall, the book always left me feeling curious as to what was going to happen next.

In terms of characters, I did enjoy them. However, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the main character, Alison. She was a little too strung tight and stressed out. Not that she didn’t have every right to be, it was just a little too much at times. I also didn’t overly care for her back and forthness with Ian. Sometimes, she wanted him. Other times, she couldn’t allow herself to be with him. I just wanted her to make up her mind already.

Another thing that slightly bothered me was the lack of plot settings. I felt like we kept jumping into the same scenes over and over again. They would be in class, Alison would be eating tofu lasagna, Alison would be putting a thought in someone’s head, they would be at Ian’s house or at the book store. Each time we revisited those settings, it felt like the same exact thing was happening as in the setting prior to it. I wanted more diversity of settings and occurrences.

The big showdown at the end of the book was action packed and interesting. I did feel like it was a little rushed and maybe leaned a bit more on the younger side of YA during that time. However, it built itself up nicely for the second book.

On a more positive side, Atlantis Rising was very easy to read. I demolished in just a couple days, which can sometimes be difficult for me. It had an intriguing storyline, as well as characters.

Overall, I thought that Atlantis Rising was a solid read. I feel like there’s probably some more room for improvement, but I’m betting that Atlantis Quest is going to start out with a bang. I would definitely recommend this to YA paranormal fans.

Rating: : ★★★☆☆


 

ATLANTIS-QUEST-1600x2400Book Title: Atlantis Quest (Atlantis Rising, #2)

Author: Gloria Craw

Release Date: Mar. 1, 2016

Genre: YA Fantasy

Get ready for the exciting follow up to Atlantis Rising, dubbedAn enchanting debut from a promising new author of paranormal YAby Kirkus Reviews.

 

After all they’d cost me, I thought I was done with the Truss clan. I was wrong. Nikki Dawning, my mortal enemy, has beenkidnapped, and I’ve been asked to spy on the Truss to find her. The pull between Ian and I has never been stronger, but he can’t help me this time. I have to rely on Theron, a bad-tempered cousin I didn’t know I had. To make matters worse, the people I trust have been keeping secrets.

 

I’m starting to feel like a weapon in a war I don’t understand. How far am I willing to go to protect the descendants of Atlantis and the common good when I’m not sure what the common good is anymore?

 

Only one thing is certain. If I’m the next Laurel clan chief, I can’t let myself be manipulated…by anyone.

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Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25666071-atlantis-quest

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Atlantis-Quest-Rising-Gloria-Craw/dp/1633752836

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/atlantis-quest-gloria-craw/1121861968

iTunes Buy Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/atlantis-quest/id1048561165

Kobo Buy Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/atlantis-quest

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Atlantis-Quest-Rising-Gloria-Craw/dp/1633752836

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Atlantis-Quest-Rising-Gloria-Craw/dp/1633752836

Entangled Page: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/atlantis-quest/


 

About the Author:

Gloria Craw publicity photo

Gloria Craw grew up in the desert southwest, inspired every day by the wide skies and rich colors around her. She attended the University of Utah where she earned a degree in anthropology. These days, she lives in the ‘burbs’ just outside of Seattle, Washington, where she is the shepherd of a husband, four daughters, and a very hairy dog.

Author Website: www.gloriacraw.com

Author Twitter: @GloriaCraw01

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gloriacraw15/?fref=ts

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8247794.Gloria_Craw

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The Giveaway: (All open US Only)

Prize #1: Atlantis Rising (Signed Copy); Atlantis Quest (Signed Copy); B&N 10.00 Gift Card

Prize #2: Atlantis Rising (Signed Copy); Atlantis Quest (Signed Copy)

Prize #3: Bookmark and 2 Atlantis Pens

Prize #4: Bookmark and 2 Atlantis Pens

Prize #5: Bookmark and 2 Atlantis Pens
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Read below for an excerpt from Atlantis Quest:

I stopped talking because Ian had stepped in front of me and slid his hand behind my neck. I knew what he was going to do. I also knew I should turn away, but I didn’t. I let him move closer, I didn’t look away when his eyes lingered on my lips, and I didn’t tell him to stop when his lips touched mine. Instead, I moved even nearer until there was no space between us. I reached up and ran my fingers through the golden-blond hair that curled up at his shirt collar.

Copy of AQ11

The Tour Schedule:

March 1st

RoloPoloBookBlog – Promo Post

Crossroad Reviews – Promo Post

Just One More Chapter (Carrie) – Review Book #1

March 2nd

Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! – Review Book #2

MindJacked – Guest Post

books are love –Review Book #1

March 3rd

books are love – Review Book #2

SNSBAH Promotions & Reviews – Guest Post

March 4th

Mythical Books – Guest Post

Happy Tails and Tales – Review Book #2

March 5th

Around the World in Books – Promo Post

Wee Shubba’s World. – Guest Post

March 6th

We Read with a Glass of Wine – Author Interview

March 7th

Roxy’s Reviews – Promo Post

The Book Cellar – Promo Post

March 8th

5 Girls Book Reviews – Review

A Bookish Escape – Review

Long and Short Reviews – Guest Post

March 9th

The Book Beacon – Review Book #1

March 10th

Just One More Chapter (Annie) – Promo Post

March 11th

YaReads – Review Book #1

What Is That Book About? – Promo Post

March 12th

PBC – Promo Post

March 13th

A.K. Morgen Writes – Promo Post

Rachel’s Book Reviews – Review Book #1

March 14th

Just One More Chapter (Carrie) – Review

Blog Tour
March 7, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Through Fire & Sea (Otherselves, #1) by Nicole Luiken

amid wind and stone nicole luiken

TFaS_500Through Fire & Sea (Otherselves, #1) by Nicole Luiken:

Synopsis:

There is one True World, and then there are the four mirror worlds: fire, water, air, and stone. And each has a magic of its own…

In the Fire World, seventeen-year-old Leah is the illegitimate daughter of one of the realm’s most powerful lords. She’s hot-blooded—able to communicate with the tempestuous volcano gods. But she has another gift…the ability to Call her twin “Otherselves” on other worlds.

Holly resides in the Water World—our world. When she’s called by Leah from the Fire World, she nearly drowns. Suddenly the world Holly thought she knew is filled with secrets, magic…and deadly peril.

For a malevolent force seeks to destroy the mirror worlds. And as Leah and Holly are swept up in the tides of chaos and danger, they have only one choice to save the mirror worlds—to shatter every rule they’ve ever known…

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25338152-through-fire-sea

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Through-Fire-Sea-Entangled-Teen-ebook/dp/B00W1H5BT0

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/through-fire-sea-nicole-luiken/1121725505

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/through-fire-sea-entangled/id985135785

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/through-fire-sea-entangled-teen

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Through-Fire-Sea-Entangled-Teen-ebook/dp/B00W1H5BT0/

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Through-Fire-Sea-Entangled-Teen-ebook/dp/B00W1H5BT0

Entangled Page: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/through-fire-sea/


AMID WIND AND STONE 1600x2400 (1)Amid Wind & Stone (Otherselves, #2)

Author: Nicole Luiken

Release Date: Mar. 7, 2016

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

There is one True World, and then there are the four Mirror Worlds: Fire, Water, Air, and Stone.

 

Audrey and Dorotea are “otherselves”—twin copies of each other who live on different

Mirror Worlds.

 

On Air, Audrey has the ability to communicate with wind spirits. As war looms, she’s torn between loyalty to her country and her feelings for a roguish phantom who may be a dangerous spy.

 

Blackouts and earthquakes threaten the few remaining humans on Stone, who have been forced to live underground. To save her injured sister, Dorotea breaks taboo and releases an imprisoned gargoyle. Brooding, sensitive Jasper makes her wonder if gargoyles aretruly traitors, as she’s always been told.

 

Unbeknownst to them, they both face the same enemy—an evil sorceress bent on

shattering all the Mirror Worlds.

 

Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28597398-amid-wind-stone

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Amid-Stone-Otherselves-Nicole-Luiken-ebook/dp/B01BKMMFPE

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amid-wind-and-stone-nicole-luiken/1123387309

iBooks Buy Link: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/amid-wind-and-stone/id1082374406

Kobo Buy Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/amid-wind-and-stone

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amid-Stone-Otherselves-Nicole-Luiken-ebook/dp/B01BKMMFPE

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Amid-Stone-Otherselves-Nicole-Luiken-ebook/dp/B01BKMMFPE

Entangled Page: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/amid-wind-stone/


About the Author:

nicole-luiken

Nicole Luiken wrote her first book at age 13 and never stopped.
She is the author of nine published books for young adults, including Violet Eyes and its sequels Silver Eyes and Angels Eyes, Frost, Unlocking the Doors, The Catalyst, Escape to the Overworld, Dreamfire and the sequel Dreamline. Through Fire & Sea, book one of Otherselves, and Amid Wind & Stone, book two of Otherselves, are her most recent releases. She also has an adult thriller, Running on Instinct, under the name N.M. Luiken and a fantasy romance series, Gate to Kandrith and Soul of Kandrith.
Nicole lives with her family in Edmonton, AB. It is physically impossible for her to go more than three days in a row without writing.

Author Website: http://www.nicoleluiken.com/

Author Twitter: @NicoleLuiken

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nicole-Luiken-50793836133/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/223320.Nicole_Luiken\

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Read below for an excerpt from Amid Wind & Stone:

Stone World

The lights went out, plunging the cave into absolute darkness.

Dorotea froze on her hands and knees in the tunnel. Behind her, Marta wailed. Dorotea reached back and found her little sister’s hand. “It’s all right. The lights will come back in a moment.” Despite her reassuring words, worry wormed its way into her stomach. It wasn’t unusual for one or two of the light squares embedded in the walls to burn out and stay black for a few weeks before being replaced, but every light in the whole tunnel had winked out at the same instant as if it were False Night instead of an hour short of noon.

Instinct prodded at her. Something’s wrong.

Marta squeezed her hand with six-year-old strength. “I’m scared! Make the lights come back.”

As if being eleven years older conferred magic powers. “The Elect will fix it. All we have to do is wait.”

“I’m so scared,” Marta whined.

“Crawl up closer to me,” Dorotea said. “The tunnel’s wide enough here.”

Marta squirmed up. Dorotea lay on her side and cuddled her sister’s small body. The contact comforted Dorotea, too. Marta’s presence meant Dorotea couldn’t panic.

Her eyes remained open, uselessly straining to see in the utter darkness. She’d never experienced anything like it. During False Night, each cavern had a few lights that remained on so people could find their way to the privy. This darkness was blacker than the inside of a coal seam.

Maybe only the tunnel’s lights had gone out. Maybe there was still light in the main caverns.

“I’m scared of the dark,” Marta whimpered again. “What if the gargoyles get us?”

Dorotea’s heart jumped into her throat at the thought of hands reaching up through solid stone, but she made her voice calm. “Don’t be silly. All the gargoyles are safely locked up in the Cavern of Traitors.”

“But what if they tunneled through the floor?”

“They can’t,” Dorotea said shortly. “They’re frozen in place. Why are you scared of gargoyles? You’ve never even seen one. They were imprisoned before you were born.” They didn’t kill your father, like they did mine. Marta’s father, Martin, was annoyingly alive.

Dorotea had been younger than Marta when the gargoyles rebelled. She barely remembered them except for fuzzy images of her father’s gargoyle: a very tall, silent man made of gray stone with a craggy, rough-hewn face.

The gargoyles couldn’t have caused the blackout. Could they? Surely not, but anxiety still twisted inside her, keying her nerves to a higher pitch. She shivered in the clammy embrace of the stone tunnels. The rough trousers and tunic she’d donned for weeding were better suited for crawling than her usual robes, but the material was also thinner.

Something’s wrong. Something more than a Tech malfunction.

Copy of AWaSteaser2

My Review:

Through Fire & Sea was a solid YA fantasy that I would recommend to YA fantasy lovers, especially leaning toward the younger side. It has everything you could ask for: magic, different realms, dragons, sea creatures, and a ton more! It’s fast paced and constantly keeps you on your toes, wondering what will happen next!

I have mixed feelings about Through Fire & Sea, but I mostly really enjoyed it! Part of my thing was that sometimes I really liked Leah and sometimes I didn’t. Likewise, sometimes I really liked Holly, and sometimes I didn’t. It was never consistent. I thought all of the characters could have used a bit more development, but overall it was a really good start!

I found the different worlds, as well as the dual perspectives, to be a little confusing. I wish that the focus would have just been on one girl and one world with a storyline there. There was just a lot going on all at once. Sometimes, that worked out really well! I enjoyed the fast paced non-ending action that went on throughout this whole book. It was just a lot to take in.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the dragon theme it had going on. Not only did I really like the dragon and the volcano people, but I thought they added oomph to the storyline. I’m really curious to see where that storyline will take place in the next book. IT BETTER CONTINUE!

While I did really enjoy this book, sometimes to the point of staying up well into the night, I did think that it had a bit too much going on at once. Not only did you have the four different realms and the two perspectives, but there was also the Hollywood & acting scene, the two different relationships, the mom drama, etc, etc, etc. It was just a little too much all at once. It was sometimes difficult to keep up on everything that was going on all at once.

I did really enjoy Through Fire & Sea. The only thing that I’ll say is that it did seem to edge a little bit on the younger side. Not to the point of being middle grade, but more like a younger teenager book. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I still enjoyed it! Based on the cover, though, I expected this one to be a little more upper fantasy/paranormal than it actually was.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I’m interested to see what will happen next in Amid Wind & Stone!

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

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The Tour:

March 7th

YaReads– Review Book #1

RoloPolo Book Blog – Promo Post

Pandora’s Book Reviews – Promo Post

March 8th

The Perks of Being a Book Girl – Review Book #2

Literary Chanteuse – Promo Post

March 9th

Bibliophile Mystery – Guest Post

Just One More Chapter – Promo Post

Rachel’s Book Reviews – Author Interview

Long and Short Reviews – Guest Post

March 10th

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Promo Post

The Book Beacon – Review Book #1

March 11th

Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! – Guest Post

Phenomenal Reviews – Promo Post

March 12th

Elizabeth Delana Rosa – Promo Post

Nicole Olea – Review Book #1

Happy Tails and Tales – Review Book #2

March 13th

YaReads – Review Book #2

The Book Beacon – Review Book #2

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Anthology
March 2, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Midnight Bites: Stories of the Morganville Vampires (The Morganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine

midnight bitesNew York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine presents a collection of stories—including six new tales—featuring the little Texas town that’s overrun by the undead.

WELCOME TO MORGANVILLE.
YOU’LL NEVER WANT TO LEAVE.
 
By day, Morganville, Texas, is just a typical college town. By night, the vampires emerge and take control….

In a town where it’s not safe to be out after dark, student Claire Danvers and her friends have had their fair share of thrills. But Morganville still has a few secrets left to tell.

Now, in this collection, you can venture down the town’s strange streets, revisit all the tales you’ve come to love, and experience six new stories featuring your favorite Morganville residents—both human and vampire…

 

My Review:

Wow……just wow. It has been a LONG time since I’ve visited Morganville. It’s probably been eight or nine years since I first started reading this series. Not to make myself sound old or anything…

With it being SO long since I’ve read the Morganville books, I will admit that some of these stories confused me. I didn’t automatically remember who everyone was and what was going on. If that’s something that’s really going to bother you, I would highly suggest either re-reading the books or at least skimming over them. Some of you probably remember everything that happened and who everyone was. Others are going to have a slight problem remembering where everything left off and who everyone is.

Another thing that needs to be mentioned is that not every story in the book is equal. Some of the stories I really loved. Other stories, I was bored out of my mind. However, I will say that I mostly really liked and enjoyed this book. It was really the stories about the older vampires that were really tough to get through. I skimmed over Myrnin’s story, because I didn’t like it at all. I also had a really tough time getting through Amelie’s stories. I might just have butchered their names. Sorry, MV fans!

One thing that I really enjoyed about this collection of stories was how it really embraced stories from before the start of MV and during the beginning books. Those stories really made me remember how much I love the Morganville Vamps series and how much I enjoyed those four main characters. I also didn’t need a refresher for those stories. I remembered everything I needed to. I wasn’t confused at all!

On the bright side, for me, I didn’t read any free stories that Rachel Caine featured on her website or any of the stories in previous anthologies. So, all of these stories were 100% new to me. Some of you may have already read some of them, though. That being said, half of this book is completely new stories. So, if you’re feeling hesitant for that reason, just know that there is a huge chunk of new material in this book.

I’m usually not one for re-reading books or series. My TBR pile is larger than life at all times. I have library books, a ton of books in my room, Netgalley & Edelweiss books, plus review requests coming in daily. So, I never re-read books. I just don’t have the time. That being said, this book has made me want to re-read the Morganville Vampires series. And I will. I have every intention of re-reading this whole series this year. I just need to find the time for it. Not to mention that I never actually FINISHED Morganville. So, I have a ton to catch up on and to remember! I’ve very excited to reread this series & share all new reviews with you all!

OH! Another thing…I totally forgot to mention it. The romance between Shane & Claire and Michael & Eve was BEAUTIFUL in this book. I loved the opportunity to read those stories and to share in their romance. Some of those stories were SO CUTE! So worth it!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. My only complaint was that some of the stories were difficult for me since I haven’t read the MV books in SO LONG. I also thought some of the stories could have been a little more entertaining. The majority of this book, though, was just like old times!

Pages: 512

Publication Date: March 1st, 2016

Publisher: NAL

Rating: : ★★★★☆

Teen Romance
February 28, 2016 posted by Pavan

Book Review: What I Saw by Beck Nicholas

27916632One punch will shatter a town.

Is anyone ready for the consequences of the truth?

Callie Jones is not the kind of girl who gets drunk at school dances, and certainly not now, with her scholarship on the line. And she definitely doesn’t hang around with bad boys like Rhett Barker. Especially alone, at night. But these are the circumstances she finds herself in when she witnesses a king hit that lands the town’s golden boy in a coma.

With his reputation, no one is less surprised than Rhett when he is accused of throwing the punch. But he didn’t do it. And he knows Callie saw what really went down. He just has to convince the ‘ice princess’ to come forward and talk to the police – except, for once, good girl Callie doesn’t seem all that interested in telling the truth. Just what is she hiding, and why?

Drawn together by secrets, scandal and heartache, Callie and Rhett find themselves getting closer – even as the solution to their problems gets further away.

Book Review

With the ongoing cases of King Hits or Coward Punches in Australia, I thought the general idea of What I Saw was really interesting. I hadn’t read a book by Beck Nicholas before so I was unsure what to expect of the writing. I found it a bit hard to rate What I Saw as some bits I did enjoy and some I didn’t.

What I enjoyed:

WIS is told from both Callie and Rhett’s POV. This is one aspect of the book I did enjoy because you did get to understand the reasons behind the actions they took. We did get a real sense of the type of people they were. Callie and Rhett weren’t just the “good girl” and “bad boy” stereotypes.

I though the fact that author Beck Nicholas didn’t shy away from a topic like king hits was great. It was sad to see what could happen from one person’s punch and how it doesn’t just affect one person. The false accusations and all the anger that goes along with an act of violence was all represented within WIS which made for an interesting read.

What I didn’t enjoy:

Considering the timeline of WIS is (from memory) 3 or 4 days I thought the romance was too insta-love for my taste. I just couldn’t believe in it. I think if this story just showed the romance in its’ initial stages then I would have gotten on board, but it was just too much to fast.

I felt the pacing was a bit off in this book. At some points I would be sitting and reading with ease, and at others I would be struggling to get through a couple of pages. I felt the writing could be a bit stilted at times.

Overall I did think What I Saw had a lot of promise and potential, however it may have missed the mark a bit. I do applaud Beck Nicholas on writing about kings hits as it is a rising problem. I think I will still look out for Beck’s new books to see if they fit my taste better.

Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Pages: 301

Publishing Date: March 2016

Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia

Publisher Link: http://www.harlequinbooks.com.au/product/9781760374426

Rating:★★½★★★☆☆

Blog Tour
February 2, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

V23 new typeface tagline.inddWhat if the person you need the most is someone you’ve never met?
Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

 

My Review:

Let me straight up with right now and tell you that I loved this book from the very first sentence. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful and powerful this book is. My heart feels like it grew 20 sizes, and I just want to cry all of my feelings into my pillow. I don’t even know how to fully express my love for this book.

The characters in this book were SO REALISTIC. I felt like I was with Jessie on her entire journey. Honestly, for most of the book, I just wanted to squeeze her tight and tell her how special she was. That, and I wanted to punch people out for being hideously rude to her. And the side characters? I mean it when I say that EVERYONE was perfection. I just….I can’t even.

I may gripe about her a lot, but my mom is my favorite person in the entire world. She is the most important person to me, and I would shank anyone who ever threatened her or our relationship. So….I was a total basketcase whenever Jessie’s mom was mentioned or when Jessie started missing her mom…..cause I can’t even imagine a world without mine. I don’t even think that I would survive it. There were so many quotes in this book that tore my heart to shreds and then threw it back in the blender for extra measures. This book was just way too beautiful.

I struggled with rating this book a 4 or a 5 based off of SN’s identity. I didn’t feel like it was that big of a shocker. Honestly, I figured out who SN was right away. There were a few moments that made me second guess myself, but I did know who it was and there were only a couple moments that made me question it. While I thought the ending reveal was tricky and a nice move on the author’s part, I would have liked to see a little more secrecy in SN’s identity. There was no part of me that went “OH MY GOD! THAT’S WHO SN IS!?” at the end of the book. I was more like “Called it. Knew it all along.”

I also loved how romantic this book was, as well as how much reality it included. I loved the fact that this book represented true aspects of high school life. As a female, I can admit that females are assholes…especially high school females. We can be catty, sneaky, mean, and vicious. Not that we can’t be nice, but there is NOTHING worse than female high school drama. Speaking from experience here. I just really liked the reality in this book.

Another thing that I sorta kinda struggled with were the adult figures in Jessie’s house. My initial instinct was to straight up hate both of them right away. It took a LONG TIME for me to accept and forgive them and acknowledge that they, also, are human beings. lol. Does that makes sense? At the end of the book, I really appreciated those scenes. However, I did have a lot of anger going on in some of their scenes.

Overall, I flat out adored this book. I can’t tell you how much you need to go preorder this book. It is so beautiful and romantic and real. It’s just….perfection. And at the end of the day, I give this baby 5 stars!

Pages: 336

Publication Date: April 5th, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: : ★★★★★

Blog Tour
January 30, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: The Union by T.H. Hernandez

t h hernandez blog tour banner

The UnionBook 1 – The Union by T.H. Hernandez

Genre: Young Adult/Speculative

Published: November 18th, 2014

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23266680-the-union

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Union-T-H-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B00P0D4VHU/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-union-theresa-h-hernandez/1120967864?ean=9780990868828

Powells: http://www.powells.com/book/the-union-9780990868828

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Union-Theresa-Hernandez/9780990868828

Read the first 3 chapters for free! https://www.wattpad.com/story/46383864-the-union
After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.

Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.

The Union is a futuristic young adult romantic adventure

The Union - Teaser 2

Read below for an excerpt from The Union:

Once the sun rises, I can make out trees in the distance. Real trees with leaves, which means there must be water nearby. I’m not sure Ruins water is safe to drink, but I do know I’ll die if I don’t drink something.

Even though I’ve been walking for hours, the trees don’t seem to be getting any closer. My legs have taken on a sponge-like quality and I stumble, but manage to stay upright. If I fall, I may never get up again.

I’m almost to the trees. They’re only a little farther now.

There’s no water here. How can there be trees without water?

Despair overtakes me and I drop down, pounding my fists on the barren ground. I stuff a soft green leaf in my mouth, seeking moisture, but my mouth is so dry, I gag on the pieces, tearing my throat like shards of broken glass.

My head spins as I lie on my back and struggle to form coherent thoughts. I take a deep breath and tell myself to think. Think is such a strange word.Think, think, think. It doesn’t even sound English.

Shaking my head to clear my mind, I try to pull myself together, remembering where I am and forcing myself to focus on my immediate situation. What do the Buddhists call it? Being mindful.

My brain works to form rational thoughts, but there’s nothing rational about this. I left home to find my place in the world, is this really where my search was supposed to lead me? It’s more like a cruel joke. If I was on a date with destiny, it just took a bizarre turn into a twisted ending I never saw coming.

God, if only I hadn’t gone to the park that night, none of this would’ve happened. I begin to cry. For my family and friends who will never know what happened to me, and for me. I’m not ready to die, I’m only 17.

I can’t help wondering if I would have spent so much time agonizing over my future if I’d known I’d be dead so soon. If I’d known, maybe I’d have done everything differently. Now I know my future. My life ends here. Alone. In the Ruins.

The RuinsBook 2 – The Ruins by T.H. Hernandez

Young Adult/Speculative

Published: June 16th, 2015

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25952759-the-ruins

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ruins-Union-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00X6QEITY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/5424209

Read the first 3 chapters for free! https://www.wattpad.com/story/46383864-the-union

Heartbroken, grief-stricken, and wracked with guilt, seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor returned to the Union, leaving behind the boy she loved.

Now, she and her friends must find a way to do the impossible – warn the citizens of the Union about an impending rebel attack without alerting the government and risking retaliation against her friends in the Ruins.

When every move Evan makes is thwarted, it soon becomes clear she’s being watched. Faced with a daily fight to stay one step ahead of her pursuers, she returns to the Ruins. But life in the Ruins has its own dangers, and soon she’s fighting a different battle – to stay alive long enough to discover the truth.

The Ruins - Teaser 2Read below for an excerpt from The Ruins:

Lisa opens the door still in her pajama pants and a tank top. Jack’s behind her in nothing but a pair of sweatpants. I raise an eyebrow in silent judgment. How could she have Jack spend the night with Colin here?

“Where’s Colin?” she asks, looking past me.

“What do you mean, where’s Colin? Isn’t he here?”

“No. He never came home last night. I thought he was with you.”

You were with me.”

“No, I mean after we separated. I figured he showed up at your place.” Her cheeks turn bright red.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” My hands ball into fists of anger at my sides. “You can’t really be that…” I bite off the words. It’s not my place to share how Colin feels about her.

“He probably left with one of those girls we saw him with,” she says.

I push into her apartment and find Colin’s duffel bag on the floor where it’s been since he began camping out on her couch last week. “So, he just blew off his train?”

“Maybe,” she shrugs.

“Not likely,” I say, stalking back outside, unease gnawing through my stomach. If all this other shit wasn’t going on, I could chalk it up to Colin getting laid, but I can’t shake the feeling something isn’t right. I’m halfway to Bryce’s before I realize that’s where I’m headed. Hopefully he takes me seriously.

My fast walk turns into a jog as I cover the remaining three blocks and two flights of stairs down to the apartment he shares with Jack. I’ve only been here once before, but I think I remember which one it is. I lift my hand and knock on the pale blue door then pace the small empty concrete porch. Thirty seconds pass before I knock again, louder and longer this time. Still no answer. I’m beginning to think he’s not here when the lock clicks and the door cracks open.

Bryce swings the door wider, and my eyes zero in on a bare chest. My gaze drifts from his firm abs and pecs up to meet a pair of gray eyes, squinted against the morning light. Confusion fills his features as he stares at me.

“Colin didn’t come home last night,” I blurt out, my voice breaking.

His gaze rests on my face for a moment before circling the room, reminding me we’re being monitored. “I’m sure he’s fine, but let me get dressed, and we’ll look for him.”

Stepping inside, I close the door and bounce on the balls of my feet while I wait for him. The place is decorated in neo-classic guy. A fireplace and hearth runs the length of the front of the apartment, and opposite that is a solid glass wall overlooking a weedy, overgrown garden. The limited furniture is a jumble of chairs, a couch, and a couple of mismatched tables littered with empty beer bottles.

Bryce dresses in record time and takes my hand, pulling me outside. He leads the way to the depot to catch a train back to the nightclub. “I want to retrace his steps after we left,” he says. “He might’ve just found some company for the evening.”

“That’s what Lisa said, but I think there’s more to it.”

“It’s no secret how he feels about Lisa. He might’ve just wanted to get away for the night.”

“But his bag is still at her place. He would’ve had to come get it before catching his train.”

The nightclub is deserted with the exception of a handful of staff still cleaning up. Bryce walks up to a lanky guy pushing a broom. “Can I talk to the manager?”

A woman in her mid-thirties approaches us a few minutes later, wiping her hands on an apron. She sweeps a chunk of blond hair out of her face with the back of her wrist. “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, I’m Detective Cooper,” Bryce says, flashing his credentials. “We’re looking for a friend. He was here with us last night, but we’re not sure what happened to him.”

She glances between me and Bryce. “Did something happen to him?”

“That’s what we’re trying to find out. Can we take a look at the security feed from last night?”

“Sure,” she says, inclining her head. “Come on back.”

We follow her past the bar and into a small office beyond the kitchen. “Here,” she says, indicating a chair in front of a display screen.

Bryce sits and she shows him how to move through the video files. Bryce locates the one time-stamped from when we were here and forwards through frame-by-frame. I see us leaving for the night and Colin dancing with the girls, getting another drink, dancing some more, then about an hour later, Colin walks toward the exit alone. A guy in a sweatshirt, hood pulled up, hands shoved into his jeans pockets, approaches Colin. They appear to exchange words. Colin nods before following the guy out the front door.

“What the hell?” I ask. “Who was that guy?” Terror sweeps through me, turning my blood to ice. “And where the hell is Colin?”

“I don’t know,” Bryce says, reaching over to squeeze my hand. “But we’ll find him, I promise.”

The UprisingBook 3 – The Uprising by T.H. Hernandez

Young Adult/Speculative

Published: December, 2015

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27152245-the-uprising

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Uprising-Union-Book-3-ebook/dp/B019VNDYPY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452914112&sr=8-1&keywords=the+uprising+t.h+hernandez

Recovering from a near-fatal gunshot wound, eighteen-year-old Evan Taylor must find a way to stop the Uprising, an underground movement committed to destroying the Union, before her homeland is attacked.

After spending the last four months in the Ruins trying to get back to the only girl he’s ever loved, nineteen-year-old Cyrus needs to get past his jealousy over Evan’s involvement with Bryce or risk losing her again.

Together, Evan and Cyrus join with their friends to devise a plan to save both the Ruins and the Union, but when the pressure’s on, bickering and infighting threaten to undermine their goals. New information revealing a weakness in the Uprising is uncovered, forcing them to act quickly or risk losing everything.

With the help of old friends and new allies they set out to make history, but it might just take a miracle for everyone to make it out alive.

THE UPRISING is the third book in THE UNION series, a young adult romantic adventure set in the near future.

About the Author:

theresa

T.H. Hernandez is the author of the young adult futuristic/dystopian series, The Union. The first book, The Union, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

When not writing, you can usually find her reading, finishing more than 200 books over the past two years. She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, often referred to as “the puppycat.”

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8592671.T_H_Hernandez

Website: http://thhernandez.com

Twitter: @TheresaHernandz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thhernandezSD

Instagram: instagram.com/thhernandez1/

Tumblr: http://thhernandez1.tumblr.com/

 

My Review:

The beginning of the Union started out really interesting. I was a fan of the writing style and the characters. I was a little confused about what the Union was and what made it different from the world we’re familiar with. Some of that became more clear as the book went along, but I was a little confused for a big chunk of it.

The main characters were intriguing to read about. I thought that Evan was a strong female lead. She really seemed to have a sense of herself and was very realistic. The only thing that slightly bothered me about Evan was her name. It’s just a personal thing with me. I don’t care for female characters with male names. I’ve read like 1 or other 2 books like that this month. So, I’m learning that it’s just my own problem.

I did think that this book was a little too insta-lovely, which got a little more complicated with the love triangle.  I would have liked to see some more build up to the relationships, rather than just having them dive into it. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of either insta love or love triangles. If that’s your thing, though, this book will definitely appeal to you!

One thing that I will say is that this book did a good job with the more action & suspenseful scenes. It definitely kept me entertained and wondering what was going to happen next. I thought that the author did a very good job with those scenes!

Normally, I’m not the biggest fan of dystopian books. I find them to be a little bit too heavy for my own personal taste. One thing I will give this book is that it’s very light, more mellow, and it heavily focuses on the romance. I really enjoyed the fact that it didn’t weigh me down like a lot of dystopian books do.

Overall, I thought that the Union was a pretty good read! I would definitely recommend this series to dystopian lovers who love a good romance!

The Giveaway:

(1) $25 Amazon GC,

(2) $10 Amazon GC,

(5) $5 Amazon GCs

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour
January 15, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Not Okay, Cupid by Heidi R Kling

Not Okay Cupid Blog Tour

Not Okay CupidNot Okay, Cupid (High School Heartbreakers #1) by Heidi R. Kling

Published by Entangled Crush

Published on January 11th, 2016

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Romantic Comedy

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27840786-not-okay-cupid

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Not-Okay-Cupid-Heidi-Kling-ebook/dp/B01828N3JG

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-okay-cupid-heidi-r-kling/1122956723

Entangled Pub: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/not-okay-cupid/

Her wicked revenge, or his wicked heart…

Hazel McCallister loves her life. Perfect grades. Perfect best friend. Perfect boyfriend. Until her perfect boyfriend cheats on her with her perfect best friend. Now Hazel’s in free fall—until her best friend’s brother, Felix, gives her the perfect idea. Reclaim her power by taking revenge on her cheating ex.

Felix James loves his life. Casual relationships. Loads of surfing. He’s as drama-free as they come. But he can’t stand by when his sister steals her best friend’s boyfriend, and the dude insists it was Hazel’s fault. So Felix vows to help turn Hazel into a girl her ex can’t resist—so then she can break his heart.

With an alliance in place, Hazel’s revenge is all but assured. But with each piece of payback, she feels a stronger attraction to Felix, even though revenge will turn her into a girl Felix could never be with. And soon Hazel has to make an impossible choice: revenge…or Felix, the boy who’s stolen her heart.

WARNING! This book contains betrayal, revenge, and that most tempting vice of all, the bad boy you know you can’t have.

Copy of NOC3

About the Author:

heidi-r-kling

After earning her BA in Literature & Creative Writing Literature from UC Santa Cruz and finding her voice in YA, Heidi went on to earn her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She has directed and written children’s theatre on both coasts and lives with her husband and two children in Palo Alto, CA.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2936539.Heidi_R_Kling

Website: http://heidirkling.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeidiRKling

Tumblr: http://heidirkling.tumblr.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heidi.r.kling

Copy of NOC1

Read below for an excerpt from the book:

I watched in horror as Kimmy’s lips grazed Jay’s ear. He leaned back and laughed. What the heck was going on?

“Oh God!” Hazel said, grabbing my hand. “Look at her hand.”

Kimmy’s hand was riding high up Jay’s shorts. High, high. Like top of thigh high. The kind of move that usually let me know a girl was ready to get down to business.

“Dude,” I said, because what else could I say?

Hazel swallowed. “Did you know about this?”

“Me? No way. Hell no. I’ve been looking for her all day, too. Look, Baze, don’t overreact. We don’t know anything. Who knows. He might have…lost a match and she’s…comforting him. Or his turtle died and they’re planning a eulogy together?” I was grasping and we both knew it, but I couldn’t stand to see that pained look on her face. “I once heard the best eulogy for a frog. It was amazing. It was all about the life cycle from tadpole to amphibian to…”

“Shut up, Felix.”

“Shutting up.”

Hazel brushed past me and barreled toward them. It was no turtle eulogy, and I knew it. I mean, I didn’t know I knew it, but I knew the look of two people who were digging on each other, and those two were certainly all about the other one. God, poor Hazel.

Oh no. There she goes.

I had to follow her. I had to help.

“Excuse me,” I said to a group of three ladies in my way. Two of them grinned at me, one glared. The glaring one was a girl I’d forgotten to call back. I ducked, sheepishly, with a little apologetic wave, and came out on the other side.

I’d never even heard Hazel raise her voice, never mind cry. Never mind cry in public. But I didn’t need to use my astute Sherlock skills to see Hazel was on the verge of doing all three. She stopped close to Jay and Kimmy, like she was verifying what she was seeing was real.

One more intimate touch from Kimmy on Jay and that was it. Hazel moved in for the kill.

Copy of NOC11

Book Review:

Not Okay, Cupid is a super sweet YA contemporary that it perfect for readers who are looking for romance before Valentines Day! It’s full of ooey, gooey love and revenge plots throughout the entire book that will keep you flipping the pages for more.

When I first started Not Okay, Cupid, I was a little confused. It starts out really fast without much character background. So, it took me a few chapters to really get a grasp of what was going on and who was who. After the first three chapters, though, it was (okay, being honest here) hard not to fall in love with Felix. He was just way too adorable! I could have just read about him. What a sweetheart.

The characters did feel a little young in Not Okay, Cupid. They were supposed to be seniors in high school, but I would have pegged them around eighth or ninth grade. Maybe I just haven’t been in high school for awhile and can’t remember how immature everyone was. I just felt that the characters didn’t really act like they were about to go off to college. I would have liked to see a little bit more character development in this book.

Another thing that slightly bothered me was that Not Okay, Cupid was very repetitive in regards to the cheating and the revenge. I understand that’s what the book was about. However, it was a bit much to have it going on every few paragraphs. Big Deal? No. I would have just liked to see maybe a few more side plots or a more on growing romance between Felix and Hazel.

Now, I am very choosy about the YA contemporary books that I read. I typically don’t like reading the lighter side of YA contemps; I lean more to the tear jerkers and the storylines that rip your heart to shreds and then throw it in a blender for extra good measure. I really enjoyed reading this one, though. Totally not my normal read, but I must have been in the mood for something sweet and romantic! It was a nice change! And I really think that this book is going to be a huge hit with YA contemporary fans!

What I liked:

Felix: I couldn’t get enough of him! What a sweetheart!

The Light Side of YA Contemporary: It was a light, sweet read! I really enjoyed it!

A Perfect Read for Valentines Day: I read this just in time! A perfect read for this season!

What I Didn’t Like:

The Characters felt a little young: While I did enjoy the characters, I would have liked to see a little bit more character development!

A Little Too Much Revenge & Cheating: It would have been nice to see some side plots or a little more ongoing love between Felix and Hazel. A little too much focus on the revenge & cheating for my taste

Overall:

I really enjoyed Not Okay, Cupid! It was a very cute read & a perfect addition to the YA community just in time for Valentines Day! I definitely recommend this one for YA contemporary fans!

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

The Giveaway:

a #Heartbreak tank top that looks like this and was inspired by Not Okay, Cupid (as the series name for this book is High School Heartbreakers): https://shirtmeuptees.com/product/smu-02-hash?shirt_style=womenstank&customtext=heartbreak

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Tour Schedule:

January 11th
The Phantom Paragrapher – Review
The Book Beacon – Top Ten Post
January 12th
Cassandra M’s Place – Promo Post
[Not] Write in the Head – Promo Post
January 13th
Addicted to Books – Review
RoloPoloBookBlog – Review
January 14th
The Procrastinator’s Corner – Review
The Shadow Realm – Promo Post
January 15th
Book Briefs – Review
YaReads – Review
January 16th
The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Review
Roxy’s Reviews – Guest Post
January 17th
The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Guest Post
January 18th
Beanie’s Book Blog – Review
January 19th
Crossroad Review – Promo Post
January 20th
Just One More Chapter – Promo Post
January 21st
Jody’s Book Reviews – Promo Post
January 22nd
OriginiquEquanimity – Review
Media Geeks Unite – Promo Post
January 23rd
YaReads – Interview
January 24th
Adventures in Writing – Review

Copy of NOC4