Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review: Harbinger by Penny Greenhorn


Published: (first published November 7th 2014)
Genre: Super natural
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Claire Buchanan Duke has a hankering for blood, but she’s different from those cursed creatures that drink it. Unsure of what she is or where she comes from, Claire tries to get by the best she can. But the visions don’t help, and her latest is the worst yet—a picture of her death. Destined to break an age-old curse, Claire is plunged into danger, and there’s only one person capable of saving her. Soon she finds herself entwined with the black sheep of the blood-drinking community, an ill-tempered assassin with little interest in protecting her. Can Claire escape her fate? 
An urban fantasy with a twist of Celtic myth and romance, Harbinger is a stand-alone novel set in a world of the Cursed and Chimera.


Buy Harbinger by Penny Greenhorn Today at Amazon

He was a giver, I was a taker, and the only downside to our arrangement was the required dress. To be blunt - I looked like a hooker. I was wearing scraps for clothing, a pair of boots that encased most of my leg and a layer of scarlet lipstick. But I had to blend. I was singled out enough as it was, my scent always marking me as different. And if the half-cursed and sealed community had one rule it was this: Don't attract attention.


The Good


I really enjoyed this take on V=vampires and I loved the different origin storyline involved. The heroine is rough and willing to get her hands dirty all while suffering from her own little phobias which make her a bit more real. I love the different stages the vampires go through even though they don't refer to themselves as vampires. I guess they are a bit different. I also LOVE the Chimeras in the book. I need more Chimeras in my supernatural world.

The Bad


For me the bad is they spend minimal time introducing you to the villain...which normally I hate but the story was strong enough I barely noticed. I still would have liked a little more time getting to know them.


The Romance


Scarlett and Dylan are still together but can he be an effective leader if he's constantly worring she will get hurt? Or will they need a new leader.

Conclusion


If you like supernatural books then you will love this one. The chimeras really made the book stand out and make me want more from this world. I highly recommend Harbinger.




Excerpts

Art spared a sideways glance. "Your spiteful."
"I was just being honest," I replied, passing the phone back. I hoisted up her handbags, keeping the looped handles over each shoulder. “So what's your real name?" I asked. “I don't want to accidentally call you you-know-what."
"Don't call me anything."
"He-who-must-not-be-named," I said ominously, wanting to make him feel stupid. "You might be surprised to hear this, but that designation is already taken."


"Why are you walking so fast?" I panted, struggling to keep up with Art as he moved around the outside of the cabin. "Are you mad or something?"
"You have preternatural abilities," he countered. "Stop whining as if you were human."
I jerked his arm, dragging him to stop in the dewy, damp grass with the abilities he'd referenced. "I didn't do anything wrong," I insisted, talking to his back. I was really speaking to myself anyway. If only I would believe me.
"The Chimera are an impetuous people," he said sharply. "They may live in the moment, but you can't afford to. You should've refused."

"Everyone dies," I told him. "Even blood-drinkers, and I didn't inherit an ounce of their longevity. It's only a matter of time, and mine is limited. You can find my attackers. You can stop them. You can kill them. But you can't save me."

Buy Harbinger by Penny Greenhorn Today at Amazon


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Re-Read Review: Shadowfever (The Fever Series #5) by Karen Marie Moning


Published: January 18, 2011 Delacorte Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: Purchased
Faefever by Karen Marie MoningGoodreads Summary

“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.” — MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever. — Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh -- a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.

Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.


“Hope strengthens. Fear kills.”   


The Good


Every single question is finally answered. Who killed Alina? Who is Mac? What is Barrons? There are also answers to questions I didn't even know to ask while reading the series. Plus, there's blessedly no cliffhanger!

This one races from one thing to another in a way that I found myself asking if everything that I thought happened in Shadowfever was actually in this book or one of the previous ones. Turns out it was. There are a ton of twists and turns that made me feel one way and then question how I felt before.

In this one, Mac finally understands how Barrons always said to trust actions instead of words. Are the words really that important? Mac finally grasped that words could and most likely would be lies and the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. I'm very happy with all the parts of how the series finished. I'm very sad to say goodbye to Mac and Barrons, but it was worth it for that trip.


The Bad

Things with Dani were left unwrapped. I'm hoping that storyline is expounded on in the spin-off with her.


The Romance

YES! More romance. I love Jericho Z. Barrons. That is all.

Conclusion

An excellent conclusion to the series. So much happens, it's unbelievable. The world has been built amazingly well, and the story finished in a surprising yet satisfying way. You really should read this series.


Excerpts


“Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best, and then there are those remarkably rare, addictive ones who just bring out the most. Of everything.
They make you feel so alive that you'd follow them straight into hell, just to keep getting your fix.”

“Dying is overrated. Human sentimentality has twisted it into the ultimate act of love. Biggest load of bullshit in the world. Dying for someone isn't the hard thing. The man that dies escapes. Plain and simple. Game over. End of pain...Try living for someone. Through it all-good, bad, thick, thin, joy, suffering. That's the hard thing.”


“I'm not the hero, Mac. Never have been. Never will be. Let us be perfectly clear: I'm not the antihero, either, so quit waiting to discover my hidden potential. There's nothing to redeem me.” 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Cover Scramble [100]


Woot Woot!! It's the 100th Sunday Cover Scramble...
Let's have some fun! I am going to post covers on here every Sunday that are scrambled up graphically, making it hard to tell what cover it is. I would like your guesses on what cover you think I've posted. I won't answer you until I'm posting the next one to let you know if you are right, allowing others to guess as well. Some will be hard, and others may be easy. Let me know in the comments if you'd like some more hints and I'll offer some more if no one guesses it correctly.


I'm changing up the format a little bit! I am going to be pulling covers off the Most Popular Page on Goodreads.








Saturday, December 27, 2014

Book Excerpt and Author Interview: The Soul Thief (The Angel of Death Series #1) by Majanka Verstraete


9781620155585_front
  When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death. Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.

The Soul Thief (The Angel of Death Series #1)
by Majanka Verstraete
Publisher: Booktrope
Published: November 11, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Goodreads
Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt


  THE WORLD EXPLODED IN a chaos of fire, debris, and noise. Sirens screamed and low voices mumbled in the background. I lifted up my head and groaned. My head weighed about a thousand pounds and throbbed as if someone had hit me with a hammer. The interior of the car swayed from left to right. A dark fog rose up in front of the car. Vague specters moved back and forth in the mist. I squinted and the specters turned into paramedics dressed in white clothes with stains all over them, who ran from one patient to another. Four or more cars had collided and mine was the last in line.

Two cars burned with tall, flickering flames. A woman crawled out of one of the burning cars, half of her face blackened. My stomach twisted and bile rose up in my throat. I searched for the door handle without turning away from the apocalypse happening in front of me. The woman with the burnt face started screaming. The sound shattered my eardrums. A paramedic rushed toward her and pulled her away from the searing car wreck. My fingers found the door handle and I pushed the car door open. A gush of fresh air entered the car and I took a deep breath. The air filled my lungs, and even though my surroundings still swirled around as if on a carousel, they started to slow down. I fiddled with the lock of my seatbelt, trembling like a leaf. Eventually the lock clicked and I tumbled out of the car. I gripped the door handle so hard my knuckles turned white while I pulled myself up, leaning on the car.

“Are you okay?” Someone grabbed my arm and helped me to stand up. My savior was a forty-something woman with a round face, large eyes, and a red flush on her cheeks as if she’d just run a mile. She was tall and chubby, and while she appeared friendly enough, she stared at me wide-eyed, the chaos of burning car wrecks and wounded people reflected in her irises.

“I don’t know,” I said. “My head hurts and the world is spinning.” She nodded and helped me to the nearest ambulance.

“Sit down.” She waited until I’d sat down and then looked at my injuries. She dabbed a wet cloth on my forehead and when she pulled it back the cloth was stained red. My gaze fixed on the scene unfolding behind her. Two paramedics took turns performing heart massage on a young boy, whose broken body was spread out on the ground. His skin was the color of a bridal gown and his lips had turned a faint blue. He couldn’t be older than eight or nine. Broken glasses lay next to his body. Right when the paramedics switched places, a girl appeared behind them. She popped up out of nowhere. One second there was no trace of her, the next she stood there, as if she’d been there all along. My heart raced in my chest. I wanted to say something but the words got stuck in my throat. The girl’s red hair with black extensions reached to her shoulders. She wore a short checkered skirt, black combat boots, a venom-green tank top, and black stockings. A chain dangled from her skirt. She chewed bubblegum with her mouth open. Everything about her screamed wrong; from the way she’d suddenly appeared to how she carried herself, as if she was strolling around in the park on a summer’s day, not standing at the scene of a gruesome accident in the middle of autumn. Even her clothes didn’t match the weather. She knelt down and put her hand on the chest of the injured boy. For a while, nothing happened. But then a see-through, shiny form rose above the boy’s body. The specter looked exactly like the boy — same age, same height, same clothes, but it shone like a diamond.  

Author Interview

 
  • What is your favorite genre to write?
I write a mix of genres – children’s books, middle grade, young adult, and sometimes even horror or paranormal books for adults. My favorite genre however is young adult paranormal. There’s that great mix of young adult protagonists and a paranormal threat lingering above their heads.
  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?
I’d like to try out epic fantasy. I got my love for reading from reading epic fantasy series like the books by Robin Hobb, Raymond E. Feist, and the Lord of the Rings series. Nowadays I’m totally addicted to the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. So I’d love to give epic fantasy a try.
  • Please tell us about your book.
In The Soul Thief, we meet sixteen-year-old Riley, who witnessed a girl her age stealing a younger boy’s soul at the scene of an accident. Of course she thinks she’s hallucinating, but once she wakes up at the hospital and sees the girl again, she realizes she wasn’t dreaming. So she chases the girl, who reveals she’s an Angel of Death, and the only reason why Riley can see her, is because she’s an Angel of Death as well. Riley must then come to terms with her new life, with belonging to the world of angels and the rules she must obey now. But while she’s trying to control her brand new abilities, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances and Riley has to figure out who is behind it, and stop them before any more girls get hurt.
  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?
Riley would be my favorite character. I love her – everything about her. She’s the kind of heroine I’ve always wanted to read about. She’s independent and strong, would do anything for her friends, and she’s not afraid to stand up for things she believes in. Of course she has flaws too, but I’d love to be her friend, and I love writing about her. My least favorite character, that’s a difficult question though. All of the characters are quite likeable, and even if they’re not, they tend to have their reasons. At this point, it would be Seraphyn, one of the minor characters.
  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?
Trying to balance the romance. At first, I didn’t want to include any romance at all, not even a hint of attraction between any of the characters. But then I decided to add some of it anyway, but I didn’t want the focus to be on the romance. I wanted the book to focus on the characters, on Riley and her friends in particular.
  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?
I usually write on the train, so I don’t need anything but my laptop. I try to write regularly, about 2,000 words a day, and when I have a train ride to and from university (which is about four hours) then I tend to go above and beyond that goal. But some days I’m at home, and then it’s trickier to read my word count goal.
  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?
I wrote a first draft for The Soul Thief in 2012. Then I planned more books in the series, read a lot more YA books, worked on improving my craft, reworked the plot and characters, and wrote a second but completely different draft in January of 2014. Then I didn’t look at it again until during the summer holidays, when I edited the book, and then I submitted it to a publisher. So, if you look at the general timeline, it took over two years. But in terms of actual writing time, when I was actually focusing on this manuscript, three to four months.
  • Can you tell us about your editing process?
I’ve worked with a few editors before who edited my books, so I’m starting to grasp what I need to look for when editing. I work on my manuscript, typically one or two chapters a day depending on the chapter length. My first drafts tend to be pretty clean, so I only need one or two rounds of edits tops before the book is ready for beta readers.
  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?
The Soul Thief is the first book in the Angel of Death series. At the moment, I have six installments planned, but the world of this book continues expanding, so there might be more. But those six books I’m quite certain of – they’re planned and outlined, so now all I have to do is write them.
  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?
I’m working on a new adult paranormal romance “Ghostslayer”, which is my NaNoWriMo project for this year. I’m at 32k words, and I estimate the final project will be 70-75k words. At the same time, I’m working on edits for the first part in the Allegro Academy series, a novel I wrote back in 2012 as well, but I never got around to editing it. At this point, it’s more of a rewrite than actual editing. Then I’m also waiting to hear back on edits for two of my chapter books, which should be this month, and on the edits for another one of my young adult novels, “Reflected”. That book releases in summer 2015, and I should get the edits about now. Of course, I’m also working on the sequel to The Soul Thief, “Demonic Pact”. I’m still working on tightening the outline before I can start writing, but once I finish my NaNoWriMo project, this is next on my list.

About the Author


majanka

  Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library. She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her. She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in. Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Laws degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she’s not writing, reading or studying, she likes watching “The Vampire Diaries” and “Game of Thrones,” spending time with her friends, or playing “World of Warcraft.”

Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: Heroes and Villains (Out of Time #2) by Donna Marie Oldfield


Published: October 31st 2014
Genre: YA, superhero, Dystopia
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Teenage superhero Scarlett Shortt is stuck in an alternate timeline that's growing more dystopian by the minute, and now it looks like her days could be numbered.

Three months have passed since Out of Time #1 and Scarlett, Dylan and their friends are living life on the run after being forced out of their cosy London house.

They flee to Scarlett's home city of Manchester, which has been run into the ground under evil Prime Minister Goulden's regime. Much of the area has been destroyed and things are set to get even worse thanks to the PM's plans for cruel weapons, segregation and war.

As if things aren't bleak enough, their new friend, Mason, has a premonition that Scarlett will be killed and millions will die in a separate attack. Then there's the added complication of a deadly new foe, The Echidna, and a team of supervillains that features some very familiar faces.

Can the young superheroes stop millions of innocent people from dying? How will Scarlett deal with predictions of her death and will moralistic leader Dylan toughen up and accept that the rules have changed in this harsh new world?


Buy Heroes and Villains by Donna Marie Oldfield Today at Amazon

"Is it just me," Scarlett said, "or do those uniforms look remarkably like the ones Goulden made us wear three years ago when he first captured us?"

"Super Soldiers," Dylan said in disbelief as they reached the bottom and raced over to the crowd."Of course."

"Look," she said."And unless I'm mistaken, the strong guy over there is Harvey, who attacked us a few months ago, and that is our old friend, Ethan."She pointed at a blonde teenager with a floppy fringe, who was producing small, spherical bombs.


The Good


Well for starters, I love the superheroes in the story. I love that I believe their personalities and their different quirks. Their powers are still really fun in book two and I love that as they learn to use them they come up with more ways to put them to use. Goulden makes for a great money hungry villain in a position of power. He's willing to kill any one, any where to get his way. Plus, the introduction of a new wild card in the Echidna (who happens to be the boss of a large group of thugs). This guy can take on the superheros so it's clear he has powers of his own.

The Bad


My only real complaint is Scarlett and the others are supposed to be famous criminals wanted by the government. Yet they keep sneaking into different high security areas without any type of disguise. I mean, when Neelam is with them and using her powers to disguise them, it's perfectly fine but they are able to do this without her being around as well. I'd like to see them try to disguise themselves a bit when not having Neelam's mental powers to do so.


The Romance


Scarlett and Dylan are still together but can he be an effective leader if he's constantly worring she will get hurt? Or will they need a new leader.

Conclusion


I really liked the first book and this one has built upon that foundation. I'm looking forward to book 3 to see where they go from here. It's definitely one of the better super hero series out right now. If you like dystopian settings and love super heroes like I do, then you should give this series a read.



Excerpts

"We could take them," Scarlett said defiantly.
Rachel shook her head and continued walking. "Trust me, you couldn't. The M-boyz work for a bigger city-wide gang that's run by the Echidna. He's Manchester's top crime boss and if you mess with
any of the kids in his circle, he'll hunt you down and take his revenge. He's not the kind of person you want to cross."

He's mad! And now I'm teaming up with a bunch of super powered teenagers to stop him." He stared around in disbelief as he tried to take it all in."This is like a weird dream."
"Know that feeling," Scarlett said. "But if you're going to have anyone on your side, are superheroes so bad?"

Scarlett glanced at the message Dylan had left on the table.
"Do the right thing. Stop the war or lose everything."

Buy Heroes and Villains by Donna Marie Oldfield Today at Amazon


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [46]

First, I wish you all a Merry Christmas! It's absolutely my favorite holiday.


For anyone else that may be celebrating something different at this time,
I wish you a happy holiday as well!!

Now what better way to celebrate than with:


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! She is picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free! All she asks is to link back to her blog :). There is now a full list of the topics to come here.

    Best Snape Moment


I know there are a lot of mixed feelings on Professor Snape. The reason that I love him is because he was such an enigma for most of the story, and when I found out the full truth, I couldn't help it. Harry got the impression from the first moment he laid eyes on him that Snape was not to be trusted. I will admit I went back and forth on him so many times through the series that I had whiplash. The way he treated Harry was disgusting, but I feel for him on a deep level when we learn more about his past.



I'm sure a lot of people will go with the 'always' moment. It's heart-wrenching for sure and an excellent look at who he truly is. For me though, it was when he was a child and befriended a young girl who was different from her family and learning how to be a witch.



Which Snape moment is your favorite?


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review: Wyrd Calling (Wyrd Bound Book 1) by Shen Hart


Published: November 7th 2014 by Arini
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

A serial killer is on the loose, and they’re targeting sirens. Thalia must pull together her new pack of unruly cubs while dealing with her ex, and try to stop the murderer. The problem is, she’d much rather return the cubs to whichever ditch the Sisters dragged them out of, and help the murderer kill the sirens. 

Thalia is a hot-headed, stubborn, wild-child shifter who happens to be Wyrd Bound. She’s been away from the clutches of the Wyrd Sisters (that’s the Norse fates to you and me) for some time, where she was enjoying tricking black market traders out of their money. She knew her vacation had to come to an end at some point, but she kept telling herself she had another decade or two. Unfortunately for her, she was quite literally made for her role. She belongs to the Sisters, and they had work for her to do. 


She’d tell you she wasn’t made for this “saving the day” stuff, but she’d be wrong.


Buy Wyrd Calling by Shen Hart for $.99 Today at Amazon

His lips parted into a smirk as he looked me up and down. "Now then, be a good girl and I'll get a good price for you..."

I smiled sweetly at him. "I don't think so."


The Good


So I really like this book. It's just full of paranormal creatures. I love that while following a shifter group, it's not just your normal pack of werewolves and instead most of the shifters in Thalia's new pack are more than a one-trick-shifting-pony. I really like that they use elemental magic as well. The story has a great who-done-it, find-the-villain mystery going on also.

The Bad


My only complaint is you never really get to know anything about the killer, which is fine and all. But you know me, I like to invest in the villains and have a reason to root against them. That was somewhat missing for me.


The Romance


Well Thailia, our heroine, has to work with her soul mate who just didn't cut it and they are now forced to be alphas for the pack. So there is lots of romantic tension.

Conclusion


I can't wait for the next book. I love a book that is just full of supernatural creatures and Wyrd Callling has it all. The creatures, hanging out in their environment and even having them throw down. This is one of the best books I've read this year.



Excerpts

I tried not to smile at the drastic shift in his attitude and demeanour. He had gone from ready to kill Dan to very animated and happy to help in the blink of an eye. I loved fae.


Ark had found it hilarious when I'd eaten the piece of elf cake that made me feel like I was hovering. It was a peculiar sensation, as though I was floating a few inches above the floor. Ark had had tears streaming down his cheeks as he laughed at me and the confusion I experienced, before the glee.


"Thalia, we're soulmates. We have a rocky past, but the bond remains in place. I'm not going to harm you, I'm your alpha. Please, stop treating me like an enemy who may slit your throat in the night."
I closed my eyes and pinched my nose, fighting back the tears that threatened to spill down my cheeks. I wanted to curl up in his arms and have everything be ok again, but I couldn't forgive him. I took a deep breath and swiped away the stubborn tears before facing him. "I can't forgive you. I can't."

Buy Wyrd Calling by Shen Hart for $.99 Today at Amazon


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Cover Scramble [99]


Let's have some fun! I am going to post covers on here every Sunday that are scrambled up graphically, making it hard to tell what cover it is. I would like your guesses on what cover you think I've posted. I won't answer you until I'm posting the next one to let you know if you are right, allowing others to guess as well. Some will be hard, and others may be easy. Let me know in the comments if you'd like some more hints and I'll offer some more if no one guesses it correctly.


I'm changing up the format a little bit! I am going to be pulling covers off the Most Popular Page on Goodreads.







Friday, December 19, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich



Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich


http://www.sarahnegovetich.com/p/author.htmlStraight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancĂ© she’s almost certain she can learn to love.
But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
Available now at Amazon, B&N, Kobo & iTunes


Review:


The Good


The concept of this story is fantastic. In the beginning, I was wondering how it would really feel to go to a ball with dance cards and attempt to meet your future mate, or be assigned someone at a certain age if you couldn't find one. It reminds me a bit of Mulan. For the modern woman, that is mind-boggling enough, but then trying to imagine what life would be like if you were stripped away from your family and thrown into a prison for crimes you've yet committed, is definitely something that had me contemplating how I would feel in the same situation. 

Becca as a main character in this one makes sense to me. She's grown up in this world that molds women to be a wife and she's quite mild-mannered and follows the rules. She grows as a character the way that you would expect and is really the one that you come to know and can connect with the most as a reader. Do you get frustrated with her at times? Sure, but I get frustrated with myself for my own choices sometimes too.

The writing doesn't gloss over hard issues and circumstances and parts of it were hard to read, but that's why it felt more real. 

I loved that everything was not as it seemed. When an author can surprise me in any way, it's great.


The Bad


I was left wanting more information. I also really wanted a more in-depth look at the world and The Cardinal.

I love secondary characters in stories, and Rite of Rejection didn't have those well cultivated sidekicks that I enjoy so much.

Also, as a mother, I had the HARDEST time accepting that these parents just let the government steal their children away from them without wanting to rise up and do something about it. You don't mess with my child! However, this is a dystopian (I've had this problem with other reads before) and I have to remind myself that the way the characters work and the world they live in is supposed to be different than today's.


The Romance


There is romance. At one point it had me clenching my teeth because I thought I had a love-rectangle on my hands. It starts with very tiny things that I noticed in the writing hinting at different characters that build up, but things ended up being handled there nicely.


Conclusion


A very enjoyable story. I'm writing this immediately after finishing so I'm not sure how I feel about that ending. I also appreciate that Negovetich does surprise me. I would read a follow-up book. Recommended.



#RiteOfRejection Reader Survival Pack

Prize pack includes:

Chapter 17 tissues (because that's when you'll need them), a jumbo sized chocolate bar (a hot commodity inside the PIT), an orange scented candle (courtesy of Rebecca's fondest memory from home, a dandelion pen (as featured on the cover), hand-crafted Molly bag (these are used extensively by the main characters), and a $10 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author


Sarah Negovetich knows you don't know how to pronounce her name and she's okay with that.

Her first love is Young Adult novels, because at seventeen the world is your oyster. Only oysters are slimy and more than a little salty; it's accurate if not exactly motivational. We should come up with a better cliché.

Sarah divides her time between writing YA books that her husband won’t read and working with amazing authors as an agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Her life’s goal is to be only a mildly embarrassing mom when her kids hit their teens.

You can learn more about Sarah and her books at www.SarahNegovetich.com or follow her antics on Twitter @SarahNego.
 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [45]


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! She is picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free! All she asks is to link back to her blog :). There is now a full list of the topics to come here.

    Best Minerva McGonagall line


Oh I just love her! One of the very first things that comes to mind is the hilarious comment she made in the movie after performing Piertotum Locomotor and she says, "I always wanted to use that spell." I thought it was brilliant that they brought out a little of her child-like adventurous side.



I also really enjoy the conversation she has with Wood:

"Potter, this is Oliver Wood. Wood – I've found you a Seeker."
Wood's expression changed from puzzlement to delight.
"Are you serious, Professor?"
"Absolutely," said Professor McGonagall crisply. "The boy's a natural. I've never seen anything like it. Was that your first time on a broomstick, Potter?"
Harry nodded silently…
"He caught that thing in his hand after a fifty-foot dive… Didn't even scratch himself…"

That's the first we saw of her not being the demanding, strictly-by-the-rules teacher. She completely ignores the fact that Harry just broke school rules and instead revels in the fact that she found an awesome Seeker for the house Quidditch team. I love this look into her character as a Quidditch fan.

Another of my favorites is when she shows Umbridge who's boss:

"False hope?" repeated Professor McGonagall, still refusing to look round at Professor Umbridge. "He has achieved high marks in all his Defence Against the Dark Arts tests –"
"I'm terribly sorry to have to contradict you, Minerva, but as you will see from my not, Harry has been achieving very poor results in his classes with me –"
"I should have made my meaning plainer," said Professor McGonagall, turning at last to look at Umbridge directly in the eyes. "He has achieved high marks in all Defence Against the Dark Arts tests set by a competent teacher."

Which McGonagall line is your favorite?


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Divergent Series by Veronica Roth



Divergent (Goodreads summary)

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her. 

Insurgent (Goodreads Summary)

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Allegiant (Goodreads Summary)

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent


"Peter would probably throw a party if I stopped breathing."

"Well," he says, "I would only go if there was cake.”


Divergent is a series following the story of Tris. After war plagued the world, there was a group that broke into 5 factions that embody all things virtuous.  Candor values honesty, Abnegation honor selflessness, Dauntless are brave, Amity believe in peace and harmony, and the Erudite seek knowledge.  When children turn 16, they get to choose which faction they will live their lives by.   After learning a big deadly secret about herself during her aptitude test, she now has a big decision to make.  On Tris’ choosing day, her choice will forever change the course of her life.   She finds herself struggling to figure who she is, and whether to follow what others want or expect of her.    Her world is changing.  There are a lot of behind the scenes deals and secrets being made.  With the looming war, what side will Tris choose to side with?

I am breaking this review down a little differently.  I am reviewing it as a series as a whole instead of individual books.  As such I have to be a little vague so I do not give away any plot points.   However, I will have a short review on each book.

GREATNESS ALL AROUND


This series as a whole is a very strong well written series (with the exception of book 3- we will stick a pin in that and come back).  I read the 3 main books and the 4th book that is a compilation of short stories.    I must say from page one I was HOOKED.  I couldn’t put the books down.    The story was different, fresh, and fast paced.   Beatrice struggles with who she was raised to be, and who she feels she is deep down inside.   You can see her natural transformation from Beatrice into Tris.  She is a very strong lead character, but still weak and vulnerable enough to be believable and relatable.  She teams up with Four, a strong Dautless leader.  I loved loved loved them as a team.  They are both strong characters, but they have a weakness when it comes to each other.  The story about these different factions is unique.  It seems to be a good system at first, but people will be people.  Anytime there is someone in power, there are always secrets and power hungry people.   So it is no surprise that war is inevitable.   This series will appeal to everyone.  There is love, comedy, action, and even sadness.  It is a roller coaster of a ride.  And I love roller coasters.  A lot of people hated the way the series ended.  I however enjoyed it (it’s the one thing that saved the last book for me). I love authors that aren’t afraid to take risks and do the unexpected.

The first book was good but definitely the set up for all the non-stop action in book 2.  Insurgent was my absolute favorite in the series.  It was back to back-to-back action.   I read it in a matter of a few hours.   Allegiant was not my favorite, but it was still a good read.   Four is a collection of short stories that mostly follow Four’s story before he met Tris.


“Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now.” 

OH THERE WILL BE FAILURES


With all the greatness in this series what is its flaws?  Well, I would say none until I got to book 3.  It was VERY hard to get into.  The story line kinda fell flat after such an explosive story in the previous book.  Then it was told from Tris’ point of view in some chapters and Four's in others.  That is not a problem if the author gives each character a unique voice.  That was just not the case with this one.  I constantly had to flip back to the first of the chapter to see whose point of view I was reading from.  It was a slow moving story toward the end.  I was so expecting the same greatness from the first 2 books.


 “Politeness is deception in pretty packaging.”

OVERALL


I love love love this series.   First new series I have started in a while that I just couldn’t put down.  It started out with as a flaming hot light.  It does kinda fizzle in the last one and then picks right back up toward the end.  The movie does not do the book justice.  This series will appeal to all ages and all genres.

“I feel like someone breathed new air into my lungs. I am not Abnegation. I am not Dauntless. 
I am Divergent.”  


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Cover Scramble [98]


Let's have some fun! I am going to post covers on here every Sunday that are scrambled up graphically, making it hard to tell what cover it is. I would like your guesses on what cover you think I've posted. I won't answer you until I'm posting the next one to let you know if you are right, allowing others to guess as well. Some will be hard, and others may be easy. Let me know in the comments if you'd like some more hints and I'll offer some more if no one guesses it correctly.


I'm changing up the format a little bit! I am going to be pulling covers off the Most Popular Page on Goodreads.

















Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: My Delicate Destruction (Wolfegang #1) by Jillian Ashe

Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3) by Ilona Andrews
Publisher: March 14th 2014 - (first published October 11th 2013)
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA
Format: Kindle novella
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

My name is Katerina Anderson. In 2016, a drug called Hope was created. Administered during suspended animation, the drug was supposed to cure the cancer my twin brother and I had. When an earthquake leveled Los Angeles, we were presumed dead.

Forgotten, we slept.

The day I woke up, I realized everything had changed. My brother was missing, and everyone else I knew was dead. That drug and all its false promises were the beginning of my delicate destruction.


“He's awake.”


The Good


This is a novella setting up the characters and the world. I knew that going in so I also knew that it would be a short read to wet my appetite for the next full-length book in the series. Ashe sets up the characters of Katerina and Kris who are twins in their teenage bubble of friends and hobbies. The writing is delivered in a way that all the important information is provided, and not a lot of unneccessary detail. You can tell where the story is going just by reading the blurb, but I was surprised at everything that happened before the big life-changing moment.

There is a lot of room for potential in this series. Kat gets thrust ahead to the year 2518 due to what happens in this novella, and while I'm given a glimpse of what things are like in that year, I'm very excited to further explore what's going on around her in this new environment.


The Bad


Obviously it's very short, but I already knew that. I have the second one to dive into now so that's not a problem. I'm a very open-minded person so how technology and the 'how's' and 'why's' are handled in books have never bothered me. I've never had an issue with how it's done because it's all up to the author's imagination...futuristic sci-fi worlds are the construct of the one writing since no one can truly tell them that they are wrong. If you are a big stickler for how it's all done in a sci-fi book, I honestly can't tell you whether you'd be ok with it or not since I don't dive deep into those areas.


The Romance


There actually is a bit of romance in My Delicate Destruction. Kat has an on and off again boyfriend that she's really enamored with.  It makes for a few bittersweet moments that tug at the heart a little bit.


Conclusion


Short but good introduction into the Wolfegang Series. It leaves me thrilled about all the room this series has to play with and grow. Recommended for those who enjoy YA, don't mind novellas, and like a good sci-fi read now and then.




Excerpts

"What year is it?" he asked. 
The men shared a look before answering, "2510." 
They were in so much trouble. "Five hundred years," he muttered under his breath.

"We've tried this before, Kevin," I reminded him.
"I know," he said, putting an arm around my waist and pulling me closer.
"And it didn't work out." I tried to remember why I was bringing this up, but his body was making it hard to think.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [44]


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! She is picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free! All she asks is to link back to her blog :). There is now a full list of the topics to come here.

   Favorite Dragon Species




Hahaha! So is it crazy that my favorite dragon species all stems from the way Barty Crouch says its name? I just have so much fun hearing him exclaim over the Chinese Fireball :D

From Harry Potter Wikia :

"The Fireball is scarlet and smooth scaled with a fringe of golden spikes around its snub-snouted face and extremely protuberant eyes. Its name is derived from the mushroom-shaped flame that comes from its nostrils when angered, along with the large mushroom-shaped flame it shoots from its mouth. The Fireball weighs between two and four tons. The Fireball is aggressive but, unlike other dragons, it is more tolerant of its own kind, and will sometimes consent to sharing its territory with up to two other dragons."

What is your favorite dragon species?