Book Blogger Hop #7 (week of July 25th)


The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Its purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new blogs, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog.

Each week bloggers answer a different question. This week's question is: Do you like to read books with a theme such as Halloween, Christmas, etc


No, I sort of find them annoying for some reason, but I am not sure why.

Top Ten Tuesday #14 (7/22/14)



Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish, and this weeks Top Ten is: Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island

For their survival skills:
Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games

For their ability to kick-ass (or protect me):
Katsa from Graceling 
Calaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass
Four from Divergent

For their friendship:
Po and Bitterblue from Bitterblue

For their magic:
Harry, Ron, and Hermoine from Harry Potter

For their swoon-worthy-ness:
Jai from Borrowed Ember

Pawn


Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)

Author: Aimee Carter
Publication Date: November 26, 2013
Source: Giveaway

Summary from Goodreads: YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.



Rating: êêêêê

Review: I was expecting a typical ho-hum dystopian story, however what I got was a unique society ran by a disturbed family. There were a few quasi-predictable elements, however they were offset by lots of secrets, backstabbing and suspense that kept me on my toes. The pacing was excellent.

The world building is OK. The main character, Kitty, is likeable and smart. I also like the other characters. There is a developing romance, that adds to the story. Overall it was intense and I couldn't put it down.

Stacking the Shelves #16 (7/19/2014)



Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


For Review

Frostbitten
Frostbitten by Heather Beck


From a Giveaway

Thank you to Yara from Once Upon a Twilight!
Remember Me (Find Me, #2)Black Ice
Remember Me by Romily Bernard
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Book Blogger Hop #6 (week of July 18th)


The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Its purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new blogs, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog.

Each week bloggers answer a different question. This week's question is: Do covers pull you in?

YES! I love book covers, and I am definitely guilty of judging books by their covers every once in a while. Books with catchy covers usually pull me in and sometimes give me an extra push to read them.

The Wave


The Wave

Author: Todd Strasser
Publication Date: September 15, 1981
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads:    The Wave is based on a true incident that occured in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969.
The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a "new" system to his students. And before long The Wave, with its rules of "strength through discipline, community, and action", The Wave sweeps from the classroom through the entire school. And as most of the students join the movement, Laurie Saunders and David Collins recognize the frightening momentum of The Wave and realize they must stop it before it's too late.


Rating: êêê

Review: This book was recommended to me by one of my friends, so even though it's outside of my usual genre, I decided to give it a try. The book is geared towards young adults. The story and the experiment are pretty fascinating. I think that it really helps people understand the mindset of the German people during Nazi Germany and to be honest, I think the experiment does help to answer the students' difficult questions that spark the experiment. However, the writing is poor and it feels more like a simplified retelling of the incident. It was a short book that was easy to read.

Top Ten Tuesday #13 (7/15/14)



Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish, and this weeks Top Ten is: Top Ten Favorite TV Shows

*Images are linked to each show's website













Into to the Still Blue


Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)

Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #3
Publication: January 28, 2014
Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads: The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do—and they are just as determined to stay together.
Within the confines of a cave they're using as a makeshift refuge, they struggle to reconcile their people, Dwellers and Outsiders, who are united only in their hatred of their desperate situation. Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. Then Roar arrives in a grief-stricken fury, endangering all with his need for revenge.
Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble an unlikely team for an impossible rescue mission. Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival--he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.
In this final book in her earth-shattering Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.



Rating: êêêê

Review: This conclusive book wraps up the series really well. There was a bit of drama at the beginning that was difficult to sift through, the characters do things that kind of annoyed me, however everything fell into place and worked itself out. Things in this book are heading in a clear direction, I thought things would be predictable, but Veronica Rossi surprised me with a twist here and there. I loved the character development and the development in the relationships between characters. The action was excellent and the pacing really worked. I didn't want to put it down and I didn't want the book to end. The ending was satisfying, which is a pretty big compliment coming from me, since I am usually disappointed at the end of a series. All that being said, I'd love to see what happens to Aria and Perry from here, but this is the end of the series.

Stacking the Shelves #15 (7/12/2014)




Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

After taking some time off from stacking my shelves, this week has resulted in a bigger haul than normal for me.


Purchased

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)The Wave
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
The Wave by Todd Strasser


Won in a Giveaway

Thank you to Liza from WhoRuBlog

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Inside (Insider, #1-2)Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)
Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Inside by Maria V. Snyder
Pawn by Aimee Carter

Through the Ever Night


Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)

Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #2
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:
It's been months since Aria learned of her mother's death.
Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.
Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It's a moment they've been longing for with countless expectations. And it's a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at first.

Then it slips away. The Tides don't take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry's control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?
Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and sci-fi elements to create a captivating adventure-and a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.



Rating: êêêê

Review: This sequel moves at a better pace than the first book. There was a point, for a brief moment, that I was afraid I wouldn’t like the direction that this book and the relationship between Aria and Perry were going, but everything feel into place quite well. Don’t get me wrong, bad things happen and there is no happily ever after, but it works and makes an interesting story. 

The characters develop in this book and really seem to become themselves and step into their roles. The action is good and helps drive the plot. The ending was a bit cliff-hanger-ish, but the book felt finished…on to Into the Still Blue I go!

Into the Blind: Book Tour + Giveaway + Excerpt



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Into the Blind by Helen Rena

Release Date: 06/2014
Amazon
Blog Tour Schedule

What if a girl became all-powerful? Her boyfriend wouldn’t like it.
Summary from Goodreads:In a world where everyone is gifted, be it in dancing, lightning-bringing, or death-giving, Ever is born…all-powerful.
For this gift, she is kidnapped and trafficked at birth. Fifteen years later, Ever still hasn’t seen even a glimmer of her powerful gift. Locked in an abandoned mall in New York City, she’s fighting to survive her captivity, her brutal guards, and the other gifted kids in her cell. She would do anything to escape.
Fox is gifted with time manipulation. Like Ever, he hasn’t come into his gift yet; like Ever, he hates the mall; and like Ever, he longs to be free. But there’s one thing he values above his freedom—it’s Ever’s love…
…yet, when the two make a desperate attempt to escape, this attempt proves so dark and twisted that it just might destroy Ever’s love for Fox.


Praise

“A thrilling story…a must-read for the adventurous of heart!” —Gina Henning, author of Going Pecans


“…genuinely original and engaging…” —Jeanne Dallman, author of The Hour of Separation

“…unique voice…unique world…unique premise…” —Jon VanZile, editor of Dragon Tree Press

Excerpt


Chapter 1

The green cement floor under my feet wasn’t doing anything. I mean, I wasn’t sure what exactly was supposed to happen, but Sinna was looking down at the floor with so much focus. Presently, he raised his eyes at me, and since I’m blind but have this highly fortunate ability to see what the people around me are looking at, I saw the object of his gaze: myself. Together, Sin and I surveyed my short figure, my pale, heart-shaped face, and my hopelessly tangled white hair. Sinna sighed as if I were somehow wrong for what we were doing.

“Ever, I can’t,” he said finally. “It’s too dangerous.”

I made a funny pleading face. I wanted to joke, to ask him how a nightmare could be dangerous. It was just a hallucination. A waking vision that temporarily blocked out one’s reality. And if Sin succeeded in making it for me now, he’d be able to make one for our guards later. We could be free in half an hour! But I suddenly choked up. The room around me—the cold cement walls the color of gangrene, the ugly kidney-shaped wooden counter, and the piles of books, magazines, newspapers, and journals (for this room used to be a mall bookstore)—all of it began to suffocate me. I had to get out of here. I had to be free. How I wished I could make Sinna feel this crushing need!

He squeezed my shoulder: he understood. Then, sounding like the Collegiate Thesaurus he’d used for a pillow for the last several years, he said, “Very well, Ever-Jezebel. Do you recall what I have imparted to you not three minutes ago?”

I nodded and made my voice sound deeper to show Sinna that I was quoting him, “Ever, you ought to remember three things. First, if you notice that something, even the tiniest and most insignificant detail, deviates from the nightmare we have agreed upon, please stop me. Second, even if everything does go according to the plan, but you feel that you wish to be released from the nightmare, please stop me. Third, once in a nightmare, you will not be able to see through my eyes, and fourth, knowing that it’s not real is not going to help you in there.” I switched to my own voice, “Did I get it right?”

The sounds of steps and whacks came from the back room, where Sinna’s girlfriend was teaching my boyfriend a new method of killing people. By breaking their necks with the edge of a palm. I only hoped Demi wouldn’t kill Fox because that girl was freakishly strong.

Sinna chuckled. “Yes, it was all correct, although I do not believe I sounded even fractionally this excited. However, let’s proceed. An ocean. Blue and warm. With a school of fish that looks like the one on the cover of the Marine Atlas.” The last words he muttered quietly under his nose, clearly to remind himself of what I’d requested to see in a nightmare.

He backed away from me…a few steps…then a few more…then all the way to the massive steel door that stood between us and freedom. He stopped there, and again, we watched the dusty green floor by my feet.

Suddenly it quaked.

Yes, right under my feet.

The snapshots I was getting through Sinna’s eyes vanished, but somehow, impossibly, improbably, I was still seeing the floor by my feet. It quaked once again.

On its third quake, a coffin-sized segment of the green floor in front of me ballooned up. In perfect silence, it wriggled and jerked from side to side, as if something large was pushing our floor from beneath.

My heart sang with excitement: it was happening, it was here, the miracle that would set us free.

The bulge gave one last shuddering twitch and then, still silently, cracked open. A gush of clear, cold liquid shot straight up out of the hole, wetting my chin, my nose, and a lock of hair that had slipped out of my ponytail. As I wiped my face, wondering why the liquid smelled of rubbing alcohol, the water spurt hit the ceiling and came back down, this time soaking me head to toe, and I couldn’t believe it was just a vision. My skin felt wet. My hair and dress clung to me as if they were truly soaked, and the only word I could use to describe this fluid was “real.”

More water came through the crack in the floor, and then more still. Only it didn’t spread—it stayed around me in a large circular puddle. I hopped up and down in it.

“I’m loving this!” I told Sinna, not sure if I would get a response—he hadn’t specified if we’d be able to talk while I was inside a nightmare. But I did hear from him: he chortled and said, “Just don’t attempt to swim in this reservoir, Ever. It’s not real.”

The water kept on rising. Soon it touched my chin, and I hastened to press my lips together, which wasn’t easy because I was grinning so hard. Then I had to pinch my nose shut. Since I was a bit late on that, a little water trickled down my throat, and it tasted exactly like the tap stuff I drank every day. So…not a salty ocean after all? But no matter, it was still a fun nightmare.

A small, paper-white ghost flitted past me...



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About The  AuhorHelen Rena loves reading and writing novels. And short stories. And flash fiction. She has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, and a vast collection of books and green bottles. She is still not sure why green bottles. She lives in Southern Oregon with her husband and two children. Please visit her at helenrena.com.


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Blog Tour Organized by:

Gypsy: Book Tour + Giveaway + Excerpt



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Displaying gypsy-trisha-leigh.jpgGypsy (The Cavy Files #1)  by Trisha Leigh
Release Date: 05/13/14
378 pages


Book Tour Schedule
Summary from Goodreads:Inconsequential: not important or significant.
Synonyms: insignificant, unimportant, nonessential, irrelevant
In the world of genetic mutation, Gypsy’s talent of knowing a person’s age of death is considered a failure. Her peers, the other Cavies, have powers that range from curdling a blood still in the vein to being able to overhear a conversation taking place three miles away, but when they’re taken from the sanctuary where they grew up and forced into the real world, Gypsy, with her all-but-invisible gift, is the one with the advantage.
The only one who’s safe, if the world finds out what they can do.
When the Cavies are attacked and inoculated with an unidentified virus, that illusion is shattered. Whatever was attached to the virus causes their abilities to change. Grow. In some cases, to escape their control.
Gypsy dreamed of normal high school, normal friends, a normal life, for years. Instead, the Cavies are sucked under a sea of government intrigue, weaponized genetic mutation, and crushing secrets that will reframe everything they’ve ever been told about how their "talents" came to be in the first place.
When they find out one of their own has been appropriated by the government, mistreated and forced to run dangerous missions, their desire for information becomes a pressing need. With only a series of guesses about their origins, the path to the truth becomes quickly littered with friends, enemies, and in the end, the Cavies ability to trust anyone at all.



Excerpt

“Oh, Lordy, I am so sorry! My mom's always sayin' I'm so clumsy I could trip over a cordless phone.”

A breathless, sweet, female voice chatters the apology as hands try, with little success, to drag me back to my feet using the straps of my backpack. She's behind me, so not the person whose age of death I just saw in my first two minutes here.

Fail, Gypsy.

“Are you okay?” A second voice, male and with a smooth, local drawl, mingles with the first.

The dead kid is a boy.

I jerk my hands into my chest, trying not to be obvious about it. Wishing with all my might I could take it back. Forget. Turn away without seeing the attached face. Of course there isn't, and when my body remembers how to breathe again, I open my eyes.

He's tall, a few inches over six feet, with hair the color of sand and eyes that shift between gold and brown, like maple syrup in the sunlight. More than the intriguing shade, it's the genuine kindness in them that stands out to me. My heart flutters, then seizes.

Dead. He’s dead.

“It's okay, I'll live.” I wince at my choice of words and busy myself with brushing imaginary dust off the skirt of my uniform.

The clumsy girl stands as high as my shoulders, and the upturned nose and smattering of freckles combine with her chin-length white-blond hair to remind me of Tinkerbell. At least she seems to have a better attitude than the jealous, spiteful fairy.

Her pale eyes fling more apologies my direction, but I hold up my hand. “Really. No big deal.”

“Oh my gosh, thank you for being cool.” She grins, and it lights up her entire body. “I'm Maya.”

“Norah.”

“You're new?”

“How could you guess?”

“Because they rest of us learned to avoid Maya while she's double-fisting coffee and a cell phone back in the seventh grade.” Oh, goodnight nurse. The boy who’s going to die before he graduates from high school would have eyes that make my stomach attempt to fly.

I imagine literal, iron plates of armor clicking into place over my face, my skin, my heart, then flick a glance his direction. I snatch my cell phone from his palm. “Thanks.”

“I'm Jude.” He sticks out his hand.

Even though my aversion remains, even though I don't want to confirm what I saw, there's no point in keeping to my hands off rule. Not touching him now won't change anything.

“Norah,” I say again, laughing a little at the absurdity of repeating my name. Our hands touch, his skin soft and electric at the same time, like he scooted his feet across a shag carpet. The little hairs on my arms, at the back of my neck, stand up.

18. 18. 18.

I pull my hand away, fixing my smile and swinging back toward Maya. “You caught me, I'm new. And I'm supposed to be in the office but I have no idea where that is, so this is at least half my fault, stopping in the middle of the hall like that.”

“I'll walk you. It's right on my way,” the boy offers.

Maya rolls her eyes at me in a manner that suggests we've been sharing nonverbal cues for more than two minutes. “If you don't want to be alone with Jude, I understand. But if you don't care, I'm going to let him take you because I'm supposed to meet with the yearbook sponsor...” She glances at her phone. “Five minutes ago.”

“No, it's fine. He's fine.” Lord in heaven, did I just say that?

Maya snorts, and the heat in my face promises she didn't miss my unintentional comment.

I grew up around boys, so snorts at double entendre isn’t exactly new to me, which only makes the fire in my cheeks all the more vexing. It's surprising to learn that things can still embarrass me.

“You know, it's not the first time I've heard that,” Jude jokes, his smile catching my attention.

My lips return it without permission, even though my face is about to melt off.

“Yes, it is,” Maya chirps. “It so is the first time he's heard that. Norah, we'll have lunch instead, okay?”

I nod, but she doesn't see me because she's already halfway down the hall, waving over her shoulder.

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About The  Auhor
Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies, reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.
Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who numerous, loud, full of love, and the kind of people that make the world better. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories—made up, of course, but true enough in their way.


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Under the Never Sky


Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)

Author: Veronica Rossi
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Source: Gift
Summary from Goodreads: Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.
As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.
They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY.
The first book in a captivating trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s enthralling debut sweeps you into an unforgettable adventure.


Rating: êêêê

Review: This book was a bit challenging to get into at first. There is a lot of terminology that the author uses that is clearly common in this dystopian future but not to the present day reader, so there was a lot to figure out and some of it I’m not 100% positive I envisioned correctly. The world building could use some work, there is little explanation about how the world came to be this way. I also struggled to connect with the two point of views, but that changed about 25% of the way into the book.

Eventually the plot started to pick up and before I knew it, I was reading until I fell asleep with my kindle in hand and waking up reaching for it again. There is a dash of paranormal sci-fi that works really well. There is also a nice balance of romance, you’ll see it coming but it doesn’t over power the story. There is a decent amount of action and a pretty big twist. In summary, it has all the elements that create a book that I will love.
 
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