Friday, October 31, 2014

Afterparty Blog Tour: Deleted Scene + GIVEAWAY

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Hi all! I'm very excited to be a part of the Afterparty blog tour. You can check out the entire blog tour schedule below:

Blog Tour Schedule

Mon, Oct 6 - Read Now Sleep Later
Tue, Oct 7 - What a Nerd Girl Says
Wed, Oct 8 - Fiktshun

Mon, Oct 13 - Nite Lite Book Reviews
Tue, Oct 14 - The Windy Pages
Wed, Oct 16 - A Bookish Escape

Mon, Oct 20 - She Reads, She Blogs
Tue, Oct 21 - Books Unbound
Wed, Oct 22 - The Consummate Reader
Thu, Oct 23 - Kid Lit Frenzy
Fri, Oct 24 - The O.W.L. for YA

Mon, Oct 27 - The Thousand Lives
Tue, Oct 28 - Books Turn Brains
Wed, Oct 29 - Fangirlfeeels
Thu, Oct 30 - Romance Bookie
Fri, Oct 31 - The Reader’s Antidote

Mon, Nov 3 - Proud Book Nerd
Fri, Nov 7 - Girls with Books


Goodreads rating: 3.39
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Simon Pulse
Genre: YA contemporary

Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother--whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her… and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not.

And it may be more than Emma can handle.

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop...

This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

I wasn't able to get into this one soon enough to write a full review of it, but so far I love Stampler's writing style (though it did take me a bit to get used to; I'm not sure how to explain why) and how this story is going to unfold. I can really relate to the MC because she's looking forward to settling down in a place during the middle of the school year after moving a lot, which I kind of did. And she also remarks on how hard those first days are, and I could definitely relate to that as well. I can already feel it getting toxic between her and Siobhan. It's obvious by the epilogue that this book isn't going to end well, and I can't wait to see how we get there.


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Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of young adult novels Where It Began and Afterparty, as well as several picture books, including The Rooster Prince of Breslov. Her books have been an Aesop Accolade winner, Sydney Taylor notable books and an honor book, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist and winner, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year. Ann has two adult children and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband. Website: / Twitter: @annstampler / Facebook: / Goodreads:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi: review

Goodreads rating: 4.48
Hardcover, 409 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by HarperCollins
Series: Shatter Me #3

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.

The review includes spoilers from books one and two. 

Initial reaction:
BEFORE READING: She better not end up with Warner. He's done too many bad things, and while I sort of enjoyed the famous chapter 62 of Unravel Me, I have never once changed my mind about him. All I'm saying, Tahereh, is don't screw this up.
AFTER READING: All I have to say is Team KENJI!!! He totally stole my heart in this one; he will be the only true constant in Juliette's life. Also, this book could have been better. It was all about the relationships and by the time it came to dethroning the Reestablishment, it was so anticlimactic. Like really anticlimactic! Although I love the open-ended ending.
 Well, the writing was still fantastic. I will always love the lyrically symbolic way she describes everything. I don't think anything can be as good as the first book, but this book still held the same lilting song-like writing style I grew to love within the first pages of Shatter Me. But, as you could hopefully tell from the above initial reaction, this book didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. At all. The first thing that annoyed me about this book happened before I even started it; Mafi wrote a novella about Warner and I heard that it turned everyone's ideas of Warner on their heads. I was so not down with that. Plus. what happened in that infamous chapter 62 in Unravel Me gave me some inkling of what was going to be a problem in Ignite Me. And I wasn't wrong. When I started this book, it was made pretty obvious that the main focus was going to be the romance. But I didn't know it was going to consume nearly the entire book. I could have forgiven this, though, if the way the romances unfolded hadn't sucked so much and been so ridiculous. If you read the book, you know what I mean.

We're given excuse after excuse of why everything he did to Warner. I didn't give this book 3 1/2 apples because of who Juliette ends up with. I could've understood why she chose who she did if certain things had been done differently with both choices (I know I'm being a bit cryptic, but if you really want to know and have read the book, read the spoilers below). But the truth is that Adam became someone we didn't know, and I hate that Mafi did that. He was justified in how he felt, yet we're supposed to hate him for "suddenly" being a jerk. Juliette felt like she never even knew Adam, and that pissed me off. Their relationship was too deep and steeped in history that it was impossible for him to change as much as he did and for me to hate him as much as Mafi wanted us to. It amazed me how everyone's opinions did a complete turnaround once certain truths were revealed and everything was forgiven. So ridiculous.

Like I said above: what I loved most about this book was Kenji. I wish she had ended up with Kenji because, really, he was her best friend and the only one that wasn't being a total jerk. Where would we be without the humor of Kenji in this book; it definitely would've sucked even more than it already did. I actually don't understand all the positive reviews this book got; I think it's because there were people that were on a certain team that ended up getting their wish with Ignite Me. This book was nowhere near as good as the first or even the second, and it's for every other reason but the romance. Even her gorgeous writing took a serious nose-dive into suckage near the end. There was nothing left of the lilting prose that had originally drawn me to this series. But despite the fact that this isn't my favorite book, Mafi is still an extremely talented writer, and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next!

 I'm so pissed how it all went down. If Juliette had legitimately fallen in love with Warner by the simple fact that she wanted him more and had grown up so much that she'd outgrown the person Adam was, then I wouldn't gotten it. I was always Team Adam; Warner did too many bad things to be justified as a fully-forgiven person in my mind. Mafi made us hate Adam by making him always act like an a**hole, and that didn't seem fair. A better ending is that she shouldn't have ended up with anyone. But I also think that Mafi's only saving grace with this one was that she didn't outright say she'd end up with Warner. There were no sappy promises of forever. But it was pretty much implied.

 People who enjoy this series, and love dystopians and superheroes!

The Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi
The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What Does the Bookworm Say? ~ Scary Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to the What Does the Bookworm Say? feature hosted by me, Thuy from Nite Lite Book Reviews, Crystal from Books Unbound, and Kimberly from The Windy Pages. Today we're talking about scary books--what makes a book scary? What are some of your favorite scary books?

What makes a book scary for me is suspense. Suspense and only suspense. When I went to the Vegas Valley Book Festival this last weekend, they had a panel for scary YA books, and I asked a question about whether they thought gore was necessary in a scary book. Most of them said no, unless it was a zombie book. Many of them also said that one of their favorite scary movies was Cabin in the Woods, a Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) masterpiece that has a lot more suspense than gore. And honestly, I HATE scary movies. It's one of the reasons I don't like scary books. So, to give you an idea of what kind of scary I like, here are some scary movies I'm willing to watch:

Scream: Scream was one of the first scary movies I ever watched, mostly because I'd heard that it was a sort of satire. It still scared the crap out of me because there was still a lot of suspense and just enough blood to make it believable.
Cabin in the Woods: Like I mentioned before, Cabin in the Woods was pretty much perfect. It turned all the scary-movie paradigms on their heads. I loved the way they made fun of scary movies and were still able to make it scary.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: There's nothing scary about this movie; it's just utterly hilarious. There's very little suspense that they make up for in gore, but it's on the list of "scary movies" I'm willing to watch.
Hocus Pocus: Because you can't talk about Halloween without mentioning the cult classic that is Hocus Pocus.

As you can see, I'm a bit of a scaredy-cat. Still, I'm trying to read suspenseful books right now in the spirit of Halloween. I've read Possess by Gretchen McNeil, which I thought was okay, but it was scary. I'm also planning on reading her new book, Get Even, soon, which she explains as John Hughes with a body count. I'm also reading Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, which so far has a lot of gothic suspense. I also want to read Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas and the Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea duology by April Genevieve Tucholk.

Other books that I've read about scary stuff in Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake and its sequel. These books were so creepy and very suspenseful. I also recently read Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick, which was a great suspense thriller right until the end where it ended too perfectly. There's also The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy by Carrie Ryan. Zombies are literally my worst nightmare, so those books scared the crap out of me. Then there's The Storyteller, a book by Antonia Michaelis originally written in German that was disturbing on so many levels. Finally, there's the Nevermore series by Kelly Creagh, books based on the stories of Edgar Allen Poe. The first book was fantastic, the second just okay, and I feel like I've been waiting forever for the third.

I guess I didn't realize how many books I've read that could be considered scary. And I'm hoping to make it more as I read the books I mentioned above.

What are your favorite scary books and/or movies? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi: review

Goodreads rating: 4.23
e-ARC, 392 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by HarperCollins
Series: Under the Never Sky #3
Genre: YA dystopian

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.

 Possible spoilers from books 1 and 2.

 This book--this series--was so fantastic. It's definitely one of my favorite dystopian series, and one of my favorite romance series. Like my other more recent reviews, I can't remember all that much about this book except that I loved it and thought it was a perfect ending to such a high-stakes, thrilling series. The first main focus is Cinder. Some seriously bad people have taken him and there's no telling how they're going to exploit him for his powers, powers that are still unpredictable. But Cinder is the only one that has the ability to channel the Aether to cross into the Still Blue, where they believe they'll all be safe. Hess and Sable aren't the only ones that want to cross into the Still Blue; obviously Perry and Aria and all their people are desperate to not have their lives governed by the Aether. And because Cinder is missing, tensions between the Outsiders are seriously high.

The growth of the multiple relationships in this one was what really drove the plot, as it has for the entire series. Roar was just so impossibly broken, and it was so hard for all of them to move on and want a better life with Perry's sister gone. It helped fuel their hatred, but it was a very delicate situation and none of it helped the overall growing tensions. There's so little said between these characters, but they know each other so well that they only need gestures or a simple look to convey the most important things. I was really surprised by the secondary characters; they stole my heart. The most surprising was Soren. Despite who his father is, he really steps up and does what needs to be done. Besides Cinder, there was also Brooke. I really want a series from both their POV's.

This entire series was a constant thrill ride with twists and surprising characters. I will read anything Veronica Rossi puts out there, knowing that she makes her characters the forefront of novels that are still rich in world-building. I'm sad to see this series go and I'll miss all these characters, but I'm excited to see what's next from this author!


 Lovers of this series and kick-butt dystopians!

The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
The Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson
The Defiance trilogy by C.J. Redwine

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According to FTC guidelines, I'm obligated to share with you that all of the books that I review on my blog are either purchased by me or given to me by an author/publisher. All of the opinions expressed in my reviews are mine and I do not receive any sort of monetary goods for writing either good or bad reviews.