Cut by author Patricia McCormick is an extremely realistic por...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
Cut by author Patricia McCormick is an extremely realistic portrayal of a 15 year old girl dealing with issues through cutting. This year celebrates the 10 year anniversary of Cut, bringing it back in the spotlight, at a time when a broader audience of YA readers will have a chance to connect with a troubled girl and her struggle to understand why she does what she does.
Cut tells the story of Callie, a 15 year old girl with issues and how she deals with them. Growing up, we all have them. Issues are a part of life. We deal with them differently and it just happens that Callie cuts herself to feel normal again. We readers are merely a witness to her struggles while she struggles to come to terms with why she does what she does. It might take a while for the story to unfold and for the reader to learn more about Callie, but the conclusion was well worth it in the end.
All in all Cut is a story about struggles and being a teenager. It’s about family and feeling like you’re not alone. Most importantly it’s about healing and finding out there are different ways to deal with things, such as talking and working through things.
Happy 10 Year Anniversary to author Patricia McCormick and Cut. (less)
Graveminder, the first adult title from author Melissa Marr is...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
Graveminder, the first adult title from author Melissa Marr is a book that’ll have you sitting on the edge of your seat, drawing you in further with the unfolding story. As the creep factor escalates, the characters and their mysterious town and its past come together creating an absorbing and entertaining read.
The land of the living and the dead are twisted together in the small town of Claysville. With the town gripped within the shadow of a curse that their ancestors agreed to many years ago, a secret that only a few are able to talk about or even remember, Graveminder tells the tale of two families who’s paths are bound together to keep the town and the residents safe. It’s the job of the Undertaker and the Graveminder to tend to the dead and in many ways help them to pass on to their final resting place.
When Rebekkah is forced to come home due to a death in the family she has no idea what exactly she’s been willed. Never being able to settle in any one place coming home is welcomed, just as long as she doesn’t have to stay. Rebekkah is one of those characters who push people away. She doesn’t like to be tied down to anyone or anything. She’s strong willed and thinks she knows exactly what she wants.
Byron, also from Claysville came home to work with his families business as the Undertaker. He’s tried living everywhere, even following after Rebekkah for awhile. Knowing that the only place that feels like home is back in the town he grew up in, he went back to help out and be with his family. Byron is one of those guys who has never pushed, who has done things Rebekkah’s way. He listened and has always done just as she asked. When she pushes him away for the last time it’s a long while until the two are reunited again, when sadly she has traveled home, back to Claysville for a funeral.
The two characters push and pull each other as their story unfolds. They are pretty much in the dark as to what they are about to be faced with, as is the reader. I enjoyed taking the same journey with the characters, putting the pieces together along the way and being creeped out as the story progressed. It was a page turner from the beginning. I mean who wouldn’t want to read a book with a cover tag line such as this one has – “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”
Marr’s land of the dead is painted vividly, the writing and characters all meld together extremely well making it easy for me to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Marr’s previous work, or looking for something with a nice dash of creepiness. Should Marr have plans for this to be a series, I’d more then welcome it and be eager and excited to read further about the Graveminder and Undertaker. I can honestly say that anything Marr writes, I’m more than interested in reading. Enjoy!(less)
The Iron King is the first installment in the Iron Fey series...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
The Iron King is the first installment in the Iron Fey series by Author Julie Kagawa. With highly entertaining characters and a new take on Faery, Kagawa takes readers throughout her unique world and adds in a further twist of Iron Fey.
When sixteen year old Meghan Chase’s world is turned upside down she’s forced to come to terms with many things. One main thing is who she really is and what that means to her future and of those around her. One of those people is her younger brother who is kidnapped and it’s up to Meghan and her best friend to get him back. She’s a character who takes a ton of risks, makes some wrong turns and a few wrong choices, but in the end is stronger then she realizes. Watching her figure out the strength she has, or even how much she’s willing to give up for those she loves makes her a heroine that grew and continues to grow on me.
Within the land of Faery, she’s going to need people on her side. One would be her best friend Robbie/Robin Goodfellow, or Puck. The other would be Ash who just happens to be a Prince of the Unseelie Court, to bad for Meghan that she’s part of the Seelie Court. Both of these guys have a lot to offer. Each is different – One’s a bad boy with good in him, the other is kind of a good guy who teeters on the edge of bad. I really enjoyed the banter between both boys, which was at times humorous and added so much to the story. They offer support, guidance, friendship, frustration and love to Meghan. Which one does she choose? Well, I’m not going to give that away.
Another character that needs to make an appearance in this review would have to be Grimalkin. He’s a cat with an attitude and knows more than he ever lets on. It’s part of his kind of “fae” and his personality that after reading I just couldn’t see him any other way. Kagawa has written the personality of a cat exactly how I could almost envision any house cat acting… even my own. It’s bloody brilliant!
Kagawa’s Fae, and the world she has created leads the way to her characters and the story. She has given us a taste of the new Iron Fey series with the first book and has left the door wide open as to what’s to come next for her characters old and new. While it did start out a bit slow, the middle and the end picked up the pace and made me eager for any future books in this series… and anything else that Kagawa writes. If you like a good story filled with Fae and magic, then I would recommend you go out and pick up this title and the next two books in the series soon. Trust me; you’ll thank me later when you’re able to read each book back to back. Review for The Iron Daughter coming next week.(less)
Jenny Han’s first book in her Summer Trilogy – The Summer I Tu...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
Jenny Han’s first book in her Summer Trilogy – The Summer I Turned Pretty was a breath of fresh air, a wonderful surprise and to be honest I have no idea why I’ve waited so long to read this book. I thought it was wonderful from cover to cover and can understand why this series is so loved by many.
This title is the perfect blend of all things summer - vacations, family, friends, the beach and oh, yeah… boys. Through Belly (I was hoping we’d learn how she ended up with such a horrible name. It did drive me crazy until I understood how it came about.), our main female character we get to be a fly on the wall as she lives through a new summer and through a flash back of memories of summers past. The flash backs made Belly and the other characters who shared each summer together into more rounded people. It gives the reader more of an idea of who they all are and what those past summer months were like.
Belly is one of those characters who could walk off the pages and be anyone – a friend, relative, neighbor. She’s real, honest and Han does an incredible job showing what it’s really like to be a teenage girl. The three boys, Belly’s brother Steven, and the two Fisher brothers – Jeremiah and Conrad were bits and pieces of boys I remember from school. I always love when a character is as realistic as those found within the pages here and Han has it down pat. With Belly growing up and teen emotions running high things were bound to change for the group.
With things changing for each character and the summer coming to an end, I wondered what would come next and am thankful that I can pick up the next two books and read to find out.
There was something to love in each of Han’s characters. Her story and writing were wonderful and I couldn’t put the book down. It’s books like this that remind me of my love of contemporary YA and fans of the genre shouldn’t pass this series up, so be sure to pick up or order a copy soon.(less)
4.5 Stars - The Iron Daughter, the second book in the Iron Fey...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
4.5 Stars - The Iron Daughter, the second book in the Iron Fey series by author Julie Kagawa is the continuing story of main character Meghan and picks up right where The Iron King left off. Kagawa has created, for me, a sequel that was more thrilling and entertaining than the first book and has me ready to take on book three.
Without any spoilers, I’ll just say this – Meghan is taken to the Winter Court by Prince Ash. She’s held there by Queen Mab and finds the friendship she thought she had with Ash strained as he puts a distance between them. All hell breaks loose when the Scepter of Seasons is stolen. Meghan, Ash and Puck come together (kind of) again to set out to find the Scepter and return it to Queen Mab before a war between the courts erupts. Remember, I’m trying to write this without spoilers.
The action, adventure, writing, plot and characters were fast paced making the pages turn quicker and the excitement while reading escalate. I didn’t feel there were any lulls in the story and really felt that the characters were stronger then ever.
Meghan has grown so much from the beginning of The Iron King, Ash continues to maintain his icy personality but there’s so much more to him than just that. It’s the little moments here and there that he breaks out of that ice and we see another side of him making him a character you can’t help but love. Then there’s Puck. He has that ever present good guy with a bad side you don’t often see but know it’s lurking under the surface and don’t want to be on the wrong side of.
Good things and bad things happen for each character and between all three along the way, but that’s how it goes when you’re dealing with fey. The ending was perfect and I can only imagine what’ll happen to the three in The Iron Queen. They have faced a lot and made it through; will they make it through next time?
So far this is my favorite of the first two books. I fell for the story and can’t wait to read more. Kagawa’s writing and characters will have readers looking for what’s next quicker than she can write it. It’s not often a second book in a series comes in better than the first, but in this case for Kagawa it holds true, Enjoy.(less)
4.5 Stars - Debut author Tessa Gratton’ first book in the Bloo...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
4.5 Stars - Debut author Tessa Gratton’ first book in the Blood Journals series – Blood Magic, was so much more than I thought it would be and then some! With a thrilling story and extremely likeable characters, it was easy to see just how much they made me love this book! It was apparent from the first few pages. Blood Magic is one of those books I could have easily read in one sitting, so make sure you have time to devour this title whole.
Told from three different perspectives, two main characters and a journal, moving between the three voices gave not only insight, but back story. The back story revealed snippets to the past to further explain things as the story progresses. I loved how the pieces of the story from the journal fit into the present and continued right through to the end, letting us learn what was happening just as the characters did. I’m a huge fan of multiple points of view, so it was an added bonus.
Speaking of characters, let’s talk about them for a few. First off we have Silla, she’s been through a lot and is coping as best as she can. With Gratton’s writing it made it easy to feel what her characters were feeling, and I found I could better relate to what each was going through. Silla’s strong, caring and is trying to understand many different things in her life when she’s been mailed a book from a stranger that just happens to have belonged to her father. Mystery, magic and blood surround her and her family and tie her to past she could have never imagined existed.
Then we have Nick… he’s the new guy who lives next door to Silla. Well, with the woods and a cemetery between them. Nick is a city guy now living out in the sticks and is just trying to make it to graduation day so he can get away and move on. He has some issues as well so when Nick and Silly meet, the attraction is inevitable and maybe even has a bit of fate involved. While their relationship might have come on fast, there were things that happened up until the very end that somewhat explained this instant rapport.
I have to admit that for me, it was easy to speculate who was the evil doer, but there was enough in the rest of the story that I wasn’t too bothered in knowing who was who. There was also a bit of a creep factor to the book, and one scene was hard to read. I didn’t agree with the scene, but felt more like it was there to prove a point, at least to me the point was made and I think it was made to the character involved as well.
Over all Gratton is a new shining star in the YA genre and an author I am excited to read more of in the future. If you’re looking for a great new author, fresh voice, entertaining story and characters be sure to pick up this one when you’re at your local book store or when you’re placing your next online order. You won’t be disappointed. Now, where’s the next book? (less)
4.5 Stars - Firelight, the first in a series from author Sophi...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
4.5 Stars - Firelight, the first in a series from author Sophie Jordan is filled with greatness – great characters, great plot and great writing. I found myself immersed in the pages as Jordans unique idea became clear to picture as a new supernatural creature evolved before my eyes.
Jacinda comes from a rare race of people called the Draki. Not fully human and not filly dragon, able to change between the two halves. She’s even rarer as each Draki has a set of abilities making some more valuable than others. She’s a breed that hasn’t been around for a long time – a fire breather – which the pride that she lives in and calls home has plans for in the future.
Jacinda is one tough teenage girl who’s promised to the Prince of the Draki, Cassian. She has no idea just what the elders of her race have in store for her, and once things take a turn for the worse, her mother packs her and her sister and moves them to the desert where she hopes they won’t be found and to try to force Jacinda into a normal life, away from the Draki.
While I loved Jacinda and her strength and her fighting instincts while she tries to find a way out of the corner she’s put in, her mother and her sister were a huge thorn in my side. I understood why her mother moved them, but forcing Jacinda to go down the same path as she did frustrated me just about as much as it frustrated Jacinda. And her sister! Don’t even get me started.
The initial meeting between Jacinda and Will was thrilling, fast paced and unexpected. Their relationship is one that’s doomed from the beginning. When they cross paths again she doesn’t know what to do, just that she’s drawn to him when she shouldn’t be. Will and his family are hunters of the Draki and while he doesn’t’ know what she really is, she knows what Will and his family are capable of. I more than loved the interaction between the two and the push and pull of their relationship because of who they both were. When Will finds out he has two options and its right then at that moment he becomes the person he’s suppose to be and not the one he was born into.
Of coarse it wouldn’t be a true review of this title without more mention of Cassian. Cassian, oh… can I please have some more? Lol While I didn’t agree with his actions, he has many redeeming qualities (or does he?) that come through blindly by the end (or does it?). However, it still leaves me questioning if is a good guy or a bad guy. The verdict is still out on him.
The short chapters, amazing story and characters, the ending, the romance… the mythology, all wrapped together, making Firelight a perfect addition to paranormal YA titles. I’m more than looking forward to the next book – Vanish – to see what happens next for Jacinda, Will and all the people around them.(less)
3.5 Stars - Nightshade – book one in the series by author Andr...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
3.5 Stars - Nightshade – book one in the series by author Andrea Cremer is full of originality. Her characters stand out and are strong among the story and the myth, her version of werewolves and pack life are wrapped within a magical world. With Nightshade, there is no doubt in my mind how this book, author and series are a hit among fans of the YA paranormal genre.
The main characters in Nightshade are Calla, Ren and Shay. Calla is a strong female lead that’s being torn at from two sides. The two sides being – One, the rules and how things within the pack are suppose to be. And two, the truth. In her world there are werewolves, guardians and searchers. I was a bit confused about the relationship between everyone and who was who and who did what until futher on into the book. However, I can say that the werewolves and guardians have a somewhat beneficial relationship. Calla’s search for answers and how she comes to terms with what she finds out will leave you wanting more. Her relationship with her friends, pack family and the two guys – Ren and Shay are the icing on the cake. And yes, it’s another one of those, ever present in YA titles, love triangle.
Now, let’s talk about Ren. Is he the bad guy he plays in the pages? Or is there a good guy somewhere in there? Getting to know Ren had me questioning and going back and forth and we do find out more about this as the book comes to an end. His part in the events that happen are far from over, it’s just a matter of time before we know exactly what’ll happen.
Then we have Shay, good’ol book lover Shay. He’s the guy in the story who falls fast and hard for the girl – Calla – who is off limits, so to speak. He’s a book guy, a cross between cute and geeky, which if you ask me are two ingredients on the road to making a pretty great guy.
The push and pull of the love triangle can sometimes be frustrating, cheering for this guy, or that guy. Cremer has written it so it’s not all consuming. There’s more to the story then will she pick this guy over the other.
I will admit that there were a few rough points to reading Nightshade. During the beginning I felt lost as to whom was who when it came to werewolves, guardians and searchers. As I mentioned above, I didn’t understand the difference to each and it wasn’t until I was further into the story that things became clearer. The rough bits became less and less the further along I read which made up for it all.
The story had its fair share of fast and thrilling events and those last few pages, wow! I’m so ready for Wolfsbane!
All in all Nightshade turned out to be a great original take on werewolves, with characters I was happy to have met and look forward to learning more about. Cremer has found a nice warm spot within fans of YA genre and if you are one who hasn’t checked out this book yet, and love a good tale about werewolves, be sure to give it a go!(less)
4.5 Stars - Beauty Queens by author Libba Bray was unexpected...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
4.5 Stars - Beauty Queens by author Libba Bray was unexpected in its complete wackiness. It’s a punch line in 400 pages, with a huge heart. I laughed out loud with the turn of just about every page. Bray has a knack for writing over the top characters with some real issues, melding the two together to crate a book I’ll never forget.
When a group of teen beauty queen’s plane crash lands on an island on their way to a pageant, they are left to fend for themselves. It’s a group of girls who have pageant life in common and just about little else. They each bring some kind of knowledge to the table and somewhat work together as a group to survive. Each of the girls has their fair share of issues, and working through them while stranded on a desert island without any of the pressures of everyday life, proved to be some major growing moments for each of them.
Enter into a world that’s pretty much run by “The Corporation” and it’s products that’ll make you sometimes laugh and sometimes shake your head to - it’s unbelievable commercials and TV shows… to the Dictator and his obsession with Elvis, to the band of Pirates from a reality TV show that take their job to the extreme… to the female grooming product “Lady ‘Stash Off” and it’s use as a high explosive once one of the chemicals is changed… what can I say, it’s a wild, wild read.
Insane comes to mind when I think of the plot and each of the characters. From the first few pages to the last I often thought that this was a joke on me because of how witty and magical Bray’s writing is. Seriously, Bray’s writing is magic, characters over the top, all rolled into one making this, hands down one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. I don’t even feel I’m able to do this book justice with this review. It’s just something you need to experience for yourself. Being that this is my first book by Bray, I can’t wait to read her other titles and then to see what comes next for this imaginative and vastly creative author. What can I say, I’m a HUGE fan. Enjoy!(less)
4.5 Stars - Simply put, Seers of Light By Jennifer DeLucy is b...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
4.5 Stars - Simply put, Seers of Light By Jennifer DeLucy is beautiful. The writing flows off the page, the characters are more than memorable and the story utterly unique – easily making this a must read book for any lover of Paranormal books as a whole.
When Lillian Hunt has some strange things happening around her, she doesn’t know just what to do or who to tell. For fear her family and friends would think she’s unstable she tends to keep all the unexplained things to herself. She’s extremely independent and feisty. With a strong spirit and good head on her shoulders she wants nothing more than to be happy and live a peaceful life. To bad that’s not in the stars for Lily.
Before she knows it’s, she’s living a life she never dreamed of. With people who are strangers, yet seem to know her better than she knows herself… and with the all the unexplained things that happened to her in the past, she now finds more answers then she cold have ever dreamed of.
With a cast of characters who DeLucy has written to all complement each other – and two strong male leads – William, the strong silent type who feels to be more then just an outcast of the group; and Christian who’s the fierce protector – both fighting for Lily’s attention…. Let’s just say it’ll have readers busy fighting over Team William or Team Christian.
The relationships built throughout this first in a trilogy were well placed and paced. The relationship between Lily and her chosen guy – William or Christian – worked well with the flow of the story. You could see just when the spark caught and were able to watch it grow to a strong roaring fire and I loved how it all happened in its own time. There was no rushing, as many books seem to do.
The last few chapters of the book were very emotional, especially that last page or two – not just in reading it, but DeLucy did a wonderful job creating a story where, for me as a reader, I was able to feel the characters feelings and what they were going through as well.
All in all, DeLucy has a knack for writing. Seers of Light is hands down on of the best books I’ve recently read. With so much to offer any reader who enjoys a paranormal story, with yes a touch of romance in it for a slightly older crowd should not pass this total over. DeLucy is an author everyone should keep their eyes on. Happy Reading!(less)
3.5 Stars - Wake Unto Me by Young Adult debut author Lisa Cach...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
3.5 Stars - Wake Unto Me by Young Adult debut author Lisa Cach was not only wonderfully written, but was interesting in the fact that it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. With characters far and wide and set over different places and different times it’s easy to see the love that Cach has for European history.
When outcast Caitlyn Monahan gets a chance to escape Oregon and head to a boarding school in France she jumps at the offer and heads off on what’ll be a life changing adventure. She’s lonely in both her family life and at school. I could understand the want to get away, start over and live out a dream in a school far, far away that just happens to be in a castle. I mean who wouldn’t want to do that? I liked how Caitlyn looked at the mysteries surrounding her and didn’t stop until she found answers.
She has nightmares and dreams that she has a hard time remembering, but writes and sketches the various things she has in her mind before they quickly fade away. When her dreams start to take place in the castles history she wants to learn more and find out what their true purpose is.
Raphael was interesting and I liked him from the first scene. I can honestly say that I felt he was the best part of the story, which is funny because I tend to not like anything historical very much. And I do have to say that not only was he interesting, but the time which he was from and that time in which he lived in the castle were what held my interest and were exciting and fascinating. I think this is further proof that I need to change my mind about historicals because I continue to surprise myself with liking them more and more.
Her two new friends were great. I was a bit upset at first with how her roommate Amalia treated her, but then she really grew on me with how she helped Caitlyn. And I was a fan of Naomi from the start. The two seemed to have a connection with how they each had trouble with sleeping and quickly to become friends over late nights and ghost stories.
The mystery was interesting and I felt that most of the questions I had were answered. There were a few things that I felt were left wide open, leaving me to question if this first book is set out to be a trilogy or series. Also, since I was reading an ARC copy I’m not sure if anything was changed much in the finished version.
All in all I was excited to read this title and I did in fact enjoy it. From the characters to the castle – which I think was a character in itself – to the mystery, writing and plot, Cach has taken a romantic ghost story and kicked it up a notch. It’s has so much to offer to fans of the YA paranormal genre and will quickly leave future readers looking for more from this author, just as I will be too.(less)
Shadowspell, book two in the Faeriewalker series by Jenna Blac...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
Shadowspell, book two in the Faeriewalker series by Jenna Black was a thrilling read, to say the least. Its action packed with huge twists and turns you won’t see coming. Glimmerglass was a great first book, but Jenna did an amazing job with this sequel.
Picking up, just about where we left off in Glimmerglass – Dana’s dad has moved her deep underground, within the maze of tunnels under the city. It’s safe; it’s more than secure – especially with her bodyguard Finn – and, well boring. No one can know where she is because, well the trouble she finds herself in from the first book. With only visits from her father, Finn and Finn’s son Keane, Dana wants nothing more than to be out and about with her friends and to lead as normal of a life as possible. However, when your part Fae and living in the one place in the world where Fae and humans live together and people are after you, it’s not that simple.
Dana has grown some; she’s still the same girl from the first book, though I did find myself yelling at her internally over a couple of things that I thought she should have known better with. Sadly, she has to learn the hard way with a few things, but I guess you could say that it’s the crazy life of a Faeriewalker.
And then there’s Ethan who has some things that he needs to make up for and Dana struggles to figure out just what to do about their friendship/relationship. For me, Ethan as a character, I go back and forth on. Is he a good guy or a bad guy? I’m still trying to figure him out. And I can’t forget to mention Keane. As I said in my review from Glimmerglass, I totally love this character! I wish there was more of him in the books. He’s dark and brooding and still pretty mysterious and I can’t wait to see more of him in future books.
With additional trouble that neither Dana, her family nor the residents or visitors of Avalon need is The Erlking and his Wild Hunt. He was and wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I thought I’d have a hard time liking him as a character because of the fact that he hunts and kills Fae and all, but there’s just something about him that got under my skin and lingered there until well after reading. He’s dark and scary, but there’s just so much more about him. In the end his relationship with Dana was a shocker. And no, I won’t tell you anything that happens, so don’t worry… but wow, I didn’t see that coming at all!
All in all, what more can I say than, I’m a fan of this series. With some HUGE, crazy events that happen in Dana’s life, some that are major life changers, Jenna has written a sequel that was fast, thrilling and will leave you ready to find out just where she’s going to take her characters next. I highly recommend this series, you won’t be disappointed. (less)
Author Kelly Oram’s Being Jamie Baker is more than just cute....moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
Author Kelly Oram’s Being Jamie Baker is more than just cute. It’s filled with choices and issues of the past… oh and it’s about a girl with superpowers and a boy, without superpowers and kissing! With a book trailer that’s amazing, seriously one of the best ones I’ve ever seen, I knew I just had to read this book. I was glad that I did and am happy to say that it was a fun read.
When a freak accident leaves Jamie with some crazy superpowers and some issues that are revealed throughout the story, her and her family move away to start new. They hope that this will keep Jamie safe and sound and her powers under wraps. She’s a character that you can see and hear struggling with what fate has cast. What’s even more painful to her is how much of an outcast she has become due to the powers she tries her hardest to keep under control. I did like Jamie, though I thought that she was a little dramatic and went back and forth on a lot of things she needed to make up her mind on, but really who wouldn’t feel the way she did? She’s a teenage girl for one, hello emotions flying all over the place. And two… her life is crazy now, so much has changed. And three… she has superpowers! I mean who wouldn’t be emotional? I know I’d be all over the place without half of what she has to deal with on a day to day basis.
Then we have Ryan. He’s the guy at school everyone loves. Heck, he’s the guy in the whole town everyone loves. He’s popular, the star football player and cute. Now, I’m not going to give anything away, but Jamie and Ryan have a run in of sorts and well… that’s really were the story starts. Their friendship has many growing pains that the two face as the story progresses and I liked watching them both struggle through. I mean I don’t like to see anyone suffer, real or fictional, but it’s through these trials we see who they/people (real and fictional) really are. It’s like pealing back their layers to get to the root of who a person is. I know, I’m getting a bit deep here, but it’s true.
In every good story about someone with superpowers there’s always a villain and we aren’t lacking one here. There are a few and they come in all shapes. And yes.., I’m not going to say anymore than that.
Oram’s writing made Being Jamie Baker a fast paced read and her characters pop off the page. The humorous and witty dialog was a joy and lightened up the more tragic side to the teens. All in all, I found myself laughing and cringing many times while reading. It’s the reactions such as these that help make a book worth reading, and yes, you should give this one a try. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from Oram in the future. Enjoy!
Also, check out the amazing book trailer. It’ll grab on and not let go.(less)
For some time now Amanda Hocking has been taking the self publ...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
For some time now Amanda Hocking has been taking the self published world by storm, and I was quick to understand why. The first in her Vampire series – My Blood Approves – sets the stage with characters I was glad to meet, history and a back story that was mysterious, often thrilling and writing that flowed and kept my interest from beginning to end.
Alice and Jack are the two main characters within this title. However, they are far from the only note worthy characters. Jack’s family and Alice’s brother Milo make many appearances throughout. One major player is Jack’s “brother” Peter, which turned out to be an extremely interesting part of the story. Talk about throwing a wrench into the works. Alice and Jack have a friendship that builds from that first encounter, which allowed things start to come to the surface as to who Jack and his family really are. While Alice and Jack’s relationship is different from the beginning it’s the draw that Alice has to Peter that turns this story upside down. It’s not your typical love triangle, that’s for sure. Put into Alice’s shoes, I’d be drawn to both Jack and Peter as well. As for which camp I sit in, I’m torn myself.
The unique aspects of Hocking’s vampires and the interesting bits and pieces we learn of Jack and his “family” throughout the book made this title interesting and one that I didn’t want to put down. Thankfully when I did finish I was ready for more and had the next book set up to continues the saga and see where Hocking and her characters would take us next.
I always love it when I find a new book or series and being that this is a self published title was just the icing on the cake. Hocking is talented and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the publishing world.(less)
4.5 - Fate, the second book in the My Blood Approves series by...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
4.5 - Fate, the second book in the My Blood Approves series by Amanda Hocking continues the saga set within her world where vampires exist. The story wasn’t what I expected on many levels, but was the perfect set up for future books in the series. Her characters are likeable and her story thrilling – with a few bumps and hiccups along the way – Fate, in the end, will leave you ready for more.
With many things that came to light in the first book, the issues and drama of being friends or more with a Vampire take root in this continuation of the story. Poor Alice is spending more time alone. She’s missing Jack and his family. She confused about many things including her draw to Peter. She knows why, but still doesn’t understand it when all she wants to be is with Jack.
Alice is… more than a tad down in this book. She’s miserable and can’t seem to find her way back to her version of normal again. For many reasons, but the main one is how alone she feels. She believes that Jack and his family have abandoned her. She feels alone at home too, which if were being honest here, she is. I could understand why she was so down; I mean who wouldn’t be with what’s happening around her. I can say that I missed the Alice from the first book, but everything happens for a reason and wow, those reasons were some doozys.
There’s more of Milo in this book, which was a huge plus. While it throws an even bigger wrench into things for Alice on so many levels, it makes her come to terms with the things she’s had running round and round in her head. And poor Jack has a lot to deal with as well. All three characters have been handed a bunch of crap in this book and it’s a wonder how they all managed to make it out at the end… or did they?
The back story to the vampires was an added plus to this one. I couldn’t wait to learn more as Ezra fills us in on some parts of their past and helps Alice to find some of the answers she’s looking for when it comes to her magnetic pull to Peter and her love for Jack. I always love a good back story; it always gives the reader a better idea to just who the characters are, what they might be facing or what just might happen with the choices they face and or make down the road.
All in all, it’s a fast paced read that’ll leave you ready for the next book - Flutter, so you might as well order or download the next two books to read them back to back, it’ll be hard not to want to find out what happens next.(less)
The My Blood Approves series by author Amanda Hocking third ti...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
The My Blood Approves series by author Amanda Hocking third title – Flutter – just keeps getting better and better. So far, this is my favorite book in the series. Thrilling from beginning to end!
Flutter picks up a few weeks after we last left Alice, Jack and the rest. Alice had a lot to deal with in the previous book, which had a few huge twists and turns and an ending that was shocking the say the least.
There’s a lot going on in Flutter, including Alice going with Ezra to Finland to try to save Peter who is on a mission of madness. There are evil vampires out there, totally unlike Jack and his family and Peter went to the worst kind to look for his own way out.
With evil lurking around every corner, it’s only a matter of time before it finds Alice and company and wow, much craziness ensues.
With additional new characters popping up in each book, and the return of a few others, such as Jane and her continuing troubles… guh, that girl needs a good swift smack upside the head. And Mae… she’s dealing with issues that I felt bad for her about on so many levels. However, this part of the story is totally shocking and heartbreaking. What she chooses to do, just… wow. And then we have Ezra, who was a strong presence in this book and it was his strength in all things that was a huge part in the story.
As mentioned above, this is my favorite book so far in the series. The events that unfold surrounding one of the family members will leave the lives of many damaged for a long time to come. I look forward to see just where the many plot twists and turns take us next in Hockings further continuation of the series in Wisdom.(less)
In a world far removed from our own - Wither by Lauren DeStefa...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
In a world far removed from our own - Wither by Lauren DeStefano takes being young and old to a whole new level in this shocking and surprising Dystopian. DeStefano’s writing flows right off the pages creating a world and its future that’s easy to imagine; putting the reader right in the middle of such an emotionally charged tragic tale.
Wither, the first in a trilogy tells the story of a teen girl, Rhine. She’s 16 years old and is facing knowing what her future holds. Females die at 20, males die at 25. Something happened in their past that their parents are working hard to correct – a virus that threatens to wipe out all humans.
Rhine is one of those strong characters with a huge heart that goes about things always thinking about others. She’s fighting for not only herself but those around her who she finds in the same trouble she is. It’s her strength and how she cares that got to me. Early on in the book it comes through, shining a light on the darker times within the book and makes it easy to feel for her and the uphill battle she’s facing.
The creep factor of one character – Housemaster Vaughn - was spot on casting a shadow over Rhines story. I could feel him lurking even when he wasn’t there. I just knew he was never far away, making me cringe as to what he had planned next for everyone. Linden, Housemaster Vaughn’s son was also a bit creepy in his own ways. I was frustrated and have to say that many of his choices had me ready to pull my hair out. I felt so many ups and downs while trying to come to terms with just who Linden was. I think his grief was part of what made him who he was but ultimately it was his father – Vaughn - who molded him and kept him so under thumb it left little wiggle room for the 20 year old.
Another character who is more than worth mentioning is Gabriel, and how he added sweetness to the story and helped to open Rhine up. He’s one of those characters that gave Rhine a more rounded personality making her real. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just leave it at that.
DeStefano’s writing, characters and world building make Wither a must read for anyone who loves a good Dystopian or anyone who’s looking to give a book in this ever growing genre a try. I can honestly say that it was first the writing to draw me in followed by Rhine to make this a fantastic read. I also have to mention the cover which is one of my favorites I’ve seen in awhile. The cover, along with the story will stick with you, leaving you ready for the second in the trilogy. Who’s ready for book two? Enjoy!(less)
Jessi Kirby’s Moonglass is more than just sun, sand and sea. I...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
Jessi Kirby’s Moonglass is more than just sun, sand and sea. It’s about truth, healing and honesty. It’s about strength and love. Kirby fit many emotions into her book and did a wonderful job with her characters and what they were finally working to come to terms with.
When Anna is forced to move when her dad takes a new job, she has the typical teen reactions. She’s angry and hurt and wants to stay right where all her friends, her grandmother and her memories are. She’s one heck of a girl with some guts, let me tell you. She’s grown up with the beach on her doorstep, enjoying the sand as much as the ocean. Along with her guts and her strength she’s also grieving. Her grief runs deep, something she’s been contending with for years and being in the place where here parents met, being so close to where her mother spent her summers stirs up old emotions and old but ever present wounds soon begin to fester.
There’s heartbreak of many different kinds throughout Anna’s journey. Not just her past, but also the past of those around her, new and old and of the Cove she now calls home. Many of these things are part of Anna’s past, a past she needs to come to terms with, but doesn’t know how to face it. Sometimes things aren’t as they seem and other times – sadly - things have to get worse before they can get better.
The relationship she builds with Tyler came at a time that I think she needed it the most. It was a slow thing that happened at it’s own pace and didn’t feel rushed. Which is a great because more often than not these types of relationships can feel rushed in YA novels, and Kirby did a wonderful job in writing the two and their relationship at a realistic pace. Anna and Tyler have cute moments and some great lines back and forth. I did laugh at a few things Anna said, which also added to the story and helped to make her a more rounded character.
All in all, Kirby’s debut was not only well written, it was sweet and entertaining with realistic characters in a beautiful setting. It’s always thrilling to find a new contemporary young adult title and this one fit the bill perfectly! I have no doubt that many others will become a fan or Kirby and will be on the look out for new titles from her in the future, just as I will be. Enjoy!(less)
Playing Hurt is author Holly Schindler’s sophomore title and t...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
Playing Hurt is author Holly Schindler’s sophomore title and though I haven’t had a chance to read her first book – A Blue So Dark – I was excited to give her second book a read. Her writing flowed beautifully, creating realistic characters and teen angst that easily made this a book I’d recommend to others.
When a sports injury leaves Chelsea unable to do what she loves, she’s forced to see and do things totally differently. What she used to know of her life is no longer and she’s struggling with many different issues as a result. She has a loving boyfriend, who’s the guy all the girls want and Gabe goes out of his way to make sure she knows she’s the same person she’s always been and always will be. Their relationship is sweet and honest, on his part but confused on hers. It was easy to understand her confusion due to so many drastic changes that happened so quickly. I mean teens go through so much as it is and then to have such a huge part of who you are taken away, as she did would mess with anyone’s head.
Schindler does a great job writing the normal trials of teens and then mixes in some of the added stresses many face day to day….
When Chelsea’s family goes away on their summer vacation she has no idea that her dad has set her up with a trainer for their time away. Her family knows she’s hurting emotionally and they’re as much at a loss as how to heal as she is. They just want her to feel as normal as she can again. So through this “boot camp” she meets her trainer Clint, who is dealing with his own issues. He’s not much older than her, but he does have some scars that are in need of healing.
Clint is one of those rugged all around good guys. He helps his parents, works a couple of summer jobs and goes to school. He just can’t get over something that happened in his past… just as Chelsea has. Through the alternating character points of view – which, by the way, I love more and more – we get a better sense of just how both are and get a better feel for just how deep their scars run. I loved Clint, plain and simple. Schindler did an amazing job writing both the female AND the male side of teens and their physical along with emotional turmoil.
There were some parts of the story that will leave people with some issues. One major thing that I’ll only quickly mention is teen sex. While there were some extremely intimate moments throughout the story, I stand by what I said above in this review. That Schindler has written a realistic story and with a realistic story comes real emotions and issues that teens face. Very important to know - please understand - and I do need to stress, that while there are intimate moments between characters that there are no actual sex scenes in this title. Not all sex (if just mentioned or alluded to) in YA titles work, but for me, as a reader who loves the YA genre, as long as it’s true to the story and setting, I see nothing wrong with it.
All in all, I am now a huge fan of Schindlers work. With characters and writing such as this, who couldn’t find much to enjoy? I know am looking forward to her next book and I’m excited to check out A Blue So Dark soon. Happy Reading.(less)
4.5 - Jennifer DeLucy’s Light series continues with its second...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
4.5 - Jennifer DeLucy’s Light series continues with its second installment in Whisper of Light. If you haven’t read Seers of Light (Light, #1), first off – what are you waiting for? And secondly – this review might include some spoilers, so be prepared, some might be unintentionally included.
With DeLucy’s ever present beautiful writing, story and some of the characters from the first book that we know and love returning in Whisper of Light, I sat down and didn’t get up until I had devoured each and every page of this book. With such a strong story, characters and writing, what’s not to fall in love with here?
In Whisper of Light we meet a new type of heroine – Nicole. She’s unlike the Sentients she was born, raised and still lives with – she was born into this different life without any Endowments or supernatural gifts. She’s quiet and somewhat stand offish and lives life with more than just that burden. She’s under a huge amount of stress and weight on her shoulders and a huge part of that comes from her father, who is really a piece of work and to this reader, she kind of felt like a stranger in her own skin as she tries to live and cope with just being… well normal.
I enjoyed reading Nicole because to me she stuck home time and time again. She’s one of those characters who so many people will be able to relate to. The questioning of one ’s self and where they fit into the world, and how they feel so different from everyone around them really were key points that even I found myself deeply understanding.
Then we have Christian who has come to live with a new Sentient group to try to heal himself from the past. Again, you need to read Seers to understand just why Christian ventures so far from home. It’s through Christian we get to see some of the real Nicole and through Nicole we in turn get to see some of the real Christian. Those points in the book are few and far between, but I felt that was the point – again DeLucy with amazing pacing and timing showed that, well, to change and see something from a different point of view about yourself doesn’t happen overnight.
That’s one think that I think DeLucy has hit the nail on the head with. She’s patient with her story telling and allows her characters to fully grow and come to terms with things in a way that we can all fully understand. Her characters personalities aren’t all that far from true and can be found in just about each person if we take the time.
All in all DeLucy is, in my eyes a writer who has amazing amounts of talent and who I for one will be waiting on pins and needles for the next book in the Trilogy. Anything she writes for that matter, I’ll be eager to get my hands on. I’ll be sad to see it end but will forever keep my fingers crossed that maybe someday her Sentients will talk to her again. So, for now… everyone hurry up and read both her books. You won’t be sorry! The third book in the Light Series looks to be released sometime late Spring. *softly nudges Jenn back to her computer to hurry up and write the next book!*(less)
3.5 Stars - Suzanne Selfors Mad Love is unique in both characters and story. With mythology incorporated throughout, with the real Cupid as a main cha...more3.5 Stars - Suzanne Selfors Mad Love is unique in both characters and story. With mythology incorporated throughout, with the real Cupid as a main character, Selfors weaves a tale in the present, filled with an epic love in the past.
Alice, a teenage girl has a lot of issues to deal with. Thankfully she has some good people around her to help her deal. Being a teen is hard enough as it is, but to have to deal with all that she does on top of the normal everyday issues, she seems to handle it well. I did like Alice as a character, however I was sometimes confused when it came to some of the decisions she made. I guess that’s all part of being a real teen, making mistakes, so some of those decisions were more than understandable. I felt for her as a character as well and wished she let more people in on exactly how much she was really dealing with.
Alice’s mother is an acclaimed Romance author with many issues of her own. Sadly they are all kept locked away from prying eyes of the public. With her mother not in the picture, and being one of the many things Alice has to juggle, comes a small issue of her next book being due, and well, she’s not around to write it.
In comes Errol, or Cupid to you and I. He’s a character to be reckoned with and has no time to deal with Alice and her issues. I mean, I get he was on a tight schedule, which you’ll have to read the book to understand, but I didn’t care for some of the things he said or did to Alice along the way. He’s not anything like what I would have pictured “Cupid” to be, but… there were reasons and you need to read further on into the book to fully understand. It was then that he became more of a likeable character, though it was a struggle to get to that point.
It takes Alice a long while to figure out just who Errol is and if he’s real – and really, I don’t blame her at all. She had normal reactions to the whole situation.
With quirky side characters, Ms. Bobot, Tony, Realm and a handful of others, I did laugh a couple of times out loud, which further elevated my thoughts about this book. It’s sometimes hard to read a story that deals with some serious issues, as this one does and not have some lighter moments to break things up.
All in all Selfors’ writing and characters kept me reading, the mythology held my interest and a love that just was meant to be written down made Mad Love a book that many will want to read and will enjoy.(less)
Hourglass from author Myra McEntire is in one word – AMAZING!...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
Hourglass from author Myra McEntire is in one word – AMAZING! With exquisite writing and characters, McEntire is one of the newest rock stars to join the others within the ranks of the Young Adult genre. How can I sum up my love for this book… I’ll try but I highly doubt my words will even touch the surface of my love for this book or will even comes close to what McEntire has done with her words.
Life for seventeen year old Emerson hasn’t been easy. She sees things that no one else can see, people from the past, ghosts from another time, which all started right after her parent’s death. She lives with her loving, caring brother and his wife who are concerned about these visions – as any one would be - and as a result her overall health. I was quickly drawn to Emerson and wanted to know – just as she does – the reasons behind why she can’t stop seeing people and places from a different time. She’s extremely caring and has a strength about her that made me in turn care about her as a character. Her strength makes her one of those characters that shows just how much she can hold her own and won’t take being pushed around. She has her fair share of great lines throughout the book – many moments that I ended up with a huge smile plastered on my face and even a few moments where I laughed out loud. And really, it’s all part of what makes a great book even better.
Her brother Thomas and his wife Dru only want the best for her and while they don’t understand what she’s going through, they try hard to find a way to help Emerson. Through many different people who have said they could help, she’s ready to give up. Her relationship with her brother and sister in law was close in many ways, yet distant in others. They each wanted to protect the other, as families do, but this one had more to loose due to all that had happened to them in the past with the death of their parents.
When Emerson’s brother comes to her with something else to try that could just help her, she’s against it. She’s tired and burned out on all the false hope. I mean I would be too if I was in her shoes, that’s when Michael, from the Hourglass institute walks into her life. He’s mysterious and gives us little to go by as to really who he is, but I can say he turns out to be an amazing male character.
While reading the book we chipped away at both Emerson and Michael to get to the root of who they really are. It was through their relationship – professional that it was, as the rules were laid out by Thomas – we find out more than just who they are, but also the what and the why of all Emerson’s visions. Michael might be a little older by a couple of years but nonetheless, the attraction is there. It’s one of those attractions that smolders and lingers, that you just wait with bated breath to catch fire and set off into a massive blaze. Darn those rules set by her brother!
There are tons of twists and turns throughout, it’s more than a rollercoaster ride that’s for sure! I can honestly say that I had no idea what was about to happen numerous times. I was shocked and thrilled over and over again and was always looking for the next helping after each chapter.
It’s easy to fall head over heals in love with this book, not to mention the characters. I did and still find myself thinking about the world McEntire has shared with us and of time travel. Without a doubt, this is a new favorite of mine that I’ll be able to read over and over again and look forward to more in not only this series but truly anything that this author writes, I’ll read it. If you are looking for amazing wrapped in nice warm blanket of epic with a double shot of win, look no further than this book, right here with the pretty cover. I’m so eager for the next book, I have no idea how I’ll deal with the wait. (less)
Kiss of A Star, the second book in the Artemis Lupine series p...moreFor more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books
Kiss of A Star, the second book in the Artemis Lupine series picks up right were we left off in Song of the Moon. With many things answered and more questioned asked, the characters and story held up well from the first book into this one. I do have to say that while the book was a tad on the short side and I felt that a few things were rushed, I was excited to see just where author Catherine Banks would take her characters next.
Artemis has changed so much from Song of the Moon, yet she’s still growing into herself as she continues to evolve both physically and mentally. With the continuing help, support and love of her Alpha and mate Ares, she further learns about her people and the many trials that loom for the halfbreed. She still has so many questions and things are about to get worse before they have a chance to get better. Artemis still wants the same things. To protect those that she loves and find out who’s after her. And Ares, he’s an alpha through and through. The only thing about him that rubs me the wrong way… in both books is that he never gives Artemis enough information. I understand he’s trying his hardest to protect her from everything, including herself, but that aspect of the story and his personality frustrated me here and there.
Characters old and new popped up throughout and lead too many twists and turns, some more shocking then others. It’s Banks imagination that has created strong characters and a plot that continues to lure me in and leave me ready for more.
The only down side, as mentioned above was the length of this second installment and how some key parts to the story felt somewhat rushed through. Did this take away from my overall enjoyment of Kiss of A Star? No, not at all. Would it have improved my enjoyment? Some what but let me explain that further. I really enjoy the story and characters and I simply wanted more. It’s not that it was lacking from the first book to the second, or in the series as a whole.
With an ending that’ll leave you wondering if what happened did in fact just happen, it forced me to reread the last few pages to make sure I wasn’t reading things incorrectly. With the turn of the last page… both times, I was surprised where Bank’s led the story and am eagerly awaiting the next book – Healed By Fire, in 2012. And oh, what a wait that’ll be.(less)
This was a quick read about growing up in the shadow of a sibling, about learning who you are and about... well many other things. Full review to foll...moreThis was a quick read about growing up in the shadow of a sibling, about learning who you are and about... well many other things. Full review to follow soon.(less)