Thursday, February 28, 2013

Feature and Follow (24)

Feature and Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee!
Feature and Follow
Question: Confess your blogger sins! Is there anything as a newbie blogger that you've done, that as you gained more experience you were like -- oops?
Answer: Oh gosh. Even though I've already been blogging for about 6 months, I still consider myself a newbie. I'm still learning as I go along, but one of the more major mistakes I made back in the day....would have to be linking book reviews. I was sooo frustrated when I first began, because I just couldn't figure out how to link posts and transfer them all onto one specific page dedicated to book reviews. So instead of doing that, I wrote all my reviews on separate pages. Which didn't go over so well, because as you can deduce, I ran out of pages once I reached 20 reviews. After many days of hair pulling and face palming, I finally discovered how to do it by clicking random buttons! :D Hurrah! I feel like such a idiot now.  *Looks away ashamed*

How about you? What mistakes have you made?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (23)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we can't wait to get our hands on!
Waiting On Wednesday
This week's WoW is...The Elite by Kiera Cass!
The Elite by Kiera Cass
Goodreads Synopsis:
In America Singer’s world, a bride is chosen for the prince through an elaborate televised competition. In the second book of the Selection series, America is one of only six girls left in the running. But is it Prince Maxon—and life as the queen—she wants? Or is it Aspen, her first love?
My Thoughts:
This. Cover. Is. Freaking. Gorgeous! Were all used to YA covers donning some random girl in a fancy dress staring dramatically at the camera, but this cover actually pertains to the story. The beautiful red dress and the mirrors surrounding her give off a royal and classy vibe. The model might not be exactly what I imagined America to look like, but she isn't too far off. xD I love the hairstyle they used as well as the elegant and fancy font.
Extra Information:
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Hardcover: 336 Pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Dystopian
Book .5: The Prince
Book One: The Selection
Book Two: The Elite
Book Three: Untitled
How about you? What book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blog Tour: Black Moon by Jessica Mcquay

Black Moon by Jessica Mcquay

About The Book:

Release Date: October 2012
Genre: YA/NA Paranormal Fantasy Novel
Series: Book One in the Paige Tailor Series

"Am I losing my mind?"

Paige couldn't help but question her sanity. What other explanation could there be for her hearing a conversation held barely above a whisper in the back of a classroom full of students? What about coming home to find one of those very classmates lying in wait in the darkness of her home, ready to attack her?

Confused, frustrated and feeling every ounce of her social ostracism, Paige confides in the one person she's always been able to count on: her mom. But when her mom reveals a deeply rooted, unbelievable family secret, Paige discovers her world is filled with more than she ever imagined possible. A world where fairytales live alongside nightmares and secrets are the glue that binds them together. Suddenly no one is who they seem and Paige is faced with more questions than answers. Can she survive in a world filled with creatures scarier than anything she could imagine and where deceit runs as thick as blood? Or will the truth send her over the edge?

Find The Book:
About The Author:

Jessica McquayThere were only three things Jessica loved to do growing up; reading, writing and playing music. She discovered her love for writing at a young age, when she realized she could create anything she wanted with words.

Jessica lives in Sacramento, CA with her husband, four children, goldfish named Sparkle and her cat, Talula. When she isn’t working on the next Paige Tailor novel, taking her children to one activity or another, or folding the never ending laundry of a six person family, Jessica enjoys playing her clarinet in the community band or dancing like there is no tomorrow at Zumba.

Find The Author:

Five minutes later, I lifted my head and grabbed the pen and paper. I scrambled to get my formulating thoughts out in writing before they were lost to me. Once I was done I put the pen down and read what I’d written back to myself. There was no other explanation for what happened in science class. I didn’t have the slightest idea about the white light and weird sensation from the last two mornings. But today, in class, I was ninety-nine percent certain I was on the right path as I read my own words scribbled across the lines. I heard Matt’s thoughts.


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Friday, February 22, 2013

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games by Kiersten White ReviewReading Level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 256 Pages
Release Date: Febraury 19, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Narration: First Person: Sofia & Annie
Genre: Dystopian/Superpowers
Challenge: Paranormal/Dystopian

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

Mind Games Duology
Book One: Mind Games
Book Two: Untitled

(Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter ! Facebook)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Two sisters, bound by impossible choices, are determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

James's frozen face melts into a smile. "Do you want to know the trick to getting in trouble under the watchful eye of a psychic?"

I think of the nailed-shut windows. I think of Clarice. I think of the two, the two, the two who are now zero. Tap tap. "Yes, I absolutely do."

"Don't plan it. Don't even think about it. The second you get an inkling of what you could do, do it then. Never plan anything ahead of time. Always go on pure instinct."

I smile. "I think I can do that."

My Review:

When a friend from class pointed this book out to me and asked for my opinion on it, I was ashamed to say that I hadn't read it, and was intrigued enough to purchase my own copy to see what interested him in the first place. If you've read my About Me page, you'd know that my friends.....aren't exactly what you would call book lovers. Actually, now that I think of it, most of them vehemently hate books with a passion. Of course, my friend wasn't the only factor that led me to read Mind Games, a huge percent of it, but not all of it. xD The cover immediately drew me in as soon as I set eyes upon it. Yeah, were all used to YA covers that focus on the face, or on the eyes in particular, but this one stood out to me. It seemed to scream, "Look at me! Look at Me!" The title is easy to remember and the font, although simplistic, sets off the blue hued cover nicely.

Mind Games was not what I expected it to be. As soon as I read the first sentence, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, and at that moment, I knew I was not going to enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. With all the negative reviews pouring onto Goodreads, I should've seen it coming a mile away. If I had read Mind Games back in, I don't know, sixth grade I probably would've thought that this book was the best thing since sliced bread. But after reading such a variety of novels and learning what to look out for, I'm no longer as easily impressed as I used to be.

The writing was just......horrific. I was nearly to the point where I had to restrain myself from tearing my hair out strand by strand to serve as a distraction from the mental pain this book was causing me. The wording didn't flow; They were Short. Choppy. Sentences. Every other page, I kept telling myself, "If she tap tap taps her fingers one more time, I'm going to metaphorically slam her face into a wall. " It was alright the first few pages. I managed to restrain an eye roll here and there, but once she started repeating words words words consecutively just to emphasize her point point point every other page page page, I almost called it quits right there. I was stunned by how juvenile and forced Kiersten's writing came off as since she's a bestselling author who's already had a good amount of experience writing other books, such as her Paranormalcy series. I'm sure that many of her Paranormalcy fans will have no problem with her writing style since they never had problems with it in the first place, but I for one, did not enjoy it. At all.

Mind Games takes place in a sort of dystopian world, none too different from the world we live in today. Except for one thing. In this time, certain girls have supernatural abilities, all relating to the mind. I don't believe that the book delves into where these abilities came from or if there's a common factor tying all of these gifted children together. Every girl who meets the specific requirements or demonstrates the potential of having talents that aren't quite human, is offered a fully paid scholarship to a prestigious boarding school. If the parents of the designated child accepts, the children are automatically sorted into one of three categories, unbeknowest to them. Readers, people who can read the thoughts of others. Feelers, who have the ability to feel the emotions of others. And Seers, the ones who can see glimpses of the future.

Then we have Sofia, or Fia as everyone calls her, who doesn't fit into any of the above. She's different from the others and the only one of her kind. The one who can't be fooled by false promises of a special school where every wish is granted. She can see through the lies of those around her and can sense when danger lies just ahead. The one who can't be tracked by Seers, because she lives in the moment and makes split second decisions based on her impulses. She was born with perfect instincts, a heightened intuition that brings gut feelings to a whole new level.

This story was told from the perspectives of Annie, the older, blind sister who can see flashes of the future, and Fia, a seventeen year old assassin, sent on missions by her elusive boss to take out people who might threaten his chain of power. Some authors can pull off the whole switching back and forth POV, but at the same time, many author's can't. Sadly, Mind Games was of the latter. Most of the time, I didn't even know what the hell I was reading or which POV I was reading in, since both characters had a very similar manner of talking and thinking. The unreliable POV switches were bad enough, not even adding the fact that there were so many unnecessary flashbacks that only succeeded in confusing the reader even more. It seemed like half the time I was flipping pages back and forth just to see whether the chapter was past or present, rather than reading the book itself.

Even though were reading this story from the POV of Annie and Fia, I still have absolutely no idea who they really are. They had no depth, and to be honest, I really didn't give a crap about what happened to them nor would I bat an eyelash if they died.The summary emphasizes the supposed unbreakable bond these two sisters share, but even though they said they would do anything for one another a countless number of times, I never felt it genuinely. Their actions and decisions belied their words. Fia had flawless instincts, yet she ignored them and seemed to put them on mute a lot of the time. I mean, what's the point of having a gift if you just choose to pretend that it doesn't exist? Gah! The only part where I even remotely liked her was near the end when she.....did that thing in order to save her big sister.

There is a love triangle in this book for Fia, but since both of the love interests never meet each other face to face, you don't have to worry about too much angst. I absolutely despised James. He bluntly stated several times throughout the book that he was using Fia for his own agenda. Fia even knew that he was wrong for her yet still always goes crawling back to him and practically begs for his attention, love, and affection. 

"They're offering me me. Free. Whatever, whoever I want to be." He is quiet and I wonder what his face looks like right now, whether he can still feel my lips on his like I can feel his on mine. "You can't have that." "I could." "No, you can't. You don't get to choose that. I need you." "You use me." "I-yes. I use you. I need to use you. I can't let you go; I can't do this by myself."
                                                                       -Mind Games by Kiersten White

He's such a douche, and I really don't understand what Fia sees in him. Does she get turned on by being treated like some sort of fascinating toy who's only purpose in life is to do what others tell her to do? Other than his looks, he has nothing going for him. I understand his reasoning and agree with some of his ideas, reluctantly, but I don't like the way he executes his plans and goes about doing them. Then we have Adam, the gray eyed stranger that was meant to be her next hit. Since Adam is absent for most of the book, we don't learn much about his character, other than the fact that he's wicked smart and has legendary parents. Not too crazy about the way Fia describes him though...

"He is a panting-puppy salvation. He is legs that stick out at grasshopper angles as he gives the spaniel one last ear rub. He is shoes scuffed up and jeans worn thin and dark hair accidentally mussed. He is eyes squinting because of forgotten sunglasses and heavy backpack throwing off his balance. He is too-big hears and too-big smile and too-big eyes and (too-big too-big too-big) too real for me to end."
                                                                         -Mind Games by Kiersten White

Please hold while I slam my head against a wall.

 photo Slamminghead_zps20f47d37.gif
The only redeeming quality I found in this novel was the action. Although the writing style made the book hard to read and keep up with, I never got bored with what was happening to the characters as well as what was happening around them. I found this dystopian world where girls develop mental powers to be intriguing, and I really wish that there was more background information to make the story seem just a little more believable.

Overall, Mind Games did not meet my expectations. It had huge potential, and at the hands of a more capable author, it could've been a big hit. Of course, this is only my opinion, but I know that many others would agree with me. I would recommend this book to fans of Kiersten's Paranormalcy series. But if your like me and super picky about writing styles as well as characters, then I would advise you to steer clear and find something else.

Cover- 5/5
Fia- 2.5/5
Annie- 2/5
Romance- 1/5
Action- 3.5/5
Writing- 0/5
Overall- 1.5-2/5

Book Blitz: Disconnect by Imran Siddiq

Disconnect by Imran Siddiq

Disconnect by Imran Siddiq
Release Date: February 22, 2013
Series: Divided Worlds Trilogy #1
Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Disconnect by Imran SiddiqIn space, love has boundaries.

Dirtying fingernails in sewers is fast approaching worthlessness for Zachary, a 16-year old Underworld scavenger. When footage of an Overworld girl, Rosa, is discovered, his intrigue heightens at why she expresses sadness with a lavish lifestyle.

In meeting Rosa, Zachary is scorned by her opinion of the deprived. She pities him and provides a means for them to communicate. With time, friendship and something he’s never felt grows; love for another human. Knowing Rosa calls him when it suits her isn’t enough; he wants to meet her, but how? Relationships in Underworld are few, let alone the impossibility with those above the ceiling.

Underworld will suffer when plans to conquer Jupiter’s moon, Europa move ahead. Worse is Rosa’s father, a disgraced Overworld ambassador, approving the plan.

Zachary must defeat the prejudice of the worlds, sneak within opposing forces, lose friends and challenge Rosa’s sadness. In doing so, a twisted secret is uncovered that may

devour the reason he lives; Rosa.

Find The Book:

About The Author:

Imran Siddiq may have tried to leave Leicester a few times, but its become his place to wake up to two cats, freeze when the heating’s off and most of all, get down to writing. At a young age, his primary school teacher commented on his creativity and ability to tell stories. At the age of 29, during a night in the jungle, the bug inside awakened, and for the last 5 years he’s been sacrificing every second that he can to write. A veteran of writing festivals, a presence on Twitter and gobbling up all forms of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, he hopes he can bring a smile to others in the same way that he had, aged 5, reading with a torch under his duvet. Imran’s preferred genre is YA Sci Fi, and he has a tendency to throw a droid in every novel.

Find The Author:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Interview with Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hey Jennifer! :D Glad you could make it! It's such a honor to have one of my all time favorite authors on the blog today!
Author Interview Jennifer Armentrout
Jennifer L. Armentrout1. I have read and reread your Covenant Series so many times! And lately, I've been wondering. Is the Greek Mythology in your books based on fact or do you tweak things to your liking?

There are a lot of references toward Greek mythology and of course, the Apollyon and demigod myths are real, but I've tweaked them to fit the story.
2. When you get writer's block, if you get it at all xD, what do you do for fun to get inspired?
I do get writer's block. Luckily nothing too severe, but when I do, I usually power through it. I find that works best for me. To keeping writing. Sometimes listening to music helps get me in the mood.

3. Are any of your characters based on people in real life?
Like yourself or close friends?
There are two characters in the Lux Series actually based on my friends, but other than that, none of the characters are based on anyone I know personally.
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout4. Have you ever thought of combining the worlds of both The Luxen and The Covenant series? I would definitely love to see how Daemon would react to Seth and Aidan.
Wow. I think having Aiden, Seth, and Daemon in one room would be apocalyptical. Seth and Daemon would either kill each other or team up to annoy the ever living crap out of Aiden.
5. And last question of the day! Do you have any pet peeves? (I know that dog earing books is definitely one of mine!)
Judgmental people are a big pet peeve.

That concludes our interview! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. :D

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blog Tour + Excerpt: Terra by Gretchen Powell

Terra Blog Tour Gretchen Powell

Reading Level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 286 Pages
Release Date: December 12, 2012
Publisher: Hopewell Media
Narration: First Person: Terra
Genre: Dystopian / Sci Fi
Source: CBL Book Tours

Terrestrials Series
Book One: Terra

Order On Amazon: Paperback
Order On Barnes and Noble:

( Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter )

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth's population, humanity is split in two. The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon makes her living as a scav, scouting the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. While on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Fueled by curiosity, her search for the truth ultimately leads her to Adam--a beguiling boy with a secret that has the power to change humanity's existence forever.

My Review:

When I first read the synopsis, I didn't think that Terra would be anything special. Let's face it. After The Hunger Games went viral, the majority of YA authors followed in Suzanne's footsteps in hopes of becoming the next big thing. And sooner rather than later, a whole plethora of Dystopian novels, with admittedly slight variations, were born. After reading so many copycats of the original dystopian novel that kickstarted it all, I wasn't expecting anything unique or innovative. I was so wrong! Although there were a couple of similarities between Terra and The Hunger Games in the beginning, Terra soon took a completely different path altogether! I immediately fell in love with the dangerous and desperate world Gretchen created, as well as all the characters surrounding it. 

As soon as we crack open the novel, we meet Terra Rhodon, a eighteen year old girl who scavenges for things such as recyclable plastic and metal parts for a living, in order to make enough credit to buy food, if you can even call what they eat food, for herself and her younger fourteen year old brother Mica. I have to say, the whole scavenging concept was the main reason why I enjoyed this novel. Although there are many people who think that this idea was stolen from The Hunger Games, I really don't see the connection whatsoever. Maybe I need to reread it, but from what I remember of The Hunger Games, the only part that was even remotely close to scavenging was when Katniss was searching for items in the arena. Anyways, so yeah, the whole idea was fascinating to me! After reading the first page, I knew that my butt was going to stay glued to my chair until I finished it. 

Although there were a few points in the novel when I got upset with Terra's actions or thought process, these moments were scarce, and the majority of the time I found Terra to be a very likable character. She was a strong, independent young girl, forced to grow up at a young age due to her mother's death and her father's incompetence to take care of his children. After she met Adam, the blue eyed love interest, she did some....questionable things. I understood why she took those certain actions, but at the same time I wanted to reprimand her for it. In the end, I finally concluded that although I wouldn't do what she did in the exact same way, her heart was in the right place, because she was thinking about the wellbeing of her brother rather than her own needs.

Adam was absolutely adorable. Even though Terra was snappy and feisty when they first met, he was nothing but polite and understanding. The romance they both kindled veered towards the sweet and cute side rather than the hot and steamy, which I'm totally fine with! Both types are great to read about, and since most YA novels curve towards the steamy side, it's refreshing to see a delightfully awkward yet undeniably sweet romance for once. There was this one particular scene when Terra was in the shower and Adam....well for those of you who read the novel, you'll know what I'm talking about. For those of you who haven't, you'll have to get the book yourself, because I'm not too keen on giving away spoilers. xD Anyways, just the way that Gretchen described how it happened induced a "Awwwww" moment from me. xD However, that one....secret that was revealed near the end of the book about Adam, was a bit out of place. I wish Gretchen kept up with the whole Dystopian theme instead of bringing Sci Fi into this.

The action was well paced, because as I stated several times before, I was interested with the whole idea of scavenging for a living. I never once felt bored, and since this book only spanned about 250 pages, it was a quick and easy read for me. The thorough descriptions and details Gretchen used made the novel more enjoyable to read and didn't detract from the pace at all!

Overall, if your looking for a intriguing dystopian to breeze through, Terra is a worthy contender. It's perfect for anyone who wants to be able to finish a book in a short period of time. Although I wasn't all too happy with the Sci Fi twist that was incorporated into Terra, I'm still interested in reading the sequel to see what happens next.

Cover- 5/5
Heroine- 4/5
Romance- 5/5
Action- 5/5
Comedy- 3.5/5
Theme- 3/5
Overall- 4/5

About The Author: 

Gretchen PowellGretchen Powell grew up in far-off places. She is 24 years old, half-Chinese, and the owner of two adorable miniature schnauzers. They wear many sweaters.

By day, she types and types (and types and types) for personal, professional, and cathartic purposes.

By night, she binges on episodes of Doctor Who and sleeps fitfully.

Sometime in the mid-afternoon, she writes a blog, called "Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!" about food, fitness, and her life.

She loves words. And Harry Potter. And especially the words IN Harry Potter.

 Find The Author:

The crunch of multiple footsteps sounds in my ears, and I know the unseen speaker is not alone. With achingly slow speed, I bend my knees to pick up my bag and pivot in the direction of the voice.
Three huge men stand about a yard in front of me, lined up in a row. All three of them sport shaved heads, making them almost indistinguishable from one another, save for their differing skin tones. Their long brown coats hang open, revealing bare chests covered with tattoos that creep from below their waistlines all the way up to their chins.
The man in the middle has a chain of thick golden links hanging around his throat. As I watch it bounce against his dark chest, I realize I’ve never actually seen raiders up close before. All that time spent thinking about Lee’s final moments, what his murderers had looked like. Turns out I had it pictured all wrong.
How did I not hear them coming? I always hear them coming.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Cover Reveals

Snakeroot by Andrea Cremer
Release Date: December 2013
Series: Nightshade #4
Snakeroot by Andrea Cremer

I had no idea that there was going to be another Nightshade book.....I'm so confused. There's no summary for it yet but here's what Andrea Cremer has to say about it....

"'Snakeroot' focuses on Adne's struggles to adjust to the post-Witches War world of the Searchers. She's plagued by disturbing dreams and visions, all of which draw her to the gardens of Rowan Estate. The cover image perfectly depicts the way in which Adne has become entangled by her own turbulent emotions and an encroaching dark magic."

Find The Book:
Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Series: For Darkness Shows The Stars #2

Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana PeterfreundCenturies after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

Find The Book:
Revelations by J. A. Souders
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Series: The Elysium Chronicles #2
Revelation by J. A. Souders
No summary available yet.

Find The Book:
 The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
Release Date: September 10, 2013
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten WhiteIsadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.
Find The Book:
( Goodreads ! Amazon )


Book Blast + Giveaway: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back
                                            by Sariah Wilson 

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson Book BlastEveryone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.


“My top pick of 2012 YA… This book is just. plain. fun.”
~Jordan McCollum, author of Saints & Spies and I, Spy

“Sariah Wilson's new book, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back, is hilarious…What follows is a story of fun and romance with some good non-preachy life lessons thrown in.  The voice in the main character, Mattie, makes the whole thing.  I thought it was definitely a book I'd recommend to anyone with teenagers or who just want to read a good teen romance.”
~Julie Coulter Bellon, author of All Fall Down and All’s Fair

“Sariah [Wilson] has written one of the funniest stories I've read in such a long, long time. I literally couldn't put it down. Yes, my poor Kindle's battery died and I was attached to a short power cord, contorted in a very uncomfortable position while I read to the end…. Sariah Wilson captured the back-biting, insecure, hormone-driven, clique-riddled high school atmosphere so perfectly you'd think she never grew up. I dare you not to laugh as you read this witty and oh, so, romantic story.”
~Debra Erfert of Windows into Writing

“Sariah Wilson writes like the best of/most popular YA teen fiction/teen romance authors - Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Susanne Collins, Cassandra Clare.  She sucks you in and never lets you go.  I finished the ~194 novel in one night because I just couldn't go to sleep without knowing the ending!  I hope that Sariah comes out with more novels, I know I'll be re-reading this one all the time!  She's extremely talented and needs to be talked about.  I highly recommend The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back! to anyone (over the age of 12) who wants a YA novel that's a real modern-day fairy tale.”
~Hilary at Novel d’Tales

“This was such an entertaining story! I shouldn't have started reading it so late in the evening, because I didn't want to put it down to go to sleep…This is a book I can see myself reading several times. It's a fast, clean read with great characters, and I highly recommend it.”
~Andrea of Literary Time Out

The book is wonderful.  It’s quirky and fun.  The story makes you laugh and you fall in love with the characters right from the beginning…This is a well-written book.  It is one that will make you smile and sigh as you remember your first love.  And it has a moral…be yourself, believe in yourself and maybe, just maybe, your fairytale will come true.  Pick up this book.”
~Ana of The Book Hookup

About The Author:

Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is her fourth happily ever after novel. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).

Find The Author:

Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/5/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin ReviewReading Level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 544 Pages
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Books for Young Readers
Narration: First Person: Mara Dyer
Genre: Mystery/Paranormal
Challenge: Paranormal Reading Challenge
Source: Library

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

Mara Dyer Series:
Book One: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Book Two: The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Book Three: The Retribution of Mara Dyer
( Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter )

Goodreads Synopsis:

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

My Review:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer left me breathless. The sequel rendered me speechless.
It's been days since I've read The Evolution of Mara Dyer, but even now, every single time my mind wanders in that direction, I have this almost irresistible urge to jump up and down and start hyperventilating like a little kid in a candy store. There are so many great and downright creepy things in this novel! I'm so relieved that I decided to read this in broad daylight, because if I hadn't, I would have definitely flinched at every single rustle of sound thinking that somewhere, out there, Jude was watching me.This is the type of novel to make you want to turn every single light in your house on. To check behind your shower curtain and under your bed just to make sure that there aren't any murderers lurking in the shadows. If you scare easily and still wish to read The Evolution of Mara Dyer, despite all my warnings, I urge you to proceed with caution.
I absolutely adored the protagonist, Mara. If I had the misfortune to be caught in her position, I would've cracked and gone 100% insane eons ago. I'm usually really good at distinguishing between the truth and the red herrings as well as figuring out answers way before the characters themselves do. But with Mara? It was just a huge jumble of puzzle pieces that I couldn't fit together no matter how hard I struggled to. Because, let's face it, she's not exactly what you would call the most reliable character.

At times you might think that she's just a misunderstood girl who wields a deathly power that no one understands. Not even herself. But other times......Michelle makes you wonder. Is she really insane? Are her hallucinations based on things that have actually occurred in the past or are going to occur in the future? Or are they the product of PSTD and a heightened sense of paranoia?  Her parents didn't make things any better either. Even though I knew that all they wanted was for their daughter to get better again, they could've at least taken the time to hear her out instead of nodding condescendingly every time she uttered a word.
Noah Shaw. I haven't been this swoony over a male character since Daemon Black from The Lux Series and Kaidan whatever his last name is from the Sweet Evil Trilogy. That's definitely saying something because Daemon's and Kaidan's sexiness can not even be comprehended or described from words of the English language. Why oh why can't boys like this exist in real life? British accent, dangerous, dark, mysterious, compassionate, and witty. What more could a girl ever want? The conversations between Mara and Noah always had me laughing out loud and clutching my stomach from not being able to catch my breath! Knowing my luck, those out loud moments always occurred during very inappropriate moments.
The relationships in this novel were beautifully written and perfectly executed. Not very often do we see such a strong bond between brother and sister. That one time when Daniel had to share his secret thoughts about Mara during an activity in the insane institution/Rehab Center was just So. Freaking. Beautiful. I was reduced to a sobbing, blubbering mess of tears. And Noah? The romance between them wasn't perfect. No romance ever is, which is why I loved this novel so much. We don't see the same, "He fell in love with her. She fell in love with him. He left because of some paranormal reason to protect the one he loved" sort of crap. Even though they did have fallouts and kept secrets from each other once in a while, they stuck together during the good and the bad times.
Loved the pacing of this novel! There was always so much stuff happening and your just continually bombarded left and right with questions! We get a little more background information on both of our main characters, but those answers just lead to more and more questions. I could barely make any guesses on where the novel was going next. Every plot twist, with the exception of one or two, took me by surprise. I was absolutely flabbergasted. And the end? I'm sure that everybody finds that to be such a big cliffhanger, but it can't be true. It's impossible. Michelle wouldn't do that to us. Right? .....o.o
Overall, please do yourself a favor and pick this book up as soon as you can. I might even get my mom to drive me to Barnes and Noble right now just to get a copy for the purpose of staring at it all day and thinking of the beautiful, masterpiece that is known as Noah Shaw. *Happy Sighs* A great read for everyone......except the fainthearted and easily spooked that is....*Evil grins*
Favorite Quotes:
“We are far too screwed up for a goddamned love triangle.”
― Michelle Hodkin, The Evolution of Mara Dyer
“You’re stronger than you believe. Don’t let your fear own you. Own yourself.”
― Michelle Hodkin, The Evolution of Mara Dyer
“I'm not sure you can appreciate how much I want to lay you out before me
and make you scream my name.”
― Michelle Hodkin, The Evolution of Mara Dyer
“It doesn't matter what we are. It matters what we do.”
― Michelle Hodkin, The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Heroine- 5/5
Romance- 5/5
Action- 5/5
Comedy- 6/5
Uniqueness- 5/5
Writing Style- 5/5
Overall- 6/5