Category Archives: 3.5 Stars

My Last Kiss Review and Giveaway Blog Tour

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My Last Kiss CoverMy Last Kiss

Bethany Neal

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Release Date: June 10th 2014

Read 5-29-14

Format: E-book

Source: Blog Tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club

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What if your last kiss was with the wrong boy? 
Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. It was on the old covered bridge the summer before her freshman year with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan Keys. But her last kiss–the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died–is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn’t a suicide as everyone assumes. She can’t remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she’s worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend. 
If Cassidy is to uncover the truth about that fateful night and make amends with the only boy she’ll ever love, she must face her past and all the decisions she made–good and bad–that led to her last kiss.
I like mystery stories and this book sounded like it could be really good.  Cassidy we only see alive for the very first chapter and for the rest of the book she is following others around trying to solve the questions behind her own death and falling into memories as she recovers them.  One part I did enjoy was seeing how people reacted to her death, like her family and closest friends.   Aimee and Ethan were the characters I liked the most.  They were very devoted to Cassidy and great people to her.  Madison I never really liked from the beginning because she was so back and forth.
There were a bunch of time jumps since there are so many flashbacks as Cassidy gains memories and we fall into them with her.  At several points it confused me when we went into the past because there wasn’t a clear transition all the time, but it becomes easier the more you read.  For me, there weren’t any characters that were super amazing, but most of them were likeable.  Others could be hard to keep up with because we didn’t really see them enough to care to really remember their names.
Several points of the book were predictable, aside from one that I can think of.  And though there was a lot of predictability, I still enjoyed following Cassidy’s story as she unraveled what happened to her and what happens between her and Ethan.  Though this book isn’t amazing, it is still an enjoyable read and I recommend it to those who enjoy mysteries and ghost type stories.
3.5 bookmark
Vyki Signature Trans 2
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Follow the FFBC Played blog tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.
Bethany Neal writes young-adult novels with a little dark side and a lot of kissing! She is obsessed with (but not limited to): nail polish, ginormous rings, pigs, pickles, and dessert.
You can find her locked in her Writertorium for insane amounts of time. But, hey, insanity is fun! My Last Kiss is her first novel.

Giveaway is open to US & Canada | Must be 13 or older to enter 
Win (1) signed hardback of My Last Kiss + a Swag Pack ( MLK Button, MLK Notebook, & Cassidy’s watermelon lip gloss)

 

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Tour co-hosted by Bethany Neal and The Fantastic Flying Book Club

 

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Contemporary, Fiction, Giveaway, Mystery, Paranormal, Review, Young Adult

*Review* Requiem – Lauren Oliver

Requiem Cover Requiem (Delirium #3)

Lauren Oliver

391 pages

ISBN: 9780062014535

Read 8-14-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

Well….this was the last book of the Delirium trilogy and, well….hmm….

Unfortunately, I have to say that this is my least favorite of the three books (the second was my favorite), and well…I feel like there should have been more.  There probably could have been a fourth book and now I  am left feeling incomplete with this series.  It was left so open and unfinished.  I want to know what happens with everything, and I didn’t get that, no resolution.

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This is how I felt…and I was like “Where’s the rest??”

Wanna know?  Here is the SPOILER: By the end of the book, nothing has been solved between the invalids and the cured, Lena tells Alex she wants to be with him, but hasn’t told Julian, and everybody is still fighting when it ends.  Nothing is solved!!  It just really bothers me when a book ends this way.

As for the writing, it was great of course.  I really like Lauren’s writing style and her characters are really good.  I liked the change in Lena and how she grew to be the strong person she had become.  I also liked the alternating point of view between Lena and Hana, you get to see an inside and outside view of what is going on.

I really enjoyed the book up until the end.  I liked seeing it from both sides and everything that was happening with the uprising.  We got to be in on a bunch of secrets, but we didn’t get to find out more!  So yeah, the score definitely got a lowered because of it feeling so incomplete and wide open.  It might not bother a lot of people, but it definitely bothers me.

Good characters, good POVs, a lot going on, felt incomplete.

3.5 bookmark

Vyki Signature Trans 2

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Action, Audiobook, Dystopian, Fiction, Review, Young Adult

*Review* Torment – Lauren Kate

Torment Cover Torment (Fallen #2)

Lauren Kate

452 pages

ISBN: 9780385739146

Read 11-8-12

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Hell on earth.

That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.

It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts – immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something – something dangerous.

What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series…where love never dies.

This one was better than Fallen in some parts, worse in some parts and still aggravating.  Luce is still blind to the obvious and makes very bad decisions when it comes to some things.  I feel like she is a character that you have to spell everything out for.

I do, however, like Luce’s roommate, Shelby.  She has a rough exterior, but she is a really devoted friend.  I also really liked Myles.  He is suchs a sweet character and an all around good guy.

I did like the fact that we get to find out more about the shadows, what they are for and what they do.  I would probably treat them kind of like pets if it was me.  The way it describes them slithering around and such, in my head, I pictures them as little blobs like the nulls in Reboot (if anybody remembers this show – if you haven’t seen it, you definitely should).  I can’t help but to be nice to little things like that that seem to be alive.

Luce also starts to delve into past life stuff and I think it would be rather hard to see the things she does.  I am still not crazy about Daniel and after seeing some of the stuff from the past, I am even less crazy about him.  The way the book ended was interesting and I liked the decision that Luce made.  You can really tell how confused she is by everything and the mixed emotions she has over it.  So far, the series is still only okay, but it is interesting enough to keep going.

Likeable secondary characters, still frustrating, no interest in lvoe interest, good ending.

3.5 bookmark

Vyki Signature Trans 2

3 Comments

Filed under 3.5 Stars, Audiobook, Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Romance, Young Adult

*Review* Fallen – Lauren Kate

 Fallen

Lauren Kate

452 pages

ISBN: 9780385738934

Read 10-27-12

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her.

For me, this book wasn’t quite as good as I hoped it would be.  I wasn’t overly impressed with any of the characters, though  did like some of them; just didn’t love them.  There wasn’t anything about Luce that wowed me and she became super non-functioning and dumb-struck when Daniel came around.  I don’t like or dislike Daniel.  Honestly, I don’t know him well enough from the first book of this series to make a decision on how much I like him.

The story was kind of enjoyable, but I don’t feel like I know very much from it.  I really didn’t learn much more than what I already knew when I started the book.  In fact, it left me a bit frustrated because nobody wanted to say anything.  There was one part I was surprised and saddened by, and it’s hard to know who to trust.  The reader did a good job, and I found out I have been mispronouncing a word all my life (I think it is a southern thing).  Not a long review for this book.  Don’t really have much to say on it.  It was okay and hopefully I like the next book more.  Oh, and it is insta-love MAJOR, so if you are not a fan of insta-love, you may want to bypass it, if you are, then by all means, check it out!

Insta-love, okay characters, not much revealed, good descriptions.

3 Comments

Filed under 3.5 Stars, Audiobook, Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Romance, Young Adult

*Review* Wake – Amanda Hocking

 Wake

Amanda Hocking

309 pages

ISBN: 9781250008121

Read 9-15-12

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They’re the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone’s attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs.  She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door.  He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back.  Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever.  She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove.  They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price.  And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

I really enjoyed Amanda Hocking’s Trylle Trilogy, so when I found out about Wake and that it was about mermaids, I was very excited.  Wake wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be.  The first almost 3/4 of the book were kind of slow and I didn’t feel like there was much to the book about the mermaid/siren aspect.  It didn’t really pick up until the last bit of the book. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under 3.5 Stars, Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Jinx – Meg Cabot

 Jinx

Meg Cabot

262 pages

ISBN: 9780060837648

Read 8-2-12

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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It’s not easy being Jinx.

Jean Honeychurch hates her boring name (not Jean Marie, or Jeanette, just . . . Jean). What’s worse? Her all-too-appropriate nickname, Jinx. Misfortune seems to follow her everywhere she goes even to New York City, where Jinx has moved to get away from the huge mess she caused in her small hometown. Her aunt and uncle welcome her to their Manhattan town house, but her beautiful cousin Tory isn’t so thrilled. . . .

In fact, Tory is hiding a dangerous secret one that could put them all in danger. Soon Jinx realizes it isn’t just bad luck she’s been running from . . . and that the curse she has lived under since the day she was born may be the only thing that can save her life.

Tory’s secret wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, and neither was the book really, but not in a bad way.  This story was a quick, enjoyable read; it would make a good book to sit and read in a day. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under 3.5 Stars, Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Magical Realism, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Psych Major Syndrome – Alicia Thompson

 Psych Major Syndrome

 Alicia Thompson

336 pages

ISBN: 9781423114574

Read 6-27-12

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

 Using the skills you’ve learned so far in Introduction to Psychology, please write a brief self-assessment describing how things are going in your freshman year.

Presenting Concerns:

The Patient, Leigh Nolan (that would be me), has just started her first year at Stiles College. She has decided to major in psychology (even though her parents would rather she study Tarot cards, not Rorschach blots).

Patient has always been very good at helping her friends with their problems, but when it comes to solving her own…not so much.

Patient has a tendency to overanalyze things, particularly when the opposite sex is involved. Like why doesn’t Andrew, her boyfriend of over a year, ever invite her to spend the night? Or why can’t she commit to taking the next step in their relationship? And why does his roommate Nathan dislike her so much? More importantly, why did Nathan have a starring role in a much-more-than-friendly dream?

Aggravating factors include hyper-competitive fellow psych majors, a professor who’s badly in need of her own psychoanalysis, and mentoring a middle-school-aged girl who thinks Patient is, in a word, naive.

Diagnosis:

Psych Major Syndrome

I am a psychology graduate, so of course this book piqued my interest.  It was a fun, fast read and really cute.  The spots Leigh finds her in are places almost everybody has been in, well, except for many her wacky new age parents.  I found myself thinking “I’ve been there,” so the book was really realistic.

I enjoyed how the chapter headings were different psychology terms defined and the fact that they tied into each chapter somehow.  I liked Leigh ok, but she was a bit like a lost puppy following Andrew around as he pulled her along and she was a bit of a slacker.  Andrew really was a jerk and I’d like to punch him.  Made me think of the way my first serious boyfriend was when we split up.  I liked Ami, she seemed very cute and artistic, and she was a good friend to Leigh.  Nathan was a good guy and I would really hve liked to have known what the deal was with the cats.  There wasn’t a lot of character development though with Nathan, and I would have liked to have seen some kind of emotional build up for the relationship.

Like I said ,the story was cute and it dealt with very real issues, though nothing super serious like drug addiction, but still real issues.  I liked the way everything resolved in the end, though it was predictable.  If you like light, quick reads, then you’d like this book.

Fast, cute, predictable, realistic, neat chapter heading tie-ins with story.

2 Comments

Filed under 3.5 Stars, Contemporary, Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* The Replacement – Brenna Yovanoff

 The Replacement

Brenna Yovanoff

352 pages

ISBN: 9781595143372

Read 2-1-12

Source: Library

Format: Audiobook

     Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

     Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

     Ok, so I am a month late for this review, but it is finally being done!  This book reminded me of a Neil Gaiman world because of the strangeness.  I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t overly impressed with it.  The concept of a child being taken and replaced by another child from a creepy world can be a little scary.  I’ve been trying to find a great creepy, scary type of book, unfortunately, it wasn’t creepy enough for me.  I really like the cover because it is a freaky looking cover with the sharp objects dangling above the child’s carriage and the foggy background.
I liked the characters, and my favorite was probably Mackie’s sister because she was strong and there for him so much.  You could tell she really loved her brother.  Roswell, Mackie’s best friend, was a cool person, too.  He was very loyal to Mackie even when Mackie had to leave somewhere, he never even questioned what was wrong.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the world of the Replacements.
Some things that happened in the book annoyed me though.  At some points, I wanted to scream at Mackie about things.  Why didn’t he do this, or why doesn’t he just say that?  I questioned a lot of the events in the book because I definitely would have done some of the things much differently.  I just wanted to yell at all of them.
The reader for this book was very talented and did a wonderful job with the different characters.  The story was good, but it wasn’t overly wonderful.  The book I am really looking forward to reading by this author is The Space Between.

Good characters, good descriptions, I would have changed some things.

2 Comments

Filed under 3.5 Stars, Audiobook, Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult

*Review* Under the Never Sky – Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky

Veronica Rossi

374 pages

ISBN:  9780062072030

Read 1-30-12

Source: ARC

Format: Paperback

Exiled from her comfortable home, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—called the Death Shop—are slim.  Violent energy storms can strike suddenly, and even the very air she breathes might kill her.  Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry.  He’s wild, dangerous—a savage.  He’s also her only hope.


Because Aria alone holds the key to his redemption, Perry needs her, too.  Their unlikely alliance will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

The start of this novel was a bit confusing with the new lingo I had to get used to, but eventually I did after the first couple of chapters.  The concept of the Realms was very interesting and I found myself wishing I could try them out myself.  The world of this novel was not as exciting or as big as I would have hoped, and I would have liked to learn more about what led to people moving into the pods and why some did not.  The amount of people also seemed to be a bit small.  There is no way the amount of people nowadays could be scattered about the way they were in the book.  This is the first of a multi-part story, so hopefully more about it will be uncovered.
As for the characters, I really liked Perry and he was my favorite character.  He seemed to be a complex individual and I liked his abilities.  There were very interesting descriptions used when it came to his abilities and I enjoyed his explanations from his point of view.  Aria was very not an overly complex character and was a rather closed minded individual at first.  Once she opened up, I liked her eagerness and her loyalty.
There were parts of the novel that were predictable, but a couple other parts that I didn’t expect with a twist or two.  I look forward to learning more about the world of this novel and see how some of the surprises pan out in the upcoming installments.  There were some spots I would have expected to have a bit more of an emotional pull, but it lacked some for me in that aspect.
I liked the cover and the colors they used, though I think the aether trails should have been a bit wavier instead of straight since it makes them look like big spotlights towards the sky.  Aria is standing in a patch of wild looking vines, which seems appropriate since she gets tossed into a wild world she doesn’t know much about.
All in all, I enjoyed it, but I think it could have been a little more, though I will definitely be reading the next book because I have to know what happens.  This novel also has a switching perspective between Aria and Perry, but it stays in third person and doesn’t become confusing.

Lacks emotion, interesting concepts, good descriptions, wanting more explanation.

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Dystopian, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Cantrip and Guest Post by Rebecca McKinnon

I am very excited to announce my first ever author guest post!  Today I am reviewing Cantrip by Rebecca McKinnon who has written up a guest post for your pleasure before the review.  Please welcome her and I hope you enjoy her post.

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Sure, it’s an idiom. For a minute, though, let’s take it at face value.

How often do we judge books by their covers? I do, all the time. Seriously, if I like the cover, I’m very likely to at least try the book. I’ve been known to buy books without even reading the blurb, just because of the covers. If I don’t like a cover, I have a hard time connecting to the book. I may even give up (or wish I could give up) solely based on what

I think of the cover art.

Is this fair? Probably not, but that’s not going to change anything.

With that in mind, I worried about the cover art for Annexed and Cantrip. Even though I stressed over every step, I had to do what felt right. So I sat down and started sketching. Then I refined. Finally, I had the completed covers. And I’m happy with them (and with my parents for letting me take art classes as a kid).

We judge things based on what we like, what draws us in. What do you think of the cover for Cantrip?

If you haven’t had a chance to read Annexed (the first book in The Refuge Trilogy), this is a great time! Until the end of December, the Kindle and Nook editions are FREE!

Enjoy!

Rebecca McKinnon

And, now for the review!!

 Cantrip

Rebecca McKinnon

243 pages

ISBN:  9781466349155

Read 11-30-11

Source: Author

Format: Ebook

*Spoiler Alert*  If you haven’t read Annexed, a few things may be given away in this review, so be warned!!

Cantrip is the continuing novel to Annexed and follows Narissa and Daman into Narissa’s world and the crazy life she has waiting on her since her disappearance to The Refuge.  There is a big mess waiting for her when she gets back and she also wants to hurry and get back to her little sister, who is the reason she left the new home she made at The Refuge.  Once back into her own world, Narissa wants to find a way back to The Refuge as soon as she can to get back to her friends and the place she has felt she has always belonged.
The characters stayed true to themselves from the first into the second book.  There were some interesting new revelations and exciting new relationships.  Narissa has to deal with a lot between her seductive mother, a boyfriend who has no ideas about her world, her younger sister, the awful neighbor boys, and trying to find a way back to The Refuge.  For being a seventeen year old, she is pretty mature and deals with things as they come.  There were a couple of places where I didn’t like the way Narissa thought about things.
This story isn’t as centered around The Refuge as I thought it would be, but there are a lot of other things going on, and a few secrets come out, one in a pretty awkward way, which was pretty funny.  I found myself laughing in quite a few places, and incredibly mad in others because of a certain character.
The cover is simple, yet very nice.  I love the rich blue and the knot design is so pretty.  Simple, yet elegant.   The only real complaint I had about this story was when there was a test ran that used hair as a DNA source, but the problem with it was that there is no DNA in just hair, there has to be a skin tag on it, so I didn’t agree with that scene.  Other than that, it was pretty enjoyable and I look forward to the next installment.

Several revealed secrets, fast read, some semi-rough issues, good humorous parts.

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Filed under 3.5 Stars