Category Archives: Paranormal

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
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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* The Murmurings – Carly Anne West

The Murmurings Cover The Murmurings

Carly Anne West

384 pages

ISBN: 9781441798

Read 7-23-13

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…

Well, the cover looks kind of nice and creepy and the synopsis sounds like it would be a bit spooky, but…it just didn’t live up to what I was hoping for. The writing was okay, some of the descriptions were really good, but the dialogue could have been better since it didn’t feel very natural at some points.

Sophie was an okay character, she had a lot to deal with from the death of her sister and Evan was a good guy, but I didn’t see any kind of build up to a relationship or any kind of connection. I have no idea why they liked each other or why Evan decided to start hanging out with Sophie.

There were several instances were I don’t know how they came to conclusions on things, like who the “insider” was. They were talking about going somewhere and that the insider was there and suddenly Sophie somehow knew exactly who it was. There was also no explanation as to how Dr. Keller knew that Sophie was hearing the murmurings since she didn’t tell anybody.

The ending was kind of anticlimactic and also had no real explanation. I don’t really like unclear things like this. I like to know why it worked and how they knew this important information. I hate to say that this book was pretty disappointing.

No explanations, not creepy, no romantic connection, good descriptions.

2.5 bookmark

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Filed under 2.5 Stars, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Review, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Ink – Amanda Sun

Ink Cover Ink (Paper Gods #1)

Amanda Sun

326 pages

ISBN: 9780373210718

Read 7-18-13

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Literary Lushes ARC tours

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On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

The first think that caught my attention with this book was the cover.  It is beautiful and graceful and the dripping title is ominous. Then I read the synopsis and found out it takes place in Japan and I knew I had to read it for sure! Thanks to Brittany and Alyssa at Literary Lushes I got to be the first stop on the Ink book tour they are hosting and was able to enjoy this great book.

This author writes incredibly well and I loved the descriptions throughout the book, especially with the cherry blossom trees. The way she wrote out the imagery was very artistic and beautiful.  It is obvious that she had spent some time in Japan and I liked how she included Japanese words through the book. My only complaint on that would be that some of the words I still couldn’t figure out and they were italicized everytime (stupid complaint I know, but my brain kept accenting the words as I read it since they had italics).

As for the characters, I liked Katie pretty well, though I’m not sure why she really felt the need to know what Tomo was up to. She did well as a character who was learning the ways of a new culture and I liked how the book started out with her making a foreigner’s kind of mistake. With Tomo for some reason I didn’t have the connection I wanted, though I’m not really certain why. He was mysterious and confusing at first, but we get to see who he really is eventually.

This story felt very Japanesey to me (not that I’ve been there just seen a lot of movies, anime and manga) and pretty much the whole time it played out like an anime in my head, lol. The concept of having Japanese gods is really cool, though I didn’t learn as much about the mythology as I would have liked.

All in all I felt it was a really good story and beautifully written. I definitely will be reading the next book since the characters stuck with me and I must know what happens to them. Thanks again to the ladies at Literary Lushes! Check out there website to see what tours they are hosting and even join our awesome bimonthly Twitter chats!

Beautiful writing, good characters, great concept, would have liked to have seen more about the mythology.

4.5 bookmark

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Paranormal, Review, Young Adult

*Review* The Awakening – L.J. Smith

Awakening Struggle Cover The Awakening (Vampire Diaries #1)

L.J. Smith

276 pages

ISBN: 9780061020001

Read 6-6-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror… 

Elena: Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

Stefan: Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

Damon: Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

Well, this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be.  I watched the first 3 seasons before I read this book.  I love the TV series, but I wasn’t in love with the book.  At least not this first one.  It is quite different from the show!

Elena was very different between the book and the show.  In the show she is a caring person who puts others before herself, but in the book she was the queen bee at school and manipulated people to get whatever she wanted.  I just didn’t like her very much.

And this book was the worst I have read on insta-love.  It was unreal how fast the insta-love was.  There was no real connection between Elena and Stefan for me.  I understand why Stefan would want Elena, but I don’t know why she wants Stefan other than she feels the need to take whatever she wants.  There was no relationship development.

Stefan on the other hand I actually did like.  He is very mysterious and wants to protect Elena.  We get a good history on him and he is a deeper character than Elena and has a better attitude.

There was soooo many things that were different between this book and the show, I really wouldn’t know where to start with it.  There are characters in the book not in the show and vice versa, characters who have totally different personalities and names where changed and mixed around.  Gotta say I like the TV show better than what I have read so far.  I will keep reading however because I want to see more of Damon (I’m Team Damon all the way) and hopefully I won’t be so annoyed with Elena past the first book.

Annoying main female character, good writing, major insta-love, enjoyed the TV show better.

3 bookmark

 

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Filed under 3 Stars, Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Days of Blood and Starlight – Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight Cover Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)

Laini Taylor

517 pages

ISBN: 9780316133975

Read 1-27-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

This is one of my reviews I am behind on since I took an unexpected break from the blog when things got crazy at home, so here is my review which should have been posted 3 months ago…

I listened to most of this book on the drive down to Florida to see my best friend.  I am a horrible person to be driving long distances like that since I have a tendency to fall asleep, espcially when I am alone.  It’s realyl hard to stay awake, even if I am blasting loud music, but this audiobook was great and the 6 hour drive flew by.  Khristine Hvam is still my favorite audiobook narrator so far.  Her accents are awesome and she really gives life to the characters with her voice.

The first few chapters were a bit confusing because of the way the story jumped around.  We get to see some new faces and great descriptions of chimaera.  I love the chimaera and their world.  I also think it’s cool we get to hear origin stories of the chimaera.  I really liked where the story went and the twists that were taken toward the end.  I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book.  I enjoy Laini Taylor’s style of writing and I hope to see a lot more by her.  This trilogy is really a very unique experience!

The cover is beautiful and I love the detail, but my favorite part of it is the color splash; it gives the cover a great accent and pop.  Zuzana is one of my most favorite secondary characters of everything I’ve read.  She has quite a fiery personality and she’s a great friend to Karou.  We also get to see her and Mic together, which is fun since he knows how to handle her and banter with her.  We also get to see more of the angel’s world and how horrible some of them actually are.  Karou has to deal with a lot of stuff where she is now and she is becoming a stronger person.  I look forward to seeing how everything pans out and how she works out the problems between two different worlds.

Favorite reader, great secondary characters, twists, a bit confusing in the beginning.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Young Adult

*Review* Forgotten – Cat Patrick

Forgotten Cover Forgotten

Cat Patrick

304 pages

ISBN: 9780316094610

Read 1-2-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can “remember” are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you’d easily forget, yet try as she might, London can’t find him in her memories of things to come.

When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it’s time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

This book sounded like it was really going to be a good read, but it actually turned out to be a bit disappointing for me.  The second half of the book was better than the first half, but it was still not wonderful.  This story concept was a really good idea, but it had potential to be so much better.  There were a couple of spots where the memory explanations seemed to contradict each other, so I was never completely clear on certain aspects of how her memory worked.

As for the characters, London was not wonderful, but she wasn’t bad, either.  She has it rough because of her memory, but she doesn’t let that stop her from doing things, so she makes herself a bunch of notes to know what she needs for the next day.  Her best friend, Jamie, I couldn’t stand.  She made stupid choices (especially considering the choices she still made even after her friend that can see the future told her she shouldn’t do), she was selfish and she acted like a total slut.  I know I couldn’t have a best friend like her.  I really liked Luke.  He was very sweet and understanding and I felt like London was too harsh with him when she would get angry over things.

The writing was pretty good; it was the story itself that fell flat for me.  There were so many great turns the story could have taken or been improved on.  For me, the most disappointing part of the story was the ending.  The way the story was building I was expecting this nice big finish or some sort of high tension finale, but, no; it was actually very anticlimactic, and I hate to say this book didn’t live up to my expectations.

Good male character, had potential, contradicts in spots, anticlimactic ending.

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Filed under 3 Stars, Audiobook, Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Romance, Young Adult

*Review* Rapture – Lauren Kate

Rapture Cover Rapture (Fallen #4)

Lauren Kate

432 pages

ISBN: 9780385739184

Read 12-2-12

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

I was pleasantly surprised with the final Fallen novel, and the second two books were definitely better than the first two.  I feel like Lauren’s writing was more ramped up and the descriptions were better, the characters were better and the story was better.   Knowing what I know now about this series, it is a beautiful love story; the first half of it was just a bit aggravating.  I hate having to go through so many books wanting to know what is being hidden from the character for sooooo long (kind of like when someone tells you they need to tell you something, but they wait a few days while you go crazy).

By the end of it, I did like Daniel and I was rather attached to a lot of the characters.  I really liked the way the story ended and thought it was perfect for their story.  There was just one thing I was confused about by the ending, not anything that happened, but it was something that didn’t quite add up right.  See spoiler below if you want to know if you already read it or don’t care about spoilers.

***SPOILER ALERT***SPOILER ALERT***SPOILER ALERT****

When their lives start over, it comes back to them 17 years later and Luce is in college.  The part that didn’t add up for me was that Daniel was 2 years older than her.  I can see Luce being 17 and in college, but if it was 17 years later, how could Daniel be 19?  So yeah, that’s my quirk with it.

***END OF SPOILER***END OF SPOILER***END OF SPOILER***

I really wish the first two books were done a little differently and I really would have loved the series!  The audiobook reader stayed the same and she did a really great job.  I wasn’t surprised by the stuff that happened in this final book, except for maybe one thing.  If you don’t mind working through two okay books to get to two good books, then you can try this series out, and this is just my opinion as there are plenty of others who loved the first two books as well, so I am not trying to hinder anybody from reading it!

Better writing, great descriptions, perfect ending, this series gets better with each book.

4 bookmark

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Filed under 4 Stars, Audiobook, Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Romance, Young Adult

*Review* Passion – Lauren Kate

Passion Cover Passion (Fallen #3)

Lauren Kate

420 pages

ISBN: 9780385739160

Read (11-26-12)

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Luce would die for Daniel.

And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way….

Luce is certain that something – or someone – in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime…going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel…and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames…forever.

Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.

I would have to say that so far, this is the book I have enjoyed most of the series.  In this book, we get to see and learn so much more than in the first two combined.  We got to see much more of Luce and Daniel’s story as she moves through time to witness their love with her past lives.  I really enjoyed seeing Luce’s past selves and how Daniel came into them.  They were all quite different and their relationship connected better in all those previous lives than they did in their current one to me.

The reader for the audiobook does a fantastic job with all the different accents as Luce travels to different countries as she goes back in time and she has a very clear and pelasant voice.  I still felt no surprise through the book as it was quite predictable to me.  Only one more book to the series left and I am hoping for a great finale with some surprises since it is the end.

Great reader, get to see more romance between Luce and Daniel, wonderful past lives scenes, still predictable, but enjoyable.

4 bookmark

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Filed under 4 Stars, Audiobook, Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Romance, 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

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

*Review* Girl of Nightmares – Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares Cover Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)

Kendare Blake

332 pages

ISBN: 9780765328663

Read 11-29-12

Format: Hardover

Source: Own

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It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on. 

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

This was the book that was chosen for my first Random Reads with I’m Loving Books, and it was the perfect selection since I was wanting to read it anyway!  Anna Dressed in Blood was one of my favorite books last year and  wasvery excited for the sequel.  Kendare Blake is an excellent writer and makes wonderfully sassy female characters.  There probably isn’t any characters in her books that aren’t well-written and she does an amazing job of making them all feel like real people.

I enjoyed the way the story wrapped up and my heart went out to Cas with everything he had to go through.  The only real complaint I have is that we don’t get to see much of Anna, aside from the visions Cas has and the last 30 pages of the book, she is nowhere else in it.

The ghost scenes are great with incredibly vivid descriptions.  I loved it!  The hell that Anna is trapped in is such a strange and horrible place, and the Suicide Forest is quite creepy.  I can’t stress enough how great of a writer Kendare is.  If her other books are anything like the Anna books, I will get everything she writes.

Incredible writing, wonderful characters, fast read, not much Anna.

4.5 bookmark

 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Random Reads, Review, Supernatural, Young Adult