Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pawn by Aimee Carter


Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)
 
 
Pawn by Aimee Carter is her first book in her new series The Blackcoat Rebellion.  After reading the Goddess Test trilogy, I was a small fan of Carter.  I enjoyed the series about Hades, but if that is what you are after then you will be sorely mistaken.  Pawn is a thrilling ride in a dystopian world. 

“I’d seen the posters and heard the speeches.  Everyone had.  We all had our rightful place in society, and it was up to us to decide what that was.  Study hard, earn good grades, learn everything we could, and prove we were special.  And when we turned seventeen and took the test, we would be rewarded with a good job, a nice place to live, and the satisfaction that we contributed to our society—everything we would ever need to lead a meaningful life. 

That was all I’d ever wanted: to prove myself, to prove that I was better than the Extra I really was.  To prove I deserved to exist even though I was a second child.  To prove the government hadn’t made a mistake not sending me Elsewhere.”

This is Kitty Doe’s story.  All she wanted was to become a IV, with that rank she would be able to marry Benji and live an okay life; however, on the day of her testing she received a III and standing orders to relocate to Denver, where she would lead a life as waste management.  Desperate to wait until Benji is assigned his number in a month, Kitty decides to work as a working girl.  On her first night her virginity is bought by the highest bidder, Prime Minister Hart.  But what he has in mind is something more sinister and dirtier than she could ever imagine.  Hart gives Kitty a choice, she can remain a III and possibly die by his goon’s hands or she can agree to a deal that will make her a VII and give her the life she never thought she could have.  The catch—Kitty will be remade into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s deceased niece, with plastic surgery and all. 

Kitty is transported into a politically criminal family.  Some believed in the cause that got Lila killed—the rebellion, while others wanted to remain status quo, hence her untimely death.  Kitty must now navigate the Hart family and figure out what she must do, so that she can survive this ordeal and keep Benji safe.  What she doesn’t expect is being transported into the biggest rebellion yet, or to be part of crazy identity fraud scheme.   Where everyone is the pawn in the game, who will eventually call out checkmate?

4 out of 5 stars.  Thanks NetGalley

Pushed by Corrine Jackson

Pushed (Sense Thieves, #2)


Pushed by Corrine Jackson is the second book in the Sense Thieves series.  Remy and Asher are trying to enjoy life following the aftermath of the previous book.  Even with life starting to make sense for Remy and her powers of a healer and her love for her enemy, Asher, Remy is missing a maternal connection.  When a letter from her grandfather arrives, Remy feels like she can finally understand more about her mother and the Healer community.  Blinded by this, Remy decides to spend a month with her grandfather and Asher will be following her.  There she meets her grandfather Franc, and a whole community of healers, but lurking in the woods is danger and other Protectors that what Remy.  One night Asher and Remy are captured.  Can they make it out alive?  What will they do when they realize that Remy is starting to obtain Protector traits?  Who will make the ultimate sacrifice for love?

Completely saw the twist at the end with Asher, Gabriel, and Remy… totally sucks for the characters, but I felt that it was handled well, at least in this book.  It will be interesting to see what occurs now that Remy is on the run.  Even with the predictability of the ending it was still a fun read, and it was nice to see more of Gabe in this book, he’s by far my favorite character.   Franc is not what I was expecting at first, but slowly he reveals his true nature.  Remy is still her annoying self, healing the practically dead and subject herself to their illnesses without thought of consequences.  Asher is still kind of controlling… I know, many like him but can Remy just tell him to back off a little bit… perhaps things would have been different for him if he had backed off a little in this book.

Overall I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.  Thank You NetGalley.

 

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry is the 3rd book in her Pushing the Limits series.  If you have been following along, this is Isaiah’s story.  Isaiah is the friend of Noah (Pushing the Limits) and also has just had his heart broken by Beth (Dare You To).  I was so ready for this book.  I love Isaiah because he can be so mean, but deep down he’s such a tragic character.  Abandoned by his mother, for reason we find out in this book, Isaiah has never had a stable family home.  Noah and Beth were the only family he had and with Beth falling in love in book two, he now is down to Noah and Noah’s girlfriend Echo.  On top of all of this he is living with Noah, even though he still belongs to the state, and Noah might not be able to keep their family together much longer now that he has to concentrate in college and cannot work for rent money.  Isaiah is determined to help Noah out, even if it means dealing with the street thug Eric, just one last time he will race for money.

Rachel Young is a rich, beautiful, young girl who has an affinity to cars but must bury her personal interests to keep her family intact.  You see, Rachel is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t replace one child with a new child.  After her sister died from leukemia, her mother had one other child and then became pregnant with twins, Evan and Rachel.  Rachel gave her new hope, and she wanted her to be everything Colleen deserved to be, never realizing that she was just burying her other daughter in a life that would never work.  Because of all this pressure from the outside and from inside of her, Rachel has kept hidden her panic attacks until one night it gets to be too much, she needs an escape.  Rachel jumps into her Mustang GT and finds herself in an illegal drag race, with Isaiah. 

These two had such a great bond and their ups and downs were entertaining and thoughtful.  Isaiah became the person he wanted around Rachel and Rachel in turn could be herself.  But like all love stories, this one is not easy.  There is a debt to be paid to Eric, uncertainty from family members, car incidents that make you want to close your eyes while reading, and inner conflict that can get in the way of happiness.  My only complaint is that the next book will not be about Abby… she deserves some happiness McGarry, you know it, your readers know it and I feel like Evan could have known it… just saying.

 

4/5 stars, thank you to the publisher and NetGalley.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Ketchup Clouds
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher was a thought provoking book.  Zoe, our main character, has started to write to an inmate in America named S. Harris.  Her first letter is an introduction, but also a comparison of their situations.  She relates with Harris, for his crime of murder.  “I know what it’s like.  Mine wasn’t a woman.  Mine was a boy.  And I killed him three months ago exactly.  Do you want to know the worst thing?  I got away with it.  No one’s found out that I’m responsible.  No one has a clue and I’m walking around saying all the right things and doing all the right stuff, but inside I’m sort of screaming.”—Yeah, that’s right, this is a murder mystery.  When I first picked up this book I thought it was a coming of age story, where the main character grows through letters written to a prison because of a class assignment; when in reality this story is about a young girl who made some small mistakes, fell in love with the wrong boy and ended up living with the biggest secret. 

Ketchup Clouds is the aftermath of Zoe’s life.  Going from past to present, Zoe gives the reader a glimpse of what she experienced: drunken school parties, a popular boy crush, kissing, mistaken identities, popular boy’s hot older brother, and one act of betrayal to become the catalyst of it all. Pitcher made this story irresistible and heart wrenching by tearing each layer away until the shocking ending.  Even though this is a love triangle it is still difficult to figure out who dies, and when it’s revealed I think I was more devastated, than if it had been the other one.  This sure is not a “Happily Ever After” kind of a tale but it is one to keep you strung along until the very end.

4 out of 5 stars.  Thank You Edelweiss.

A Stranger Thing by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal


A Stranger Thing (Ever-Expanding Universe #2)

Elvie is at it again in the sequel to Mothership.  Elvie’s pregnancy has been pretty rough, but nothing could have prepared her for the actual birth… to a baby girl.  According to her, just handsome, baby daddy it is impossible for her to have given birth to a girl, since he can only produce boys, and it seems like the rest of the Almiri clan feel the same.  Immediately Elvie, Cole, Ducky, her father, and baby are shipped to Antarctica.  Here they must assimilate with the criminals shipped out by the Almiri, oh and there is a new species of Aliens after Elvie and her baby. 

Now Elvie has the care of her new baby in her hands, but she isn’t getting a break anytime soon.  With the new Aliens as a threat, old secrets coming to light, and some strange feelings evolving and dissolving for her baby daddy, Elvie is in for a tougher time than most teenage moms.  Will she be able to come to terms with her past and who she is?  Will she and her family be able to leave Antarctica anytime soon?  Is the leader of the Almiri really James Dean?!?!  Keep tuned in because things have just gotten stranger for our heroine.

3 out of 5 stars, Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC.

Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2)
 
Ready for a world full or frilly dresses, gadgets galore, proper etiquette training, and some nice romance mixed with a healthy dose of spying?  Then welcome back to the world of mischief at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy, where our heroine Sophronia awaits for the next adventure, and what an adventure it will be: the school is off to London!  That’s right, the dirigible school (floating school) will be arriving in London, but when the school rarely ever moves this trip starts making minds suspicious.  There is something not right, Sophronia and her friends will have to figure out what is going on before the end results become worse for the humans and supernatural.

This sequel had a lot of adventure, more so than the first.  The secrets were great, too.  Being a fan of the Parasol Protectorate series, I really enjoyed this book.  Some of the characters in that series are referenced to in this book; this includes one creative mistress of ridiculously fashionable hats/parasols.  I also enjoyed the romance.  I am not a Soap fan. I love him, just not for Sophronia; however, I like Felix.  He was introduced in the first book during a ball, as a “rake-in-training.”  There is something frustratingly charming about him and I really can’t wait to see more of him.

Overall I give this book 4 stars and I cannot wait to jump on the next fun installment of this series.
Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC.

Monday, November 25, 2013

After Eden by Helen Douglas

After Eden (After Eden, #1)

When time travel is an option, many think of going back to the past and eliminating a threat to the future.  If you could, would you go back in time and end Hitler's reign of terror?  If you knew some one's actions in the past could affect future generations, would you stop those actions?  These are some of the questions asked in the book.  (Where have a seen this before... oh yes, All Our Yesterdays, which is the best time traveling book of the year!) 

Eden and Connor have been best friends, since forever.  Connor is the smart one and Eden is, well she's Eden.  What she doesn't realize is that Connor has had feelings for her for a long time now.  As this is their last year in school Connor feels as though this will be his last chance to nab the girl of his dream, and best friend.  Eden, could not be any more clueless, especially since there is a new boy in town. 

Ryan is the classic new boy enigma.  All the girls are raving about him and everyone is curious about him, including Eden and it seems like Ryan also is curious about Eden.  After hanging out with each other one day, Eden finds a book that will change not only her life but her best friend's.  Turns out, Ryan is from the future, a future affected by a discovery made by Connor... after a dance.  Story goes that Connor's heart was broken at this dance, after he left he discovered a planet through a telescope--one that he named Eden.  Ryan's role is to stop the moment or change the moment when Connor had his heart broken.  What ends up happening is a lot of secret sharing, hiding and plenty of heart gushing moments.  And of course, when there is time travel, there is always a glich.

3 out of 5 stars.

Thank You NetGalley.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


The Naturals
 
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a world wind, intense novel, full of action and everyday crime.  Does it have feel of the paranormal?  At times it does, but overall it is about teens with heightened abilities, such as profiling.  You also have teens that are good at reading lies and emotions.  Together these teens form a group that the FBI uses on special cold cases. 

Enter 17 year old Cassie, a natural at reading people.  The FBI has caught wind of what a special nugget Cassie is, and they have come a knockin’.  Cassie moves away to live with other teens in this classified unit.  She meets a few teenagers and begins to train with them.  On top of trying to fit in to a new program she has to deal with the attentions of two boys and the attention of new serial killer, who oddly enough resembles the killer of her mother. 

I like the overall concept, and the fact that it was more realistic than other YA novels in the supernatural/sci-fi genre.  With its ties to profiling and the FBI, this book would work well for mystery and crime lovers.  The characters can be somewhat annoying, but overall not in a big way.  The twists in the book were well worth the guessing game.  Yay, for not knowing who the bad guy was until the end.  My problem was the ending.  Is this going to be a series?  If so, I am all set to jump on the band wagon, but can someone release soon if this will be the beginning of a series?

 

Thanks Net Galley!

4 out 5 stars

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa


The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2)

“When Keirran went back into the Nevernever, I knew I hadn’t seen the last of him.  Still, I had no idea how entangled my life would soon become with his, and how he would be the catalyst… for the end of everything.”—Iron Traitor


Ethan and Kenzie have just come back from their action packed adventure through the Land of Faerie.  Kenzie is battling an infection, due to her visit and Ethan is fighting off jealous quarterbacks, a lawyer father, and the police.  It almost seems like his life is back to normal, and he would really much rather prefer it that way.  Ethan knows he has a nephew, Keirran, and he knows that people are trying their best to keep them apart but right now he wants to concentrate on Kenzie and staying away from Them. 

Unfortunately, the forgotten are still having problems and Keirran is missing.  The entire Iron realm is looking for Keirran, but he is on a mission to save Annwyl, the love of his life, from being one of the forgotten.  No matter what Ethan does, he ends up roped into helping in this situation, along with Kenzie.  There are forces trying desperately to keep Ethan and Keirran apart, to keep the prophecy from coming true; however, the only way to save Annwyl is by speeding up the prophecy. 

With fairy queens that like to manipulate, an impossible task, some dark magic, a very very thin man out to collect the forgotten, and the Forgotten Queen wanting to cash in on Keirran’s promise these three will be running out of breath within the first 100 pages.  Watch out for some favorites like Grimalkin and Puck to return.  And yes, Meghan and Ash will make an appearance as well, which is weird now that they are full blown parents.  If I were Keirran I would heed my father’s warnings.  Poor Ethan, will he make it out of this series alive?

As a bonus there is an excerpt of The Forever Song, book 3 of the Blood of Eden trilogy. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)

"You don't ask around, because no soul alive in Los Angeles would ever admit to the organization being there and give President Gray an itch to scratch.  Having the Federal Coalition was already bad enough for business.  The people who could tell you the way would only cough it up for a price that was too big for most to pay.  There was no open door policy, no walk-ins.  There were standing orders to dispose of anyone who so much as gave an agent a sidelong look.

The League found you.  They brought you in, if you were valuable enough.  If you'd fight.  It was the first thing I learned sitting next to Cate on my way in--or at least the first real thought to solidify in my mind as our SUV zipped down the stretch of freeway, heading straight into the heart of the city."

--Never Fade



Never Fade is the second book in the Darkest Minds series.  In the first book we left Liam, with an erased mind and Ruby going off with The League.  Ruby is now fully integrated with The League and her first mission ends up being a rescue mission to save Liam's brother.  This novel was just as action packed as the last novel and Chubbs even ends up back with Ruby.  They must navigate the world outside again, with fears of running into Clancy Gray again.  There are subplots to the subplots that were introduced in the first novel and even Clancy's mother makes somewhat of an appearance. 

Ruby now has a new group of "friends," Liam comes back (more or less), and the whereabouts of Zu is still unknown.  The ending was just as gripping as the first book, and I can safely say is that I am going to be anticipating the release of the next novel.  Ruby can be annoying, but the other characters are strong enough to pull her through her annoying moments.

I gave this book 4/5 stars.  Thanks NetGalley!



To read the review of the first novel follow this link Darkest Minds

Reality Boy by A.S. King


Reality Boy


"I'm the Kid you saw on TV.  Remember the little freak who took a crap on his parents' oak-stained kitchen table when they confiscated his Game Boy?  Remember how the camera cleverly hid his most private parts with the glittery fake daisy and sunflower centerpieces?  That was me.  Gerald.  Youngest of three.  Only boy.  Out of control." --Reality Boy

Reality Boy was such a breath of fresh air.  Instead of delving into a world of supernatural and paranormal mystery/romance, or even into a coming of age story about love, Reality Boy answers a question that disappears as quickly as it appears in our subconscious: "What happens to those poor kids that have had to grow up on Reality TV."  King's novel shows us how one child, who happens to be the problem child, grew up and apparently never shed is "Crapper"image.

Gerald has been known as the Crapper, ever since the first time he released his bowels in protest on national television.  He is an angry person, who can turn violent, without familial support.  His mother is too busy giving all her attention to her first born, his father is busy appeasing his mother, and his other sister has left the nest and the craziness that is their houshold.  Gerald has had to deal with other people's misconceptions of who he is as a person, and has to figure out who he really is, without other people's ideas including his mother, who treats him as if he has a learning disability and will go no where. 

I really liked seeing Gerald work through the mess ups and hang ups in his life.  He was an interesting character to delve into the mind of, and his little girlfriend was the right mix of personalities to compliment his character.  They were both messed up, and this set the mood of a real young adult novel.  They are both working through their hang ups, but through that they help each other grow.  The ending was just right.


I gave this book a 4/5 for originality and for great characters (even the ones you want to kick).

Thank You Edelweiss.