Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Sky On Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Sky On Fire (Monument 14, #2)
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Pages: 212
Source: Hardcover/Own

Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.

Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .

Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . . .

Review: I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. If you read my review of the first book, “Monument 14”, then you know I absolutely loved that book! This book however I feel suffered a little from second book syndrome. Overall, I did enjoy the story in “Sky On Fire”, just not as much as I thought I would.

What I did like: I really enjoyed the two POV’s of Dean and Alex. Since half the story was taking place in the store, and half on the road, I felt like it was very important that we had these two POV’s so that way we kept up with both groups without missing huge chunks. I also liked that we got to see relationships and friendships grow throughout the story. Dean and Astrid had the biggest growth in their relationship seeing as they went from just silently liking each other to actually being together by the end of the book. I liked seeing those two grow closer. We did however see other relationships either come to light that were happening before that no one knew about, or see new ones form between people. Overall, I really enjoyed the fact that all these people thought of each other as family. Even though they all wanted to find their actual families and be reunited with them, they all felt like a family to each other as well. It was good to see everyone be bonded like that. Another thing I liked was finding out what was happening outside the store with the group that left. They learned a lot as to what some of the other effects of the chemicals were on everything besides people and their blood types.

What I didn't like: I felt like most of the things that were happening in this book were way too predictable. People trying to get into the store, people trying to take the bus, encountering bad people etc. None of these things surprised me because you kind of already could feel that it was going to happen. If people see a moving vehicle of course they are going to try and take it. If people were seeing the kids leaving the store or found out about it, of course they were going to try and get into it to get supplies. Also, these kids were way to trusting. You’d think after having someone come in to the store and do bad things in the first book, they would have learned not to trust people right away. But yet both groups did, and ironically, they trusted the same group of people that screwed the other over. I just don’t get why they were so trusting even though they knew bad things were happening. Also, I didn't really like Jake’s reappearance into the story. He just disappeared in the first book when they sent him out then just shows back up at the store days later and acts like nothing happened. Not a fan!

At least by the end of the book we find out why it is titled “Sky On Fire.” Overall, this book wasn't bad, but it wasn't the best sequel I've read either.

3 1/2 Stars!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: Three by Kristen Simmons

Three (Article 5, #3)
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Pages: 384
Source: Hardcover/Library

Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence.

And all that’s left is smoking ruins.

Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors.

With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he never thought he’d see again.

Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.

Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.

At fighting back.

Review: Out of all three books in this series, “Three” has got to be my absolute favorite! I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book! I felt that this was a very satisfying ending to the series, despite the intense heartbreak of so many people dying. I loved that “Three” picked up right where “Breaking Point” left off.

I loved how much action was packed into this book! There never seemed to be a dull moment. From the moment Chase and Ember set out following the tracks left by the group from the safe house up until the very end after Three’s attack against the FBR there was always something going on. Chase, Ember and the group encounter many other groups throughout their journey, almost all of which were hostile toward them until they found out who they were. Every time they came across a group of people my heart started beating faster because I knew there was going to be some fighting before someone realized who they were. If there wasn't action in the way of fighting, there was action in the way of planning. Someone somewhere was always coming up with a plan for attack or to get somewhere or do something important. “Three” definitely was more satisfying in terms of getting away from the focus on romance that was in the first book.

I also enjoyed the character growth in this book. Chase and Ember definitely grew in terms of their relationship in this book, without the book being focused on it. It was very satisfying to see Chase stop trying to protect Ember all the time and look at her more as an equal in terms of fighting and helping further the cause of the resistance. It was also satisfying seeing Ember really come into her own in this book. She went from a girl trying to stay under the radar in the first book to a girl who put herself in the spotlight to help Three gain more support against the FBR. She also was willing to do whatever necessary to fight for what she believed in, and even more so to fight for those she loved. In terms of character growth, I definitely feel like Ember grew the most throughout all three books. I also loved seeing Sean and Rebecca’s relationship grow, and Rebecca become a little more independent even though she had her handicap to deal with. And in terms of friendship, I definitely felt like these four grew a lot as friends to each other throughout this book.

I also liked having a few new characters introduced as well. I enjoyed Jesse (Chase’s uncle) and Dr. DeWitt being introduced. They definitely added intrigue into the story. They were two characters I never felt like I completely trusted (and there was good reason for that explained throughout the book), but overall, I trusted them more than I didn't due to being associated with Three. One person I still didn't trust overall was Tucker. He acted like he was all about the resistance, but we find out he still has his FBR ties and was involved in some of the resistance houses being found. I really wanted to trust him after “Breaking Point”, but I always knew in the back of my head he was still a problem for the resistance. There were a few characters in “Three” however, that I did not expect at all to see again after the events of “Breaking Point.” 

In the end, I was satisfied with how everything ended. I was sad over many of the deaths that occurred in the final chapters, but was overall pretty happy with the attack that Three launched crippling the FBR.

5 Stars!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Count The Cast Blast

Camilo “Cam” Ruiz
The Player
“We’re in college. We have hot girls in tight jeans and cleavage-baring shirts at our fingertips. Don’t tie yourself down.”

Danica Owens
The Chameleon
“Monica says my idea of romance is ‘Take off your shirt.’”

Series info: Bowler University Series #1
Category/Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse/HarperCollins
Release Date: June 3


Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend's gorgeous best friend, Alec...who just so happens to be her brand new college math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends--both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It's safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm's reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She's adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He'd never stab his best friend in the back...

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn messy human emotions can't be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.

Megan Erickson grew up in a family that averages 5’3” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf.

She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators, and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.

Author Website

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2014 TBR Pile

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. It was created due to their love of lists.

This Weeks Topic:
Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR Pile

1. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

2. The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa

3. Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

4. Infinite (Newsoul #3) by Jodi Meadows

5. Flame (Sky Chasers #3) by Amy Kathleen Ryan

6. Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins

7. Monsters (Ashes #3) by Ilsa J. Bick

8. Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano

9. Three (Article 5, #3) by Kristen Simmons

10. Ruins (Partials #3) by Dan Wells

Teaser Tuesday [#70]

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

1. "The outpost gate creaked in the wind, swinging back on its hinges. It knocked lightly against the wall, a rhythmic tapping sound that echoed in the looming silence."

2. "A cold breeze swirled through the gap, and the scent of blood lay on the air like a heavy blanket."

1% through Galley of "The Forever Song" by Julie Kagawa

Tucson Festival of Books 2014

So this past weekend was the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books! I went and had an absolutely blast! I got to meet some really amazing authors and hear some really awesome panels!

The Authors I Met!
Page Morgan (author of The Beautiful and The Cursed) and me! 
She was so nice and so excited to take pictures with people! It was awesome! :)

Ilsa J. Bick (author of Ashes) and me!
She is awesome! She was so enthusiastic about taking pictures with her fans! I also got to hear her talk in a panel on horror in children and teen books! Fantastic panel! 

Me and Aprilynne Pike (author of the Wings series)
She is so nice! I very much enjoyed hearing her talk about books and writing! I was very excited when I found out she was going to TFOB!

Suzanne Young (author of The Program) and me!
I was very excited to find out she was going to be at TFOB as well! She signs all the time at a book store in Phoenix but with college I don't have the time to take the 2 hour drive up there during the week. So I was very excited to finally get to meet her and get a book signed by her!!!!! :D She is so nice!

Aprilynne Pike & Page Morgan
Page read a little bit out of The Beautiful and The Cursed and Aprilynne read a bit from her upcoming novel Sleep No More! They both then answered questions ranging from why they choose to write about what they write about, getting an agent, getting published, editing etc. It was really informative!

From left to right: Moderator, Ilsa J. Bick, R.L. Stine, Rich Wallace & Xavier Garza
The panel entitled Thrills and Chills: Spine-Tingling Tales talked about horror and scary type stories in children and teen books. Despite the fact that the panel was about scary and horror stories, it was actually really upbeat and the author got many laughs out of the audience with their stories!

My signed copy of A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young!

My signed copy of Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick!

Last but not least I have to thank my absolutely amazing boyfriend James for coming with me to the festival! He sat through all the panels with me and even enjoyed listening to them. He also took almost all the pics of me with authors! :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Shadow Prince by Stacey O'Neale

This prequel novella will be FREE and available on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble on March 25, 2014!

Every sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?

Mortal Enchantment (Book 1)
ebook262 pages
Expected publication: May 20th 2014 by Phoenix Reign Publishing


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stacey O'Neale started her career in publishing as a blogger turned publicist for two successful small publishers. She loves to write stories with swoony paranormal heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

When she's not writing, she loves blogging and fangirling about books on twitter. Occasionally, she leaves her computer to go outside.

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