Aug 26, 2014

Review: No Limits by Lori Foster

Title: No Limits
Author: Lori Foster
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: 8.26.2014
Pages: 432         
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Series: Ultimate 31
Source: ARC from BEA

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Cannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body—the works. He's also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she's older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon. 

Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young—and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather's legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette's scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he'll break all the rules to do it…

Oh, Lori Foster, how your books make me swoon and sigh and melt in all the right ways. For years, Foster has been one of my go-to authors when I needed a solid romance to sink into, and her newest book, NO LIMITS, is just as delicious as the rest.

I love the Yvette and Cannon back story. I love that they have a back story. Relationships that evolve from another place always seem to resonate more with me (maybe I'm a sucker for friends turning into more). Foster does a superb job of slowly revealing enough back story between these two, giving me enough details to keep me from being frustrated at being kept in the dark.

Yvette and Cannon are a great balance to each other--they enhance each others' best qualities, and that is what any decent relationship (fictional or not) should do. I loved watching them reconnect and become more.

Foster does an excellent job of setting up the beginning of a promising series here. She introduces a smattering of characters I cannot wait to revisit. Frequently. Definitely not a book to be missed if you like romance. And kissing. And hot guys. And strong females. And  ... Just read it.

Aug 20, 2014

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Title: On The Fence
Author: Kasie West
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date: 7.1.2014
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Series: No
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Few things make me as happy as a new Kasie West book. And you don’t want to know what I had to do, the hoops I jumped through, and the groveling required to get this book in my hands. So you must be thinking, “Then Hannah, why haven’t you reviewed it before now?” I would love to say it’s because I didn’t want my review to get lost amongst the shuffle of glowing reviews or because I wanted to wait for the buzz to die down before resurrecting it.

Truth is I’m having a hard time explaining just why I loved this book so hard.

It’s not secret I am a hardcore Kasie West fan. I have been since I read her debut almost two years ago, but ON THE FENCE is just a special kind of awesome. This book hit my heart in all the right places.

I loved Charlie. I loved how adorably clueless she was, how stubborn, how naïve, how innocent, and how jaded. She’s a total mix of all these things and she is a fantastic character to move through a book with. While I loved her interactions with Braden, I especially loved her time with her family. The entire Reynolds family unit was a total joy to read.

This book is a fun, feel-good read. It’s the perfect book to read at the tail-end of summer. I can’t recommend enough that people pick up this awesome gem of a book.

Aug 19, 2014

BEA 2014 - The Video Recap

I know BEA ended several months ago (*sobs*), but I was playing on iMovie this weekend and decided to make a video to commemorate my time in the city with my friends and family. It was fun re-living those memories.

I hung out with a lot of amazing people this year and went to some incredible parties, so don't be shocked to see yourself in here:

Aug 18, 2014

Recap: #YADC Tackles eBook Piracy

This weekend YADC converged at One More Page in Arlington, Virginia for the launch party of Jessica Spotwood's final book in the Born Wicked trilogy, but we also came together to help spread the word about a topic very near and dear to our hearts: eBook Piracy.

eBook piracy is growing at an alarming rate. Authors are losing money, publishers are losing money, and readers are suffering as a result. A lot of piracy is involving eARCs lately. Local author Martina Boone said that pirated copies of her debut COMPULSION were up on 15 sites six months prior to the release this October. 

YADC had the idea to create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) about eBook piracy. The video is currently in the editing phase, but i had such a blast this weekend with my YADC friends that I needed to talk about it here.

I've met a lot of people who are fascinated by YADC and want to know how they can join something like this. Let me tell you about YADC:

YADC (Young Adult DC) was a group started by Andye at Reading Teen in late February of 2013. She had this brilliant idea to start a Facebook group to keep track of local signings and events that bloggers, authors, librarians, book sellers and fans could use in the MD/DC/VA area. Within months it exploded into a group of over 100 people.

I don't think any of us realized how many authors and bloggers we have in our little area, but it's amazing. It also means now we always have a familiar face when we go to a signing event. 

Here are 5 quick things to know about YADC:

1. The events are awesome, but the carpool road trips to get there can be awesome-r. Like that time I saw a man napping on the sidewalk in DC. At night. We hope he was napping anyway. 

2. When in doubt of a name, just yell, "Steph!" or "Jen!" I promise someone, if not 5 someones, will turn around.

3. Laughter is guaranteed. I've yet to wake up the day after a YADC event without a massive headache and/or sore throat from laughing so hard I cried.

4. Books and Cupcakes are the power couple of YADC and we all ship that pairing hardcore. Also, never tell Jen that the cupcakes have fallen over unless you're cool with her having a heart attack.

5. We have in insanely group of talented people in a relatively small space. From our writers to our bakers to our bookstores, I never cease to be amazed by how much talent and heart is in this area.

YADC Links:

Review: Rebel by Amy Tintera

Title: Rebel
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 5.13.2014
Pages: 340
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi
Series: Reboot #2
Source: eARC from publisher

Rating: 3 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn't what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren's instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he's underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

Last year, Amy Tintera’s Reboot was one of my favorite debuts. What I especially loved about the series was that it was a duology. For some reason my psyche can handle a duology better than a trilogy or series, so I jumped at the chance to read this when it popped up on Edelweiss. I had been waiting a year for REBEL, but I think I lost some of the magic somewhere along the way.

REBEL picks up right where Reboot left off. Hardly any time has passed, for which I was grateful. Wren, Callum, and crew arrive at the reservation and you immediately get a hinky feeling. Something definitely wasn’t right. Think when the Walking Dead crew showed up in Woodbury.

You knew this Utopia was going to implode. But for some reason, this book plateaued around 45%. It just stalled and I wound up setting it down and not returning to it for several weeks. The drive and passion that kept my attention in Reboot was simply gone.

I finally forced myself to finish and I’m glad I did—the series has a great conclusion and the action/speed did pick back up. If it weren’t for that massive lull in the middle, this would be a solid 4-5 star rating.  But it’s still a satisfying conclusion to a great debut.

Aug 15, 2014

Review: Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: Bright Before Sunrise
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Publisher: Walker Children’s
Publication Date: 2.18.2014
Pages: 277
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Series: N/A
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone . . . but has no idea of what she wants for herself. Her seemingly perfect life is marred only by Jonah, the one person who won't give her the time of day, but also makes her feel, well, something. So when they are repeatedly thrown together over the course of one night, anything can—and does—happen. Told in alternating chapters, this poignant, beautiful novel's energy and tension, amidst the humor and romance, builds to a new beginning of self-acceptance and hope.

Before reading this book, I heard all the buzz: Tiffany Schmidt is a great author; I love BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE; Dibs on Jonah … But for some reason, I kept passing over this book repeatedly.

Stupid, Hannah. *facepalm*

BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE is a brilliantly written book that I never saw coming. Schmidt has a flowing, almost poetic way of telling a story that immediately draws the reader into the heart of the story. She has created vivid, emotionally engaging characters and set them against a wholly unique plot that any reader would fall in love with.

While this may seem like a recipe for insta-love (I mean, two teens, one night? Come on.), I was shocked at how natural the progression of their relationship was. Yes, the story mostly spans a single night, but watching Jonah and Brighton go through an entire night together was almost magical. Is it conventional? No, but darn it if I don’t one single night just like this where anything and everything feel possible.

BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE is a book that totally caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting to love it nearly as much as I did, but this book and Tiffany Schmidt have firmly anchored themselves in my heart. If you’re looking for a sweet, poignant romance, then look no further.

Aug 14, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: 8.14.2014
Pages: 339
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

This is it. It’s here. After years of waiting, countless page refreshes for status updates on Goodreads, it’s here.

Can we all take a moment of silent reflection for ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER and the amazing Stephanie Perkins?


OK, good. Now let’s talk about this, but first, let’s go back to the start:

Anna and the French Kiss: My first Perkins novel. The book that stole my heart. The book I forced friends to read long before I was blogging, pushing it like a dealer on a street corner.

Lola and the Boy Next Door: Hmm. OK. Not quite my kind of book, but it was still full of brilliant Perkinsisms and fantabulousness.

Isla and the Happily Ever After: Do you hear those angels singing? Do you? DO YOU???? Because this book is made of perfection.

From the hilarious start to the happy tears at the end, Perkins has truly outdone herself. This book was pure, unfiltered magic. Josh and Isla’s romance, which was years in the making, could not have been done any better.

See? I’m even pulling out the Logan Echolls’ GIFs here.

The story of Isla and Josh is epic—spanning years and continents, turmoil, heartbreak, love, and everything in between. It’s is a breathtaking journey that Perkins takes us on, and I, for one, loved the ride.

This was worth the wait.

Aug 13, 2014

Review: When Day Breaks by Maya Banks

Title: When Day Breaks
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: 6.24.2014
Pages: 304
Genre: Adult, Romance, Military, Contemporary
Series: KGI #9
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

Eden is said to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. Her face has graced countless magazines and her body has sold millions of dollars of clothing. But her fame and beauty has earned her more than she ever imagined. Evil is stalking her, determined to extinguish the ethereal beauty forever.

Swanson or “Swanny” as his teammates call him is always up for the next mission. He came back from Afghanistan wounded and scarred. Hardly the kind of man who even belongs in the same room with Eden. And yet there’s something about the quiet beauty that stirs his blood and makes him dream of the impossible. Because Beauty loving the beast only happens in fairy tales and KGI doesn’t deal in fairy tales. Ever.

This definitely felt like more of a return to the KGI series I know and love. Whatever happened with the last book, Maya Banks found her groove again, and WHEN DAY BREAKS is a great ninth (NINTH!) addition to this hot military group.

Swanny has always been that guy that hovers in the background. He’s had a very minimal presence in the series and I wasn’t sure how I would like him being a romantic lead, but I was pleasantly surprised by how likeable and enjoyable he was. I kind of want to go back and re-read the series now so I can pay more attention to him.

Eden was a nice female to root for. She wasn’t the traditional model, but Banks did a great way of showing how models can care about their appearance (yes, I mean weight here) without starving themselves. Again, I wasn’t 100% sold on a model heroine, but Banks pulled it off with her usual awesomeness.

These books have started to feel a bit routine, I’ll admit. I’m hoping something jarring happens soon in one of the next books to spice things up a little, but overall I still love this series.

Aug 12, 2014

Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure About

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun!

Top 10 Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read
The books I've got sitting on my shelves, but keep talking myself out of

1. Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout: I simply don't want this series to end, and if I read this, then it's over. Forever. I don't know that I can walk away with my heart in tact.

2. Rise by Andrea Cremer: I'm not entirely sure why I never read this. I own it. I've read all the others. I have no excuse.

3. Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes: Because we all know I suck at reading book #2 in a series, OK? We all know it!!!! Go ahead and laugh.

In fact? While we're on the book #2 reason:

4. Deception by C.J. Redwine
5. The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
6. Everbound by Brodi Ashton
7. Prototype by M.D. Waters
8. Asunder by Jodi Meadows
9. Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

10. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick: I have no specific reasons for this one. At all.

Aug 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Sleeping With the Boos by Marissa Clarke

Welcome to the first stop in the SLEEPING WITH THE BOSS tour! Marissa Clarke (ahem, brownie points if you know who her YA doppleganger is) is a friend of mine, and I am so excited to start this tour off with a trailer so hot it needs it's own warning label.

No, seriously. This trailer is not for the kiddos and is probably NSFW. So ... you've been warned, now enjoy.

Book Synopsis:
For the last five years, bookish Claire Williams has been living for the dying. Now that her stint as caretaker is over, she’s off to see the world. She needs quick cash first, so a temp job at Anderson Auctions seems perfect, especially with the unexpected benefits, including the hottest man she’s ever laid eyes—or hands—on.
Former Marine William Anderson has been burned one time too many. His military training makes him the perfect man to flush out the spy undercutting his family business, but no amount of training can prepare him for the kind of undercover work he’ll have to do when the sexy new temp is implicated. Desire lands them in bed...but duty may cost him his heart.
"Will Anderson can be my boss any day. Marissa Clarke is a master at mixing sexy and mystery." - Jennifer L. Armentrout, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

"Sexy, smart, fun! A fabulous new voice in contemporary romance!" - Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author


He ran his hands over his closely cropped hair. “Honestly, when I look back on it, I should have seen the signs. I was projecting what I wanted, rather than seeing what was really there. I just kept looking for rainbows.” He took a slow, deep breath. “Even in Afghanistan, I kept chasing those rainbows.”
Claire knew all about chasing rainbows. Rainbows obscured the reality that crept up on you in the middle of the night when you realized your mommy wasn’t ever coming home. Or when the screams of pain started in the next room because the morphine pump wasn’t enough anymore.

They stared at each other until she felt a little dizzy. She knew what he’d been through and how much he’d been hurt. “I’ve been told that sometimes, there’s a pot of gold at the end of those rainbows. I’d sure like to find it.”

This time when he smiled, his dimples showed. “Me, too.”

She couldn’t help but smile back at him from across her small kitchen.

“You up for a little adventure?” he asked. “I’d love to show you something.”

There were lots of things she’d like him to show her. Maybe her pot of gold was closer than expected. “Sure. You’re the boss, Mr. Anderson. Set the agenda."

Author Bio:
Marissa Clarke lives in Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes.
When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn Terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa's heart) with an iron paw.
Marissa Clarke is a pseudonym. Her real name is Mary Lindsey and she also writes young adult novels for Penguin USA.
She loves to connect with readers and can be found at and on Twitter at @MaryL_MarissaC

For updates and insider information on Marissa’s upcoming books, subscribe here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Title: Sleeping with the Boss
Author: Marissa Clarke
Release Date: August 11, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLP
Imprint: Lovestruck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: ebook first
ISBN:  1622664256 (ISBN13: 9781622664252)
Author Email:
Author Newsletter short address:
Street Team Facebook Group:

Aug 10, 2014

Review: The Young World by Chris Weitz

Title: The Young World
Author: Chris Weitz
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 7.29.2014
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Series: The Young World Trilogy #1
Source: ARC from BEA

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he's secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind.

The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park...and discovers truths they could never have imagined.


So a world full of young kids, how bad can it be right? That's what I thought just looking at the title. I was certain I had this book figured out. That some huge catastrophe took place that somehow whipped out the "adults". Well, I was sorta right.

The Young World takes place in New York, minus all the crazy stuff. Well, it's still crazy just not how you imagined it. It's like watching The Expendables but miniature style. And I loved it. There is a ton of action and plotting, creative thinking that only kids could come up with, and a whole world where you would never think kids would be the masterminds.

There is a virus that killed smaller children and adults due to a lack of a certain protein binding hormone, while adolescents were safe until around 18. This gave them a real look at "life" and how short it now is. How they deal with this is amazing. You would think that all that they have accomplished since It Happened, as they call it, would be possible. But if you really think about it, kids are smart and know more than they let on. How they have to survive and the strategic planning involved with everything should not be possible for them. What I love most is how they cope with their lives being completely turned upside down. It most dystopians the young adults are just thrown into a completely messed up world and have to just move on. There really isn't anything that still let's them be kids. No tantrums, no fighting, and no wanting like kids do. Here, which makes it almost comical, is that they reference old things. How they keep their "status'" updates on a wall with drawn pictures of their friends or wiring a generator to play movies on a drawn up sheet. My favorite is the respawning that happens in Call of Duty if you die. How they references these things in the middle of a shoot out is historical but it's how they cope. I mean baby bottle Molotov cocktails, and Dora the suicide bomber being used as weapons, I couldn't stop laughing sometimes. Every kid still needs to e a kid even if they are fighting for what little food is still available.

The setting here is spot on. And I loved how I knew certain landmarks described here. It was like "oh I been there" or "oh that's from this movie" and it's all correct. Not just some thrown together city. I loved how Harlem is portrayed. And how the people there take this event. And how they survive and their ingenuity. It's amazing and I can't believe what they accomplished.

I loved this book. While it reminded me slightly of Viral Nation, it's different enough that I can't really compare them. Except for the "cure". This is an awesome action packed ride with a twist at the end I could not believe. And it still left me with my mouth hanging open trying to figure out what just happened and how. On a good way though! I can wait for the next book.

Aug 9, 2014

Review: After the Storm by Maya Banks

Title: After the Storm
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: 1.7.2014
Pages: 392
Genre: Adult, Romance, Military
Series: KGI #8
Source: eARC from publisher

Rating: 3 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Over the years, Donovan Kelly has fought relentlessly for justice, women and children always holding a special place in his heart. Working side by side with his brothers, Donovan has witnessed firsthand the toll it’s taken—physically, mentally, and emotionally—on his loved ones, and the innocent lives caught in the crossfire. What he never expects is for his next mission to happen right on his home turf—or for it to take a very personal turn.

Picturesque Kentucky Lake is the perfect place for a soul in search of safe harbor. A beautiful stranger has arrived—desperate, breathless, and on the run from a dark past closing in on her and the younger siblings she has vowed to protect. Donovan must now draw on every resource at his disposal—if he wants to save a woman and the children who may prove to be his destiny.

Please know that anytime a KGI novel from Maya Banks hits my shelf - virtual or physical - I will be dropping all things to read it. This includes occasionally acting like I have a case of Montezuma's revenge so I can hide in the bathroom at work and read.

Yes. It's that serious.

Of all the KGI guys, Van has always been the one that's the hardest for me to pin down. I love his heart and his brilliant mind, both of which are frequently in contradiction to the rough-and-tough KGI member that he comes across as. He's an enigma, and I was hoping his book would help me understand him a bit better.

It does ... but it also left me a little confused. While it has all the KGI staples I've come to know and love - hot guy, complex heroine, danger, and thrills with a some sexy times - this one kinda gave me a little whiplash, but I didn't notice until I set the book down at the end and realized that Van and Eve fell in love in 2 days.

2 days.

And it showed, unfortunately. The story felt a bit rushed and the pacing a bit off the whole time. Like Banks was following a formula (albeit a great one). The highlight was definitely the brief Rusty and Sean scenes because Rusty and Sean!!!!!!

I'm hoping this isn't the beginning of the end of my love for this series. 

Aug 8, 2014

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Taking
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 4.29.2014
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi
Series: The Taking #1
Source: ARC from ALA MW

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day. 

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men. 

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

Things I need in my life:

1. Sleep
2. Chocolate
3. Kimberly Derting books

OK, maybe not in that order, but you get what I’m saying.

I’ve been a fan of Derting’s for years, and I still say tell people to this day that my favorite YA romance ever – my #1 couple – is Jay and Violet from The Body Finder series. They may have a little competition with Kyra and Tyler now, though, because I thoroughly loved THE TAKING.

I’m kind of intrigued with this waking up and missing time idea. I wasn’t sure how I would enjoy it until reading it through Kyra’s eyes, and Derting does a fabulous job of walking the reader through Kyra’s confusion while still keep a witty edge to counter all the heavy emotions.

I do feel like the end was a bit rushed, and I’m hoping (expecting?) a lot of my questions will be answered in the next book.  I cannot wait for the rest of this series, and if you aren’t familiar with Derting’s work, jump on board now.

Aug 7, 2014

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Title: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: 5.6.2014
Pages: 378
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: The Falconer #1
Source: ARC from ALA MW

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

I love faeries. Even the dark ones. There aren't any nice and sparkly ones here. Well except one who still loves to talk about yanking someone's innards out. This tale of darker faeries was refreshing. That there is always a bad with the good.

Elizabeth May created a wonderful world. There is your city with its parks and rivers, your high class nobles and the royalty. My favorite thing about this is the steampunk era. I love tinkering with things and to have Lady Aileana be the tinkerer while trying to maintain her lady like appearance was mildly comical. I loved what she did with those things and why she did it. Even if for more than one reason.

After her mother’s murder, which she is blamed for by the whispers of society, changed her life. While trying to seek revenge by night and keeping her etiquette in check during the day, she has my favorite double life. Although, it doesn't quite work the way she had hoped.

I loved this book. And I cannot wait for the second to come out. The ending is so suspenseful that I wish I could just call Elizabeth right now and ask for the second one. This is a exciting, adventurous tale that kept me on the edge of my seat more than once.

Aug 6, 2014

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Title: Magnolia
Author: Kristi Cooke
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 384
Pages: 8.5.2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from ALA

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

You know that moment when you finish a book and all you want to do is push it all over your friends because it’s just so good? That was my experience with MAGNOLIA.  This is such a fun, refreshing book that caught me at the moment where all I wanted was something light and funny to entertain me, and Kristi Cook provided that and more.

MAGNOLIA is a twist on Romeo and Juliet. But instead of families that are mortal enemies with a pair of star-cross’d teenagers, we get the Cafferty’s and Marsden’s—families that have been united by friendship for years and have been waiting for the blessed day when they would have two kids roughly the same age that could marry and formally unite the families.

Unfortunately Jemma and Ryder don’t really like each other. At all. That premise would have been enough to hook me, but Cook lays a subtle backstory that adds a little extra depth. There is a legit reason why Jemma and Ryder are so at odds, and it all comes exploding to the surface in the midst of a massive storm where they’re stranded together.

This book is definitely what some would call a “palate cleanser”. And it is. But it’s also just a fantastic anytime book. Anytime you want romance? MAGNOLIA. Anytime you want entertainment? MAGNOLIA. Anytime you want comedy? MAGNOLIA.

Just trust me. MAGNOLIA all the way.