Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

18460392Title: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Genre: YA – Contemporary
Length: 378 pages
Format: Print – Softcover
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date:  January 6, 2015
Rating – 5 stars

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

 

I decided to pick up All the Bright Places on a whim, not even having read the synopsis but I had seen the cover on Goodreads and I thought it was a really pretty cover. (Yes, I admit it. I like a really pretty cover.) I had no clue that this book was going to be made into a movie but now that I know, that makes me even happier that I finally read it so that I can prepare myself because I am pretty sure that movie is going to make me cry.

All the Bright Places is about Finch and Violet. It is told in their alternating perspectives which are very distinct from each other so the story is easy to follow. Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at their school. They basically talk each other off the ledge, end up getting stuck together on a school project and and find their reasons to go on living each day to its fullest in each other. Both are struggling through their own set of problems and trying to overcome them and their relationship changes both of them forever. 

I don’t even quite know what to say about this or how to quite explain my feelings about it because I have a lot of them. In short, this book wrecked me. It swallowed my heart, chewed it up and spit it out crushed into tiny little pieces. There was quite a bit of ugly crying involved. 

As sad as it made me in some parts, I am really glad that I read it. I laughed, I cried, I got angry and I swooned. 

The story was beautiful and tragic and the writing was beautiful. This is my first Jennifer Niven book and I am looking forward to more of her work because she just writes so beautifully. I loved the way she wrote these characters, Finch and Violet were everything to me of course but even the side characters have some pretty great depth to them. It really reminded me that everyone struggles with something in their life, no matter how perfect they or their life seems to be and reminds me to be mindful of that in my daily interactions with people. 

This book definitely deals with heavy but super important topics like bullying, suicide, mental illness, abuse and death but I think it is done is such a great way. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this book other than READ IT. It is so so so good and devastating and now I have a book hangover from it. 5 stars and I can’t wait to see the movie.

 

Blog Tour Book Review: The Takers by Amanda Bigler

TTBANNERThe Takers ART.aiTitle: The Takers by Amanda Bigler
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult – Paranormal
Length: 210 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication date: November 25, 2015
Publisher: Howling Wolf, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Rating: 4/5

Thomas Feist’s only goal for the immediate future was to successfully graduate from high school. After a freak car accident and the appearance of mystery girl Anais, Thomas’ priorities change. Believing that Anais and his friend Z were somehow involved in the accident, Thomas becomes leery of Z and curious about Anais’ background.

When some of Z’s extended family members are found dead, Z attends the funeral where she confides in Thomas that she had, in fact, saved his life in the accident. Z explains that she was sent to protect Thomas, and she offers him an expense-paid trip to Paris to further his studies. Thomas learns that his hosts are unique and must feed from the emotions of others, in order to survive. 

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Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Takers by Amanda Bigler. I’d like to thank the author and Ravenswood Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for honest review.

When I started reading this book, I didn’t know anything about the plot. I had read the synopsis months and months prior to reading it but at the time that I picked it up to read it I could no longer recall what it was about so I kind of went in to this book blind, which is how I prefer to jump into a book. When I started reading it, I was hooked pretty much right away. A few of the books I have read so far this year have taken me at least fifty or hundred pages to get into the story but this one had me hooked almost right away. I think the writing is what it did it for me.

I really liked the characters and I especially loved the concept of the Takers and Givers. I am pretty certain that this is a first book in a series as this book definitely feels like it is setting up a pretty interesting story. One thing that I can’t wait to find out more about is how the Takers tie in with Celtic Mythology and how Thomas’ father may fit into the story as well. There were very subtle references to the fact that Thomas’ father may or may not figure into the world of the Takers but I am hoping that Thomas is able to find some sort of resolution on that front as my heart did ache for him when he thought of his father. I also would like to see more about Ana and Thomas and their obvious attraction to each other, as well as the shaky relationship/friendship between him and Z. I also can’t wait to find out more about Thomas. It seems like he is different than other Givers. I also feel like the side characters were all pretty interesting as well and I really want to learn more about them. Any book that makes me interested in not only the main characters, but also about the side characters is pretty great in my book.

Overall, I really liked and enjoyed this book. It definitely has me interested to continue the series and see where this plot and these characters go. After finishing this book, I have quite a few of unanswered questions that I am sure will be resolved in the following books so that’s exciting.  It is a promising first book in a series and I recommend for fans of YA paranormal series. I can’t wait to see where this goes and I really love the cover!

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ABAbout the Author

Amanda Bigler received her BA in English Literature with a Creative Writing emphasis from the University of Kansas in the United States. In 2010 she was awarded the University of Kansas’ Creative Writing award for her short work, “Tightrope.” She then completed her MA in Literature with a negotiated pathway from Loughborough University in 2013. Currently, she is a postgraduate research student at Loughborough University. Amanda’s research focuses on contemporary literature, humanist American and British literature, and technology’s influence on current literature in a post-postmodern era. Amongst her publications are: “Unorganis(z)ed Chaos” (You Is for University), “On the River’s Edge” (The StoryGraph), “Patriots, Lobsters, and Nudity: Exploring Situational Irony in Contemporary American Humorist Literature” (New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing), “Cloven” (Goldsmiths Literature Seminar (GLITS) e-journal of criticism), and “Cardinal” (Wicked Young Writers Award 2014.

AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://lboro.academia.edu/AmandaBigler, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=18812863

 AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015UR7DS4

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015UR7DS4

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-takers-amanda-bigler/1122709762?ean=2940151155786

KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-takers-2

GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Amanda_Bigler_The_Takers?id=RQacCgAAQBAJ&hl=en

SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/580323

iBOOKS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-takers/id1044896552?mt=11

CREATESPACE: https://www.createspace.com/5707245

 PAPERBACK: http://www.amazon.com/Takers-M-Bigler/dp/151711098X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443458403&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=The+Takers+amanda+Bigler

 

 

Cover Reveal: Once Upon A Time University by Savannah Ostler D’Alo

Good morning everyone! This morning I am excited to share with you the cover reveal for Once Upon a Time University by Savannah Ostler D’Alo. I read and reviewed the first book in this series and thought it was a super cute, fun story…you can see that review here: Happily Ever After High School Review. Without further ado, here is the cover for the second book in this series!!!

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Okay guys, seriously! Isn’t this cover gorgeous?!! I’m in love with it, so in love with it and I can’t wait to read it!

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The enchanting sequel to “Happily Ever After High School” 

After graduating Happily Ever High, eighteen year old Albany French was living the perfect fairy tale. She had her very own fairy godmother, a delightfully eccentric grandmother, and her boyfriend was her dream knight in shining armor. 

At first, it seemed like a flawless freshman year for her at Once Upon A Time University. The campus was magical and enchanted, her classes were extraordinary, and she made surprising new friends. 

A chain of unsettling events followed by a twist of fate sends Albany spinning. She is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life- one that could potentially break her heart. The perfect happily ever after was still within Albany’s grasp… or so she thought. 

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About the Author

IMG_3846Savannah Ostler was born in Alpine, Utah. Since childhood, she has enjoyed many forms of the arts. It was from her love of performing that she decided to attend East Hollywood High, a school in Salt Lake City dedicated to film, television, and writing.

In addition to acting for both stage and film, Savannah is also a singer, having released several original pop singles, and performing at well known venues in Hollywood such as The House Of Blues, and the Roxy theater.

Although Savannah is incredibly diverse with her talents, her first love is, and has always been writing. She has been writing ever since she learned how to read and write. She enjoys many different forms of writing: poetry, lyrics, fiction, and screenplays. To date, Miss Ostler has written hundreds of original poems, six original songs produced and performed by Savannah herself, hundreds of lyrics not yet produced, over a dozen produced short films, five feature film screenplays, two television pilots, and of course, her first novel Happily Ever After High School.

Savannah has always been a day dreamer and a true kid at heart. When she is not buried in her writing projects, she can be found at Disneyland, living out all of her fairy tale dreams.

She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband Steve and their two mixed Chihuahua pups.

Blog Tour Book Review – Sapphire: The Shielded Realms by Elayne Griffith

NEWSAPPHIRETitle: Sapphire: The Shielded Realms written by Elayne Griffith
Genre: Epic Fantasy Saga
Publisher: Mythos Press
Page Count: 275 pages
Format: Ebook
Rating: 5/5

There was a flash of light, the ground quaked, and suddenly a large silhouetted shape lifted itself from swirling white flames.”

Shawna’s ordinary life is forever changed when monstrous creatures come scratching at her door, and a black unicorn mysteriously comes to her aid. She then finds herself at the mercy of a sassy old witch, a quirky fairy who’s allergic to her own fairy dust, and a world of magic and nightmares. A world, she discovers, that is not only her own, but is unraveling from an ancient curse. The truth of its origins, and of the shattered sapphires, will take Shawna and her companions on a fantastical adventure through the hidden secrets of the shielded realms.

~ When there is darkness in our lives, and the path is not always clear, all we need to do is believe. ~

 

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Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Sapphire: The Shattered Realms. I would like to give a very warm thank you to the author Elayne Griffith and Mythos Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!

Sapphire: The Shattered Realms is a YA fantasy title about a teenage girl Ava, who on the eve of her sixteenth birthday discovers that her parents have been keeping a terrible secret from her. Not only are they not her real parents but she is from an entirely different world…a world in which fairies, unicorns and enchanted crystals are a reality. Faced with a doomsday prophecy and pretty scary enemies, Shawna embarks on a quest (along with unlikely friends) to claim her birthright and save her world.

I loooooved this book. I have never read a book (that I can remember) that had a unicorn in it and when I was presented with the opportunity to read this book I jumped at the chance, because really who doesn’t love unicorns? I think though that I had the impression that it might be a super cheesy fantasy story but that was a totally wrong impression. It was awesome. It definitely wasn’t cheesy but was super fun and interesting. I absolutely loved all the characters that we meet throughout the story from the ones we meet for only a few seconds like the super cute lor-lor to Shawna, or shall I say, Ava herself.  I really liked her character journey from Shawna to Ava. I found her a little annoying at first but what teenage girl isn’t at that age, I know I was but as her character develops throughout the story I just grew to love her…she turns into a pretty strong, badass girl. I really loved that the romance line of this story was kept pretty light because I think a lot of emphasis in YA novels IS put on the romance lines but this book kept the emphasis on Shawna’s quest and her story which was really cool.

I actually can’t sing enough praises about this book, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I ended up loving it. I was fully engrossed in this world from page one and I just loved every minute of it. What a great, fun, pleasurable read. I am so glad I read this. If you are looking for a fun, YA fantasy to read, I highly recommend reading this book. The writing was awesome and the characters were great. Loved it!

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About the Author PIC1

Elayne Griffith grew up writing, drawing, climbing trees, and riding unicorns…er, horses as a young girl. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and many years of job-bouncing, she suddenly had an epiphany: life is short, do what you love to do. She quit her job in the city and moved back to nature. Many bags of rice and beans later, she has written her first novel. She currently lives in the mountains, happy as a caffeinated squirrel, while continuing to pursue her writing and artistic career. “Follow your passion, for it is your greatest love.”

 

 

WEBSITE: http://www.elaynegriffith.com/
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7093008.Elayne_Griffith
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elayne-Griffith/210228185671724?ref=hl
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/ElayneGriffith

Currently Available at:
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble.com
Createspace
Book Depository
And everywhere EBooks are sold, Worldwide

 SAPPHIRE: THE SHIELDED REALMS
US
UK
PAPERBACK

NEWMYTHOS

RWNEW

Blog Tour Guest Post & Book Review: The Marian by Taylor Hohulin

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Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Marian written by Taylor Hohulin! I’d like to thank Taylor Hohulin for including me in his blog tour and giving me the opportunity to read and review his book! This blog tour post is a special one for me as I have never had an author guest post and I’m excited to have Taylor as a guest on my blog today as well as excited to share what I thought of his book! In this post you will find the synopsis, Taylor’s guest post where he talks casting (awesome!) and lastly, my review! We hope you enjoy this post!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00039]Fifteen-year-old Ethan Denby doesn’t know how he got on the Marian. He just woke up one day inside the body of its captain.

The Marian is unlike any ship Ethan has ever seen. It crawls on long, metal legs over dunes of salt in search of water, despite laws granting exclusive harvesting rights to a corrupt organization known as HydroSystems Worldwide.

HydroSystems is closing in, tensions are mounting aboard the Marian, and on top of all that, Ethan is beginning to think the dreams he’s been having aren’t completely harmless. If he doesn’t get home soon, Ethan could die inside someone else’s body in this wasteland of a world. The only way back seems to be through a place known simply as the Cloud, but how can he convince the crew to take him there when it means confronting a dangerous cult and venturing into a place where the very fabric of reality has worn thin?

Casting the Crew of the Marian
Ethan Denby – Tom Hiddleston
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This was a hard role to cast. Whoever played Ethan would essentially spend the movie playing a teenager with a pretty good life trapped in the body of a wasteland-hardened adult. I settled on Tom Hiddleston, mostly based on his portrayal of Loki in the last few Marvel movies. He’s able to handle the action-heavy scenes, but still maintains a youthful glee. Obviously, Loki would need to have much worse skin, and a nice scraggly beard. Dude looks like a Covergirl commercial.
We don’t get to see Ethan in his own body in The Marian, but if we did, he’d totally be Asa Butterfield of Ender’s Game/The Boy in the Striped Pajamas fame.
Jackie Sparks – Dylan O’Brien
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I had trouble finding someone for the Marian’s wild, wisecracking teenage engineer, but then my wife suggested Dylan O’Brien. Apparently, he’s best known for his role on the Teen Wolf TV show, and will appear in the film adaptation of The Maze Runner. After a few YouTube clips of him cutting up, I was sold. Give him some crazy red hair and a bag of tools, and he’s got the look I’d imagined, too.
Tucker Frye – Thomas Hayden Church
Actor Thomas Haden Church arrives for th
Tucker is the Marian’s doctor, unofficial encyclopedia, and voice of reason. He needs to be portrayed by someone is able to appear simultaneously likeable, wise, and exhausted…something that I think Church achieved pretty darn well in Easy A. Should that be a guilty pleasure movie? I don’t care. It was surprisingly fantastic.
Percy Hale – Tom Hardy
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Percy was the Marian’s quartermaster until he learned the person inside his captain’s body didn’t have a clue how to run a ship. As second in command, he declared himself captain, much to the dismay of a few members of the crew. Percy is a big, scary man, and there are some who wonder if his loyalty is for sale. It would be interesting to see Tom Hardy take on this role. He’s an imposing physical presence, but he’s also got some real acting chops.
Bonnie Sparks – Emma Stone
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Remember the five minutes Emma Stone spent as Hollywood’s “it” girl before Jennifer Lawrence became Katniss Everdeen and dominated our nation’s consciousness? I like Jennifer Lawrence, but I always preferred Emma Stone…and still do. No matter what movie she’s in, she manages to have instant chemistry with every other person on screen. That’s essentially Bonnie’s character. She’s a peacekeeper when tempers flare and a Jill-of-all-trades around the ship.
Lester – Jared Leto
Jared_Leto-Mr-Nobody
No one knows much about Lester. The crew of the Marian thinks he might have been alive when the bomb was dropped and Earth transformed into a waterless wasteland, but no one can be sure because he rarely speaks. He’s a mean-spirited beanpole of a man, and Jared Leto might seem like an odd casting choice for him…unless you’ve seen Mr. Nobody. Among other things, Leto plays a pretty convincing 120-year old man, thanks to some impressive makeup work. The performance is over-the-top and almost cartoonish at times, but Lester is kind of an over-the-top, cartoonish character.
The Navigator – Bill Murray
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I’m of the firm belief that any film, no matter the genre, benefits from Bill Murray’s presence. The Navigator has been a blast to write. Like Lester, he was alive when the bomb was dropped and the earth changed forever. The only problem is he either didn’t notice the bomb and its effects, or he’s completely blocked the memory from his mind. He thinks the Marian is a deep-sea fishing vessel. Bill Murray’s comedic chops and ridiculously high likeability quotient make him the perfect candidate for the Navigator.
Buddy – Jorge Garcia
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Buddy is the Marian’s big, loveable engine operator. He needs to be portrayed by someone who can inspire pity without being a guy who whines all the time, and who can be instantly likeable. Jorge Garcia’s portrayal of Hurley in LOST definitely fits the bill here.

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Taylor Hohulin is a DJ at a Christian rock radio station in Dallas, Texas. He lives in Arlington with his wife, where they are owned by two cats and a dog. His greatest fear is working a job where he is required to shave daily. And spiders.

Title: The Marian written by Taylor Hohulin
Genre: YA – Post Apocalyptic/Steampunk
Page count: 198
Format: Ebook (read on Microsoft Surface Nook App)
Rating – 5/5

When I read the synopsis for The Marian I immediately jumped at the chance to read and review it! Not only do I lack considerable experience with steampunk-esque novels, but the synopsis drew me in and I wasn’t disappointed!

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot because I definitely think this is a book that you’d want to read and I don’t want to spoil it but I did want to talk a little about the story. The Marian is a ship, crawling through the desert of the ocean whose crew specializes in water smuggling under the nose of the government corporation that holds “all” of earth’s remaining water. Ethan Denby suddenly finds himself aboard The Marian and thrust into this life of constant danger as part of this crew, always looking over their shoulder and hoping to make a difference in a world where hope is scarce. The big question is, will he ever get back home?

I gave this book a 5 star rating because I really enjoyed this book and this world. This is my first steampunk novel and I really enjoyed the steampunk influence and being thrust into this world of post apocalyptic machinery. I love how the ship has been outfitted to crawl on the ocean floor and drill into “water wells”. The world building and the history of how the world got this way was so interesting to me and I found myself lost in this world and the characters.

One of the best things about this book, besides the well crafted world, is the cast of characters. I love all of them! I’d have to say my favorite character is Buddy and the sort of conundrum he is to me. I see him as this big burly guy yet he’s this teddy bear of a man who loves reading and writes poetry, I love it! I also love Bonnie, the fierce female of the crew who can hold her own amongst the men in a seemingly all male industry like water smuggling where danger abounds.

The plot of this book is so interesting and definitely different than any other post apocalyptic book I’ve read so far. It made me think of what could happen if one day we found ourselves in a similar predicament. I liked this story because the “pirates” were the good guys and we live in a world where pirates rating is bad so it was good to see a positive spin on pirates in this book!

All in all I loved this story and I can’t wait to continue reading it because, good news, it is the start to what I think is going to be a killer trilogy. If you are a sci-fi or fantasy fan you need to check this book out and embark on a truly interesting and entertaining journey that will leave you at the edge of your seat!

Free preview chapter download: http://books.noisetrade.com/taylorhohulin/the-marian-excerpt

Spotlight on The Marian (The Marian #1) by Taylor Hohulin

Hello everyone! I wanted to take a moment and spotlight an exciting new release. The Marian (The Marian #1) which is written by Taylor Hohulin is releasing on September 19, 2014.

The author recently revealed the fantastic cover which you can see below for your viewing pleasure!

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I have the honor of participating in the blog tour for The Marian! Be looking forward to a guest post from the author as well as a review from yours truly on September 17th. Get excited!

Below I have included a few very important links that you will want to check out in anticipation of the release! If you haven’t had a chance yet to read the synopsis, check it out and add it to your TBR list!

As always, Happy reading everyone!!

Book Review: Nameless by Mercedes M. Yardley

namelessTitle: Nameless: The Darkness Comes (The Bone Angel Trilogy) written by Mercedes M. Yardley
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Ragnarok Publications
Page count: 227
Format: Epub (read on Microsoft Surface using Nook App) Rating – 4/5

 

Luna Masterson sees demons. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day.

Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’

After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together…even until the end. (Goodreads)

I received Nameless from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Nameless was definitely a different spin on a young adult fantasy than I have ever read so it was a great change of pace for me. It was very dark, a little gritty and sometimes downright spooky. Like most books there were small things about the main character and the story I could pick out that I didn’t like (like Luna falling in love with Reed so fast although I guess when you know you just really do know maybe?). For some reason that really bothered me. Otherwise I thought this book was great…it was a really interesting and fast paced read. I especially enjoyed the action scenes where Luna has to battle some of the demons she sees, let’s just say I really wouldn’t want to be her.

I really love Luna as a character. I feel like she’s a pretty strong female character (except for when it comes to Reed) and I love that she seems like more of a tragic hero. She’s definitely very flawed but has this amazing compassion and loyalty to her family, seems to draw strength from inside herself and just doesn’t give up no matter how hard the going gets…and for her it seems to be plenty hard. She also has this pretty awesome ability to see and interact with demons…which is kind of freaky but equally cool. It’s always interesting to think that there may be some sort of different plane of existence where beings of some kind are walking amongst us and other similar theories. I think this book did such a great job of making a world like that seem possible.

I would love to read more from this series and I am hoping that we get to learn more about Luna and her family background…maybe see if there is any particular reason that this ability seems to be genetic. I loved the ending to this book, although I was hoping that the book had a different ending for Reed…it really makes me think that there could be some sort of tragic romance brewing between Mouth and Luna. I’m very interested in continuing to read this trilogy…if you are a fan of paranormal fantasy I would definitely recommend this book!!

Lastly, how cool is the book cover? It’s definitely fitting and what I would imagine Luna looking like!