Book Review: Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims

17933522Title: Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims
Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Thriller
Length: 336 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication date: May 24, 2016
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Rating: 4/5

Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other. It’s a story that will keep readers turning pages and questioning their own sense of right and wrong.

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I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss.

Please Don’t Tell by Laura Grims is a gripping YA thriller told in the alternating perspectives of two twin sisters: Joy and Grace. When Joy learns what Adam, the school bad boy, has done to her sister she attends his birthday party with the purpose of confronting him. But Joy awakes in her own bed the next day with no recollection of what happened the night before and learns that Adam has been found dead. When she begins to receive letters from an anonymous source attempting to blackmail her into revealing some really dark secrets about the people around her, Joy is unsure what exactly she is capable of.

Please Don’t Tell definitely had the thriller/suspense vibe. It gripped my attention from the very first page and after that I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. It was thrilling, dark and suspenseful. It always had me on the edge of my seat trying to guess who the blackmailer was and although the person it ended up being was one of my guesses, I still wasn’t one hundred percent sure about it until the reveal happened.

It was a pretty dark, gritty story. It does cover some hard topics like rape, death, abuse and grief. It’s definitely not a happy book though there are a few happy moments. I loved the scenes between Levi and Joy when they are getting to know one another. There were alot of great, quotable lines throughout the book but specifically in the conversations between Levi and Joy. I hate how it ended between them even though it’s totally understandable, given the events that went on in the story but oh how I wished a happy ending for them. It was difficult to read the story from Grace’s perspective because of this terrible thing that has happened to her and that she has had to deal with in the only way she knew how.

It had this psychological element to it that made me want to keep reading more. It was a pretty intense read. I am giving this book a four out of five star review. It’s definitely a light read in terms of length and the fact that it will go by really fast because you won’t stop wanting to read it but definitely heavy in terms of topic. I recommend giving this book a read if you are a fan of YA thrillers! Also, I MUST mention the cover because the cover is fantastic. It’s eye catching with the bold, loud font contrasting with the muted black and white photo in the background. Genius!

Book Review: Where the Stars still Shine by Trish Doller

15826648Title:  Where the Stars still Shine by Trish Doller
Genre:  Young Adult Fiction – Contemporary
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Length: 352 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Rating – 4/5

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She’s never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love–even with someone who seems an improbable choice–is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Where the Stars Still Shine is a young adult contemporary novel about a young girl named Callie. When Callie’s parent’s divorced, her unstable mother kidnapped her and they have been living on the run for twelve years. Some really crappy things happen to Callie during these years: she is molested by one of her mother’s boyfriends, she isn’t allowed to go to school and she never lives in the same place long enough to make friends. Life is pretty much a mess until her mother has a run in with the law and she is forced to live in Florida with her dad and his family. It’s about her adapting to life with her “new” family, finding peace and acceptance within herself, finding love, and forgiving her mother.

Truthfully this book has been on my TBR for about a year and a half now and I’m glad that I finally got around to reading it this year. I thought it was a really good read. It deals with some tough subjects so it was really difficult for me to read at times because my heart just ached for Callie and all she had to go through in her life but it was really, really good. It was a very real and touching story and I really liked that. I thought the writing was wonderful and overall, I just really enjoyed reading this book. I had a slight problem with the ending…I wish there was a more concrete ending with Callie and Alex, I feel as though that part of the story was just left up in the air and I didn’t feel very satisfied that it was a conclusion but maybe the possibility of “anything” for the future was deliberate. If I’m looking at it from that perspective I understand it, plus I like that she finds peace within herself and her family and not in a guy. That was really great.

What drew me in at first was the beautiful cover and the beautiful title of the book. I highly recommend this book to readers of YA contemporary! Like I said it can be hard to read through because of the sensitive topics but it is so so good! I will be looking at reading other books by this author! Four stars!

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!!

Blog Tour Book Review: Vampire World by Rich Douglas

VWTOURBANNERVW_Promo2Title: Vampire World written by Rich Douglas
Genre: Young Adult Horror
Publisher: 284
Page count: Darkfeed Press (an imprint of GMTA Publishing)
Format: Epub (read on Nook App for Microsoft Surface)
Rating: 4/5

A popular teen is bitten by a vampire during a steamy night of making out with her boyfriend. After the bite, she wakes up in a cruel orphanage in Vampire World, with no memory of her past. She’s left with very little; only fangs, pale skin and a keen desire for blood.

Marissa, who’s named Janice in Vampire World, escapes the ghastly orphanage thanks to Mr. John FreeCut, an old, benevolent vampire who adopts Janice because he wants to foster children he could never have. He says her parents died in a crash. Beautiful, innocent and thrust into an enigmatic world she has no memory of, Janice must face many challenges. The grueling blood hostess job. The multiple stalkers and creepers who are hungry for her and her blood. The dizzying fireball competition. And most challenging, the fact that she doesn’t look or act like a vampire.

Janice is emotionally overwhelmed. Thankfully she makes some friends, including Brett BloodCut. Brett and Janice are immersed in a passionate romance, and Brett helps Janice adjust to her new world by giving her the love, confidence and knowledge she needs to survive as a vampire. Janice finds a way to succeed in such a problematic world. Things go well for Janice, though not for long. A stranger knows the truth about her past.

Slowly but surely Janice discovers the truth that she is being lied to by the ones she loves. She must learn the secret behind TriFang, and ultimately accept the stinging reality that things are not always what they seem. Could the truth ever be so bloody? (Goodreads)

Good morning and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Vampire World. I want to throw out a big thanks to Rich Douglas and GMTA for allowing me to participate!

Vampire World was so fun to read. It was actually just what I needed at the time I read it…the last book I read (which was awesome) was a fictionalized memoir of events during WWII that made me cry, so I definitely needed a far less heartbreaking story. This book satisfied that need SO well. I had sworn off Teen Vampire Fiction for the past year since there seemed to be so much of it flooding the market at one point and I remember picking up the first book in the Vampire Diaries series and hating it but then I opened up Vampire World and got totally sucked into the world and the story.

I had a hard time at first with the main character because she seemed very into herself at the beginning and I think I rolled my eyes everytime she talked about people staring at her because she was pretty but towards the middle of the story she becomes somewhat of a badass and I was immensely proud of her and impressed. The whole story was rather interesting in how it developed where she goes from this seemingly orphaned young vampire to a somewhat popular, new daughter, super awesome fireball/weapons trained mature vampire. The whole plot twist was pretty cool as well and I would actually like to see more from this story. I found the dynamics of the Vampire World to be super interesting and intense, the vampire names and the clubs are really cheesy but just add to the overall effect of the book I thought.

I don’t know if it was just me or everyone who has read this  but I got SUPER into the whole fireball thing. Janice learning how to play Fireball, going through pretty intense Fireball training and then competing in the tournament was such an awesome part of the story for me, I also loved anytime that she was weapons training and/or fighting someone. The action scenes were pretty intense and her relationship with Brett was definitely swoon worthy at some points. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and it’s a super fast read because it’s pretty intense and fun. I actually got so sucked into it that I was reading the book and apparently my husband was standing behind me for ten seconds and then he said something really loud and I got so scared! Anyway, give this book a try…I really liked it and I hope that you do, four stars to this entertaining read! I have 20 books to give away (free books people!!) so please comment and I will be happy to send you an ebook of your chosen format! Happy reading everyone!

About the Author

I am from New Orleans, Lousiana and I write young adult novels, fantasy and science fiction.

My new novel, Vampire World, is now available. If you enjoy reading paranormal YA fiction, please check this out now.

The Magical Tale of Eliza Felding, Book 1 of a trilogy, takes place in New Orleans one year after Hurricane Katrina. It involves teens, romance and tons of magic.

The Secret of the Dogs is a children’s book about four very different dogs (a Basenji, a Greyhound, a Pomeranian and an Airdale Terrier) who go on a quest to rescue a young boy that is being abused by his father.

I love writing, teaching, storm chasing, traveling and drinking orange soda.

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Blog Tour Book Review: The Shadow Soul (A Dance of Dragons #1) by Kaitlyn Davis

The Shadow SoulTitle: The Shadow Soul (A Dance of Dragons, #1) written by Kaitlyn Davis
Genre: Fantasy
Self Published
Page count: 231
Format: Epub (read on Microsoft Surface using Freda App)
Release Date: 02/20/14
Rating – 5/5!!

GAME OF THRONES meets GRACELING in a new fantasy series by bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis.

Jinji has been haunted by the death of her twin brother for ten years. Now, on the dawn of her joining, the nightmare that claimed him has returned for her.

Prince Whylrhen is determined to prevent the past from repeating itself. His kingdom is expecting a new heir, and he will stop at nothing to keep the child safe.

Though they’ve never met, the two share a deep secret—magic. Jinji can weave the elements to create master illusions and Whylrhen can pull burning flames into his flesh. But neither of them knows what they are truly capable of until a chance encounter brings them together. For their story has played out before, in a long forgotten time—an age of myth that is about to be reborn…

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

As an avid reader of fantasy titles and a huge fan of Game of Thrones, I was super excited to read this book when I saw that it was reviewed as a “Game of Thrones meets Graceling” in the Goodreads description above. I have never read Graceling although I plan to but I have heard that it’s a great book as well. I’m always pretty sold on anything fantasy and anything with magic or dragons in it so I was happy to sit down and dig into this book.

I really enjoyed this story. I don’t know what it is but I love reading fantasy books with female protagonists although this one switches between a female and a male perspective in which I extremely enjoyed both.

The story opens with Jinij, our female protagonist getting ready for her wedding day although the day turns out to end in a vastly different way than she ever could imagine. She is the last of her people which gives her story and perspective this really sad, desperate element with a lot of internal and external struggle which makes her a really interesting character. For most of this book she is also hiding under the guise of being a male which also lends a pretty interesting twist to the story. When she meets Rhen it is pretty obvious that someway, somehow he will end up being a love interest but not a lot of that is explored in this story although it is hinted at here and there so I am extremely curious and excited for the next book to see what goes on with that aspect of the story. I also love Rhen’s character and how he doesn’t have the attitude or arrogance that one would typically experience when dealing with a character that is a royal. Both of their powers are really interesting and it seems like as the story continues we are going to encounter a lot more people with powers and like we will learn a lot more of why these people are special and why the shadow is interested in them…and maybe if each is a dragon soul!

I am also very curious about the dragons, which weren’t really a huge part of this first book so I’m hoping that they will be a much larger aspect of the next books to come because it seems like this series is going to treat dragons in a whole different way than I have seen before. It’s always wonderful to see authors play with such staples of the fantasy genre and see what they can do differentlyhe S with them.

Aside from this story being interesting and fantastic, I thought the writing was superb. I always think it’s commendable when I don’t encounter mistakes in a final product and I found none!! <applause>!! The writing was detailed and the story was fresh! I always know world building is done right when I feel like I have physically visited the places and seen the people discussed in books and I definitely feel this way about the setting of this book. Well done!

Overall I gave this book a full five out of five rating, I thought this was a fantastic first book in a series. I’m excited to see where this series is going to go, there is definitely a lot of room to build out the series and I think the author is going to do some really interesting stuff with this story. The next book in this series comes out this year so I will be looking forward to that for sure and it is on my TBR list! Fantasy fans will not want to miss this book…it’s definitely YA but I think that it would be a fun read for mature fantasy readers as well! Who doesn’t love an entertaining fantasy read?

Also, a huge thanks to Kaitlyn Davis and YA Bound Book Tours for allowing me to read and review this awesome book!

About the Author

kaitlyn davisI’ve always been a writer. I grew up duct taping my novels together, started writing complete manuscripts in high school and studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. Upon graduating, I decided it was finally time to actually give my dream career a chance. So, of course, I started writing a young adult paranormal romance series — and no, I’m not jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve been a true paranormal supporter for my entire life! I blame my obsession almost completely on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my all-time favorite television show. And, before you ask: Yes, I own every season… even the post WB ones! I especially challenge anyone to watch the first three seasons and not fall in love with Angel, securing a lifelong love of vampires! Other culprits of my paranormal obsession are some of my favorite authors: JK Rowling, Raymond Feist, Meg Cabot, Richelle Mead, Lynne Ewing and Tamora Pierce.

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Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Fae by C.J. Abedi

Fae Blog TourTitle: Fae written by C.J. Abedi
Genre: YA Fiction –  Fantasy
Published by Diversion Books
Page count: 266
Format: Ebook (Read on Barnes and Noble HD+)
Rating: 4/5
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #41

“The battle between Light and Dark is about to begin.

Caroline Ellis sixteenth birthday sets into motion a series of events that have been fated for centuries. A descendant of Virginia Dare, the first child born in the lost colony of Roanoke, and unaware of her birthright as the heir to the throne of the Light Fae, it isn’t until she begins a tumultuous relationship with Devilyn Reilly that the truth is revealed.

Devilyn is the only one of the Fae who is both of the Light and of the Dark, and struggles to maintain that precarious balance to avoid succumbing to the power of the Dark within him. He is the only one who can save Caroline from those who would destroy her and destroy all hope for unity among the Fae. He promises Caroline that he will protect her at all costs, even when it means protecting her from himself.

Told from the alternating perspectives of Caroline and Devilyn, FAE draws on mysteries, myths and legends to create a world, and a romance, dangerously poised between Light and Dark.”

Welcome to my stop on the Fae Blog Tour!! I received a copy of Fae from the publisher for an honest review. I would like to thank Diversion Books and C.J. Abedi for allowing me to be a part of the Blog Tour for Fae!

I was really excited to read and review Fae because the story has a lot of elements that I like in a good book namely magic, the struggle between good and evil, fairies and in the case of Fae…mythology! When I started Fae, I knew that these things would be incorporated into the story from the description but I was pleasantly surpised to find that the story is about the Tuatha de Danaan. When I was in college I was obsessed with early Irish literature and coming across the Tuatha de Danaan in this book was such a treat for me.

I really enjoyed my read of Fae. There were quite a few things about it that drew me in and kept me interested in it. The use of mythology throughout the story was awesome and I like the characters the authors have written for us. I especially love Caroline, I think she was easy to relate to and overall just easy to like. I also liked Devilyn a lot even though I was frustrated with him for the way he treats Caroline at first. I really liked watching their romance develop throughout the story and I especially love the romantic moments they have, they’re so real and so sweet.

This book actually made me cry because it involves Caroline and her dog. I’m a fur mommy myself and my dog is literally my everything so their relationship really struck a chord with me. Although I knew I loved the book already, that was the moment that I realized how into the story I was. This is part of a series so I can’t wait to read the rest. I am so curious about how much more Devilyn and Caroline’s relationship is going to progress and how it is going to affect their relationship now that Devilyn is more Dark Fae than light (which is kind of hinted at in this but not really confirmed). I loved the dynamics of their relationship and the heart stopping moments we encounter as it grows and changes throughout the book.

I love the way the story is told – from both Caroline and Devilyn’s perspectives. I enjoy when stories are told that way, it lends a different dimension to the characters in the story instead of having us just experience them through only one characters eyes. I think it makes the story more personal and makes us less biased towards the characters or what happens to them and between them.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Fae. It’s a pretty light read and will definitely be a treat for any YA Fantasy fans out there! As part of the Fae Blog Tour, I am hosting a giveaway of an ebook copy of Fae so you can have your chance to read it asap! Please enter through the Rafflecopter link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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C. J. Abedi is made up of the sister writing team Colet and Jasmine Abed who wrote the upcoming series Fae.  They have always had a love of writing and began collaborating on many projects when they were very young.  Their passion for all things creative led them to the world of the entertainment industry where they have worked since completing their education.

Colet Abedi ran development for ITV Studios and is currently Executive Producer on three shows that run in syndication called Unsealed: Conspiracy Files, Unsealed: Alien Files and Now Eat This with Rocco DiSpirito. She was also an Executive Producer on Posh Tots. Prior to that, she was a Head Writer for 20th Television, a division of Fox, for two telenovelas, American Heiress starring Annalyn McCord and Robert Buckley and Fashion House, starring Bo Derek and Taylor Kinney. She alsorecently completed the feature filmFive Souls that will be released next year.

Jasmine Abedi is an entertainment attorney, and has worked with entertainment powerhouses such as Fox, NBC Universal, ABC, MTV and E! for the past 14 years. She has also worn many different hats in the entertainment industry, with Executive Producer credits for the television programs Posh Tots and the pilots Club Bounce (TruTV), Divas(VH-1), and Life With The Clarks (CMT). In addition to writing, she has also partnered with a law school friend to create the natural cosmetic company Generation Klean, Inc. Their products can be found online at www.generationklean.com and at major retailers (Whole Foods, Fred Segal etc.) nationwide.

Make sure to add Fae to your Goodreads to-read list and visit the author’s websites!

Links

C.J. Abedi’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaeTrilogy
C.J. Abedi’s Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cjabedi
C.J. Abedi’s Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/CJAbedi/
Fae Homepage: http://www.thefaearecoming.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18142560-fae
Diversion Books: http://www.diversionbooks.com/ebooks/fae

Happy Reading y’all!!

Book Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

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Title: Crossed (Matched #2) written byAlly Condie
Genre: YA Fiction – Dystopian Romance
Published by Penguin Group, USA
Page count: 409
Format: Ebook (read on Barnes and Nobles Nook HD+)
Rating: 4/5 – I really liked this book!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #16 (skipped 15 on purpose because it’s part of a blog tour and will be posted in a few days, AHHH)

After having lost the love of her life to the society, Cassia Reyes is back in the second installment of the Matched series, to find him. Not only does she go after Ky but she is also in search of something much bigger than the both of them: The Rising. Having experienced what she did in Oria and in the work camps, Cassia is more convinced than ever that she belongs in the Rising, a rebel group that has infiltrated the society and fights for a world free from society rule. After travelling through the Carving to find him, Ky and Cassia are reunited and Cassia finds herself pulled into the path of the unknown as she encounters more secrets, truth, hardship, loss, betrayal and immense love.

The Matched series is fast becoming one of my most favorite series ever. Although I didn’t love Crossed nearly as much as I fell head over heels in love with the first book Matched, I really really really liked this book. I think one of my favorite things about it are Ky’s parts of the story…the chapters where the story is delivered through Ky’s eyes whereas in Matched we get the story from Cassia’s perspective. I liked getting to see how Ky’s mind worked and the reasons behind his actions and getting to view Cassia and their situation through his unique lens.  There were some really great moments in this book that had my heart just about die in my chest. This series does that to me repeatedly which is definitely a good thing.

I really liked the cast of characters in this one although I was a little sad that we didn’t get to see much of Xander at all except having the rest of the characters talk about him. I’m glad we find out his secret too! Finding out about his secret was one of those moments where I almost died. I don’t want to give away any of the story but if you’ve read it…towards the end when she talks about going to meet “him”, who do you think she’s talking about? Who do you HOPE she’s talking about? I’m completely torn as to who I think is best for Cassia. I really like Ky and the way he see’s Cassia but maybe in the next book we’ll be in Xanders head!! There are alot of questions I still have like, how things are back in Oria are, how Cassia’s family is faring in their new home, how Cassia feels about her assignment from the Rising and whether Ky is the Pilot.

It honestly took me a little bit to get into the book but I think that had more to do with my crazy busy school schedule than anything else because the story was really very good. As always with this series, I loved the writing. One of the great things about the Matched series too are the poems Ally Condie chooses to incorporate into the story which is cool because one of the poem basically becomes Cassia’s fuel for finding the rising.

I highly recommend Crossed or if you haven’t read Matched read it! Then you can read this one! It will not disappoint! I am definitely looking forward to picking up the third one: Reached.