Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Apollyon (Covenant #4) & Sentinel (Covenant #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

SummaryFate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.
 (Via goodreads.com)
Pages: 343

Release Date: April 4th, 2013

Rating: 5/5 stars


SummaryIt's a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.
 (Via Goodreads.com)
Pages: 297

Release Date: November 2nd, 2013

Rating5/5 stars

     The worst thing about being a reader is when you reach the end of a series. In some cases, you finish the series and immediately read something else, not stopping to mourn because the series was nothing special to you. But, then there are other series, rather rare cases, that you get attached and you don't want to let go. The Covenant series is one of the latter. I have only been reading the series for the last few months, while others have been with the series for years. I became so attached to the characters and the story.  Ironically, the series is based on Greek Mythology, and the author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the Book God. I have never read any of her books and not loved them. The Covenant series is no exception. 
     The Covenant series is full of bad a** characters, plot twists, phenomenal writing, and it takes the readers on an emotional roller-coaster. The conclusion to the series was absolutely perfect. It is one of the best conclusions to a series. The characters got the endings they deserved, and so much more. Though the series was devastating at times and we lost many beloved characters, everything happened for a reason and it worked out perfectly. 
     The Covenant series leaves the perfect opportunity for the New Adult spin-off series. I got an ARC of The Return, the first book in the spin-off series, and it was phenomenal. I highly recommend checking it out. 
     Although it is hard to let go of beloved series, I am more than satisfied by the conclusion and I feel comfortable leaving the characters where they are. All of them are safe and knowing we no longer are a part of their journey means that they are all fine, because if they were not, we would still be with them.  
     I would highly recommend reading the Covenant series if you are a fan of Greek Mythology. I also highly recommend reading anything by Jennifer L. Armentout, she has written a ton of books in various genres. I guarantee you will find something you like.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole

Summary:Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions 
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, the Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory 
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned 
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first...?
 (Via Goodreads.com)

Pages: 303 

Release Date: January 6th, 2015

Rating: 5/5 stars

     It is rather ironic that, Dead of Winter, my most highly anticipated book of 2015, is the first new release of this year for me. I only had to wait a week into the new year for Dead of Winter, but I have been waiting for this book since I finished Endless Knight in late May and those eight months have been torturous enough.  
     When it was first announced that the books of The Arcana Chronicles were going to go through a cover change, I was enraged. The covers of Poison Princess, the first book in the series, and Endless Knight, the second novel in the series, had such stunning covers and I did not want them to be redesigned. I swear publishing houses decide to redesign the covers of a series midway through the series so readers will spend their money and re-buy all the currently released books with the new cover so the entire series will match. As a highly OCD person when it comes to my bookshelves, I would agree with that theory because I have a hard time focusing on my bookshelves when books in the same series don't have matching covers or binding. My rant aside, I was nervous to see the new covers because I was in love with the old ones. But, to my surprise, the new covers are just as stunning as the old ones. In comparison to other redesigned series, the books in this series have not been changed too much. The major difference between the covers are that the original covers featured models on the front and back cover while the new editions only have models on the back. I am really pleased that they kept the same cover models from the previous books. I do not know which covers I prefer, they are both stunning. What do you think: do you like the new or old covers better? 
     The books in The Arcana Chronicles are tiny, they average about 330 pages a book. Although they are small in size, Kresley Cole is able to condense everything a reader could possibly want and she keeps up a perfect pace. 
     The Arcana Chronicles is a post-apocalyptic series that is based in Louisiana and features a unique plot that is best summed up as a version of The Hunger Games with tarot cards. Although I described the series as The Hunger Games, the plot is one-of-a-kind and has paranormal and supernatural elements sprinkled in. The books are fast paced and easy to finish in one sitting. The romance is perfect and features two heart-throb male characters that you are sure to swoon for. Kresley Cole has a phenomenal writing style and I have heard great things about her other books, but they are all unfortunately Adult books. When I get older I plan to read them and hopefully she plans to write more Young Adult series and books in the future. I highly recommend reading The Arcana Chronicles, and who would not want to have such beautiful covers sitting on their bookshelves? 

     Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.  To top it off, I got to meet Kresley Cole at the What's Hot In Young Adult Fiction panel. When I was talking to her during the signing she had mentioned to me that in Dead of Winter readers would get a glimpse of Jack's point of view. I was curious to see if the book would have chapters that would swap between Evie and Jack's point of view because I did not know how else Kresley would be able to add Jack's point of view to the story. I was surprised when Matthew began to let Evie have glimpses of both Jack and Aric's past but it really tied the story together. I was able to sympathize with both of the guys and it helped Evie determine who she wanted to be with.
     When I read Poison Princess a little over a year ago, I was head-over-heels in love with Jack; but, when I read Endless Knight last May, Aric stole my heart. I want to see both the guys happy because they both have endured hardships but I am without a doubt, Team Aric. Jack is able to love other women and be with them while Aric is only able to be with Evie because he kills everyone else he touches. While Jack has faced hardships, Aric has endured the worst. Aric accidentally killed his parents at a young age with his lethal touch and has spent two thousand years alone. He needs companionship more than anyone else does. I was so heartbroken for Aric when Evie told him she wanted to be with Jack because she sentenced Aric to more centuries alone. I was so proud of Aric when he decided not to tell Evie he had her grandmother so she would choose to be with him because she loved him, not because he had the person she would do anything to get to. It showed that Death does have a heart. 
     Personally, Selena is more suitable for Jack than Evie is because Selena and Jack have both been tortured by the Twins and only they could understand what the other has gone through. Jack and Selena would never open up to anyone but each other about what they went through when they were with the Twins. Jack would never confide in Evie about what he went through, and I think the only way for Jack and Selena to get over and cope with what happened is to open up to each other. 
     I had no idea that Dead of Winter was going to end the way it did. But, I am confident that Jack survived the lava. Authors do not kill off love interests like that, they just want to torture you for a while until they are brought back unharmed. However, I am not so sure that Selena survived. I would like to hope that she because she went through so much in Dead of Winter and she did not deserve to meet her end like that. Jack and Selena are two extremely strong characters and out of all the character in the series, they would be the most likely to survive. I just hope they did. 
     I had a really hard time reading Silver Shadows, the fifth book in the Bloodlines series, by Richelle Mead because of all the things Sydney had to endure and Dead of Winter was so much harder. The Twins are horrible people and they deserved to die. Although they were only doing what they did in revenge for Evie since one of the former Empress' were nasty to them, it still does not justify what they did. Evie is nothing like her former selves and Jack and Selena did nothing wrong to deserve all that cruelty. It was so hard to read some of those scenes, they were sick and disgusting. But, I guess that proves how well Kresley Cole's writing ability is.    
     Overall, Dead of Winter was full of action, romance, and nail-biting suspense. I have absolutely no idea what to expect in the next book. There has yet to be a title or release date announced but I hope they will be announced soon and I am crossing my fingers that the next book will be released next year. I do not want to wait over a year for the next book, I need to know what happens now. I would also like to know how many books are going to be in the series, I have never heard a definite number, but I hope it will be a longer series because I am tired of reading trilogies or four books series, I want some variety. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

SummarySeventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. 

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. (Via Goodreads.com)

Release Date: January 1st, 2010

Rating: 4/5 stars

     I had no expectations going into The Duff. I did not know anyone who read it and I did not look into any reviews on the book. I read the book because the movie is expected to be released on February 20th, 2015. I had watched the trailer and the movie looked really good. 
     After only seeing a few movie trailers I can say without a doubt, the movie is so much different from the book. The movie features characters that did not exist in the book and the two plots are not the same in any way, shape, or form. However, during a Twitter chat the other day, when the author, Kody Keplinger, was asked how she felt about the movie being so different the book, she replied, "It's a good movie and the message is still there. That's what matters to me." I really liked that she responded in that manner because reviewers normally pick apart book-to-movie adaptations for their lack of faith to the book. When I review book-to-movie adaptations, I try to keep an open mind about the movie because it is based on the book, it is not the book.  
     I really like what Bianca's mom said on page 125, "No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually." 
     Bianca was such a relatable character. She had the same attitude towards love that I have. I constantly see my friends or mutual friends telling their boyfriend/girlfriend that they love each other after dating for about week. I don't believe in love at first sight. No one truly 
knows another person after dating or meeting each other after such a short period of time. You need to get to know each other before you start confessing your love for someone
that you have only seen or talked to for a few days or weeks. Bianca really understood that.
     I have only ever encountered one other book that features my name. As much as I love that a little girl named Casey appears in Marcus Zusak's I Am the Messenger for one line, it was nice that a character with my name was one of the main characters. Casey was a really great character and she reminded me of myself. Both Casey and I give our friends advice and are really good listeners. We both love to support and be there for the people we care about, I could not have been happier to share a name with another character.     
     I never expected pulling such a fantastic message from the book. On page 257, "I was the Duff. And that was a good thing. Because anyone who didn't feel like the Duff must not have friends. Every girl feels unattractive sometimes." As much as I would love to deny that quote, I know it is true. But, I know I am not the only one that feels that way. Even guys could relate to that because no matter how high you hold yourself or how much swagger you have, you always have doubts about yourself and The Duff really captures that.
     The Duff grabbed my attention from the first page and it would not let me go. The novel features a phenomenal message that everyone should learn and it was an extremely relatable book.

Wait For You (Wait For You #1) by J. Lynn

Summary: Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for… (Via Goodreads.com)

Pages: 360

Release Date: February 26th, 2013

Rating: 5/5 stars

     It is impossible for Jennifer L. Armentrout to write a bad book. She is an amazing writer and I can never write a review that doesn't make me ramble on about how much I love her. Jennifer has such a natural talent for writing. Most authors are only good at writing one genre but she can write anything. Whenever it is announced that she is releasing a new book, I instantly want it. I never read the summaries of her new books anymore because I know I will always love them. 
     I devoured Wait For You in a couple days, I have no doubt that I would have finished it in one sitting but I had to be "social" during the holidays. I have already stockpiled the rest of the companion novels in the series and I am so excited to read them. They are at the top of my TBR (to be read) pile.
     If you don't know, I live in Pennsylvania and we have a chain of convenience stores called Sheetz. Sheetz sells a lot of different things, but it is known for their M.T.Os which are Made To Order: hot dogs, subs, sandwiches, coffee, smoothies. etc. Around here it is extremely popular and when my family and I travel out of state it sucks because Sheetz are only found in certain states surrounding Pennsylvania. Anyway, I was shocked when Jennifer mentioned Sheetz in Wait For You. I knew she lived in West Virginia and Sheetz are located there but I never imagined the small chain would be mentioned in a best selling novel by my favorite author. 
     As usual, Jennifer L. Armentrout created a strong female heroine who can hold her own weight and a swoon worthy male protagonist that instantly climbs to the top of everyone's
endless book boyfriend list. Wait For You features a heart wrenching plot with secretive characters that are deserving of a happily ever after. This is definitely a must-read for every Jennifer L. Armentrout fan or a lover of contemporary romance. If Wait For You does not seem like a good match for you, I highly recommend checking out any of Jennifer's other books, you have a lot of different genres and books to choose from. 

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarry

SummarySo wrong for each other …and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. 

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. 

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again. (Via Goodreads.com)

Pages: 392

Release Date: June 1st, 2012

Rating: 4/5 stars 

    Pushing the Limits has been sitting on my to-be-read pile for at least two years since I won it off of Girl's Life. I have always wanted to read it, but I was never motivated enough to until the author, Katie McGarry, announced she would be attending Apollycon this February. 
    The little hype I heard about the series had been really good, so I had high expectations going into the book. I really enjoyed reading Pushing the Limits, it featured a unique plot that kept me flipping the pages until the very end.
    Pushing the Limits follows Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins who are on two completely different sides of the social sphere. Echo Emerson is an artistic girl who is being pulled back into popular status while Noah is a notorious player and foster kid. Echo ends up tutoring Noah for money to repair her brother's car and they end up bonding over their less than perfect lives.
     I liked Katie McGarry's choice to make the book have two different points of views. It gave the readers an in depth look at both Echo and Noah through their eyes.
     Another thing I really enjoyed about Pushing the Limits was that Echo is a redhead. One observation I make a lot when reading is that when you have a ginger character, the character is either not well liked or gets killed off. Pushing the Limits was one of the rare cases where I actually liked the redhead and she did not end up dying. 
     Although I really enjoyed the book, I rated it a 4/5 stars rather than 5/5 stars because I did not feel a close connection with the characters. I really liked them but I always felt like there was some barrier separating them from me.
     Overall, Pushing the Limits was a quick, emotional, and suspenseful read that had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Later on this year, I plan to continue on with the series and I am excited to see where Echo and Noah go in Breaking the Rules

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cover Reveal: Sweet Temptation (Sweet Evil #4) by Wendy Higgins & GIVEAWAY

SummaryBad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it. 

Until he meets Anna Whitt—sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve. 

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

Sensual and swoon worthy, this companion volume to the acclaimed Sweet Evil series from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, told from the perspective of the irresistibly sexy and mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into his struggle, his intense connection to Anna, and most of all, the true emotions that drive him.

Release Date: September 8th, 2015

     The Sweet Evil series has been a lot of firsts for me. The original trilogy was the first ever series in which I reviewed all the books on my blog. Sweet Evil, the first book in the series, was also the first book I ever did a read-a-long for and Sweet Temptation is the first book I have ever done a cover reveal for. I am so happy that I was able to do all those amazing firsts with such a phenomenal series and author. Wendy Higgins is such a sweetheart, no pun intended, and I am so honored that I will be meeting her for a second time this month at Apollycon. Speaking of sweet things, Wendy Higgins is hosting an INTERNATIONAL giveaway in which you could win SIGNED bookmarks! Feel free to enter below. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

     Do not forget to pre-order your copy of Sweet Temptation to complete your collection of The Sweet Evil series.