Monday, November 25, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: ebook, 464
Series: Pushing the Limits, #3
Source: ebook from NetGalley
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.
Crash Into You follows the lives of Isaiah (whom you'll remember from McGarrys previous books) and Rachel, both young teenagers with troubling lives but for very different reasons. Rachel is from a rich family. Rich with money, and a big house and cars. Isaiah is from the foster system, moving from houses to the streets where he now lives with his best friend Noah. The two characters meet one night, doing something they can both relate to - drag racing and hanging around cars. And from the first time they meet, they are not only forced together due to a bet, but they are drawn to each other on a deeper level.
The relationship that is formed between Isaiah and Rachel is intriguing. They both know how different they are and they both have secrets but yet they can't stay apart. Their building relationship is true and meaningful even with Isaiah's tough exterior and his lack of trust to most people, and with Rachels "angelic" like ways, her inexperience and her lack of street smarts. I really liked that we got to dig deeper into Isaiah and see why he's the way he is, and doing so will make you see that he isn't as tough as he appears. He feels the need to put on this facade because of the system he was brought up in. So to see that Rachel can break through this and bring out the real Isaiah is great. He's got a sweet personality and a big heart. We not only get to see more into Isaiah, but some of our other favorite characters like Noah and Echo play a role in Crash Into You and Beth is introduced to Rachel, which brings in a little drama but not too much.
A true form to McGarrys other books, the emotion and strength behind the characters is unbelievable. McGarry can make her characters come alive in the pages of her books. Her writing is raw and true and because of that, you'll feel everything from the book. You'll get butterflies in your stomach when Isaiah looks at Rachel. You'll feel the shyness and newness of everything that Rachel feels and it's incredible. And just wait until things get really romantic!
Crash Into You is a book where unlikely friendships and relationships are built and it's a story that proves that you can't judge a book by its cover, because you might just miss out on something or someone special. I would recommend getting this book tomorrow if you haven't already read it. It's definitely worth every late night spent up.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: ebook, 365
Series: Pushing The Limits, #2
Source: ebook from Netgalley
"I DARE YOU..."
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock--with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams--and his life--for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....
I really wish I read and reviewed Dare You To sooner. I had the book for a while before I got around to reading it, and I've had my review done, but only now posting it here. I loved the book, and since reading it, I have read other books written by Katie McGarry. She is a fantastic writer!
The book starts off simple enough. Ryan and his friends are out, and he is dared to get a girls phone number. A girl his friends have to pick, someone they believe he will have a hard time with. In walks a girl; black hair, black clothing, piercings all over, the whole nine yards. Ryan knows that it's going to be hard to get her number but Ryan doesn't lose. That's what years of baseball, countless dares and a father whose expectations need to be lived by have taught him. He doesn't lose, no matter what. So when this girl says no after all of Ryan's usual moves, he's shocked! He can't believe he lost, and neither can his friends, so when they run into each other again, Ryan wont give up. Little do they know, their lives will be impacted by each other through more than a casual dare.
Beth, this girl who turned Ryan down has secrets and a life she can't run away from though people are trying to make her. She's been in trouble, has an alcohol and drug addicted mother who is with a man who is known to beat her. Beth knows too well that she is bad news to Ryan, the perfect boy who has a perfect life in the perfect town. Why is it then that she can't seem to stay away from him and break the connection they obviously feel toward each other. Ryan can't believe that all of this has escalated from a dare, but he can't leave Beth alone, and starts to question his life when Beth shows him a whole new meaning of life. Together Beth and Ryan discover there is more to life and in doing so they discover what it feels to be truly loved by someone.
I absolutely loved the relationship between Beth and Ryan. I loved Beth - she doesn't care what people think of her and she tells it as it is. The relationship they build is true, genuine and Katie McGarry has a way of bringing it to life and making these characters come alive. I felt as though I was experiencing the events of the book first hand, when an author can do that, they definitely have a gift. My favourite part of the book besides the WHOLE thing was one simple little quote, "Dance with me." I had shivers run down my spine and had goosebumps reading this part.
Dare You To is a book that is worth reading over and over again. I was drawn in with the change of narrative between Ryan and Beth, as it gave me a full 360° view of feelings and emotions that mattered so much throughout the book. And the last page? I wanted to hold onto the words forever. It was so intense that I didn't want it to end.
Monday, September 30, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: The Internment Chronicles, #1
Source: From publisher for honest review
On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.
Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.
What an unusual book. Unusual in a good way though! I really wonder what does on in DeStefano's head on a regular basis, considering The Chemical Garden trilogy and now this trilogy.
I was a little confused at first, I wasn't sure if we were on Internment yet or if that was later on in the book but then I figured it out and it all made sense. (I was on vacation in the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee when I started Perfect Ruin, so my head was literally in the clouds!)
As per Lauren DeStefanos previous work, we are first drawn to the cover. Simple but elegant with one women as the focus and then a few different sketches/pictures/details. From first glance, you're drawn to the book, and I hope that the cover follows the same theme. There is nothing that turns a reader off more than changing the cover art halfway through a series.
Internment is a world up in the sky. People live on it, they are born out of a queue, paired with their betrothal, live life then die at an age that the King has deemed fit, their ashes are released to the sky god and everything and everyone is okay with this. That's life on Internment.Wrong doings and bad situations are rare. Inhabitants of Internment don't get too close to the edge because they see the damage caused by this. Life is happy and people don't ask questions until a young girls body is found murdered and all of a sudden life on Internment isn't what it appears.
Morgan is curious and bored, she knows there is more to life and the ground below intrigues her. But she can't tell anyone for fear it will mark her as irrational. She has a lot riding on her shoulders as it is. But when the young girls murdered body is discovered, Morgan is adamant on finding answers and in turn will help unlikely foes, do things she knows are wrong and keep secrets from those whom she loves the most. DeStefano has gone and done it again, she has created this unbelievable world, but makes it so easy to believe. The stars, the train, the bugs all of it is painted so clear in the readers head. The characters in Perfect Ruin are written with so much care and passion. I was going back and forth between who was my favourite - Pen, Basil, Lex or Alice.
Pen because of her tenacity. She was fearless and funny and so focused on the History of Internment. She is Morgans best friend and they have been through a lot together and are like sisters. Their relationship was easy and fun. Basil because of his devotion to Morgan. His kindness and strength are his best qualities. He loves Morgan not just because they are paired together but because he sees Morgan for who she really is.
Lex because of his philosophies and the fact that he's seen things throughout his life that no one thought possible. And though he is blind, he can see the truth behind so much. And Alice for her love and devotion through thick and thin. Each character playing a key role in Perfect Ruin.
I enjoyed so much about Perfect Ruin, right down to the paragraphs before each chapter and the way they all fit together and pull the whole story together. The one and only thing that really bothered me was the one specific death (I wont give anything away) and the non-reaction we get, though I'm hoping that will be addressed in Book #2. If you were a fan of The Chemical Garden series, you'll enjoy this crazy world and love reading Perfect Ruin too.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Thanks for stopping by Stellar Book Blog! Enjoy my stop on this blog tour, be sure to follow Paula Weston on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.
Also, be sure to follow the whole tour between September 16-20. Schedule is posted here.
Publisher: Tundra Books
Series: The Rephaim, #1
Source: From publisher for honest review and blog tour
It's almost a year since Gaby Winters watched her twin brother die. In the sunshine of a new town her body has healed, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn't help that every night in her dreams she fights and kills hell-beasts. And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who's been appearing in Gaby's dreams, he tells her things about her brother and her life that cannot be true, things that are dangerous. Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And who is Gaby? The truth lies in the shadows of her nightmares.
Hell-beasts, hellions, demons and angels is the world we venture in when we pick up Shadows. We've read it before, we know the story. But Paula Weston takes us on a different adventure that is fascinating, intriguing and exciting!
Gaby just wants to live life quiet and alone since her brother was killed in a horrific car accident that she can't remember all the details to. She doesn't want to be reminded daily of what she lost. Gaby finds this seclusion within Pandanus Beach and with a roommate named Maggie who doesn't ask a lot of questions. The two of them have this sort of mutual agreement that they don't talk about Jude, Gaby's brother. And this suits Gaby just fine.
Gaby has these dreams about fighting monsters and writes it off as an active imagination. Within these dreams is a mysterious but handsome guy whom, lo and behold, shows up one night at the same bar that she is. Things aren't adding up, and to make it worse Gaby runs into people who seem willing to fight her for no apparent reason. Needless to say Gaby is confused and wants answers and it seems the only one to know answers is Rafa but he is far from willing to sit down and reveal everything to Gaby. Little by little Gaby figures out that maybe things aren't as they seem, and that she is suffering from memory loss and distorted memories. I loved that we were on the journey with Gaby to remember things. The book wasn't all hellions and beast and so forth, Shadows was also about overcoming the unknown and forgotten and I loved that!
Paula Weston is an Australian author, with Shadows already published and read by many in Australia and it was neat seeing the Aussie feel to the book. I'm sure some wording needed to be changed but I loved that Wallaby's were out on the road, and friendships were with mates and little details like that. The writing was fantastic, I could really put myself in the book and see the picture. There was action, suspense and romance all written with an expert hand. Gaby is a character that is just trying to find herself and because of that, she is easy to relate to. She's just a normal girl trying to live a normal life. Rafa, on the other hand with have your emotions all over. His up and down moods, and his impeccable timing of leaving right when he shouldn't will have you rolling your eyes at him!
Paula Weston's Shadows is a great read, and I cannot wait for Haze, book #2 in The Rephaim series, set for Fall 2014.
Because I enjoyed Shadows so much, and the lovely people at Tundra Books want others to love it too, we are giving one lucky US/Canada reader a copy!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from publisher for honest review
In this wrenching, exquisite coming-of-age novel, Friday discovers what makes a family—and a home.Friday Brown has never had a home. She and her mother live on the road, running away from the past instead of putting down roots. So when her mom succumbs to cancer, the only thing Friday can do is keep moving. Her journey takes her to an abandoned house where a bunch of street kids are squatting, and an intimidating girl named Arden holds court.
Friday gets initiated into the group, but her relationship with Arden is precarious, which puts Friday—and anyone who befriends her—at risk. With the threat of a dangerous confrontation looming, Friday has to decide between returning to her isolated, transient life, or trying to help the people she’s come to care about—if she can still make it out alive.
From the first sentence of the book, I know I would love it. And love it I did! I cried, I laughed and I felt something for each of the characters. They came alive and affected me in each and every way.
Friday is a young girl living everywhere and anywhere on the streets with her mother. They sleep in hotels and run before they can pay. They sleep in the woods after having a fire and telling stories to each other. Each story in which Friday remembers the details of even after her mother succumbs to cancer and leaves Friday for good. Instead of living with her grandfather as expected, Friday tries to honour her mother in a way, and takes to the streets again. Friday knows what its like on the streets, she's no rookie having her whole life as proof. Surviving without her mother shouldn't be any different. Then she meets Silence. A young boy with no voice but so much to say. He takes her to the place where runaway kids, like himself find shelter, friendship and some hope within each other. Right away, Friday makes some friends and with them, some enemies. She convinces herself that she wont stay long, though her and Silence find comfort in each other and because of this Friday is invested and wont leave without him.
With the help of Adren, the self-elected leader of the bunch, they are on the move again seeing as there are too many of them to go unnoticed now, to find a new shelter and things start to spiral downward fast. They find "home" in an abandoned city and nothing feels right. The teens are unhappy and realize that things may not be as they seem. People start questioning the way Arden runs the show, and Friday is marked as a target in her eyes.
The friendship between Friday and Silence is heartwarming. The connection I felt between them was real. I was rooting for the two of them to leave and never look back. They compliment each other so well, and I really loved their dynamics. They are definitely a character duo that will stick in my head for time to come.
Friday Never Leaving had such an eerie feel to it -the beginning and end especially. The ending will leave you speechless! Vikki Wakefield left me blubbering like a baby throughout the last few chapters (and parts in between). Friday Never Leaving was expertly written with enough detail to pull you in with every word and remember this book even after you (reluctantly) put it down. Its such a unique read with a fresh, new writing style. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something new!
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: Life's a Witch, #2
Source: ARC from publisher
Hadley Bishop is a witch. As a descendant of the first woman executed in the Salem witch trials, Hadley understands the consequences if her secret gets out. But witchcraft has come a long way since Salem, and as far Hadley is concerned the past is past. Beauty spells, designer outfits and being in with the popular social crowd is much more her thing! But when the adults from Hadley's coven suddenly vanish, it seems that the past is catching up with the present. All the evidence points to an age-old rival coven as the culprits, and Hadley must lead the young witches of her coven in a fight to avenge their elders and rescue their missing parents. At the same time Hadley is distracted by the mysterious and gorgeous Asher, who seems to have plenty of secrets of his own, not to mention a bit of magic. But whose side is he on? With everything at stake, can Hadley trust her own magic - and her heart - to guide her coven to victory?
Honestly, I was confused. I thought this was a follow up with Book #1, What The Spell so I kept waiting for Brooklyn to come back into the picture. Then I thought that maybe Hadley was actually Brooklyn and the name was just wrong, or it was just Brooklyn's new identity. But no, Hadley is the new main character and this isn't a continuation of book 1. Though Asher does show up, which made me even more confused because of his attitude and behaviour change. I waited for that crucial moment when he would maybe tie the two books together, but it never came.
Needless to say, this book is not at all what I expected. I kept questioning everything about the book so I didn't have the chance to enjoy it. None of the characters stood out to me, which is a huge issue. If I can't look back and remember the characters than the book didn't do anything for me. There was a lot lacking in this book for me unfortunately.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
I'm in a reading slump, and I can't get back up! I started reading Life of Pi, and just couldn't get into that so I put it down. Tried Never Let Me Go, couldn't get passed the first 50 pages or so. Nothing on my overflowing book shelf seemed appealing.
I watched Something Borrowed and it inspired me to re-read the book. I enjoy Something Borrowed, but it lacked passion this time around.
What's a literary girl to do?
Today I'm starting The Book of Awesome, this might just be the book to get my book spirits lifted. And maybe my days will be a little more Awesome!