Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Heartbeat
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Published January 28th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Goodreads | Amazon
Contemporary Young Adult Fiction

Heartbeat was my first experience with a book by Elizabeth Scott. I am kind of ashamed of myself for never trying out anything by her because I absolutely loved her newest story Heartbeat.

I was super excited to read this book because I’ve never read something quite like this before. I mean you hear of “issue” books but it’s not often that said issue is having to deal with an unborn baby alive inside of your brain-dead mother’s uterus. I know, I know, you can say whatever you think it’s right and we can definitely argue about our opinions but when you have a relationship like the one Emma and her mother had, the decision is way more difficult than you would think.

I got Emma, I really did. I don’t think there’s another human being I love more than my mother, and what happens to Emma is so terrible I understood perfectly was she was so angry and confused and I couldn’t judge her or blame her. I just let her be herself.

However, everything was so ridiculously heartbreaking that I didn’t know who to feel most sorry for; Emma with her dead mother or Dan with the decision to save the baby at all costs, and of course, Caleb and the tragic story of his sister and his own relationship (or lack thereof) with his parents.

The important thing though, is that no matter how depressing a life can get, this book talks about finding hope in the unexpected, and seeking solace in the arms of the ones that were always there too. And Scott did a marvelous job in making me believe that these people really did get that, and not only said things to wrap up the book nicely. Very moving story that made me reconsider the side I thought I stood on my whole life.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Creed by Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)
Creed by Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie
Dee Langley is seventeen and mere months away from total freedom and a life where state social workers, counselors, and foster parents don’t dictate her every move. She has spent years trying to eke out a normal existence, hiding from her past and walking the tenuous line between denial and self-preservation. A weekend away with her boyfriend, Luke, and his brother, Mike, seems like the perfect opportunity to forget and start over. Little does Dee know that she's just trading one hell for another.
When an unexpected storm and a lack of gas force their car off the road, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves with no other choice but to wander into the nearby town of Purity Springs for help. But it’s not good Samaritans they find, but rather complete and utter silence, every store and every house abandoned. Forced to seek shelter in one of the deserted homes, they uncover a disturbing book with explicit instructions on how to correctly rear a child, complete with a hand written record of its use. It’s not until the next morning, however, that they discover the alarming truth – the town isn’t abandoned; it is populated by a deadly cult, and the leader, Elijah Hawkins, has plans for the three of them. The group’s only hope for survival lies in the hands of Elijah’s son, Joseph. But is Joseph really their ticket to freedom or is his game just as deadly as his father’s?
Three went in, and three will come out, but not a single one will ever be a shadow of who they once were.

Eeeep. Seriously how creepy does this one sound?
I'm prepared to miss some sleep over this story and I actually look forward to that! (and sleep means more than money to me)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review: Uninvited (Uninvited #1) by Sophie Jordan

Title: Uninvited (Uninvited #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by HarperTeen
Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction

Uninvited started off with a bang. The United States are doing some testing to filter out individuals who have a gene that's been linked with homicidal tendencies. This, as a med student, was particularly heartbreaking. I mean it goes against every human right to accuse people of something they haven't done just because they have some 'scientific proof' that they some day will. We have no means of knowing the future, why don't people get it?
 But anyway this is fiction and I tend to get irked off easily. But even if you know nothing about science, this book's whole plot will get you worked up. Especially after you meet our main character, Davy. Davina is a prodigy, no kidding, she can play pretty much any instrument and she sings too. Music is inside of her and that is a fact.
 While Davy was a little bit too naive and sometimes she was pretty thick, I still found myself rooting for her and cheering her on every page. It must be so hard (and wrong) to be judged for something you cannot change, like your DNA, but to me, Davy handled it with pride. She didn't always did the correct thing but you just now she is not malicious or evil, she is just a girl (albeit a very confused one).
 And then we have Sean. Who has had a horrible life since getting tested and discovered to be a positive carrier of the homicidal gene when he was just a little boy. But as much as you and I hate that this happened, it is probably what made him so compassionate and accepting. He was a big highlight of the book.
 The first half of the book is about Davy discovering she is a carrier and we get to see everything unwind as she struggles to accept her new reality. I ate this all up like my life depended on it. I raced through it all because it just was so action-packed (emotionally speaking) and I couldn't catch a breath to stop the feels from overbearing me. It was my favorite part.
 Now the second part, where the literal action happens, I wasn't that crazy for. Yeah. I liked it but somehow it seemed to me like almost a different story than what I was reading at first. It became a little too much like every other dystopian book out there, which you all know I am not a big fan of.
 Still, I really, really liked this story. I liked the concept and I liked that is something I can totally see really happening. I am sure there's still more to come, I can just tell from the ending. And I'm glad there's more because I haven't had enough of these characters and their story yet. Extremely recommended. One of my favorite reads of 2014 so far!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)
Open Road Summer
by Emery Lord
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.
Friendships and rockstars, what more can I ask for seriously?
I'm excited to try this debut autor, Emily Lord, because I'm always looking forward to awesome contemporary romance ;)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Never Too Late (Flirt #2) by A. Destiny

Title: Never Too Late (Flirt #2)
Author: A. Destiny & Rhonda Helms
Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Simon Pulse
Goodreads | Amazon |
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Never too Late is a story about falling in love for the first time. And you can expect everything that comes with it, the sparks, the tingles, the excitement but also the uneasiness and uncertainty of unreciprocated feelings.

The added edge was that adding to Abbey's (our heroine) new feelings for Jason, someone she always thought she hated, is that her best friend Olivia has a huge crush on Jason too. So not only does Abbey has to fight the turmoil of emotions she's suddenly developing for this guy but also she is being flooded with guilt at being interested in someone her friend wants.

Though a difficult subject to approach and most of all, live, I think it was handled carefully and showing a good moral through it. Great for teens to know that yes, your friendship can recover from something like this.

Even though I didn't always liked Abbey or her friend Olivia, I was cheering them on to work things out. And while the whole story isn't exceptional, or you know, the most original out there, it is a cute one that can be enjoyed on a quiet afternoon.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Something Real by Heather Demetrios

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)
Something Real by Heather Demetrios
There’s nothing real about reality TV.
Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.
First of all, this cover is awesome.
Second, I love this premise. As a huge fan of reality shows about families (Horrible time when Jon & Kate + 8 was cancelled) I am intrigued to see how anyone on the other side feels. Already rooting for Bonnie!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Review: Anyone But You: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Title: Anyone But You:  A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet 
Authors: Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Published January 1st 2014 by Merit Press
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Genre: Young Adult // Retelling // Contemporary

Today, January 7th, 2014, was the coldest day in my memory, yet my heart has been warmed as I read along the story within the pages of Anyone But You. Anyone But You is based of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, which gave me an idea of what to expect. But sincerely, I can tell you that you won’t expect the kind of delightful story of two Italian families’ long history of managing restaurants and hating each other.

There are two stories intertwining in this book. One about Gigi Caputo and Roman Monte, who are two teens that have fallen in love despite their families complete despise of each other. I liked this story, Gigi was a reliable and likable young heroine and Roman was as swoon-worthy as they come. And although I am not crazy about instalove (actually, I almost always hate it), this time it was more than tolerable because every interaction between Gigi and Roman was sweet and adorable.

Now, the other story, the one about this kids great-grandfathers is one that I am sure will stay with me for a long time. Because this story was both heart-warming and heartbreaking and I cannot even think back to it without both smiling and spilling tears. I am absolutely certain that I had never felt more feelings within such a short span of time. I fell in love with Nick Caputo and Benny Monte as much as one person can possibly can. I love them both individually and I love their friendship too. I laughed and rejoice and suffered throughout all their story and I think I am permanently scarred upon finishing it. And mostly because there is nothing I would have done differently, because Kim and Amy did an exceptional job at making me understand from where they were coming from and to love them as they are.

And just like before, with Kim Askew & Amy Helmes’ previous book that I read, I am marveled at the way they can project a story and make it come to life with so much clarity before my eyes. I am stunned to see the glorious picture they created in my mind, it’s like a movie, actually better than a movie. (I couldn’t help but picture the young Nick and Benny looking as dazzlingly vitality as my boyfriend, Ryan Gosling in The Notebook). 

So really, I have nothing but good to say about this book. I wish I could relive Nick and Benny’s story again and again even though it causes me endless pain and heartbreak but I actually want to go through again because it is just too precious. 

Giveaway: Roomies by Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr

Hello there, remember my review of Roomies a couple of weeks ago? 
Well I love a friendship story as much as the next girl so I want you all to have a chance to read this one.

But first, I want to tell you about my own experience with a roommate.

Y'all are going to hate me because I've been having my own room for most of my life EXCEPT for when I was an exchange student in Brazil last year...   
But my roommate, Pati, was amazing! Sincerely, we were (are) like sisters, and we took care of everything like pros, from cooking (her) and washing the dishes (me) and in general we always shared the chores and thankfully, we were in syncrony as of TV and musical tastes. So living together was more like a very long sleep-over.

If you want to hear more stories and meet Sara & Tara, then come to their tour stops!

  • January 12, 2014 – New York, NY: McNally Jackson [venue link]
  • January 15, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT: The King's English [venue link]
  • January 16, 2014 – Provo, UT: Provo Library [venue link]
  • February 4, 2014 – San Francisco, CA: Books Inc, Opera Plaza [venue link
  • February 5, 2015 – Petaluma, CA: Copperfield's Books [venue link]


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: After the End by Amy Plum

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)

After the End by Amy Plum
She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.
World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past. 
Add on Goodreads.

I absolutely love this cover! Reminds me of that awesome movie, The Day After Tomorrow
And I'm not much a fan of Dystopian books because usually they show over-the-top worlds that I am like no way! that could never happen! but a WWIII? that is one terrifying future that could actually happen. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson

Title: Defy 
Author: Sara B. Larson
Expected publication: January 7th 2014 by Scholastic Press
Goodreads | AmazonThe Book Depository
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult

Defy is a story about a girl who pretends to be a boy in order to survive. We all have heard this before, from Shakespeare to She’s the man, this story is always a crowd pleaser so of course I was very excited to dig in.

Upon finishing this book, I found myself contradicted because I did like the book but mostly I had a hard time reading it. I’ll explain. Turns out our hero (or really, heroine) Alex is a very, very skilled warrior; she’s deadly with a sword and she never loses, which gave me a hard time believing someone who is only seventeen could be. So I had a horrible time at first, because my mind just couldn’t let me get pass all these things that had no explanation and just sounded so absolutely impossible to me, that I was mostly annoyed and didn’t want to keep going.

And then you also know how much I passionately hate love triangles. And this story is a big love triangle itself and my heart just couldn’t bother to fall for any of our two guys, even though they were both amazing, but I couldn’t invest myself in them because one of them was going to get his heart broken badly and I didn’t want that. And then Alexa annoyed me because she stretched the decision so much. So I just liked Eljin instead, a guy whose name I can’t even pronounce.

But since the book is coming out tomorrow, I put all my effort into finishing the last 40% today. I’m glad I did because the ending turned out to be really good, and although I did see some of the twists coming, I was still happy to see my predictions coming to life because they made the book so much interesting and awesome.

So at the end, I was satisfied with what I read although I wish the first half was a little more action-packed and the characters showed a little more feeling to give it that extra oomph it needs to be an amazing fantasy book. But nevertheless, the end made up for lots of the complains I had about the beginning. And I can also say that I was very happy with the fact that a girl accomplished so much through the story, I don't want to spoil it for you but I will say that I did feel proud of Alexa. Girl Power!