Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller


There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.


Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.
AMAZON- http://amzn.to/2qMh551


MY THOUGHTS:
4.5/5 STARS
This was a slow one to get into, but by Chapter 3, I was hooked. Talk about a wild ride packed full of grit, adventure, and sexual tension. The story was unique and the book world was quite magical.

Alosa is a female pirate and a total bada$$. She is also the daughter of the Pirate King. Growing up with him wasn't easy and she has many emotional and physical scars to show for it. Her rough upbringing has contributed to her fierce persona though and has left her battle ready. When she sets out on a mission to find a missing map, she finds herself in the middle of a ship full of hot blooded pirates with a handsome first mate. It is her intention to seek out the map and be on her way, but she is slowly drug into a world of pretending. She uses her nights to escape and explore and her days to interrogate those around her. She is full of snarky remarks and gives the guys a run for their money. Riden is the only one that is able to crack her tough facade. They share many fights, few kisses, and a couple secrets that lead to them being captured by yet another group of pirates. It is there that they are broke down and exposed. Alosa is forced to show her special skills and Riden is forced to show his true feelings. Together the fight to escape and end up face to face with the Pirate King himself. It is then that Alosa shines and takes control of the situation. She decides who stays and who goes and prepares for what I expect to be an epic journey. 

I really enjoyed the pirate theme, but I NEVER expected the siren twist, and man did it pull me under (pun intended). The scenic descriptions and magical skills really gave this gray story, color. I appreciated the poetic wording and I found the skills to be quite beautiful. I was intrigued by the stories and captivated by the beauty of something so fearful. I don't want to say much, but I will say this... If you love mermaids like me, then you MUST read this one. I highly look forward to the sequel! 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole


Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future. 
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.

BUY HERE -> 
http://amzn.to/2pl5DOL

MY THOUGHTS:

4/5 STARS


I've been in a reading slump for months now so I'm happy to say that this one has pulled me out. I found the passion in reading again and quickly grew fond of diving into the fictional world filled with tragedy and first love.

Time travel was a new subject for me, but I was pleasantly surprised. I found myself so fond of Kale and his multi faceted worlds that I craved more. It was almost as if I could grasp his hand through the pages. I felt the tragedy wearing him down and my heart broke when he found out his future lied within the past. 

Harper brought that fierce heroine feel along with her own struggles. She was always strong for others, quietly burrowing her own problems away. As her and Kale grew closer, my heart ached for their happily ever after, but towards the end, I kind of craved a more devastating twist. Is that wrong? Yes, most likely it is... There's just something about a hero making history and leaving loved ones behind that gives a book that ultimate gut punch. It paints the characters' stories on your mind and leaves you with a feeling of desperation. I wanted to feel lost in the words after the final page, but that's just me. (I LOVE tear jerkers) <- probably the only reader out there that does?

Overall, I highly recommend it to all readers... I had a few problems with the plot flow and I found a lot of editing errors, but the big picture was beautiful and classic. I loved the romance, I was intrigued by the history, and I became addicted to the story quite instantly.

All In Pieces by Suzanne Young


 “Anger-management issues.”

That’s how they classified Savannah Sutton after she stuck a pencil in her ex-boyfriend’s hand because he mocked her little brother, Evan, for being disabled. That’s why they sent her to Brooks Academy—an alternative high school that’s used as a temporary detention center.

The days at Brooks are miserable, but at home, life is far more bleak. Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy.

Then there’s Cameron, a new student at Brooks with issues of his own, a guy from a perfect family that Savvy thought only existed on TV. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself—except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant.

And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. But she’s not sure how much tighter she can be pulled before she breaks completely.
 

BUY HERE -> http://amzn.to/2pROJn3

MY THOUGHTS:
5/5 STARS

I am in awe as I write this review... I basically ripped my heart out and left it between the pages. This emotionally charged book has left me empty. Talk about epic level ya writing. 

Sutton is anything but your ordinary teen. She has anger management issues and rightfully so... Her family life is like a stack of Jenga pieces just waiting to crumble. Her brother was born with a disability and him being special has pushed her mother out the door and her father towards the bottle. It is up to Sutton to care for her brother and it's anything but easy. He often becomes upset and distraught, shining a bright light on their dark situation. She is kicked out school, harassed by an ex boyfriend, and left to battle her aunt for custody. While she knows her little brother's life is anything but desirable, she can't let go of him. When Cameron, the new kid at school, takes an interest in her she is confused as to why. She tries to push him away, but he is quite persistent. Together they weather the storm that is her life. He takes her moodiness, accepts her home life, and makes Evan (the little brother) a priority. He rescues her and eventually gets much deserved revenge.

It's a whirlwind read with so many raw moments. I found myself gasping, cringing, tearing up, and swooning. It's not at all a pretty book, but the overall execution is flawless.

Friday, May 12, 2017

#ReadADessen

Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen
Ruby, where is your mother?

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.
That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?
Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.
My Review: 
4/5 Stars
Sarah Dessen is a mastermind at writing heart felt young adult books. This was my first time reading this one and it quickly became one of my favorites. The content touched on so many real struggles and the emotions ran deep. The words held me captive and the vulnerability had me clinging to the pages. It followed the normal Dessen flow, but brought new flaws into focus. 

Ruby is abandoned by her mother and has to fend for herself. The bills weigh her down and housework becomes her turmoil. When social services takes her away, it's her long lost sister that comes to her rescue. It's all confusing and a tad overwhelming...  Ruby has a hard time adapting to her new life of letting people in and learning to trust. The cute neighbor next door ends up being her undoing. While at first it's a friendship built on secrets, slowly it progresses to a deep rooted relationship that turns into so much more. Together they expose their demons and help one another conquer them. It's a story of family issues, new friendships, and first love.

While most of the book was your average teen read, there was also a strong focus on adult issues that made this book appealing to diverse readers. Being a woman that struggles with infertility, I found the parts about Clara to be really insightful. I felt connected in an emotional sense and comforted by the similar battle. This topic gets overlooked so much... It's always made out that pregnancy is easy, so shining a light on the darkness really made me appreciate the book that much more. I highly recommend it!

Giveaway
Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Meet the Author:
Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. Her newest novel, Once and for All, will be released in June 2017. An NC native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.
Be sure to check out Sarah's upcoming release Once and for All. Coming JUNE 6TH, 2017
As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine. 

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants. 

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Friday, April 21, 2017

#ReadADessen



Dear Divorce Victim or Self Conscious Teen,
Are you looking for a book you can relate to? One that brings light to your dark situation? If so, I highly recommend this Sarah Dessen read! Why you ask? Well... when I was seventeen this tiny book brought a big solace. I found hope within the paragraphs and learned to cope by reading Haven's story. My parents were divorcing, my dad was happy with someone else, and my sister and I were left to navigate the storm. It was a dark time and while many tried to help, nothing seemed to work, so I escaped reality with books. When I stumbled upon That Summer by Sarah Dessen I didn't expect to find answers within the pages, but I did. Hearing about similar flaws and situations helped me to see that I wasn't alone. It talked me off the ledge and made sense of the crazy. I found a connection to the words and by the end the hurt didn't hurt quite as much. Now I'm not saying that this book will fix all of your problems, but after a thorough re-read I can tell you this... That Summer is filled with family struggles, negative body image views, and the truth about not being able to understand the unexpected. It brings a poetic, yet juvenile prose to tough situations. In my opinion, it's the perfect read for any struggling teen. It addresses a lot of issues, but also has a heart warming ending with clear progression. It may not be for everyone, but it helped me and I know it has the ability to help many others. I hope that if you take a chance, you find solace within the words too. -Love from a fellow reader


About the Book:

The more things change. . . 
As far as Haven is concerned, there’s just too much going on.Everything is changing, and she’s not sure where she fits in.Then her sister’s old boyfriend shows up, sparking memories of the summer when they were all happy and everything was perfect. . . .But along the way, Haven realizes that sometimes change is a good thing.
BUY LINK- http://amzn.to/2pNlKBc



Be sure to enter to win 
for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback
(ARV: $132.00).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.


A Note from the Author:
I've been writing, in one way or another, for as long as I can remember. I was always a big reader, mostly because my parents were. I used to get frustrated with my mom because she bought me books for Christmas when what I really wanted were the gifts my friends got, things like sweaters and jewelry. But I did love to read. When I was eight or nine my parents gave me an old manual typewriter and a little desk in the corner of our den, and I'd sit there and type up my stories. I was the kind of kid that people always sighed over and said, "She has such a wild imagination," which usually meant "I wish Sarah would try to stick to the truth." I have a tendency to embellish: I think it's just a weakness of fiction writers. Once you learn how to make a story better, it's hard not to do it all the time."The books I read when I was teenager, the good ones anyway, have stuck more in my mind than anything since. I still love books, but while I couldn't tell you complete plots of novels I read even six months ago, I do remember even the smallest descriptive details from Lois Lowry's A Summer to Die or Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I think it was because back then books were still somewhat new to me, and when I found an author who seemed to say just what I was feeling, it really struck me and resonated. I hope that my books do that for the people who read them: I think it's the best thing to which any writer can aspire. "As far as my other life, my non-writing life, I live in the country with my husband, some lizards, and two dogs who are completely spoiled and rule me completely. I like to work in my garden---although I have not yet perfected the art of keeping everything alive----and, in my weaker moments, shop. I have a bit of an addiction to the Gap clearance rack, to be honest. I have this strange need to buy huge quantities of black pants. How many pairs of black pants does one person need? (Obviously for me, the answer is 11 and counting. But I digress.) What else can I tell you? I love Starbucks mochas but they make me way hyper. I subscribe to too many magazines. I make a mean bean salad. I could go on, but the truth is, my books are much more exciting than I am, and that's a good thing. It's always more fun to make stuff up anyway."

Be sure to come back in a couple weeks to hear my thoughts on a Sarah Dessen book I'm reading for the first time ever!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ripple by Heather Smith Meloche


When their too-adult lives lead them down self-destructive paths, these broken teens find a way to heal in this YA novel perfect for fans of Ellen Hopkins.

With her impossible-to-please grandmother on her back about college and her disapproving step-dad watching her every move, Tessa would do anything to escape the pressure-cooker she calls home. So she finds a shot of much-needed power and confidence by hooking up with boys, even though it means cheating on her boyfriend. But when she's finally caught red-handed, she’ll do anything she can to cover up what she's done.

Jack is a prankster who bucks the system every chance he gets—each transgression getting riskier and riskier. He loves the thrill, and each adventure allows a little release because his smug smile and suave demeanor in the face of authority doesn’t make life at home with his mom any less tough. He tries to take care of her, but the truth is he's powerless in the face of her fragile mental health. So he copes in his own way, by defacing public property and pulling elaborate pranks, though he knows in the end this’ll only screw up his life even more.

As they both try not to let their self-destructive patterns get the best of them, Tessa and Jack gravitate toward one another, discovering the best parts of themselves in the process. An honest portrayal of the urges that drive us and finding the strength to overcome them.



MY THOUGHTS:
4/5 STARS

This was one of those stormy reads with a rainbow'ish ending.... Most of it was dark and gloomy with shocking reveals and painfully flawed characters, but there were tiny slivers of color that brought hope. The plot was pure grit, but the the execution was a flawless piece of art. 

I know this is something I probably shouldn't admit to, but Tessa was like a soul sister. Her pain hit home and I felt so connected to her chapters. The things she did were ugly, but the reasons behind them were real and raw. Often times pain dwindles self worth to the point of no return. It's hard to think positive when you are drowning in negativity. These are the circumstances that she faced daily. You may not like her as a character, but please give her a chance to grow. Her life is anything but easy and the bravery in ink is one every girl should read about. 

I think my only issue was Jack. While I loved his sweet, caring side... His rebel attitude and obnoxious jokes to get out of trouble didn't exactly click with me. I understand why he was the way he was and it was tender and emotional how much he cared for his mom, but cocky and me just don't work. It's not exactly a book flaw, more of a reader flaw. I know Jack had his reasons, but I would have liked to see him crack a little more with the authority to show the vulnerability that I craved. 

All in all, this book is top notch in the ya genre. It brought everything to the table and really pulled out the deep issues I love to read about. I highly recommend it!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rise of Fire (Reign of Shadows) by Sophie Jordan


The richly suspenseful sequel to Sophie Jordan’s romantic fantasy Reign of Shadows.

Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.

Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler's and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.

Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit.
 

MY THOUGHTS:
4/5 STARS

I don't know if it's the fast pace, interesting plot, or abundance of dialogue, but this series stands out among other fantasies. The premise is so dark and eerie, yet the passion within the pages is fire! There are monsters of human and creature form and there are secrets hidden in every corner...
This sequel picks up where book one left off... Luna and Fowler are separated and it's up to Luna to fight the dwellers for Fowler's safety. When she finds him underground though, it is a tad too late. He needs medical attention which leads them both to a new kingdom full of controlling people and hate. When their secrets are revealed the King does everything in his power to betroth them and unite kingdoms. Enter Chasan: The cocky, yet sumptuous prince that favors Luna. I felt so guilty, but I actually REALLY liked him like A LOT. His exterior may have been hard, but beneath the tough layer, was kindness. Luna and Fowler play the King's games for a while, but their ultimate goal is to escape. When they finally break free it's not at all what you expect. HOLY CRAP, Luna is a BADA$$ and that ending!... Just one more reason to love this series.
Why 4 stars you ask? Well book one set the standards too high... In <i>Reign</i> we met new characters, found out secrets, and explored a new creepy world. It's pages of firsts and I don't think any sequel could live up to that kind of perfect. I'm not sure if the Author plans to write a book 3, but I'm pretty sure I'd read infinite books about these characters. It's a fantastic, unique world.