Friday, March 29, 2013

I'd Tell You I Love you, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

I read the first two books in the Heist Society series by Ally Carter and really enjoyed them.  When I discovered she had another series about an all girls school, I knew I had to read it.  I couldn't resist the cute uniforms on the cover AND... I attended an all girls school and LOVED it. 

This school, however, is quite a bit different than mine.  First, it is a boarding school.  Second, the girls are all geniuses training to become spies.  What is not to love about this concept?

The school is located in a small town, but the residents do not know what really goes on at the school.  They all think the girls are nothing but a bunch of spoiled rich kids.  One day, while out on an "assignment" Cammie meets an "ordinary boy".  She is interested in him, but she is more concerned that her cover was blown.  She and her friends take it upon themselves to investigate whether or not he is truly a threat.  In the process, Cammie and Josh start dating and actually develop feelings for one another.  The problem is...Josh doesn't REALLY know Cammie.  She had to feed him a bunch of lies because he can't know that she attends the Gallagher Academy or what really goes on there. 

I found this book to be unique because it is told from Cammie's point of view as sort of a report.  She is explaining everything to the reader as if she is the "Operative" (spy) completing a mission.  Her mission is to investigate the "Subject" (Josh).  There are a lot of funny comments and some great supporting characters.  It seemed like it was geared to a slightly younger audience than your typical young adult book, but I still enjoyed it.  I will definitely read more of this series, but first....I have to find out what Hale and Kat are up to in the latest Heist Society book, Perfect Scoundrels.

I follow Ally Carter on twitter.  She recently announced that she turned in book 6, the final book in the Gallagher Girls series, to her editor.  If you are someone like me who doesn't enjoy waiting a year between books, this would probably be a good time to start reading this series.  While the final book doesn't have an official title or release date yet, it should be within the year. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Prince by Kiera Cass

I am 100% Team Maxon, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this novella told from his perspective.  It is a prequel story, which picks up shortly before The Selection takes place.  I absolutely LOVED hearing Maxon's thoughts on the process and the events that took place at the very beginning of The Selection.  I have a whole new appreciation for what it is like to be The Prince.  He is a very thoughtful and charming character and I'm SURE America will chose him in the end.   

This is a novella, so it is only six chapters.  It also contains the first two chapters of The Elite, which comes out next month.  I didn't read those chapters yet because I want to wait until I can read the full book.  I don't think I could handle the tease this preview is sure to provide.  If things didn't appear to be going in Maxon's favor, I would be a complete wreck until I received my copy of The Elite.

If you haven't read The Selection yet, I strongly suggest that you do.  Without the background it contains, I certainly wouldn't have enjoyed this story as much as I did.  As it is, I gave this book 5 stars and will be counting down the days until April 23rd...which is the release date for The Elite. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Twisted by Amity Hope Blog Tour & Giveaway

My Review:

I have to thank Mary for hosting this blog tour and Amity for sending me a copy of the e-book.  I probably never would have discovered this book if it weren't for the tour and that would have been a tremendous loss.  This book was EXCEPTIONAL.  I'm not kidding.  I LOVED everything about it.

Maya lost her father and brother in an accident when she was eleven.  Her mother turned to alcohol and avoidance as a means of coping.  She moved Maya from the town she grew up in and they continued to move from place to place several times a year.  Maya had to care for her mother and never had a chance to acclimate to an area or develop any friendships.  She eventually moves back to her home town to live with her older sister Remy for her senior year of high school.  She is reunited with a few of her old friends, but is still struggling with the numerous losses she has experienced in her life.

Shortly after moving into town, she is involved in an accident of her own.  A boy her age helps her and she wants to return the favor.  She eventually finds out who  he is and the story behind him.  It seems like the entire town continues to punish him for something he had no involvement in, so Maya takes it upon herself to become his friend.  He is very reluctant, but she eventually cracks his protective layer. 

There is a companion novel coming out this spring, which will be told from Phoebe's point of view.  I can't wait to hear more about Ben, Maya, Phoebe, and Henry in Tempted.  I absolutely loved their characters and I'm looking forward to what will hopefully be happier times for them.  Maya and Ben went through an enormous amount of heartache throughout Twisted and are certainly due.         

Twisted Overview:

Maya Anderson has faced more than her share of tragedy and heartbreak. For the past six years she’s constantly been on the move with her mom. When another disaster strikes, she finds herself back in her childhood hometown of Beaumont, living with her older sister for her senior year.
A chance meeting reacquaints her with Ben McCaffey, a long-forgotten classmate from her past. After the death of his girlfriend, Ben has become a social outcast. He’s despised by some and feared by most.
Determined to become Ben’s friend, Maya begins to break through his layers of emotional protection. It isn’t long before they realize that they both have secrets in their pasts. As the line between dealing with grief and struggling with a desire for revenge begins to fade, the secrets that draw them together may be what will ultimately tear them apart. Because the closer Maya gets to Ben, the more dangerous her situation becomes.
About the Author:

I live in Minnesota with my two sons, two cats and our Rottweiler named Daisy.
 I have been a book-addict my entire life. I have always enjoyed reading and writing stories just for fun. In 2012 I decided to try self-publishing. To my delight and dismay, my debut novel took off. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to write full-time.
 If I'm not writing or spending time with my kids, I'm most likely reading.
Book Trailer:


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Monday, March 11, 2013

Open Heart by Emlyn Chand

It isn't too often that I give the second book in a series a higher rating than the first.  I really liked Farsighted (I gave it four stars) but Open Heart was a definite 5.  Farsighted was told from Alex's perspective.  This book picks up where Farsighted left off, but Alex's girlfriend Simmi is now the narrator.  It appears that each of the five books in this series will all be told from a different character's point of view, which I think is a brilliant idea. 

Simmi and Alex are getting ready to begin their junior year of high school.  Simmi is struggling with her gifts as well as her feelings for Alex.  He professed his love to her and is over the top with his affection, but she does not share the same feelings.  They are best friends, so she doesn't want to hurt him, but she is intrigued by Dax.  They have barely had an opportunity to talk to each other, but she feels an immediate connection with him.

Simmi does not deal with her struggles well.  She becomes bulimic as a means of not only coping with her weight, but also her emotional stress.  Her struggles are discussed in detail and I wanted nothing more than  to reach out and help her.  We also get to share in Simmi's love for theater and music as she prepares for her role in another school production.

I thought I would be on Team Alex, but I couldn't help but convert to Team Dax as soon as we got to know his character.  He could actually give Noah Shaw a run for his money on my fictional boyfriend list, which is not easy to do.  Aside from the potential danger his gifts can cause, he is near perfection.  He is attractive, well dressed, and well spoken.  He planned an exceptional date night, but is far from suffocating.  AND he plays the piano.  That is always a winning characteristic in my book.  On top of that...he wrote a song for Simmi.  I was absolutely blown away by the gesture and immediately fell in love with his character.  

The next book in the series, which will be released May 21, 2013, is told from Shapri's perspective.  She is best friends with Simmi and Alex and her gift is the ability to see and talk to the dead.  This book sounds fantastic and I can't wait to get a copy, BUT....I also can't believe Emlyn is making us wait TWO years to get our hands on Dax's story.  OMG....that is cruel and unusual.  Obviously she is saving the best for last, but this is going to be pure torture.   

As a are the covers for the last three books in the series. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

I am hooked.  I absolutely LOVE this series and these characters.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the series, Kat is the youngest member in a family consisting of generations of thieves.  She does not steal for personal gain.  She only steals things that have previously been stolen and returns them to their rightful owners.

After Kat and her crew pulled off the unthinkable in Heist Society, they robbed The Henley, I had no idea how Ally Carter was going to top that job, but she did.  Kat is approached by Constance Miller, who is apparently the rightful owner of the Cleopatra Emerald.  Her parents found it on an an archaeological dig, but their assistant, Oliver Kelly, stole the gem and the rest of their findings.  He started a famous auction house 50 years ago and his grandson, Oliver Kelly the Third, is now running the business.  He has decided to put the emerald on public display for the first time in two generations.  But....stealing the Cleopatra Emerald is FORBIDDEN according to Kat's Uncle Eddie.  It is cursed and every good thief knows that jobs involving the Cleopatra ALWAYS end badly.

Nothing can stop Kat and her team once she discovers Visily Romani is the one who sent Constance Miller to her for assistance.  She is determined to steal the emerald, and does so with ease.  This, however, would not make for a very exciting book.  Of course, there has to be a twist.  In this case, Kat quickly discovers that SHE was the mark.  For the first time in her life, she was conned.  Now, she must find out who was responsible, why she was chosen, and how she can correct her mistake.

The relationship between Kat and Hale was frustrating for the first half of the book.  I could not figure out why anyone would push away an attractive 16 year-old billionaire when they are clearly attracted to each other.  It takes her FAR too long to come to her senses, but I think they are FINALLY a couple.  I can't wait to see what is in store for them in Perfect Scoundrels, which was released last month.