Sunday, September 28, 2014

Twisted (Eternal Guardians #7) by Elisabeth Naughton


Synopsis:

NICK – Leader of the half-breeds and the last true hero. He’s spent his life fighting a dark pull toward the gods. A pull he now knows is linked to his father Kr√≥nos and the Titan’s plan to escape from the Underworld.
But Nick’s hidden powers are coveted by more than just his father. Imprisoned by Hades, Nick battles every form of torture imaginable as the sadistic god schemes to break him. Only one thing is keeping him sane. One woman who gives him the strength to fight the relentless darkness. She has a dangerous plan of her own, though, and as Nick’s powers grow stronger, even she might not be enough to alter his destiny.
As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, Nick’s allegiances are tested. And no one knows whether he will choose to fight for good or succumb to the sinister lure of evil. Not even him.

I got that book as an ARC from netgalley (man, I love that page!!) and I was super excited to start it. To be honest, I didn't read the books in-between this one and the first because... Oh well, there are so many series out there and I simply lost track of them. I was all the more happy finding the book where I did and even getting it. Seriously, I dove right in and maaaaan, this book didn't disappoint AT ALL. Even with not having read the books in-between I knew what was going on and the way it was written just made it easy to follow along.

I am usually the person that is into the males. I like the female leads, but I prefer the males. Always, because mostly the females are a little whiny, or bitchy or what do I know. In this book though that was absolutely different. Cynna is a kick-ass heroine and I loved her from beginning to end. There is no doubt that this story is dark, but that only makes the moment when it all turns to light so much sweeter and better.
Having suffered for years because of things she couldn't change made Cynna hard. But whenever Nick's around, that shell breaks slowly, but thoroughly. There is nothing better than seeing that, almost feeling the sweetness seep into her heart.

And Nick... Boy, what can be said about Nick? A lot, certainly, because he's strong-willed, handsome and a true hear at heart. There is nothing better than this combination because you don't need a bad boy to win over a girl, but sometimes you just need soft amber eyes and a little pleasure-pain to make things all right in the world.

And seriously, that was what the book was to me: A little pain and a lot pleasure. And if I say pain I mean heartbreak over and over again. I'm a sucker for heartbreak and heart-healing and Naughton delivers in the finest form. I'm in love with this book and I'd recommend it to everyone. You love paranormal stuff? Ancient Gods and the trials they put upon humanity? The world that Naughton creates is round and perfect, well thought through and whenever I close my eyes, it is easy to take a trip there and get lost. This was a truly amazing read. Thank you, Elisabeth Naughton.

Yours truly,
Julie

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Heart of Dread: Frozen - a new series by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston


Synopsis: "Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature - freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called "the Blue." They say it's a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it's a place where Nat won't be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies?

Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all. This is a remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic."

This was my first book by Melissa de la Cruz. I have other books from her on my to read list, and this book just proves that I should really get to them. 

The story itself was amazing and a great new idea. A world that has been frozen, with little to no food left, is a great start for a story. People mostly feel like this:


Nat, our main character, survived the freeze and is now working in a casino in what is now New Vegas. She's one of the marked, people with special powers that are hunted by the government. She hides her true identity and lives a rather quiet life there. That is, until that voice in her head starts up again and tells her that she needs to travel away from New Vegas and go out to find the Blue, a mysterious place where things are still supposed to be unfrozen, beautiful and alive. With the help of runners, people that help citizens out of the government reach, she undertakes a journey that is laced with dangers she never even dreamt of. 

Helping her is Wes, a runner that has worked for the military until his morals told him to rethink his position at the goverment. Being forced to do things he didn't want to do, he leaves and forms his own group of runners, helping others escape the brutality of their live in New Vegas. When Nat needs a runner to bring her to the Blue, he's intrigued enough to take the job and bring her across the frozen ocean. 

Against their better judgement, the two start to form a bond. Forced together by their own impossible situations, they soon realise that the only way to survive is to stick together. And so the story begins....

Both characters are really likable, fighting against the odds, and also against the injustice both of them have experienced due to their different upbringing. Being a marked person was never easy for Nat, but being a "regular" like Wes isn't all cakes and flowers as well. Due to the excellent writing of Cruz and Johnston, you can't help but fall in love with those two, but also with the minor characters in the book, that aren't any less important. Shakes, Lianna and the smallman, they all show you the value of loyalty, of true friendship and of the things you are willing to do for each other to survive. 

This was a truly promising story that I'm definitely gonna get the next installment off, because quite honestly, I'm already missing the bunch of people. Overall a great story, with highly likeable characters, great and intense writing that just sucks you right into the story. Just like I want it to!!!

Thank you for reading!!


Always yours,
Yvi

PS: all pics found on Google

Monday, September 22, 2014

Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne


I was provided an ARC Copy by the Publisher through Netgalley for an honest review!

Synopsis: "Is it possible to outrun your past? Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to do just that for five years. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has Edie had to move to another new school she's in a different country. 

Sydney promises her that this is their chance at a fresh start, and Edie does her best to adjust to life in London, England, despite being targeted by the school bully. But when Sydney goes out to work the night shift and doesn't come home, Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up with them. 
Alone in a strange country, Edie is afraid to call the police for fear that she ll be sent back to her abusive father. Determined to find her mother, but with no idea where to start, she must now face the most difficult decision of her life."


This was an okay book to me. I can't even pinpoint exactly what I've been missing in this book, but it just didn't reach me emotionally as much as I had hoped it would. The storyline follows Edie as she searches for her missing mother with the help of an unlikely ally. Having had troubles in her past, Edie is wary of trusting other people and is looking over her shoulder every place to go.  She had a hard life before getting to London and her life got turned upside down yet again.

Again, only okay for me. I missed the emotional connection with the characters, the storyline was okay but could've used a little more depth I believe. Maybe if there would've been more depth to the story and the characters, the emotional connection would've been more easy to make for me.

It's kinda hard for me to say anything else, because again, there wasn't anything that really stuck out as being wrong. 

I would give this author another shoot again if I could, because the writing itself was really easy to follow and quickly to get through, and that's a part I really liked!!

Always yours,
Yvi


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Trial by Fire - new series by Josephine Angelini

Synopsis: "This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.


Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected."


So this was me when I heard Josephine Angelini was bringing out a new book:

This was a amazing beginning to a new series. I already loved her Starcrossed trilogy and had high hopes for this new series. And I wasn't disappointed.

The story centres around Lily, a girl that has never really fit into her world. Her allergies make it impossible for her to have a somewhat normal life. And the one thing that was supposed to change it all, the visit to a high school party, ends in a disaster for Lily. Determined not to let others see her humiliation, she walks along the shore of her hometown to find some peace and quiet. What she finds though is a voice in a head and herself suddenly in a different world. It's her hometown, but there is something different about it. People look  scared of her, people are running after her, scaring her, and there is still that voice in her head. 

Thrust into a world she knows nothing about, a life she has no idea existed, Lily has to learn to deal with witches, world travelers, shamans and guys. 

This book is beautifully written with enjoyable characters. Lily is approachable and real, making her a great character to identify with in that story. She's strong, manages to keep a clear head in all the craziness that just entered her life, and meanwhile realises things about herself that she did not see coming. 

And then there's Rowan....oh, what a guy! Let me tell you, I love those kinda guys that are head-strong, pissy and the more the book goes on, the more likeable he gets. Because he realises that what he wanted to be true no longer held any appeal. And the romance angle is so much more interesting since he has a past. With the very version of Lily that lives in this Salem. So believe me when I say that things are kinda complicated for Rowan. But maaaan I love this guy!!!

The story is very promising and I wish the next book would already be out, that's for sure!!! If you loved the Starcrossed trilogy, give this new series a chance. I can guarantee you, you won't regret it!!!

Always yours,
Yvi

PS: All pics found on google

Defiance and Deception by CJ Redwine


"Defiance" and "Deception" are the first two books in CJ Redwine's "Defiance" trilogy.  It follows Rachel, a girl born in the city of Baalboden, who has never been good at following the rules society set for her. Never being one for knitting or sewing, she much rather spends her time sparring with whoever would be a willing opponent. Having lost her mother really young, it came to her dad to raise her as best as he could. In his eyes, it involved being sure that Rachel can fight for herself. 

When the first guy Rachel ever showed any interest to rejects her, it leaves a hole in her heart, and the hurt is something that she never really got over. But instead of letting that hurt get to her, she made use of it. And Logan, the guy in question, can attest to that. 

So this is where this story starts. And until it end with Deception, you cannot really catch a real breath. And even then you can't, cause you desperately wait for Deliverance, the last book in the series and the book I will now have to wait 3-5 weeks to get. 

But back to the story. Rachel's dad doesn't return from a mission as a tracker, and is soon pronounced dead by the leader of Baalboden, a man who Rachel has learnt to hate over the course of her life. His tyranny brings him the compliance he asks of his people, and Rachel has had enough. Wanting to go find her father on her own, she's shocked to learn that the person that comes to her rescue and help is no other than Logan, the guy that rejected her hearts all those years ago. And together they start on a journey together none of them quite imagined. Throw in epic battles, monsters and deception and you will get a great series that will leave you wanting more. 

“We walked through the streets with our protectors. We wore our dresses. We gave up our education because that was the price of safety. That was the bargain we made with the devil we knew to escape the devil we didn't.” 

I don't wanna give away too much of the story, but suffice to say that I loved every angle of it. It keeps you on the edge, keeps you guessing, and most of all it keeps you wishing that Rachel and Logan would just find their peace. But their lives are far from it. Being thrown into positions that neither one of them is really prepared for makes for a really amazing storyline.

Rachel and Logan are highly likeable characters. Both fiercely loyal to the ones you love and despite the things life threw in their way, not broken into despair. They both need to overcome incredible odds and hurts, and it's not easy for either one of them. Rachel herself, while being a fighter, is being tested to her limits, losing one person after the other. It drives her into despair eventually, but she's strong willed, stubborn and realises that there are more important things than drowning in your sorrows. People depend on her. There is a lot of grief in this book and you see how different characters deal with it in their own ways. It's never easy, and you will see that those people hurt in unimaginable ways.

“Maybe that's what love is. Giving others the power to hurt you and trusting that they'll use it to heal you instead.” 

Rachel and Logan's love story is a beautiful thing to watch as well, because when the world around them crashes, they at least have each other to lean on. Their responsibilities go with them on their way, but they never let it stray far from remembering who their real loyalty lies with. 

“She stares at me, a tiny smile flitting across her lips, and the affection on her face makes me feel like the richest man in the world.” 

CJ Redwine's writing is easy to follow and drags you into the story instantly. It's like everything else dissolves around you, and all you can focus on is that story and where it would go. It sucked you in and didn't let you go until you turned the last page. And believe me, at book two the last page didn't satisfy me at all. It only made me wanna have the third book all the sooner. 

So this tale of love, family, loyalty and overcoming odds is a great read, one I can just tell everyone to read. I loved every page of those books and when I finally get the last book of the series in my hand, believe me when I saw I won't stop until I have gotten through all the pages of it.

I would recommend this story to everyone who likes romance with a fantasy kick. You will NOT be disappointed!!!

Always,
Yvi

Monday, September 15, 2014

Need an escape? Read "Fifteen Weekends" by Christy Pastore


Three friends, three different lives - how can fifteen weekends change lives? 

Since the official synopsis is rather long, I'm bringing you just one sentence to sum up this book! Why not more? Because in the end, that's all you need to know about this book from the start!

Going in, I seriously had no idea what to expect. Before getting to know Christy Pastore at a takeover she did on Facebook, I hadn't even heard of her. So I went in blind, hoping this book would be as good as the Goodreads reviews said it was!

And it held up to the promises. Why? Because between all the heart-wrenching and aching books I read, this is a really fun and light read to simply enjoy. No tissues or punching bags necessary, just a nice drink and a chair. And that's what I really liked about it - the simplicity. Don't get me wrong, I mean that far from being negative. Sometimes there is beauty in the little things in life. 

So back to the book itself: 


I loved the straight-forward and fast-paced story line in this book. While Pastore's style is very descriptive and very detail-oriented, it still doesn't take away from the page of the story. With page-long explanations about red cars, you might get bored after a while, but with the detail she describes rooms or surroundings, the picture you have in your head gets very clear. And i liked that. I will admit that though that I sometimes had to laugh to myself, when a Gucci purse or so was mentioned (whereas most of the stories I read would simply refer to it as a purse). You can tell where Pastore started her writing, but it in no sense took away from the pleasure of this book.

The characters this book involves are all very real. You have natural characters full of mistakes, flaws and good intentions. And there's even one character you probably won't like. But as I heard someone tell me: we all have an Amanda in our life. 

The storylines are all being told in seperate POV's, and yet you will find several points where they will interact, because those three women this book is about, are friends after all. Or somewhat friends. :D

I will admit that I was a bit surprised with the sudden ending. A few storylines aren't completely finished, so I'm hoping there's gonna be a "Sixteen weekends" book. Or maybe a "Fifteen Months" book. I really don't care, as long as I get to read more. 

Because this simply and entertaining book does leave some questions open that I'm sure readers would love to have answered.

Until then, enjoy it yourself if you want a nice book for the road, the plane or just a nice day on the beach!!

Always,
Yvi

PS: Gif found on Google

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Damaged (Rebirth #1) by Becca Vincenza



There are some beings in this world, long thought to be extinct. Some seek to protect them, others want control, but some . . . some are hell bent on their destruction.

Audrey was taken from her father, hidden away from the world, and tortured for five years. She was rescued, but is she really safe, or is there someone else waiting to betray her? Can she trust those who saved her? Can she learn to accept who she really is?

Stone was on a routine mission to extract valuable information from a rival clan of paranormals. Instead, he and his team find something much more valuable: a scarred, damaged young woman who holds many secrets, and whose power is beyond anything they could ever have imagined.There is much more to Audrey than meets the eye and Stone is determined to protect her.

Audrey and Stone are about to find out it’s hard to know who to trust.

So... I started reading that book because on of my favo authors actually totally supports that chick... And then I got to know her and wanted to read the book anymore. 
What can I say? When I read the synopsis I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but once I started I figured it didn't really matter much because the writing was awesome, Audrey intrigued me and then... 
Then came Stone and I was like...


Trying to find out who kept which secret kept me at the edge of my seat. There is no doubt that Becca Vincenza's debut novel is a jewel you shouldn't miss. Her writing is touching and it made me hold my breath in the right places. She shows emotions, makes you feel them without you really wanting it. Her writing style is different so so was the whole book.

Shifters, weres, vampires, paranormals of all sorts - man, that was amazing! It made me think of this:


Audrey and Stone fought everything that was thrown in their way and I loved that they both wanted to be better for the other one. They lent strength to their partner, proving that sometimes all you need is a little gesture to know that you found your second half.

Audrey's dad... What can I say? I hated him for almost most of the book, and I am not really a fan of him now, either, but I can tell you that Becca manages to change your view - and that's something not easily done to me.

If you get a chance, please go and read that book. Who am I kidding? You need to get your ass moving to READ THAT DAMN BOOK! It's awesome.

Yours truly,

Julie

(All pics found on Google.)