Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blog Tour: Surrender by Lee Nichols & My POV

Thanks to Lee Nichols for providing a singed copy of Surrender for review. 
A Teen Book Scene Blog Tour Stop
Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: December 6th 2011 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books 
After a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghostkeeping world is in shambles. When Emma and Bennett return home, they are determined to defeat the wraithmaster, Neos, forever. But it's not going to be easy. Bennett's parents kick him out when they realize he is still using drugs to enhance his powers. Emma is convinced her aunt has come back from the dead to warn her of a new threat. And worst of all, Neos is using wraiths to possess the students at Thatcher Academy. If the ghosts manage to take over the entire school, even Emma won't be strong enough to stop them. But if either she or Bennett sacrifice his or her powers, they might be able to save the ghostkeeping world once and for all-and break the "ghostkeepers lose their powers when they fall in love" curse. The question is: who will be the one to surrender all power?
Fast-paced and romantic, this conclusion to the Haunting Emma trilogy will thrill readers as it brings the ghostly mystery to a close.--Goodreads

So the second battle at the Knell (the ancient ghost keeping society) headquarters against Neos which takes place in the second book (Betrayal) was devastating to the Ghostkeeping community. This book picks up not too long after that with Emma, Bennett and her fellow Ghostkeepers picking up the pieces of what is left behind after the attack and try to find another way to defeat the evil Neos.  This is not an easy task since everything seems to be falling apart and everybody seems to be going their own way. Then of course  when they decide on a plan they always seem to be a day late and a dollar short of figuring out what Neos next move is.

In this book the top priority is to find Neos ashes which are located in Thatcher the school in which Emma, Natalie, Lukas, Sara, and Harry attend. The pressure is on and they are adamantly searching for the hiding spot of the ashes when the situation goes from bad to worst as the students at the school start getting possessed by ghost. This just adds to Emma’s never ending list of worries. So know she not only has to watch out for any possessed friends at school, she must deal with the realty that she may lose the love of her life to the addiction he has to a Chinese herb Asrum, the fact that Natalie and Lukas seem to always be preoccupied with each other, her parents and brother never being around, and living with The Sterns (Bennett‘s parents) who seem to blame her for their daughters death and their son’s addiction. Poor Emma is just overwhelmed with loneliness, grief, guilt and most of all responsibility. 

The thing I like best about this book are the characters and the interactions between them. I find Emma inspirational with how strong, independent, and caring she is. I have to say that Bennett has worried be from the beginning but he totally redeems himself at the end of this book. Natalie has so much spunk and sassiness to her its hard to believe she has any insecurities. Lukas is one powerful hottie I can’t get enough of. Coby is a sweetheart with no end to his selflessness. Sara is someone you can always treasure and count on as a friend. And then there is Harry. Harry is my favorite. He always makes you laugh when you want to cry. Always around when you need him. He’s witty. He’s gorgeous. He’s rich. He is absolutely freakin hilarious. I’m totally in love with him!

The ending was such torture! My eyes are going to be puffy for days. I’m never good at good byes and one in particular had me sobbing. If you are looking for a unforgettable ghost story with not stop action make sure to put this on your TBR pile. You won’t regret it!

"Told you she'd be all right" Dad said. "She's a Vaile, isn't she?" 
"Well, something's wrong," Max said, his brow knit with concern. "After twenty minutes alone with Bennett, she's still wearing her shirt." 
"Jerk," I muttered..

"Tell me you're kidding! A French maid? Does she wear a little skirt and fishnet stockings?"
"She's a real maid , Harry, not a strip-o-gram."

"You've been acting evne freakier than normal, so we wondered what you were up to."
"I have not been acting freakier than normal."
"So you admit you normally act freaky?" Harry asked
"No, I--shut up."

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Friday, November 18, 2011

My POV: Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett

Paperback, 322 pages
Published December 22nd 2010 by CreateSpace
17-year-old Kate has lived her whole life in abject poverty, with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother, who severely abuses Kate. At school, her second-hand clothing marks her as a target. Her refusal to stand up for herself makes her the recipient of her classmates taunts and bullying. That is, until Henry returns. Henry Jamison moved away six years earlier, just as he and Kate had begun an to develop feelings for one another. He returns to find the bright, funny, outgoing girl he had known now timidly hiding in corners, barely speaking to anyone around her, suspicious of even him. Kate can’t figure out what game Henry is playing with her - for surely it is a game. What else would the gorgeous, popular boy from her past want with her? Kate finally decides to trust Henry’s intentions, opening her heart to him. Just when it seems he might be genuine in his friendship, tragedy strikes, threatening everything Kate has worked so hard to gain. Can Henry help her to overcome this new devastation, or will it tear them apart forever?--Goodreads

After reading Geek Girl by Cindy Bennett and loving it so much I bought this book soon after. Heart on a Chain is a very moving and powerful story about a 17 year old, Kate who is abused by her mother, neglected by her father and bullied by all of her classmates.

Throughout this book my emotions volleyed from cried my eyes out to wanting to do some physical damage to all of Kate's predators. She literally had no one to turn to and poor Kate couldn't catch a break anywhere until Henry moved back to town after being away for six years. I was so sad to see how hard it was for her to trust anyone even Henry. Which of course, I don't blame her for in the least but it was so heart breaking to see how alone she felt.

The story gets pretty intense when her home life get worst and Kate ends up with horrific injuries at the hands of her mom not once but twice. Most of this book was so hard to read due to all the bulling and hateful things that happen to Kate. It’s unimaginable how this kind of things really does happen in the real world.

By the end of Kate's story she is still dealing with self-worth issues which leads to her feeling as thought she has no choice but to leave everything behind even Henry. But Henry is persistent in making himself a permanent member of her life even if he has to take drastic measures.

I feel that the ending was perfect, peaceful and hopeful. This is one story I will not forget any time soon. If any of you have read Unlovable by Sherry Gammon you might want to grab this book. It’s definitely worth read.

“The feel of arms around me, in comfort rather than as restraint or in harmful intent, undoes me. I cry for all the years of mocking and teasing received at the hands of my peers, for having been born to hateful, careless parents. I  cry for the fact that this one good, kind boy has joined the game. And That makes me think it’s hopeless to find any goon in anyone, which only makes me cry harder.”

“ You can’t tell me you haven’t noticed the way things are at school. I’m everyone’s favorite loser. There isn’t anyone more fun to pick on then me.”

“This is stupid, Kate. I love you. I want to be with you. Today, tomorrow, always. And I know you love me. Tell me I’m wrong about you, about why you left me. Tell me you don’t love me.”


Thursday, November 17, 2011

My POV: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Genre: contemporary romance
Published May 26th 2011 by Jamie McGuire, LLC

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.--Goodreads

Wow this book was CRAZY good!! Extremely addicting. An absolute MUST read. I devoured this book with in a day and couldn’t get thought it fast enough.

Abby Abernathy would like to leave her old life behind but it seems that no matter how far she runs or what she does it seem to catch up with her. Trying to live a “normal” life she moves away with her best friend America to attend Eastern University together. Life seems to be going as planned until Abby catches the eye of the unattainable Travis Maddox.

She want’s absolutely nothing to do with him but he is relentless in his pursuit to get to know her better. At first I think he is simply curious about her resistance to his charms but his interest in her soon becomes much more then curiosity. After getting to know her he regards her with respect and love which is totally different to how he regards all the other women throwing themselves at him. Abby and him become best friends and he is totally into her but she is persistent in her goal of staying away from the life that Travis leads. Gambling for money from his fights in The Circle she just doesn’t see how a future with him will work out.

I did find my self a little scared at times with how obsessed and possessive Travis gets with Abby but I can understand that this is the first time he actually wants to be with someone longer than one night and not knowing how to handle what he feels. Through out the book he struggles to deal with his strong emotions towards Abby and he gets himself under control a little better closer to the end.

There are tons of fun and crazy parts in the book as the story unfolds but the scenes where Abby and Travis are “together” are truly unforgettable.  The way they feel about each other is epic, wonderful and extremely passionate. This is one romance you don’t want to miss out on.

This is one of the craziest, sexiest and most exciting romances I have read, EVER! My heart races just thinking about it. If you are a fan of Simone Elkeles or Jenniffer Echols you will LOVE Jamie McGuire.
“I’ve been drinking, all right. Your skin was three inches from my face, and you’re beautiful, and you smell fucking awesome when you sweat. I kissed you! I’m sorry! Get over yourself!”

“ I know were fucked up, all right? I’m impulsive, and hot-tempered and you get under my skin like no one else. You act like you hate me one minute, and then you need me the next. I never get anything right, and I don’t deserve you…..but I fucking love you, Abby. I love you more then I’ve loved anyone or anything, ever. When you’re around, I don’t need booze, or money, or the fighting, or the one night stands…all I need is you. You’re all I think about. You’re all I dream about. You’re all I want.”

Travis-”You love me?”
Abby- “It’s the tattoos.” I shrugged.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blog Tour: Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett

Thanks to Cedar Fort Inc. and Cindy Bennett for providing this ARC for review.
Paperback, 281 pages
Expected publication: December 6th 2011 by Cedar Fort 

Jen's life of partying and sneaking out has grown stale. So on a whim, Jen makes a bet to turn Trevor, a goody-two-shoes geek, into a "bad boy." As she hangs out with Trevor, however, she finds it's actually kinda fun being a geek. But when Trevor finds out about the bet, Jen must fight for the things she's discovered matter most: friendship, family, and, above all, love.--Goodreads

What a great book!! An absolute must read! It's so heartbreaking, so beautiful, and so much fun. I loved it!

Jennifer “Jenn” has learned to live each day by shutting out her emotions, not letting anyone get past her defenses and acting out. She is a foster child due to one parent in jail and the other in the grave. Her story is so tragic and damaging I can understand why she is the way she is.

Throughout the book she suffers from low self esteem, trust issues and always thinks someone wants something from her if given anything. Stuck in a bad cycle where life just gets stale and uninspiring with drugs and alcohol she makes a bet that she can turn Trevor ,one of the schools “geeks”, into a bad boy.

 Trevor “Trev” is a A+ Student, Sci-Fi loving, respectable young man. He has had the polar opposite family life compared to Jen‘s. With loving parents and a supportive family behind him Jen gets to see what it’s like to have a normal family. After meeting his family and spend some time with them she starts feeling guilty about the bet.  This is when lines start to blur and things get confusing for Jen because at first she see him as a target only but he slowly grows into someone she can count on and trust. This is extremely rear for her.

As their relationship grows the terribly secret (the bet) that means nothing to her by the end of the book shatters what she has built with Trev. Upset and downhearted he doesn’t know how to forgive her because he trusted her and now feels betrayed. This was a such a hard part of the book to read.

So, the bet doesn’t go quite a planned and you get to see that underneath her hard shell Jen is just a confused and curious beautiful young woman looking for a way to get through life without any more heartache. This is such an inspiring story about love, trust, and overcoming your fears.
Jen--"I am sorry that I hurt you. I don't have the words to tell you has sorry I am about that."..."I would do anything to take that part away. I would do anything to change the hurt I know I caused you. But I can't be sorry about making the bet with Ella and Beth because if I hadn't done that, I would never have gotten to know you."

Trev--"I heard you were going to go out with him and I burned with jealousy. No, burning isn't the right word. I was more like an inferno. So I followed you....."
"You're as pathetic as I am," I gasped out.
"Worse," he qualifies. "I'm a pathetic geek."
I snuggle back in to him "Yeah, well so am I."



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My POV: All these Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Thanks to Macmillan and Zeitghost Media for providing this book for review.
Genre: YA Dystopian
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.--Goodreads

This is a dystopian that it not too far off into the future where chocolate is illegal, New York has deteriorated and the Statue of Liberty is a detention center. There are many references to many current trends and I picture the characters wearing the 1920’s style fashion of clothing. Well, at least Anya and Win with all his hats.

Five Mafioso  families are in control of the Chocolate manufacturing around the world and one of them is the Balanchine family. Since Leoynd Balanchine the former head of the family from New York was murdered and a deadly car accident killed her mother, 16 year old Anya Balanchine is drowning in responsibility. She has now taken charge of caring for her grandmother who is on her death bed, her mentally delicate older brother, and traumatized little sister. Then she is accused of the attempted murder of her ex-boyfriend. With such grand issues to deal with she has no time for a boyfriend in her life but when Win comes along she fights the connection between them for as long as she can. But it’s not long until things fall in to place and she ends up giving in to her feelings for him. The only thing is he’s not just any body. He’s the son of Charles Delacroix, second in command in the DA’s office.

There are so many things I liked about this book but what I enjoyed the most is how much Anya loves and takes care of her family. She is a very mature and responsible young lady. In which she has to be in order to keep her sibling safe.  She has never been interested in following in her fathers footsteps in being the head of the Balanchine Family but as time goes on it looks like the she is probably the best candidate for the position. The only thing is, Charles Delacroix is running for office and he can’t have his son in a relationship with a mobster so he makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

I feel that Win and Annie’s chemistry is strong and their relationship is something to fight for. But, I don’t know if Win is willing to forgive Anya for what she has done in order to keep her family safe. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that he does. Gabrielle ended this book with a serious cliff hanger and I need to know what happens ASAP! 

“Daddy always said the only thing worth begging for was your life, but maybe he was wrong. Maybe sometimes your love is a little bit worth begging for, too.” 
 “I told him I didn't want to have sex until I got married. Without missing a beat, he nodded and said, "So let's get married.”