Monday, July 29, 2013

Blog Tour:[Review] Shudder by Samantha Durante + Giveaway

Title: Shudder
Author: Samantha Durante
Genre: Sci-fi/Dystopian/Paranormal
Series: Stitch Trilogy #2

Trade paperback, 348 pages

Publication: June 15, 2013 (self-published) 

Source: Author 

It's only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa's life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she'd counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she'd thought she'd tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she's discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering "stitch" unlocked something in Alessa's mind, and now she can't shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers - and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world's sorry history - will soon leave Alessa reeling...

Shudder takes place exactly where Stitch ended with Alessa and Isaac escaping Paragon in search of a base camp for Regina, the rebel (resistance) leader. Alessa and Isaac leaves the dangers of Paragon behind them, but encounter different kinds of danger beyond the wall; such as extreme harsh climate, the ‘virus’ that decimated millions years ago, mutant creatures that lurks in the shadows, and empathetic-visions brought on by the ‘stitch’ threaten to tear Alessa apart. On their journey, Alessa and Isaac not only discover things about themselves but also about Paragon…its history and the people running the colony. 
Shudder is an excellent follow-up to the Stitch Trilogy, picking up immediately after our heroine and hero escaped from Paragon. The pacing of the book was perfect, moving the story along at a quicker pace than the first book, Stitch. Also unlike the previous book, Stitch which was told from Alessa and Isaac’s POV, Shudder is told from multiple POV from characters still residing/trapped in Paragon plus Alessa and Isaac who are beyond the wall. I love Durante’s characters and world-building. Durante does an amazing job creating realistic characters that are so three-dimensional that you feel exactly what the characters feel…their happiness, sadness, and their fear. The world-building is unlike anything I’ve ever read; it is truly unique and something un-replicable that makes this series standout in an already saturated dystopian/sci-fi genre. 

Stitch, the first book in the series blew me away with its originality, and the crazy twist/turns but Shudder took things to a whole different level. Everything readers loved about the first book is incorporated in the second installment plus so much more. This is a series not to be missed! Although this series is self-published, it DOES NOT read like one! The Stitch novels have all the ingredients to make it a spectacular series. I highly recommend this to everyone, you won’t regret it! 


Samantha is generously giving away a copy (ebook) of her latest novel, SHUDDER to a Short & Sweet Reviews reader! To enter please fill out the rafflecopter below :).
Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

Title: Right of Way
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Genre: Contemporary YA
Series: N/A- Standalone 

Hardcover, 320 pages 
Publication: July 9, 2013 by Simon Pulse

Source: Publicist


Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…

RIGHT OF WAY is a companion novel to TWO-WAY STREET, but readers don’t necessarily need to read it first to read RIGHT OF WAY(unless, you want some back story).  RIGHT OF WAY introduces us to Jace and Peyton. Jace and Peyton met once a year ago at a Christmas party and they hit it off right away but due to the long distance and secrets Jace and Peyton stopped talking once they return to their home state.  Months later they meet again in the summer at Peyton’s cousins dad’s wedding, both still harboring feelings for one another.

RIGHT OF WAY is light-summery read, with switching POV between the two main characters, Peyton and Jace.  The book is dubbed as a road-trip book but the characters weren’t really ‘on the road’ much. The book switches between the present (Jace driving Peyton home, on the road/trip) and the past events leading up to the wedding and the trip. I’m actually not a fan of multiple/dual POV but Barnholdt made it work for the story and characters, and found myself captivated by her writing style.

Things are a little awkward between Jace and Peyton, since they both felt like the other person broke their heart and they never had the opportunity to talk things out. So when Peyton was left stranded in Florida at her Uncle’s wedding, Jace offered to drive Peyton home…to Connecticut! Jace is definitely the mature adult of the two; even though things are weird between Peyton he didn’t give Peyton a hard time. Jace wants to spend time with Peyton, and cares about her overall well-being. Peyton on the hand acted like an immature child for most of the trip. It was obvious that Peyton needed help having no ride or money to get anywhere; but she let her pride get in the way, brushing Jace off every time he tried to be nice. The situation between Jace and Peyton could have been easily fixed if they had better communication, and it was bummer that it took them the majority of the book to have it. 

Overall RIGHT OF WAY was a light-fun read, but I thought the plot could have been resolved quicker and felt the ending was too rushed which left readers hanging a bit. However, I absolutely would recommend this book to everyone looking for a quick read/or some brain candy. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mystery Box Giveaway

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I'll be giving away another box of books, and as promised (a tad late) this time it will be a mystery box!

The mystery box of books contains used books (great condition, like-new), new books and some ARCs (last half of 2012). The books are a mixture of adult and young-adult titles (paranormal, fantasy, UF genres).

US only (sorry!), please fill out the Rafflecopter below!

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blog Tour: Chameleon by Kelly Oram [Ten list] + Giveaway

  About the book
For small-town rebel Dani Webber magic and monsters are no more real than the Easter Bunny… until the day she accidentally stops time. Dani quickly discovers that not only do supernaturals exist, but she herself is one of them. This is great news for her life-long best friend Russ, who can finally come clean about his own supernatural status and his undying love for her. Before the two can start to enjoy the long overdue relationship, Dani is taken by a powerful council of supernaturals who believe she is the Chosen One destined to save them from extinction. 

As if being kidnapped and expected to save the world isn’t bad enough, an ancient prophecy warns of the Chosen One’s dark nature: “Only the truest love will keep her an agent for good.” The council believes they know who this “true love” is and, unfortunately, that person isn’t Russ. The mysterious, powerful and devastatingly handsome Seer is the last person Dani wants in her life, but when she starts having visions of a horrific future, she has no one else to turn to for help. 

Soon Dani finds herself torn between two very different boys with two very different opinions of whom she can trust. With the visions getting worse and time running out, Dani is forced to put aside her feelings and work with both the Seer and Russ before an ancient evil is unleashed upon the earth.

By: Kelly Oram

I love anything make-believe. Supernatural creatures are awesome. They’re creepy, powerful, dangerous and exciting… I love reading fantasy books. My favorite kinds are the ones that combine all the different types of supernatural creatures, but I’ll read any kind of paranormal book. Here’s my top ten favorite paranormal creatures to read about. 

10. Dragons 
I think I like books about dragons because there aren’t that many out there. They always feel kind of fresh and new when I read them.

9.   Demons
I love demons. Twisted, I know, but they are usually super creeptastic. They make great villains and always mean an awesome fight.

8.   Vampires
I love vampires because of their combination for being both dangerous and sensual. I like when they’re portrayed a little more scary/bad guy than friendly like in Twilight. (Not that I don’t love Edward Cullen, because I do!) But vampires are one of the few creatures that can be smooth and sexy and completely terrifying at the same time. A great vampire series I’d recommend is the Watchers series by Veronica Wolf. Also, love the Vampire Academy books Rachelle Mead.

7.   Nephilim
Um, Jace Wayland? Need I say more? I can’t wait for the Mortal Instruments movie! August is soooooo far away!

6.   Faeries
I love faeries because they are super twisted. Even the good ones are slightly evil. I can’t help it. I’m a girl who loves dangerous guys. My favorite faerie books are probable the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr and The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton 

5.   Ghosts
Ghosts and be creepy and sneaky or dangerous, or just a giant pain in your butt. And they make for very complicated relationships. My favorite ghost series would be the Mediator books by Meg Cabot. Super fun! 

4.   Warlocks
I’m a sucker for all things magic. Plus warlocks are usually temperamental, cocky, and often eccentric. They make for very interesting characters. My favorite warlock would have to be Russ Devereaux. (But then, I’m completely partial.) Other great mages would be Magnus Bane from the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. And I also love Han, Micha, and Fire Dancer from the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. 

3.   Aliens
Not technically supernatural, I know. But still AWESOME! And, hello, Daemon Black anyone? YUMMY! 

2.   Werewolves
Love them because they’re usually snarky and totally bad-a. Is it weird that I think volatile is totally hot? Who’s my favorite werewolf? Probably Curran from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I also love The Timber Wolves trilogy by Tammy Blackwell.

And finally… My favorite type of supernatural is… drum roll please… 

Demigods are my favorite because I am a geek and Greek Mythology is one of my favorite subjects. Whether they are new demigods, or a modern retelling of the ancient Greek gods, I love them all. Some of my favorite demigod books are the Starcrossed series by Josephine Angelini. 

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Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.