Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: Unspoken
Author: Sarah ReesBrennan
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Series: The Lynburns Legacy #1

Hardcover, 373 pages

Publication:  September 11, 2012 by Random House BFYR

Source: Personal library

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Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Ever since Kami was little she heard a voice in her head. Her parents didn’t think too much of it, because what kid at a young age didn’t have an imaginary friend? As Kami grew older the voice in her head didn’t go away but grew stronger. Kami had a few friends but none of them were as close as she was with Jared. Kami lives in the small town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and nothing much ever goes on until the Lynburns returns. The Lynburns were the first family and founders of the town, and even till this day, generations later the family still resides in Sorry-in-the-Vale. The Lynburns are infamous and are feared by the town people, and Kami wants to know why. Kami starts to investigate the Lynburns and during her investigation she stumbles upon an animal sacrifice and a body. Kami thinks the deaths are related to the Lynburns since they occurred at the same time the family arrived back in town. Things get stranger when Kami finds out Jared isn’t an imaginary voice in her head, but a real person…and he happens to be a Lynburn.

If I had to describe Kami in two words, it’d be sarcastic and spunky.  Kami’s voice can be either annoying or funny, and thankfully I found it to be the later. Kami is the type of girl that doesn’t care about being the most popular in school, how many friends she has or attending the hottest parties…she’s pretty content with her life and has a BFF that gets her. Angela  a.k.a the “BFF” even knows about Jared but accepts it as part of Kami’s quirkiness. Kami is pretty confident in everything she does and says but that changes when she’s around Jared.  Since Kami and Jared are linked, they can real each other’s mind/feelings. Kami constantly has to watch what she thinks, trying to maintain a mental wall between her and Jared. It was easier for both of them to deal when they thought the ‘other’ person wasn’t real, and now they’re both trying to cope with the change. They have always been linked, and with the possibility of breaking the link…Kami is all for it if it mean she can actually live her own life independently. Jared on the other hand isn’t happy about it.

Jared has the words “delinquent bad boy” written all over him, from the way he acts, talks to the way he dresses (I mean he has the dark rugged-mysterious look, and rides a motorcycle for crying out loud). When Jared found out that Kami is a real person living in Sorry-in the-Vale, he automatically storms off and tells her to leave him alone but no matter what he can’t avoid her. While Kami struggles with the situation, Jared thinks the reason for their link is because they’re soul mates. Jared even suggests that they date, but Kami is unsure if the feeling for him is real/his mixing with her or her own true feelings. She laughs at the notion of them dating, crushing the idea every time Jared mentions it/or hints it even IF she thinks of it too. I think Jared continually proves himself to Kami, but she always tells him that the two of them being more will NEVER happen. In the end I think she came to terms with her feelings but it was a little too late...we won’t know the true fallout till book 2, UNTOLD. 

UNSPOKEN had all the ingredients for a fun young-adult fantasy-paranormal.  I love the balance between humor and mystery (two things I always look for in a book). Going into UNSPOKEN I didn’t know what to expect because the synopsis didn’t give away much. When I found out about the Lynburns, I was pleasantly surprised because I definitely didn’t anticipate that particular paranormal sector/supernatural to be the feature of the book.  The characters were well-written and had a uniqueness of their own. I especially adored Kami’s friends; Angela who hates pretty much everyone and has an obsession with napping everywhere and anywhere she can. Her brother Rusty was just that brotherly, Holly a newcomer to the group, and the other Lynburn Ash…the total opposite of Jared. UNSPOKEN kept me glued to the book from page one, and kept me guessing till the very end.  I’m like the other fans and didn’t like how the book ended (cliffhanger!) but am looking forward to UNTOLD nonetheless.  I recommend this book to anyone looking for a light paranormal-mystery read. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Book Crush!!

Hot sun, hot sand, cool drinks, dark tans. Ahhhh. But your summer won’t be complete until you land a new BOOK BOYFRIEND, right? Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered!  

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SUMMER BOOK CRUSH offers 50+ titles in many genres. This means 50+ chances to (fictitiously) fall in love. And the best part? Each of these gems is only 99¢, but for a limited time only. The SUMMER BOOK CRUSH event starts on June 26th and ends (yes, even the best things in life end at some point) on June 28th. So don't wait up! Mingle with our BOOK BOYFRIENDS and invite all your friends to participate too. There are plenty of BOOK BOYS to share!

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Find your summer’s fling between the pages of a book. And don't stop on one - after all we have many BOOK BOYFRIENDS for you to mingle with.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Blog Tour: Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler + Giveaway

I'd like to welcome S.M. Wheeler, author of SEA CHANGE to the blog today! On today's Sea Change blog tour stop S.M has provided readers with a trailer and excerpt from her debut novel.

Don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway at the end of the post, TOR BOOKS is giving away three (3) copies of SEA CHANGE.


Published on June 18, 2013 by TOR BOOKS.

The unhappy child of two powerful parents who despise each other, young Lilly turns to the ocean to find solace, which she finds in the form of the eloquent and intelligent sea monster Octavius, a kraken. In Octavius’s many arms, Lilly learns of friendship, loyalty, and family. When Octavius, forbidden by Lilly to harm humans, is captured by seafaring traders and sold to a circus, Lilly becomes his only hope for salvation. Desperate to find him, she strikes a bargain with a witch that carries a shocking price.

Her journey to win Octavius’s freedom is difficult. The circus master wants a Coat of Illusions; the Coat tailor wants her undead husband back from a witch; the witch wants her skin back from two bandits; the bandits just want some company, but they might kill her first. Lilly's quest tests her resolve, tries her patience, and leaves her transformed in every way.

A powerfully written debut from a young fantasy author, Sea Change is an exhilarating tale of adventure, resilience, and selflessness in the name of friendship.




Acid flowed at the table more often than wine and had long since ceased to cause Lilly alarm; her attention remained on the soup even as Father asked, “Does the thought of me still pain your head, love?”

Cool, Mother replied, “I fear I am coming down with some strange illness, for I suffer still.  I should go to the baths and—”

His habit was to swallow such lies with a drought of the liquor at hand, but tonight the bottle had been emptied already. “And by what means will you have a child of mine while resting there?”  He laughed, a deep, drink-rough noise.  “Mourning the parting, will you lie with me the night before – then abort whatever is thus got and have a bastard by another man, to return to this house and claim—”

“Lilly.”  Mother looked to her, fire on her tongue such that all her husband’s anger seemed but sparks.  Here was not the woman who called Lilly sweetheart and cradled her face between her hands; in such a temper, she looked taller than Father, her presence heavy with the soot of past fury.  “Dinner is over.  Go to your room.”

Lilly filched a glazed bun from the table as if she refused to go without something sweet; wrapping it in a napkin as she went out, she shut the door behind her then put her ear to the keyhole. She dismissed the thought of capture, for the servants were all stiff-faced and silent at the edges of the room, or gone away to the kitchen if they could, ashamed to serve a family that would descend into this crudity – unless households of old blood were the same, and all servants must foster the ability to overlook lapses in decorum.  

Though not given to eavesdropping, this argument concerned her; younger siblings would mean a sea-change, a reshuffling of priorities, danger along with freedom.  The thick door muffled their voices but it didn’t matter; when their war came to open battle they fought lustily, snide murmurs giving way to shouts.

“If you won’t have my child—”

“I promised you one, and that one is enough.”  She spoke now in her country burr, the honest voice; and softer, almost inaudible: “I will not die with the second.”

“I know.  I know.  But you’re better than your forebears.  And what is she, this girl?”
Giving a short laugh, Mother said, “Your child.”

“But no sweet girl for me, not soft-eyed: no, sharp and sea-loving—”

Miss Scholastika caught Lilly by the ear, and dragging her by it as she only did outside of Father’s sight – though happy to do so when Mother watched – took her from the door.  Both of them stayed quiet; Lilly bit her lip with eyes brimming, and Miss Scholastika kept herself to the pinch-mouthed look that the toothless excelled at.  Only when they reached Lilly’s room did the servant release her and ask, “How shameless are you to be eavesdropping?”  Her voice quavered – not angry, but fearful.  “There are things a child shouldn’t hear.”

“They voiced those before I left,” Lilly said, reasonable, and flinched as the woman’s hand came up; but Miss Scholastika only rested it against her cheek, the side of her face where the skin looked darkly bruised, brown and black, swollen.

Whispering, now, “Both of them love you.”

“Yes.  —Father wants a daughter he can parade or a son to become a merchant-marquis in his place, though.”  Lilly moved away, smiled – and meant it.  “Ma’am, I am happy.”

“You don’t know what that means,” the old woman said, bitter, and before leaving added, “Turn your mind to your books, child.  I will want to hear what you know about our neighbor kingdoms tomorrow.”

Lilly did no such thing, knowing that the servants’ ability to turn a blind eye extended to her behavior.  Slipping off her satin shoes and stockings and full skirts, she donned instead last year’s skirt – it fell just above her ankles and still fitted her waist – and on her feet put the soft leather shoes Mother gifted her with a conspiratorial wink and a finger held over her lips.

US/CA ONLY: Will be mailed from publisher. 

TOR BOOKS has generously offered three (3) copies of SEA CHANGE and a SEA CHANGE button to Short & Sweet Reviews Readers! To enter please fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck you guys! 

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S.M. Wheeler
I spent the first thirteen years of my life on a slow-motion tour of the United States, following my father’s work in the telecommunication business, with a brief side trip to Jamaica. Settling down at last in Upstate New York when my parents purchased an inn, I spent a difficult year attempting to adapt to the small local school and the company of my agemates. Ultimately, my family made the decision to educate me at home. Some of my time came to revolve around the business, which grew to include a bookstore and restaurant; some of my attention went to the school textbooks from which I learned. Mostly, I read and wrote. 

Fantasy, science fiction, myth, folklore—I favored the unreal in reading and told the same sort of stories as soon as I could articulate those ideas in words. This became an important tool when I developed several chronic health problems in my adolescence. Rather than using the world of fantasy to escape from these, I normalized them by creating disabled characters within the familiar landscapes of the fantastic. One o’ clock in the morning with an unruly mind and aching joints was best faced with characters whose hallucinations and missing limbs were oversized projections of my own difficulties. 

I flew out of Upstate to California for college with one suitcase of clothes and ten boxes of books. I am now living with family while attending the University of San Diego, where I am pursuing an English degree, Classics minor, and all excuses to write fiction.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spontaneous Midsummer’s Eve Giveaway Hop (US & INT)

Welcome to my stop on this Spontaneous Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop (started just yesterday) by I Am a Reader Not a Writer!

One (1)  winner will get to choose from the three (3) choices below:

1) Box of used book (some new, never read) (US ONLY)
 (UF, PNR, Sci-fi, Fantasy, YA)
*edit: I'm about to move again, so I plan to add more books! :)
**Edit #2, If you haven't already seen on Facebook and Twitter, I just added 14 more books to the box, so that means what you see in the picture above PLUS another 14 books!!! WHEEE :D

--- OR---

2) $10 Amazon Gift Card (US ONLY)


 3) Book Depository book choice valued up to $10 (INT)

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

Title: The Collector
Author: Victoria Scott
Genre: Paranormal, Fiction, YA
Series: Dante Walker #1

Paperback, 352 pages
Publication: April 2nd 2013 by Entangled Teen

Source: personal library 

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He makes good girls...bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Dante is the epitome of a bad boy; he says and does what he likes without a care in the world. Dante is a collector, his job is to tag souls whenever a person sins and once a person obtains enough…they gain a one way ticket to hell (when they die). Dante’s boss has a special assignment for him, to tag and ensure the soul of Charlie Cooper in 10 days. Dante isn’t sure why the boss wants her soul because Charlie is like a saint, barely any tags on her soul. Dante does everything possible to make Charlie sin, because time is ticking and if he wants to get his promotion and leave hell, he needs to quickly seal the deal on Charlie’s soul.

I really enjoyed this book (the first half at least) more than I thought I would. Dante is the type of person you hate and love at the same time. He’s an ignorant, selfish, cocky jerk but surprisingly underneath that bad boy exterior is a heart! When he first meets Charlie, he can’t believe he has to hang-out with someone who’s as nerdy as Charlie. Dante constantly comments on how Charlie looks and her dowdy clothing, but when the popular kids pick on Charlie, Dante can’t help but come to her defense. Anyone who has a problem with Charlie and her friends means they have a problem with Dante and he isn’t going to put up with anyone’s crap. Dante acts all hard but he isn’t a bad guy really or at least he doesn’t want to be. Over the course of the book, you see Dante begins to change all because he wants to be a better person.

Charlie is your typical sweet-goodie girl. She has a big heart, and doesn’t really let anything get her down. Charlie had a rough life after her parents died in a fire, but she doesn’t let that stop her from living life to the fullest or enjoying the life she has. When Charlie meets Dante she couldn’t believe this unbelievably hot guy is talking/hanging-out with her. I liked Charlie at the start but once she signed the contract to give up her soul and in return get some improvements…I didn’t like her so much. She would ask for simple things at first such as silky-smooth hair, or better vision etc. but it eventually got out of hand (because the contracts her makes her sick if she doesn’t continue to ask for stuff) and while not all of her fault, I found it annoying that she wasn’t happy with how she looked and wanted to be more ‘pretty ‘like the popular girls. I mean she asked for so much that she became almost unrecognizable. Then of course people and Dante started to see her AFTER she got all beautified. Charlie did everything for Dante but even then she went from being a happy-innocent girl to someone who’s superficial. 

Overall THE COLLECTOR was a okay read with some flaws and bumps along the way. I like the first half of the book but didn’t really enjoy the second half. The world-building and characters were okay, nothing I haven’t read before. I usually like my books character driven, but the two leading characters had me hating-liking-hating them half the time, which never happened to me before. The ending was also kind of predictable, and if I had to describe this book  in one word it’d be mediocre. Will I be reading the next book? I’m not sure. I’m a bit curious as to what will happen next, but it isn’t a priority. I’d check out a chapter sample or excerpt before reading or buy.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: Sealed With a Curse by Cecy Robson

Title: Sealed With a Curse
Author: Cecy Robson
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Weird Girls #1

Mass Market Paperback, 350 pages

Publication: December 31, 2012 by Signet Eclipse

Source: Won a copy of the book from the author at My Bookish Ways blog.

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Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They're the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…

The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren't aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders if the vampires of Tahoe are plague-ridden.

Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha's family to keep the area safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and—oh, yeah—not lose her heart to the wrong guy or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, he's coming for her and her sisters.

This Wird girl has never had it so tough.

SEALED WITH A CURSE is the first book in a new series by Cecy Robson. This is probably the most fun and entertaining urban fantasy I’ve read to date. SEALED WITH A CURSE has vampires, werewolves, witches, were-shifters, and 4 unique sisters that have their own ability and personalities that I haven’t read in any book. The Wird sisters were a hilarious bunch, and the type of gals that everyone would want to be friends with. Celia is the oldest, and plays the leader/protector role of the siblings. Shayna has the go-with-the flow-surfer mind-set, Taran is the girlie-girl- model and even if she’s covered in vampire guts she knows how to strut her stuff, and finally the baby of the family, Emme, the innocent sister that looks like a baby-doll/angel. Celia’s power is very interesting; she’s a fierce tigress but has other abilities that were pretty cool. Shayna rocks at wielding a sword; her aim is always perfect and can turn certain things into a weapon. Taran can manipulate fire, and Emme can move objects with her mind and heal. In addition to the girls, Celia has two sexy men vying for her attention the master vampire Misha and warrior werewolf Aric. It really isn’t much of a competition since Celia is interested in Aric, and vice versa but Misha is so darn charming, I couldn’t help but root for both (odd, I know since I’m not a fan of love triangle)! Misha and Celia may not be connecting on the same attraction level but I am looking forward to seeing how their relationship will play out in the next book.

SEALED WITH A CURSE is a fun-action packed novel that will have you captivated from page one till the end.  I love everything about this book, but the characters are truly the stars of the novel. The characters make it a one-of-a-kind urban fantasy that cannot be replicated. I like my heroines to be funny, strong, and kick-ass…and SEALED WITH A CURSE has not one but four of them! I wish I picked read this book sooner, and can’t believe I let it sit on my shelf for months! I love this novel and highly recommend this to everyone looking for something fresh and different, it will not disappoint! It hard to distinguish oneself in an already saturated genre but Robson was able to do just that that. I can’t wait to read A CURSED EMBRACE when it comes out next month! This is a series not to be missed!!!