Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Publication Date: May 12, 2015

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Words cannot even begin to describe how much I adored this book. This is easily one of my favorites of 2015 so far, and it's hard to believe there could be a better start to a series out there. I just finished reading The Novice, and I thought that was amazing, so I was never expecting to love another new series just as much. But I did. The Wrath and the Dawn is a spectacular read that is sure to appease fans of Arabian Nights or even Aladdin. This book grabbed me from the beginning and never let me go. I simply couldn't stop reading, and the story stuck with me long after I finished. You know a book is good when it makes that kind of impression.

I was enthralled by this book from the very first chapter. The world itself is so interesting and intricate, but you are never once confused. This is told from several perspectives, and I think this aspect of the novel was handled not only beautifully, but also expertly. Ms. Ahdieh wrote with the grace and finesse of a seasoned author, and her writing will sweep you away on this spectacular journey. I do think it was crucial to the story that there were multiple perspectives as it added greatly to the book. This is not to say that without the multiple POVs the book wouldn't have been as amazing (because I'm sure it would have been), but it made the story much more complete and well-rounded to be able to see what was going outside of the palace where Shazi was residing for the duration of this book.

One of the best parts of this book was Shazi's character. She is simply one of the best female leads I have read in a long time, and my love for her rivals my love for Caelena from the Throne of Glass series. Seriously, she is that amazing. Not only is Shazi headstrong and independent, but she will fight with whatever she has in her in order to survive and fulfill her plot for revenge. It's hard not to lover her honestly. She has a great humor about her and her relationship with Khalid is like no other. Khalid himself is a wonderfully complex character, and I loved the mysterious nature to him. When all is revealed about Khalid's character, I just felt so strongly for him, and my love for him knows no bounds.

The relationship between Shazi and Khalid is simply beautiful. I highly applaud Ms. Ahdieh for creating a romance that is sure to captivate readers right from the off. Quite simply, this is one of the best romances/relationships I have read and even though I didn't want to love their relationship as much as I did (hello...Khalid killed Shazi's best friend!), did that effect me one bit...NOPE! I still shipped them like no one has shipped before. I was rooting for them almost immediately.

Ms. Ahdieh must possess some sort of writing magic, but whatever she has she must use this power to continue writing absolutely amazing books. The plot is incredibly creative and will keep you on the edge of your seat. I am so intrigued by the magic, and I can't wait to find out more about it in the second book, The Rose and the Dagger. Her writing is poetic and flows off the page. You will want to re-read this book as soon as you're finished. I highly recommend that you read this book because if you don't, you will miss out on an extraordinary book!

Happy reading :) 


Monday, June 29, 2015

The White Rose (The Lone City #2)

*This review contains spoilers for The Jewel (The Lone City #1)* 

The White Rose (The Lone City #2): Amy Ewing 
Publication Date: October 6th 

Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

I was a huge fan of The Jewel. I read it in January and I thought it was the best book I've read in a LONG time. The plot was so intriguing and the world was just as addicting as it was cruel. For me, the The White Rose didn't pack quite the same punch as The Jewel, but I feel that a lot of second books have that effect. 

So The White Rose picks up literally exactly where The Jewel left off - I mean that cliffhanger was crazy! I feel like a lot of the book was them on the run. You find out almost immediately what Ash's fate is, which I kind of wish we would have been left hanging a little bit on that. This book was more about their independency and not wanting to be stifled by those royal houses anymore. The reason I don't think it had quite the same effect on me was because we don't see much of anyone in The Jewel, and I thought that surrogate/royal or slave/master dynamic was so raw and shocking that it just kind of awed me. Putting aside practically the entire relationship dynamic from book 1, the plot was still solid. I liked seeing the different areas of The Lone City - The Bank, Smoke, Farm. It really showed how each of those areas were affected by the Royal Houses. We also get to see why certain people have the auguries and see those develop more as well. 

“I never paid for you,” I say. “And you are beyond priceless to me.” 

I freaking love Garnet. I would love if he was with Violet, like this is a love triangle I could handle. I mean, that ending of The Jewel, right? I thought for sure they'd be getting together this book. Besides my desire for Garnet and Violet to get together, I think that Garnet is one of the best characters in the book and I don't think that he's getting the attention he deserves. There are a lot of times in the book I wish it would have switched to Garnet's point of view, but since it's not one of those switching point of views books - it never does. I do think that this is the kind of book that multiple point-of-views would add to the effectiveness of the plot. Like I was saying above, I think we missed a lot of what was going on in The Jewel while Violet was the run. ASH! God, I was swooning over him last book but this book he just bugs me. He complains that he isn't being utilized like he should be. Well - then do something about it! He's a grown freaking man and he's letting other people tell him what to do. And of course there's the scenes of him wining about his past. I'm sorry but I'm just not an Ash fan. Team Garnet for life. Come on, guys I know I'm not the only one who's Team Garnet. Anyone? 

“If only someone would help me. If only someone would tell me what to do.” 

Overall, I really liked The White Rose but not as much as The Jewel. There really was no "Big Bad" in the book which I feel like is super important in books. I mean, obviously the Big Bad is the Royal Houses, but we don't really get to see them or hear anything of them so I kind of forgot about them. However, it was a nice follow-up to The Jewel and I'll definitely be continuing with the series (Another Cliff-Hanger!) 

- Jocelyn

Friday, June 26, 2015

Discussion - Book Genres

So I wanted to discuss genre preferences because looking back I realized that my genre preferences have changed so much throughout the course of loving reading! I first started reading YA when I was a freshman in high school (I'm now in grad school). Anyway, the first 3 YA books I read were The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, and Unwind. Now I feel like I can attribute my love of YA to these books! These amazing books got 14 year old me hooked on reading! I loved the worlds they were in and I found myself googling "Books like Unwind" or "Books similar to The Maze Runner". I really couldn't get enough. Then I find out they are their own genre - dystopian. So I thought, I guess dystopian my favorite genre! I didn't even look at genres when I bought those books, literally just the descriptions.

Now, if I read those books today instead of back then would I still feel the same passion for them? I don't know! I always wonder if anyones genre preferences change over time, because I feel like mine have!

So back in high school I hated paranormal and fantasy. I thought it was awful and I didn't understand why everyone would want to read books like that! I just didn't understand the hype surrounding vampires, to be honest it actually creeped me out. Well it's like a complete 180 now! I LOVE paranormal, I love vampire stories. *Cough Sookie Stackhouse*. Another thing I never read was contemporary novels. I found them boring and a lot of times even though they were classified under realistic fiction, I didn't find them realistic at all. Lately, I read My Heart and Other Black Holes and I absolutely loved it. Now, I am giving more attention to contemporary books! I almost feel like I can attribute my new interest in contemporary to My Heart and Other Black Holes.

Do your genre preferences change over time? I think mine do! Do we just grow out of genres and into other ones? I also wonder - what happens if you have a bad experience with a specific genre? Does it ruin that genre for you for awhile? I'd love to know your opinion on genres!

- Jocelyn

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jet (Marked Men #2)

Jet (Marked Men #2) by Jay Crownover
Publication Date: May 28, 2013

With his tight leather pants and a sharp edge that makes him dangerous, Jet Keller is every girl’s rock and roll fantasy. But Ayden Cross is done walking on the wild side with bad boys. She doesn’t want to give in to the heat she sees in Jet’s dark, haunted eyes. She’s afraid of getting burned from the sparks of their spontaneous combustion, even as his touch sets her on fire.

Jet can’t resist the Southern Belle with mile-long legs in cowboy boots who defies his every expectation. Yet the closer he feels to Ayden, the less he seems to know her. While he’s tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows firsthand what happens to two people with very different ideas about relationships.

Will the blaze burn into an enduring love. . . or will it consume their dreams and turn them to ashes?

Oh Jet, the things you do to me! I didn't know how I would feel about you, but you just made me fall in love with you so quickly that I want you, your tattoos, and that special piercing in my life. All of you Marked Men need to stop being so loveable!

It's safe to say I loved this book, and I loved Jet. While reading Rule, the first book in the Marked Men series, I couldn't get a good read off of Jet. Honestly, I kind of just passed over him and was more interested in Rule (obviously), Rome, and Nash. So I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book. However, I was pleasantly surprised, and never wanted to stop reading. I know a lot of people had mixed emotions about this book, but honestly, I loved it just as much as the first novel, and if this novel is any measure, I'm going to be head over heels in love with the rest of the books.

This novel tells the story of Jet and Ayden. Ayden was always a mysterious character (just as much as Jet in many ways), and I was really excited to read from her POV. We don't actually find out about her past until a good chunk of the story has past, but I will admit I was getting annoyed with her throughout the book. She was kind of driving me crazy with her flip-flop emotions and crazy decision-making. However, she sees the light in the end, so I was happy. But Jet (if you couldn't tell already) more than made up for Ayden's character, and he is simply to die for. Everything about him, I loved. And I honestly hated Ayden a bit every single time she broke Jet's heart because you don't do that to my boy!! Yes, he's my boy now ;) Jet is sexy, hilarious, and delicious. I savored every single chapter from his perspective, and if I'm being honest, I would have much rather read this book entirely from his perspective. When he sang to Ayden, I swooned (and trust me, you will too), and the little gestures he made showed his love.

While their romance was definitely tumultuous to say the least, Ayden and Jet are similar in many many ways, more than they original thought. I think they truly work, and by the end, the reader sees the love they have for each other clearly. I can't wait to read Cora and Rome's story because that is going to be amazing...I know this already. I highly recommend checking this out simply for meeting Jet (he is going to be your new book boyfriend right from the start). I'm so excited to read about the rest of these awesome guys, as well as seeing where the story goes!!

Happy reading :)


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

A Thousand Nights: E. K. Johnston 
Publication Date: October 6th 

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

To this day, I've never read a fairy-tail retelling. Is this a fairy-tail retelling? I feel like I heard that it was.  Anyway, I'm really excited to read one and this one looks really interesting. Regardless, I'm hoping that whichever fairy-tail retelling I read won't spoil me on the whole genre! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rule (Marked Men #1)

I'm super busy this week with grad school (several exams coming up!!) so I haven't been able to read that much.  However, I still wanted to give you guys reviews this week for Tuesday and Thursday.  So, I wanted to introduce (or find some fellow fans) of one of my favorite NA series...the Marked Men by Jay Crownover.  I only started this series earlier this year, but it had been on my Kindle for ages.  So when I found out that Jay was going to be at ApollyCon 2015, I knew I had to read it and see what a lot of my friends on Goodreads were talking about.  I did have the wonderful pleasure of meeting her back in February at ApollyCon, and it basically made my life because as you will see from my review, I'm obsessed with this series.  Jay is seriously one of the sweetest and most hilarious people you will ever meet!  She just made my love for her characters grow even more.

Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover
Publication Date: December 30, 2012

Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want—and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

I can't even begin to describe how much I adored this book. Funny thing is, I've been meaning to read this book (and series in general) for awhile. Rule has been waiting patiently for me, and let's just say he certainly delivered. I have to give Jay major credit because writing a book from both a girl and guy's POV is difficult. You can run into the problem of the guy sounding way too much like a girl, or both characters just sounding like one person. But Jay's writing is excellent and each character is defined and perfectly written. I loved Shaw and Rule, as each had their own unique personalities that were extremely relatable, and while they were polar opposites, their relationship worked.

Shaw's character was written beautifully. I saw so much of myself in her, and that made the book even more enjoyable. But Rule...I fell hard for him. He had me as soon as he said that he didn't call girls baby. Can I get a HALLELUIAH! Finally a guy who understands me! His character was so well developed as well, and I loved being inside his head. Granted, he's infuriating and a jerk sometimes- he's a bad boy in every single way. But beneath the shell that he's been forced to put up, is someone who is simply an amazing guy. And honestly, he was hilarious. However, I hated the way his family treated him because it just broke my heart throughout reading this novel. I felt it was so unfair, and I applauded Shaw for standing up for and sticking by him. This boy had me cracking up so many times. Rule is so misunderstood, and I was amazed at the complexity that Jay achieved with his character.

While this definitely didn't have insta-love, you will be rooting for Shaw and Rule from the get-go. Seriously, they are just perfect for each other. There were times where I wanted to smack both of them because they needed to learn to communicate (it's a downfall in any relationship though haha), but at the end of the day, I think Jay accomplished something few authors do in NA, a relatable progression of a relationship between two people that are fighting against the odds.

The ending of this book gave a nice conclusion to Rule and Shaw's story. This being said though, I NEED to read the rest of this series. I'm so intrigued to by all of the other characters we meet in this book, and I'm hoping that we see more of Rule and Shaw. Each guy featured has their own book in this series, and I can't wait to get to know each of them. I already have a soft spot for Rome and Nash, and I have a feeling I'll be getting a couple more book boyfriends soon ;)

I highly recommend checking out this book because you won't be disappointed. I'm just sorry that I put this off for as long as I have! Every aspect of this book you will enjoy, and with writing as amazing as this, I know that Jay is going to be writing some more excellent stories in this series!

Happy reading :) 


Monday, June 22, 2015

A Million Miles Away

A Million Miles Away: Lara Avery
Publication Date: July 7th

When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want.

Lately I've been reading more and more contemporaries. Ever since I've read My Heart and Other Black Holes, I've been wanting to give more contemporaries a chance since that book was AHmazing! Plus, lately I've been super busy and contemporary novels don't really make you think too much they are just kind of a light read. So this book has a lot of lying in it, obviously. It's in the description! Now, lying doesn't really bother me. Between Us and the Moon had a lot of lying and I actually liked that book after I looked at the underlying meaning that was more than just being young and wanting to do what you want. 

The book had a nice plot idea. The idea that her sister died and she was pretending to be her sister was extremely intriguing to me. The book was able to hold my attention for the most part. Even though I had problems with Kelsey, she was still a well thought out character. I don't think she grieved properly for her sister - ever. I thought maybe that Kelsey grieving properly would be a major turning point for the book but nope. 

Looking back now, I feel like I could have read the first 100 pages and the last 30 or so and I would have got the same message from the book. Towards the end, I started to get pretty bored with it. I didn't overly like any character except Michelle - who was dead after the first chapter or two. I could have liked Peter a lot more if they didn't only converse half the time in letters. Kelsey kind of annoyed me. She was lost after her sister died and the fact that she sought out a guy's attention to make her feel better about things was a bad message and also disconcerting. Why couldn't she want to seek comfort in sports or books or anything really? Girls can have a love interest and different interests as well, KELSEY. Your sister was awesome, you not so much. 

This book kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Besides the fact that a lot of it couldn't really happen realistically (weekend France trips? I think not), I really didn't like the comparisons of being deployed in the army to playing a basketball game. Now the main character DOES make the differentiation between the two, but the fact that a comparison was noted at all kind of bothered me. Also, Peter fits the typical Army stereotype. 1) He is on the front lines. Where bombs are going off and dangerous stuff is happening. In reality, that's only a fraction of careers in the armed forces. There are lots of behind the scenes jobs that aren't as dangerous and Kelsey seemed to fit that stereotype to him before she even finds out what his job is. 2) He wants his college paid for by the Army. Not all people in the armed forces want their college paid for by their country! So I think it just rubbed me the wrong way because I know people serving their country and I found some of it to be a little bit disrespectful. 

So anyway, I think if you are a die-hard contemporary fan you might very well like this one! It really wasn't one of my favorite contemporaries or love stories, but it also wasn't my least favorite. It really grabbed my attention but I feel like the characters could have been a tad more interesting. 

- Jocelyn

Friday, June 19, 2015

Drop Dead Demons (Divinicus Nex Chronicles #2)

Here's your double dose of Divinicus Nex for the week.  This is the second book in the series.

Drop Dead Demons (Divinicus Nex Chronicles #2) by A & E Kirk
Publication Date: May 27, 2014

Survival. It's an on-going battle.

Aurora Lahey finally knows why supernatural slayers salivate to slaughter her, but how to stop them? Not so much. Sure, she's discovered her own lethal powers, and has six sexy, super-charged, demon hunting Hex Boys watching her back--the hottest one watching every part of her. But when a seductive stranger delivers a deadly ultimatum, Aurora and the Hex Boys plunge into a do-or-die hunt for a legendary Mandatum treasure, which will finally shift power in their favor. Or unleash hell on earth.

Pursued by demons of mythical proportions, Aurora and the Hex Boys race deeper into the shadowy world of a centuries-old mystery and brutal conspiracy, where no one and nothing is what it seems. Where love and betrayal go hand-in-hand, and trusting the wrong person not only breaks your heart, but gets you killed.

Uncovering shocking secrets from the Hex Boys' past, hiding her Divinicus Nex identity, lying to her pretend-wish-he-were-real boyfriend, dodging demons, breaking into ancient tombs, taking the unexpected side trip to the dark depths of the Waiting World, tracking a traitor, and passing Physics...Aurora could do that in her sleep. Or more likely, die trying.


The Hex Boys are back and better than ever!!! Before reading, this was me:


After the long wait for this highly anticipated sequel, I basically devoured this book. Be warned, you will not want to stop reading this book because it's simply not possible to stop. I read this all day today, and couldn't get enough. You know those books that despite how long they are, you just don't want them to end? Well, this novel is the perfect example. While this book is almost 600 pages, you never want to see the end of the book. I would read this book if it was 1000 pages because it is that amazing. 

The writing is fantastic, and had me laughing hysterically all the way through. Aurora is awesome as ever. She is snarky, sarcastic, and never whines. She toughs through everything that is thrown at her, and let's face it...that's a lot. This girl seriously can't catch a break. It made for some very humorous situations though, so that's a plus (well, not for her, but at least for us readers haha). One of the things I love about her character though is how relatable she is. Everyone of us can find something about Aurora to relate to, and to me, that is the perfect heroine. She isn't perfect. She's clumsy, gets into all kinds of dangerous situations, and is balancing a love life that has been kinda lackluster as of late. What's not to love about her?! The sexy Hexy boys (little rhyme for ya!) are some of my all time favorite boys ever! I love every single one of them, and I don't know who I love more. Ayden obviously is the front-runner, but each of the Hex Boys have their own loveable personality that is so unique that regardless of whether or not it is mentioned who is talking, you can easily tell who it is. I feel like I know these characters all so well, yet I know there is still so much to learn about them. We also are treated to the introduction of all of their families, and they are seriously the best ever. A&E Kirk will make you feel so many things, this is basically you while reading:


There are some super steamy moments between Aurora and Ayden, and they will have you swooning. The balance of romance and action was done extremely well, and I loved every single second. There were times I was so frustrated with Aurora and Ayden that I wanted to reach into the book somehow and physically smush them together so they would kiss. Believe me, if I could of...I would have. Every single description is written so perfectly, I truly felt as if I was right there next to the characters fighting demons, and looking for treasure. The ending...the ending will make you want to throw your book, which means...DUH DUH DUHHHH...cliffhanger. And boy is it a doozy. Let's just say, I need the next book as soon as possible. 


You need to read this series now. It's as simple as that. This is a must read for any fan of the Divinicus Nex Chronicles, and is a surefire hit. You will not be disappointed, and will want to re-read it all over again as soon as your done. There are many questions still to be answered, and I can't wait to get back to Aurora and my Hex Boys. A&E Kirk, I love you guys so much for giving fans this book! Thank you for writing such a wonderful, amazing book that was well worth the wait!

And one last thing...



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Demons at Deadnight (The Divinicus Nex Chronicles #1)

Since 2 books are out in this amazing series, and I'm new to blogging, I wanted to spread the word about the Divinicus Nex Chronicles Series.  This is a must read series and something you will not miss on!  I'll review the next book tomorrow, so stayed tuned!!

Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles #1) by A & E Kirk
Publication Date: January 7, 2012

For seventeen-year-old Aurora Lahey, survival is a lifestyle.

Aurora has the crappiest superpower on the planet. And it’s just unleashed a hit squad from hell. Demons are on the hunt, salivating to carve her carcass into confetti.

The Hex Boys—mysterious, hunky, and notorious for their trails of destruction—have the answers Aurora needs to survive. But their overload of deadly secrets and suspicious motives makes trusting them a potentially fatal move.

The battle to save her family, herself, and stop demonic domination may cost Aurora everything worth living for, and force her to reveal her own dark secrets. But no worries. She needs the Hex Boys to pull this off, and, chances are, teaming up with these guys will get her killed anyway.


I'll try not to give many spoilers in this review, but I can't make any promises. This book was wonderful! My mom had read this before me, and told me how great is was, but I kept putting it off. Well, I really wish I wouldn't have put it off so long because I have nothing but compliments about the book.

One of the things I really appreciated about this book was the language. Aurora talked how a snarky teenager would talk, with her sharp and witty comebacks, and the boys talked exactly how guys talk (at least the guys I know). The book itself was hilarious. There were multiple times I was laughing out loud, and was almost in tears because I was laughing so hard. The other thing that I noticed was that this book was very well edited. I didn't see many mistakes, and I really appreciated that. In a time of most publishers relying only on SpellCheck, which leads to books being full of mistakes (both grammatical and spelling), it was refreshing to see a well-edited book.

The mysterious Hex Boys are a whole other story. At first, I was worried that with six different guys in the picture, there would be a love hexagon or something. Also, I was worried about keeping each boy straight. However, each guy had his own unique personality, and felt so real that I didn't have to worry at all. I loved each one of the Hex Boys, including Matthias. I thought it was adorable how Aurora's little sister took to him. There is definitely more to Matthias than meets the eye. Jayden always provided humor for me because of his logical talk. I especially loved the scene where him and Aurora first met, and discussed eggs (that scene will have me cracking up, pardon the pun, again and again). Ayden was just amazing, and I am definitely on Team Ayden. My only complaint was that there wasn't enough Logan and Tristan in the book. I felt that the other Boys received more attention, and hope there is some more of those two Boys in the next book.

This book is definitely a hidden gem, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes fun, snarky heroines, and is ready to become spellbound by the Hex Boys (they will be in your dreams every night after you read this).  Here are some of the many hilarious lines to look forward to:

“I launched into a graceful ninja-like front roll, then stood my ground to face the monstrous heathen, fearless in my determination to vanquish the deadly foe. Nah, just kidding. I bolted, discretion being the better part of not getting dead.” 

“Wish I could say it was a deviously clever move, but the truth is I’ve got grace management issues.”  

“It would probably strip my flesh while giving me vocabulary lessons. I'd be dead but smarter. How's that for glass half full?” 

Seriously...how do you not love this book already?  Go read!

Happy reading :)


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Novice (Summoner #1)

The Novice (Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu
Publication Date: May 5 

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

Wow, wow, wow! This book was a fantastic read that takes you on an exciting adventure. Everything about this book was simply amazing, from the characters to the world to the writing. The scenes were richly described and I truly felt as if I was standing next to these characters, witnessing the magic and chaos around them. Taran Matharu shows tremendous promise as an author, and is definitely one to watch. It is safe to say that this will easily become one of your favorite books of 2015, and you will be eager to get the second Summoner book as soon as possible.

Fletcher was an amazing main character. He was refreshing in so many ways, and so original. As soon as you starting reading from his character's POV, you get this feeling like you know his character is going to be something different from every other male lead character you've read previously. He is basically a breath of fresh air. I adored how Taran Matharu wrote his character as Fletcher always acted his age, and you could tell Mr. Matharu set a good foundation for Fletcher to grow. By the end of this book you know that no matter what life has in store for Fletcher, he will handle it with a maturity and find strength in the events. Suffice to say, Fletcher is an easily likeable character, and you will love every single second with his character.

The secondary characters are just as wonderful, and while we don't learn a lot about them, I'm sure that we will come to know these characters like they're our friends. I am extremely interested in learning more about Vocans Academy, and I can't wait to see where this story goes! And I have to put this in here, but I ADORED Ignatius. He was the cutest thing, and I loved how protective he was of Fletcher. I never thought I would say this, but this book made me want a demon of my own...especially one like Ignatius.

Where this novel truly stands out is the world. Taran Matharu incorporates all of these small intricate details into helping the reader understand everything they need to know about the world. There's even a glossary of all the different types of demons in the back! I don't know about you, but I love when authors do this because I feel like they go the extra mile for the reader to make sure they feel apart of the world they create. This novel is straight up fantasy, and it is pure magic. This world is truly unique, even though orcs, elves, dwarves, and the like are all running rampant. I truly felt like I belonged in this world of summoners and their demons. The magic was so well described. It is different than what we have come to know (not that different, but not just flick a wand type magic). I was blown away by the creativity, and I loved learning about things as Fletcher learned about them. It was yet another element of this book that made me feel like I was apart of the story. The magic in this novel is not something to be taken lightly. It is dangerous, and must be handled with care. After reading, you know that there is much more to be learned, and that The Novice is only an introduction to a larger world and larger story.

I highly recommend reading this book. As I said, this is easily one of my favorite books of 2015 so far, and I can already tell that this will become one of my favorite series. I can't wait to see what happens next in the Summoner series!

Happy reading :)


Monday, June 15, 2015

Asking for It

Asking for It: Lilah Pace

Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.

Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker...

Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised. 

I'm not really sure what attracted me to this novel. I guess I wanted to see if it was a glorified 50 Shades of Grey. I was kind of indifferent to 50 Shades. I didn't really mind it but I thought it had some shoddy writing. Well, I ended up liking this book for the most part! While all erotica anymore reminds me of 50 Shades (I know that's wrong, don't yell at me) because that's really the only one I've ever read, I do think that this book is a lot better written. Maybe I will now occasionally try erotica. Occasionally. Key word: Occasionally 

The thing I liked most about Vivienne was that she wasn't a doormat. In most books with differing power dynamics, the woman is mostly portrayed as a doormat. I really was pleasantly surprised in this case. Vivienne had a totally separate life independent of Jonah and wasn't dependent on him for everything going on in her life. She went to school and had her own friends. I think another favorite part of mine about Vivienne was that she didn't ditch her friends when she started seeing Jonah. Do you know what I'm talking about? I hate when girls do that, example book: The DUFF. It just really shows poor character in the girl and makes them extremely dislikable, especially in the case of a main character.

"You should be more careful who you trust." 

Jonah wasn't my favorite character. I don't think they went deep enough into his past, which I would have liked to see. I don't know if maybe there will be a novella of sorts in his point of view, or what but I think that could work. So basically, I don't think that Jonah is my FAVORITE book boyfriend of all-time, but he was ok. Obviously both of them have deep rooted issues that go into why they like non-consensual sex, but I'm not going to go into that because it'll spoil it for you! 

"I want to tell you this now--tonight, while you're safe, and with your friends, and you know I'm not threatening you. 
What your ex said--if that's the fantasy you want, I can give it to you." 

The underlying topic is obviously non-consensual sex, however none of the sex that happens in the book is actually non-consensual. I actually think that the sex in this book is lighter than the sex in 50 Shades. So, basically if you like 50 Shades I think that you'll like this book too. Overall, if you'd like a NA book to gauge this too, I find that Ugly Love was a bit sexier than this book but again I think this power dynamic was heavier as well. Anyway, I know that this book is definitely not going to be the normal cup of tea for a lot of my followers but it was an easy read - so if you don't mind books like 50 Shades (just saying that as a baseline) then give it a try! 

- Jocelyn

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Confess by Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: March 10  

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

“Some secrets should never turn into confessions. I know that better than anyone.”

I have a confession...the ending of this book made me cry, and very few books have that ability. Colleen Hoover has yet again crafted a heart-wrenching, gripping novel that makes you feel every conceivable emotion and leave you begging for more. This novel caught my attention for many reasons (besides the fact that it was written by Colleen Hoover), but the main reason was because of the intriguing premise. The entire novel is very unique and interesting that you are compelled to read more and more. The incorporation of the artwork truly pushes this novel to the next level, and will make even those that aren't really into art, love art. The artwork featured in this novel (and this is why I highly recommend you get the paperback so that you can see these pieces in color) elevates the novel and adds so much to the story. It is as if you can feel the emotions behind the paintings coming off the page.

“Tell me something about yourself that no one else knows. Something I can keep for myself.”

This novel has it all: laugh out loud moments (Auburn drunk is one of the most hilarious things I have ever read), heart-wrenching scenes, and danger to the max. The story follows Auburn and Owen, and is told in alternating POVs, which just added to this book even more. You know all along that both Auburn and Owen are keeping secrets, but you find out those secrets only when the other finds out. The reader is kept in the dark, and it makes for some surprising reveals. Confess is like no other book in the way that you never knew what was going to happen when you turned the page. You think you have things figured out, and then next thing you know everything and everyone is changed. To truly understand what I mean by this though, you'll have to read the book. Just believe me when I say, this book takes you on an amazing journey from start to finish, and it is one you will never want to stop.

“Every day of my life it feels as if I'm
fighting my way up an escalator that only goes down.
And no matter how fast or how hard I run to try to reach the top, I stay in
the same place, sprinting, getting nowhere.”

Auburn was a fantastic lead. She was forced to grow up very quickly (for many reasons), and I loved her as a character. She was extremely relatable and Owen brought out a light in her that she hasn't had for a very long time. Owen was truly wonderful, and I adored his character. He too had to grow up very quickly, and I think this is why he and Auburn complement each other so well. They understand and support each other. They realize that not everyone is perfect. In fact, they are perfectly imperfect together. While there romance is sexy, it's not as steamy as previous Colleen Hoover books. However, it was beautiful. Despite the fact that the scenes weren't extremely steamy, this is still a very mature book. There is such a rawness and intensity in the scenes that very few authors manage to capture. And this is where the book shines.

Overall, this story was beautifully written, and will have you tearing up throughout the story. Everything is revealed by the end, and all questions are answered. And the ending is literally one of the most heart-touching, heart-warming endings I have ever read. You will find yourself wanting to go back and read the story all over again as soon as you're finished, and that is something only few authors can do. This was a very unique story, and I highly recommend checking this out. You won't be disappointed!

“I love you so much.” His voice is breathless and full of fear. “I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.” My tears fall harder at his words. “And I’ll love you forever. Even when I shouldn’t.”

Happy reading :)


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine  and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here: Patrick Ness
Publication Date: August 27th, 2015

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

                                                       Even if your best friend is worshiped by mountain lions.

So, I don't even know what this book is freaking about! I can't even tell by the description, but that is the best kind of book! I've heard so many amazing things about Patrick Ness but I've never read any of his books. I definitely think I'm going to be starting with this one. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep                                                               
Publication Date: April 28

There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. .

Jennifer Estep has done it again! Written an book that just takes you away and sweeps you off your feet! I could say this was a great book, but that's not a good enough description. As my beloved Dean would say, this book was


I have only read Ms. Estep's Mythos Academy series, which was equally amazing, but this woman can write such fantastic story, and you will never get enough. If it's anything like the Mythos Academy series, this will be yet another extraordinary series from this author.

Our main character is Lila, and she is everything you could want in a heroine. She is smart, sassy, and doesn't take anything from anyone. Lila is tough, but also practical and entirely relatable. The one thing I loved about reading from her POV was the fact that the person she showed to the world was a much different person than who she was inside. We all put on a mask sometimes (or a lot of times), and it makes me feel like I am part of the story even more when the character is like this. However, despite her vulnerabilities, she had such a fire and tenacity, that you can't help but admire it. Lila reminds us all that we should fight for ourselves and do what is right, but all the while have our priorities straight (this is something that many characters lack regardless of gender).


The secondary characters are equally amazing. Every single character has their own personality and isn't just shoved to the side. You'll have a hard time not liking them (even the ones you aren't supposed to like haha).

The plot of this novel is where the book truly shines. Mob families and magic? Monsters?


Who wouldn't want to read something that original? I found the story to be so fascinating and interesting, I just never wanted to stop reading. The world is intricate, as this is definitely something you haven't read before, but it is never once overwhelming and is written perfectly. I was never confused and by the end, I had a very good understanding of how the world worked. I do wish there was bit more with the monsters and such, but I'm sure that aspect will come into play in future books. I do hope we learn more about the world in future books because it is definitely something unique!

As you can tell, the writing was exceptional. There was a lot of action and suspense, and the romance was not the main focus.


Yes, you read that right...a book where there is a girl and guy and there isn't tons of smoochy times. This is a major win in my book! The two complaints I had was first: some things were overly described, which did slow some scenes down. However, this was quickly corrected and didn't continue for multiple scenes. Second: the major twist. I easily figured it out. Literally everything about the end. But, I enjoyed this book so much that I didn't even care.

I definitely would recommend reading this novel if you are a fan of fantasy/paranormal books with lots of action. Additionally, if you're a fan of Jennifer Estep, you definitely don't want to miss out on the fun that is Cold Burn of Magic! I can't wait to see what happens next!!

Happy reading :)


Monday, June 8, 2015

The Cage

The Cage: Megan Shepherd

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

What can I say about this book? First I loved the idea of The Cage. I think it was great and I don't think I've ever read a book about imprisonment in this fashion. I feel like I am still indifferent about it, though. I liked it but there were some parts I didn't like. I guess I'll just explain what I liked and didn't like about The Cage! So overall the book had themes of The Maze Runner, but it wasn't saturated in them like some books are now. It held it's on the uniqueness and it really wasn't just a copy of another YA book retold in a different fashion. 

The characters were so-so. Cora was kind of annoying at times, but I didn't hate her. I definitely don't think there should have been so many different point of views in the case of this book. There are definitely some books where the multiple points of view are brilliant - just an example is Kiss of Deception. However, in the case of this particular book I don't think it did anything for the plot of the story. The secondary characters were a little dull. While we heard enough from them in the multiple points of views, there was just something missing with them. Then there was Cassian, who on the description of the book was Cora's love interest. Cassian was a great character, I loved him and his emotional withdrawal. Like with other characters, I don't think he reached his full potential as a character. Maybe the next book will make the characters grow. I don't think any had really an emotional journey from the beginning of the book to the end. Even though the plot changed, the characters sort of just stayed the same. 

I think the book was drawn out longer than it needed to be. I think it could have been reduced by about 100 pages and the message would have been just as effective. I'll definitely be continuing with the series, and I have a kind of idea where it's going to go from here but I can't say for sure because I didn't expect what happened at the end! I guess it really wasn't the end - I think it was around page 360. If you read it, then you know what I'm talking about!

Overall, I thought the book was "meh". The setting was great as was the idea of the plot but it got a little slow in the middle leading up till the end. I felt that nothing new was really happening and the book didn't reach it's full potential. However, I do think that the mehnish of this book can be repaired by an amazing 2nd book. I'll be looking out for it. I wouldn't really recommend this to a fantasy lover, but maybe SciFi or even dystopian :) Are you planning on reading The Cage? 
- Jocelyn

Saturday, June 6, 2015

BookCon Wrap Up + Rant

Even though I couldn't make it to BEA, I was able to go to BookCon last weekend! It was a little hectic,  but not near as hectic as NYCC. I had a lot of fun, got a ton of books, and met some great people/authors. So I am pretty familiar with the Javit's center, I've been there like 5 other times for separate things so I wasn't worried about finding my way around. However, it is definitely intimidating if you don't know your way around.

Day One: The first thing I did when I got to BookCon was head to the Penguin Random House booth and check it out. I snagged some ARCs and got in line to meet Nicola Yoon, author of Everything, Everything. After that I met Charlaine Harris and got a FREE copy of Day Shift, even though I already brought books for her to sign. I received Day Shift on NetGalley to review, but the book had a MAP in it. I LOVE MAPS! Charlaine was so freaking cute and she had the sweetest accent! I would never picture her writing the sex scenes in The Sookie Stackhouse novels ;). After that, I got in line to meet Colleen Hoover and K.A. Tucker. I brought my own books to that signing as well, and they were SO freaking nice! I literally thought every author I met during the days at BookCon was super nice, though! After that, I met Sabaa Tahir and Renee Ahdieh. Gues what, they were both amazingly nice as well! Then I just roamed the floor and walked by some ARC drops and was able to get into a few signing lines, so here are all of the books I obtained from Day One of BookCon. These are just the books I was given, not the books I brought for the authors to sign. I'm currently reading Lois Lane: Fallout and it is bringing out the ultimate fangirl inside of me!

Day Two: I wasn't able to go the Sarah J. Maas signing, that line was insane! I'm ok with it mostly because she lives in the same state as me and usually does a lot of signings around me. Today was my day of panels! I went to the diversity panel in which I was really excited to listen to Libba Bray, David Levithan, and I.W. Gregorio. Immediately after that was a Fierce Female Characters panel. It had awesome panelists: Charlaine Harris, Rae Carson, and Sarah J. Maas. Sorry about the shitty picture taking skills, guys. Also the first thing I did on Day Two was go to the First In Line author breakfast. I met James Dashner and got the new Collector's Edition Maze Runner + Scorch Trials. I was also able to ask him to sign my Eye of Minds book. He said he was so grateful that I was reading the series! I bet most people just read his Maze Runner series and forget about his other books - but you guys should seriously read The Eye of Minds! It is amazing! At the end of the day I was able to meet Michael Buckley, author of Undertow. When I was just walking around, I saw one of the booths were doing some kind of trivia to give away paperbacks of City of Heavenly Fire. The questions were so EASY, too! I got it by answering "What is Clary's best friends name". That was basically it for today! I don't have a picture of the Day Two books because I dropped them off at my house house and drove to my apartment like two hours away at around 9:00 at night. I'm getting some of the books tomorrow, through from my family who is visiting. But I remember some of the books I did get: I got Newt's Emerald, Undertow, Auggie & Me, The Maze Runner + Scorch Trials collectible edition, City of Heavenly Fire, Another Day, Lair of Dreams, We Were Liars, and the Accident Season. 

Overall, I had a pretty fantastic time at BookCon. I think it was set up really well and organized just like NYCC. I don't think I will be able to go next year since it is in Chicago, and I'm pretty busy with school. NY is super close to me so I was able to go and drive home the same day.

So - I bet you thought my rant was going to be geared towards BookCon, didn't you? Well it's not! It's geared toward what happened towards the end of BEA & BookCon. I'm sure you've seen it on twitter, those "omg can you believe someone put an ARC on ebay" tweets. Everyone has been bitching and bitching about it, and I'm willing to bet that my opinion is different from yours. First of all, I just want to say I don't sell or buy ARCs on ebay - this is just my opinion. Ok - so my opinion about ARCs being sold on ebay was more justified because of everybody's hypocrisy. What is everyone's attitude? It's usually along the lines of, "the author and the publisher are losing money, IT'S TOTALLY NOT RIGHT". Well, you know how else they lose money? BY TRADING BOOKS! Tell me you all don't peruse the hashtags of #Booksfortrade - I know I do. I traded books. But by trading a book for another one, that author and publisher is losing money that they could have received if you bought it new. So, if you're argument is that the publisher and author are losing money and you turn around and trade for a book you would have otherwise purchased - I'm sorry but you're kind of a hypocrite.

My second thing is: yes, the ARC fell into the wrong hands. However, the person bidding on that ARC is obviously a fan of the novel or author and maybe they aren't familiar with the rules of ARCs. I started getting into YA about 8 years ago, I had no idea of the blogging world surrounding it. I didn't know about goodeads, either. I would literally go to my local bookshop, and browse the YA section for like 2 hours just reading the jacket of the book. I never looked up a rating or a review, because I just DIDN'T know. Now, I always look at a rating before I buy a book. I wish I would go back to my old ways sometimes, but I just don't think that'll happen. I remember reading The Maze Runner and The Hunger Games and DYING for the second book to come out - I had to wait an entire year from the time I read them! If I knew about ebay, and that I could get the second one on ebay so I could read it - I probably would have done it. Would that make me a bad person? I don't think so.

Thirdly, I saw those people gather 100's of books from BEA, then complain about this ARC thing. The chances of that person reading ALL of those books before their publication date and reviewing them are super slim, which is the point of ARCs. Half of them will probably be collecting dust on their self until they get to them. Are those ARCs in "good hands"? Don't you think they would be in better hands by someone who bought them on ebay, because chances are that they want to read them right away! End rant. I was not trying to piss anyone off by this post, I just wanted to show everyone that there are two sides to every story. Yes, you getting money from an ARC you sell on ebay is unfair, but so is leaving that ARC on your shelf and then forgetting about.

- Jocelyn