Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blog Tour Post and Giveaway: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

The S-Word

The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads):

First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.

About the Author:

Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, OR where she received her BA in English Literature. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light.

The Excerpt:

I know, I know. Sneaking into the boys' bathroom is not every girl's fantasy. But it's not like I can trust a guy to do it for me. So that's how I find myself leaning against the door to the boys' bathroom, fingers pinching my nose, using my elbow to ease open the door, when Jesse passes by.

"Hey." I try to keep my voice causal.

Jesse stops , slowly, and pivots to face me. I can't help but notice his outfit, which is funny because I could barely tell you what I'm wearing without looking down to remind myself. My fashionista days have fallen by the wayside.

Not so for Jesse. Today his clothes could have come from the girls' or guys's department. He's got on pinstriped pants and a crisp white shirt, not unlike the one Kennedy was wearing. Add to that suspenders and a pin-striped back fedora, and he's ready to take on Hollywood in the Golden Age. Naturally, the hat's pulled down.

All hail the king of covert existence. Everyone can see the falshy clothes. No one can see his eyes.

He makes an exception for me. "Oh, you remember me?" his voice is not helpful. It's full of disdain.

"I need your help," I say conspiratorially. 

The Giveaway (tour-wide):

Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: That Time I Joined The Circus by J.J. Howard

That Time I Joined the Circus

That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard
Publisher: Point
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.

A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake--and facing a terrible tragedy--Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi's mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.

When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn't there . . . but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus's fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.

But then Lexi's ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it's Lexi's own future that's thrown into question.

With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, and the importance of an excellent playlist.

What I Liked:

I enjoyed this book! It was very short (well, shorter than what I am used to), but I think the story itself was excellent. I haven't read a ton of books dealing with circuses (I haven't read any?), so this was new to me. The characters, the plot, and the setting was pretty well constructed! Especially the setting - I loved how the author made the setting an integral part of the book.

Lexi is an awesome protagonist to follow. The book flips between what happened before she goes off to find her mother, and what happens as she goes to find her mother. I like Lexi's way of thinking, and her attitude towards achieving her goals (mainly, finding her mother). I also loved how Lexi was so invested in music! The author knows her music well, because Lexi had a vast knowledge of music! It was an interesting aspect of the heroine that made her all the more real and likable.

There are many, many characters in this book, as is expected, as the majority of the book takes place in a circus! I loved how the author characterized each character differently and clearly. I really liked Nick the most. Nick is one of the love interests in the book (yes, there is a love triangle). He's also fantastic. I love the scene where Lexi and Nick meet. What a way to meet a guy!

The story itself was great! Lexi went to find her mother, but instead, she found a circus. She wanted to escape from her best friend Eli and his girlfriend, Bailey, and she did just that. She even met a guy! But I won't tell you how everything wrapped up. 

Speaking of the ending... I cannot decide if I liked it or hated it. Seriously. It was good, but then, I was expecting something else to happen. I was disappointed when that thing did not happen. I am okay with the ending, but I did not see it coming. Again, for most people, that's either a really good thing, or a really bad thing. That is the source of so many good or bad reviews on Goodreads.

There is a love triangle. And I am oh so let down by it. I like one party more than the other, but by the end, I sort of liked both parties (still liked that one more than the other). In the end, I was disappointed by one guy, and slightly mad at the other guy. But you decide!

What I Did Not Like:

The love triangle, like I mentioned above. I did not like the presence of the love triangle, and I did not like how the love triangle was resolved. I am trying to tell myself that everything was more realistic that way, but I still cannot decide if I really liked the ending or not. I think I do. Eh.

I did not have too many problems with this book. I enjoyed it while I read it, but I probably will not read it again. It is definitely worth the read though!

Would I Recommend It:

Yes, sort of. It is a fun, quick read that I liked, but if you skip it, you are not missing the next big thing. I liked this book, but I would go shouting to the masses that they must read it.


4 stars. This is a great coming-of-age story! If you have the book or ebook, it is highly worth the read!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Book Two of the Pushing the Limits series
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...

What I Liked:

I really liked this book! I had a feeling that I would, but it is so rewarding when a much anticipated sequel or companion novel completely owns up to its predecessor. I admit, I was scared to read Dare You To, but I am so glad that I read it when I did! 

This book is long (more than 460 pages!), but for me, the story went by fairly quickly. Beth and Ryan sizzle and spark, but the story is so much more than a steamy romance. I love how McGarry weaves a complex, emotional plot with a great romance and realistic characters.

Ryan is easily my favorite character, and overall part, of the book. I LOVED Ryan's point-of-view chapters,  and reading his reactions to Beth, to his father, to his brother, to baseball, and so on. I have never been a huge baseball fan (neither like it nor dislike it), but Ryan may have single-handedly converted me to a baseball lover. Okay, not lover. But definitely not a hater.

I seriously wish all boys were as nice and sweet and sensitive and thoughtful and YUMMY as Ryan. I love his easygoing nature, and his desire to be friendly with everyone. It does not appear fake or condescending in any way. Ryan is such a good guy, which is very different from Noah, the male protagonist of Pushing the Limits. I imagine Ryan is also extremely different from Isaiah, the male protagonist of the upcoming companion, Crash Into You.

The plot of this story would be nothing without Beth's crazies. The story opens with Beth getting herself into some sticky legal problems. I am so glad how things worked out, so that Beth and Ryan could meet, although under strange circumstances.

Technically, there is a love triangle. HOWEVER, it isn't a love triangle, because we already know that the secondary love interest is getting his own book. Hint hint. Also, I love Ryan.

What I Did Not Like:

Hmm. I really did not like Beth at times. Like, what's the deal with her mother in the beginning of the story? Who does that? People who let other people walk all over them. Beth acts tough, but really is not. She lets her mother use her over and over, so that her mother can avoid legal troubles left and right. No. Just no. 

But at other times, I liked Beth. Ryan liked Beth, so transitively, I like Beth. I can empathize, and understand her thinking sometimes. Other times, I want to punch her and slap the illegal substances out of her system.

But her shenanigans were not enough to make me dislike the story. It is just how she is. I suppose the characterization for Beth is well written by the author!

Would I Recommend It:

YES! Yes yes yes! This book is definitely going up for one of my favorite contemporary novels of the year!


4 stars. In some ways, I feel like I love this book more than Pushing the Limits (RYAN!). But then, I feel like I loved Pushing the Limits more (oh, Beth...). But this is a truly extraordinary book! I have a feeling many readers will be extremely satisfied with this companion novel.

Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (#18)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, April 21st to Saturday, April 27th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

(COMPLETELY unintentional acquisition of so many copies. I have my own signed hardcover copy of Grave Mercy. All I really need is one hardcover copy of Dark Triumph. So, you know what this means!)

A Such a Rush and a Dirty Little Secret bookmark

Various swag from Michelle (In Libris Veritas)

From NetGalley:

A Most Devilish Rogue


All Our Pretty Songs

From Edelweiss:

Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)

That's it! It has been a rough week for me (non-book-related), but I am ready to start a new one! So, how was your week in books? :)

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Of Silver and Beasts by Trisha Wolfe

“What’s your rank, baby blue eyes?” the guy asks, pushing off his cot and stalking toward the prince.
Everything in me screams to act, but I don’t want to declare alliances this early on. Not without understanding the dynamic of placements and bonds already formed among these people. But I’ll not let this hulk of a man harm the prince. I brace my heel against the wall, ready to push off and lunge.
Prince Caben rises to his feet, slowly turning to face him. He straightens his spine, squaring his shoulders. “I don’t have one. And my name is Payne. Not ‘baby blue eyes’, meathead.”
Big guy laughs, his husky voice bounces off the rock walls. “I’m Crew”—he beats his chest hard once, like a barbarian—“and I’ve won three fights. I’ll win the next two and be the one awarded the freedom ring.” He leans down toward Prince Caben, leveling their faces. “So don’t even think about you or your princess over there walking out of here. I’m ranked as a Colossal. The strongest Colossal in Bax’s league.”
Princess? I nearly scoff. Then I realize what the problem with Crew is: he feels threatened by Prince Caben. That revelation almost makes me laugh out right. What does a big stack of muscles like Crew have to fear from the prince?
The other prisons slowly circle around the stand-off in the center of the cell. Tension thickens the musty air. It coils around my spine, tightening my muscles. If I allow the fight to continue without interruption, will the guards stop it? They’d want their fighters in pristine shape, wouldn’t they?
Prince Caben doesn’t back away from Crew. Instead, he moves into his space. I roll my eyes. Stupid, conceited man.
“Freedom ring?” the prince questions. “As in, there’s a chance to leave?” He rubs his chin, and I notice the dark shadow of facial hair that has darkened his features overnight. “Is there a season that has to be won, or can someone gain five wins during their entire imprisonment?”
Crew’s eyebrows pinch together. He’s clearly despondent that he hasn’t succeeded in intimidating the prince. “We’re in a season right now, you weakling. If you don’t win—you’re dead. Which by the looks of you, will happen in your first match.”
Prince Caben nods, as if he’s simply piecing together a jigsaw puzzle and not being told of his demise. “What is the cuff for?” He points to the iron clamp around Crew’s wrist.
“It’s our biometric monitor.” Crew shoves the cuff up close to the prince’s face. “See those three blue lights? Those are my wins. When the fifth lights up, I’m outta’ here.”
“Has anyone ever won the freedom ring before?” Prince Caben asks.
Crew’s massive arms tremble. “No,” he grinds out. “But I will.” He cocks his cuffed hand back, then sends a blow to Prince Caben’s chin.
I’m up and racing across the cell before the prince hits the ground. Crew spots me from his peripheral. He turns and swipes the air. I duck, roll, and come up behind him. I jump on the cot and leap onto his back.
“You squirrely little ...” he mumbles, trying to reach over his shoulders to get a hold on me.
Tightening my arms around his thick neck, I squeeze. He gasps for air, and rams my back into the wall. I wheeze as the air whooshes from my lungs, pain splintering through my already bruised chest. But I hold tight, bearing down harder, and cut off his supply of oxygen.
Finally, I feel Crew weaken beneath my hold. He drops to his knees, and I only release him once I’m sure he’s knocked out.
Stepping around the now limp Crew, I glance at all the wide eyes studying me, and meet the prince’s. Fury ignites his stormy blue irises. He picks himself off the floor and heads toward one of the side chambers, throwing the tattered material aside as he stalks inside.
I follow after him. When I step inside the tiny, dank room, my eyes trail Prince Caben as he paces. He reaches each side of the small chamber with three quick strides. Back and forth.
On his third round, I open my mouth and get out a single syllable before he holds up a hand, halting me. He drives his hand through his dark hair. “Thank you for making me look like a spineless jerk.” He shakes his head and faces me.
Taken aback, I say, “This is my duty to protect—”
“No. In your country it was your duty to guard me. In my world and here”—he opens his arms wide—“a man fights his own battles. He does not depend on a woman to fight them for him. You just disgraced me.”
Fire simmers in my core. “I’m still assigned as your protector no matter what realm we inhabit, Your High—” I stop myself before addressing him by title out of habit. “Your pride is polluting your reasoning.”
He laughs. “Yes, well. Thanks to your show out there, I no longer have my pride to worry about.”

Buy Of Silver and Beasts for only $2.99: 

 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg 


Blitz organized by:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday (#16)

The Feature & Follow is a creative meme that allows bloggers to get to know each other, and gain more followers! It is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

If you would like, it would be great if you followed me via Email, GFC, Linky, Bloglovin, or Google+ (all on the right). Let me know in the comments if you did, leave a link to your blog, and I will comment and follow back! I always do, I promise! Thank you!

Q: Is there a song that reminds you of a book? Or vice versa? What is the song & the book?

Well... I usually read in silence. BUT. There is a song and a book that immediately popped into my head. Ready?

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)

and "Just a Kiss" by Lady Antebellum!

Watch the video and listen to the song. The song and the book are both set in Paris! In the video, minute 1:27, you can even see the padlocks on the Pont des Arts bridge, which was mentioned (BIG TIME) in the book!

I think this song is perfect for the book :)

What about you? Let me know some books and songs in the comments!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Swoon Thursday (#15): Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

Swoon Thursday is a hot meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at YA Bound!

- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting

Err, sorry I missed last week! But I have one this week. Check it out!

This week, my swoon is from Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid!

"Two pools of golden green looked into the depths of her eyes, and her breath caught in her chest. 'Every time I get close to you, you push me away. I wanted to have one night, one second where I didn't think about you.' And then his lips were on hers. She rocked with the fierceness of his kiss, and she kissed him back, twining her hands through his dark, her heartbeat outracing hers. He pulled his mouth from hers, cupped the back of her next, and pulled her forehead to meet his until they were eye to eye."

- eARC, 50%

Check out my review for this book HERE.

Check out my interview with Heather and enter to win a signed copy of the book HERE.

Request it on NetGalley HERE.

I really liked this book! I did not expect the romance in this book to be so significant, because it seemed like a horror paranormal book to me, but the romance is huge! Works for me!

So, what made you swoon this week?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blog Tour Interview with Heather L. Reid, author of Pretty Dark Nothing (and Giveaway)

Welcome to the Pretty Dark Nothing tour! Today is my day to promote this fantastic book, and in this post, I have an awesome interview with the lovely Heather Reid, and a giveaway at the bottom of the post! 

My tour review for Pretty Dark Nothing can be found HERE.

Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

And, now, meet Heather!

Alyssa: Hi, Heather! Thank you so much for joining me today, here on the blog! Ready for me to pick apart your brain?! :D

Heather: Thanks for having me on The Eater Of Books, Alyssa, I’m so excited to be here! My brain is at your disposal :)

Alyssa: YAY! I shall make good use of it :D My first and favorite question to ask debut authors – how does it feel to be published for the very first time? How about knowing that people are out there in the world, reading your book?

Heather: The feeling of achieving something you've been striving and working toward for over half your life is indescribable. It’s like winning the lottery, getting a new puppy, and marrying the love of your life all on the same day. Exciting and scary all tied up with a giant red bow. It still feels a bit surreal, really, almost as if I’m watching it happen to someone else. I’m not sure the shock has worn off yet. As for Pretty Dark Nothing being in the hands of readers now, in all honesty, it makes me feel a little vulnerable. I’m sure all writers feel this way. I've put my heart and soul on the page and some people will love it and others won’t. As a writer, you hope readers will connect with your work. You don’t want readers to be disappointed, but at the end of the day, not everyone is going to love Quinn and Aaron’s story as much as I do.

Alyssa: What’s the best thing leading up to publication day that you have experienced?

Heather: There have been so many wonderful experiences so far. Seeing the cover for the first time was pretty amazing. Connecting with readers and other authors has also been a highlight for me. But the best thing was being asked to attend Book Expo America in New York City. I can’t wait to talk with readers face to face and hang out with some of my favorite authors. I think I’m going to be a little bit star struck.

(Guys. Everyone going to BEA. GO SEE HEATHER! Have an amazing time at my expense!)


Alyssa: What was the first thing you thought when you saw your book’s cover? (If I may say so, it is SOOOOOO pretty! Definitely one of my favorites so far)

Heather: I cried. And then I cried some more. The cover was even better than I imagined. I was in shock. I must have stared at it for a good hour, pointing to the title and my name and thinking, “This is real. Like really real.”

Alyssa: How did you come up with the title, Pretty of Dark Nothing? Were there any other titles that you thought of, but didn’t like enough to keep?

Heather: My publisher came up with the title Pretty Dark Nothing. The original title was When Darkness Whispers, but there was concern that it sounded like too many other books out there. My publisher came up with a list of alternatives and gave me a choice of two. Pretty Dark Nothing was my favorite and now I can’t imagine it being called anything else.

Alyssa: How did the paranormal aspect of Pretty Dark Nothing arise? What kinds of research did you have to do to expound upon this particular aspect?

Heather: It started with my own nightmares. As a child, I suffered from night terrors and sleep walking. Although I eventually grew out of the sleep walking, the nightmares never went away. I would dream of faceless entities and demons on a reoccurring basis. I spent my pre-teen years trying to rationalize my fear while I spent my nights huddled under my covers with a book and a flash light afraid to fall asleep for fear of what would greet me in my dreams. I kept this a secret from my friends and afraid of what they would think. The dark torture of my imagination lasted through three years of middle school and finally faded. I still don’t think my mother knows how terrified I was of falling asleep and I have no idea why the nightmares stopped, maybe they were my way of coping with the stress of adolescence. I don’t know. When I reached college, I went through a particularly bad time in my life, suffered from depression, illness and the nightmares returned. I wasn't frightened like I was when I was young; I recognized them for what they were. We all have inner demons we battle, those voices that tell us we’re not good enough, taunt us, paralyze us with fear. That’s when the idea for a novel started to form. I asked myself what would happen if those negative voices, inner demons weren't imagined. What would happen if they were real and they started to manifest outside the dream world? What if they influenced things around us and what if you were the only one that could see them? That’s when Quinn and the idea for Pretty Dark Nothing was born. I did quite a bit of research on demons, night terrors, and near death experiences over several years, most of it was done before I started writing as a way to make sense of what I was going through. I never thought it would be used years later in my novel.

Alyssa: The scene when Quinn, erm, does something with her beautiful, long hair – it is definitely a symbolic moment in the book. Describe your thoughts when writing this scene.

Heather: Writing it was emotional for me. I couldn't stop crying. At this point, Quinn feels completely out of control. She’s frightened, the demons are manipulating her but she doesn't understand what’s going on, and she’s struggling in every part of her personal life. Deep down she wants to fight, but she doesn't know how. Her world is spinning out of control and she wants to try and take a piece of that back, at this moment, it’s her way of rebelling, of dealing with all the crap that’s going on around her. When I was writing, I could feel her pain and desperation.

Alyssa: So, there is a sequel to Pretty Dark Nothing (woohoo! After that ending… let me be quiet). Tell me a little of what readers can expect to read in the sequel.

Heather: Throughout the first book, Quinn was in the dark about what the demons wanted and how to fight them. It was very much about her dealing with depression and her personal demons and being manipulated by them. It isn't until the end of the book that she gets a sense of just how wide their influence reaches and finds out they are picking on her for a very particular reason. It’s not just about her anymore. Book two will see a different side of Quinn. A lot will be revealed about her bond with Aaron and her role in keeping the demons from invading the human realm and she starts to understand her purpose.

Alyssa: Is there anything else that you are currently working on? Contracted or not contracted – I know I’d like to know!

Heather: At the moment I’m only contracted for the Pretty Dark Nothing sequel. I am working on several other things though. Two of them are YA, one is a dark fantasy inspired by Beauty and the Beast. I don’t mean a re-telling, the only similarity you would see is a man cursed to become a beast, but he is not a prince, nor does he live in a castle. And the beauty isn't beautiful in the traditional sense. She’s badly burned in a fire and then outcast by her tribe, left in the forest as sacrifice because of her bad luck. It’s in early stages. I’m also working on an epic fantasy/sci-fi trilogy.

Alyssa: Are there any assurances you can give readers? Like, um, a belief in happy endings? :D

Heather: Yes, I believe in happy endings and can promise all your favorite characters will be in book two. :)

Alyssa: And that’s a wrap! Thank you again for being here, Heather! I can’t wait to hopefully do this again next year, with Book Two’s arrival! :)

Heather: Thank you for having me! I would love to come back next year for book two.

About the Author:

Heather L. Reid eats mayonnaise on her fries, loves men in kilts, and met her husband playing Star Wars Galaxies online. This native Texan now lives with her Scottish hubby in North Ayrshire, Scotland, where she wanders the moors in search of Heathcliff and William Wallace.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

The Giveaway (tour-wide):

Grand prize includes a signed copy of PRETTY DARK NOTHING, bookmarks, sleep mask, and nail polish! (US Only). Five ebook copies of PRETTY DARK NOTHING will also be given away, open internationally.

Blog Tour Review: Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid
Book One of the Pretty Dark Nothing series
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

What I Liked:

I really, really liked this book! I had a feeling I would enjoy it, but I think it is safe to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. The characters, the world building, the plot... I really think the author had great control over her craft.

The characters are diverse and unique, all playing their archetypal roles superbly. Quinn is definitely a tortured heroine, perhaps even a damsel-in-distress at several points in the book. She has so much going on - with her cheer leading captaincy on the line, her academics plummeting, Mommy and Daddy issues, and a lack of sleep. Oh, and don't forget the fabulous demons who haunt her in her sleep, and eventually, while she is wide awake.

I believe that Quinn undergoes a significant amount of character development, and at the same time, she handles her situation differently and well. Sometimes it is difficult for her to express her obvious frustration, as was evident with the hair scene (trust me, you will know what I am talking about if/when you read the book!). She begins as a lonely, isolated character who wants nothing to do with anyone but Reese and Jeff, and in the end, she cares about herself, her friends, and Aaron.

I think the hardest thing for readers of this book to understand is WHY Quinn did some of the things that she did. Yes, she did treat Aaron poorly at times. But look at her reasoning. Why did she push him away every time they grew close? It is not really because she wants to go back to Jeff. It is because of the demons and their threats. While I find Quinn weak at times in the book, I understand her weakness. I empathize, because I know it would not be easy to make any other decisions, when in her situation.

That being said, I really liked getting to understand what was happening in Aaron's point-of-view. This book is in third-person, limited. So, we see Quinn, we see Aaron. Aaron is interesting. Up until the very end, we do not really understand why he helps Quinn, why he keeps coming back to her despite her actions, why he drives himself towards her. I really like him. He puts up with her, he doesn't.

The world-building and setting of this book is fantastic! I can't say that there is anyone as obnoxious as Jeff's ex-girlfriend/current girlfriend/drama queen in MY high school, but it reminded me of Mean Girls, which was hilarious. But I really felt like the author recorded and interpreted the high school setting well. I also felt like her incorporation of the paranormal (the demons, hallucinations, dreams, etc.) was well done. In my opinion, it seemed real.

The end is where you will find the source of the paranormal aspect of the book, and a touch of the explanation of the paranormal aspect. This is an interesting structure for a paranormal book, to introduce the paranormal aspect in specifics at the end of the first book. But, I know that the author plans to expound upon the paranormal aspect and explain it to readers in Book Two.

Okay, so, there IS a love triangle... but if you cannot already tell, I am not buying the Jeff side. Jeff is Quinn's ex-boyfriend, another source of added problems, in addition to the demons, the parents' issues, the grades, the captaincy, the lack of sleep, and so on. I think this love triangle is obvious, which makes me not get upset at the book. But it might be a messy one, who knows.

Okay, I will stop. I really like this book, everyone!

What I Did Not Like:

I suppose some of Quinn's actions bothered me. I totally get that she was trying to protect the ones she cared for, but sometimes, I wanted to shake her. But then, I have never been hounded by demons, or have had to deal with any of the awful symptoms of the lack of sleep that she did.

Quinn has a lot to manage, everyone! But I feel like Quinn's actions are what get to people, especially the people that do not see past her actions, and to her reasoning. Have some compassion!

Would I Recommend It:

I definitely would, especially to lovers of scariness! While this book is not a horror novel, such an audience would enjoy this book. The average paranormal lover would be interested in this book! I think that people may have problems with understanding the characters, but readers who pay attention will see the desired result!


5 stars. I really, really enjoyed this book! 

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Book Blast and Giveaway: Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

Unbreakable (Unraveling, #2)

Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
Book Two of the Unraveling series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 23, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads):

Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

About the Author:

Elizabeth Norris briefly taught high school English and history before trading the southern California beaches and sunshine for Manhattan’s recent snowpocalyptic winter.

She harbors dangerous addictions to guacamole, red velvet cupcakes, sushi, and Argo Tea, fortunately not all together.

Her first novel, UNRAVELING (Balzer+Bray, April 2012), is the story of one girl’s fight to save her family, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming.

The Giveaway:

Winner will receive a Signed Copy of Unbreakable & Swag
(Bookmark, Sticker, Poster & Magnet) by Elizabeth Norris.

Book Nerd Tours

Waiting on Wednesday (#17): All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm featuring:

All Our Pretty Songs

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry
Book One of a trilogy
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 30, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads):

The first book in an exciting YA trilogy, this is the story of two best friends on the verge of a terrifying divide when they begin to encounter a cast of strange and mythical characters.

Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.

Okay. It's no secret that I HATE love triangles. You're probably wondering: why should I torture myself? Well, I like how I know upfront that there will be a love triangle. I have a feeling that I might enjoy this book, even though it's not something I would usually pick up.

Also, isn't it fascinating that we have no idea that from the summary, we have no idea what the narrator's name is? Hmm...

So, what has you drumming your fingers anxiously? :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare

Beauty and the Blacksmith  (Spindle Cove, #3.5)

Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare
Book 3.5 of the Spindle Cove series
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):
At last, Diana gets a romance of her own! But with the last man anyone in Spindle Cove expects...
Beautiful and elegant, Miss Diana Highwood is destined to marry a wealthy, well-placed nobleman. At least, that's what her mother has loudly declared to everyone in Spindle Cove.
But Diana's not excited by dukes and lords. The only man who makes her heart pound is the village blacksmith, Aaron Dawes. By birth and fortune, they couldn't be more wrong for each other...but during stolen, steamy moments in his forge, his strong hands feel so right.
Is their love forged strong enough to last, or are they just playing with fire?

What I Liked:
First, a warning: I have not read any of the other books in this Spindle Cove series. In fact, I've never read anything by Tessa Dare. So, I may not know the relationships of some characters to others, or background of the setting or several characters, or so on. Nevertheless, that did not stop me from understanding and enjoying this book
I really liked this book. It is a novella, and therefore, it is short, but it is fun and swoony and so CUTE! I was thrilled by the character development in this book, despite the brevity of the story. Diana is a sturdy character from the beginning, but she definitely develops some more backbone as the story progresses. 
Aaron is FABULOUS. Ever since Will Turner, I have acquired a liking for blacksmiths. Well, Aaron is no exception. Right from the start, he is one to make your heartstrings kick. He did not undergo too much character development, but I feel like he didn't need to. But maybe I am just biased. *wink wink*
Even though I have not read any of the other Spindle Cove books, I got a good feel and understanding of the setting of the story. The place of the story is exquisitely described, and subtly, the author draws the readers into Spindle Cove. The time period is unmistakably historical - Regency, if I am not mistaken. I love Regency-era fiction. But that is no secret.
YAY for no love triangle! No foreseeable love triangle, anyway. Diana and Aaron get a nice ending, as is expected. But it is a CUTE ending. This book is so cute. I love the sort-of proposal scene. If you read the novella, you will love it as well. 
I know this is a novella, but when this book ended, I was dying for more! Good thing there was a preview of the next book that filled the last 25% of this book, right? NO. Because now I want more of that book! I think I have found myself a new historical fiction author to love!
What I Did Not Like:
I don't really have any complaints with this book. I enjoyed it; it was a quick and engaging read. Why 4 stars and not 5 stars? It feels like a 4-star book to me. It's a great historical fiction read! 
Would I Recommend It:
Of course I would! Especially if you have read the previous books in this series, or plan on doing so. Although, my recommendation would be to read the series in order. BUT, as with me, it is not necessary.
4 stars. This novella is absolutely adorable!
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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