Monday, February 17, 2014

[Review] Me Since You by Laura Wiess

GoodReads Description

Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?

Before and After. That’s how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old—a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.

If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger’s shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother — and herself — from the endless replay of heartache and grief.

Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again?
Received from NetGalley for an honest review

This was not an easy book to read, I'm going to put that right out there. If I had to describe Me Since You in one word it would be Despair.

de·spair -

  [dih-spair]  Show IPA
loss of hope; hopelessness.

someone or something that causes hopelessness: He is the despair of his mother.

verb (used without object)
to lose, give up, or be without hope (often followed by of  ): to despair of humanity.

verb (used with object)
Obsolete . to give up hope of.

I don't think I have ever read a book as sad is this one. There is hope, but you have to work your way up to it. I had a really hard time picking it back up when I put it down. That is not because it wasn't good, it's a really great book but it's brutal. No sugar coating here.

Grief is a hard thing, and I think Me Since You really covered it to perfection. People are assholes and life is not fair. Things happen that are beyond your control, but yet the outcome controls every aspect of you. There is a thing called the ripple effect that is talked about, and it's so true. 

I'll admit, based on the description I really didn't know what kind of book I was getting myself into. It's a little vague and unclear so I looked at a few reviews before I picked it up and bam... spoiler in a none spoiler review. Ugh. But anyway, based on the description I thought it was about a school shooting or something. That was not the case, but I won't spoil, that's all I'll say on the matter. 

It's hard to say I enjoyed Me Since You. I wanted to put it down and forget about it. I started dreaming I was in it. Lol. I'm glad I read it though, it will stick with me. It's written well. I think you kind of have to be in the right mood for it though. 

Oh and while setting this review up, I also want to mention how freaking perfect this cover is, because I didn't notice it until just now, but wow. :/ Check this one out if your looking for a book that will really make you feel. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

[Review] Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

Title : Bright Before Sunrise
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens Books
Publication Date: Feb 18th, 2014
Source: Received from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble


When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him. 
For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. 
Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.? 
One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

I read Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt back in 2012, and I really liked it. So I was pretty excited to see she had a new book coming out and even more excited when I was approved to read it early. I quite literally danced around my kitchen getting strange looks from my daughter.
Now after reading Bright Before Sunrise, I can say all that dancing was justified. I absolutely adored this book. There is just something about books that take place in one night. One night really can change everything and be downright magical.
The story is told from both POV’s.  That’s a favorite thing of mine, because being in both heads is fun. You really feel like you’re in the know.
Jonah is broody and I loved him. He’s having a really hard time adjusting to this new life he’s been thrust into, and he takes it out on everyone around him. Though I can’t really blame him, after getting the full story of how it all went down. I wanted to wrap him up and give him a big hug... and other things. lol
Brighton, she’s flawed. She really is. It’s been 5 years since her father’s death and she’s still not okay. Not that it’s a bad thing, I found that it made her feel real to me. She puts on a show for everyone, yet inside she’s a mess.
This is where the whole  “Never judge a book by its cover” can come into play. You see, Brighton the surface looks perfect. Not a care in the world. She’s popular, pretty and always has a smile on her face.
Jonah, hates everything about his new home, and the kids he now goes to school with. Especially Brighton, until he spends one night in her company and learns she’s not what she appears to be.
Through the course of the evening, they both learn so much about each other, but not only that, they learn about themselves. I think that was really the best part of this book.
I was brought back to my teenage years reading this. I lived for the weekends I had plans with my friends and some nights felt like they would never end. Shananigans until the sun came up. We all gained so much from those times, so I could completely relate to Jonah and Brighton on this level. 
Would I recommend Bright Before Sunrise? Heck Yes!! It’s such a great book. I cannot wait to meet the Author this spring. She is seriously the one author I’m looking forward to meeting the most at YA Fest. I might fan girl a little bit. Okay, maybe a lot. lol

Monday, February 3, 2014

[Review] Alienated by Melissa Landers

Goodreads Description

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.
Received from NetGalley for an honest review

The first thing I noticed about Alienated was the cover. This cover is one of my favorites, not just because it’s pretty but because it really does go along with the story. Yay awesome covers!!
I pretty much jump on any book that has sci fi elements to it. So when I saw this one on NetGalley I immediately requested it. I’m glad because I really liked it.
What I loved most was Cara. She has such spunk. She made me laugh frequently. Especially her first meeting with Aelyx. That was classic. Alienated start out pretty fast paced, right away your whisked into the action. I couldn’t help but wonder what it would really be like to have an alien exchange program going on while I was in high school. I predict people of earth would react much like they do in this book, as sad as that is.
The romance between Cara and Aelyx, Hmmm. I’m tossed on it. Even though it builds over the course of a few months, it doesn’t feel like that. There are gaps in time. One page it’s the beginning of Fall and before you know it, it’s the middle of winter, but it almost feels like they’ve only been to school a few times. I’m not sure if I’m making sense, I hope I am. Lol.
Anyway, for that reason I struggled believing their connection was legit, ya know, but there are some pretty hot intense scenes between the two and they were done to perfection, so that saved it for me. I still would have liked to see some more depth between them as a couple before the word love was thrown out there. 
One thing I really wish there would have been more of is the sci fi. Alienated really came off more as a YA romance with a sci fi–ish background. Which is totally fine, just not exactly what I was expecting.
Overall though, I really enjoyed this story and I’m going to be anxiously waiting for the sequel because (without spoiling), I think there will be more of what I was hoping for as the story moves forward. *crossing fingers* Check this one out! It was a pretty fun read. :) 

Amazon / Barnes Noble

Monday, January 27, 2014

[Review] Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Goodreads Description

Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
Received from NetGalley for an honest review

I’m kind of in awe over this book. I had no idea the things it would do to me when I picked it up. Before reading Red Rising, I didn’t hear any hype. I was totally took by surprise. After I finished I realized it had been released on Net Galley last spring and was put back up. I'm so glad I ended up requesting it when I did. It was a spur of the moment thing, I got an email from NetGalley about it, and something told me to jump on it. Thank you so much to the publisher for approving my request.
I’m a huge fan of dystopian books. There is something about this genre that does it for me but Red Rising is so much more than another dystopian novel. During my quick research before requesting Red Rising, I saw that it was compared to Hunger Games, Enders Game and also compared with Game of Thrones. Say what!?! How do you take Dystopian, Sci Fi, Fantasy and mix all that together?
Well, Pierce Brown did, and it’s a melding put of total freaking awesomeness. I just can’t even!

There is even a little Roman Mythology thrown in there to boot! I’m just floored, really. I figured I would like Red Rising, but I never imagined it would become one of my favorite books of all time.
But that’s how it should be right? They sneak up on you! Now, there are a couple similarities to Hunger Games. Very few, but they are there. Don’t let that discourage you, because after reading Red Rising I felt like Hunger Games was written for pussy’s. No Lie. Hunger Games is one of my Favorite trilogies ever, so it takes a lot for me to say that. 
One downside to Red Rising is the Violence. It’s downright brutal. There are some cringe worthy scenes for sure, but I felt they were necessary to the story. It’s not a pretty world. It’s corrupt as shit, those golds are crazy. Heck, everyone is crazy. I did not feel like the violence was a bad element, I enjoyed it. It made everything that much more real for me, but I can see where some will be bothered by it. So put your big girl/boy panties on because it's a hard knock life on Mars.

Oh, did I mention this takes place on Mars?!!! Well, it does.. :o) 

The beginning is a little slow, but it picked up pretty fast after you get some back story. It starts out in the mines, where you learn through Darrow how the Reds live. I was brought to tears early on due to the loss of Darrow's wife. That's not really a spoiler as it's hinted at in the blurb, and I won't give any details away but have your tissues in hand and ready. 

It's all necessary though, Darrow pulls from all the horrors he's lived through to survive the trials he is faced with. And wow, trials does not even begin to describe what goes down. 

The world building was awesome. Especially when you get to the meat of the story. I loved every single thing about this book. Darrow is not perfect. He makes mistakes. Sometimes inhumane mistakes. He's not perfect but deep down you know he's a good person. Sometimes you have to do bad for the better good and I felt that was portrayed perfectly here. He is such a strong character, flaws and all and I fell absolutely in love with some of the side characters. 

I cannot stress enough how much I loved Red Rising. I want everyone to read it! Please, everyone read it so we can talk about it!!!! Pretty freaking please!! lol. 

I have a good friend of mine who pre ordered it on my recommendation so I'm excited to discuss it with her after it comes out. January 28th 2014!!!!! Go pre order it! links are below. You want this book trust me. 

I had to double my rating image because 5 stars is just not enough. 

Amazon / Barnes Noble

Friday, January 24, 2014

[Review] Heart Beat by Elizabeth Scott

Goodreads Description

Life. Death. And...Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?
Received from NetGalley for an honest review 

A couple years ago I read Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott and I really liked it. So when I saw Heart Beat on NetGalley and the descriptoin sounded good, I could not resist.

I would honestly give it about a 3 ½ stars. I did really enjoy it but Emma got on my nerves a bit. You see the problem with reading young adult sometimes, is the mature side of you wants to slap these teens silly. I think I liked Between Here and Forever a little better, but once again Scott didn't disappoint. I could not put this one down, even though Emma drove me nuts.

To an extent I could see where she was coming from. This is an intersting situation. Her mother dies while pregnant. Her body is being kept alive to sustain the fetus until it is old enough to survive outside the womb. Emma does not believe her mother would have wanted this and she harbors a whole lot of hate towards her step father for making that decision without her, and hate towards the baby for the death of her mother. 

Pretty much the whole story is her working out her feelings over her moms passing. Which is very hard to do when she's still visiting her moms body. How do you find closure? Emma learns a lot about herself in this story. She shows much growth over time. I liked that.

Heart Beat isn't all doom and gloom though, along the way Emma builds a relationship with a boy she probably never would have talked to had all of this not gone down. They understand each other and the love that blooms between them is so sweet.

I did really like Heart Beat. Reading this reminded me I have a few more of Scott's books on my shelf that I should really get to sooner than later. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Change Is Good!! In fact, it's great!

So a long time ago, I started up this blog to host my Sim Trailers. Then I became more involved in the book reviewing.

Now three years later, I've lost interest in making trailers. I've even lost interest in working on my blog because it's so much. I'm a working mom. I just don't have time to give it the attention it needs. 

Not only that, blogging hasn't been as fun lately. I want it to be fun again! I love blogging and I can't see myself ever quiting, but I've been wanting a change. 

Well I got one! It's kind of spur of the moment, it all happened within days, but it feels right and I'm super excited about it.

I still have a few reviews scheduled to post here in the next few weeks, but from now on, I'll be co blogging at the StarryEyedRevue! 

I'm so honored that she asked me to join her, and when I thought about it, I couldn't pass it up. We are so similar in how we live our lives, that it's a perfect fit. I can't wait! Although I am nervous. I fear I will somehow mess up her blog that she's worked so hard on, but I think it will be alright. lol. 

So there you have it. I'm not really saying goodbye, I'm just hanging out at a new location! 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Freebie Madness!!!

Oh for the love of freebies.

 I have a problem with downloading them. I cannot stop myself. I always think, well I won’t be able to get to it right away, but at least I’ll have it for a rainy day.
Well we’ve had many rainy days and they keep piling up. Does your kindle look like mine?

Horrible, right? I’m almost ashamed looking at it. Thank goodness my kindle is small and these aren’t physical books laying all over my house. I promised myself that this year I’m going to start reading some of them. January is pretty shot already, but starting in February, I’m going to try and read at least two or more freebies a month.
At the end of the month I will post my freebie reviews. I know that that many books a month won’t put a huge dent in my folder, but it’s something right? I feel like they are the misfit books, and they need a good home too.

Wish me luck! I’m not good at challenges, but I’m determined with this one, so I have high hopes!