Quick Update + Comic Con Recap

Hey ya’ll

I know…it has been far too long. I apologize for the lack of posts/reviews lately. I got back from Comic Con on Sunday and then had work the next day and oi, just a lot going on and little rest. My life story. 

But (hooray!) new post today! 

I want to quickly update you on my reading progress. I am a few chapters shy of finishing KISS OF DECEPTION! I’ll probably finish it later tonight and start writing a review. Expect that on the blog some time tomorrow.

In the mean time, I had an AHmazing time at SDCC this year. I talk all about it in my new video and also some tips/pointers on going to cons! Check it out

But honestly, this year’s comic con was fantastic. I talked to a bunch of authors (some of whom may be sick of talking to me because I’ve seen them so many times..seriously) such as:

Leigh Bardugo

IMG_20140724_150944

 

Laini Taylor

IMG_20140724_150722

Marie Lu

IMG_20140725_120246

Kiersten White

IMG_20140725_120341

Rachel Caine

IMG_20140725_120526

 

C.J. Redwine

IMG_20140727_145750

 

 

Ann Aguirre

IMG_20140725_113622

 

Shannon Messenger

IMG_20140727_150848

& Brendan Reichs alongside debut author Natalie Parker

IMG_20140727_150058

 

All fantastic people with fantastic books so you should definitely check them out! I did manage to get into some great panels such as the Marvel Studios panel (pics are up on my twitter) and an Entertainment Weekly’s Woman of the World panel featuring some great women of television (pics on twitter page too!). Overall a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year! ;D

That’s all for today, guys. Be sure to check out my recap video and I’ll see you soon with a review!

Be well,

Alex

Book Review: ON THE FENCE by Kasie West

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Released on: July 1st, 2014

Pages: 304

On-the-Fence

Buy the Book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

Goodreads Summary:

She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she’s got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she’s falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.

My Review:

If you’ve read my preview review for Kasie West’s book THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, then you know how ready I was for more of Kasie West’s books. I wanted to drown in her characters and intense plot lines, and gush at the cuteness of the love interest. 

However, I was slightly disappointed with this book. I mean it was still good, just not as great as DISTANCE was. Let’s get right down to it then.

First off, I couldn’t connect as much to the main character as I did for Caymen. Caymen rocks so much but with Charlie I felt a little disconncted? Her voice in the story seemed very blasé to me, and therefore made it hard to really care about anything she thought/said. Charlie definitely has her strong qualities though… her stubbornness, for one. I did enjoy the run tid bit, the dependency she puts on running and how that keeps her nightmares away – that was nice and made me sympathetic to Charlie’s struggles. 

But I think some of Charlie’s greatest characteristics don’t come in unless she’s with her brothers. I love love love the dynamic between all of them. It felt so real (if you have brothers you can empathize) and whenever Charlie is with them, she just shines as a person to me. It’s beautiful and funny to read her with her brothers. 

But, like I said, on her own, she’s kinda hard to like. This may be something you just have to read the book in order to understand but hopefully I’ve done an acceptable job at explaining it…

Braden (our guy love interest) was nice and all, but I didn’t really pick up on anything special. It could be because I’m comparing him to Xander (love interest from DISTANCE), but Braden just didn’t make my knees weak or make my heart soar, nearly forcing me into cardiac arrest. He lacked a bit of luster. Frankly, the whole relationship between him and Charlie lacked a bit of the luster. 

I mean I enjoyed the scenes where Braden was acting kind of like a jerk because he was jealous and that was cute to see. The reason it was cute was because that was really the only parts in the book where we see some fire in him, some spark of life. Other than that, he just kinda goes by throughout the book. Nothing special. Lack luster. All that jazz.

Overall, not a bad read at all. I did enjoy it. I just expected more.

MY RATING: 3/5

[ARC] Book Review: ILLUSIONS OF FATE by Kiersten White

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Released on: September 9th, 2014

Pages: 288

19367070

Buy the Book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

Goodreads Summary:

Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

My Review:

“…armed only with her wits and her determination…” I absolutely loved Jessamin. She’s everything I want in a YA protag and more, to be honest. From the very first page I could tell that this was a character who could stand on her own, who didn’t need someone to constantly hold her hand and baby her though the riveting changes her world was facing. I loved that about her. Not to mention that witty charm she carries with her, the constant banter between her and Finn were hilarious, and her charm never leaves her even in the toughest of times. Bottom line, Jessamin is a girl you definitely want fighting on your side when things go south in any situation. 

World building was pretty good in terms of setting and the sense of history carried on through the entire novel. The way they talk and dress, the foods they eat, the tea, etc. – all beautifully done. My only issue was with the magic. Not too big of an issue but it’s something that kept nagging at me as I was reading. What of the Crombergs and Hallins magical lines? What made them so important? And how does it affect the characters, namely Finn? Trying not to say too much without spoiling, but just a few lineage questions that didn’t get answered. Especially toward the end where it seemed like the matter was ignored entirely. That didn’t sit too well with me. But beside that, all other magical plot lines made sense and were very intriguing. 

As for the romance… At first I was put off by it. I’ve never been a huge fan of “fated lovers” or “soulmates,” whatever you wish to call it, so when our main characters meet and then it seems fate is at play, I got turned off. However, reading through and seeing how Jessamin was also put off by Finn, not wanting to go along with this silly notion of “fate” either, it did two things for me. One, it made me love Jessamin’s character that much more. And two, it made me see just how well Jessamin and Finn connected. They ignored the fact that they drew up “fated” cards and built a relationship on their own. They got to know each other, fought each other, and then in the end loved each other. It was all beautifully done. 

The ending was veeeery satisfying. Except for the magic questions that wouldn’t leave my head, everything else had a nice ending, plot lines tied up and all. I’ll admit, I squealed a bit (okay, a LOT) at the ending because, well, it was so cute. SO cute. At first I was all depresssed but accepting of the turn of events and then BOOM, tears and happy squeals.

 

I can see why it would definitely be a good read for fans of Cassie Clare!

A satisfying read and I appreciate the fact that it’s a standalone (at least I imagine it is because it tied up well enough, and I don’t think the author is planning on a second??). Either way. Good, fast read that kept me engaged and laughing. 

MY RATING: 4/5 

What’s In My Bag? + Upcoming Events

Hi all! Happy Friday!
To start, so sorry there is no review up today…there will be tomorrow for your viewing pleasure.
Until then, let’s do a segment of “What’s In My Bag”

Today, I am traveling with KISS OF DECEPTION

image

I just started this but so far, it’s amazing. I can’t wait to get more into it and then review it for ya’ll!
And yes, it IS signed! The author and people at Mysterious Galaxy are incredible and arranged this nice preorder gift. Thanks to them!

Now onto “Upcoming Events”…

Next week some reviews may be coming in slowly because I will be away at San Diego Comic Con. Yup, you read correctly, COMIC CON 2014. I am so excited! And some great authors will be attending this event from Tahara Mafi to C.J. Redwine to Leigh Bardugo, Veronica Roth, and Marie Lu. Very exciting stuff!
I’ll be sure to take videos that document some highlights of comic con! Also a recap post.

Well, that’s all for today, guys!

Have a great Friday and feel free to let me know what ya’ll are reading this weekend!

Be well,
– Alex

Book Reivew: THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT by Veronica Rossi

Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopian, Romance

Released on: January 8th, 2013

Pages: 341

51029lYsTgL 

Buy the Book: 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

Goodreads Summary:

It’s been months since Aria learned of her mother’s death. 

Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.

Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It’s a moment they’ve been longing for with countless expectations. And it’s a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at first. 

Then it slips away. The Tides don’t take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry’s control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?

Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night? 

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and sci-fi elements to create a captivating adventure-and a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

My Review:

This book was soooo much better than the first one. Weird how that turns out but it is so true. Right from the start I was enthralled with this book. I was into it, hooked, along for the ride. 

I definitely started to fall more in love with these characters than book one. In book one (which I’ve also reviewed on the blog) I complained that Aria’s naivety toward the Outside was too much for me and I found it hard to relate to her. In this book, she was awesome. She was level headed, knew what had to be done and despite her heart, did it.

My love for Perry should have improved…but it didn’t. He actually lost a few points with me in this book. He just seemed too distraught and anguished by Aria leaving that I lost interest in him real quick. To me, if he loves her and claims to know her in that special way he says he does, then he should know why she left to begin with! Instead he mopes and then almost hooks up with another chick.. really, Perry?! But about third of the way in, he gets a lot better and wins back the points he lost from previous parts.

All other characters, however, do not come close to touching the greatness that is ROAR. I love love love Roar so much. His protectiveness, fierceness, loyalty, and his sarcasm and charm are just too much for me! He is an amazing character and I actually found myself more interested in his story and the relationship/life he had with Liv (turns out there is a novella of their love story so you can be certain I’ll be reading that). I absolutely love Roar and Aria’s relationship. They are so cute and have this closeness that developed over such a short time but it just made sense? They fit together so well, like in a brother/sister kind of way but either way, it is freaking adorable. 

The plot moves forward a loooot in this book. I’m slowly starting to figure out what the heck the Aether is I was so confused about in book one, and its significance. I’m really intrigued by it now! At the very peak of my interest in the Aether and what it can do, the book ends. Gah! But it was a good spot to end it and leave me wanting the next book.

I’m really glad the action picked up in this second book. I’m really glad the characters got better. I’m also really glad that I’m less confused in this second go. Yay! 

Can’t wait to read the conclusion! 

MY RATING: 4/5

Book Review: TEASE by Sophie Jordan

Genre: NA, Romance, Contemporary

Released on: May 27th, 2014

Pages: 320

MedTeaseReveal

Buy the Book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

Goodreads Summary:

What happens when a girl who always calls the shots meets a guy who’s too wild for even her?

A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She’s always chosen her hookups carefully, and she’s never broken her three cardinal rules:

Never let them see the real you.
Never fall in love.
Always leave them begging for more.

Then Shaw comes along. A hottie from the wrong side of the tracks, he’s immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn’t even try to take her to bed—he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy, dark-eyed, bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.

But instead of making Shaw beg, Emerson finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she’s throwing out her rule book. Suddenly, she’s the one panting for a guy she can’t control—a guy who won’t settle for anything less than the real Emerson and who forces her to do things she’s never imagined, including facing a past she thought she’d buried.

A guy who just might leave her wanting more. . . .

My Review:

This book was a typical new adult topic. For some reason, NA authors love to center their stories on the whole “troubled past” and finally facing it. Some people have a problem with the reoccuring theme in NA books.

I, however, do not. 

I enjoyed this book. Yes, I just got done reviewing another book (Easy) with generally the same plot line, but for some reason I don’t get put off by that? Maybe because I can spot the differences and I have no problems differentiating between different NA books. Either way, I really enjoyed Tease.

The chemistry between Emerson and Shaw is on fire. Like muy caliente. Fuego. And the overall relationship was sub par. I won’t lie, I wish there would have been more of an emotional connection between the two; maybe some more heart-to-heart conversations. For example, I would have loved to hear more about Shaw’s family and/or his time in the Marines. With Emerson, I would have loved to hear more about her time with her dad before it changed. And I wanted them to share those things together. But they didn’t. That was a disappointment. 

However, I could see how they changed each other for the better. Both of their personalities worked well together that it forced Emerson to deal with her past, and also forced Shaw to realize he can’t have control over everything. In the bedroom, yes. In Emerson’s life? Not so much. So in that aspect, I thought they fit well together. 

Overall, enjoyable. Wish they would have had more of an emotional connection, but the way they grow together as individuals and in their relationship definitely saved it for me. 

MY RATING: 3.5/5

P.S. I hear Foreplay (the 1st in The Ivy Chronicles) is actually better than Tease? So I’m definitely going to pick that up soon!

Cover Reveal: UNDENIABLY CHOSEN by Shelly Crane

Hey, readers and bloggers alike! 

I’m so sorry this is coming at ya’ll pretty late (okay VERY late), but I figure it is better late than never. Also because I think this book (and author) deserve more praise and wind in the reading world.

So, without further ado…… the cover reveal for UNDENIABLY CHOSEN 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]

*collective “ohhs” and “ahhhs”* Isn’t she a beaut?! I know. And now read the synposis:

Synopsis:
 

Ava has watched her parents, Caleb and Maggie, live the perfect fairy tale, the perfect love story, played out in front of her eyes her entire life. Her family is love, life, and happiness. The Jacobsons are everything a family should be and Ava is loved and well taken care of. But the one thing that’s missing from her life is the one thing she’s waited for every day, the one thing her kind knows will make them complete, the one thing they thought was gone and lost forever.

 

Her significant.

 

Seth has lived with the Watsons his entire life. They’re the only family he knows, but he knows that there are things they keep from him. He knows that they lie and they do unspeakable evil, things from when he was a child that he can barely remember that cling to the edges of his memory. He barely remembers his real mother and all he knows is what he’s told. He doesn’t know what to trust. He wants to believe that the Watsons love and care for him, have his best interest at heart, but isn’t so sure of that anymore when he finally—after a lifetime of waiting for her—meets his soulmate, and the Watson’s first act is to try to take her away from him.

 

The Virtuoso worlds collide, hearts are exposed, humans are endangered, and the lives of Seth and Ava are changed forever. They’ll have to love without judgment or reservation, they’ll have to be wise and accepting beyond their years, they’ll have to forgive for things before they’ve even happened, they’ll have to trust without seeing, have faith without knowing, and they’ll have to light their own way in the dark when everyone else is blind to show them the way. And more than anything else…

 

they’ll fight like hell to keep each other.

*Internally screams* Sounds good, right?! I know. I absolutely loved the Significance series (centers around Ava’s parents, Caleb and Maggie), so my exictement for this new book is through the roof and past the earth’s boundaries, straight into open space! 

If the synopsis hasn’t enticed you enough.. here’s an excerpt from UNDENIABLY CHOSEN, just for you, and the cover jacket just incase the cover wasn’t beautiful enough:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]

Excerpt:

“I don’t know if I can even sleep tonight,” I muttered and rubbed at my arms. They were restless. “I can already feel myself twitching.”

“Tomorrow…” Dad began, but stopped. He sighed forcefully and tightened his fists. “I’ll go find him and make him come here if he doesn’t come on his own.”

“Dad, you didn’t see him. He was…” I bit into my lip hard. Just talking about him was making me ache all over. I closed my eyes and tried to breathe.

I heard Mom say, “Baby, I think we need to stop talking about this. It’s just making things worse for her.”

“I know, but…maybe I should go over there. Maybe I should try to find him and—you know what? No.” I looked up to find him looking down at me. “I’m not going to do that. It has to be his choice until it’s not. I’ll give him until tomorrow to be the good guy. If he doesn’t, then I’ll go get him and make him. I can tell by looking at you that you want to have faith in him.”

“You didn’t see him, Dad,” I reiterated. “He wanted this. He was worried about me. He’ll come. He’ll find me.” I hoped. “If what you said is true, then he didn’t choose any of what happened. He’s not a Watson.”

“But he’s lived with them his whole life,” Mom reasoned. “We have no idea the things they’ve done to him, the things they’ve made him do. We have to be cautious. You have to cautious.” She went into the kitchen and I heard a pill bottle shake before she came back. “Here. Take these. They’ll help you sleep tonight. They were Grans,” she said softly.

I ached as the pills went down. I heard Rodney coming in the back door loudly. Dad went right to him and put his hand on his chest to stop him. They whispered back and forth and Rodney looked at me over Dad’s shoulder. Dad wasn’t going to be able to stop him. He didn’t know that, but I did.

“Come on, Dad,” Rodney said gruffly and looked at him right in his face. “Move.”

He pushed his Champion gently in the shoulder and I watched Dad’s stunned face as he watched Rodney come and sweep we up in his big brotherly arms on the couch. He said low in my ear, but I knew that they still could hear, “Tell me who I have to hurt. Who is this guy and why isn’t he here with you right now?”

I looked at Dad and he looked so amused and bemused all at once. He waved me on and leaned his hip against the counter, pulling Mom into the ‘v’ of his legs so he could wrap his arms around her from behind. I heard her so sigh loud and hated that I was causing them so much distress.

“Seth,” I explained. “Seth Watson,” I said with as much gumption as I could muster.

His eyes rounded. I told him everything and he tightened his arms on me as he listened.

“Okay,” he said and kicked his shoes off the end of the couch. Mom was two seconds from scolding him when he asked, “So where is he? He should be here.”
       Like fate usually worked, there was a knock on the front door. An insistent knock. Dad shot me a look before taking a loaded breath. I started to shake and stood from the couch quickly. It was him; I knew it like I knew my own name.

“Ava, wait,” he told me.

“Dad.”

“You, sit,” he said in his Champion voice. “I’ll answer and let him in. What if the Watsons were planning something and knew you’d run to the door to answer it thinking it was him? We know nothing about him yet. Until we do, we go at this with caution.” I sighed. I hated that I had to look at my significant with anything but reverence, but Daddy was right. I mean, I was the one that had run right out of the coffee shop this afternoon. “I mean it, baby girl,” he said softly.

Rodney turned me to look at him and held my upper arms in his hands. “If he hurts you, I can’t be held account for what I do.”

“I love you, you know that?” I replied and kissed his cheek. I tried to smile, but think I failed epically when he put one arm around my shoulders and tugged me close, as if to shield me from whatever or whoever was coming.

Dad had to know I was anxious—he didn’t make me wait. He went to the door quickly. I could hear them in the other room with deep, urgent tones. My significant.

And then there he was.

 

And there you have it, readers & bloggers. The cover reveal of UNDENIABLY CHOSEN.

Please feel free to talk to the author (she’s a sweetheart & doesn’t bite, I promise) on Twitter and add UNDENIABLY CHOSEN on goodreads

Be well,

– Alex

P.S. I’ll be making a special vlog about Shelly Crane’s SIGNIFICANCE series, including the exciting news of it becoming a TV show!