Book Blitz: Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski + Giveaway

January 31, 2014 Aman 3
Hi everyone! As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of NA and one of the first NA I read last year was by JA Redmerski. I feel in love with The Edge of Never and The Edge of After, and when I found out that there was going to be a companion, I fangirled like crazy and requested the book the day it showed up on Netgalley. Unfortunately, I didn't work for me, you can read my review here, but I'm hoping some of you will find it interesting and give it a try. Here's a bit about Song of Fireflies:

Title: Song of the Fireflies
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Published: Forever | Feb 4, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, NA
Source: From Publisher for Review (Thank You!)
Companion to The Edge of Never

Brayelle Bates has always been a force of nature. Even as a child, Bray's wild and carefree spirit intimidated everyone around her. The only person who's ever truly understood her is her best friend, Elias Kline. Though every fiber of her being wants to stay with Elias forever, Bray can't bear the thought of him discovering her agonizing history. She's done everything she can to keep him at arm's length, including moving away. But their undying bond was too strong a pull to deny, and Bray couldn't survive without him. Now she's back home with Elias, and things have never felt more right--until one night changes everything.

Elias vowed never to be separated from Bray again. So when she decides to flee in a desperate attempt to escape her fate, Elias knows he must go with her. As the two try to make the most of their circumstance, taking up with a reckless group of new friends, Elias soon realizes there's a darkness driving Bray he can't ignore. Now in order to save her, he'll have to convince Bray to accept the consequences of their reality--even if it means losing her.


     Thunder rumbled in the sky and the thick, dark clouds lit up in the distance, revealing what the tops of the trees looked like painted against the black backdrop that had shrouded them. The crawling branches that reached upward along the infinite dark looked ominous as the flash of light faded.
I felt a drop of rain. And then another.
     “So much for a quiet walk together,” Bray said.
      And just then, the sky opened up and it began to pour. Bray shrieked and tried to cover herself unsuccessfully with her arms and then the screaming turned into laughter. We were both drenched in under five seconds. The rain pounded down so fast and so hard that we had to shout over the noise to hear each other; each drop like a million nails being thrust into the dirt on the baseball field.
     “It’s a long walk back!” I said.
     Bray started spinning like a ballerina in the middle of the field. She laughed and raised her arms above her and turned her face upward toward the sky and just let the rain wash over her. She opened her mouth and spun around and around. I watched her for a moment, mesmerized by her innocence. I saw that little girl I met so long ago, running with me through that pasture without a worry in the world. Just seeing her like that, it made me smile, but deep down it also crushed me. I knew that she would never be that innocent again, that our life together would never be as carefree as it was when we were children.
     “Dance with me!” she shouted.
     “Dance with me!”
     I had heard her right the first time. I just didn’t understand why here, why now.
      “There’s no music!” I said over the rain.
     She grabbed my hand. “You don’t hear that?!” she said, motioning to the patter of rain and thunder around us.
     She started spinning around me and I stood in the same spot following her until she grabbed both of my hands and pulled on them. Next thing I knew, we were spinning together, holding each other’s hands tightly and distributing equal weight on our arms. At first, I felt like an idiot and hoped Tate wasn’t spying, or worse, Caleb. But I was quickly lost in Bray’s laughter and her smile and her beautiful blue eyes. The thunder got louder, the lightning more intense. I was beginning to worry about us being out in the open like this, in the center of a baseball field just asking to be struck down by the finger of God. But soon, I didn’t care. We were those two innocent children again, living free and loving life. And not even lightning could ruin this moment. It wouldn’t dare.
     We stopped spinning, and I twirled her around by her hands as I stood in place, and then I dipped her. Leaning over her body, I pressed my wet lips between her breasts as her white shirt was weighted down by the endless rain.

About the Author
J.A. Redmerski
Born November 25, 1975, J.A. (Jessica Ann) Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Find Jessica on: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads



Early Review: Infinite by Jodi Meadows

January 29, 2014 Aman 10
Title: Infinite
Author: Jodi Meadows
Published: Katherine Tegen Books | Jan 28, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Source: ATW Tours
Series: Newsoul

Goodreads | Amazon
The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

     I don't even know what to say about this book.  Honestly, I could care less about it, the world was good as usual, but the story was very bland and boring. I've enjoyed the previous books in the series, Incarnate and Asunder, but for some reason, I just wanted Infinite to be over already. I didn't care about the character, I didn't care if they were going to defeat Janan or not and I certainly didn't care for the romance in the least. I really don't know why I reacted this why to Infinite; it wasn't bad, but it wasn't very interesting either. Though something I did enjoy was the one on one with all these different creatures like sylph, dragons and phoenix. Who would've thought that these three beautiful, intelligent and dare I say adorable creatures would've ended up rocking this book for me? I can't get enough of them!!! I wish they had more page time.

     Untimely eruptions are taking place all over Heart and it is lead to believe that they are a sign of Janan's ascension on Soul Night. While Deboryl and other Janan supportors are preparing for the event, Ana and her friends are leaving Heart in order to stop the ascension from taking place, starting with connecting with Sylphs in hopes of getting a clear history about reincarnation and Janan's role in it. The plot sounds really good when looked at a bird's eye view but up close, it was very boring and poorly executed. There was no emotions, no excitement and no curiosity on my part, I just wanted to know how the series was going to end since I've followed it from the beginning and had a huge fascination with reincarnation part of the storyline. So that's what I'm going to focus on in my review. First things first, the history was brilliantly done. I loved how the author merged the old world with the new one and added different creatures in the mix. Bravo! But that's about it. The ending was satisfactory, I expected a bit showdown, but things were much tamer and to be honest, very anti-climatic. Nevertheless, I'm glad that atleast it had a happy ending for everyone, even though I'm a bit confused about what's going to happen in the next lifetime.

     Overall, Infinite was a very mediocre book, definitely my least favorite in the series simply because there were no feels. Surprisingly, I did end up liking Sam a lot, he wasn't the dull side character anymore and fully participated in helping Ana defeat Janan. Granted there were times when he acted like a baby and didn't let the go of a particular grudge (which annoyed the shit out of me! The world is ending, LET IT GO!), but all in all, Sam took control and turned out to be much smarter than I ever expected him to be. I still don't like him as a love interest, but I do appreciate the work his character has put in achieving the ultimate goal. As a finale, Infinite wasn't a success, it didn't have that powerful impact that a finale is suppose to have. Was I disappointed? No, not really.


Top Ten Tuesday (15)

January 28, 2014 Aman 9
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
 where bloggers share their opinions on bookish topics in list form.

Topic: Characters I'd NEVER Want To Trade Places With

I was going to do the "Top Ten Worlds I'd Never Want To Live In" but then couldn't find enough terrifying worlds to add to my list. Most of them I wanted to live in just to experience all the different PNR creatures or better yet, dragons! Moving on, here are some of the characters I'd never want to trade places with:


I would go crazy in a locked room, same goes for being deserted on an island, plagued by weird spirit dreams or being left alone in an apocalypse world. I wouldn't want my loved one to die or lose his memory or worst, them seeing me die. Props if you know what books I'm talking about. The above characters are all very interesting to read, minus one, but I wouldn't want to be in their shoes even for a second.

Now here's something different.

Who would you WANT to trade places with? 

I would go for Kat from Night Huntress series because not only do I get Bones as a partner, but I get to meet some amazing secondary character (VLAD!!!!)


Early Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

January 27, 2014 Aman 11
Title: Uninvited
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publication: HarperTeen | Jan 28, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian, Sci-fi
Source: From Publisher for Review (Thank You!)
Series: Uninvited #1
Goodreads | Purchase
The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

     Science fiction is not my genre, but I'm a huge nerd when it comes to anything biology related, so it was no surprise that I requested Uninvited the day I saw it on Edelweiss. When I started reading this book, I didn't expect a lot from it, just some entertaining, intellectual, interesting book in a 3.5-4 star range, but OH MY GOD! This was way better than I ever could have imagined! From start to finish, Uninvited had a brilliant, well researched and well put together storyline, it had the best execution I've ever seen in a story. On top of that, the characters were smart, mature and acted just like I would've if in their place. The pace was great and most importantly, there was so much story! Sophie Jordan could've easily divided this book in 2 separate books and it still would've been tremendous, but I'm so glad that she gave us as much as she could in the first book because that's what made Uninvited so unbelievably addicting and incredible in it's field.

     Davy is a prodigy. Born to rich parents, Davy is a very popular girl in school, she has a great boyfriend and is known to play every musical instrument without any effort. Her plans to go to Julliard are shattered when her HTS (Homicidal Tendency Syndrome) test result comes out positive, thereby marking her as a future criminal. From that point on, Davy's life changes dramatically, her friends are afraid of her, her boyfriend wants nothing to do with her and worst, her parents have emotionally distanced themselves just because they don't know how to act around her. The only supporter she has in her house is her older brother, Mitchell. The syndrome the author created is commendable yet horrifying at the same time. The increasing number of homicides throughout the years (according to the book) makes this horrible syndrome testing a perfect solution to lessen the crimes, but at the same time, it has major flaws that affect the innocents and in turn makes their life nothing less than a torture. I'm still not sure if I'm completely against this or not because unfortunately, I see where the doctors and scientist are coming from, but I wish that they wouldn't treat the marked people as criminals until they've acted that way. Putting them in cages, treating them like animals, having no care of their feeling was disgusting and inhuman.

     Davy was a nice, polite girl and seeing her go through such terrible pain not only broke my heart, but made me so angry! Nevertheless, I'm so glad that Davy never disappoint me by breaking apart, she stood strong, never gave up hope and tried to make the best out of every possible situation. Plus, can I just say that it makes me so extremely happy that this story wasn't romance oriented. Sean was introduced as a big, bad, scary HTS carrier in Davy's class and I was so pleased to see that for once a heroine wasn't attracted to a mysterious guy and was actually scared of him. The realness this book had! However, she did started trusting him fairly easily, but under the circumstances, it made sense. On another note, unlike some readers, I didn't hate Davy's ex boyfriend, Zac. I think he's a bit misunderstood and misguided and with time, he will be on Davy's side if given a chance. I'm not saying that there will be a love triangle because that is certainly not the case, but by the end of the book, I'm sure Zac will be one of the supporters too.

     Overall, Uninvited was a fast paced, action packed, thrilling and an unputdownable story set in a world that makes us questions all our morals and rules of humanity. This is undoubtedly one of the most realistic and terrifying world I've read in all dystopians. Jordan did a fantastic job with the construction and execution and I can't wait to see where she's going to take the story next!

PS: I purposely didn't talk much about the plot because sharing even the tiniest bit seemed spoilery to me and I didn't wait to ruin any fun. Either way, it's better to discover it yourself!


2014 Challenges

January 26, 2014 Aman 4
So this is kind of late, but I just wanted to do a quick post about the challenges I'll be taking part in 2014 in case you wanted to join in. All of them are really fun and diverse, and perfect for a someone like me who loves to jump around different genres. I was really hoping to participate in the debut author challenge this year, but then I found out it was hosted by this blogger and I don't support plagiarist, so...yeah, maybe some other year.

Here we go!!!

Hosted by Novel Heartbeat, this challenge focuses on series. Not companions or atleast that's how I'm going to look at it. This is great for me because I'm planning on starting some really good popular series. Plus, isn't that the cutest button ever!
1 point for each prequel or sequel novella read and reviewed
2 points for each full-length sequel read and reviewed
10 points for completing and reviewing a full series (doesn’t require novellas)*†
**You do not get points for the first book in a series

Goal: 25-50 points

Hosted by Katie's Book Blog, this challenge is pretty self explanatory. I participated in it last year and I didn't realize how hard it would be for me (someone who loves contemporary) to finish it. The catch was YA, I mostly read NA or Adult.

Works: Read YA Contemporary. Could be published any year.

Goal: 15+ books

Hosted by Bookish, this challenge focuses to tacking our TBR Piles. This is the easiest because I have so many unread book on my shelf that I would LOVE to read.

Works: Any genres, any age group works as long as it was published before 2014.

Goal: 11-20 books


Hosted by The Reader's Antidote, this challenge may make or break a series. Seriously, the endings are the most important, I know a series I hated because the last book was shit. So far the endings I've read this year are a success, so YAY for a great start.
Works: Read the last book in the series. Any genre. No companions.

Goal: 7 books

Hosted by The Reader's Antidote, this is another great challenge, but the opposite of the one above. Some series I'm definitely going to start are Song of Ice and Fire, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the new Jeanine Frost series coming out the end of this year (I'm pretty sure it's 2014, but I could be wrong).

Works: Start a new series. Year, genre, age group doesn't matter.

Goal: 7 books

And ofcourse we have the Goodreads challenge!

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Aman has read 10 books toward her goal of 180 books.

And that's about it! Aren't they all exciting? The one I'm most looking forward to is the end of the series challenge, I did it last year and it really pushed me into finishing a series in a timely manner. I'm a procrastinator and I never want a series to end, so this is great to keep me up to pace.

For regular updates, check out my 2014 Challenges page up there.

Are you participating in any challenges this year? Is there any good one I missed out?


Review: Misbehaving by Abbi Glines

January 24, 2014 Aman 7
Title: Misbehaving
Author: Abbi Glines
Published: Simon Pulse | Dec 17, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, NA
Source: Bought
Series: Sea Breeze
Because of Low
While it Lasts
Just For Now
Sometimes It Lasts

Goodreads | Amazon
An unexpected affair leads to mind-blowing harmony in this Sea Breeze novel from New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines.

Jason is sick of living in his rock star brother’s shadow. So when he ships off to Sea Breeze, Alabama, he’s looking for a much deserved escape and a chance to blow off some envious steam. Falling for the local bad girl was definitely not the plan. But as the new duo enjoys some naughty fun in the Alabama sun, Jason learns that even though Jax is the musician in the family, he’s not the only brother who can rock someone’s world.
~Readalong with Janhvi and Sarika from The Readdicts!~
Check out Janhvi's review here.

     Before I start bashing this book in my review, I just want to say that Abbi Glines is a mastermind when it comes to emotional, gut-wrenching storylines. She knows exactly how to play with out hearts while making us feel all those wonderful, heartwarming feels, but every author can't have the perfect score in books and Misbehaving was apparently Abbi's least likable book, in my opinion.

     You know when a book is so bad that it's actually hilarious. That's Misbehaving right there! At first I was frustrated with the characters and their stupefied thoughts, but then I started noticing the cheesy dialogues that no one in there right mindset would ever say aloud, and this book became sort of entertaining. In a very bad way! I've never disliked a Abbi Glines book this much, there was a point around 21% where I straightaway wanted to DNF the story, but I'm very loyal to the author, hence skimming! 

     My biggest issue in this book was the pairing of Jason and Jess. Individually, they are great, unique characters with a potential to have a strong arc and wonderful storyline, but as a couple, they were a mess! There was no attraction, no spark, no chemistry, nothing that binds them together and overall, a poor match from the beginning. I can't even call them an "opposites attract pair" because for that they need to have a sizzling chemistry with lots of sexual tension, which they clearly lacked. The only thing Jess and Jason had in common was sex. 24/7, all week around, sex sex sex! And if they ever got separated, what got them together? That's right, SEX! This is probably the first book where I was majorly turned off by a couple getting intimate. Meaningless sex means nothing to me and I don't want to read about it more then 1 time in a book. 

     Jess comes from a middle class happy family, her relationship with her mom was the best I've ever read. Now that is something I want to see more of! From the moment she met the uber rich, brother of the teen heartthrob, Jason Stone, she knew that they weren't going to be the forever types, their relationship was only some summer fling and Jess accepted that. I loved this realistic approach to a relationship, not everyone can afford a fairytale and I liked that Jess had a straight mind from the beginning, but what I absolutely HATED was how she lowered her standards just to be with the guy for "whatever time they had together". I felt like she really demeaned her character by forgiving Jason countless times for his stupid mistake and for what? Just so she could have good memories to treasure?!? Why? The guy was clearly not worth it! I don't even want to talk about Jason because he clearly suffered with some bipolar personality and needed to see a therapist STAT. That's all.

     Misbehaving, in short, was a mess. I would not recommend it to anyone. Not only where the character brought from a mental asylum, their story was even worst. The back and forth, the sex and break up, the utter confusion throughout the story--WTF!?! I'm surprised I made it through without going crazy. Misbehaving was a definite "down the drain" miss, and that brings me to a very important question. Where is Sea Breeze series going? I loved the first 3 books, 4th was okay, 5th was tolerable and now 6th was horrible. The 7th book is about a guy I can't even stand, so unless it gets really good review from my trusted friends, I'm not going to read it. We'll see when that happens. Final Thoughts: Either skim it or skip it, I'd go with the latter.

Update: Sea Breeze will have 2 more books (Krit and Drwayne's) and then there will be a last book full of novella's for every couple. Kind of like what Julia Quinn did with her Bridgerton series. I'm very excited to read that!


Early Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

January 23, 2014 Aman 10
Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Published: Balzer + Bray | Jan 28, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, Greek Mythology
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe #1
Source: From Publisher for review (Thank You!)
Goodreads | Purchase
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

     Being a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast and Greek Mythology, when I first heard about Cruel Beauty described as a mix of both, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy! What's more interesting than a forbidden love set in a world of gods and demon? Nothing! But to be honest, it took me a while to get in the story because of the constant info dump and slow pace in the beginning. I even thought about putting it on hold because of the confusing backstory and the struggle it took me to understand the basic plotline after several passage rereads. However, I'm so glad that I decided to continue with the story because it was more than worth it by the end! The way the author blended the mythology with the retelling and made it into a very unique and cleverly choreographed fantasy was a commendable job in itself. Cruel Beauty and I might have had a rough start, but in my book, it's the execution and ending that matter the most, and in those areas, this book fared unbelievably well.

     The story was very complex and complicated, as you can already guess from my opening paragraph. Nyx lives in a world ruled by the demon prince and his minions aka the shadows who have the ability to make people go crazy upon contact. As part of a bargain struck by her father with the demon prince, Ignifex, in order to say Nyx's mother, Nyx ends up paying the price in a long run. Not only does she have to marry the demon upon reaching certain age, but she also has to go through consistent and ruthless training by her father to learn how to defeat and possibly kill her future husband. That was such a burden for a kid and I completely understand why Nyx hated every member of her family. Her sister got all the freedom and love while Nyx suffered everyday with tedious work in order to make her father happy and proud. Throughout the story, I hated her family too, especially that selfish and self centered sister.

     The exciting part started when Nyx married Ignifex and entered the dark, mysterious palace. Oh, that palace! What a piece of art! Everyday Nyx would explore her new home and get lost in it's endless corridor and ever changing doors. It was so exhilarating to see the different faces of this palace and experience the new tricks it had. But my favorite aspect in this book because the well defined plotline was obviously, the romance between Nyx and Ignifex. From the first meet, it was a love-hate relationship and you know how exciting those are! The romance played out exactly like it did in the original story: there was no insta-love or even insta-admiration, both Nyx and Ignifex tolerated each other and never failed to through any jabs when needed, which in turn made things more spice and entertaining for us readers. Gradually with every fight, they fell in love and the rest was history. My one critique would be the ending, I wish it would've played out some other way in which the character didn't have to go through so much hassle to get a good ending. Being a hopeless romantic at heart, I killed me to see Nyx and Ignifex in pain. Also, I felt it was a bit too much.

     Overall, Cruel Beauty was a very entrancing and enigmatic story about a girl who was born to kill the guy she eventually fell in love with, among other things. It did have a bit of a love triangle that got on my nerve, but in the end, I didn't matter. There is said to be another book in this series and I'm not sure if it's a sequel or a companion, but the one thing I know for sure is that I can't wait to read it!


Top Ten Tuesday (14)

January 21, 2014 Aman 22
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
 where bloggers share their opinions on bookish topics in list form.

Topic: Things On My Reading Wishlist

(if you could make authors write about these things you would. Could be a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a time period, a certain plot, etc.)

Wow, my mind is completely blank on this. My most read genre is contemporary and I feel like every thing I can think about has been covered already in some book or other. So here I'm going to talk about stories or specific trend I wish to see more of in 2014.

1. Good Guys
Goodbye to the bad boys, the jerks and the angst creators. I'm done with them all! I want good, strong, supporting, loving guys that will do nothing but treat you with respect and give you all their love. I guess it's a sign that I'm over the NA genre completely. I last few reads have been terrible with super angst relationship that I can't stand any longer. I want more guys like Ryan Stone in 2014. Ooh and even Perry!

2. Zero Love Triangle
I want a girl or a guy to have one partner throughout the story. I can't even tell you how pissed I'm with some of the triangles in YA. That's why I love Adult PNR books the most because the ones I've read, don't have a fucking triangle! I've dnfed or dropped so many series (well 2 or 3) last year because of the rise of an unexpected triangle. No more. Triangle, go next to the jerk guys!

3. Hacking storylines
I'm huge fan of books where the mc uses his/her hacking skills to solve a crime. Fun & Exciting! The only 2 books I've read featuring it are Burning Blue and Find Me, and both were terrific.

4. More mythology
Doesn't have to be just Greek, could be Norse, Egyptian, Japanese or even Hindu. Why not? I want more mythological inspiring reads!

5. Interracial relationships
I honestly can't even remember a single interracial relationship besides the one I read in an erotica. Do Eleanor and Park count? I think they do. Okay, so just one. I want more!

6. More unique PNR creatures
I'm so excited so read about Gargoyles in JLA's White Hot Kiss and I want more creatures like this. Heck, I didn't even knew what a Gargoyle was, but now I do, and I'm very curious about it. Though lets not write about Bigfoot because that is creepy. 

7. Island stories
I loved On The Island and I really want to read more books that are based on an island. Though that was more of a survival story, but I would take that too! Gosh, I need to reread that book.

8. Crazy Psychological Thrillers
No book says crazy like Mara Dyer, that was one fucked up book and honestly the best I've read in the genre so far. I need more of that. Side note: I'm dying to read The Retribution of Mara Dyer!

9. Retellings besides Pride & Prejudice and Beauty & the Beast
No offense to any of the books mentioned above (they are my absolute favorite), but I want more retelling of stories I haven't heard of. Last week I bought a copy of Jane, which is a retelling of Jane Eyre and I can't wait to start that book.

10. Lastly, I want books that represent us readers.
Books like Fangirl, the first half of Obsidian....and that's it? Wow. We need more books featuring bookish people!

What is the one thing you want or don't want in your 2014 reads?
Let me know :)


Review: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

January 20, 2014 Aman 10
Title: The Lost Girl
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Published: Balzer + Bray | Aug 28, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Purchase
Eva's life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. She was made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her "other," if she ever died. Eva spends every day studying that girl from far away, learning what Amarra does, what she eats, what it's like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But sixteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything and everyone she's ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she's forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.
     In a very odd way, my reaction towards The Lost Girl is somewhat similar to what I felt for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Confused yet very curious. The Lost Girl has a very unusual premises, parents asking for their kid's doppelganger, in another term, their echo who would replace that said person after their death. The whole concept is so mind boggling and I can't imagine someone being so desperate to have a loved one in their lives forever that they would go to such unnatural measures of having an echo. But at the same time, I kind of loved seeing the impossible unfold. Knowing that our MC was stitched by her weaver to look like her other was weird yet interesting in itself. It something you would dread in real life, but relish as long as it's fiction. In short, I'm a fan of this unique story!

     Eva living in Britain is an Echo was Amarra from India. Being an echo means following everything your other does, even if it means getting a meaningless tattoo or having a bad haircut. Eva has been learning Amarra's life since forever through Amarra's weekly journal entries and photographs, and reading them, she's aware of Amarra's strong dislike for echos. Within the first few pages, I felt a terribly for Eva, her life was nothing but a constant reminder of how unhumanlike she was. I hated knowing that her only purpose in life was to prepare to replace Amarra and until that happens, she was basically a prison in a stranger's body. Eva couldn't do anything for herself, she had to hide her artistic talent because Amarra was more into archeology; Eva had to eat food that she hated because it was Amarra's favorite, you can see the pattern, it was awful for a person to live that way, yet through those moments of despair, I came to love and admire Eva for having a distinctive personality regardless of the circumstances. She was more bold, adventurous and courageous that Amarra could ever have been. I loved that Eva snuck around and did things for her own pleasure, even if it meant lying to her guardians. Rule can go to hell, I love when people stand up and rebel, and Eva was definitely one of them. Her journey alone was worth the read, but the addition of forbidden romance made this story 10 times better.

      My only critique is the ending. I felt it was very incomplete, as if few pages were missing from my book. We were given an idea of where the story might go, but the transition wasn't there. Plus, the story left a ton of questions answered, for example (spoiler) Did Eva go back to Banglore? Did Sean go with her permanently? What happened with Ray and Amarra's other friends? What was the history between Alisha and Mathew? And Mathew and Erik? (end of spoiler) Though I have to say that the secondary characters were very well developed, especially Lekha, Mina Ma, Erik and so many others. And I have to comment the author on doing her research perfectly, the horrible traffic and illegal driving she described was to the point. I was laughing hysterically at some of those incidents.

     All in all, The Lost Girl was a remarkably unique story about a girl finding her true identity amongst all the rules and regulations enforced by her makers. I don't think I would forget Eva's journey anytime soon. It raised so many questions regarding how far are we willing to go to save our loved ones. The idea of having an echo is sad and depressing, but after finishing the story, I can see how it could help someone with grieving and moving forward. Everyone has different ways and seeing Amarra's mom finally appreciate Eva as a person and not her daughter's impersonator was one of the most amazing and touching moments of this book. 


Stacking the Shelves (22)

January 19, 2014 Aman 13
Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Review where 
bloggers shares the books they bought, won or received for review.

This was the week of giveaways!!! First I won Box of Books from Rachel over at The Reader's Den and I can't even tell you how awesome some of those books are! Just take a look at the picture* below. And then I won a paperback of one of the my most awaited book this year, Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young!!!!! What was week!

Did you notice the trend? Besides a few, ALL ARE HARDCOVERS!! Thank You so much for that Rachel! It makes me want to devour all of them altogether! You have to agree that a hardcover does make a book very appealing, even if you weren't interested in it in the first place. I can't wait to read The Replacement, Where It Began, Fateful, Don't Expect Magic and Epic Fail! Do you know that there was a short story about Lissa's parents from Vampire Academy? I didn't either! It's in Kisses From Hell and I'm totally going to read it some random night!

Thank you Jessica for Before Jamaica Lane! I've loved this series from the first book and I can't wait to meet these new character as well as the old. And bonus, it has the novella about Ellie and Adam (Until Fountain Bridge) and I haven't read that, so YAY!

* Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin not pictured.

What did you get this week? Anything good? Share it away!


Review: Striking Distance by Pamela Clare

January 17, 2014 Aman 6
Title: Striking Distance
Author: Pamela Clare
Published: Berkley Sensation | Nov 5, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Adult
Source: Bought
Series: I-Teams 
Hard Evidence
Unlawful Contact
Naked Edge
Breaking Point
Striking Distance

Her past is a secret—even to her.
Discovering it will be the most dangerous move of her life.

TV reporter Laura Nilsson, known as the "Baghdad Babe," spent eighteen months in an Al Qaeda compound after being kidnapped live on the air. Two years later, she's still wondering why.

No rescue mission in Javier Corbray's fourteen years as a Navy SEAL affected him the way Laura's rescue did. No woman has stirred his protective instincts the way she has. And he wants her more than he's ever wanted anyone.

As Laura and Javier's passion ignites, so does Laura's need to discover the mystery of her past. Especially when she learns that her abduction was not random—and that she's still a target for a killer with an impenetrable motive. Now Javier will have to rely on his skills to keep the woman he loves from being struck down before she dares uncover the truth.

     Can this series get any better? The answer is undoubtedly YES! From the author's impressive track record, we already know that the next book is going to be much much better than this one, but since I don't want to get ahead of myself, I'll stick to reviewing just Striking Distance and refrain from fangirling over the entire series and it's future books. Yes, I'm crazy over this series, can you tell? :) Striking Distance was such a terrific, emotional and thrilling ride! Not that I expected anything less, but going into this book I did have some pretty serious concerns over how the author was going to handle the terrorism part of the story because majority of the people tend to be very aggressive and judgemental during such acts and that really hurts me. So when I finished this book I was so glad to find that not only did it have a very courageous and admirable story about hope and survival, but also a very important message about humanity that we often forget. 

     First things first, I would highly recommend reading the novella, First Strike which acts as a extended prologue for Striking Distance, before diving in this story. The novella gives us a glimpse into a sexy weekend shared between Laura and Javier at Dubai, which ends at a point that sets up the foundation for the main story. Basically, our MC Laura --who is an investigative journalist covering the effects of war on people living in the area-- gets kidnapped by Al Qaeda during one of her coverage and is held captive by the end of the novella. And if you've been dying to read Striking Distance, you would realize that that information is not a spoiler. In the first chapter of this book, Laura is rescued by a team of Navy SEALs and thus her journey of righting the wrongs begins. Striking Distance was 80% Laura's book and the rest Javier's; she was a true hero of this story, seeing her stand up on her own feet, fight for her rights and try to live her life and get through the daily nightmares was heartbreaking yet truly admirable. I have nothing but immense respect for Laura. And here's another reason why reading the novella is necessary: Laura changes from a strong, confident woman to a weak, afraid girl to a brave woman again throughout her journey. She didn't revert back to the person she was in Dubai, but she became a different person who had equal parts vulnerability and fearlessness. This Laura had nightmares every night, but she still fought fiercely for the people she believed in and never gave up, even if the odds were against her. What she did for Ali and his family is one of the many reasons why I love her so much.

     The romance would've been tough or even impossible under the circumstance, but since Laura and Javier have known each other since before and each had additional year to cope from their sufferings separately, their love story felt right. They already had that passionate, sizzling chemistry in Dubai and it heightened more as they coincidentally started spending time together in this book. Though the romance wasn't as dominant and alpha-ish as before, obviously, but it wasn't naive or innocent-like either. It was just perfect.  

     I don't know she Ms. Clare works her magic everytime and make each of her books completely different, diverse and refreshing from the other, but long as she's writing, I'm reading! Striking Distance had lots of emotionally, gut wrenching scenes, especially in the end, but it also had some very inspirational and uplifting ones that made us appreciate life more. Not to forget the sizzling hot romance! I didn't talk much about it because then my review would've been an essay and no one wants that! Though I have to say that I haven't cried this much in a long time; Laura's story was very painful to read, but I don't regret it for a second. I highly recommend Striking Distance to readers who love seeing a character overcome tragedies in his/her life and moving on with a smile of their face.


Review: The Fine Line by Alicia Kobishop

January 16, 2014 Aman 2
Title: The Fine Line
Author: Alicia Kobishop
Published: Self | Dec 6, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, NA
Source: From Author for Review
Goodreads | Amazon
High school senior Liv Evans has one rule: No attachments. She’s lost enough in her life and has vowed to do whatever it takes to make sure she never again feels the emptiness of losing someone she loves. Boys are a fun distraction, but a serious relationship is something she’d rather live without. Her determination for a future free of pain and heartbreak is put to the test when she meets–and quickly forms an unexpected bond–with Logan Tanner.

Logan has always been a free spirit, but ever since a life-changing event took place, which left him doubting the integrity of those who are closest to him, he’s taken that term to a whole new dangerous level. Learning the hard way that life is too short for worries or work–and that women can’t be trusted–Logan has exchanged steady work for street racing. When Liv walks into his world, everything he thought he knew about life and women is challenged.

In The Fine Line, Liv and Logan will discover if it’s possible for true love to have a future, or if history is destined to repeat itself.

     Oh boy. Where do I ever begin? Starting with something positive, I loved the writing, for a debut author, it was very impressive and commendable. Even the storytelling was very very good, I didn't find any problem with the pacing, construction or overall execution. What I did find unsuitable for me was the story itself, more importantly the characters and their bizarre actions. One thing I can't stand (and by now you probably know this) is cheating, and this book was full of it! Be it emotional, physical or whatnot. I hated every second of it and you might be wondering why I continued the story-- because I hoped the characters would grow up and atleast give me a good ending. But nope, that certainly didn't happen. Not only was it cliched but full of unrealistic drama that was hard to buy.

     Liv is a high school senior who doesn't believe in relationships; the number of times she has been left behind heartbroken and lonely by her loved ones has only proved her not to love someone fully, so she keeps her distance and dates occasionally. But that becomes difficult when she meets Logan, a mechanic and drag race driver, and is immediately attracted to him. What starts as a casual flirtation between the duo turns into a friendship pretty quickly but their relationship halts after that, not for the sake of Logan trying, but just Liv being so damn insistent on playing safe in order to avoid another heartbreak. Which I think was BULL! Clearly there was some chemistry from both sides, clearly her time with Logan meant a lot to her, clearly she loved randomly making out with him, clearly she got jealous whenever he harmlessly flirted with another girls, clearly she wanted him all for herself (and how many more times do I need to use the word "clearly" to make my point clear? :D ), but then why in the world did she pretend to be his "friend"? And why would she go out with others guys on dates? It makes no sense! On top of that, the guy was such a dumbhead for coming back to her after every time she rejected him. How many clues does a person need? Come on, grow a freaking backbone!!! The only part I did enjoy was the illegal racing, but sadly there were only few scenes featuring it and even more sadly, we were never in Logan's head to experience the thrilling ride. And don't even get me started on the cheating! Granted that they didn't sleep around when they were dating each other, but there was a lot of emotional cheating there which I can't look over.

     All in all, The Fine Line wasn't as bad as I'm making it sound, but at the same time, I'm not right audience for it. I think it's perfect for fans of Thoughless by SC Stephens or someone who can handle on and off relationships that are full of angst, drama and a lot of mind fuck. Though I won't be giving up on the author because I'm sure with the right story, I'll have no problem falling in love with her work.


Review: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

January 15, 2014 Aman 9
Title: The Fiery Heart
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: Razorbill | Nov 19, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance, YA
Series: Bloodlines
The Golden Lily
The Indigo Spell
The Fiery Heart
Silver Shadows

Goodreads | Amazon
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

     The impossible might just happen in the next book! The pieces are all lined up in the perfect place, the characters are ready to do the unthinkable, now it all depends on how the author is going to pull off the rest of the story. What I'm talking about is high probability of the Bloodlines series surpassing and taking over the pedestal I have in my heart for the Vampire Academy. A little history for my new readers: VA is the series that got me into reading and overtime gave me a reason to start blogging. No book has ever matched the level of love and admiration I have for the series and the author, and now I think it's fitting that the same author's other series managed to do just that!

     The Fiery Heart started at an okay point. I wasn't too happy with the pace of the story, it kept reminding me of  The Golden Lily (boring!), but with each chapter, the story got better and by the end, it was the best! The plot focused on Sydney experimenting with her magical abilities in order to recreated the indigo ink, and Adrian playing around with his spirit side and trying to help Sonya and Lissa with the Strigoi antidote. First things first, I want to thank the author for telling this installment from both Sydney and Adrian's pov because if not, I never would've understood how deeply the use of spirit affected Adrian's daily lifestyle. Oh. My. God! What he had to go through was plain HORRIBLE! Now, I get why he opted for an alcohol every second of the day like an addict in the previous books. It's not like this is the first time we're seeing a spirit user in action, we've met Lissa in VA, but the catch was that we were never in her mind. We never knew how she controlled her spirit side in order to stay sane, but here, we saw and felt every pain Adrian went through. And honestly, my heart shattered for him. I've never seen a man so vulnerable and lost; Adrian was basically on the verge of craziness in this book and if not for Sydney's constant support and interventions, I honestly don't know what would've happened to him. I'm so glad that the author showed us this different and very real side of Adrian, I never respected him as a hero in the previous books, but now I most certainly do! His struggles were the highlight of this book, there is no doubt that Adrian stole all the limelight with his easy-going, playful yet surprisingly driven personality.

     Though there were somethings (ZOE!) that were the cause of my frustration throughout this book. I've never liked Zoe since the beginning, she's demeaning and ungrateful, and that a quality no one likes. Even if I forget for a second about her Alchemist values regarding vampires and dhampirs, just seeing her double faced nature with Sydney wanted me to personally shove a knife through her heart. There is one thing I can't stand besides cheating and that is fake, pretentious people who will lie to you, be nice to you and throw you under the bus simultaneously without blinking an eye. But my issues with Zoe wouldn't have risen in the first place if Sydney would've set her straight when needed. I get that Sydney is a nice, polite person who values a sisterly bond more than anyone, but come on! Grow a backbone and stand up against negative people! I really really hope Sydney learns a lesson from this and avoids her sister at all cost because that little bitch needs to die for me to be happy (rant over)

     All in all, The Fiery Heart was a definite game changer in this series! Exciting, thrilling, entertaining, impactful are just few words to describe the story, but most importantly it manged to change my views regarding some of the characters, Trey being one of them. I'm highly satisfied with this installment and I can't wait to see where Mead will take the story next!

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