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Top Ten Tuesday (17)

February 25, 2014 Aman 12
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: Favorite AWW Moments in Books

I loved this topic and I can't wait to share some of my favorite swoon-worthy moments from my favorite ever reads. Now some of this is very spoilery, so don't say I didn't warn.

Let the swooning begin!

1. Will's slam in Slammed by Colleen Hoover
“So you keep your ocean, I'll take the Lake.”  
That is one of the best lines in this entire series! I loved how sneaky he was in his slam! And he didn't even knew Lake was right there, listening to him. Such a great scene!

2. The ending of Champion by Marie Lu
Day: "I've been searching a long time for something I think I lost."
Aww! Just the whole epilogue was so emotional, it was everything I ever wanted. And the last dialogue was my favorite!

3. When Etienne first called Anna "Ah-na" in Anna and The French Kiss
Oh, dreamy British guys and their equally dreamy accent!

4. When Sydney fought with Adrian after the pawn shop scene in The Fiery Heart.
It might not sound very awe-worthy, but that scene clearly showed how much she loved him and was scared to lose him. And I loved that Adrian started taking medication after that. 

5. When Rehvenge made a three course candlelight dinner for Elena in Lover Avenged.
That, besides and Zsadists scene, is my favorite moment in the entire series. And Elena didn't even knew about the dinner and went away after dropping the medicines. But the best part happened when she saw him blow out the candle from the window and later on, ended up having that dinner with him. Beautiful scene.

6. Everything from Eleanor and Park.
I loved loved loved E&P! Every scene, every moment, every dialogue was so swoony (and funny!).

7. The ending of Frostbite when Dmitri told Rose that he had feelings for her.
“I couldn’t return that…couldn’t give her what she wanted. Not when…” He took a few steps toward me. “Not when my heart is somewhere else.”
Awwwwwwww! Dmirtri is such a romantic at heart.

8. Anything that came out of Noah's mouth in the Mara Dyer series
Another example for a very swoony British guy.
"...If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one...All I want is you."
9. The scene where Lucas draws Jackqueline in Easy.
That scene was very hot from the beginning but during that time I loved the part when she received a message and Lucas asked her if it was important and if she wanted to check.<3<3<3

10. Whenever Warner called Juliette "love"
Which was ALL THE TIME!!!
“In a world where there is so much to grieve and so little good to take? I grieve nothing. I take everything. (...) Ignite, my love. Ignite.” 
Even when he was funny or sarcastic.
“Come back to life, love. I'll be here when you wake up.” 
"You should get a dog, love. I hear they share much the same qualities.”  
And bonus! I love this quote by Juliette to Warner! It perfectly describes how I feel about him.
“I don't think you're crazy." The world is blurring away as I watch it through the window. "And I don't think that you're a psychopath. I also don't think you're a sick, twisted monster. I don't think that you're a heartless murderer, and I don't think you deserve to die, and I don't think you're pathetic. Or stupid. Or a coward. I don't think you're any of the things people have said about you.” 
I do have a million more Warner quotes, but I'll stop here (don't want to!).

What are some of your favorite AWW Moments?
Share away :)

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Review: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

February 24, 2014 Aman 6
Title: Pretty Girl-13
Author: Liz Coley
Published: Katherine Tegen Books | March 19, 2013
Genre: YA Mystery
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Amazon
Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological thriller about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity and then piece together her own identity.

When thirteen-year-old Angela Gracie Chapman looks in the mirror, someone else looks back--a thin, pale stranger, a sixteen-year-old with haunted eyes. Angie has no memory of the past three years, years in which she was lost to the authorities, lost to her family and friends, lost even to herself. Where has she been, who has been living her life, and what is hiding behind the terrible blankness? There are secrets you can’t even tell yourself.

With a tremendous amount of courage and support from unexpected friends, Angie embarks on a journey into the darkest corners of her mind. As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: when you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the people responsible, or is there another way to feel whole again?

Liz Coley’s alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing—and ultimately empowering—page turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.
Review:

     I don't read scary books, books with ghosts and demons and possessions and whatnot because they terrify me and Pretty Girl-13 was nothing less than a horror story. It deals with an extremely rare and unheard mental disorder that gave me the creeps. On the whole, I loved this book, it was super addicting and gripping, the MC was very likable and her story was an eye opener, plus I really appreciated the minimal focus on romance because this story needed all it's attention on Angie's condition and I'm really glad that it did exactly that. However, I did find the ending very upsetting. The author created a fictional cure for the disorder in order to make everything right, but I wished she would have made the story more realistic. Sure, our MC would have gone crazy by the end, but nevertheless, I would've preferred that version much more than the prettified one.

     Angie went to a camp at age 13 and has no recollection of the 3 years after that. In the first chapter we see her walking down her home road and having no clue of where she came from. Her memories were basically blank, reading from her perspective gave us the impression as if those years never existed. I loved how mysteriously the author pictured the scene, everything that was happening to Angie felt like it was happening to us, and that's the part that terrified me the most! Angie is not the most reliable MC because of her disorder, so when strange things happened to her without her knowledge, it resulted in a very bone chilling experience for the readers. I absolutely loved the way the author sequenced this book and tackled every part of the disorder step by step. It helped understanding Angie's condition tremendously and hence, it made it easier to us to connect with her. Like I said before, Pretty Girl-13 is not a very easy book to read, even if Angie never had a disorder, the things she had to go through during the missing 3 years are enough to make anyone go crazy or atleast suicidal. In a way, her mental disorder was a blessing in disguise and that itself is very strange thing to acknowledge. 

      All in all, Pretty Girl-13 raises a lot of question and awareness regarding the mental disorder it showcased. I love when stories have a bigger meaning than just being something to be read and entertained over. After finishing this book within few hours, I googled the heck out of the illness and the results were very sad to read, but educational nonetheless. Pretty Girl-13 book would've easily been one of my favorites of the year had the ending been completely different than what it was, regardless it was a very good book and I highly recommend fans of dark contemporary to give this book a try.




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Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

February 21, 2014 Aman 4
Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer 
Published: Feiwel & Friends | Feb 4, 2014 
Genre: YA Dystopian, Retelling 
Source: Bought  
Series: Lunar Chronicles
Cinder
Scarlet
Cress
Winter

Goodreads | Amazon
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
Review:

What a sequel! Marissa Meyer definitely knows how to bring it on!!! 

     Cress gets a 5 stars for creativity, story development, plot enrichment, flawless writing and entertaining characters! But it gets 2 stars for romance. I wasn't a fan of Cress and Thorn pairing from the start, they felt more like a companion to me than a couple who were romantically involved. Other than that, Cress was a incredible read, I couldn't have sequenced the events leading up to Winter any better. The ending especially was perfect, I wasn't a fan of Kai in the first book, but boy, I swooned over him so hardcore in this book. He and Cinder are most certainly my favorite couple in this series.

     Abort the Rampion are Cinder, Thorn, Iko, Scarlet and Wolf journeying on around the world as wanted criminals. Their next mission is to rescue Cress, who has been imprisoned inside a satellite for more than 7 years and works as a hacker/programmer for the Luna Queen Levana. During the rescue mission things go south, as expected, and everyone gets divided into 3 groups. Someone gets blind, someone gets kidnapped, someone gets fatally wounded and throughout the whole ordeal, we get to meet one of the main lead for the next book, Winter. Like all the previous books in this series, Cress had a phenomenal story arc. I loved how the author gave every character, minor or major, a crucial role to play in order to make everything sync together perfectly in the end. The storytelling is one of the best parts about this series, but the characters are a very close second. I loved loved loved Thorn! Even though I didn't think he fit with Cress or vice versa, but that didn't stop me from enjoying all his parts and being so fully entertained by his narcissistic behavior. Thorn is so full of himself yet so funny at the same time, he reminds of a male version of Iko, and as most of you know, Iko is my favorite character in this entire series! I wish she would get a book, I don't mind reading about an android story at all!

     The reason I wasn't a huge fan of Cress was because I didn't find her interesting enough to care for her story. She calls herself a damsel in distress and that is indeed a perfect title for her. She fell head over heels in love with Thorn before she even met him and I'm the type of person who is okay with instant romances, but this was beyond my understanding. Also, Cress had this tendency to picture elaborate scenarios to avoid certain pain or loneliness, but again, I didn't get that. I wanted to understand her so badly because Rapunzel is one of the favorite princess and her situation is so sympathetic, but sadly I never had any of those feeling for Cress. I don't think she's a strong heroine and if this book would've been just about her and Thorn, I don't think I would've enjoyed it this much. Good for us, Cress had many different storylines and perspectives, so a little hitch didn't matter at all. 

     Overall, I'm a huge fan of Cress! It is a great addition to The Lunar Chronicles series and even better sequel to Scarlet. There is so much I loved about it: the unexpected turns of events after every few chapter, Thorn's and Iko's humor, the exceptionally commendable progress made by Cinder and ofcourse, the romance she shared with Kai. I loved it all! Cinder is such a terrific character and I can't wait to see where her journey will take her next! On another note, I was so glad that we finally got a glimpse of Luna and met Princess Winter. Though in all honestly, she did seem a bit crazy to me and I don't know how her story will play out, but one thing I do know is that Marissa Meyer is brilliant at what she does and I highly recommend her reads to fans of sci-fi and retellings. It is not to be missed!!!


 
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Review: Finding My Forever by Heidi McLaughlin

February 17, 2014 Aman 6
Title: Finding My Forever
Author
Publication: Self | Dec 30, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult
Source: Bought
Series: Beaumont
Forever My Girl
My Unexpected Forever
Finding My Forever

Goodreads | Amazon
Everywhere I look, my friends are settling down - marriage, children, white picket fences; but not me. Marriage isn't in the cards for me. I’m a ladies man.

A rock star.

I was born and raised in the industry.

I love everything about my life, especially the attention from the women that my status brings me.
Women find me. I don’t chase. I know what they want and they know I’ll deliver.

But after one look, one touch, one night...
Now I’m the one doing the chasing.

I need to find a way to show her that I’m serious, that I can change.
I need to find a way to show her that I can love her fully, and only her.
I need to find a way to show her that she’s my forever.
Review:
 Readalong with Janhvi and Sarika from The Readdicts
~Review has minor spoilers~

     WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED!?! I was expecting a really good, heartfelt pregnancy storyline, thanks to a one night stand between two fun characters, but I what I got was a complete and utter mess of immature people with their immature and nonsensical decisions. I have so much to say about this story, especially the characters that I think it's better if I do a list type review. 

Backstory


     Both Jenna and Jimmy had a really good backstory. Jenna was a victim of domestic abuse from her first marriage. After years of suffering under her husband's abuse, Jenna finally took a step and with the help of her parents, she divorced that bastard and moved to Beaumont. I loved that Jenna never lived in fear considering the life she has lead before, that instantly proved how strong and brave she was. She had a life of her own, didn't depend on anyone and had a very positive outlook towards life. Jenna could've been such a good character if she wouldn't have stopped with her insecurities regarding Jimmy's womanizing past after they got married. Literally everytime he was around a girl, she would doubt him for cheating or worst, thinking he would divorce her after he realized he's not fit for marriage. Her ability to stress out over little things and not enjoying the moment instantly made her annoying and irritating to me. But more on that later. Jimmy on the other hand was a very cool guy, a bit relationship phobiac, but it's understandable seeing his first wife cheated on him. I loved that he took responsibility when needed and remained fair with everyone. What I didn't like about Jimmy was that his tendency to keep things from Jenna regarding his first wife and then later on acting as if it was no big deal. Both characters made really stupid decisions in this book and collectively pushed the story down the drain. It was a mess!

Romance


     As far as I could tell, there was no real romance. Jenna and Jimmy slept together during Liam and Josie's wedding, hence the pregnancy, but never really had any connection that could be termed as a beginning of romance. Even at the time the story took place, I never felt their love! Jenna was constantly worrying over Jimmy walking out on her and Jimmy was suddenly too attracted to Jenna and it didn't seem real. On top of that, their marriage was such a joke. One moment I'm reading about their vacation in Bora Bora and the next instant, they are married. Just like that, with no scene, no setting, no emotion. Did they get married on a post it note like Grey and Derek? What happened?!? The ending was okay, but honestly if the beginning didn't pull my heartstrings, I don't expect the end to that job. To sum it up: the romance was very, very disappointing!


Plotline


     Pregnancy storylines, no matter how cliched or predictable are one of my favorite to read. They bring out that motherly quality of nurture and protectiveness that I'm sure every girl loves, but this is probably the only book where I didn't even care for the pregnancy And I think it mainly comes down to me disliking Jenna so much. Finding My Forever starts with Jenna discovering her pregnancy and keeping it a secret from everyone, especially the baby's father. One thing I didn't get was why Jenna made the father sound so mysterious to the readers in the beginning, it was clear from the last book that Jimmy was going to be that man, so why the unnecessary secrecy? Overall, this book was full of drama and not the kind I like to read about! Some of it included the exes, the other pregnancy, the daddy drama and just a whole bunch of annoying issues. 

     All in all, Finding My Forever is by far my least favorite book in this series, I didn't find anything redeemable in it. The characters were confused and in their own world. The story was messy and haywired, and I'm not even talking about the random flashbacks inserted in almost every chapter. Bottomline, I wasn't happy with this installments, but since my reading buddies somewhat enjoyed this book, I would direct you to their review where you can decide if this is for you or not.

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Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

February 14, 2014 Aman 7
Title: Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: Dutton Adult | April 14, 2011
Genre: Chick Lit
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Purchase
"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?
Review:

     Rainbow Rowell topped my favorite author list last year with her hit 80's themed high school romance book, Eleanor and Park, and with Fangirl, she proved once again that she was here to stay. So it's really hard to say that her debut book, Attachments, failed to impress me like her other works. It just wasn't something for me.  Attachments is told from a male pov, which for a change I quite enjoyed, but the biggest drawback was infact my inability to feel anything for the MC. Lincoln is a very geeky, non social guy and I'm sure he's a very good catch in real life, but generally in fiction I look for characters with interesting background and entertaining storyline, and Lincoln has none of that. In short, he's very boring and his story which sounded really fun from the synopsis actually turned out to be rather bland.

     Lincoln works in the IT department where his job is to go through flagged emails and during one of his shift, he comes across an email exchange between 2 friends, Beth and Jennifer, and instead of warning them, he kept reading their regular conversations for entertainment. That right there was a very stalkerish move on Lincoln's part, but seeing how harmless he was, I never tagged him as a creeper and continued his story in hopes that in the end, it would all turn out to be very cute and adorable. And it did, to some extent. I loved reading the Beth and Jennifer's email, that was probably the most fun part in this entire story. It is amazing that the author manged to fully develop both Beth and Jennifer's character without giving them any perspective. I loved that I came to admire their friendship just by reading their emails, but at the same time, I wished we would've gotten to know them on one on one basis. That was something I felt was missing from this book, and if present, would have made this book 100 times better. Because of that, I never felt the romance or any type of emotions from Beth's side, all I got was Lincoln cutely crushing over a mysterious girl, which was really adorable to a certain level, but after that, I wanted more. On top of that, the numerous boring flashbacks centering around Lincoln's high school relationship and college experience didn't help the story besides lengthening it for no reason. Overall, I wish a story that had a great plotline wasn't executed in a dull way. 

      Attachments was a very cute book but I wish there was more to it. I get that it was Lincoln's journey to take a step in the right direction and open himself more for new opportunities, and I really appreciated seeing his character be more confident by the end, but I still stand by what I said earlier. However, I do want to mention that I read this book during the worst time ever and maybe my super sappy mood effected my judgement. I started  Attachments earlier this week and when I tuned in to see the Men's Halfpipe on Tuesday, I was devastated with the results. Hence, the super sappy mood. If I would've read  Attachments any other day, I probably would've given it 3.5 stars, but oh well. You be the judge.


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Review: Simple Perfection by Abbi Glines

February 12, 2014 Aman 13
Title: Simple Perfection
Author: Abbi Glines
Published: Self | Sept 23, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, NA
Source: Bought
Series: Perfection #2 | Rosamary Beach #5
Twisted Perfection
Simple Perfection

Goodreads | Amazon
Woods had his perfect life mapped out for him. Rise up the ranks of the family business. Marry the rich girl of his parents’ dreams. Pretend that wealth and privilege was all he’d ever wanted. Then a girl named Della breezed into town, a beautifully imperfect stranger who captured his heart and opened his eyes to a new kind of future. Woods is ready and willing to sacrifice everything for her when the sudden death of his father leaves him with his mother to care for and a business to manage.

Della is determined to be strong for Woods, even as she’s quietly falling to pieces. No matter how far from home she’s run, the ghosts of her past have never stopped haunting her. Struggling to hide her true feelings from Woods, Della fears she can’t be his rock without dragging him down into the darkness with her. But is she strong enough to let go of the last thing holding her together?
Review:

     Abbi Glines really hit it off with Simple Perfection! First things first, I didn't know this was a duology, so the end completely took me by surprise. It's was bittersweet in many ways, but mainly because I wasn't prepared to let Woods and Della go yet. I'm going to miss them so much! Nevertheless, as the saying goes: All good things must come to an end and what an incredibly sweet end it was! I loved following Woods and Della's journey and it makes me so happy to see the amount of growth Della has undergone throughout the series. Not that I had any doubt before, but now I'm most certain that Della is a very strong, brave girl and Woods is truly lucky to have her.

     One of the best things about Simple Perfection was the No-Nan/Angeline drama. I was so thankful that the story didn't go down the stereotypical route that I'm sure we all were dreading. Besides the little incident in the beginning, Angeline was almost absent from this book. And I couldn't be more happier about that; Simple Perfection was basically a story centered around Della's emotional and mental growth, it was about her dealing with her childhood issues and daily nightmares, and trying not to drag Woods down with her. I admired Della for wanting to be Woods' equal rather than someone he needs to babysit. I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved Della for stepping up and doing to right thing, even if it killed her in the beginning. Agreed that the way she executed her plan was very coward-like, but looking at the long term benefits, I think it needed to happen regardless of the ways. However, I won't deny that a part of me was devastated seeing that situation from Woods' perspective, but at the same time I can't commend him enough for handling the issue in a such a mature way. Throughout the story, both Woods and Della make great choices that defined their personalities and made them extremely likable and worthy as a couple. On another note, I have to shout out to Braden and Tripp for being such good friends, Della couldn't have asked for anyone better during the circumstances. They freaking rocked! As a whole, I'm very satisfied with Woods and Della's journey. They didn't have the best beginning, but they did fight for each other with all their hearts and supported when required with the same passion. They deserved a good ending and I was so glad to see them get one!

     Coming on to the secondary characters: WHAT THE HELL happened with Bethy?!? Why did she act out like that? I'm not sure if I like her after all the shit that went down in this book. Frankly, I don't even feel sorry for her, and that's all I'm going to say regarding the situation. Moving on, it was such a treat to see Blaire and Rush being all adorable and cute over Nate. Plus, I loved seeing Dean as a part of their family, not only was he funny, I love that he shared the same hatred as us towards Nan. I wish he's more in Grant's book because one thing I know for sure is that Dean Finlay can lighten any situation with his humor and boy, do I always look forward to it!

     All in all, Simple Perfection made me fall in love with Abbi's books all over again, after the disaster that was Misbehaving. I'm so glad that I didn't give up on Woods and Della story, the first half of this series might be very emotional and angsty to the point where it gives you a headache, but the second half sure makes it all worth it! I'm huge fan of this series and I highly encourage fans of NA to give it a go!


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Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

February 11, 2014 Aman 17
Title: Ignite Me  
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published: HarperCollins | Feb 4, 2014
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, YA
Source: Bought  
Series: Shatter Me
Shatter Me  
Destroy Me (Novella)
Unravel Me
Fracture Me (Novella)
Ignite Me

Goodreads | Purchase
The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love"

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.
Review:  

NO unmarked Spoilers ahead, but there are a ton of feelings which might be spoilery to some people, so I would suggest you don't read this review if you're planning on reading the book.

     I have never blushed this hard! Not when Ren flirted with Calla. Not when Etienne charmed Anna with his British accent. Not when Lucas opened up to Jackqueline. Not even when Dmitri finally said those words to Rose in The Last Sacrifice. You get my point. There is something about Warner that completely sets him apart. Maybe it's the bluntness in his speech with calm overtones or maybe it's just the fact that I've never seen anyone commands a room so swiftly just with his presence. Warner has got it, I don't know what it is, but he has that x-factor quality that draws our attention, something that's hard to explain but so easy to understand through feels when reading the story. Love him or hate him, but I can assure you that by the end of the series, you won't be forgetting him anytime soon! Thank You, Tahereh Mafi for such a wonderful finale! But mostly, thank you for creating Warner!

     Ignite Me was Juliette's story. It may sound like it was all about Warner and the love triangle from my above fangirliness, but in all honestly, this book showed us the true capacity of Juliette's power and her internal growth along with it. The first noticeable difference in Ignite Me compared to the rest of the series is the absence of all the crossed sentences, and that alone is an indication of Juliette's clear mindset and determined stance. The Juliette with met in this book was so strong, strategic, confident and focused that I couldn't even remember the Juliette met in the cell. The difference was day and night, and I think her transformation was completely viable because a girl with so much power was never supposed to be a follower. She was meant to lead and in this book we finally saw Juliette embracing her powers and using them for a purpose that she knew was the right. I loved that Juliette on top of everything believed in herself the most, I loved that she didn't let a guy define her, I loved that she was always so honest about her feeling regardless of the consequences, I loved her do or die mindset towards the war. On the whole, I loved that Juliette took charge in this book and lead her team. 

     Now coming on to the dreaded love triangle, I've to say that Mafi handled it really well. There is only one way a triangle can work successfully and that's if all three characters know where they stand in relative to each other. Juliette never lied to anyone about her feelings and if questioned, was always straight-forward with both guys, and that's precisely what made this triangle work. I, for one, was a huge fan of it! And boy, does Mafi know how to write extremely sensual and sexy scenes for YA? I was fanning my self numerous times because it was just too hot to handle! The author tweeted few months ago about Ignite Me having a ton of intimate scenes and I didn't believe her for a second because come on, it's a YA genre. They are only too many heated scenes you can add, but she proved me wrong. Even if there was no kissing until the later half, the whole book was filled with palpable sexual tension on every page (believe me, no complaining there!). Ignite Me was definitely the most romantic out of the 3 in this series and I didn't find anything wrong with it. Even though at first, I was a bit surprised with the rushed ending, but looking at the extent of Juliette's power, I never expected a full blown out battle covering the entire story, so filling the rest of the book with heavy romance was a great strategy in my opinion. 

     Ignite Me definitely lands itself in my Top 10 Best Books of the Year category! Just the feels it gave were incredible, I'm still reeling from it's effects. I can't even start another book because Warner refuses to leave my mind! I might have to reread this finale pretty soon. Until then, I'll just re-live all the bookmarked moments in my mind and be happy with it. 

And lastly <spoiler> I knew it!!! #TeamWarnerFTW <end of spoiler>


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Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

February 10, 2014 Aman 5
Hey everyone! So we've all heard of Gretchen McNeil, right? Even if you've not read her books, you've seen them around. Possess. Ten. 3:59 All very popular! Well today I'm going to share the cover of her upcoming book Get Even and I have to say, it looks pretty good! Also, today is the author's birthday, so go ahead and wish her on twitter (@GretchenMcNeil) and tell her how awesome the cover looks!

Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Releases September 16, 2014 by Balzer+Bray

Follows the secretive exploits of four high school juniors - Kitty, Olivia, Margot and Bree - at an exclusive Catholic prep school.
To all outward appearances, the girls barely know each other. At best, they don't move in the same social circles; at worst, they're overtly hostile.

Margot Mejia – academically ranked number two in her class, Margot is a focused overachiever bound for the Ivy League.

Kitty Li – captain of the California state and national champion varsity girls' volleyball team, she's been recruited by a dozen colleges and has dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal.

Olivia Hayes – popular star of the drama program, she's been voted "most eligible bachelorette" two years running in the high school yearbook and has an almost lethal combination of beauty and charm.

Bree Deringer – outcast, misfit and the kind of girl you don't want to meet in a dark alley, the stop sign red-haired punk is a constant thorn in the side of teachers and school administrators alike.

Different goals, different friends, different lives, but the girls share a secret no one would ever guess. They are members of Don't Get Mad, a society specializing in seeking revenge for fellow students who have been silently victimized by their peers. Each girl has her own reason for joining the group, her own set of demons to assuage by evening the score for someone else. And though school administration is desperate to find out who is behind the DGM "events", the girls have managed to keep their secret well hidden.

That is until one of their targets – a douchebag senior who took advantage of a drunk underclassman during a house party, videotaped it on his phone, and posted it on YouTube – turns up dead, and DGM is implicated in the murder.

Now the girls don't know who to trust, and as their tenuous alliance begins to crumble, the secrets they've hidden for so long might be their ultimate undoing.


About the Author
Gretchen McNeil
Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she currently sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. She is a founding member of vlog group the YARebels where she can be seen as "Monday," and she is an active member of both The Enchanted Inkpot, a group blog of YA and middle grade fantasy writers, and The Apocalypsies, a group blog of 2012 children's debut authors.
You can find Gretchen on TwitterFacebook, and on her blog.

Giveaway

 


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Stacking the Shelves (23)

February 8, 2014 Aman 16
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 I'd been waiting on for the past whole year! Not only do we get another book in Marissa Meyer's super creative retelling, Cress, we finally get the last book in Tahereh Mafi's ultra addicting trilogy, Ignite ME!!!! I just...CAN'T EVEN!! Have a look at my haul below!


I feel like I should be singing! I've waited for these book for so long that and I still can't believe I have them in my possession! Thank you both Tahereh Mafi and Marissa Meyer for writing these amazing series!

But that's not all! I did get some books I've been meaning to read since before I started blogging. One of them is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and I can't even tell you how many times I was recommended this particular time travel series. Well now, thanks to the show, I finally bought the first book and I'm hoping it's as good as everyone says. AND ofcourse I bought A Game of Thrones by Gearge RR Martin. I'm a huge fan of this show, got addicted last November when I was in a TV slump after the Sons of Anarchy finale. Best decision ever made! I can't wait to see the more detailed world and ever amazing characters!


 Jane was available at a discounted price on Amazon and had great reviews, so naturally I couldn't resist it. And The Beginning of After is the book I've wanted to read forever, so when I got a coupon for Book Outlet, I knew I had to get it! Also, thanks Lauren for the arc of Infinite by Jodi Meadows!


Plus, I one clicked some ebooks!

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10357792-up-from-the-gravehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20498222-the-kisshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18801516-married-for-christmas

Up From The Grave was an auto buy because come on, haven't you been following me at all? If not, check out this review! The Kiss anthology was free on Amazon and the only reason I got it was because it had a short epilogue to Slammed series by Colleen Hoover. It's barely few pages, but like any CoHo story, I loved it!

And lastly, I got some earcs from Netgalley and Edelweiss that I'm super excited to get into!


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17586458-the-summer-i-wasn-t-mehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18298225-on-the-fence

A huge thanks for HarperTeen and Sourcebooks Fire for these pretties!

And that's about it! How was your week in books?
Share away!


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Fire & Ice Blog Hop

Aman 1
Hi everyone! So I noticed that I didn't go any giveaways this year so far, so for this hop I'm going to be giving away 2 prizes. One for the US and one for international. So let the giveaway begin! But before that , I want to thank Maja, Candace, Heidi and Ali for letting me be a part of the hop!

US Prize


You can pick one of the following arcs!



International Prize


Any book under or equal $10 from The Book Depository. And this is only for INT followers, so no cheating.

So there you have it! Good luck!











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Early Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

February 7, 2014 Aman 8
Title: Fire & Flood
Author: Victoria Scott
Published: Scholastic Press | Feb 25, 2014
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Source: From Publisher for Review (Thank You)
Series: Fire & Flood #1
Goodreads | Amazon
A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?
Review

     A poor attempt to re-write The Hunger Games. This is my second time writing this review because I went very gentle on the first try and ended up writing a essay. Therefore I'm going to cut to the point and make my review short and relevant. Fire & Flood is a very unoriginal story about an immature character that shows us how not to survival in survival game and how to focus on everything else besides the reason for winning. Why did I gave it 2 stars? 1 because I didn't quit and 2 because the secondary character were somewhat interesting.

     The story starts with Tella whining over her hair and mentally cursing her parents for moving to Montana and taking her away from her suburban friends and great lifestyle. At first, it's understandable and even cute, but her behavior stays like this throughout the story. And that is a major turn off! Tella was a 16 year old, but she easily could have been 10. Not only is a whiny, silly, stupid, dumb, she has a very phony personality. All she cares about is her appearance, it doesn't matter that she's in a race to find a cure for her brother's illness, all Tella wants is for people to like her, to be part of a group and apparently think about guys and love and romance. She has zero sense of responsibility and I'm still confused as to why she was chosen as a main character. She is basically a secondary character no one cares about, someone who could die in the next chapter and you wouldn't even notice. On top of that, it amazes me that she survived the race because I'm 100% sure than if this book was real, Tella would've died or given up on the first day. She doesn't have the qualities required! For f**k's sake, she doesn't even how to build a fire or what food is okay to eat! How am I suppose to believe that she survived? Because of the help of her pandora? Good one! Still no.

     I can go on and on about Tella, but that's never-ending, so moving on. The story was a complete rip off of Hunger Games. I'm not going to list everything, but this reviewer did a pretty good job. In short, it's a game of survival where the best one wins, the MC is playing for her brother and she wears a special pin. Granted that everyone wears a pin, but you get my point. On top of that, it had a poorly constructed romance that had no place in a story like this. It felt awkward reading about Tella swooning over an apparently mysterious guy (again, not a very good job at that) when all she should be doing is focusing on winning the game. Though I did like some of the side characters namely Harper, Caroline and Dink. Their reveals very really good and it made me wish I had read the story from their pov's instead. Also, I adored Tella's little pandora, Madox, he's actually the main reason I continued this book. His character was too tempting to drop off.

     All in all, I was very disappointed with Fire & Flood. Even if I look past the Hunger Games similarities, this book doesn't stand on it's own. The character are poorly built, the writing is decent at best, the world could use some help, etc etc etc. I don't feel comfortable recommending this book, but to each their own. If you find it interesting, give it a go and let me know later on what you thought of it. I would love to share notes.



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Review: Up From The Grave by Jeaniene Frost

February 5, 2014 Aman 8
Title: Up From the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Published: Avon | Jan 28, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Adult
Series: Night Huntress #7
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD
There’s always one more grave to dig.

Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband Bones. They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war…

A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights. Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death…because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences. And if they fail, their lives—and those of everyone they hold dear— will be hovering on the edge of the grave.
Review

     Now this is what I call an epic finale!!! Mind=Blown! When I first heard that Up From the Grave was going to be the last of Cat and Bones, I was very disappointment and heartbroken. I couldn't even imagine saying goodbye to them because of the bond I've shared with them for the past 2 years; even thinking about it brought me to tears, but there was no way I was going to push their book away for later time in hopes of having a lesser impact, I had to read it the day came out. And I did. Honestly, I agree with the author, this was the perfect end (well, not end, let's say beginning) to Cat and Bones exciting, adventurous and totally inspiring journey. I loved how the author gave them a different path in life which in-turn made make us readers feel completely satisfied and happy about their bright future. It made the farewell sweet and didn't let us harbor any bitterness.

     Cat and Bones journey so far has taken them through enough turmoils, heartaches and even headaches to last a lifetime, but in Up From the Grave, they're fighting their final battle against a group that can hurt their race the most. Secrets have been hidden for many years and if they're unlocked, they could cause a massive war between the paranormal creatures, and it is Cat and Bones duty to stop the war all together. I loved seeing all the old characters playing a huge role in the plot once again. Menchenres never seize to surprise and I so wish he gets another book because a character like him -super powerful, focused yet very hilarious- should always get more page time. Vlad made an appearance, but his storyline was parallel to what happened in his book, so it wasn't anything new. Nevertheless, I love Vlad and I'm so glad that we got atleast a glimpse of him. The character that ended up surprising me the most was Denise! Holy Shit! That girl deserves a award! Finally her demon powers came in handy in this book in numerous occasions and it was surprising because I never saw it coming! Fucking fantastic job, Denise! And seeing how unaware Spade was of  Denise's role made the whole situation very hilarious. As usual, there were some witty comeback and funny exchanges from Bones side that made this story much more entertaining and enlightening. And the romance was very swoony and adorable in it's own way. I love how connected and in love Bones and Cat still are after so many year, their ability to make a relationship so fun yet serious makes them my favorite couple of all time! I don't think anyone can take their place, though Vlad and Leila are a very close second. 

     All in all, Up From the Grave was a huge success! The story was right, the emotions were right and most importantly, the timing was right. Filled with constant action, shocking twists and unending romance, Cat and Bones' last book couldn't have been done in a better way! I loved every second of it! Though I have to say that I hated Tate and I especially hate the permanent connection he now has with Cat and Bones, and that's the reason I'm cutting half a star. That plot twist made me want to kill Tate. On another note, I missed Justina, her and Bones' interaction in the previous books have been my favorite and it was sad that she only got a mention in the epilogue. But seeing how awesome and epic the book was, I can let that slide. The only way I'm coping with the end of this series is knowing that we still have another book in Vlad's series and that it's not the end of this amazing, unimaginable and dangerously beautiful world created by Jeaniene Frost. Plus, Up From the Grave made me believe that there might be a spin off series with the new character 3-4 years down the road and I'm crossing my fingers and toes in hopes that my assumption becomes a reality. It needs to happen!



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Top Ten Tuesday (16)

February 4, 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: Books That Will Make You Cry

 

I purposely don't read tear jerker reads because who like to cry? No one! So when I read a premises that sounds depressing, I'm probably going to skip that read. But that doesn't mean that I haven't cried like a baby reading some of the books. Sometime the emotions are just too much to handle and I secretly enjoy it.

So here are some of the books that made me cry a river. Well, almost.



I have to cry when a girl is isolated in the woods with no means to survive. I have to cry when a girl who has been  kidnapped, raped, beaten and dealt with everything horrible in the world stands up against her captor and frees herself from his captivity. <-- This book right here was the ultimate tear jerker! And how can I forget Colleen Hoover--the master of emotional reads! Ooh, but the one book that ended up surprising me the most was Sophie Jordan's newest release, Uninvited. The MC's journey with being an HTS carrier reminded me so much of someone being bullied because of a different race/color. IT WAS HORRIBLE!!! And I couldn't stop crying because of the parallelism.

Anyways, those were some of my all time favorite emotional reads.

Have you read any of them? How was your experience?

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Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway): Coming Home by Priscilla Glenn

February 3, 2014 Aman 7

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to share my review of Coming Home today with you guys, as a part of Blog Tour organized by AToMR Tours. Follow the tour here. I didn't think I would love this book as much as I did, it completely ended up surprising me. Highly recommended to romance lovers! But before I start raving about this book, take a look at it's premises. Also, be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.

Title: Coming Home
Author: Priscilla Glenn
Published: CreateSpace | Jan 20, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: AToMR Tours & the author for review.
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Leah Marino hasn’t been on a date in two years. After discovering the man she loved had manipulated and deceived her, she refuses to even entertain the idea of a relationship. Instead, she focuses her attention on taking care of her family, a role she’s assumed since the death of her mother and the one place she knows her kindness won't be taken advantage of again.

When a nostalgic trip back to her childhood home results in a chance encounter with Danny DeLuca, a smart-mouthed mechanic who’s as attractive as he is mysterious, Leah's carefully cultivated walls begin to crumble. She finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Danny, despite his unreliable behavior and mixed signals.

But Danny has a secret...

One that could shake Leah's already precarious foundation and bring her world crashing down around her. Suddenly, she's faced with an incredibly difficult decision--is she willing to risk everything for the chance at finding the love she's always wanted? Or are some obstacles just too big for the heart to overcome?
Review:

     Sweet, heartfelt, romantic and hopeful are just few words the describe Coming Home. I started this book thinking it was just another romance novel, but what I ended up getting was much more than that. The relationship between Danny and Leah is the most honest and loyal one I've read in a long time. I can't thank the author enough for writing a book about a couple who I'm sure are very common in real life regarding their struggles and hurdles, but as far as fiction goes, it's the first time I've heard and read about their situation and I'm absolutely in love with the way it's executed throughout the story. The drama was there but in a very subtle way that didn't cause any over-emotions from my side and I love that! Coming Home was a very beautiful story about a couple making their way to the other side of the tunnel while believing in their love and supporting each other at every stage.

     After the death of her mother, Leah never forgets to drive by her old family house every Christmas just to get a little glimpse of her childhood.  On one of her visits she meets Catherine, the new owner of the property who ends up welcoming Leah inside the house for a tour. There she meets Daniel, the lady's grandson and from the first meet, she feels comfortable with him, but since she's is not looking for any relationship, Leah let the connection slide. Coincidentally, fate intervenes by making Leah and Danny's paths cross on more than one occasion. After a few of those adorable meetings, they both become great friends and soon they start flirting with each other and gradually fall in love. What I loved the most about this book was the slow moving, effortless yet completely swoony romance. Leah is a very nice girl and Danny is an equally nice, polite guy, they both were the perfect match and in a way there relationship reminded me of Eleanor and Park. If you've been following my blog, you know that I'm the biggest fan of that couple and Danny and Leah gave me the same exact feels. I loved them so much! I don't think there's anything else I need to say, yes there was a huge secret which caused some tension, yes both the character did drift apart for some time, but non of them acted immaturely under any circumstances and I appreciated that. Leah was not only a straight forward, fair girl, she knew when to step back and give some space, but at the same time, she knew when to take control and that's the quality in her I love the best. 

     All in all, like Priscilla Glenn's debut novel (Back to You), Coming Home won my heart! It made me realize that sometimes it's important to look at the bigger picture and not focus on the little hurdles, sometimes it's worth to take a chance if the end result is better, brighter and more happier. Leah and Danny definitely left a mark on me and I highly encourage fans of contemporary and romance in generally to experience their journey and feel the feels I felt. I hope that made sense :)





About the Author
Priscilla Glenn
Priscilla Glenn lives in New York with her husband and three children. She has been teaching English Language Arts at the middle and high school levels for the past eleven years while moonlighting as a writer, mommy, coach, student, and professional laundry-doer.

If you catch her when she's feeling sophisticated, she'll tell you her favorite things are great books and good wine. In the moments in between, she'll admit her love for anything Ben and Jerry's, UFC fights, and Robert Pattinson.

Emancipating Andie is Glenn’s second novel. She is also the author of the contemporary romance/young adult crossover, Back to You.

Find Priscilla on: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway


Enter to win 3 signed print copies for Coming Home. Open Int!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

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