May 20, 2014

Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered (Splintered, #1)Author: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Number of Pages: 371

"This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own."
We all thought that Alice in Wonderland couldn't have gotten any weirder,well in did. 

There are a LOT of things I can say about this book. I absolutely loved it and I picked up Unhinged, the second book in the series, as soon as I could find a copy. I don't know how A.G. Howard was able to come up with these ideas but do I worship her now. 

Splintered was a read that Twitter convinced me to pick up. The way people would obsess over this book, it was obviously for a reason, and I loved the cover so I did pick it up. I loved this book. It had everything that any Alice in Wonderland fan would need. This is a slightly horrorish version of the real Alice in Wonderland.

My favorite part of this story would have to be that A.G. Howard didn't let the romance cloud the book. I, as a reader, didn't feel as if this book would be categorized as a romance. It certainly has romance in it but it primarily takes a step back and lets the action take the lead. 

The characters are amazing. Alyssa is so bright and unique that she just makes a big impact on the story. If she were insecure or dependent on anything it would have taken a lot more for this book to have the intensity that it is. Jeb was just so dreamy it was ridiculous and Morpheus was as well. I have to say that Morpheus's sarcasm and wit definitely added some happy spirit to the book.

I did get slightly confused at various parts of the book because it is just THAT intense but if the book didn't have the intensity that it does it would not be as good and dark as it is now. Confusion or not I am definitely hooked to this series.

I really do have to applaud and bow down to A.G. Howard for creating such an interesting world that just changes the way you look at the original Alice in Wonderland. This really shows off the dark side of Wonderland and that really nailed this story for me.

Splintered is an absolute must read and I will guarantee that you will enjoy this book unless you are looking for something light and fluffy, then you should come back to it later. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and go pick up a 

Rating: 4 of 5 stars!!

May 12, 2014

Love, Lucy Book Blast + Guest Post

Author: April Lindner
Publisher: Poppy
Release date: January 27, 2015


"While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, 17-year-old Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too."

Available to pre-order now at Amazon and The Book Depository

Guest Post

The Top Ten Things I Love About Italy
By Lucy Sommersworth

10. Train stations. They make my heart beat a little bit faster. I especially love the departure signs lit up with the names of exotic cities. They make me want to pick a destination at random—Venice or Milan or Naples, basically any place I’ve never been before—and just jump on, trusting that some kind of wonderful adventure will be waiting for me when I hop off. I would do it too except for the fact that Charlene, the friend I’m traveling with, likes schedules and order. I could never talk her into doing something that reckless.

9. The language. Italian is so lush and musical. Not that I can speak it, exactly. I took Italian in high school, and I can remember just enough to say basic things like excuse me and I would like the Spaghetti Bolognese, please. But even just reading the street signs out loud makes me feel like a different version of myself—more worldly and glamorous. And even the most ordinary words, the ones that mean ATM or supermarket—sound glorious in Italian.

8. Italian men. What can I say? I’ve always had a thing for dark brown eyes.

7. Window shopping. I could do it all day long. Window displays are different in Italy, quirkier and more colorful. I especially love the sparkling little jewelry stores on the Ponte Vecchio, the funky clothing store displays, and store windows full of colorful, exotic treats—marzipan fruit, and candied rose and violet petals.

6. Sidewalk cafes. Nobody minds if you linger forever over a single cappuccino, just soaking in the atmosphere and watching the people pass by.

5. Gelato. After a few hours, walking around Florence can make a person exhausted. Luckily, wherever you turn, there’s a glass storefront gleaming with refreshing gelato—a miniature rainbow-colored mountain range of it: raspberry, mango, lemon, dark chocolate, hazelnut, pistachio—and all of it amazing.

4. Street Performers. Though Charlene insists they’re just begging and we shouldn’t give them our money, I can’t help myself. I love them all: street musicians, the people who draw chalk masterpieces in the street, the folks who dress up as statues and pose for tourists. I’ve even got a soft spot for mimes!

3. Riding on a Vespa. Please don’t tell my mom, okay? She would have a panic attack if she knew.

2. Pretending I’m Audrey Hepburn. Roman Holiday is one of my all-time favorite movies, and the reason I wanted to go to Italy in the first place. Audrey Hepburn plays Princess Ann, who has grown deathly bored with having to give speeches and act stiff and regal. On a stop in Rome she runs away, and wanders through the city pretending to be a commoner. Of course she falls in love with Gregory Peck. Like her, he’s pretending, acting like a nice, ordinary guy who just wants to show her around Rome, when really he’s a reporter with ulterior motives. He recognizes her, and plans to write a tell-all story about her for his newspaper.

I won’t spoil the ending. I’ll just add that if you’re planning a trip to Rome, you need to see Roman Holiday first. And then, if you happen to meet a gorgeous, dark-eyed stranger, maybe you can get him take you on a Roman Holiday tour, and you can pretend to be Audrey Hepburn the way I did.

1. The amazing people I met along the way. Swapping stories with other backpackers about our travels and misadventures. Vacation flirtations with dark-eyed strangers. And, just maybe, experiencing a real summer romance.

Author Bio

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, due out in January, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.


This blast includes a giveaway for a $15 Amazon eGiftcard to ONE winner.
The giveaway is open to anyone who can accept Amazon eGiftcards from the U.S. store.
The giveaway ends on May 26, 2014 at 11:59 p.m.

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May 9, 2014

Blog Tour: Royally Lost by Angie Stanton

Royally LostAuthor: Angie Stanton
Publisher: Harper Collins
Number of Pages: 336

"Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.
Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.
When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?"

The hot sun burned down on Becca. “The lake is so clear I can see all the way to the bottom. I wish I’d worn my swimsuit.”
“You could . . . you know,” Nikolai said suggestively, looking at her shirt.
“I am not skinny-dipping, so you can wipe that idea from your mind right now.”
“Look who’s jumping to conclusions. I wasn’t suggesting you skinny-dip.” He delivered a sly grin. “What I was about to say is that you could swim in your underwear.”
“Oh, but—”
“Ut.”He held up a finger. “Let me finish. Your underwear probably covers you more than your bathing suit anyway.”
Becca opened her mouth to speak, but then changed her mind. She knew he was secretly laughing at her.
“What? It’s a great idea.” He smiled devilishly.
“So, you’re saying you’d strip down to your undies, right here, in broad daylight.”
Nikolai stood and reached between his shoulders, pulled his T-shirt over his head, and dropped it at her feet. “You Americans are so uptight about your bodies.”
Becca stared at his strong arms, lean physique, and flat stomach. He began to unbutton his shorts.
Her jaw opened. She wanted to tell him to stop, but even more, she wanted to see if he’d actually drop his drawers in front of her.
He did.
Purchase Links

Author Bio
Angie StantonAngie Stanton never planned on writing books; she wanted to be a Rockette. However, growing up in rural Wisconsin, with her brothers' 4-H pigs as pets, dance didn't work out. Instead she became an avid daydreamer. After years of perfecting stories in her head, she began to write them down, and the rest is history.
Angie is the author of six books including Royally LostRock and a Hard Place, and Snapshot. She graduated with a Journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin, and is a proud double finalist of the National Readers Choice Awards for Love 'em or Leave 'em.

Author Links
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May 8, 2014

ARC Review & Giveaway: Desert Heat by Elizabeth Reyes

Desert HeatAuthor: Elizabeth Reyes
Publisher: Atria Books
Number of Pages: 320

"Besides working three jobs, worrying about her family back home, and running from her past, the worst thing to complicate Bethany Amaya’s life further would be a romance. But after a second-run in with the irresistibly sexy detective Damian Santiago, that’s exactly what she gets. In the blink of an eye, she’s caught up in a passionate romance with one of the most intense men she’s ever met.
Awestruck for a second time by the beautiful and intriguing performer, Damian is both surprised and delighted that Bethany agrees to something he didn’t even expect to be asking for so soon—exclusivity. As things heat up, Damian’s skills of detecting and reading body language begin to raise suspicions—Bethany is keeping something from him. Try as he might to calm his suspicions, the blatant signs become impossible to ignore.
Some things are better left unsaid. At least that’s what Bethany keeps telling herself. She never imagined falling in love so quickly, and she refuses to get Damian caught up in her troubles. She knows what he suspects—sees it in those possessive eyes. With Damian’s suspicions mounting, time is of the essence. The race is on, and Bethany finds herself scrambling to fix the past before the truth comes out and Damian finds out that it’s much worse than he suspected."
Elizabeth Reyes has done it again. She's mastered the art of writing a book that completely takes over your heart.

Elizabeth Reyes is one of my most favorite authors out there. She's funny, romantic, and oh so sweet. I adore her, now if only I could get the chance to actually meet her. Her books are the type that you read the minute they come out and I have done exactly that. 

Desert Heat is Elizabeth Reyes's first traditionally published book. It was still have hot, funny, and overall amazing like her other books. Damian and Bethany's chemistry was still on the dot and it kept your heart racing.

This book had amazing characters. They were strong, cute, and very realistic. Elizabeth has a way with words that can put a character right in front of a reader. You get enraptured into the story and you end up shocked to see the last page. 

Damian Santiago is a detective-a homicide detective-and not to mention some major eye candy. He's got a keen eye and a personality that can have anybody swooning. Bethany on the other hand is a singer, she's struggling with something that Damian can't find out but she's also very headstrong. She keeps readers wanting to know more about her and wanting to be like her.

Reyes once again really knocked the ball out of the park with this amazing read. I'm really hoping we will be getting more of the Santiago brother but for now I'm excited for any of her other books.

Any and all of Elizabeth Reyes's books are books that I would HIGHLY reccomend. If you haven't had the chance to pick one up then go do it right now.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!!

*An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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May 3, 2014

New Releases (Week of 5/4/14)

May is a month full of amazing releases! I want to buy them all but sadly I can't... :(

Never the less, this week I have 8 different books that I am highly anticipating.

I've already pre-ordered this first book because LOVE, it is...The One by Kiera Cass!

The One (The Selection, #3)Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Number of Pages: 336

"The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.
America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.
From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned."

Next we have a book by a favorite author of mine, it is...Royally Lost by Angie Stanton!

Royally LostRelease Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Number of Pages: 336

"Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.
Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.
When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?"
Easy blew our minds and here comes more, it's...Breakable by Tammara Webber!!

Breakable (Contours of the Heart, #2)Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Berkley 
Number of Pages: 368

"He was lost and alone. Then he found her.And the future seemed more fragile than ever.
As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.
All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…
As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat."
First came zombies and now it's Dystopian her newest releases is...After the End by Amy Plum!!

After the End (After the End, #1)Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 352

"She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.
World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.
At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.
When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.
Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past."
The cover on this book is gorgeous, it's...The Falconer by Elizabeth May!!

The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Chronicle Books 
Number of Pages: 336

"Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.
Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844
Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.
Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.
But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?"
An amazing summer read, I'm looking forward to...Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson!!

Since You've Been GoneRelease Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Number of Pages: 446

"The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?
Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?
Go Skinny Dipping? Um..."
The next amazing release is...Chapel Wars by Lindsey Levitt!!

The Chapel WarsRelease Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Number of Pages: 304

"Acclaimed author Lindsey Leavitt brings her trademark heart, humor, and romance to her hometown--VegasSixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?
And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is she running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money--fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.
Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save."
Last release of the 6th is...Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz!! 

Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up?Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Number of Pages: 320

"Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.
Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi's completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.
But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?"
I loved Beautiful Disaster and now comes her new book, it's...Happenstance by Jamie McGuire!! 

HappenstanceRelease Date: May 9, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Number of Pages: 100

"#1 New York Times Bestseller Jamie McGuire returns to self-publishing with this page-turning YA account of Erin Easter, one of three Erins in the small senior class of rural Blackwell High School who not only share a first name, but also their birthday. Erin Easter, raised by a neglectful single mom, keeps to herself and admires Weston Gates from afar. The other Erins, Erin A. and Erin M. are the darlings of the community: daughters of the two wealthiest families in town, best friends, cheerleaders, and everything Erin Easter isn't--and they never let her forget it. Erin A. has even claimed Weston since the 8th grade.
Weston is a well-liked star athlete, and the son of two prominent attorneys. He struggles daily with the pressures of living up to his family name and secretly empathizes with Erin Easter's feeling that she belongs somewhere else; in a different life. Not until he begins sneaking nights out with Erin does he gain the courage to buck expectations and acknowledge his feelings ... both for his future, and for her.
But when a shocking tragedy rocks the tiny town, Erin's life is turned upside down in the best way possible. But when the truth is revealed and everything Erin thinks she wanted falls into her lap, life only becomes more complicated."
What new releases are you excited for?