Jul 30, 2016

Review: We Will Not Be Silent by Russell Freedman

Author: Russell Freedman
Publisher: Clarion Books
Number of Pages: 112

"In his signature eloquent prose, backed up by thorough research, Russell Freedman tells the story of Austrian-born Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie. They belonged to Hitler Youth as young children, but began to doubt the Nazi regime. As older students, the Scholls and a few friends formed the White Rose, a campaign of active resistance to Hitler and the Nazis. Risking imprisonment or even execution, the White Rose members distributed leaflets urging Germans to defy the Nazi government. Their belief that freedom was worth dying for will inspire young readers to stand up for what they believe in. "
This book was a great description of the White Rose Movement, a German group that spoke up against the Nazi regime, that revolved around the lives of the Scholls siblings. The book was a great history of life under the Nazi regime, and the mindset a lot of the youth were under during Hitler's rule.

I loved that this book wasn't long, so it was able to give a short, thorough description of the beginning of the White Rose Movement in Nazi Germany. The history of the Scholls began with their childhood when they actually supported the Nazi regime and Hitler, and how their ideals shifted away as they grew older, went to college, and saw the hate that was spread by the regime. The book only spans the lifetime of the Scholl siblings, but that was enough to portray how the White Rose Movement began and was able to expand.

Overall, I loved this book and the history was very interesting. Anyone who hasn't heard of the White Rose Movement should definitely read about the moving story of the Scholl siblings who began this historic group. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

Jul 27, 2016

Waiting of Wednesday #57: Wake the Hollows by Gaby Triana

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Author: Gaby Triana
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Number of Pages: 304
Release Date: August 2,2016

"Forget the ghosts, Mica. It’s real, live people you should fear.Tragedy has brought Micaela Burgos back to her hometown of Sleepy Hollow. It’s been six years since she chose to live with her father in Miami instead of her eccentric mother. And now her mother is dead.
This town will suck you in and not let go.
Sleepy Hollow may be famous for its fabled headless horseman, but the town is real. So are its prejudices and hatred, targeting Mica’s family as outsiders. But ghostly voices carry on the wind, whispering that her mother’s death was based on hate…not an accident at all. With the help of two very different guys—who pull at her heart in very different ways—Micaela must awaken the hidden secret of Sleepy Hollow…before she meets her mother’s fate.
Find the answers.
Unless, of course, the answers find you first."
I freaking love fairytale retellings, and this sounds amazing as well. I'm not too fond of the cover, but I hope the book lives up!


Jul 26, 2016

Review: Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins

Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Series #4
Publisher: Harper Teen
Number of Pages: 484

"Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it.
Until he meets Anna Whitt—smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve.
Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the Dukes’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.
Sensual and swoon worthy, this companion volume to the Sweet Evil series, told from the perspective of the mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into the true emotions that drive him."
This book basically combines the first three books of the series and puts everything in Kaidan's perspective instead of Anna's. I thought it was an amazing addition to the series because there were a lot of scenes that didn't even include Anna at all. It did go quickly, but that was solely because Higgins was trying to fit three books into one, and she did a great job with it.

Kaidan has always been an amazing character, and I think this book did an amazing job displaying the transition of his character but still maintaining his best qualities. Kaidan is definitely a bad boy, but he definitely gets softer as the series progressed and it was interesting to see the change in his own words instead of from Anna's perspective. 
“I was more myself with you during those three days than I’ve ever been with anyone in my life. It’d be easier if I could be fake with you, but you bring out everything in me, little Ann. All of it. The good and the bad. The hot and the cold. The lust and the love.”
I know a lot of people don't like to read books that keep the same plot but change the point of view, but this book was definitely worth it. For me it was mostly because I forgot most of what happened in the first three books because I read them three years ago, so a lot of this was like reading it fresh. But it was also that the point of view change also added a lot of new scenes into the book. Especially in the portion of the second book where Anna wasn't with Kaidan at all. Also, you saw a lot of the minor characters which was both interesting and fun.

The only negative for me was the selection of scenes. There were some scenes that I would have liked to read more about, but the author chose to briefly mention them because otherwise the book would have been too long. But there were definitely scenes that I would have cut over others mostly because I would have enjoyed more of the interactions with the Dukes opposed to the massive amount of romance in the book. Although I'm sure others did like the romance, but personally that is not what I am focused on in a YA book.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book if you read the rest of the series. I you read the first three books in the past few months I would suggest waiting a year, so that you get the experience of reading it fresh which I really enjoyed. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

Jul 25, 2016

Summer Review Catch-Up: Part 1

So I've gotten a couple of books behind on reviews that I would like to post on this blog so I figured I would make them short and to the point and put them all together!

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)Author: Alywn Hamilton
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Reads
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Number of Pages: 320
Goodreads l Amazon

"She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from. 
Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him... or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is."
These are the type of books that make me really freaking happy that I read YA. I loved the characterization and plot in this book. The writing style is so seamless and has such amazing description that it really does take you to a place where you are surrounded by mountains while you're running through sand. I felt that the book also really brought some diversity to the YA platform. We strive for diversity but often only find it in secondary and supporting characters while the main characters still lack the diversity of its readers.

I love a strong female character and Amani is definitely one of them. Some might disagree because she accepts Jin's help but everyone needs help, even strong female characters, and Amani wasn't any less strengthful (is that a word??) because she accepted help. It just shows that no everyone is invincible. Amani's main goal was to save herself and she did that instead of just accepting her fate as many women, unfortunately, do.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars!!

Author: KC Lynn
Series: Acts of Honor #3Number of Pages: 255
Goodreads l Amazon


"She’s beautiful yet scarred beyond repair.
He’s powerful and lethal, in and out of the ring.
One act of kindness brought Sophie Parish far more danger than she could have ever imagined. Now she’s on the run, leaving behind her family and the only dream she’s ever had.
Retired EFC fighter Kolan Slade’s life has been one endless battle after another. He has a dark past with an even darker desire—the only one he’s ever known.
Until he meets Sophie.
Intrigued by her raw beauty and the secrets she’s trying to hide, Kolan craves to know who she is and what she’s running from.
Protecting her becomes his obsession and he’ll sacrifice it all to save her. But in the end her love will have him questioning himself and everything he thought he knew."
This book came out exactly 4 days ago and I've already read it twice. Kolan and Sophie just bring back this sense of giddiness that the first three boys of the Men of Honor gave me while reading their books. I loved all the other books that KC Lynn has written but the feelings that those boys gave you were something different entirely. 

Kolan and Sophie just have this relationship that is almost like a "love at first sight" kind of relationship and to see someone like Kolan be in that is just amazing. I knew Kolan was going to be someone that I loved just from reading about him in An Act of Salvation.

KC Lynn is a must read for anyone who loves New Adult alpha males. She is definitely one of my top two!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
*A copy of this book was provided by the author for an honest review.

Author: Liz Czukas
Publisher: Harper Teen 
Number of Pages: 336
Goodreads l Amazon

"Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.
Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?
Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?
Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all..."
I really wanted to like this book but I really couldn't. I found Heart to be kind of annoying, especially with the whole plot of the book. The heads aspect of it really made Heart seem like a huge pushover while the tails kind of made her seem conceited. Although, I definitely liked the tails option better.

I totally understand that this book was supposed to be a fast, funny read but I just couldn't seem to understand how one person could be that unfortunate and just put up with it all. I had just gone to my prom when I decided to read this book. 

By the end of the book I liked the plot, but not so much the character, and then the ending came. It just ended. I wanted a little more insight into her actual prom night rather than the scenarios she came up with in her head.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Jul 20, 2016

Release Blitz: Act of Obsession by KC Lynn

Author: KC Lynn
Displaying 30824012.jpgDisplaying 30824012.jpgSeries: Acts of Honor #3
Number of Pages: 255
Goodreads l Amazon

"She’s beautiful yet scarred beyond repair. 
He’s powerful and lethal, in and out of the ring. 
One act of kindness brought Sophie Parish far more danger than she could have ever imagined. Now she’s on the run, leaving behind her family and the only dream she’s ever had. 
Retired EFC fighter Kolan Slade’s life has been one endless battle after another. He has a dark past with an even darker desire—the only one he’s ever known. 
Until he meets Sophie. 
Intrigued by her raw beauty and the secrets she’s trying to hide, Kolan craves to know who she is and what she’s running from. 
Protecting her becomes his obsession and he’ll sacrifice it all to save her. But in the end her love will have him questioning himself and everything he thought he knew."

 Reaching my SUV, I place her feet on the ground and cage her against the passenger door, bracing both my hands on either side of her head. “And what about you, Lia?” I ask, dipping my head in close to hers. “Hmm? You know my secrets. What about yours?”

She might not know all of mine but she knows enough.

“What is it you want to know?” she asks, a slight tremble in her voice.

“I want to know who you are and where you came from. But more than anything, I want to know what you’re hiding under that scarf.”

The stark pain that enters her eyes strikes me to my fucking core. “Trust me, you don’t want to see what’s under there. I can’t even bear to look at it myself.”

“Nothing scares me.”

It’s a complete lie. She scares the hell out of me.

A heavy silence descends upon us, her pretty eyes wide and fearful.

“What are you so afraid of?” I ask.

Her breath hitches, emotion shining bright in her gaze. “Everything.”

There’s so much despair in that one word that I want to fucking kill whoever put it there. Unable to resist, I gently drop my forehead on hers, my jaw locking as I restrain myself from doing what I really want to do.

“I’m going to respect your privacy…for now. But one day, you’re going to tell me who made you so afraid. And if they’re still breathing—they won’t be for much longer.”

Her eyes fall closed, lip trembling as she tries to shield her pain from me. “Some secrets, Kolan, are best left unknown.”

“Not between us. The day will come when there will be no more secrets between us.”

Her eyes open, locking with mine, but she remains silent. I press my lips to her forehead then reach for the door handle. “Come on. Let’s go home.”

K.C. Lynn is a small town girl living in Western Canada. She married her high school sweetheart and they have four amazing children: two lovely girls and a set of handsome twin boys. It was her love for romance books that gave K.C. the courage to sit down and write her own novel. When she is not in her writing cave, pounding out new characters and stories, she can be found living between the pages of a book, meeting new tattooed, hot alpha males with very big…Hearts.

Author Links

3 - $25 Amazon Giftcards

Jul 19, 2016

Top Five Books Set Outside The US

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

1. The Martian by Andy Weir

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling

3. And I Darken by Kiersten White

4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

5. Die For Me by Amy Plum

Jul 15, 2016

Review: The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine

Author: CJ Redwine
Series: Ravenspire #1
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Number of Pages: 387
Goodreads l Amazon

"Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.
In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.
But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose."
So I've only read one book by C.J. Redwine, Defiance, and I loved it. For some reason I keep putting off reading the next two books in the series but I will get to them one day! So, as someone who loved the Defiance and loves retellings I was very excited to hear about The Shadow Queen.

Overall, I was really pleased with the book. It started off a bit slow for me and I found that some scenes in the book didn't hold my interest. I think it was more of me not being in the right mind set to read the book rather than the book not being well-written. By the end I really got into the book and I really, really enjoyed it.
“You don't go into battle because you're sure of victory. You go into battle because it's the right thing to do.” 
There were so many quotes I enjoyed from the book but I returned my copy to the library by accident before I got to write this post so that was annoying. The main character was the definition of a strong female character. She dealt with so much pain and loss and yet she still continued to help people who pretty much wanted to kill her and fight for what she believed in. If you want a strong female character then I suggest any of CJ Redwine's books. 

I would recommend reading this book if you really are in the right mindset. I definitely plan on rereading this book later and seeing if my thoughts are different in the flow of the book--which is where I found some disconnect.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars!