Monday, April 27, 2015

An Ember In The Ashes Review

An Ember in the AshesTITLE: An Ember in the Ashes
AUTHOR: Sabaa Tahir
PUBLISHER: Razorbill
PAGES: 464
SOURCE: Amazon Vine

BACK COVER SUMMARY: Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

Elias is the academy's finest soldier--and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he's ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias's paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I was disappointed in this book. I had heard that a lot of people really liked it, so I was hopeful, but it just wasn't for me. The first chapter of the book was intense, but after that it was slow moving and boring to me. The second half of the book definitely picked up, and I was glad to have continued reading because I did enjoy the second half, I just had to really push myself through the first half. I wasn't a fan of the dual perspective. I get why it's necessary for this book, but I was much more interested in Laia's side of the story and found myself not wanting to read Elias's point of view.

The ending of the book was really intense, but I don't think for me it was enough to make me want to continue with the series. I would say that if you generally like fantasy, then you should give this book a try because you will probably enjoy it.

CHARACTERS: Like I said before, I was much more interested in Laia's story than in Elias's. I'm not really sure why that is. I like the character of "Cook" and "Kitchen Girl."

COVER: The cover is alright. I guess it fits in with the story, but it's nothing that blows me away.

**I received an ARC of this book from Amazon Vine for my honest review. My thoughts are my own and have not been influenced in any way.**

The Summer After You and Me Spotlight Blitz + Review & Giveaway

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TITLE: The Summer After You and Me
AUTHOR: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 9781492619031
FORMAT/PRICE: Trade paper/$9.99

Buy Links:

Will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

For Lucy, the Jersey Shore isn't just the perfect summer escape, it's home. As a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in during Memorial Day weekend, crowding her coastal town and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Still, she can't help but crush on charming Connor Malloy. His family spends every summer next door, and she longs for their friendship to turn into something deeper.

Then Superstorm Sandy sweeps up the coast, bringing Lucy and Connor together for a few intense hours. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm, and Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and her broken home. Time may heal all wounds, but with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, Lucy's summer is sure to be filled with fireworks.

About The Author:
Jennifer Salvato Doktorski is the author of two YA novels and is a freelance nonfiction writer. Her first paid writing gig was at The North Jersey Herald & News, where she wrote obituaries and began her lifelong love of news and coffee. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

An Excerpt:

Connor opened the gorgeous double doors, each with half-moon stained-glass windows on the top, and motioned me inside. “After you.”
The house had that distinct yet hard-to-describe smell of a beach home that had been closed up for a while. I walked to the center of the high-ceilinged foyer and immediately pic­tured pine garland and twinkling white lights wrapped around the sweeping banister.
“Wow. I’d love to spend Christmas here,” I said and immedi­ately regretted being so sappy.
Connor smiled. “You could fit a twelve-foot tree in this hallway.”
I admit, over the years I’ve had my share of Connor-centric fantasies. However the image of him watching his children pad down the stairs on Christmas morning had never been one of them…until that very second. I liked thinking about Connor that way.
“Come on. You’ve got to see the master bedroom.”
The wholesome image of a Malloy family Christmas van­ished.Aha, I thought. That was the Connor I knew.
“Uh-uh,” I said. “The widow’s walk. I want to go there first.”
“Race you,” he said and took off running.
He beat me up the two flights and was waiting for me in the third-floor hallway toward the back of the house. Off the hallway was an art studio, with a drafting table and a bookcase. There was also a telescope standing near the window.
“Follow me.” He crossed the studio and unlocked the dead­bolt to the narrow door leading outside.
“You’ve already been up there?”
“First thing I did when I got here,” Connor said.
“Not the master bedroom?”
“Nah, that’s the first thing I wanted to do when you got here.”
I thought it was just more flirty banter, but Connor’s flushed cheeks looked as warm as my body felt. He stared at me for a beat too long and my throat constricted. I was suddenly aware that I’d left the house with slept-on hair and no mascara. The look on Connor’s face told me he hadn’t noticed. His eyes never left mine.
Finally he said, “Come on, Luce. I’ll follow you.” The space was tight when I passed in front of him, and the closeness of his body gave me the shivers. I opened the door and stepped outside onto a small patio. I walked toward the wrought-iron spiral staircase that lead to the widow’s walk on the roof and placed my hand on the railing. My knees felt shaky as I began the climb, but I never looked back.

My Review:
This book was a fun read. It is a great book to pick up while lounging on the beach or by the pool during the summer. The main character was really frustrating to me. If you don't want to be in a relationship with somebody, then don't be in that relationship. It's not a hard concept, but this girl just can't grasp that concept. Other than that, this was a fun, quick read. I absolutely loved the ending. It was so sweet and perfect.

**I was given an eARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. My thoughts are my own and have not been influenced in any way.**

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Charisma Review

CharismaTITLE: Charisma
AUTHOR: Jeanne Ryan
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGES: 384
SOURCE: Won from Crystal @ Winter Haven Books

INSIDE COVER SUMMARY: Aislyn is the kind of shy that makes her choke up in class and avoid parties. And it means talking to her crush, Jack, is a total non-starter. So when she's offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine, she jumps at the chance for an internal makeover. The effects are instant. She's charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the therapy turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must choose between reversing the treatment and losing her new personality, or risking her life for a shot at charisma.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This was a fun read. First of all, I could totally relate to Aislyn's social phobia. I don't have it quite as bad as her, and lately I'm starting to come out of my shell as I get older and realize that we're all just people, but I can definitely relate to her. There were some things that I predicted about the story, but that didn't really take away from my experience reading. I felt that the ending was pretty well done. There was a good amount of closure while still leaving some things open.

CHARACTERS: I wish there was more information about the side characters. I feel like I almost got to know them, but not enough to feel connected to any of them. Aislyn was a good main characters. I could feel what she was feeling. I thought that she made some unwise decisions, but I also felt like she acted in a way that many teens would if faced with her situation.

COVER: I love the cover, but I'm not entirely sure how it ties in with the story. It would make more sense if it were monkeys or something, but the color scheme is cute.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Product Review - Argan Oil

goPURE Naturals

I was recently given the opportunity to try out and review Organic Argan Oil from a company called goPURE Naturals

I had never used Argan oil before, but had heard that it had so many wonderful uses. 

Some of it's uses include:

Dry Skin
Split Ends
Frizzy Hair
Reduce Wrinkles
Reduce Acne
Brittle Nails
Cracked Feet
Dry, Cracked Lips
And So Much More!

I have personally been using the Argan Oil for my nails. I have soft mushy nails that tend to bend a lot. I have been rubbing the Argan Oil into my nails and cuticles every day and I have definitely noticed a difference. My nails are a lot stronger and they don't bend as often. I've also been rubbing small amounts of the Argan Oil into my lips and I love the way it has been making them feel - soft and smooth.

I can't wait to continue using my Argan Oil and discovering everything it can do for me! If you've been curious about it, I recommend giving it a chance and seeing what it can do for you.

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Argan Oil from goPURE Naturals for my honest review. I have not been influenced in any way and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Truth About Jack Book Blitz

The Truth About Jack
Release Date: 04/14/15
Entangled Crush

Summary from Goodreads:
Dakota McCloud has just been accepted into a prestigious art school. Soon she'll leave behind the artists' colony where she grew up―hippie dad, tofu since birth, yurt―and join her boyfriend and best friend on the East Coast. It was the plan...until Dakota finds out her boyfriend and best friend hooked up behind her back.

Hurt and viciously betrayed, Dakota pours out her heart on a piece of paper, places it in a bottle, and hurls it into the ocean. But it doesn't quite go where she expects...

Jack Sauvage finds the bottle washed up on the shore and responds to Dakota's letter. Except what if his straight-laced life doesn’t jive with the free-spirited girl he’s only seen from afar? As Jack creates a persona he believes she’ll love, they slowly fall for each other with each new letter. Now Jack is trying to find a way to make this delicate, on-paper romance happen in real life...without revealing his deception.
About the Author
Jody Gehrman is a native of Northern California, where she can be found writing, teaching, reading, or obsessing over her three cats most days. She is also the author of ten novels and numerous award-winning plays. Her Young Adult novels include The Truth About Jack, Audrey's Guide to Black Magic, Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft, Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love. Babe in Boyland was optioned by the Disney Channel and won the International Reading Association's Teen Choice Award. Her adult novels are Bombshell, Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin. Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She is a professor of English and Communication Studies at Mendocino College.
Author Links:
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Book Blitz Organized by:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mini Reviews #1

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Mini reviews will be a new feature on my blog. It won't have a set day for publication and will probably be a fairly rare post. I have a stack of books that I have read and haven't gotten around to writing a review for. Some of the books are books that I read quite a while ago and have forgotten the details of, so I will be writing mini reviews of those books with some notes I have taken while reading, as well as a star rating.

Rutabaga the Adventure Chef: Book 1TITLE: Rutabaga The Adventure Chef
AUTHOR: Eric Colossal
PUBLISHER: Harry N. Abrams
PAGES: 128
SOURCE: Netgalley

MY THOUGHTS: I chuckled out loud a few times while reading this. It was a pretty weird story. The ending was abrupt, I didn't know it ended until I tried to turn the page and there were no more pages.

The Silence of SixTITLE: The Silence of Six
AUTHOR: E.C. Myers
PUBLISHER: Adaptive Books
PAGES: 274
SOURCE: Netgalley

MY THOUGHTS: I was definitely pulled in by the story. There's a lot of talk about hacking, but I didn't find it confusing at all and it was actually really easy to follow. I wanted to know what was going on throughout the book and why Evan did what he did. I found myself pretty invested in the story line and was trying to pay attention to see what everything was building up to. I think the ending was a good one. It tied things up, but didn't have a complete finale so a sequel could be made, but isn't necessary. 

Every You, Every MeTITLE: Every You, Every Me
AUTHOR: David Levithan
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 243
SOURCE: Bought

MY THOUGHTS: I wish the photographs in this book were bigger or in color so I could actually see them. I was very confused while reading this book and had no idea what was going on. This was a really weird book and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Bad Taste in Boys (Kate Grable, #1)TITLE: Bad Taste In Boys
AUTHOR: Carrie Harris
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGES: 201
SOURCE: Bought

MY THOUGHTS: I picked this book up because I wanted a quick, easy read and the back of the book implied that it was going to be funny. Going in, all I knew was that it was about zombies. In my opinion, this book wasn't funny at all. The story and the "cure" were extremely far fetched to me. I was glad that this was so short, or I probably wouldn't have finished it.

Lost for WordsTITLE: Lost For Words
AUTHOR: Alice Kuipers
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGES: 210
SOURCE: Bought

MY THOUGHTS: This book sounded like it was going to be really emotional. It was a really quick read; the writing was very juvenile with a lot of short sentences. The main character seemed to me like a typical girl and I felt she handled the tragedies in her life pretty much the same way I would expect anyone to. The ending was just as it should have been.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Book Haul #26

This is a few weeks worth of books.

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles, #4)Ask the PassengersTempest (Tempest, #1)Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)Hereafter (Hereafter, #1)Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls, #1)Sweet Shadows (Medusa Girls, #2)My Name Is MemorySisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood, #5)

Received From Work:
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and RedemptionFinding JakeWildalone (Wildalone Sagas, #1)My Sunshine AwayThe Last Time We Say GoodbyeOne Step Too FarThe Fire Sermon (The Fire Sermon, #1)Paper or PlasticAnomaly

Have you read any of these? Looking forward to reading any of these? Let me know down below and leave me a comment to your book haul posts!