Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Release Day: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Laura Howard just released her debut novel, The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy, Book 1) 15 days early!! It's NOW available in ebook format, exclusively on Amazon! Get yourself a copy today! 

Amazon--> The Forgotten Ones
Add on Goodreads--> The Forgotten Ones


Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

~About Laura Howard~

Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.
Show Laura some love on her blog/website and on Facebook. <3

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don't kill him first, that is.

Genre: YA science fiction/romance

My rating for Obsidian (Lux, #1):

This was another book a friend suggested that I read and whenever a friend suggests a book, I typically go in blindly, not knowing a thing about the novel other than it is GOOD. 

Needless to say, I was surprised to find that I was reading a book about aliens. I didn't realize that right off the bat, but when it became clear that their was definitely something up with Kat's next door neighbors, and then when it was revealed, I was like "Woah!"

Now don't let that scare you! I know a lot of people seem to be skeptical when it comes to an alien book. I understand the hesitation because when someone says, "I just read this really good book; it was about aliens!", you kind of do a double take. But fear not! This book about aliens is original and the concept of these aliens made a HUGE contribution to my liking to Obsidian.

Without giving away spoilers, the type of aliens Jennifer L. Armentrout created for the Lux series (hint, hint) are, by far, one of the most unique concepts I've ever read! As you may or may not know, we do not have the technology or means on earth to travel to any of the planets outside our solar system because they are just that far away and it would take many many many life times to reach them. So any alien who travels through space to Earth (theoretically) would presumably have to follow the same laws of science. 

The aliens Armentrout created are ones that make one think that the logic behind them does seem kind of true! I'll admit that it wasn't a flawless idea, but what was explained in the book made sense! I cannot get over how cool of a concept it was--I loved it! Anything that didn't quite piece together--well, you can just write that off as a side effect of fiction! :)

Besides the characters, which I'll get to in a couple seconds, the other thing I liked about Obsidian is the writing. When I read Armentrout's work, I feel like her writing is effortless. It's comfortable to read and I enjoy everything from the pacing to when their is description vs. when there is dialogue...it flows really easily and this basic, but rare feature makes me fly through the pages.

Now to the actual story and characters:

Katy is a lovable girl who moved for a fresh start three years after he father died from cancer. She loves reading and blogging (which I found highly appropriate to be included in this series :)) and she just wants everything to work out. She moves to a small town where everyone knows each other, and she ends up right next door to Daemon and his sister Dee.

Although Katy befriended Dee first, douchebag Daemon became the main focus of this story quickly and he all but consumed the entire novel. He's hot and he's a complete asshole.

"Beautiful body. Beautiful face. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys."

Katy and Daemon are so attracted to each other the whole time, but Daemon is such an ass that he's constantly trying to hide his feelings, hurt Katy (or Kat, as Daemon calls her), or just downright embarrass her. This had to be the most frustrating dynamic between characters I've ever read! Their bicker and bitching lasted the entire book and although I found it funny, I just wanted to scream, "WOULD YOU QUIT IT!!?!"

"Why are you such an ass?" The words came out before I could think twice.
"Everyone has to excel at something, right?"
"Well, you're doing a great job."

I love Kat and Daemon so much! I just want them to be this awesome passionate couple because they're both such passionate, awesome people that it hurts me to see them treat each other the way they do. I suppose this is what sequels are for...

When Daemon did bring down his guard and show compassion to Kat, OMG I think my heart burst every single time! Just like Kat, I like the Daemon who watches over her, protects her, and cares for her. The one who shows that he cares more about her than to just kiss her or have sex with her. That's the guy I cannot wait to see more of in Onyx and the following sequels. (I hope I DO get to see more of that Daemon!) I love Kat and Daemon so so much!!

Two aspects of Obsidian that I didn't enjoy:
  • The Native American legend: although I understood how it pertained to the story and to the aliens, I get bored when long legends are told in books. In this book, I didn't like how it was used. It didn't flow flawlessly with the rest of the story, for me at least.
  • The end fight scene: The ending was just kind of jumbled and I wish there had been more to it. Although, it was pretty cool what happened in the fight scene...
Some of my love-factors about Obsidian
  • Kat wasn't a skinny mini girl. I know that looks are not everything, but as girls and especially when we read romance books, so many times do we think, "Well, they're skinny and beautiful so of course the guy was attractive to her instantaneously!" (Or, at least, that's what I sometimes think anyway.) Kat definitely has some hips on her and is no way close to a model's size. I really like how Armentrout made that one of her features.
  • The bonus scenes from Daemon's POV that were added to the end of the book--LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Daemon!!! <3
  • (SPOILER ALERT): Instead of Kat giving 100% into her attraction for Daemon, she stuck by her guns and told him that she wanted a real, committed relationship. And that is he couldn't give her that, then they weren't going to have one at all. I could bow to Armentrout for writing this part! Armentrout made the perfect point by having Kat state that they really didn't know each other that well and she made Kat ask herself is there was any real substance that would hold her and Daemon together. One that completely excluded sexual attraction. Honestly, I LOVED this. SPOILER QUOTE: “No. Sorry. You have spent months being the biggest jerk to me. You don't get to decide to like me one day and think I will forget that. I want someone to care for me like my dad cared for my mom. And you aren't him.” 

There are so many appealing assets to this book it's crazy! If you decide to give it a try, which I HIGHLY recommend you do, then I hope you let me know how you liked it, and if you've already read Obsidian, then please comment below to tell me your thoughts! 

Apart from the Lux series, Jennifer L. Armentrout has another series called the Covenant series, a couple stand-alone novels, and she recently began writing new adult novels under the name J. Lynn. Check out my review for her first book in the Covenant series called "Half-Blood" and then let me know in the comments if that sounds like something you'd read. Find out more about Armentrout and her books on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads

EDIT: I'd like to note that since reading Obsidian, I have read some reviews stating that Obsidian is comparable to Twilight because of character content. Never ONCE did Twilight come to my mind while reading this book. I freaking liked this book on its own account. Now, after reading those reviews and having read Obsidian, I can say that the only now notable comparison is the number of characters and some of their involvements in the book. But let me remind you that just because one author had one idea, that doesn't mean another didn't have a similar one. That is all.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (Updated)

Goodreads Summary:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Pages: 418
Published by: Little, Brown Books (Septermber 27th, 2011)
Genre: YA high fantasy (+romance, adventure, & mythology)

My rating for Daughter of Smoke & Bone (#1):
By the end of this novel, I was really loving this book, but it took me a while to get to that point where I was truly enjoying it. 

Honestly, it was kind of weird at first. I didn't understand what was up with all the chimaera. I was confused by Karou's connection with them and it took a while to figure out what was so special about her and why she had to be their messenger. I also thought the connection between Karou and Akiva was super silly because it was instantaneous, but that was later explained and then I was okay with it. Also, the initial setting was Prague, which was SO cool! Loved that aspect.

The last thirdish of the story took us back in time and that answered a lot of the questions that were formed as I read. It was a little jarring, not being in the present for so long, and at some points I was anxious/bored to get back to the present again. However, when all the pieces slowly fell together,  I immediately had a deep appreciation for the book and how it was written!  The insight was definitely needed to fully understand the gravity of Karou and Akiva's situation. The story layout left me wondering what was going to happen next between Karou and Akiva and I wanted to know how the truth would change their relationship. I was enticed by the unique monsters, the angels, their worlds... those were created in a really cool way! (A hint of sci-fi was added in here with the reference to other planets, which was awesome!)

Karou and Akiva were very interesting together. I was definitely puzzled by them, and sort of still am. Their ship wasn't very hot, but they still were an interesting duo to read about. And without giving any spoilers, I will say that there were a few parts with them that couldn't keep a smile off my face.

A negative of the story for me was that some elements introduced in the beginning and presented with such importance didn't play a large role in the end. For example, Karou's art school, Karou's ex-boyfriend, and the weird little quirks about her that pertained to the chimaera. I assume they were all added to set the foundation of Karou's home, personality, artistry, and life as well as indicate her interaction with her chimaera family; however, these facets were completely dropped from the book before midway and it was just unsettling.

The cliffhanger at the end was torturous! I was so frustrated with it that I started laughing! I just couldn't believe it ended the way it did. Despite my frustration, it was a great note to end on because now I must continue read the sequel!

Recommended for readers who like: high fantasy, unique writing styles, a little romance mixed in the big plot.


Learn more about Laini Taylor and her books on her website and Goodreads!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Goodreads Summary:

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

Genre: YA mythology+romance

My rating for Half-Blood, (Covenant, #1):

Alexandria Andros is no Rose Hathaway, but dang do I like this girl! I love a heroine who causes a little bit of mischief and revels in it, one who knows what she wants and works her butt off to get it. I'm not the physically strong and mischievous kind of gal so it's really fun for me to read characters who think and act differently from myself.

Despite our differences, I felt connected to Alex, which I'll attribute to the Jennifer L. Armentrout's writing. I think she did a fine job with developing all of her characters.

Caleb was a fun character! I liked that Alex had a guy friend who didn't become a love interest. But because they had been such good friends for so long, I wish there had been deeper conversations between the two. I know at one point in the book Caleb didn't pressure her into talking/admitting the truth because he knew Alex wouldn't like, but I would have liked it a bit more if their relationship was one where they could share everything with each other because they were just that good of friends. Maybe that's crazy talk of mine because Alex is a tough girl and because the dynamics of a boy-girl friendship is a bit different than a girl-girl friendship. Maybe that makes a difference, but I still would have liked to see a tad more vulnerability in Alex when she was with her best friend... Armentrout showed vulnerability in Alex at the memorial service though so maybe I should just shut up now.

Speaking of vulnerability...Alex and Aiden, eh? Damn, did I like them! I think Armentrout built that relationship BEAUTIFULLY. The pacing was perfect and had me waiting and reeling in at just the right spots! Eeep! I still get all the butterflies when I think of those first moments of theirs... Those two characters made a huge contribution to my liking of the book.

Of course, I liked them so much that I was annoyed by Seth's interjection and I'm not sure how I'm going to take to that with the freakish connection he and Alex now have going on. I have a bad feeling he's going to start coming on strong to her...I guess I'll see where that goes!

Now, an issue I have with Half-Blood (which is probably a very unfair complaint) is that it didn't live up to Vampire Academy. Yeah, I know the comparison is unfair since they're written by authors with completely different styles and one is about Greek mythology while the other is a world of vampires, but seeing as how both the main characters are tough, I-don't-take-shit-from-anyone type of girls who are also “halfs” of their kind, who fall in love with their trainer... it's difficult not to compare them. And in comparing them, I find Rose to be the much more dominant and dimensional character. That's not to say I didn't like Alex, because I've already stated that I really do like her, but it just so happens that I think Rose outshines her.

I really enjoyed the world of pures and halfs. I love reading books about mythology and this was no exception. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series! 

Oh, and how GORGEOUS is this cover?! I'm crazy about this cover, it's just so pretty!! The other novels/novellas (DaimonPureDeityElixir, and Apollyon) in the Covenant series are just as pretty too! Love, love, love!

Apart from the Covenant series, Jennifer L. Armentrout has another series called the Lux series, a couple stand-alone novels, and she's recently began writing new adult novels under the name J. Lynn. Find out more about her and her books on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review: Running On Empty by L.B. Simmons

Goodreads Summary: 

I had the perfect life. Beautiful and loving husband. Three gorgeous little girls. Successful career. The only thing missing was the white picket fence. I really wanted that fence. Three years ago, I lost that life. I lost my husband. And I lost myself. But, eventually, I found my way through the darkness. I’ve made peace with my new life. I have my girls, and that’s all that matters. They are my world. I have no illusions of ever falling in love again or getting whisked away on a white horse. But then he came back into my life. On a freakin’ motorcycle. There’s no way I’ll let him turn my life completely upside down. Absolutely no way. The question is…How long can I keep pretending that I’m happy with my life being right-side up?

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
My rating for Running On Empty (Mending Hearts, #1):

Running On Empty is a quick, delightful story about the bonds of friendship and love.

Alex is a widow of three young children and although her best friend and work partner Harlow wins the BFF award of the year for the helping hand, shoulder to lean and cry on, and comic relief she's provided Alex since her husband passed away three years ago, Alex is still living a hollow life.

Enter Blake, Alex's childhood friend. His arrival to town stirs up old memories and with his blunt attitude toward her and her loved ones constanting pushing her at him, she's already sick of him. Or is she?

In Running On Empty, Alex learns not only is it okay to accept help, but that it's okay to admit to needing help. She learns to trust, love, live, have hope, and take chances again: all firsts for her since her husband's death.

I love Alex. She's such a loving mom who just wants to get through the day without finding tooth paste in her hair towel or having to play the copy game with her youngest angel. She had so much to gain in this novel and I love what L.B. Simmons did with Alex.

I love Alex's girls: Nycole, Kyndall, and Rylie, all whose personalities strongly showed through in Simmons writing and I LOVED that! Apart from the books where the main character is a child, children aren't typically written as being profound, complex, or with strong (and sometimes adult-like) personalities. Writers will just portray children the way society as a whole thinks of them, but thanks to Simmons own experience with her three daughters, she was able to nail the personalities of these three little girls on the head! The little things they said and did made me smile countless times.

Oh, Harlow. I feel like writers almost always give the best friend of the M.C. spunky, outgoing, or crazy characteristics so it didn't exactly thrill me or surprise me to find this story was no exception, but it doesn't bother me in this one because I enjoy reading those characteristics on a thirty-something year old, instead of a teenager like I typically do. Harlow is a fun, well written character and I think her personality actually was a large contribution to the sanity of Alex and her girls, so I enjoyed her presence.

I absolutely adore Blake. He's handsome, sexy, caring, gentle, compassionate, awesome with kids, and has a deep connection with Alex. He was also very single. ;) He isn't the “bad boy” type of guy--although he does rides a motorcycle! He was just a fun guy with character and THAT is much more realistic than the swoon-worthy bad boy. Major kudos to Simmons for creating a hot love interest who doesn't fit that stereotype!

This novel is fast in the right parts, slow and detailed just where it needs to be; the characters and the plot are well developed; the romance moves at just the right pace; it is really just the perfect balance of everything a good story needs! You can't go wrong with Running On Empty.

Side note: I love when I'm reading a novel and the reason behind the title becomes clear to me. I especially love titles that are phrases or a couple words such as Running On Empty is. When the double meaning behind the title was pointed out in the book, it made me love the book that much more.

“He reminds me every day that when you’re running on empty, you won’t ever get where you need to be. Both in Life and Love. (And sometimes Suburbans…) -Alex"


Show L.B. Simmons some love on her websitefacebook, and Goodreads
Running On Empty is available for purchasing at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Goodreads Summary:

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Genre: YA romance

My rating for Pushing the Limits (#1):

WOW did I love this book! I was not expecting this at all! I started it on a whim after my lovely friend Bayli Lane at Bayli's Bookshelf recommended I read it. (She recommends the best books to read so definitely check her out!) I repeat, I did not expect this story. The first sentence of this YA book by itself told me I didn't know what I was getting myself in to: 

"My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has...well...issues."

Echo, echo, echo...is not just the repetition of sound produced by sound waves. It's the name of a 17 year old girl who had almost been murdered by her bi-polar mother. "Almost" meaning she could have died if she had been discovered any later than she had been. Since that time, she's become a self-inflicted recluse with a hint of reject from her peers. When she tries working towards the only thing she can imagine getting happiness from, restoring her deceased brother's cherished car, she is faced with Noah.

Noah is a bad boy, a hot and sexy stoner who hooks up with basically girl who approaches him. Little does anyone know that there's more to him than his physique and skills and his bad reputation. I mean, would you expect the hottest guy in school to have lost his parents to a fire, to now be a bobbing through the foster care system while his two younger brothers are on the brink of being adoptive by another family not of blood? Yeah, I wouldn't.

Echo and Noah team up together to get a peak at something they're both dying to get a hold of, but more than just an alliance strikes between them.

And that something was one of the most beautiful things I've ever read! Their file of fears and issues stacked sky high and then when a spark was ignited between them, everything was left up in the air! I knew that they might tip at any moment, balance for half a second before tumbling hard to the ground, or...well, I didn't even want to get my hopes up for a success, but gah! What did happened was beautiful, I tell you!

I'm amazed at how crafted this story is. The topics were so brave to venture into and done extremely well and original! Echo and Noah are unlike ANY OTHER character I have ever read and their relationship is not one I have seen either! The honesty, the rawness, the emotions conveyed, and just the chances the characters went through... it all made me so ecstatic!

“I watched you battle against the worst memory of your life and I watched you win. Make no mistake, Echo. I battled right beside you.” 

 I needed to keep flipping the pages so I could get to another part where Echo and Noah were in the same scene together! I liked how their relationship grew :)

I was so sad when I neared the end of the story, but the ending was beautiful as well and I couldn't have asked for a better conclusion to Echo and Noah's story!

Real issues, romance, originality, and talent all wrapped up in this one book by Katie McGarry!

Katie McGarry has a SEQUEL coming out May 28, 2013 called Dare You To, which follows Beth, Noah's friend who was introduced in Pushing the Limits. A novella to the series called Crossing the Line was released April 1, 2013 and it is about Echo's friend Lila and her little romance...

Show Katie McGarry some love on 
and her websiteFacebook, and Goodreads!

Her books are available for purchase at Amazon or Barnes & Noble if you are interested in the. I hope you love Pushing the Limits as much as I do!

Friday, April 5, 2013

YA Scavenger Hunt: Discover New Books, Authors, and Exclusive Material!

I'm sorry y'all are getting a late start on this, but having just discovered what this event even is and then completing the Spring 2013 YA Scavenger Hunt myself, I really want to share with you what this is!

So what is this?

The YA Scavenger Hunt is a tri-annual event that was first organized by one of my all-time favorite authors, Colleen Houck, the brilliant mind behind the Tiger's Curse series! This event promotes new YA authors (as well as some of our favorites), introduces readers to new books AS WELL AS gives readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material such as deleted scenes, sneak peeks, and cover reveals, AND readers also have a chance to win some awesome prizes such as signed ARCs, books, and book swag! 

If you join this hunt, which I strongly encourage you do, you'll not only get access to exclusive content from each author, but you also get a clue for the hunt (each author's favorite number.) Add up the numbers you find on each author's blog page and you can enter for the grand prize--one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt team of their choice! This year's Spring 2013 Scavenger Hunt is from noon (PST) on April 4th to noon (PST) on April 7th. The exclusive material will ONLY be available through this hunt and there's about 24 hours left to play, so join now!

How do I join the hunt?

There are two teams in this hunt: the Red and the Blue team. Below is the list of authors who are involved in the Spring 2013 YASH. Check it out and decide which team you'd like to join, which team you'd like to gain access to exclusive material for and have a chance to win their books. This hunt takes a little bit of time, but it's not hard, and you can join BOTH teams if you wish (as I did and it was a blast!), collect the favorite numbers from every author, and then submit your total answer for each team on this page.


The following authors are participating in the Red Team's Scavenger Hunt.Each author should have links to the next author in their hunt post, but if you're having trouble finding a specific author, you can click on their name here and be taken directly to that site.



The following authors are participating in the Blue Team's Scavenger Hunt. Each author should have links to the next author in their hunt post, but if you're having trouble finding a specific author, you can click on their name here and be taken directly to that site.

Once you've chosen which team you are on (or which team you'd like to start with), click on the name of the author you'd like to start with and you'll be sent to their blog. On their blog, they'll be "hosting" one of the other authors on their team and giving you that guest author's exclusive content. The hosting author will have their favorite number, in the color of the team they are on, somewhere in the post. Make sure to write down that number (I suggest writing their name next to it so you can keep track of which author's pages you have visited) and then click the link that will send you to the next author and so on! Again, here's the page you'll need to go to, once you've collected all 25 numbers, in order to enter the grand prize!

It was really cool for me to read the exclusive material, learn about new authors and new series, enter in the contests, and collect all the numbers! 

To learn more or clarify any questions you may have regarding the hunt, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

You can also leave a question in the comments below for me and I should be able to help you if you still don't quite understand what you have to do. Oh, and if you do the hunt, leave a comment below telling me what you thought of it, what book you are most excited to read now, or what your favorite exclusive material was! (But no spoilers, please!)

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: Vain by Fisher Amelie

Which cover do YOU like more?
About the book 

If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah...then you’re gonna’ hate my story. Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy. I’m Sophie Price...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Genre: NA contemporary fiction + romance

My rating for Vain (The Seven Deadly Series, #1):
+ a round of applause and three thumbs up!
Oh sugars, where do I even begin with this one? 

Oh, I know: THIS BOOK WAS PHENOMENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does that about cover up my thoughts? No, not quite, because this book deserves all the words and all the praise in the world! The story + the characters + the writing alone and then the meaning behind it all was so well done! Beautiful, incredible, brilliant, jaw-dropping, breath-taking, heart-wrenching, stunning, and (almost) indescribable are some of the words I think of when I think of this novel! 

I was initially intrigued by the idea of a story about a "bad girl" in contrast to the very common and popular "bad boy" story. While reading Vain though, it really wasn't about a "bad girl" as it was a girl who has been under-appreciated her entire life. 

Sophie Price's parents are filthy-rich workaholics who only care about appearances, leaving Sophie to only care about the material side of life. Sophie has the perfect hair, a rocking body, endless money to spend on whatever the hell she wants because of course her parents don't care what she does as long as her actions don't turn up in the publicity and at that, her parents just bribe their way out of any mess created. Sophie knows she's gorgeous and is at the top of food chain among her peers, which is why she uses her friends and goes through boys like they're objects. 

But in reality, she treats herself like an object. She throws up a barrier when she hooks up with guys and she parties hard with destructive substances to get away from her imperfect perfect life. Her actions could be labeled as bad, but everything she does is because she has no sense of self-worth and she wants to feel important.

The emotion stifled beneath Sophie's actions rammed into me like no other and I felt for her so bad! I haven't met a character like Sophie whose tears (that slipped her facade only in the company of her bedroom or shower) were crying for help, for a purpose, for happiness, but knew of no other way. My heart ached for Sophie like no other.

One night Sophie is busted at a party...and the next thing she knows, Sophie's life is turned upside down. I've revised my review here because I realized an aspect I loved about this book was how the next events in the book were complete surprises for me, and maybe it's best if you didn't go into reading this with more than what I've already given you. With that in mind, I felt like I was Sophie as she faced struggles and met very different people than herself in their completely foreign place. From this point on, my emotions and thoughts were so in sync with Sophie's as she maneuvered through these new challenges, but also as she slowly started transitioning from the spoiled girl to one who was selfless one she became. Her questions, doubts, and frustrations as she tried to prove herself transitioned to perfectly that I believed every bit of progress she made and I felt like I grew alongside her.

And then, of course, there was Ian. Ian, a.k.a. Dingane. Sophie and Ian were a unique duo. Originally, I wasn't sure what to make of then. Then, they became something I highly anticipated, who kept me on my toes, and eeking for more as the book progressed! It wasn't unexpected, but it continuously took my breath away and I would be lying if I said Sophie & Ian DIDN'T have an effect on how I looked at falling in love. Understanding and compassion broke their prejudices and tensions and I couldn't contain myself. The things Ian said, well, they practically made me cry because for the first time ever, Sophie could think of herself as more than just an object, than an appearance, and that was worth more than any money in the world could ever buy.

"Your heart is startlingly beautiful, Sophie."

“You are so gosh damn beautiful in here," he said, tapping my chest, "that what's here," he spoke, running the side of his hand down my face, "is magnified tenfold and that is a sight to be hold.” 

Fisher Amelie wrote an utterly captivating story of the importance of little things, how hope, faith, and love will prevail all, and that there is more than meets the eye. I loved every moment of the story from the ugly and cruel aspects as well as the beautiful and sweet parts of life that were framed within Vain. Sophie, Ian, Mandisa, Charles, Karina, Kate, Spence... I loved every single one of them. My heart had swollen five times its size during the duration of the novel that when it ended, it was pure pain for me because there was nothing left to read! So I flipped to page 1 again and began Sophie's life-changing journey for a second time because it's just that beautiful of a creation from God-given talent.

Find everything that has to do with Fisher Amelie, Vain, her other novels, and more here!