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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THE YOUNG WORLD by Chris Weitz {Review}

"Review My Books" Review by Tamara 

The Young World #1
by Chris Weitz
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (July 29, 2014)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

Welcome to New York, a city ruled by teens.

After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he's secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind.

The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park...and discovers truths they could never have imagined. 
The Young World is set in the future New York where The Sickness has wiped out everyone over the age of eighteen and younger children. After two years the left over teenagers have found a way to survive together. They band together and form tribes in order to survive this new, chaotic world.

I really wanted to like this book, post apocalyptic stories are my favorite, but this one just didn't do it for me. The story is told from dual points of view. Jefferson is the typical nice guy, trying to save the world when everyone else is just trying to survive. He becomes the leader of the Washington Square tribe after the death of his older brother Wash. Jefferson tries to do the right thing and thinks about what is best for everyone and not just himself. Donna is the typical teenage girl, she's been friends with Jefferson since childhood, and he's also in love with her. Jefferson is easy to like, his chapters are interesting and I didn't mind seeing things through his point of view. Donna's chapters were harder to get through. She seems to be every bad teenage girl stereotype rolled into one character.

The Young World reads more like an action movie than a novel which made more sense once I found out the author, Chris Weitz, is actually a director. There were some parts of this story that felt like they were thrown in just for shock value and had nothing to do with the overall story. The pace of the story is pretty fast and never slows down, the characters are thrown from one bad situation to the next from start to finish. Normally I would love the fast pace, but after a while it was a bit ridiculous and hard to believe. There is also a lot of violence and graphic situations that make this book better suited for older teens. I would skip this book if you're squeamish.

My favorite part of the novel is the last few chapters and the ending.The ending sets up the next book nicely and leaves you with a lot of new questions and wondering what will happen next.

All in all, while this book isn't my favorite there was something about that just kept me reading and interested in what was happening. This book wasn't for me, it might be great for someone who likes action packed adventure stories.

Find Tamara on Goodreads!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

PROTOTYPE by M.D. Waters {Audiobook Review}

Prototype: Archetype, Book 2
Written by: M. D. Waters
Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
Length: 13 hrs
Series: Archetype, Book 2
Format: Unabridged
Release Date:07-24-14
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Program Type: Audiobook
Goodreads | Amazon | Audible

The stunning debut that began with Archetype concludes in Prototype, when a woman's dual pasts lock onto a collision course, threatening her present and future.

Emma looks forward to the day when she can let go of her past - both of them. After more than a year on the run, with clues to her parents' whereabouts within her grasp, she may finally find a place to settle down. Start a new life. Maybe even create new memories with a new family.

But the past rises to haunt her and to make sure there's nowhere on the planet she can hide. Declan Burke wants his wife back, and with a little manipulation and a lot of reward money, he's got the entire world on his side. Except for the one man she dreads confronting the most: Noah Tucker.

Emma returns to face what she's done but finds that the past isn't the problem. It's the present - and the future it represents. Noah has moved on and another woman is raising their daughter. In the shocking conclusion to M.D. Waters' spectacular debut, Emma battles for her life and her freedom, tearing down walls and ripping off masks to reveal the truth. She's decided to play their game and prove she isn't the woman they thought she was. Even if it means she winds up dead. Or worse, reborn.
If you haven't started this series yet, I'll just tell you that I really liked it a lot.  I don't usually review Adult books, but I kind of stumbled upon this series, and I'm so glad I did.  You can read about that and my review of the first book, ARCHETYPE, here.

After I started reading PROTOTYPE, I got an email from Penguin Audio that it was available to review in audiobook format.  I saw that Khristine Hvam was the narrator, and immediately downloaded it and started listening.  Khristine is one of my favorite readers, she reads the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, and is phenomenal!  I thought she did a great job with this book as well.  She has a really good range, and is one of the few women readers that can pull off a guy's voice without sounding ridiculous.  If you're interested, you can listen to a sample here.

PROTOTYPE was a fantastic ending to this duology (and can I just add that I love duologies!!)  It was full of action and suspense.  And the chemistry between Noah and Emma is seriously intense.  I found myself really frustrated with Noah in this book, because of another relationship he's gotten himself involved in, which, of course just adds to the tension.  I liked the character development of Emma, into her own person, not just a "copy" of Emma 1.0.  It's one of those things that really makes you think, "what if," and I love that!  Emma develops new relationships in this book that add a lot to the story, especially her growing bond with her daughter, who was adorable.  All in all, this was just an exciting, intriguing, and romantic story and I'm really happy that I accidentally happened upon it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

THE SOUND OF LETTING GO {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

THE SOUND OF LETTING GO Blog Tour: Author Stasia Ward Kehoe chats with Martha Brockenbrough about death, dinosaurs and reading novels in the shade
I’ve just wrapped up a fabulous week at NOVELNOVICE.COM, during which I discussed what happens FIVE MONTHS AFTER a novel is published, the writing process, my over-expressive eyebrows and other vital topics. Now, I’m thrilled to be taking my THE SOUND OF LETTING GO Summer Blog Tour (click that, you know, ‘cuz there are giveaways) on a virtual summer road trip with some of the most talented, wonderful and hilarious writers I know.
Today, I'm soaking in the computer monitor luminescence sunshine with MARTHA BROCKENBROUGH, author of everything from YA novels about lost souls to picture books about loose-tooth-coveting prehistoric critters. (Note that I’m worried Martha will see this introduction with its strike-throughs, hyphens and parentheticals as (since?) she is also a grammarian of the highest order. Moving on…
SWK: Where have we set up our fantasy beach chairs?
MARTHA: Why, Stasia, I thought you'd know from the marble statue that washed up on the beach that we're in Santorini.

SWK: Ahhh. Greece. I hear it’s hot there in the summer. What are we drinking?
MARTHA: It's late afternoon, so we are drinking seltzer. But later tonight, we're going to a rooftop club with a lot of German tourists and we're going to drink white Russians with them and explain that America is not like a Transformers movie. Usually.

SWK: I’m going to have to argue with you on that point. My life is EXACTLY like a Transformers movie. Especially the most recent one with Mark Wahlberg. Yeah, we hang out together all the time. But, I digress. On to angsty author questions. What is writer-you doing to drain the joy from your summer?
MARTHA: Right now, I am supposed to be finishing line edits for my book that comes out next summer, THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH. It's about two young jazz singers in Seattle who fall in love in 1937, without realizing they're pawns in a game played by Love and Death themselves. 

SWK: Holy, jazz plus my favorite city plus 1937 (the year Amelia Earhart disappeared and the Hindenburg blew up)! I know it’s stressing you out but I MUST read that book. But, if you do need a break, what puts some joy back into your summer?
MARTHA: Long, warm days filled with hours spent outside, reading novels in the shade. 

If you must know more about imperfect angels, prehistoric fairies and 1937, consider stalking Martha on Facebook or Twitter!


For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?

About Stasia Ward Kehoe:

Stasia Ward Kehoe grew up dreaming of becoming a professional ballerina but she didn't grow quite enough (she is 5'4") or have sufficiently good knees (they are peppered with surgery scars) to achieve this goal. Instead, she went to Georgetown University from which she received a semi-unintentional BA in English. After working at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Random House Publishing in New York, City, and receiving her MA in Performance Studies from New York University, she married a dude who looks just like Clark Kent (the hot geek who turns into Superman), had four awesome sons, and moved to the Pacific Northwest where she now lives. She then started writing with a vengeance, publishing her first young adult novel, AUDITION, in 2011. She advises not being too specific in your long-term goals however, if you decide to write a book, sit on your backside and don't get up until you have (a) died of starvation or (b) written the words "the end." THE SOUND OF LETTING GO is her second novel and her short-term plan is to write another so, as you read this bio, she's likely got her fingers glued to a keyboard. Stasia also enjoys artichokes, chocolate (but, come on, who doesn't?), parentheticals (obviously) and turning on her car to an explosion of pop music because the last person to drive it was one of her teenagers--especially if the song is about heartache and healing and has a good dance beat.


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Saturday, July 19, 2014

{Indie Spotlight} Why I Love the Young Adult Genre by Sherry Soule

“Why I Love the Young Adult Genre” - #StarlightSaga

Guest post by author, Sherry Soule
Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She has published a brand new upper YA book, LOST IN STARLIGHT (paranormal romance with a Sci-Fi concept) with scorching-hot character chemistry and exciting suspense.
To help promote this interstellar love story, Sherry is doing this fun guest post to share the news with fellow booklovers.
Hi everybody, I’m author, Sherry Soule—waving from the SF Bay Area. Thanks for letting me visit today, it’s an honor to be a guest here and meet fellow booklovers.
YA (young adult) Lit is a general term used for books aimed at the teen market. Nowadays, these books can be read by anyone at any age.
Ever since I was a child, I have recognized that books are a way to travel to other places and have incredible adventures. Even though I am older than the average teen reader, I’ve always loved reading Young Adult books and strongly believe you’re NEVER too old to read them. A great book is simply a great book regardless of its intended audience. I read both adult and young adult novels, and equally love both.
One reason that I enjoy reading YA Lit is because most novels in this genre are fast-paced and thrilling, and will captivate teen and adult readers alike. The storylines are just as complex and imaginative as adult fiction, in my opinion. And teenage characters tend to have a much more hopeful perspective than adult literature, which draws me in—plus the fact that I’m really a big kid at heart. I also adore that there are so many books created into a series nowadays, so that you can continue to have additional adventures with your favorite characters.
Could my love of YA Lit be simply because I’m just a teenager-at-heart?
Maybe. Actually, I am an adult with teenage children, and I love writing young adult fiction as much as I love reading it. Writing upper YA is fun and exhilarating, and I get to relive my youth in new and exciting ways. My stories will appeal to both adults and teens, and even college-aged kids. And like many of you, because I am a writer of YA literature, I’ve read hundreds of YA books and I can actually say that I enjoyed almost all of them.
Although I buy many of my books through Amazon, I am never embarrassed to buy YA novels in bookstores, or carry them around with me. I love the genre and always have and always will. To me, reading YA novels has to do with simple escapism, instant gratification, and mostly nostalgia. I say, “Live and let read!” If adults are reading YA books, it speaks to the quality of the genre, not the diminishing tastes of adults. “Reading is food for your brain.” I read many different genres in both young adult and adult novels, and I am no book snob.
We all have diverse tastes in literature. Most of you will have various genres that you love to read, and probably some of my favorite books are simply your forgotten reads. That is what makes reading as a whole, so fascinating. Each one of us will enjoy different types of characters, genres, plots, and, of course, a writer’s voice, the way only they can tell a story.
And I don’t know about you, but I need some romance in almost every book I read. And if you’re a hopeless romantic at heart, then you’ll enjoy reading any of my books.
At its core my new YA novel, LOST IN STARLIGHT, is basically a love story about two lonely teenagers finding each other and how their “forbidden” friendship changes both of their lives. Sure, there is an element of danger regarding this star-crossed romance, but they are both young and impulsive with their hearts. Who isn’t at that age?
Thus, LOST IN STARLIGHT is the first book that I’ve ever written that focuses mostly on romance rather than any paranormal baddies trying to kill the heroine or having the plot center around a supernatural mystery to solve. And I think the heroine of my new series, Sloane, is rather unique. To me, she’s not your average “Mary Sue” or flawless YA heroine. She has some self-esteem issues, but she’s also headstrong and gutsy, with an eccentric fashion sense. 
Thank you for letting me chat about my love of young adult literature. I hope you enjoyed this post. Now go feed your mind and read a book! Preferably one of mine. :-D

High school is tough. Romance with a sexy alien—even tougher.
Star reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.
Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.
They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova.
Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, ├╝ber snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life....

About Sherry Soule
Sherry Soule lives with her family and one very spoiled black cat in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the bestselling author of the adult novel, “Immortal Eclipse” and the popular YA series: Spellbound. Sherry writes thrilling tales of romance and suspense, often mingled with a dash of the mystical and a splash of trendy fashion. Her love of literature began when she was a young girl and it has continued throughout her life.

Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:
Official Author Blog:
Twitter - @SherrySoule:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

LET'S GET LOST by Adi Alsaid {Review}

"Review My Books" review by Valerie @valercrazy

by Adi Alsaid
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (July 29, 2014)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon
Four teens across the country have only one thing in common; a girl named Leila. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There’s Hudson, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And Bree, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way.

Elliot believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And Sonia worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot, and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila’s own 4,468-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth—sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find out what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way.
I give this book all of the stars. According to, there are 1024 stars in the universe and this book gets them all. Five stars just won’t do.

With that being said, this is the best book I’ve ever read. I heard about this book through pictures at BEA with the car.

I knew that I was going to like this novel but I had no idea that I was going to love this novel.

It’s written in five parts, one for each Hudson, Bree, Elliot, Sonia, and Leila, which was unique to most books I’ve read. I loved it because it was like a photomosaic puzzles where lots of pictures make up an even bigger picture. Each person that Leila met told their story of Leila through their eyes which taught the reader about both the person and Leila overall.

What I loved most about this novel is that every reader can identify with one of the five people in this novel. I identify with Hudson, who realizes that home can be where you are meant to be. I went off to college in an extremely small town and after graduation moved home to realize that Dallas is where I want to be. Adi mentioned that he most identifies with Elliot because in high school he was familiar with unrequited love. How cool is that, one book that hits so close to home for so many people, man, talk about awesome. Besides that, it allows you to understand others and truly appreciate the people that you know.

There are many times in my life when I find it appropriate to quote the most beautiful song about friendship, “For Good” from the musical Wicked. I could quote the entire song here and it would be applicable, but to sum it up, it’s about how the people in our life affect us. Many of us are lucky enough to have special people in our lives but still, many of us have lost important people in our lives through whatever circumstances. Leila might never talk to Bree again but she left her “handprint on her heart”. She may never see Elliot again but knowing him has changed her “for good”. It’s refreshing to remember to take in every day and not mope about tomorrow. My two best friends live in small towns around the state but instead of mope about it, we take each moment we get and treasure it. There are people we meet in passing and others we meet that stay but both are important, both matter.

I’ve been obsessed with indie movies for quite some time now but not because it’s cool or whatever, but because it’s realistic; life doesn’t always end with a proposal and a nice, neat bow, sometimes life gives you an opportunity and you get to do with that what you will. That is what I loved most about this book, I think. The emotions were real but it wasn’t neatly packaged at the end, it instead inspired hope the future and excitement for what may come, good or bad.

To sum up: I’m surprised that I actually found some words to describe how I feel about this book. Go read it now.
Twitter: @valercrazy

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