Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review- The Revealed

I finished reading The Revealed by Jessica Hickam last night for the BookSparks Summer Reading Blog Tour.

About the Book:

Lily Atwood lives in what used to be called Washington, D.C. Her father is one of the most powerful men in
the world, having been a vital part of rebuilding and reuniting humanity after the war that killed over five billion people. Now he’s running to be one of its leaders.

But in the rediscovered peace on Earth, a new enemy has risen. They call themselves the Revealed – a powerful underground organization that has been kidnapping 18 year olds across the globe without reservation. No one knows why they are kidnapping these teens, but it’s clear something is different about these people. They can set fires with a snap of their fingers and create a wind strong enough to barrel over a tree with a flick of their wrist. No one has been able to stop them, and they have targeted Lily as their next victim.

But Lily has waited too long to break free from her father’s shadow to let some rebel organization just ruin everything. Not without a fight.

I wasn't too sure what this book was going to be about when I first started reading it, but I was quickly engaged in it.  The writing drew me in and I was so intrigued with figuring out what The Revealed was.  I told a friend that it's not often that I have no clue what was going to happen, but that was the case for this book and I quite liked it!

The main characters were great.  I loved that Lily didn't play princess just because her father was running for President.  She was completely her own person.  And Kai.  I liked him and was/am hoping that things will work out for them.  Rory was a great sidekick and best friend.  She completely surprised me too!

I found myself not wanting to put the book down and I love that feeling!  I don't see anything that shows that there will be a sequel but I sure hope there is going to be one!  There is so much more that I want to know about Lily, Kai, and Rory and The Revealed!

**updated to add that The Revealed is the first book in a trilogy.  Woohoo!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge Book Tour.

Buy the book:

·         Amazon for paperback

About the author:
After graduating from Arizona State University in 2011, Jessica relocated to Los Angeles where she nowStar Trek: Into Darkness, her experiences have only reinforced her love for living in other worlds – whether they be from her own imagination or someone else’s. The Revealed is her first novel.
works in the film industry. From acting to assisting on the Paramount feature 

Connect with the author:
·         Facebook
·         Twitter
·         Website
·         Goodreads

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Sunday Salon- July 27, 2014

The Sunday Salon

I was on vacation with my family in Hilton Head this week.  It was soo nice to just relax!  But I missed Bella--I was away for 17 days and really missed her!

I finished and reviewed the following book last week:

I am currently reading The Revealed by Jessica Hickam and up next is Elly in Bloom by Colleen Oakes.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review- Insurgent

Its early in the morning but I finished reading Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth yesterday while sitting on the patio enjoying the beautiful beach view!

From Goodreads:

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

For some reason, I don't really have much I want to write about this book.  I do have to admit that I got confused by some things that happened in the book but by then end, I think I had it all figured out.  Most of the confusion was about the faction members who were traitors and where they ended up or weren't traitors but ended up in another faction.  Confusing.

I still enjoyed Tris this time but not as much as before.  For having some Erudite, I thought some of her actions were reckless and not rational. But I loved how she stuck to what she believed even when it went against what her love believed.  Not so sure about Tobias anymore.  For as much as he hated his dad, he sure fell under his mom's trap quickly.

The ending definitely leaves you wondering what's coming up next.  I've heard lots of people didn't like the third book but I have no clue why!  I really need to get my hands on it!

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5 rating.

*FTC Disclosure: I traded this book with a friend.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Sunday Salon- July 20, 2014

The Sunday Salon

This past week I was on vacation with friends in Arizona.  I brought a bunch of books to read but unfortunately, the book I was on didn't grab me so it took me all week to read.  I have another vacation coming up this week so hopefully I'll get more read!

I finished and reviewed the following book last week:

I am currently reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth and up next is The Revealed by Jessica Hickam.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Review- Heir of Fire

I finished reading the last word of Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #) by Sarah J. Maas just as the plane was touching down tonight.

From Goodreads:

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

I'm sad to say that this one was really rough for me.  I loved the first two books in this series as well as the novellas that I've read.  But I just had such a hard time getting into this one.  I had saved this book for vacation because I was so excited to read it.  It was the second book I was going to read, knowing I would fly threw it.  I started it on the plane last weekend and found every excuse during the week not to read it.  And I didn't finish until the wheels were touching down on the way back home tonight.

First thing I have to say is that I think books in a series should be required to have a prologue that details what has happened so far in the story.  I read series books so far apart that I always have a hard time remembering what happened in the previous installment.  Most of the time, I catch on pretty quick.  But I don't think I ever really caught on with this book.  And it really hindered my enjoyment of it.

Second, I just didn't like Celaena as much as I have in the previous books.  I can't quite put my finger on it but I just didn't find her as amazing as I did in the other books.

The book did finally start interesting me about 70% into the book.  But by that time I just wanted to be done with it.  The book did leave off quite nicely with a cliffhanger and I am still looking forward to reading the next book in the series when it comes out and hopefully I'll fall back in love with the series.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

Heir of Fire will be released on September 2, 2014.

*FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from a friend.

Monday, July 14, 2014

In My Mailbox- July 14, 2014

Naked Dragon (Works Like Magick #1)- Annette Blair--Bookmooch

Rebel Nation (Viral Nation #2)- Shaunta Grimes--from publisher for review

The Sunday Salon- July 13, 2014

The Sunday Salon

This week was spent getting ready for our Colorado/Arizona trip.  We flew into Denver on Saturday and drove down to Arizona today.  We'll be here for the week.  It's with a big group of friends, so I'm hoping I'll get at least a little bit of reading done!

I finished and reviewed the following book last week:
Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot 

I am currently reading Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas and up next is Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth.

Book Review- Breathe, Annie, Breathe

I finished reading Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally on Saturday on the plane ride to Denver.

From Goodreads:

From the bestselling author of Catching Jordan comes a brand new contemporary YA you won't forget.

The finish line is only the beginning...

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can't escape the guilt that if she hadn't broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she's at war with her body, her mind-and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms...and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

I have recently gotten into running big time (within the last 3 years) and ran my first marathon this past January.  So I was both really excited and apprehensive to read this book.  I was worried that the author hadn't done her research and would just be guessing and what the life of a runner is like.  Luckily I had nothing to worry about!

For example--upset stomach during running and right after running (although not to the extent that Annie did), different types of water holders (Camelback, fanny belt, hand held), the pain of speedwork, blisters, chafing, Runners Knee (although lots of people continue to still run), the sticky mess of gels, that its bad to take ibuprofen while running, and the hilarity and difficulty of trying to drink out of a cup while running.  The only thing I didn't agree with is that that Color Me Rad is a fun run and fun runs don't base your bib numbers off the time they think you will finish by.  But I loved reading all of these little nuances that I just didn't know about or get until I was a runner!

I loved Annie.  I loved her personality.  And I loved Jeremiah.  His weakness was adrenaline but there could be worse things.  I loved how he was around Annie.

And I just loved the feelings I got while reading the book.  I remember the excitement of the beginning of college and I felt it in this book.  And I still get that butterflies-in-my-stomach excitement feeling at the beginning of every race and I could so feel it in this book.  And I loved how it ended--with a little note that she had signed up for a marathon.  Racing is addicting.  Once you start running races, you just keep adding more and more onto your schedule.  (I would have liked to read about how her marathon actually went though).

I know I keep saying it--the word loved.  but that's how I felt about this book.  I just absolutely loved the combo of a YA book combined with running combined with romance combined with the heartbreak and sadness of losing someone you love.

I gave this book a rating of 5/5!

Breathe, Annie, Breathe will be released tomorrow, July 15, 2014.

*FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from a friend.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book Review- Even in Paradise

I just finished reading Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

Ehhh---right off the bat, the characters in the story annoyed me.  Julia got on my nerves.  She acted immature and childish and honestly, I'm not sure why anyone would by dying to be friends with her. (And really, what was with the stuffed moose??)  The only character that I liked was the little girl Cordelia.  But I don't get the fascination with the rest of the family.  They were just all screwed up.

Charlotte grew on me a little at the very end but only a little and not really enough to make up for the weakness in the rest of the book.  I kept for getting that she had a great family back home.  With the way she acted, you'd think she grew up neglected and didn't have a family.

The sad thing is that there could be a really good plot there and an emotional one at that.  But since I didn't connect with or care about any of the characters, the plot just kind of fell flat for me.  There was a predictable twist at the end that I figured out early on but it did make for a nice little "surprise."

I gave this book a rating of 2.5 out of 5 rating.

Even in Paradise will be released on October 14, 2014.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Monday, July 7, 2014

In My Mailbox- July 7, 2014

In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week

Adrenaline Crush- Laurie Boyle Crompton--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Even in Paradise- Chelsey Philpot--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5)- Maggie Stiefvater--for review from publisher

The One (The Selection #3)- Kiera Cass--received from friend

The Taking- Kimberly Derting--received from friend

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Sunday Salon- July 6, 2014

The Sunday Salon

We had a great 4th of July!  I ran in my first race since my injury.  It felt so good to run!  I also did a lot of relaxing this week!  It felt good to finally enjoy my summer!

I finished and reviewed the following book last week:
Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott 

I am currently reading Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot and up next is Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Book Review- Fire & Flood

I finished reading Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott early this morning.

From Goodreads:

Time is slipping away....

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Victoria Scott's breathtaking novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go.

The whole time I read this, I kept thinking that it was like Hunger Games Lite.  The whole trying to survive in a climate/location that's your own and fighting to be the one who wins.  But there were some interesting and unique aspects to this book.

I really liked the Pandoras.  I have such a soft spot for animals and I found it so endearing to read how these animals helped their Contenders.  Well, I should say most of the time.  There was one character who was horrible to his Pandora but he got what he deserved.  And I loved seeing what special powers each Pandora has.  I want a Maddox!  (Don't get me wrong, I don't condone any testing being done on animals or the mixing of animals to give them this power.)  

I liked Tella.  She was funny and quirky and I found myself laughing at a lot of things she said and realizing that I'd probably say the same things.  And I like that she stuck to who she was and didn't turn hard because of the way things happened.

There were definitely a few surprises thrown in that I didn't see coming.  Which makes it all that more fun.  I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.  I do have to say that I think this one ended at a weird place.  I would have thought that each book would focus on one environment.  Or that the first book would focus on all three environments and then the next book would be about what happened next.  But this focused on 2.  Either way, I can't wait to get my hands on Salt & Stone, the next one!

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

*FTC Disclosure: This book was given to me for free by the publisher for a honest review.