Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

http://pinoybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/10/ongoing-black-ice-by-becca-fitzpatrick.html

Guys, I'm part of the Black Ice Blog Tour hosted by Pinoy Book Tours. I volunteered to be the firs to post because I'm just so excited for Becca's standalone! Been a fan of hers for years now and I must say that Black Ice didn't disappoint me.

Book Description:

Hardcover, 400 pages
October 7th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

Reviewer's Copy: ARC

Source: Becca Fitzpatrick + National Book Store and Penguin Teen(Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

Note: Spoiler free! It's such a shame I can't share with you what I really want to say. Please feel free to fangirl with me @precious_shusky

Hush, Hush was one of my first YA reads ever. Let me put it this way: I loved Becca's writing a lot. With Black Ice, I honestly didn't know what to expect out of the story but I definitely expected something good. I wasn't disappointed.

With the setting of far-from-civilization Wyoming mountains and the fierce cold and the stuck-in-the-here-and-the-now situation, Black Ice had the fine elements of a thriller. Throw in uninhabited cabins with history of death and blood and two kidnappers, and the author had me reading at the speed of lightning. There was something about being stuck due to the situation and the weather that made my heart hammer and drove me into a jittery, paranoid mess of a worried reader. These elements brought out the desire and the fight to survive in our heroine, Britt. She was really struggling against all odds: against her kidnappers, against the weather and even against her own weaknesses and emotions.

Britt, as a character alone, without the dangerous experience, was lovable and unforgettable. She began her journey to the mountains with just one thought in mind: to prove to her ex-boyfriend Calvin that she could go backpacking and survive the Teton Crest. Instead, she proved herself as a survivor in more ways than one. She ended her journey with eyes wide open, observant and appreciative of life. As she spent her days in the mountain, she was looking back on memories. In these moments, I got to know her well: her past, her feelings, the changes that happened in her life, her little observations about the people around her, her relationships and most of all, her strengths and weaknesses. The flashbacks tugged at my heartstrings and made me feel closer to Britt. I loved her to bits. Every step of the way, I was cheering her, scheming with her and thinking with her.

Mason. He was truly one in a million. Being one of the kidnappers, I should have hated and doubted him from the start but for some reason, I couldn't. He was an enemy and an ally but on top of it all, he was a mystery that I wanted to savor, examine and solve him. He could be harsh, go with his partner in crime, and act like he does not care at all. However, Mason also has a soft side - he was gentle, thoughtful and considerate sometimes. He was both, effectively driving Britt insane into interpreting his actions and evaluating his motives. Through it all, I found myself drawn to him, admiring his well-planned mission, his beautiful mind and everything about him.

The exchanges between Britt, her kidnappers, Korbie and Calvin were quite colorful and meaningful, shedding light on who they really were when it comes down to dire and desperate circumstances. Black Ice peeled off the characters' layers, revealing their personalities, weaknesses and strengths with every page. The characters that were introduced in the beginning of the novel were not the same characters that I encountered in the ending. There were changes in them, revelations and final decisions on who they would be and who they would be with. No one was perfect. No one was the same after what happened in Wyoming. I absolutely loved this part about Black Ice.

Black Ice is absolute perfection with the sizzling romance, the heart-pounding intensity and explosions of violence, the mind-blowing twists and turns and the lovable well developed main characters. Unputdownable, deliciously good, atmospheric, beautifully written, Black Ice is delightful for readers who are looking for psychological thrillers and standalone novels. This novel took away my heart. I'm in love with Black Ice (and Mason). If you are into crime in fiction as well, try this. I promise, you won't regret it. I highly recommend this!

Rating:


5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff + Court of Fives by Kate Elliott


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Hi guys! For Waiting on Wednesday today, I'm featuring Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff + Court of Fives by Kate Elliott. Look at those summaries! Two highly anticipated reads from two of my favorite genres.

Book Description:

Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: 2015

From Publisher's Weekly:

THESE BROKEN STARS co-author Amie Kaufman and STORMDANCER author Jay Kristoff's ILLUMINAE, to Melanie Cecka at Knopf Children's, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, in a three book deal. Told through a dossier of hacked documents – including emails, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, graphics, and more – for what's billed as a found footage-style mashup of Battlestar Galactica and Ten Things I Hate About You, Illuminae is the story of of a young hacker and her fighter pilot ex-boyfriend who must uncover the truth about the deadly plague ravaging their fleet, the AI that should be protecting them, and the powers that be who may or may not be lying about everything.

Publication will begin in fall 2015; Tracey and Josh Adams at Adams Literary represented Kaufman, and Matt Bialer and Lindsay Ribar at Sanford J Greenburger Associates represented Kristoff.

Why I Chose this Book: I am a big fan of Jay Kristoff, his books were rated with 5 cupids on this blog. Aside from fact number 1: Jay Kristoff is one of the authors. I chose this because of fact number 2: that synopsis!! Hacked documents, military files, plague? I'm sold. I love the high-mystery pre-apocalypse setting.

Book Description:

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 18th 2015

A teenage girl secretly competes in her city's prestigious athletic competitions in this high-fantasy adventure that can be pitched as Game of Thrones meets The Hunger Games meets Little Women.

In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

Jessamy's life is a balance between acting like an upper class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But at night she can be whoever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom's best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between a girl of mixed race and a Patron boy causes heads to turn. When a scheming lord tears Jes's family apart, she'll have to test Kal's loyalty and risk the vengeance of a powerful clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

Why I Chose This: Another promising high fantasy for me! Schemes, class struggle, competition and danger are some of the elements that I look for in a book. So excited for this!

If you happen to drop by, kindly leave your Waiting on Wednesday links below so I could visit you, too!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway: Before He Was Famous by Becky Wicks

Today, I am reviewing my most precious discovery as part of a blog tour: Before He Was Famous by Becky Wicks. I was amazed and stunned at this gem of a book. This novel is indie and yet it reads like a bestseller. Stick around for the giveaway, too!

Book Description:

Kindle Edition, 279 pages
Published May 29th 2014

One guy, one girl. One in the spotlight. One in the shadows.

Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always a great idea, especially when he’s Noah Lockton - the sexiest, most famous new talent on the planet. When 21-year-old small-town photographer Chloe Campbell is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join her celebrity childhood friend Noah on tour as an exclusive blogger for a New York magazine – she’s certain both have put what happened four years ago behind them. But his eyes still burn; his voice is still a jackhammer to her heartstrings; all his songs are about her. Is it possible that that night still haunts them both?

The music industry is a machine, spinning hype and rumors as much as his records. It’s not just Noah’s girlfriends who’ve got it in for Chloe (there’s no stopping the Twitter-obsessed, cat-loving pop-star Courtney Lentini for starters). Pretty soon, the jealousy and media frenzy surrounding these so-called-friends takes a life-changing turn and it seems making love means making enemies at every turn. When tragedy threatens to pull the final curtain on their relationship, both Chloe and Noah must make a choice. As much as this world leaves them starstruck, is living their dream really worth living without each other?

A story of lifelong friendships, love and hope, set in a world of celebrity, fame and social media gone very, very wrong.


From International Bestselling HarperCollins Author, Becky Wicks, comes a new adult romance that will leave you starstruck.

***Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and mature situations. Not intended for young adult readers.***

Reviewer's Copy: Kindle Version

Source: Becky Wicks(Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

After reading the synopsis of Before He Was Famous, I knew I just had to read it. It sounded like the kind of story that I would like, in line with American Girl on Saturn. The short story: I was not disappointed.

I was hooked at page one, totally engrossed by the end of chapter one and completely, utterly inlove with the story after a few more chapters. Before He Was Famous had a heartfelt, honest-to-goodness splattering of emotions and thoughts all over the pages. It was metaphorically dripping with the shades and beauty of two people's hearts. The dual perspectives, from Noah and Chloe, allowed the reader to piece together the entire picture, their entire history, line after line and chapter after chapter. Most of all, what really drew me in was the palpable back-and-forth zapping of electricity and emotional and sexual tension between Noah and Chloe. Amidst their interactions, living separate lives and worlds, the hesitation, the desire that could never be completely hidden, the raw love and the buzzing what-ifs, made the story whole. It was as if Becky Wicks was a scientist and she discovered the elements of life and poured it into this book. The writing was beautiful and superfluous,

Chloe was the humble photographer and loyal friend. She was always there for Noah when he needed to wake up to reality and set his priorities (and his mind) straight. Clever, undeniably talented, but generally unwilling to take risks, Chloe was culture-shocked with the fame game of the music industry. She tried to stay at the "safe" side at all times. Though I admit that I found her a bit naive when it comes to accepting Noah's feelings for her, she was decidedly clueless for a reason: she wanted to protect their friendship.

Noah was always with a girl. From what I deduced, he was almost never single. But Noah was lost without Chloe and he was man enough to admit that in front of her. I liked reading about how his life changed from average and being a barista at Starbucks to being ultra-famous and under the spotlight and being stalked by paparazzi. The musical element of the book was also something that I enjoyed thoroughly. Though I couldn't actually hear the songs, I could feel it in the lyrics.

The blurred lines between friendship and something more involving friends from the opposite sex were tackled and thoroughly explored in Before He Was Famous. If a person was too involved with his friend, to the point that he was emotionally and mentally tied to the other person, leading him to rethink their status, going over every interaction and making his heart thump and his body extra-aware of the other person? That was what Noah and Chloe went through. For readers who are looking for hot bits, you would find what you're looking for in this book. Cut and trimmed for older teens, Before He Was Famous has passionate and steamy scenes and eye-opening scenes related to the dirty, messy side of the fame game.

Before He Was Famous was a brilliant gem in the field of self-published YA/NA; it has my favorite elements: music, colorful history/past, relationship-development, realistic characters, lively backdrop and setting, unpredictability, fluid writing and wave after wave of raw emotion. Glued-to-your-hands-level-of-unputdownable, beautifully written, steamy, unforgettable and heart-wrenchingly good, Before He Was Famous will keep you up all night and wanting for more. The writing was simply decadent and delicious, I couldn't get enough of it. I highly, highly, highly recommend this to readers of older YA/NA contemporary romance, readers who are looking for amazing indie titles and readers who are looking for fame-related/celebrity-related stories.

Rating:


5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!



Giveaway Time! Becky is so generous and so awesome to sponsor this giveaway. There would be three winners of the released books of the Starstruck Series: Before He Was Famous and Before He Was Gone. This is open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, September 15, 2014

Cover Reveal + Happy Book Birthday: Something about Love by Elana Johnson

Hi guys! Today is the book birthday and cover reveal of Something about Love by Elana Johnson (who is one of the nicest authors ever and one of my favorites). This is actually her second YA contemporary romance, written in verse. This is also a standalone, so for those of you who are hesitant to start, yet again, another series but are looking out for contemp gems, this might just be the perfect read for you. :)

Book Description:

Publisher: AEJ Creative Works
Publication Date: September 15th 2014

Kindle Edition, 279 pages

High school senior Olivia Winging gave up her love of photography when she gave up her boyfriend, Trevor Youngblood, a year and a half ago. She broke things off with Trevor because her mom married his dad, and dating your step-brother? Creepy.

Livvy hasn’t been on good terms with her mother since, and one of her stipulations for staying at the Youngblood’s every other weekend is that Trevor can’t be there. When she gets nominated for the Junior Photography in Excellence award, Trevor insists she enter. She agrees—only if every photo in the portfolio can be of him. Knowing that Livvy can capture a person’s deepest secrets through her lens, Trevor hesitates before accepting the deal.

As Livvy gets behind the lens of her camera again, her love of photography is rekindled. Unfortunately, the time she spends with Trevor also re-ignites the old flame for him she’s kept smothered for so long.

In order for Livvy to finish her portfolio, she’ll have to face her feelings for Trevor as well as deal with the animosity between her and her mother. Livvy’s always been able to capture a person’s soul from behind the camera—but she’s not sure she likes it when the lens is suddenly focused on her. If she can’t find a way to forgive her mother and admit how she feels about Trevor, Livvy may end up losing more than just the photography contest. She could lose her heart.

Add this on Goodreads :)

Freebie Alert: Elevated, Elana’s first verse novel, will be FREE for five days in September as SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE releases! So get your copy of Elevated for free from Monday, September, 15 – Friday, September 19. Get it here!

Praise for Elana’s first verse novel, Elevated:

“The taut poetry keeps tension high. The plot is deftly paced, as past intrudes on present, like a photograph emerging in developing fluid.” ~San Francisco Book Review

“Every word Johnson writes carries an emotional heft that lifts readers up to the highest happiness and then sends them crashing down to the depths of despair. It is easy to flow from the first word to the last without ever putting down the book. Johnson shows outstanding talent in this form, and her words are beautiful, important and deeply felt.” ~The Deseret News



About Elana Johnson:

Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for free download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist.

Her self-published novels include two YA contemporary novels-in-verse, Elevated and Something About Love, as well as a YA/NA futuristic fantasy series, which includes Elemental Rush, Elemental Hunger, and Elemental Release.

School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

Follow Elana: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Wattpad | League of Extraordinary Writers | WriteOnCon | Goodreads



Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Arcana by Jessica Leake + Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Hi guys! For Waiting on Wednesday today, I'm featuring Arcana by Jessica Leake + Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe. Two books from different genres, with beautiful cover art.

Book Description:

Publisher: Talos
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
A romantic, suspenseful, genre-bending debut set in Edwardian London.

Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome—or dangerous. To help ease her entrance into society, Katherine’s family has elicited the assistance of the Earl of Thornewood, a friend and London’s most eligible bachelor, to be her constant companion at the endless fetes and balls. But upon her arrival in London, Katherine realizes there will be more to this season than just white gowns and husband hunting.

Through her late mother’s enchanted diary, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. Any misstep could mean ruin—and not just for her family name. The Order of the Eternal Sun is everywhere—hunting for those like her, able to feed on arcana with only a touch of the hand.

But society intrigue can be just as perilous as the Order. The machinations of the fashionable elite are a constant threat, and those who covet Katherine’s arcana, seeking the power of her birthright, could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor—even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood.

With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?

Why I Chose This: Historical London, magic? This reminds me of Wicked by Jessica Spotswood. I can't wait to actually read this. I haven't read anything historical for some time now. I would really like to get back on track.

Book Description:

Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Publication Date: October 28, 2014

Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save

Why I Chose this Book: Megan Crewe is one of my favorite authors. She wrote the heartfelt dystopian series, Fallen World. I love the way she writes. Aside from that, I was intrigued with "time-manipulating experiments" and hope to read more about this.

If you happen to drop by, kindly leave your Waiting on Wednesday links below so I could visit you, too!