Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: The Oathbreaker's Shadow (The Knots Sequence #1) by Amy McCulloch

Book Description:

Hardcover, 416 pages
June 6th 2013, Random House Children's Publishers (UK)

Fifteen-year-old Raim lives in a world where you tie a knot for every promise that you make. Break that promise and you are scarred for life, and cast out into the desert.

Raim has worn a simple knot around his wrist for as long as he can remember. No one knows where it came from, and which promise of his it symbolises, but he barely thinks about it at all—not since becoming the most promising young fighter ever to train for the elite Yun guard. But on the most important day of his life, when he binds his life to his best friend (and future king) Khareh, the string bursts into flames and sears a dark mark into his skin.

Scarred now as an oath-breaker, Raim has two options: run, or be killed.

A gripping YA action-adventure fantasy, the first part of a planned duology

Source: Harriet + Random House UK (Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

From page one I was drawn to the story world of The Oathbreaker's Shadow. It had a distinct, exotic vibe about it. Featuring the vibrant nomadic culture and society of Darhan that coexist with magic, power and legends, this novel offered me a vacation in a unique world. The exotic flavor was so strong that it reminded me of the strange but beautiful vibe that I savored in The Tiger's Quest Saga.

Raim was about to turn sixteen, the Honour Age. By sixteen, he will shoulder the honour and responsibility of each and every oath that he makes. It's also the day when he can finaly attempt to become Yun. Compared to the usual fifteen-year-olds that I encounter in YA, Raim was more responsible and mature although there were still certain decisions and matters in his life that he couldn't fully understand because of his age. If I didn't know that he was fifteen, I would have never thought of him as one. Determined and passionate about becoming Yun, protective of his sister Dharma and his grandfather and fiercely loyal to his best friend, Khareh, I found him very easy to relate to and understand.

As the best friend of Prince Khareh, Raim was constantly being dragged into trouble. Khareh was daring, adventurous and fearless. He always had an air of confidence - sometimes even overconfidence - that he could bend things to get his way. I found him charming at times and cruel and inconsiderate inn others. It was like there were two parts of him. This dualism in Khareh's character really intrigued me.

The journey to Lazar, the city of the Chauk otherwise known as oathbreakers, was dangerous and eventful. Becoming an exile definitely changed Raim for the better. Experiencing the fierce glare of Sola and the difficult survival in the desert made him appreciate the true meaning of life. Along the way, he met the Alashans, nomads who know the desert like the back of their hands, and the ever-tormented Chauk. Life out of Darhan was something else altogether. The exiled Raim was hungry for life and freedom and persistently tried to prove his worth.

The social structure in The Oathbreakaer's Shadow really caught my attention. There were no families in the strict sense. Instead, people lived according to their purpose. They were anchored to their clans. Children were raised not by their birth parents but by the wise elders of each clan.

The storytelling was superbly done, woven with magic and unpredictability. The action was what I would consider detailed and movie-like in such a way that I could imagine it blow by blow. Throughout the novel there were bursts of revelations, parts that would shock me and sometimes even throw me off balance. I was constantly guessing, thinking. In short, I was just too curious about every little thing that happened in the book.

The Oathbreaker's Shadow is unputdownable, unforgettable and unparallelled with its exotic flavor, well-built story world, well-developed characters, well-executed storytelling, heart-pounding action and twists. Readers who are looking for fantasy novels with unforgettable story worlds, unpredictable reades, exotic/oriental-like ambiance might enjoy this. I highly recommend this to readers of YA fantasy and YA adventure novels: You need this in your life!


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

May Wrap-up: Interview with Pete Hautman + Giveaway of The Obsidian Blade/The Cydonian Pyramid by Pete Hautman

Hey, everyone! It's the end of May, which means only one thing... it's monthly wrap-up time for the YA and MG Time Travel Reading Challenge! Today, we have an interview with Pete Hautman, author of the time travel series The Klaatu Diskos Trilogy. Last April, the paperback of the first book, The Obsidian Blade was released. And just this May 14, the second book, The Cydonian Pyramid, was released. You can click on the links to check out my review. But for now, here's the interview and don't forget to get to the end to join the giveaway!
Interview with Pete Hautman

On The Klaatu Diskos Trilogy

How did the idea for The Klaatu Diskos series come to you?

Several years ago I wrote a time-travel book called “Mr. Was,” loosely based on a recurring dream I had throughout my adolescence. I swore I’d never do time-travel again! But then I had an idea for a boy named Tucker, and a girl named Lahlia, and a mysterious disappearance. And I was thinking about autism, and religious cults, and modern medicine, and the ways that digital technology is changing human relations…and the next thing I knew it was back to the future. Time-travel was the only way I could pull all those ideas together. It took about  ten years.

How did you come up with the names of the characters? Do their names mean anything?

I look for a sound that seems to suit the character. Sometimes in the course of writing a character will change, and I have to change their name to suit. If I get stuck for a character name, I consult my high school yearbook. I sometimes borrow contemporary names from students I meet at school visits.

Who's your favorite character in the book? Who was the most fun to write? Who was the hardest?

The hardest characters to write are always the most intriguing. It was fun to watch Lah Lia (aka Lahlia) and Kosh develop. I didn’t know them well when I started, but they filled out nicely. I particularly like Lah Lia. I have a soft spot for powerful young women (big Buffy fan, y’know) and Lia is most definitely a butt-kicker. Kosh is somewhat the opposite: a big softy inside a formidable shell.

What would the third and last book of the trilogy be about? Is there a title yet?

“The Klaatu Terminus” will continue Tucker’s and Lia’s tale, and tell the story of Kosh Feye, Tucker’s uncle—how he became the grumpy black-clad biker we met in “The Obsidian Blade.” All will be revealed, including the secret origin of the diskos, and the strange and twisted fates of Tucker’s parents.

On publishing and reviews

You're a multi-awarded author. Do you read reviews of your book? Why or why not?

Yeah, I read reviews. I care about how people respond to my work—after all, writing is about reaching out to people, it is about communicating, entertaining, and satisfying readers. I’m not going to appeal to everyone—my stuff is way to quirky for that—but it can be useful to know what works and what doesn’t for a particular reader.

Your thoughts about negative reviews?

Most of them are respectful, at least.

On writing

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

No. Until I was in my mid-twenties, I wanted to be a comic book artist. But it was always about the storytelling. All art is about telling stories.

You have written books across several genres - sci-fi, mystery, realistic fiction and romance among others. What's your favorite genre to write? What's the hardest to write?

I like trying something new with every book—it keeps me fresh. My next book is middle-grade robot comedy set in Iowa. After that, a YA love story set in an apocalyptic cult. I’m also working a book about food, and I’m playing around with an idea for a horror novel.

As for what is most difficult to write, I would say time-travel, or anything that requires extensive world-building.

Did you ever think about writing for adults? Why do you write books for teens and young adults?

I’ve written eight adult novels, two of which were New York Times Notable Books. All are still in print. They are, for lack of a better way to describe them, “crime novels with a sense of humor.” In recent years, I’ve been focusing more on YA novels, mostly because I loved reading so much when I was a teen. Remember your most intense, most memorable reading experiences? There’s a good chance that they happened between the ages of ten and eighteen. At least that was true for me. I remember books I read as a teen more vividly that I remember what I read last month. There is nothing better than being fourteen years old and losing oneself in a book. Nothing. Better.

Thank you so much Pete for that very insightful interview. And yes, the books we read when we're young are the best. Now for those not familiar with series, check out the blurbs below!
The Obsidian Blade (The Klaatu Diskos, #1)
Title: The Obsidian Blade (The Klaatu Diskos #1)
Author: Pete Hautman
Publisher: Candlewick
Date of Publication: April 10, 2012
Kicking off a riveting sci-fi trilogy, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman plunges us into a world where time is a tool — and the question is, who will control it?
The first time his father disappeared, Tucker Feye had just turned thirteen. The Reverend Feye simply climbed on the roof to fix a shingle, let out a scream, and vanished — only to walk up the driveway an hour later, looking older and worn, with a strange girl named Lahlia in tow. In the months that followed, Tucker watched his father grow distant and his once loving mother slide into madness. But then both of his parents disappear. Now in the care of his wild Uncle Kosh, Tucker begins to suspect that the disks of shimmering air he keeps seeing — one right on top of the roof — hold the answer to restoring his family. And when he dares to step into one, he’s launched on a time-twisting journey
— from a small Midwestern town to a futuristic hospital run by digitally augmented healers, from the death of an ancient prophet to a forest at the end of time. Inevitably, Tucker’s actions alter the past and future, changing his world forever.
Purchase from Amazon | The Book Depository

The Cydonian Pyramid (The Klaatus Diskos, #2)
Title: The Cydonian Pyramid (The Klaatu Diskos #2)
Author: Pete Hautman
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date of Publication: May 14, 2013
The much-anticipated sequel to The Obsidian Blade transports readers to the terrifying and thrilling world of Lah Lia, the enigmatic girl who changed Tucker Feye’s life.

More than half a millennium in the future, in the shadow of the looming Cydonian Pyramid, a pampered girl named Lah Lia has been raised for one purpose: to be sacrificed through one of the mysterious diskos that hover over the pyramid’s top. But just as she is about to be killed, a strange boy appears from the diskos, providing a cover of chaos that allows her to escape and launching her on a time-spinning journey in which her fate is irreversibly linked to his. In this second volume of the Klaatu Diskos trilogy, Tucker Feye and Lah Lia each hurtle through time, relating their stories in alternating viewpoints that converge at crucial moments. Fans of the first adventure will be intrigued by the chance to see the world through Lah Lia’s eyes — no matter how disturbing the vision might be.
Purchase from Amazon | The Book Depository

About Pete Hautman
Pete Hautman is the author of Godless, which won the National Book Award, and many other critically acclaimed books for teens and adults, including Blank Confession, All-In, Rash, No Limit, and Invisible. Mr. Was was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Pete lives in Minnesota and Wisconsin.


Sorry international peeps as this giveaway is US only. We do try our best to make all giveaways international but sadly, sometimes it's just not possible. We feel you though as we're international too. Anyway, for US residents, you have until June 30 to join! We will have THREE winners of The Cydonian Pyramid (or The Obsidian Blade if you haven't read the first book). The winners will be contacted through email and must respond within 48 hours. Good luck! Thank you to Andie of Candlewick Press for sponsoring this giveaway!

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Review Linky

Link up your May time travel reviews here!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed #1) by Page Morgan

Book Description:

Paperback, 343 pages
May 2nd 2013, Hot Key Books

Ingrid Waverley is a young woman to be reckoned with. Faced with her brother's mysterious disappearance after an abrupt move to Paris, she is determined to discover what has happened to him. Soon she and her sister Gabriella are drawn into a Parisian underworld more terrifying than they could ever have imagined, but watching over them are two impossible (and impossibly handsome) young men. Luc is a 'Dispossessed', an ancient gargoyle whose sworn duty it is to protect the humans who inhabit his abbey. Nolan has secrets of his own too. He is a member of the Alliance - a shadowy group dedicated to keeping Paris safe from the demonic forces that threaten to destroy it.

Secrets, danger and hidden powers stalk the girls in this beautifully imagined paranormal romance that will keep readers gripped from beginning to end - and one thing is for sure - you'll never look at a gargoyle in the same way again...

Source: Olivia + Hot Key Books (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

The ambiance of The Beautiful and the Cursed was unforgettable. Cold, gloomy, slightly creepy in morning and creepier at night with the tang of a hundred disastrous and startling possibilities in the air, this story world left its mark in my mind.

What I appreciated most in The Beautiful and the Cursed was the paranormal element: gargoyles. To be honest, this is the first gargoyle-related novel that I’ve read. Seeing les grotesques in a different light was refreshing. Their connection to the Angelic Order was something that I would never imagine. The Dispossessed were cursed creatures, bound to protect people albeit unwillingly. They harbored bittersweet feelings: grateful for not being sent to hell but not so excited to feel the intense pull to protect their humans.

Ingrid was admirable because of her persistence and optimism. She was determined to find her twin, Grayson, no matter what other people said, no matter how much discouraging things she heard and no matter how much everybody thought that what she wanted to do was irrational and impossible. In her search for clues about the whereabouts of Grayson, she found otherworldly creatures and abilities, a secret organization and unearthed secrets instead. Her transformation throughout the novel was one of the highlights for me.

Luc, our resident gargoyle, was not the usual YA guy. Although he was the brooding type, he was more mature, responsible and undeniably enigmatic. Luc and Ingrid’s relationship was a strained in the beginning. They performed a dance of pull and push. Eventually they were drawn towards one another in dangerous circumstances and sparks flew.

Gabby, the younger Waverly sister, was overly curious, daring and bold. In the middle of her investigation, she bumped into Nolan. Scottish, mischievous and clever, he was both annoying and charming. Their relationship started with back to back banter and palpable annoyance, with their always-clashing perspectives. As they got pulled deeper and deeper into the mystery of Grayson’s disappearance, they both started falling, seeing beyond the arguments.

Although I was a bit distracted with the onslaught of character introductions in the beginning, to the point that I was struggling to remember who was who, I eventually adjusted and enjoyed the story. The writing was very movie-like to me. The Beautiful and the Cursed was written in such a way that would be suited to movies. The successive presentation of the story from various points of view, that I consider the reader’s ‘glimpses,’ was quite cinematic.

The Beautiful and the Cursed is atmospheric, romantic and cinematic. With dual romance, twists and turns and otherworldly revelations, this gem will keep readers entertained. Readers of paranormal will enjoy this breath of fresh air. It’s high time that we reserve a spot for gargoyles on our shelves.


4 Cupids = Strong book love.
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: Phoenix (Black City #2) by Elizabeth Richards

Book Description via Goodreads:

Hardcover, 368 pages (Reviewer's copy: ARC, 350 pages)
June 4th 2013, Putnam Juvenile

Weeks after his crucifixion and rebirth as Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is short-lived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall or Natalie will be killed.

The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about The Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.

Source: Elizabeth Richards (Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

The small flicker of fire in Black City strengthened into a burning flame in Phoenix. I was pleasantly surprised at the various changes. First and foremost, the atmosphere. There was a constant hum of rebellion buzzing throughout the novel. In this light, Phoenix was similar to Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons.

Natalie's life was more complicated. She was labeled as a race traitor after having a relationship with Ash. Her mother, the Emissary was in jail. She only had her sister left. Natalie really stepped out of her luxurious life and adjusted to life as a rebel. She actively took part in the rebellion, fighting for a cause that was so close to her heart: the safety and freedom of Darklings. I admired her desire to help put people no matter how much danger she was in herself. Together with Ash and Elijah, Natalie will journey through the dangerous terrain in Phoenix and will face the deadliest discovery of all.

Ash definitely wowed me. He turned into a better version of himself, becoming the face of the rebellion and setting an example for everyone. Contrary to the Ash in Black City, he now had a surge of confidence, determination and fierceness that I found appealing. That, coupled with the fact that he was lethal, will definitely make girls swoon. However, despite these strengths, he was still vulnerable when it came to his heart, when it came to Natalie. In YA novels, I consider it a must for readers to see the vulnerable side of every character. Seeing Ash hurt and ache, echoed in me. I have been emotionally attached to him and Natalie since the first book that despite the almost one year gap between Black City and Phoenix, that attachment was still strong.

Ash and Natalie's relationship was challenged in Phoenix. Although it still remained sweet and passionate, there was an undercurrent of sadness and fear. The author still managed to make it all the more sensual and steamy in an artsy way. Imagine the sensations and the feels from physical scenes in Easy by Tammara Webber. It's that good, only toned down for YA audience.

In Phoenix, I got to know more about a minor character in Black City, Elijah. He was the opposite of Ash in terms of personality and appearance. Elijah was fun, mischievous and less serious. He was an enchanting and mysterious character. I found myself warming up to him because he had a couple of similarities with Puck from the Iron Fey series, who is a favorite character of mine.

The story world broadened in the sequel, from the focused observation of Black City to the nationwide-encompassing rebellion and journey. New characters from different races were also introduced, letting me understand the totality of the population of the story world. The palpable struggle for power and for survival within and against each race was an echo of the power struggle between the Workboots and the Sentry. The heart-stopping action will keep readers enthralled all throughout the chapters.

Phoenix, like its predecessor, had everything I want in a novel: heart-melting and jelly-legs-inducing romance, chaos and rebellion, movie-like action, twists and turns but most of all, it was the author's ability to make me smile, hurt and agonize over every little happening in the book. Jolts and shockers from the past and the future mixed with the adrenaline-fueled rebellion against Purian Rose will satisfy readers who are looking for thrilling reads. Phoenix is startlingly vivid, violent and undeniably fulfilling. Readers will enjoy their journey through the passionate, dangerous, chaotic, blood-splattered story world of Phoenix. I highly recommend this to dystopian and post-apocalyptic readers who are looking for romance and action.


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

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cover Reveal: 1816 Candles by Amanda Brice

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Title: 1816 Candles
Author: Amanda Brice
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Cover Designer: Keith Draws
Expected release date: September 2013
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours
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High school senior Lauren is attending a costume ball at Old Town Alexandria’s famous Gadsby’s Tavern. But when she gets bored by the repetitious historical dances, she goes off to explore in the building and something odd catches her eye.

Is it a woman?

When Lauren follows the mysterious person and picks up a snow globe in the room she’s led to, she somehow ends up in 1816, experiencing the actual events of the “Legend of the Female Stranger” she’s heard her whole life growing up. Now Lauren has to solve the mystery of this ghost, find her way back home…and deal with her own emotions when she falls in love with a guy who lived 200 years before her.

About the Author:

As a little girl, Amanda Brice dreamed of being either a ballerina or the author of a mystery series featuring a cool crime-solving chick named Nancy Flew, but her father urged her to “do something practical,” so she went to law school and spent her days writing briefs and pleadings instead of fiction.

But dance and writing have remained a part of her life. Amanda was a member of the ballroom dance team at Duke University, and continues this interest by her obsession with Dancing with the Stars, so it was only natural for her to set a teen mystery series at a dance school.

Amanda is the President of Washington Romance Writers, and is a two-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award. She blogs once a month or so with the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood. She is also a popular conference presenter, speaking on basic copyright and trademark law for writers.

In her spare time, Amanda enjoys dancing, reading, cooking, traveling, and obsessing over whether Duke will beat Carolina in basketball. Go Devils!

Find Amanda: Website | Facebook

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Escaping Darkness Book Blast + International Giveaway

Hi guys! Today is the start of the Escaping Darkness Book Blast. Stick around and get a chance to win an ebook of Escaping Darkness + The Stone Guardian (any format) + $50 Visa Giftcard later.

Book Description:

She may have spent years in an asylum, but that didn’t make her crazy–just fearless.

Dropped in Moscow with her friends on an impossible mission against underworld forces, Tara is left to her feelings of overwhelming inadequacy. Her boyfriend is a healer, her best friend is “the Guardian,” and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. The only thing she has been able to contribute are her memories, which has left her with nightmares of her time spent at the mercy of the evil Sarian–who everyone has gone to fight.

Alone with her emotions, Tara finds herself falling into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared.

He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground rings of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…

Review of Escaping Darkness

Purchase: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa began her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and feature articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult and new adult paranormal and contemporary romance.

Since then, Theresa has been married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and was repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having traveled to over a dozen countries and explored dozens of U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, Theresa will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.


Open internationally! Win an ebook of Escaping Darkness + The Stone Guardian (any format) + $50 Visa Giftcard.

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Shucked Book Blitz + International Giveaway

As part of Xpresso Book Tours' Shucked Book Blitz, I've got two treats for you: an excerpt and an international giveaway.

Book Description:

Shucked by Megg Jensen
Publication date: April 14th 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary

Suburgatory meets Indiana Jones...on a farm

Fifteen-year-old Tabitha has had the kind of life that would impress even the greatest adventurers. She's escaped a croc attack in the Amazon, walked the length of the Great Wall of China, and earned a black belt in taekwondo in Korea. She owes her worldly experience to her mother's career in archaeology, but when her mother takes on a dangerous new assignment, Tabitha is devastated to learn she can't tag along.

Instead, she's forced to live on a midwestern farm with her grandparents where she'll have to attend a full year of public school. It's Tabitha's greatest nightmare, because despite all her adventures, she has no practical experience with the one thing that frightens her the most - other teenagers.

Her math teacher is her mom's old high school boyfriend, she can't tell the friendly girls from the mean ones, and she develops a major crush on a boy she knows she can't trust. And just when she thinks she'll never get the hang of this normal teenager thing, an attack brings the danger of her previous life right up to her midwestern porch. Who could have ever guessed getting totally shucked would bring her face-to-face with her most exciting adventure yet?

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBookstore | Kobo

Here's a sneak-peek on Shucked:

About the Author:

She has been a freelance parenting journalist since 2003 and began writing YA novels in 2009. She co-runs DarkSide Publishing, is a member of SCBWI, and she blogs about writing while juggling freelancing, volunteering, and family life. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, two kids, and their miniature schnauzer, Ace.

Follow Megg: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


You guys know the drill. :)
Open internationally and winner takes all.
Winner has 72 hours to reply to my email.

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Monday, May 06, 2013

Review: Acid by Emma Pass

Book Description:

Paperback, 431 pages
April 25th 2013 by Corgi Children's Books/Random House Children's Publishing

2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.

The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.

Source: Harriet + Random House UK (Thanks!!)

My Thoughts:

With giants like The Hunger Games and Divergent dominating the dystopian scene, it’s difficult to not compare new dystopian titles to them. Acid has the basic elements of a dystopian novel: an unsatisfied society, an oppressed population and corruption and lies. Aside from the basics, Acid stands out because of the strength and spunk of Jenna, who could rival Katniss when it comes to badassery, and the twists and turns that I didn't see coming.

Jenna Strong was a character that strutted into my reading life, knowing that I’d adore her from the start. I reacted to her pretty much the same way that I reacted to Katniss Everdeen. But what I liked about Jenna was that she was a trooper. She took everything not with a smile but with fierce determination and confidence that she can survive anything and everything that ACID throws at her. Although Jenna was not a perfect character. She was flawed. She tended to act on impulse, valuing emotions more than logic. These imperfections made her Jenna. Considering her age and her miserable past, I don’t blame her for acting so.

When it comes down to the love interest, Max, I have nothing negative to say. He was charming in his own way albeit naive at times. The story was more focused on Jenna and as a result, there was little chance to get to know Max more. There was no instalove, just to be clear. If I will compare Jenna and Max to the YA couples in other dystopian novels, they weren't exactly as romantic the typical dystopian couple. The relationship that they have was more or less the same to the relationship that Katniss and Peeta have in The Hunger Games (Book 1). As a reader, I got to see their relationship from different angles. The necessary and unwanted lies that mask the truth collide against the growing love that Jenna and Max have.

The plot was interesting and managed to surprise and shock me from time to time. Although I had this 6th sense for possible upcoming scenarios while I was reading Acid, I have to admit that it kept me at the edge of my seat. As the story moved forward, I was pulled deeper and deeper into the heart of ACID's corruption and lies, the layers of Jenna's life and the complicated lives of the mysterious group that helped Jenna. The plunge into her complicated, thrilling and always-on-the-run life was unforgettable as a reader. Although the constant unpredictability in Jenna's life might jolt other readers in a negative way, I'm sure that readers who love twists and turns will absolutely enjoy Acid. When it comes to worldbuilding, Pass sprinkles enough details to visualize the actual setting and shows the condition of the society on various levels. The news articles that come in between chapters were a nice touch. It was like actually waking up in Acid's story world and reading the latest news prepared by ACID. The striking differences between what was reported and what actually happened highlighted the lies that ACID kept spinning.

Acid is thrilling, shocking and action-packed. It kept me on the edge of my seat, reading page after page, not knowing how it would all end. I highly recommend this to readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games, readers who like prison break stories aka always-on-the-run stories, readers who love twists and turns and readers who prefer action over romance in their dystopian reads.


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Guest Post by Shandy Lawson + The Loop Giveaways - International!

Hi everyone! For today, I've got a guest post from Shandy Lawson for the monthly time travel wrap-up and feature. Stick around for three giveaways. :)

Book Description:

Hardcover, 208 pages
April 30th 2013, Hyperion

Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days—both the best and worst of their lives—they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man destined to kill them.

As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate’s clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie’s only shot at not dying is surviving apart?

About the Author:

Shandy Lawson's "day jobs" have ranged from making wine recommendations to being a machinist, a dispatcher in an auto repair garage, a philosophy tutor at a local college, and a stone mason. Creatively, he put most of his energy into a career as a performing songwriter before turning his focus to writing fiction. Shandy lives and works n New York City. The Loop is his first novel.

Follow Shandy: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

The Loop Giveaways

Because Dianne and I really love The Loop - reviews to come! - we decided to have 3 giveaways so everyone can enter: The first is for US/CA residents, the second is for PH residents and the last is for International readers!

For US/CA Residents:

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For PH Residents:

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For International Readers:

Note: We are really, really, really - sincerely - sorry for the trouble and confusion, our dear readers. My fellow blogger just found out that as of the moment, there is no Kindle available for The Loop. We decided to close this international giveaway immediately so as to prevent more people from entering it when the prize still doesn't exist. *coughs* as of the moment. :( Sorry!

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