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The Waves
Jen Minkman
Vampire Academy
Richelle Mead
J.L. Spelbring
Smash Into You
Shelly Crane
Decoding Evie
Nicole Sobon
Hold Me Down Hard - Cathryn Fox Hold Me Down Hard was a nice read, but it felt more like a preview than a complete novel.

The one thing that I loved about Hold Me Down Hard was that the plot was unique. Eden is an actress and she has it bad for her neighbor/best friend, Jay. When she has a new part she's preparing for, he usually runs her lines with her. After some encouragement from her friends, she decides to write her own script to try and seduce Jay.

Like I said, it is definitely a unique plot, but I was left wanting more. I'd love to see this story told in novel length. It just felt too rushed in this form.
Out of Line - Jen McLaughlin, Diane Alberts I purchased this one from Amazon after seeing numerous tweets about it while going through my timeline on Twitter. And I am so glad that I did.
Out of Line is a thoroughly enjoyable New Adult novel.
I love the New Adult genre but, there are times when I feel like I’m reading the same story line all over again. That isn’t the case with this book. At all.
I started reading this on my lunch break on Thursday, and it not been for work and my need to sleep, I would’ve finished it in one sitting.
Out of Line has it all: snark, steamy romance, and an exciting storyline.
My only problem was the ending. It is a bit of a cliffhanger. I mean, we do get the HEA, but there are still a ton of questions to come, though I’m sure they’ll be answered in the sequel.

A quick summary of the book:
Carrie is the daughter of a Senator – an incredibly overprotective Senator. She’s just starting her freshman year at college, believing that her father hasn’t sent any security to watch over her. She’s thrilled at the idea of freedom. And then in comes Finn. Her life changes almost immediately upon meeting him. With him, she seeks out ways to disobey her father; ways to have fun. But what Carrie doesn’t know is that her father did send security to check in on her, and when she discovers the truth, it’ll change everything.

My take on Carrie and Finn:
Carrie is a “good” girl, yes, but she isn’t a Mary Sue. I actually liked her. She’s snarky, she’s strong willed, and she’s someone that tries to help those that need it.
Finn is a great character. There were times in the book where I wanted to hit him, yes, but I did like him as a character. (And he is definitely swoonworthy.)

A quote that I liked:

Losing her had only made it all the more evident that I loved her. And all the more evident that I was an idiot too. The two kind of went hand in hand, didn’t they? Love didn’t come without a little bit of stupidity. Okay. A hell of a lot of it.

McLaughlin, Jen (2013-09-04). Out Of Line (p. 177). . Kindle Edition.

I would definitely recommend picking up Out of Line, especially if you’re looking for a different kind of New Adult title. It’s worth reading.
No Strings Attached - Nicolette Day No Strings Attached is a novelette, not a full length novel, so it's definitely a quick read. My only problem with it? I wanted more when I was done with it!

There are a lot of stories about best friends falling in love, but Nicolette manages to make this stand out.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what Nicolette does with this series. (More Jace, please!)


Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell Review to come.

Unchained (Nephilim Rising, #1)

Unchained - J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout First off: I need to point out that Unchained is an adult title. It is not a YA title. At all.

With that said, I adored Unchained. It kind of reminded me of a mixture of Jennifer’s Covenant series and her Lux series – just written for adults. That may sound like a bad thing, but it isn’t, I promise!

Unchained has the sass and romance that readers have come to expect from Jennifer’s books, and it’ll easily keep readers glued to their e-readers (since this is a digital only release – as of right now, at least). It’s that addicting!

My initial thought when I finished Unchained? I have a new favorite JLA book.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Unchained since it was originally announced, so when Entangled was holding giveaways for digital ARCs, I immediately jumped at the chance. And I’m so glad that I did.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to review this one since I finished it yesterday. The problem? I don’t want to spoil anything, because there is a pretty big plot twist in this one that changes everything. So, instead I’m going to make a list of reasons why you need to read this book:

1. Lily and Julian: Remember how I said that I had a new favorite JLA book? Yeah, well I also have a new favorite JLA book couple (sorry, Alex and Aiden).
2. Michael: Okay, so I wasn’t entirely sold on him in the beginning, but as the story progresses and he comes to terms with this world, he becomes more likeable. And by the end? I absolutely loved him. (Seriously, you’ll understand why when you finish the book.)
3. Lily Marks: Lily is awesome at her job. She can easily take down most of the guys at the Sanctuary. But that isn’t the only side of Lily that we get to see in Unchained. There’s also this vulnerable woman beneath her title – her duty – and we get to see that, and I loved that, because it made it easier to connect to her character.
4. The plot twist: Jennifer, are you trying to kill me here? I did not see that coming, and it made me want to scream, because I liked ________ before that scene. Seriously though, even though that plot twist shocked the hell out of me, I loved where Jennifer took the story.

I could keep listing things that I loved about this book, but as I said, I’m trying to avoid spoilers.

My final word: You need to read this book. Now. (Really. Now would be a good time.)


Collide - Nicole Sobon Official (and final) release date: October 26th, 2013.
Full synopsis to come.

Here's an [unedited] teaser for now:
"I could feel the blush creeping into my cheeks as I allowed my thoughts to run wild. It probably wasn’t a smart idea to picture your best friend naked when they were sitting right in front of you. Better yet, it probably wasn’t the best idea to do so when you were surrounded by alcohol, especially when said alcohol usually led to you doing stupid things.
Still, that hadn’t stopped me from reaching for Nate’s second glass of Rum and Coke.
“Fuck, that is gross,” I said, slamming down the empty glass.
Ben laughed. “Are you feeling okay?”
“Trust me, I’m more than fine right now.”
“Do you want to play pool?” he asked. “I can go get us a table.”
“I’m thinking no. I can barley keep the balls from hitting the shot girls when I’m sober. I don’t even want to think about trying to attempt to play pool while drinking. I just don’t see that ending well. For anyone.”
Ben glanced down at his watch and pressed his finger to his bottom lip, as if in deep thought. “I have an idea,” he said.
“Should I be worried?” I arched a brow at him.
He shrugged. “Maybe. Maybe not.”'
Frigid - J Lynn Actual Rating: 3.7

I love Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books. Really. I do. In fact, I don’t think there’s been a single book of hers – of those that I’ve read – that I’ve rated below four stars. Until now.

Here’s the thing. I like Sydney and Kyler. They are adorable, and I was able to relate to their relationship, because I’ve been through one like it. I was glued to the pages, wanting to know what was going to happen between them.

The problem? As much as I liked Sydney and Kyler, I felt as though Frigid fell short for me, and it pains me to say that as a huge JLA fan.

I’m used to being surprised in Jenn’s books. Her Covenant and Lux books have always been able to keep me on the edge of my seat with anticipation, confusion, and even frustration at times. But I called the big reveal in Frigid shortly after that lobby scene. I fail to see how they wouldn’t have immediately thought of him. I mean, really? After the tension in that scene, and all of the bad things that start happening almost immediately after, you don’t even stop to think that he may be involved? Really? That bothered me. A lot.

I think the other thing that knocked this story down a bit for me was that there wasn’t enough story here. I found that Frigid focused more on the steamy romance scenes rather than an actual story. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a good romance story, and I adored Kyler, but those scenes were boarding on excessive.)

My overall opinion: I’d say Frigid was a book worth reading. I can’t say that I loved it as much as I have her other works, but it is still a good book.
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green I’ve had The Fault in Our Stars sitting on my shelf since its release day. Not because I didn’t want to read it, with all of the buzz it was actually high on my to-read pile. Unfortunately, I just never got around to it until this week, and oh how I regret waiting so long to read this book.

What can I say about The Fault in Our Stars that hasn’t already been said? This book took me on an emotional rollercoaster that I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever recover from.

I started this book on Tuesday around 11PM, having just finished The Spectacular Now, and had real life not gotten in the way, I’m sure I would’ve finished TFiOS in one sitting. This book pulled me in, and all I wanted to do was to keep reading about Augustus and Hazel.

What I loved most about The Fault in Our Stars was how Green constructed both Hazel and Augustus. Here you have these two kids, suffering from a terrible, terrible disease, and yet, they don’t allow their disease to become them. They still know how to smile, to laugh, to live – and honestly, they bring out the best in one another. It isn’t a cancer story, it’s a story about two teenagers that just so happen to have cancer. In fact, it actually kind of reminded me of 50/50 in that it managed to balance the humor with the pain, and it did so wonderfully.

I didn’t understand why so many others had stated they bawled their eyes out while reading this until I came upon the scene at the gas station. That is the first time that we really get to see the vulnerable side of Augustus Waters, and it is absolutely heartbreaking. That scene – as well as the whole book, honestly – just felt so real. And the pain only grows from there on out.

As for the ending… I honestly was expecting it to end mid-sentence, like I was fearing something would happen to Hazel, that her story would play out like Anna’s, and that in the middle of reading, everything would just end, but not really end. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. The ending was actually beautifully written, and though I still have many questions, I’m satisfied with how Green ended their story.

I’m not big into re-reading books, but this is one I can easily see myself re-reading time and time again.
The Spectacular Now - Tim Tharp I've been trying to write a review for this book ever since I finished it yesterday, and honestly, I'm really not sure how to review this book.

I can see why people dislike this book (I mean, Sutter isn't the most likable character), but then again, I can also see how people really like this book (it is fairly realistic).

I liked it. A lot more than I expected to, honestly.

I can't really write a full blown review on this book, but I can list what I did and didn't like.

What I liked:
Tharp has perfected the teenage voice. There is no doubt about that. Sutter, though unlikeable at times, actually comes off as a teenager living in the now as opposed to worrying about the future.

The relationship between Sutter and Aimee. Okay, so their ending isn't necessarily a happy one, but it is the right one. It's a sad ending, but at the same time, it's perfect.

The humor. There is a lot of pain within both Sutter and Aimee, but Tharp manages to balance the pain and the humor rather well.

What I didn't like:
Sutter at times, honestly. I get that he is a bit of an alcoholic, I do, and at times you felt sorry for him, but some of his actions and some of his words really just made want to shake him - especially when it came to Aimee. Thankfully the ending redeemed him, somewhat.

The relationship between Sutter and Aimee. Yeah, I know I said I liked this, but there were also some issues I had with it. He wanted to save her, but there were times when others tried to show him that he was ruining her, and he just blew it off. She was such a broken character, and well, he definitely did take advantage of her at times, and I didn't care for that.

Would I recommend it? Sure. It is definitely worth a read, plus, the movie is getting rave reviews, just know that this book definitely isn't for everyone. I'd say it is more upper YA.

End Dayz (The Hitchhiker Strain, #0.5)

End Dayz (The Hitchhiker Strain, #0.5) - Kellie Sheridan What I liked most about End Dayz was that it offered up multiple perspectives, giving readers a better idea of what was taking place inside this world that Sheridan had created.

This was a quick read, and a nice introduction to the first book, Mortality. I'm intrigued by the world that Sheridan has crafted. It is hard to make something unique when it comes to zombies, and I was worried this would be just another zombie story. It wasn't. In this 11,000 word prequel, told through journal entries/letters, Sheridan manages to showcase a world struggling to rebuild after two separate attacks.

I will definitely make it a point to check out Mortality as soon as possible, as I'm curious to see what is next for these characters, and what Sheridan has in store for us readers.
Brooklyn Girls - Gemma Burgess I hadn’t heard of Brooklyn Girls until I had the chance to review it, and at first, I wasn’t entirely sure it was the right book for me, but I’m glad I kept reading through to the end. There were some things that bothered me, but overall, I enjoyed reading Pia’s story and definitely feel as someone that is in her mid-twenties, I could relate to most of what Pia and the other girls were going through in Brooklyn Girls.

When we first meet Pia, she is an irresponsible party girl that can’t hold a job, or make the right decisions. When her father finds out she’s lost the job at a PR agency that he helped her get, he tells her that she has six weeks to get a job, or she’ll be forced to leave New York and move back home.

That is when Pia decides it is time to grow up and take responsibility for her actions.

Over the course of the book, Pia makes a lot of mistakes (seriously, a lot), but it is from her mistakes that she really learns who she is and who she wants to be. For me, that is one of the best parts of Brooklyn Girls. There is a lot of character development here, and even though at times, Pia manages to get herself into some strange situations, she manages to change from a crazy party girl into a responsible young woman with a successful business.

There is romance, but it isn’t the main focus. In fact, it is rather brief. But I think the way Burgess handled this was smart. While Aidan is an awesome character and I really liked what little what did get to see of him, I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed this book as much had their relationship been the focal point of the story. It is hard to find a contemporary new adult read in which romance isn’t the focus of the story, so it was a nice change.

While I enjoyed Brooklyn Girls, there were some things that I disliked:

The Cosmo storyline: I understand that she needed the loan, and while I get that being unemployed and with, I’d assume, little credit to her name, it would’ve been impossible to go through a bank, this entire story line just seem a bit forced and out of place.

How easily she started up the food truck: Starting a business is hard. But for Pia, it seemed to happen with no problem. She decided to start a food truck business, magically found someone selling a food truck, and overheard where she could locate a loan shark, and then proceeded to start up her own business almost without a hitch. It just seemed too convenient.

In the end, Brooklyn Girls is a new adult novel that does a wonderful job of showcasing that in-between phase, where you’re now considered an adult, and you’re forced to learn how to grow up almost overnight. The struggles that these girls go through are realistic (for the most part), and I could definitely relate to the struggles that Pia was going through. She was trying to find herself while trying to carve out a future for herself that would make her parents proud of.
Deprogrammed - Nicole Sobon Unedited teaser:

He lay down on the ground, his arm over his eyes. I was sure the conversation was over, until he spoke, “You’re going to turn me into one of them, aren’t you?”
“That is what my uncle expects from me, but I can’t do that to you.”
“Except you will,” he said, dropping his arm to his side. “Humans are weak individuals. We will do anything and everything in order to protect ourselves – any morals we have instinctively go out the door when it comes down to life or death. And, as you’ve already shown, you’re no different from the rest of us.”
Stupid Perfect World - Scott Westerfeld In need of a quick read between edits for Deprogrammed, I stumbled upon Stupid Perfect World. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect as I'd never read anything by Scott Westerfeld, but I really ended up enjoying it.

Telling a story in fifty-five pages isn't easy, yet Westerfeld does it no problem. I found myself lost inside of this world that he'd created - it was unique and exciting, especially as the story progressed.

The only reason I am giving this novella four stars is because I wanted more. The ending, while showcasing wonderful character development, wasn't as satisfying as I would have liked it to have been. It just kind of seemed to end. If Westerfeld decides to revisit this world with a full length novel, I will definitely be checking it out.
The Island - Jen Minkman Rating: 3.5 Stars

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from The Island.

I knew to expect Star Wars references, but I didn’t expect the story itself to revolve around Star Wars. (Which actually isn’t a bad thing.)

The Island is a quick read. It is short and enjoyable, but it does feel like something is missing and I think that is only because of its short length.

I love novellas, especially since I don’t really have much time to read nowadays, but I was hoping for a bit more with The Island. The concept is definitely unique, and I absolutely loved that about The Island. (Seriously, if you’re a Star Wars fan, I think you’ll enjoy this novella.) But I would’ve liked to see the relationship between Leia and Walt develop a bit more, or even see what exactly happened to Leia’s father, or her mother’s reaction to the note.

If you’re looking for a short read that you an easily devour, then I’d recommend The Island. And if you’re a Star Wars fan, then I would definitely recommend checking this out. It is a unique dystopian tale that will leave readers wanting more.

Strength (Outbreak, 0.8)

Strength (Outbreak, 0.8) - Nicole Sobon Unedited teaser:

Desperate times called for desperate measures, so the saying went.
Two days ago, our lives changed. Again. We’d been living under the rule of Troum for so long that I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to be free, to live a life outside of these walls.
The days before the Outbreak were days that I would forever cherish; days that held happier memories – of my sister, my mother, our family.
My father and I had found a way to manage, to suppress the pain, the longing, but times like now, I found myself eager to reclaim what was once, and she had only made that desire stronger.
She had, in a way, forced me awake; opened my eyes to new possibilities I had not thought to be achievable after the Outbreak. She made freedom seem achievable, although at a price.

Strength is a short story, like Spark, but this one is being told from Ana's POV. It will be a bit longer than Spark, and it'll only be available as an eBook.
Immortal Eclipse - Sherry Soule First off, I’d like to say sorry to Sherry for taking so long with this review.

Immortal Eclipse is an incredibly fun ride of a book. I really, really, really enjoyed it from the very first page all the way through to the end. (I tend to lose focus rather easily, but this book hooked me no problem.)

Soule has crafted a thrilling story with plenty of romance that will keep readers wanting more. I loved the atmosphere that Soule created in Immortal Eclipse. Summerwind is a spooky place, and she does a wonderful job of keeping readers guessing.

There are a lot of twists and turns as the story goes along, but I think my favorite part of Immortal Eclipse was seeing Skylar grow as a character. In the beginning, when her life in New York begins to fall apart, Skylar isn’t entirely sure what she wants to do, and even when she arrives at Summerwind, she isn’t entirely sure why she’s there. But as the story goes along, Skylar ends up finding what she didn’t know she was looking for.

Thank you, Sherry and Disenchanted Publishing, for sending me a review copy.