Jun 15, 2014

~REVIEW~ Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.


The Plot

Allegiant starts off a few days after Insurgent and Tris and her friends are being held prisoners by Evelyn. When they are exonerated after Tris is put under the truth serum, they watch as the new order functions. When the faction members decide to fight back the Allegiant are formed. Tris along with Tobias, Christina, Caleb, Peter, Cara, Uriah and Tori set out to find out what exactly is behind the fence they have always protected. What they find is shocking and turns up to be much worse than the faction world they were raised in.

The group sets out to uncover the truth of the Bureau and bring back order to their home as well as the new world they discovered. Lives are taken, betrayals are made, and at the end the ultimate sacrifice is made for the good.

The Characters

Okay lets starts of with Tris because I think she is a pretty kick ass heroine. Tris has always had the best interest at heart but she has grown to be a selfless leader. In Divergent and Insurgent she worried so much that she was selfish and also made some mistakes by jumping the gun. That changed in Allegiant. She was a soldier, but a strategic and kind one. She thought things through before acting and she learned to be leader. She was a hero. And although she loved Tobias I was happy to see her stand up to him and point out his wrongs and his worries about being “damaged”. She was a stronger version of the girl that we met in Divergent and I can’t say how much I adored her growth as a character.

This leads me to Tobias. I wish I could say he was everything I loved in the story. That’s not the case. He kind of disappointed me a lot in this book. In Divergent he was this wonderful guy that was strong, bad-ass, kind and caring. I wanted to see him grow and open up to the people that loved him. That didn’t really happen. In Allegiant, there is really not left of “Four”. For the first half of the book, all that is left is an insecure and disappointing, Tobias. He spent the whole book struggling through insecurity over what others thought about him and in the first half, made a really stupid decision. A decision that had terrible repercussions. I have to admit there were times at the beginning of this book I wanted to punch him and shake the stupidness out of him. When we reach the middle of the book we finally get to see that kindness in him again and that hurt he has never been able to let go. That “weakness” in him made me want to reach through the book and hug him. Nonetheless, I didn’t see now growth in him and in a way I feel like I should have felt more a connection to his character than what I felt at the end.

Now the secondary characters have always been my favorite. I loved Christina and Uriah and seeing their growth through the series was pretty fantastic. I also have to admit that I liked Peter, Caleb, Cara and Matthew. Although I have had a strong hate relationship with Peter and Caleb, at the end I feel like they at least realized their wrongdoings.

The Romance

Umm…yeah I’m not even going to touch on this because there is no reason too. Nothing happens that’s different from the prior books. To me romance wasn’t even a part of this book.

Love on the other hand was and that all knowing and self-sacrificing love was something I cherished about this series.

The Wrap-Up

So okay I had many issues with the first half of the book which made this a 4 star read for me. It was slow, boring and repetitive. I was about to give up but decided I had to make it through this. I’m glad I did because the second half is action packed and what I fell in love with in Divergent. I can’t tell you how many times I cried, how much heartbreak I felt and how much anger. This series had a different ending than I’m used to, but somehow I couldn’t see it ending any other way. At the end of it all sacrifice for those you love is one of the themes touched about in this whole series.
Overall, if you’ve started the series, end it with this. Prepare for a slow start but bear it and you will see the finale to Tris’s story.


Favorite Quotes:

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.

But sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.

That is the sort of bravery I must have now.”

“I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” 

“She taught me all about real sacrifice. That it should be done from love... That it should be done from necessity, not without exhausting all other options. That it should be done for people who need your strength because they don't have enough of their own.”

“I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me--they, and the love and loyaty I give them, form my identity far more than any word or group ever could.” 

“Yeah, sometimes life really sucks," she says. "But you know what I'm holding on for?"

I raise my eyebrows.

She raises hers, too, mimicking me.

"The moments that don't suck," she says. "The trick is to notice them when they come around.”

Jun 12, 2014

~REVIEW~ Entwined by Elisabeth Naughton

Entwined (Eternal Guardians, #2) 

ZANDER—The most feared of all the Eternal Guardians. It’s rumored he can’t be killed, and he always fights like he has nothing to lose. But as a descendant of the famed hero Achilles, he’s got to have a vulnerability… somewhere.

Forces of daemons are gathering and have broken through the barriers of the Underworld. Now more than ever the Eternal Guardians are needed to protect both their own realm and the humans’. Zander can’t afford to think about what might have been with the bewitching physician he once regarded as his soul mate. But with eternity stretching before him, he also can’t fathom spending his life without the one woman who makes him feel most alive. Perhaps he’s found his weakness, after all…


The Plot

ZANDER is one of the oldest living Argonauts in Argolea. Cursed with spending eternity watching those he loves die, Zander has lived a life filled with pain. Ten years ago he finally found his soul-mate, only to be divided by manipulation and miscommunication from others. With no purpose in life, Zander does the only thing that will give him one. He decides to marry Isadora. But the fight with Atalanta's daemons is heating up and Zander comes to the realization that he might be immortal but can be killed. He also gets something he never knew could happen; the possibility of a second chance with Callia, his soul-mate. But attaining a second chance is difficult when she despises him and he holds resentment towards her for destroying him ten years earlier. Entwined is their story...

The Characters

Zander reminds me so much of Zsadist from JR Wards Black Dagger Brotherhood series. He is such a lonely and destructive Argonaut. He has lived centuries in pure loneliness while he see’s his brothers and family go on to a better place. He has never had anything to live for and wishes so much for something so that he can have a purpose in his life. Underneath all that agony and angst there is a man suffering because of his curse. Although he seems detached at times when he is with Callia you get to see just how deep his love and devotion is. He is a fierce protector and is loyal warrior.

Now although I enjoyed Casey in Marked I have to say that I adored Callia. She is fragile in the beginning and is manipulated by those that she thinks love her. As she grows to learn about her strengths and fight for what she wants she turns into a fierce heroine. She doesn’t cower when Zander becomes intimidating and she doesn’t sit back and let others fight her battles.Although hard headed at times I admired her determination and that she wasn't a pushover.

Then there is Max. In Marked we were introduced to him and some may have realized the connection he has to the Argonauts. In Entwined you will finally get the answers to his connection. He was such a wonderful kid but was raised under the poison of Atalanta so that is his biggest struggle. Seeing the strength he had was so heartbreaking only because of the environment he grew up in.

I want to point out all the other characters because they are what makes this series what it is. I enjoyed catching up with Casey,Theron, Isadora, and the other Argonauts. Isadora was pretty weak in this book and a bit of a cow so I’m looking forward to getting into her head in Twisted. Orpheus and Nick are also a mystery that I am dying to unravel.

The Romance

Zander and Callia have so much bad history that it is a long journey for these two. They are both living through the pain of the decisions made ten years earlier. Decisions that broke the foundation they both tried so hard to build. When they finally have to confront their past their story truly begins. The love these two have for each other has held over 10 years so when they both are thrust together it is both wonderful and tumultuous. Zander and Callia are both kindhearted as well as have strong personalities. Their moments together were great but also frustrating at times because of the miscommunications.

The Wrap-Up

Entwined is currently my favorite in the Eternal Guardians series! This one was more of my type of book only because it wasn’t all about sex with these two. Their story had so many other elements that were focused on that it was easier to connect with these two and their story. I was worried that their HEA was never going to happen but after all the storms their sunny day arrived and I adored it.


Jun 6, 2014

~BLOG TOUR~ REVIEW: How to Seduce a Band Geek by Cassie Mae

How to Seduce a Band Geek (How To, #2)

Sierra Livingston’s got it bad for her sister’s best friend, Levi Mason—the boy who carries his drumsticks in his pocket, marches with the school’s band, and taps his feet to whatever beat runs through his head. Sierra racks her brain for ways to impress the sexy drummer, but the short skirts and bursting cleavage don’t seem to cut it.

When Sierra gets paired with Levi’s sister, Brea, for a mentorship program, they strike a deal. In exchange for Sierra keeping her mouth shut about Brea ditching the program, Brea lets Sierra dig for more info on Levi to help get the guy of her dreams.

But when Sierra discovers Levi no longer plays the drums, his family has moved into a trailer, and he’s traded in his Range Rover for a baby blue moped, Sierra’s not sure if she can go through with violating his privacy. She’ll have to find the courage to ask him straight out—if he’s willing to let her in—and explore other ways to seduce the school’s band geek.

**ARC provided by author for blog tour.**
The Plot
In How to Date a Nerd we meet Zoe Livingston and were introduced to her sister Sierra. How to Seduce a Band Geek is Sierra’s story.

Just like Zoe, Sierra has always wanted to fit in with her peers. After crashing her sisters car into a tree to prevent her boyfriend from seducing her she becomes the pariah at her school. Day to day is a constant hell as her classmates belittle her because of her choice. As time passes she tries to get through it by trying to be invisible. The only friend she has is a guy that is like a brother and a girl that turns out to be the worst possible friend ever.

As she tries to accept her predicament and get the attention of her sister’s best friend, Levi, Sierra must also deal with the constant hurdles high school throws at you. Until the boy she has had a crush on turns out to be her saving grace. That is when Sierra truly learns what it is to love someone wholeheartedly. To the point where you want to take care of them.

The Characters
Sierra is so much different from Zoe but also the same in their compassion. Zoe was finally able to be herself with her “nerd” and what Sierra finds is that she is able to open herself up to a “band geek”. Both girls find themselves with people they never imagined. In How to Date a Nerd I was angry with Sierra and thought she was a selfish girl. In How to Seduce a Band Geek we see her so differently. She has grown up but still lives with the repercussions of her actions in HtDaN. What I do like is that she learns to let go of that uptight stuck-up girl attitude and just be herself. I found that those were the parts I loved most about her. She was sweet and cared about all the people around her. Even the ones that didn’t deserve it.

Levi was pretty cool too. He had so much going on for someone his age which made me adore him. Zak was wonderful but Levi was so as wonderful, if not more. He was sweet, protective, caring and most of all he was confident of himself. He had to deal with losing everything he had and taking on a lot of responsibility but did so without complaining. He worried about his loved ones more than about himself. I was so sad to see him struggle to take care of everyone and wanted someone to finally take care of him. Which is what Sierra tries to do. I didn’t enjoy him pushing away Sierra when she wanted to help but was glad that he realized she was his beacon of light.

The Romance
If there is something I never complain about with Cassie’s books it’s the romance. She takes a pure and sweet approach to the romance between her characters. So much so that the story has you feeling the excitement of your first love over and over again. The romance between Sierra and Levi isn't any different. It was sweet and pure but also heart wrenching and marred with sadness. I loved how they both found their “home” in each other and wanted nothing more but to be able to love without consequences. I loved their determination to take care of each other and those they loved.

The Wrap-up
So although I enjoyed HtDaN I have to say that I really enjoyed this one a bit more. I loved Sierra and Levi’s characters as well as being able to reconnect with Zoe and Zak. Cassie Mae does an AWESOMESAUCE job with sweet and lovely romances. I cannot wait for the next book in this series to release!

~About the Author~
Amazon multi-category and international bestselling author of HOW TO DATE A NERD, HOW TO SEDUCE A BAND GEEK and HOW TO HOOK A BOOKWORM

Cassie Mae is a nerd to the core from Utah, who likes to write about other nerds who find love. Her angel children and perfect husband fan her and feed her grapes while she clacks away on the keyboard. Then she wakes up from that dream world and manages to get a few words on the computer while the house explodes around her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.

Cassie Mae is an Amazon.com bestselling author of the teen contemporary romance novel REASONS I FELL FOR THE FUNNY FAT FRIEND, which she self-published. In addition to publishing with Swoon Romance, she is published by Random House Flirt.

Author Links: Blog ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest

Jun 3, 2014

~REVIEW~ Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love, #2)


Whether you were charmed by Celeste in Flat-Out Love or are meeting her for the first time, this book is a joyous celebration of differences, about battling private wars that rage in our heads and in our hearts, and—very much so— this is a story about first love.

For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she’s too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation.

But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.

Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her—that is, if she’ll let him.

Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple—two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.


**ARC provided by author for review**

The Plot

In Flat-out Love we were introduced to Celeste Watkins. If you haven't read FOL you should definitely do so in order to get the full story. 

Years after dealing with her psychological condition Celeste is now battling against those who judge her because of her intellect. Since starting high school she has had to deal with the bullying from her classmates and the fact that she is seen as a "nut job". Fed up and in an attempt to reinvent herself Celeste tries to fit in with different circles. But even that doesn't help. It is not until she is contacted by a Berkley University recruiter that Celeste learns how special she really is.  

Justin Milano turns out to be just what Celeste needs. Someone to open her eyes to the reality that she is special in a wonderful way and is worth loving.

The Characters
In the previous books, I adored Celeste. I learned so much of her through Julie and Matt that I couldn't wait to read more about her. However in FOC she seems to have taken two steps backwards. Not in a bad way necessarily. Just that all the confidence that Julie helped her gain diminished because of what she has been through in the time that she has been in high school. I was a little upset by it but was happy to see her interact with Justin and to grow comfortable with herself. She was so broken and to see her find her place in the world was wonderful. 

Justin was just ADORABLE!! I LOVE Matt but Justin is up there close to him. His abundance of energy and his energy was so cute and had me smiling throughout the whole book. Justin also grew up uncomfortable with who he is because of his peers but he learned to accept himself and was intent on making sure Celeste saw the same in herself. He was patient, kind, hilarious, and just plain Awesome. He gave Matt a run for his money. :) 

And lets not forget our FOL and FOM characters. I enjoyed checking up on Julie and Matt years after their relationship kicked off. Their journey isn't in the same place and it was a little sad to actually see where they were. Nevertheless, Matt and Julie always find a way to each other and this time it isn't any different.

The Romance

OMG! Jessica is PHENOMENAL at dishing out the romance. In her previous Flat-out books we experienced Julie and Matt fall in love through emails and gestures. Moments that held so much passion, hilarity, love, friendship, and saddening secrets. In this one we get the same formula with a different twist. All the sweet emails, text, and moments between these two were just heartwarming. I laughed and smiled so much throughout this story and that is what I love about Jessica's writing. No matter how serious the story she finds those special places to add beautiful and hilarious moments to the plot. Moments like her famous Christmas scenes. **Swoon** :)

The Wrap-Up 

I can't really tell you why this one is only 4 stars. Only that it was wonderful but its hard when I compare this to the first one.  Justin was wonderful and Celeste was pretty easy to relate to but their story didn't captivate me like Julie and Matt's. Nevertheless, you need to read this and catch up with the Watkins and watch Celeste find herself and find love.


Favorite Quotes

“You don't want to miss out on people. If you assume everyone is out to get you, then you're going to shut them down before they have a chance to prove you wrong.” 

“And you have me. Sometimes you need someone else to believe in you, to carry you, until you can do that yourself. Let me carry you. You’re almost there. Damn it, Celeste, you’re almost there. God, please, you have me, and I want you.” He stopped walking back and forth and put both of his hands over his heart. “I want you so much.” 

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 

“I won the battles, Justin. And I won the war. And now there is no more fighting. Now there is peace. You told me to let the joy win out, and I am choosing to do that.” 

“I am choosing a love that defies boundaries and a life that defies boundaries. That is the power of Celeste.”