Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Author: Virginia Boecker
Series: The Witch Hunter #1
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: June 4th 2015
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this novel from Netgalley and Orchard Books in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book so much! I want to thank Meredith from Pandora's Books for recommending it to me.

I usually have a hard time reading about witches, probably because of my love for one very famous wizard and his friends. But I am so, so happy I was told to give this book a try. It was a very interesting story, but what I loved even more than the story were the characters.

I loved Elizabeth. She was fun to read about. There's a moment in the book where she's being completely honest with herself about why she chose to be a witch hunter and I loved that moment. I also liked the fact that she admitted to herself what was right and wrong, that she had the ability to say  "yes, this is bad". I also felt sorry for her at some point, especially when I found out her backstory. She was obviously in search of a family and I'm so happy that eventually she finds it.

Caleb pissed me off. I can't say I liked him all that much in the beginning of the book, but by the end of it I wanted to physically hurt him. How could he be so blind to what was going on with Elizabeth and how she was feeling? UGH! A lot of other things made me angry at him, but they're too spoilery for me to talk about. I'll just say this: he needed to be in a lot of pain.

I adored some of the secondary characters that Elizabeth met at Nicholas' house. Some of them were so, so hilarious. I can't wait for the next book, to read more about them. Peter was hilarious. I'm just sorry there weren't more scenes with him.

The story was good. I enjoyed the descriptions a lot. And some of the scenes, especially with the punishments handed out to those accused of witchcraft were so well written. I also enjoyed some of the descriptions. So vivid, so colorful. At some point, some events were predictable. It was obvious that some of those things were going to happen, but either way, I enjoyed the way they were put together and how they were told. Some things that happened, however, were unexpected to me. I thought for sure the villain was a different character. It makes sense that it's who it turned out to be, but for me it was shocking.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I cannot wait for the sequel to come out and see how the story ends. Or how it continues, in case there are going to be more books besides the second one.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Obsessed With Covers #21: Into the Dim, Burning Glass & Reign of Shadows

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P


So, here are the prettiest covers I've seen this week.

 I discovered this book during last night's Fledgling Authors Twitter chat. I can't help but love this cover! The first thing that I noticed is the snow! *excited monkey* I love snow! And thunders. There's are thunders. And the girl. Am I the only one who sees Bonnie Wright in this photo? Doesn't she look EXACTLY like her?

I also love the infinity symbol used in the title. Oh, and let's not forget about her cape. I love that color! Dark green. It looks almost like emeralds. I love emeralds. Basically I love this cover and it needs to be in my shelf.

Into The Dim - Janet B. Taylor

Is that an amethyst I see? *heart eyes* There's something hauntingly beautiful about this cover. Aside from the amethyst. It's the ashes beneath the jewel, the dust coming out of the necklace. The sparks behind it, that somehow look like fiery stars. And nothing else. It's the fact that in the picture the only thing visible is the lone piece of jewelry that I like most.

Burning Glass - Kathryn Purdie

I don't think I'll ever get tired of covers such as this one. The font used for the title is gorgeous. And the covers are so beautiful. However colorful the cover might be, it gives me the impression of a scary story. Or a scary scene. I look at this and I can imagine one of those panic-inducing instrumental songs movies use to increase the feeling of danger. I really want to see the cover in real life.

Reign of Shadows - Sophie Jordan

Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Review: Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger

Author: Kody Keplinger
Series: The DUFF Companion
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: April 28th 2015
My Rating: 4 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with— secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand—a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Hodder's Children Books in exchange for an honest review.

I was ecstatic when I found out that Kody Keplinger was going to write another book set in the world of The DUFF. I absolutely loved that book and I wanted nothing more than spend more time with those characters.

What I like about Keplinger's books is that they always deal with important issues, no matter the age of the characters. Lying Out Loud, in my opinion, was about real friendships and lies. As Sonny found out, lies are so easy to tell. Sometimes they get discovered soon, sometimes they don't. But they are awfully easy to tell. And they ruin relationships. And it was also about true friendship, the one you can have with very few people in your life, the kind that will make the other person feel like a sibling. And how easy it is to lose it.

It was easy for me to relate with Sonny, mainly because I could see through her lies and figure out that they were about her trying to protect herself. Against what, I didn't know. However, at some point, I started wishing she'd get better at telling the truth. The lies eventually started to bother me a little.

I loved Amy. I really want a book from her POV, because she's a great character. I liked that she found it in herself to have a real talk with Sonny and tell her everything that was bothering her. Basically, she stood up for herself. I kept wondering, however, if she didn't have a crush on Ryder. I don't know why that seemed like what she was going through. Of course, she later explains in a conversation with Sonny why she was acting the way she did and I realized she was just scared of losing her best friend.

Ryder was such a hard character to like. He had no in-between, he was either hating something or someone, or loving them. That bothered me a little. Also, he could be a bit of a jerk. He hated everything small town for no good reason and he kept having that "I'm better than you" air about him. Maybe that too was a defense mechanism. Because I only got to meet him through Sonny's eyes, I can't be certain about that. But who knows, maybe there were other things that made him act the way he did.

What I loved was that every character from previous books make an appearance in this one. And I love it when seemingly unrelated books share some common link.

I keep hoping that Amy will get her own book, because she needs to be braver than she is right now. I thought she did a good job of defending herself and demanding the respect she deserved, but she still needs more. She needs to have that same courage with strangers in my opinion.

Anyway, I very much enjoyed this new book from Keplinger and I can't wait to read more books from this author.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cover Reveal: And Then Forever by Shirley Jump

And Then Forever by Shirley Jump
Coming July 28th!

Welcome to Fortune’s Island, where the only rule is to follow your heart.

Love is an extravagance Darcy Williams can’t afford. She prefers the simple life, which includes waitressing at The Love Shack and avoiding temptation. But when a forbidden part of her past steps off the ferry, her safe, guarded existence is turned upside down.

Kincaid Foster has never gotten over his first love. When he sees the wild, beautiful blonde again, dancing her way around The Love Shack, the memories of Darcy’s soft skin, gentle touch, and heated kisses come rushing back. As the privileged son of a wealthy family, Kincaid was too young to stand up to his overbearing father when he and Darcy were together. Now, he’s back on the island—free of the family shackles—and the chiseled, big-time lawyer wants a second chance.

But, Darcy made a promise to keep a secret from Kincaid—a secret that is now a six-year-old girl who looks just like her daddy. If Kincaid finds out about their daughter, Darcy could lose everything. But, she can’t resist the man who stole her heart all those years ago. And it doesn’t take long before both of them realize that anything can happen on a hot summer night.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Book Review: The Memory Hit by Carla Spradbery


Author: Carla Spradbery
Series: N/A
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: June 4th 2015
My Rating: 3.5 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
On New Year's Eve, Jess's life is unrecognizable: her best friend is in the hospital, her boyfriend is a cheater. A drug-dealing cheater it would seem, after finding a stash of Nostalgex in his bag.

Nostalgex: a drug that stimulates memory. In small doses, a person can remember the order of a deck of cards, or an entire revision guide read the day before an exam. In larger doses it allows the user detailed access to their past, almost like watching a DVD with the ability to pause a moment in time, to focus on previously unnoticed details and to see everything they've ever experienced with fresh eyes. As Leon, the local dealer, says 'it's like life, only better.' What he fails to mention is that most memories are clouded by emotions. Even the most vivid memories can look very different when visited.

Across town Sam Cooper is in trouble. Again. This time, gagged and bound in the boot of a car. Getting on the wrong side of a drug dealer is never a good idea, but if he doesn't make enough money to feed and clothe his sister, who will?

On New Year's Day, Jess and Cooper's worlds collide. They must put behind their differences and work together to look into their pasts to uncover a series of events that will lead them to know what really happened on that fateful New Year's Eve. But what they find is that everything they had once believed to be true, turns out to be a lie ...

*Disclaimer: I received this e-galley from Netgalley and Hodder Children's Books in exchange for an honest review.

If there's something I love is being taken by surprise when I'm reading a book. Not because it's scary or because there's one detail that I didn't see coming, but because the story does not go where I think it will. This is what happened to me with The Memory Hit. Halfway through the book I was so sure I had it all figured out and then BAM! That ending!

The book is told from multiple POVs and the way they are put together is so interesting. At first it was a bit confusing, because I didn't quite understand how exactly some of these characters were related to each other. As you move forward however, obviously it all makes sense. But the change of perspective really shows that the one you thought was the villain might not be "the big bad". Also, if you're hoping for romance, you won't find it here. Which, honestly, was refreshing. I feel like there's always romance in YA, so for this book to not have any was actually a good change.

I have to be honest and say that I liked Cooper much more than I liked Jess. Jess wasn't unlikable, she just had certain moments where I did not understand why she was doing something or why was she acting a certain way. At times she'd seem a bit self-involved. But then I'd get to a scene where a bit of her back-story is explained and I start to understand her a little bit more, maybe even accept her. Cooper however, because of his family, was completely understandable. His actions made sense to me. He was just a lost guy, trying to keep his head above water. And he was trying to be the best brother he could.

There were some really scary scenes, with someone setting things on fire. That person seemed like a total sociopath. I had ideas of who it might be, but boy was I wrong! I did not see that one coming.

The book deals with drug addiction and how sometimes these drugs might give the idea of providing comfort. There were a few scenes that talked about that perceived comfort. There's a question here that I feel I should ask myself: would I want to relieve memories? To remember every detail of my past? Not really, no. But there's a good scene, in which Luke explains how he used the drugs and why.

I did think the ending was a bit too rushed. I didn't mind the ending, in the sense that I loved being that surprised, but it just seemed a bit too easy for the solution to be found in the way it was. Overall it was an interesting book, with a very unique ending.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Obsessed With Covers #21: Sweet & Until We Meet Again

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P


So, here are the prettiest covers I've seen this week - the seaside edition.

 It appears I have a thing for photographs in which the perspective is off. Which is why I love this cover. It's simple. And sweet (HA! See what I did there?) However, simple doesn't mean without a certain something. The water is calm, that's true. And the sky is clear, with only white, fluffy clouds. However that quote at the beginning of the cover is chillingly scary! So maybe not so sweet, huh? And is that blood on top of the "T"? Or a ribbon? The lover of all things scary in me wants to think it's blood.

The colors are gorgeous and they make me miss the sea. I also want to know more about this cruise...

Sweet - Emmy Laybourne

I love this cover so much. The swirly design before and after the title are great and the font used for the title is pretty as well. However the sea at night is just....dreamy! I love the sea and she (I always thing the sea is a she) has a deceiving calmness at night or right at sunset. I love that the sky colors are somewhat reflected in the water. And I love the rays of light on top of the landscape. It makes me wonder if the image is taken from behind a screen or maybe it's a magical, unseen screen? And the perspective is just awesome. I am hoping that the picture is continued on the spine and on the back of the cover, and maybe hint at the person who's looking at the girl. That would be awesome! Based on this cover, I'm adding this book on my TBR, because I need such gorgeousness on my shelves.

Until We Meet Again - Renee Collins

Book Highlight: Awaken by Skye Malone

Title: Awaken
AuthorSkye Malone 
Series: Awakened Fate (Book One)
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Wildflower Isle
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Cover Designer: Karri Klawiter

Running away from home was never Chloe Kowalski’s plan. Neither was ending up the target of killers, or having her body change in unusual ways. She only wanted a vacation, someplace far from her crazy parents and their irrational fear of water. She only wanted to do something normal for once, and maybe get to know her best friend’s hot stepbrother a bit better at the same time.

But the first day she goes out on the ocean, strange things start to happen. Dangerous things that should be impossible. Things to which ‘normal’ doesn’t even begin to apply.

Now madmen are hunting her. A mysterious guy with glowing blue eyes is following her. And her best friend’s stepbrother seems to be hiding secrets all his own.

It was supposed to be a vacation. It’s turning out to be a whole lot more. 

Purchase (currently on sale for 99¢!!)

The Series:




Maddox slowed the boat, killed the engine, and then lowered the anchor. At least a mile off, the shore was a mosaic of green mountains and white buildings below. Puffs of clouds drifted over Santa Lucina, but out here, only the barest wisps hovered in the brilliant blue sky. Baylie leaned back on her seat, a smile on her face, while her dog just eyed the water as though trying to figure out how the demented humans could possibly think this was a good idea. 

“So…” Noah started. “Anyone want to go for a swim?” 

I smiled. My parents being so psychotic and all, we didn’t even have a bathtub in the house, just a stand-up shower the size of a broom closet. I’d never been able to teach myself how to hold my breath underwater, let alone swim. 

But that was going to change, starting now. 

“Well, um,” I began, feeling a bit reckless with excitement. “If you wouldn’t mind teaching me?” 

His eyebrows climbed. “Uh, no. I mean, sure. I–” The boat jumped. 

“What the hell?” Maddox cried as the rest of us grabbed at the guardrails. 

“Did we hit something?” Noah asked, scanning the water. 

Maddox shook his head. “I don’t–” 

The ocean around the boat began to bubble and roil. 

Noah swore. “Get us out of here!” he called to Maddox. 

His brother didn’t need the encouragement. Quickly, he scrambled back toward the driver’s seat and turned the key in the ignition.

The engine wouldn’t respond. 

Shudders shook the boat, while all around, the ocean’s surface began to foam like the calm sea had suddenly become a boiling pot on a stove. Waves surged from every direction at once, growing more violent by the second, and on all sides the water darkened, as though a shadow was spreading below us. 

“What’s happening?” Baylie cried. 

No one could answer. As if shoved from beneath, the deck tipped up at a sharp angle and then just as quickly rocked back, wrenching us hard as we fought to hang onto the guardrails. The lurching came again, throwing us forward and back. 

My grip broke. The metal rail hit me, knocking the air from my lungs. 

And then came the water. 


Skye Malone is a fantasy and paranormal romance author, which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the magical things she imagines couldn't actually exist. A Midwestern girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, she dreams someday of travelling the world – though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay with you long after the book is done. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.

Skye also writes YA urban fantasy as Megan Joel Peterson and is the author of The Children and the Blood series. 


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Book vs. Movie: The DUFF

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a book. A book about two teenagers and their relationship, a relationship based mostly on dislike and sex. A book were the teenagers used sex to feel a little bit better about themselves. A book with an absentee mother and an alcoholic father, on one side, and on the other side with two never-there parents, an estranged little sister and an infuriatingly cold grandmother. Then this book met a movie. The movie wanted to be friends with this book, so the book said yes and shared her story with it. Then the movie came out. Gone was the sex, gone the absentee parents and the alcoholic father. Even the sister and the grandmother went missing. The movie was still good and funny, but the magic of the book wasn't there.

The moral of this story? The book and the movie The DUFF might use the same characters and the same initial plot idea, that Wesley calls Bianca a DUFF, but they are not the same. Yes, the movie was funny. Yes, I laughed. Yes, I might even watch it again, because it was funny and because I kind of enjoyed it. But the book is better. (If you want to read my review, click here)


Here's the thing. I live in Europe. I don't know American culture. I've never even been to the USA. I've only had access to the American culture through books, movies, TV shows and the occasional news that I watch when I'm extremely bored. I have few friends from the States, but we don't talk about their culture, we talk about random subjects. I essentially know nothing about this culture. What I do know is that there is this idea spread all over the globe that teenagers don't have sex. Hell, apparently they don't even know what sex is - allow me to roll my eyes so hard, that I get a headache from it. 

 photo tumblr_mu91xr74A01s7udfuo1_400_zpsa22c150d.gif 

Because let's be honest here, I guess it's ok for TV shows for teens to have sex in it but God forbid it that movies have sex in it (sarcasm!)! Look, I'm not saying the sex should be shown, or explicit (it would be porn then), but they could've hinted towards it. They do it all the time in cheesy, romantic movies, why not in this one?

This book was, in the opinion of a 27 year old European chick, amazing. It tackled something really important. Not the erotic part of the sex, but why the two characters were using it. The struggles of a girl abandoned by her mother, the shock of finding out her alcoholic dad relapsed. How that popular, rich boy would give his entire money for some time with his parents. The book had sex in it, but it was so much more than that. Why, just WHY would anyone decide to take that story and transform it into a story about how a guy helps the "ugly duckling" turn into a "beautiful swan"? There was no need for a makeover. 

So fine, there was no sex in the movie. I somehow get it, okay? You want parents to let their teen children see the movie. FINE! But the friendship that Bianca, Casey and Jessica have in the book is completely different than the one shown in the movie. There's a beautiful scene in the book where it is shown how Bianca and Casey became friends with Jessica. Okay, maybe they didn't have the time to put it in the movie, it would've taken at least 5 minutes off of the storyline, but it was such an important scene in terms of character development. It showed how Bianca and Casey were as people. And then, woven around that scene is a similar one, a present-time scene. Which showed another side of Bianca. In which she's shown that sometimes, she makes mistakes. I know I usually don't write in-depth reviews and that I don't focus on the subtleties of scenes or whatever, but I notice them (I'm also usually deathly afraid of saying something stupid and being called on it, so I keep most of it to myself. I'm growing as a person, as this post might show *feels proud*). The idea is that those character elements shouldn't be missing from the movie. I didn't want to see two gorgeous girl helping their third, not so gorgeous friend get a makeover. I wanted those two gorgeous girls being there for Bianca like they were in the movie, trying desperately to understand her and what her issues were.

And then there's the famous scene with Bianca's dad, Bianca herself and Wesley. Which is such an important scene for Bianca and Wesley. A scene that shouldn't be missing from the movie. I love Allison Janney, the actress who plays Bianca's mom. She's simply amazing. But I feel like Bianca's entire life was defined by her mostly missing mom and her alcoholic dad. I wanted her alcoholic dad in the movie, not the slightly annoying, "I have a great quote for everything" successful mom we got instead.

The movie was funny, the book was funny. But the book was not just a comedy, it had dramatic moments. The only dramatic moments in the movie were the ones where a video about Bianca leaks online, when she sees Wesley kiss Maddison on "her rock" and when she goes on a date with Toby. That's not drama! That's mildly annoying scenes and heartbreaking, yes, but not real dramas. Also, did we really need the cliched leaked embarrassing video? REALLY?

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If you haven't read the book and you haven't lived in the 90s or missed any of the teen comedies from those years, this movie might be new to you. But to those who, like me, grew up on them, or even managed to see those movies nowadays, this is just another teen movie. Nothing new, only a few new words and technology. Again, I enjoyed the movie for its humorous moments, but as a story? The book was so much more and I encourage anyone old enough to grab the book and read it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Book Soundtrack #17: Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss


Sunday Book Soundtrack is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books, where I share some of my bookish soundtracks. Since I discovered my passion for reading years ago, I've discovered that more and more of the songs I loved remind me of certain books. So I thought I'd share my playlists with you. If you want to listen to the songs, I'll post a link to a Youtube videos for each and every title. No copyright infringement intended! I'll try to find the official videos for each song. There's no set number for each playlist, sometimes I might have 10, sometimes 5, sometimes if I'm one of my moods I'll have 15. If you want to read more about this feature, click the "show more" button below. 

This week's book soundtrack is for Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss (read my review here)


  1. Meghan Trainor - All About that Bass - When I think about Violet this song pops into my head.
  2. Little Big Town - Girl Crush
  3. RaeLynn - Boyfriend - This song fits so well with basically any of Gabe's ex-girlfriends. Violet knew Gabe since they were kids, so they went through a lot together. Not only that but she really did see girls come and go all the time.
  4. Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman -This is another song that fits Violet so, so well in my opinion.

Liked this list? Want more? Click here for previous Sunday Book Soundtrack posts.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Book Highlight: Pieces of Revenge & Scarred by Vengeance by Valia Lind

Pieces of Revenge by Valia Lind
Book #1 in the Titanium Series

A weapon. A broken life. A humanity lost.

That is all Anastasia knows, that is all that she is. As an eleven-year-old, she witnessed her family's brutal murder and she's been on the run ever since. She's spent her life training and planning for the day when she can take her revenge.

Kallos Enterprises is a well respected corporation, set on improving the genetic structure of an individual. Or so they say. Anastasia knows, first hand, what kind of monsters lurk behind the pretty walls of those skyscrapers. Armed with combat skills and a beyond perfect memory, she heads to Chicago to uncover the answers to questions that plagued her for years.

After arriving in the city, she meets Logan, a boy from her past who changes all the rules. She doesn't remember him, but he remembers her. His position at Kallos Enterprises is useful, his presence is unnerving, and he makes her question everything she knows about herself to be true. If her perfect memory can't remember Logan, what else about her past is wrong?

Time is running out. Anastasia has nowhere to turn, but to trust the one person who's a memory she should have, but doesn't. With a madman threatening their every step, Anastasia and Logan must uncover the truths behind Kallos experiments and hope that the answers they find won't destroy the world forever. 

------------------------------ Excerpt ------------------------------

Blood splatters against my cheek, dripping down my neck.
       I don't bother to wipe at it, swinging my arm as my elbow connects with the other side of his face. My mind is always calculating, like a computer, spitting out information as I duck another punch. The man in front of me is large, almost twice as wide as me, and just as deadly.
       Height: 6’3.
       Weight: 215 pounds.
       Arms like steel.   
      He grabs my hair, yanking my head back as his other arm connects with my left side. I grunt in pain, swallowing the scream that’s about to burst free. I slam my elbow into his stomach, twisting under his arm in the same motion. My knee connects with his manhood, before my fist connects with his jaw once more.
       My moves are precise.
      "Son of a—" I round kick him in the face before he can finish. He drops to the ground with a thud, and before he could stumble to his knees, my foot slams into his face, dropping him for good.
      "That's no language to use around a lady." I say, looking down at him, making sure he stays down. When I'm satisfied he's out, I grab my bag and run.
      I should've been more careful sneaking in, but I memorized the schedule and there shouldn't have been anyone here. The warehouse sits against the backdrop of an abandoned neighborhood, so when my feet hit the payment, there is no one to see me escape. I almost stop and go back to finish the job, but I don't. He's not worth the guilt I would carry if I kill him. He's not the one I'm saving the guilt for.
      I got what I came for, even though it took me a few more minutes than I planned on. He didn't see my face, but he sure will have himself a headache tomorrow. Strangely, I feel rejuvenated after the fight, and I grin as I run down the side alley.
      Finally. It’s finally time to make them pay.


Scarred by Vengeance
Book #2 in the Titanium Series

This is the mission: Save. Protect. Destroy.

Everything in Anastasia’s world came crashing down when the one person she decided to trust failed her. On the run, now more than ever, she’s trying to piece together the life she doesn’t remember. With Blake still missing, she sends the rest of the family away, hoping to keep them out of danger. But being alone is a lot harder than it used to be and she blames herself for allowing Logan into her heart. He’s gone now and she must let him go. Even though her perfect memory continues to play out the time they’ve spent together, much like a broken record.

But Anastasia has no time to dwell on the mistakes of yesterday; her mission isn’t over. Kallos Enterprises continue their experiments, as the death rate goes up, and Anastasia has no choice but to fight. However, she’s not as cold blooded as she used to be and that proves to be a problem when the people she cares about are once again put in danger. With her strength—and memory—failing and Blake’s time running out, Anastasia must tap into parts of herself she never knew existed, hoping that in the end, it will be enough to save them all.


About Valia

Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction. Falling by Design is her debut young adult novel. You can visit her online at www.valialind.blogspot.com or follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #13: Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week:


Expected publication: September 8th 2015 by HarperCollins
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it.

Until he meets Anna Whitt—sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve.

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

Sensual and swoon worthy, this companion volume to the acclaimed Sweet Evil series from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, told from the perspective of the irresistibly sexy and mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into his struggle, his intense connection to Anna, and most of all, the true emotions that drive him.
I absolutely adore this series! Granted, I didn't have the heart to read Sweet Peril, as I don't want to say goodbye to the characters and the world created by Wendy Higgins. This book tells the story from Kai's perspective and I am so, so excited to read it!

I also love the cover art. I like how it's still in line with the other three books in the series and how you can tell that it's Kai's POV just by looking at the cover. I must have this book.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Book Review: Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss

Author: Brooke Moss
Series: Series #1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: February 18th 2013
My Rating: 4 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Seattle hairstylist Violet Murphy always knew the day would come when her best friend Gabe Parker would want to settle down. She’d secretly wished it would be with her, but now that he’s chosen someone else—the prim, perfect Alicia—he wants Vi to be his best man.

Healing her broken heart isn’t easy, but when Violet meets Landon Harlow, a man who isn’t fazed by her funky style and less-than-delicate attitude, she takes a step in the right direction. Until Gabe’s fiancé’s gorgeous façade begins to crack, and Violet’s disturbing past comes back to haunt her, that is. Vi now finds herself armed with a series of lies that would break Gabe’s heart—and his engagement—if he knew their truth, and a secret from their childhood that could change everything.

With the wedding looming, her relationships unraveling, and the bachelor party of the century to plan, Violet must choose between a fresh start with Landon, or confronting her painful past and risking it all for a chance at a future with Gabe.

If there's one genre that I love just as much as urban fantasy it's chick lit. I adore chick lit for a variety of reasons, but the most important one is that it teaches you something new in a non-preachy, very subtle way. If you pay attention to details, there's always a life lesson hidden behind the funny, quirky characters and hilarious situations. Keeping Secrets in Seattle is no different.

I absolutely adored Violet. There was something very unique about her. Her love for vintage clothing made me immediately like her. Her style in general was just awesome and it made me very sad that she's not a real person, because she gave me that feeling that if you respect her and treat her right, she'd be your bestie. I understood her fear of confessing her love for her best friend. It was hard to see her struggle with that, especially given her past. Underneath her vintage clothing and unconventional hairstyle, she's a really strong person. And it made me sad that she had to go through what she did alone.

Speaking of her best friend. Gabe was a strange character. I can't say that I loved the guy, but I didn't dislike him either. It was just so hard to believe that he was clueless about Violet's feelings. I just can't believe that. If in fact he had no clue, boy is he blind! And if he did know about how she felt, he was cruel. But you know what they say, the heart wants what it wants. I was sad for Landon. He really was a great guy. If I could pick between the two of them, I'd pick Landon. Okay, yes, he does have a motorcycle, but that's beside the point *coughs*.

I can't say I was surprised by some of the things that happened. Even so, they were done in such a way that didn't seem cliche. And I loved the diary notes. Those were fun and it really felt like reading a diary entry. There were some hilarious moments in this book too. I did giggle a few times. All in all, Keeping Secrets in Seattle was a quick, fun read and it showed me once again why I love this genre.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Obsessed With Covers #20: Passenger, A Thousand Nights, The Accident Season, These Shallow Graves & A Whole New World

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P


This edition is brought to you by BEA 2015. Heh, that sounded formal, didn't it? I am soooooo sad that I like on another planet continent and I can't go to BEA. It sounds like so much fuuun *sobs**stomps feet like a 5 year old*. Anyway, maybe I'll get the chance to participate in the future. Until then, here are some of the prettiest covers I've seen at BEA (not all, I know, a lot of great covers this year).

 It seems that blogging made me admit out loud (or at least in writing) some of my many obsessions. But I'm obsessed with boats in bottles. I love miniatures and bottles with boats are so, so cool. This particular cover is so interesting. It seems like the people on the boat have this unique miniature of a fantasy land with fantasy buildings in a boat. I assume, based on the cover, that the people in the city are imaginary or at least not real for the people living on the boat.

I also love the font used for the title. And how there seems to be light on the city skyline, but a storm brewing for the ship. I really want to read this book to see if the story matches the cover, or at least the feel of it.

Passenger - Alexandra Bracken

 I absolutely adore the cover art for this book. It seems as though the tree of life is coming out of an Arabian palace. I love how the crown of the tree is made up of words. I also like the font the artist used. And the girl....what I happening with her? I want to know! I also like how the palace is surrounded by a halo of light, while everything else is covered by darkness.

A Thousand Nights - E. K. Johnston

There's something so scary about this cover. Maybe it's the perspective and the inverted landscape. Of maybe it's because of the girl falling (which I've always been afraid of). Or it could be the storm clouds. Whatever it is, there's something scary about this cover.

I love the colors used for the sky. And the button in the title is so cute. I wonder if it's just a random, art-related reason for it's presence, or if there's something about a button in the story.

 The Accident Season - Moïra Fowley-Doyle

 Where do I start with this cover? The roses are a nice touch, I have to say. It only increases the creepy feeling of the cover. And the hand? Just awesome. Especially when it sits just above the title. Shallow graves and the past? Shallow graves indeed. What's behind the wood panels is the detail that I like most. Just a hint of something that's hiding there. They could be other roses, or there could be more. I just love the cover.

These Shallow Graves - Jennifer Donnelly

The 8 year old in me is doing happy dances at the sight of this cover and title. I can't wait to see how this book is. The cover is just amazing. If the Agrabah palace was real, this is how it would look like to me. The colors used for the skyline just increases that magical feeling of the entire building. And the girl, which I assume is Jasmine, makes the story seem more real. I will definitely read this book once it comes out. And the title is just genius, because, based on the blurb, it takes a whooooole new meaning. If I had anyone sing the song in a completely new version, I'd had Lana Del Rey do it, because no one can make a Disney song sound more haunted than her.

A Whole New World - Liz Braswell
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