Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Ward (The Ward #1) By: Jordana Frankel

Title: The Ward (The Ward #1)
Author: Jordana Frankel
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance, Adventure
Recommended for Fans Of: Demitria Lunetta, Veronica Roth, Mindy McGinnis

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.

Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.

Review: I admit it, I've been avoiding dystopians for the past couple of months. But when I picked up Jordana Frankel's debut novel and decided to give it a chance, well I was absolutely thrilled that my return to YA dystopia was such a exhilarating read. I was completely infatuated with the world Jordana Frankel created. A disease and scandal ridden NYC, and ruled by dragsters of all ages too. I loved the idea of making the main character, Ren, a totally badass female racer, who uses her skills and power to save the citizens of New York. The plot was filled with twists and turns, and just like a real race, the spectators (which is, in this case, the reader) are kept in anticipation. 

The only issues I had with The Ward were the overall details that I felt were overlooked. While Jordana writes a great new dystopia set in a futuristic city, I can't help but wonder what happens to the rest of the world. I don't recall there being a mention of how the rest of the United States was affected by the disease ridden on the citizens of the Ward. Not only that, but I also had issues with the characters.

I was expecting an epic romance, maybe not one that was defined right away, but towards the end of the book, the reader would be shipping them already. But sadly, I was disappointed. There were so many blurred lines between Ren and her two possible love interests, Callum and Derek. I am not going to spoil this book, but I was truly feeling despondent when Ren made her choice. If you're looking to read a dystopian with a strong romance, that is the one element The Ward is lacking.

Conclusion: While it could be improved, I truly did enjoy the thrilling and adventurous feel behind The Ward. Jordana Frankel is a great storyteller and I can't wait to see where she takes Ren's story.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

What I Saw and How I Lied by: Judy Blundell

Title: What I Saw and How I Lied
Author: Judy Blundell
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Recommended for Fans Of: Kathryn Miller Haines, Sherri L. Smith, Lois Lowry

Synopsis: Fifteen year old Evie is living a good life. After returning home safely from World War II, Evie's stepfather brings Evie and her mother on a luxurious trip to Florida. There, the family relaxes and enjoys all the splendors Floridian paradises can bring. Evie even meets a handsome and charming young man, a companion to her father in the war, named Peter. Peter is an older boy, and he makes Evie want to sacrifice everything for him. And pretty soon, Evie has convinced herself of the love that binds the two of them together. Too lovestruck and blind to see the true reality, Evie can't perceive all the lies and betrayals that are happening around her, threatening to destroy everything she loves and everything she has ever cared about.

Review: What I Saw and How I Lied made me really uncomfortable, in both good and bad ways. One area of discomfort was the age difference between Evie and Peter. Evie was a 15 year old girl, and to be honest, she was quite vain and immature. Her thoughts were so shallow and childlike that I believed her to be about ten before the author mentions her real age. Peter is 23. That is a huge age difference, and even back during the times of World War II, I don't understand how this scandalous affair didn't cause a huge reaction from the society. I am so used to believing that "old-fashioned" times held such rigid standards, that the fact that Evie's romance with Peter was taken in stride in this book perplexed me a little bit. So Evie and Peter's relationship made me feel really ill-at-ease.
There were other times where I was uncomfortable, but for a good reason. I have to commend Judy Blundell for writing about tough "adult" situations and how they are perceived through a teenager's eyes. There were so many resilient themes in this novel, such as jealousy, betrayal, hate and revenge that played a huge part in the development of the book. These themes were really well written into the plot, and without these necessary situations, What I Saw and How I Lied would have lacked a lot of character and definition.

In terms of characters, I really have no complaints beside Evie's mother. Without spoiling anything, I am just going to say that she is a horrible and extremely vapid mother. I felt so bad for Evie, and I had more sympathy for her, and more anger for her mother.

Conclusion: Although What I Saw and How I Lied is labeled as a historical fiction novel, World War II doesn't really play a huge role in it. If you are a huge history fan, you might be a bit disappointed with the lack of historical content. However, it is still a great book, a really engaging and gritty read.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What You Could Be Reading This Thanksgiving

Happy soon-to-be Thanksgiving to all!
We all know that Thanksgiving is a time for thankfulness and eating. But it's also a time for relaxation. I don't know about all of you, but after a couple of months of school, I am more than ready for this break. For those of you lucky turkeys who may have more than just 4 or 5 days off of school/work, you should be enjoying it! Take the opportunity this Thanksgiving break to grab some loved ones and curl up with a book or two, or three, or if you're like me, 700. This is how I will be for the next week or so:

                                       Here's my list of suggested Thanksgiving break reads:

Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Why you should be reading this:
As many of you know, John Green 
is nothing short of a literary genius.
An Abundance of Katherines is also
nothing short of a mastermind creation.
For those of you who spend Thanksgiving
with surrounded by laughter and general
family goofiness, you'll love this book.
Goodreads Summary:
Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart 
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

Title: Almost Home
Author: Joan Bauer
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Why you should be reading this:
This book was so, so sweet. Even
just the title tells you this book will 
leave a sad little smile on your face.
Although the main character, a sweet
little girl, goes through some bad times,
she'll remind you that no matter what,
things will get better. This is a very
clean and very genuine read. It reminds me of family and loved
ones, who will always be there for you.
Goodreads Summary:
Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer's new novel will touch your heart.

When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace and good humor, Sugar comes to understand that while she can't control the hand life deals her, she can control how she responds.

Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Why you should be reading this: 
Although I didn't particularly love
If You Find Me, I know many other
people did. This is a very outdoorsy 
type of book, and it contains many
elements of nature. For some reason,
I always think of the outdoors when
I think Thanksgiving. Maybe this can be
your Thanksgiving thriller.

Goodreads Summary:
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

Title: Confessions of a Shopaholic
Author: Sophie Kinsella
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Why you should be reading this book:
If you're like me, and you will be rushing the 
crowds on Black Friday, then you'll totally
be able to relate to this hilarious and adorable
character, Becky Bloomwood, lover of
shoes, clothes, and SHOPPING. *Be
aware that this is a series and a highly 
addictive series at that.

Goodreads Summary:
Rebecca Bloomwood just hit rock bottom. But she's never looked better....

Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is that she can't actually afford it—not any of it. 

Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn't pay much at all. And lately Becky's been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank—letters with large red sums she can't bear to read—and they're getting ever harder to ignore. 

She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Becky's only consolation is to buy herself something ... just a little something....

Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever. 

Sophie Kinsella has brilliantly tapped into our collective consumer conscience to deliver a novel of our times—and a heroine who grows stronger every time she weakens. Becky Bloomwood's hilarious schemes to pay back her debts are as endearing as they are desperate. Her "confessions" are the perfect pick-me-up when life is hanging in the (bank) balance.

Title: Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous
Author: Kathryn Williams
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Why you should be reading this book:
Well this was just an adorable, cheesy (but awesome)
book for all you food lovers out there. PLAOSTMMF
stars a teenage girl who loves to cook, and finds 
adventure and love in the culinary world. The mention
of the foods in this book will just make your mouth
water. For all you Thanksgiving foodies, this is the 
book for you to "chew on" after stuffing yourself
full of turkey.

Goodreads Summary:
Can a spot on a teen reality show really lead to a scholarship at an elite cooking school AND a summer romance?

Sixteen-year-old Sophie Nicolaides was practically raised in the kitchen of her family’s Italian-Greek restaurant, Taverna Ristorante. When her best friend, Alex, tries to convince her to audition for a new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, Sophie is reluctant. But the prize includes a full scholarship to one of America's finest culinary schools and a summer in Napa, California, not to mention fame. 

Once on-set, Sophie immediately finds herself in the thick of the drama—including a secret burn book, cutthroat celebrity judges, and a very cute French chef. Sophie must figure out a way to survive all the heat and still stay true to herself. A terrific YA offering--fresh, fun, and sprinkled with romance.

Title: Starstruck
Author: Rachel Shukert
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Why you should be reading this book:
Starstruck is a very entertaining read. Set
in the late 1930s, it broadcasts the hopes,
desires, and scandals of young Hollywood.
It is a nice and light read that I really enjoyed,
and one which I believe many others would
love to read during a pleasant Thanksgiving 

Goodreads Summary:
A new series set in the golden age of glam . . . 

“Wit, pluck, darkness, pitch perfect period details, juicy twists, and big heart. This book is one to savor.”--Anna Godbersen, New York Times bestselling author of the Luxe and Bright Young Things series

Every week they arrive in Los Angeles--beautiful and talented young hopefuls who dream of becoming stars. It's all Margaret Frobisher has ever wanted—and when she's discovered by a powerful agent, she can barely believe her luck. She's more than ready to escape her snobby private school and conservative Pasadena family for a chance to light up the silver screen.

The competition is fierce at Olympus Studios and Margaret—now Margo—is chasing her Hollywood dreams alongside girls like Gabby Preston, who at 16 is already a grizzled show-biz veteran caught between the studio and the ravenous ambition of her ruthless mother, and sultry Amanda Farraday, who seems to have it all--ambition, glamour . . . and dirty secrets. Missing from the pack is Diana Chesterfield, the beautiful actress who mysteriously disappeared, and there are whispers that Diana's boyfriend—Margo's new co-star—may have had something to do with it. Margo quickly learns that fame comes with a price, and that nothing is what it seems.   

Set in Old Hollywood, Starstruck follows the lives of three teen girls as they live, love, and claw their way to the top in a world where being a star is all that matters.

“Valley of the Dolls for a new generation.”—a  ‘Read During Spring Break’ selection

“If you're into T.V. dramas like Smash, or love the over-the-top fashion ofThe Great GatsbyStarstruck will have you hooked!”—a  ‘What to Read This Summer’ selection

Series Recommendations
For those of you who are looking to start and finish a really good series this break, here's some you might want to consider reading:

Title: Unraveling/Unbreakable
Author: Elizabeth Norris
My Rating: FULL 5 out of 5 stars
Why you should be reading this series:
I really fell for the these books by Elizabeth Norris the summer of 2012. I was on a road trip and despite bringing 7 books for a 6 day trip, I had run out of books on the 5th day. I stopped by the nearest Barnes and Noble, and I didn't have a single book in mind that I wanted to read. Scanning the YA shelves, I saw Unraveling. The cover seemed really cool, and after reading the summary, I bought it. That night, when I was back in the hotel, I started reading it and by the next morning, I was already halfway done! It is SUCH AN AMAZING DUOLOGY. I would even say that it is the best time/interspace travel series I have ever read. Elizabeth Norris is an amazing writer, and if you have not read Unraveling yet, then this is your chance to pick it up! Unbreakable, the sequel is out today! 


Title: The Daughters Series
Author: Joanna Philbin
My Rating: Based on the first book only, 5 out of 5 stars
Why you should be reading this series;
Looking for a great YA contemporary? Here's your saga (which sounds a little dramatic lol) I have only read the first book, and am planning to finish the rest soon! I really loved The Daughters. It was sweet, it was romantic, it was silly, it was perfect:)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Give the Gift of Cinder: Guest Post!

Jayne here! I gave my friend a copy of Cinder for the MacTeens arc contest, and here's her review!

Domenique: Cinder is a wonderful novel about the life of a teenage girl called Cinder, living with her "guardian" and two sisters. Cinder is a mechanic who seems to have the tables turned against her by her mother who openly hates her. Cinder was adopted after an accident some many years ago and hasn't lived an entirely different life style ever since. After an encounter with the prince of the Eastern Commonwealth, things begin to change for Cinder. And then another variable is thrown at Cinder; she has been drafted to be a test subject with scientists that are trying to find a cure for the plague. After yet more obstacles, discoveries and conflicts, Cinder finds herself falling for the prince while realizing her fate won't allow it. Cinder comes to the conclusion that she must do whatever she can to protect the people she loves, even if it means risking her own life.

I am eternally grateful that my dear friend, Jayne, introduced me to this book. It was an easy read and I couldn't put it down. With surprises at every corner, Cinder just left me wanting more! The unexpected always occurred and the flow of the book was magnificent. I surely cannot wait to continue my adventure with Cinder in the next novel!

A huge thank you to Domenique for the amazing review, and to MacMillan Publishing for this awesome contest! I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


ARC Review: The Living By: Matt de la Pena

 Title: The Living
Author: Matt de la Pena
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Adventure
Recommended for Fans Of: Kathy Reichs, Michael Grant, Suzanne Young
Source: Random House Children's Books
Format: Physical copy
Publication Date: 11/12/13

Synopsis: Shy took the summer job as a worker on the Paradise luxury cruise ship for money, food, and girls. He didn't expect to be faced with the largest and most devastating natural disaster that has ever hit the Pacific Ocean, and the west coast, home to Shy's loving family. In the midst of the shocking aftermath of the tsunami that tore down the cruise liner, Shy is stranded in the middle of the ocean with the only other known survivor, a privileged girl named Addie. As the days go on, their hope of surviving diminishes slowly as Shy begins to wonder just what being one of the few survivors could really mean.

Review: First, a huge thank you to Matt de la Pena and Lauren Donovan at Random House for providing me with this copy to review! The Living is such a roller coaster ride with so many twists and turns! Throughout the buildup to the big devastation, I was kept entertained by Shy's story and the many problems he and his crew mates were facing. Then adding to the conflicts Shy already had to deal with, Mother Nature bears down on the world with a disastrous earthquake and tsunami. Now Shy has to face these monumental occurrences. I loved the use of multiple plot lines, and it made Shy seem like a very well developed character.
I've also mentioned in my past reviews that I really love novels with multiple elements, and The Living is no exception. Romance, medical thriller, and survival play a big part in both the plot and Shy's character. Concerning plot, Matt de la Pena is definitely a master at plot twists. This phenomenal author will have you caught off-guard as you read his well placed and exhilarating twists and turns. 
The Living is a series and after reading the first book, I am really curious to see where the story goes next! There are so many possibilities and I'm really hoping The Hunted (out Fall 2014) will be just as good as the first book.

Conclusion: Everyone should add The Living to their TBR shelves! It is definitely a well-written and compelling story that will leave you speechless.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by: April Genevieve Tucholke

Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Paranormal. Gothic Horror
Recommended For Fans Of: Kate Karyus Quinn, Nova Ren Suma, Kendare Blake

Synopsis: Violet and her brother Luke have been on their own since their peculiar grandmother died many years ago. Stuck with absentee parents and a bill they can no longer afford to pay, Violet must figure out a way to rake in the money she and her brother needs to survive. Enter River West, the mysterious, good-looking and dangerous new boy in town. River wants to rent Violet's guesthouse and agrees to pay her a large sum of money that will keep Violet and her brother safe. What Violet doesn't count on is the threat that just might have come in the form of a certain powerful, corruptive, and enchantingly captive boy named River West. Now Violet struggles to draw the line between right and wrong as she is pulled in deeper and deeper until she's between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Review: I'm struggling to write this review. For very good reasons. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea  is a very eerie and eccentric novel by April Genevieve Tucholke. Violet and Luke live in a sleepy, old town that has a very old-fashioned and weary feel to it. Although the author never specified what time period or year this book is set it, I am going to guess it takes place in maybe an earlier time. Now that I think about it, I don't really remember the use of high-tech gadgets at all.

I am still having trouble writing this review. The characters. Well, none of them were very likable at all. Violet was rash and seemed to have a lot of air in her head, Summer was annoying and a slut, Luke was just plain weird, and River was a temperamental and cocky boy. But, none of that really matters at all. I found myself saying, "who cares if these character's aren't even remotely perfect? It's still an amazing story." And it really is. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is very edgy and sinister. You'll get the chills more than once when you read it.

The storyline was almost perfect. There were some minor flaws that I can not even point out now because they were so insignificant. It was suspenseful and intense. The scenes flowed wonderfully and April added plot twists that kept the story alive and riveting.

Conclusion: This is important guys! Have any of you seen the trailer for the upcoming 2014 movie, Endless Love yet? Well if you have, then you will know what I am talking about! For those of you who have not, please go watch it! If you listen, you will hear this spooky song play in the background. This maybe 30 seconds of music was all I heard while I was reading Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. The lyrics are perfect and the way Skylar Grey sings it is so creeptastic. The real name of the song is "Addicted to Love" cover by Skylar Grey, but a full version has yet to be released. The only portion you can hear of it is in the Endless Love trailer. If any of you are willing to check out this trailer, and tell me what you think in the comments, then you are as awesome as cherry pie:D (the good kind, not the bad kind)


Catching Fire Movie Review + Giveaway!

Title: Catching Fire
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Director: Francis Lawrence
Rating: FULL 5 out of 5 stars
Based on the novel by Suzanne Collins

So I saw Catching Fire last night. ONE WORD: EPIC. And IT WAS AMAZING TIMES A MILLION THOUSAND TRILLION GAZILLION.  My friends and I were like this the entire time:

In other words, if you have not seen this movie yet, please go see it. Here's what I loved about it:

1) The cast: 
JLaw, JHutch, and LHems (LOL) have really outdone themselves. Jennifer's acting was spot-on. She portrayed every emotion, every action, every thought of Katniss Everdeen perfectly. She WAS Katniss Everdeen. She WAS the girl on fire. The one pleasant surprise in this movie was Josh Hutcherson. I'm not really a big fan of him or Peeta. But in Catching Fire, any doubt or resentment I harbored towards Peeta and Josh immediately went away. Although I still love Gale (shoutout to my future husband Liam Hemsworth), I no longer detest the thought of Peeta and Katniss as a couple. To me, that shows just how truly amazing an actor is.
Since Catching Fire features new tributes to a whole new game, we saw the introduction of new actor/ actresses as well. First we have Jena Malone as Johanna Mason. Every ounce of spite and sass you read about her in the book will be portrayed on the big screen. I was also really impressed with Sam Claflin as Finnick and Jeffrey Wright as Beetee. And Finnick? HOLY FINNICK O'DAIR, HE WAS PERFECTION. You have to see it for yourself.

2) The setting:
The setting and scenery blew me away. I won't spoil anything for those of you who have yet to see the movie or read the book, but the arena was DEADLY. I can not imagine exactly how much money was put into making the arena come to life. Let me throw in that Tick, Tock. The arena's a clock...
3) The Overall Effect:
You know how some movies are just really cheesy and make you want to puke on someone because of how fake it is? Well, I'm happy to say that there was no puke on anyone the night of Catching Fire. It was 100% genuine creativity, power and brutality. The director, Francis Lawrence, is a true mastermind. It takes talent, vision and sheer brilliance to pull of a movie like this. And the overall effect? Well here's a gif for you.
At the end, I started to tear up because of how amazing Catching Fire truly was. I didn't want it to be over, and I sat in my seat in shock and utterly mindblown. I walked out of the theatre feeling numb and knowing I wouldn't be able to function properly for the next four days. Catching Fire was everything I expected and more. It was eerie, spontaneous, and devastatingly brilliant. Even if you have not read the book or have doubts about The Hunger Games, you WILL NOT regret seeing Catching Fire. Trust me and see this movie. I swear this movie is magical.

Catching Fire will leave its legacy for a long time. Now here are some gifs for you to OOH and AHH and fawn over: 

Here are the prizes:

Rules of Entry:
1) As always, no cheating. If I find out you cheated, you are disqualified.
2) US ONLY- sorry, but I can't ship international!
3) The winner must respond to my email withing 48 hours or I will be forced to pick a new winner.
4) And as always, this giveaway MUST HAVE MORE THAN 50 ENTRIES for a winner to be drawn.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Prophecy Blog Tour: Interview+Giveaway!

Hello my lovely followers! I am so excited to introduce Ms. Erin Albert and her AMAZING book, The Prophecy on Fiction_TheNewReality today! I have some minions here to help me share my excitement:

Title: The Prophecy (The Fulfillment Series Book 1)
Author: Erin Albert
Shelves: Young Adult, Fantasy
Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He's grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear...not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash's secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

*Does this book sounds amazing OR DOES IT SOUND AMAZING??* 

For all you dear lovely readers, Erin is giving you a blurby of The Prophecy to fangirl over!

“Everything must be taken down.”  A rotund man, with beady black eyes, surveyed the town, disdain in his expression.  While he did not appear distinguishable from the other black and purple clad men, he spoke with authority. “The First Ones and their great Prophecy must be honored properly.” He sniffed, his actions indicating the very existence of Medlin and its occupants offended him.
Layla wondered what this man considered a “proper honoring” of the First Ones.  The First Ones…they’d been dead for centuries, and, as far as Layla could tell, hadn’t done much in life except start a never-ending war.  She knew nothing more about them except that she was to thank them for good things, curse them for bad, and celebrate them on this day.
“That’s Elder Werrick, head of the Ecclesiastics,” whispered Samson, glancing back at Grant.  Layla noticed the look that passed between them.
Grant nodded his assent. “Get her out of here, brother.”
Samson tried to steer Layla away, but she held her position to get a closer look at the man whom her family so feared. She knew they had good reason to worry—her black hair and purple eyes marked her as a Fulfillment candidate, one with the potential to bring about the long awaited peace. But she couldn’t quite bring herself to believe Elder Werrick would notice her on the crowded streets, especially with her eye drops and hood. Could he really be responsible for dragging candidates from their homes, forcing them to undergo strenuous, sometimes gruesome, testing for the sake of the Prophecy?  To Layla, he looked like nothing more than a short, fat, unhappy man.  The very notion that he could strike such fear into the hearts of her people seemed almost laughable…almost. As his gaze swept over the crowd, she glimpsed a sinister undertone that made her shiver.
Waving his pudgy arms at the awaiting townspeople, Werrick commanded, “Take it down.” 
Suddenly, his body stilled and his tiny eyes grew wide.  They briefly connected with Layla’s, narrowing with calculation.  The Elder turned to his nearest black clad companion. 
“Do you feel that?” Layla heard Werrick ask. 
The other man looked skeptical.  “Feel what, Elder?”
Werrick leaned in as the two whispered, stealing furtive glances in her direction.  When the Elder’s companion pointed at Layla, Samson grabbed her arm. She heard his breathing change from rhythmic to jagged as he pulled her away from the men.
“We have to go now.” His urgency spurred her into action.
Grant moved to block them from the Elder’s view.  “Get her away from here, Samson.”
The Elder looked up to see everyone staring at him as if frozen. He repeated his demand, “I said take everything down.”
The townspeople, joined by the Elder’s minion, scampered to remove their decorations, anxious to “properly” celebrate the First Ones.  Their flurry of activity concealed Layla as Samson and Grant escorted her away.  Layla scanned the streets, horrified, as the people of Medlin stripped the town’s center barren.  In no time, everything appeared as it always had, devoid of any celebratory adornments.  She looked up at the sky with its gray clouds lingering overhead.  A bad omen…
On the hill, a safe distance away, Layla watched a group of Ecclesiastics erect a monstrous stage where the donkey races should have occurred.  She heard the braying of the angry animals, harnessed and corralled on the orders of the Elder to avoid interfering with the “true” Day of Dawning celebration. Her ire rose.  Who did they think they were coming in and changing everything? 
An icy, phantom finger traced a frigid line down her spine.  After hearing warning after warning from the Mantars her whole life, Layla knew exactly what the Ecclesiastics could do, what they had done to others in the past.  Maybe Samson and Grant had been right.  Maybe she should never have come, especially today.  Layla turned her back on the town, resolved to go home, to safety. 
“Layla!” Samson’s alarmed tone sliced into her, and she swung around toward him. 
To her horror, two Vanguard soldiers forced Samson to the ground.  She knew just how much strength he possessed, yet he couldn’t free himself. Her hands balled up into fists, shaking with their desire to unleash the full force of their fury.
“Run!” Samson screamed before a soldier’s fist smashed into his face. 
His body stilled.  Panic, coupled with indecision, crippled her.  She should run like Samson commanded, but she couldn’t leave him lying there.  To her relief, Grant ambled toward them, his eyes full of rage. 
“Run!” Grant echoed Samson’s warning.
With a final glance at the two boys who’d been as close to her as brothers, Layla fled.  She flew down the hill, swinging her head from side to side in alarm.  Ecclesiastics swarmed throughout the city, making a clear escape route difficult to discern. 
Terror rose within Layla.  Why hadn’t she listened to her family?  She’d been foolish to believe she could sneak around under the ever-watchful eyes of the Ecclesiastics, and that hubris put Samson and Grant in danger as well.  She choked back a sob. 
“Run,” she whispered. 
Willing her feet to move forward, Layla darted toward the back of the baker’s shop, hoping to take a shortcut through the back alleyway.  She swerved to miss a wooden box and stumbled, arms flailing to right herself. Unfamiliar hands reached out to break her fall.  Once stable, Layla looked up to find Elder Werrick staring down at her.  She screamed but no sound came out of her open mouth. 
            “I’ve been looking for you,” he said, a wicked smile on his face.  

And I have a special treat for you all! An interview with the lovely lady herself! Please give it up for Erin Albert! *insert clapping and cheering emojis*

Thank you for hosting me today, Jayne!!  I look forward to “talking” to your blog followers. *waves*

Q1) If you were stranded on a deserted island with one other author, who would it be and why?
Wow…that’s a good one!  I’m going to say Rick Riordan because I bet he’s a wealth of fascinating information.  And based on characters like Percy and Sadie, I have to believe he’s hysterical. 
Q2) When you write, do you have a routine or a ritual of sorts?
I usually write in my bed with my “husband pillow” behind my back for support.  At 3:30 every day, I need a container of chocolate and a Diet Pepsi to keep me going.  Chocolate and caffeine…important brain food. LOL!  ;)
Q3) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice would be to never give up and edit, edit, edit.  When you think your manuscript is ready, edit some more. Involve critique partners and beta readers to help you out.  In the process of attempting publication, you will receive “no” a lot, but keep pressing forward.  It just takes one “yes.” Finding your publication niche is like finding a mate.  You might have to experience people that don’t work before you find “the one.”
Q4) Do you base any of the characters from your novel off anyone in real life? If so, have you told him/her?
No, there are no characters based on people in my real life.  I’m sure some of their personality traits reflect people I know, even my own self.  But there is no direct correlation to one person.
Q5) If you could have on character from The Prophecy as your best friend, who would it be and why?
Hmmmm…Samson.  He’s a piece of work and would keep me in stitches.  I love to laugh and enjoy the company of funny people!!
Q6) What made you decide to become a writer?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer.  I started reading at a young age and have always had a passion for the written word. 
Q7) What other books can we expect from you soon?
The Prophecy is the first book in a trilogy.  The second book (tentatively The Outlanders) and the third book (tentatively The Fulfillment) are already written. I made some changes to the first book that will affect the other two, so I am in the process of working in those revisions.  In addition to those, I’ve been working on a futuristic thriller, a middle-grade coming-of-age story in the vein of Judy Blume, a women’s chick lit, and another YA fantasy. 
Q8) What is the one book/author that got you into reading?
I always loved to read, but the first book I ever read was Morris The Moose Goes To School.
Q9) What are your goals as a writer?
I would be lying if I said I didn’t dream of being a bestseller—a Rick Riordan, Cassandra Clare, or Richelle Mead.  But mostly, I just want to have a book worthy of discussion and discourse.  I want to meet new people who share a mutual love of books. 
Q10) What is the one word that comes to mind when others' hear your name?

You guys will definitely want to read The Prophecy. Erin Albert is THE author to watch for the upcoming year! And because Erin is such a wonderful person, she has a giveaway for you guys! Yayy! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jodi Meadows Anniversary Blog Post Part 1

The amazing Jodi Meadows is hosting an anniversary giveaway on her blog! I'm entering to win A SIGNED PAPERBACK OF INCARNATE. Check it out here: Here's the task that I have to fulfill:

To win a signed paperback of INCARNATE, write a blog post about a time you were new to something, or somewhere, and how you dealt with it. Your post should be at least 200 words long (about two or three paragraphs), use the image above, and link back to this post. Then grab your link and fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

So, I am going to write about a time I was new to something. 
What could I possibly write about, I wonder?


Blogging of course! Here's my story:
     Those of you who have been following my blog since I first started on October 4th, 2013 know that I have only been blogging for a few months. I would be what you would call, a "newbie". 
     I started Fiction_TheNewReality because I was reading a book a day, but not doing anything with it. I don't have any friends who like to read, and there was basically no one in my daily life who I could discuss books with (this is a sadness no book lover should ever have to endure). After I read books I particularly loved or hated, I had all these thoughts and comments about the book floating around in my head. Sometimes, if a book got me particularly riled, I would write sample reviews in my head. So I decided to start a book blog.
   For me, it was a little scary at first. I am horrible with technology and computer programs in general and the thought of starting a book blog petrified me. But I just could not resist! So I logged into Blogger, and created my first blog.    
    If any of you can remember your first couple of months blogging, I think you'll remember the amount of frustration and stress put into making your blog known. I struggled with gaining followers and general attention. At times I felt really discouraged and I didn't think anyone was reading my reviews and posts at all. 
  But slowly, Fiction_TheNewReality started to take off. In fact, it is still getting ready to fly today. But since October 4th, I have had 1335 pageviews and that is a big deal to me. Not only do I have a growing number of followers, but I know people read my reviews and I love seeing the comments people post.
    Through starting a book blog, I met so many new people. I love chatting with other bloggers on Twitter, and also contacting multiple publishers and authors. I am so grateful for all the publishing companies who have sent me ARCs in the past couple of months. They have contributed so much to my blog and I am always happy to see a review request or an ARC in the mail.
     I am a young blogger. Perhaps among the youngest out there. I don't have nearly as much life AND book experience as some of the other bloggers out there. But I am working hard to become just as good as those more than twice my age. Sometimes it is hard because I don't have nearly as much time as someone who does not have to attend school for six hours a day and attend to homework for four more hours after that. Sometimes it can get a little stressful. But blogging is something I will never give up and I hope I will continue to do it for much of my life.

So that's my story about a time when I was new to something! Thank you again to Jodi Meadows for hosting this awesome giveaway and I hope you all liked my story:) You can visit Jodi's website for your chance to win here:


The Edge of Falling By: Rebecca Serle (WoW #3)

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

This week my Waiting on Wednesday is The Edge of Falling By: Rebecca Serle. If you know me and if you read my blog, then you'd know I am a sucker for YA contemporary, and this one just caught my eye.

Title: The Edge of Falling
Author: Rebecca Serle
Shelves: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: March 18th, 2014
Publishing Company: Simon Pulse

Summary From Goodreads:
Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.

Reasons why I absolutely cannot wait for this book:
1) SETTING: It takes place in Manhattan, and that's my city lovelies! I absolutely love Manhattan and cannot resist books set in this amazing city.
2) COVER: I try not to judge a book by its cover, but this one is a good judgement:) Look at that beautiful cover. I adore the way the bright red flats pop out against the blurry blue of the city below. I haven't seen a cover like this in a while and it really drew me in.
3) PLOT: The Edge of Falling sounds like an edgy new contemporary. There's romance and all the fluffy things in between, and then there's the dark, sinister side. I love these types of novels.

I would absolutely die for a copy of this book *hints at Simon Pulse* I can't wait until March 18th!!! I really can't! What are you all waiting on this Wednesday?


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gift the Gift of Cinder!

Thank you to MacTeens Books for this amazing chance to win an ARC of Cress! 
Here's the little blurby thingy on the MacTeens blog:
Are you dying to read Cress?
Do you love The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer?
Do you know someone who hasn’t read The Lunar Chronicles yet?
If you’ve said YES to all these questions, here’s what you do:

1.Loan a friend a copy of Cinder.
2.Write a blog post explaining why you gave that friend a copy of Cinder.
3.Have your friend review Cinder on his/her blog OR on your blog.
4.Share the review online using the #GiftOfCinder hashtag!
5.Leave us the links for your blog post, review of Cinder, and social share on this post below!

We’ll pick twenty winners to receive an advanced copy of the upcoming Cress, the third installment in The Lunar Chronicles.

And mark your calendars… #CyborgMonday is coming on December 2, 2013.
1) At the beginning of November, I lent my friend Domenique a copy of Cinder.
2) Here's WHY I did!
I don't have a lot of friends who like to read, which is really sad and unfortunate. However, my friend Domenique likes to read but she can never find the time to get much reading done. When I lent her my copy of Cinder to read and review, she LOVED it. Not only did she constantly message me between chapters while she was reading the book, but she also could not stop gushing over how much she loved the world that Marissa Meyer had created.
The main reason I chose to lend Domenique a copy of Cinder is because I think she's the type of girl who loves fairy tale re-tellings. She is also a huge fan of science fiction, and since Cinder combines both of these elements into an amazing story, I figured it would be a perfect match for her. 
Turns, out she loves Cinder. Even though she doesn't have a lot of time to read, she is breezing through the book at a rapid pace and can't seem to put it down. I'm hoping that after she finished Cinder, she'll want to read Scarlett and then Cress!

I'm hoping that once she finishes Cinder (and gives it a 5 star review) she'll be able to read more books and she and I can discuss and review together. I have been wanting to get her to read a book I recommend for a while, and Cinder is the perfect way to accomplish this.

You can look for Domenique's review ON MY BLOG SOON!!