Oct 29, 2013

{Blog Tour} Book Review: Strip Me Bare - Marissa Carmel

Title: Strip Me Bare
Author: Marissa Carmel
Release Date: October 7th 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Age Group: New Adult
Source: eARC for blog tour
“I may have had more lovers than you, and I may take my clothes off for countless women, but you are the only one who can strip me bare.”
Do you ever stop loving someone just because they’re gone?
Five years ago Ryan Pierce disappeared from Alana Remington’s life without leaving so much as a post-it note behind. He was the one she gave her heart to, her soul to and her virginity to. So imagine her surprise when she finds him dancing at one of NYC’s hottest male reviews as Jack the Stripper.
Ryan never stopped loving Alana, and now that she serendipitously dropped back into his life, he’s vowed never to lose her again. But being together has its costs, and challenges Alana isn’t sure she can handle. She finally has Ryan back; but how in the world is she supposed to share the love of her life with half of the women in New York City?
If you're reading this in a hurry, let me give you the gist of my review: Strip Me Bare is one of the best NA books I've ever read. If you've watched "Magic Mike", then the story may be familiar to you. Like I had done while watching the movie, I giggled hysterically during the stripping scenes because they were outrageous! But as usual, the book's better, so don't put off reading this if you didn't enjoy that film.

What I loved most about Strip Me Bare were the main characters, Alana and Ryan. When I read the blurb, I expected some irritating push-and-pull to happen between them, but nope, there was none of that here. If I could, I'd give them the "Most Mature NA Characters" award; they were both honest about their feelings and they kept their lines of communication open and sat down to talk about their problems like the adults that they were. Also, they both knew what they wanted in life and worked their relationship around those goals, instead of the other way around. Theirs is probably the healthiest relationship I have ever seen in this genre.

Together, Alana and Ryan really were something, but they stood out just as well when apart. Alana, the aspiring lawyer, had always lived a privileged life, but she was nowhere near spoiled and helpless. She knew how to play her cards and didn't let pride get in the way of getting what she wanted. Ryan, on the other hand, had always been dealt an unfortunate set of cards, growing up with an alcoholic mother and drug-addict brother. But instead of strapping him down, he chose to work hard, knowing he was capable of so much more and deserving of so much better. They're both very inspiring, if you ask me.

Funny, sexy, and touching, Strip Me Bare is the kind of NA that I'd love to see more of: complex and realistic. When I reached the end, I could only ask to know more about Alana and Ryan's 'five years ago', so imagine my glee when I found out that the author's writing that the story! Stripped From You, I am impatiently waiting for you.

MY FAVORITE PART was (oh, this is hard)
"I couldn't decide what to wear so I bought a selection."
"You bought Michael Kors' spring line."
Adorbs, right? :3

About the author:
Marissa Carmel has loved writing ever since a young age. She has a dual degree in History and Political Science, but took as many creative writing classes in college as she could. She spent most of her twenties bartending, which is where she met her husband and a multitude of interesting people. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s hanging out with her family, experimenting in her kitchen or doing yoga on the living room floor.


Oct 27, 2013

{Blog Tour} Book Review + Giveaway: Endless - Amanda Gray

Title: Endless
Author: Amanda Gray
Release Date: September 10th 2013
Publisher: Month9Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: eARC for blog tour
Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought.
Like a past life.
Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock -- and the Order -- the trio discovers a link that joins them in life -- and beyond death.
Endless is probably the most dramatic time travel book I've read. To me, it felt like more 'romance' than 'sci-fi', and that's usually a good thing with me because I love me some romance, but not in this case.

This book starts off with a Ouija board game—creepy, yes? Our main character, Jenny, is spooked enough but not totally thrown off. Why? Because that's not her first encounter with weird. That's where the mystery kicks off and I have no idea why but that's also where Endless rides the downhill train. After that night, the book just had a hard time keeping my attention. I'd say it was because I'd been busy but, honestly, I'm not so sure.

What turned me off even more was the romance and no, it had nothing to do with the romance being a love triangle because I actually don't hate love triangles. It's because of insta-freaking-love. Jenny and Ben has this slow-burning, dislike-turned-like thing going on, but then Nikolai struts into the scene and Jenny just leaps off into the sunset with him. Well, not exactly, but you get the picture. Don't get me wrong, I usually go for the epic, timeless love like theirs, but not when it leaves someone like Ben as a casualty.

But all that said, I feel like Endless just wasn't for me because I did love the constant mysterious feel that the book had, Amanda Gray's gorgeous writing, and, oh god, Romanov Russia—there needs to be more fiction about the Romanovs. So don't take my word for it and give this unique book a try!

MY FAVORITE PART was the first Maria/Nikolai scene because it actually made me swoon :3

About the author:
Amanda Gray believes in magic and fantasy and possibilities. She is a team of two bestselling authors who live only miles apart but have never met in person. They talk on the phone and are the best of friends and between them have written more than a dozen novels and novellas and have had their work appear on television.


Oct 24, 2013

Book Review: The Iron Daughter - Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: August 1st 2010
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.
Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.
Hi there, The Iron Daughter. Please sit down and tell me what I can help you with. What, second book syndrome? Yes, I know what that is, and I can assure you that you don't have even a single one of its symptoms. None, nada, zilch.

At the end of this review, you'll see a rating of 4.5—why not a perfect 5, you ask? That's thanks to Meghan and the tsunamis of irritation she gave me. There were a lot of times when she reverted back to the clueless, helpless girl she'd been when the first book started, like she hadn't learned anything from the traumatizing events she'd gone through. Also, like in The Iron King, she simply went along for the ride, with decision-making being her biggest part in the mission because fighting and Meghan? Not a good combination (unless it's the climax, in which case her "strong fae powers" never fail to come out). And she even had the nerve to complain that she'd already sacrificed a lot, but, please, not her dear Winter prince, too! To her credit, though, she never lost sight of her goals and priorities.
I would kill him. If he hurt Ethan or Mom in any way, I would put a knife through his heart myself, even if I was sobbing my eyes out while I did it.

It seems like for every Iron Fey book, I'd feel the need to dedicate an entire paragraph or two to the romance, so here it goes. There's no doubt about Ash being swoon-worthy and all, especially with that mothereffing stud in his ear (it's just a thing I have with guys), but his relationship with Meghan still felt rushed. Considering all they'd been through together—particularly Ash's short douchebag stintit just wasn't believable for them to be so head-over-heels in love with each other. But don't worry, because I assure you that this book's ending will have you waving flags for this ship.

Which leaves dear Puck as the poor third side of the triangle. Like I said, I now ship Meghan/Ash, arguable histories aside, but I'd still choose Puck over Ash. Any. Day. He was his usual hilarious self here in TID, but with that hint of sexy menace. 
"Robin Goodfellow is an expert at dancing around the truth."
"Oh, look who's talking. If you're not an expert at screwing people over, I'll eat my head."
My heart just broke when he realized that Meghan's heart was a lost cause; refer to Damon Salvatore pre-season three of The Vampire Diaries.

We also see so much more of the fae world here in the second book. The world that Julie Kagawa created was just teeming with possibilities, and she didn't let any of those go to waste. The Iron Daughter is more fast-paced than its predecessor, but still unreletentingly bloody, funny, and twisty, and I'm just itching to pick up the next book.

"If you are going to do that, would you mind not jostling the bed so much?" came a sarcastic voice near the headboard. "Perhaps you could roll around on the floor."


Oct 22, 2013

Book Review: Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: February 1st 2013
Publisher: Orion Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.
Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.
Let me tell you now that I'm aware of how insufficient this review is, because even all the words in my vocabulary would fail to give justice to Eleanor & Park. It truly is a book that you have to know for yourself, so I suggest you do just that.

For me, three aspects of Eleanor & Park make it the gem that it is. First and second are, well, Eleanor and Park, the girl who couldn't help but be noticed and the boy who didn't want to be noticed. Even if I had little in common with them, with the way Rainbow Rowell wrote their story, I couldn't help but feel like the three of us were kindred spirits.
She never felt like she belonged anywhere, except for when she was lying on her bed, pretending to be somewhere else.
The third aspect is their romance. Eerily real, it is where the book really stands out. Watching two kids who never quite fit in anywhere, even at home, slowly opening up and learning the secret passageways and nooks and crannies in each other's existence gave me warm, fuzzy feels. 
When she got on the bus that morning, she immediately lifted her head to find Park. He was looking up too, like he was waiting for her.
But with their reality comes darkness, and thanks to that little snippet right before chapter one, the warm, fuzzy feels were constantly mixed with a sense of foreboding. 

I went into this book already knowing that the romance would be young and innocent, the writing heart-wrenching—I knew I'd love it, but I didn't know how much. This is one of those books that just sucked me right in, and I could have started and finished it in one sitting if only I didn't want to relish the way it made me feel for a while longer. Eleanor & Park was such an experience that it managed to both awaken the sleeping butterflies in my stomach and also bring on the waterworks, and it is definitely one of my top reads for this year—heck, make that for ever.

MY FAVORITE PART is the first time Park gave one of his comic books to Eleanor. I'm pretty sure I was grinning like a maniac when I read it at school lol.


Oct 21, 2013

{Blog Tour} Book Review + Giveaway: Without You - Brooklyn Skye

Title: Without You (Stripped #1.5)
Author: Brooklyn Skye
Release Date: October 22nd 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Age Group: New Adult
Source: eARC for blog tour
She was broken when I met her, shattered from the death of her sister and running from love. Not to sound like an egotistical douche or anything, but I fixed her. Put her back together, filled in the cracks, and made her whole. A true fairytale in her eyes.

But now real life is getting in the way: school, jobs, and the unexpected opportunity to travel the world under a legendary photographer. This internship will open doors not even my father’s influence could. It’s something I’ve been waiting all my life for. But so is Quinn, and accepting this internship will mean leaving her.

And breaking her all over again.
Novellas usually come between books in a series, but not in this case (unless I'm being a total failure of a fan and don't know that a sequel is in the works...?). Stripped ended really well if you ask me, but we readers just always want more, don't we? Lucky for us Quinn and Torrin fans, we have such an obliging author on our side.

Without You picks up not shortly after the events of Stripped. Quinn and Torrin are in a fragile but happy relationship, but neither of them know that being together might just have to mean being stationary. I have to admit, even though I shipped Quinn and Torrin so hard in Stripped, I honestly thought they had no business staying together if it would just hinder them from their own personal goals in life. And to think it was just for five months! Now, it's obviously because I've never had the chance to feel the way they do for each other, but I just couldn't relate to Torrin's dilemma. Kudos to Quinn for being the mature one this time around!

Emotional, sweet, and sexy, Without You really was a delight to read. I was in a bit of a reading slump after having just read an amazing book, and this novella was the perfect choice to get me out of it.  

MY FAVORITE PART was the 'body shots' scene ;D


About the author:
Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she’s just your average awkward girl who’s obsessed with words. You can follow her on Twitter as @brooklyn__skye or visit her web site for updates, teasers, giveaways, and more.


Oct 19, 2013

Stacking the Shelves {12}

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where bloggers share recently bought, borrowed, won, and gifted books (print or ebooks)!

From now on, I'll start posting my book hauls weekly ;D These are the ebooks I got last month; the physical books will have the spotlight next week because I can't be bothered to take photos right now lol.

Oct 17, 2013

Book Review: The Angel Stone - Juliet Dark

Title: The Angel Stone (Fairwick Chronicles #3)
Author: Juliet Dark
Release Date: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Age Group: Adult
Source: NetGalley
For Callie McFay, a half-witch/half-fey professor of folklore and Gothic literature, the fight to save the enchanted town of Fairwick, New York, is far from over. After a hostile takeover by the Grove—a sinister group of witches and their cohorts—many of the local fey have been banished or killed, including Callie’s one true love. And in place of the spirit of tolerance and harmony, the new administration at Fairwick College has fostered an air of danger and distrust.
With her unique magical abilities, Callie is the only one who can rescue her friends from exile and restore order to the school—a task that requires her to find the Angel Stone, a legendary talisman of immense power. Propelled on an extraordinary quest back to seventeenth-century Scotland, Callie risks her life to obtain the stone. Yet when she encounters a sexy incarnation of her lost love, she finds the greater risk is to her heart. As the fate of Fairwick hangs in the balance, Callie must make a wrenching choice: reclaim a chance for eternal passion or save everything she holds dear.
I have a thing with last books in a series: I avoid them. For as long as possible, I save myself from the grief of having to say goodbye to characters I'd invested my heart into for the length of more than one book. Before today, I've only finished two series, but now I can add the Fairwick Chronicles to that list.

After having her hand forced to cast off her fey friends back to the fairy world, Callie is doing her best to act as guardian over her students at Fairwick College against the new administration that consisted of nephilim and trolls, all while being haunted by the memories of her demon lover and his reincarnations. When she learns of a way to banish these enemies and get her friends back, she dives headfirst into her mission, not knowing that ultimately, she will have to choose between what is right and what she wants.

The Angel Stone kept the Gothic atmosphere and dark humor present in the first two books, but what made this the best book in the trilogy, at least for me, was just how amped up the pace was. New magical creatures were introduced and the real identities of more Fairwick residents were revealed, adding color and variety to the already huge cast of characters. 

As The Angel Stone sucked me in, though, its imperfections started to be seen. The pace slowed down when Callie started looking for the stone, and that really disappointed me because that's the lead-up to the climax—it should have been intense and gripping! Instead, I got bored with Callie's lengthy monologues on her sadness, confusion, and longing.

I admit, what kept me reading this entire series was my curiosity as to how Callie's paranormal love life would play out, and I'd wanted to tell her more than once to damn everyone and everything and just be happy, so The Angel Stone's ending sure made my heart leap. Despite the problems I had, this is a worthy conclusion to this beautifully dark trilogy that I will surely revisit in the future.

"Damn it, McFay, where'd ya get the light saber?"


Oct 15, 2013

Book Review: The Iron King - Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: February 1st 2010
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
With over seventy thousand ratings on Goodreads, it's safe to say that The Iron King is one of the superstars in the YA world, but what makes this book extra-special for me is the fact that it involves creatures also present in my first-ever attempt at writing a book: fairies/faeries/fey/fay/however-you-wanna-call-them. Having read this now, though, I'm glad that WIP hasn't seen the light of day for more than a year now.

At first, The Iron King had me worried because it did take a while for the plot to go full speed ahead, and Meghan didn't turn out to be as Hermione-smart as I'd expected her to be. Being smitten by the cliche douchebag jock? Ugh. But Julie Kagawa obviously knows how to do her job because even though I practically rolled my eyes at every page thanks to Meghan's initial incompetence, I still found myself unable to stop from turning the pages. And everything only got better when I reached part two.

One of the things I loved most about this book was its take on fairy lore. It was both original and not, being loosely based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream—a nice surprise, by the way, because it's one of my favorite plays—and kind of reminding me of the Harry Potter world with how different species of magical creatures co-existed. The fey was a fascinating mystery that slowly unraveled as Meghan got deeper in to her adventure into their world. 

Now, the romance. There's an obvious love triangle that Meghan's unaware of as Puck was yet to man up and declare his feelings, which only pushed Meghan into Ash's arms. I have to admit, I didn't like how quickly Meghan and Ash's relationship moved from glaring and threatening to hugging and holding hands and kissing. It was by no means insta-love, thank heavens, because even though she got tingles from his icy good looks, Meghan ran away like hell was after her when Ash said that he meant to kill her. Despite making me raise an eyebrow, though, I'd be lying if I say they didn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. There's just something about a forbidden romance that always gets to me.

The Iron King is no short book by any means, but the pages just flew by as I devoured this story with its colorful cast of characters, intricate world-building, and plot with many twists and turns. Meghan's adventure to rescue her baby brother was crazy, fast-paced, and led to a satisfying, realistic ending that has me eager to pick up the second book.

MY FAVORITE PART was Elysium ;3


Oct 14, 2013

Multimedia Monday {6}

'Multimedia Monday' is a feature that I created to share with y'all the movies or TV shows that I recently watched or music that I've been listening to—because a great library won't be complete without a multimedia section ;D

Oct 12, 2013

Stacking the Shelves {11}: August 2013

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where bloggers share recently bought, borrowed, won, and gifted books (print or ebooks)!

Yep, another very late book haul post XD I'll also be drafting next week's post as early as now lol.

Oct 11, 2013

{Blog Tour} Book Review + Giveaway: After Hello - Lisa Mangum

Title: After Hello
Author: Lisa Mangum
Release Date: August 21st 2012
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ecopy for blog tour
What if the first day of your relationship was the only day you had?
Seventeen-year-old Sara is a seeker. She’s always on the lookout for the perfect moment to capture with her ever-present, point-and-shoot camera, especially on her first trip to New York City.
Sam is a finder. He has a knack for finding what other people can’t—a first-edition book or the last two tickets to a sold-out Broadway show. In New York, there is always something interesting to find.
When Sam and Sara’s paths cross, neither one of them is prepared for what they will find out about each other—and about themselves when they form an unlikely partnership in search of a seemingly elusive work of art. They have one day to find the impossible. Fate brought their talents together, but what happens when time runs out? Will love be able to overcome fate? This new novel from award-winning author Lisa Mangum explores what happens after hello.
Oftentimes, I read a book knowing what I'm getting into, but there are those rare occasions when I start a book knowing little to nothing about it and then receiving a nice, shiny surprise. After Hello is definitely one of the latter.

Within the first few pages, Lisa Mangum's writing already stood out to me. It was perfect for Sara and Sam's unique story, and awe-inspiring too as this is one of those books that's basically a convolution of quotable quotes. Seriously. If I copied down every beautiful passage After Hello has in to my quote notebook, I'd have no problem filling it. But the writing is just the tip of the iceberg, because what makes this book a real gem is the story it tells.

I don't know how she did it, but with the way the author wrote After Hello, she made Sara and Sam totally distinct from one another and yet seeming like they're one person—or maybe that's because they're kindred spirits, as they both thought. They each obviously had their own demons, two of the many secrets that I wanted to unearth as I read this, and they both also felt like very real, breathing teenagers. Actually, all of the characters in this book felt like very real, breathing people, and for a story set in a bustling city like New York, I imagine that's not easy to achieve.

Sara and Sam's romance might seem insta-love-ish to some but for me, it wasn't. It was insta-connection, something to be envied, not questioned, because really, how often is it that you find someone and feel like you've known them your entire life? And that's exactly how it went for these two damaged, young people as they chanced upon something that they both unknowingly needed, something innocent and reluctant and slow-burning but all the more captivating.

Dianne had already warned me about it, and it was certainly inevitable with Sara and Sam's situations, yet the ending still surprised me. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, but it was the right conclusion to this splendid story that I will surely revisit in the future.

MY FAVORITE PART is the last scene. Like I said, bittersweet.

About the author:
Lisa Mangum has loved and worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. Her first paying job was shelving books at the Sandy Library. She worked for five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. An avid reader of all genres, she has worked in the publishing department for Deseret Book since 1997.

Besides books, Lisa loves movies, sunsets, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville, Utah, with her husband, Tracy. She is the author of The Hourglass Door (which was named the 2009 YA Book of the Year by ForeWord Reviews), The Golden Spiral, The Forgotten Locket and After Hello.


Oct 10, 2013

Book Review: Skulk - Rosie Best

Title: Skulk
Author: Rosie Best
Release Date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: eARC from NetGalley
To some, Meg Banks’ life might look perfect – she lives in a huge house in West London, goes to a prestigious school, and has famous parents. Only Meg knows the truth: her tyrannical mother rules the house and her shallow friends can talk about nothing but boys and drinking. Meg’s only escape is her secret life as a graffiti artist.
While out tagging one night, Meg witnesses the dying moments of a fox… a fox that shapeshifts into a man. As he dies, he gives Meg a beautiful and mysterious gemstone. It isn’t long before Meg realises that she’s also inherited his power to shift and finds an incredible new freedom in fox form.
She is plunged into the shadowy underworld of London, the territory of the five warring groups of shapeshifters – the Skulk, the Rabble, the Conspiracy, the Horde, and the Cluster. Someone is after her gemstone, however, someone who can twist nature to his will. Meg must discover the secret of the stone and unite the shapeshifters before her dream of freedom turns into a nightmare.
Skulk went straight to my to-read list the moment I learned what it was about. Graffiti, shapeshifters, magical stones, and London? Talk about original. Unfortunately, originality was all the book had going on and despite my best efforts to love Skulk, I didn't.

This book had a great start. The writing was very descriptive and Meg's voice was captivating, and even though she's the narrator, there was still this mystery to her, particularly her relationship with her horrific mother and just why an insanely rich girl like her would sneak out of her mansion at night and vandalize walls all over the city. Meg's character felt even more real with the mention of her weight struggle and lack of direction, and I'd be damned if I say I never rooted for her to get away from her miserable life.

The shapeshifting did give Meg a way out of her wretched home, but the story also went downhill from there—and that was pretty early on. It was unrealistic how easily Meg got used to shifting; I would have liked that to be harder for her because that's one of the main points of the story, right? For the most part, Skulk was predictable and it had spurts of unputdownable every once in a while but then it would go down emotional lane that distracted from the action and, frankly, just made me roll my eyes. With how gritty and roguish the atmosphere of the story was, I certainly didn't want heavy drama; I wanted death and blood and gore, and the book had those, but the crying just—ugh.

Skulk didn't lack in the complexity department, I have to give it that. There was a whole menagerie of characters, each distinct on their own, each equally suspicious. The main antagonist wasn't quite as rounded as I'd have liked, but defeating her honestly didn't feel as important as getting the shapeshifters to grow the hell up and unite against their common enemy. Complex, like I said, because they had varied ages, races, sexualities, beliefs, etc.

Although the romance was one of the predictable parts, I liked it because it was young, innocent, and artsy. Sadly, that came pretty late into the story, and by then I just wanted to finish reading. Skulk failed to keep my attention in its hold, making it a struggle to get through. The ending definitely left room for a sequel and despite my lack of love for this book, I still want one because there's just so much potential.

"Well, this is going to sound kind of weird, but do you mind if I sketch you?"
There's leftfield, and then there's "can I sketch you?" I blinked, while my brain went over its response options:
Like one of your French girls? Oh, my God, Meg don't you dare say that.


Oct 8, 2013

{Blog Tour} Book Review + Giveaway: Ricochet - Krista & Becca Ritchie

Title: Ricochet (Addicted #1.5)
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Release Date: August 1st 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Age Group: New Adult
Source: ecopy for blog tour
As a sex addict, Lily Calloway must do the impossible. Stay celibate for 90 days.
Cravings and fantasies become her new routine, but while Loren Hale recovers from his alcohol addiction, Lily wonders if he’ll realize what a monster she really is. After all, her sexual compulsions begin to rule her life the longer she stays faithful to him.
Progress. That’s what Lily’s striving for. But by trying to become closer to her family—people who aren’t aware of her addiction—she creates larger obstacles. When she spends time with her youngest sister, she learns more about her than she ever imagined and senses an unsettling connection between Daisy and Ryke Meadows.
With Lily and Lo’s dysfunctional relationship teetering and unbalanced, they will need to find a way to reconnect from miles apart. But the inability to “touch” proves to be one of the hardest tests on their road to recovery. Some love brushes the surface. Some love is deeper than skin.
Lily and Lo have three months to discover just how deep their love really goes.
Addicted to You is one of my favorite NA novels, and when I found out that it’s actually the first in a series, I just freaked. I wanted to read more about Lily and Lo and their completely dysfunctional relationship, and Ricochet is the first to give me that ‘more’.

Ricochet is not exactly a novella in that it is longer, almost like a novel in itself. It bridges the gap between book one and book two, Addicted for Now, and although I obviously haven’t read that yet, I imagine I’d be confused if I dive into the second book without reading this #1.5 first. It’s filled with character development, something the first book admittedly had little of, and seeing these characters grow was just fulfilling.

Aside from the ‘two addicts in love omg what’s gonna happen’ part of the plot, what takes this series up a notch is the characters’ dynamics with one another. Everything’s complicated, from Lily’s and Lo’s relationships with each other, with their parents, their siblings, their enemies from the past, and – I’ve said this before but I just want to point it out again – it’s basically Gossip Girl on crack.

But more than bridge books one and two, Ricochet also provides tons of backstory for the spin-off novels coming out next year, Kiss the Sky and Hothouse Flower. Those are some of my favorite parts because Rose and Connor are just hilarious with their smart-people banter:
“Did you misquote Abraham Lincoln’s speech?”
“That wouldn’t happen, and that’s not the least bit embarrassing.”
“I would be embarrassed,” he says with raised eyebrows.
“Yeah? Well you’re like a green rooster. If your kind exists, there’s only one of you.”
And then there’s Ryke and Daisy:
“You know what’s scary,” she says, pointing her spoon at him. “You’re a journalism major, aren’t you? Shouldn’t you be a wordsmith?”
“Shouldn’t you be a voiceless mannequin?” he retorts back.
I am so ready for Hothouse Flower.

We also see more of Lily and Lo’s friendship, as in pure – though not-so-innocent – friendship, and I love how she’s wrecked not because she lost her boyfriend, but because she lost her best friend. This is one of the very few books that I read in one sitting so go freaking read this!

MY FAVORITE PART was Ryke sleeping over in Lily’s room :))


About the author:
Becca Ritchie is a carnivore of pop culture, television, film and of course YA and NA books. While in college, she worked at The CW television network and put her vampiric knowledge to good use, blogging about hit series and swooning over actors’ abs. When she’s not blogging, she writes novels and has teamed up with her twin sister for their New Adult novel ADDICTED TO YOU. Available July of 2013.

Krista Ritchie is the mind behind popular trading website YA Book Exchange and created Nawanda Files, a book blog that also features books into movies news. When not pouring over entertainment news and the newest releases, she spends her time conducting research in a genetics lab. She’s happy to join forces with her sister, harnessing their twin powers to produce the first in a New Adult series.

Krista: Goodreads
Becca: Goodreads | Twitter