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Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of them all?
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Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe...until a threat to both their worlds reunites them.
Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.
Review: Shutter by Courtney Alameda
The Helsing Corps only showed up when someone didn’t stay dead.
Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.
Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N Hensley
Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Audiobook Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

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Audiobook Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
A Wicked Thing
Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing #1
Genre: Fantasy, Retellings, YA
Publication date: February 24th 2015
by HarperCollins

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A spinning wheel.
A prick of a finger.
A Terrible curse.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. Everyone expects Aurora to marry her betrothed and restore magic and peace to the kingdom before revolution tears it apart. But after a lifetime spent locked in a tower for her own safety, Aurora longs for the freedom to make her own choices. When she meets a handsome rebel, she is tempted to abandon everything for a different kind of life.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

A Wicked Thing is a surprising, spellbinding reimagining of what happens after happily ever after.
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins Audio for review-

As you’ve probably noticed, I am a sucker for retellings. They are very hit or miss with me, but I really enjoyed this one. I listened to the audio of this one, and though it took a while to get used to the narrator, it was a good story. I loved the twist on the retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I thought it was fabulous where the author took the story of after she wakes up. And it’s not to her beloved prince like in the original. It is one hundred years after she has fallen asleep from her curse, and it’s not a happily ever after. The King and Queen are awful and only want to use her for their needs. The prince, Rodric, is only doing what he is expected to do. There are secrets and lies, and Aurora can only trust herself. She has gone from the prison of over protection in her childhood, to imprisonment again. This time so no one else an use her for their own plans.

Aurora wakes up in a whole new world pretty much. It’s been one hundred years since she fell asleep. Nothing is the same, and everyone she knew is long dead. The new King and Queen are cold and expect her to just conform to what they want. She is locked away at night and is not allowed to go off on her own. The prince is nice and all, but he isn’t exactly what she would want in who she is going to marry. Aurora sneaks out into the city to just be able to be away from it all, and starts to fall for a boy, Tristan. He is kind, funny, and makes her feel alive. She feels like she can make her own choices out away from the castle. That is until things fall apart and she finds that everyone has secrets and she may not be safe anywhere. She is tough though and she takes her fate into her own hands. She will not let a tale of her life decide her fate.

There is a hint at romance in this, but I really liked that it kind of stayed away from it, for now anyways. Of course there is her “True Love” who woke her, then there is Tristan, but also Finnegan who is an arrogant ass. I kind of liked him though. Even with being a bit full of himself, he was also very blunt and I found it refreshing and humorous. Even though there was some slight sparks and chemistry with Tristan, it never took off. And she starts to soften towards Rodric, but it’s not enough to create feelings besides friendship. Finnegan was different. There is definite chemistry there, but he is so infuriating that it’s hard to want her to fall for him. He is so helpful and caring in his own way though, which makes you kind of hope for it. I am interested to see where the romance aspect goes in the future books.

This audio wasn’t my favorite, but I did listen to it rather quickly since I was wrapped up in the story itself. The narrator didn’t seem to fit the story at first, and I have a hard time if I am not enjoying the person reading it, but I did feel like she did told the story well. I soon got used to her, and really enjoyed her narrating. I do with that I had felt a little more emotion out of the story though.

This was such a creative way to retell Sleeping Beauty. I really liked that it was more of a harsh reality type story than a butterflies and rainbows type of one. This was more like a slap in the face than a happy ending to her curse. There was a lot going on in this story with rebellions and covered up secrets in the royal family. I will definitely be continuing this series to see where it goes. I think that it was a fantastic start and I look forward to the rest of it.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Review: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Review: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Posted by on 03/30/2015 • 15 Comments

This is some terribly gritty stuff! This story revolves around a rape, and soon enough, you can add in a girl’s disappearance. So yes, this book is harsh, and Summers tackles it head-on with her immensely poignant writing style. She has a way of dissecting her characters until you can’t help but feel just as lost, just as completely broken as they are. I was honestly emotionally and psychologically confused for much of this novel. This book also touches on one of today’s biggest challenges with gender violence – society’s disbelief and victim blaming. Especially when the accused is the son of a prominent town figure. Stories like this are, sadly, the reality for many girls in our own world.

With that said, this is not a story to tread…

Fresh Batch (March 29th – April 4th)

Fresh Batch (March 29th – April 4th)

Posted by on 03/28/2015 • 12 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Start of Me and You Emery Lord Publication date: March 31st 2015by Bloomsbury

Goodreads Purchase

Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan….

Review: When by Victoria Laurie

Review: When by Victoria Laurie

Posted by on 03/27/2015 • 10 Comments

If you think this is your usual paranormal book where a girl finds herself capable of doing some pretty cool shit and doesn’t know how to use it and consequently gets frustrated until she finds the Love Interest/s who help/s her channel her powers for good before they run off to the sunset to their happily ever after, STOP RIGHT THERE! I shit you not, When by Victoria Laurie is anything but… that. It gets rid of the overused PR formula and breathes into it new life. I’m telling you right now that this book will surprise you in the sickest way possible (and I mean that very positively).

Being able to know when someone will die is definitely not an easy burden. If I had this curse put upon me, I…

Review: The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

Review: The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

Posted by on 03/26/2015 • 3 Comments

This was interesting and creepy. I didn’t really care much for most of the characters, but I did feel for Stephen. I found myself really feeling bad for him. Devon was horrible, and Cara just didn’t seem believable to me. In general though, I thought the story was pretty good. Based on old town stories and people who are set in there ways. It’s hard being an outsider, especially in a town like Spencer. Where things aren’t quite right, it’s hard to know if the old stories hold any truth, or if it is just the overactive imaginations of everyone.

Stephen doesn’t feel like he fits in, and he isn’t sure if he really wants to. He just wants to go back to Denver and away from the small…

Interview with Jennifer Banash + Giveaway!

Interview with Jennifer Banash + Giveaway!

Posted by on 03/23/2015 • 5 Comments

After reading and loving Silent Alarm a few weeks ago (read my review here), I’m happy to have had the chance to interview its author, Jennifer Banash, for y’all today! And in case you hadn’t stumbled on it yet, here’s a bit more on the book first:

Interview with Jennifer Banash

What inspired you to write on the topic of school shootings?

I was reading about the 2012 shooting in Chardon, Ohio, and when I came to the end of the article, it mentioned the fact that the shooter had a sister only a year younger. Although the real life sister didn’t attend the same school as her brother, I began thinking, what if? I wondered what it would be like to live in the same town…

Fresh Batch (March 22nd – 28th)

Fresh Batch (March 22nd – 28th)

Posted by on 03/21/2015 • 11 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Walls Around Us Nova Ren Suma Publication date: March 24th 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers

Goodreads Purchase

“Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”

The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth…

Giveaway: Half Wild by Sally Green

Giveaway: Half Wild by Sally Green

Posted by on 03/20/2015 • 5 Comments

On March 24th, Penguin will publish HALF WILD (Viking; on sale: March 24, 2015; 9780670017133; ages 12 up; $18.99), the second installment in Sally Green’s dark and captivating Half Bad trilogy. HALF WILD has already received two starred reviews, with Publishers Weekly raving that it “features the same powerful language, well-developed characters, fascinating magic, and harrowing action sequences as its predecessor and will leave its readers anxiously awaiting the final volume.”

When Half Bad released in the US, the critical response was resounding. TIME Magazine named Half Bad one of the “Best Books of 2014 So Far,” calling it “highly entertaining and dangerously addictive”. USA Today called it “refreshing” while The Boston Globe declared it “much more than a book about witches…a ruminative exploration of the nature of evil.”

US…