Posts Tagged: ARC

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking

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Amanda Hocking
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
by St. Martin’s Griffin

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When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy’s not sure she wants to be a part of it.

*A copy was provided by St. Martin’s Press for review purposes*

Trolls! I know, right? Flashy colorful hair, so-ugly-they’re-cute dolls we all had at one point? In Amanda’s world, these are all misconceptions. They’re called Trylle, and they’re beautiful, magical and on the brink of extinction.

With an entirely unique lore, Switched is able to stand out from all the other paranormal books available. I was fascinated by the Trylle mythology: How they lived, the monarchy, their custom of switching babies at birth. It was absolutely creative. Into this world comes a collection of commendable characters that are both well developed and easily likeable – even a select few that are fun to hate. Wendy has a big personality. She’s had a difficult, traumatic childhood, but that only made her stronger for the wear. She doesn’t let anyone manipulate her. She’s sympathetic and kind. All of which make her really relatable. I enjoyed going through her dilemmas with her. The stressful demands of becoming a princess overnight, the boy she’s falling for- it was all delightful. Almost like a modern day fairy tale.

Yes! The wonderful boys! From sweet to sweaty, Wendy has got more than her pick of lovely bachelors to chose from. I absolutely loved how the romance was played out in Switched. It’s passionate and heartbreaking. It doesn’t fall with the clichés of today’s YA novels. It’s unexpected – true to life. Truthfully, I devoured it and I can’t fathom choosing a team. She can have them all, right?

While there is still good story development, I did find some parts of the book were a bit slow. A good portion is dedicated to character and world building, however the book does not completely suffer from “first book syndrome” it does have its own beginning, middle and end, but I think the rest of the trilogy will be much more action packed with powerful plot twists.

With this admirable debut, Amanda Hocking has begun a trilogy that has immense potential. Switched is just as beautiful inside as it is on the outside (definite cover lust) and I highly recommend it! 

4 Hot Espressos

On A Dark Wing Tour Stop

Posted by on 01/02/2012 • 25 Comments

That’s right! The On A Dark Wing blog tour is visiting Xpresso Reads today for their very last stop! I’ve got a review and 2 wonderful giveaways for you all to give you some entertainment on this Monday. I hope you enjoyed the whole tour and I’m glad to be able to end it with a bang!

On A Dark WingJordan DaneRelease date: December 27th, 2011by Harlequin Teen

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The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn’t prepared for. And Death would be my willing teacher.Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her “lucky” break came at the expense of her mother’s life and changed everything. After she…

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Posted by on 12/30/2011 • 23 Comments

Under the Never SkyVeronica RossiRelease date: January 3rd, 2012by HarperCollins

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Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional…

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Posted by on 12/27/2011 • 49 Comments

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightJennifer E. SmithRelease date: January 2nd, 2012by Poppy

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Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18C. Hadley’s in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that…

Review: The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

Posted by on 12/26/2011 • 12 Comments

The Demon LoverJuliet DarkRelease date: December 27th, 2011by Random House Publishing Group

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I gasped . . . or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. . . . His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked in my breath and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.

Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of writing her…

Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Posted by on 12/23/2011 • 24 Comments

BittersweetSarah OcklerRelease date: January 3rd, 2011by Simon Pulse

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Hudson can’t wait to get out of Watonka, her working-class town outside of Buffalo. Once upon a time, her talent as a skater was going to be her ticket out… but when her parents’ marriage unraveled three years ago, so did her dreams. Now, she buries herself in making cupcakes for her mom’s diner and imagining her parallel life where she went on to skate to glory. But when she gets a letter inviting her to audition for a skating scholarship *and* the hockey team asks for her help with their technique (read: free ice time for Hudson), it’s impossible to ignore the signs. Is she ready to get back on the ice? Could this be her ticket out?…

Review: Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Posted by on 12/20/2011 • 30 Comments

Still WatersEmma Carlson BerneRelease Date: December 20th, 2011by Simon Pulse

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Hannah can’t wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He’s leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they’ll never forget. But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a bit…off. They can’t find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone’s been living there, even though it’s been deserted for years. And Colin doesn’t seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety. Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever.

*A copy was provided by Simon…

Review: The Deepest Cut by JA Templeton

Posted by on 12/19/2011 • 31 Comments

The Deepest CutJ.A. TempletonRelease date: June 27th, 2011

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Sixteen-year-old Riley Williams has been able to see ghosts since the car crash that took her mother’s life and shattered her family. Guilt-ridden over the belief that she’s somehow responsible for her mom’s death, Riley is desperate to see her mother’s elusive spirit to gain her forgiveness.

When her father moves the family to Scotland so they can all start over, Riley believes her life couldn’t get worse––that is until the ghost of nineteen-year-old Ian MacKinnon catches her purposely cutting herself. An uneasy truce quickly turns into friendship, and soon Riley’s falling hard for Ian.

Riley believes her gift could help Ian end the curse that has kept him tied to the land for centuries, but that…