Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review for Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings

Ugly to Start WithUgly To Start With
By John Michael Cummings
Published by Vandalia Press
Review Copy from Author (Thanks!)
168 pages

"Jason Stevens is growing up in picturesque, historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in the 1970s. Back when the roads are smaller, the cars slower, the people more colorful, and Washington, D.C. is way across the mountains—a winding sixty-five miles away.

Jason dreams of going to art school in the city, but he must first survive his teenage years. He witnesses a street artist from Italy charm his mother from the backseat of the family car. He stands up to an abusive husband—and then feels sorry for the jerk. He puts up with his father’s hard-skulled backwoods ways, his grandfather’s showy younger wife, and the fist-throwing schoolmates and eccentric mountain characters that make up Harpers Ferry—all topped off by a basement art project with a girl from the poor side of town."-Goodreads

A very raw, colorful, intense book. Definitely not my normal read and one that I wouldn't find myself quite ready to read again. I give props to the author for tackling some hard-core issues in this book!

Throughout this short set of 13 stories I just couldn't quite get a feeling of who Jason was - no doubt at the stage in life he's at he doesn't know but I just didn't get a feel of him, I was confused and disconnected. The only person I liked in this book was his mother. She was what a mother should be; protective and caring - the only ray of sunshine in this book. The variety of personalities in this 'story' is quite a range, I'm surprised at how each individual was composed of different qualities. The characters and plot were very layered and I think would create quite the discussion!

I was uncomfortable with some of the situations and subjects; in particular the chapter regarding Carter. Truthfully I had to skip it and I don't think I could have read that bit. It was just too ... mature, disturbing? There was an excessive use of cursing in here that made me squirm too, I mastered the ability to fly over the words I didn't want to process. The chapters, were like I said before, separate accounts in different points in Jason's life and I couldn't follow too well.

All that being said, I can see that the author has a deep understanding of events in the world. He has this insight and touches on many different subjects; abuse, prejudice, harassment, and others. It shows skill to tackle these. There were a couple accounts that interested me too.

Overall,  I just don't think this was the book for me - or my age group. I would say if you are thinking about this book, look into different reviews and then decide for yourself if you want to read it. Apparently most others (on Goodreads) think this was a great book but its definitely for older audiences. Mr. Cummings, great job - it just wasn't for me!


On our way back from town, Mom and I spotted Ernesto, the new artist in Harpers Ferry, walking along the highway. We shot past, and I begged her to stop. She looked at me as if for the life of her she couldn't understand me. Then, she took her foot off the gas and began signaling over.
"I don't know about this, Jason," she said.
I stuck my head out the window and peered back down the highway. Ernesto was trying to catch up, but the large sheets of paper he was carrying in the grip of one hand bent in the wind whenever he hurried. I told Mom to back the car up, but she said that as too dangerous to do on the shoulder.
He reached us at last.

Friday, December 30, 2011

What Were Your Favourites of 2011?

Hey book lovelies! You've no doubt seen TONS of posts about 2011 and the books that are memorable. Like you I've enjoyed reading all of those greatly! I wanted to join in sooo.... here are my top 5 reads of 2011 (I know I did the impossible and chose FIVE!) I hope you enjoy!

My Top 5 Reads of 2011

Coming in at #5....

The Maze Runner Trilogy (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure)
By James Dashner

I really went on a journey with these characters and can't help feel emotionally attached. If you haven't delved in yet - you should! All three are out now!

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)  The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)  The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)

Coming in at #4....

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)If I Stay
By Gayle Forman

Wow. This book was so emotional and raw and I loved every bit! I cannot wait to get my hands on the already released Where She Went, especially since its told through Adam's POV!

Coming in at #3...

Waterfall (River of Time, #1)Waterfall
By Lisa T. Bergren

I have yet to finish this series but whoa what a great first book! I love time-travel and to Italy? Totally a book to look into :) I read it twice.

Coming in at #2...

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Shatter Me
By Tahereh Mafi

Oh. My. Goodness. This woman knows how to write! Beautiful and heart pounding! Oh yeah and the bonus of my beautiful Adam (a second Adam I adore too. Coincidence? Maybe not... gotta find me an Adam). Plus, I love this cover so much!

Finally coming in at #1....

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent
By Veronica Roth

This surpassed my expectations and I'm highly anticipating the second. If you havent read this yet, what are you waiting for!?

So there you have it. My top five picks. This WAS SO HARD to narrow down because I read so many amazing books. It was nearly impossible!

Runners up are...

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I have yet to read it - its sitting on my shelf, otherwise  I'm sure it would be in this list :D)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (This was such a... unique ... read!)

Across the Universe by Beth Revis (What a plot driven book! I couldn't put it down.. and those twists? No way!)

What an amazing year! I can't believe its over but I had an incredible time blogging (a year now!) and I reached 100 followers - crazy! It's all thanks to you out there, so thank you! And thanks to the authors for all the great books!!

What were YOUR favourites of 2011?? Be sure to tell me!! I want to know! Thank you so much for reading!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)
By Tahereh Mafi
Published by Harper Collins
Personal Copy
338 pages

"Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior."-Goodreads

Blew. My. Mind. Tahereh is a literary genius mastermind! Her words will grasp you in its clutches and won't let go until the end. You will not want to stop reading!

Although Juliette is a little broken in the beginning of the book, it's like a transformation by the end. She builds confidence that has been taken from her and she begins to see how she isn't a monster. I really liked Juliette. We can see in the beginning that she's a little... not unstable but very distraught... because of her total isolation. I don't blame the girl for being the way she is! 264 days of isolation? And a life where nobody cared? Most people would be totally crazy but not Juliette. She's a strong MC that will capture your heart with her personality. I loved her voice in Shatter Me, it was very unique in my mind. Now for my new literary crush. Yes, you heard it hear first! I have a new crush. Adam. *sigh* Adam. He seriously is amazing spectacular. I treasured every scene they had together (and yes, some are pretty... heart pounding). I love Juliette and Adam together! They are the best couple ever! I especially enjoyed how their *fondness* for each other stemmed from the past. It made it realistic. I also have to say I loved Kenji and his sarcastic, over-confident, snarky, hot self - he added so much entertainment and laughter! James is a really cute character, I hope to see him more too. Oh and of course Warner the bad guy is lets say very well written.

The writing! WOW! What a writing style, when people say 'a strong sense of writing' - I will automatically think of Tahereh Mafi! Her words are like poetry, especially in the beginning. Although the cross-outs some people might find annoying, I enjoyed because by the end of the book there were barely any (that is because Juliette is thinking differently). I loved that aspect, I thought the cross outs and repeating words really made it unique. Simply fantastic writing; thrilling, intense, poetic and passionate!

I highly recommend this to lovers of romance, dystopian, mystery, adventure,  and X-men (I hear its similar!) I simply cannot get over that this was a debut! This has definitely made it to my favourites of 2011 all time!


I've been locked up for 264 days.
I have nothing but a small notebook and a broken pen and the numbers in my head to keep me company. 1 window. 4 walls. 144 square feet of space. 26 letters in an alphabet I haven't spoken in 264 days of isolation.
6,336 hours since I've touched another human being.
"You're getting a cellmate roommate," they said to me.
"We hope you rot to death in this place For good behavior," they said to me.
"Another psycho just like you No more isolation," they said to me.
My eyes open to 2 eyes 2 lips 2 ears 2 eyebrows.
I stifle my scream my urgency to run the crippling horror gripping my limbs.
"You're a b-b-b-b--"
"And you're a girl." He cocks an eyebrow. He leans away from my face. He grins but he's not smiling and I want to cry, my eyes desperate, terrified, darting toward the door I'd tried to open so many times I'd lost count. They locked me up with a boy. A boy.
Dear God.
They're trying to kill me.
(More @ this link :D )

Trailer: (Isn't it awesome!?)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Desperately Waiting On Wednesday (2)

Parajunkee's new meme called "Desperately Wanting Wednesday" is like "Waiting on Wednesday" but instead of just being able to do books that are not released yet, you pick a book you really want! Released or not released! Go to Parajunkee to see the details and her DWW posts!

This week I desperately want to get my hands on:

Expected publication: January 3rd 2012 by Simon Pulse

"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? Hudson's determined not to let anything stand in her way. But between baking and waitressing at the diner, the love triangle that's developing with two outrageously cute hockey boys, and the simmering drama with her best friend, her future is anything but certain..."-Goodreads

 Ooooh doesn't it sound so cute! And light-hearted? I love it! It kinda reminds me of The Sweetest Thing which I didn't really enjoy but this sounds WAY better! Can't wait for its release!

What are you waiting for? Something not released? Or released already? Either way leave links :D I'll check it out! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review for The Death Cure by James Dashner

The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3)
By James Dashner
Published by Delacorte Books
Won from Aylee (Thanks Aylee!!)
325 pages

"Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?"-Goodreads

"Aw shuck, it ended!" That was my response at the end of the book, it was epically awesome and I have no doubts in my mind - this series is a must read!

Through Thomas's POV, TDC is told. I love him as a narrator, he has a certain voice about him that is so easy to get into. While reading this book, it was like meeting old friends again - that's how close I got to this group of teenagers. They have become so real to me! I have to say -besides Thomas- my favourite character is Minho! He is just awesome; in his sarcastic, loud mouth, short temper way! The remarks between the two friends, Minho and Thomas, just make this book so enjoyable! All the characters are well written in that they each become an individual in the mind of the reader. Each has a unique voice and you can distinuguish who's talking. I love every single one of the Gladers- oh and the good guys who aren't Gladers!

Although this isn't as action-packed as the former ones, I have to say, it kept me up till late in the morning (3 o'clock anyone?) It still had lots of action and events going on. I loved how we get to see a few places in here (even the one portrayed on the cover!)... it kept it interesting. I was so disappointed though at the end because it all came to a conclusion - Thomas's story has ended! Wah! I love this series so much, I could cry that its all over. But I have to say the ending left me satisfied and it was definitely not wrapped up with a bow. Expect a few deaths of main characters (I was SO sad when one of them died, that would be "the boy" one). As the reader I really experienced all the emotions that the characters went through, it was THAT real to me.

I highly recommend this series for everyone! Its one of my favourites that I will be re-visiting soon! I really connected with the characters, they are really special to me (seriously, I have to keep reminding myself that Thomas, Minho, and Newt aren't real) AND the action in this trilogy is EPIC! So pick them up and read them - you won't be disappointed!


"He couldn't get her out of his head, even though he hated her a little more with every passing moment. Her last words to him had been WICKED is good, and right or wrong, to Thomas she'd come to represent all the terrible things that had happened. Every thime he thought of her, rage boiled inside him.
Maybe all that anger was teh last string tethering him to sanity as he waited.
Eat. Sleep. Exercise. Thirst for revenge. that was what he did for three more days. Alone.
On the twenty-sixth day, the door opened."

Book Trailer: (It's a little creepy (so don't watch it in the dark! and it doesn't quite explain the book but hey might as well show you right?) but I have to say the books aren't THAT creepy - the trailer just portrays it that way :)

Oh and if your interested HERE is the site for the books (they have some really cool games based on the books, along with excerpts and more!)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Giveaway: Decoy by S. B. Sebrick

Heya book lovelies! How are you? Good? Ready for another giveaway? Great! Well, the author of Decoy has generously offered to giveaway multiple e-books of his book! Thank you Mr. Sebrick for letting me host it :)

Meet the book!
Decoy (Assassin's Rising #1)
"The last few grueling years of training have served Kaltor well. He’s learned to harness the magic within his body, overcome a stronger opponent, avoid capture, and everything else an assassin-in-training needs to survive.
Or so he thought.
But when those they protect at an excavation site release a demon from the Abyss itself, Kaltor realizes just how poorly prepared they all are for what’s coming. Within a single night, their mining camp of one thousand people plummets to a couple hundred terrified survivors, the majority turned against each other by the demon’s potent abilities. Then she turns towards Shaylis, the largest city in the region, for the next stage of her plan.
In a constant battle of both steel and strategy Kaltor and his friends struggle to delay, deceive and defeat their opponent, who’s spent the last thousand years planning out every detail of her assault to perfection. As the number of casualties mounts and her final plan comes to light, Kaltor is left with only one option. He must draw on the secret power within himself, knowing if his true identity is discovered, his life and the fate of the world, will be changed forever"-Goodreads

Interested? Yes? Read the rules and be sure to enter! Good luck and thanks for entering!



There are 5 e-books up for grabs!

Extra entries available but you do NOT have to be a follower

To enter just fill out the Rafflecopter below

Ends January 1, 2012, winners will be picked by Rafflecopter

Thursday, December 22, 2011

100 Follower Giveaway!

Hey all you lovely readers! Guess what? I've made it - its been a long time coming but I made it to 100!

And its all thanks to YOU! So, you must be rewarded and what better way than to giveaway a book? Bookies meet the book:

 Dreamland (Riley Bloom #3) by Alyson Noel

Dreamland (Riley Bloom, #3)"Riley’s finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work. So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a way to contact her sister, Ever. She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams. As a Dream Jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer’s dream, share a message, and participate. As a Dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer. But Dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up. Thinking it’s her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio. There she finds a ghost boy, who’s been creating and sending nightmares to people for years. In order to stop him and reach out to Ever, Riley is going to have to confront and overcome her own fears."-Goodreads

 It was a pretty cute book and you can see my review here. Want to own it for yourself? Yes? Check the rules and be sure to enter!! If this isn't your cup of tea - don't worry more giveaways will be coming later this week!


1.) International (Yesiree, I have to reward my buddies across the world!)
2.) Have to be a follower (since its a follower appreciation giveaway)
3.) Extra entries available!
4.) Ends on December 31, 2011, the winner will be picked using Rafflecopter
5.) To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Desperately Wanting Wednesday (1)

I normally do Waiting on Wednesdays, but I want a little bit of a change (don't worry I'll still be doing WoW's :D) But for now I am switching over to doing Parajunkee's new meme called "Desperately Wanting Wednesday" it is like "Waiting on Wednesday" but instead of just being able to do books that are not released yet, you pick a book you really want! Released or not released! Go to Parajunkee to see the details and her DWW posts!

This week I desperately want to get my hands on:

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)Where She Went
By Gayle Forman
Published April 5th 2011 by Dutton Juvenile

"It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance."-Goodreads

This. Has. To. Get. On. My Shelf. Its urgent!! I LOVED If I Stay, it was such a brilliant, beautiful tragic story that left me with so much hope! No matter what, I'm going to buy this book, I really -desperately- need to read :) And can I just say that this model is gorgeous?? I'm so envious... I can't wait till its sitting on my shelf!

What are you waiting for? Something not released? Or released already? Either way leave links :D I'll check it out! Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Review for Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed (Matched, #2)Crossed (Matched #2)
By Ally Condie
Published by Dutton Juvenile
Source: Personal Copy
367 pages

"In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever."-Goodreads

What a highly anticipated book.... I think everyone was disappointed: including myself. Crossed is a beautifully written book that will awe those who appreciate poetry but that is as far it goes.

Unlike Matched, Crossed is told through two points of view. Cassia and Ky. I actually loved this aspect, it gave the story more anticipation in a way - because I was thinking ooh I wonder what Ky feels about that. Both Cassia and Ky open up in this book. More so for Ky. We find out more about him, his feelings, background - his story. Cassia we don't necessarily learn more about her but we do discover her feeling on matters. But they're not the only ones we learn more about... Xander too! I'm totally torn between the two, I'm so undecided on this love triangle! What I really enjoyed were the secondary characters. Eli, Vick, and Indie had my attention, with all their different stories yet all tied together with the goal of survival. This was definitely a character driven book, which I liked to a degree.

The plot. Oh the plot! I mean it was practically non-existent. Sure there were moments where it got interesting but then the plot draagged. It was slow going, I somehow though was still intrigued, I finished it in two sessions! The poetry and character centered plot are commendable but for an action girl like me, it doesn't appeal too much. That being said the things that did happen definitely set the base for events to come. The writing is simply beautiful and I admire Condie for being able to write like that!

I definitely recommend it to those who have started the series, although its a slower pace book I think its worth reading to continue the series. After all, the third book probably will have all the action and you'll need the information from Crossed to understand! Plus, the cover looks really pretty on your shelf.


I'm standing in a river. It's blue. Dark blue. Reflecting the color of the evening sky.
I don't move. The river does. It pushes against me and hisses through the grass at the water's edge. "Get out of there," the Officer says. He shines his flashlight on us from his position on the bank.
"You said put the body in the water," I say, choosing to misunderstand the Officer.
"I didn't say you had to get in yourself," the Officer says. "Let go and get out. And bring his coat. He doesn't need it now."
I glance up at Vick, who helps me with the body. Vick doesn't step into the water. He's not from around here, but everyone in camp knows the rumors about the poisoned rivers in the Outer Provinces.
"It's all right," I tell Vick quietly.

Book Trailer:

I personally don't care for this trailer, I think that it doesn't tell the story enough and the actors are too old.. they're supposed to be teenagers (I also imagined them totally different in appearance)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Did I Challenge Myself? 2011 Challenges Summary

Hey all you readers and bloggers! How is your winter break going? Good I hope, not too cold :) So, its that time of the year.... time to weigh in on the challenges of 2011. This was my first year blogging so this was my first set of challenges!

How'd I do? Lets see...

350 Page Book Challenge350 Page Books Challenge

Goal: 10 books
Read: 10 books (and more!)
Status: Completed! I finished this challenge but that was only because there were so many great long books :) It went awesome!

2011 YA Reading Challenge

Goal: 40 books
Read: 40 books (and lots more!)
Status: Completed! I totally owned did good on this one because my whole reading list is YA novels. I read nothing else so yeah, this challenge custom fit me. It was totally unfair to the challenge.

ImageShack, share photos, pictures, free image hosting, free video hosting, image hosting, video hosting, photo image hosting site, video hosting siteWish I'd Read That Challenge

Goal: 12 books
Read: 12 books (and a few extra)
Status: Completed! This one I kept small but there were so many that I 'wished to read' it wasn't too hard to get to my goal :)

Support Your Loca Library2011 Reading Challenge

Goal: 50 books
Read: 26 books
Status: Utter fail! Yeah I suck didn't do so well. I was expecting this to be my best one so I shot high! (The sky's the limit right?) Ha! I guess I got lots of books from other places that kept me occupied :( I usually go to the library a lot...I blame school.

So how'd I do readers? Good, bad? I think it went alright, it was fun! I'm kinda disappointed in myself that the library challenge didn't work out... I truly love the library! Anyways, I want to also announce quickly that if I get to 100 followers  (I've made it readers!! Eeek! So I'll do a giveaway later this week for you all!) And there might be another one coming in a few days! Keep a look out!

How did you do? What challenges challenged you? If you didn't par-take, are you going to try it for 2012? Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reviews for The Start Up Series (1-3) by Sadie Hayes

Worming through...The Start Up (The Start Up #1)
By Sadie Hayes
Published by Backlit Fiction
Source: Ebook from Author
90 pages

"When a college freshman's breakthrough software program catapults her into the limelight, she and her twin brother must navigate a treacherous world of money, power, and envy: Silicon Valley.

In a world of tweets, apps, and mobile games, The Start-Up is a fast-paced and exciting serial story with a new episode released each month."-Goodreads

I will be doing a mini review for each of the three books I read. Since they are so short I thought it was fitting.

What is this about? you may ask. You know how T.V. episodes work right? Like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. This is like those shows put in a book (or so I've heard). A short, heart stopping, jaw dropping, grabbing for the edge of your desk action packed book(s)!

This first one sucked me in. I found that I liked Amelia and Adam from the very beginning. Amelia has got serious talent and Adam is the most awesome brother, I liked both their quirks. Although at this point I don't know too much personally about the twins, I have to say that they have a lot ahead of them! As the reader we are introduced to other characters, to the situation... and to the complicated world that is Silicon Valley. We get to see different characters lives and troubles and how they are connected to Adam's and Amelia's own lives. I normally don't like lots of POV's but this was done in a way I enjoyed.

The plot was fast moving and keeps your interest with all the deciets, lies, and backstabbing. Ok, not that serious.. yet. But Silicon Valley is definitely a place where the twins have to learn to be more careful. I can't wait to see what the second one will be because this ended in a major twist!


The last thing Adam and Amelia Dory expected was to become the richest family in the world. Having come from nothing, the eighteenyear-old twins were happy just to have a chance to escape the legacy of foster homes and small town drift. Now here they were, attending Stanford University on academic scholarships, with bright, happy futures ahead of them.
It was the kind of thing you heard at graduation ceremonies, all heartfelt and misty-eyed while a marching band played “Pomp and Circumstance.” What you didn’t hear, though, were all the details that came with it: the envy, betrayal, theft, broken laws, backstabbing, misdirection, and seduction.
This was Silicon Valley, a place where unbelievable fortunes were made—money that put Wall Street and Hollywood to shame—and for every twenty-two year old billionaire parking his Porsche on the front lawn of his mansion, hundreds of people schemed how to take it away from him. Starting out back then, Adam and Amelia knew none of this. If you were to ask them, years later, if they still would have gone through with it, you might have gotten a surprising answer. That is, if you could find them...


The Anti-Social Network (The Start-Up)The Anti-Social Network (The Start Up #2)
By Sadie Hayes
Published by Backlit Fiction
Source: Ebook from Author
66 pages

"The Dory twins grew up with nothing. Now on the verge of having everything, their fledgling company—built on Amelia’s intellect and Adam’s ambition—threatens to be torn apart by new, powerful enemies and old, malicious ones.

The Anti-Social Network is the second episode in The Start-Up series, a fast-paced and exciting serial story. "-Goodreads

I still have my jaw on the floor. This book had a punch, the ending left me speech-less! A perfect second 'episode' to this series!

By the end of this second installment, we know a lot more about Adam and Amelia. We've learned about their past and I can't help but be drawn in now. I mean I'm seriously addicted. Their story is just beginning but it has a lot to tell! The technology sounds plausable for the most part but I'm not sure why 'Doreye' (their invention) is so big... but I'll go with it. The way everyone's different accounts are balanced really impresses me! Again this is through multiple POVs.

The writing is so simple yet the author really sounds like she knows what she's saying. Only a person who's been around the type of area that is Silicon Valley or even studied it would know all these little things. I can't help but mention again the truly fast pace and all the scheming. Once you start, you cannot stop and then when it stops you don't want it to end . I do give a warning though, some content in here is more for older audiences, I don't recommend it to younger readers.

But talk about a cliffhanger! Oh. My. Gosh. No way. No. I almost screamed at the twist, it just was crazy. So I'm warning you to be prepared, its like when you watch a T.V. episode and they say 'to be continued'...

Mini Excerpt:

“You can trust me, Amelia.” T.J. flashed a smile so charismatic it made her think he should have been a politician. He was so carefully put together that he must have practiced his facial expressions in the mirror—“this is the face that communicates sympathy; this is the face that communicates happiness.” Amelia wondered if anything about him was genuine, or if it was all part of a larger calculation.


Description: Macintosh HD:Users:swehome:Desktop:Jacket Covers Final:TSU3_small.jpgBeautiful Code (The Start Up #3)
By Sadie Hayes
Published by Backlit Fiction
Source: Ebook from Author
66 pages

"As their industry profiles rise, Adam and Amelia Dory fly to Hawaii to keynote TechCrunch’s Maui Waves of Disruption conference. Patty Hawkins also finds herself in Hawaii as the maid of honor in her sister Shandi’s wedding to Chad… but Chad and Patty can’t seem to get past the secret night they spent together. Both Patty and the twins quickly discover that the energy, lust and enemies of Silicon Valley follow you—no matter how far you go."

One would say I'm addicted. I would say to that person, "Your right". Because truth betold, who could not be seriously hanging off of every word?

I really enjoyed the setting: Hawaii. We don't get to see too much of it through descriptions but I liked the change of scenery. In this book things are just like before, everyone is so intermingled in the story its like a fly that's caught in a web! No matter how much struggling these characters can't get out of the tough situations their in. I have now deemed my favourite character, Adam. I feel so bad for him because everyone views him as nothing and underestimates him! There are too many characters to be explaining but all in all they have major roles and never assume you know a character.

To sum up these books (and most likely the ones to come), they are drama. Lots of it. And I like it! This author knows how to yank you along, engage you ferciously with the story, then drop you off a cliff with all the twists so that you come crawling back for more! I know I'll be crawling when the fourth is released!

I would recommend these books to older audiences that love drama and that have an interest in the crazy world of the rich and business oriented, where you have to be careful of everyone and everything... because you don't know who is on your side!

Mini Excerpt:

But it wasn’t Patty, or Shandi, or the ushers. It was…T. J. Bristol. Chad hadn’t known T. J. that long, but in all their encounters he’d never seen him at all un-composed. Yet here was T. J., his clothes a mess, his hair disheveled, with a distraught look on his face. From his spot at the altar, he saw T. J.’s chest rising and falling in deep breaths, like he’d just finshed a sprint. T. J. ran midway down the aisle and stopped, looking up at Chad with eyes full of concern and opened his mouth to speak.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Interview with author Anthea Sharp

Feyland: The Dark RealmI'm excited to introduce to you, the author of Feyland: The Dark Realm, Anthea Sharp! Thanks Ms. Sharp for coming on my blog! I'm going to be asking her a few questions and at the end of this post there will be a picture & blurb for her book Feyland! Here is my review for it.

Contact her at:
Facebook ~ Website ~ Goodreads

"Thanks, Lulu, for having me as your guest at the Bookworm is Here! This week my YA urban fantasy Feyland: The Dark Realm goes on sale, and I’m excited to be here to share some of the story behind the book."

We're glad to find out more! Thanks for coming aboard the blog and answering some questions!


What was your inspiration for Feyland? How did you come up with the story?


Feyland blends high-tech computer gaming with the Realm of Faerie. While I don’t have actual experience with the faeries, I am a gamer girl. From the early days of Zork to World of Warcraft, I’ve spent time enjoying fantasy-based computer worlds. A couple years ago, I started thinking about the similarities between the experience of gaming and the tales of mortals who are transported to fairyland.

Both are fantastical experiences, full of magic and danger. Time is distorted, with mere minutes translating to hours passing in the outside world. Despite its dangers, mortals are fascinated by the lure of the magical realm, and pine for it—sometimes desperately—when back in the real world.

What if, in a near-future world, computer games immersed the player even more completely? And what if, somehow, a game became a portal to someplace even more fantastical—the Realm of Faerie? Those were the musings that planted the seed of Feyland in my mind, and the more I thought about it, the more fun I had imagining the story, and all the troubles my characters would face, both in-game and out.


Very interesting thoughts! Did writing Feyland present any specific challenges for you?


I had a great, fairly easy time writing the book. The editing is the part that always gets me.  J  The biggest challenge I had with the book, though, was making the decision to publish it myself. Although I’m traditionally published in historical romance (under the pen name Anthea Lawson), I had a heck of a time getting an agent to take on this project. I got a number of full reads on the manuscript, with very positive comments… but no offers of representation. Publishing is going through enormous changes right now, and a lot of agents and editors are being extremely conservative about the kinds of projects they take on. My young-adult-urban-fantasy-faeries-futuristic-gaming novel doesn’t slot nicely into a specific subgenre.

After the manuscript spent a year going on lots of dates but never ‘making the connection’ I decided to self-publish Feyland in both e-book and print format. Kimberly Killion designed an awesome cover for me, I used outside editorial and copyediting services, and I’m incredibly pleased with the results. I hope readers are, too!


I sure am!! Your story is amazing :) Are there any more stories brewing for you? Anything we can look forward to?


I’m hard at work on the sequel, titled Feyland: The Bright Court, and I’m shooting for a spring 2012 release date. After that… well, there’s a third book brewing in my brain already.


Ahh I can't wait to read it! For fun, are you a night owl or early bird?

SUCH a night owl. Luckily, so is the rest of my family—which can make for some rough mornings, but at least nobody is intolerably chipper at the crack of dawn.

"I’d be delighted to answer any questions people leave in the comments, and thanks again to Lulu for inviting me to guest post!
To celebrate the launch of Feyland: The Dark Realm, the e-book version is currently available at Amazon and B&N for only .99 cents through December 18th. Pick up a copy, and enjoy~ – YA fantasy  – Historical Romance"

And I do recommend you give this book a try! I happened to really enjoy it :) Here is the cover and blurb!

Feyland: The Dark RealmWHEN A GAME…

Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn’t suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch — or that she’ll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.


Tam Linn is the perfect hero — in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he’s the only one who can help her.


Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen… before it’s too late.

I hope everyone enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the author! Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review for Feyland: The Dark Realm by Anthea Sharp

Feyland: The Dark RealmFeyland: The Dark Realm
By Anthea Sharp
Expected publication: December 16th 2011
Source: Ebook review copy (thanks Ms. Sharp!)
320 pages


Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn’t suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch — or that she’ll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.


Tam Linn is the perfect hero — in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he’s the only one who can help her.


Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen… before it’s too late." - Goodreads

Wow. This is one of those books that goes to show, even if they aren't published in the general market (big name publishers), they can be wickedly awesome and that the quality can still be there! It also goes to show never to judge a book by its cover! The story behind this one had me glued to it!

We read the story through two POV's. Jennet's and Tam's. I loved how it rotated between them (my favourite was Tam's POV). It gave different perspectives to the unfolding events. It also allowed the reader, especially myself, to connect to the two main characters. They started to become 'fleshed out' and formed in my mind a real person. I felt attached to them and I didn't want anything bad to happen because I feared for them. The secondary characters, although not as detailed, played their part. It was nice to have them around in the story and sometimes the played critical roles (like Thomas). Jennet isn't your typical 'rich girl' and I liked that the author didn't maker her 'cliche'. And I think everyone will like Tam. He is not -swoon- but I think that he is a really strong person. He had to deal with a lot and I loved, loved, how he took care of his family and Jennet!

The MC's were no doubt great but I have to admit....the plot is what did it for me (although I don't usually read this genre). I don't know why, or rather what, kept me reading as such. I've tried to pin-point it. But all I can say is that once I started reading, I-could-not-stop. Yes it was addictive and kept me up till the wee hours. The writing was very descriptive and I loved the different ways the author portrayed things. There was only one thing that I would change. Here it comes - the nit picker in me. I started to hate the constant repetition of how 'Tam's hair covered his eyes' and how 'pale' Jennets hair was. I mean seriously it started to bother me. Other than that - nothing I can think of that I didn't like. This is a stand-alone and I was so relieved because I was nervous that I wouldn't find out how it would end!

Overall, I think that this book won't get as much recognition as it should. I think lovers of fantasy, faeries, sci-fi, dystopian, and a 'hint of romance' will love this! Great work Ms. Sharp!


He swished the sword through the air a few times, and the re-sheathed it. His shield had immediately appeared, strapped to his left arm, as soon as his weapon was drawn.
She cocked her head and examined him a moment. "Hey, I didn't know you had green eyes. Your hair is always in your face, you know."
"Huh. I thought I chose blue." Hadn't he? He was sure of it.
"Well, the game still has some bugs. You could say it has a mind of its own." She laughed again, but there was a forced edge to it. "Ready to quest? As soon as we step out of the fairy ring, the creatures of the world will be able to interact with us. The starting lands are pretty easy to handle, though. And you'll pick it up quickly, I'm sure."
"Great. Let's go."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (25)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to showcase unreleased novels that we're waiting for. Here is my pick for this week:

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection
By Kiera Cass
Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen

"For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined"-Goodreads

What do I think?

Uh sign me up? The cover alone drew me in with its uniqueness (strange but oddly captivating dress no?) And it  holds potential for a great read. I have to admit this has made it to my list of wants.

 What are you waiting for? Share links/comments :) I would love to know... Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review for Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer

Notes to SelfNotes to Self
By Avery Sawyer
Published November 20th 2011
Source: Ebook copy for review (Thanks Ms. Sawyer!)
200 pages

"Two climbed up. Two fell down.

One woke up.

In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, Robin Saunders has to relearn who she is and find out what happened the night everything changed."-Goodreads

I first want to thank Ms. Sawyer (or should I say Ms. Schaefer) for giving me an ebook version! Notes to Self was a very captivating read that had me absorbed in Robin's story. I'm usually not too big on the whole 'sad' experience/re-growth/traumatic idea but I felt differently about this one compared to others I have read!

Robin to me was the perfect narrator for this story. She had such a distinctive voice - a fifteen year olds to be exact - that I felt myself nodding at her feelings and explanations (after all that is how old I am). It made it very easy to connect with her since she had such a strong voice. I also enjoyed her narrating because we see the experience through her eyes - which = knowing barely anything since she can't remember what happened due to her injury- and it made me keep reading in anticipation and mystery. Her best friend Emily I felt was such a big part of this story (naturally) but also in the sense that although she wasn't there literally, as the reader I still connected with her and she had a major presence. Reno is another great person in Notes to Self. I loved him. I mean I love him. He cared so much about Robin and as the only real friend she had (besides Em) he really filled up the part. I felt so touched by what he did and said. All the characters were well written and 'fleshed out' in the sense that they each had their own dynamic personality.

Although there wasn't too much of a plot. The summary does nothing to help you at all but let me say that I didn't once get bored. Not because of action but it just kept me absorbed. The way Robin pieced things together - the notes she left for herself. It all had me sucked in, the writing style was very good. I was expecting a super sad, boring, and pitiful MC and what I got was not expected (I even laughed at a few moments). The growth of Robin's character is such an amazing transformation. And I really appreciated the ending. When you read Notes to Self know this: you'll be satisfied.

I recommend this to readers of contemporary BUT please don't write it off because 'oh I don't deal with subjects like that'. It wasn't your typical traumatic story. I really really enjoyed it and I think if you have any liking to contemporary, you will too.


Louder, I pleaded with her. “Please, Em. We have to get down.” The wind wasn’t just trying to blow me all the way to I-4; it was trying to flatten everything. There’s a reason most of Florida is at sea level.
I looked down. The headlights on the street were gone. I noticed a ribbon of ocean in the air, a fresh, welcome smell, and tried to imagine myself walking on a sunlit pier over calm waters. I tried to imagine both of us there, Emily and me. Safe.
I bit my lip, hard, as Em leaned out into the night. Her eyes looked wild and unfocused, like she wouldn’t mind one bit if the wind simply carried her away with the jet stream. I held my breath and tried to grab her arm as she pulled herself back toward me. Darkness seemed to close in on us as her face turned back to mine. Her eyes were so strange: miniature Magic 8 balls, whirling and whirling as they searched for the answer to a difficult question. She gasped for air, as if she couldn’t get any inside her lungs, as if it was rushing by too fast up there, far away from the ground.
“Robin!” Emily screamed.
As for what happened next, all I know is, it was bad.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review for Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease

Noah Zarc: Mammoth TroubleNoah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble
By D. Robert Pease
Published by Walking Stick Books
Source: Review copy from author (thank you!!)
320 pages

"Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. However, the twelve-year-old time traveler soon learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is abducted and taken to thirty-first century Mars; his dad becomes stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying a newly habitable, post-apocalyptic Earth.

Traveling through time in the family’s immense spaceship, Noah, a paraplegic from birth, must somehow care for the thousands of animals on board, while finding a way to rescue his parents. Along the way, he discovers his mother and father aren’t who he thought they were, and there is strength inside him he didn’t know he had."-Goodreads
I throughly enjoy this book, from start to finish it held my interest and kept me entertained. Its  a middle grade book but I think even older audiences would enjoy reading it!

We follow Noah Jr. (his father is also called Noah) as he goes through adventures based in the future. I really liked Noah as the main character. He had a lot of drive in him and even though he was stuck in a wheelchair - he did the best he could all the time. His love for piloting, animals, and his family really create a sense of person.

Now, you're probably wondering, is this a christian thing? Yes, it does have that Noah Ark story going on BUT that is as far as it goes. So NO it is not. The names of the characters, the ship, and what they are doing (saving animals) is as far as it goes. There are no references (besides the tale of Noahs Ark) to God or anything preachy. I was so thankful for that! It made me enjoy it so much! The writing, though more MG, held a quality to it that made it easy to follow and yet described enough to get a mental image of the setting. The actual time travel flew over my head but even the characters don't know how it really works (well except Hamilton) so I didn't feel to bad.

I found myself following the plot/events easily. Some books it is hard to follow because the author jumps around from one idea to the next - not the case with D. Robert Pease. Everything fits and has its place. I must warn readers though - I believe that it is part of a series/trilogy. The ending was exactly what I wanted (I felt very satisfied) but it held it open for more. The world building wasn't great but considering it was MG, I think it definitely works for younger readers.

Overall, I didn't expect to like it as much as I did! I recommend it to readers who enjoy futuristic, science fiction, action, mystery and a general good quality book!


Fire roared beneath me even as the ever-thinning air grew colder. The thrusters on my boots shuddered. The thermsuit popped and rattled, and I felt sure it would disintegrate before I tore free of Earth’s gravity.
And if it didn’t, my sister would kill me.
The blue sky darkened. I didn’t dare look down. Turning my head could send me careening off course, plummeting toward the surface fifty kilometers below. A blip on my heads-up display beeped. I’d pulled away from the assassin-bots, but I knew they were still there, watching me rocket toward the cold depths of space.
Hamilton had said the suit would never hold up if I left Earth in it, but I figured my big brother just wanted to keep me from trying.
“You’d most likely lose control and burn up on reentry,” he said. “Then we’d have to tell Mom and Dad why their youngest son is nothing but an ash cloud drifting over the Atlantic.”
“Then why’s the suit retrofitted with a second-stage booster?” I asked.
“Because,” my sister Sam said, “someday we might need it in an emergency.”
Well, if outrunning a half-dozen killer robots wasn’t an emergency, I didn’t know what was.
******Want to read more? Check out this link*****

Book Trailer:

Monday, December 5, 2011

In My Mailbox (15)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where we get to post about the books we receive each week through publishers/authors, our own purchases, contests, and libraries!

What I Got This Week:

I rarely buy books but I just COULD NOT walk by without getting them :) Aren't they gorgeous (SO excited to read Shatter Me)!! Ahh! I've heard such great things about Shatter Me and I have been dying to find out what Cassie has been up to (although I've heard the plot is sloooww... which makes me scared now since I spent my hard earned cash on it! lol )! We'll see.

For Review:

Crossed by Ally Condie
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
What did you get in your mailbox this week??

Thanks for reading!