Thursday, January 31, 2013

WinterHaven SnowPeak #7

Welcome to this month’s edition of WinterHaven SnowPeak, where we give you a recap of our events, a little sneak peak of what’s to come, and what we’re most excited about.

January was again another AWESOME month for the WinterHaven Team! This last month, we launched our 1000 Follower Appreciation Giveaway! For those of you that joined us for the celebration, you’ll know we are giving away a Kindle Fire eReader, Leather Case and an Amazon Gift Card.

We’ve had an amazing response, so thank you to everyone that posted comments on the thread. It’s not too late to enter the giveaway, so go HERE for a chance to win and stay tuned when we make the big WINNER announcement in one week!!

Our much-anticipated Cupid Cloud Hop begins tomorrow, so sharpen your bows and aim your arrows for what’s sure to be a fun event! WinterHaven and the Cupid Cloud Hop Bloggers are ready to host Sweetheart Reviews, Book Boyfriend/Sweetheart Couple Book Spotlights, GIVEAWAYS and more!! You can visit our CupidCloud Hop page for more details and a linky if you’d like to join. WinterHaven is hosting giveaways for participating bloggers, so don’t miss out and check out the Cupid page for more details!

Also, do you remember our October 2012 Authors Fright Fest??  Well for our Cupid Cloud Hop we will be hosting an Authors Love Fest. Be sure to visit us on Valentines Day, February 14th when we unveil the participating authors and their fun facts.

For bloggers and authors that would like to participate in any of these events, it’s not too late. So, email us for more details at winterhavenbooks(at)gmail(dot)com

Upcoming Blog Tours & Hops
This month we will be participating in:
Indigo Awakening Blog Tour
Triple Threat Blog Tour-Hysteria
Irresistible Blog Tour
YA Paranormal Blog Hop

We are also participating in several cover reveals to help topple your TBR.

Aside from our Cupid Cloud Hop Event, Upcoming Blog Tours & Hops, WinterHaven has TWO Big Announcements coming this month.  Okay, we won’t end this without a little hint for each.
Any Team Aidan or Team Seth fans out there???
Any avid book readers that would like to add some ARCs to their shelf???
If the answer is yes to those questions be sure to visit us because they both involve giveaways you won’t want to miss. :}

Music Line-up
And now for our favorite part of the Snowpeak... our music selections for the month!

Between the Raindrops by Lifehouse
Little Talks by Of Monsters of Men
Nothing Left to Say by Imagine Dragons

Thank you to all of our bloggy friends and followers for sharing your book love with us!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday, #29

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

Here's my selection for this week... 

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown

Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.

That was all before she turned fourteen.

Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside the exclusive world of privileged San Francisco families, top junior music competitions, and intense mentorships. The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It's about finding joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.

There's something about the description of this book that just screams my name. Set aside the fact that I love Sara Zarr's writing,  I enjoy that I never quite know what to expect from one book to the next. I'm eager to read this novel and get to know Lucy. I'm curious about who betrayed her and who she lost that caused her to walk away from a coveted talent. This book sounds like something I will definitely enjoy. Yes please!

Sooo what book are you waiting on? Link me up!! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

Today we are excited to join in all the fun with I Am A Reader, Not A Writer in their Young Adult Giveaway Hop!  We are giving away two ARCs for this hop!  They are...

The Different Girl Orleans

The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist & Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Both of these books are phenomenal reads and we are so excited to offer them both to one lucky follower!  You know the drill by now so get going and Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out all the other blogs participating in the hop!

Teaser Tuesdays, #13

Teaser Tuesdays, #13

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays!
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser Tuesday is for the following:

Blue Hearts of Mars
Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas
Published Date: January 11, 2013

My Teasers: Page 25

"Why?" His eyes found mine, and there was this appeal in them, this hope. I couldn't crush it. Because I wanted to encourage it. I want to encourage him."

"Maybe that's just it. Maybe I need to find out what it is about him that makes my head spin."

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here if you don’t have a blog Thanks!

Shadowfell (Shadowfell, #1) byJuliet Marillier

Shadowfell (Shadowfell, #1)Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers
Published: September 11, 2012
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill--a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk--Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.
During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death--but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban's release from Keldec's rule. Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban.
My Thoughts:
If you are a fan of fantasy, magical beings and a story with depth, Shadowfell would be for you. This was a book recommended to me by a good friend, and I knew by reading the summary that it was one I had to read. Don’t be fooled by my rating. This is well worth the read. I love when I discover a deeper meaning behind a characters journey than just the act of moving the story forward.
Neryn’s father succumbed to his gambling and alcohol compulsion. He, like so many others in Alban had lost their way due to the malevolent King Keldec. Canny skills were forbidden to the ordinary folk. Keldec sent out enforcers to wipe away anyone that possessed these magical abilities, and cruelly used the ones he kept in his grasp. And, he wanted Neryn.
Neryn was gifted, and this gift had been a secret between her and her father, but when he drank, she was afraid he would lose his mind and speak the unspeakable.
A tragic scene set the story further in motion. Neryn escaped enforcers with the help of a hooded man, who eventually is threaded back into the story with mystery and a greater purpose. Neryn accepted a challenge to stand up for justice, and the battle she agreed to fight was for Alban’s freedom. That meant a new king and a new rule.
On her journey to Shadowfell, Neryn not only had a series of tests to pass, but she was on a personal journey as well. Along her path, she was reminded of the wise words her grandmother spoke to her, an education of sorts that helped guide her on her path to being something more than she ever could have imagined.
Neryn had help along the way from The Good Folk, and Flint, the hooded man.
This enjoyable story kept me intrigued and allowed me to escape into a whole new world full of tragedy, self-discovery, and compassion for the people in Alban. There was a specific scene where Neryn met a couple with a special circumstance that broke my heart, but played a vital role in showing the reader more about who the protagonist Neryn really was. That was one of my favorite scenes throughout this story and it was deeply touching.
I love when a protagonist is a fighter and faces obstacles head-on for the greater good regardless of the struggles to get there. That was how Neryn was. She was strong and didn't allow herself to give up because it wasn't just for her; it was for the people she’s loved and lost, and the ones who reside in Alban. Flint was a mysterious character. Through most of the story I was just waiting for him to betray Neryn. The more we learned along the way, I truly understood why he acted the way he did. I really liked him and the connection he and Neryn developed.
I would have liked to see a drawing or a map of Alban. There were many landmarks mentioned throughout and it would have been nice to see where they were. The imagery was great and easy to imagine. The story ended with a perfect opening into the next book. I can't wait to find out what is going to happen with Neryn, Flint, and the Good Folk.
Give this enchanting story a try.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Released- July 31 2012
Published-Bloombury USA
Purchase- Amazon / B & N / Chapters

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
My Thoughts:
After a year of being enslaved in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Eighteen year old, Celaena Sardothien was doing her usual job of cleaning the salt from the mountains when she was dragged off to a secret meeting to see no other then the crown Prince of Adarlan/Erilea himself, Dorian Havilliard. 
He has a proposition for her. His father, the King of Adarlan is looking for a Champion, someone who will...take care of his more difficult opponents and since Celaena is imprisoned for being one of the greatest assassins in Adorlan, naturally, the Prince would remember her. If she chooses to accept this offer she will be granted freedom after a few years of service, if not then she goes back to the Mines to surly die.
But there's a catch. The position isn't her's yet. The King has made arrangements for a little contest between other thieves, assassin's and warriors. They are to be trained at the glass castle and ultimately compete. 
The one to win will be the 'official' Adarlan Assassin to the King and Prince of Adarlan.

Throne of Glass is a very rich and deep high fantasy story that has just about everything you could ask for. Suspense, intrigue, mysterious graphic deaths and even a touch of magic to satisfy any fan of this genre.
It's hard to believe this is the Sarah J. Maas debut novel. Her writing is fantastic. For such a detailed plot she does a remarkable job of knowing exactly where each scene should fall. 
In any high fantasy reads I always expect some kind of politics, something that's my least favorite aspect in my reads, but it wasn't overly expressive and I was able to keep up. Court is stiff and dull but it also had it's moments of amusements. My favorite part of the story was the intense training, testing and fighting. Maas knows how to write one helluva fight scene. Very entertaining and exciting stuff. And then there is also the mystery of what or who has been killing the competing champions so viciously. It wasn't overly graphic mind you, but it was enough to paint a rather horrific picture. That was an unexpected little twist in the plot, further proving that Maas knows how to keep her readers on their toes.

I was surprised how quickly I got attached to these characters. Celaena is such an amazing protag to cheer for. She's fiery, fierce, spunky, witty, brave, skilled and arrogance. But it was also great to see a warmer side to her. The side that enjoys reading and dancing. The side that makes her feel more human and less hired killer.
Prince Dorian rather surprised me as the story moves on. I mean, he's a prince, royalty, you would think that people like Celaena would be someone to squish with his shoes and yet, he turned out to be kind and charming and very different from his ruthless and cold father. I really enjoyed those moments between them.
And then there's Choal Westfall, Captain of the Guard. When we first meet Choal he's obviously not well liked. He's harsh, unfeeling and doesn't think twice with someone who is a mere thief and prisoner, but as the story moves on and he starts to train her for the competition, we see some of those bitter and guarded walls come down as she earns his respect and admiration. I loved the banter and playfulness between Celaena and Choal. The affections and attraction was subtle but obviously sweet at the same time. They made me laugh and smile one of those stupid grins. 

Now, I know that some readers don't like the whole love triangle thing, but I myself don't mind it. Always did love the spin of complications and conflict. As for this particular one, I actually like both men so much that I can't decide who I like more. I am however very curious how things will play out in future books.

All in all, I really enjoyed myself with this book. The writing is outstanding. There is a lot going on plot wise but it doesn't drag or isn't dull down. There always seems to be some part of the story thickening up which kept the experience absorbing and interesting while these characters won my heart and kept me invested from start to finish. 

Can't wait to see what happens next!

An amazing debut! 

Find the author:

Goodreads / Website

                                                                    4 Snowflakes

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games (Mind Games, #1) Mind Games by Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Pre order: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.
My thoughts:
This book is absolutely amazing. Mind Games is simply that a perfect mind game that will leave you begging for more. I honestly have no clue how I am going to write this review but I am going to try.

The POV in this story alternates between Annie and Fia, two sisters each with very unique abilities. The time setting also changes from present time to the past making things even more complicated, but still in my opinion unique and amazing. The overall storyline is not simple either. It involves lots of espionage, murder, calculating, and deception. Annie and Fia are both being used for their abilities but Fia is the one that everyone wants. It isn’t really clear what her ability actually is until later in the story but believe me it is one of the best creations I have ever read. When Fia can’t take things anymore she starts to take things into her own hands, but with all eyes on her and her sister to protect she doesn’t have many options. This story is really just the beginning, we get to see the background and the why of everything but I think the true story will start in the next one since Fia made a HUGE decision at the end of Mind Games and it is really a game changer for everybody.

The writing style I will admit may turn some people off. I personally loved it but I can see where it could be a little bit much at times. Fia has a habit of repeating certain things three times and tapping her leg three times, this is proven and shown throughout the book and to me it just showed me how broken she really was. I felt her being broken down and with the writing the way it is it just fit her mind perfectly.

I honestly just want to squee from the roof tops about this book. I know my review is all over the place but I just can’t seem to find the words to do this book justice. Mind games is unique, amazing, interesting, and so so much more. I was so shocked at so many things that happened throughout, that by the end of the story I was exhausted emotionally and in shock over what is to come. I don’t know how I am going to wait for the next book!
5 AMAZING Snowflakes

Stacking the Shelves (31)

A weekly meme hosted by, Tynga's Reviews, that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review. 

Here is a look at our weekly recap!  

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
Altered by Jennifer Rush

Blog Tours:
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Follower Celebration--Win a Kindle Fire & More!

WinterHaven Fun:
Teaser Tuesday: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Waiting on Wednesday: Rapunzel by K.C. Hilton

Waves of Fiction Giveaways (18 and over only please)
Nora Roberts--Dream Trilogy

It was such a fun week!  This is what landed in our hands...

 Angelfire (Dark Angel 1)
For Review:
Angelfire by Hanna Peach

Boundless (Unearthly, #3) Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)
Boundless by Cynthia Hand
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

*Special thanks to Hanna Peach*

Sorry for the short & sweet post this week everybody!  It has been a crazy week and tonight is no exception lol.  I promise to be back to my normal self next week!  I hope everyone has had an amazing week!  Leave me a link so I can see all your pretties =)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blog Tour: Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Today, we have the pleasure of joining Shane from Itching for Book in hosting a stop for Kristin Halbrook's debut novel, Nobody But Us. For our stop, we are sharing an excerpt of the book along with a tour wide giveaway. Enjoy!

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Purchase Link: Amazon

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger...

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.

Book Excerpts:
I have two excerpts from the book to share. One from Zoe's perspective and one from Will's. Enjoy!!

He presses his face and his hands into my hair and squeezes me to him, as though he could form us into one creature, as though he could form us into a rock structure, unbreakable and unremarkable, that no one would notice out here in the desert. ~Zoe

I pull Zoe up to my mouth and press a kiss to her, a harder kiss than I've ever given. A kiss that burns us both. I memorize her face in that one second it takes for me to make this decision, then I... ~Will

About the Author:
Kristin Halbrook is a Seattleite who loves good coffee, good food, good music, good sports, good causes, and good reads. She’s both intense and a goofball, introverted and gregarious. Nobody But Us is her debut novel.
Follow this Author:

Be sure to visit the other tour hosts for the Nobody But Us Blog Tour. You can go HERE for a listing of participating blogs.

And now for a special giveaway hosted by Shane at Itching for Books and the author Kristin Halbrook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday, #28

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

Here's my selection for this week... 

My Name is Rapunzel by K.C. Hilton
Publication Date: 2013
Fairy tales are for children. My name is Rapunzel and I will tell you my story. I will tell you the truth.

YA – Full description to come.

Sorry, that’s all I’ve got for you in terms of book details, so if you have more information about this story, please share! :)

I’m not sure what it is about this book… Maybe it’s the cover, or possibly it’s the minimal information on the book, or the fact that I’ve never read a story by K.C. Hilton so I have no clue what to expect… but I’m excited to try out My Name is Rapunzel by K.C. Hilton. I’m a fan of fairy tale re-tellings, and I love the story of Rapunzel. I’m sure I’m not the only one that watched Disney’s Tangled and gasped when Flynn Rider cut off Rapunzel’s hair at that epic moment. Holy Magic Kingdom!! How unexpected was that? Anywho, I digress. Point being, I like this story in its original form, so I’m extremely curious to see what K.C. Hilton has in store for us.

Sooo what book are you waiting on?


WinterHaven Books has several giveaway winners to announce!!
Congrats to the following ladies:
Angelica  won an eBook of All the Broken Pieces
Tracy  won a copy of Elixir and some awesome swag
Leona  won two Melissa de la Cruz eBooks

Check your email ladies and please get back to us so we can get your prizes to you.
Happy reading!!

Don't forget to visit our Giveaways page for more awesome chances to win including a Kindle Fire eReader!!

Thank you for visiting WinterHaven Books!

Teaser Tuesday, #12

Teaser Tuesday, #12

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays!
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser Tuesday is for the following:
Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky , #1)
Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
My Teasers: Page 48 & 49

"Aria's gaze moved to the chair next to her. It shouldn't be empty. Her mother should be there instead of hundreds of miles away."
"Aria looked down at the table. She didn't want to picture Soren with disfiguring scars. She didn't want to picture him at all."  
 PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here if you don’t have a blog Thanks!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Mila 2.0 Debra Driza

MILA 2.0 (MILA 2.0, #1)Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: March 12, 2013
Pre order: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.
Crystal's Thoughts:
You know when you read certain books you just know they would make great movies?  Well Mila 2.0 is one of them.  I would pay way more than the average movie ticket to see this on the big screen.  This book is high paced, action heavy, and so full of adrenaline.  It was perfection!

Mila having just moved to a new town with her mom is just trying to move on from the death of her father.  Things aren't great in her world but she makes the most of it by keeping quiet and staying out of trouble.  Little does she know that trouble is just around the corner waiting.  When Mila discovers there is more to herself than just being a girl all hale breaks loose.  Fighting scenes start happening and I mean the kick bookies kind and well you will just have to read it to see, but this action packed book is one you won't want to miss.

I loved everything about this book.  From the characters to the world everything was perfect.  Mila was the perfect blend between kickass girl and humble.  She never let herself turn into something she wasn't.  I cannot believe the things she had to go through and I am very much looking forward to seeing who she evolves into in the sequel.   I am also very interested to see more of Hunter.  I have my suspicions about him and I am hoping with everything inside me that I am wrong, but I know there is more to this boy.  He was a great addition to the story and I have a feeling we will see why he was brought into the picture more in the second.

I can't say it enough I really loved this book.  It has me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I cannot wait to see what happens next.  I have read everything from vampires to zombies, but this is my first android book and all I can say is I want more so much more!

p.s. Please tell me there is a movie in the works!!
5 Snowflakes
Amber's Thoughts
Mila 2.0 was moving, and an emotional journey. When I started this book, it took me a few chapters to really feel an emotional connection. I felt Mila was a little whiney but as the story progressed, I became deeply committed. This story is about a young girl who has no idea of what her true nature really was. As far as she knew, she was a typical teenager, rebellious and hurting from the loss of her father and moving to Minnesota away from the only home she had known in Philly.

The story picked up when an incident occurred and Mila learns that she is so much more than the “normal” teenager and the memories of her childhood were mere implants. Strange things begin happening to Mila and the adjustment of the truth and what wasn’t began the emotional connection for me. Mila had truly shown real emotion when she connected with a classmate named Hunter. I really liked this character and although he seemed like a great guy, I feel there is more to him than we are led to believe.

On the run, Mila and her Mom fled Minnesota as the truth began catching up to them, and the guy who’s behind the Mila project. This chase is adrenaline fueled and your pages will be flipping. The love that Mila’s mom has for her only truly begins to shine through. This story is so much richer because not only does her mother stop at nothing to save Mila and her humanity, but because Mila’s humanity was real and she fought for it for both of them.

Mila had to pass tests in order to see her mother and was to hide the very thing she had fought for in order to do so. This may not make sense to you right now, but once you read this story you certainly will understand. Luck had not been on their side as there was a force that regardless of how well Mila did, it wasn’t going to be enough. I felt frustrated through this testing process but at the same time, my heart ached for Mila because she really was like a human and wanted nothing more than to live a life of normalcy.

There are many roadblocks for this strong protagonist to face and many new revelations as to her past and her future. Just when Mila was beginning to lose hope, an act of compassion was shown which turned the tides in her favor. I was rooting for Lucas, Mila and her Mom. This story left off on a cliffy if you ask me. It left the doors open to so many possibilities. I can say without a doubt I will be waiting for that next book.

This story was character driven and the plot was set nicely. I loved the characters and the emotional connection I had with them. The bad guys were bad, the good guys were good, and the author played her cards with precision. I never anticipated she would go to a particular depth, but I was surprisingly wrong. As much as it hurt, It was a pivotal point in the story. Mila 2.0 was a fantastic debut.

4.5 Snowflakes

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Altered (Altered, #1)

Altered by Jennifer Rush
Released- Jan 1st 2013
Publisher- Little Brown Books 
Purchase- Amazon/ B & N / Chapters

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them. Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

My Thoughts:
Wow! Altered is an amazing sci-fi mystery thriller that I didn't expect to like as much as I did. Jennifer Rush took such a different approach to this concept and totally made it her own. This was an intense and surprisingly powerful story that had me consumed the entire ride!

Anna Mason has been helping out her dad for years by collecting data from the four boys that have occupied their farmhouse basement for the last five years. They are some kind of experiments or units that the Branch has plans for and while Anna doesn't really know why Sam, Trev, Cas and Nick are there, she's taken to befriending all of them (even Nick) and makes sure they get everything that would make their 'stay' more comfortable. She's always hated to see the boys so trapped and wish she could be the one to set them free. 
One day, when some of the Branch people comes down to visit the 'units' all hell breaks loose and Anna finds herself on the run with the boys, boys who don't remember anything about themselves or their past. 
Soon Anna will discover that her entire life was based on secrets and lies and helps search for clues about who the boys really are. The lines of trust and faith are thin and blurs into hope. Hope for herself and the boys that have become all she's ever known.

Altered has just about everything I like in my escape. It's a story about lies and deception, humanity and science, surviving and instincts  and the ultimate hope. It's action punched, thought provoking and has a sweetly-awkward romance that you can't help cheer for.

I loved pretty much the entire book, but I think what I loved the most was the fact that the entire concept was so intelligently written. I loved how seriously unpredictable it all turned out to be. Every time I would guess at something, I was pretty much shot down within the next chapter. I loved that we didn't get a lot of answers to the growing questions till the exact moment Rush wants to clue in both the characters and the readers. The sci-fi aspects weren't over the top. I mean the boys are stronger and smarter and they have been genetically altered for greatness, but not in the x-men way I was shamelessly expecting. Now this isn't a bad thing, in fact it felt somehow more unique and this being the first book in a series that didn't answer all of our questions, I'm thinking there is a lot more to come. Which is a very good thing.
I loved the entire mystery surrounding every aspect of this story. It was a lot of fun trying to follow the clues and codes and links to everything that was happening. I never knew who I could trust, who was bad and who was good and I gotta say a few characters really surprised me.

It didn't take very long to fall for each one of these characters. I loved that Anna wasn't some weak damsel in distress protag. She can totally handle her own and keep the boys in line at the same time. Each boy has a very endearing personality and easy to love. Trev is the best friend and a shoulder to cry on. Cas is the funny one, loves to eat and goof around. He brought in the perfect comic relief to the more dire situations. Nick is your basic standoffish guy with a stick up know what. But he's always there if you need him. As for Sam? He's the leader of this group, the Alpha. He's edgy and intense and makes brooding look like such a sexy sensation.
The romance is very subtle in this book, which is a good thing when you think about it. It would have felt fake considering they are on the run for their lives and not remembering anything about yourself or your past doesn't help the warm and fuzzy's either. What we did get though was awfully sweet and I have a lot of hope (and suspicions) about what will happen in the next book concerning Sam and Anna.

All in all, I had a great time reading this book. The concept is smart, fresh and alive. The characters are all fascinating and the writing is brilliant. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel! 

An amazing debut!

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                                                                  4 Snowflakes