Sunday, May 31, 2015

Review: The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel 
Published: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…
My Thoughts
Interesting YA dystopic series debut that started off a bit shaky, but ultimately grabbed my attention!

The Book of Ivy shares a daunting tale about a war-ravaged society that fences in its people and controls free will to ensure their survival. Amy Engel draws her readers in with slow, yet deliberate character development and constant plot shifts at measured moments. By the final chapters, I was captivated and vested in the story.

The Book of Ivy takes place in the not too distant future when wars and general destruction have wiped out most of society. A small community of about ten thousand people has fenced in their society and instilled strict laws to maintain order and ensure their survival. Prior to the beginning of when the novel takes place, Westfall’s founder lost control of the society to the Lattimer family. Westfall was a more democratic system and the Lattimers believed that a controlled existence would help the community survive. After a war where the Lattimers declared victory, the president instilled an arranged marriage ceremony where the winning side would marry a son off to the losing side.

Ivy Westfall has been raised believing that her family would and should take control over the community, so when it comes time for her to enter the marriage pool, she is married off to the president’s son and her family begins a plot to have her kill her husband and begin turning the tide so her family can once again claim power.

As Ivy and Bishop Lattimer assume their roles has husband and wife, she begins to see a different side of this struggle for power. Bishop proves to be someone she can trust and confide in, but can she share her family’s plot that involves ending his life? When she begins to fall in love with him, how much will she sacrifice to protect Bishop against her family's plan for revenge?

First off, I have to say that it took me more than half of the novel to warm up to Ivy. I waited for many chapters to see an extreme character improvement on her part. For a significant portion of the story, Ivy was reckless and unnecessarily inconsiderate toward Bishop. However, the final chapters proved that she was a worthy narrator and I can’t wait to read the next installment of this book because of her final choices.

Bishop Lattimer was absolute perfection. He was patient, kind and honest with his feelings. I would have liked to experience a portion of the novel from his perspective because I feel it would have added a level of depth that I felt was missing in the early chapters. I felt he had a worthy response to Ivy’s irrational thinking especially when she complained about a system but had no alternative solution to share. His delivery was kind yet solid. I can’t wait to see what role Bishop plays in the subsequent installments.

Overall, The Book of Ivy was a pleasant surprise. It will be difficult to wait for the next installment, but I’m eager to see how Ivy fairs outside the fences and when and where she crosses paths with Bishop again. Great series debut!
4 Snowflakes

Friday, May 29, 2015

Early Release Review: Violent Ends by Shaun Hutchinson

Violent EndsViolent Ends by 
Publisher: Simon Pule
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Pre order: Amazon
It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.

But this isn't a story about the shooting itself. This isn't about recounting that one unforgettable day.

This is about Kirby and how one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, played saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates.

Each chapter is told from a different victim's viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he'd become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties.

This is a book of perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—from the minds of some of YA's most recognizable names.
My thoughts:
I discovered this hidden gem at TXLA and I was beyond excited to start it. After finishing it I am left with a strange feeling and honestly it's taken me a few days to sit down and right this review.  I've found it's hard to separate myself from the story because of my family and this really shoves the dangers that lurk in schools right in your face and I am terrified.  Yes I know these dangers have been there for awhile, but I guess going day to day you just don't think about them.  Now though I found I just hold on a little tighter to certain people in the morning and the day after I finished this I even cried after driving away.  This is a tough issue that I don't think anyone is prepared for so if you pick this up just hold your heart because it's going to break in two.

Violent Ends is the story if a high school shooting. What makes this book incredible is that every chapter is told from a different point of view and was written by a different author.  This amazing author line up includes Neal Schusterman, Kendare Blake, Trish Doller, Courtney Summers and so many more.  Seventeen to be exact.  What each chapter has in common though is Kirby, the shooter. 

I'm not lying when I tell you that I had chills while I read this. It was very tough to get through at certain points.  Some chapter did feel a little disconnected and honestly those gave me a chance to breathe a little.  A few chapters really stood out and one was the point of view from the gun.  I won't spoil who wrote it because for some reason I just think it's important to experience that on your own, but OMG it was chilling!  I had to put the book down after that one and just get some distance.  The others weren't as intense, but they all carried something within them that felt sad and broken.  They really made me wonder about the aftermath in real life.

The only thing I wish I would have gotten was Kirby's story.  We get to see him through seventeen pairs of eyes, but I wanted to see through his.  We sort of get a glimpse into the whys of his actions, but I don't understand.  I don't think we are supposed to though so I guess this will just have to be okay.  Kirby was so many things and I can't help but feel conflicted towards him.  Was he a monster yes most definitely, but did he have problems from multiple sides and I just don't know what to feel. I'm angry and a big ole mixed bag of emotions.

This book destroyed me and I can guarantee that the next 10 I read will be HEA's and complete fluff because I need that in my life right now.  This was too real and yes I think it needs to be out there, but I can still grab all my fluff and mean it.

4.5 snowflakes

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review: Center Ice by Cate Cameron

Center Ice by Cate Cameron
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Review Copy from Netgalley

The hometown hockey hero won’t know what hit him…

Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.

But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.

Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…

My Thoughts:

As a major hockey fan, this book sparked my interest right away. Since hockey is not as popular in US as for example football is, I find YA characters that play hockey to be a rarity that I am always willing to give a chance for. Unfortunately, Cate Cameron's Center Ice wasn't quite what I wished it would be.

After the death of her mother, Karen is forced to move to a small town called Corrigan Falls to live with her father, a man she has never really know, and his new family consisting of a wife and three children. Right away, Karen feels like she does not fit in - her father's new family seems too perfect, too put together and definitely not very interested about Karen and the problems her presence cause. During her morning jog, Karen meets Tyler and for the first time feels a resemblence of joy in her new hometown.

Tyler is on his way to NHL, at least according to his teammates. He is the captain of the team with talent and skill and the NHL only feels like the logical succession for him. But then he meets Karen and starts to question his future. Having bit a a player status, Tyler is put in a position in which he needs to prove himself to Karen, to show her that he can be serious too, that he is willing to commit. Can Karen trust Tyler? Can Tyler focus on both hockey and Karen?

Throughout, I felt like Center Ice was a bit too predictable. Tyler is the problematic star type, controlled not only by his talent but also those around him that wish to use his talent to their own gain. Karen is the sad, hurt girl who meets a guy that can make her forget her problems for a while. From the moment they connect onwards you kind of know what is going to happen - they fall in love, they face a problem and misunderstandings and then they fall in love again.

Center Ice attempts to tackle some issues related to families of both Karen and Tyler, but unfortunately is fails to go deep enough. In my opinion, Karen's grief over losing her mother is not discussed in enough detail, and though the author probably does not intend it, at points it feels like Karen is not of those girls that can forget all of her problems when a cute guy shows up. I found Tyler's family problems a bit more engaging, mostly because at those points the whole world of hockey reared up its head. I loved the locker room talk and the pressure Tyler has to go through to succeed, but unfortunately much of it is buried by the focus on the romance.

The narration of the book switches between Karen and Tyler, thus allowing the reader to get to know the characters better. This type of narration certainly opens up the hockey aspect a bit more, but I feel like often the thoughts and the feelings of the characters are a bit superficial. I also found it extremely difficult to relate to Karen in any way and I never quite managed to fall in love with Tyler. In addition, the relationship between Karen and Tyler lacks chemistry and tends to move forward quite fast.

Unfortunately, Center Ice wasn't a win for me. While it did not entertain me as much as I wished it would, I never felt like I wanted to give up on it and I did want to see what happens in the end, even though the ending was very predictable. I believe this novel is a start for a new YA series centering around the hockey team Tyler plays for and if I do get a chance, I might give the upcoming second book a go.

2 Snowflakes


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass

The Heir (The Selection, #4)

THE HEIR by Kiera Cass(Book four of the Selection Series)
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Amazon     B&N
Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.
My Thoughts...

The Heir was one of my most anticipated reads for 2015. I adored Kiera Cass's The Selection series and became attached to the characters fairly quickly and the world they lived in. The Heir, however, had a different feel to it. And here's why...

First of all, Eadlyn has a lot of maturing to do. Yes, being the next ruler she has a load of responsibilities, but she came across as a selfish girl who uses the excuse of being the next ruler as a shield to cover up her coldness/bitter attitude when she has the potential to do amazing things in that position. She doesn't want to let her parents down, and its noted. However, waving off love and the possibilities only showed her to be weak in my eyes. At every turn she was trying to find a way out of the Selection and only agreed to it because she thought she had a secured way out of it.

"By seven tiny minutes I beat my brother Ahren into the world, so the throne that ought to have been his was mine. Had I been born a generation earlier, it wouldn't have mattered. Ahren was the male, so Ahren would have been the heir. 
Alas, Mon and Dad couldn't stand to watch their firstborn be stripped of a title by an unfortunate but rather lovely set of breasts. So they changed the law, and the people rejoiced, and I was trained day by day to become the next ruler of Illea."

As I said before, this book had a different tone to it than the Selection books. She has a group of guys who would be good companions for her, if she'd only let down her guard and allow herself to enjoy what the process has to offer. As the story progressed and Eadlyn relaxed a smidgen, she became less stiff and a little easier to take. If she would only push her conscience away and enjoy the opportunity before her I honestly think it would have been much more enjoyable. She eventually kissed some boys and went on a few dates. A few candidates left or were forced to leave etc. I had a few favorites (Which I'll keep to myself).

Being a twin, she relied heavily on her brother, but too much at one point where she actually had the audacity to tell her brother he should keep his options open and not make any rash decision with his love, Camille, future queen to another country. Eadlyn showed a jealous side when Camille came to visit her twin brother Ahren. That truly made me dislike her more despite the advancements she had taken in other areas.  

"Princess Camille was the heir to the French throne, and a few years ago she'd managed to bat her lashes all the way into Ahren's heart."

While learning more about the candidates, I developed an idea as to who I think she'll choose IF she follows through with the process. I think it was breaking her a tiny bit at a time, but when a big announcement came about her brother, I have a feeling she's going to regress once again. I hope not though!

The story talks about how she's trained day by day to become the next ruler of Illea and she has no desire to marry etc. She wasn't the kind of protagonist I had hoped for and I was really excited her parents were woven throughout the story as I had loved America, but on numerous occasions, and I mean numerous, its mentioned how tired and worn out her father looks. That's not the image I had imagined whatsoever going into this book. Why mention it time and time again if there's not a potential OMG info drop at some point of the story? 

Overall, this book was okay. I'm rating it 3 snowflakes with high hopes that #5 will rock my world. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review: Nightborn by Lou Anders

Nightborn (Thrones & Bones, #2)Nightborn by Lou Anders
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 14th, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
From the author of "Frostborn" comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull.
Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. "Not" a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.
Meet Desstra. She's in training to join the Underhand--the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be.
Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?
The novel includes instructions for playing the board game Charioteers. Visit for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more! 
My thoughts:
This was such a fun book!  While I did like the first one, I absolutely adored Nightborn.  It was unique and just a really fun adventure with humans, elves, dwarfs, giants, and gnomes!

Nightborn takes off pretty much where the first left off.  Karn is settling into his new role and learning how to trade and Thianna is off learning more about where her mom came from. All is okay until Karn is whisked away by a wyvern and finds out Thianna is in trouble.  Karn knows he has to help his friend so he sets out on another adventure to find Thianna.

This story is full of adventure and I loved the introduction of the elves. I have always been a sucker for a good elf story and Lou Anders has created some interesting ones.  I would honestly love another book based on just the Shadow Elves, but for now I will take what I can get.  

I really loved the rich world that Anders has created.  Just when I think he can't possibly throw anything else in he does and it fits like a glove!  He has created a huge world that has so many possibilities and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

What I lacked in the first installment I more than got with this one.  I fell into this story with ease and I loved looking through Karns eyes as well as his companions.  This also has a very nice balance between action and storytelling.  With some fantasy books they will be heavy on one side of those two, but I found this book to be very balanced which worked great for me. I loved all the history that was woven in, it just gave the book an extra spark.

This is a really fun series that I think adults will also enjoy as well as younger readers.  It definitely kept my attention and I can't wait to read the next installment because not everything was wrapped up nice and neat and I need to find out what happens!!  Plus I think we will finally get to see Thica and I have been dying to see it!!

4 snowflakes

Also I have some exciting news to share!  The first book the Thrones & Bones series, Frostborn, has just been released in paperback TODAY!!  You won't want to miss the first adventure of Karn and Thianna so be sure to click on the links below to purchase your copy!
Amazon / B&N
Frostborn (Thrones & Bones, #1)
Meet Karn. He is destined to take over the family farm in Norrøngard. His only problem? He’d rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones.

Enter Thianna. Half human, half frost giantess. She’s too tall to blend in with other humans but too short to be taken seriously as a giant.

When family intrigues force Karn and Thianna to flee into the wilderness, they have to keep their sense of humor and their wits about them. But survival can be challenging when you’re being chased by a 1,500-year-old dragon, Helltoppr the undead warrior and his undead minions, an evil uncle, wyverns, and an assortment of trolls and giants.
“Frostborn is the fantasy adventure book I wish I’d had when I was a kid.”
Charlie Jane Anders, i09

“While I cut my fantasy-reading teeth on the works of Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman’s DragonLance and Darksword, I would have gobbled up this book at that age. Hell, I thoroughly enjoyed it at my current age.”
Rob H. Bedford, SF Signal

“Future fans of Tolkien and George R.R. Martin can happily cut their serial-fantasy teeth on this first book of an eventual series.”
Kirkus Reviews

⋆“The setting is rich, the characters well-defined, and the danger ever-paramount. It’s a strong and thoroughly enjoyable start to the Thrones and Bones series.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“. . . adventure fans will enjoy the action, the Norse background, and the occasional flash of humor.”
Booklist Reviews

"Anders sculpts a rich world filled with his deep sense of family and fantasy into this powerful journey of discovery and friendship not seen since Alexander first introduced readers to Prydain."
Scott Taylor, Art of the Genre

"Lou Anders's FROSTBORN is sure to appeal to young readers looking for a dose of monsters and magic. Not just a classic fantasy romp, Anders's debut novel explores the experience of feeling young and out of place in a world that refuses to see you for who you are—something readers of all ages can identify with."
James L. Sutter, author of Death's Heretic

LOU ANDERS’s research on Norse mythology while writing book one in the Thrones and Bones series, FROSTBORN, turned into a love affair with Viking culture and a first visit to Norway. Anders is the recipient of a Hugo Award for editing and a Chesley Award for art direction. He has published over 500 articles and stories on science fiction and fantasy television and literature. A prolific speaker, Anders regularly attends writing conventions around the country. He and his family reside in Birmingham, Alabama. You can visit Anders online at and, on Facebook, and on Twitter at @ThronesandBones.


Teaser Tuesday #97 Tangled Webs by Lee Bross

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays! Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. 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...

Tangled Webs (Tangled Webs, #1)Tangled Webs by Lee Bross
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Expected Publication Date: June 23, 2015
London, 1725. Everybody has a secret. Lady A will keep yours—for a price. This sumptuous, scandalous YA novel is wickedly addictive.

Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London—secrets.

But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London.

Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is—not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives something Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past? j

TEASER #1 (page 2 )

"She was good enough when they wanted something, but otherwise she meant nothing to them."

TEASER #2 (page 41)

"If I ended up like that..." She swept her hand out over the river, where the old man in the boat was now finishing something out of the water with his hooked pole. The words lodged in her throat and she had to force them out. "Would you care?"

*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, May 25, 2015

Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
Publisher- Harlequin Teen
Released- May 26th 2015
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.
No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

My Thoughts:
I've been a huge fan of Katie McGarry's, Pushing the Limits books so I couldn't wait to see what her newest release would bring. As I expected, she didn't disappoint! Nowhere But Here, was an edgy contemporary that combines badass bikers, family ties and first love. It's has everything I want in an escape. Intensity, gripping suspense, funny moments and sexy times. I couldn't get enough!

Ok, so I wasn't exactly sold on the idea of a story about a Motorcycle dudes, but ya know, this worked, or well, McGarry made it work. I like the concept of the Reign of terror as a legit club who works a clean business but still have to deal with their rivals, The Riots. I enjoyed the brotherhood and the expressive theme of loyalty that ran throughout the entire book. Their world is dangerous and extreme but at the same time it has enormous amount of respect, admiration and heart. There is a deep history here that I found fascinating and all the secrets seemed to only fuel my curiosity as everything unfolded. I loved that we don't know the whole story right away and while I usually like my reads drama free, this was the exception, it was always intriguing, moving and entertaining and all these characters made me want to keep reading till it's gasping conclusion.

There are a lot of characters that really made an impression and felt so very important to the story and really, I loved them all.
Told in both Oz and Emily's point of view, we see both sides to the coin as its being tossed in the air. Emily is a good girl who has a great life in Florida with her biological mother and step dad who adopted her when she was four years old. But when her real father Eli, sends the family an invite to his mother funereal in Snowflake Kentucky, Emily isn't very happy that she has to go see the family that abandoned her and her mom. What she didn't expect was all hell breaking loss and Emily stuck in the middle between two rivalry motorcycle clubs and a long ago buried secret that comes out to haunt her and her family.
Poor Emily. This girl really went through a lot in this book and I felt badly how she was thrown into a dangerous world she knew nothing about. But what I loved about her the most was, as intimidated as she may have been, she proved that she could more then handle her own. Oz stole the entire show for me, this guy was amazingly put together. He's strong and protective and kind and even though he can be a jerk sometimes, I loved the way he loves. I loved the way he is with special-needs children and how he loves Olivia and respects his family. He holds himself up with confidence and heart. The romance was really well done. It sizzled with both intense chemistry and hug-worthy swoon that only left me wanting more. I also really enjoyed all the other characters, they all have such unique personality that I found infectious and they brought a certain spark to the storyline, but it was Eli, Olivia and Jeff I loved the most.

Bottom line, this book was made of awesome! Nowhere but Here is exactly the kind of escape I crave in my edgy contemporary reads. It had some darker moments, sure, but it's still  funny and sweet and sad and has such an unexpected warmth I never expected to find, and I simply can't wait to see where McGarry takes this world next. An instant favorite!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                  5 Snowflakes

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound

by Rosamund Hodge 

Published May 5th 2015 by Balzer + Bray

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat. Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

My Thoughts

I adored Cruel Beauty so as soon as i heard there would be another likeness written by Rosamund Hodge I was thrilled. I can say I wasn't disappointed in the least!! Not only do I love her twisted take on some classic tales but I love me a good stand alone. I like the feeling of getting to the satisfying end in one sitting.

My favorite thing about this series (even though it's not a series) is that the lore is so detailed. There is a ton of history and it is nicely blended with the plot line so I never ever felt lost. Rosamund has this unique ability to reimagine and expand stories to such incredible heights. There is so much complexity in her work. She really has planned things out and it shows by her attention to detail. This lore was so unique,The evil lurking in the woods called the Great Forest and the curse of the forestborn. I'll give you quick rundown. If you are marked by a forestbound you can either become one by killing or you die yourself. Rundown over.

The characters are also very complex. Rachelle was so interesting to read about. I was on Team Rachele from the first pages. She is a very determined girl but also weighs her choices and what they do to her and her families future. I love the intelligence behind that. There is nothing worst then a hasty M.C. Well there is but you know what I mean. Let's talk about the boys. Okat so there is a teeny love triangle thingy BUT fear not for it is one that works for this story, very well if i do say so myself.

Erec who is in the same boat as Rachelle being a bloodbound, is charming and witty and most of the time a complete jerk off. For some reason he just rubbed me the wrong way. I don't like when people twist your words around and use them against you and Erec was the king of this particular manipulation of words. I was much more of a fan or Armand, who is one of the king's illegitimate children. I always tend to cheer for the underdog. 

I think that if you like a bit of a darker fairy tale with some serious world building and break neck plot twists then, you should read Crimson Bound. 

5 Snowflakes

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #83

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

Our recap for the past two weeks!

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Alive by Chandler Baker
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman
Undertow & Stormfront by K.R. Conway
Don't Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine
Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
The Summer After Me and You by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Joyride by Anna Banks
Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
The Novice by Taran Matharu
5 to 1 by Holly Badger

Jessica Warman

WinterHaven Fun:
Spotlight Spelled by Betsy Schow
Twisted Fairytale Confessions tour

Here's what landed in our happy hands these past two weeks!
Shadowshaper The Moon and More Pretending to Be Erica The Thing About Jellyfish Spinning Starlight A Thousand Nights The Pirate Code (Hook's Revenge, #2) Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between What We Knew Gathering Deep The Witch Hunter Hello, I Love You Very in Pieces Persuasion When Love Happens YOLO Juliet srsly Hamlet Dream Things True Your Voice Is All I Hear
For Review:

*Special thanks to Auther A. Levine Books, Viking Books for Young Readers, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Disney Hyperion, Poppy, St.Martin's Griffin, Flux, HarperTeen, Simon Pulse, Avon Impulse, Random House Books for Young Readers, & Sourcebooks*

That's it for us this week! I hope everyone had an amazing week as well! Please leave me a link so I can see all your goodies!

Review: Vanished by E.E. Cooper

Vanished by E.E. Cooper
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars in this fast-paced psychological thriller full of delicious twists and turns.

Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love.

Kalah knows better than to fall for Beth Taylor . . . but that doesn't stop her from falling hard and falling fast, heart first into a sea of complications.

Then Beth vanishes. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. Not even Beth's best friend, Britney, knows where she went. Beth didn't even tell Kalah good-bye.

One of the rumors links Beth to Britney's boyfriend, and Kalah doesn't want to believe the betrayal. But Brit clearly believes it—and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead.

When Beth finally reaches out to Kalah in the wake of Brit's suicide, Kalah wants to trust what Beth tells her. But she's swiftly realizing that nothing here is as it seems. Kalah's caught in the middle of a deadly psychological game, and only she can untangle the deceptions and lies to reveal the unthinkable truth.

My Thoughts:

I do not read YA mysteries/thrillers very often, but something in Vanished really caught my attention. Maybe it was the pretty awesome cover, the connection made to Pretty Little Liars and Gone Girl or the promise of a diverse characters. Whatever it was, I am happy that I picked it up because Vanished definitely surprised me positively.

Though Kalah loves her best friends Beth and Britt, she does not exactly feel like she fits in. Whereas Beth and Britt are popular in their own right, Kalah knows that people notice her just because she was chosen by Beth and Britt to be their friend. Despite feeling like she is not quite equal within the trio, she feels like B & B are the best friends she has ever had and she cannot imagine her life without the two of them. Then Beth, someone she has been feeling more that friendly feelings for, disappears and everything changes.

Kalah was very interesting character to read about. In addition to her somewhat problematic thoughts about her place within the trio of friends, she struggles with anxious feelings. I think Cooper describes the actions of an anxious character quite well in this novel and at no point did I feel like she has used it just a character trait. Rather, she writes about it with honesty and with detail. At points, Kalah embodies traits on an unreliable narrator, especially as she admits that she has a tendency to always think of the worst possible scenarios. As the plot thickens, it was interesting to speculate whether Kalah is on the right track or whether her anxious tendencies are making her see things that are not actually there.

Beth and Britt are both interesting characters to read about. The way Kalah describes them makes them familiar for the reader and what I especially enjoyed was reading how Kalah's thoughts about them change as a result of twists and turns in the plot. Through the novel, Cooper excels with complex characterization and character development, and throughout, it was interesting to read about these characters that are not quite what they first seem to be.

Vanished is a very intriguing murder mystery/twisted relationship study filled with surprises. Though the pacing could have been a bit quicker, as a result of which maybe couple of the parts I found a bit boring might not have felt so extended, in general I was really intrigued about finding out the truth about what happened to Beth and how the dynamics of the friendship trio change was Kalah starts to unravel the truth. I really also enjoyed the diversity Cooper has added to the story with a half-Indian main character that is not quite sure of her sexuality. I think in general Cooper writes really well about the confusing feelings Kalah has about her feelings for Beth and how those feelings differ from those she has for her long-time boyfriend.

Vanished definitely made me interested to pick up more YA thrillers/mysteries. Cooper has here a very impressive, well-build debut that YA mystery loves will most likely devour.

3.5 Snowflakes


Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Daughter of Deep SilenceDaughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 26th, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.

My thoughts:
I freaking loved this!!!!!  There is not one tiny thing I would change and that NEVER happens when I read!  Carrie Ryan I bow down before you, you masterful genius!

Simply put this novel is about Revenge.  Frances is on a mission to right the wrong that was done do her and her family and she will stop at nothing to achieve this.  Frances is calculated and ruthless in this wild thriller that totally left me on the edge of my seat.  If this is what the show Revenge is all about please sign me up!  I need more of this in my life!

Carrie Ryans characters were amazing.  I loved Frances fiercely and I wanted her to get her revenge.  She deserved it in my opinion.  I loved seeing how ruthless she could be because we really don't see these types of characters in YA that much.  Yes I know I am rooting for someone out for revenge, but if you went through what she did I guarantee you would want revenge as well.  What I loved even more though was the internal struggle she had when she came face to face with Grey.  Sometimes the best laid plans don't go as planned and well Frances didn't go quite the way she wanted them too and it was amazing to see certain scenes play out.

The story was pure brilliance.  I won't go into details because so much is secret and I don't want to spoil anything for you.  I'll just say that I loved the way this story was crafted and I loved how we got to see how Frances was on the boat.  I loved the history that she shared with Grey and those moments were magical.  The horrific scenes will stay with me just as much because the writing was so vivid. I could actually see and hear what Frances did and oh my goodness her scenes with Libby before the rescue were just terrifying.  Those images will haunt me for awhile.  

I am also very thankful that a certain love triangle was squashed and never even brought to light. I was worried I won't lie, but when certain revelations were made it became quite clear that a triangle wasn't even an option and thank you Ms.Ryan for that. A triangle would have killed this book for me.  I like who Frances was meant for and even though I wish that certain person would have manned up a bit I am completely satisfied with the way things ended.  I understand what needed to happen at the end and I am honestly appreciate the author giving her characters what they needed.  The ending didn't feel forced a tad unbelievable maybe, but that was okay too.  I can tend to overlook certain things when I have amazing writing, intriguing characters, and a kick ass storyline.  I mean really what more do we need??

This is my first book by Carrie Ryan and it will definitely not be my last.  I adored her writing.  Even when things were repeated, which normally would have bothered me I loved every word.  I mean that takes talent to make a reader forgive and forget the things that normally bother them.  And that's not me saying that I was annoyed by any means, I just mean that when a book is this good you can forgive a lot of things and you won't dwell on things as much.  I wouldn't have changed anything about this at all.  I think I am rambling and maybe not making much sense now and I am truly sorry for that.  I am just in awe of this book and well I can't gather my thoughts. Yes it was that good.

Brilliant story that will stay with me forever!

Blizzard Read!