Tuesday, August 9, 2016

#ReadThemAllThon TBR


This read-a-thon has me so excited! Ever since I saw it on April's channel, I have been looking up TBRs, and have been trying to come up with mine. I love the idea and concept behind this read-a-thon, and the fact that it's 3 weeks is a huge added bonus. Week long read-a-thons are great, but unless you have the entire week off, it gets a bit stressful. At least for me. I think this one will be fun and relaxed, at the same time centered around a cool concept.

This read-a-thon goes from August 14th- September 4th, and has 8 badges to complete. You also get to pick a Pokemon, and for every book you read, the # of pages completed, and posting reviews and on social media sites, you power up your Pokemon. At the end of the three weeks, whoever has the highest CP Pokemon wins.

You can find out more information, as well as sign up for the read-a-thon yourself at the creator, Read at Midnight's blog.

This is my TBR for the challenges.  I am for sure going to read these books, but more might be added as the read-a-thon progresses. Originally I had wanted to do 16 books, 2 for each challenge, but decided I didn't want to over stress myself out for the read-a-thon.

This is the Pokemon I chose, and plan to update the stats as I progress through the read-a-thon. I plan on making update posts as well.


Trainer: Kari
Blog: Bookishly Devoted
Type: Fire
Evolution: 3 Stages
Evolves @ 150 CP and 400 CP







CHARMANDER
                CP 12


I have been wanting to read this book since it was released. I finally picked it up a few months ago, so figured I would tackle it for this challenge. The premise sounds really engaging, so I am hoping it will be a quick read. 


Zodiac by Romina Russell


439 Pages

43 CP 
20 CP for completing
20 CP for reviewing


Potential 83 CP for this book :)










It's hard to predict what books will make me cry, but I am betting that this one will do the trick. It's about a boy whose father was killed in 9/11. I will have the tissues ready when I read this one. It is a movie also, with Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks, which I didn't know, so that is another reason I wanted to get this read.



Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

326 Pages

32 CP
20 CP for completing
20 CP for reviewing


Potential 72 CP for this book :)










I had a whole long explanation as to why I had chosen two books, but it made the post SO LONG. So basically I chose these two books because I had heard a lot of things about each one in a sort of different type of "thunderous hype." One is literally EVERYWHERE and the other book I chose I have just recently started to see/hear about a lot recently, so it's hyped to me in what I've been reading/watching/listening to. :)


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare



485 Pages


48 CP
20 CP for completing
20 CP for reviewing


Potential 82 CP for this book :)  







The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin



468 Pages

46 CP
20 CP for completing
20 CP for reviewing

Potential 86 CP for this book :)










Again, had a LONG explanation as to why I had to choose two books for this badge. One book I've been dying to read since it was released (the first one) and the other was a recent acquisition to fill a void left by another book I read. I just needed anther RomCom in the same vain as Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. :)  


Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

289 Pages

28 CP
20 CP for completing
20 CP for reviewing

Potential 68 CP for this book












One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

255 Pages


25 CP
20 CP for completing
20 CP for reviewing


Potential 55 CP for this book








Don't know what constitutes as "epic" but I know this book has a romance in it...and it spans like 5 books, so I'm sure there is something epic about it. Plus, I've been needing to read this book for a while now, and now is the time. It's got aliens in it, so I'm there!



Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

335 Pages


33 CP
20 CP for completing
20 CP for reviewing

Potential 53 CP for this book :)









I was torn between choosing a smaller book that I knew I could finish, or picking one I have been really wanting to read that was on the longer side. And since we are reading for CP in this read-a-thon, I chose the book I have been wanting to read because I think that with the motivation of wanting to read it, and the read-a-thon atmosphere, I can push through the massive tome.



Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind


836 Pages


83 CP
20 CP for completing
20 CP for reviewing

 Potential 123 CP for this book! :)









This badge was easy, because I only had two books with completely red covers, and I just read one of them. So that left me with one choice. Which I don't mind because it's been one that I have wanted to pick up for ages. :)


The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre


352 Pages


35 CP
20 CP for completing
20 CP for reviewing

Potential 75 CP for this book









I get dystopian and post-apocalyptic books confused, so this might not "technically" count, but it was the one I want to read the most....and that's what this is all about right? :)


Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

380 Pages


38 CP
20 CP for completing
20 CP for reviewing


Potential 78 CP for this book








So...there it is. An extremely LONG post, but I did it! I have chosen the books I want to read to fit the badges guidelines! :) These might change, as I'm a heavy mood reader, and what I want to read now will change by tomorrow morning. I am excited for all the books I have chosen, so I am going to do my best to get to these...but I have A LOT of books that I want to get to...so who knows. :) I'm extremely excited for this read-a-thon and can't wait to talk to everybody about the books that they are reading and get ideas for books to add to my TBR.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sovereignty by Anjenique Hughes

Title: Sovereignty
Author: Anjenique Hughes

Source: For Review
Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble
RATING: 4.5 STARS

Under the totalitarian reign of the 23rd century's world's government- The Sovereign Regime- control is made possible by the identity chip implanted in every human being, recording everything that is seen, done, and experienced.

No more bank accounts.
No more smart phones.
No more secrets.

When Goro inadvertently overhears an exchange of sensitive information, causing him to confront the truth about his world and prompting him to choose his true loyalties, his dream of revolution kicks into high gear. Goro doesn't know he has covert intel in his possession both the SR and the resistance movement are desperate to acquire.

Determined to attempt the impossible task of bringing down the world government, he and his closest friends gain access to the key to ultimately deciding who has sovereignty.

But who will get to Goro first: The resistance or the Sovereign Regime?

~MY THOUGHTS~

Dystopian books are kind of my guilty pleasure reads. Its the type of genre, that no matter how many times it's done, I still love it. I don't know why, but I can't get enough this genre. And that is the main reason I signed up to review this book. The three sentence blurb above is enough to have made me go out and purchase the book. But even beyond that, I completely got sucked into this story.

The government system in this book is kind of typical dystopian fare. The government controls all, and basically monitors your every move. In this world, it's done through chips. Again, like usual, the main character, Goro, doesn't conform to what the government wants, and is fighting to find out what is being hidden from them. But for me, and I am sure a lot of people, this is the type of book that's just easy to get lost into. I find myself zoning out when reading books like this, and getting caught up in the world, imagining myself in the situation that is being portrayed on the page. I don't know what it is, but it's fascinating. And like I said, this book was no different. I followed Goro's story with complete attention, and didn't want to put the book down.

I felt that the world was expertly portrayed and wasn't just thrown in the readers face. It was a kind of slow burning journey through the world, and it was nice to see it through Goro's eyes. Most dystopians that I read feature female characters, which I enjoy, but it's nice to see it from a male's perspective. And I thought Goro was well fleshed out as a main character. Which is nice. Sometimes, with world building and future government setups, the actual characters get kind of lost in the mess, but the author didn't do that hear. Goro is front and center and his decisions in the book held true to what you see his character doing. 

Goro has learned of some stuff he shouldn't, and this kind of sets the wheels in motion for the rest of the book. 

I did find it a bit off putting being thrown in and out of perspectives. I saw that some people didn't necessarily mind it, but i kind of threw me out of the story. When it happened, I found myself almost forcing myself to not set the book down and think about the shift. That's why it lost the .5 stars. It was going to be 4 stars, but I really enjoyed this book, even sort of despite this "issue" I had.

I do think this book is a prime example of how dystopian novels can be done well, and I would recommend to fans of the genre. It was fast -paced, and kept my interest throughout the book. 


Author's Bio:

With master's degrees in education, special education, and counseling, Anjenique "Jen" Hughes is a high school English and math teacher who loves teaching and mentoring young people. She enjoys traveling and has worked with youth on five continents. Saying she is "young at heart" is an understatement; she is fluent in sarcasm, breaks eardrums with her teacher voice (students have complained when they were within earshot), and cracks sarcastic jokes with the best of her students. Her work with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse youth has inspired her to write books that appeal to a broad variety of students seeking stories of bravery, perseverance, loyalty, and success.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~ Facebook

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Over Easy by Pamela Ford

Title: Over Easy 
Author: Pamela Ford
Series: The Continental Breakfast Club #1

Buy the book: Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble
Source: For Review

RATING: 3 STARS!!!

Allie Parker's had enough. Just because she's a dog groomer, her overachieving family of doctors and lawyers treats her like a child. She's convinced that a successful husband is all she needs to change their attitudes. 

So when she and her friends come up with a brilliant new way to meet eligible men, Allie squeezes into her sister's stylish clothes and sneaks into continental breakfast at an upscale hotel to find herself the perfect guy. Before Allie has taken her last bite of syrup-laden waffle, she's met the man of her dreams. But what she doesn't know is that he's a jewel thief who mistakenly thinks she's his contact—and so does everyone else who's after his stash of diamonds. 

Suddenly Allie's world is crazily upended. And as she scrambles to prove her innocence and get back to her old life, she discovers happily ever after sneaks up when you least expect it. 

~MY THOUGHTS!~

This book was definitely cute. It's one of those books that you just get sucked into and absorbed in and it's fun. It wasn't emotionally draining, or overly tense. And so that made it a perfect summer read! I enjoyed this book. 

Allie is a dog groomer among doctors and lawyers, so she wants to prove herself, like the synopsis says, by getting a successful husband. I loved the idea of sneaking into expensive hotels continental breakfasts in order to meet guys. It was unique, and something I had never read about before. It made for a great story, and I loved that it was a group of girls, instead of just Allie doing this. It gives more story, and I love when the main character isn't the only one the reader gets to know. 

I enjoyed the little twists and turns the book took in regards to the jewel thief and ending up with a stolen ring. I liked that this wasn't just a fluffy contemporary but had a little extra in regards to plot. The mystery aspect of it was light enough that it didn't take away from the light and funny feel of the book, so that was all balanced well.

I am looking forward to finding out more about the other girls. I like contemporary romance series for this exact reason. You get a main character romance and introduced to side characters who then show up in later books and it's a cycle.

I would recommend this book for anybody looking for a light contemporary read with a side of humor and adventure. 


Author's Bio:

Pamela Ford is the award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She grew up watching old movies, blissfully sighing over the romance; and reading sci-fi and adventure novels, vicariously living the action. The combination probably explains why the books she writes are romantic, happily-ever-afters with plenty of plot - and often lots of laughter.

After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising, Pam merrily set off to earn a living, searching for that perfect career as she became a graphic designer, print buyer, pantyhose sales rep, public relations specialist, copywriter, freelance writer - and finally author. Pam has won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best, the Laurel Wreath, and a gold medal IPPY in the Independent Book Publisher Awards. She is a Kindle Book Awards finalist and a two-time Golden Heart Finalist. She lives in Wisconsin where she is working on her next novel.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads

Monday, August 1, 2016

Loreena's Gift by Colleen M. Story

Title: Loreena's Gift
Author: Colleen M. Story

Source: For Review


Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Book Depository  ~  Chapters Indigo

RATING: 3.5 STARS

A BLIND GIRL'S TERRIFYING "GIFT" ALLOWS HER TO REGAIN HER EYESIGHT--BUT ONLY AS SHE FERRIES THE RECENTLY DECEASED INTO THE AFTERLIFE.

Loreena Picket thinks she knows herself. A blind young woman who lives with her uncle, a reverend at a small-town church, she's a dutiful niece and talented pianist for the congregation.

But they're both hiding a terrible secret. Loreena can kill people with the touch of her hand.

While her uncle sees her as an angel of mercy, helping usher the terminally ill members of his flock into the afterlife, Loreena has her doubts.

Torn between doing her uncle's bidding and the allure of the fleeting moments when her eyesight returns on the journey to the other side, Loreena cooperates with her uncle until her troubled older brother returns to town. When she reveals her power by saving him from a local drug dealer, she is drawn into a sinister and dangerous world that will test the true nature of her talent and force her to consider how far she is willing to go to survive.

An exciting debut that crosses fantasy and literary fiction, Loreena's Gift is a thought-provoking meditation on life and death and what ultimately lies beyond this world.

~MY THOUGHTS!~

There are character types that show up in a lot of books. Everywhere we look, we are getting a lot of the same cookie cutter characters with minor differences thrown in for good measure. This works because the stories differ, but there are times when, as readers, we would like a fresh story with fresh characters. And this book delivered that. It has a main character who is blind. I will admit that when I saw that in the synopsis, I immediately signed up for the tour. I have a few "buzz words" that if they show up I automatically need to read that book. And "blind main character" isn't necessarily a trope (maybe not the right word, but can't think of anything at the moment) I go out and seek. But when it is there, I will read it simply for that. You don't see characters with disabilities enough in YA, or as main characters. So that was a winning factor for me with this book.

Another great thing about this book is that not only is the main character Loreena blind, but this isn't just a contemporary book about her life and how she deals. This is so much more. It has those elements in the story, because that is how we learn Loreena as a character. But this has supernatural elements. See, Loreena's touch will kill. I liked how the author incorporated this into the story nicely. And it didn't feel over the top.

Loreena lives with her uncle, who is a pastor, and with him she helps people cross over. This is the storyline, and we watch it unfold as Loreena fights how she feels when she is doing this "job" and we are given some complications with her brother, Saul. I really loved how well rounded Loreena was as a character. We got to see the strong side, as well as the side that grapples with what she is doing. And whether or not it's right.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I felt that the story was paced just right, and I didn't find myself looking ahead at chapter breaks and the like. I would recommend this book for the story and the well written characters, as well as a little something different when it comes to the main character. I felt the author was able to pull off all the elements in this book. And I would read more by this author in the future.


Author's Bio:

Colleen M. Story writes imaginative fiction and is also a freelance writer, instructor, and motivational speaker specializing in creativity, productivity, and personal wellness. Her latest novel, "Loreena’s Gift," was released with Dzanc Books April 12 2016. Her fantasy novel, "Rise of the Sidenah," is a North American Book Awards winner, and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection (Young Adult). She is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com) a motivational site for writers and other creatives.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~ Twitter


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Endurance by Lance Erlick

Title: Endurance
Series: Regina Shen #4
Author: Lance Erlick
Source: For Review

Rating: 4 STARS

Outcast Regina Shen is caught between rival Department of Antiquities’ inspectors amidst political struggle over who will become the new World Premier. Used for her ability to find hidden ancient treasures, Regina hunts rich enough barter to free her sister. Stretched to her limits, her new journey tests her endurance and her ability to recognize opportunities and avoid getting captured.


~MY THOUGHTS~

I want to start this by saying that I am normally terrible at reading series. I will start a million series, and never pick up the next ones to find out what happens. And I almost just signed up to read and review the first book in this series. But boy am I glad I got all four that were out! I loved the ride this series took me on. And I would highly recommend this series.

Without telling anything away about previous books, in case you haven't read them...which you definitely should! I want to give a few generalizations (which I have touched on in previous reviews but that's okay). First of all I loved the characters in this series. Lance Erlick really knows how to take a character and make them the best/worst. In each case in this series, I felt like the characters were portrayed perfectly how they are meant to be. Regina is a kick-ass, smart, awesome female. And the people after her are perfectly bad. I don't know how to explain it, but this is one of those series that when characters pop up, I'm not inwardly groaning that it was a paper cut out scene. They all have depth. And especially in a dystopian, I don't see a whole lot with entire casts. So A+ there!! And also the world building. It was this great idea in the first book and the author ran with it and gave it background and meaning. And really made the story his own. I loved it. I think that is what makes this series so readable is that you get invested in the world and the characters. So there is so much more at stake while reading. 

This particular book has Regina hoping to barter for her sister. Volpe and Demarco are after her. So much happens, and I am left needing more. I can't even fathom waiting for the next book to be released, because this one was just released this year!! As of right now, I don't see anything on Goodreads to indicate another book, but I hope there is! I love this series. And will definitely be re-reading them in hopes/preparation for following releases. I also will be putting Lance Erlick on my author to watch out for more books list because I feel that anything he writes will be fleshed out and wonderful!!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Regina Shen: Defiance by Lance Erlick

Title: Defiance
Author: Lance Erlick
Series: Regina Shen #3

RATING: 5 STARS!!!!!


Abrupt climate change melted ice caps, flooded coasts, and expanded deserts. Outcast Regina Shen is a fugitive the World Federation believes has DNA that can stop human extinction. Rival Federation agents fight over capturing Regina to gain power amidst turmoil over who will become the new World Premier. Regina has to flee from Virginia through desert and wilderness to Alaska to hunt a treasure big enough to barter for her freedom and that of her sister. Can she find allies and tools to remain free long enough to find something to trade?

~MY THOUGHTS~

This series just keeps getting better and better! This book didn't feel filler, as some 2nd and 3rd books can tend to be. It had it's share of adventure and plot movement, and stood on it's own (not in terms of being read alone, I don't recommend that at all) but as it was a legit addition to the series and needed to be there for the continued growth of the series. 

The character development in this series is starting to surprise me. I have read so many series where I enjoy the ride the characters take in personal growth, but this one has taken the cake. I have grown so attached to Regina and her journey that I find myself talking about this book whenever I can. I feel for her, and root for her. She is just such an unseen character in some of the YA dystopian books. She has a brain, and she uses it. It isn't an afterthought for her. And it's nice to see a strong, SMART, female lead for a change.

In this book Regina is still on the run, and now looking for her sister. This added to the adventure and page turning for me. I couldn't stop reading because I needed to find out what happened. We find out a lot about the world Regina lives in this book as well, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I love when series just get stronger as they progress. I can't wait to find out what happens in the last book! I have so many unanswered questions and feelings about certain characters: like the mother and the Chief Inspector. I just need to know what happens and know that it all works out for Regina :)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Regina Shen: Vigilance by Lance Erlick

Title: Vigilance
Author: Lance Erlick
Series: Regina Shen #2

Source: For review

MY RATING: 5 STARS!!!!

Abrupt climate change melted ice caps and flooded coasts. Outcast Regina Shen has unique DNA that the World Federation believes can prevent human extinction. Not trusting them, Regina jumps the barrier wall into the Federation to hunt for her sister, kidnapped two years earlier. She reaches the well-guarded university near where they’re holding her sister. Two rival inspectors close in on her. With time running out, can she escape campus and rescue her sister from an obvious trap?

~ MY THOUGHTS! ~


So, I loved this book! I think this is quickly becoming one of my favorite series of the year. It's so much fun, and it packs a punch. 

This book talks place a few years after the last one ended. I loved that this book was unpredictable. I have become weary of dystopian books because of the almost formulaic setup of most of them. But this series has proven to be unlike the rest. And, I would like to add, that this book didn't suffer from sophomore book syndrome. It was just as engaging and fast paced as the first one. I didn't feel as if this one was filler in the least. 

I loved the character development Regina underwent in this book. And I can see that she will continue to grow as a character throughout the series. I love the setup the author has given her for the future books, and hasn't let her growth be set aside for plot and shock value! Kudos to you Mr. Erlick for giving us a well rounded character that doesn't fall flat! :) I also liked the introduction of new characters, and look forward to seeing how they flesh out in the later books. I love when more characters are introduced in addition to the ones we already know and love and not just to replace them. It makes the world and series more full. 

I can't wait to get to the next one because the ending of this book was, just WOW! I highly recommend this series!