Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Forest of Aisling by D.S Elstad

       I apologize for not posting a review in such a long time. Things have been getting quite busy!

*Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Author: D.S Elstad
Format: Paperback
Pages: 440
Date published: December 4 2013
Publisher: Pepper Publishing

Introduction
       When Willow's grandmother--whom she has never met, dies in Ireland, Willow is forced to accompany her father at the funeral.
       Willow knows nothing of her grandparents, due to a falling out between her father and his parents had years ago. The little bit that Willow has been able to find out about her grandmother has sent her reeling. Before Willow's grandmother died, she housed a secret few people in her life knew about. As it turns out that secret, has just became Willow's life.

Cover
       I don't have much to say about the cover other than I really like the font that the cover is in.

Willow
       Willow is a really awesome realistic main character most of the time. The only gripe that I had with her was I found that she accepted things a little to quickly sometimes, but other than that I really liked her.

Bram
       I LOVED Bram, Willow's love interest. I loved the fact that he is deaf because you don't stumble upon that very often. He lost his hearing when he was eleven, so he still sounds normal when he talks and has no trouble forming words.
       I often find that when a book has a love story, the couple is just so perfect. PEOPLE ARE NEVER PERFECT. Cliche but true, and the fact that Bram have flaws like regular people makes me extremely happy.

Mythology Factors
       The mythology in this book is HUGE do not ignore anything it says about any of the gods.
       Anyway, I love mythology, and if it is Celtic mythology? Yes please
       I liked how wit explained the mythology in this book.It didn't drone on and on for pages, It would explain something, leave it alone for about a chapter, and then go back to it. Giving you time to take it all in.

Pace
       This book did have spots where I wanted to stop reading, not completely give up on it, just put it down for a while. Things just stopped happening completely.

Conclusion
       I liked this book a lot, and I would recommend it to people who love mythology, since it offers a great twist on it.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Chat With Me Thursday #6: Author Interview with Ketley Allison

       I can't believe I've been hosting Chat With Me Thursday for a month. Time flies. If you would like to learn more about Chat With Me Thursday, please visit the Chat With Me Thursday page.
       Anyway, today I bring you, Ketley Allison author of Dark Souls!

#1 Could you tell me a bit about yourself?

       Sure! I spent most of my life in Canada, but in high school my family moved to Australia for three years. We came back and lived in California until I went to law school on New York. I fell in love with the city and Iv'e lived here ever since! Now it's me, my diva cat and boyfriend living just over the bridge in Brooklyn.

#2 How did you come up with the idea for dark souls?

      Honestly Iv'e had this idea since I was fourteen. I'd written chapters here and there, but never the whole story. I'd never had the confidence. I'd just dream about it, think about it, scribble something down. Until one day, after a particularly bad day at work I thought "Why aren't I just trying this?" So, I finally did. Three weeks later my first draft was done. Flash forward seven months and Dark Souls was complete. As a not to my fourteen year old self, in Chapter Four you'll see a dream sequence. I wrote that when I was fourteen. I haven't changed a word.

#3 If you had to write this all over again, would you change anything?

       Hmm. I think a lot of writers are never truly done with their books. If you let me, i would probably revise until I pass out! But there comes a time when you have to say good-bye, no matter how much you want to keep going. My biggest change was the setting of my book. It started out in a small town, with Emily in high school and Asher as the new boy. I since changed her into a 19 year old girl living in NYC and boy did it make a difference. So after that huge change, I thought it would be best to give it a rest! Otherwise Emily might end up in Australia or something...

#4 Who has the biggest influence on you?
      
        I can't just choose one! There have been so many influences, all through growing up,  My parents are first, they've supported me since the beginning. The friends Iv'e grown with, the ones that I made along the way--they've all had a huge influence on me and my writing. In creating characters, I love to take traits from people I know to bring the characters to life. It also makes them a lot more likable! In my books, you'll see a lot of different habits and mannerisms--those are all from people that have made an impact on me, whether they know it or not! :)

#5 Have you ever experienced writer's block? If so, how did you rid yourself of it?

       Oh absolutely. I free write my first drafts, meaning I don't outline. Basically, my first draft is my outline! By doing that, I create a lot of surprises along the way (even to myself),  but it also means that I run into a few walls here and there. Sometimes I don't know where my characters are going. I like to have them guide me instead of the other way around, and that takes time. Usually, if I take a breather, go do something for myself, my characters are ready to go again. They also collect friends along the way, Derek came as a complete surprise to me!

#6 Any advice for aspiring authors?

       Don't give up. Cliche but true. This is a hard niche to get into, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. It just means that you have to work at it, even when the rejections come in, even when you get your first two-star review. No matter it be traditional or self-publishing, never forget that this is your passion. Remind yourself of it if you have to. It isn't easy, and you'll face a lot of critics, but remember with those critics come people who love your book! And most importantly, never stop writing. No matter what.

    

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Dark Souls Tour Stop: Spotlight Post



Book Title:Dark Souls
Dark Souls Series
Volume 1
Ketley Allison

Genre: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: July 19, 2013

ISBN 978-0-615-85755-8
Number of pages 280
Word count: 103, 000

Book Description 
    19-year-old Emily desperately wants a name for what she is. For what is consuming and torturing her. For what is changing her. But she's not crazy like her mother. She's not. Emily may not be as crazy as she thinks, because her body is no longer her own. Something is stirring inside her. It's soft, seductive, and tells her what to do to survive. As Emily learns that he world has been infected by demons that consume human souls and fit seamlessly into the bodies they empty, she must also accept that she is one of them. Yet she is different form the rest, because her darkness didn't inhabit her, it was awakened, and it doesn't just want the humans.

Short Excerpt
       I was never supposed to live.
       At least, that is what my mother would scream at me during her rages, her face twisted into savage fury as she lunged at me--either to kill me or to mutilate me, I could never really tell.
       "You are wrong"
       "You are an abomination" She cried before charging at me, her right arm raised high as if to slay me in one swift, ferocious plunge.
       Yet for reasons that still escape me, she could never make that one final move. She would always stop mid-leap, he face frozen and twisted for a few terrifying seconds before I would see her body slacken, her tendons snapping and releasing like broken cords as she fell heavily to the floor, just before reaching me. What I remember most clearly, was that moment of calm, chilling stillness, just before her legs would collapse beneath her, where her eyes, wide and unblinking, would focus solely on mine. Even when the rage turned into haggard despair, she would never look away.
       That memory, the image of my mother that I could never entirely erase, was the first thing that entered my mind when my world started falling apart.
       The beginning of my destruction started out suspiciously enough. White blurred into back in front of me, the steam rising like smoke and clogging my breath as I stirred, clink, click, clink. My face was heated, too hot, and I swiped a quick hand over my damp brow before I mustered a smile.
       "Here you are"
       "Oh, uh, no. I ordered a white mocha. Not a mocha, mocha."
       I lifted tired eyes to his face, lowering my chin in apology. "Shoot, sorry, just hang on a sec."
       "Yeah well, hurry up would you, I have class in like two minutes."
       Then maybe you shouldn't be stopping three blocks away for some chocolate coffee. My smile didn't transmit my thoughts as I grabbed the steaming cup. I adjusted my apron as I walked back to the coffee station, wincing as the hot cardboard began to scald my fingertips. I swore as the thunked it down on the counter and the coffee hit my hand.
       Holding my hand against my stomach, I used the other to grab a fresh cup and tried to ignore the sounds of impatient patrons behind me.
       What was wrong with me today?
       I felt normal, but not quite. My mind felt thick, my focus slightly wavering on the edges, enough to make me slightly dizzy. I blinked, trying to bring back clarity to both my vision and my thoughts as I fiddled with the espresso machine.Once started, I leaned my head against the cool cabinet doors above, waiting for my heated thick skin to finally cool down.
       "You okay? You look like you have found a hidden portal inside the espresso."
       Marcy Forrester's warm brown eyes were trained on mine as I glanced behind me at here.
       "Is it a portal back in time? 'Cuz I could really use a do-over this morning."
       I squinted, trying hard to focus on her. She went hazy for only a moment before my eyes readjusted.
       "No, I'm fine, it's just been a busy morning." I finally replied as I twisted the dial on the milk steamer. I couldn't even muster up the energy to banter with my best friend like I usually did.
       "You're not seriously stressed are you? You should have seen my morning. I usually bomb Natural Science, but this morning was a particularly epic explosion. Her eyes followed me as I walked past her and dropped the guy's white mocha. In front of him.

(The rest of this got cut off because of a picture that I couldn't move. I apologize.) 

About the Author
       Ketley Allison is twenty-something (maybe almost thirty-something) who believes that super natural love shouldn't stop at eighteen. She began her career writing books as birthday presents for her friends (with her friend as the main character opposite a super sexy lead, of course.) before ending it to walk down a path that she thought she was supposed to follow.
       The writing bug never left her--and in fact, would often bleed into the official papers she was supposed to write--so now Ketley is putting down her suit and finally following her dream. While her friends are no longer the stars of her books, she still throws bits and pieces of them into each and every one of her characters.
       As a result, her books tend to focus on friendships as well as love, because let's face it, friends are really what get you through--especially when your epic love turns into epic heartbreak.



Web Blog: here

Twitter: @KetleyAllison

Ketley's Facebook: here

Goodreads: here

Friday, 13 September 2013

*Late* Chat With Me Thursday #5 Author Interview with Angela McPherson

       Chat With Me Thursday is a weekly event hosted here by ME. Every Thursday, I will interview a author or a blogger. If you would like to be interviewed, pleas visit my Chat With Me Thursday page. If you would like to have Chat With Me Thursday on your blog, All I ask is that you link back to my blog :)
     
       On this Thursday err-Friday. I bring you an interview with the author of Hope's Decree Angela McPherson

#1 How long did it take you to write Hope's Decree?

       It took me three years to write Hope's Decree, and the version now is so different from back then. It is so amazing how much I've grown since then...thank goodness. LOL


#2 How long have you known you wanted to publish a book?

       When I started writing Hope's Decree, three years ago, that was when I realized I wanted to be published. But not just to see my name on a book (it's an added bonus), but I wanted to give at least one person a world they could enjoy falling into.
#3 Are any of the characters in your book based on real people in your life?

       No, not really, but my youngest daughter claims the book is about her. Her name is also Trinity, and she says the chick on the cover even looks like her (it's the blonde hair). Her brother and sister just roll their eyes at her now. I've created a monster. LOL. One of my best friends, Crystal, inspired that character, even down to the looks. Though her personality is more like Keri than Crystal. Okay, so I guess I should change my answer to yes.

#4 Who is your biggest inspiration?

       Aside from the man upstairs, I'd say my kids, along with every single lover-er of YA paranormal romance. 

#5 For you, what is the most difficult part of writing?

       I have tons of ideas floating around in my head. Sorting those ideas out can be frustrating. I think the most difficult part though is getting everything down and not worrying over the order (writing out of order is hard for me). Until I get it just right, I can't move on. It drives me insane. 

#6 Any advice for aspiring authors?

       Never give up. Keep going. Use spell check. Have friends and anyone else you know read your work. Believe in yourself. NEVER GIVE UP! 

       And there you have it. Check out Angela's book now! I have yet to read it but it sounds amazing.

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Great Debate! #1 Ebook vs. Print Book.

       Recently, I thought that it would be fun if I got together with somebody that blogs, and made a post on something. So I contacted Katie Cohen over at the-quiet-girl-talks. And asked her if she would like to help me with a post about debating eBooks vs physical books.
       I am going to share my thoughts on why I think a physical book is better, and Katie is going to share her thoughts on why she thinks that eBooks are better.

Print Books
       I have made my argument into a list:

       #1. You can read printed books outside in the sun. When you try to read a eBook in the sun, the screen goes all dark and you can't see any of the words.

      #2. Printed books don't break as easily. If you drop your  book on the floor, you don't really have to worry about it being broken. You just pick it up without a second thought. Whereas if you  drop a eReader on the ground. You generally become pretty worried that you broke it.  

       #3. You don't need anything to other than the book if you want to read.-- This one is pretty simple. If you want to read a printed book, all you need is the book. Well and the ability to read of course.

    #4 You can share them. If somebody I know wants to borrow one of my books off my shelf, I can lend it to them and then I can lend it to a whole bunch of other people if I wanted. Don't really have that option with an eBook do you?

     #5 You can read print books on a plane. If you were on a plane, and you brought your eReader for the flight, you wouldn't be able to use it. You would have to turn it off. Then oops, you don't have a book to read

     #(Not as big a deal) But books just look so nice on shelves.-- I just love looking over at my bookshelf and seeing all the beautiful PRINTED books on the shelves :)

       And on to Katie!


they're so convenient! Here are the pros to eBooks:
- If you're like me, then you never travel without books. So you could either bring ten big, heavy print books that will be knocked around in your luggage,orrr you could bring a super light and small eReader with 100 books on it! The answer seems pretty obvious to me.

- Say you've decided to finally read 50 Shades of Grey. Do you really want to go to the bookstore and have everyone judge you? Do you want to be restricted to reading it alone in your room? No! Well if you have the eBook, then you can read your smut, I mean book, wherever you want!


- BOOK SAMPLES! Have you ever bought a book and then ended up not liking it? Well problem solved, just read a sample and hopefully you can tell whether it's for you or not! Then you're not spending money on something you don't like.


- 99% of the time, eBooks are way cheaper! There are so many amazing books for under five dollars, where you'd be paying 20 for the print version. And for people who read a lot like me, saving money is definitely a big pro.


- LESS TIME! You're on the fourth book in the Vampire Academy series and you need to know what happens NOW! All you have to do is click a button, and BAM, you have the next book in under 60 seconds! Is that awesome or what? And when a new book comes out, you can get it right when it's released! No more waiting.


- They're physically easier to read. With eBooks, it's so much easier to get comfy:)


- You can read in the dark! Most eReaders light up so you can easily read at night. Then you save energy by not having the lights on, you won't wake anybody up, and you can read peacefully before going to sleep.


- You can't read and eat when you have a print book, or else you have to keep trying to hold the pages down and it's super annoying and difficult. But with an eBook, you only need one hand or you could even prop it up on something so you don't need to hold it at all! What's better than books and food!?

- You can take notes and highlight easily for a review.


- You can change the size and font.

- No paper cuts!


- They save trees!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Chat With Me Thursday #4: Blogger Interview with Brianna C

       Chat With Me Thursday is a weekly feature hosted by me over here at YA Book Reviews. On Thursday, I will interview one author or blogger and post it here. If you would like be interviewed, please visit my Chat With Me Thursday page. If you would like to hold Chat With Me Thursday on your blog, all I ask is that you link back to my blog.

       Today I bring you Brianna C from listfulbooking!

#1. When and why did you start blogging?

       I started blogging almost 2 months ago now (I think lol) simply to share my love of books with like-minded people. Where I'm from there aren't really any book clubs or kids my age who read.

#2. What is your favorite book?

       My favorite book (currently-it changes pretty often lol) is Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe. Even though I'm not a fan of fantasy, this is the best book ever. It has something for everyone-adventure, romance, coming of age, suspense, etc. That and the cover is absolutely gorgeous!

#3. Do you have any book that you regret reading?
       
       There is only ONE book I regret reading: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. So many people rave about this Pulitzer Prize winner, but unless you have the right kind of humor it's just dumb and such a waste of time. A lot of people do like it, so I would say it is still worth a shot.

#4. If you could live in any book world what world would it be?
       
       This is always such a hard question to answer! I would have to say the world of Harry Potter. Yes there is a lot of chaos, but there's also magic and dragons and just cool stuff! Who WOULDN'T want to be a part of this world?

#5. Who is your favorite author?

       My favorite author depends on what I'm in the mood to read. Ken Follett is my favorite historical author and Sarah Dessen is my favorite contemporary author. Anything other than those two genres-I have author I like to read, but couldn't pick just one.

#6. Favorite classic book?

       My favorite classic book would have to be The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinback. I had to read it in high school and I loved it. I know many people think it's long and somewhat boring, but it was definitely a book I was able to click with. A close second would be Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.


Thanks for participating in Chat With Me Thursday!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Wicked Hunger by DelSheree Gladden

 

*Received from the author in exchange for honest review

Author: DelSheree Gladden
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Publisher: GMTA Publishing
Publish date: July 9 2013
Author website: Here

Introduction
       Vanessa'Van' and her brother Zander are plagued by a hunger.A hunger to cause pain, and a hunger to kill. Certain people bring out the hunger, and when Ivy, a mysterious new student comes to school, It arouses both Van and Zander's hunger. That's never happened before, they have never both felt the hunger for the same person. But the hunger that Ivy brings out is strong. Stronger than they have ever felt before. Van knows that something is up with Ivy and that she is hiding more than she will tell. Van is going to uncover Ivy's secrets, even if she has to do it alone.

Cover
       I don't really know what the circle is on the cover, but the knife and the fire effect looks cool

Switching of POV's
       The book switches POV's once every 2 chapters. In case you get super confused about who's point of view that you are reading, Van's chapters have ballet shoes, and Zander's have a picture of a football helmet.

Van & Ketchup
       I liked Van and Ketchup. They have a history together that, because of Zander's hunger, was forced to end. They still have feelings for each other, and Ketchup makes his feeling obvious. Although Van wants to give in to Ketchup, she knows that she can't, because it won't be safe for him.
       I liked how even though Van can't tell him exactly why they can't be together, she refuses to give him false hope that they could ever date again.

Zander
      I wanted to punch Zander in the face this entire book. This is what he sounds like.
      "Ivy so dangerous. But I love her. I can't let her go" Shut up Zander, you don't love her.
       "I think we can make this work" Shut up Zander. You're going to kill her.
       "I don't know how long I can control myself with Ivy..." Good Zander, your getting it, now just get up and leave.
       "...but I love her. I need her in my life." ANNNND you lost it.
       Plus, Van's hunger wants to kill her too! Zander made Van give up Ketchup because of his hunger toward Ketchup. It's simple. Van had to let go of Ketchup, and you have to let go of Ivy. You JUST met her, it shouldn't be that hard.
       It's also because of Zander's ridiculous 'love' for Ivy that I found his POV hard to get through

 Hunger
        Zander's hunger and Van's hunger crave in different things. Zander's hunger craves slow planned out kills. Like when animals stalk prey. Van's hunger craves messy and aggressive kills. It was a cool aspect to the story to have the hunger be different for different people.

Conclusion
       Aside from Zander, I really liked everything in this book. The concept of the hunger drew me in immediately and I was not disappointed.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Sever by Lauren DeStafano

Author: Lauren DeStafano
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 371
Published: February 20 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

       Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I reviewed the whole trilogy (Review of Wither here, review of Sever here, and obviously, this is my review of Sever)


       (I've decided to use the synopsis of this book for the introduction. I just can't write one of my own without spoiling it too much. This is probably going to be the only review that I will use the whole synopsis :D)


Introduction
       After enduring Vaughn's worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, and eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine's memories Cecily is determined to stay at Rhine's side, even if Linden's feelings are still caught between them.
       Meanwhile Rowan's growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that can not be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future--and about the past that her parents never had the chance to explain.

Cover
       I really like the cover for this book. It's weird though, on this cover, Rhine's hair is brushed. Not that I'm complaining, but on the covers of Wither, and Sever, she had ratsnest hair. What's going on with her hair being brushed. I thought we had a thing going here--No? Okay...

Cecily
       I liked Cecily much better in this book than I did in the others. She has matured, which was to be expected. She is getting older, and she has a kid. Although her personality did noticeably change, she isn't a completely different person. Which is really realistic, because nobody can wake up one day and have a completely different personality


Linden       Linden. My. God. Are you trying to get me to bang my head against a wall? I hated how Linden kept on going back and forth between kind of believing Rhine, and then denying everything that she says.
       On a brighter note, Linden showed a lot of character development in this book. You know, when he isn't being a complete idiot.
Death
       Yes, people die in this book. One HUGE person dies in this book. The way this person dies doesn't make sense to me. I've re-read and re-read the scene where the person dies and I don't understand it. I think the author was going for a dramatic death for the character, but the way it happened wasn't clear.

I Just Have One Question...*SPOILER*
       So...everybody knows what Rowen is doing, and when he is going to do it right? HOW COME NOBODY IS TRYING TO STOP HIM????? You have to have some form of police, or at the very least, protesters? Don't even try to tell me that everybody agrees with what he is doing. It's just not possible.

Conclusion
       I loved this book. I was never bored with it at all. The characters and the plot was absolutely stunning. The Chemical Garden Trilogy got better and better with each book, and I loved every minute of every book.


One Last Thing.
       I was talking about the Chemical Garden Trilogy with somebody I know, and we discoverd how hard it is to say 'Rhine' without it sounding like the name 'Ryan.' I'm serious. Try it, I dare you.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Cover Love Sunday #1: Wings

       Cover Love Sunday is a weekly meme/feature hosted at the-quiet-girl-talks where you choose your 3 favorite covers for each weekly theme. (This weeks theme is wings)

#1

















Halo by Alexandra Adornetto. I haven't actually read this book, but I really like the cover





















Ember by Carol Oats. I hope that this weeks theme includes butterfly wings, because I love this cover




Spellbound by Samantha Combs. Again, I haven't read this book, BUT THE WINGS ARE FIRE. It's cool okay...