Monday, June 19, 2017

Numbers Ignite (Numbers Game #2) by Rebecca Rode

Numbers Ignite (Numbers Game, #2)

Treena and Vance think they've escaped the numbers game forever. They're wrong.
After Treena's disastrous attempt to unite the nation, she has the deaths of hundreds haunting her dreams. Now, with hatred and accusations following her past the border, she's determined to leave that horrible day behind and find a peaceful, uneventful life with Vance and the settlers. But when she starts seeing mysterious figures hiding in the abandoned cities at night and uncovers a strange desert population, she realizes there's a danger much greater than NORA to worry about - and she just abandoned her people to their fate. 
Vance is a prisoner. Being rejected by the girl he loves and put on trial for betraying his clan are bad enough, but now he's been framed for a crime he never committed. Their less-than-perfect refuge has become the political game of a madman, and Vance is the only one who can stop it - if he can keep from being executed first. 
Treena and Vance are still very much in the game, and this time, it will take everything they have to save those they love. 

About the Author:

Rebecca Rode is the international bestselling author of the Numbers Game trilogy and Love Right, a sweet romance. Her published works also include the inspirational book for mothers, How to Have Peace when You're Falling to Pieces, and various freelance articles in the Desert News, Provo Daily Herald, KSL.com, Family Share, and Schooled Magazine. She loves cheesy martial arts movies, chocolate-banana shakes, and good, old-fashioned romance. Rebecca lives with her husband and four children. 

Social Media Links for the Author:

Review:

Holy crap! This book was awesome! 

This book has so many surprises and twists and turns! I loved it!

I  Vance and Treena! In case you also read my review of Red Winter and were wondering... No, my stance on cookie cutter romance plot lines being thrown into what would otherwise be awesome YA books has not changed one bit. The author just did a really good job with the love story in these books. It did not take away from the character development or from the focus on the other things going on in the book. It added an important aspect that I do not think the book would have been as good without.

The author did an excellent job of world building in Numbers Game, and in this book, she introduces readers to totally different aspects of that world, outside of NORA.

I loved following Treena's epic journey and first time outside of NORA. However, I was a bit disappointed by the ending. Mostly because it didn't keep going, but also, I feel like it just cut off and didn't have any kind of closure or provide a good transition into the next book.

The only thing that redeems this and relieves my frustration with the ending is that the final book in the series has already been released, and I do not have to wait to see what happens next.

Also, I want to thank Rebecca Rode for providing Chan's Story (Numbers Game #1.5) for free, for signing up for her newsletter. It was nice to read a story from a different character's POV about part of what was happening during the first book. I also saw that the author wrote Ruby's Story (Numbers Game #2.5), which I bet is AWESOME! I can't wait to read it! I  Ruby!

I just got done reading Chan's Story, and plan to read Ruby's Story next. Then, I have a few more books that I previously made commitments to read, but after that, I HAVE to read Numbers Raging to find out what happens next! I'll post my review soon!

I received this book from the author, through the Review Chain, in exchange for an honest review.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Red Winter Trilogy by Annette Marie

Red Winter (Red Winter Trilogy #1)   Dark Tempest (Red Winter Trilogy #2)   Immortal Fire (Red Winter Trilogy #3)

I am doing this review a little differently than all of my other reviews, since I am doing one review for the trilogy, instead of three separate reviews. I am posting the review first, with a synopsis of each book below, so you don't have to read through all of them before getting to the review, in case you don't want any spoilers. I will also try to make my review as spoiler-free as possible.

I requested to read this trilogy a while ago, and frankly, I didn't realize that I was getting the whole trilogy, instead of just the first book. That was an awesome surprise, because after I finished the first book, I immediately wanted to keep reading the rest of the series!

I initially planned to do a separate post for each book, but as soon as I started reading the first book, I couldn't stop until I got to the end of the story (and even then, I was sad that I couldn't keep reading), and even though I knew that it was a trilogy when I started reading, I was super disappointed that there is not a fourth (and 5th) book that continues the story after Immortal Fire.

While it took me a few chapters to get into the first book, once the action starts, it doesn't stop! The first few chapters were needed for world building, as there are many different aspects to learn before getting into the main part of the story.

The author did an excellent job of this! She did a great job of world-building and explaining all the intricacies involved with Emi's commitment and connection to Amaterasu.

I seriously got soooo sucked into these books! I absolutely loved EVERYTHING about them!!!!

I fell in love with the characters, their world, and absolutely EVERY aspect of the book! I am super impressed by Annette Marie! She not only did an excellent job of building this amazing world, filled with gods and goddesses, and their "counterparts," yokai, but she also wove all of this into traditional Japanese culture.

I loved Emi! I love the transition she goes through in the book. In the beginning, she is so sheltered and timid of any and all life experiences that are normal for most girls her age, but by the end, her perception of the world has changed and she is going extraordinary things that most girls her age couldn't dream of.

After saying that, I have to say: I ♥ ♥ ♥ Shiro!!! I loved his personality and how mischievous he is! I love how his relationship with Emi starts and how it evolves throughout the books!

I know that I am SUPER critical of most books and their romantic aspects. I even fell in love with the romance in these books... The author wrote it so well!

I really cannot say enough good things about this series, and I definitely can't say anything bad!

I will say that I am super sad to be leaving Emi and her magical world behind. I'm sad that it's a trilogy, and I won't get to see what happens after Immortal Fire ended. However, I still CAN'T EVEN get over how the story ended! I think it was the perfect ending to an amazing trilogy!

I encourage anyone who likes YA fantasy to read this trilogy! Even if you (like me), are tired of typical romantic aspect included in many YA fantasy books, that tend to take the focus away from the story and the characters, I guarantee that the romance in the book is an exception.

I received these books through Xpresso Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review.


Red Winter (Red Winter Trilogy #1)

In a few short months, Emi's mortal life will end when she becomes the human host of an immortal goddess. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body and soul to unite with the goddess - and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a spirit of earth and an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move, and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can't match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command - whether she wants him to not. 

On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate - but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope... and hope is all she has left. 

Red Winter includes 10 full-page illustrations by award-winning artist Brittany Jackson.

Dark Tempest (Red Winter Trilogy #2)

Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the insidious betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now, Amaterasu has charged Emi with an urgent mission: to find and free the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

At her side is Shiro, the mysterious fox spirit. When she first saved his life, she could never have imagined that behind his cunning and confidence, he was lost - his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His veiled history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can't remember how or why. 

As their search leads them into the murky depths of the spirit realm, the shadows of Shiro's past begin to emerge. With each brief awakening of his true self, she loses a little more of him. The fate of the heavens and earth rest in her mortal hangs, and she must find the missing gods before time runs out for her world -- and for Shiro.

Dark Tempest includes 10 full-page illustrations by award-willing artist Brittany Jackson. 

Immortal Fire (Red Winter Trilogy #3)

Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokai standing as humanity's only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality. 

Despite the looming threat, Emi can't escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon - too soon - she will have to break the curse that minds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever. 

As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, the will find a way to save the world - even if it means losing each other. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Marked in Ink: A Tattoo Coloring Book by Megan Massacre

Marked in Ink: A Tattoo Coloring Book (Colouring Books)

I love this coloring book! It is high-quality, and the pages are thick, card-stock paper, one-sided so that you have the option to remove the pages and display your artwork, without having another picture on the back, going to waste and not being seen.

There are a wide variety of different styles and designs, and this book is suitable for anyone that likes to color. The designs include skulls, flowers, animals, dream catchers, and all kinds of other designs. If you like tattoos, or even if you just like coloring, I guarantee that you will like this coloring book!

Here's a design from the book that I colored:



This is the first page in the book. Isn't it cute?


Her is a picture of the book's creator, tattoo artist, :


I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review. 


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Severed Ties (Jagged Scars, #2) by Jo Schneider

Severed Ties by Jo Schneider
Wendy is no stranger to death - she killed her first Skinny before she was ten - but the slaughter of her own family is personal. Pelton's betrayal to the Den planted a wicked seed in Wendy's heart that is slowly growing into a ravenous monster bent on revenge. Its rage is bleeding into her dreams, her nightmares, and her waking hours, staining everything, including her sanity.
When the monster almost overpowers her, Wendy decides she should leave Shelter. But before her friends will let her go, a plague sweeps through the complex. Doc doesn't have the meds they need to cure it, but the map Wendy wrestled from Pelton could lead them to a place that does. Now, Wendy must hold her mind together long enough to keep everyone she knows from dying. Again.
I absolutely loved Fractured Memories! So, when I got to the end and discovered that by signing up for the author's newsletter, I could read the next book in the series for free, I jumped on it and immediately signed up and downloaded Severed Ties

I loved this book just as much as the first one! It continued to develop the dystopian world and story, with just as many twists and turns as the first book.

Again, this book left off at a great point to start the next chapter of Wendy's journey but didn't leave me checking to make sure that the book was actually over. This book also refrains form trying to shove romance where it doesn't belong. Wendy is working through some MAJOR trauma. To try to shove her into her first romantic relationship ever, while she is still struggling with so many other things would just be wrong. Again, I am thankful that the author did not ruin her book by placing the cookie cutter YA love triangle in the middle of it.

She doesn't let a crush on a boy dominate her thoughts and make everything else irrelevant. She doesn't change everything and become an idiot just because she has a crush on a guy. Throughout the book, Wendy remains a complete badass who will do anything to save others.

This was an AWESOME follow up to Fractured Memories! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

Please note: While I desperately want to download book #3 right now and continue reading (I immediately pulled it up on Amazon, as soon as I finished reading), I have another trilogy to read and review in the next two weeks that I committed  to first. :( So, I will be waiting (somewhat patiently) to continue reading and see what happens next!

I received a copy of Fractured Memories for free through The Review Chain in exchange for an honest review.

 Read my review on GoodReads!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fractured Memories (Jagged Scars #1) by Jo Schneider & $20 Amazon GIVEAWAY

Fractured Memories (Jagged Scars, #1)
Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She's learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attach her compound, she's the lone survivor. 
Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy's strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.
The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proved to be much more difficult.  

About the Author:


Jo Schneider grew up in Utah and Colorado, and finds mountains helpful in telling which direction she is going. One of Jo's goals is to travel to all seven continents - five down and two to go.

Another goal was to become a Jedi Knight, but when that didn't work out, Jo started studying Shaolin Kempo. She now has a black belt, to go with her shoes, and she keeps going back for more, because hitting things is fun. An intervention may be in order.

Being a geek at heart, Jo has always been drawn to science fiction and fantasy. She writes both and hopes to introduce readers to worlds that wow them and characters that they can cheer for. Post Apocalyptic survivor stories are one of her favorites, as illustrated by her five book JAGGED SCARS series.

Jo lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her adorkable husband, Jon, who is very useful for science and computer information as well as getting items off of top shelves.

Author Links:


Website: http://joannschneider.com/dir/
Facebook: https//www.facebook.com/JoannSchneiderAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jschneider.writer/

Review:


I went straight from reading Poisoned Iris to reading this book. I literally jotted down a few notes for my review after finishing it and picked up this book. So, I had to read a few chapters to transition from Irisya's world to Wendy's.

Fun tidbit: When the author describes the marketplace, it reminded me of the same kind of common area described in Divergent. 

This book was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I really can't pick out one thing that I didn't like about it. It was very well written and original and had a great story.

I LOVED Wendy! She is super-strong and super-smart, and even when she tries not to let emotions and human connections influence her actions, she shows her humanity. 

I was SO EXCITED when I got to the end of this book and there was a note, saying that if I signed up for the author's newsletter, I could download the next book in the series for free! Needless to say, I immediately downloaded and started reading Severed Ties. However, at that point, it was already almost 3am (yes, I stayed up that late to finish this book), and even though I did not have to work the next day, I had tons of homework to do and needed to get some sleep. I do admit trying pretty hard to talk myself out of going to bed so that I could continue reading (duh!).

This was my thought that night (and almost every other night, before I go to bed), even though I know it will always turn into "just one more chapter," after that! 
Image may contain: text 

I must also point out that this book does not have much of a romantic aspect, which is refreshing, and I don't think the author could have successfully thrown in either the clichè love triangle or created the super intense crush/romantic interest with an existing character, without taking away from Wendy's story and character. Thank you, Jo Schneider!

I think the author did a great job with Wendy's character! She is strong and independent and is a badass that can do just about anything, yet is constantly underestimated.

I can't (and won't) wait to see what happens next with Wendy and her new friends!

Right now, I am about 3/4 way through the next book in the Jagged Scars series, Severed Ties, so stay tuned for my review next week! Expect reviews of the next books in the series soon!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 


 Check out my review on GoodReads!

Giveaway:



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Friday, May 12, 2017

Poisoned Iris (The Red Era, #1) by Cindy Mezni

Poisoned Iris (The Red Era, #1)
Athens was once the cradle of civilization. Now, it's slowly but surely becoming the tomb of humanity. 
The Red Plague, a violent virus which had run rampant decades ago, left its imprint on the planet and the flesh of men. All that remains of the modern world is an endless wasteland of ruins - Erebos- and two cities- Elysion, the obscure island of the Non-Infecteds about which no one knows a thing, and, Tartaros, the crumbling town of the Infecteds, where despair, hatred, violence and poverty are the operative words. 
And at the heart of this universe lived Irisya, a sixteen-year-old Non-Infected girl, staying recluse in her home to be safe and relying on her brother, Memphis, for everything. 
But then, one day, he disappears without a trace.
Irisya has no choice. To save him, to survive, she will have to brave all the dangers of the outside world. 

Author Links:


Cindy Mezni, author of The Last Hope series, Poisoned Iris trilogy and Nëphyr trilogy


Review:


I got into this book really quickly. From the first page, the author sucks you into Irisya's dystopian world, and with each chapter, she builds a more complete picture of the chaos and terror that ensued after a plagued engulfed what was modern-day Greece. The Non-Infected fled Athens, gong across the sea to the island of Erobos, leaving the Infected to rule the island. Any Non-Infecteds left in Tartaros are in danger of all kinds, from being killed or sold, or taken from their homes and families to Erebos, of which they know nothing about. 

So, for years, Irisya has stayed inside the apartment she shares with her brother, Memphis, who impersonates an Infected daily, to be able to go out and provide for him and his sister (through means that he does not usually share with Irisya, but at times, she is able to guess).

Irisya's world is turned upside down when her brother disappears one day and does not return home. When she goes outside the apartment to look for him, she is spotted and identified as a Non-Infected almost immediately and must flee the area and the home that she has not left since she was a child, ad word of a Non-Infected in the area spreads rapidly, and Infecteds begin to hunt for her. 

Outside, in a word she had only heard horror stories about, with little knowledge of how to survive, Irisya begins her search for her brother, luckily running into help along the way. 

This book was AWESOME! Throughout the whole book, there are twists and surprises, and Irisya is put into all kinds of crazy situations in her journey to find her brother. 

I will note that the book was a bit long, but I don't think it was too long. I loved the amount of detail the author put into explaining why things are the way they are in the book. 

If you read any of my other book reviews, this may come as a surprise, but I even liked the way the romantic aspects were done in this book. My pet peeve is taking what would otherwise be a perfectly good book and throwing in the clichè love triangle and taking the focus away from the story, or creating a super strong female main character, who turns into a complete idiot over some stupid crush. In this book, the author was excellent at tying the love story in without taking anything away from the story or Irisya's character. 

I've also got to say that the author did an amazing job with the ending! Although I'm super anxious and excited to read the next book and see what happens next, it didn't leave off at a super crazy cliff hanger where you have to check and make sure it is actually the end of the book, and it's not missing the last chapter or something (yes, I've done this, more than I care to mention). The ending definitely left me with plenty of questions, but it essentially close up a big chapter of Irisya's story, leaving questions about how the next chapter will go. 

I ♥ ♥ ♥-ed this book! It took me a little longer than usual to read, but only because the book was a bit longer than I expected. However, that definitely wasn't a bad thing! I was happy to spend that time with Irisya and "her people." (Side note: I loved that she started saying this toward the end of the book.)

I will be waiting (not so patiently) for the next book in The Red Era series to be released so that I can find out what happens next with Irisya and "her people!"

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 Check out my review on GoodReads!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Vivatera by Candace J. Thomas

Vivatera (Vivatera, #1)
Not even Naomi's prophetic dreams prepare her for the mysterious wanderer who appears just in time to snatch her from danger - nor the upheaval he brings in his wake. No knight in shining armor, Reynolds once risked Naomi's life, and that dark secret again threatens it. When Naomi discovers the world of magic and of what she is capable, not even Reynolds can slow the fate barreling down upon them both.  

About the Author:

Candace J Thomas is an award-winner of Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi. She is the author of the Vivatera Series and Hawkweed, published by Xchyler Publishing. Her debut novel, Vivatera, won the LUW Diamond Award for Novel if the Year. Her Paranormal Satire Vampire-ish: A Hypochondriac's Tale was published in July 2016. Candie is known for her extreme fanatical love for Count Chocula and everything pop culture nerdy. She and her husband also run DWEEBISH STUDIOS for voice over and audio book recording. 

Links for the Author:

Twitter: @cjtwrites
Instagram: candacejthomas


Review:

For some reason, it took me a little longer than usual to get into this book. However, thinking back, after finishing the book, I don't know that it was the book's fault or just me having a super-weird (for me at least) lull, where I wanted to be lazy and watch TV before bed, instead of reading until I force myself to put the book down and stop reading (even though I usually convince myself "just one more chapter").

While it did take me a bit to start getting into this book, I definitely did get really into by about half way through. It doesn't really start out slow, but it does take a little time to explain things and start putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together. However, it was suspenseful and surprising throughout the whole book. I definitely couldn't have predicted much of what happened. 

I loved this book!!! Unlike some books in series I've read lately, I think it wraps things up nicely. It wrapped it up nicely enough that I'm eager to see what happens next, but not super pissed that they left it at such a cliff hanger that I cannot stand to wait another second to read the next book. 

I really did think the author did a great job with the ending. It perfectly closed a chapter in Naomi's life, leaving a few loose ends to wonder about, and making it clear that the story would continue. I did not close this book thinking "are you kidding me? then immediately looking to see how long I have to wait to see what happens next." However, I did just look to see how long I have to wait, and the next book in the series is already out! Yay! So, I don't have to wait long at all to see what happens next with Naomi.

The only small issue I had with this book was the way that Naomi's dreams are written. They are kind of hard to understand/decipher. I know they're not supposed to make complete sense, but they seemed kind of odd to me. 

Overall, I really liked this book and am definitely going to pick up the rest of the series! 

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. 

 Check out my review on GoodReads!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Beautiful Nightmare: Some Dreams Become Your Reality by Ashley Marie Nestler

Beautiful Nightmare: Some Dreams Become Your Reality
Long ago, the world suffered a terrible war, leaving behind only a select few hundred people. Believing that strong emotions fueled the war, those who survived created a town named Lunamoon, where each new human would be altered to be unable to feel emotion. 
They decide to choose only one man in each generation to be named the dream maker, and he would create dreams for everyone to tell them what their jobs and life outcomes would be.
The dream maker is able to live in solitude for the duration of his life, but the moment that the current dream maker is born, everything changes. Shawneleigh, a premature child was born with narcolepsy on the same day as the dream maker, lives on her own in the hospital. Through her sporadic sleeping spells and the connection they made at birth, she and the dream maker are able to connect through her dreams. They become friends, and then, fall in love.
Beautiful Nightmare is a tale of love and faith, showing how we can stand up for ourselves, while standing against those who want others to fail. For through it all, in the end, there is love.
First-time author, Ashley Marie Nestler, grew up in Westminster, Colorado. "I have lived right by the mountains all of my live, and the beauty really inspired me with this novel. 

Review: 

I have to point this out before  I say anything about the book. I found this out shortly before I started reading it. This is the author's debut novel, and she wrote it during her senior year of high school. Let that sink in for a minute. Think about what you were doing during high school. In my case, I was a super boring honor's student, scared about graduating high school and going to college. I have always loved to read and have, on occasion, fantasized about writing a book someday. However, I couldn't imagine my 17 year old self sitting down, putting pen to paper and finishing a whole novel, much less having the courage to publish it myself. Needless to say, I was super impressed before I even read the first sentence.

Now on to the book: the story has an interesting and unique premise - the people of Lunamoon's brains are altered when they are born, removing their emotions. While this is a great concept, I think the follow through could have been better. It seemed like there were too many inconsistencies and contradictions, and things that didn't make much sense. For example, for people that are supposed to be devoid of emotions, they sure are prone to experiencing some pretty strong emotions, like jealousy, rage, and for some, love.

Also, I don't understand at all why a sex scene was included in this book. The world as they know it is turned upside down, and they sneak into an empty hospital-ish room for a quickie, when she wasn't even aware what kissing was earlier in the book? I thought that this was kind of tasteless and am not sure what the point was. This could be just me, though.

The ending of this book totally threw me for a loop. There were some aspects thrown in there that I didn't think really fit in with the rest of the story. I don't want to give away an spoilers, but the ending seemed like a completely different book. To me, it seems like too many different plot lines were popping up that didn't mesh with the rest of the story.

However, overall, I definitely respect the author for writing this book and putting it out there. If this is what she accomplished during her senior year in high school, I would definitely like to see what she can do later in life. Although this book wasn't my favorite, I would definitely read another book that she writes!

I received a copy of this book for free, in exchange for an honest review.



 Check out my review on GoodReads!