Thursday, October 31, 2013

Brad About Books: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Read on May 6, 2013
Published: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 291 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: Fairytale Retellings, #3


Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.

Fathomless is an electric, astonishing novel that had absorbed every part of me - I couldn't shake this book loose from me. Everything about this book is unique and stunning, and it has easily became one of my favorite books of all-time. The world-building, the characters, the writing, everything was flawless. Phenomenal.

It's no secret that I adore all of Jackson Pearce's books, and I was so excited to dive (no pun intended) into Fathomless. And with every Pearce novel, I was blown away immensely. Pearce has such an original and captivating writing style - what I especially loved about Fathomless was the dual perspective between Celia and Lo. Both girls are totally different, but they're both striving for the same goal - wanting more in life. Celia can only see the past, so her and Lo make a perfect team. I loved how the suspense of Lo was kept consistent throughout the entire novel. I wasn't always positive Lo was totally innocent and good, and I loved that suspense dangling in front of my face. So, so amazing.

I'm a huge fan of fairytale re-tellings, and I adored how Jackson Pearce tackled Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. She wasn't afraid to get dark and morbid (like the original tale) with the story - how she executed the storyline to fit the original tale, while making it her own still, was absolutely brilliant. Fathomless wrapped itself around my mind and never let me go. If I wasn't caught up in these pages, it was the only thing on my mind. The suspense, the characters, the haunting and dark past: they haunted me long after I turned the final page. And I loved every second of it.

That ending was so smart! I didn't see the plot twists coming in Fathomless - every one of the turns took me by surprise and had me invested even further into the story. I loved how each novel in the Fairytale Retelling series intertwine with each other in some way; it just proves how flawlessly Pearce plotted out the series. If you're needing a great paranormal read that will keep you up late at night, this is the series for you. Fathomless is a true gem.

Overall, Fathomless is a marvelous, one of a kind story that shouldn't be missed. Love.

M Y   R A T I N G

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Brad About Books: Waterfell by Amalie Howard

Read from October 26 to 27, 2013
Expected Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: ARC
Page Count: 350 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: The Aquarathi, #1


Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age. 

Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?

Welcome to the Aquarathi, the ocean's best-kept secret...

Waterfell is a completely consuming read that enchanted me in right from the beginning and had me hooked. For fans of Of Poseidon and Wake, Waterfell is a fantastic tale that shouldn't be missed.

This novel caught my attention when I heard the awesome synopsis, plus the absolutely fantastic cover, and I just knew I had to read it. What I thought was unique about Waterfell was how the dilemma and main protagonist, Nerissa, were structured. It seems like the norm would be for the character to find out that they are destined for greatness and must pass trials in order to achieve this - however, that is not the case with Waterfell. Nerissa knows exactly who she is and what she must do, and I absolutely loved that change that Howard brought us. Nerissa was a stunning character. She was flawed, but she was determined to take back her rightful throne, no matter what the cost. And though she allows herself to fall for the mortal Lo, she knows she must have Waterfell back in her possession. Waterfell is a unique, captivating read that had me turning pages as fast as I could - a fantastic whirlpool of a novel.

I love anything and everything ocean novels, and Waterfell definitely leaves its mark. I loved the legends and lore brought up in Waterfell and how Amalie Howard weaved together the Aquarathi to a mystical, enticing place of danger and deceit. If I only had one problem with Waterfell, it would be that I would have liked to seen more of the antagonist throughout the entire novel. The journey to Waterfell with Nerissa and Lo was incredible - Howard's descriptions are stellar, and I truly felt like I was emerged into this world. If you're looking for a great paranormal read, I highly recommend Waterfell.

Betrayals and scandals are afloat in Waterfell, and it was so interesting to see how Howard put a paranormal twist on these betrayals. There are so many twists and turns in Waterfell that I didn't see coming - they shocked, surprised, and captivated me, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Waterfell is an engaging, phenomenal start to a very promising series - Howard is a brilliant voice in young adult.

Overall, Waterfell is everything I love in a novel: exceptional world-building, a genuine and authentic romance, and a plot that's so addictive, I stayed up late into the night to devour this story. So, so great.

M Y    R A T I N G

Friday, October 25, 2013

Brad About Books: Altered by Gennifer Albin

Read on June 10, 2013
Expected Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: FSG (Macmillan)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 400 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: Crewel World, #2

This review is entirely spoiler free, even if you haven't read book one, Crewel.

Altered is dazzling, epic sequel that had me in moments of suspense and others loving to explore this new exotic world with Adelice. Gennifer Albin nailed it with this sequel.

After the mind-blowing ending of Crewel, the circumstances have changed, and everything is deceptive and dangerous. Albin does a fantastic job at building upon this new world and developing the characters even further. It's so interesting to see how much things have changed since Crewel - Altered brings forth a world that will shock you, shake you, and have you in its clutches. This is easily one of the best sequels I've ever read. It plays upon the already built arc of a story, while adding new key elements that were brilliant. I love everything about this series, and you should too. It's absolutely fantastic.

The characters are truly one of a kind. Adelice starts off a bit naïve in the first book, but now that everything has changed, she's fierce and strong, and she knows what she wants from the world. Albin took her character development to a whole new level in Altered; it proves that Adelice is one of the best protagonists out there in YA. Loyal, determined, and a gem of a protagonist, Adelice is stunning. But only does Adelice evolve and morph in Altered; Jost and Erik evolve as well. They become awesome heroes who would do anything to protect Adelice, and I really appreciated Albin's way of progressing their relationships with Adelice. Altered is a phenomenal sequel that's not just unique, it's addictive. 

That ending! Woah! Gennifer Albin is a master of plot twists, and there are so many twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Altered will wrap itself around your mind, and you won't be able to put this novel down. Mind-bending, mind-blowing, and 100% consuming, Altered is an incredible addition to this masterpiece of a series. I need the third book like crazy!

Overall, Altered is marvelous sequel that had me on the edge the entire time, and I loved every second of it.

M Y    R A T I N G

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Brad About Books: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce {Re-Read Review}

Re-read on May 6, 2013
Published: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 310 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: Fairytale Retellings, #2

As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear, too.

Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They're invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.

Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past -- until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn't gone -- it's lurking in the forest, preying on girls every year after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is.

Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.

Sweetly is a rich, fantastically incredible story that captured me right from the beginning and never let me go until the chilling, epic ending. Sweetly enchanted me with its wonderful writing and stunning characters!

This is one of my favorite series of all-time, and I just had to re-read Sweetly - and it was just as amazing the second time around. Jackson Pearce retells these fairytales in such a way that grabs the reader right from the first page. It's absolutely impossible to put this book down. Gretchen and Ansel have run out of luck and must stay with Sophia, a mysterious, yet beautiful candymaker, and Pearce creates a marvelous suspense that looms over the reader and will have them biting at the nails, turning pages as quickly as possible. I lost myself in this world, but I never wanted it to end. Incredible.

Gretchen and Ansel are stunning characters. They're flawed and broken, but they still have each other in this world. And I loved the brother-sister relationship between them; they fight, don't always agree, but at the end of the day, they love each other and would do anything for the other. Jackson Pearce does a phenomenal job at building their relationship. Sophia is so creepy! She's very sweet and nice, but there's just something off about her. I knew that Pearce could make fantastic characters, but Sweetly definitely proves it. 

The world-building? Brilliant. The idea of setting a Hansel and Gretel re-telling in the south was incredible, and it really added to the eerie factor. Everyone seems friendly and knows each other, but there's a darkness swirling around in the shadows in Live Oak, South Carolina, and Gretchen is determined to find out what. Every dark corner, nook, and cranny was masterfully plotted, and I absolutely loved this book to pieces. So, so amazing.

Overall, Sweetly is an enchanted, fantastic tale that had me entangled with these characters and world - it was unputdownable. If you're needing a story like none other, Sweetly is definitely for you.

M Y   R A T I N G

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Brad About Books: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

Read from October 7 to 9, 2013
Expected Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: ARC
Page Count: 342 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2

This review is entirely spoiler free, even if you haven't read book one, The Lost Prince.

Talk about a whirlwind of emotions. The Iron Traitor is an electrifying sequel that not only set the bar high for faerie novels, it proves Julie Kagawa's mark in YA. One of a kind.

We got to see so much of Ethan, our main character, in The Lost Prince, but in this sequel, his character development is taken to a whole new level. He knows and understands who he truly is, but now he's having to readjust to the reality around him. With bullies and love dilemmas, Ethan's life is stressful in The Iron Traitor, but Kagawa does an exceptional job at bringing his character to life off the page. He has evolved so much from book one, and right from the first page, his character development skyrockets. Ethan is truly a hero for the ages.

So. Much. Action. There is never a dull moment in The Iron Traitor - I found it near impossible to tear my eyes away from the page, just because there was so much tension and fast-paced moments on the page. I knew that Julie Kagawa is a master of thrilling scenes from the previous Iron Fey novels, but she proves herself in The Iron Traitor. The Forgotten! They're so creepy and delirious, but I couldn't get enough of them. And the world-building that is built upon the Nevernever was awesome. We get to see the most darkest sides of the world in this second novel, and I adored that. Thrilling and intense, The Iron Traitor is an epic story that will have your eyes glued to the pages and your pulse racing.

If you thought that The Lost Prince was awesome, prepare to have your mind blown by The Iron Traitor. Like the title infers, there's some betrayal circling this world, but I never expected the secrets that are revealed to be so addictive and consuming. If I have to knock anything about this sequel, it would have to be that I felt the middle was a bit draggy. It picked up very quickly, but it was a little sluggish in the middle. But most definitely, I never wanted this book to end; I was so tangled up in this world, it was impossible to escape it. More, please!

Overall, The Iron Traitor is an incredible sequel of deception, love, and the true cost of betrayal. With wonderful writing and incredible characters, The Iron Traitor shouldn't be missed!

M Y    R A T I N G

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Brad About Books: 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Read on June 17, 2013
Published: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 368 pages
Source: RAK

Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo. 

Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.

By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.

3:59 is a spine-tingling, chilling read that shook me to the bone and had me so wrapped up in this world. Gretchen McNeil has created another supernatural masterpiece - one that sets the bar high and can't be topped. I fell in love with this book so hard.

Gretchen McNeil has written some of my favorite books of all time: they're always spooky and haunting, and I just can't get enough of them. 3:59 was no exception to McNeil's incredible storytelling. Everything about 3:59 will send chills down your spine and have you looking over your shoulder. The best thing about McNeil's novels is how all of them are so original: Possess has demons and exterminating them, Ten is a creeptastic murder mystery that kept me up all night, and 3:59 is parallel worlds and the danger of how looks can be deceiving. Gretchen McNeil's novels are the perfect creepy readers, and I highly recommend them all. 3:59 is so fantastic. I've never seen a novel like this before, and the way that McNeil tied in the worlds and brought in deception was mind-blowing. Chilling and eerie, 3:59 is a read that kept me up late at night, turning pages as fast as I could. Absolutely loved this book.

I love to compare and contrast in books, and 3:59 has some great examples. The balance between Josie and Jo is incredible - they are similar in traits, but at the end of the day, they are far from similar. They each want different things and are willing to use lethal tactics in order to succeed in them. I adored how Gretchen McNeil tied Josie and Jo together but gave them different outlooks on life; everything about these two characters were phenomenal. I love a good world-building structure in a novel, and woah, 3:59 has brilliant world-building. Josie's world is crumbling all around her - sorrow and danger is everywhere she turns. Jo's world is literally crumbling at the seams. The shadowy creatures that eat human flesh in the night scared me and rocked me to my core, and Jo's world is absolutely consuming and reckless. If you love a story that will leave a mark on you long after you turn the final page, then 3:59 is the book for you.

That ending! All the feels! With a Gretchen McNeil novel, I can always count on a shocking ending, and I totally got that with 3:59. There were so many plot twists in 3:59 that I didn't see coming, and one scene in particular made me jump out of my seat. I was always on the edge of my seat during this supernatural masterpiece, and I adored this book so much. Highly, highly recommended!

Overall, 3:59 is an addictive, absorbing novel that shouldn't be missed. Thrilling and masterfully done, 3:59 is a true gem.

M Y   R A T I N G

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Brad About Books: UnSouled by Neal Shusterman

Read from September 11 to 12, 2013
Published: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Format: ARC
Page Count: 403 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: Unwind, #3

This review is entirely spoiler free, even if you haven't started this series.

Okay, sure. Dystopian is immensely enormous right now, and though I personally adore the genre, I just can't seem to escape it. However, the Unwind dystology is one of the most original and shockingly incredible dystopian series I have ever. I've never came across a series like this: this powerful, this captivating, this authentic. And UnSouled was a fantastic addition to this series.

We've been through so much with these kids throughout the first two books. And you might be thinking to yourself, 'There is no way that this can get any worse.' If you thought that, you were wrong. New questions and stakes are raised in this third volume, and (once again) Shusterman does an exceptional job at building up this world and adding even more foundation to it. More action flies at the reader, the writing is incredible, and the character development is brilliant. From the characters that we first met in Unwind to the new characters added in UnWholly and UnSouled, each character evolves in some way to make them either better or wicked; and I loved that.

If I had to knock the series for anything, it would have to be that there are way too many characters and points of view. I liked having multiple characters in the beginning, but we have to be following at least ten different characters in UnSouled. Some have many chapters, others a few here and there. The "here and there" character chapters are what bugs me: with having to keep up with other characters, it was very hard for me to try to remember what happened to a character that we saw 200 pages ago. That's my biggest issue with the series. It grew on me towards the end of the book, but it was definitely a struggle to keep up with so many unique characters.

I thought that the Bill of Life dilemma was settled at the end of UnWholly, but Shusterman threw a plot twist on me in UnSouled that I didn't see coming. More dilemmas are ascending, and the tragedies keep adding up in this world. I have to say, UnSouled is my personal favorite of the series so far. There's mystery, romance, suspense, action, and mind-blowing endings. I can't wait to see how everything turns out in the next book!

Overall, UnSouled is a very nice addition to this ever epic saga. Wholly unique and addictive, I couldn't get enough of UnSouled!

M Y    R A T I N G

Friday, October 11, 2013

Brad About Books: Horde by Ann Aguirre

Read from May 17 to 18, 2013
Expected Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 432 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: Razorland, #3

This review is entirely spoiler free, even if you haven't started this series.

Check out my reviews for the first two novels in the Razorland trilogy:

The horde is coming.

Horde is an epic and highly satisfying conclusion to one of the best, well-done post-apocalytpic series out there. Brutal, addictive, and wholly original, Horde is a fantastic finale that will have readers hanging on tightly for this wild ride to never end. 

I already knew that this series is filled with tension, scandal, betrayal, and all that fun stuff, but Horde takes the circumstances to a whole new level. As the Freaks grow rapidly, Deuce must stand strong with her army against this harsh wasteland. The best - and I do mean, best - part about the Razorland trilogy is Deuce, simply put. Her character development, her kick-butt ways, her defense for the ones she loves, everything that Deuce is and stands for is phenomenal. Ann Aguirre has done a tremendous and fantastic job with developing Deuce from the moment we first see her as a Brat to becoming a hero for this crumbling world. If you love a strong, fierce protagonist to fall in love with, Deuce is the way to go.

I just have to talk about the world-building in Horde. We have got to see so many sides of this world, but it all comes down to this final moment in this electrifying conclusion. The tables have turned, and Deuce is on the run to save herself from the massive horde. Getting to see even more of this Freak filled world was great, and I loved how Aguirre managed to build even more layers upon the world in each novel. Also what's great? Each novel is better than its predecessor. The characters and world evolve more, the writing becomes more lush and brutal, and everything about these books are great. Needing a book to emerge yourself in and never want to be taken out of the world? The Razorland trilogy is fantastic in every way possible.

Though I was so sad to let this series go, I couldn't have asked for a better ending. All the loose ends (and I'm talking questions that were raised back in book one and never brought up again) were tied up so nicely, and this ending was highly satisfying. Aguirre did a brilliant job with tying everything together in Horde; if you couldn't have guessed, I loved Horde so much. Definitely the best of the trilogy!

Overall, Horde is a phenomenal, masterfully done finale that will have readers chomping at the bits, zooming through pages as fast as they can. Ann Aguirre has done it again!

M Y   R A T I N G

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Brad About Books: Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

Read on July 18, 2013
Expected Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 464 pages
Source: ALA
Series: Stars, #2

This review is entirely spoiler free, even if you haven't read book one, For Darkness Shows the Stars.

Beginning to describe my love for this series is indescribably impossible. Across a Star-Swept Sea is  a beautiful and marvelous sequel that definitely proves Peterfreund's fantastic writing style and amazing plot. Across a Star-Swept Sea is one of my new favorite books, hands down.

The compare and contrast of For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star-Swept Sea is incredible: in book one, the world was ruined, and two lovers are trying to make their way around the wasteland. But in Across a Star-Swept Sea, the tables have turned, and we get to see a whole new perspective world - and I loved that so much! Diana Peterfreund did a phenomenal job with both building upon the preexisting world and showing a new side of this dark land. Persis is a deceptive, defiant, and all-around awesome protagonist; everything about Persis is interesting and awesome, while chilling at the same time. I loved the idea of Persis being the spark to a raging war - Persis is, simply put, one of the most stunning characters I've read about in a long time. And Justen was equally as great! Justen and Persis should be forbidden to fall in love, but when they come together, they're unstoppable. The character development in Across a Star-Swept Sea is truly one of a kind; I fell so hard for this book. 

I was already aware that Peterfreund had an exceptional writing style when I read For Darkness Shows the Stars, but Across a Star-Swept Sea knocked it out of the ballpark. The way Diana Peterfreund can craft a string of words together and make the world come to life is remarkable. It emerges you into the story so quickly, and I never wanted this novel to end. If you enjoyed book one, prepare to be blown away by this sequel. 

Deception. Betrayal. Second chances. Across a Star-Swept Sea incorporates all of these and blends them together for a nice, brilliant theme. I was always on the edge of my seat, turning pages rapidly. So many things of Across a Star-Swept Sea will have your stomach up in your throat and have your heart soaring for Persis and Justen's impossible romance. With a fantastic protagonist and incredible writing, Across a Star-Swept Sea is a masterpiece of love, defiance, and the choice of becoming who you are.

Overall, Across a Star-Swept Sea is easily one of my favorite books of the year... and of all time. Fantastically incredible, Across a Star-Swept Sea shouldn't be missed - amazing!

M Y    R A T I N G

Monday, October 7, 2013

Brad About Books: Teardrop by Lauren Kate

Read on July 21, 2013
Expected Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 441 pages
Source: ALA
Series: Teardrop, #1

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined. From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

Teardrop is a sizzling, daring love story that consumed me and drained me with its gorgeous prose and haunting aurora - I fell so hard for this book.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into Teardrop. After I had turn the final page, I was completely blown away by this book. The characters, the relationship, the world-building, the secrets, the betrayal, everything about Teardrop worked for me on so many levels. I loved how Lauren Kate intertwined Atlantis with this excellently-done romance, and the way the two connected was beyond phenomenal. Haunting, electric, and deeply addictive, Teardrop is a fantastic novel of love, heartbreak, and dark secrets that will be brought to light; this novel shouldn't be missed.

Eureka was a great character. I love having the best of both worlds in a character, and Eureka definitely possesses that; she can be a great, kick-butt character at times, but then she can be a little dependent and not be comfortable with having the weight of the world on her shoulders. For some reason, this quality worked for Eureka for me. And Ander and Brooks were great male leads. They complemented and contrasted Eureka so well, and they played such dynamic and epic roles in Teardrop. Teardrop is a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat worthy kind of read that I couldn't put down. If I wasn't reading the book, it was the only thing on my mind. Loved this book so much.

Anything with mythology in it, I'm good to go for it: how Lauren Kate took on Atlantis and spun it to her own was marvelous. Having magic racing through Eureka was a nice change-up, and I couldn't deny that Teardrop was completely irresistible. If you love books with a fantastic world-building, great writing, and a one of a kind story, Teardrop is for you. Dazzling and wonderful, Teardrop is a true gem.

Overall, Teardrop is an epic and vibrant novel that will have you turning pages as fast as you can. I was so wrapped up in this world, I couldn't get enough. I want the sequel pronto!

M Y   R A T I N G

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Brad About Books: The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney

Read on July 21, 2013
Expected Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: ARC
Page Count: 336 pages
Source: ALA


A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become.

Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her duty to uphold it.

The Dark Knight meets Cinder in this gripping and cinematic story of heartbreak and revenge. From Alloy Entertainment, this inventive new superhero story is sure to captivate any reader.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock...

The Brokenhearted is a phenomenal novel that is equally unique and epic. I have never read a story like this masterful one, and I adored every single minute of The Brokenhearted.

The Dark Knight meets Cinder. A girl receives a bionic heart - one that makes her like a superhero - that is counting down like warfare. What more do you need to hear to convince you to read The Brokenhearted?! I was so excited to dive into this novel - luckily, all of my expectations were met. I expected a highly addictive and epic story that would grab me at the beginning and make me feel entwined with this world, and thankfully, The Brokenhearted did just that for me. I don't think I've ever read a "superhero" type of story, but I was so pleasantly surprised to see just how fantastic The Brokenhearted was. I truly loved every thing about this book. Definitely a new favorite read of mine.

The world-building was stunning. Chicago is now a dark, hollow place, and it's up to Anthem Fleet to stop the sinister forces determined to take everyone down. Betrayal is such an awesome topic in YA books, and betrayal basically revolves around The Brokenhearted. As Anthem uncovers the truth about her family, she's thrust deeper into darkness and evil, but with her bionic heart, she's unstoppable. Anthem is such an amazing character. Sure, she's naïve at first (who wouldn't be when you're a cyborg suddenly?), but as The Brokenhearted progresses, Anthem evolves and becomes such a fierce, epic protagonist that is willing to take on anything. The Brokenhearted as one of the best world-building and character-developments I've seen in a young adult book in a long time.

That ending! Thrilling! Action-packed! Biting-your-nails worthy! I zoomed through the final 100 pages of The Brokenhearted. Kahaney spun a plot twist on the ending that made me so absorbed and caught up in the pages, but I couldn't stop turning the pages and emerging myself farther into the story. But that ending! Please tell me there's a sequel; I need more of this world. The Brokenhearted is easily one of my favorite books of the year.

Overall, The Brokenhearted is a dazzling, marvelous novel that is sure to be a mega hit. For fans of Revenge and Revolution 19, The Brokenhearted will captivate you and consume you!

M Y   R A T I N G

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Brad About Books: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Read from July 20 to 21, 2013
Expected Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: ARC
Page Count: 512 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: The Darkest Minds, #2

This review is spoiler free, even if you haven't read book one, The Darkest Minds.

Never Fade is an electrifying, sizzling sequel that not only met my expectations - it surpassed them. Even better than the first book!

Beginning to say how epic and fantastic this series is is nearly impossible. I'll try to do my best: this is a dystopian series like none other. Super powers, on the run, and falling in love along the way all combine to make an equally great and one of a kind story. Everything is more dangerous and treacherous than before, and I couldn't put Never Fade down. The storyline moved so rapidly, I got invested into the story and couldn't leave the world. I love it when a book does that to me, especially a sequel. So good!

Ruby becomes such a fierce and determined character in this novel. She knows the risks, but she's willing to push all the limits in this daring, dazzling second installment. I was so surprised to see just how much she had evolved! Bracken is a master with character development. Each character grows and changes - some for the better, others for the worse (which in this case, made for an exciting plot) - and everybody gets a spotlight. Loved that about Never Fade. Never Fade is fantastically incredible, and it's a marvelous gem in the YA genre. If you loved The Darkest Minds, you're going to be even more captivated by Never Fade! Stunning!

We've all heard - and seen in action - the dreaded Sequel Syndrome, in which a sequel doesn't even compare to the first novel's awesomeness. I was so thrilled to see that Never Fade was even better The Darkest Minds. The plot was more epic, the writing was superb, and all the characters either unraveled or grew tremendously. I can't even explain my love for Never Fade. I need the third novel now! 

Overall, Never Fade is a phenomenal sequel that lured me in and never let me go. I never wanted to fade away from this story!

M Y   R A T I N G

Friday, October 4, 2013

Brad About Books: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Read from July 19 to 20, 2013
Published: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 488 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: The Darkest Minds, #1

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

The Darkest Minds is an interesting, unique ride that gripped me tight and never let me go. Bracken has woven together a great dystopian that will shake you to your bones.

We've all seen the dystopian craze spread like a virus. The thing that makes The Darkest Minds stand out against other dystopians is more focus on the superpowers instead of the government and society. The government and society is still there - they make this novel chilling and haunting, and I adored that. But what I loved most was the superpowers or so-called "curses" that the characters possess in The Darkest Minds. They make each character original and set them apart from other ensembles in dystopians. Everything about The Darkest Minds is original, and I loved it so much!

Anything with people being on the run and in hiding, I'm down for. And that's exactly what The Darkest Minds offers. It's impossible to set this novel down; each chapter brings fast-paced, thrilling scenes that will keep readers's eyes glued to the novel and turning pages as fast as they can. Alexandra Bracken was this way of writing that captured me into East River and made me feel like I was training and fighting alongside with Ruby (by the way, she was a phenomenal protagonist!), and her writing style was, simply put, enticing and engrossing. For fans of X-Men and Unwind, The Darkest Minds did not disappoint! Fantastic!

The Darkest Minds is one of those one-sitting reads. Though it may be a behemoth, The Darkest Minds is so captivating, it's hard to leave this world. If I wasn't reading the novel, it was on my mind always - that's how much this book consumed me. If you're a fan of anything dystopian, The Darkest Minds is a fantastic novel that to emerge yourself in. Hauntingly beautiful and masterfully crafted, The Darkest Minds is sure to be a hit!

Overall, The Darkest Minds is a rich, action-filled novel that is an powerful and ultimately incredible story.  A must-read!

M Y   R A T I N G

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Brad About Books: Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

Read from April 29 to 30, 2013
Expected Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (Macmillan)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 464 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: Ruby Red, #3

This review is entirely spoiler free, even if you haven't started this series.

Read my reviews for previous novels in this series:

Talk about a fantastic ending! Emerald Green is an incredible, stunning conclusion to one of the most addictive YA series. Nailed it!

Don't you just love that feeling when you walk away from a series and know that each novel in said series was even better than its predecessor? That's how I feel about the Ruby Red trilogy. Every single book was better than the one before it. Emerald Green was truly fantastic! Kerstin Gier brought it every single question raised in the first two novels and tied up all the loose ends. And every question played an important role to the story! Emerald Green definitely showed that Gier was a master of wrapping everything up very nicely, and I applaud her for that. If you love this series, Emerald Green will not disappoint at all!

I have to talk about Gwen: she's the best. She was naïve about the whole time travel experience in the first novel, but in Emerald Green, everything is on her shoulders, but she's ready to tackle it head-on. She's grown so much as a character over this trilogy, and it's been a blast to go on these adventures with her and watch her mature and evolve. Due to circumstances with with Gideon and Gwen, Emerald Green made it very tough on their relationship. The boulders and mountains they must climb to achieve what they both want is extraordinary, and I appreciate how Gier wasn't afraid to break Gideon and Gwen down to ashes. They've faced so many hardships, but Emerald Green puts their bonds of love to the ultimate test. I loved that so much!

It's insane how much backhistory and research goes into these novels. We're presented with family trees and maps to complement the story, and I have to admit, Emerald Green provided my most favorite information about Gwen's past. I was shocked and stunned with how much work has gone into these novels, and I loved every single bit of it. I'm sad to see this series go, but I couldn't have asked for a better ending. Brilliant!

Overall, Emerald Green is a phenomenal finale to a marvelous, unique series that shines bright. Loved it so much!

M Y    R A T I N G