Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cover Reveal: Defy by Raine Thomas

The cover for Raine Thomas's book, Defy (Firstborn, #1), has been revealed!

Defy (Firstborn, #1) by Raine Thomas
Release Date: April 30, 2012

Seventeen-year-old Tate is about to make her parents’ dreams come true. Unfortunately for her, their dreams foretell her death.

Eager to explore more of the Estilorian plane and prove her abilities, Tate goes against her parents’ wishes and leaves the area of protection surrounding her home. Her choice puts her on a deadly path…one that leaves her alone, severely injured and battling for her life.

Her possible savior arrives in the form of Zachariah, a male who has removed himself from Estilorian society for more than fifty years. Fighting an unexpected connection to Tate, he must decide whether saving her life is worth destroying his.

As Tate struggles to find a way home, she ends up drawn into a dark Mercesti plot involving multiple murders and a powerful ancient artifact. With the unpredictable Zachariah as her only source for aid, she’ll soon find out if her abilities are strong enough to help her defy her Fate.
 What do you think?? I personally cannot wait to read this book!

Further actions:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

Release Date: December 29, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
Author Information:  Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook
Genre: Paranormal
Available Formats: Paperback and eBook
My Shelf:
Want to Buy
When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.

So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.

Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk...

Oh, my disappoint runs deep. After having loved the first book, maybe my expectations were too high for this one? Regardless, I am disappointed. I enjoyed this book, but that is about the extent of it. I have no resonant feelings or thoughts concerning the story, making My Soul to Save just….forgettable. It’s a decent read and a passable sequel, but nothing more.

I think the thing I am most dissatisfied with is the change in character personality and dynamic. Was Kaylee always that infuriating and headstrong? Did she always come across as a grating know-it-all, and this is just my first time noticing? I really liked her in the first book, but she seemed to have undergone a change for the worst in this one. Nash is much the same as before, but seeing as how I did not really care for him before says little. However, the person that changed the most was Tod. Seriously, Tod’s personality did a complete 180. What happened to his snarkiness and snubbery that I loved in the first book? Also, he never striked me as a character who would lie and risk Kaylee’s life, especially when he went out of his way to save her and her family last time. In this book, he just seemed uncaring and stubborn, and not at all like the Tod I was hoping to see more of. I was also hoping for some more reconciliation/emotional bonding moments between Kaylee and her father, but there was little to none of that either.

However, the one thing that irritated me the most in this book was Nash and Kaylee’s ‘love.’ While I never particularly cared for Kaylee and Nash’s relationship in My Soul toTake, this book quickly turned my mundane feelings for their romance into hardcore resentment and hate. There is no depth to their feelings for one another. They do not have any heartfelt discussions, no exchange of feelings. Kaylee wonders a few times what Nash wants from her and what he sees in her, and that question is never answered, which made me even more disenchanted with their ‘romance.’ They just seem like hormone-filled, lustful teenagers whose relationship only consists of (heavy) pawing at one another. For me, their relationship has become intolerable.

I also never understood why they tried so hard to save Addison. I could not see why they would risk everything, especially their lives, to save a pop star they hardly knew. She made her bed, so she should lay in it. I know it seems uncompassionate of me to say these things, but even at the end of the novel, Nash was yelling at Addison to quit thinking of herself and to get her head out of her rear. So why, WHY, WHY, would you risk your life to save someone like her? It made no sense to me, and I was not buying it.

Like I mentioned in the beginning, this book is a decent read, just not was I was expecting. (Please excuse all my ranting.) The story did have some good points, such as delving into the idea of selling your soul for fame and fortune. I also liked discovering more of the Netherworld and its components/inhabitants. I hope the next book in the series, My Soul to Keep, proves to be better than this one. I am going to try and lower my expectations this time around.
A Decent Escape

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Release Date: August 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Author Information: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook
Genre: Paranormal
Available Formats: Paperback and eBook
My Shelf:
Want to Buy
Other Books in Series: My Soul to Lose (#0.5)
Buy the Book:
Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Books-A-Million
She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

I LOVED this book. To be honest, I am actually pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it. Based on the synopsis, I was expecting something about a girl hung up on the “hottest guy in school,” with some awkward standard paranormal elements added in to make a typical YA paranormal+romance story concoction.  However, this book had none of that, for which I am very grateful. My Soul to Take is refreshingly original, beautifully written, and something you should not miss out on.

My favorite thing about this book was the paranormal/mythology components present. This is my first time reading a book about banshees, and it proved to be a very enlightening and entertaining read. I liked learning the mythology behind banshees (and I also like how there are male banshees), and it is nice to have some deviation from the typical vampire/werewolf/faerie/[insert any other common fantastical being here] stories found in abundance nowadays. The characters were well-crafted, and for what feels like the first time in a long time, none of them annoyed me. Kaylee is definitely one of the better female leads out there, and she is smart and quick on her feet. I am partially in love with Tod and his snarky demeanor, and I hope we get to see more of him in the next book. Nash was a little too one-dimensional for my tastes, but I did not mind him so much. The romance between Nash and Kaylee suffers from insta-love, and it was my least favorite part of the book. I am actually hoping for something to happen between Tod and Kaylee myself, since Tod actually has some (interesting) depth to him and I loved the interactions between the two of them. However, this book does not focus on the romance that much, so Kaylee and Nash’s relationship was bearable. Maybe I am just over the whole ‘popular playboy who falls for the unnoticed one’ dynamic, but nonetheless, I am hoping something to develop between Kaylee and Tod. *crosses fingers* Maybe I should just be happy with what I get and be appreciative of the fact that there is no love triangle. A bad romance trumps a love triangle any day.

     Not that kind of bad romance...

This book has become one of my new guilty pleasures. I am almost embarrassed to admit how much I am looking forward to reading the second book! My Soul to Take was SO GOOD, and if the next book, My Soul to Save, is even half as good as this one, then I am sure I will love it. This story is imaginative and rather unprecedented, and I cannot wait for more. Here’s to finding a new series to obsess over!
The Greatest Escape!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (15): Valkyrie Rising

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spineand it is a weekly event showcasing an  upcoming release we're excited for!
My Pick:

Release Date: October 9, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary (taken from Goodreads):

Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there. 

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly there’s a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them. 

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.
Finally, a YA book set in Norway!! For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with Norway, so it nice to see this country getting some love! This book sounds amazing (and add to the fact that it is set in Norway), and I am super excited for its release! Hurry up, October!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Author Information: Website / Blog / Twitter
Genre: Paranormal
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, and eBook
My Shelf: Want to Buy
Other Books in Series: Raised by Wolves
There can only be one alpha.

Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack—or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.

But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were.  With threats—old and new—looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And, she’s going to have to do it alone.

Bryn faces both the costs, and the rewards, of love and loyalty, in this thrilling sequel to Raised by Wolves.

WOW! I thought the first book was good, but this book was infinitely better! The story is even more enthralling and politically turbulent than before, and it completely captivated me. The writing is more lush and emotional, and I ate up every word. I fell more in love with the characters, especially Bryn and Devon. I feel like whatever I say about this book, or no matter how much I gush, I will never do justice to just how amazing and original of a series this is.

I love how strong of a character Bryn is. Even though she is both human and female, she is Alpha of her pack, and she knows how to run it despite being inexperienced. She has some conflicts with some of the other Alphas due to her lack of werewolf-ness, but she never stands down.  She is smart, almost deviously so, and she knows how to strategize. I mentioned this earlier in my review for Raised by Wolves, but I will say it again: it is so nice to have a main character who knows how to use her head. More about Devon and his past is revealed in this book, and it made me adore him even more than before (which I did not think was possible). Old faces (and a few new ones) are back, and I loved seeing Ali back in all of her awesome, kick-butt glory. Something else that I love about this series: the romance between Chase and Bryn takes a backburner to everything else going on. There is so much going on in the story politically and strategically, so I think it would have lost most of its intensity had it focused more on the romance. It is really refreshing coming across paranormal YA novels that are not purely focused on some of the characters’ love lives.

This series has quickly become one of my favorites. I love the characters, I love the writing, I love the plot twists. I just love everything about it. The third book in the series, Taken by Storm, is due out May 22, 2012. I probably do not need to tell you how excited I am to read it! Is it possible that it will be even better than Raised by Wolves and Trial by Fire? I am eager to find out!
The Greatest Escape!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Eleven Minutes by Megan Miranda

Release Date: January 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Author Info: Website / BlogTwitter / Facebook
Genre: Supernatural
Available Formats: eBook
My Shelf: Own eBook
Additional Notes: Tie-In Story to Fracture
Get the Book (Free): Download here
Fracture is told from Delaney's perspective, and if you've read the first two chapters, you know that she falls through the ice in chapter one, and she wakes up 6 days later. And what happens in between—well, that's Decker's story.

This is the story of those eleven minutes, and the six days that follow, from his perspective. Because while it must be terrifying to be trapped under the ice, it's a different kind of terror seeing your best friend trapped...

Especially if it's your fault.

Eleven Minutes is told from Decker’s perspective, and it is a tie-in to Fracture. It is always nice to be able to read what happens from another character’s perspective, especially if that character is Decker. I adored him in Fracture, and I enjoyed learning more about him and getting his take on things. The story encompasses the eleven minutes Delaney was under the ice and the subsequent days she spent in a coma. Decker is desperate for Delaney to wake up, and he spends most of the time feeling guilty over the accident. While I knew he felt guilty for what happened, I had no idea how deep it ran until reading this. Decker’s story is heartbreaking and moving, and it made me love him all the more.

This was an excellent tie-in story, and you can read it without having read Fracture beforehand (although I recommend you do so). Also, at the very end of this short story, there is a short explanation from the author. I liked learning about what intrigued her to write Fracture, just as much as I liked learning more of what happened during and after Delaney’s accident. Eleven Minutes really provides some amazing insight on both the characters and the author herself, so you should not miss out!
A Great Escape!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Release Date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Author Information: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook
Genre: Supernatural
            Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, and eBook
My Shelf: Want to Buy
Additional Notes: Debut Novel
Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

If you only had one day left to live, what would you do?

Delaney Maxwell never got a chance to answer that question. In the span of eleven minutes, she found herself trapped underneath ice, unable to breathe, and eventually dies. However, against all odds, her heart starts to beat again and she regains consciousness after six days in a coma. But she has not emerged completely unscathed. She now has the ability to tell when people are going to die. In fact, she is drawn to them. She eventually meets a boy, Troy, with abilities similar to hers, and he has her questioning her mentality and morality of life and death. All the while, relations with her family become strained, and her friendship with Decker turns rocky as they try to sort out their feelings for one another. All these problems have Delaney really examining her own life and what it means to be given a second chance.

My favorite thing about this book was how deep it was. It delves into the complexity of the human mind, and it really made me wonder. The brain requires ~20% of our daily energy, and it basically controls all functions and senses, so how is it we use so little of it? How it is possible for people to see feelings as colors or have a sense of when someone is about to die? There is so little known about the brain, and I like how Miranda asks these questions and made me think. Something else I loved was how Delaney thinks about what it really means to be alive. By defying all odds and surviving her accident, she constantly wonders why she is alive and what it means to really die. No one knows what awaits us after death, but instead of fearing the unknown, we should live every day like it was our last. Miranda expresses these thoughts and ideas magically, and I loved reading them. There was also a wide range of emotions present in this book: guilt, love, fear, sadness, happiness. These emotions were deeply compelling, and they moved me beyond words. They were clearly expressed, and this book was all kinds of beautiful and heart-wrenching.

*SPOILERS* I have two (minor) problems with this book: the ending and the character development. I liked the characters for the most part, but I did not fall in love with any of them. I feel like Troy especially got the short end of the stick. Mysterious, depressed, captivating Troy was the most interesting character in the book, in my opinion. However, I did not like what happened to him in the end. Never once did he seem suicidal to me, so when he took his own life, I felt like it served more as a way for the author to tie-up loose ends than anything. Also, Tara was not needed. Her sole purpose in the book was to serve as a love interest/rival wedging her way between Delaney and Decker. There were plenty of other characters with that role, so her presence was more of an annoyance than an addition. Now onto the ending. I felt like it was too abrupt, and I still have quite a few questions. What ever happened between Janna and Delaney? What becomes of Delaney and her ability? The book ends with Decker and Delaney getting together, but there were so many other issues that were never resolved. I would have liked something a little more conclusive, but I will have to take what I can get. There has been no mention of a sequel for this book, but I am hoping for one! *END SPOILERS*

Overall, this was an excellent debut from Miranda. This book is thought provoking, original, and intelligent, and even without strong characters or romance, it is thus far one of the better reads of 2012. You should not miss out on it! There is also an exclusive tie-in story out, called Eleven Minutes. It is told from Decker’s point of view, and I am excited to check out his version of the story! 
A Great Escape!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Release Date: June 8, 2010
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Genre: Paranormal
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, and eBook
My Shelf: Want-to-Buy
Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it.  That doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two. 

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian's basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents' murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she's shaped?

I have done it! I have finally found a werewolf book that trumps all others (at least thus far). There have been numerous series that I have enjoyed, such as The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater or Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, but this book stands alone. The storyline and plot is complex, engaging, and addicting, and the writing is both simple and lush. This is a wonderful story that you should not miss out on!

The thing that I liked the most about this book and really set it apart from others of its kind was how well the ‘personality’ of the wolf came to life. Barnes meshes the human and wolf personalities flawlessly, leaving no dichotomy between them.  When I think of werewolves, I always imagined them as one entity, both human and wolf living symbiotically in one body, and Barnes portrays them exactly this way. She truly captured the essence of the wolf, at times bringing it to the forefront of the story. The main character, Bryn, is a human that has been raised by wolves, and while she cannot actually change into a wolf, she thinks and feels like one. During intense emotional moments or memories, her wolf’s voice would come forward. Pack, pack, pack. Blood, blood, blood. Alpha, protect, mine, survive. I know this way of thinking/writing irked many people, but I did not equate these simple, repetitive sentences with Bryn, but rather with her wolf. Wolves process things using emotions and smell: the smell of blood brings about thoughts of survival and protection, the smell of dominance brings about thoughts of alpha and pack. By using these simple thoughts and sentences, Barnes brought the wolf personality of the werewolf forward. Very few books do that, so it was an inventive, refreshing take on werewolf stories that I really appreciated.

I loved the characters, as well. Bryn is strong, and even though she is one of only two humans living amongst werewolves, she stands up to the alpha and just lives for pushing people’s werewolves’ buttons. She is smart beyond her years, and with the discovery of her ‘ability’ (which I will not reveal), she definitely proves to be an interesting character. Devon is the perfect best friend, protective and loyal, and his metrosexual-self provided many humorous moments. And Ali is an awesome mother! She is a new age Sarah Conner (with werewolf relations), and I loved how she stood against everyone, even her alpha and husband, to do what she thought was right. Callum also proved to be intriguing. I did not like him much at first, and I thought some of his judgment calls left a lot to be desired, but I ended up really liking him after everything was explained. Chase, the newly turned werewolf, creates some turbulence with his presence and knowledge of a Rabid werewolf. The reader does not learn that much about him, so I am hoping more will be revealed about him and the rest of the characters in the next book!

I think that Chase and Bryn’s relationship was also well crafted. It does suffer from ‘instalove,’ but I think this instant connection between them was brought on by their wolves, not their human counterparts. Wolves connect to their mates rather quickly, with things such as smell and physical contact being triggers. Callum warns Bryn not to touch Chase, but the moment she does, their wolves claim one another. With similar pasts, the same ‘ability,’ and the emotional pull between them, their wolves recognize each other as mates. The human side of Bryn remains unsure of how she feels about Chase throughout the book, but her wolf side has already claimed him as hers. Mine, mine. My Chase. I know that this ‘instalove’ and relationship between Chase and Bryn bothered many (especially one of my friends), but I did not mind it at all. This is just another way in which the wolf makes its presence known.

While this book did start off a little slow, it quickly builds up. It drew me in and kept me captivated. The ending was nice, too. It ties almost everything up really well, while leaving a few things open for the sequel. Overall, this is definitely one of the better paranormal YA reads out there. The story is not tainted by a love triangle, a cliffhanger, or any (teenage) drama that does not pertain to the story/plot. The story is original and creative, and I enjoyed every page. I cannot wait to how things develop in the sequel, Trail by Fire. I will definitely be reading it! 
The Greatest Escape! 

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spineand it is a weekly event showcasing an  upcoming release we're excited for!
My pick:

Release Date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers
Summary (taken from Goodreads):

In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.

Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.

As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.
I am super excited for this book! I have been into steampunk lately, so this book quickly caught my eye. The premise sounds really interesting, I love the character names, and it seems like a love triangle is blissfully absent. I am also enamored with the cover, with both steampunk and historical references apparent (like a steaming Big Ben). I will be praying an ARC comes my way, but in the meantime, let’s start the wait to August! J

Further actions:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cover Reveal: My Super Sweet 16th Century

The cover for My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris has been revealed!

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing


On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?
And an excerpt has also been released:

Alessandra jerks back like I just suggested she prance around the square naked or something.

“No! I believe I understand your meaning, and Lorenzo is certainly not my suitor. He is like a brother to me—the three of us grew up together.”

She resumes walking and I fall in step beside her, understanding there has to be more to the story.

And as we near the end of the row, I finally ask, “If you’re not into the guy, then what’s the problem?”
At that same moment, a rich, deep chuckle hits my ears. My stomach involuntarily clenches and my gaze sharpens on the back of this mysterious Lorenzo.

Alessandra sighs. “That is the problem.” She places her hand on my arm and solemnly looks me in the eyes. “You must be careful. Lorenzo is beautiful, and it is not uncommon for a girl to walk away from meeting him with a piece of her heart left behind. But he is just eighteen, and not yet ready for marriage.”

I roll my eyes and laugh, then realize she’s serious. “Yeah, I assure you, there’s no danger on my end. I’m not exactly looking for marriage myself.” Because that would be crazy-town.

Alessandra wrinkles her nose as if she doesn’t believe me, but she removes her hand. We close the distance and Cipriano flashes me an open, honest to goodness, lighthearted smile.

“Lorenzo, this is the cousin I was telling you about.”

Slowly the guy turns and I fall head first into the richest chocolate-brown eyes I’ve ever seen. He blinks and long, luscious lashes feather across his bronzed cheeks.

I can feel myself gawking, but I physically can’t drag my eyes away. Lorenzo doesn’t smirk or act all conceited, either. He simply stares back, his eyes casually skimming over me, causing my skin to warm and break out in a whole body tingle.

Time seems to stop, and the sounds of the market mute. Alessandra was right.

This boy is beautiful.

And he’s looking at me. 

Further actions:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Forsaken Harbor by Laura Kreitzer

Release Date: February 15, 2012
Publisher: Revolution Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback and eBook
My Shelf: Own eBook
The Secret Clock Society has infiltrated every aspect of the government. You can’t hide from them, you can’t out run them—the only choice is to surrender or die fighting. Well, Summer’s found her voice and her confidence. She’ll fight if necessary, but for now she’s on the run. And the only place that can offer her refuge is the one city that’s been devastated with disease and death. Full of savages, Forsaken Harbor holds her life on the edge of a knife. Is there still hope to be found here after all? Or will survival mean savagery?

Forsaken Harbor picks up almost immediately where Phantom Universe left off. Readers are thrust back into Summer’s story and a future world filled with danger and intrigue. Summer’s life becomes more complex and perilous when Julian enters the mix, and he helps Summer better understand her power and who she is while still trying to escape the clutches of The Secret Clock Society. The story is fast-paced and intense, chocked full of action and emotional turmoil, and one that you should not miss out on.  

A note of warning before you proceed: I hope you are all prepared for a bias review. It is going to be Julian-centric, so please be ready.

I think this book was better than the first one (and no, not just because Julian was in it). There is more action, crazier plot twists, and even more emotional moments. Summer has rediscovered her voice after all these years, and she puts it to good use. She is stronger than before, actually bringing down some enemies herself, and she is also slowly developing her power (courtesy of Julian’s masterful teaching). She is definitely becoming a force to be reckoned with, and I like how she grew stronger, both emotionally and physically. Gage is also present with his flowery words (get it? FLOWER-y? hehe) and love declarations, and he is just as protective and strong as before. Some old and new faces also enter the fray, and the insertion of these awesome characters made me enjoy this book that much more!

And now, for the moment I am sure you were all waiting for. Let’s talk about Julian, shall we? I like to think of myself as a loyal person. In the first book, I liked Gage and thought that his and Summer’s relationship was golden. Even when Julian made an appearance, I never thought that my loyalty to Gage would be called into question! Well, Julian has stolen that loyalty. Wait, forget stolen! He shattered, decimated, completely eradicated all the loyalty I had for Gage. I am 100%+ Team Julian! (Are there teams for Gage and Julian? If not, then they have just been created!) Oh, Julian, you who goes against the grain, what have you done to me? I now find myself unable and unwilling to be content with Gage and Summer’s relationship! Do not get me wrong, I still love Gage, but I would definitely prefer seeing Julian and Summer together.

Alright, now it is time for me to defend myself. Why do I like Julian more than Gage, you ask? Gage is perfect, which is something I liked about him in the beginning. Everything he did was right and just, and everything he said was what everyone wanted to hear. While this is not a problem, necessarily, once Julian was introduced, I realized that Gage was too perfect. Compared to Gage, Julian is a little rougher around the edges, a little more fierce, and a little more warrior like. He could care less what others think or say of him, and he will tell people the truth, regardless of whether they want to hear it or not. Gage treats Summer like she is a porcelain doll, whereas Julian wants her to learn how to fight and use her powers. Summer even admits (multiple times) that Julian lets her be who she is, and he does not hide things from her or treat her like she is delicate, which Gage does. With Summer and Julian having somewhat similar pasts, he is better able to understand her desire for power and strength, and he gives it to her. Again, Gage is not a bad guy from wanting to protect Summer from all bad things, but I like how straight and direct Julian was, believing that Summer could deal with everything. Julian has flaws and weaknesses, and that makes his character seem more real than Gage’s. I will say this one last time: I LIKE Gage, but I LOVE Julian, and I’m completely, inescapably, irrevocably on the side of Team Julian (and my loyalty shall not be broken this time).

Needless to say, I really enjoyed this book! With the story being told from both Summer and Julian’s point of view, there is a deeper understanding of more of the characters with even more action and plot twists being thrown in. There will be two more books published to complete the series, and they have already been entitled Burning Falls and Silent Forest, respectively. I am excited to see how this series will progress, and I cannot wait for another (heavy) dose of Julian! 
A Great Escape
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