Wednesday, July 31, 2013

REVIEW: Once by Anna Carey

Once (Eve #2)  by Anna Carey
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieBound

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

In the second book of this thrilling dystopian adventure, Eve will come face to face with the King who has been ruthlessly hunting her and learn the shocking truth about who she really is.

Having managed to evade the soldiers hunting her, Eve finally reached Califia, a haven for women determined to live outside the oppressive rule of the King of New America. However, Eve's freedom came at a price: she was forced to leave Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve learns that Califia may not be as safe as it seems she sets out once again in the hopes of being with Caleb only to fall into a trap that sends her to the City of Sand and directly into the hands of the King.

Once at the stronghold of the King, Eve will uncover the real reason he was so intent on her capture, and the unbelievable role he intends her to fill. When she is finally reunited with Caleb inside the city wall, Eve will risk everything to be with him.

For some crazy reason, the first book in this series, Eve, gave me a severe case of The Feels. So you can imagine my disappointment when I pick up Once, and find that I am just a tad bit unimpressed with the outcome.  I mean come on, there should be a rule written in a place that only authors can find telling them that filling a book with tons of cliché’s is a mega “no-no.”

That being said, I still love the idea of the story and all the possibilities of what can happen next, in Rise, that I'm still fangirling over it a just little bit…does that make sense??? Yea I know, I'm weird like that lol

In Once, I think that Eve’s character has lost some fire. She seemed so strong willed in Eve, that I have to wonder what happened. I understand that she’s on the run, I understand that she’s being hunted, and I understand that she’s worn out…but I cannot, for the life of me, understand why she’s weakened over time. Until she hears news of Caleb, she is completely worn down and sad and depressed and everything else that someone would feel in her situation…but she SHOULDN’T be feeling it…it sounds like the only thing to give her inspiration is when she hears about Caleb. I don’t think that any woman should only be inspired when a man is involved. I think this book was the perfect opportunity for Anna Carey to really make Eve grow as a person. Instead she made her seem weak, needy, and totally dependent.

Getting that off my chest, I do have to admit that I really did enjoy the love scenes between Eve and Caleb. The love between those two is so beautiful and strong to me that I have to believe that something great will come of it, of them. With all the drama that’s happening there has to be some sort of happy ending for those two seemingly star-crossed lovers (::spoiler:: because they ARE lovers now! ::spoiler::)

And that ending…………….. I literally died. Dropped dead right there on the floor. OHMYGAW!! That ending was so perfect…perfectly wicked, perfectly cruel, and perfectly heartbreaking. I mean of course I knew things would take a turn for the worst at some point but I never imagined that things would end JUST.LIKE.THAT!!! I can’t  believe she did this to me, to Eve, TO CALEB…looks like after all that junk in the middle there just might be hope for the finale of the series, Rise

And dare I say… I CANT WAIT!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

FEATURE: Gallagher Girls Read-A-Thon

Hi Swooners

So I just got wind of something that im absolutely FANGIRLING over right now. Books As You Know It is hosting a read-a-thon for the Gallagher Girls series...with just over a month left before the final book is released I think this read-a-thon came at the PERFECT time!!

This read-a-thon is open to ANYONE: Including first time readers, re-readers, bloggers, etc.

The point is to read all the books before the 6th and final book is released in September. So take a look at the schedule below and decide if this is the right thing for you...As a HUGE fan of the Gallagher Girls series i'm INSISTING that you take the challenge (jk..but really though)

July 29th-Aug. 4th:

Aug. 5th-11th:
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You

Aug. 12th- 18th:
Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy

Aug. 19th-25th:
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover

Aug. 26th-Sept.1st:
Only the Good Spy Young

Sept. 2nd-8th:
Out of Sight, Out of Time

For more info on this AWESOME read-a-thon, please visit Books As You Know It's Blog or click here

P.S. The deadline to participate and win the prize for this read-a-thon is August 4th...So get a move on!!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

REVIEW: Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story by Ally Carter

Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story by Ally Carter
Publication Date: January 23, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Free download to Reviewer's Kindle
Buy it at: Download for free on Ally Carter's website:

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?

W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?

There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.

Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.

When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?

The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story. Get a behind the scenes glimpse as Ally delivers an irresistible thriller that is full of her signature style and savvy twists.

THIS.WAS.EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Ally Carter for creating this beautiful combination of both of your smexy worlds…

Hale is so swoony and Macey? Definitely one of my favorite spy girls around…what a great combination!!!

Here’s a little something to pique your interest:

“At last, Macey saw something that she was absolutely not expecting. A boy.”
Oooohhhh boy, Macey McHenry is BACK!!!

“And for the first time that evening, Macey was impressed. ‘Oh you're good.’ ”
And I am definitely impressed. Whoever can impress Macey McHenry MUST be impressive themselves. Color me intrigued!!!

“You think you're gorgeous. But I'm the one guy here who knows better.”
Oh snap! Macey better WATCH OUT!! xD

“But in the end she merely shrugged, knowing at the very least it would be interesting. Knowing, in her gut, it might just be the beginning.”
And it really might just be the beginning. The skies the limit for both of these series and they can only continue to grow from here.

This novella will definitely have you on the edge of your seats with all of the sexiness it's oozing!!

~~Happy Reading ~~

REVIEW: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieBound

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

I'm pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts o Hana
and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

I have to say that I ABSOLUTLY LOOOOVED this book!!! This series is my first intro to Lauren Oliver and I definitely love her as a writer now…I'm a fan, you got me!

With this book we saw the best version of Lena. She has changed so much from the naïve young girl she was in Delirium to the strong and brave girl in Pandemonium that is willing to do whatever she needs to do to survive. Seeing her change in attitude from the “Then” and “Now” chapters the book breaks into really gives her so much more credibility when you consider how much she’s grown through all of the struggles and loss she’s endured. Normally I hate this kind of switch in books, but Lauren Oliver does a great job at keeping the pace up and definitely handled the transitions very well. Though I must admit my preference was with the “Now”

After what happened in Delirium with Alex, I thought it would be so difficult to ever find another love for Lena. I mean, how could we ever move on from Alex? He was the love of her life in a world where love wasn’t “allowed” needless to say I was heartbroken… but then we meet Julian. At first I'm a little skeptical about it because my love for Alex was so strong. But Julian won my heart over instantly. Though naïve, Julian was so brave and strong in everything he did. Running away to the wilds with Lena was not as traumatic as it could’ve been because he was already used to doing the extreme with his family. My heart definitely melted for Julian in a way that I did NOT expect.

I think that comparing the love Lena and Alex had  to the one Lena and Julian had is a bit unfair because both relationships are both so unique and genuine. That being said…umm, Team Julian? Team Alex? I'm STILL torn!!! I’ll keep you posted on that…

And then there’s the ending…I'm still in a complete tizzy over it!!! There are so many ways this story can end and I'm not 100% sure what I want to happen at this point. Well…I kind of am, but Lauren Oliver certainly knows how to throw a curve ball so I won’t be getting too attached to my ideas just yet…

REVIEW: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieBound

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

This book… ::Sigh::… THIS BOOK! It’s definitely been a roller coaster ride of emotions for me…to say the LEAST! After my dear friend Jenn recommended the first book in the series, Delirium, I was captured by its powerful story and plot…hook, line and sinker!

The second book, Pandemonium, was just as emotional as the first and last books, but had me feeling a sense of happiness throughout the book because of all that had unfolded. Then the end throws us for the shocker and that’s where we begin with this book.

I’ve been thinking about how this series could end and I have to say is…I was NOT impressed. I had several scenarios unfolding in my head and Lauren Oliver did not use ANY of them. I mean, hello?! I worked hard on this ending,…she should have too! Right?!

Oliver took this story and took it on a totally different level. And that’s not to say that the writing wasn’t good, because it was! And the story wasn’t bad…it just was so far off from what I had hoped it would be that it left me yearning for more. The ending was left so open and incomplete that I feel like I never got the closure I needed. Whether I approved of Lena’s decision in boyfriends it didn’t matter. I just needed that closure and Oliver highly disappointed me on this level. You can’t have a story centering on the idea that love is a disease and detailing all of the struggles that occur from the people who support the cure and people who didn’t support the cure, then completely ignore the fact that behind all the fighting and death and war there was a real love story that never had a happy ending.  I just can’t deal with that…I.JUST.CAN’T!

Then, of all other things to leave unfinished, we never know what happens to Hana. After all that happened with the betrayal,  the bomb, her horrible husband, and the final confrontation between her and Lena, we never even get to see THEIR happy ending.

And finally, Raven, that truly broke my heart. After all Raven has done for Lena and the relationship that unfolded between the two of them. Seeing the kind of strong, brave person that Raven was, Oliver betrayed her character by giving her the ending that she did. Raven definitely didn’t deserve that. She was too strong a person to go down the way she did. Not cool Lauren Oliver…NOT.COOL!

So, though this is definitely one of my favorite series EVER. I have to say that this particular book saddens me in a way that you will never understand. 

REVIEW: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman
Publication Date: April 2, 2009
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

If I stay definitely threw me off a bit when I started reading it. I didn't really know anything about the book and kind of had a different idea of what it would be about. What I got from that situation was a happy surprise to say the least. The story is so beautifully written by the author and pile that on top of the fact that the idea is such a beautiful one and BAM you have a great book!

The book begins with a snowstorm in Oregon. School gets canceled for a teenager Mia and her younger brother, Teddy. The family makes plans to visit some friends during this “day off” and within the first chapter of the book, Mia’s family suffers a terrible car accident leaving Mia as the only survivor.

Mia lies unconscious in a hospital bed but is also present outside of her body. She can see everything that is going on, but no one can see her. She finally realizes that she has to make the difficult decision to stay on Earth with her grandparents and love of her life, Adam, while feeling the constant heartache of losing her entire immediate family or she has to choose to continue on to the afterlife with her parents and her brother and leave her remaining family and boyfriend back on Earth.

Now I have to admit, even though Mia’s entire family passes away, I wasn’t completely overcome with emotion, like I felt I should be. I think that because we JUST started reading the book, the author takes such an extreme turn too soon and doesn’t give the reader enough time to really get to know the characters. I will say though, that I did feel sadness when reading that Teddy, Mia’s younger brother, doesn’t make it through. Reading those passages truly hurt me for Mia and her brother. Maybe because I know that I love my brothers more than anything and could never imagine losing one of them. at that moment I feel her pain like it was my own.

I also had another moment of true heartache while reading this book-- when Mia’s grandpa comes into her hospital room and tells her that’s it’s okay to let go. That yes, she has family left that love her and want her to stay, but she doesn’t need to suffer just for them. He tells her that it’s okay if she wants to die, it’s okay if she wants to join her parents and brother. That moment truly broke my heart. I could feel all the love and sorrow that the grandfather was feeling for his only surviving grandchild. I could see that, at that very moment, though he loved her dearly, he put her needs above his. Such a powerful scene in the book, check it out below -- and prepare for the water works

“It's okay,' he tells me. 'If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I've ever wanted anything in my life.' His voice cracks with emotion. He stops, clears his throat, takes a breath, and continues. 'But that's what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It's okay if you have to leave us. It's okay if you want to stop fighting.'

For the first time since I realized that Teddy was gone, too, I feel something unclench. I feel myself breathe. I know that Gramps can't be that late-inning pinch hitter I'd hoped for. He won't unplug my breathing tube or overdoes me with morphine or anything like that. But this is the first time today that anyone has acknowledged what I have lost. I know that the social worker warned Gran and Gramps not to upset me, but Gramps's recognition, and the permission he just offered me--it feels like a gift.

Gramps doesn't leave me. He slumps back into the chair. It's quiet now. So quiet you can almost hear other people's dreams. So quiet that you can almost hear me tell Gramps, 'Thank you.”

Overall, it was a great book and I highly recommend it to all. Now to get started on round two, Where I Went

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

REVIEW: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: February 3, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieBound

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.

This book was recommended to me by a friend that absolutely loved it.  I put off reading it though, because to be didn't sound that good. But boy was I WRONG! This book took me on an emotional ride that completely shocked my system. 

When I started reading Delirium, I had very low expectations about it. The idea that love is a disease that can be cured sounded a bit silly to me. However, Lauren Oliver truly has a great imagination and turned this seemingly dull story into a powerhouse. 

We begin with Lena, an average teenage girl. She loses her mother when she is a small child to the "disease" and ends up living with her aunt and cousins. She only really has one friend, Hana, that is her absolute best friend. Hana, seems like a really good friend in the beginning  She encourages Lena to continue her secret relationship with Alex (who we'll talk about later) and keeps all of her deepest secrets...until one day she doesn't... the betrayal is almost too much to bear. Lena, doesn't know about this betrayal until later on, but the reader can definitely feel the heartbreak that Lena is going through and doesn't understand why it all happened. 

Alex is the boy that stole Lena's heart...and mine **squeals with glee** with a flash of his smile. Alex cares so much about Lena and would clearly do anything for her, including give his life. The love between these two is so heartwarming and Alex is truly so delectable that you have to wonder where he is in this world. He must be somewhere... Find.Him.Now!

So without further delay I urge you all to go out and buy this book, find a shady tree to urch by, and lose yourself in this wonderful world that Lauren Oliver gave life to. 

Kudos to you Ms. Oliver, I look forward to the next one!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

REVIEW: Alice I have Been by Melanie Benjamin

Alice I Have Been  by Melanie Benjamin
Publication Date: January 12, 2010
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieBound

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole–and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.

But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?

Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year–the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.

That story, a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child, becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice–he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war.  

For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.

A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire

I first heard of this book when I was reading an article in Cosmopolitan Magazine. After reading about the author and the story she wrote, I craved the book with a hunger that couldn't be satisfied fast enough. After a few weeks, I bought the book and began my journey into this wonderful fictional story.

Alice I have Been is about Alice Liddell, the little girl that inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland, originally named Alice’s Adventures Underground.

Without giving away too much information about the book, I’ll start by saying that the minute I opened this book I was enthralled in Alice’s story. When Alice is a little girl she meets a man names Charles Dodgson, who the world knows as his pen name Lewis Carroll. Upon that initial meet you can tell instantly that something is coming over the two of them.  Though unnatural for Dodgson to be so enamored with Alice, they are well able to hide the confusing feelings that transpire between them. After several years and meetings pass by though, the family as well as onlookers seem to notice the connection that Dodgson had with Alice.

This books definitely took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion as I felt the many joys and sorrows of Alice Liddell’s life. The book begins during her early childhood and ends during her elderly age, giving the reader a great overview of her life as “Alice”  my only real wish while reading this book was my hope that it was as real as the author made it feel. Of course, with the joys come the sorrows and I have to admit that her pain also brought tears to my heart. It seems that life during that time was not easy to live.

Thumbs up Ms. Benjamin…for an amazing and heart wrenching “almost” true story!

REVIEW: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (The Unbecoming #1) by Michelle Hodkin
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

This book was INTENSE!!! And I mean that in the best way possible. From the moment I started reading, it sucked me in and didn't spit me out until the very end. Leaving me breathless and yearning for more!!!

Without giving too much away, I’ll say that the main character, Mara Dyer, has A LOT of issues she needs to work through. In the beginning of the book Mara and her friends have a huge accident that leaves her suffering from PTSD with memory loss of the event. As the chapters roll by, Mara has “episodes” that give her a little bit more information about what happened that night. Along the way she makes friends with a two guys in her new school. One of them being a super steamy, extra yummy SWOONY boy!!! (read: I'm in LOVE)

Noah, the bad boy with a good heart, is all the things that encompass a “swoony boy” (and the perfect male specimen) and of course he falls madly in love with Mara, not to say that she doesn't feel the same towards him. They definitely have a deep connection, deeper than either of them realize until the “almost” end of the book. That kid of connection is rare and the author portrays it in such a way that the reader can feel EVERY SINGLE EMOTION that Mara feels toward Noah, including the love/lust effect…BIG TIME!!!

Throughout it all though, I kind of feel bad for Mara. Before we find out what happened during that accident, she seems to carry such a sadness with her and it makes you really wonder what went down before, during, and after. The author portrays her sorrow and curiosity as well as her fear of what is happening to her.

This awesome turnout definitely makes me wish I HADN'T left it sitting on my TBR shelf for so long (read: about a year). Lighters in the air for to Michelle Hodkin…Keep ‘em coming!

Monday, July 22, 2013

REVIEW: Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key  by Tatiana de Rosnay
Published: June 12, 2007 by St. Martin's Press
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieBound

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

So after finishing with this book I find that I am left with conflicting thoughts and emotions. After taking some time to think it all through I have to admit, I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about this book. So please bear with me as this review might just be as flip floppy as I'm feeling.

The first half of the book goes back and forth between two stories in completely different times. In current time, American Julia Jarmond begins her journey by researching the incidents at the Velodrome d’Hiver for her French-American magazine in Paris. A story that would ultimately change her life in more ways than thought possible. Then there is Sarah. A 10 year old French -Jewish girl that, for a small moment,  takes us on her journey living through the Holocaust. Sharing her tale of terror and sorrow for all to shed a tear.

Overall, I think the author created a great story and I love that she was able to do so while still portraying the facts from one of the world’s most historical events. Particularly because this part of the Holocaust is unknown by many, including myself, and is such an important piece of history that everyone should have knowledge of.

As always though, I did have one pet peeve for this book. The author changed the POV from Sarah’s chapter to Julia’s. The latter having a first person POV while the former had a third person POV. I wish they would've been consistently first person so we can have an even better feel for Sarah’s story.

Aside from that, I definitely give this book 2 big thumbs up and recommend it to all who care to read it. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

FEATURE: Random Acts of Kindness

 This month i'm participating in Book Soulmate's monthly feature: Random Acts of Kindness 

Basically what you're doing is picking a book that someone has chosen on their "wish list", contacting them for mailing information, and sending it to them. Somewhere along the course of the month someone else will do the same for you. 

It's such a great feeling when you receive a gift of something that you've been wanting to buy yourself and haven't gotten around to it. Now you can have the chance to receive as well as give that to someone else. Also, making new friends is a definite BONUS! 

***If you would like to sign up or just get some more information about this feature. You can click the RAK picture or any of the highlighted links that will take you directly to Book Soulmate's page***

Happy Gifting!!! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

REVIEW: Eve by Anna Carey

Eve (Eve #1) by Anna Carey
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieBound

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. 

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

Let me start by saying that this book definitely shocked me in more ways than one. The only reason I read this book is because I went to a book signing that the author was at. I was there for another author, but Anna Carey spoke so well during the event, I knew I had to buy it. Later, I was a little iffy before reading it, thinking that I may be a waste of time. So I read a few reviews for the book to see what other people thought. After reading  reviews, it was clear to me that my suspicions were right! Turns out, there were plenty of unflattering reviews for the book and the author (to my shock) but I decided to read the book anyway….and boy am I glad I did!!!

There were many things about the book that I absolutely LOVED. For one, the author wrote two extremely emotional scenes that literally brought me to tears. Now, I have to tell you that I am NOT a crier! But the author wrote those two particular scenes so well that every emotion was brought out in me…tears HAD to be shed!

Another thing I loved about the book are the characters. Though Eve is not a particularly deep character, she did portray (towards the end) a sort of sorrow for the line of bodies she left in her wake. It seems throughout the entire book, while I was screaming at her to wake up and stop being so selfish with all these people trying to protect her, she actually heard my pleas and GOT IT TOGETHER! Yayy for her (lol)

Caleb was a bit more together than Eve. I felt drawn to him from the moment he saved her life from the bear. The connection that grew between them was so beautiful to me and I definitely felt every tingle involved. It was also, however, a bit too fast. I feel like Eve was raised in a world where she was made to believe that all men were evil and unloving, so for her to fall in love so fast with Caleb was a bit off to me. But the love connection was definitely beautifully written.

But my absolute FAVORITE characters in the book were definitely Benny and Silas. I completely fell in love with those two little boys from the moment Eve met them in the dugout. They captured my heart in every way possible and my heart completely broke when the girls were taken away from them. Watching that scene (in my head) was so devastating. At that moment I felt all the pain that Benny and Silas felt while running after Eve, screaming that they loved her. I realized that at that moment they fully understood what it meant to truly love someone and that was something that Eve taught them.  

Though I did love the book, of course there were a few small flaws. For one, as I mentioned, the love connection bloomed too fast considering that Eve was taught to hate men. Also, I feel like the extreme environment (ie: plague that takes out 98% of the world) was a bit undeveloped. I wish there would’ve been more explanation, more detail, more anything! And lastly, #1 pet peeve of the book….LEIF!!! He truly was such an a-hole!!! When he had that “moment” with Eve at the piano, I thought something really changed in him, like he finally opened up and you would finally see the good side to him that Caleb talked about. But for him to do what he “tried” to do to Eve was despicable!!! He should’ve been stoned, or beaten, or castrated!!! I mean honestly, come on…he’s a d-bag. Enough said!

So overall, I absolutely LOVED this story and can’t wait to read the next installment of the series, Once