Competing With The Star: A Review

Author: Krysten Lyndsay Hager

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

Series: Star Series, Book #2

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Publication Date: March 22, 2016

Source: ARC from the publisher

Cover:

Good cover.

Review:

Hadley has recently moved to a new town. She is determined to be more social this year and has already made new friends, including a former T.V star Simone.

Nick, a sensitive and sweet guy has asked her out. Hadley is happy: finally she is being noticed.

Little does she know that having more than one friend and being in a relationship is not that easy as she had thought.

Simone and other popular girls in school are bent on competing for Nick’s attentions. At every chance they get, the girls intentionally or unintentionally try to sabotage Hadley’s time with Nick.

Even though both of them share same interests and are happy together, Simone tries to confuse Hadley by suggesting that Nick is just passing his time and will eventually get bored of her.

Matters aren’t helped when Hadley discovers that Nick had a crush on Simone before asking Hadley out.

So, when she discovers that Simone and Nick might have cheated on her, Hadley’s heart broken.

She feels that she can not compete with a beautiful T.V star. Her self esteem is crushed and she continuously finds

comparing herself with Simone.

Nick tries to convince her that he hasn’t cheated on her and Simone is to blame for causing trouble in their relationship.

Heartbroken, Hadley finds it hard to believe him.

Is Nick telling the truth? Is Simone trying to attract Nick to herself? Will Hadley discover the truth? Will Nick and Hadley be able to get past their differences?

 

 

My Opinion:

It is a fun and light read. In the beginning, the story drags a bit. There is a lot of repetition.

Hadley’s celebrity obsession is somewhat accurately depicted.

Her relationship with Nick is sweet. The couple is close to reality: they aren’t overly romantic, they aren’t model looking and they have their ups and downs.

However they are shown as an almost perfect for each other at first. Later, though, their shortcomings are brought to light.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Recommended For:    It’s not a hard-to-put-down book exactly, but its suitable for a light reading. Especially, teens  might enjoy it more.

I received this ARC for free, in exchange for providing an honest review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intertwined

Author: Jenn Marie
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
Genre:YA, Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: 3-July-2016
Source: ARC provided free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Intertwined - cover

 

Cover:

Though the color scheme is not unique, the concept is pretty original.

The intertwined black and white serpents not actually depict an actual scene in the book, but they also symbolize some other concepts of the story: the black and white aptly mirroring the past and the present, the opposite personalities of Josephine and Elizabeth.

The intertwined is an apt title: Elizabeth and Adam’s lives are intertwined. Their pasts are intertwined with their futures.

Review:

Elizabeth is visiting her cousin April, for the summers.Her cousin is an adventurous soul who takes on new adventures, unlike Elizabeth who would rather stay out of trouble.
However soon an attempt to protect April backfires and Elizabeth finds herself trapped in a haunted mansion with Adam Hunt, a handsome yet reclusive local, who has agendas of his own.
They must work together to get out of the mansion . Jack Callahan is the reason Elizabeth is trapped in the house. Jack wants her to collect certain items from the house and bring them back to him.
Soon though, things began to get real serious when Elizabeth gets a beating from a ghost and wakes up next day to find that she is bruised.
Adam, feeling guilty, takes it upon himself to protect her.
During there time in the mansion, Elizabeth and Adam could touch haunted objects which no one else can.
When Elizabeth accidentally touches one of these objects, she sort of travels back in time to 1905 and is able to see through Josephine’s eyes.
Josephine is the girl who haunts the mansion .
Adam and Elizabeth, determined to solve the mystery, touch the objects one by one, each revealing a little more about the past.
However, what they discover is life changing.
Josephine and Braden, the star struck lovers from the past, along with the Callahans are the subjects of a curse. And unwillingly Elizabeth and Adam have become entangled in this mess. They are forced to relive every paranormal happening that occurred in 1905 in the mansion for almost three weeks.

The past and present are sometimes blurred, their identities get mixed up and to top it off, they can not deny the attraction they feel for each other, yet they are unsure whether its their own feelings or the ghosts of the past replaying their romance.

Now they must work together and do everything they can to not only save Josephine and Braden, but also themselves.

My Opinion

Loved, loved, loved this book.
Its intense, action packed, a bit scary, thrilling, has beautifully expressed emotions and an awesome plot.
Sometimes you get the feel of an R.L Stine book. But this book is geared towards more mature audiences.
The chemistry between Adam and Elizabeth is breath taking but it still maintains its roots in reality.

I’ll be honest, I am partial towards stories where at least one character is an artist, especially a sketch artist, as Adam is. But, even without that, this story is a must read.
I m rarely this angry to find that a book has a sequel, in fact this is the first time. Not because I don’t want to know what happens, but because I was so invested in the story that i wasn’t ready at all for the unexpected ending and the cliffhanger.

My Rating:

9 out of 10

Recommended For:

YA fans, paranormal romance readers.

Warning: There is some usage of strong language and the book is aimed towards mature Young adults.

Goodreads Summary:

Quiet seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Parker is looking forward to another mellow summer with her goofy relatives: sun tanning at the beach and staying out of trouble. Which is why the thought of her younger cousin participating in what is, clearly, a setup disguised as an initiation, worries her to the point of intervention.One that backfires … big time …Mistaken for her cousin, Elizabeth finds herself transported to an abandoned plantation, a place deeply haunted with unresolved mystery and where horror reigns every summer between July 20 and August 13.It is there, locked in the pitch dark, where she finds herself paired with the strange and mysterious Adam Hunt—an unexpected trespasser with his own agenda. Together, they find a list of instructions—follow the clues to various possessions in the house, store them in the backpack provided, and find the key that will grant escape.Having snuck in to document the haunting, Adam offers to help her find the key so long as she helps him record paranormal activity along the way. But as they make their way through the house, they soon discover unexplained anomalies …For the first time in the plantation’s recorded history, the haunting deviates from its known cycle of events, thrusting Elizabeth and Adam in a series of perilous circumstances that ensue long after the night is over.As the last day of the haunting draws nearer, and as forces beyond their control ignite their growing attraction, Elizabeth and Adam must work together to uncover the plantations mysterious past before its too late.Or die trying.
Warning: Occasional coarse language. Intended for Mature Young Adult audience.


Buy Links:

Amazon│Barnes & Noble│iTunes│Kobo│Amazon UK

About the Author:

Jenn Marie currently lives in sunny California with her wonderful husband and their runt kitty, Chloe. When she’s not writing Young Adult Fiction, she can be found reading, plotting or spending time with her crazy, lovable family. Current obsessions include the movie, Frozen, the New Girl series, Arcade Fire’s latest album, and avocados. Seriously, she can’t get enough of it! Writing, for her, is a passion that refuses to be under prioritized. No matter what’s going on in her life, whether good or bad, writing is always there to lift her spirits.

Author Links:

Website│Goodreads│Twitter│Facebook | Instagram

GIVEAWAY:
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Blog Tour Organized by:

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I received this free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Dirty Laundry: A Review

Author: Ivan Von Baublitz
Publisher: DLM Publishing
Release Date: 15th of August, 2016
Source: RC from the author

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Cover:

Nice color theme plus the overall feel of the artwork is fitting  and mysterious.

Review:

This book is a tale of a survivor. A survivor of the streets, who against all odds, never let his spirit be crushed.

Just imagine: a child, locked in a room with his baby brother. With clothes as his bed and nothing to eat, all the
while battling the heat. The only escape is through the window. Will he dare try escaping?

The author is a recruiter at a university. He, using satire, lays out his day, how he hates his six figure job, and how he is fed up.
He was born in Chicago to a mentally ill mother and a backwards father, who were incapable of raising kids.
His abusive, addict mother used to beat him and his brother.
Eventually they were given up for adoption, when their parents could no longer accept responsibility for them.
Some truly horrible foster parents came in Ivan’s life.
His baby brother always managed to get on the good side of people, not so for Ivan. He suffered again and again, but something defiant was building up in him and he never let anyone break his spirit. Even when he was hit with a wooden paddle all through the night. In fact, he used his wits and managed to escape his situation.
Children’s town was another chapter in his life. There, he learned to develop his strength and got a taste for rock music. His personality developed and he became self sufficient and confident. It was here that Ivan first met Nixon.
Throughout Ivan’s IQ and intelligence were developing and were superior than his peers.
But, even the strict punishments of Children Town couldn’t tame Ivan.
His journey led him to juvenile correction center, living with his uncle, discovering the dark sides of humanity. Still his journey wasn’t done.
After being caught in a stolen car with a woman abuser, Ivan barely escaped the prison. He took refuge on the streets.
Homelessness taught him to survive.
It was not all dark, when he found Ms Pat, a motherly woman, who encouraged him to contact his father.
Ivan began living with his grandfather for a while , in exchange for doing his uncle’s school assignments. He was again tossed out after being accused.
This time Ivan had enough. He went to look for his mother.
From there the events took an even more dramatic turn in his life.
A dark career path, an angel, struggles and a sense of responsibility, he experienced it all.
Was he able to get out of his troubles? Did he manage  to turn his life around?
What started after an escape through the apartment window at a young age, was a journey of struggle, heartbreak, loneliness and becoming a victim of the cruelty of humans and the system.

My Opinion:
First of all, the narration style is really easy to digest. The style is more of a fiction book than that of a non fiction, and it actually makes for a pretty enjoyable read.

President Nixon is used as an avatar of Ivan’s conscience, it seems, or maybe its to personify the little voice in the head.
Nixon is sarcastic but points out the things that author is not acknowledging, both good and bad.
The author’s observations are impartial. He doesn’t sugarcoat his words. It’s an honest read.

The use of President Nixon as a character is ingenious.
But what stands out the most is Ivan’s wisdom and his perception from a very young age. The way he picked up on behavioral cues is really remarkable. No matter what, he can’t keep himself out of trouble, though.
Still, he takes everything in stride and owns his mistakes.
The book is funny too. His sense of humor is revealed throughout the book.
A truly moving and enjoyable read.

There were grammatical mistakes though. Even though the author later reveals that he is not good at beginners English, and that the mistakes in the book are a reflection of that: an attempt at being as real as possible, if you will. Still, It gets distracting and annoying sometimes.
But these grammatical mistakes are very few and eventually you might be able to overlook them.

Recommended for: AutoBiography fans, but it is not a typical biography. It totally pulls your attention and is like a novel.
Note: Some strong language is used and some violent scenes are also included in the book.

My Rating: 8 out of 10

 

About the Author:

Ivan currently reside in Northwest Indiana. He’s a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and DePaul University with a Masters Degree in Education. He’s a proud father and grandfather who enjoys speaking to groups regarding the hidden potential that we all hold.

Dirty Laundry is his first book and he’s currently working on his next.

Contact The Author at:

http://www.dirtylaundrymemoir.com/contact
https://www.facebook.com/dirtylaundrymemoir/

Courage

Courage (the Dreughan Book 1) by Lena North

Date of Publication: August 8, 2016

Blurb

Vilda lives in a muddy little corner of the world, in the time of the war that never ends. The war between the Waterfolk and the Dreughan. She is different where conformity is important, break rules in a world where punishments are given freely, and she pays for it. If it weren’t for her best friend Troy, she would have no one.

Then Vilda saves the life of a dragon and shortly after that, things are spiraling out of control. The Waterfolk attack, searching for an unclaimed girl, and Vilda has to escape through the night together with Troy and the only other girl the Waterfolk could be looking for – their former best friend, Susannah.

Soon, they find themselves in Dragoncourt, the stronghold of the Dreughan, where a prophecy predicts that the war will finally come to an end when the beautiful Dreughan prince has claimed another royal from the end of the world.

It seems as if Vilda is the girl in the prophecy, and she might be, but she also has a strong link to a young man with black hair and eyes as blue as the summer skies – the prince’s cousin, Drake…

Available From


About Lena North

The proper way to put it here would probably be to describe how I love to play with our two big dogs, adore my fantastic daughters and how much I love to read.

Another way would be to use my imagination and then I would be a super powerful warrior woman, think Xena the warrior princess (though with less tacky clothes). Or when I think of it, maybe I’m actually more of a Hercule Poirot (sans the suit and moustache). Or maybe I’m like Aragorn, strong and cool and then I might get to meet Gandalf! Or I could be Bella’s pretty cousin and snap Jacob up in a second (yeah, I’m so not team Edward), or wait, maybe I could be like one of them heroines in historical novels who swoon all the time. I’ve always wanted to swoon…

Well, I guess you get how my mind is working (or not working, some say). Anyways, I like to write. Stories, adventures, romantic and happy stuff mixed up with sorrow and hardship, and bit of laughter here and there because the way I see it – life is way too short to go around feeling grumpy.

Find Lena North Online

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Rhodi’s Light

Author: Megan Linski
Publisher: Gryfyn Publishing
Series: The Rhodi Saga
Publication Date: September 4th, 2016
Source: ARC from the publisher

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Cover: The cover is OK. Color play is attractive. Artwork is good too.

Review:
Dylan and her twin Devin are left homeless when their parents die in a car accident. Dylan blames herself for distracting them, and suffers from mental problems due to her grief. They are adopted as students by a group called the Rhodi, who claim to be the protector of their people.
Dylan and her brother train to become one of the Rhodi’s.
Meanwhile, she is struggling with her grief and trying to use and master her craft, an ability that every rhodi has.
The crafts include turning into an animal, flying, running at high speed and manipulating emotions, and more.
Rachel, the leader of the Hunters Guild is bent on destroying the Rhodi’s.
Will Dylan and Devin along with their masters, be able to thwart her advances or will Dylan have to lose her new family?

My Opinion:

This is an amazing story.
All the elements of a YA that make this genre a fantastic read are incorporated in the story. However , there is more.
The protagonist is dealing with mental health problems. Throwing light on these matters through fiction, Rhodi’s Saga deviates a bit from the norm, not in a bad way though.
However, there are a few cons. At the beginning, the writing is amateurish: too much detailing, repetition of a few points, and the fact that everyone is able to estimate the exact age of the  kids without even asking.
Dylan’s character sometimes went overboard with expressing her emotions.
But overall this book makes for an entertaining read.

My Rating: 8 out of 10

Recommended for: YA fans, alternative universe and fantasy fans.

I received this ARC from the publisher to provide an honest review.

Love Comes Later: A review

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The story is an immersive experience in Qatar culture. The rituals, settings and lavishness of the Qatar households is apparent in the writing.
Hind and Abdullah are forced in an arranged marriage.
Abdullah hasn’t gotten over the sudden death of his first wife and is not ready to tie the knot again. However, his family traditions require him to get married and increase the family line.
Hind is not the typical Qatari women. Her vision of life includes independence, a career and living life on her own terms. But she is bound by her society to get married to suitable man and spend the rest of her life shopping and taking care of children.

So when the time comes for engagement, in a bid for a little bit of freedom, Hind sets a condition for going to london for a year to complete her studies. Abdulla seizes this as an opportunity for another year of solitude and agrees readily.

And it’s in London, that Hind discovers herself, finds a friend and knows what she wants. And its not only her, when Abdullah comes to visit her, his life takes an unexpected turn too.

What happens in London, will they find love?

My opinion: Even though its a good enough cultural read, it felt a bit melancholic for some reason. In case of Hind and Sangita, their friendship was forgotten in a moment over a guy. And I couldn’t understand why all of a sudden Hind was willing to accept her fate.
Also her trip with Gita’s brother should have been explored more in depth.

My Rating: 7 out of 10
R
ecommended for: Cultural Novels fans, Romance fans.
I received this ARC from netgalley for review purposes.

Consoling Angel: Audiobook Review

 

consoling angel

Review:

This is a small but sweet book.
This the first time I decided to review an audio book. I actually enjoyed listening to the book after a few tries of getting used to listening to a story instead of reading it.

The story is about a young fan of James Dean, who finds that her wishes have come true in a twisted way.
Mira misses her father and in a way to remember him, she has taken to spend her time looking at his collections of James Dean’s pictures and books.
She used to watch his movies with her father and he was the one who turned her into a James Dean fan.
Now she is obsessed and wishes she could meet her celebrity favorite.
Her wishes just might come true, in a weird and inexplicable way.

My Opinion:
Enjoyable read, or should I say, listen, as it is an audio book.
It is pretty short but still manages to be entertaining.

My Rating: 7 out of 10
Recommended for: Fans of books about time travel and James Deans.

 

I received this RC from the publisher to provide an honest review.

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Mechanical Hearts: Review

What a good start!
The story starts when the protagonist decides to leave her mean aunts house. She goes to the dock, where her fathers old ship is docked. Exhausted she lays down to sleep in the boat only to wake up in the middle of the ocean in another world. Her rescue comes in the form of a formidable captain.

To get back to earth, she agrees to work for Ezra, the captain, who is on a mission to retrieve a mechanical heart of a whale, to power their underwater city.

Will they find the heart or will they be have to suffer from heartbreak?

The mettalic city, the description of the environment are what set the mood for the book.

My opinion
I felt the book was really short.

The transition of relationship between Ezra and Caroline from awkward and rude acquaintances to becoming attracted to each other was really quick and unsatisfactory.
But a good storyline , likeable characters and attention grabbing setting make this a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Looking forward to read more.

My Rating: 8 out of 10
Recommended for: Adventure/fantasy fans.

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Smash and Grab

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Genre: YA, Mystery
Author:Amy Christine Parker
Publisher:Random House Books for Young Readers
Source:ARC from netgalley
Expected Publication:19-07-2016

Cover:

Catchy cover with nice color palette.

Review:

Its a story about Lexi, a rich adventure loving high schooler and about Christian , a poor high schooler, who also happens to be a petty robber.
Both of them love the adrenaline rush that adventure brings.
Circumstances throw them together and even though they are opposites in every way but their love for thrill is a constant.
And they need each other to pull off the biggest and dangerous stunt they have ever performed.
Christian wants to escape his criminal lifestyle but his family’s welfare and safety is forcing him to be a part of the dangerous crime of his life. He may not like it, but to protect his sister, he has no choice but to do it.
Lexi is battling her own problems. After her father is accused of fraud and her life turns upside down, she takes it upon herself to make matters better for her family by exposing the real mastermind of the fraud.
Little does she know that along with battling for her family, she will have to battle with her heart too.

Flow of the plot is good. It doesn’t have that immersive pull at first but when things start to happen, the book proves to be entertaining.
The chemistry between Lexi and Christian is adequately depicted.
The workings of a bank is clearly well researched.
Its an interesting and fun read for sure.

My Rating: 7 out of 10

Mood Recommendation:

Read this one if you like to read books about adventurous teens and elaborate but light mystery/thrillers.

I received this ARC from netgalley for review purposes.

Stifled_review

Jinns and Masters

Stifled: A review

Stifled_review

Author: Rainy Kaye
Publisher : Bastei Entertainment
Genre: Fiction, Paranormal Fantasy
Series: Summoned
Source: ARC from netgalley
Published: 7 May 2016

Cover:
Its okayish. Doesn’t do justice to the book.

Review:

Dimitri is a free jinn, as far as broken genie bond is concerned, but he is still unable to digest this fact. He can’t bring himself to say no.
He is content living in Italy, but Syd isn’t. She has tracked down a jinn in California and wants to free the said jinn.
But once in L.A, they soon find out that its not a straight forward case of finding the jinn and figuring out how to free her.
There are more people involved, someone is after Dimitri and it seems California is home to more than one jinn.

A whole network of masters and jinns have complicated their mission, and Dimitri has to figure out a way to help the jinns without putting his freedom to risk.

My opinion:

This is as much, or even more action packed than the first book.
Dimitri has evolved as a character and has started to gain more confidence in himself and his abilities.
Plot line is cool and again there are enough twists, turns and surprises to keep you entertained.

My rating: 8 out of 10
Recommended for: Mythological creature fans and paranormal fans

I received this ARC from netgalley for review purposes