Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

Title: Temptation
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Published by: HarlequinTEEN
Source: Netgalley

Your heart misleads you.
That's what my friends and family say.

But I love Noah.
And he loves me.

We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms.

It should be


forever, easy.

But it won't be.

Because he's Amish.

And I'm not.


I don't really know a lot about the Amish. Come to think of it, I don't think that I know anything significant about them, other than the way they dress. Also, I don't think I've ever read a YA book that has an Amish even as a minor character, so suffice to say I haven't really been exposed to the Amish through YA literature. I'm not going to lie though - the Amish fascinate me. Anyway, my ignorance of the Amish's way of life is one of the reasons as to why Temptation appealed to me as a novel - other than the fact that this said book falls under the genre of YA Contemporary (readers of my blog ought to know by now just how much I adore this genre), I also get to know more about the Amish people. Win win, right? Moreover, I have to admit - the forbidden love aspect of the novel positively intrigued me as well.

One of the things I loved about Temptation is that it was told through two perspectives. Obviously, we get to see how Rose and Noah's relationship progress through their own eyes, but other than that, we also see the Amish through Rose's point of view; the world of the 'English' (apparently, this is what the Amish call the non-Amish) through Noah's eyes, and vice versa. Narrating the story through dual POVs enriched the novel as a whole because simply put, we are privy to both sides of the story. I also loved that the readers are able to see just how differently the two view a specific thing - for example, something that Rose considers normal or nothing out of the ordinary is something that blatantly shocks or displeases Noah.

Furthermore, I loved just how painstakingly detailed Temptation is. It was rather obvious how meticulous Karen Ann Hopkins' research in creating this novel was. Everything - down to the clothes, the setting, the celebrations, and the means of transportation of the Amish, was accurate (I checked!) and nothing was let unexplored. Every single detail of the Amish's lives not familiar to the English world was described thoroughly, and next thing I know, I suddenly knew all sorts of things about the Amish.  As a matter of fact, it was so easy to get lost in the world that Hopkins shows her readers - that's how realistically she portrayed the Amish community.

To this date, I'm still torn on Noah and Rose's relationship - I have no idea if I support it, yes, but that doesn't mean that I don't believe that what they feel for each other is real, or that I didn't enjoy reading about it. It's just that reading about how they try to get their relationship to progress is god-damned frustrating, simply because they come from two different worlds. Let me be clear, however, that I don't mean 'frustrating' in a bad way. It's only a must that any relationship development between Noah and Rose be full of challenges because they are from two different walks of life; and while seeing them progress with regards to their relationships only to take step backs made me want to groan out loud, it was realistic, and I have to laud Hopkins for that. Everything about Noah and Rose's love story was realistic - everything was believable. In retrospective, let's face it - upon picking up this novel, I knew for a fact that this wouldn't be a happy-go-lucky love story, and that's what I got.

I both loved and hated reading about Noah as a character. While I loved how accurately portrayed he was (Noah's positively Amish through and through - there's no denying that), some of his actions irked me and ruffled my feminist feathers, and I guess I did kind of expect that. He is from a completely different culture, after all, and of course he would act in the way that he sees as normal. It was interesting to see how he and Rose attempted to meet halfway with regards to their cultures, and how they were truly dedicated in making their love last. 

All in all, I enjoyed reading Temptation. The novel was well-written, and I loved reading about every aspect of Noah and Rose's lives. Both characters also made lasting impressions, and I want to know more about them. While I wasn't really fond of some of Rose's choices in the book, I did understand why she made them, and I can't wait to see how everything unravels in Belonging.

Rating: 4 Stars

Feature and Follow Friday [18]

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. This meme is a great way to meet new bloggers, and to likewise know more about them. Follow me and I'll be sure to follow you back! I have added a Linky widget to my blog as well, so feel free to follow me via Linky!
Q: What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...
Books don't usually make me cry. I sometimes get choked up, or my heart aches and my stomach tightens, sure, but I seldom cry. I do get emotional a lot because of books, but only a few of them have actually reduced me to tears. I did blubber uncontrollably two times while reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows though - during the chapter dedicated to Snape (what a heartwrencher that was!) and while I was reading the last page. I also cried upon Marley's death in Marley and Me, and while reading the final chapter of My Sister's Keeper.

Oh, and make sure to check out my first giveaway ever!

End of the World Giveaway Hop [INT]

I've been blogging for more or less six months now, and I thought I'd show my appreciation to my lovely followers and do a giveaway! (Finally, right?) So what can you win, you may ask? Well, let me ask you this - what book would you save if the world was coming to an end? To the winner of this giveaway, I promise to give you that very book!

  • This giveaway is open internationally. As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you're good to go!
  • You must be at least 13 to enter this giveaway.
  • You can win any book of your choice, as long as it is worth/under $15.
  • This giveaway will end on 22nd December, 12:00am.
  • The winner will be given 48 hours to respond to the email I will be sending out. If he/she does not reply to my email, I will be forced to choose another winner.
  • This is a giveaway hop, so make sure to check out all the other blogs participating HERE!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Published by: Simon and Schuster's Children Publishing

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.


One of the things I liked about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was that I had no idea what to expect from the book. I only knew that this book was extremely hyped up last year, and the reason I picked up a copy was because the sequel was just as hyped. Other than that, I was completely in the dark. The blurb revealed essentially nothing (other than the fact that the book most probably was a thriller), and I'm not going to lie - that brief blurb made me want to read the book more. I was hooked from the first sentence alone! There's nothing more invigorating than the feeling of opening a book wherein you have absolutely no idea what's going to happen, and you just allow the world to sweep you in.

I did expect something from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer though - I expected this hyped up and often raved about book to be a good read. And you know what? My expectations were indeed fulfilled. Big time.

Long after finishing The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I laid in my bed, eyes wide open, and just stared into space. To say that the book is EXTREMELY creepy would be putting things lightly. (Yes, even with that 'extremely' in all caps!)  Hodkin had no problem drawing me with her writing - her words created such vivid and detailed pictures of the peculiar events of Mara Dyer's life - that I was even induced to getting goosebumps several times while reading! Goodness, that has never happened to me before! The fact that I started reading this book at around midnight didn't help things either...

As I've previously mentioned, Hodkin's writing is sublime. She was able to portray every aspect of Mara's emotions throughout the book phenomenally. Whether it be confusion, fear, loneliness or guilt she felt, I had absolutely no problem in connecting with Mara. She was a fully-developed character - a character dripping with depth; a character worth reading about. As a matter of fact, more often than not,  I actually felt the same things Mara was feeling - most especially when her paranoia got the best of her, and when she was drowning in fear and foreboding. Those moments were chill-inducing, to say the least. If that's not a testament to Hodkin's way with words, I have no idea what else can convince you.

The romance between Mara and Noah Shaw made for a sweet read as well. The beginning was little too instalove-ish for me, but subsequent interactions between the two did make my heart melt, and next thing I knew, I found myself smiling stupidly at some of Noah's antics. Noah is an interesting character, to say the least. He's witty, positively dripping with charm, and yet his gentleness when it comes to Mara makes for an welcome change of pace. I just love the way he is around her!

While the romance of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was an integral part of the novel as a whole, I'm sure I won't be alone in saying that it wasn't my favorite aspect. I'm not saying that the romance wasn't great, because it was, but the mystery of Mara proved to be the bigger draw of the book, at least for me. I couldn't wrap my head around all the twists, turns, and revelations Hodkin had up her sleeve, and my heart was beating like crazy as I got closer to finding out just what on earth was happening to Mara.

All in all, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a chilling read you don't want to miss out on. As you can probably tell by now, I tried my hardest to not include even the slightest spoiler so that your reading experience won't be ruined. Go grab a copy if you haven't, and I'll go purchase a copy of the sequel myself!

Rating: 4 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday [16]

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Today's WoW spotlights Impostor (Variant #1) by Susanne Winnacker:

Title: Impostor
Author: Susanne Winnacker
Release Date: July 11, 2013
Published By: Razorbill/Penguin

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI.

When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep.

Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

Why must July be six long months away!? I've never been so desperate to read a book - heck, I'm more than willing to gouge my eye out to have a copy (not that it's going to happen) before July!

[Cover Reveal] Back to You by Priscilla Glenn

I reviewed this book quite recently, and to say that I LOVED it would be putting it mildly. (Seriously. Read my review and to find out just how much I adored this book!) When I found out that AToMR Tours was organizing a reveal for the brand new cover of Back to You, of course I had to sign up! And wow - how absolutely breathtaking is the new cover?

Title: Back to You
Author: Priscilla Glenn
Release Date: October 20, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult with mature YA cross-over appeal
Amazon / Goodreads
When Lauren Monroe first laid eyes on Michael Delaney back in high school, she had every reason to stay away from him; within minutes of their first encounter, his volatile actions confirmed his notorious reputation. But Lauren saw something in him that caused her to question
his bad-boy persona, and against her better judgment, she took a chance. She had no way of knowing that the unlikely friendship they formed would become so important to her.

Or that it would end so painfully.

Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation.

As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that torethem apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome?

Priscilla Glenn lives in New York with her husband and three beautiful children. She has been teaching English Language Arts at the middle and high school levels for the past eleven years. Glenn has written three books, although Back to You is her first published novel. Her guilty pleasures include great books, good wine, anything chocolate, and Robert Pattinson. :)

Feature and Follow Friday [17]

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. This meme is a great way to meet new bloggers, and to likewise know more about them. Follow me and I'll be sure to follow you back! I have added a Linky widget to my blog as well, so feel free to follow me via Linky!
Q: Activity! Who do you want to be? If you could choose any character from a book. What do you think that character looks like and what do you have in common?
Hermione, definitely. Or anyone from the Harry Potter series, actually. I just want to experience JK Rowling's Harry Potter universe first-hand!

Tempest by Julie Cross

Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Published By: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Provided by the author for a blog tour

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.


While reading Tempest, the first thing that I noticed was that the author made sure to not keep things too technical. Being that Tempest is all about time-traveling, I was mentally prepared for all sorts of confusing terms and concepts to be all over the book, but while they were indeed present, Cross made sure that us readers would be able to understand the said concepts clearly. Easily understood analogies were present, and because the MC himself is in the midst of discovering his capabilities, we are also able to understand things through his eyes. I don't know about you guys, but that's an automatic plus in my book - I do adore books about science fiction, yes, but I tend to not finish them when I can barely tell what's going on. Thank God I didn't encounter that problem while reading through Tempest!
After witnessing his girlfriend, Holly, get shot in the year 2009 by strangers, Jackson is unable to control his time-traveling and inadvertently jumps back to 2007. Though Jackson has learned through all the past experiments and studies he has done with his friend, Adam, is that he is unable to change the future, Jackson is willing to push boundaries and learn more about his capabilities, as well as the strangers who attacked him and Holly in the future, in an attempt to save Holly's life. As Jackson settles down in the year 2007, gets to know a younger Holly, he ultimately realizes that there are bigger things at play than he initially thought - and that the person closest to him may be the one who has all the answers to all the questions he has.

While I did enjoy reading about Holly and Jackson's romance, one thing I particularly liked about Tempest was that the romance did not overshadow the other aspects of the book. Tempest is all about Jackson and his ability to time-travel first and foremost after all, and thankfully the author didn't forget that. Furthermore, I loved how Cross made sure to give enough focus to not only Holly and Jackson's relationship in both time periods, but also Jackson's relationship with his family, and ultimately his desire to unravel the mysteries of his ability. Cross was able to successfully weave all aforementioned aspects of the story together into one unforgettable novel that has so much twists and turns!

Moreover, I really enjoyed reading about Jackson. He's an easy character to like, and he has so much depth. At first glance, it seems that Jackson is your typical spoiled rich kid, but because the book is told through his POV, we are privy to his innermost thoughts and emotions - his despair at the thought of losing Holly, his guilt at not being by his sister's deathbed, his lamentations over his relationship with his father, and his sheer desperation to change the future. Jackson also grows so much as a character throughout the book, as he is finally able to gather enough courage to face the past, and to make difficult decisions concerning his and Holly's future as well.

Action-packed and unpredictable, Tempest would be a nice addition to the bookshelves of both YA and Science Fiction afficionados. I finished it in one sitting - I was literally tearing through its pages because I just had to find out what was coming next! I guarantee that this is a novel that everyone can enjoy - it has science fiction, romance, sublime character development and a unique plot - what more can you ask for? I can't wait to read its sequel!

Rating: 5 Stars

Feature and Follow Friday [16]

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. This meme is a great way to meet new bloggers, and to likewise know more about them. Follow me and I'll be sure to follow you back! I have added a Linky widget to my blog as well, so feel free to follow me via Linky!
Q: Activity! Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like? Add an image to make us all happy.
Off the top of my head, Adrian Ivashkov from Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy and Bloodline series; Jem Carstairs from Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series; Gabriel Merrick from Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental series; John After from Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols; Wesley Rush from The Duff by Kody Keplinger; and Sam Henry from Miranda Kenneally's Catching Jordan. Good god that's a lot!

Oh, and I'm not going to lie, I've always had a thing for Draco Malfoy. ;)


My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron

Title: My Favorite Mistake
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Release Date: September 9, 2012

Taylor Caldwell can't decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.

On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome, blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he's a tattooed, guitar-playing bundle of bad boy. Maybe that's why Taylor's afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn't want to get burned, and even though her other roommates adore him, she wants him gone before it's too late.

Hunter himself has been been burned before, but the fact that Taylor calls him out on his crap and has the sexiest laugh ever make him decide maybe love isn't a lost cause. They make a bet: if she can convince him she truly loves or hates him, he'll leave the apartment--and leave her alone. The problem is, the more time they spend together, the less she hates him, and the more she moves toward love.

But when the man who holds the key to Taylor's fear of giving up her heart resurfaces and threatens to wreck everything, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.


A third into the book, I promptly realized that nothing about it so far was drawing me in and enticing me to tear through the pages. I shrugged, chalked it up to a number of reasons (oh, the story is just beginning; it's bound to get better, etc.), and continued reading. Next thing I know, I was finished reading, and it was then that I finally accepted the fact that I simply didn't enjoy My Favorite Mistake. At all.

It's not that the premise isn't intriguing or remotely interesting, because it is. I wouldn't have grabbed a copy otherwise, right? It's just that I felt like the novel left a lot to be desired - I got the feeling that the story as a whole didn't have enough substance and I never felt that the characters had depth. Certain scenes that I expected to be fleshed out weren't given enough space in the novel, while scenes that had no contribution to the overall plot lasted pages and pages. Also, though I sincerely tried my hardest to both like and understand her, Taylor was just plain horrible and was just so angry all the time. She thinks one way but does things another way, and she just makes such a huge deal of trivial things. I found her rude too, honestly. Certain parts of the novel teased that this large secret that she's keeping will allow the readers to make sense of why she acts the way she does, but even after the big reveal, I still couldn't condone her actions. I felt sorry for her, yes, but the way I felt for her pretty much couldn't be modified by then.

Furthermore, the first interaction between Taylor and Hunter made me raise my eyebrow - she punched him because he was being playful and flirty with her? Really? And nobody cared that she did so! Everyone was acting like Taylor punching a guy (who didn't even deserve to be punched, might I add) and lashing out was okay because Taylor was all 'ruined' because of her past. I don't know about you guys, but that didn't sit well with me. You DON'T punch a guy YOU JUST MET and who happens to be your new ROOMMATE. Who does that anyway!? And that was the readers' first introduction to Taylor. No wonder I didn't like her...

I didn't get the the whole bet thing either. What on earth was Hunter thinking when he proposed that? I know that he was definitely attracted to Taylor from the getgo, but the bet was just weird. Here it is - Taylor has the semester to prove to Hunter that she either loves him or hates him, and when she does, Hunter will move out. Here's the catch - Hunter will be the one to decide when that happens! Really, isn't that whacked? How is that fair, and why would any SANE person agree to that? Honestly, the 'bet' part pretty much felt forced to me. It was as if the author was trying to convince readers that Hunter was bad news... when he definitely isn't. He's sweet, charming, and fun from the very first page of the novel - I have no idea why the blurb lists him as a 'bad boy'. Trust me, he's not. As a matter of fact, he's even a bit of a pushover!

I couldn't fathom when the transition from lust to love happened too. Next thing I know, Hunter is telling Taylor's sister that things with Taylor are different. (I was a third into the novel here.) At that point, I felt like I missed something. Where was the milestone? You know, the 'moment' - the moment where it's so obvious that that was when everything changed? Hunter and Taylor barely talked about things that actually matter then - and suddenly he's convinced that she may be 'the one'? How? Why? Because she punched him? Because she supposedly 'calls him out for his bullshit'? She never did - she bantered with him when she felt like it. (I think that's different from calling out his bullshit but I can be wrong...) Anyway, the novel didn't have that moment, and as a result, I had a difficult time wrapping my head around the idea of Hunter and Taylor in a serious relationship. I just never felt that it was 'launched' properly, and I couldn't understand why he was in love with her.

This book and I didn't click in any way at all, simple as that. I'm clearly in the minority, however, so feel free to give this one a shot. You might like it better than I did.

Rating: 2 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday [15]

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Today's WoW spotlights How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski :

Title: How My Summer Went Up in Flames
Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Published By: Simon Pulse

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie just wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But with every mile marker that passes, Rosie discovers a new sense of self…and that sometimes the best revenge is moving on.

This sounds like a such a funny read, and who doesn't love road trips? (God knows I've been meaning to go on one for ages...

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Title: The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3)
Author: Rick Riordan
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Published By: Hyperion
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare...


There's no doubt about it - I consider The Mark of Athena to be the best so far in the Heroes of Olympus series. As a matter of fact, I would even go as far as to say that this novel is my favorite amongst all of Rick Riordan's repertoire! Like all of the said author's previous books, The Mark of Athena is full of heart-stopping action, jaw-dropping revelations, allusions to famous mythological famous figures, and of course, both intense and lighthearted scenes featuring our favorite demigods. Unlike the previous books in the Heroes of Olympus series, however, The Mark of Athena focused a lot on character growth and development, and that's something that I really enjoyed.

In Riordan's novels, the demigods have always been portrayed as beings who can seemingly do no wrong and are able to triumph against absolutely anything. In this particular novel, however, we get to see them in scenes wherein they are doubting themselves, as well as their capabilities, left and right. Percy and Jason, particularly, had to deal with the realization that they are not as invincible as they consider themselves to be. An enormous task ahead of her, Annabeth also has to deal with feelings of abandonment that stems from her last interaction with her mother, Athena. Frank has to learn to keep his jealousy concerning Hazel and Leo in check; while Piper must shake off the uselessness she so often feels. Leo, meanwhile, must struggle with the guilt of inadvertently starting the war between the two camps, and ultimately the loneliness of being the 'seventh-wheel'. In short, I can't help but feel the readers finally get a glimpse of these heroes' humanity. Furthermore, while reading this installment, I can honestly see the heroes for who they are - not heroes, not demigods, but simply teenagers who are entrusted with an impossible task.

We are also privy to the development of the relationships between the seven heroes. We get to witness friendships both blossom and strengthen; and of course, we also get to see romantic relationships go through both rough and good times. In this novel, the maturity of both Annabeth and Percy is evident - we learn of Percy's wishes for the future of their relationship; and we also learn just how much they both depend on each other. Jason and Percy also learn to accept the fact that they must work together in order to succeed. Furthermore, despite initially being from different camps, the seven learn to let go of their trepidation concerning each other, and start gaining mutual respect for one another.

The mythology aspect of The Mark of Athena was unbelievably spot on as well. The mythological figures were highly entertaining to read about - we get to picture them completely modernized, and well after the events that made them famous in the first place. Furthermore, Riordan's knack for humor cannot be denied. I couldn't help myself from sputtering in laughter over some of the dialogue between the demigods and the creatures they face - Riordan's imagination is unparalleled, simply put.

All in all, The Mark of Athena is a novel that you don't want to miss out on. The world Riordan has created is magnificent, and I have no qualms whatsoever that anyone - young or old - can enjoy this particular series. I might as well warn you though - the cliffhanger of this novel is pretty much heartbreaking, so make sure to look out for that.

Rating: 5 Stars

Stacking the Shelves [8]

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's a great way to show other people the books that you've bought or received for the past week.

I've decided to do this meme only at the end of every month, so here you go! Here's my haul for the month of November:

BOUGHT (All of these books except Forgotten were bought
at the NBS warehouse sale for only 9$!):

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer  (Thank you, Brigid!)

GIFTED (Thank you to my awesome sister!):


Feature and Follow Friday [15]

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. This meme is a great way to meet new bloggers, and to likewise know more about them. Follow me and I'll be sure to follow you back!
Q: What blog are you thankful for?
So I'm going to cheat a bit and not limit my answer to one blog...

YA Sisterhood - This is the blog that introduced me to the world of book blogging. I remember checking out their reviews and whatnot at least six months before I even thought about starting my own blog. If it weren't for my discovery of YA Sisterhood, I probably would have never discovered book blogging so I owe the girls who run this blog the biggest thank you!

Alison Can Read - Back on my first week of  blogging, Alison was among the first to follow my blog and welcomed me to the community. I'll always be thankful for her warm welcome. Of course, I'm really thankful for these weekly FFs as well - I've gotten to meet a lot of wonderful people because of this meme!

Xpresso Reads & Xpresso Book Tours - I make sure to Xpresso Reads out at least a few times a week simply because I love everything about it - the design, the reviews... (Yup, I'm a bit of a fan!) But what I'm really thankful for is the fact that Giselle has given me the chance to participate in so many amazing blog tours for Xpresso Book Tours. I've been attempting to join blog tours for a while now and Giselle was the first to actually make a part of her blog tours so I couldn't be more thankful.

Amaterasu Reads - Kai is a fellow Filipina blogger, and I will always be thankful to her and her blog. She's been nothing but helpful, and I just adore her!

Waiting on Wednesday [14]

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Today's WoW spotlights Anne Osterlund's Salvation:

Title: Salvation
Author: Anne Osterlund
Release Date: January 10, 2013
Published By: Penguin
Salvador Resendez--Salva to his friends--appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He's student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.

Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she's also smart, and she has serious plans for her future.

Popular guy and bookish girl--the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever--because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes.

Then tragedy strikes--and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth's love be enough to save him?
I've always been a sucker for novels wherein two people who couldn't be more different fall in love, and Salvation seemingly fits that mold. Also, I have an inkling that this will be a heartwrenching read, and I'm a huge fan of those as well...

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (Mythos Academy #1)

Title: Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy #1)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: K-Teen
My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy; a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest. But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why; especially since I should have been the one who died...

I just made my way back to the land of YA Paranormal after almost two full weeks of non-stop Contemporary and New Adult reads, and of course the first two reads I finish weren't two that I particularly enjoyed. (This is read number one, in case you were wondering.) Sigh. That's the life of avid book readers, I suppose. We will get disappointed by some of the books we read, and there's really nothing any of us can do about it.

The premise of Estep's Mythos Academy series is interesting enough - think Vampire Academy, however, we get mythical creatures from Valkyries to ninjas inhibiting a school instead of vampires. The very name of the book (and the series) made me excited about Estep's world-building, but sadly, I didn't feel that she delivered. I was rather disappointed at the lack of background information and details about this specific world Estep introduced. Come on - I want to learn more about these mythical creatures! Most of them were simply mentioned and never delved into again. Though I know that this novel is only the first in a series, I still feel that Estep should have spent more of the first book drawing the readers into her world.

Another reason as to why I didn't really enjoy this novel is because of its MC, Gwen. Not only is Gwen the MC, she also narrates throughout the novel in first person, yet despite all this, she still never made me feel invested in her life. Sure, she can tell the history of an object through a touch, but other than her unique ability, nothing about her is remotely interesting. I just couldn't relate to her - heck, nothing she says or does made me feel anything towards her. Nine times out of ten, I desperately wanted to skim through her endless soliloquies about just how much an outcast she is, how she misses her recently deceased mother, and how she believes that she caused her mother's death. Gwen's consistent berating of herself was just a smidge overdone. Instead of feeling sorry for her or even feeling even the slightest twinge of sympathy towards her, I just rolled my eyes and desperately wished for her woeful monologues to end.

Quite frankly, I never quite understood why Gwen felt responsible for her mother's death either. Her reason for believing that she caused her mother's death was a tad too far-fetched, in my opinion. I honestly felt like she was grasping at straws - she was looking for someone to blame, couldn't find one, and chose to blame herself instead. As I said previously, all of this is supposed to at least make you feel sorry for Gwen, but no matter what I did, I honestly can't feel anything at all towards her character!

Oh, the blurb is a bit misleading as well. Gwen was NOT the one who should have died, and it was clear all throughout the novel! Also, the resolution of the whole mystery fell a little flat. Even the plot twists incurred not even a 'what!?' or a 'huh?'  from me. Simply put, I didn't enjoy Touch of Frost as much as I would. Some parts of the novel were fun to read, sure; a few characters were interesting, yes; but the negative aspects of this book overshadowed its positive aspects. The blurb promised so much; the premise certainly piqued my interest; but Touch of Frost failed to deliver. Character development was pretty much non-existent, and the novel as a whole lacked punch. I don't think I'll be picking up the second book in this series.

Rating: 2 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday [13]

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Today's WoW spotlights Amanda Sun's Ink:

Title: Ink (The Paper Gods #1)
Author: Amanda Sun
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Published By: HarlequinTEEN
I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.
A YA novel set in Japan? Yes, please! And check out that gorgeous cover - that's sakura, isn't it? I'm a huge Japanese culture/pop culture afficionado, and honestly? I'm absolutely brimming with excited for this novel to come out!

Back to You by Priscilla Glenn

Title: Back to You
Author: Priscilla Glenn
Release Date: October 20, 2012
Source: An e-copy was sent by the author in exchange of an honest review

When Lauren Monroe first laid eyes on Michael Delaney back in high school, she had every reason to stay away from him; within minutes of their first encounter, his volatile actions confirmed his notorious reputation. But Lauren saw something in him that caused her to question his bad-boy persona, and against her better judgment, she took a chance. She had no way of knowing that the unlikely friendship they formed would become so important to her.

Or that it would end so painfully.

Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation.

As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that tore them apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome?


I don't think I've ever been taken aback by a book that I know the plot of. From the blurb alone, I already knew that I was going to enjoy Back to You, but in no way did I have any idea that I would be this moved by it. Truth be told, a few hours have already passed since I finished reading Back to You and yet I still can't stop thinking about it! The novel was just beautifully written - I had no problem connecting with the characters and I was drawn into the story. As a matter of fact, I finished the entire book in one sitting! The characters truly left their mark on me - a few pages in the book and I became fully invested in their past, present and future. Furthermore, my heart still thumps painfully whenever I recall some of the more gutwrenching parts of the book, just like I smile whenever I recall those scenes that inexplicably made my heart feel lighter. I am in no way exaggerating when I say that this is a masterpiece of a novel that I will reread time and time again, and I highly encourage you to do the same.

The book introduces us to Lauren and Michael eight years after they finished high school; eight years after they last communicated; eight years after everything went wrong between the two of them. Now in their mid-twenties, Michael has a three-year-old daughter enrolled in the daycare Lauren works for, and the two are forced to face the past they have been running away from. Back to You explores the after of a relationship and friendship gone south, how the two involved tiptoe around the realization that there is indeed more to what happened between the two of them years ago... and that maybe, just maybe, they need to be in each other's lives again.

One of my favorite things about this novel is how fully-fleshed the portrayal of the characters of Lauren and Michael are. We are privy to some of the most poignant events of their lives - the beginning and end of their relationship through their high school years, and how their friendship often crossed the line into something more, amongst others - that shaped Lauren and Michael into who they are today. These two characters are engrossing to read about, to say the least. I'm sure that there are readers out there who are able to relate to Lauren's character and her desire for her friendship with Michael to evolve into something more. It's a tale as old time, yet somehow, Glenn was able to ensure that Lauren's character isn't cliche in any way and is multifaceted with enough depth to hook the readers in.

Likewise, we also learn just why Michael acted the way he did in high school. We learn of his heartbreaking childhood, his filial situation that leaves a lot to be desired, and just how much he blames himself for everything that occurred in his past. Michael's story broke my heart into tiny pieces, and honestly, I feel nothing but chagrin at the fact that he had nobody in his life except Lauren to lean on to after experiencing so much at a young age.  Furthermore, Glenn was able to show her readers just how special Lauren and Michael are to each other. Through flashbacks, we were shown just how much Lauren and Michael valued each other through their young adulthood, and also how Michael's perception of who he is - his errant belief that his past defines him - ultimately came between them.

Though the story alternated between two timelines, the transition between the two was often very smooth and wasn't the least bit confusing. Glenn had no problem taking us through Lauren and Michael's high school years and their reconnection eight years after. Though Back to You is technically considered an adult contemporary romance, fans of the young adult genre would have no problem getting into the novel since at least half of it details Lauren and Michael's high school experience.

Thought provoking and incredibly poignant, Back to You explores the fact of life that some people deserve second chances. Michael and Lauren's story also proves that though there are indeed relationships you need to let go of, there are also those you have to fight for because sometimes, making your way through that tumultous chaos to find that happy ending you deserve may well be worth it.

Rating: 5 Stars

Feature and Follow Friday [14]

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. This meme is a great way to meet new bloggers, and to likewise know more about them. Follow me and I'll be sure to follow you back!

Q: Do you mind books with similar ideas to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings or pulled-to-publish fanfic?

Not really. I happen to adore retellings simply because I love how authors can add their own fresh twists on stories that we all know and love. I also don't mind reading stories with similar concepts either because the major plotlines usually differ, and each character has his own story to tell. I'm not too sure about pulled-to-publish fanfiction though...


Waiting on Wednesday [12]

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Today's WoW spotlights April Lindner's Catherine:

Title: Catherine
Author: April Lindner
Release Date: January 2, 2013
Published By: Poppy

A forbidden romance. A modern mystery. Wuthering Heights as you’ve never seen it before.

Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad’s famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?

Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a sudden illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years—a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn’t die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her—starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.

Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine interweaves a timeless forbidden romance with a compelling modern mystery.

A modern retelling of my favorite classic. Need I say more?

[Cover Reveal] Pieces by Michelle Davidson Argyle

I just finished reading Breakaway not more than ten minutes ago, and I was completely floored - do look out for my review in the coming weeks! And of course, here's a little something to get you excited for Pieces:

Title: Pieces (The Sweet Trilogy #2)
Author: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Release Date: February 14, 2013
Published By: Rhemalda Publishing
Goodreads Page

Two years after watching her kidnappers go to prison, Naomi Jensen is still in love with one of them. Jesse will be released in a few years, and Naomi knows college is the perfect distraction while she waits. But when her new friend Finn makes her question what is right and what is wrong, she begins to wonder if Jesse is the one for her … until she discovers he's out on parole. Naomi must sort through her confusion to figure out where love and freedom truly lie—in Finn, who has no connections to her past, or Jesse, who has just asked her to run away with him.

Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She loves the seasons, but late summer and early fall are her favorites. She adores chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in whatever time she can grab between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She believes a simple life is the best life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Easy by Tammara Webber

Title: Easy
Author: Tammara Webber
Release Date: November 06, 2012
Published By: Berkley Publishing Group

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.


A previous NA read pretty much left me scarred because of the way it didn't handle serious issues well (I won't mention any titles but my goodreads friends should have a good idea on what book I'm talking about) so you can't really blame me when I say that I was a bit hesitant to try Easy. Easy has a lot of similarities with the previously mentioned NA book - they're both self-published, deal with less-than-perfect love interests, and have garnered enough hype since then to be re-released by major publishers. However, I haven't really seen bad reviews of Easy, and most of my fellow bloggers have been raving about it, so I decided to give it a shot.

Cue my relief at finally not judging a book by preconceived notions and giving it a shot, because I loved Easy. I have no qualms in saying that this is one of my favorite books of 2012, and quite probably the NA book I consider to be the most accurately written, at least when it comes to the characters, the setting, and the situations the characters get themselves into. As we all know, NA novels deal with characters who are either in college or out of high school but are not yet full-fledged adults, and I truly felt that Webber knew what she was talking about while reading the book. I never raised an eyebrow at the situations that occurred because I believe that they can actually happen in college - nothing was far-fetched or out of the ordinary. I never thought that the writing was forced either. Everything just flowed, and the story just grabbed my attentions and didn't let go.

Also, Webber did a brilliant job in dealing with rape culture in this novel. Many people seem to think that there is only a certain number of plausible reactions towards both attempted rape and rape, but Webber's Jacqueline showed us just how little people actually know of rape. The portrayal of the character of Jacqueline was just exquisitely done - from the sheer terror brought about by the assault, to her finding out that she CAN do something to protect herself from those who want to hurt her, and to her stepping out of her comfort zone and talking about what she went through. Jacqueline grew so much in the course of this novel - she didn't let the attempted rape define her, and she went on to become a strong and independent young woman who fights for herself and what she believes in.

I can't help but laud Webber's portrayal of Lucas as well - he isn't perfect, he has problems of his own to deal with, and his past haunts him every second of everyday. His imperfection is what makes him the perfect character to relate to, in my opinion. Webber was able to explore so much of who Lucas is that I actually feel like I know him, and he isn't a stagnant character either. Like Jacqueline, he grows so much throughout the novel - he finally accepts that what happened in the past wasn't his fault, and that he needs to deal with the repercussions of his continuous blaming of himself for what happened years ago.

Furthermore, I loved reading about how Jacqueline and Lucas' relationship progressed. Lucas started out as being the one who saved her in Jacqueline's eyes, but pretty soon, that wasn't the only way Jacqueline saw him. The mutual attraction was palpable, but that wasn't what defined Jacqueline and Lucas' relationship. They truly care about each other, and they both helped each other face what each has been running away for so long. A subplot concerning Lucas also allowed you to look at their relationship from a different angle, and it was so apparent - to me, anyway - that the two of them belonged together.

To sum it all up, Easy is an enthralling story from start to finish, and I consider it one of the must-reads of 2012. These characters will stay with you, because you can learn so much from their stories. After reading Easy, you can't not be proud of both Jacqueline and Lucas!

Rating: 5 Stars

Feature and Follow Friday [13]

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. This meme is a great way to meet new bloggers, and to likewise know more about them. Follow me and I'll be sure to follow you back!

What is a deal breaker for you in a book? For example, do you abhor love triangles? Or can't deal with bad editing?

I roll my eyes at insta-love, sure, but I don't consider it a deal breaker unlike bad editing, wrong grammar, and choppy sentences. I get why authors intentionally splice sentences, but some authors just take it too far. An example (not verbatim) - 'Jake. His right-hand man. Who would do absolutely anything for him.' Also, multiple POVs (four and above) confuse the heck out of me most of the time.

Waiting on Wednesday [11]

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Today's WoW spotlights Lauren Morrill's Meant to Be:

Title: Meant to Be
Author: Lauren Morrill
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Published By: Delacorte Books

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

I've heard nothing but good things about this book and I honestly can't wait to grab a copy! As you all know by now (well, some of you, anyway), YA contemporaries are my undoing and this looks like the perfect quick read.

Charade by Nyrae Dawn

Title: Charade
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Release Date: October 22, 2012

Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom's dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it's what he wants too.

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever


This book's premise is simple enough - one girl finds out that her ex-boyfriend is cheating on her and thus enlists one random boy (who happens to hate the ex-boyfriend in question) to help her make said ex-boyfriend angry. It's a plot point and a storyline that has been well overused in media and popular culture today, but as I wanted a quick read, I thought that a familiar story wouldn't hurt. All I can say is wow - I really should stop judging books based on book blurbs, huh? This book is nothing like I thought it would be! So kudos to you, Nyrae Dawn, because Charade is a page-turner filled with engrossing characters with emotional stories to tell.

Cheyenne is one captivating character. Reading about how Cheyenne shuts herself off from the rest of the world is painful, to say the least. Reading about her fighting for control in every single thing that she does is perplexing, but upon finding out just why she desires to be in control all the time, I couldn't help but feel that her feelings are justified. Moreover, she believes that someone who should have loved her unconditionally has abandoned her as a child, and as a result, she has this unwavering fear of being left behind. Cheyenne is one woman who is desperate to escape her past, yet in her yearning to leave everything behind, she's simply running away from the inevitable. She's just like all of us at one point in our lives, and that's what makes her a character anyone can relate to. I enjoyed watching her character grow throughout the book, and honestly, reading about how she faced her worst fears made me so proud of her.

Reading about everything Colt is currently experiencing in his life is just mind-numbing. I can't even begin to fathom just how awful it is to be powerless to stop the unavoidable. Watching his mom's life wither right before his very eyes is basically hell for Colt, and yet there is no way he can leave his mother to fend for herself. Moreover, he is stuck living a life his mother wants for him, because how can he not give his mother what she wants most for her son? I've said before that reading about Cheyenne's past was painful, but reading through Colt's interactions with his mother pretty much tore my heart into smithereens. Reading through his innermost thoughts was even worse. It was so adamantly obvious just how much Colt loved his mother, and it was equally obvious that it tears him apart that he can nothing about her impending death. The character of Colt is my favorite in the book based on one reason and one reason alone - he's human. He makes mistakes, makes rash decisions, and he continuously does something not for himself but for other people. He's lost, just like the rest of us. He's basically going through the motions in life, just like Cheyenne, and just like anyone who encounters noting but trouble in his or her life.

The way Dawn portrayed both Cheyenne and Colt is so bone-chillingly perfect - they're not just characters in a book. They're the people you see everyday who are fighting for control, for normalcy. They're the people you see in every nook and cranny of the world who are simply fighting to survive and face the future with hope. That's another thing Dawn does so marvelously in this novel - through the whirlwind of a relationship between Cheyenne and Colt, she shows us that hope can spring from the most random of places and that one can find it anywhere. It is only through each other that both Cheyenne and Colt face their deepest fears and look towards the future... together.

Charade is a book that will make you laugh, make you cry and ultimately make your heart ache. Aside from the accurate portrayal of the characters, the romance is spot-on - not rushed, but not painstakingly stalled either. How Nyrae Dawn is not a household name in the world of YA Contemporary and New Adult I honestly do not know.

Rating: 5 Stars

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Title: Forget You
Author: Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 10, 2010
Published By: MTV Books


There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.  But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all--the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug--of all people-- suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life--a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.


Well... wow. In one word, this book was gripping. Raw. Gritty. Gut-wrenching. Okay... I might have gone a wee bit overboard with the one word descriptions, but I hope you guys understand what I'm trying to say. This book is good. It is seriously flat-out amazing. I mean, sure, it has its scratch-my-head, slap-my-forehead and scream-in-frustration moments (but then again, only a few books don't illicit such reactions), and yes, there are a few plot points that could have been explored better, but overall, Forget You is an amazing read. It has been well over a week since I finished reading this book, and I still can't stop thinking about it.

Based from the few reviews I've read in the bloggerverse, the main reason as to why some readers didn't like Forget You as much as they did Going too Far was because of the book's MC, Zoey. In all honestly, I'm not that fond of the Zoey either. I had such a difficult time understanding why she acted the way she acted at times and I couldn't even begin to fathom most of the decisions she made, but let's try put things into perspective here. Her mother attempted to commit suicide; her father - who has left their family for his girlfriend, doesn't give a damn about what happened and is hell-bent on keeping the world from finding out what happened to Zoey's mother. Add in the fact that Zoey suddenly loses memory of an entire night after a car crash, and when she wakes up, she finds out that things aren't as she remembers. For one, Brandon, the guy she thought as her boyfriend is studiously ignoring her, while Doug, the guy she can't stand - and the guy who can't stand her - is suddenly all interested in a relationship. Zoey is dazed, confused, and frightened, even and worst of all, she can't let anyone know just how little she remembers of that night.

So let me ask you this - based on the premise, based on all that Zoey's going through - doesn't it only make sense that she tries her best to keep her life as she remembers it? In my opinion, that's why she keeps reiterating that Brandon is her boyfriend (even though it's painfully obvious that Brandon considered her a fling and nothing else) because that's something she remembers clearly, and that's her semblance of normality right there. While it is indeed true that she and Doug have this connection - this intense connection - that's something that she can't wrap her mind around because she can't remember just what it is that happened between her and Doug, and as a result, she's frightened. She's mindblowingly frightened. Zoey's terrified that there's so much that she has forgotten, and even worse, she can't ask for help because she can't have the rest of the world thinking that she's mentally ill like her mother. Now, based on all that I have said, doesn't Zoey's actions throughout the book make more sense? In my opinion, the way Echols portrayed her was spot on and painfully honest.

Now that we've made sense of Zoey, let's now move on to what made me like this book (well, at least for me) - Doug. I loved how Doug cared for Zoey, and just how much he is willing to do for her. He's willing to to wait for Zoey to make sense of things, and he's there for her at every step of the way. Doug is loyal, honest, and is such a compelling character - he's one of those characters that I never get tired of reading about. He has gone through a lot in his life, and I loved how Echols didn't gloss over that one bit. She was able to portray just how it is Zoey and Doug helped each other through the hardships of their respective lives, and at the same time, she manages to create a love story unlike any other. There is simply no way that you won't root for Zoey and Doug to live happily ever after, believe me.

As much as I enjoyed Forget You, there are a few things that I wish could have been explored more. I wish we could have learned more about Doug. While we did learn a lot, there's just this feeling that it's nowhere enough. I felt like Echols barely tapped in the surface of Doug's character, and I feel like there's a lot more that he could have contributed to the story. Second, I also wish that we could have explored the character of Zoey's father more. He was painted as a goonish, jerk of a father (I mean, come on, installing cameras all over your house just so you can watch your daughter's every move?) with no ample reason for just why it is he acts the way he does.  Lastly, I wish we could have explored just how Doug came to love Zoey. I mean, I believe that he truly does love her, but I honestly wish that we could have gotten the long story.

All in all, I consider Forget You a compelling read. This is one of those books that will stay on your mind well after finishing it, and trust me, you won't be able to stop thinking about it that easily. Sure, Zoey might get on your nerves, but she is an engrossing character to read about, and Doug as a character isn't too shabby either. Forget You is a quick read, and I suggest that you give it a shot. It's a book that is vastly underrated but shouldn't be.

Rating: 3.5 Stars