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

Stacking the Shelves [7]

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 October:




Feature and Follow Friday [12]

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 writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book? For example, if an author employs an omnipotent narrator that is sometimes considered bad form.

I'm not that fond of books told in multiple POVs. Dual POVs are alright for the most part, but there aren't really a lot of authors that can pull off multiple POVs. Usually, the characters end up sounding alike, aren't explored thoroughly, and not given enough chances to grow.

[Cover Reveal] Sweet Peril

GORGEOUS. Absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous! Also, can I go dress-shopping with Anna? ;)

Title: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Published By: HarperTeen

Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?


Wendy Higgins was born in Alaska, grew up an Army brat, and lived all over the United States before settling in the Washington, DC area. She attended George Mason University for her undergrad degree in creative writing, and Radford University for her masters in curriculum and instruction. Wendy taught 9th and 12th grade English in a rural school before becoming a mother and author. She now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Peril is her second novel.


Waiting on Wednesday [10]

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

Today's WoW spotlights Lisa Schroeder's Falling for You:

Title: Falling for You
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Published By: Simon Pulse

Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give.

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous.

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.

Doesn't the blurb sound so intriguing? I'm stuck in a YA Contemporary/NA rut for the past week (not that I'm complaining) and while searching for new titles to read, Falling for You stood out to me. And look at that gorgeous cover!

[Cover Reveal + Giveaway] Shadow of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

This is my first cover reveal and I couldn't be more excited! Thank you so much to Leigh Fallon for allowing me to be a part of all this!

Title: Shadow of the Mark (Carrier Trilogy #2)
Author: Leigh Fallon
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Published By: HarperTeen

Life for Megan Rosenberg just got a lot more complicated.

While she evoked the air element, and her feelings for Adam intensified, a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal has been spun around her.  With the Order tightening its hold, and the reinstatement of the Mark Knights, Megan has more questions than answers as the Marked Ones grow in strength.

New people arouse suspicion, the DeRises start behaving strangely, and Megan begins to unravel a destiny shrouded in mystery.  It?s a destiny the Order has struggled to hide, and a destiny someone from the past?far in the past, has already laid claim to.

Alliances will be made, and friends will be lost, as the Order?s dark secrets are revealed by the very thing they sought to destroy.

I started out life in South Africa. A year later my parents moved home to Dublin, Ireland. When I was older and realized my parents had moved me from exotic Durban, to sedate Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, I was rightly ticked off.

Giving up lions for sheep, I grew up in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains where I went to a convent school and had to contend with uniforms, gabardines, and nuns. When not dodging the beady glare of the Sisters of Mercy, I was devouring every book I could get my hands on.

I traveled all over Europe while working in banking and treasury, but I gave up my calculator in favor of a keyboard and haven't stopped writing since. My first book, Carrier of the Mark, was published by HarperTeen in 2011.

Our home is in Cork in the south of Ireland, but we're currently on loan to Massachusetts in the US where I continue to write books about magic, ghosts, and romance, with a bit of Irish flavor.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Title: Epic Fail
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Published By: HarperTeen

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, new-girl-on-campus Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.


I can't stop smiling. I really can't. If you were to look at me right now, you'd see that my eyes are all bright and sparkly, and that I'm actually biting my lower lip to keep myself from grinning too hard. But you know what? I'm not going to try too hard to keep all these positively giddy feelings at check. It's not too often that I feel all these emotions - that I feel so refreshingly good, happy and young, for the lack of a better word - after reading a work of fiction that I'm actually going to hold on to all of these feelings as long as I can. Also, I understand that this book is author Clair LaZebnik's first attempt to break into the YA market. Oh boy, did she do a fantastic job!

We are introduced to the strong-willed and deeply unprejudiced (or so she thinks) Elise and her family as they all move to a new town and subsequently attend - the mother as the principal and the dad as a professor, respectively - a school which caters to the sons and daughters of the well-known. Elise vows not to let fame and fortune affect the way she sees her classmates, and she is determined not to judge anyone based on their celebrity status. Elise, however, automatically labels Derek, the daughter of two Hollywood superstars, as self-absorbed and a jerk based on a few interactions, and inherently judges him because she thinks she knows who she is, and not because she truly knows him.

Throughout the novel, we then get to see Elise's character grow as she realizes that being judgmental goes two ways - she sides with a classmate just because she automatically thinks that Derek is in the wrong - and doing so is clearly not the right way to go about things. Everything is not as it seems, after all. In her haste to not let Derek's fame cloud her judgment of his character, she goes out of her way to paint him in a bad light, because she doesn't want people to think the only reason she thinks good of him is because of who his parents are. We also get to understand why Derek is aloof and wary of those around him, and why he isn't keen on letting people in his life. However, he decides to trust Elise and shares with her something he hasn't told anyone, and then wins Elise over. The rest, as they say, is history.

I also loved the the way LaZebnik portrayed family dynamics in Epic Fail. While Elise, the MC, and her sister, Juliana, may feel embarrassed by the way the rest of the family act, they're still family, and that's that. Sure, the two of them might consider their fourteen-year-old Layla to be a bit immature and too young to actually hang out with, but they would still drop everything to help her once she really needs it. On the flipside, Layla - while convinced that her family is nothing but a nuisance - would still tell Elise something that she feels that Elise ought to know even though they are in a fight. Elise may want to drop dead whenever her family embarrasses her, but she would never allow somebody to put them down in front of her. The Benton family is portrayed realistically - I would have no trouble believing that their family is actually a family that lives next door.

Though Epic Fail is a retelling of Pride & Prejudice, the two stories aren't one and the same. The main plot points are the same, sure, but LaZebnik successfully created her own world to play with. All in all, Epic Fail is a fun and quick read - the story is easy to follow, the characters are all interesting and fun to read about, and Elise and Derek's chemistry is off-the-charts. Sizzling, actually. Even so, LaZebnik managed to convey a believable love story that was told at the right pace (no to instalove!) with just the right amount of tension, mystery, and swoon factor. Because come on, you can't not love Derek. Trust me. Also, there's no possible that you won't be smiling - even just a little - after you finish this book.

Also, if you can't get enough of Elise and Derek (like me), you might want to check this out.

Rating: 4 stars

Feature and Follow Friday [10]

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: When you step out of your USUAL genre what do you like to read? Best books in that genre?

I know I only review YA and NA (I'm not picky about sub-genres) books on my blog, but that doesn't mean that I don't read books that fall under other genres. As a matter of fact, I read a lot of adult fiction in my spare time. Also, come to think of it, whether it be general fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies, contemporary romance, paranormal, paranormal romance, horror/thriller/suspense, mysteries, romance, or fantasy, I've pretty much read across most genres. Heck, I've even read my share of Harlequin and Mills & Boons romances! As long as the book has an interesting premise - regardless of the genre it falls under - I'm good to go.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Published By: Balzer + Bray

And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?


This book isn't like any other book I've read  in recent memory. To elaborate, I don't think too many books like these fall under the general genre of YA today. Also, now that I think about it, this book surely would have been a big hit in the 90s wherein horror/thriller/suspense were very popular to teen and young adult readers. Think Christopher Pike and LJ Smith. That's not to say that that this book wouldn't be a success today, however. It's a quick, engrossing read - it's one of those books you just can't stop reading because you have to know who's behind it all. - and the premise is incredibly intriguing. One island, ten teens, one murderer - who will survive?

Come on, you know your curiosity's piqued - mine certainly was!

The beginning of Ten introduces us to Meg and her best friend Minnie while they were on their way to Henry Island. From the get go, it was quite obvious that Meg catered to her best friend's every need and that it was Minnie who ran the show. We then got snippets of Meg's anticipation of finally graduating high school and escaping Minnie's clutches, and her endless pining for TJ, a guy who Minnie also happened to like. Of course, because Meg always put Minnie first, she resisted her feelings for TJ... even though he liked her too.

I know that a lot of people have problems with characters with doormat tendencies like Meg, but I really liked how she was portrayed. Sure, sometimes I just rolled my eyes at how she lets Minnie decide everything for her, but then again, there are a lot of friendships like Meg's and Minnie's between teenagers and even adults, come to think of it. Sometimes, no matter how hard-headed or how bad of an influence a friend might be to you, you just can't forget all the things he or she has done for you and how much you care about him or her. That's the vibe I got off Meg - despite all of Minnie's shortcomings as a friend, she loved Minnie, and that's that. Then again, I also believe that sometimes a person has to let go, and this is something that Meg ponders on for quite a bit during the course of the novel.
However, I really can't say quite the same for the other characters. I barely got to know any of them, but that's to be expected in a book with ten characters. All characters (aside from Meg, Minnie and TJ - all of whom we get to know quite well because Meg is the MC) were given adequate introductions, sure, but the killings had to start early on for the whole story to fit in 300 pages, right? Honestly, I could barely keep track of the initial murders because I really couldn't remember which character was which, but once I adjusted to the pace of the story, I got along just fine. I also loved the book's setting  - the island and the storm really set the mood for the murders perfectly. Also, one of my favorite twists has something to do with the setting - I remember freaking the hell out when I read that particular part!

I had fun while reading this book. I really did. I wasn't trying to find out who the murderer was - I allowed myself to be swept into the story and let me tell you - I honestly felt like I was on the island! However, I did catch on pretty early on how the characters of the book were connected to each other, so I'm giving myself a pat on the back for that one! Also, let me tell you - the pattern the murders followed, the way the murders were done, was truly ingenious. Just thinking about them right now gives me the chills, and it's around two in the morning...

Another reason as to why I truly enjoyed this book is because I haven't read the book this was loosely based on. I had no basis of comparison, so I just sat back and allowed myself to be part of the story. All in all - Ten is a brilliant read. It's fast-paced, chill-inducing, appropriately gruesome, and it will make you think. It will make you ponder on the concept of vengeance as a whole. I had a hard time getting the story out of my head well after I finished it, and I think a lot of you will feel the same.

Rating: 4 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday [9]

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

Today's WoW spotlights Jennifer L. Armentrout's Deity:

Title: Deity (Covenant #3)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Published By: Spencer Hill Press

"History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time. "

Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden.

If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed.

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate..

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

Title: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century
Author: Rachel Harris
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Published By: Entangled Teen

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

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

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?


I've been avoiding this book for the past month or so now, because one, I generally don't read historical fiction, and two, the cover didn't do anything for me. Anyway, the other day, I was checking out book blurbs here and there, I chanced upon My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, and to say that its blurb caught my eye is a bit of an understatement. As a matter of fact, I was besotted (Ha, that's a word that's perfect for the sixteenth century!) from the blurb alone! So that's a lesson for me (and maybe for some of you as well) - never ever judge a book by its cover, or even the genre it falls under. I'm so glad that I gave this book a chance, because I loved it.

I loved it! Yes, I just had to say that twice. If you don't believe me, I read this book in one sitting. That was how much I enjoyed it!

First of all, I have to say that the premise is genius! As I have said before, I usually don't read historical fiction in general, but come on - who wouldn't want to read about a 21st century heroine who was magically transported to the sixteenth century? I also enjoyed the fact that the heroine basically had no idea why she was sent back in time, other than the fact that she was to learn important lessons for her adventure. Cryptic to say the least, huh?

The book's MC, Cat, is a character who I'm sure many will find relatable. She's fun, quirky, incredibly witty, and her passion for art is off the charts. She's at that stage in her life where she has a difficult time letting people in - much less actually developing relationships with other people - but I really can't blame her for acting aloof and being wary. Being the daughter of two Hollywood icons, she's been thrust into the spotlight against her wishes and is constantly judged for her parents' actions, and I know that can't be easy for a teenager. Cat is strong and determined, and I loved reading about her. Her character development throughout the book is amazing.

The first few chapters of the book was a fun, light read for sure. I found myself grimacing when Cat found herself in embarrassing situations one after the other; I couldn't help but grin whenever Cat talked in twenty-first century slang much to the confusion of those around her; and I loved how Cat developed strong relationships with the people she met from the sixteenth century. Alessandra, her cousin, is basically the friend Cat never had; Aunt Francesca showered Cat the unconditional love she never had the chance to receive from her mother; and Cat fell head-over-heels in love with Lorenzo, an aspiring artist who is just perfect. (Cat and I are definitely in agreement here!)

The first part of the book might have been fun and light, but let me tell you, the second half just about broke my heart. One particular scene in the end - Cat asking about a particular painting - made my heart thump painfully, and aspects of the ending made me want to wallow in misery. Fine, I may be exaggerating a bit here, but I myself was surprised at how strongly I reacted to the book's last few chapters. I didn't expect that I would feel so much for these characters - most especially Cat and Lorenzo - but next thing I know, I can't stop thinking about them! I will definitely never forget these two characters.

Overall, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is a remarkable read. Rachel Harris was excruciatingly detailed in writing about sixteenth century Florence that I truly felt like I was with walking along with Cat in every step of her adventure. This book will make you feel a myriad of emotions, and I will definitely be rereading this in the near future.

Rating: 5 Stars

Feature and Follow Friday [10]

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 book do you think would make a great Halloween movie? Please explain in graphic detail of goriness...

Good question! I'm reading Gretchen McNeil's Ten right now and I think it would make a great Halloween movie - kill-a-group-of-people-one-by-one movies are all the hype these days, after all. Oh, I'm not done reading Ten, so no spoilers, please! ;)

Waiting on Wednesday [8]

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

Today's WoW spotlights Kristin Halbrook's Nobody but Us:

Title: Nobody but Us
Author: Kristin Halbrook
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Published By: HarperTeen

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending.

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Spark
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Published By: K Teen

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.

Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.

More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.

Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking

The fuse is lit…


Wow. Wow wow wow!

Good god, Brigid Kemmerer has done it again! If you've read my review of Storm, the first book of Kemmerer's Elemental series, you would know that I absolutely loved almost every aspect of the Elemental world that Kemmerer had to offer. I adored the characters, had almost no misgivings with the plot and its subsequent twists (I did point out that Storm's biggest plot twist was a tad too predictable, but maybe that's just me)... simply put, I enjoyed Storm. A lot. I didn't think that it was possible for me to enjoy Spark more than I enjoyed Storm (Hey, I can't even count the number of times I squealed and hurriedly flipped through the pages of Storm) but apparently, I was wrong.

I loved Spark. I loved every page of Spark! (I just can't seem to say that enough...) While reading the book, I often felt like I was reading it too slowly - I was that excited to found what the next pages had in store for me. I was practically tearing through Spark's pages like a madman, and I read the book in one go. It was truly an enjoyable read, and no aspect of Spark bored me in any way. Also, it's pretty rare in a series that the second book is as good as the first, so for Spark to be better than Storm is already quite an achievement. Honestly, I think that Spark was even more jam-packed story-wise, action-wise, romance-wise and character-building-wise than Storm was, and I'm not just saying that. I got to learn so much more about Merrick brothers, and as a result, I truly felt invested in all their stories.

I'm not going to lie - I fully expected to pine for Chris and Becca (since they weren't the main characters as they were in Storm) while reading Spark, but Gabriel had me hooked from the first page. I mean, come on, not every character can make you care so early on in the book! Also, Spark allowed us to peek in on Gabriel's innermost thoughts, and let me tell you, Gabriel is one character who has so much depth. His words, actions, and even the things he wanted to say but couldn't, reached out from the pages of the book and tugged at my heartstrings. Reading through the times he ceaselessly thought about what he went through early in life was just painful. Fire, despite being Gabriel's element, has given him a lot of grief, and I thoroughly enjoyed the parts of the book wherein Gabriel worked to have complete control over something that has taken so much from him. Furthermore, I also liked how Spark showed how Gabriel interacted with the people in his life - his eldest brother, Michael; his twin and other half, Nick; his youngest brother, Chris; his enemy-turned-friend, Hunter; and of course, Layne.

Let me get this out - I have to commend Brigid for create engaging heroines. Just like Becca, Layne's an amazing character to read about. What she's going through would surely seem familiar to some readers, and her subsequent relationship with Gabriel was fleshed out perfectly. It wasn't rushed; it wasn't forced - as a matter of fact, the development of their feelings towards each other were both gradual and natural. I also loved how Layne's relationship with her younger brother was portrayed. Kemmerer truly has a knack for creating strong family dynamics between her characters!

The friendship between Hunter and Gabriel was beautifully written as well. I felt like Kemmerer was trying to tell readers that though maintaining good relationship with family members is important, it wouldn't hurt to have true friends by your side as well. We can never quite predict just how these people will come into our lives, but sometimes, these are the ones we need to get through life's toughest times. Both Hunter and Gabriel started to depend on each other for support throughout this novel, and I fervently hope that their friendship will be explored in the next book (which is about Hunter).

All in all, I loved Spark. (Wait, I think I said that already...) I consider this book a favorite of mine, most especially since it was THE book to pull me off of that dreadful reading slump. I'm sure some of you noticed that my blog was empty all of last month! Anyway, if you guys haven't checked out Brigid Kemmerer's The Elemental Series, I suggest you do so now. We have a bit of time before the next book in the series comes out, so you all have ample time to catch up!

Rating: 5 Stars

Feature and Follow Friday [9]

Oh wow. August and September were dud months on this blog, huh? I truly apologize for that. A reading slump paired with real life problems really made me lose interest in blogging, at least for a while. However, I'm happy to report that that mentioned feeling was simply a phase, and I'm now back and ready to blog away!

Yes, I know I've said that before, but humor me. I even have a review in the works, and I can't wait to share it with everyone!

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 do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Is it to one day become an author yourself, just for fun, maybe get some online attention, or maybe something very different?

Hmmm... I started this blog because I wanted to share my love for books and to meet other people who love reading as much as I do. I also wanted a place where I can look back on whether or not I enjoyed books that I have read in the past, and thus, Defiantly Deviant was born!

I'm not going to lie though - I would love to have a book published someday...