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