Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Teaser Tuesday, #26

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays! Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser Tuesday is for the following...

Chantress (Chantress, #1)

Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Expected Publication: May 7, 2013

My Teasers are from ebook pages: 12

"I touched my hand to my stone. Was I being kept inside because of superstition --or something more?"

"Child. The word suddenly seared like a burn. "I'm not a child," I snapped. "I'm fifteen. Sixteen this winter. That's old enough to hear the truth."

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here if you don’t have a blog Thanks!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid


Release- April 23rd 2013

Purchase-Amazon / B & N / Chapters

When demons invade her dreams and tease of her death, Quinn, and Aaron, a boy with amnesia, must find a way to banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.Book Summary: It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and teasing of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.
My Thoughts:
It's been 18 months of relentless nightmares terrorizing Quinn's dreams, every since her father walked out on them and never came back. Quinn hasn't slept in 23 days and does everything she can to stay awake. She can't go back there. The veil to reality and the dreamworld are to thin. The shadows will always find her, unleashing tendrils that snake around her body pulling her into an endless eerie darkness, toying with her mind and driving her insane. Threatening to take her. Soon. With no escape and no one to save her.
They even haunt her during the day, ensuring she finds no comfort or release. They hide in the shadows festering her mind, taunting, stalking, pushing and dancing on her heightened emotions.
Quinn use to feel normal. Use to be a cheerleader and had a boyfriend, but her depression and sleep-deprivation changed all that, leaving her a former shell of what she use to be as she watches her boyfriend be with another girl, taking the life she use to have with total ease. She aches for teenage normalcy and peace. Something she may never have.
Aaron Collier has always harbored a secret obsession for Quinn Taylor the minute he meet her. But he also has a secret psychic ability every since the accident that took his mom and sister away and then later his own life and memories. So when Quinn collapses in the middle of the hallway and Aaron catches her he can't help get a glimpse into her living nightmare, watching as dark creatures try to destroy her from the inside out. He does the only thing he can by trying to manipulate the situation by using the connection to bring her back. But the dark creatures recognizes him somehow and what he's trying to achieve, attacks then recoils. Could Aaron be Quinn's only hope and saving grace? Can he save her from the dark prison of evil that has taken over her entire life? Or will the demons find a way to keep them apart...

Pretty Dark Nothing is a spine-tingling paranormal debut novel that is very dark with heartbreaking characters that you can't help feel sympathy for everything they had/have to endure. This is the stuff that really breaks your soul. Heather L. Reid, really captures that deep dark desperate depression in her writing. Almost to the point where you feel like your drowning in nothing but pain and sorrow right along with these characters. There really isn't much happy times in this escape or much for these characters to look forward to. 
But then the story started to move in a different direction with your typical high school issues; mean girls, ex-boyfriend, angst and head games. I also was really upset with the whole Jeff/Quinn deal and couldn't believe that Quinn took it that far (okay, so a sinister twisting voice got in her head, but still). And to top it all off Kerstin's news shifted the whole story into overkill drama. 
However, it was the ending and the final revelation that made this book finally come together. Like all the missing pieces to a puzzle finally clicked in place for us to see and appreciate the grand picture. I found myself completely absorbed and upset that it had to end where it did, I wanted more.

Overall, this turned out to be a decent read. The writing is a tad uneven but has a lot of potential, passion and promise. Reid can write, she has good ideas, they're just a little scattered. These characters are flawed and messy, but they also had their moments of warmth and tenderness and they make you feel and make you believe, which is always a good thing. And last but not least, we have an ending worthy of a sequel and I for one have high hopes for what's still to come.

Find the author:

                                                                   3 Snowflakes

Review: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Pretty Girl-13Pretty Girl -13 by Liz Coley
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 18, 2013
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart case, Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological mystery about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity.

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she's returned home…only to find that it's three years later and she's sixteen-or at least that's what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn't know.

But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren't locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her "alters." As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?

Liz Coley's alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing - and ultimately empowering page-turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.
My Thoughts:
I'm really struggling with my rating for this one.  On one hand I was totally enthralled with the story and the authors writing.  Angie was such a strong character that I immediately felt compassion for and the whole alters storyline that Liz Coley just totally captured me.  It was beyond heartbreaking to see what Angie's mind had to do to cope with the abuse she was subjected to.

Then on the other hand I'm left fuming for justice.  When I read stories that center around abuse as a reader I expect revenge and basically the abusers head on a platter.  This story was very anti climatic on both abuser accounts and in one instance all we are giving is a restraining order.  That's it!  To say I was angry was an understatement.  The reasoning for this is that the horrible person who abused Angie was young and didn't know any better... um excuse me??!  That should never EVER be used as an excuse for somebody over the age of five.  Not to mention the fact that this particular person abused Angie again after she returned home.  He wasn't too young then so I am still baffled why charges were not pressed.  

This situation was actually a small part in the whole overall storyline that I honestly didn't feel was needed.  Angie went through so much during those three years that she was gone that adding in another abusive storyline just felt like overkill.  Now if this certain person would have been the kidnapper then I could have seen the connection and I actually thought that was where the story was going to go.  Unfortunately we aren't given that direction and are left with a random villain who deserved a lot more than was given.  I still want revenge and I had hoped I would have gotten that scene before one of Angie's alters was erased, but sadly it was never revealed.

I also expected more from the scene where Angie finally spills what has been going on.  I guess to sum it up everything was just ho hum.  I kept waiting for the big scene where justice would be served and while we do get Angie fighting back it still wasn't enough for me.

Also I have to say that I was disappointed that the author wove in the Greg line.  He didn't add anything to the story other than to introduce Little Wife and I just felt sorry for Angie.  I kept thinking hasn't this girl been through enough?  I much preferred Abraim and Angie's slow building romance and I really wish that Greg wasn't even in the picture.

So yes I am struggling with this rating. I really enjoyed the authors writing and that last minute twist I never saw coming.  I kinda knew part of it, but not the whole thing and it broke my heart when all was revealed.  Liz Coley is a very talented writer and even though I don't agree with every direction she went in I still have a lot of respect for her writing and the world she created for Angie.

I am going to go with 3 snowflakes as my final rating.  I just can't give this anything less, the writing was too amazing.

3 snowflakes   

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review: Off Sides by Sawyer Bennett

Published: February 21, 2013
Publisher: Big Dog Publishing
Genre: New Adult for ages 17 and over
“I'm not sure what possessed me to do it. Maybe it was the impossible expectations I faced, maybe it was my own self-loathing. But I just knew I needed something different to happen. I needed someone...something...to derail me from my current path. Otherwise, I would become lost...a hollowed out shell of a man. So I did it. I approached her, then I pursued her, then I made her mine. And my life was saved...”

Ryan Burnham is the privileged son of a U.S. Congressman and captain of his university’s hockey team. While he is on the verge of fulfilling his dreams to play in the NHL, his parents want him on a different course. One he is expected to accept for the sake of his family’s public image.

Forced her to abandon her music career after the heart breaking death of her parents, Danny Cross exists on the opposite side of the tracks from Ryan. She is struggling to make her own way, working two jobs, attending college part time and volunteering in a homeless shelter. She is on a mission to build her own success.

With a chance meeting, their vastly different worlds collide, causing each to evaluate whether they are truly on the correct path to self-fulfillment and happiness. Can their relationship survive? Particularly when others are against them every step of the way. A lot can happen in just ten short days...
My Thoughts
Off Sides by Sawyer Bennett was a quick and extremely enjoyable story between two people from very different social classes that find love and hardship in equal measure. I’ll definitely be jumping into the second installment to enjoy more of this story.

Captain of the hockey team and final year senior at Northeastern College, Ryan Burnham has been living a pretty pampered existence. He has everything at his disposal and coming from a wealthy and renowned family, he knows he just has to keep on the straight and narrow to keep his family happy. So when he and his friends stumble into Sally’s diner for a late night fix, a smart and edgy waitress that stands her ground against Ryan’s elite group of obnoxious buddies quickly catches his attention.

A few dates and couple of weeks later, Danny and Ryan are head over heels for each other, but their relationship is challenged by Ryan’s family and friends that make it well known that they don’t approve of this purple haired girl with piercings and of low social status.

As the old adage goes, boy and girl from opposite sides of the track meet and fall in love never proves to be easy, especially when you have a gang of hobnobs doing everything in their power to split these two apart.

Overall, I have to say that as much as the attraction between Ryan and Danny seemed sudden and fierce that in no way made it feel unbelievable. Both of these characters where extremely likeable to the core and I rooted them on from the very beginning.

There were some moments that felt a bit contrived, but I was really enjoying the time Ryan and Danny were together so it didn’t bother me one bit. Despite the writing needing a bit of tightening, overall I have to say it was entertaining and worth my time. I would have even liked to see this story continue a bit longer.

I’ll surely be jumping into Off Limits to get to know Ryan’s sister a bit more. We got a glimpse of her in this first book and I’m eager to see her continue to grow and develop into her own character. Enjoyed it much!
3.5 Snowflakes

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Reviews- Legacy by C.J. Daugherty & Giveaway-Night School!

Legacy (Night School, #2)
Legacy by C.J. Daugherty
Release- Jan 3rd 2013

In the last year, Allie's survived three arrests, two breakups and one family breakdown. The only bright point has been her new life at Cimmeria Academy. It's the one place she's felt she belongs. And the fact that it's brought dark-eyed Carter West into her life hasn't hurt either. But far from being a safe haven, the cloistered walls of Cimmeria are proving more dangerous than Allie could have imagined. The students and faculty are under threat, and Allie's family - from her mysterious grandmother to her runaway brother - are at the centre of the storm. Allie is going to have to choose between protecting her family and trusting her friends. But secrets have a way of ripping even the strongest relationships apart...

Tina's Thoughts:
I quickly fell in love with C.J Daugherty debut novel, Night School. It has everything I adore in an escape; mystery, action, romance and thrilling characters. It also has this brilliant quality of being crazy consumingI couldn't wait to see what Daugherty had in store for these characters next and I'm happy to say that Legacy turned out to be another favorite.

Legacy starts off with Allie on the run from men in suits who are chasing her through the London streets. Soon she finds refuge with Rachel's family and are back in Cimmeria Academy before term begins. The attack at the school left the academy in devastation and everyone works hard to rebuild the old gothic building before all the students come back. It's here that Isabelle tells Allie that she will be admitted into Night School, where she will learn how to protect herself from Nathaniel's men.
Only, Night School is a lot harder then Allie realized, physically, emotionally and morally. 
Rules and secrets have a way of trapping you but lies and betrayal have a mind of it's own and soon Allie will have to decide where her true loyalties belong, no matter who she may lose in the process.

First off, I want to take a minute and just gush about the excellent writing style! I'm not sure what it is about Daugherty's books that have this all absorbing quality to it, but if I would have to pick one word to describe it, I guess it would be realistic. These characters and everything that happens in this book just feels so dame real! Vividly detailed, Daugherty has an exquisite flavor when she writes. From lavish details about the school and it's grounds, to every expression on each of these faces, to the fight scenes and clever witty dialog and banter. Every little aspect is set to motion where I feel like I'm transported in these pages and I can see everything in all it's richness. Then we have this incredibly maddening mysterious plot, and when I say mysterious, I mean I'm still not exactly sure what Night School is all about. 
When you read a vampire book, you expect vampires to be in it. Same with werewolves, fairies and so on. But the beauty of this book is that it's like a label-less can. Daugherty doesn't give you all the answers, even in the second book, we're still not positively positive what's inside. This is both alluring as hell and aggravating, but funny enough it's not frustrating. In fact, I love not knowing, it only makes me want to read these books more!

I simply adore ever single one of these characters, even the bad dudes. They're all skillfully well developed. Allie felt so conflicted this year, with all that's happening at the academy plus all the vigorous training in Night School, not to mention her very daunting love life and all the family drama. Poor girl has had one helluva year. But Allie is such a resilient character. Solid and strong, she doesn't let things weigh her down long. She takes responsibility for things that she did wrong, learns from her mistakes and changes and grows because of them. She is definitely a character I can be proud of.
There really isn't any secondary characters in this book, or at least not for me. Everyone seems to have a very specific role and are quite involved with every aspect of the story, which I find fascinating and fun.
Jo, Rachel, Jules, Isabella, Lucas, Carter and Sylvain continue to bring in much entertainment as the story slowly starts to unfold. We even have a couple of new characters, Zoe Glass, our kickass zingy child-genius that is infectiously adorable and Nicole, who turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
There is a spy among us within the walls of Cimmeria Academy. It was fun to try to guess whodunit, but sadly, it will keep you guessing and leave you hanging till the next installment.

As for Allie's love life? Well, I wish I could be happy about that particular part of the story, but I'd be lying if I said I was. I'm the kind of reader who doesn't mind love triangles, but this one stabbed me in the heart. In all honestly, I don't think I would have minded so much if Carter stayed true to his character. In the first book, Carter West was hard to read and I couldn't quite get a fix on him, but he was still sweet, charming and a supportive friend and love interest. So it really shocked the hell out of me (and broke my heart) to see this overbearing, possessive, difficult and unreasonable Carter that unfortunately graced us in this book. He's still Carter, but he's...different, wrong somehow and I just didn't like it.
I'm all for giving second chances to characters who prove redeemable, and Sylvain has proven time and time again that he regrets what he did, but I'm not happy with this new romantic development. Sure, he may have been the better man this round, but I don't feel any chemistry when Allie and Sylvain are together. He had his chance in the first book and blew it. End of story, but hey, they can still be friends. 
So yes, I'm waving my 'Team Carter' flag proudly in hopes that he doesn't let me down and things play out differently in later books. 

Bottom line, I seriously couldn't love a series more. It's crazy addicting, outstanding writing and real heart and soul characters that have you invested at minute one. This is without a doubt one of the most intense and intriguing stories I ever read. It's grips you and doesn't let go till the very last page and even then it will consume your thoughts long after the story is done. The ending shattered my heart and there is still so much we don't know and so much we still need to learn, so I can't begin to express how badly I need the next book!
A must read for fans who enjoy mystery-suspense, thrilling action and an unstoppable romance. MORE!! 

                                                                   4.5 Snowflakes

Crystal's Thoughts:
Oh my brain hurts!  This second installment of the Night School series was beyond entertaining, but has left me with so many unanswered questions!  My head is spinning from everything we did learn and begging for more answers.

Legacy starts off with Allie being chased and let me tell you my heart was pounding!  She of course gets away and for her safety she goes to live with her friend Rachel until school starts.  When it does start things don't get any easier for Allie.  She is behind her Night School training, her friends aren't happy about this new addition to her schedule, there is a spy among her peers that she can't find, and Carter *sigh* I don't even know where to being with him.  My heart is broken  =(

This book isn't big on answers, but it is filled with action and while I love action I still need answers.  I feel like this book took a small step back and I am a little disappointed.  I had so many questions from the last book that I couldn't wait to have answered and the author doesn't even really touch on any of them.  Even her characters were getting fed up with the lack of information given.  So since this book wasn't filled with answers you want to know what to expect??  HEARTACHE!  Lots and lots of heartache.  I understand that Allie needed to breathe and I seriously wanted to kick Carter for his ultimatum, but these needed to TALK!  I can't believe the way their story ended in this one and I just don't know what to do.  I was always a Team Carter so Allies new relationship is not sitting well with me and I just hope the author rights this wrong early on in the next book and gives us some answers!  One of the things I liked about the first book was the secrets and smoke and mirror stuff, but I can only take so much of that before I start losing interest.  

There is one thing that happens that I can't actually talk about, but I am very upset about it and very confused.  I hope we also get closure in regards to this situation that happens at the end.  I want this something to have more meaning for the person involved.

Even though I have a headache and heartache I still did enjoy this installment.  Allie is feisty as ever and I still enjoyed reading her story.  I will say though that if the next book doesn't start explaining things I might have a different opinion.  

Find the author
Goodreads / Website

                                                                    3.5 Snowflakes
Would you like to join Night School? We are giving away a copy of Night School, the US edition  to one lucky winner! Good luck!
Night School (Night School, #1)

Stacking the Shelves (43)

A weekly meme hosted by, Tynga's Reviews, that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review.

Our weekly recap!


Cover Reveals:

Author Event:

Sarah Dessen Bundle--2 signed books!
Showers of Books Giveaway Hop--Icons by Margaret Stohl

Charity Event:

WinerHaven Fun:

What we added to our TBR's this week!
 All Our Pretty Songs Triangles
For review:
All our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry
Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller

Blood Magic (The Blood Journals, #1) Pandemonium (Delirium, #2) Crossed (Matched, #2)
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Crossed by Ally Condie

*Special thanks to Spencer Hill Press & St. Martins Griffin*

 That's it for us this week!  Leave me a link so I can see all your pretties!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing (The Testing, #1)The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Book for Children
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.
My Thoughts:
The Testing is The Hunger Games with a twist.  Is this a good thing?   Not exactly, but I will say that this is the first book I have liked that has resembled THG and that gives me hope for the rest of the series.

The beginning of the book starts off with Cia graduating and becoming an adult.  Every year a select few are given this opportunity and along with graduation comes the chance to be chosen for The Testing.  Cia wants this more than anything else, but she knows that it has been years since anyone has been chosen from her colony so the odds are against her.  The Testing is known to be competitive and only the best go on to the University to train to help make their world stronger and better for the future.  Cia's father was chosen and he is one of the leading botanists in the world.  When Cia finds out that she is indeed chosen for this honor along with four other candidates from her colony she knows she will have to work extra hard to prove herself.  The Testing promises to weed out the weak and when Cia realizes the extent the officials are willing to go to she knows more than just her education is at risk.  Hoping to save herself as well as those she loves she sets on her path to take four tests each with its own set of life or death rules.

The Testing doesn't start off like The Hunger Games, even though I guess you could argue that the graduation day was like The reaping, but the difference is that no one knows the cruelty that awaits in the city.  And okay yes the whole travel time between Cia's colony and the City does feel very similar to when Katniss rode the train, but I promise there are differences thrown in.  The biggest difference would be that the candidates start their version of the games inside of a building and not in the field they do of course get to the field eventually.  Okay so maybe there aren't as many differences as I once thought now that I am trying to name then, but this was a good story and I really think that the sequel will be better since it seems to finally veer off THG path.  While you read this I know you are going to say that happened in THG and this happened in THG, but give it till the end.  The end is where it finally takes a turn and things get interesting.

I was shocked at the similarities especially one that you see towards the end.  It didn't feel like a rip off though and like I said this story does have its own little twists throughout and the major one being the end.  The sequel promises to give us more insight into why the testing is in place and I am dying to know more about the politics involved.  If you can get past the screaming similarities then any dystopia lover will love this book.  It is an intense ride that will make you beg for the sequel.

3 snowflakes    


Cover Reveal: Unspoken by Camille Dixon

Unspoken by Camille Dixon
Publication date: May 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Jaxon Michaels is every father's worst nightmare for his teenage daughter, but Clarice Gibson knows him better than anyone. Best friends since the sixth grade, Clare and Jax have walked the fine line of friendship for six years.

But when Clarice's friend Jessica starts dating Jax, Clare finds herself starting to notice him in a different way, one she's not entirely prepared to face. As their senior year approaches and her true feelings are unburied, Clare begins asking herself the one question she vowed never to think about: What if she's in love with her best friend? Their friendship is further strained when the captain of the football team - and Jessica's twin brother - sets his eyes on Clare. As loyalties and friendships are tested, Clare and Jax find it harder to keep themselves firmly planted on the friends side of the relationship line.

A line they are getting dangerously close to crossing.
Author Bio
I'm a Southern girl who's spent the last few years freezing my toosh off up north. Except for the snow, things are pretty good. I love sunshine, sweet tea, and romances that touch my heart. A lifelong romantic, I found my own prince charming at an online dating site. Six months later, he asked me to marry him. Picture Perfect is my debut novel.

Follow this Author

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Author Event & Giveaway - Sarah Dessen of The Moon and More

As far as YA Contemporary authors go, Sarah Dessen ranks at the top of my favorites list. When it comes to this genre, Dessen just gets me and always seems to deliver exactly what I’m looking for when I’m in the mood for a light contemporary fix. I’ve been reading her books for a few years now and when her recent titles hit the shelves, I find myself looking forward to what she has to share. So, imagine my surprise when I heard she would be at my local bookstore??!! Pure excitement!

I was fortunate enough to meet Sarah Dessen when she visited B&N in Huntington Beach on Saturday, April 20th.  Before the Q&A and signing portion of the event, she read from her upcoming release The Moon and More. Then, she took questions from the audience and answered them with the same humor and grace she infuses in her novels. You can tell she was enjoying her time with us, as evidence of the smile on her face the entire time.

It was fun to learn about her characters that she most relates to (Haley from Someone Like You) and least relates to (Remy from This Lullaby). It was also interesting to hear about the editing process she experiences for each of her books, and how her agent is considered her "one true voice." I was bummed to learn that she has no immediate plans of writing in a guys perspective, which despite what she says... I think she'd be great at it! 

After the reading and Q&A, we were offered the opportunity to meet her face to face and she was gracious enough to sign my entire Dessen collection!! Also, be sure not to miss out on the SIGNED giveaway below.

But before we get to that, I’m excited to share with you My Top 3 Favorites by Sarah Dessen. So here you go…

Number 1 Favorite
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Penguin Group
Publication Date: May 11, 2004
Read and Reviewed on May 2009
My Thoughts:
The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen, is my favorite book by this author thus far. I’ve become a fan of Dessen’s stories, and I feel she knocked it out of the ball park with this book. Her main characters are extremely likeable and easy to associate with and the plot is captivating and well developed. This is such a great story that starts, develops and ends the way it should. My fave Dessen book by far.

Macy Queen has a strained relationship with her mother after the sudden death of her father. They are grieving in their own way and have yet to talk about and deal with their loss. During the summer, Macy takes on a job with Wish Catering, which begins to change her life and allow the healing process to begin for her. In this job, she meets Wes, Delia and some great friends, and as her mother notices the changes in her daughter, she tries to bring back the old Macy, which isn’t a good thing. During this summer with Wish Catering, Macy realizes the importance of communication, friendship and love.

Macy is such a mature and sympathetic character, which the reader can’t help but care for. Her relationship with her mother, sister and friends is refreshing to read as I really liked the way she treats those she cares for by trying to do the right thing. I truly enjoyed this story and would recommend it without hesitation.
 5 Snowflakes

Number 2 Favorite
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Read and Reviewed on September 2011
My Thoughts:
My deep like for What Happened to Goodbye comes down to one thing... the protag McLean Sweet. I liked her for lots of reasons and not just because I can relate to her determination to not look down until she identifies a constellation or two when looking up at a starry sky, or because like McLean I’ve never been one to just put myself out there on day one. Also it’s not just because we both have a name you’ve got to live up it, yeah some days it’s not all sweet and lovely. :/ When it comes down to it, it was McLean’s philosophy on people and life. Plain and simple. She hit home for me in so many ways that at the end of the day, I could relate on so many levels and that’s what made her a compelling character in my eyes.

McLean and her dad have moved from town to town for the past few years. There was a messy, public divorce along with a gut wrenching betrayal that led McLean’s dad to close his restaurant and take a consulting job that has them packing their suitcases about every six months. McLean doesn’t mind. She loves being on the road with her father and changing her identity at every stop, but all that takes a turn when they come to Luna Blue. There she meets some great friends and becomes part of a community where hiding behind someone she’s not is no longer an option.

The majority of this story revolves around McLean’s strained relationship with her mom. There was a heated moment in the book where she tells her mom to just “own it”... own the fact that their mother/daughter relationship is fractured because her mom did something pretty shitty. McLean owed her nothing because if you screw up, down or inside out, you can’t just expect an apology to fix everything that’s wrong. Life just isn’t that way. Actions have consequences, and more so selfish actions destroy relationships. When this scene was unraveling before my eyes, I was so much on McLean’s side that I felt myself rooting for her all the way.

Funny thing with books; a character can do or say one small thing to claim your allegiance and that’s exactly what happened here.

This book is made especially for Sarah Dessen’s true fans. With her you’re not going to get a rushed story, but rather a slow and steady development of a situation. Dessen doesn’t play the love triangle game and most importantly you won’t come across a guy and girl that have a chance meeting with tireless declarations of love, but rather a girl that has so much crap going on in her life that the last thing she wants or expects is a guy that’s going to sweep her off her feet and spew love sonnets. So when she meets “the one,” he’s the guy that’s there for her, that challenges her to be who she really is and not hide behind false pretences, the guy that’s there when you need him… and when the clouds and cobwebs are lifted, he’s the one that she sees as her 2am. ;) Beautiful and real! Now that’s what I call awesomesauce. Give me more...
4 Snowflakes

Number 3 Favorite
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: June 16, 2009
Read and Reviewed on September 2009
My Thoughts:
Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen, is a fun and enjoyable read. I have to admit, at first I could not stand the main character, Auden. She was self-centered, clueless about others feelings, snobbish and down-right annoying. I almost put the book down and called it a day because if I don’t like the main character, chances are I’m not going to enjoy the book. However, all that altered by mid-book and the story took a sharp turn down Enjoyable Avenue. I feel Dessen’s technique was deliberate, well timed and executed with precision.

The story is about Auden who decides to spend the summer before her college freshman year in the beach town called Colby, where her father now lives with his new wife and newborn baby. Auden’s parents had a rocky marriage and were divorced a few years prior, forcing her to take on an adult role and missing out on the luxuries and experiences of childhood and adolescence, which had a negative impact on her personality and approach with people. When Auden arrives in Colby, it is obvious she has no intention of bonding with anyone or making any friends during her stay. All that changes when she gets a job at a clothing boutique meets Maggie, Leah and Esther and a great guy named Eli that show her how much she’s missed out on during her childhood. The summer she spends in Colby drastically changes her way of thinking and acting, and it is refreshing to see her transformation.

I really enjoyed this book, but it took me a while to get there. So if you read it and find yourself annoyed with Auden, don’t give up on her. Great book that I recommend as a light read.
4 Snowflakes

What!! That's not all!!

As I mentioned, I was so excited to get my collection of books signed by Sarah Dessen... AND... I also got TWO SIGNED BOOKS which I will be offering to one lucky WinterHaven follower. So if you fill out the rafflecopter and share a thoughtful comment about the author, event or her books you'll have a chance to win a SIGNED copy of these two books:
Good luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Boston Charity Book Giveaway

We are helping to spread the word about this amazing book giveaway that was created to aid the victims and families of the 2013 Boston Marathon Attack. Many best-selling authors have donated books in response to this cause. The books are grouped into bundle packs and a winner will be selected randomly through Rafflecopter for each bundle. Visit the book giveaway site for more details and how to enter.
Click HERE

If you do not want to enter to win a bundle, please feel free to make a donation using this link. It will take you directly to the organization donation site.

The auction will run from April 21-April 30th.
Book Bundle #1
In the Name of Love
SIGNED copies of:
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Easy by Tammara Webber
Fallen Too Far & Never Too Far by Abbi Glines
FATE by Elizabeth Reyes
CRUSH by Nicole Williams
Disastrous by EL Montes

Book Bundle #2
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love
SIGNED copies of:
Slammed & Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover
What a Boy Wants, What a Boy Needs and Measuring Up by Nyrae Dawn
Sleep My Child by Eyvonna Rains
ebooks: Shark Bait & The Other Fish in the Sea by Jenn Cooksey

Book Bundle #3
Just the Way You Are
SIGNED copies of:
Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase
Inhale Exhale by Sarah Ross
Destined to Change by Lisa Harley
Music of the Heart by Katie Ashley
Wide Awake by Shelly Crane

Book Bundle #4
I Walk the Line
SIGNED copies of:
The Thoughtless Series by SC Stephens
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Until I Break by M. Leighton-ARC
Collide by Gail McHugh

Book Bundle #5
Stand By Me
SIGNED copies of:
Love Unscripted & Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber
Collide by Gail McHugh
Love Em’ or Leave Em’ by Angie Stanton
On The Island byTracey Garvis-Graves

Book Bundle #6
I Wanna Hold Your Hand
SIGNED Copies of:
Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia
Naked, All In by Raine Miller
Collide by Gail McHugh
Signed Wreck Me, ebook Restore Me by JL Mac

Book Bundle #7
SIGNED copies of:
Awaken and Avenged by Sarah Ross
Darkride and Crossfire by Laura Bradley Rede

Book Bundle #8
Whole Lotta Love
SIGNED copies of:
Fall Guy & Perfectly Unmatched by Liz Reinhardt
Lengths & Depths by Steph Campbell
Charade & Freeing Carter by Nyrae Dawn
Destined to Change by Lisa Harley
A Prior Engagement by SL Scott

Book Bundle #9
Maybe I'm Amazed
SIGNED copies of:
A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter
Inescapable, Intuition, Indebted and Incendiary by Amy Bartol

Book Bundle #10
Ain't Too Proud to Beg
SIGNED copies of:
The Proposition and The Proposal by Katie Ashley
Chocolate Lovers Series by Tara Sivec
His Perfect Passion and The Undoing of a Libertine by Raine Miller

The Autumn Review
All the amazing authors who donated their books.

Showers of Books Giveaaway Hop

Today on WinterHaven Books we are participating in the Showers for Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am  A Reader Not A Writer and co-hosted by Books a la Mode.

For this hop we are giving away a copy of Icons by Margaret Stohl.  This can be a physical book through The Book Depository or an eBook purchased from US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble.  To enter fill out the Rafflecopter form below. 
Good Luck!
Icons (Icons, #1)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to visit the rest of the amazing blogs participating in the hop!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Upcoming Release Giveaway: Imposter by Susanne Winnacker

Today on Winterhaven Books, thanks to the wonderful people at Razorbill,  we are giving away a hardback copy of Imposter by Susanne Winnacker!  This book is definitely one of our most anticipated for the year and we are beyond excited to offer one lucky follower their very own copy!  To enter just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!!

Impostor (Variants, #1)Imposter (Variants #1) by Susanne Winnacker
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late? 

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.

Find the Author:

A very special thanks to Razorbill!!