Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: The Uninvited by Cat Winters

The Uninvited by Cat Winters

Published August 11th 2015

by William Morrow 

From the award-winning author of In the Shadow of Blackbirds comes a stunning new novel—a masterfully crafted story of love, loss, and second chances.
Set during the fear and panic of the Great Influenza of 1918, The Uninvited is part gothic ghost-story, part psychological thriller, perfect for those who loved The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield or The Vanishing by Wendy Webb. Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days. But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War. Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.

My Thoughts

I have been quite interested in Cat Winters ever since I have heard a few of my little blue birds signing her praises. I saw that this was a ghost story set around the turn of the century and just knew it would be my kind of book. Thank you to Cat Winters for proving my theory correct.

This story isn't only about ghost, which Ivy Rowan and her mother are able to see before the passing of a loved one. It is also about some serious prejudice during World War 1 and the Spanish Influenza. I have a deep deep love for history but I am sad to admit I didn't quite know much else besides the bare bones about either of these topics. Mrs. Winters was able to breath and amazing amount of life into both subjects by creating a tale of love, loss, and finding true freedom no matter where you are or what you have done. I thought this was going to be a ghost story but it turned out to be so much more than that. The plot was steeped in mystery right from the start and laid out in an intriguing manner to the very end. 

The relationship that Ivy forms with German resident Daniel is so fascinating to see. Even thought her father and brother uprooted this young man's life entirely. Ivy still has it in her heart to try to make amends and slowly Daniel lets her in. All the while this is taking place with a back drop of severe sickness and death. The 1918 Spanish Influenza wiped out 675,000 americans. Whenever reading something Historical that I don't know much about I tend to google it and let me tell you floored is an understatement. I was stunned at the staggering figures not only in America but world wide. Over 1/5 of the worlds population was infected. Twenty to Forty MILLION people lost their lives during 1918-1919. These folks died trying to clear their airways of red tinged froth that sometimes gushed from their mouth and noses. The worst part was the age group that was the hardest hit was the 15-34 year olds. All of this death was needless to say a perfect setting for a girl whom is able to see harbinger spirits, spirits whom predict the death of someone nearby.

There is so many twists and turns that one is sure to be kept on their toes. If you are a historical fiction fan or a fan of a good old ghost story this brilliant yet haunting tale is for you.

4 Snowflakes

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr

Made for YouMade for You by Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 16th, 2014
Purchase: Amazon
Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.
My thoughts:
I love Melissa Marr.  She is by far one of my favorite authors and I know every time I pick up one of her books I will be in love with it.  Made for You is another great addition to her growing line up and I am so so glad I got the chance to read this one.

Made for You is creepy and I mean CREEPY!  I was on the edge of my seat the entire time while I read this and man was it amazing!  We have Eva who is just trying to get through high school without stepping on any Southern toes and her group of friends who are too wrapped up in the Southern ways.  Throughout the story we learn that certain people are acceptable to date while others are not because of their status in society. This plays a part in several places throughout the story and sets up the stage for our stalker.

This stalker really puts the S in stalker.  I thought Marr did an amazing job at showing just how off their rocker they really were.  Sometimes I find it hard to believe backstories, but this one was just crazy and I could really see the truth in it. Especially with certain current events taking place these days.  I won't say more because I don't want to give anything away, but I can guarantee if you read this you will see what I mean.

The only part that threw me was the death vision stuff.  Every time that part would come up I felt like it just didn't fit.  I kept thinking why is this in here!  The story doesn't need it!  But I stand corrected.  Marr uses this storyline beautifully and by the end I understood why Eva needed these death visions.  I am curious to know if there will be a sequel since Eva does have these abilities and I can definitely see a potential for more stories.

One more thing I have to talk about is the whole parental role. Again Melissa Marr is amazing and finally shows what parents are for.  Were Eva's parents there for her in the beginning, no.  But they more than made up for that and it shows readers the YA can have parents in them.  I have had so many problems with this in the past and I know why parents are usually left out, but it just bothers me.  Marr does such a great job bringing Eva's parents into the story, but she still kept Eva strong and independent.  Loved loved loved this.  Do I want parents in every book no not at all, but they should have a place in more than they do and this book is a great example of how they can be woven in.

I think this is my first official stalker YA book that I have loved and I just want more!  The whole story fit to me and even though I was super shocked at who the villain turned out to be I still think it was brilliant! Marr did a wonderful job setting up her thriller to be believeable and it was definitely a job well done!
4.5 snowflakes

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #92

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

This week I also want to share a creeptastic book trailer from one of my most anticipated reads of the fall Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett!!  Check it out HERE. 
The amazing people at Penguin are also hosting this giveaway that I just have to share!!
So I'm sure most of you know Harper Christmas morninged all over Edelweiss this week and well we just couldn't resist all the awesome that was available!  Our StS this week and last week is dominated by the amazing Harper and a few other publishers that we love to pieces.  
Reign of Shadows Assassin's Heart The Mystery of Hollow Places Harmony House A Drop of Night Sword and Verse The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1) Shallow Graves Burning Glass The May Queen Murders Into the Dim Blood and Salt The Secret Fire (The Secret Fire, #1) Never Never A Study in Charlotte The Great Hunt The Girl from Everywhere
For Review:
Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms, #2)

*Special thanks to HarperTeen, Balzer & Bray, Greenwilliow Books,  Katherine Tegen Books, HarperCollins, HMH Books for Young Readers, G.P. Putman's Sons Books for Young Readers, Atom, and Spencer Hill Press*

That's it for us this week! I hope everyone had an amazing week as well! Leave me a link so I can see all your pretties!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Poppy
Review copy from NetGalley
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions.

My Thoughts:

As a fan of Smith's previous contemporaries, I was super excited about the prospect of reading her upcoming release Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between in advance. I am happy to say that the novel ended up being exactly what I expected it to be and much more.

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between follows Clare and Aidan the night before they are forced to say goodbye to their friends, their hometown and most importantly, each other. They have graduated high school and are about to travel to different sides of the country, Clare to New Hampshire and Aidan to California, and it feels to them like their two year relationship is suddenly running out of time. Over 12 hours, they drive around the town visiting places that hold an importance to them and try to figure out an answer to the question of whether they should break up or stay together in a long-distance relationship.

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between includes every bit of the cuteness I expected, but also delves into deeper issues of family, friendships and the struggles one has with determining her future. I was quite surprised actually how "serious" this novel was in comparison to the other contemporaries I have read by Smith. I loved the way the novel is narrated and the differences Clare and Aidan have in regards to their views of the future.

Clare's very practical and logical - she is a list-maker, someone who is known for making the "right" decision. Aidan is more romantic and tends to "go with the flow". Clare is sure they should break up and begin college with a clean slate. Aidan thinks that they can make it long-distance. As the night goes on, they both start to make new realizations about their situation.

What I found special about this book is the fact that rather than following characters who fall in love, we follow characters who ARE in love and who desperately try to find a solution not to be in love or at least not to get hurt when they are separated. Within the 12 hours the novel follows we learn how they met, how they fell in love. Right from the bat it feels like these characters are so good for each other and how their personalities compliment each other well.

I loved the fact that Smith not only focuses on the romance but also on the problems Aidan has at home and the problems Clare has with trying to figure out what to do with her life. There's also a really good friendship narrative present in the novel and I am definitely hoping that Smith writes some sort of companion novel about Clare and Aidan's friends Scotty and Stella!

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between is entertaining, romantic and occasionally very funny. Smith writes well and her characters are likable and very real. The struggle the characters face while planning their futures feels very real and honest and something that I was definitely able to relate with. If you have liked Smith's previous contemporaries, I am 100% sure you will enjoy this one!

4 Snowflakes

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Interview, Giveaway, & Review Firewalker (Worldwalker, #2) by Josephine Angelini

 Today on WinterHaven Books we have the amazing Josephine Angelini with us again!!  I'm still squeeing about this by the way!  She is stopping by to answer a few of my questions so take a look!

Welcome Josephine!

1. WOW! I mean WOWWW! Josephine I am completely blown away by Firewalker!  Did you have any idea how much of a punch this sequel would have?
Thank you so much for saying that! I really went for it with this book and tried to make it as unexpected as possible. I think that YA readers have grown so sophisticated that they are looking for something new in terms of storyline. I did my best to really reach out with my plotting and find things that made sense for my characters but that didn’t have the same old same old feel. I tried to go for as much emotional punch as possible.  It’s fantastic that you had the response you did. Makes me very happy.

2. I have to give you major credit because I hated Tristan in the first one and you made me love him in this one! I didn't think that was possible! Was Tristan's character hard to write?
He was hard to write because so many of my beta readers had certain expectations for Tristan. I think everyone saw them as being destined to be together because they grew up together, but that’s not how I saw it. The first person you fall for is rarely the person you end up with. But it was strange for me to see how many people were ticked off by that. I never saw Tristan as a good choice for Lily, although is he so entertaining!

3. How did you come up with the idea of the Woven? They are beyond creepy by the way!!
The Woven were an idea that transplanted from another book that I never finished and that will probably never see the light of day. They are something that scares me, so I had to use them somehow. Just a tip for aspiring writers—never throw anything away. You may get half way through a book and realize that the story isn’t going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean that elements of that book can’t be used later. The Woven were that for me.

4. Who is your favorite to write Lily or Lillian?
In Trial by Fire it was Lily, in Firewalker it was Lillian, and in the last book it’s Lily again.

5. Do you ever see yourself writing a spinoff? The world you have created is so fascinating and I know I'm definitely going to want more after this series is finished! *Crosses fingers*
Aw, thanks! I hadn’t thought of a spin off, but the end of the third book definitely leaves opportunities for other books written in this world. I haven’t gotten as far as to think up a specific plot yet, but I won’t say no if there’s a demand for it.

6. Are you working on anything at the moment? If so can you share any details?
I’ve just finished the third book and I’m going into edits for it soon. Right now I’m just focusing on spending as much time with my family as I can before I go on tour.

Thank you so much for the interview, Crystal!

This honestly was one of my favorite interviews ever!  I love love love Josephine's answers and now I want Traitor's Pyre even more!!  I simply CAN.NOT.WAIT!!!  Josephine you are amazing!  Thank you so so much for stopping by!

Giveaway time!!!
The amazing people at Macmillan have graciously offered to send one lucky readers their very own FC of Firewalker!  To enter just fill out the form below!
US only.
Good luck!

Firewalker (Worldwalker, #2)Firewalker (Worldwalker, #2) by Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
Worlds divide, magic slays, and love lies in the second book of Josephine Angelini’s The Worldwalker Trilogy.

"You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified."

Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.

Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, heartbreaking thrill ride from internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini!
My thoughts:
I've read many sequels before and while not all of them worked some did and managed to stay out of that dreaded "filler" category.  I was a little worried about Firewalker because I adored Trial by Fire and I didn't want the sequel to disappoint.  I needn't have worried because Firewalker is the best sequel I have EVER read and I am not saying that lightly.  I finished this last night and I am still squeeing and dying over what happened!

The story takes off right where Trial by Fire ended with Lily and Rowan world jumping back to her world and time.  This is where I thought the story would fall off and be filter.  I was so so wrong!  The story not only continues to move it does so rapidly and does not slow down the entire book.  I loved all the twists and turns that were thrown out and OH MY GAWD there is a huge bomb that had me on the edge of my seat!  This new twist could mean everything for Lillians world and I cannot wait to see what happens!!

Lily has really grown to be one of if not my favorite female character. She is strong and does what she has to do to save her people.  I respect her decisions and definitely rooted for her throughout the book.  I knew things were going to get tough for her between her and Rowan and while I wasn't wrong they didn't get as bad as I thought and I feel like the author is doing an amazing job at keeping the teenage angst at bay.  I for one appreciate this.  I am not sure what will become of a certain distraction, but I am hoping for the best since Ms. Angelini hasn't let me down yet!

I think my biggest surprise is Tristan. If you remember my previous review I couldn't stand him at all.  He was the supposed first love for Lily and he treated her like garbage.  While I still don't forgive him I do actually love him!  He definitely stepped up was there for Lily when she needed him the most. He explains himself and again I can't forgive him, but I can understand his side a little and they are young so forever is a long time when you are young.  He does regret what he did and knows certain events happened because of his carelessness.  I can't be mad at him anymore.  I have to say this takes a strong writer to make my hate of a character turn into love.  Brilliant job Josephine!

I have to mention the flashbacks with Lillian.  I don't know exactly why, but I have been intrigued with her from the get go and seeing through her eyes has just made me more so.  I can't believe what she went through and what she did, but I am feeling my allegiances switch a little and it's a weird feeling for sure.  I don't think I have ever switched sides so totally before in a series.  I really like how the author is showing us piece be piece what motivated Lillian and making her readers second guess what they thought was the right path.  Lillian is still a monster, but maybe she isn't as cold blooded as I originally thought.

If you loved the first book you will devour this one as well!  It has so much in it and like I said I am still amazed even 10 hours later.  I am dying for the third in this series and I can guarantee that when I get my hands on it I won't have forgotten one detail if this book. It truly is amazing!

Blizzard Read!! 

Previous books in series:
 Trial by Fire (Worldwalker, #1) Rowan (Worldwalker, #1.5)
Trial by Fire                                     Rowan


Waiting On Wednesday - Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Welcome to Waiting On Wednesday here at

 Winterhaven Books!

This is a feature created by Jill at Breaking The Spine where we share some books we are anxiously awaiting.

This week's pick...

Wink Poppy Midnight
by April Genevieve Tucholke
Expected publication: March 22nd 2016 by Dial Books

The intrigue of The Virgin Suicides and the "supernatural or not" question of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer coalesce in this young adult mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change on a dime.
Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.
Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous. What really happened? Someone knows. Someone is lying. For fans of Holly Black, We Were Liars, and The Raven Boys, this mysterious tale full of intrigue, dread, beauty, and a whiff of something strange will leave you utterly entranced.
This book looks like it has my name all over it!! I want to thank Jen @ The Starry Eyed Review for putting it on my radar. Holly Black and The Raven Boys are my best things!! I CANNOT wait and will be stalking Dial for this as soon as possible.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Random House Children's New YA Program: FIRSTINLINE!

Today on WinterHaven Books we are excited to share a brand new YA program with our readers!  This program is launching through Random House Children’s and is called FIRST IN LINE! What does this mean you ask??  Well let me tell you!  FIRST IN LINE offers YA readers exclusive advance access to bestselling and debut authors and behind-the-book content!

Members receive a monthly newsletter and access to locked sections of the site. This will include special behind-the-book material and author content, such as never-before-seen deleted scenes, extended excerpts, author videos and Q&As, sharable social images, and advance reader’s copy giveaways!

The inaugural books that are being featured include: New York Times bestselling author James Dashner’s THE GAME OF LIVES, New York Times bestselling author David Levithan’s ANOTHER DAY, bestselling and critically acclaimed authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s ILLUMINAE, debut author Nicola Yoon’s EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, and more!

We invite you to join now at! And, don’t forget to share your FIRST IN LINE moments with hashtag #FIRSTINLINE. Tell your friends, teens, and colleagues to secure THEIR place in line at

The amazing peeps at Random House Children's have graciously offered to send one lucky read a FIRST IN LINE tote!  Please fill out the Rafllecopter form below to enter!
US only

Monday, August 24, 2015

Spotlight: Mari Mancusi's SMOKED

Smoked (Scorched, #3)Title: Smoked
Author: Mari Mancusi
Series: Scorched, #3
Pubdate: September 1st, 2015
ISBN: 9781402284649
Once upon a time the world burned.
Until a girl and her dragon smothered the flame.
But the spark that ignited the apocalypse never went out.
And the scorch is about to begin…

When Team Dragon rescues Emmy from the government lab, they think the future is finally safe. But they soon discover that Emmy has a secret—a secret so dangerous it could trigger the very apocalypse Connor and Caleb were sent back in time to prevent.

As a dragon hunter, Connor has committed his life to saving the world. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to complete his mission…even if it meant betraying his brother and losing Trinity’s heart. Even if it meant doing the unthinkable.

But a desperate choice meant to prevent The Scorch, may be the spark that sets the world aflame once more.

The epic conclusion to the genre-bending Scorched series, which Melissa de la Cruz, New York Times bestselling author of the Blue Bloods series, called "A heart-pounding, twisty, time-travel fantasy.”
Mari Mancusi is a two-time Emmy award-winning television producer and author of novels for adults and teens. A graduate of Boston University, she now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and young daughter. When not writing or producing she enjoys traveling, snowboarding, reading fantasy novels, and her favorite guilty pleasure: video games.
Buy Links:

An Excerpt
“Okay, Fire Kissed,” he said. “It’s showtime.”

Together they jumped out of the truck, slamming the doors behind them. Connor ran around the back, rolling up the door and pulling out a huge box. Trinity helped him heave it onto the loading dock.

“Are you okay in there?” she whispered to the box. “Perfect,” Nate assured her from inside. “You guys go on ahead. I should be close enough now to hack into their security cameras and get them offline.” He paused then added, “Good luck. Just don’t forget about me once you have your dragon.”

“Never,” Trinity assured him, patting the box. Then she rose to her feet and approached Connor. “Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be.”

With confident, casual steps, they strode up to the guard, who was propped in a chair by the elevator, his feet up, nose in a book, completely ignoring the chaos around him. Guess deliveries weren’t in his job description. Connor gave him a small smile. “We need the elevator,” he informed him.

“Yeah, well, I need my ex-wife to get off my back,” the guard said lazily, snapping his gum. “We’ve all got problems.” Connor’s eyes zeroed in on him. “I don’t think you under- stand,” he said. “We need the elevator. We need to get upstairs. You need to let us in.”

Trinity drew in a breath, watching him work. She had to admit, Connor looked particularly hot when he was working to manipulate people’s minds. It was like he got this look in his eyes—those blue, glowing eyes of his—like he was some kind of Jedi Master or something. Truth be told, it kind of made her want to jump his bones. Not that this was the time or the place.

Pushing the inappropriate thought down, she turned back to his victim. Sure enough, the man’s face had gone slack, and he was staring up at Connor with vacant eyes. “You need the elevator,” he droned. “You need to get upstairs. You need me to let you in.”

Then, to Trinity’s excitement, he slowly rose to his feet, walked over to the elevator in question, and inserted his key. Just like that. A moment later, the doors yawned open. The guard looked at them expectantly.

Trin flashed Connor an approving look. You didn’t even need my help for that one, she teased.

Yeah, well, it’s all you from here on out, he shot back, but he looked pleased by the compliment all the same.

Giveaway time!  The wonderful people at Sourcebooks are giving away 2 complete sets of the Scorched trilogy!  Fill out the form below to enter!
Good Luck!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Review: The Veil (Devil's Isle #1) by Chloe Neill

The Veil (Devil's Isle #1

by Chloe Neill 

Published August 4th 2015 by NAL Trade 

Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil's Isle. Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused. Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head. But when the Veil threatens to shatter completely, Claire and Liam must work together to stop it, or else New Orleans will burn…

My Thoughts

I haven't not read any of Chloe Neill's books before but this was really enjoyable for my first one. She has an awesome take on the city of New Orleans and also on "Paras" or paranormals. This was probably one of my favorite Urban Fantasies I have ever read.

This story follows Claire Connolly, a teenage girl who is alone in a war torn world. A world ripped apart when Para's made it through the veil. Even though the Veil is now patched up, things are extremely desperate as humans fear for their lives. The government tried to contain all those with any magic to Devil's Isle whether they are harmful or not. This is Claire's worst fear. Since she is a sensitive, she is in constant fear of discovery. When a chance encounter tests her morality to the limits Claire makes a choice that catapults her onto path she never would have taken herself but is exactly where she needed to go. If she uses her magic to much and doesn't control it, it will devour her and she will became a wraith! I Thought the descriptions of the Paranormals were quite interesting just as I was intrigued by the way the magic worked in this story.

Even though the story starts extremely slow once the setting and characters are established the pace picks up a nicely. This became a fairly quick read for me since I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I actually couldn't resist the tension between claire and Liam, a man who works for the government but also has a heart of gold. He doesn't want to see Claire become a wraith and after witnessing her save the girl's life he knows she is something special. I loved the fact that weren't all over each other from the jump. This is going to be the slow smoldering type of romance. They are both smart and not letting their emotions get in the way of their thinking...yet anyway.

The setting was also a perfect choice. New Orleans is such a unique place. There is just a different vibe there. My father lived close for a few years and everytime I went to visit I could totally see how it was the birthplace of so much legend and lore. The way Neill incorporates the city into this story is perfection.

Overall, this was strong first story in an Urban Fantasy series I will be sure to continue!

3 Snowflakes

Friday, August 21, 2015

Aussie Book Review: Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Release Date: August 1, 2010
Fourteen year old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on Estelle, the girl next door. His life is a mess, but for now he's narrowed it down to just six impossible things...

My Thoughts
Quote: "Something large and happy has unfolded in my chest, erupting in a smile that won’t quit. I can’t remember ever feeling so light-hearted. Or is my heart full? Or bursting? Not aching, that’s for sure."

Wow! Have I ever wanted to tackle hug a protag! I have to say hands down Dan from Six Impossible Things has hijacked my heart! It’s not too often we get the luxury of reading a YA Contemporary in a guy’s POV, and this book is a perfect example of how awesome they can be. This story pulled at my heart strings tighter and tighter after every chapter and by the time it was ending, I knew I was going to have a hard time letting go.

In this story, we meet Dan Cereill and he’s having a tough time coping with life seeing as his family has lost their fortune; he’s having to move to a new house and a new school; deal with a mom that’s managing a failing wedding cake business; and coming to grips with a dad that’s not only left the family, but just revealed he’s gay. It seems like asking for one life changing event at a time seems to be too much. But in the mist of crisis, Dan has narrowed down his efforts to accomplishing six things to turn his life around… How impossible can that be?

Six Impossible Things is filled with great characters, witty narrative, heartfelt moments, and worthy life lessons. This is a story about first love, humiliation, struggle and ultimate self discovery that does nothing short of reminding you how quickly life changes, but how great it can become.

What else would you expect from an Aussie book? Nothing but shear perfection! I loved this entire cast of characters and Fiona Wood has made me an instant fan. Perfect one-sitting read that shouldn’t be missed.

Two lines I won’t soon forget:
"There’s this sky I like…"
"I love you big time…"

5 Snowflakes

Thursday, August 20, 2015

ARC Review & Giveaway: The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu

Expected publication: October 13, 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
From New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes the second book in the exhilarating Young Elites series

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers that murdered her love, the Crown Prince Enzo Valenciano.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

My Thoughts
Quote from an uncorrected proof. “A pledge to drive fear into those who will confront us. To bind us together… I pledge myself to the Rose Society, until the end of my days. I will do everything in my power to destroy all who stand in my way.”

Absolute perfection!! 
Where most second installments suffer from middle book syndrome, The Rose Society carries no such affliction. This book is a perfect blend of intrigue, dark fantasy and rival forces that have the reader sitting at the edge of their seat!

The Rose Society picks up immediately where The Young Elites left off. Adelina is on her own after the death of Enzo has the Dagger Society turning their backs on her, and Teren the leader of the Inquisition wanting her dead. As she gathers a small force including her sister Violetta, Sergio and Magiano, they use their powers to overthrow the existing rulers that seek to destroy the malfettos.

Throughout the book, you see how Adelina’s power is fueled by hate and fear. However, as her powers become stronger and out of her control, we see a more sinister side of Adelina than ever before. Now known as the White Wolf, Adelina doesn’t hesitate to destroy or kill anyone in her way, which is both heartbreaking and emotional because we lose a part of Adelina's humanity as she rises to power.

Adelina has become one of the more darker characters Marie Lu has ever written, and she nailed it!! I can't wait for the next installment... What does Lu have up her sleeve??? My guess... Explosive excellence.
5 Snowflakes
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