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All posts for the month December, 2012

5 Stars to Keir by Pippa Jay

Published December 27, 2012 by katheryn13

Outcast. Cursed. Dying. Is Keir beyond redemption? For Keirlan de Corizi–the legendary ‘Blue Demon’ of Adalucien–death seems the only escape from a world where his discolored skin marks him as an oddity and condemns him to life as a pariah. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise: Tarquin Secker, a young woman who can travel the stars with a wave of her hand. But Quin has secrets of her own. She’s spent eternity searching through space and time with a strange band of companions at her back. Defying her friends’ counsel, Quin risks her apparent immortality to save Keir. She offers him sanctuary and a new life on her home world, Lyagnius. When Keir mistakenly unleashes his dormant alien powers and earns instant exile from Quin’s home world, will she risk everything to stand by him again?

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Another guest review post. This time, by my good friend Karen. -Kat

Loved this book! Keir was a fantastic read. The hero (Keir) and the heroine (Quin) had so much rich character development. Both of them were riddled with emotional–and physical–scarring; however, it was beautifully woven into the storyline to make them stronger people. Together they were able to overcome their insecurities.

Keir is packed with action, adventure, intrigue and spicy love scenes…but one of my favorite things was the role reversal. Keir was the inexperienced one, and I loved that Quin taught him–not just how to make love, because that was hot–but how to experience life and to open himself up to forgiveness. Keir suffered a great many things, but Quin was there to support, encourage and bring him back to life.

A few of my favorite lines from the book:

“I am not friendly. I am dangerous.”

He felt her presence in his mind still, like cool hands soothing his fevered thoughts. It both disturbed and comforted him. Was she an angel in human guise? Or some demon sent to torment him before delivering him to his final hell?

His words filled her with a sadness so sharp she had to fight down tears.

He screamed for help as they took him through shadowy streets to an unknown place, but no one came.

Why am I such a sucker for tortured souls?

“We weren’t meant to have these powers, Keir, but it’s how we use them that defines who and what we are.”

“Friends may easily become enemies. Prosperity attracts envy. We must always be wary of complacency and misplaced trust.”

Would learning the truth justify the risk?

For the first time in remembrance, he wanted to touch and be touched in return. To hold her and have her return his embrace freely, with more than a friend’s affection. To feel her white skin under his fingertips. To brush the hair from her face as the breeze did now, and run his fingers through it.

He leaned close to her, and the darkness of his eyes seemed to swallow her soul. “Your fears will come to pass.”

***
I have more, but pretty soon I’ll be quoting the entire book! So go buy it! :) Keir is a must read!

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop (Tag – You’re it!) #PitchWars

Published December 20, 2012 by katheryn13

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop (Tag – You’re it!) #PitchWars

Hey, it’s Kat. This is a random post, but I felt this was the place to put it.

So, you may not know this about me, but I write. Yeah, I know. Shocking, huh? Haha. Well, I was tagged by my good friend Karen Y Bynum  to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop and I’m so proud to be a part of this. It has been fun. You should check out Karen’s blog, too, because her writing is phenomenal! Her WIP looks like it’s going to be epic!

For now, I’m talking about my new WIP that I am LOVING…

Here’s a picture that gives a good impression of my story:

images (5)

Creepy, huh? I know, it’s a bit dark, but yeah. (took me ages to edit too)

SO…. let’s start.

What is the working title of your book?

Locked Away

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It was out of the blue, really. There wasn’t any specific reason for why I wanted to start it. I suddenly had the idea of a teenage girl with major temper issues. Maybe it’s similar to my own moods occasionally, but it definitely helped fuel Bridget, to make her more real.

What genre does your book fall under?  

I like to think of it as dystopian with a slight paranormal aspect. :)

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’ve never really thought of that. I think, honestly, it’s too soon to tell.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

After being locked in a cell for three years and tortured for all she’s worth, Bridget finds herself being moved to an institute for teens, but things aren’t all they first appear.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will hopefully try for the traditional route with an agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m actually still writing the first draft. About half way. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Well I hope mine is more original than most, but if I had to choose I’d say it’s a little between Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I didn’t plan this story, but once I started, Bridget soon inspired the rest. She’s been given a bad hand, and I guess she wants other people to know how she’s going get through it. Also, books like what I mentioned above, definitely inspire my ideas in one way or another, but I like to put my own little spin on things. :)

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It has a bit of deadly romance, lots of angst and powerful discoveries.

 

5 Stars to Gravity by Melissa West

Published December 17, 2012 by katheryn13

 

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

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Let me just start by saying that I had my doubts about this at first. I’m not usually one for alien stories, but lately I’ve found myself branching out. First there was the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout (a definite read, by the way), and now Gravity.
I will say this: I am LOVING the hot aliens!

Gravity was a little slow to start off, I thought, but then it swiftly moves in a steady pace and before I know it I’m sucked in. It’s a real page turner and the world is well written, so easy to imagine that I felt like I was there in certain circumstances. A future America (and the world, for that matter) with aliens taking over…now that’s a future to fear. Unless the aliens are as good looking and sarcastic as Jackson Locke, in which case…yeah gimme!
The basic premise is solid: The humans have to wear patches at midnight so the Ancients can take their energy, their life source. But they don’t kill them… I suppose they could if they wanted, though.
Ari is the Commander Operative’s daughter and when she forgets her patch one night, she gets a surprise when she sees who her Ancient is. And from then on it’s just one endless roller coaster. I loved the fighting sequences and the whole training concept. It kind of reminded me of the Divergent series where they do that same sort of thing; it definitely (to me) had that same sort of feel to it.

I was rooting for Ari and Jackson from the first moment they locked eyes on each other. I liked how it wasn’t just love at first sight, though. They’d known each other for years, just not as friends (not close friends, anyway) so that made it more believable. Some couples in books have it that they’ve never met before so it can be a bit harder to believe they got close so quickly, you know? This, however, was a nice change and I found myself sympathising with Ari and her confusion. Not that I can really relate to it.

I really hated her dad. I’m sure he loved her and he cares, bla bla bla. But the way he was so hard on her and made her feel no where near good enough for anything, it just made my blood boil. I wanted him to just wake up for once and see she’s just a girl, just a teenage girl with feelings. But I guess that was the way he was brought up and his job taking its toll. He had to see things from a point of view and no amount of reality was going to stop that.
Gretchen and Law was wonderful characters who both brought humour and tension to the story. Law did get on my nerves a bit, but then you find out his story and it makes total sense. Gretchen…I liked her, then I was mad at her, then I liked her again.

Cybil was a character in herself. I mean talk about a 180 (you’ll see what I mean soon enough.) I don’t know what her deal was from the start but she was almost giving me whiplash with her moods.

Over all I cannot wait for the sequel, Hover, and I can only hope it lives up to its predecessor. I had been waiting months for Gravity, and when I finally got it, I was over the moon. I’d like to thank Melissa West for her amazing writing skills and for helping make aliens cool (and sexy) :)

– Kat

5 Stars to Perks Of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Published December 17, 2012 by katheryn13

Charlie is a freshman.
And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his year yet socially awkward,he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

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So this week I decided to let one of my good friends, Christy Lyn, have the chance to review a book. Here’s what she had to say. – Kat x

Wow. What can I say about this book? (Incidentally the reason behind this blog name)

I read it in one night! I was addicted from the moment I started until I finished it late at night. It reminded me of a book we would be required to read for school in high school, so it definitely brought back memories for me.

It was very life like and relatable in so many ways and I loved that it was like a diary, but in letter form. I hadn’t been expecting that, but it was a pleasant surprise and I felt as though it made the book more personal and private.

Perks Of Being A Wallflower was definitely different from the types of books I normally would read (paranormal, contemporary romance, mystery, etc.). But I loved it nonetheless.

I fell in love with Charlie and everything about him; he was the type of friend I believe everyone deserves and more so. It’s such a sweet and touching story, and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes for a trip down memory lane and a warming to the heart.

I loved reading his freshman year experience and I cannot wait to see the movie and relive the story once again.

Again, another top favorite of the year.

-a review by Christy Lyn

5 Stars for The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Published December 5, 2012 by katheryn13

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

So how can I explain how I feel about this book and not cry my eyes out again?
Simple answer: I can’t.

I suppose the one thing I must point out is that I had no idea, upon purchasing this book, what the story line was. Among the comments and the recommendations on twitter and tumblr who said I should read it, no one said “Oh, by the way, it’s about a girl who suffers from cancer…”
There was all this talk about crying and it being sad, so I guess I was semi prepared but let me just say: you can never be prepared. No amount of preparation for this book will EVER be enough. You hear me?

So we find out Hazel has Thyroid cancer. She holes up in her room a lot until her mother insists she go out and make friends. Hazel attends a cancer kid support group with other cancer baring patients under 18. And that’s when it happens; She meets Augustus. Oh, charming, funny, overly metaphorical and not to mention HOT, Augustus Waters. He’s the epitome of what we’d probably all like our boyfriends to be, right?
You think at first he’s just extremely flirtatious but it soon comes to pass that he really does like Hazel Grace (as he prefers to call her) and then we’re all falling for him. As you do.

Augustus is in remission after having his leg amputated and is supposedly clear of cancer.
I won’t say too much, but I will say this story was very bittersweet, romantic, and heartbreaking. I just… I felt myself wanting what Hazel has. Not the cancer, silly. But the type of love she had. Anyway, I’m going off topic.
I will say I cried. Three times, maybe four. They all started to blend in together until I lost count of the reasons and I just wanted to mourn for everyone. A few things caught me off guard (a certain thing that I shall not name but let’s just say it’s emotional.)
Now I find myself staring out into the abyss wondering what life is about. Sad, I know.

Another thing about this book: I laughed so hard at some things. The writing style is brilliant and Hazel’s humour is just so infectious.

If someone asked me if they should read this book, I’d probably scream ‘NO!” and then backtrack.
Not because it’s not good, because believe me, it’s damn good. But rather, it’s such a sad book that I fear the persons heart might actually break. See, now I’m using metaphors. Or am I just being ironic? I don’t know anymore.

So the only way I can really conclude this review is by saying: Oh, go read it already. Enjoy it, laugh, cry, fantasise about hot boys with weird cigarette’s that don’t light up habits and wonder about the meaning of life, yada yada yada.

A definite five all-round stars from me.

5 Stars for Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Published December 3, 2012 by katheryn13

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Falling in love can feel like poetry. Or it can feel like a slam to the heart. Colleen Hoover’s romantic, emotion-packed debut novel unforgettably captures all the magic and confusion of first love, as two young people forge an unlikely bond before discovering that fate has other plans for them. Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken becomes the rock for both her mother and younger brother. She appears resilient and tenacious, but inside, she’s losing hope. Then she meets her new neighbor Will, a handsome twenty-one-year-old whose mere presence leaves her flustered and whose passion for poetry slams thrills her. Not long after a heart-stopping first date during which each recognizes something profound and familiar in the other, they are slammed to the core when a shocking discovery brings their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together and the forces that tear them apart. Only through the poetry they share are they able to speak the truth that is in their hearts and imagine a future where love is cause for celebration, not regret.

I loved this book. It grabbed me right away and wouldn’t let me go. It refused to let me go even when my eyes were leaking tears like a fountain and I wanted to go because it was too much. This story was so beautifully written but also heartbreakingly sad. The story around Layken’s mother was …a little too close to home for me. My dad had Stage Four lung cancer,but unfortunately he didn’t get to hang around for a year, rather he got seven weeks. But that’s another story that you dont want to hear. I was fully sucked in to the dramas of Layken and Will and even the two boys. I loved Eddie and the way she could deflect tension in a matter of seconds without even trying. I cried when it was her birthday and her foster dad wrote that letter. Oh my god. Not to mention the ending of the chapter before the epilogue…oh and the epilogue letter (be warned, it’s a doosy). But most all I laughed, and that’s hard to get that balance in a novel I think. To get the readers to fully commit to these characters, to get involved and believe them on all levels and still find moments of humour in among sadness….that’s real writing right there. Not many (if any) books have made me cry quite like that, so Colleen, take that as a compliment…I think. haha. I can’t wait to read Point Of Retreat because I need know what happens to Will and Lake. Overall, Slammed is definitely a heartwarming, heartbreaking, bittersweet, funny story that I will recommend to everyone and anyone. For the first time in a bloody long time I’ve read a non supernatural book and it didn’t bore me. Congrats! Now, I’m just trying to figure out what Layken and Will’s ship name will be…I’m thinking Willake or Laykill.

Review: 5 stars to PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry

Published December 2, 2012 by elenafx

pushing the limits

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

 

Pushing The Limits is the kind of book that when you finish it, you praise yourself for reading it and then curse yourself because now you hurt too much that it’s over. And then you hug the book, crawl in a corner and cry because it’s too much.

In this order.

I don’t know where to start. I loved everything about this book. Every single thing. The fact that it was so realistic, though, is my favorite. Which may sound absurd but these extreme events in this book actually happen. There are so many lost kids needing help out there that if you really think it you’ll probably get depressed. I love the messages this book gives. Never give up even if your life is like a hellhole with some extra shit. Also starting over and letting yourself trust people. It will get better. Because life might be a bitch but she’s also a good momma who loves her children.

The characters are amazing! Echo is a lost girl with some ugly scars in her hands which she doesn’t remember getting. However, she’s told that her mother tried to killed her. She just doesn’t remember what happened. Plus, her brother died in Afghanistan. Everyone would expect her to break because that’s some pretty nasty stuff. But she is not. She’s pretty close to break, though. And that’s where Noah comes in. Bad boy attitude with problems of his own. His parents died, he had to endure some horrible foster families all the while planning to get custody of his 8 and 4-years-old brothers when he graduates.

The book is fast-paced and it’s described from both Echo and Noah’s POV. We get to see their worlds since the beginning which is good. We understand their situations and the seriousness of the whole story since the very first page. However, I loved that it was also so freaking funny and sexy and sweet. The author balances everything from complete seriousness and shocking reveals to hilariousness and hot romance. So basically Pushing The Limits has everything.

This book is an emotional roller coaster. It made me laugh, cry, smile sweetly, sob and most of all think. Pushing The Limits is one of the best books I’ve read!

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