Tuesday, August 15, 2017

In The Crease (Assassins, #12) By: Toni Aleo

I want to send a huge thank you to Toni and Ardent Prose PR for getting this awesome ARC sent out for review.
Y'all rock, and I can't thank you enough for getting me Wren and Jensen's story. I absolutely adored this book, and was so excited to finally get their story. And man, Toni, you did not disappoint

Jensen Monroe is a unicorn. As handsome as any model, as polite as can be, a goalie of unmatched skill, and the best friend anyone could ask for. But he longs for a particular special someone to make his life complete. He’s been in love with Wren since he was a teenager, but as his best friend’s sister, she’s always been off-limits.

Wren Lemiere has prided herself on being a love ’em and leave ’em girl her whole life. She’s all about equal opportunity in the battle of the sexes. Why should guys like her brother and his best friends get to be the only ones allowed to play the dating game? One wrong move, however, and she finds herself in violation of her own rules.

In need of a fake husband and baby daddy for her unexpected bundle of joy, Wren finally accepts Jensen is the logical one to ask for help. Except he has a counteroffer…one with so many strings attached, they may just find themselves wrapped up in ties that bind. Forever.

Let me just say... This is one of those books that I was dying to get my grubby little hands on. I totally fell for Jensen and Wren back in Vaughn's book, and was literally bouncing up and down at the idea of finally getting to see what was going to happen between them.

So when the email went out that they were being sent out I was freaking ecstatic. 

I can't even tell you all.This book did not disappoint one bit. It had everything I could have wanted... Amazing characters, a great plot, sexy times galore, and yes, even a few overly frustrating scenes I just wanted to reach in and strangle some characters over.

But the plot was just so adorable, and man were the hockey men a swoony bunch haha.

But it was more than just some hotties out on the ice.
Toni gave us a well developed story that left be feeling so satisfied at the end, and more in love with this group of characters than I already was. The story was fairly fast paced, and had oodles of romance, drama, and silliness.

And let's not forget out star characters.

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect with Wren. She's shown up in several of the books in the series, and she's always been one of those characters I liked enough. Especially as we got a bit of a better glance at her in DELAYED CALL.
So I was really interested in what she was going to give us in this book.
And in true Toni form (I swear this woman must be able to like predict half my life at this point haha) she gave me another female character I related to immediately. There were so many things about Wren that I saw in myself. Her personality, unwillingness to trust or lean on others, her insecurities, her experience with awful douche canoes.... I mean honestly there was a lot. And no they weren't all bad. Wren is totally a dork, and funny too, and hey... I appreciate a girl who can joke about her black black soul, because I do all the time too haha. I swear I don't have a heart sometimes hehe.

Now don't get me wrong though. Wren and her multitude of insecurities did try to annoy me here and there. But only because I think they were a bit overdone at times.
I mean I get it, a girl has things that bother her. But I feel like at times they had too large of a presence in this book. And at times, defined Wren more than some of her other amazing qualities did.
But I also liked how Toni used those things to show Wren's growth through the story. She was one of those complex characters that had a ton of different sides to her, and I think by giving her those real life like qualities that most woman go through... It allowed for Wren to seem more real, not just a character in a book. And that's a testament to just how well Toni knows how to write.
It's funny too. A friend of mine who also blogs and received a copy of the book was talking with me, and had a good point. that I totally agreed with. Wren reminded them and me very much of Elli back in TAKING SHOTS.
They have very similar personalities and even insecurities and fears, and I kinda liked that little nod back to the original book (Even if that wasn't really intentional)

And then... There is Jensen....
I wanted this boys book sooooo bad haha.
He seemed like the biggest sweetie ever back in Vaughn's book. And I wanted to see the full extent of that.
Plus let's face it. Kayla has a soft spot for the goalies haha (Tate still makes me all swoony hehe 😍😍😍)
I blame Ben Bishop for my obsession. But I mean, can you blame a girl? He's so adorable haha

But anyways, back to Jensen.
He's just one of those characters that you automatically fall for.
He really is too sweet for his own good, and just such a caring nice guy. Plus he's funny. But I mean could you expect anyone who grew up around Vaughn and Wren to be any different?
That whole group, Wells included too, cracked me up from the start of getting to meet their characters. And Jensen just has that infectious personality and so many jokes and quick quips that cause you to have to put the book down for a few seconds and just giggle. (Like full on girly girl giggles haha)
But he's also one of the most loving and compassionate characters I've read in a while. He literally lives with his heart on his sleeves, and I adored how open and caring he really was. And man Jensen's been through his own share of crap too. But I loved how Toni wrote that all into his story and still let him grow from that, even if it meant still struggling sometimes with it too.
If I thought Wren was complex, she has nothing on Jensen.
He has so many layers [Insert bad Shrek joke here]
But getting to see all those sides to him and see that it only makes him more sure and confident warmed my heart. I wanted to root for him with Wren. I wanted to see him get everything he wanted.
He's definitely scored a spot in my top 5 guys Toni's given us so far.

And let's not forget all the fun characters that made a comeback in this book. Obviously Vaughn and Brie were back (And thank god because I needed more of that troublemaker in my life haha)
And man were those two cute as heck. And so so funny. Vaughn is back in true Vaughn fashion, and between him, Jensen, and Wells, I was about in tears a few times laughing so hard.
But also we get some fun little glimpses of Elli and Shea. And to my absolute delight even Tate (Even if my heart kinda broke for my original Assassins BookBF)
Plus a ton of other familiar faces here and there.
But that's something I've always loved about these books. Getting those small looks into how everyone's lives are going and progressing. It's so fun, and totally sweet to see how favorite characters and couples are doing.

And one thing I think I always kinda forget to mention in these reviews is, Toni has this way of bringing real life issues and situations into her books. Her character's either seem to face something themselves or know someone who is. And I love the way she sheds light on these things. How she shows her readers that yes, these things do happen in the world. And there is a way to live with them and even make your life better because of them, or learn from them.
I don't want to get onto specifics because I don't want to giveaway any plot points from this or previous books in the series. But if you follow Toni's books, you know what I'm talking about.
But I just want to say thank you Toni. For not being afraid to bring real life situations into your books. And allowing your characters to hopefully give some hope and strength to anyone in your characters shoes.

This book was such a great read. And I can't wait for everyone to get their hands on it. It really was a sweet story.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5 STARS⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Monday, August 7, 2017

If There's No Tomorrow: Jennifer L. Armentrout

I'm so excited to get to share my review of IF THERE'S NO TOMORROW with y'all today.
This is by far one of the best books Jen's put out to date, but also one of the most emotional and heartbreaking.
I can't thank Jen and her spectacular team enough for sending out this amazing ARC copy to read and review. I seriously adore y'all 😘😘😘

I seriously love Jen's books, and her herself too. She is just one of those authors that is a blast to meet and get to talk with. And I've gotten the luck to meet her several times over the past few years. She was actually one of the first few authors I ever met, and it seems I wind up at some event she's at or hosting at least once a year hehe.
I just got to meet her again this past March at Apollycon (Along with all those adorable cover models of hers haha) while I was working the event.
And she's totally awesome y'all!


Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She's ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend, Sebastian, know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be one of opportunities and chances. 

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything. 

Now Lena isn't looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian could never forgive her for what happened. 

For what she let happen.  

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when tomorrow isn't even guaranteed?

I have got to start appropriating the time to be reading vs. the time to be sleeping. Because it's 6 am, and I've gotten ZERO hours of sleep so far.
And this makes 2 nights in a row of starting a book and finishing it before the sun rises the next day....

I go from not being able to hardly touch a book for months to this. Lord someone help me now haha.

But y'all I cannot put into words just how stunning and incredible this book was.

Jen always has this wonderful way of eliciting emotions through her writing. And this book managed to hit every single one of those feels I could possibly have.

I made the decision to go into this book blindly.
A decision that I'm extremely glad I made.
(I've done it a lot lately with recent books, especially by some of my favorite authors. And it seems to help with that separation of moving on to a new book or series by them. And not staying attached to the old ones. Plus it has just made for a much better reading experience for the books I've been brave enough to do it with)

So I really had no clue other than it was a contemporary YA, of what to be expecting or thinking.

And man, I'm pretty sure if I had read the description, I would have never expected what this book delivered.

I can't stress enough how beautiful the writing in this book was. Absolutely heart breaking. But so honest and sincere. And a subject that I think will touch a fairly large amount of people. Especially teens and even us still in our 20's who see ourselves as indestructible.

This book touches not only on life altering decisions and consequences, but also just that good contempary style of friendships, relationships, and growing up and finding yourself.

And as I said, this book hits a really good close to home target. We're not indestructible, and choices we make... No matter how insignificant they seem, have a way of playing out in ways we don't ever suspect. We make dumb choices and decisions because of others around us. And we don't think about what will come of those things. "It will never happen to me" I feel gets thrown around a lot these days.
And this is a good reminder that it could, and what happens when it does.
Yes it is a work of fiction. But it's dealing with a very real subject that does in fact happen all to often these days.
And Jen does such a wonderful job of breaking it all down to its barest most raw form. To give us those soul wrenching emotions (both good and bad)

And she does it not only with such an incredibly detailed and thought out story. But with such multi dimensional real characters.

I could feel the emotions in this book as I turned every page. Feel the hurt. And sparrow, and pain, and giddiness. The happy, sad, and fun.
And honestly this book had all those things.
I found myself laughing hard at times, and breaking down in tears at others. Such real and true emotions.
I found myself weeping and cheering along with the main characters.
They were so we'll constructed and thought out.

I adored Lena and her struggles (be it boy trouble, to the more emotional grief and guilt that overtakes her)
She's a relatable character, someone we've all been at a point I think. And I loved watching the evolution she takes through the pages of the story.
There were times when I wanted to reach in and smack her (shock shock for me right haha)
But I think those moments that caused me to feel like that, were needed too. They showed the difficulty Lena faced through the story. And in the end offers you a better emotional attachment to her and her situation.

And I can't even explain how much I loved Sebastian. I always find myself so completely smitten with Jen's male characters. Whether it's Daemon, Seth, or Aidan. And Sebastian was no exception (He was more along the lines of reminding me of Cam, or even Jensen)

I feel like he was so much wiser beyond his years at times, but yet still this emotional unsure teen too. And that gave him so much of that depth I mentioned. It made him relatable, and the character that you turn to lean on and feel for just as strongly as you do for Lena.

He's got that goofy charm with just enough cockiness to him, that you just can't help but adore in a character. And man I'm just putting it out there now.... I.CALL.DIBS!!!!


Plus I just adored all the additional characters in this book as well. they were a fun and interesting mix of goofy athletes, silly gossipy girls, and dorky guys.
All had their own unique personality. And those little things about each of them are what added so much to the story.
They give you those things that make you feel more as the story goes on, and let you really understand why the other characters feel or act so strongly.

This story is just by far a touching and beautifully heart breaking experience of a read. Much the way The Problem With Forever was. 

And I will warn... Have a box of tissues close by. Because if you're like me (claim to not be emotional) you'll need them anyways. Because guess what?! This emotionless blogger bawled like a baby with a toothache.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5 STARS⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Honestly It'd get get 20 if I could do that.

it was just that good of a book.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1): Amy plum

Hey y'all! 👋👋👋
So I know I've been essentially MIA these past few months. Summer is always a slow time in the book world in general, and for me it's even slower because I take time with my family and do the whole vacation thing.
But I'm also still just really struggling with blogging and reading in general, and that's caused a huge gap in getting new posts and content up.
My life is still a ridiculous mess most of the time... As I juggle work, school, and still caring and supporting my mom while she's still recovering from the brain tumor and multiple surgeries this past year.
But I promise I'm going to start trying really hard to be more involved with everyone and get myself back into this awesomely bookish world.
So with that all said, why don't we jump into the review of this crazy book?!

Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse...but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

Holy heck y'all!!!

I can't even comprehend what exactly this book did to me yet haha.

Like this book took so many crazy twists and turns, and had me on the edge my seat.... well, bed the entire time.

Let me just explain it all real fast.

So.... I pre-ordered this book back before it came out. It was delivered on release day..... And then what do I do? I sit on it forever and a day. So anyways. I've been having an awful time getting Into any books. I finally found a couple here and there. A sci-fi, or a fantasy. But even some of the ones everyone's been talking about and into, I just can't seem to get to hold my attention.
I've read 2 books. And started and stopped about 6 this past month. It's been brutal. And I've been kinda antsy finding something that does it for me (and it's not like these books I try are boring either. I just can't get myself to enjoy them)

So back to this book. I finally decided last night that I'm still in a fantasy mood (particularly YA)
So I'm looking through my shelves and piles of books. And nothing is catching or pulling at my attention.
And I just happen to spot Dreamfall. I can't remember at all what the book's about. But I love Amy Plum, which drove me to pre-order the book to begin with.
So I head off to bed (I'm an insufferable insomniac. So the start of bed time for me is around 1 or 2 am. 1 in this case.)
Ironic I know, considering what this book is about (It was not lost on me y'all. Not one bit har har)

And for once, I start this book and immediately it catches my interest. So fast forward 4 hours. And it's 5 am now.... blurry eyed, about to pass out where I'm sitting up in bed, I turn to the last page and HOLY FREAKING JESUS ON A FREAKING CRACKER!!!!!

Like my mind is so completely blown and I have no words, and I'm trying to be as quite in my freaking out as I can, so I don't wake everyone plus my cats up in the house. But I'm silently rocking, mouth open, staring down at this mind bomb of a book.... And trying to figure out if I missed something somehow, because there is no possible way that was the actual end to the book. Like there's got to be a epilogue to the epilogue..... And scouring the internet to find out if this book is going to be a series, because I cannot deal with that ending at all haha. (FYI I believe I figured out that this book is going to be a duology)

But let me just say. As crazy that all wound up being..... I loved the book from start to horribly fantastic cliffy end haha

This book took me on such a roller coaster and I loved it so so much.

It's one of those books that leaves you guessing, and just when you get it all figured out.... BOOM!! Something changes, and you're left speculating all over again.

But that was the fun part of the book. Never knowing who or what was going to be the bad guy. Or what was real and what was not.

I also loved how Amy split this book into the 3 POV's. I always get a little worried when there's more than 2. Books can get messy and confusing when you try to show too many angles.
But in this case, it added so much more depth and understanding to the story.
The characters grew on me so fast, and I found myself rooting for all of them, and crushed by particular developments concerning a few of them too.
But guy! Guys! I had something about the characters pegged so well. And OMG I almost freaked out when I found out I was right.
Like you Go Amy Plum! Giving us such unique and interesting characters.

This book was a terrifying, and even at times a freaky read. And exactly what I needed in my time of bookish need.

Plus it gave me a chance to stretch out all those book mojo powers of mine and take a crack at the mystery. And let me tell you. I was spot on a few times. And other times I was just barely brushing on being on the right track. while a few I was completely not expecting.

This book had great in-depth characters that you start to feel and fall for so whole heatedly. And can't wait to see what will come of them.
While also offering a very colorful and expanded world. That could only come up in our most twisted haunting nightmares.

Thanks for some of those BTW Amy. I totally appreciated them at 3 am haha.

But I can't tell you all how much you need to go pick up a copy of this book. It was totally stunning. And if anyone knows.... I've got to know if there will be more!!!

Without a shadow of a doubt...

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5 STARS⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book IS part of a duology, and the 2nd book is called Neverwake!!
(I need it NOW)

Illuminae (Illuminae Files #1): Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I can't tell y'all how happy I was to find this book on the bargain shelf this past month.
I kinda owe it to pulling me from my book slump. (It, and a couple other books this past week)
That and the sleepless nights this and those other books spawned too. Apparently I don't just blog my best at night, but read my best at night too hehe
(Well worth all those missing hours of sleep haha)
Plus this book has been on my radar for quite some time,and the bargain price just gave me that push to finally give it a good shot. And I'm so happy I did.

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

So I started this book 2 nights ago, unsure of what to think of it.
So many people have read it and loved it, and honestly the insanely cool cover made me want to pick it up so bad.
The cover is by far one of the most awesome and intriguing ones I've ever seen. And I'm sort of a cover junkie. Meaning I will go pick up a book on a whim, just because I like the cover without even reading a description sometimes.

But I was just never sure if this book was my thing.
I love a good sci-fi book. That's not the problem. They're actually some of my favorites. And sometimes the only kind of book to pull me from a book slump outside of a really good high fantasy. I was just so unsure of how this book was formatted.... would I get a cohesive story? Would I only ever get bits and pieces and lose character development?
Is it too many working parts for one story?
I had a lot of worries going into it.
And it kept me from getting this book for quite a while.
But then BAM just happened to put it on the discount shelf recently. And I decided to snap up a copy (like I said. I'm a cover junkie, and that alone was making me want it, even if I never picked the thing up again)
But now that I'm sitting on the other side of finishing this book..... I can't believe I waited for it. It was so good! And such a unique way of putting together a story (yes I know I was all worried about that, but it actually made for a really interesting story.)
And I'm honestly smacking myself for waiting so long to start it.
I absolutely loved the story, and need to get my hands on book 2 like yesterday haha.

But it wasn't just this awesome new way of putting a story together, or even the story line itself.... Even though that was pretty awesome too, and left me on my toes through almost the whole story.
And also terrified me at times too. Not because the story is scary in any way. But because the theory behind parts of the story scares me, if it ever came to be in real life (Kinda the way I felt watching that movie The Circle this past week too. Like humanity is almost too smart for our own good when it comes to technological developments)
And I think that comes to play a huge part in this book.
And made it all that much more thrilling and interesting.

It was also these really well constructed characters though. We only ever get glimpses of them at times because of the way things are
told throughout the whole thing. But in writing a story that way, I got to really enjoy a large spectrum of characters without getting too overwhelmed, or feeling like I was missing key parts.
And I loved the buildup of relationships, and character development as the story progressed.
Especially Kady and Ezra.
They are both such strong characters, and I loved the little hate to love you relationship they had going on the whole time.
You couldn't help but root for them, and see how it all would play out.

Plus I loved all the other secondary characters throughout the story too. They gave the book that depth it needed, and provided the missing parts we didn't get from just the interaction between Kady and Ezra.

So all and all.... this story was absolutely amazing. It's so new and so fresh. And I honestly wish more authors would give me new and inventive writing styles like this more.
Seriously, if you haven't picked up the book yet, go find it on the shelf of your local book store or library and just flip through the pages real quick. You'll see exactly what I mean. And hopefully it won't scare you away like I foolishly let it in the beginning.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5 STARS⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐