Tuesday, October 29

In The Age Of Love And Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin

In The Age Of Love And Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Age Group: Young Adult

by Summary: All These Things I’ve Done, the first novel in the Birthright series, introduced us to timeless heroine Anya Balanchine, a plucky sixteen year old with the heart of a girl and the responsibilities of a grown woman. Now eighteen, life has been more bitter than sweet for Anya. She has lost her parents and her grandmother, and has spent the better part of her high school years in trouble with the law. Perhaps hardest of all, her decision to open a nightclub with her old nemesis Charles Delacroix has cost Anya her relationship with Win.

Still, it is Anya’s nature to soldier on. She puts the loss of Win behind her and focuses on her work. Against the odds, the nightclub becomes an enormous success, and Anya feels like she is on her way and that nothing will ever go wrong for her again. But after a terrible misjudgment leaves Anya fighting for her life, she is forced to reckon with her choices and to let people help her for the first time in her life.
In the Age of Love and Chocolate is the story of growing up and learning what love really is. It showcases the best of Gabrielle Zevin’s writing for young adults: the intricate characterization of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac and the big-heartedness of Elsewhere. It will make you remember why you loved her writing in the first place.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this series, I did. But this one felt a little rushed and slow to me at the same time.

We are back with Anya and her family/friends. Her brother is still around and her best friend. Also, we get to see more characters in depth. We get to see more of Theo and his relationship with Anya, we also get to see more of another guy who I shall let you find out on your own. And of course, there is Win. Oh dear Win. I still loved him in this one.

Anya is faced with many choices in this one. She has some tough choices ahead of her. I liked seeing her run the club. I liked seeing her go to another country and I especially liked seeing her in the country house with her sister and Win. My favorite part of course.

I liked this one quite a bit but I just felt like it also kind of went slow. A lot happened but at times, I felt myself wanting to put the novel down.

I do think this story was amazing and I’m glad with the way things wrapped up. It was done nicely!

Overall: Still love Win! I loved Anya and Win together even though things aren’t always perfect and they have to go through alot together, and the whole time you're thinking are they going to end up together or what? It was so dramatic, yet good! I thought this series was pretty awesome! I didn’t like this one as much, its probably a 3.5 cupcake rating! But it was still a satisfying ending to the story!

Cover: Like it. I think it fits!

What I’d Give It:

Friday, October 25

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Balzer And Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 480

Summary: It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.

My Thoughts:  Hmm, I had a lot of trouble getting into The Burning Sky.  And it took me over a week to read it, which is unusual for me.

We are introduced to Iolanthe who is a powerful elemental mage. But she isn’t really aware of this, until now. More powerful than she thought. We also meet The Prince. Prince Titus! The two meet unexpectedly and their fates are intertwined from there.  

Titus has a mission; a goal. To kill the Bane. Iolanthe just wants to be left alone. She isn’t too fond of his plan; destiny.  The two get thrown together and have to figure things out and fast. While in the process, she has to go to a boarding school with him and pretend to be a boy. He has this whole plan set up. Its pretty amazing how well planned this is and how mature he is about it.

I had a lot of trouble getting through this one at first. At least the first half of the book but then it flowed nicely from there. I am one of these people who try to finish books, I don’t like to stop. So I am glad I finished this one. It was pretty cool once I got where I needed to be.

A lot goes on. I liked the characters and the plot was interesting. I did finish this one so it was a plus. Maybe it just felt too long or maybe I just wasn't in the mood but I didn’t love this one as much as I hoped.

Overall: Will I read the next in the series? Yep! But it was more of a 3.5 cupcake rating for me. Maybe I don’t read enough fantasy books. That is what this one felt like. I probably should try to read more and compare them. While I did enjoy it, I didn’t love it. I’d recommend it to people but it just wasn't one of my favorites. Maybe I’ll enjoy the second one more. I’ll be reading it for sure.  This book was still a good one, just not the perfect one for me.

Cover: Like it! Its pretty magical.

What I’d Give It:

Monday, October 21

Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4) by Jennifer Estep

Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4) by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: December 24, 2012
Publisher: K-Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 384

Summary: For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…

My Thoughts: I really like this series. Whenever its time to pick up the newest one, I always get excited. I love Gwen and how tough she is. I always love all of her friends. And Logan, oh sweet Logan.

We are back with Gwen and her friends and her complicated life. She has freed Loki and some people think she did it on purpose. Of course, we all know the truth.

But this doesn’t help Gwen. She gets arrested and put on trial. If she’s convicted she can be executed! Ick! And on top of that, one of the people in charge in Logan’s dad. Talk about awkward. Gwen and Logan just can’t get a break.

I loved the new character Alexie. Is that how you spell that? Well, he was a delight. At first I thought love triangle?? Uh no.. Was quite surprised by how that went down.

And on top of all this, Loki and his champion are trying to find a new body for Loki and the guy they picked, yep that made things even more complicated.

I don’t want to say too much about this one, if you haven’t read the series it will give too much away and if you have, I don’t want to ruin this one for you either.

I still love Mythos Academy. I love Gwen and Logan. Gwen has came a long way and grew up quite a bit. And Logan is just as yummy as ever. And the plot of this one was quite good. And the ending, now I need the next book in my life. Soon, Cindy, Soon!

If you haven’t started this series, please do it asap!

Overall: There is always something going on at Mythos! Always something lurking on the horizon and its up to Gwen to fix it. She has some of the worst luck, but hey she gets to hang out with Logan so its good, right?

Another addition to this series that I enjoyed! Will continue reading them!

Cover: Like it! I always like them!

What I'd Give It:

Saturday, October 19

Leap Of Faith by Jamie Blair

Leap Of Faith by Jamie Blair
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 240

Summary: Can true love be built on lies? A teen on the run seeks relief and redemption in this gripping, romantic read.

Leah Kurtz has finally found a place to call home, a town where she and baby Addy can live in peace, far from the drug-infested place she grew up. Chris is one of the best parts of her new life, the only person who’s ever made her feel safe. And now that she’s found him, there’s no way she can tell the truth:

Her real name is Faith, not Leah. She’s seventeen, not nineteen. And the baby isn’t hers—Faith kidnapped her.

Faith’s history catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions and Chris’s aunt spots her picture in the newspaper. She knows it’s time to run again, but if Faith leaves, she’ll lose Chris. If Chris is in love with a lie, though, did Faith ever really have him in the first place?

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this one!

We are introduced to Faith aka Leah who lives with her older sister and her mom. Her mom is a not a good mom. She decides she is going to have a baby for another couple (the mom) and Leah just doesn't like the idea of this. The mom just cares about the money.  Leah doesn’t think her mom is in the right place mentally to do this.  

When her mom has the baby, Leah gets an idea. To run off with the baby. She figures any life is better than what the baby will go through.

Leah takes the baby with pretty much nothing. She has the car but she has no place to live and not very much money. So when she finds a nice man whose renting a room out, she figures she can’t get any luckier. And this man, has a nice son who is only a few years older than Leah. The catch, he thinks the baby is Leah's and that she is older than what she is.

As Leah and Chris get close, she wants to tell him the truth. But she knows she shouldn't.

When things go haywire, Chris is actually pretty understanding.

I don’t want to say much about this one, its one of those contemps that you should read if you like contemps. I thought it was a wonderful debut. Very meaningful and yet very cute!

Things aren’t perfect for Leah, that's for sure. Sometimes she seems mature, but other times, she doesn't make the best decisions.

This was a neat debut! I liked it!

Overall: I enjoyed reading it a lot. It was a very fast read for me. I liked Leah, and I really loved Chris. He was such a sweet and caring guy. He wasn't perfect but he was perfect for Leah. I liked this one a lot and I’ll read whatever Blair writes next!

Cover: Like it. Its not very colorful but its still a really cute cover.

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, October 15

Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 268

Summary: Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated…

My Thoughts: This was a cute one!

We are introduced to Cami who lives with her father and his wife (not her mom). She also has a stepbrother. She also has a boyfriend named Luke who she’s been dating for a while now. Cami wants to be a chef. She works at her father's restaurant. So does Luke. They make a cute couple at first. Cami doesn’t really want to go to college, she just wants to cook. Her life is pretty cut out right now. All she can do is think about cooking!

She then meets Julian who is her stepmoms nephew. He just got home from being hurt in the war. He is bruised, banged up, in a bad mood, and has lost half his leg. Pretty horrible and traumatic. Cami and her stepmom go up to a hospital to see him for a few days. He goes into recovery and eventually comes to live with the family. This is pretty rough on Cami. She has to give up her room to Julian and move all of her stuff. Her life pretty much changes with him living with her. Its a bit weird. He’s also a few years older than her.

But she can’t deny the attraction. Yes, its annoying and he's always insulting her and ALWAYS in a bad mood but Cami eventually sees through his tough exterior and finds herself thinking more about him.

Cami and Julian finally connect and I loved it! Cami has her plate full. Julian is like family and heck she’s already got a sweet boyfriend. Julian is just trouble for her.

I loved this one so much. I loved the sexy war hero bit and I loved the chemistry between them. I could tell from the get go, Julian would be trouble for Cami, but of course in a good way.

I loved both Cami and Julian but I also loved how sweet and sexy this story was. I don’t want to ruin this one so I’ll shut up now but I loved the interactions between all the characters and how complex the story was.

Overall: Loved it! Great young adult romance! If Cami and Julian had another book, I’d read it! Very cute! If you like contemps you must read this one!

Cover: Like it, its really cute!

What I'd Give It: 

Thursday, October 10

Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Summary:Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

My Thoughts: This was a weird one but in a decent way. We are introduced to Fiona who has a mother, father, and two older brothers. One brother she trusts all the way, the other not so much.

Fiona is used to doing her father’s dirty work but she’s sick of it. Its pretty easy to do it when she’s invisible and nobody can see her coming, well as long as she’s naked!

Fiona and her mom decide they are going to leave and start over somewhere. So off they go to a small little town. She finally gets to be free. But people in this town know her. She’s invisible and everyone knows who she is. Well, people can still see her clothes. So, she always has to look stylish at least. Or at least comfortable.

She meets a group of friends including boys named Seth and Brady. I liked Seth from the get go. He came off as a jerk but I knew deep down he was a great guy. She also meets a friend named Bea. Bea was instantly there for Fiona and became a great friend.

While her dad is looking for her, Fiona has to try to stay hidden as much as possible. I want to give a big spoiler away regarding Seth but I won’t. I want to jump up and down and scream it! When you read the novel, you’ll know what I’m talking about!

Transparent was a little weird for me at first but I ended up really enjoying it. The first few chapters were harder to get into, and I felt myself wondering what the heck is going on? It was unique to say the least. I haven’t really read anything like this one. I also liked the plot and the characters.

Overall: I really enjoyed it, and if there are more in the series, I will be reading them! Very adorable characters and a neat plot.

Cover: Like it! Its very bright and neat!

What I’d Give It:

Wednesday, October 9

Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young

Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Summary:Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths--and she's about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending..

My Thoughts: While this one has got a lot of really positive reviews, it was just okay for me.

We are introduced to Caroline who has some tough decisions to make. While her grandmother is sick, she must choose to either stay by her side or go to a party with a friend.  And her decision changes everything.

We see things from two different perspectives, on what could happen for Caroline, depending on which choice she makes and how her actions further change the course of her life.

This one had an interesting concept and I found it intriguing. I liked seeing how she could date two completely different boys and how how she would be with her family in each reality.

But, I also found myself having a problem connecting to either Caroline. I just didn’t like switching back and forth, and I usually have a problem with this in novels. I am hoping to read more like this so I can see the different ways authors can do this.

Just Like Fate was just okay for me. I just didn’t feel like I could connect with the characters or the realities.

Make sure to give it a chance, because it does have a lot of 4-5 star ratings. It just wasn’t the perfect novel for me I guess.

Overall: It was alright. I can see why so many people will like this! It examines our choices and how they can change our lives! I’m one of those people who constantly think about that so I can see the beauty of this one.

Cover: Like it. It shows how Caroline’s life can be split. Neat.

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, October 8

Red by Alison Cherry

Release Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320

Summary:Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:

I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say "strawberry blond." Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.

Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

My Thoughts: Oh how I enjoyed this one. When I started it, I wasn't sure I would! We are introduced to Felicity who has red hair, or at least everyone thinks so. See, Felicity is from a town called Scarletville where everyone adores redheads. They get royalty treatment. There are so many redheads that they are in control. HEHE. Since everyone thinks Felicity is a redhead too she’s popular and everyone likes her.

Felicity’s mom has been grooming her whole life for the Miss Scarlet pageant. Not only is there prize money, but there is also popularity. To win this thing could be big for mother and daughter. And since Felicity’s mom was also a redhead and in pageants, nothing less can be settled for Felicity. Her mother has been taking Felicity to get her hair dyed since she was two years old at an underground hair salon. Nothing is worst than being a fake redhead! A strawbie!  And if you have brown hair, nobody gives you a second glance.

Felicity’s life is perfect. She has friends, everyone likes her, and she has a smoking boyfriend named Brent who's also a redhead. He’s a football player and everyone thinks he’s cool. He’s not very deep though and Felicity accepts this. She figures he’s a good enough guy for her.

Until of course, she sees how much bigger the world can be, and what other guys are out there.

Felicity is excited about competing but she also enjoys art and its her real passion, but her mom doesn’t see it as an acceptable career choice for her. She thinks its a waste of time and money.

Felicity in content with things for now.. Until she starts getting blackmailed. Someone finds out she’s a strawbie. Things go downhill fast. She knows she must protect her reputation but really how important is this, she wonders.

Brent was ok. He wasn’t very deep and he was kind of superficial so when a new boy is introduced. YES PLEASE. His name was Jonathan, and he likes art. He’s a sweet guy who knows what he wants. I loved him! I loved getting to know him. I also liked Felicity’s friends. They were fun to read about.

Most of all, I loved all the Iowa references in this one. I know quite a bit about Iowa, so this was an interesting thing to read. To read about places I have been, or the way things are. Loved the mention of different places, cities, etc.

I liked the characters, the plot, and everything in between!

Overall: I thought this one was really cute but also very deep. It had a lot of hidden messages throughout the novel and would make a perfect read! I liked the romance, I liked the different things Felicity had to go through, even if she didn’t like them. I thought this was a really fantastic debut!

Cover: Its cute! Love how she is holding her finger, sshhh! Also like her friends in the background. Cute! 

What I'd Give It:


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