Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is set in the American South where Confederacy is still very important to its residents. Ethan lives in Gatlin, a small southern town where nothing changes. He hates it. He has been having dreams of saving a girl. Ethan cannot see her face and he doesn’t know who she is. He wakes up with dirt under his fingernails and on his sheets. He has also started hearing a voice and the song, “Sixteen Moons”, plays randomly on his MP3 player and the radio, even though he’s never heard of the song before. A new girl, Lena, moves into Gatlin and lives with her uncle who is known as the local recluse. Lena and Ethan get much more than they bargained for when they become friends. Both of their families are keeping secrets from Ethan and Lena and when they find a locket that gives them shared visions of the past, they start keeping secrets of their own. Their ancestors are entwined somehow and that might be the key to saving Lena from her possibly dark future. I enjoyed the southern setting and the intense differences of the characters – 5 stars for this fun and suspenseful supernatural read!

Touch by Jus Accardo

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“Received an advance reader copy for a fair review.”

Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Touch by Jus Accardo!

Dez lives with her father and on her way home from a party one night, she meets Kale and everything she has believed about her life explodes. She discovers that her father is dangerous and has been lying to her for years about her mother’s “death”. Kale has a touch that kills, literally. Dez has walked into a world that she had no idea existed and her father is the leader. Her life becomes more complicated than she could have imagined and she has to rely on the few people she feels she can trust to save herself and the people she loves. Science fiction and young adult (a heads up about a sex scene, if that bothers you). I rate Touch by Jus Accardo 4 stars, for a creative science fiction world that pulled me in! This is also the second book of Jus Accardo’s that I have read and I am excited to dive into more of her books!

Touching Fate

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Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the chance to read and review Touching Fate by Brenda Drake! This fun and interesting story kept me entertained. Alternating points of view with Reese, a young man with a family curse which will make him die on his eighteenth birthday, and Aster, a young woman who unknowingly has a family curse that can change people’s fates. The two meet at a local carnival and Reese discovers that Aster is a fate changer. Since his family has known about the curse, Reese realizes that Aster can change his soon-to-be future fate. At first, he just wants to get to know her so that she will help him, but they fall in love with each other. Aster discovers her family curse because of a psychic at the carnival and her grandmother eventually explains everything to her, after tragedy has already struck. Aster’s grandmother has kept the curse a secret to protect the family, but she learns that this was narrow minded. Some swearing and a small sex scene that is vaguely detailed – just a heads up for people who might not want to read that. The story’s cohesiveness and charming characters made me a happy reader – 4 stars!

Before Tomorrow

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“Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.”

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Before Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn! The Forget Tomorrow series belongs in the dystopian genre, but also contains a touch of romance. Before Tomorrow dives into Logan’s life and is told from his point of view, while the other books in this series, so far, are from female points of view. The story is enjoyable and it’s definitely nice to see Logan’s perspective in this world! 4 stars!

Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter

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Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter is the final book in the Shadow Falls series, which I have thoroughly enjoyed because of the clever wit, dynamic characters, in-depth world building and the suspense that each book carries along with its own story.  I am sad that this series is ending and I hope to see more works from C.C. Hunter.  I give Midnight Hour a 5 star rating!

“Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.”

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter! The instant I began reading Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter, I was drawn back into the supernatural world of Shadow Falls. I am sad that this book marks the end of the Shadow Falls series, but I am glad the author chose to write about Miranda as the main character. Miranda and her half-sister, Tabitha, visit an old witch that can supposedly tell anyone their future love story. As soon as she gets started with Miranda and her love story, things become chaotic.

C.C. Hunter is a wonderful storyteller and brings the reader up to speed flawlessly. Miranda and Tabitha are witches and are struggling to come to grips with the fact of their father having two families because he chose to cheat on his first wife (Tabitha’s mother). Miranda and Tabitha unwittingly discover an age-old cult that uses young witches to reproduce their progeny, so they can rule the world with witchcraft.

Midnight Hour fits perfectly in the supernatural genre and has mystery, suspense, romance and conflict added into the mix. I give it 5 stars for an indulging read!

Here is the link to the Midnight Hour booktrailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdCkKyDDjVw

Here is the link for a Midnight Hour giveaway:

http://us.macmillan.com/smp/promo/midnighthoursweepstakes

Remember Yesterday

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Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the advanced reading copy of Remember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn! The cover is even more beautiful than Forget Tomorrow’s cover. I posted my Forget Tomorrow review on October 2, 2016.

Jessa’s point of view ten years after Forget Tomorrow. Jessa has been living in the Harmony compound with Logan’s older brother, Mikey, along with Angela and Ryder. Mikey convinced Angela to marry him after Callie proved that the future can be changed. After they were married, they adopted Ryder and took care of Jessa as their own also, since her mother feels the need to stay at home just in case her husband returns from his time travels. Olivia was found to be the precognitive that the community was looking for and she hasn’t been seen in over a decade, since her abilities were discovered.

The suspense, mystery and emotional turmoil are pumped up in this sequel to Forget Tomorrow, which makes it a more interesting story. Remember Yesterday brings to life more characters and I felt their struggles while reading. I hope there is a third book to this series! My rating: a solid 5 stars!

Check Out This Teaser from Remember Yesterday

Pintip Dunn has been nice enough to share an excerpt, guest post and interview with me, so I can share with all of you!

GUEST POST:

Author: Pintip Dunn

Title: REMEMBER YESTERDAY

Release Date: Oct. 4, 2016

Publisher: Entangled TEEN

Synopsis:

Companion to the New York Times bestselling and award-winning novel, Forget Tomorrow.  

Sixteen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific discoveries, if only she’d let TechRA study her. But ten years ago, the scientists kidnapped and experimented on her, leading to severe ramifications for her sister, Callie. She’d much rather break into their labs and sabotage their research—starting with Tanner Callahan, budding scientist and the boy she loathes most at school.

The past isn’t what she assumed, though—and neither is Tanner. He’s not the arrogant jerk she thought he was. And his research opens the door to the possibility that Jessa can rectify a fatal mistake made ten years earlier. She’ll do anything to change the past and save her sister—even if it means teaming up with the enemy she swore to defeat. 

Author bio:

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE and the forthcoming REMEMBER YESTERDAY.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com

Social Media Links:

Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Goodreads

Buy Links:

Goodreads  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kobo  Book Depository  iTunes  

Powell’s  Books-A-Million Google

EXCERPT:

I lift my eyes to meet his, and I reach into the future—his future. The vision pours into me. The future Tanner grabs me and kisses me. Without warning, without hesitation. It is hot and searing and exquisite. And I like it. Oh, how I like it.

“No!” I fall out of the vision and scoot away from him, so far that I approach the edge of the platform. My pulse is thundering; my nerves are jumping. Oh, Fates. What’s wrong with me? Is it because I don’t want him to kiss me? Or because I want it too much?

His eyes turn watchful. “Come back here, Jessa. You’re too close to the sky.”

I look into the open space, fluffy with wads of cotton-ball clouds. I take a breath, hoping to inhale some of the sky’s serenity. He doesn’t know about the kiss. Why would he? In the vision, he acted impulsively, without premeditation. The desire to kiss me hasn’t arisen in him yet. Maybe I can prevent it from cropping up altogether.

“Look, you don’t want to kiss me,” I babble, staying where I am. And hope I sound more reasonable than I feel. “It’s only because we talked about kissing the other day. When you talk about something, you give it life. Make it real. Like an annoying song you can’t get out of your head.”

He creeps toward me, his eyes flicking between my face and the sky. “So you can’t get the idea of kissing me out of your head?”

“I said it was annoying. Like a song. Not based on anything real.”

He stops five feet from the edge of the platform. “So let me get this straight. You saw into the future and we kissed. Right?”

“Y-yes,” I stutter, shocked that he guessed the truth so easily. “But it doesn’t have to happen that way,” I add quickly. “As my sister proved, we’re in control of our own fate. We can make any future we wish.”

“Unless this is our Fixed.” His voice is low, rough. And yet, every syllable imprints into my memory forever. “Unless this kiss is so important, it happens in every one of our worlds.”

“It’s just a kiss. How can it be that important?”

His eyes glitter with the challenge. With one last look at the platform’s edge, he crawls to me, slowly but steadily. “The path of our particular world might depend on this kiss. Would you risk our future just to be stubborn?”

And then, he’s right in front of me. He rests his hands lightly on my back. They slide down to my waist, until his fingers brush against the strip of bare skin between my pants and top. I shiver, and my skin pebbles into a million goose bumps. He pulls me against him. So much of my body is touching his that I can’t think; I can’t breathe. All I can do is feel. His trembling breath. My hammering heart. His shaking hands—or hell, maybe that’s me, vibrating against his touch.

Our lips are inches apart. Time blends together. You couldn’t move me from this spot if the world were crashing down around us.

“I thought I wasn’t your type,” I whisper.

“You’re not,” he says. “But for the fate of our world, I’m willing to make the sacrifice.”

And then, he closes the gap between us.

My 5 Favorite Passages in REMEMBER YESTERDAY

I had such a blast writing this book, not only because I had a chance to revisit all of my favorite characters from FORGET TOMORROW, but also because I got to explore little Jessa’s story, who is now sixteen. 

Jessa was such a fascinating character for me to write. She’s grown up with a tremendous amount of guilt over her sister’s sacrifice, and I loved seeing how she forges her own path from underneath her sister’s shadow. Oh, and she also has a swoony relationship, with Tanner, who might just be my favorite hero. 

I’d love to share with you my five favorite passages from REMEMBER YESTERDAY (without giving away any spoilers!) 

  1. “This is who you are. Accept it. Perhaps your sister was able to fight Fate. But you will never be able to fight your very nature.”

A weariness descends on me, one that goes beyond my bones to the molecules themselves. Maybe it’s from the infection. More likely, it’s from this guilt I’ve been lugging around like the hydration packs seen into my hoverjerseys. She’s right. This is who I am. 

Poor Jessa! This is the crux of her struggle. It is a different battle than the one her sister Callie fought in FORGET TOMOMRROW, but in my mind, it is just as worthy. I still can’t decide which battle I think is more difficult! 

  1. I see a lean, chiseled jaw and soft, kissable lips. Tousled black hair brushing up against dark eyes framed with thick lashes. But the eyes don’t pierce through me. Instead, they’re…laughing…at me. 

Oh, good Fates. Was I actually checking out Tanner Callahan? What in Limbo is the matter with me? 

This passage just makes me smile. Jessa is so determined to keep this scientist-boy at arm’s length because of her deep-seated hatred of the scientists. Little does she know just how impossible this task will turn out to be… 

  1. Our lips are inches apart. Time blends together. You couldn’t move me from this spot if the world were crashing down around us. 

“I thought I wasn’t your type,” I whisper.

“You’re not,” he says. “But for the fate of our world, I’m willing to make sacrifice.” 

I adore this quote! Not only does it display Tanner in all of his arrogance, but it also showcases the themes of fate and determinism that is so central in this series. 

  1. Tears drip onto his face. Such small bits of moisture for such a large man, and yet, each drop gathers in my lungs, suffocating me. You don’t need an ocean in order to drown. Sometimes an inch of bathwater is all it takes. 

I promised no spoilers, so I will just say that the “large man” referenced here is one of my favorite secondary characters from FORGET TOMORROW — Zed. I’ll also say that in this series, every vision of the future that the characters receive will be played out, in one way or the other, before the series’ end. 

  1. One flap of a butterfly’s wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world. The killing of a single moth in the prehistoric era can set the world on an entirely different trajectory. A single action, no matter how small, may cause ripples that extend far into the future. 

Ah, here’s the reason for the book cover, which features those gorgeous butterfly wings! The books in this series deal a lot with time and time travel, and what this quote gets at is the idea that a single, tiny action can change…everything. We get a glimpse of this idea in FORGET TOMORROW, but it is explored in much more depth in REMEMBER YESTERDAY. I find this concept endlessly fascinating.

INTERVIEW:

After earning degrees from prestigious universities, what path did you travel to become an author?

After earning degrees from prestigious universities, what path did you travel to become an author? I’ve wanted to be an author since I was six years old, but I wrote my first novel after college, while I was working at my first job as a business analyst. This was perhaps the happiest six months of my life, although I’m not sure if that book even had a plot! I went to law school soon after that, although I still cling to my dreams of writing. I graduated law school and then worked as a litigation attorney at a corporate law firm. I wrote my second and third novel during this time. I left the legal profession when I had kids, and for three years, I was a stay-at-home mom. Almost seven years ago, I started writing again. I signed my first contract five years later and then proceeded to sell seven books in the next seven months.

The idea of a future memory can be quite confusing, but you pull it off well and make it completely understandable.  How did you come up with this idea for your books?  

I had been writing seriously for years and was getting frustrated with the publication process, namely the rejections. My editor friend send to me: “I wish I had a crystal ball. Then, I could tell you five years from now, you will definitely be published and you wouldn’t worry about it so much.”

A few days later, I was taking a nap with my toddler son and in that hazy state between being sleep and awake. “Wouldn’t it be great,” I thought, “if we could send memories to our younger selves? Then I could see myself as a successful author and know that all this sweat and blood and tears were worth it.” My next thought was: “Hey, that would make a great idea for a book!” And presto: the Forget Tomorrow series was born.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Persevere. The path to publication can be a long and hard road. But the difference between an unpublished and published writer is that the published writer didn’t give up.

Thank you, Pintip and good luck with your series, Forget Tomorrow!

Forget Tomorrow

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Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn has such a beautiful cover that I immediately wanted to read the book! This dystopian story involves future memories, a confusing concept that Pintip Dunn clarifies well with her writing skills. Relying completely on a memory from the future to dictate my life would make me feel trapped. When Callie receives her memory, her entire world falls into turmoil. Unsure of Logan’s intentions and wary of the people around her, she doesn’t know who she can trust. Logan helps Callie escape after she has been placed in Limbo. Since she can’t swim, Logan continues on the journey with her to get her to safety. The whole time I was reading, I kept thinking, “just kiss each other already!” Logan and Callie make it to safety, the Harmony compound, and meet several people who are afraid to enjoy their lives because they are worried about their future memories coming true. Callie heads back home to save Jessa. She learns many secrets involving her family and the community. The cliffhanger ending is almost unbearable – 4 stars. I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Remember Yesterday.

The Reader

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Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group for the arc of The Reader by Traci Chee! Sefia and her “aunt” Nin are hiding from people who want them. Sefia thinks they’re wanted because of Nin’s thievery skills. Sefia goes to a village to sell animal pelts and when she returns, Nin has been captured. The story falls back to when Sefia was younger and living with her father. He was killed and his body torn apart and Sefia had been with Nin at the time. When she returned home, she found her father’s body like this. Even though she was terrified and distraught about her father, Sefia hid as always told to, since her family expected danger eventually but never telling Sefia why. Her parents had given her three explicit instructions: use the secret doors, go through the tunnel, find Nin. At the last secret door, a rectangular object fell out, a book. She took it with her, not knowing what it was.

Many alternating points of view confused me for a while. Lon is a young man with special sight and Erastis, the master librarian, takes him in as his apprentice. Captain Reed and his ship, Current (a remarkable captain and a remarkable ship). Assassins and trackers searching for something. Sefia reads about these people and the complicated stories found in the book turn out to be real people and their actual lives.

The Reader is interesting and complex with diverse characters, 4 stars.