The End Games Book Review

The End Games by T. Michael Martin

Published: May 2013

Publisher: HarperCollins

Synopsis:

It happened on Halloween.
The world ended.
And a dangerous Game brought it back to life.

Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, have been battling monsters in The Game for weeks.

In the rural mountains of West Virginia, armed with only their rifle and their love for each other, the brothers follow Instructions from the mysterious Game Master. They spend their days searching for survivors, their nights fighting endless hordes of “Bellows”—creatures that roam the dark, roaring for flesh. And at this Game, Michael and Patrick are very good.

But The Game is changing.

The Bellows are evolving.

The Game Master is leading Michael and Patrick to other survivors—survivors who don’t play by the rules.

And the brothers will never be the same.

My Thoughts:

The End Games was my first encounter with a book about zombies, and I really loved it. The book does not focus too much on the zombies, but instead in the people and their survival. That is what I think made it a really great read. I got to see how different people react in the same horrible events, and how the world coming to an end really changes people and shows what people will do to help themselves and the ones they love survive.

The author wrote the main character in a very real way. Instead of the normal and very unrealistic teenagers that are usually in young adult books, the teenagers in this book were how real teenagers are. The main character, Michael, was awkward, said weird things, was dorky, nervous in a very not cute way around girls, and still kind of a kid. Although I do enjoy the way teens are usually written since it makes them seem more my age and hence more relatable to me, it was nice and refreshing to read through a character’s point of view that said and did things that are cringeworthy, but how most guys his age actually are.

The romance in the book took me by surprise. I was not expecting it at all, but really loved it. Again, it was very real and awkward and cute. Their relationship was done well, and did not take away from the main story. The relationship between the main character and his younger brother was also amazing. I have a sibling the age of the younger brother, and I really connected to Michael because of the way he cares for and keeps his brother safe. Reading about them together gave me so many feels because I have no idea if I could handle and do what Michael does for Patrick if I were in that situation.

Overall the novel was amazing. The zombie were fun to read about, and there was a strong emotional aspect in the relationships and survival stories. The ending was done so well, and I can not wait to read another book from this author. I loved his writing style, the way he pulled the story together, and I highly recommend everyone read this book.

Rating: 4 Stars / 5 Stars

“Waiting On” Wednesday: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature that is hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week my pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 3, 2013

Pages: 432

Synopsis:

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

You can pre-order The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black here:
http://amzn.to/12hUCY3

This month I have read two of Holly Black’s books for the first time, and absolutely loved them. Her writing style and the worlds she creates are just amazing. So, when I heard about this title, I got super excited. Are you guys excited for this book as well, and what other upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

A Little Too Far Cover Re-Reveal

Here is the new cover for the sexy New Adult book coming out in November:

A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: September 17, 2013

SYNOPSIS:
Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for better part of the last few years…and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome. But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to Confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt…and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy on the eyes deacon…only eight months away from becoming a priest. As Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.

Quote From J. Lynn:

“More than a ridiculously sexy, HOT read, Desrochers takes you on a wild ride of self-discovery and bittersweet romance.” —Jennifer L. Armentrout (J. Lynn), New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You.

View Sneak Peek of A LITTLE TOO FAR by Lisa Desrochers on Scribd here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/152772481/Sneak-Peek-of-A-LITTLE-TOO-FAR-by-Lisa-Desrochers

Click here to enter a giveaway to win some swag:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c85d731/

You can pre-order A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers here:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore

I personally am really excited for this book to come out. I have been obsessed with New Adult books lately and this one looks like it’s going to be really good. What do you guys think about the new cover, and are you excited for the book?

Losing Hope Book Review

Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

Series: Hopeless

Published: July 8, 2013

Publisher: Atria Books

Pages: 336

Synopsis: Sometimes in life, in order to move forward you must face the past…#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover held readers spellbound with her novel Hopeless, the story of what happened when a troubled girl named Sky encountered a long-lost childhood friend, Dean Holder. With Holder’s help, Sky uncovered shocking family secrets and came to terms with memories and emotions that had left deep scars.Hopeless was Sky’s story. Now, in Losing Hope, we finally learn the truth about Dean Holder.

Haunted by the little girl he couldn’t save from imminent danger, Holder’s life has been overshadowed by feelings of guilt and remorse. He has never stopped searching for her, believing that finding her would bring him the peace he needs to move on. However, Holder could not have anticipated that he would be faced with even greater pain the moment they reconnect.In Losing Hope, Holder reveals the way in which the events of Sky’s youth affected him and his family, leading him to seek his own redemption in the act of saving her. But it is only in loving Sky that he can finally begin to heal himself.

My Thoughts: When I first got this book I was excited and a little hesitant. I have never read a book before that is a retelling of another book from another point of view. I wanted to see what Holder was thinking throughout the book, but did not want to just reread every event of Hopeless through his eyes, and have nothing really added on to it. This book definitely did not do that.
Although this is a retelling of Hopeless, it takes place before that book starts, and there are also a ton of scenes in this book that did not happen in that one. I really got to know Holder a lot better, and I loved him so much after reading this. He is truly such an amazing guy that has been through an amazing amount of horrible events. The book also made me love Holder and Sky’s relationship more. Being able to see both of them from the other’s eyes made me appreciate and love them together even more than I did before, and I already really loved them.

The way that the author had Holder write in a journal to his sister Les was also really nice. Some of the scenes from Hopeless are taken out or shortened, and instead Holder would write a journal entry just briefly describing it. That way it was not too redundant, but I also got to view how Holder felt about those events, which I really liked. It also was a chance for the reader to see how much he loved his sister and misses her since he constantly talks to and about her and the memories he has of them together in the journal.

As a whole, the book is defiantly not redundant. I just read Hopeless a couple of months ago and had problem reading this even with remembering most of what happened. There was just so much added to the story that makes it very different. It really is not just a retelling of Sky’s story. This book is Holder’s story. You get to know and love him so much that even if you have not read Hopeless, you will completely understand what is going on.

I loved this book so much. Reading the story a second time was just as amazing as the first. I would recommend reading Hopeless before reading this book, though. Although the main story is the same, if you read this book first it will ruin a lot of the revelations that happen in the first book. If you have read Hopeless, I highly recommend reading Losing Hope. It was just as amazing, and there is a lot of new information in this book.

Rating: 5 Stars / 5 Stars

You can buy Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover here:

http://amzn.to/1aq1jQr

Going Vintage Book Review

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Published: March 26, 2013

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 320

Synopsis:
When Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to “go vintage” and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat on you online). She sets out to complete grandma’s list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy’s cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she’ll get it done. Somehow.

Lindsey Leavitt perfectly pairs heartfelt family moments, laugh-out-loud humor, and a little bit of romance in this delightful contemporary novel.

My Thoughts:
Going Vintage is one of the wittiest and most hilarious books that I have even read. The author has such a great writing style that had me constantly laughing and wishing that I was that funny. Overall, everything about this book was really great. I loved the characters, story, romance, and relationships so much.

All of the different things the main character and her sister do to try and kind of relive the 1960s is really fun to read about. The different clothes, hair styles, lack of technology, and things they did for fun were described in a way that made me want to do the same. I loved that the main character had her sister help her out with the list of things to do to go vintage, and a lot of the things that all of the characters did, especially the sister were also really hilarious. When they were mad the fights were comical, and it made me wish so much that I had a sibling relationship like the two of them.

The other relationship that I enjoyed was the romantic one that develops throughout the book. It is slow to start, complicated, and the way that it develops is very real. They do not jump straight into romance, but start as friends and the main character gives herself time to heal and grow as a person before committing to the relationship, which I really liked since she did just leave a serious relationship that lasted a long time.

The book as a whole is a very real and heartfelt book, but is written in a funny and light way. There are breakups, cheating, fights, secrets, and betrayal in the book, but it is so enjoyable and fun to read that I could not put the book down. I loved that the writer did that with the book. She showed that all these sucky things happen in life, but there is so much humor to it all, and so many good times that happen that outweigh the bad.

Rating: 5 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase Going Vintage here:

http://amzn.to/1aq1viM

Linked Book Review

Linked by Imogen Howson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Published: June 11, 2013

Pages: 368

Synopsis:
When Elissa learns her telepathic twin is the subject of government experiments, the girls find themselves on the run with secrets worth killing for in this futuristic, romantic thriller. Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. Now, all she has is nightmarish visions and unexplained bruises. Finally, she’s promised a cure, and a surgery is scheduled. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the truth behind her visions: She’s seeing the world through another girls eyes. A world filled with pain and wires and weird machines. Elissa follows her visions, only to find a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl Lin who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. A twin she never knew existed.

Elissa helps Lin evade the government agents who are ruthlessly tracking her down, but they’re struggling to avoid capture, and soon Elissa is forced to turn to the only person who can help: Cadan, her brothers infuriating, arrogant best friend, and new graduate of the SFI space flight academy. Cadan is their one chance at safety. But Lin is too valuable to let go, and Elissa has knowledge that is too dangerous. The government will stop at nothing to get them back.

My Thoughts: This book had a great science fiction world that was futuristic and really fun to read about. The writing was amazingly vivid and descriptive. Everything the author wrote about I could picture perfectly in my mind, which helped a lot since the world and its technology are complex. Another part that I loved was the romance in the book. It was very slow to build and the romantic tension between the two of them made it feel real.

The relationship between the twins is also really great. They do not really understand each other and since they have just met it’s hard for them to act as sisters or even friends right away. The way that they grow together and form that sisterly bond was also very real and I admired them for how they looked past the others flaws and quickly developed a deep love for each other.

The world in the book is really cool. There is futuristic technology, spaceships, different planets that the people live on, and most of the book even takes place in outer space. I have never read a book like that and it was fun to read about their troubles on the spaceship and the problems between the different planets. The book was a great start to a series, and even if you are a person who does not like to read series, this book wraps up in a way that it could be a great standalone. I really enjoyed this book and can not wait for the rest of the books in the series to come out.

Rating: 4 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase Linked here:

http://amzn.to/12hVlIE

“Waiting On” Wednesday: Frozen

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature that is hosted by Breaking the Spine  and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  This week my pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Frozen By Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Synopsis:
Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise.

More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light. But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

You can purchase Frozen here:
http://amzn.to/1aZWdtr

Pushing the Limits Book Review

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Series: Pushing the Limits

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Published: July 31, 2013

Pages: 416

Synopsis:

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.My Thoughts:

This book was intense, and I loved every second of it. There were several very serious issues addressed in this book such as foster care, abuse, mental illness, and death. The author handled all of these tough subjects really well, and I appreciated how she was able to present and discuss them in a very appropriate and emotional way.  There was never a dull moment, the plot and the characters just kept getting more complex and interesting. Even the characters that I was supposed to hate, I loved. They were all so fun to read and no matter what they did I wanted to keep reading and know more about them. The relationships of the characters were all also written really well, complex, and they all grew and changed at some point.

The relationship between Echo and Noah was especially absolutely amazing. I really loved how the author switched back and forth between Noah and Echo’s point of view. By doing that I got to see how they both truly felt about each other and why they did the things that they did to one another. Usually we only get to see one side of a relationship in books, so it was really nice and refreshing to be able to see both sides. Their relationship was just so great and felt real. It was never simple, and grew a lot instead of them just falling in love and it being perfect. They had ups and downs and the feelings were raw and again so real. The romance was also raw, steamy, and intense. I could not get enough of them together and was so sad when the book ended because I wanted to keep reading about their relationship.

In the majority of YA books the parents are either nonexistent and ignored the whole book, or are unrealistically unaware. So, I really loved that the parents were such a huge part of this book. They were important to the story, and so added to the very realistic nature of the book as a whole. Echo’s mother’s mental illness, her father’s second marriage, Noah’s horrible foster life, Echo’s trauma are not uncommon thing in real life and the way that the author dealt with them is something that I think is really important in YA novels. There are so many teens going through and so I really appreciate and love a book more when they talk about those types of things, because it gives those teens characters to relate to and connect with.

Overall, I really loved this book. It was real, romantic, tough to read at times, and had a of real and intense events taking place. I highly recommend it and can not wait to read the rest of the series.  This is a great contemporary read that discusses real and important issues, but also has a great story and an amazing romance.

Rating: 5 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase Pushing the Limits here:

http://amzn.to/130jHWh

Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list for today and check out other blog’s Top Ten Tuesdays.

This Weeks Theme: Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

There a ton of books being released this summer that I am super excited for. In this list I will include only books that are being released or have already been released in June, July, and August that I am most excited for. Tell me what books you guys are excited about reading this summer, and let me know what you think of my choices!

Ink by Amanda Sun

Release Date: June 25, 2013

Synopsis:

Ink is in their blood.

On the heels of a family tragedy, Katie Greene must move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

When Katie meets aloof but gorgeous Tomohiro, the star of the school’s kendo team, she is intrigued by him…and a little scared. His tough attitude seems meant to keep her at a distance, and when they’re near each other, strange things happen. Pens explode. Ink drips from nowhere. And unless Katie is seeing things, drawings come to life.

Somehow Tomo is connected to the kami, powerful ancient beings who once ruled Japan—and as feelings develop between Katie and Tomo, things begin to spiral out of control. The wrong people are starting to ask questions, and if they discover the truth, no one will be safe.

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Synopsis:

Money can’t buy a good first impression.

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom’s porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence—he’s tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But just when Xander’s loyalty and attentiveness are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

Release Date: July 23, 2013

Synopsis:

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic…and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down…and she might end up breaking her own heart.

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

Release Date: July 30, 2013

Synopsis:

A new breathtaking novel from Natalie Standiford about love and trust during the Cold War.

Laura Reid goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad as Cold War paranoia is peaking in 1982. She meets a young Russian artist named Alexei and soon, with Alexei as her guide, Laura immerses herself in the real Russia–a crazy world of wild parties, black-market books and music, and smuggled letters to dissidents. She must keep the relationship secret; associating with Americans is dangerous for Alexei, and if caught, Laura could be sent home and Alexei put under surveillance or worse. At the same time, she’s been warned that Soviets often latch onto Americans in hopes of marrying them and thus escaping to the United States. But she knows Alexei loves her. Right?

As June approaches–when Laura must return to the United States–Alexei asks Laura to marry him. She’s only nineteen and doesn’t think she’s ready to settle down. But what if Alexei is the love of her life? How can she leave him behind? If she has a chance to change his life, to rescue him from misery, shouldn’t she take it?

SYLO by D. J. MacHale

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Synopsis:

THEY CAME FROM THE SKY
parachuting out of military helicopters to invade Tucker Pierce’s idyllic hometown on Pemberwick Island, Maine.

They call themselves SYLO and they are a secret branch of the U.S. Navy. SYLO’s commander, Captain Granger, informs Pemberwick residents that the island has been hit by a lethal virus and must be quarantined. Now Pemberwick is cut off from the outside world.

Tucker believes there’s more to SYLO’s story. He was on the sidelines when the high school running back dropped dead with no warning. He saw the bizarre midnight explosion over the ocean, and the mysterious singing aircraft that travel like shadows through the night sky. He tasted the Ruby—and experienced the powers it gave him—for himself.

What all this means, SYLO isn’t saying. Only Tucker holds the clues that can solve this deadly mystery.

LOOK TO THE SKY
because Pemberwick is only the first stop.

The Rivals by Daisy Whitney

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Synopsis:

When Alex Patrick was assaulted by another student last year, her elite boarding school wouldn’t do anything about it. This year Alex is head of the Mockingbirds, a secret society of students who police and protect the student body. While she desperately wants to live up to the legacy that’s been given to her, she’s now dealing with a case unlike any the Mockingbirds have seen before.

It isn’t rape. It isn’t bullying. It isn’t hate speech. A far-reaching prescription drug ring has sprung up, and students are using the drugs to cheat. But how do you try a case with no obvious victim? Especially when the facts don’t add up, and each new clue drives a wedge between Alex and the people she loves most: her friends, her boyfriend, and her fellow Mockingbirds.

As Alex unravels the layers of deceit within the school, the administration, and even the student body the Mockingbirds protect, her struggle to navigate the murky waters of vigilante justice may reveal more about herself than she ever expected.

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Synopsis:

The first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series has all the elements that have made her bestselling Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Awaken by Meg Cabot

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Synopsis:
Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.

But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.

If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die.

Vortex by S. J. Kincaid

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Synopsis:

S. J. Kincaid has created a fascinating dystopian world for Insignia, her futuristic science-fiction adventure series. Earth is in the middle of WWIII, battling to determine which governments and corporations will control the resources of the solar system.

Teen Tom Raines grew up with nothing, some days without even a roof over his head. Then his exceptional gaming skills earned him a spot in the Intrasolar Forces, the country’s elite military training program, and his life completely changed.

Now in Vortex, the second book in the series, Tom discovers that the Pentagonal Spire, where he and his friends are being trained as superhuman weapons, is filled with corruption. He is asked to betray his friends—the first real friends he’s ever had—for the sake of his country.

Will he sacrifice his new life to do what he believes is right?

Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

Release Date: July 9, 2013

Synopsis:

Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…

Dance of the Red Death Book Review

Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Series: Masque of the Red Death

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Published: June 11, 2013

Pages: 336

Synopsis:

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

My Thoughts:

Usually when reading series I break the books up and read the series over a period of time. With this series, though, I picked up this book right after reading the first one, and read the novella when I finished this one. I love the world, characters, writing, and story of this series that I just could not get enough of it. The writing is absolutely beautiful and I can not wait for the author to write more books.

The vivid darkness and gloom of the world in this series is phenomenal. I loved reading the horribly depressing world filled with two terrible plagues that is illuminated by an amazing love triangle. Although in the first book the love triangle is not very complex in the first book, in this book it tore my heart and made it so hard for me to decide who Araby should choose. There were many twists and turns in her relationships with the two boys that kept changing my mind and could not choose which one to trust. All of the characters, even the side ones, were written really well and were interesting and added vastly to the story.

In this installment of the series, the characters each grew from the first book and surprised me with some of the things they did. Araby especially surprised me. She was much stronger and took more risks to help the people she loved and herself than in the first book. Every aspect of the book grew more complex and so was really suspenseful and the story took several turns that I was not expecting. There was much more romance, but it was never too much and added to the story instead of taking away from it. I loved the romance, battles in the relationships, and how the loved triangle played out and concluded. I also loved how the main story of the plague concluded. I was not expecting it to turn out the way that it did, and was pleasantly surprised how the author decided to end  and conclude things.

I really loved this conclusion to the series, and highly recommend this book and the series as a whole. The story is very dark for a YA book, and I enjoyed that since it is something that is not very common for YA.

Rating 5 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase Dance of the Red Death here:

http://amzn.to/12EhEbr