“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

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:

Pushing the Limits Book Review

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Series: Pushing the Limits

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Published: July 31, 2013

Pages: 416


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:


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


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:


34 Pieces of You Book Review

34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Published: September 4, 2012

Pages: 336


There was something about Ellie…Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance—and kept watch.

Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are thirty-four clues she left behind. Thirty-four strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. Thirty-four secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they confront the past, they will discover not only the darkest truths about themselves, but also what Ellie herself had been hiding all along….

My Thoughts:

Fans of Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why will love this novel. It has a lot of the same elements as that novel and is very dark and haunting as well. I really loved the multiple points of view and how each chapter of the book starts off with one the scraps of paper from Ellie’s box. The book is very dark and I thought that the author handled the tough and delicate subjects really well, which is something that is hard to come by especially in young adult literature.

The characters were my favorite aspect of this book. They were all really well developed and written, complex, and I had strong feelings, both good and bad, towards all of them. I also loved the story and how each of the five characters were connected to each other, and how they affected and felt about one another. The connections they each had were very real and I loved how complex they were.

With that being said, though, I did not like this book as much as I though I was going to. Although the story and characters were amazingly written and interesting  I was kind of bored the whole time. Nothing really happens in this book at all. There is a huge event, Ellie’s death, before the book takes place, and so the whole time all the characters are doing is mourning about it and thinking back to the good and bad times that they had with her. I wish that the book would have taken place before and during that time instead.

Even though I did like the times that they reflected back on her and were mourning, it was just too much and dragged on. Nothing new was taking place, and I struggled through certain parts of the book since I was so bored of just reading flashbacks and characters crying. But, again, with that being said, I still did enjoy reading this book and do recommend it to readers who enjoy darker and depressing books like 13 Reasons Why. I just personally enjoy book where there are a lot of events currently taking place, but did love and appreciate the dark and haunting nature of the book.

Rating 3 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase 34 Pieces of You here:


The Registry Book Review

The Registry by Shannon Stoker

Publisher: William Marrow Paperbacks

Published: June 11, 2013

Pages: 336


Welcome to a safe and secure new world, where beauty is bought and sold, and freedom is the ultimate crime

The Registry saved the country from collapse, but stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained to fight and never question orders.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous questions. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

My Thoughts:

This book has one of the more interesting and unique dystopian worlds that I have read, and I really enjoyed the way that the author decided to describe its world. Instead of dragging the book on with explaining everything about the world, at the beginning of each chapter there is an excerpt from the two different sets of rules/expectations for girls and guys. I thought this was very unique in showing the world that the characters live in.

There was never a dull moment in this book, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat. Through the author showing both the stories of the escapee and pursuer, it created so much suspense. It showed just how close the chase was and made it hard to book down since I had no idea if Mia was going to get ahead of Grant in time. I have never read a book that showed both sides of that before, and really enjoyed it.

The romance and love triangle is really unexpected and done well. Most of the time I hate love triangles, but I loved this one and it made me so heartbroken and conflicted the whole time. I wanted Mia to be with one guy, but then would change my mind and want the other because I was so scared that the first one would leave her. I can not wait to read the next book in the series to see how the love triangle affects the rest of Mia’s journey.

I did really love the characters and how complex they were, but did not really feel connected to any of them. All of the characters lives were very fascinating to read about and developed really well. I was heartbroken by some of them and their sacrifices and losses. I loved the story so much, but just wish that I could connect with and feel fully for at least one of the characters. I hope that in the next book I will experience that, and that it will be just as action packed and unique as this one was.

Rating: 4 Stars/ 5 Stars

You can purchase The Registry here:


Eleanor & Park Book Review

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Published: February 26, 2013

Pages: 336


Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”—John Green, The New York Times Book Review

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

My Thoughts:

This is the most charming and adorable book that I have ever read. A love story set in 80’s, this book made me laugh and cry and fall in love with the characters. The way that Eleanor and Park fall in love, by reading comic books and listing to music together, was geeky, fun, and real. They are both misfits that I could relate to, and I just loved their characters so much. Especially since the story was written by switching between Eleanor and Park’s view points. I got to see how they both so and felt about each other, which made me love them even more.

Although this is a great contemporary love story, it also has other very deep and dark aspects to it. There is emotional and physical abuse, isolation, bullying, and neglect that breaks your hear, and adds so much to the book. The writing is wonderful, and all of the parts, dark and light, come together in such an amazing way that warms and breaks your heart at the same time.

Both of the characters are going through a hard time trying to figure out who they are and having trouble at home, and it is very real and relate able. The thing that I love most about Eleanor and Parks Relationship is that they accept each other how they are, and when one decides to do something, the other is okay with it and supports them. They are there for and help each other trough everything, and have no bad feelings or judgement between them. I loved them together, and wish that I could have a relationship like there’s.

This is definitely my new all time favorite contemporary novel, and I highly recommend it. It sets you on a whirlwind of emotions, and makes you nostalgic for the time of walk mans and    mullets. I absolutely loved this book, and everyone should pick it up

Rating: 5 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase Eleanor & Park here:


Chantress Book Review

Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield

Publisher: McElderry Books

Published: May 7, 2013

Pages: 336


Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful—and most hunted—girl in England.

“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.

When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.

Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion…

Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.

My Thoughts:

First off, I want to say that I absolutely love this cover. It is so beautiful and looks so amazing. But this book is so much more than a pretty cover. With the abundance of books out now that have gorgeous covers but not so great stories out right now, I was really surprised buy how good this book is.

The plot was really unique. I have never read a book about chantresses, and was in love with the world and the magic that the author creates. Reading about Lucy’s training and trials with magic felt so real, and I wanted more. The book is very well written, and is a great start to a series.

There were a few plot twists that were unexpected, and left me at the edge of my seat. I was rooting for Lucy the whole time and wanted everything to work out for her. Another thing that surprised me about this book was that even though it is historical fiction, it is really light in the language and writing  I know  a lot of people find that aspect hard for them to read historical fiction, and if that is you, you should pick up this book. It is really easy to read and is not a heavy or dense in that aspect.

The romance is really slow to start, but develops in a very realistic way that is really refreshing. Their relationship is believable, heart warming, and I can not wait until the next installment in the series comes out so that I can see what happens to them.

Rating: 4 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase Chantress here:


Spies and Prejudice Book Review

Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance

Publisher: EgmontUSA

Published: June 11, 2013

Pages: 304


Pride & Prejudice meets Veronica Mars in this slick romantic spy-thriller where nothing’s as it seems.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

My Thoughts:

This was such a fun read. The plot was interesting and had a great pace to it, and it was light but had deeper parts of it that helped balance the book. I loved every single character in the book. They each had a purpose and significance, and were really well written. Each of the characters were very complex and added to the story in a really great way.

The love triangle and romance in this book was really refreshing. Usually I hate love triangles, but this one was done really well and had me torn at which person she should choose. The side romances were also great and added to the depth of the characters and each of their story lines.

Reading about the different spy gear and the tactics of the different spy’s was really fun. I wanted more and more of the spy world aspect of the book, but it had a good balance between the spy parts and the ‘Pride and Prejudice’ parts.

Overall this was a really great and fun read. It had action, romance, depth, and humor that combined smoothly. This book definitely exceeded my expectations, and I highly recommend it.

Rating: 4 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase Spies and Prejudice here:


Sweet Evil Book Review

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: May 1, 2012

Pages: 464


Embrace the Forbidden
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

My Thoughts:

This book was really addicting and original despite its many flaws. The way that the author portrayed Nephilim was really unique and I loved reading about the world she had built.  The story was predictable and sometimes annoying, though.

In the book the main character is part angle, so she is supposed to be a good moral person, but she came of as naive and childish, which really annoyed me. The other thing that annoyed me was the insta love that was also forbidden. I really did not like that part and wish that it was done better because I do like the two characters together  but not how their relationship was built.

The book also had endings to major events that were too sweet and happy. Every time, except once, someting really bad was about to happen it ended up concluding in the best way possible. I wanted something significant to happen, and was not granted that.

Despite all of this, the book was still really good. I could not put it down and loved reading about Kaiden and the world they all lived in. Things that would usually annoy me to point that I would stop reading a book did not annoy me as much in this book. It was a fun and engrossing read, and  I am really excited to read the next installment in the series.

Rating: 3 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase Sweet Evil here:


The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spenser Black Book Review

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spenser Black by E. B. Hudspeth

Publisher: Quirk Books

Published: May 21st 2013

Pages: 191


Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?

My Thoughts:

This book was really interesting to read. The first about third of the novel follows Dr. Spenser Black’s life and his research, and the latter two thirds are a book that he wrote about ‘extinct’ creatures.

I really enjoyed the first part of the book that was about the doctor’s life. It was written in a series of journal entries, testimonials, drawings, and commentary from the author. I got to learn a lot about the very strange doctor and the kind of work that he did. Using all of those different writings made the book really unique and fun to read. Even though it was nonficton, the book was never boring or too detailed, and I felt like I was reading a fiction book the whole time.

The illustrations in the book were absolutely amazing. The mythical creatures were really detailed and I loved how it showed all the muscles, bones, and other body parts of the creatures in a scientific way that made them look as if they were real live animals being researched.

I found this book so interesting and I highly recommend it if you like mythical creatures like mermaids or if you are just looking for a very unique read that unlike anything you have ever read before.

Rating: 5 Stars / 5 Stars