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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: On The Fence by Kasie West

Title: On The Fence
Author: Kasie West
Format Acquired: ARC
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Publishing House: Harper Teen
ISBN: 9780062235671
Source of Copy: Sent by publisher for review


She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door...

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets - she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


In a testosterone-filled household, it's not unusual for Charlie to be more comfortable with participating in wrestling matches than a shopping spree. Charlie is one of the boys, and she's more than okay with that, until she starts working for a chic boutique to pay off a speeding ticket. While wearing makeup and putting on clothes that actually fit well seem to be a novelty that's somehow growing on her, Charlie's almost desperate attempts to keep her home life and blooming social life separate are catching up on her. The only place Charlie feels where she could truly be herself is when she is talking to Braden behind their fences, but could she lose her sanctuary when she figures out that she's actually in love with the cliched boy next door?

I recall that On the Fence was announced just after I finished reviewing The Distance Between Us and all at once, I felt like a cat about to be given another bowl of creamy milk. Based on TDBU, I more or less already predicted the cute fluffiness that West will throw at her readers, as if she already knows the secret ingredient to the balm that would undoubtedly soothe our heavy-YA-weary souls. 

On The Fence is exactly that.

Watching Charlie Reynolds being thrust into the world of makeup and fashion is very fun, especially if you're the type of reader who likes reading about things like that (which I am). And watching her being all flustered with Braden, who is suddenly simply not just Braden? Even cuter, if you're the type who smirks while reading a fun, fluffy, contemporary novel (which I also am). Charlie is at the right age to be exploring her true identity, given that all she's ever known and have been comfortable with, was hanging out with her brothers and Braden, and playing one game after the other. It's quite lovely to see the lightbulb go off in her head that she doesn't have to be only one or the other - and that she could actually be both!

I do have my misgivings with On The Fence, however. Similar in the fashion of The Distance Between Us, some events that seemed minor, given the little amount of spotlight thrown on them, ended up being major events that got in the way of the storyline. Also, Charlie didn't seem to be the type of girl who lived for pushing the pedal to the metal. The girl got one speeding ticket, and didn't seem to come across as having them habitually since there were no repetitive nuances about it throughout the whole book.

But still, On The Fence is one such balm to soothe my heavy-YA-weary soul, and for that I could not ask for more. And yes, I still lapped that cream to every last drop.

Read On The Fence if you like cutesy, fluffy fiction about tomboyish girls and their equally adorable love interests. Or you know, you're a kindred heavy-YA-weary soul as well.


Monday, July 28, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Title: Uninvited
Author: Sophie Jordan
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: January 28 2014
Publishing House: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062233653
Source of Copy: Purchased from FullyBooked


When Davy tests positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, aka "the kill gene," she loses everything. Once the perfect high school senior, she is uninvited from her prep school and abandoned by her friends and boyfriend. Even her parents are now afraid of her - although she's never hurt a fly. Davy doesn't feel ay different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Without any say in the matter, Davy is thrown into a special class for HTS carriers. She has no doubt the predictions are right about them, especially Sean, who already bears the "H" tattoo as proof of his violence. Yet when the world turns on the carriers, Sean is the only one she can trust. Maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems.

Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Okay so I tried Sophie Jordan's Firelight series and I hated it with a vengeance so I was reluctant to try Uninvited. I don't know what pushed me to buy this book but I'm glad I did. It's waaaaaaay better than the other series. On to the review then.

Davy's the perfect high school senior but the moment she's diagnosed as a carrier for "the kill gene" her life starts to spiral out of control. Her best friend turns betrays her, her boyfriend turns his back on her and Davy is shunned. She is uninvited by the prep school she attends but what's worse is the fear in her parents' eyes when they look at her. And when people start to turn on the so called carriers, what's Davy to do? 

I can't help but compare this book to Firelight. I'm sorry but Uninvited has better characters. Davy isn't an annoying lovelorn twit but rather a smart, talented girl who's thrust into a problematic position. She's adapting and struggling with the loss of her friends and the change in her family. Sure there's a guy; a dangerous, cute guy but Davy knows he's dangerous but at least she's not diving into any kind of relationship eyes closed. She might be a little spoiled and a special little butterfly but she's real - just a normal girl who's caught in unfortunate (hah! unfortunate) circumstances.

Davy's ex-boyfriend and best friend were annoying. Seriously. I mean what douchery was that? It's kind of sick that they were capable of doing that to someone they love. Seriously. I mean they made me want to give up on being human. Just ugh. But fear for carriers has been ingrained in society and to them it's probably normal to shun people who have been diagnosed positive.

The thing with Uninvited is that it has action scenes and they were well written. They had a cinematic feel to them and I liked reading them so much. The only thing was well, the things were a little too easy for Davy in the end you know? And I'm kind of hoping that it's a set up for the next book. Please. 

Anyway I'm just really glad this didn't turn out like Firelight and I'm really sorry but I can't get how much I dislike that book out of my head. Uninvited restored my faith in Sophie Jordan and I'm definitely going to grab the next book.



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #40

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme first initiated by Tynga. This weekly segment will showcase the books/galleys/ARCs we've acquired/purchased/borrowed within the week.


On the Fence by Kasie West
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Of Neptune by Anna Banks
The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

Guardian by Alex London

Flicker and Burn by T.M. Goeglein (FINALLY!!!)
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Books signed by Stephanie Perkins and her husband Jarrod. So cute.


Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Books signed by Stephanie Perkins!!

What did you guys get this week/month?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Dark Paradise by Angie Sandro

Title: Dark Paradise
Author: Angie Sandro
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: July 1 2014
Publishing House: Forever Yours
ISBN: 9781455554829
Source of Copy: NetGalley



Mala LaCroix has spent her whole life trying to escape her destiny. As the last in a long line of "witch women," she rejects the notion of spirits and hoodoo and instead does her best to blend in. But when she finds a dead body floating in the bayou behind her house, Mala taps into powers she never knew she had. She's haunted by visions of the dead girl, demanding justice and vengeance.


Landry Prince has always had a crush on Mala but when Mala discovers his sister, murered and marked in some sort of Satanic ritual, he wonders if all the rumors about the LaCroix family are true. Yet after Mala uses her connection to the spirit world to identify his sister's killer, he starts to form his own bond to her ... a very physical one. As they move closer to each other and closer to the truth, Mala and Landry must risk everything - their families, their love, and even their lives.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads;)


Mala is in denial about her powers. She's been trying to escape her whole life but finding a dead body floating in the bayou near her house puts all those carefully crafted notions out of her head. Landry has always had his eye on Mala - hanging out where she works, looking at her, staring at her when in school - but when Mala is the one who discovers his sister's body floating in the water he's not sure what to think anymore. Satanic rituals? Hoodoo? Can Landry put his trust in a girl who's painted as a witch involved in blood rituals? Can Mala figure out what the malevolent spirit wants before she gets consumed by her own budding powers?

It's told in the alternating voices of Mala and Landry. Mala is a sort of pariah seeing as how she's a descendant of witch women and people with all their prejudice and preconceived ideas concerning witches treat her like she's got the plague. Mala's used to it though and spends her time at the police station helping out. She's over-dramatic sometimes and a little naive at others. She's also part of this confusing romance and torn between two boys - George and Landry.

George doesn't really have that much of a presence in the book. He's just this guy who Mala works with and fancies. He kind of sees Mala as this little girl or damsel in distress who needs to be sheltered and protected. I have no idea what Mala sees in him because aside from the pretty face there really is nothing to write home about.

Landry on the other hand is crazy. He's always had a crush on Mala but never really had the guts to go talk to her. When he finds out Mala's the one who finds his sister's body he is easily persuaded into believing that she's performing crazy blood rituals and his sister is an unwitting victim. And he expects Mala to fall at his feet? Expects that they could actually have a relationship together? From their first confrontation to their following interactions, Landry is either hating/angry at her or flirty and charming. Maybe if he were a little less psycho they might have a chance.

I did like the atmosphere of the book. It's creepy and mysterious and I don't know how I made it through because I am not good with ghosts. I mean just mentioning ghosts makes me feel tainted. I just kind of wished that instead of focusing on the romance because all that messy drama overshadowed the good horror/mystery vibe the book had going.

Nevertheless I'll be checking out the second book, mainly because I want to see where the author takes this series and also because Mala's powers are growing and I want to know if they're going to driver her crazy in the end. And Landry too because crazies also deserve a happy ending.



NICOLE'S REVIEW: Born of Deception by Teri Brown

Title: Born of Deception
Author: Teri Brown
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: June 10 2014
Publishing House: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062187574
Source of Copy: Edelweiss


Buddng illusionist Anna Van Housen is on top of the world: after scoring a spot on a prestigious European vaudeville tour, she has moved to London to chase her dream and to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. Along with her handsome beau, Cole Archer, Anna is prepared to take the city by storm.

But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil. Sensitives are disappearing and, without a suspect, the group's members are turning on one another. Could the kidnapper be someone within the society itself - or has the nefarious Dr. Boyle followed them to London?

As Cole and Anna begin to unravel the case and secrets about the society are revealed, they find themselves at odds, their plans for romance in London having vanished. Her life in danger and her relationship fizzling, can Anna find a way to track down the killer before he makes her his next victim - or will she have to pay the ultimate price for her powers?

Set in Jazz-Age London, this alluring sequel to Born of Illusion comes alive with sparkling romance, deadly intrigue, and daring magic.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads;)


Born of Deception is the sequel to Born of Illusion which I reviewed HERE.

Anna Van Housen managed to escape her dreary - sort of - life in New York by scoring a spot on a famous European tour. She gets to move to London with the handsome Cole and gets to perform her illusions for all the world to see. Everything's perfect until she meets the secret society Cole is a part of - Sensitives are disappearing and turning up dead and the society is in chaos. Secrets are uncovered and revealed and Anna's plans and her relationship with Cole is shot to hell. Her powers are starting to unravel her and Anna has to find the killer before he finds her.

It's London, Anna should be having the time of her life performing and pursuing this relationship with Cole. But instead she's got to figure out why her powers are going haywire and why in the world this new killer is targeting her. She also has to deal with this pretty boy who seems to have his eye on her and discourage his charming advances. Love triangle? Not really. Don't worry guys. Cole gets jealous and all and I kind of liked seeing him that way. It was fun, made him seem less perfect.

Like the first book in the series, the sequel has the same feel to it. Mysterious, eerie and charged with magic. Brown's writing was as good as in the first book, her characters are just as wonderful and easy to fall in love with. Like saying hello to long time friends I haven't seen in ages. Brown also introduces a new cast of characters that serve to make things more diversified and interesting.

The thing about this though, is that the book felt a little flat. I mean add a pretty boy who fancies Anna to cause strife between the two? Yeah. I did like the tension that arose thanks to the issues with the secret society of Sensitives and the craziness that seemed to follow Anna around. The ghost part was really creepy but truth be had, any mention of ghosts is bound to creep me out. 

All in all a decent follow up to Born of Illusion, a sort of paler imitation but enjoyable nonetheless. The writing is still as good and so is the world building. I'm definitely picking up the next book to see where Brown will take us next. Also note that it's set in JAZZ AGE LONDON. 




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW + Novel Nails #13: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Title: Rebel Belle
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: April 8 2014
Publishing House: Putnam Juvenile
ISBN: 9780399256936
Source of Copy: Purchased from FullyBooked


Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She's imbued with the powers of a Paladin, a guardian with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and Harper's least favorite person. Things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him - and discovers that David own fate could very well be to destroy earth.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Harper Price is perfect. She's homecoming queen, captain of cheer squad and her boyfriend is the hottest guy on campus. Nothing can go wrong. That is until a run-in with a strange man who imbues her with Paladin powers and puts her in charge of her nemesis David Stark. The David Stark who mercilessly makes her life a living hell and the boy she might be falling for (gasp!). 

This book was so much fun. Harper is an adorable heroine, a little bit of an overachiever but totally likeable, smart and funny. She's also a prude - PDA is vile and she does not cuss. If she were a real person I don't think we'd get along very well. David is the anti-hero. He's moody, insufferable and wears really tight pants (he's a hipster and of course that disturbs Harper's delicate sensibilities). He's also nephew to the school principal and editor on the school paper. 

I had a lot of fun reading this book despite the fact that the ending was sort of rushed and the bad guys felt really random. You know, like, toss a bad guy in just for kicks. The book also seemed to put a lot of focus into Harper's messed up love life. Ryan aka The Perfect Boyfriend on one hand and David the Archnemesis on the other. Normally I'd be irritated by this but not this time. Rebel Belle was just too much fun. And you just know that Hawkins is totally setting readers up for the next book with the way Rebel Belle ended. Oh what a fine mess our adorable heroine is in.

Let me just add that the secondary characters were boring too but eh, who needs them. David and Harper were my sole focus so I couldn't really care less. And nobody needs a bunch of cheerleaders with super powers please.

Anyway I'd definitely recommend this to readers looking for a light, fun urban fantasy. Also suitable for those who'd like to ease themselves into the genre, I think. 



"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

Aha! It has been so long since I last did a Novel Nails feature for the blog. I've recently been doing a lot of nail art inspired by books I've read before this feature was born. If you're interested please check out the instagram for my bookish manicures!

Changed the instagram handle. Hehe.

Anyway! Onto the manicure. This week's feature is Rebel Belle, of course. And my nails are pink. PINK. With rhinestones and pearls and a ribbon.

Nail polish used:
OPI I Theodora You
China Glaze Fairy Dust

So here are my nails with the book. I'm not used to seeing my nails painted such a dainty color. It's weird! Can you see the pearls on my fingers? Heh.

My nails with the book. We match, don't we? Nails look so dainty. It's really strange.

Here are the rhinestones I used. They come in a cute glass bottle.

Hope you liked my nails! Don't forget to check out my other bookish manicures on instagram. I've been doing a lot of freehand recently.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Nihal of the Land of the Wind by Licia Troisi

Title: Nihal of the Land of the Wind
Author: Tricia Troisi
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Publishing House: Mondadori
ISBN: 9781497648
Source of Copy: Netgalley


Nihal lives in one of the many towers of the Land of the Wind. There is nobody like her in the Overworld: big violet eyes, pointed ears, and blue hair. She is an expert in swordplay and the leader of a handful of friends that includes Sennar the wizard. She has no parents; brought up by an armorer and a sorceress, Nihal seems to be from nowhere.

Things suddenly change when the Tyrant takes charge. Nihal finds herself forced to take action when she is face with the most difficult mission a girl her age could imagine.

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads)


Nihal has no idea why her hair is blue, or why she is unique. She's never known her mother, and thinks that her father is an armorer. 

She's wrong. 

Nihal is the last of her kind, the lone survivor of the race that the Tyrant has wiped out from existence.

And she will make him pay.

Nihal's story spans her childhood to her being a fierce young female warrior. It encompasses the people she grew up with, people she has unique interactions with in her journey into becoming a young woman who almost always defies everyone's expectations of her.

I must admit that Nihal, while being bold and defiant, could have appealed to me, and her being rash and, at times, irrational may have endeared herself to me, she didn't. There was a detachment from her I could not place. It seems that Nihal of the Land of the Wind was originally written in Italian, which could probably be the reason why some scenes just didn't make much sense to me. Some paragraphs and scenes felt stunted and cut too short, while others were much too drawn out to be desired. Nihal of the Land of the Wind had a lot of characters as well that I didn't care much for, given that their appearances in the storyline were too short-lived. I get that this is a fantasy novel and that maybe Troisi was angling for a pretty massive world, but it just seemed a bit too crammed for me. The world the author created didn't really span a huge territory in my head, only that it was full of characters that Nihal would have to have an encounter with.

I also didn't quite get Nihal's fascination with Fen, the older dragon knight who is in a relationship with Sennar's aunt. He rides his own dragon and is one of the best combatants around, but I didn't really get why she gets all moony-eyed, even knowing that Fen couldn't and never would be hers. Maybe I'm coming across too serious and seem hellbent on crushing every teen girl's fantasy of the dreamy older guy, but come on. All throughout the novel, all she did was worry about Fen and think of him so pardon my French, but ughhhh

While the novel held its own with an intriguing premise and an ambitious young character bent on proving everyone wrong, Nihal of the Land of the Wind lacked depth and further explorations of the psyche of the characters that could have made a deeper and more lasting impression.


Monday, July 14, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz

Title: The Dark World
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: May 27 2014
Publishing House: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373211203
Source of Copy: NetGalley


Paige Kelly is used to weird - in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the  1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer - and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons - and she might never make it home.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Color me surprised. After DNFing Spellbound (I barely reached a quarter of the book) I never really though I'd pick up another book by Shultz again. How wrong was I? See, I was drawn in by the cover and the promise of demons so I said yes. Why not? And thank the universe I actually ended up liking this book.

Think parallel dimensions; our world on one side and a darker, more evil version next to it. That side is called The Dark World. Enter Paige - she's an outcast and her penchant for talking to ghosts isn't doing her any favors. Her best friend Dottie is the aforementioned ghost interested in boys and invested in Paige's nonexistent love life. Paige has always known she was stranger than most and she's learned to deal with it. That is until a fire demon attacks her and Logan steps in to save the day. Now she's got demons to face, a cute boy to play with, all the while trying to not get sucked into The Dark World. Sounds like fun.

I have, overall, no complaints about the characters. And the romance was pretty okay. There was a case of insta-love but nothing too cringe-worthy. I also thought I saw a love triangle in there but thankfully it was a false alarm. Thing is I kind of wished there was more story, less romance. But hey, at least Logan gives Paige her own weapon and rather than making her hide behind his back, actually teaches her how to use it.

Shultz has this super creepy alternate New York set up where all different kinds of demons in varying levels of power cluster as they wage war with the warlocks. It's interesting, I wanted more, I wanted to see blood and maybe a little gore (hello, bloodthirsty demons!) but there wasn't much of that. Hopefully we'll get more in book two.

I get though that all those teasing glimpses into the Dark World set us up for the next. With the way it ended, I'm not really surprised. I'm looking forward to the next book and thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for the copy. Looking for your next paranormal read? This could be the one.



Sunday, July 13, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Push by Eve Silver

Title: Push
Author: Eve Silver
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: June 10 2014
Publishing House: Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN: 9780062192219
Source of Copy: Edelweiss


It's either break the rules or die.

Miki Jones lives her life by her own strict set of rules, to keep control, to keep the gray fog of grief at bay. Then she's pulled into the Game, where she - and her team - will die unless she followes a new set of rules: those set by the mysterious Committee.

But rules don't mean answers, and without answers, it's hard to trust. People are dying. The rules are unraveling. And Miki knows she's being watched, uncertain if it's the Drau or someone - something - else. Forced to make impossible choices and battling to save those she loves, Miki begins to see the Committee in a glaring new light. 

And then the Game crosses a new boundary, pushes harder into Miki's and her friends' lives, and there's nothing in the rules that can save them now.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I read this book right after Crown of Midnight (thank the universe I gave the series another chance). I was in my give-the-sequel-a-chance phase and thought why not. If you've seen my review of Rush (HERE) you'll know that I'm not a fan but to my surprise Push is actually a touch better than its predecessor.

It's a mess. After the events in the first book there's no time for Miki to get her emotions sorted out as she's thrust right back into the Game. She has to deal with bloodthirsty aliens, teammates she can't trust and her growing worries about the Committee. Her feelings must not get in the way. But when things start to unravel and lines start to blur it's all or nothing for Miki and her team because survival is of the utmost importance and things just are not what they seem.

Miki does a little growing up in this book. I'm still not a fan but I can at least give her that. Jackson is still Jackson and I there's nothing about him to write home about. He's still a douche and I doubt that's going to change no matter how sweet he is on Miki. And yes, he's alive, he's okay and did we really doubt that he was going to be anything but? (Fans of Jackson please don't pelt me with rocks, who'll paint fabulous bookish manicures when I'm gone?) 

One good thing about Push is that we get a little more info about the Game. Oh it's still convoluted and messy but at least some things are starting to make sense. I guessed that there was something going on with the Committee and I was right. Miki sees Jackson's sister in the Game and they brush it off and the Drau are winning. Let's face it, a bunch of teenagers against vicious aliens out for blood? If I'm being truthful I think the human race is doomed and the odds are not in their favor. 

All in all fans of Rush will likely enjoy the sequel. I feel like something more should have happened and there is a cliffhanger in case you guys are wondering. I'll probably be reading the next book because I'm a glutton for punishment and I'm quite curious to see how the author will wrap this series up. So much questions left unanswered and all that.




Saturday, July 12, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: In the End by Demitria Lunetta

Title: In the End
Author: Demitria Lunetta
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: June 24 2014
Publishing House: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062105486
Source of Copy: Edelweiss


It's been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she's been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian's voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it's a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, and her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order t save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay's brother. He alone holds the key to Baby's survival.

One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


In the End is the sequel to In the After which I reviewed HERE.

After escaping New Hope, it's back to the good old days for Amy; surviving on her own with nothing more but the weapons on her back and her wits about her. That is until the tiny earpiece in her ear crackles with the voice of her former teammate warning about the dangers Baby is about to face. Baby is Amy's whole life and knowing that her only chance to save Baby is in Fort Black, Amy is willing to do whatever it takes to save her.

The second book starts with Amy wandering the wastelands alone going stir crazy. She has no one to talk to and it's driving her mad, until Kay sends her off to Fort Black in search of her brother Ken who just might be able to rescue Baby from the evil Dr Reynolds hands. 

Lunetta does a fair enough job of describing to readers the setting in Fort Black. It's a prison filled to the brim by criminals and ruled over by men who think women should be claimed. If a girl isn't claimed it's a free-for-all for all the smarmy bastards who live there. The stink of desperation and starvation permeates the prison and it's not a fun place to be in.

So remember Rice from In the After? Yeah. Barely. Apparently there's a love triangle going in this book. Amy reaches Fort Black and the cute guy who's around her age with tattoos on his body instantly latches onto her and 'claims' her. Which is good for her because he's nephew of the prison Warden which means he has status and a modicum of protection in Fort Black.

I wasn't a fan of Amy in this book. I get that she's all macho and she can kick Florae butt and the thought of being 'claimed' by a man irks her to no end but come on! She's in a prison run by men whose morals are shaky at best, the least she can do is play along and pretend to be a claimed woman and not do stupid things that endanger herself and Jacks and put a kink in all her plans. Amy obviously doesn't know how to play it smart, all the drugs given to her in New Hope must have fried her brain. I know it chafes sister, but suck it up. I also hated how Amy could not resist diving headfirst into trouble without thinking things through. There's reckless and then there's Amy who is just plain stupid sometimes. 

I won't elaborate but the ending was kind of rushed. Sure we kind of figured out the Floraes and what in the world they are and all but the ending was kind of...for lack of a better word YOLO. Yes, I went there. Amy does her rushing into things, people get killed, people get saved and voila. She also makes a choice between the two boys pining after her and I approve. There is hope yet for the human race.



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jenny Han Book Signing Recap

So this happened on June 21 2014. We got to to meet Jenny Han! Author of Shug, The Summer trilogy, the Burn for Burn trilogy and To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

Here she is fiddling with a can of coke. 
(Michelle: Goodness, Nicole - THAT'S the caption for this one? REALLY?!)

Asian eyes! Here's a photo of Michelle and her green hair with Jenny.
(Michelle: I dyed my hair green to somehow match Jenny's dress. Because I'm psychic and I knew what shade she'd be wearing. I kid. I think.)

Asian eyes part 2. Nicole and her F21 bag with Jenny. (Nicole: Can I just say I love how Chad mentioned to Jenny that I love nail art too and was featured on BuzzFeed once. Like, I can't believe he knew that!)

The bloggers with Jenny Han.

Here's a shot of the crowd in National Bookstore. Everyone was so excited to see Jenny!

Here's Nicole's pile of signed books.

Here's Michelle's pile of signed books plus a To All The Boys I've Loved Before pen.

A few tidbits from the forum:

1. Jenny loves nail art! (Of course Nicole had to ask, she stalked Jenny's Instagram.) She gets her nails done at a Japanese salon in NY called Studio L which uses Calgel and takes around two hours to finish. She had on Beyonce decals during the signing which were ultra fab. She also has a Tumblr for her nail art: justanothermanimonday

2. For fans of Jeremiah, don't expect a spin-off (Michelle: I'm a Conrad girl, but I HAD TO KNOW. I wanted to know why Jeremiah did what he did!) Jenny says that Jeremiah's left at a good place when the story ended. She wasn't as worried about him as she was Conrad because he's more sensitive and if the story didn't end the way it did, Conrad might be in his little dark hole for a while.

3. Top Five Celebrity Crushes! Alexander Skarsgard. (Michelle: AYIEEEEEEEEE!) Daryl from the Walking Dead. Jamie Lannister (Nicole: because he's still a cutie even without the hand) Seo in Guk and Jo In Sung and some cop from the Killing (we actually don't know who he is).

4. Jenny and Siobhan Vivian met in David Levithan's class! Which is how they ended up becoming best friends and writing a novel together. Siobhan also has a film writing background and she's better at story telling and plotting. Jenny's all about characterization and dialogue.

5. Jenny has written embarassing love letters to the boys she's loved before. And they are in her hatbox. Unsent.

Thank you so much to National Bookstore for inviting us and to all our blogger friends for the super wonderful event.