Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance

Karen Chance is one of my all-time favorite authors and the Cassandra Palmer series is also one of my top favorites. It’s one of those stories that I continually think about and come back to again and again. So I was ecstatic when the sixth book, Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance, FINALLY came out.

12528745Being a goddess is a lot less fun than you might think. Especially when you’re only a half goddess, and you only found out about it recently, and you still don’t know what you’re doing half the time. And when you’ve just used your not-so-reliable powers to burglarize the booby-trapped office of a vampire mob boss.

Yeah, that part sucks.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Cassandra Palmer, aka the Pythia, the freshly minted chief seer of the supernatural world. After all, Cassie still has to save a friend from a fate worse than death, deal with an increasingly possessive master vampire, and prevent a party of her own acolytes from unleashing a storm of fury upon the world. Totally just your average day at the office, right?

I have a confession to make. It has been years since the last book came out and all I remember is devouring it in one sitting and loving it, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember how it ended. Within the first few pages of this book, I was googling the crap out of spoilers from the previous book, Hunt the Moon, to get a refresher. I ended up re-reading the last few chapters just to get up to speed. If you haven’t read the series stop now because I’m about to give a recap. Basically, Cassie finds out her mom is Artemis, the goddess. Her dad worked with the black circle, and in a heartbreaking ending, Pritkin (who’s a half-incubus demon!) gives up his freedom on earth and is banished back to hell because he gives Cassie “energy” to save her life through a sexy kiss. All of this leads us to the beginning of book six, where despite the many years that have passed since this series started, it’s only been a few months in Cassie years.

I’m torn with this book. I love this story but this book was so one-sided. Cassie comes up with a plan to invade hell and get Pritkin back no matter what and she’s still struggling with being the new Pythia. And as a member of Team Mircea, I regret to inform you he is not in this book. I repeat NOT in this book. Okay, so there is one sexy scene (the ONLY one mind you.) but for the most part Cassie is saving Pritkin and Mircea is somewhere else. I’m dying to know what Mircea thought when he found his girlfriend butt-naked kissing Pritkin on her coronation day! I guess we’ll have to wait another year or so until the next installment? 😦

However, if you are team Pritkin, you are in for a treat! Cassie really has to define her feelings and motives to do what it takes to save him. This book has a heartbreaking but hopeful ending and at one point Pritkin (sort of) talks about his feelings toward Cassie. As a sucker for love triangles, I’m not sure what’s going to happen here, but it’s going to be interesting!

There was a lot of action in this book in true Chance style, and she did not disappoint. I just miss Mircea. The next installment, Reap the Wind, comes out in 2014 and I hope it’s sooner rather than later because, after that ending, I have to know what happens next.

STARS: 4 out of 5

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Here it is. The final book of the Divergent Trilogy. I went into this book hoping and praying it would end better than the Matched and Delirium trilogies. This series ends in a way I would have NEVER thought.

allegiant-by-veronica-roth__oPtOne choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

It’s going to be really hard to write this review without spoilers. To be perfectly honest, I am so emotionally distraught, I don’t know how I’m going to formulate my feelings into sentences.

This story has all the action and adventure that we’ve come to expect from Veronica Roth. I will say that at one point I found myself bored, but there is a reason which I will explain below.

Tris and Four/Tobias venture outside the fence for the greater good. It added this whole new, unexpected layer to the story. The first two books spent so much time describing the factions and detailing the world as they know it, to introduce a whole, new big world outside of that creates long explanations. And when the reader knows what things like airplanes and the united states is, it makes for long and repetitively boring explanations.

Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed being thrown back into the world of Tris and Four. The relationship between Tris and Four is a real one. They fight; they make up. They make hard decisions and they love each other anyways. I have been in love with them since the beginning and watching their relationship mature was mesmerizing. The chemistry between them was very prominent in this book and it practically sizzled off the page.

I lift her up, letting the wall bear most of her weight, and her legs drape around my waist. She laughs into another kiss, and I feel strong, but so does she, her fingers stern around my arms. The night air slips into my lungs, and I feel like it is one of my first breaths.

This book has a lot of danger, violence and ultimatums. A lot of the characters get their last hurrah and Roth uses each character’s story to teach a lesson, if you will.

Lessons I ultimately did not want to learn — the cost was too much. If you want to be completely surprised by the ending stop reading now. I won’t give any spoilers but my emotional response may hint at the “type” of ending.

This book DESTROYED me. My heart is broken; it shattered onto the floor in a million pieces and I can’t stop sobbing. I will GRIEVE this book and mourn for many days to come. I’m sure I’ll fall into one of those funks where I can’t read for a while. It’s THAT serious, people. Roth takes a huge risk to conclude her series, and I don’t like it. I want to give this book one star out of anguish and anger, but it’s because she does what she does that makes this book worth the five stars I will be giving it. It moved me. It changed me. It IMPACTED me. There are only a few books that have ever done that. Roth created such a vividly real and heartbreaking ending that I don’t know how she did it without falling to pieces herself. Just like the last few paragraphs of the book says, life damages us. This book damaged me and I hope to mend eventually. I’m torn because I wish I never started this series so I wouldn’t have to feel the hurt I feel now, but I know in time I will recognize it for the masterpiece it is.

STARS: 5 out of 5

Releases and Recommendations

It’s Tuesday! The wonderful day books are released to the world. This week I’m anticipating the release of Searching For Someday by Jennifer Probst on November 24, 2013.

17571266Kate has given up on love—at least for herself. She is both blessed and cursed with the ability to sense a romantic connection between two people—a gift that her family passed down for generations. When Kate launches her own matchmaking company, Kinnection, with her two best friends in a cozy New York town, she has to put aside her own romantic disasters to make her business a success.

But when a furious man stalks into her office and accuses her business of being a scam, Kate is given the ultimate challenge to prove herself. Slade puts himself in her hands and asks Kate to find him love. Enraged at his arrogance but stubbornly eager to prove herself, Kate agrees, dedicating herself to the journey of finding him love…only to find herself falling for him along the way.

I was blessed with an advanced copy of this book, which I was super excited about. I can’t give anything away yet but just know that it’s GOOD. I really enjoyed it and be looking for a review out next month.

Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson

Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson was an awesome surprise. This story has everything a girl wants in a Young Adult novel — a believable heroine, a sexy, mysterious love interest, a little bit of paranormal action and an amazing story of young love.

17801911She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

At first, I didn’t know what to expect with this book,  all I knew was the synopsis sounded awesome. However, within the first few pages it didn’t matter; I was immediately sucked in and I didn’t put the book down until I was finished. I loved this idea of Shades and Eric as this prophet dude. It was such an original idea. I haven’t read anything like it before. There was this real, tangible danger throughout the entire story that kept me on the edge of my seat.

I loved the dynamic between Eric and Jessica, and I LOVED the whole concept at the end. Their love story was so sweet and real, and the sacrifices they made for each other was breathtaking. And that’s what makes this book so good; the love between Eric and Jessica was completely believable. I was really invested in the story and the characters,

I loved that this story had good guys and villains with real consequences. The suspense from the looming “showdown” was killing me! I have to know what happens next! This story was just right: it wasn’t too fluffy but wasn’t too dark either. This book was brilliant, original and romantic. This is a timeless love story with incredible character growth, action and twists of fate.

The only complaint I have is the cover. I don’t think it’s a good representation of what the story is really about. With the shades and the badass-ness throughout, I think the cover could have more of an edge to reach the right target market. Regardless, the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise will be out Fall 2013 and I have to get my hands on it. I loved the ending and how it created this conflict so Eric and Jessica have to fall in love all over again. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for an awesome paranormal romance. If this first book is any indication, I have a feeling this is going to be a great series.

STARS: 5 out of 5

Thank you Shannon A. Thompson for a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Releases and Recommendations

It’s Tuesday! The wonderful day that books are released to the world.

This week, I’m anticipating the release of The Trap by Andrew Fukuda. I LOVED the Hunt and wasn’t as impressed with The Prey but I’ll still be getting my hands on The Trap on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

17286729

From author Andrew Fukuda comes The Trap, the explosive finale to The Hunt trilogy—perfect for fans of The Hunger Games!

After barely escaping the Mission alive, Gene and Sissy face an impossible task: staying alive long enough to stop an entire world bent on their destruction. Bound on a train heading into the unknown with the surviving Mission girls, Gene, Sissy, David, and Epap must stick together and use everything they have to protect each other and their only hope: the cure that will turn the blood-thirsty creatures around them into humans again. Now that they know how to reverse the virus, Gene and Sissy have one final chance to save those they love and create a better life for themselves. But as they struggle to get there, Gene’s mission sets him on a crash course with Ashley June, his first love . . . and his deadliest enemy.

I love this idea of Ashley June coming back into the picture, especially if she is cured and returns as a love interest again. I loved her in the first book and I’m certainly going to root for her until the end. I predict he’ll pick her over Sissy simply because Ashley June had to go through what he did and Sissy as a “complete” human will never understand where he’s coming from. Regardless, I’m excited for some more awesome writing by Andrew Fukuda and I’m hoping for an awesome finish to this series. I’m expecting more for this finale.

Releases and Recommendations

It’s Tuesday! The wonderful day books are released to the world.

Today, I’m anticipating the release of Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles, which technically was published a week ago on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, BUT I’m still anticipating the hell out of it!

13065327After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain–people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

So why do I think this would be a great read? Two things — first, this is Simone FREAKIN Elkeles! She writes the most electrifying sexual tension that I have ever experienced. I don’t even have to read the synopsis to know I’m going to read it. Second, it’s about football. It’s fall; tis the season. Even better, it’s about a girl who plays football. Honestly this can go either way but I’m hoping Ashtyn is more a badass chick then a butch tomboy. Again, since it’s Elkeles,  you know there’s going to be some amazingly, hot passion going on. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

Releases and Recommendations

It’s Tuesday! The wonderful day that books are released to the world. This week I’m anticipating the release of Champion by Marie Lu on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

champion.inddThe explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

I am in love with Marie Lu and her characters. Legend and Prodigy were amazing! The third and final installment in this series, Champion, should be a total knock-out (or at least that’s what I’m expecting!). With the sacrificial “spider-man” ending from book two, I can’t wait to see how the relationship between June and Day pans out. Reading the last book in trilogy is always a little tough, but I still can’t wait to see what happens!