Review: Before You Break by Christina Lee

18327082Before You Break
(Between Breaths, #2)
By: Christina Lee
Publisher: Intermix
Published: Feb 18, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemp Romance
Rating:
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The star catcher of the college baseball team isn’t supposed to have skeletons in his closet. But Daniel Quinn is hiding a guilty past so dark he refuses to let anyone get close. Except there’s something about gorgeous, studious Ella Abrams that goes beyond the electric attraction between them—something that makes him want to open up.

Ella has suffered enough heartache and guilt to fill one of her psychology textbooks, but she keeps that part of herself hidden behind a bubbly exterior. Until she receives an anonymous call while working the suicide helpline and the voice on the other end touches something inside of her that she can’t ignore.

Soon Ella and Quinn’s physical connection heats up, even as their deep and revealing hotline talks intensify. But by the time Ella realizes that her seductive jock and her sensitive caller are the same guy, it might be too late to save him—or to stop herself from falling too far.

1thoughtsElla lost her brother to suicide. Because of that she wants to be a psychologist and works at a suicide hotline. One night she gets a call from a guy who clearly needs someone to talk to. After a few phone calls of talking to each other on the hotline she soon finds herself thinking about him and his situation. Wondering if there is anyway she can get through to him and save his life. She has no idea that the Daniel that is calling the hotline is in fact Quinn and Quinn has no idea that the girl who’s voice allows him to open up about the darkness inside of him is the girl he’s currently pursuing.

This is a great story. I haven’t read the first book in the series but that’s okay. I didn’t feel left out of anything. The story revolves around Quinn and Ella. These two don’t really know each other at first other than the fact that Quinn is Ella’s boyfriend’s frat brother. He’s very quiet and keeps to himself the majority of the time. However, one night after heavily drinking because of her uncaring boyfriend, Ella finds herself face first in the toilet with Quinn holding her hair back. Her boyfriend couldn’t careless about here, and here was someone who didn’t know her at all who was taking care of her. That’s when Quinn and Ella start to form a bond.

There is no insta-love in this story. Sure they are attracted to each other but at first Ella is dating Quinn’s frat brother. So they start out as friends, then later move on to that in between stage after she breaks up with her boyfriend. I liked that there was no drama or crazy love story. Plus, I liked that the author didn’t just write about her characters having guilt over the death of a loved one but she made it so much deeper with adding the suicide hotline. She shined light on something that affects a lot of people.

I may be new to the author’s work but I will definitely be reading more of her novels. I will have to go back and read the first book in the series. I feel like Ella may have been a secondary character in it.

1favequote“I’m not going to kiss you, Ella. Not tonight. And you’re not a girl I want to be easy with.”
kRISTIN

Review: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

20518838The Vault of Dreamers
By: Caragh M. O’Brien
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Published: Sept. 16, 2014
Genre: Sci-Fi YA
Rating:
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The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

 
 
1thoughtsRosie was selected to take part in the Forge Show in order to get a good education. Something she wouldn’t have received had she stayed home. However, one night she decides to not take the mandatory sleeping pills and witnesses people coming in to take one of the other girls away in her sleep. The next morning the girl acts as if nothing happens. However, the next night, Rosie finds herself next on the list. The dean is up to something and Rosie has decided to figure out what that is.

Rosie was an interesting character. She was sort of all over the place to be honest. One minute she’s being careless and the next she’s totally in recon mode. I suppose it would be exactly what any 15 year old would do in her situation.

The fact that a good chunk of the scholars from Forge end up dying young or committing suicide was an interesting twist. Especially considering that Rosie starts having mental issues while at Forge. It makes you wonder what they do to them while they are under the sleeping pills power. When you do find out what’s going on, it’s a bit creepy. Not to mention, the sleeping pills that the attendees are required to take so that they get enough sleep to help their artistic minds added a whole new level to the story. It made you wonder, was Rosie really awake and witnessing this? Or was it all just a dream?

This was a good sci-fi thriller for young adults. However, it felt like it was missing something. I just wasn’t blown away by it like I thought I’d be. Rosie and other characters made some bad decisions that just seemed odd, the villain didn’t seem villainy enough, and I wasn’t that freaked out by the events that take place. Again, I’m not a 13 year old, so maybe if I were I’d have a totally different reaction to this one but it just needed a little more oomph to it. It was like it was on the edge of being a thriller but wasn’t quite there yet.
 
 
1favequote“I don’t believe in worry. It doesn’t change the outcome, but it make the now miserable, so I don’t do it.”
kRISTIN

Review: Manga Classics: Les Miserables by Stacy King

21433251Manga Classics: Les Miserables
By: Stacy King, Tszmei Lee (Illustrator), Victor Hugo (Original author)
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Published: Aug 19, 2014
Genre: Manga
Rating:
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Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope—an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart.

 
 

1thoughts This is a great manga. I will admit that I’ve never read the story by Victor Hugo but I like Stacy King’s adaptation. For those of you who are like me and have never read the story, it’s not just about the French Revolution. Sure there is part of that in here but a lot of the story revolves around Cosette and Jean Valjean. You see, Jean is a convict. A man who is shunned for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s family. So he’s constantly on the run but manages to make a life for himself as a town mayor under an alias. Meanwhile, Cosette’s mother is in the same predicament. Because she had Cosette out of wedlock, she is turned away at every turn. Soon she finds herself giving her daughter to some innkeepers so that she can be raised appropriately while her mother does what she needs to for money (which are some pretty horrific things). But when she falls ill, she asks the Mayor to bring her daughter to her. Which is where Cosette and Jean’s paths cross.

I may not have read the novel but I think the author did a great job adapting this into a manga. Sometimes with mangas you feel left out or the story feels rushed, and I didn’t get that with this story. I felt like I had just watched a movie after finishing it. There were moments where I held my breath while the story unfolded. Stacy King did a great job with this, and so did Tszmei Lee.

Whether you are a fan of the classic or not, this is a great manga. I never had any intention of reading the classic or watching the movie but I may have to rent it now.
 
 
1favepart
LMCosette was treated as a slave while being “cared for” by the inn keepers. When Jean Valjean shows up, he sees how mistreated she is and how crappy of a life she’s had with these people and makes sure that she’s happy. First, starting with what appears to be her first gift while living there.
kRISTIN

Review: Bound to Danger by Katie Reus

20579047Bound to Danger
(Deadly Ops, #2)
By: Katie Reus
Publisher: Signet
Published: Aug. 5, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating:
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At a benefit dinner, community activist Maria Cervantes overhears two men plotting a terrorist attack that could rock Miami to its core. But before she can alert authorities, she’s almost killed in a massive explosion—and wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened. As the sole survivor of the attack, she is now a person of interest to the NSA—and especially to Agent Cade O’Reilly. Because Maria is the one woman Cade has never been able to forget.

Years ago, they were closer than either was willing to admit—until Cade disappeared when Maria needed him most. Now he’s sticking by her, whether she likes it or not. Because the memories locked inside her mind could hold vital clues to the next attack. Because terrorists want her dead—and because he never wants to let her go again.

 
 
1thoughts Maria finds her world torn apart when a charity event her and her mother are attending is blown to smithereens. Maria is the only survivor from the blast and now the terrorists that are involved are hot on her heels. Lucky for her, her brother’s best friend, and Maria’s crush from 8 years ago is a black ops agent who is hell bent on keeping her alive while finding out who’s behind the attacks and why. The only problem is, she can’t remember anything from the day of the attack.

This is a highly suspenseful novel. There isn’t a lot of gore but you do go into the minds of the killers. You see the way they think and why they are doing what they are. Now, I’m not saying I agree with their ways but you definitely sympathize for them.

Even though I am a huge Katie Reus fan, this one just didn’t fully connect with me for some reason. I usually gobble her books up in one sitting but this one left me feeling a little blah. There’s nothing wrong with the story. Katie had a great way of bringing her characters and their world to life. I just don’t know what kept me from fully engaging on this one.
 
 
1favequote“All those wealthy people didn’t know shit about true pain. The rick kept getting richer and people like him had to struggle to get to where they were. Even Marina, she might try to make herself feel better by giving back to the poor in her community, but she always had her parents’ money to fall back on. Money she hadn’t earned.”
kRISTIN

Review: A Vault of Sins by Sarah Harian

18579501A Vault of Sins
(Chaos Theory, #2)
By: Sarah Harian
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: Sept. 16, 2014
Genre: Dystopian New Adult
Rating:
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Even though she’s escaped, twenty-two-year-old Evalyn Ibarra is anything but free. She’s desperate to return to a life that no longer exists, but prying reporters continually draw her back into nightmarish memories, using the tabloids to vilify her. Bad press is the last thing she needs during the trial of the year: the case that she and her fellow survivors staked against the Compass Room engineers. A case that could terminate the use of the inhumane system forever…

But in her dreams, she is still locked in that terrifying jail.

When she wakes, someone is trying to communicate with her in secret, through strange and intricate clues. As Evalyn follows their signs, she uncovers a conspiracy that goes so much deeper than her own ordeal. A dangerous intrigue that only she can bring to light. One that will force her to work with the one person she doesn’t want to see.

The person who owns her heart…

 
 
1thoughtsIn the last book we watched Evalyn be sentenced to the Compass Room. A simulated location to test the morality of the convicts placed inside. It is supposed to help them determine whether a convict is rotten to the core or if they are actually good. She and a couple of other convicts were able to trip up the system and get out alive. This book starts a month later. We watch as Evalyn tries to go on with her life knowing that any day now, she will be called back in to be judged for her actions that put her in the Compass Room to begin with.

I was a little weary going into this one because as far as I was concerned I was okay with the story ending at book one. Sorta like the Hunger Games, I was totally fine with the first one being it. And just like the Hunger Games, I still really enjoyed the sequel.

Evalyn is damaged from her time in CR. She has nightmares about all the death she saw. She’s been told to keep out of the public eye and to shut off all contact with the two surviving convicts that she befriended while in the CR. Evalyn’s way of coping with is all is to remain sedated under copious amounts of liquor and to paint those who didn’t make it out of CR. She’s not going to forget about what happened in the room and how good people were murdered by this so-called justice system. She knows her days are numbered until she’s called back but she has no idea how soon that time will come.

There was always something happening in this story. Even though it’s about how broken Evalyn is after CR, there is still some fight left in her. You see her start to pull herself together and reform herself into a fighter, a survivor. The author introduces new characters to help support Evalyn and her mission to reveal the CR for what it really is. I was engrossed in the story from the moment I started to read it. My only issue was that there were a couple of parts where the story sort of jumps forward in time abruptly. One case is a vision that Evalyn see’s and it isn’t revealed until later that it was such but there was no indication that this was anything other than another lapse in time. I found myself rereading certain parts of the book trying to figure out what just happened and that sort of pulled me out of the story some. Granted, I did read an ARC and things could change before it goes to print.

This is a great story. The characters are not innocent. There are times where you are going to dislike them for their actions or their past. After all, each of them has killed someone. So it goes without saying that these are not your typical heroes and heroines. However, that distinction is what makes this story so great. You know these are people that have committed murder. That they have taken a life or even lives in some cases. However, you still find yourself rooting for them because you see them show remorse for their actions and yet, if asked if they’d do it again, they would. But… you still root for them. It’s amazing how the author can make you root for such people.
 
 
1favequote“I can’t be a hero. I can’t paint a letter on my chest like a super-hero and fight for justice, because I don’t even know what justice means. I’ve killed people, I’ve hurt people, I love people who’ve done horrible things. I can’t be an advocate. I can’t be an icon.”

Previous reviews from Chaos Theory
The Wicked We Have Done

kRISTIN

Review: The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods by Theresa Marrone

18229888The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods
Preserve Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, and Meat with a Dehydrator, a Kitchen Oven, or the Sun
By: Theresa Marrone
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Published: July 1, 2014
Genre: Cookbook
Rating:
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Drying is a simple and easy way to preserve fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and herbs. This comprehensive guide includes everything you need to know to get started, whether you are using a dehydrator, your own oven, or the sun. Expert Teresa Marrone thoroughly covers the basic techniques, all the way through storing and rehydrating your dried foods. From apples to watermelon, asparagus to zucchini, basil to beef, you’ll find solid instructions that will ensure great results every time. Marrone also includes recipes for using your dried foods in a wide range of delicious dishes, from pies and cookies to stews and casseroles. There are even instructions for drying fresh pasta and making vegetable snack chips and baby-food purees.

 
 
1thoughtsThis is a great how-to for anyone looking to start dehydrating foods. I have been using my dehydrator primarily to make sweet potato and apple chips for my dog but never used it for myself. I had no idea that some fruits/vegetables need extra prep work before you dehydrate them. For instance there are some fruits that you need to blanch in a simple syrup instead of just putting it right in the dehydrator. I did not know this and would’ve done just that, put it in the machine and walk away.

Not only does this tell you how to prep the foods you may use but there are also instructions on how to reconstitute it as well. I’m sure I would have figured it out eventually but there would have been some mistakes along the way. She also gives you recipes where on how to use your dehydrated food. You pretty much learn everything from start to finish with this cookbook.

 
 
1favepart

The one thing that I thought was by far the coolest though is the fact that the book covers different methods of dehydrating. You don’t have to have a dehydrator to utilize the book because it has other options like using your oven or sun drying. It even tells you how to build your own dehydrator. This is definitely a nifty book to have in your back pocket for those of us who are just starting to get into dehydrating.
kRISTIN

Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

perfPerfected
By: Kate Jarvik Birch
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published: July 1, 2014
Genre: Dystopian YA
Rating:
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Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

 

 
1thoughtsElla is a genetically engineered “pet”. She was bred and trained in a kennel and then sold. Her new owners are given instruction on how to care for her. For instance, don’t give her you’re food, she has a strict diet and giving her food from your plate may make her sick. If she runs away, she must be in heat and therefor you should have her spayed so she won’t stray. Oh yeah, there were multiple times where I looked over at my dog with sad eyes. The only difference between a human pet and a dog is the human pet has to worry about her masters coming on to her.

We are with Ella on the day she is purchased. She’s chosen by a caring husband and wife to be their daughter’s friend. However, the image they portray is nothing like what you get behind closed doors. At first things seem okay. You know something is off since there is talk of a previous pet, a pet that they returned to the kennel because it was sick. Returning a pet to a kennel is not like taking your dog to the shelter. They don’t adopt them back out. Instead they take the returned pets to the red door in the back and have them euthanized. Yeah, this story was seriously screwed up.

Ella has no idea that her perfect little bubble of a world is about to burst. Tiny things start happening here and there. The author hints at what really happened to the other pet and the fate that awaits Ella. Even though there were no surprises in this story, it’s still shocking to read about the events that take place.

The author did a great job taking a slave type story and twisting it into this weird dystopian novel. It made me wonder what my dog would say if he could talk. Hopefully, he’d say I’m the best dog mom ever but after reading this, who knows. Maybe I’m an obnoxious helicopter “mom”. Maybe he hates that I call him “handsome”. That was all I could think about throughout this story since the similarities between human pets in the book and the pets of our day are almost identical. This is a great story. A little creepy, but still heavily enjoyable. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a dystopian that will not only creep you out but make you wonder at the same time.
 

 
1favequote“Powerful men tire of their toys easily. And the novelty of a pet doesn’t last forever. After a while even the prettiest things become ordinary.”
kRISTIN

Excerpt: The Threshing Circle by Neil Grimmet

threshingThe Threshing Circle
By: Neil Grimmet
Publisher: Grimpen Publications
Published: Feb. 19, 2014
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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A young couple arrive on the Greek island of Crete and begin prying into the execution of a beautiful English woman during the German occupation sixty years before. They enter a labyrinth of forbidden love, betrayals, murder, greed and vendettas, old and new.

Then they disappear.

A feisty Scottish woman and an irascible, Zorba-like Greek form a reluctant allegiance in a desperate attempt to find and rescue them. They both have very different motives for their involvement. Their search will take them to hidden rituals, ceremonies, remote gatherings, famous monasteries and villages abandoned after decades of vendettas. To the remote island of Gavdos and finally back to a place that, “Even God does not know exists”.

They will encounter characters good and evil; some modern and pragmatic, others ancient and magical.
All the time they are being stalked by the sons of man who seeks to complete the crimes of his father and sate his own greed and insane desire for vengeance. These men are more animal than human and have been raised in the remote mountains for the sole purpose of carrying out the brutal will of their father.

The mystery of the real, hidden Crete runs deep, and THE THRESHING CIRCLE explores some of the myths and romance while not shying away from its often violent nature.
By the end choices will have to be made. If such actions are really possible on an island where many Cretans still believe that: “The Cycle of Blood”, can never stop flowing.

Excerpt

Marianna didn’t resist the men as they tore her clothes off. She felt no shame as she stood naked, balanced on the stool with the coarse fibres of the rope already cutting into her neck. She stared proudly and defiantly at the villagers and saw Kapetanios Rossos struggling to break free and the looks of horror on the faces of the women and children. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ she called out in her best mix of English and Greek. ‘My husband will avenge this. Save my child is all I ask of you.’

A huge cry of pain answered her and echoed into the mountains as Meissher jackbooted the stool over and Marianna

Link lit a cigarette and watched until the kicking death dance became a tremble, and finally stilled. He waited as his men began to drive the villagers into their homes before moving to Hofner. ‘Tell Meissher to clear up then follow us.’

‘What about the child?’ Hofner, a father of three, asked,

gesturing to the house where Athena was still wailing.

Oberleutnant Link had his orders and knew what his part in this bargain was, but he didn’t kill children for traitors and cowards no matter what they’d given in return. ‘Leave it for Meissher, he’ll enjoy taking his frustration out on it.

Anyway, if he hasn’t the stomach it won’t matter. These scum hate all foreigners. The child is a Frank to them; they’ll loot the house before we’re out of sight, and either smother it or let it starve.’

Hofner made his own decision after Oberleutnant Link left. He dimmed the light on the writing table, closed the broken door to the house on Athena and made sure his sadistic

Lieutenant was kept amused with some of the young village girls until he tired of his sport and wanted to leave. Hofner felt good, and if he ended up on the Eastern Front with Meissher for forgetting to remind him of Link’s orders then so be it. But there was no way he wanted to see that beautiful child follow her mother to the grave.

Later, after the last of the Germans disappeared into the fading darkness and Athena cried as her mother grew cold, shadowy figures began to move. One of them, silver-haired, tall and dressed in a flowing black robe, slipped stealthily into the house. She looked around and began gathering up what she could take, then moved towards the screaming child. Her long, thin hands closed around the baby and quickly silenced its cries.

author
neil

Neil Grimmett has had over eighty five short stories published. In the UK by among others: London Magazine, Stand, Panurge, Iron, Ambit, Postscripts Magazine, Pretext etc. Australia, Quadrant, South Africa, New Contrast. Plus stories in the leading journals of Singapore, India, France, Canada, and the USA, where he has appeared in Fiction, The Yale Review, DoubleTake, The southern Humanities Review, Green Mountains Review, Descant, The Southern Review, West Branch and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. He has appeared online in Blackbird, Plum Ruby Review, Tatlin\’s Tower, Web Del Sol, In Posse Review, m.a.g., Word Riot, Blue Moon Review, 3AM, Gangway, Eclectica, The Cortland Review, Segue, The Dublin Quarterly , Ducts, Sugar Mule, Mysterical E, Thuglit and over thirty others. His stories have also appeared in the anthologies: ENGLAND CALLING, BOOK OF VOICES and Italy’s ISBN’s Top International Stories. He has made the storySouth Million Writers Notable Short Story list for the last three years. In addition, he has won the Write On poetry award, 7 Oppenheim John Downes Awards, 5 major British Arts Council Awards, a Royal Society of Authors award and was just awarded a major grant from the Royal Literary Fund. He has been signed over the last ten years by twelve of the leading literary agents in both the UK and USA. His current agent is Jon Elek at United Agents who is just going out with his 2nd literary thriller, THE HOARD.

Website

Sunday Wrap-Up #37

Sunday Wrap-Up is all about sharing the books and book related items that I’ve picked up recently. I also recap what went on last week and let you in on what’s coming up. I link up my post to Sunday Post, Bought, Borrowed & Bagged, Showcase Sunday, and Stacking the Shelves.

 

This past week was pretty busy. Not only was it an extended holiday weekend for the Mr. but my birthday was also this week. Since the Mr. was home pretty much all week, I didn’t get any reading done. Which means I am really falling behind. I also decorated the house this week with the scarce amount of Halloween decorations we own. It’s felt like fall since we moved here. It could have something to do with going from the 115* desert temperatures to the cool and breezy 70* temperatures by the ocean. Either way, I’ve been snuggling up in hoodies and jeans while all my neighbors are heading to the beach. Yeah, I’m definitely the odd man out here. Oh well, the cooler temperature is the best time to read anyways. Hopefully I will catch up with all the books soon.
 
 
Last week on BSA:
Everything Changes by Samantha Hale (Review)
In Her Wake by KA Tucker (Review)

This week on BSA:

The Threshing Circle by Neil Grimmett (Excerpt)
The Beginners Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods by Teresa Marrone (Review)
Bound to Danger by Katie Reus (Review)
Perfected by Katie Jarvik Birch (Review)
 
 
4review
22456909

The Bargaining
By: Carly Anne West
Release Date: Feb. 17, 2015
Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal
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The fact that neither of her parents wants to deal with her is nothing new to Penny. She’s used to being discussed like a problem, a problem her mother has finally passed on to her father. What she hasn’t gotten used to is her stepmother…especially when she finds out that she’ll have to spend the summer with April in the remote woods of Washington to restore a broken-down old house.

Set deep in a dense forest, the old Carver House is filled with abandoned antique furniture, rich architectural details, and its own chilling past. The only respite Penny can find away from April’s renovations is in Miller, the young guy who runs the local general store. He’s her only chance at a normal, and enjoyable, summer.

But Miller has his own connection to the Carver House, and it’s one that goes beyond the mysterious tapping Penny hears at her window, the handprints she finds smudging the glass panes, and the visions of children who beckon Penny to follow them into the dark woods. Miller’s past just might threaten to become the terror of Penny’s future….

 
 

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16068905

Fangirl
By: Rainbow Rowell
Published: Sept. 10, 2013
Genre: Contemp. YA
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Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

 
 
6933135

Witch Eyes
By: Scott Tracey
Published: Sept. 8, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal
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Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but at the cost of horrible pain.

After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden’s powers to unlock Belle Dam’s secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn. But everything changes when Braden learns that Jason is his father–and Trey, the enigmatic guy he’s falling for, is Catherine’s son.

To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—and risk losing the one he loves.

 
 

13494466

Another
By: Yukito Ayatsuji
Published: April 3, 2009
Genre: Horror Manga
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26 years ago, in a third-year classroom of a middle school, there was a student named Misaki. As an honors student who was also good at sports, the charming girl was popular with her classmates. When she suddenly died, her classmates decided to carry on as if she was still alive until graduation. Then, in the spring of 1998, a boy named Kouichi Sakakibara transfers to that classroom, and he grows suspicious of the fearful atmosphere in that classroom. In particular, there is a beautiful, aloof girl named Misaki Mei who wears an eyepatch and is always alone drawing pictures.

 
 
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Mind Games
By: Kiersten White
Published: Dec. 3, 2013
Genre: Paranormal YA
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Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

 
 

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Wicked
By: Gregory Maguire
Published: Dec. 5, 2000
Genre: Fantasy
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When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

 
 
Goodies
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The Mr. was able to find a first edition first printing of Outlander for my birthday! Super excited about it. It’s in amazing condition which is insane considering the book is 23 years old. Gah! I still can’t believe he was able to find a copy.

Review: In Her Wake by KA Tucker

21487587In Her Wake
(Ten Tiny Breaths, #0.5)
By: KA Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: Sept. 1, 2014
Genre: New Adult
Rating:
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Before you knew him as Trent in Ten Tiny Breaths, he was Cole Reynolds—and he had it all. Until one night when he makes a fatal, wrong decision…and loses everything.

When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends—the ones who have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.

Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional, and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. Nor can he shake the all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip on what once was important—college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.

And there’s only one person who can give that to him…

1thoughts

All it took was one night to lose everything. One drunk night out with friends and he finds himself friendless. Trent was supposed to be the DD but had too much to drink. Trent trusted his friend when he said that he was good to drive. Now Trent’s two best friends are dead. That’s not even including the 4 others who were in the car that they crashed into head on, or the one teenage girl who survived. Trent finds himself struggling to come to terms with everything that happens and in the meanwhile finds himself fixating on the teenage girl that survived.

I loved Trent’s and Kacey’s story in Ten Tiny Breathes. However, this one just didn’t work for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great story. It’s all about Cole and how depressed he is after the attack. I would be fine with that. I even enjoyed the fact that the story solely revolves around Cole. This isn’t a re-telling of Trent and Kacey but rather a story about Cole. This book ends pretty much where Ten Tiny Breaths begins. So I liked that this wasn’t the same regurgitated story just told in a different POV. However, Cole creeped me out. I mean, sure he’s depressed but he gets it in his mind that he needs to look out for Kacey and that he won’t be able to heal until he gets her forgiveness. So he does some really stalkerish things to keep tabs on her. It took the Trent I knew and totally flipped my view on him. I don’t know how I’d feel if I read this story first before reading TTB. I may not have enjoyed the story so much because I would be telling Kacey to run as far away from him as she could.

In the end it was a good read. The author has a great way of telling a story. You feel for the characters involved and you just want to comfort them through the tough times. I just wish that Cole/Trent didn’t turn out so creepy. He was one of my favorite characters but there’s one thing about hearing how he stalked her and a whole other thing reading about it.

1favequote“I don’t remember what it’s like to not feel this toxic mixture anymore-pain and sadness and guilt that eats away at my insides, leaving me hollow nd wishing that I’d just lay my head on my pillow one night and never have to lift it off again.”
 
 
 
Previous reviews from Ten Tiny Breaths
Ten Tiny Breaths
Four Seconds to Lose
Five Ways to Fall

kRISTIN