Thursday, December 31, 2015

AMANI: Reveal by Lydhia Marie

*The e-copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review*
Rating:
3

Synopsis:
   Amya Priam is a Seraph; she has the ability to send her soul to Sojourn into other people's bodies. And for some unknown reason, she is valuable to a group of Rascals, creatures who look like normal human beings but feed on humanity.
   She, her friend, Samera Cohen, and Xander Macfrey have returned safely to the Protecters of Amani Headquarters after their escapade in England. But this feeling of security is soon shattered when Protecters from all around the world insist that Xander receive the death penalty for crimes he hasn't committed. 
   Before any solution can be worked out, however, a bigger problem arises. HQ falls under attack, forcing the trio seek safety in a small Canadian city called Sherbrooke, where new discoveries and danger lurk around every street corner. 

Links To Buy:
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Barnes & Noble

Review:
   I'm back! I have less than one week until school starts again and I'm trying to get as much reading, writing, and (unsuccessfully) blogging in as possible. I'm definitely more busy than I originally thought this break, but it's been amazing not having to think about homework and tests. Unfortunately, I started studying recently for a test that I have the day I get back... why, oh why?
   Anyway, I have some awesome news! My brother got me a microphone and webcam for me to start BookTubing! I'm really nervous because I don't really out myself out there and this is really.... putting myself out there. But I'm excited to be starting this summer! So if any of you wanna watch my first (probably terrible) video, I'll update you guys about it soon!
   I was so excited when Lydhia Marie emailed me and asked me to review her second book for her. It's always an honor to hear from past authors I've reviewed for. In her email, she also notified me that she's now selling cover designs for authors that are in need of them! They're pretty cheap and they all look really awesome. If you don't like anything, you can also make a custom design and you and Lydhia will be able to work something out together. I think it's a fantastic idea; if I ever need a cover, she'd be the first I go to! If you want to check her website out, click here.
   Okay, onto the review. I was so happy when I had the chance to read this book! Amya and Xander are so good together, honestly don't know why she hasn't given him a chance yet. It's obvious that Amya likes him and he's there waiting for her this whole time. I mean, I guess I can understand Amya. Actually... Now that I think about it, this is the best thing about Amya. In most books, the girl is sitting there thinking about the guy she likes so much that she forgets about this bigger problems at hand. With Amya, she puts everything aside until the threat is over and then she thinks about everything else in life. Which can be a good and bad thing. Sometimes you need to give yourself a break from all the negative things and focus on more... teenager troubles.
   There were just three things I didn't really love about this book. The first one is that it incorporated Judaism into the book. Now, I would've been totally fine that it did, that's not what I was confused about. I just didn't... see the point in adding that in there? I mean it didn't have anything to do with the story line and had a very small significance to the story. Who knows, maybe we'll find out in the next book!
   Another thing that didn't particularly favor me was that there was a lot of story line and not enough action. I love a great story line and character development, but compared to the first book I felt this one was a bit more slower paced. I hope the next book has a lot more fighting because how it ended, there's just got to be, haha.
   The last thing I didn't really favor was the way some of the words were put together... or lack thereof. Contractions were lacking when there was dialog. So if someone would normally say "don't", the dialog would be "do not" and make the person speaking sound not as smooth as a normal person would be.
   Other than that, the book was phenomenal. I really enjoyed the plot twists in this book; the way I learned something new about the protagonist in almost every chapter. She is definitely an interesting person ;)
   I would really love it if you guy went and got this book! It would do Lydhia a huge favor so she can keep self-publishing! This series is definitely one of a kind and I'm so glad I had the chance to follow the story!
   Also, don't forget about the book covers that she's selling on her website!
   Okay everyone, I have to go to a brunch with my family now, but I hope you all have a happy new year! I'm so grateful of you guys for reading my blog. Thank you, I love you guys!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Dream Literary Collection

   I'm back, everyone!
   So a couple weeks ago Ryan, a man from Invaluable.com, reached out to me and asked me to write a post about what my dream literary collection would be! I was so honored that he asked me and I feel so bad that it's not until now that I'm posting this! But I just spent most of my day looking through their website and let me tell you, they have some very fascinating stuff! But without further ado, let's get to my dream literary collection.
   So the first thing that caught my eye was the very first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Of course, it would be doubly awesome if it was signed but I could always visit JKR for that ;)
   Confession: when I tried to read this series when I was younger, I did not like this series at all. Then I watched the movies and it was awesome, so my best friend finally demanded that I read the series again. Well obviously I did and I loved it!!! It would be amazing if I had this book and my said friend would be insanely jealous (I guess I can let her borrow it ;) )
 
   This next book is a book about Helen Keller (obviously) and I find Helen a really intriguing person. Apparently this book is written by one of Helen's old friends named Bess Hay and has her signature! Which is so cool.
   I'm taking American Sign Language in school and we've talked about Helen Keller a few times about her deafness. I also take AP Psych and we've talked about Helen in more depth and just fascinated me even more. So yeah, I'd love to get my hands on this book and read more about her, written by someone close to her!
   One book I wish I saw but didn't was a first edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I have a pretty cool version I bought from Books-A-Million, but it'd be so amazing if I just had the first edition of this one. Honestly, I haven't been able to finish the book because of school, but so far the book is AMAZING! I love it and I hope to get back to it soon.

   These are just a tiny fraction to what Invaluable has. If you love antiques, they're the place to go! And they don't just have first edition books, I also looked at a few maps they have along with some antique items and it's all very amazing! Thank you again Ryan for letting me write my dream literary collection using some of the books you have on your website! It was so fun looking though everything :)
  Well that's all for today! I'll be back with a review ;)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

C.E Wilson's Book Promo



   Good Evening, Everyone!

   This evening I'm doing a book promo for a friend of mine, C.E. Wilson. I've recently reviewed her book Five Seven Five: The Boy With Words and I absolutely LOVED it! She is currently writing the second book in the series called To Nowhere and I'm SOOO excited to get my hands on it! I can tell you that the cover is definitely way better than the first book's cover :D
   C.E. has asked me to help promote her two books and I gladly took the chance to spread the word about this amazing series. So without further ado, here are FIVE teasers from Five Seven Five!!!

Teaser #1
The Creators. Entities in the Unknown. No one but the Chosen Ones knew if they were real beings or simply legends to be worshiped and feared. Only the Chosen Ones got to see what existed in the Unknown. For the rest of us, all we knew was black and gray. Candlelight and the crack of white in Zone Five. The Chosen Ones were the strongest of our people and they were the ones who went out once a month for an entire week to gather supplies from the Unknown.
The Creators were always watching us.
The Creators were always to be feared.
They created us and they could easily destroy us if we drew attention to ourselves.
I huffed because none of that vague information mattered. All that mattered was Shade had finally come back from his week-long journey and he hadn't had time to recover. Whoever Penny Lincoln thought she was, she ticked me off. My cousin needed to rest. He and twenty or so others were the ones who had to risk their lives once a month to venture out and gather supplies. Usually they all came back, but we lost two or three people a year from those journeys. Sometimes more. A few years ago there was the massacre... but Shade doesn't like when I talk about it.
When Shade and the others ventured out into the Unknown, they were only allowed to gather what could be used and what was needed. Anything gathered and brought back needed a purpose and had to go unnoticed by the Creators – they were always watching. Papers with hidden messages served no purpose, but I loved when my cousin brought them back. They were the only clues I had to what was in the Unknown.
That and the crack in Zone Five.
I still had so long to wait before I could have a chance to become a Chosen One. I wasn't turning nineteen for another month and the youngest Chosen ever selected had been twenty-two. The standard age requirement was twenty-six to thirty-six and while there were exceptions, a nineteen-year-old girl probably wasn't going to be one of them. Shade trained me to be strong – one of the strongest girls in the colony – but that wasn't enough to become a Chosen.
I bit my lip hard as I collapsed back in bed and looked up at the ceiling.
So many words. So many messages. Occasionally I would recognize familiar terms from the Documentation of our Creation, but most were fantastical. I knew blue and I knew skies, but I didn't know a blue sky. I knew pink and I knew black, but I didn't know how a sky could look pink. And I had no idea what a rainbow was. I knew what a bow was because I wore one on my head sometimes, but as far as rain... I drew a blank.
And it killed me because Shade knew. He knew the secrets because he was a Chosen.
“Red horizons,” I whispered, as my dark eyes scanned over the texts of the paper above my head. “Heavy rains. Corn fields and freckled dogs.” My brow furrowed. Nothing. I wanted to know what the words meant, but since I was not a Chosen, there was no way I could obtain the knowledge.
 Teaser #2
I was so desperate for the knowledge he so obviously had, but didn't so readily divulge.
“Please,” I tried one last time. “What are the Creators? What are they really? Did they actually write the Documentation of our Creation or did someone like President Copper write it? One of our own? Someone who wanted us to be afraid—you must at least know the true answer to that, Shade.”
He swallowed. “The scriptures...” his eyes searched mine. He wanted me to back down, but that was not going to happen. I leaned towards him and his shoulders seemed to slump. “It is a combination of the two.”
My face blanched. “Seriously?”
“I have to go,” he said. “Please... tell no one. I don't want... just... tell no one.”
“My lips are sealed,” I promised. I lunged forward and embraced my cousin tightly. He stiffened at first, but eventually his long and thick arms wound around my slender frame. “Be careful,” I whispered into his chest. “You're my only family. You're all I have now. Come back in a few days, you hear me?” I pushed away so I could look at him. “Come home... and tell me more.”
I expected him to put up a fight, but he only pulled me closer. The fear he felt about going back out was palpable. I suddenly realized that he must feel this way every time. My ribs cried out in agony from his tight embrace, but I held onto him like my life and his depended on it.
And then he nodded, squeezing harder.
“I'll tell you,” he muttered. He was broken at last. “I'll tell you everything when I get back.”
 Teaser #3
I yelped in surprise as someone plunked a large hand on my shoulder.
“White Frost?”
I nodded hard. The man was a stranger, but I could tell he worked with the President. Like the Chosens with a red badge on their chests, those who worked directly for the president were tagged with a large silver button. An old face was engraved on the heavy looking item, but it looked weightless against the man's large chest. “Who are you?”
“Fresh,” he said. His voice was low and it rumbled in my stomach. “I was sent out to find White Frost, and after asking around, they pointed you out. You are White Frost, correct?”
“Yes,” I said with exasperation. “What's going on? And who are you?”
“Come with me.” He reached out, roughly grabbed my elbow and pulled me towards one of the yellow curtains.
I stammered to find words as several people watched as I got pulled past. Pepper. Pebbles. A few acquaintances from my education classes. I frowned and looked up at the massive shoulder of the stranger who continued to drag me along.
“What's this about?” I hissed. “Are the Chosens back?”
“Yes.” His voice was terse and simple.
“And did they find Penny Lincoln?”
“We believe so.”
“You believe so?” I grumbled. “How can that be? Either you found her or you didn't. How can you not be sure?”
“What we have may not be enough evidence to prove that it is indeed Ms. Penny Lincoln.” His voice started to lose that hard edge as he bumped a few people out of his way.
My eyes widened. “Was there an attack?”
“Yes.”
Teaser #4
“You wanted to see something that could get me in trouble,” he continued softly. “Here it is.”
“And what... is it?” I asked tentatively.
Salt spun around. He came up close and thrust the paper into my hands before I had a chance to react.
“This,” he said. He took a few quick steps away from me.
The new paper was so much different than the others. Thinner. Smoother. Almost slimy to the touch. My thumb and fingers passed over the surface a few times like a blind person as I stared at Salt.
“This is what you want, isn't it?” Salt's voice was hoarse as though it hadn't been used in years. As though he didn't come to my room every night and try to start a conversation with me. “You wanted something beyond the words. You wanted something that could get me into just as much as trouble as you.” He swallowed hard. “You wanted something to prove there's more to the world than what you see in front and above you. This is it.” He took a heavy seat on the bed. “Look at it.”
My eyes lowered. I squinted. I didn't understand what was on the slippery paper.
“What is this?” I whispered.
Salt smiled. “The world.”
Teaser #5
“Trust comes from a leap of faith,” Salt said vaguely. “Your cousin trusted me to look after you.”
“How can I know that's true?” I muttered. “Shade never spoke about you. He never spoke about anyone—”
“You can decide whether or not you want to trust me,” Salt said softly. “Tell me... are you looking for a way out?”
My eyes watered. I didn't know why he bothered to ask. If he knew my cousin as well as he said he did, then he must have already known. He knew I wanted more than a stupid life of dark passages and secrecy. I frowned and looked away. I wouldn't let a stranger see me cry, but Salt nodded out of the corner of my eye.
“Leap with me, White. I can help.” He pushed the curtain aside. “I'll be back tomorrow with dinner.”
I sniffed. “But wait—” I started.
He was already gone.

That's all of them! Intriguing right? ;) Trust me, it's super worth it! If you want to check out my review of Five Seven Five, you can check it out here
Don't forget, To Nowhere and Five Seven Five is on sale right now for a limited time! Be sure to pick it up while the price is still low!!! 

Hope you guys enjoy :) <3 

Just A Few Inches by Tara St. Pierre

*The author gave me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Rating:
3.5


Synopsis:
   All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller. 
   To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine's Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend, the school's star basketball player. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. And to be noticed by her classmates. 
   Exercising and dieting didn't work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she's just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be.
   Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems- problems that are growing more terrifying everyday. 
   Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking. 

Review:
   I'm back! Wow, it's been too long! I know I said I'd have my Mockingjay Part 2 up, but school has gotten in the way of my free-time, unfortunately. But I know I'll have it up, I promise! I'll also have another special surprise for you guys soon ;) So stay tuned! 
   A lot has been going on in my life, and I'm excited to get back to writing since my winter break just started! I absolutely love the holidays <3 I just watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie with my friend, Ben! It was sooo so good! Honestly, I'm not a Star Wars fan because the last time I watched the series when I was little, I thought those alien creatures were creepy haha, but now that I'm older, I actually enjoyed it! So now my family is starting a Star Wars marathon ;) haha yesss. 
   Okay so Tara St. Pierre, the author of this book, is a self-published author! I don't know about you, but I think that's very admirable. I've talked to Lydhia Marie, another self-published author, and she was telling me the difficulties of getting your book out there and, of course, the cost. So when Tara emailed me saying she was one, I really respected that. What really helps them, though, is buying their bookssss ;)

   Anyway, it's time to start my review! Just A Few Inches is a very unique book. I honestly have no idea how Tara came up with this intriguing idea, but she did, and I'm so happy for it! As said in the synopsis, this novel is about a girl who doesn't lost weight like she wanted, she actually shrinks! Sounds weird, right? But Tara uses believable (but obviously fake... maybe ;) ) science to explain the reasonings behind Carrie's unfortunate... happenings.
   Just A Few Inches isn't just about a teenage girl shrinking. It hits many different problems that teens face these days like wanting to fit into the 'norm', having the desire to be skinnier, and the constant annoyance of family.
   The whole reason why Carrie uses the weight loss pills is because felt insecure about herself and her relationship with her boyfriend. I know the majority of us teens, even me at times, feel insecure about ourselves. It's understandable, but also unneeded. This book really shows how unimportant thinking about fitting in and wanting to be skinnier really is. We should all just appreciate who we are because we are all beautiful. It's really what matters on the inside than what's on the outside that counts.
   Carrie also has a very common family I guess you could say. A very protective mother, an annoying little sister, and an even littler sister that doesn't understand anything that's going on. I personally didn't like any of the sisters for the majority of the book. The older of the two was so snooty and spoiled and the littlest one was just plain annoying to me. Eventually I grew to like the older one and realized that she just needed time to understand where Carrie was coming from. But oh my gosh their little sister... I just wanted to shake her a little... Which isn't good because I know from taking Psychology that they're just egocentric and don't understand anything yet. Still...
   The writing of the book was really good, but when I was reading, there wasn't really a sense of time. It was hard to get of sense of how far apart events were because it didn't say, making the book just seem like one huge event back to back instead of breaks in-between. I mean there were some senses of time now and then, but for the majority of the time, I found myself surprised an event came so fast but then realize it was probably weeks later.
   Other than that, the book was super good and intriguing. I think the best thing I like about the book is the message behind it. Like I said, it really made me appreciate who I am and how amazing my family and friends are for being there for me. I may not be the hottest person or the skinniest, but I'm me and I'm proud of that. So thank you Tara for making this book for other girls and just people in general to see that every one of them are beautiful <3
   I hope you guys pick this book up and help Tara with her self-publishing! This book is very unique and I wish there was another book! Unfortunately, I believe it's just a standalone :(
   Well I hope you guys liked my review! I'll be back tonight with a special surprise post so stay tuned!!