Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: Whispers in Autumn and Winter Omen

Author: Trisha Leight
Series or Stand-alone:
            Book One in the Last Year Series
           Ebook Finished Copy
How I got it:
            For a Book Tour
Pages: 388
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Young Adult / Aliens/ Paranormal/ Science Fiction
First Published: July 21 2012
Buy it from: Amazon
                  Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

FIRST LINE(S): "Before my eyelids crack open I know I've traveled again."  

The GIST (From Goodreads):

In 2015, a race of alien Others conquered Earth. They enslaved humanity not by force, but through an aggressive mind control that turned people into contented, unquestioning robots.

Except sixteen-year-old Althea isn’t content at all, and she doesn’t need the mysterious note inside her locket to tell her she’s Something Else. It also warns her to trust no one, so she hides the pieces that make her different, even though it means being alone.

Then she meets Lucas, everything changes.

Althea and Lucas are immune to the alien mind control, and together they search for the reason why. What they uncover is a stunning truth the Others never anticipated, one with the potential to free the brainwashed human race.

It’s not who they are that makes them special, but what.
And what they are is a threat. One the Others are determined to eliminate for good.


I never heard of this book before signing up for this tour but man am I glad I read this book! Let me try to convince you that you'll like it too....

This is what it's about: Althea wakes up having just skipped a season again. She's been doing it her whole life --skipping between Spring, Autumn and Winter. She has a different family for each season but she knows none of them are her real parents. Althea's world is over run by cold Others, aliens that now control the population making humans empty drones. But Althea? She experiences more feelings than she can deal with. So much feeling that sometimes her hands explode with heat if she gets too emotional but she doesn't have a clue why.


Whispers in Autumn is set in a really interesting and creative world. Aliens almost always bring a sense of the unknown and that's a large theme in this book. Who is Althea? Why does she skip seasons but never goes to Summer? Why does everyone seem to ignore her absences and strange behavior?

When more Others come to town to watch people in her class, she starts getting nervous. Then she meets Lucas; a boy who acts just as strangely as herself. All this stuff couldn't possibly be a coincidence, right?

Well, let me say I just loved Lucas. He was smart, sweet and very protective. There interactions squeezed my heart. However, the largest selling point for me was that I was a little more interested in the mystery behind the aliens and Althea than the romance. And that says a lot because usually I want more romance.

There are some things I wasn't too sure about though. I wish the skipping of the seasons was explained better. Like where does she go during the missed season? Is she getting older in the same rate as everyone else? Overall I wish the timeline was better explained. Also, I just couldn't believe a child could have handled everything Althea does as a young adult without being caught by the Others. And the Others? Calling someone the "Others" makes them different. If the Others wanted to fit in and make the humans trust them, then answering to a name that shows how different they are is a stupid idea.


It's been a long time since I was more interested in the plot than the romance. And the romance was great so the competition was pretty steep! I really recommend this book!---9.5 out of 10


Author: Trisha Leigh
Series or Stand-alone:
            Book 2 in the Last Year Series
            Ebook ARC
How I got it:
            For a Book Tour
Pages: 398
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Young Adult / Aliens/ Paranormal/ Science Fiction
First Published: September 25 2012
Buy it from: Amazon
                  Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

FIRST LINE(S): "I guess when we travel on our own we don't magically wake up tucked into our beds in clean pajamas."  

The GIST (From Goodreads):

Althea and Lucas barely escaped the Others’ clutches in the autumn, and were separated in the process. Alone and on the run from the cruel alien race determined to exterminate her, Althea struggles to adapt and survive in a world she never imagined.

When a boy named Pax appears out of nowhere, he quickly recognizes Althea for what she is – a human/Other hybrid just like him. Althea begs him to help her find Lucas, but Pax refuses, intent on following his own mysterious agenda.

The Others’ presence continues to devour the planet’s resources, and if history is an indication, they won’t leave until Earth is destroyed beyond repair. Althea and Pax sense the only way to save themselves – and maybe their home – is to understand the powers simmering inside them.

Together they push the limits of their capabilities in the quiet Wilds, but are soon confronted with a terrifying fact: no place is safe from the relentless pursuit of the Others.

Least of all their own minds.


I don't want to say too much in my review of the second book since I'm posting both reviews together. However, I will say that some clues and foreshadowing in the first book made this book great! The author did an awesome job putting stuff in the first book that ties with the second. I can't wait to read the third so I can see the clues I missed in this book.

I was a but worried about the romance aspect due to the ending of the other book but I was not disappointed at all! Wow, I didn't think the male character could get better. The new love interest is rougher but totally bad-ass hot. His tension with Althea was more sexual than lovey dovey like with Lucas which was nice. So, yes, there is a love triangle brewing. I would really have a hard time picking if I was Althea which is the sign of a good love triangle.

All good things aside, the pacing was off with this book and I ended up skipping one full scene because I got bored in the second half of the book. It wasn't as interesting as the other but it kept my attention well until almost the end.


Although not as exciting as the first book, I still can't wait to see how all the mysteries are solved and what becomes of the love triangle. I'm really anticipating the third book! ----8.0 out of 10.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

DIY Halloween Costume How To: Katniss Hunting and Arena (Part 1)

So you started thinking about Halloween already and you want to go as a Young Adult character. Well, considering the past year, you think Katniss would be a great identifiable costume. But how do you create it? I'm here to help!

There are three great things about this costume:

1.Most of the stuff you can re-wear.
2.You probably have some of these things in your closet.
3. If you don't, they are mostly cheap. The distressed look is a big part of the costume so go down to your local thrift store and buy those crappy cargos. They're perfect! 

So after reading that list and realizing this is the costume for you, you are set on being Miss Everdeen. Congrats! Continuing on reading my tips for the perfect Katniss costume.

The List:

Main elements to Hunting Katniss (before the Hunger Games):


1. Reverse french braid or dutch braid (same thing) over shoulder.
2. Distressed brown leather jacket.
3. Brown striped trousers.
4. Lace up knee high brown leather boots.
5. Wooden Flat Bow, Quiver, and Arrows.
6. Long sleeved button Y t-shirt 
7. Brown leather belt with gold buckle.
8. Mockingjay pin (not worn in this scene but helps for people to identify who you are)
9. Forage Bag (Not in movie)



Main elements to the Hunger Games Arena Katniss:


1. Reverse french braid or dutch braid (same thing) over shoulder.
2. Hooded long black rain resistant jacket.
3. Olive green or brown cargo pants.
4. Brown leather ankle boots.
5. Dark brown Recurve Bow, Quiver, and Arrows. 
6. Dark brown belt with gold circle cutouts doubled around the waist.
6. Black V-neck short sleeve t-shirt.
7. Bright orange backpack.
8. Mockingjay Pin.

The Hair


We'll start with the reverse french braid, otherwise called the Dutch braid, which starts over Katniss' left ear and ends over her right shoulder. This is quintessential Katniss; other than the bow, this is the most identifiable part of her costume.

Here's some pictures of it for reference:


Front/ Right Side


Right Side

Left Side

Katniss has long bangs in the front that are wavy and long brown hair. The wispy bangs aren't necessary but the dark long hair kind of is so if you have short hair or lighter hair, maybe the best thing would be to wear a wig or get some cheap clip-on extensions.

Here is a wig I found on Amazon but I'm sure you can find cheaper:

Amazon Price: $49.95 (as of 09/15/2012)
This professionally styled Katniss Everdeen wig is available for free shipping and can easily be recycled for a number of different Halloween costumes.

How to:

If you can do it to your hair then here are some great videos to show you how:


I really liked this video. She makes it simple and easy without a lot of talking in the beginning. This is good if you already know how to french/ dutch braid.

If you know how to french braid then this is easy! Instead of putting the section you are braiding in over the middle section, you just put it under. It makes the braid stick out and be more obvious. If you don't know how to dutch braid, here is a good tutorial to show you the difference: 

Here is the first time I tried the braid last year. It took me about five minutes without a mirror. I didn't pull it tight enough in the end which is why the right side where the braid falls over my shoulder is a little loose but not half bad of a job for the first time.

Part two coming soon!

 It will go into the costume and how to put that together for both Hunting Katniss and Arena Katniss. 


Also, please enjoy this Bad Lip Reading video. I was laughing through the whole thing!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cover Reveal and Contest Annoucement: Opal by Jennifer Armentrout

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Follow this link to an ~~~ EPIC CONTEST ~~~ Announcement.
You will want to bookmark this page!

USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.

Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog

What do you think? I love the cover! I think it really reflects what we saw coming in their relationship during the second book.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway of One Signed Copy and Two Unsigned Onyx with 3 winners!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: NERVE by Jeanne Ryan

Author: Jeanne Ryan
How I got it:
            For a Blog Tour
Pages: 304
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin)
Genre: Young Adult / Thriller
First Published: September 13 2012
Buy it from: Amazon
                     Barnes & Noble

The GIST (From Goodreads):

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it's exhilarating--Vee and Ian's fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they're directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they're playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?

Debut author Jeanne Ryan delivers an un-putdownable suspense thriller.


The game NERVE involves feats of cunning, bravery and brass-balls. Basically, it’s a game of Double Dare that earns the contestants prizes –strangely specific prizes as if the people behind NERVE are watching them. The main character, Vee, is an all around goodie-goodie. Stuck in the shadow of her best friend, Vee never has the chance to shine herself. When NERVE hosts open casting –pick a dare and perform it to get on the show—Vee decides to take the risk to show up her friend and impress a crush. The dares escalate when NERVE starts offering Vee prizes she can't say no to. She thinks, Hey why the heck not? Just one more dare…
Well, of course, it’s never one more dare. Along the way, Vee gets paired up with super hot Ian who seems protective and nice but she’s not all too sure of his intentions. Ian is a pretty intriguing character and I really liked his interactions with Vee. Vee was a bit of a flip-flopper when it came to personality. One second she was a loyal friend, the next she was selling those friends out for shoes. This is actually a very accurate depiction of a teenager (haha, not kidding though.) If you are looking for a fast-paced, kind of creepy thrill ride then NERVE is the one for you. The book was really easy and quick to read. I enjoyed it on a shallow level.
However, it just wasn’t as creepy as I wanted it to be. I wanted the dares to be like holy crap! I would never do that. Alas, they were only mildly scary. I feel like the fear factor could have really been upped throughout the whole book by making the dares raise the stakes for the contestants. They have to do personally scary stuff but I wanted it to be a things will never be the same if I do this to my friend type of thing. Instead it was, oh she’ll forgive me when she finds out this is a game. I wanted it to be juicier.
The biggest problem I had with this book occurred after I had read the entire thing. There is a prologue at the beginning of the book that basically deflates all of the tension in the last dare because it gives away vital information from after the contest is over. The “prologue” though it’s really an epilogue doesn’t really get explained either which was frustrating.
A junior version of SAW, NERVE didn't have the creepy factor I hoped it would. However, it was fun to read and I couldn't put it down. -- 6.5 out of 10.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Author: Moira Young
Series or Stand-alone: 
            Book  in the Dust Land Series
How I got it:
            From my local library
Pages: 459
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult / Dystopia/ Post-Apoclatic
First Published: June 7 2011
Buy it from: Amazon
                  Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
Book Trailer: 

FIRST LINE(S): "Lugh got born first. On midwinter day when the sun hangs low in the sky."  

The GIST (From Goodreads):

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back. 

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.


Skimming through Blood Red Road in the library, the nearly put this awesome book right back in its place. Was this English? No quotation marks to indicate speech? Weird half words and conjunctions? I was getting a headache just thinking about the effort it would take to read it.... 

Luckily, I took it anyway --just in case I didn’t like anything else I grabbed. This decision was one that deserves a giant pat on the back.

Why? Well, there is a kick-ass heroine with faults but genuine growth throughout the story. And she has more interest in her family than a guy. But of course there was a love interest with loads of personality. Oh, Jack....You better not be missing in the next book cause I will scream and cry.

Basically, the story starts with Saba and her family in their isolated home. No neighbors for miles and miles leaves for a lot of time of bickering between siblings (peoples be needed some counseling...just saying). When a strange storm blows in bringing some strange men with it, Saba's twin brother Lugh is kidnapped. Lugh is everything to Saba so she strikes out to save her brother. Unfortunately for Saba, she is left in charge of her younger sister who she has never quit connected with. Regardless of the problems, here the journey begins to find Lugh....

The plot was full of adventure and it never had a dull moment. It was a little gory and rough but I really enjoy books that don’t skim the hard stuff. There is a lot of fighting. Saba is a little fireball and fights follow her around! So if you're not into that then probably skip this one. I loved the people she meets along the way. There are some badass women in this novel which was awesome. Even more awesome is that there were a lot of men who appreciated their badassness.

I have to admit, it took me the entire first chapter to get use to the language but after that I read it perfectly fine minus a few sentences that needed to be re-read.  Another problem I had was I thought the reason for Saba's brother's kidnapping was a little strange and not explained very well. It felt like a journey was needed without Lugh so his kidnapping was thrown in to get it going but it made little sense. It wasn't a problem enough to ruin the story, however.


If you are already sick of dystopians,  I beg you to give this book a try anyway. It was original and fun. You won't regret it!* --10 out of 10.
*This is no guarantee. Don't sue me or yell at me ;-P

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pre-Birthday Giveaway of the Lux Series! 3 winners

So my birthday is coming up at the end of October and I decided I would get the fun going early.
I meet Jennifer Armentrout a few months ago at a signing and got an extra Obsidian signed. I've been waiting for a good time to do the giveaway so a pre-birthday celebration was perfect!

This giveaway will be from September 9 to midnight October 27 (my birthday). It is U.S. only because I am personally sending out all the books. Sorry!

I am giving away one signed Obsidian (Book 1) and two Onyxes (Book 2) from Jennifer Armentrout's Lux Series. 

So that's 3 winners! 

My review of Obsidian where I gave it a 10 out of 10.

The GIST (From Goodreads):

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

My review of Onyx where I gave it a 7.5 out of 10.

The GIST (From Goodreads):

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

3 winners so you have a good chance of winning. GOOD LUCK!

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: Reflection by Jessica Roberts

 Author: Jessica Roberts

Series or Stand-alone: 
            Book 1 in a Two Part Series
How I got it:
            For a Book Tour
Formats available in:
Pages: 289
Publisher: S/P
Genre: New Adult / Contemporary
First Published: February 17 2012
Buy it from: Amazon
                  Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

FIRST LINE(S): "Thrills...In all her teenage years, they had never come more powerfully than the moment Heather zipped her small suitcase."

The GIST (From Goodreads):

Bright, spunky Heather Robbins has escaped her small hometown and is anxiously beginning her freshman year of college. Rising above her rocky childhood, she’s found a place where good things are finally starting to happen: her own private apartment, refreshing college classes, and an intense attachment to a mysterious and rugged classmate, Nick Richards.

But when her dreamy college life turns out to be nothing more than a wonderful dream while resting in a coma, questions threaten.

Now, Heather must press forward to unlock the real past, and find the answers buried deep in her mind. What she unlocks instead is a roller coaster ride through flashbacks, embellished memories, and a whirlwind romance.

And when it’s all over and she comes face to face with the truth, will she lose everything she’s fallen in love with?


Reflection follows the story of Heather Robbins who just woke up in the hospital after an accident that left her in a coma. She doesn't remember what happened or how long she's been there. Even more worrisome is that the things she does remember could be false memories she's been living during her coma; the memories could be a combination of real memories and things she heard and smelled while she was in the hospital. The story starts out like a prologue about what led Heather to go to college and explaining her dysfunctional family life. Straight from there it goes into Heather waking up in the hospital. The story then splits from Heather telling the doctor the memories she relived in the coma (from when she went to college til the accident) to present day in the hospital. You don't know how long she's been there at first.

Although I liked Heather's story, I skipped a lot of scenes where she was doing things with her friends or just thinking about stuff in order to get to the nitty gritty. This book is a primary example of good, interesting plot but bad pacing. I wanted to know what happened between Heather and Nick (how they got together, if they stayed together, where he is, etc.) and what her coma means for their relationship now, not any mundane activities of her life. I might have skipped a third of the book but I didn't miss anything important which says a lot.

As for characters, Heather was a bit annoying at the beginning but I grew to like her as the story went on. She was supposed to be the quirky, different girl but she came of as whiny and judgmental. In her first day of class, she got so freaked out by people looking at her but then would say how she never got flustered. It didn't make sense. I connected with her by the end but she wasn't my favorite character.

Nick was really the redeeming character in this book. He was withdrawn, quiet, and utterly mysterious. His avoidance of people was understandable when you hear his full story. Of course he was completely gorgeous too but just didn't care about it which is attractive. I really liked how calm and unconcerned he was. He is unlike any male interest I've ever read in his quirks and personality which is saying a lot with the amount of books I've read. What I had a hard time understanding was why he liked Heather who was admittedly weird and awkward. It's like every uncool girls' fantasy that a cool, hot guy will look past the weirdness and find it all oh so cute (in my experience, it doesn't happen like that.)

Their relationship wasn't insta-love (thank God!) but I didn't really think the connection was strong enough to span all the problems that they encounter. Heather is even more unwilling to open up emotionally than Nick. Her reason was similar to Nick's but I still didn't understand the logic. I wanted to shake the crap out of her and say just get over it. It warranted a few emotional issues but not to the point she took it.

The ending really makes me overlook the problems I had with the book because I need to know what happens next! Talk about an ending that leaves you wanting more. I think the story next will probably be better than in this book.


I had a lot of issues with his books. Redeeming factors: Unique male love interest and a great set-up for the second book.---7.0 out of 10.

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