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Understanding Social Problems
Linda A. Mooney, David Knox, Caroline Schacht
A Touch Mortal
Leah Clifford
Kendare Blake
Human Sexuality in a World of Diversity (case)
Spencer A. Rathus, Lois Fichner-Rathus, Jeffrey S. Nevid Ph.D.
Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1) - Aimee Carter Review to come. :)
Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1) - Aimee Carter Review to come. :)
The Beautiful and the Damned - Jessica Verday Short and Sweet:First of all, I have not read The Hollow trilogy, so my review might not be as gushy as it would have been if I saw the connections between The Beautiful and the Damned and this beloved series as this is a companion novel. However, I did enjoy this story quite a bit. Cyn was an extremely intriguing character, as was Avian and the story itself was well developed and entertaining. To Elaborate....Cyn isn't sure what's going on, but lately her blackouts and episodes have been increasing in frequency. When she looks in the mirror she sees another person's face overlaying her own and she's never quite sure where she's been or what she's been up to... only that it is likely to be horrifying as her hands are often covered in blood.Avian, however, knows exactly what is going on with Cyn the moment he lays eyes on her. She's an Echo, partially possessed by souls of the deceased: currently by a man who frequently takes control of her body to wreak havoc. This soul wants out of Cyn and there is only one way to reach that goal.... ending her life.Meanwhile, Cyn is also being hunted/stalked by another man desperately seeking revenge for something Cyn may or may not have done while possessed. Something nightmarish and heartbreaking that Cyn is tortured by daily.Avian swore to himself he was done with Echos, but sees something in Cyn that he didn't expect and he initially struggles with the decision to help her. Both Cyn and Avian resist their attraction to each other and pull away from their connection. However, when it becomes clear that Cyn is in way over her head they plan one last desparate attempt to free her from the monster inside. The Beautiful and the Damned is a quick entertaining read. There is this great tension between Cyn and Avian and plenty of suspense and surprises to keep this story exciting right up until the very end!3.5 stars!(Originally posted at iheartyafiction.blogspot.com)
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black Short and Sweet:The Coldest Girl in Coldtown starts off with a horribly creepy bang and it doesn't stop the whole way through. If you've been 'vampired out,' this is the book that will get you through it. One of the most amazing books I've read in 2013!!!To Elaborate....Holly Black wastes no time throwing us headfirst into a world where waking up a hot mess in someone's bathtub after a party is the least of your worries. In fact, waking up at all might be the best (or worst) thing that can happen to you. Tana may initially be embarrassed about her lack of memory and state of disarray upon waking after a party, but will very quickly realize that these details are minor compared to the horrifying circumstances she'll soon encounter. While pouring herself a cup of coffee, Tana catches a glimpse of a pale, stiff hand that is all together too still, and tinged with blue. Heart pounding, she steps into the next room and sees nothing but blood and the bodies of all of her friends chaotically thrown and piled up every where she looks. In a state of shock, Tana tries not to panic and to decide who to call, when it occurs to her that the vampires who massacred her friends are most likely still inside and that her car keys and phone are deeper within the house. Tana very quietly goes to the guest room to get her stuff, but instead finds her ex-boyfriend tied up to a bed with a chained, red-eyed vampire watching her from the shadowy corner of the room. She quickly discovers that Aidan (her ex) is already infected and 'Cold.' The vampire in the room, Gavriel, unexpectedly warns her that there are more vampires outside of the bedroom door held off only by the streams of dying sunlight. Unwilling to leave Aidan or Gavriel (her unlikely savior) to them, Tana rescues them all. Barely, and most likely infected herself. Tana has only two options: risk becoming Cold and hungry while around people, or drive herself, Aidan and Gavriel to a Coldtown, a walled in city of vampires, humans, and the quarantined infected; televised and glamorized to human beings. When she ultimately arrives, Coldtown is more dangerous than even she had guessed, but Tana isn't going to sit around waiting to die or worse: become a Vampire.... she steadies her nerves and kicks some ass.Absolutely stunning, this is the sort of book that leaves you in a jumbled up pile of emotions, ruined for whatever book you pick up next!(Originally published @ iheartyafiction.blogspot.com)
Four: The Transfer: A Divergent Story - Veronica Roth I loved it! Just enough to make me want Allegiant even morrrreeee!!!!
Gated - Amy Christine Parker Short and Sweet:Gated was suspenseful and anxiety producing! Even experiencing this world as a reader, I wanted to believe in Pioneer and his visions. However as the story moves along it becomes clear that something darker is motivating him. Overall creepy and thrilling! To Elaborate....Lyla, or 'Little Owl,' as Pioneer calls her, is not quite as convinced as the rest of her community that the end of the world is approaching, or that the only way to survive is by ruthlessly murdering the 'unchosen.' However, this hesitant viewpoint does not escape the notice of Pioneer (few things do) so in the meantime she tries harder to meet his expectations and especially to avoid his attention. From the beginning we see that there is a glint to Pioneer's eye that his other loyal followers either overlook or fail to notice, but Lyla sees quite clearly. As she struggles to reconcile this aspect of her leader, a man she has known since childhood, time is running out. The local sheriff has taken an interest in Mandrodage Meadows and his son, Cody, has taken an interest in Lyla herself. As Lyla begins to seriously question all she has ever known a series of events unfolds that brings out a rarely seen side of Pioneer and she has to ultimately decide what she believes and who she trusts.The story has a truly amazing crescendo of action and intrigue. I love a book that literally makes your heart pound faster and faster as you approach the final pages. Really, really liked this one!(Originally published at iheartyafiction.blogspot.com)
Earthbound - Aprilynne Pike This one just wasn't for me. :/ It's not that it was bad, I just never really felt 'pulled in' to the story. I don't think I will continue reading this series.
Dear Killer - Katherine Ewell I really liked this one! Review to come closer to release date. :)
Relic: The Books of Eva 1 - Heather Terrell Short and Sweet:I really enjoyed Relic. The author's gorgeous description of the landscape really transported me into the icy Boundary Lands. Eva, likewise, is an incredibly enjoyable character to read. I loved how daring she was throughout the story beginning with taking part in the Testing. New North, The Boundary Lands and the Testing get more and more interesting as the story goes on and even though I was left with questions they are of the 'give me the next book immediately!!!' variety. ;)To Elaborate....The story begins with Eva's twin, Eamon, meeting an untimely end. We get a little bit of drama and mystery right away; an insight into a piece of the puzzle that the characters aren't even aware of. From there on out though we follow Eva's perspective as she navigates being both a Testor and a 'Maiden.' You see, in New North everyone follows a set of rules called the Lex and there are a lot of rules about how to be a proper young woman. From the start Eva seems a little eye-rolly about many of the rules and her mother seems perpetually exasperated by her. (I relate. :P)Eva's choice to honor her brother by Testing isn't popular within her community. I liked that although this made life for herself less comfortable she stuck to her convictions all the same. I also like that Eva chose to train for the Testing with an outsider, Lukas, who lives outside New North in the boundary lands and is considered by many of her own people to be below her. In fact, Lukas is her dear friend and maybe the only person who really knows her.The night before she begins her treacherous journey, Jasper, a fellow Testor and family friend secretly professes his hope for a future with her after the Testing is complete. I LOVED that Eva stays focused on her own goals. In so many books we see female leads about to take on all sorts of journeys and evils, but the number one thing on their minds seems to be the man/men in their lives. Not so with Eva. She gives it thought, but not nearly so much as she gives her own goals and aspirations. *high five* Heather Terrell!Overall, I think the pacing and plot were near perfect and the end of the book reveals quite a lot about this world and how it really came to be. I will definitely be picking up the next book in this series and recommend it highly!(Originally published at iheartyafiction.blogspot.com)
The Midnight Dress - Karen Foxlee Short and Sweet:The Midnight Dress is beautiful, magical and heartbreaking. One of the best for me in 2013 for sure. Karen Foxlee is one of those authors who can create a captivating, gorgeous atmosphere worth losing yourself in. A truly unique and wonderful story!To Elaborate....Rose has 'landed' in the small town of Leonora where her and her father have run out of gas. They decide to stay a while but Rose has every expectation that she'll soon be leaving again.... like they always do. So she isn't looking to make friends. However, sweet & charismatic Pearl latches on to prickly Rose and doesn't let go. The friendship that is formed between them surprises and softens Rose and before long she finds that she has been convinced to participate in the annual Harvest Festival and is in need of a dress.Pearl suggests that Rose go to Edith Baker, a mysterious old lady on the edge of town whom everyone believes to be a witch. Eventually Rose does go to her and finds the woman waiting for her on the porch of her run down home. Edith agrees to make the dress, but only if Rose assists her. Rose protests that she doesn't know how, but Edith only offers to teach her and asks her to return the following week on Wednesday. Which Rose reluctantly does.As the Harvest Festival nears, Rose grows nervous watching Pearl play a dangerous game with a man twice her age. But she also grows more comfortable in the company of Edie as the two sit week after week stitching together her midnight blue dress. Edie has an incredible past which she reveals to Rose piece by piece each Wednesday night and through these stories Edie gives Rose what she may need most: a place of her own.The book itself is told with bits of the ending sprinkled throughout in italics. You know from the first page that someone dies in the end. You even have a pretty good idea of who it is and who did it, but the ending is far from predictable. I really adored Edie's character and story. She definitely has a bit of magic woven into her and she was exactly what closed off, guarded Rose needed. I recommend this book to fans of The Lovely Bones as it has a similar vibe and beauty about it for a murder mystery. Really an amazing book! Pick it up when it comes out this October!(Originally posted at iheartyafiction.blogspot.com)
Something Strange and Deadly - Susan Dennard Short and Sweet:Something Strange and Deadly is so much fun. This creepy, intriguing world is so captivating you may fall asleep at 3:00 am with your face in your book because you just can't sleep until you know what will happen! :)To Elaborate....First of all, I adore Eleanor. She is so brave in her own time. With expectations of her from every angle from society to her own mother, Eleanor is under a lot of pressure to look, behave, and dress a certain way. However, she sees beyond what 'should be done' and instead acts on what 'needs to be done' regardless of the consequences. Eleanor is beautifully fearless in this way. Along the way, she ends up really discovering how powerful and able she is and I can't wait to see that growth in her continue in A Darkness Strange and Lovely. Then there is Daniel, who is found most often verbally sparring with Eleanor in the most delightfully entertaining way. I enjoyed his moodiness/snarkiness and the way Eleanor responded to it. She is no shrinking violet and held her own..... most of the time. ;) They really are evenly matched and the dialogue between them was one of my favorite aspects of this book. I thought where they ended up at the end of the story was very curious and I'm interested in seeing what happens next with these two.I also really loved the dynamic between Eleanor and Jie. I so respect when an author includes positive female relationships in a story. Women are more than capable of having respect for one another and relating to each other on levels other than their relationships with men. Jie is also brave and independent, and completely at odds with expectations of women in her time. I loved every time she appeared in the story.Finally, this world where the Dead rise and leave the cemetery; where people go on living normally until the alarm sounds was so thoroughly engaging. I enjoyed every moment! Every character was unique and distinct. I loved the time period and the way Susan D. weaved so many mysterious aspects into one nearly flawless, layered tale. (Originally published at iheartyafiction.blogspot.com)
The Dark Between - Sonia Gensler Review to come.
Palace of Spies - Sarah Zettel Short and Sweet:Palace of Spies is a fun book. The characters are full & vibrant and completely alive. Sarah Zettel excels at creating realistic people that are easy to visualize and connect to. It is a bit short on spies for a book of it's title though.... and my only big complaint is that I think the original title was more fitting (A Most Dangerous Deception) and equally exciting and likeable.To Elaborate....First of all, I want to say that I went into this book thinking it was going to be 'intense & serious' and instead found it to be 'fun & adventurous.' I felt like it had a similar vibe to Poison by Bridget Zinn. That is to say, I could see it made into a fun Ella Enchanted/Brave type movie. This is not to say there aren't serious factors at play, but only that they aren't overly dramatic or dark in their architecture or in my reception of them.Peggy is our MC, and after she is tossed out of her Uncle's house for refusing to accept an unpleasant arranged marriage, she is offered a position by the mysterious Mr. Tinderflint, impersonating a deceased 'lady in waiting.' She originally takes the position believing her predecessor, Lady Francesca, died of natural causes, but upon arrival at King George's palace she stumbles upon evidence that Fran may have actually been murdered.Unfortunately, Peggy has a much longer list of suspects than clues. It seems that someone knows Fran is dead and is playing along, but if Peggy doesn't discover who, she will likely find herself meeting the same fate sooner rather than later. Lastly, there is a bit of a love triangle, but I barely noticed it as it was always clear to me whom Peggy favored. ;)And I did struggle a bit between a 3.5 and 4 star rating here, but since Palace of Spies was truly a pleasure to read I settled on 4 very much deserved stars. ;)Dying to read this one too??? Lucky you! I happen to have a gorgeous, ARC copy for one lucky US winner! Stop by my blog to enter! Sabrina @I Heart Y.A. Fiction(Originally published at iheartyafiction.blogspot.com)
Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo Short and Sweet:I finally read Shadow and Bone!!! Ahhhh! Why did I wait so long? I loved it. This is a beautifully written story, with just the right balance of light & dark. I've already lent my copy out while in full-on 'book evangelist mode.' Just excellent!To Elaborate....I have been saving Shadow and Bone for that moment when I needed a guaranteed good read. I'm so glad to say that I feel this is an absolutely wonderful book. From beginning to end it was simply 'gripping.' I couldn't put it down!From the start, Miss Bardugo creates a nearly perfect tension. The world building is also so neatly done that I found myself wanting both to rush ahead to relieve the tension, and wait it out to thoroughly soak up the world of Shadow and Bone. On top of that, I am overly fond of every major character in this book. Even the Darkling. You know a book is good, when you like the 'bad guy' as much as any other character. ;)So, enough gushing: Alina and Mal have grown up together as orphans of war. As adults, they are now about to cross the Shadow Fold: a dark, shadowy expanse filled with creatures, Volcra, that devour many of those that venture into it. Alina is understandably tense as they make their final preparations. The story telling is so vibrant that I could see the moment they entered the Shadow Fold so clearly in my mind that I felt tense. *shudder*Once they are in the darkness of the Fold, it is only a matter of time before the Volcra locate such a large party and attack. Soon it becomes apparent that they are outnumbered and sure to die. However, during a particularly distressing moment of impending doom, Alina releases a power she had no idea she possessed. In fact, her power is so great that the Grisha (people with magic) almost immediately toss her in a carriage and race her to the castle for 'safe-keeping.' It seems that she alone may be able to destroy the Shadow Fold and restore freedom to Ravka. Within days of arrival, Alina begins her Grisha training, and we learn why she had not previously discovered her power. Ugh, the twist/shock/bang of an ending was just crazy! My mouth was hanging open. I couldn't breathe. I had to turn back pages and re-read earlier scenes to see if I missed some clue!!! You guys, get this book immediately if you have not already devoured it! A-MAZ-ING!!!(Originally posted @ iheartyafiction.blogspot.com)
Ashes on the Waves - Mary Lindsey Short and Sweet:This was truly a compelling and beautiful love story. It took a bit to get into it (50-60 pages for me), but was absolutely worth it. I also loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They set the tone throughout the book to eerie and tense. I really enjoyed this take on Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee." Ashes on the Waves is spooky, dark, heartfelt and wonderful.To Elaborate....Ashes on the Waves takes place on an island that is set apart in time in many ways. The people who live on the island of Dòchas are largely superstitious, old fashioned and small minded. They have a crowd/mob mentality and believe Liam, the main character, to be possessed by a demon. In fact, Liam himself is unsure of what exactly he is.It doesn't take long for the love story between Liam and Annabel to begin to develop, but this is not an insta-love situation. Liam has pined for Annabel since childhood and his love for her has helped him persevere on an island where he has always been hated and feared. So when Annabel easily returns his affections I found myself making sentimental 'awwwwww' faces at my book. ;) The relationship between them was literally a bright light in the gloomy, unfortunate setting of Dòchas. Cue the torturing of these ill-fated lovers.......All kinds of bizarre and unusual things take place on the island of Dòchas as a result of the islander's strong belief in the Otherworlders. The people of this island even celebrate antiquated ceremonies and celebrations in honor of the beings they believe in. This belief gives power to these creatures and one evening the Otherworlders decide to place a bet on whether or not Liam and Annabel are truly in love. (Otherworlders = big, freaking jerks). So begins a series of horrible tests. However, even in this midst of tragedy and misfortune Annabel and Liam find triumph. *sniff, sniff* SPOILER (sort of): Mary Lindsey has given Poe's version a slight twist though and the ending is bittersweet and hopeful. Ashes on the Waves is an enjoyable experience and such a great story! I'm so glad that I picked it up! *adds all the Mary Lindsey books to goodreads to-be-read list*(Originally published @ iheartyafiction.blogspot.com)
Through the Zombie Glass - Gena Showalter Short and Sweet:I SO enjoyed Through the Zombie Glass! It was creepy, dark and wonderfully suspenseful. This book builds upon it's first in the most entertaining & twisty ways. Fans of Alice in Zombieland will be equally delighted and horrified by this sequel!To Elaborate....Alice has been through quite a bit as of late, but nothing quite compares to the dark, compulsive whispers in her mind and the terrifying images of herself she sees in the mirror. What is she becoming? Has she lost her mind? Alice isn't sure who to turn to, or what exactly is happening, but she does know that she has become a danger to those she loves. Nothing quite like the urge to have a taste of your friends to level-10 freak you out!Ali and Cole also experience some conflict after she has a 'mind make out' moment with a new character.... a particularly unlikable character at that. Ali herself remains convinced throughout the story that the visions are false and communicates this often to Cole, but he struggles quite a bit more with this development. I have to admit that I liked Cole a little less through most of this book. In the end, some light is shed on his less than admirable decisions, but I still wanted to punch him in his stupid-dumb-jerk face more than occasionally. So thanks, Gena for all the feels. *sigh*Lastly, the zombies are way more intense and freaky this time around. Something is happening/changing with them that no one quite understands initially. Plus there is an enemy/betrayer in the midst of the slayers that is seriously compromising the safety of the group. AND Ali is also even more kick-ass and enjoyable to read. This is one girl who isn't curled up in a fetal position balling her eyes out over a guy, even while her heart is freaking breaking. I can wholeheartedly recommend picking up Through the Zombie Glass this September! I hope you guys love it too! Originally posted @ iheartyafiction.blogspot.com