Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Waiting on Wednesday_thumb[1]_thumb

Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

imageThe Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

April 12, 2012

Set against the backdrop of a Coney Island summer comes The Vicious Deep, the story of sixteen year old Tristan Hart whose life is turned upside down when the mermaids make an unscheduled return to land in search of their new king.
When a sudden storm pulls Tristan from lifeguard duty into a deadly riptide, he discovers what he really is—a prince of the Sea Court. Turns out, his girlfriend hopping and talents as a swimmer aren’t caused by his teenage prime hormones after all.
In this modern Arthurian tale with a twist, when all a guy wants to do is get The Girl and enjoy the freak show that is a Coney Island summer, Tristan has to fight for his life, the lives of his friends, and his humanity, if he still wants it, as he’s caught in a race for a throne that is as ancient as the gods

You can add The Vicious Deep on Goodreads here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Living Violet by Jaime Reed

imageHe's persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most--and everything she most fears. . .
Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.
But Caleb's secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

I was surprised by how much I liked Living Violet. When I read that it was a paranormal romance, I was weary of how much I would like it. Luckily, I had nothing to worry about. Living Violet was a quick-witted, dramatic, comedic book that I couldn’t stop reading.

In the beginning, Living Violet seemed like it was going the stereotypical-route. Luckily, it didn’t. Samara was a hilarious character who I could totally relate to. From the very first chapter, I could relate to her opinions on the bookstore and its various patrons. I wasn’t a big fan of Caleb, though. From the very beginning he put a sour taste in my mouth and I couldn’t get it out.

Living Violet, though it isn’t on my list of favorites, is still a really good book. It’s well written and addicting. I can’t wait to read the next novel in The Cambion Chronicles. Jaime Reed is an author to watch!

FTC- Received for review.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (15)

Waiting on Wednesday_thumb[1]

Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

imageWrecked by Anna Davies

May 1, 2012

Miranda has lived on Whym Island since the death of her parents. She has taken comfort in its seclusion and in the folklore that claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and its surrounding waters. It's just been easier to believe that things are out of her control.

But when a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy that haunts her dreams. As the guilt of the accident consumes her, she finds refuge in her late night swims. Then, she meets Christian, a boy who seems so familiar, but won't tell her where he is from and why they can only meet at the beach. As Miranda falls for Christian and begins to put the accident behind her, she discovers that there are secrets that Christian is keeping to protect her that may only end up bringing her nothing but harm.

You can add Wrecked on Goodreads here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ripple by Many Hubbard

imageLexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

Ripple was fun in the dark, mysterious, and gripping way. Though it wasn’t as light and fluffy as Mandy’s previous novels, I really liked it. Ripple was a darker take on sirens- or mermaids. I loved that this was a darker mermaid story, I love when normally fluffy tales are morphed into something darker.

Lexi was an awesome main character. She was a little too angsty for my taste, but teenagers are angsty so it’s ok. Lexi was a beautifully flawed character. She was so much like a real teenager, that she was really easy to read about and relate to.

This was a surprising book. There was one thing in particular that happened which caught me totally by surprise (I won’t tell you of course, because I don’t want to say spoilers"). For being a book I wouldn’t have picked up if I hadn’t read the author before, Ripple was surprisingly good. I read it really fast- within a matter of hours- and enjoyed every minute that I was reading it.

Mandy Hubbard is an amazing writer, and I can’t recommend her books enough. Ripple was as amazing as her other two novels You Wish and Prada & Prejudice. You can also check out the book that she has under the pen name Amanda Grace, But I Love Him. It’s a wonderful book.

FTC- Publisher.

Friday, December 16, 2011

An Interview with Jaime Reed

Today I have Jaime Reed here for an interview. Jaime is the author of the newly released novel Living Violet. You can learn more about Living Violet by going to the goodreads page, here.

image1. Who is your favorite character in Living Violet?

Robbie Ford. The guy has four lines, but his back story is hilarious.

2. What do you like most about writing The Cambion Chronicle books?

The dialogue. You can tell a lot about a person and their character by the way they talk and how they say it.

3. Describe the books in 5 words?

Fun, smart, snarky, engaging, relatable.

4. What is your favorite eye color?


5. What would you like readers to learn by reading your books?

It’s a paranormal story that’s pokes fun of itself. It’s like fantasy for people with common sense. It also speaks about one’s identity and having two separate backgrounds and finding a balance.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

imageUndeadly by Michele Vail

February 28, 2012

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...
Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath.
Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.
Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with.
To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly—against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

How awesome does this book sound? So. Awesome. And look at the cover! What a gorgeous cover! I can’t wait to read Undeadly. It sounds thrilling.

You can add Undeadly on Goodreads here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles

imageCaleb Becker left Paradise eight months ago, taking with him the secret he promised to take to his grave. If the truth got out, it would ruin everything.
Maggie Armstrong tried to be strong after Caleb broke her heart and disappeared. Somehow, she managed to move on. She's dermined to make a new life for herself.
But then Caleb and Maggie are forced together on a summer trip. They try ignoring their passion for each other, but buried feelings resurface. Caleb must face the truth about the night of Maggie's accident, or the secret that destroyed their relationship will forever stand between them.

I am in love with Simone Elkeles’s writing. I’ve read every book she’s published and I’ve never disliked one of them. Return to Paradise is the sequel to Leaving Paradise, so if you haven’t read Leaving Paradise- I would suggest you read it before you read Return to Paradise.

Return to Paradise is a nice follow-up to Leaving Paradise, because it finishes the story that was started in the first book. Because of what happened in Leaving Paradise, there was a tremendous amount of clashing heads between Caleb and Maggie. I loved the clashing. It made the story more interesting and added way more action and conflict.

Though I felt that the sequel wasn’t necessarily needed, I did enjoy reading it. It was a nice way to wrap up the story. I was happy to see that both characters connected the second time around as well as they did the first.

I recommend the first book in this series, Leaving Paradise. If you like Leaving Paradise, I think you’ll enjoy reading Return to Paradise- as it’s a nice follow-up. However, I didn’t like Return to Paradise as much as I liked Leaving Paradise.

FTC- Bought

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers

imageLuc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.
Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.
Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.
And not everyone will get out of it alive.

I loved Personal Demons (the first book in the series), so I couldn’t wait to read Original Sin! And boy, it did not disappoint. Original Sin is just as good, if not better than Personal Demons. Lisa Desrochers knows how to write. Her writing pops out at you when you least expect it, takes you by the throat, and demands you listen. You will want to listen. I am simply in love with the series. It is steaming hot and action packed.

Luc is the ultimate bad boy steamy character, and I do mean steamy (Team Luc, represent!). Gabe is the good boy dreamy character, who’s dreamy but I prefer Luc. Frannie is one lucky lady to have both of these men at her side. She’s also really well written and a really great character.

I love the battle between heaven and hell that’s presented in the Personal Demons series. It’s a battle that tons of people know about, but for some reason it isn’t presented frequently in YA novels. Not only does Lisa Desrochers write a fabulously well developed novel, but she makes it so so steamy. It’s hot, I won’t lie*. But along with being hot, it’s also action packed. I loved it!

I have nothing wrong with Original Sin. It is an amazing novel. If you haven’t read Personal Demons you should read it. If you do go read it, I would make sure to have Original Sin close by because Lisa writes a killer cliffhanger.

FTC- Received for review.

*I am sorry to family members reading this. But, here on Zoe’s Book Reviews, I always tell the truth.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

imageDry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

This book. Wow. I read this a few months ago (from when I’m writing this review) and I’m still in awe of it. Wendy Wunder is such an immensely talented author. She deserves so much praise and book buzz for this amazing novel that she’s written. I can’t recommend The Probability of Miracles enough.

Cam was such an amazing main character. She sassy, pessimistic, and strong. I could not have asked for a better character. Cam had guts and she had such an amazing journey to tell. Everybody around her is hilariously optimistic about what Cam is going through. This novel is one big huge magical adventure that I never wanted to end.

I don’t have any complaints about The Probability of Miracles. It was a fantastic book. Given, it made me cry a lot. So, if/when you read it, you should get tissues. A lot of tissues. Let’s just say, I spent a good 10 minutes crying.

That being said, everybody needs to read The Probability of Miracles. It’s a touching debut novel from an author that will make you in awe of her talent. The Probability of Miracles is an inspiring and beautiful novel that everybody must read.

FTC- Publisher.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (13)

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

imageIn Too Deep by Amanda Grace

February 8, 2012

I never meant for anyone to get hurt. All I wanted to do that night was make a play for Carter Davis. His heartless rejection was mortifying, but people got the wrong idea when they saw me leaving his bedroom, crying. That’s how rumors of rape started.
Now girls at school are pouring out their sympathy to me. Guys too. But not everyone’s on my side. The school has become a war zone and the threats are getting scary. What began as poetic justice has morphed into something bigger-forcing me to make a terrible choice.

I loved Amanda Grace’s (aka Mandy Hubbard) previous novel, But I Love Him. It was deep, enthralling, and gorgeously written. So naturally, I can’t help but be excited to read In Too Deep. I love that it deals with such a serious topic. February 8th can’t come soon enough.

You can add In Too Deep on Goodreads here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Giveaway- Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Today I have an amazing giveaway for you guys. It's for an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler. Not only is this an ARC of the novel, but it also has really awesome behind-the-scenes notes from the author! Here is a summary of Bittersweet-

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been. So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life...and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done. It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last.... 

Monday, December 5, 2011

An Interview with Brian Rowe

Today I have an interview with Brian Rowe, author of Happy Birthday to Me. You can find Brian at his blog. I hope you enjoy the interview!

image1. How did you get the idea for Happy Birthday to Me?

The idea from Happy Birthday to Me came to me in October 2009 about two weeks before my birthday. I was eating dinner in a restaurant in Los Angeles, when the waitress came by and happened to overhear that I was turning 25 in a couple of weeks. At the end of the meal, she surprised me with a giant piece of chocolate cake, and the dessert was marked FREE on the receipt. It got me thinking about people’s obsessions with birthdays, and then the idea hit me: what if you could celebrate your birthday every single day?

2. The covers for the series are awesome. Did you have any input over them, or did you let the cover designer do their own thing?

The covers for these books are designed and created by my good friend Katie Bode ( who works as a graphic designer in Los Angeles. I brought the ideas to Katie, and she implemented them better than I ever could have imagined. I love these covers, and I can’t wait to see what she puts together for the third one.

3. If you were in Cameron's place, how do you think you would react?

The fun of these books is putting yourself in Cameron’s shoes. What if you started aging a whole year with every day? What if you started going back a year every day? Thankfullynobody on Earth will ever have to answer that question (unless the physically impossible happens), but if I happened to be in Cameron’s shoes, I’d probably do what he did: try to live my life the best I can until the unthinkable happens. Unlike Cameron, however, I would probably stay away from the library and Mrs. Gordon: that woman means nothing but trouble!

image4. Quick! Describe the Happy Birthday to Me trilogy in 7 words or less!

The trilogy is romantic, funny, and exciting.

5. Describe your best birthday.

My best birthday was spent with friends in downtown Duesseldorf in Germany in 2005. Even though I spent my first two months studying abroad overseas essentially able to drink already—in Europe you can start drinking when you’re in your teens—my birthday that year, which was a Friday, was an absolute blast. I drank myself silly and wandered to my guest home late on a beautiful fallnight.

6. Can you tell us 5 random fact about Cameron?

5 Random Facts about Cameron: He is extremely unlucky. His favorite book is The Witches, by Roald Dahl. He loves the red heads. He would choose Zac Efron to play him in a movie of his life. He loves and cares for his sister Kimber more than he ever lets on.

7. If you could tell your teenage-self anything, what would you tell him?

I would tell my teenage self to relax more, to not be so concerned with everydecision and every math test and every person who says something mean. It’s amazing how small your world is in high school. When you graduate college and get out into the working world, life would seemingly become worse. But as those videos have been saying: It Gets Better. If you’re having the time of your life in high school, then it’s possible you’ll be disappointed with the rest of your life. But if high school wasn’t all that, you might find out things get better in your 20’s. I’m only 27, so I don’t know what the future has in store for me. But I would tell my teenage self not to worry: It’s not like I would ever have to start rapidly aging into my 80’s… right?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Crush: 26 Real-Life Tales of First Love edited by Andrea N. Richesin

Readers will fall head over heels for this nostalgic and irreverent collection.

Twenty-six bestselling authors return to the teenage bedrooms, school hallways and college dorms of their youth to share passionate essays of love lost and found and lessons learned along the way. Whether heartbreaking or hilarious, their soul-baring honesty reminds us to keep reaching for true love wherever we can find it and for as long as it takes. Their intimate reflections will fascinate and move any reader who remembers her first love.

I admit, I mainly wanted to read Crush because two of my favorite authors contributed to it. Those authors are Lauren Oliver and (I bet you can’t guess…) David Levithan. It’s always hard for my to write reviews of anthologies because of the fact that there are (in this case) 26 different stories to review. Which is why I’m not going to review each story, I’m going to review the book as a whole.

Like any novel, Crush had it’s good parts and it’s bad parts. There were stories that I found boring and dull, but instead of forcing myself to read them (like I do with novels), I just skipped them. It seems that my favorite stories were written by authors I’m familiar with. Some of my favorites include David Levithan, Lauren Oliver, Melissa Walker, and a few others.

I loved how the stories were non-fiction. It gives insight into the minds of the author that I covet. Not only is Crush a heartwarming anthology, but it also lets readers get to know the authors that they’ve held on a pedestal. I really enjoyed reading Crush, and I hope you do too.

FTC- Received from publisher.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

imageSomeone's been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steriods are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town  . . . and stay hormonally human.

Zombies! Carrie Harris wrote a hilariously thrilling novel. Bad Taste in Boys was all I was expecting and more. Not only was the concept original, but it was approached in an entertaining way.

Kate was an amusing character. I loved her unique voice. Every character was completely themselves (if that makes sense). Each character had such a different voice that I didn’t get the mixed up, which I often do.

I loved how Bad Taste in Boys was so different from other zombie books. It wasn’t an apocalypse based novel. Despite being about zombies, it read like a contemporary. I loved reading about Kate’s journey to try and find the cure. This is the kind of book that would be translated into a movie well, because of how the story unfolds.

Carrie Harris wrote an amazing zombie novel that won’t be easily forgotten. I commend her for taking something so widely discussed and transforming it into something completely original. I highly recommend Bad Taste in Boys.

FTC- Received as an ARC from Copperfields Books.