Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #2: Beautiful Covers of 2014 Books Yet To Be Released

This week's Top Ten Tuesday will be for beautiful covers of 2014 books yet to be released! As you can tell in the first two, I definitely like seeing figures in the background that are "hidden".

As I mentioned in an earlier review of the book, Blur by Steven James, I think has a beautiful cover.

This one is another beautiful cover with the book to be released on April 1st. I have this to review so look out for the review soon!

My third favorite has one of my favorite supernatural creatures on the cover, and it's just gorgeous! I hope to get this book soon! This book comes out May 6th!

This cover is just absolutely beautiful, and maybe that has to do with the fact that it's freezing right now where I live with snow falling, and it just looks so warm on that cover. I also hope to get this book to read soon. It comes out May 13th!

This cover is evoking the same feelings as the one above. This book comes out July 8th. Again, another book I am hoping to get soon.

This is the first sequel listed, and I just think it's so amazing! It is released May 13th, and I hope to get it soon, but that means I will also have to read the first one soon (which isn't too hard since I own it).

This cover is just... gorgeous! It is released April 8th!

This cover is just so pretty, and I love how the heart was created. This book is released March 1st.

This cover is just beautiful and brings out the same emotions as books #4 and #5 did. This book is also released May 13th.

And finally... this cover is so pretty. And it is released March 6th.

What are you're top ten beautiful covers of 2014 books not yet released?

ARC Review: Blur by Steven James

Blur by Steven James

The isolated town of Beldon, Wisconsin, is shocked when a high school freshman’s body is found in Lake Algonquin. Just like everyone in the community, sixteen-year-old Daniel Byers believes that Emily Jackson’s death was accidental. But at her funeral, when he has a terrifying vision of her, his world begins to rip apart at the seams.

Convinced that Emily’s appearance was more than just a mere hallucination, Daniel begins to look carefully into her death, even as he increasingly loses the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality.

What’s real? What’s not? Where does reality end and madness begin?

As Daniel struggles to find the truth, his world begins to crumble around him as he slips further and further into his own private blurred reality.

Full of mind-bending twists and turns, Blur launches a new trilogy of young adult thrillers from Steven James, a master of suspense.

Pages: 368
Format: Ebook (also in Paperback and Audiobook)
Published by: Skyscape
Genre: YA Mystery
Release Day: May 27th, 2014


First I need to mention how gorgeous the cover of this book is! The beginning was interesting. It started off in the future (compared to when the rest of the book takes place) and explained what would be occurring during the book. The last line of the prologue immediately snagged my attention, and I didn't even want to put the book down to sleep, it was just that good. Even with knowing what the blur was like in the beginning, I was pleasantly shocked when it actually occurred because what I had imagined from the brief description didn't really prepare me for the blur was actually like. I thought it was more like visions in the mind, but the blur was like coming-to-life visions taking place in reality. One thing that stood out a lot to me was that Daniel was not portrayed in a stereotypical way, for instance a lot of times football players (like Daniel) are portrayed as the bullies whereas Daniel is the kid who stands up to bullies and doesn't take pleasure in picking on others. Not to mention that he isn't as confident as a lot of male characters are portrayed which was definitely an added bonus. Kyle was the same way with an addition of him being funny. It was easily to like the characters that Steven James has woven into the story. All-in-all, I thought the characters were very well-written. Stacey kept me guessing because I wanted to know exactly how she played into the story and who she basically was. When I found out, I wasn't 100% shocked, but I wasn't 100% accurate in my assumption either, so I liked that. I really enjoyed Nicole (and not just because Nicole is my middle name), but because it was literally like I was reading about myself. I found myself double-guessing how the story would end up or who was doing what, and I liked that I wasn't 100% confident in how I thought it was going to end. When I finished the last page, I was deeply disappointed that I could not pick up the next book in the series and start right away, because it was that phenomenal of a story.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA books.

Note: I received this book free from Netgalley and Steven James in exchange for an honest review.

Release Day Spotlight + Giveaway: The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg


THE CHASE by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Bantam – Random House
On sale: February 25, 2014
THE CHASE at your favorite retellers

Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling authors of The Heist, return in this action-packed, exciting adventure featuring master con artist Nicolas Fox and die-hard FBI agent Kate O’Hare. And this time around, things go from hot to nuclear when government secrets are on the line. Internationally renowned thief and con artist Nicolas Fox is famous for running elaborate and daring scams. His greatest con of all: convincing the FBI to team him up with the only person who has ever caught him, and the only woman to ever capture his attention, Special Agent Kate O’Hare. Together they’ll go undercover to swindle and catch the world’s most wanted—and untouchable—criminals. Their newest target is Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff and the ruthless leader of a private security agency. Grove has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, a crime that will torpedo U.S. relations with China if it ever becomes public. Nick and Kate must work under the radar—and against the clock—to devise a plan to steal the piece back. Confronting Grove’s elite assassins, Nick and Kate rely on the skills of their ragtag crew, including a flamboyant actor, a Geek Squad techie, and a band of AARP-card-carrying mercenaries led by none other than Kate’s dad. A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, from the highlands of Scotland to the underbelly of Montreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

Connect with Janet: Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Google + |  Fancorps


Lee Goldberg is a screenwriter, TV producer, and the author of several books, including King City, The Walk, and the bestselling Monk series of mysteries. He has earned two Edgar Award nominations and was the 2012 recipient of the Poirot Award from Malice Domestic.

Connect with Lee: Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  Google +

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dream Cast Saturday #2 *Special

My dream cast today will be over the entire series of Mythos Academy by Jennifer Estep, because honestly I don't think I would like it much if only the first movie, Touch of Frost, came out. I will not be including a review because it is over the whole series and not just one book.

When I first picked up, Touch of Frost, I did not think I would love the story and characters as much as I do. I loved where their story went and how I could easily click with Gwen, with her will to fight for her friends and do what she had to. I also loved that she did not give up on Logan where some people would have, to me it showed that their relationship was more real than most YA relationships that happen in books. This series held my full attention until the very end and I am sad to see it go. I will tell you this was really hard to do, because after fully reading 7 books and starting the 8th book, I'm really set in my opinion of what the characters should look like, and honestly there is like no actor or actress out there that is what I imagined the characters from this book to look like. So all of my picks are the closest to how I imagined the characters to be.

Dream Cast:
Gwen Frost played by Haley Ramm

I will admit that I have seen some of the movies that Haley Ramm starred in, but I can not tell you if she is a good actress or not (because I don't recall her specifically), but she was the closest in appearance to what I imagined Gwen to look like.

Logan "freaking" Quinn played by Drew Roy

Couldn't you just imagine Drew Roy with ice-blue eyes? There's really nothing else to say, he's probably one of the few actors who actually matched how I imagined the character to look like.

Daphne Cruz played by Dove Cameron

And Dove Cameron was a pretty good match to what I imagined Daphne to look like.

Carson Callahan played by Freddie Highmore

Carson was probably my hardest character to search for and as you can see I didn't find one that perfectly fit the description (Ok, maybe I did: Asa Butterfield, but honestly - even though he is 16 - when I last saw him in Ender's Game, to me he looked like he was 13 - although he is a good actor).  Just imagine Freddie Highmore with glasses!

Oliver Hector played by Alexander Ludwig

Alexander Ludwig won me over with his acting in The Hunger Games, and I think he would make a perfect Oliver. Although, he wasn't exactly how I imagined Oliver to look like.

Alexei Sokolov played by Joshua Bowman

Joshua Bowman pretty much nailed what I though Alexei looked like, so of course I will pick him to play the part. I also think that he is a good actor, although he looks older than what I imagined of Alexei.

Vivian Holler played by Rose Leslie

I have never seen Rose Leslie act so I don't know if she is a good or not, but she looked a lot like what I imagined Vivian to look like, and I never know she could be good.

Geraldine Frost played by Vanessa Redgrave

I loved Vanessa Redgrave's performance in Letters to Juliet, and she looks like someone who would have the personality of Gwen's grandmother, Geraldine.

Aurora Metis played by Jennifer Connelly

I think she would be a perfect Prof. Metis if her hair was black.

Nickamedes played by Colin Farrell

I can say that Colin Farrell was not a perfect match to what I thought Nickamedes looked like, but I could not find anyone who matched exactly what I thought, so I ended up just going with an actor I liked, Colin Farrell.

Linus Quinn played by Jesse Spencer

The same thing that happened with Nickamedes happened with Linus Quinn, and again I went with an actor I liked, Jesse Spencer, who I think could pull of the character.

Agrona Quinn played by Patricia Arquette

I thought Kristen Bell did a great job in You Again, and I think she definitely looks the part of Agrona, so I think she could pull her off.

Raven played by Mary Beth Peil

Honestly, I'm going to say I feel like any older actress could pull of playing Raven, but I definitely think Mary Beth Peil looks more like the Raven imagined.

Rachel Maddox played by Kate Beckinsale

With black hair, I think Kate Beckinsale would be the perfect Rachel Maddox.


Rory Forseti played by Nina Dobrev

Rory was probably the hardest out of all of them to come up with. I finally settled on Nina Dobrev, who with black hair, would be a pretty great fit for Rory.

Who do you think would make a perfect cast for Mythos Academy? I would love to hear about it in the comments section.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Giveaway Announcement

Kindle Fire Valentines
Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)   This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7" (or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash).
All New Kindle Fire HDX 7" Giveaway
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
      Giveaway Sponsors
  Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Fire Giveaway: http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7". Ends 3/16/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dream Cast Saturday #1

I have decided that every Saturday (that I can, that is), I will post a dream cast for a book that I have recently read. This week it will be for Unremembered by Jessica Brody. Along with my dream cast, I will always post the review(s) for the book or series.

This week's will only have the review for Unremembered by Jessica Brody, and not a review for the prequel book Undiscovered.

Dream Cast:
Violet/Seraphina(Sera) played by Laura Marano

This was the closest to how I imagined Violet to look like, not to mention that I think Laura Marano is actually a talented actress. And I, personally, think Laura and Jean-Luc would make a perfect on-screen couple.

Zen played by Jean-Luc Bilodeau

Jean-Luc Bilodeau was the closest to what I imagined Zen to look like as I was reading this book.

Kiyana played by Viola Davis

I do want to mention that she was not my first choice, but my first choice played in a Christian film called Fireproof, and she was a volunteer from Sherwood Baptist, so I was unable to find her. Viola Davis is my second choice for the role of Kiyanna, and she won me over from her performance in Prisoners.

Heather Carlson played by Brittany Snow

Heather just made me think of someone who was blonde, and Brittany Snow was the first blonde actress to pop into my mind. She wowed me with her performance in Prom Night and Pitch Perfect.

Scott Carlson played by Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds was my first thought when Scott came into the picture. This may be due to the fact that I watch movies he is in all the time, and he was just there in my mental image of the storyline of the book, but Scott stayed as Ryan Reynolds every time he was mentioned so that is why he is in my dream cast.

Cody possibly played by CJ Adams

I really wanted to cast Cody, but there was just no young actors that I could find that looked anything like the image I had in my mind of him. The closest was CJ Adams, who just didn't cut it for me, who as you can clearly see does not have blonde curly hair or blue eyes. Just image that his hair is curly and blonde and that would be who I saw as Cody. Isn't he just adorable? Lol! Also, I really think that he could totally pass as a child of Brittany Snow and Ryan Reynolds, so it would look believable on screen (but again that is just a personal opinion).

Maxxer played by Glenn Close

Glenn close is pretty much a perfect match to how I imagined Rylan Maxxer, although in my imagination Maxxer has a slightly darker grey hair, and not white-grey hair.

I want to start of by saying the first two pages of this book immediately grasped my attention, and then for the rest of the book, I was just captivated by the story. I was intrigued from the very last line of the prologue (or Chapter 0 as it is labeled in this book). I'm also very caught up whenever an author creates characters for violet eyes, which (as silly as it seems) made me a little more optimistic about this book. Not that it really needed that extra touch to win me over. I really liked the personality of Kiyanna and wished that she'd had a larger character role in the book. I really loved Violet (I couldn't bring myself to fully see her as Seraphina, maybe that will change in the next book, but for this book I saw her as Violet). She had such a vibrant personality and unique talent with counting and numbers which I liked. Zen was a pretty amazing character too. The romance between the two was also pretty great! The Carlsons were! I loved Cody and his sense of sarcasm because he reminded me of one of my good friends where almost everything that came out of his mouth was coated with sarcasm. Heather was awesome, and I loved how protective of Violet she was, and Scott was just kind of there, not that I didn't like him at all. The ending left me upset... and not in a bad way... but a sad way because I wouldn't be able to get my hands onto the second book as soon as I would have like... more specifically right now!

So who would your dream cast be of this book or maybe just your dream cast of Violet and Zen? Let me know in the comments! I also may add the rest of the characters that aren't up there, but I just couldn't think of anyone specific at the moment.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Critically acclaimed author Melissa Kantor masterfully captures the joy of friendship, the agony of loss, and the unique experience of being a teenager in this poignant new novel about a girl grappling with her best friend's life-threatening illness.

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

Pages: 384
Format: Paperback (also in Ebook)
Published by: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary + Romance


This story was so heart-wrenching. This book would cause me to cry, and then something funny would happen, and then seconds later, I would be back to crying again because it was so sad. I loved how this book explored the friendship between Olivia and Zoe, and how there was romance but it was put on the back-burner and was not the main focus. This is my second book reading about Leukemia, although the perspective of this book is from the best friend.

One thing that irritated me was the language. I can handle some language, but when it's like every other page, there is an F-word, it just doesn't seem necessary and kept me from fully enjoying the book (this is the reason I gave it a 4 star over a 5 star).

Even though that was the case, I would still recommend this book to be read by people who can handle what the book's plot is about.

Note: I received this book free from Goodreads First Reads and HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Giveaways Gallore!

I'm going to be mentioning four giveaways that you might be interested in. The first two are from the blog Live to Read, they are the books Don't Turn Around and Enders . The third giveaway is from Lady Reader's Bookstuff Blog for an Unbirthday Gift (not mentioning exactly what because that will ruin the cool surprise, but it is definitely worth your time to check out), and the last one is for Project Keepsake.

First link: http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com/2014/02/dont-turn-around-by-michelle-gagnon-250.html
Second link: http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com/2014/02/enders-by-lissa-price-250-book-giveaway.html
Third link: http://www.ladyreader.net/2014/01/a-very-merry-un-birthday-to-me-giveaway.html#.UvbT-vldVYs
Fourth link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6860333/

Here's a little more about the last giveaway:
In Project Keepsake, Amber Lanier Nagle shares fifty-five stories behind the objects people gather and display proudly on shelves or stow away in dark closets—a bluebird paperweight, a pocket watch, a quilt, a locket, a piece of furniture, a cake pan, a scrap of paper, and other sacred items. Each story breathes life into the inanimate objects. A few years ago, Nagle began writing stories about her own keepsakes to preserve the histories surrounding special items in her home. She encouraged friends and family members to write stories about their keepsakes, too, and they did. And so, the project was born. Her book, Project Keepsake, has three simple goals: to prompt aspiring writers to put their pens to paper and try their hands at writing, to cultivate a renewed interest in storytelling, and to record the many stories associated with keepsakes and mementoes. She hopes that Project Keepsake finds its way into your hands and inspires you to tell the many stories of your own keepsakes. For readers and fans who are hesitant to try to write their own stories, Nagle offers a chapter titled, “Writing About Keepsakes,” including tips and examples. Here are a few of her tips:
Identify a Keepsake—look around your house, on your shelves, in your drawers, in your closets, and in curio cabinets until you find something that has a special place in your heart. Brainstorm—start with a blank sheet of paper and just start writing everything that comes to your mind about your keepsake. Don’t worry about making it sound good at this point. Just get your thoughts on paper. Where did it come from? How long have you had it? What does it look like? Why is it significant to you? Organize your Thoughts—Some writers use outlines to organize all the elements of a story, while other people prefer to draw bubble diagrams to help map it out. Put Pen to Paper—Using the notes from your outline or bubble diagram, write your story. Revise and Polish—Look at your opening paragraph and make it stronger. Make sure your subjects and verbs agree. Check spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. Replace weak verbs with stronger verbs. Add a dash of dialogue. Revise Again—Put away your story for about two weeks. Don’t think about it. Then, take it out and read it as if you are reading it for the first time. Keep revising your story until you are happy with it.
Enter the giveaway for Project Keepsake today and be entered to win free books and great prizes! 

And keep watching out for reviews. I will be posting the review for Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor and the Perfect Opposite book I mentioned in my last post.