blo Teens Read and Write

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review & Blog Tour: INNOCENT DARKNESS by Suzanne Lazear

Thanks to Mundie Moms for having us participate in the INNOCENT DARKNESS Blog Tour!

Title: Innocent Darkness
Series: The Aether Chronicles #1
Paperback, 408 pages
Author: Suzanne Lazear
Publisher: Flux
Publication: August 8, 2012
Amazon | Goodreads 

Wish. Love. Desire. Live.
Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.

A fantastic beginning that sucked me right in. 

Noli is an awesome heroine, full of spunk, intelligence and independence. She moves to her own funky beat, and is proud and confident about it. Unfortunately, wonderful V is the only one that appreciates her individuality, which is why she’s sent to that God forsaken reform school.
Makes your insides cringe, doesn't it?

The way this torture chamber—I mean, school is written had my stomach twisting tighter than a balled python. It doesn’t get too graphic, but close enough that your imagination doesn’t have to work too hard. 

Noli toughs it out with incredible strength, and you’re absolutely ecstatic when she gets free. Even if she does land in the Realm of Faerie.

Which is where, in comparison to the first half, things start to slow. Still good, but doesn’t hold up to that incredibly suspenseful first half.

In the faerie realm, Noli depends on mystery man Kevighn to get her back home. She loses some independence here which is one of the main characteristics that made me want to be BFFs in the first place. *sigh*

But Kevighn does have that seriously dark and dangerous sexy thing going on which had me, and Noli, kicking ourselves for liking him so much. What is it about tortured bad boys that pluck the  hormone - uh, I mean, heart strings?

The good news is that when Noli’s best friend V shows up to save the day, he turns out to not only be a sweet book nerd, but just as dangerous and even more smokin’ than Kevighn. 

That’s right, you get two bad boys with tortured pasts in one book. I’ll wait while digest that delicious news. 

It's almost like getting 2 Damon Salvatores.
Only not as good because, you know, it's not 2 Damon Salvatores.
However, V is definitely my pick of the two. The main reason being that he and Noli had a terrific history of awesome friendship which made the transition to romantic love sweet and believable. 

The major problem driving the plot seemed to wrap up a little too easily for me, but the final pages do hold an exciting and ghastly twist. Why Noli? Why? It’s so not fair.

There was way less steampunk than I expected, so hardcore steampunk fans, consider yourselves warned. However, faerie fans should be thrilled with the abundance of fae drama.

Secondary characters James and Charlotte were delightful and I'm intrigued as to where their story goes.

Also, just a note, near the end an overly sexy scene blips out of nowhere and had me wondering about the "for 12 and up" rating. It was brief, somewhat vague, but not vague enough for my eyebrows not to shoot up.

Mom isn't reading over my shoulder, right?
That'd be awkward.
Overall, a fun read with plenty of romance, intrigue, and for most of the book, a pretty tough heroine. I'm definitely picking up the next one to see how she makes it out of that craptastic situation at the end. 

If you missed any of stops, be sure to check them all out on the INNOCENT DARKNESS Blog Tour!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Review: STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth

by Jennifer Bosworth
Pub: May 8, 2012
384 pages

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.
Overall, I enjoyed STRUCK and the vivid dystopian wasteland Bosworth created. I've lived in LA and felt my share of earthquakes so could relate to the scary prospects of devastation. 

A recovering lightning addict, Mia’s avoiding the electrifying goodness. We do get hints that there’s something more supernatural happening with her other than just surviving a gazillion lightning strikes. Though that’s pretty amazing in itself. 

Mia would prefer to stay out of all the end of world drama but she gets sucked in when her mother and brother become involved. Mia must take on the bad guys and figure out the mystery in order to save her family. 

Mia is smart and slow to trust so some might find it confusing when she has an insta-love connection with the strange hot guy that has not only been stalking her, but attempted to MURDER her. 

Funny enough, while I questioned her judgement here, I ended up completely falling in love with the sweet, sexy stalker/killer because he had totally justifiable and logical reasons for wanting her dead, and if he went through with the plan, with Mia gone, he and I could be together. 

Don't judge. All's fair in my fantasy literary lovelife.

With the End of Days concept, there's a religious aspect to STRUCK, but it’s not huge. The Seekers and the Followers are opposing cults with the Followers led by Prophet - name is actually Prophet - who's preying on people’s fear to get them to join him for some nefarious purpose that only Mia can stop. 

Both cults want Mia on their side for super-secret reasons. Mia and I agreed that both were sketchy—see the caution and smart thinking? (I’m talking about her, not me, but I can see where you could make the mistake.) Mia chooses the only other available side: hers. Which ticks off Twiddle Dee and Dum, but had me fist pumping the air, and leads Mia to find the power within and fulfill her destiny.

STRUCK has an exciting premise and while the action junkie in me could have used a bit more action, those who love a high-voltage (see what I did there?) tension-filled read will be satisfied. Great characters, a cute romance (after you get over the whole attempted murder thing), and some serious mystery. Someone call Nancy!

And STRUCK has the best book trailer EVEREVER!!! I think Bosworth's director husband created it for her and if so, I vote that he does every YA book trailer from here on out. Who's with me?! 
Check it out! 


Monday, July 30, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises

Today is super awesome super hero movie review double whammy! Not one but TWO awesome reviews featuring two of this summers best films, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises

The Amazing Spider-Man -Directed by Marc WebbStarring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
The Amazing Spider-Man is a reboot of the popular franchise and easily my favorite of the series, easily beating out the 2002 Toby Maguire version.

Although we've heard the origin story many times this film portrays it in a more realistic and progressive way. We see how Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) struggles with learning his new powers instead of just suddenly being awesome at them. Some people complained that this Peter is a bit more "hipstery" but I found him easier to relate to and more enjoyable. The story is also lighter and more colorful than the original - more like a comic book, less like a drama. 

Peter and Gwen (Emma Stone) have terrific chemistry which makes their budding romance a treat to watch. (It isn't surprising that they're dating in real life.) And I liked how Gwen is a strong, smart character rather than a helpless ninny. She actually helps solve the problems.

Dr. Curt Conners aka Lizard (Rhys Ifans) also does an excellent job playing a villain with complexity and inner conflict. 

A backstory thread raises many intriguing questions about Peter's father and I can't wait to see where that goes in future movies. 

I also liked how Spider-Man moved - quick, agile, and employing lots of momentum. It was less about strength and more about speed and dexterity which made the action scenes more intense and exciting to watch.

Overall better cast, better story, and tons more fun!

The Dark Knight RisesDirected by Christopher NolanStarring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Michael Cane, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard 
The Dark Knight Rises is the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy and it does not disappoint. In fact, it was amazingly awesome!

Eight years have passed since The Dark Knight and both Batman and Bruce Wayne have been living in exile, but when a new terrorist leader, Bane emerges, Wayne redons the cape to save Gotham.

I wept tears of joy and awe when the credits started rolling. I have never been so satisfied with a conclusion in my life. This film accounts for every little detail and plot line in all of the previous movies and incorporates them beautifully. This is backed by a fabulous cast including series new comers Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Coutillard. 

While Hardy's Bane is no match for Heath Ledger's Joker, his performance gave me chills and endless quotes. His imposing stature and precise diction made for a villain with both brains and brawn. I was also very skeptical of Hathaway as Selina  Kyle/Catwoman but by the end she was one of my favorite characters. Her sexy, seductive, street smart character was a departure from previous roles but she nailed it.

The twists are shocking yet layered with perfection as you look back over the movie, which makes seeing the film a second time all the more enjoyable as you catch the clues.

I also highly recommend seeing the film in IMAX. After enjoying it in both standard and IMAX I can attest to the later as the superior format. The majority of the movie was shot in 70mm format which makes for some impressive shots and truly immerses you in the story.

If you are looking for powerful drama with tremendous action, suspense, emotion, complexity, and make-you-gasp surprises, as well as a stunning conclusion to one of the greatest trilogies of all time, go see The Dark Knight Rises!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

HUNGER GAMES Trilogy Latest Movie News

The HUNGER GAMES sequel, CATCHING FIRE, isn't out until November 22, 2013, but you can check the Facebook page for updated CATCHING FIRE casting news.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (love him!) is the latest addition as the new Head Gamemaker, Plutarch Heavensbee!

But can he be more fantastic than Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman? 

HUNGER GAMES was so awesome and we can't wait for CATCHING FIRE! 
How about you?
And who are your casting favs?

Oh, and Mockingjay is set to release in two parts - ugh!
Part One- 11/21/14 and Part Two - 11/20/15

And if you're dying for the HUNGER GAMES DVD, you don't have long to wait.
Look for it next month on Aug 18th!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Kelly Oram - SERIAL HOTTIE

Please welcome Kelly Oram, author of the BEING JAMIE BAKER series, and her latest exciting book, SERIAL HOTTIE, available in ebook right now for only 99 cents at Amazon and BN
As part of Kelly's blog tour she's been kind enough to guest post about sibling relationships, and you know how we love those!


One of my favorite aspects of Serial Hottie is the relationship between Ellie and her older sister Angela. Ellie suffers from what I call The Robin Complex—meaning she lives in her sister’s shadow.

Ellie and Angela are a year apart in school, and where Ellie is the hot-tempered tomboy, her sister Angel is the gorgeous, popular, flirt. At first, Ellie doesn’t get along with her sister. She claims it’s because Angela is evil, but eventually she realizes that it’s more a case of her being jealous and even a bit resentful of Angela. Ellie suffers from a deep-rooted insecurity that she didn’t even know she had.

Well, you know how they always say to write what you know? Apparently I do this on a subconscious level.

When I wrote Serial Hottie my older sister Robin was one of the first people I gave it to. After she read it she came back to me with the biggest frown I’ve ever seen. I freaked out, immediately assuming she hated it. With that one frown I convinced myself in less that five seconds that the book sucked and everyone in the world was going to hate it. Only she didn’t hate it. She actually really liked it. The frown was for something else entirely. Something I’d never even thought of.

When she saw me after she read it, the first words out of her mouth were, “I’m Angela!”

“No, you’re not!” I immediately protested. I meant it too.

Then, from the other room my husband, who’d already read the manuscript, yelled, “Oh, yeah. She’s totally Angela!”

For the record, Robin is not Angela. (And I am not Ellie.) However, the relationship between the two of them is pretty spot-on with how my sister and I treated each other growing up. I suffered from The Robin Complex big time. We were best friends as kids, and then we hit puberty and it became uncool to like your family. We steered as clear of each other as we could all the way through college.

It wasn’t until I got married and moved hundreds of miles away from her that we were finally able to start liking each other again. But, better late than never. Robin is now one of my best friends, lives ten minutes away from me, and hangs out with me two to three times a week. We even had the same due date with our last babies! (Well, her last baby. I’ve had another baby since then because I’m crazy.)

Anyway, I think that how my sister and I turned out, and how much I love and appreciate her now, has a lot to do with there being more depth to Angela’s character. I think that’s why the story has a little bit of heart to it. I couldn’t make Angela a true Mean Girl because I wanted Ellie to like her sister. I wanted her to have the kind of relationship I have with my sister because there’s really nothing quite like having your sister be your best friend. 


Awesome! We're so glad to hear how close you and your sister are! And thanks for stopping by. 

Also, don't forget to check out the synopsis below and remember for the next couple of days you can buy the ebook of SERIAL HOTTIE for only 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

And just for fun, how about we giveaway an ebook! Or better yet, how about FOUR! But the contest is a fast one so hurry!

  • Open to those with a Kindle or Nook
  • Ends July 10 (that's tomorrow!) at Noon PST
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter Form Below
  • Extra 2 entries for answering in the comments: "Who is your favorite literary sleuth/detective?"
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ellie’s sweet sixteen is a summer of firsts. First car. First kiss. First boyfriend. First serial-killing stalker?
Hockey-obsessed tomboy Eleanor Westley has never been the object of a guy’s affection before. So when the hottest boy she’s ever seen moves in across the street and starts treating her like she’s the center of his universe, naturally she’s going to be a little skeptical. But everything starts to make sense when girls who look just like Ellie start dying all around the city. Obviously the new guy is the killer, and of course he only likes her because he wants to slice her into tiny pieces. Right?
The more Ellie gets to know Seth the more she’s convinced he’s a psychopathic killer. The problem is he’s the sweetest psychopathic killer she’s ever met. Not to mention he’s brutally hot. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t help but fall for him. Will Ellie find true love, or will her summer of firsts turn out to be a summer of lasts?

About the Author
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

 Follow the SERIAL HOTTIE Blog Tour

We're Back!

We took some time off for some personal family stuff but we're back now and hope you're having a safe and super awesome summer! 

Can't wait to catch up with everyone!

Love you all!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cover Reveal: ENTICE by Jessica Shirvington

As cover junkies, we adore cover reveals! Available Sept 18, here's the first look at ENTICE by Jessica Shirvington!

Description: T:\Fall 2012\Entice\9781402268434-300.jpg

Sourcebook Fire said: 
“For Entice, we really wanted to have the cover reflect the darker edge of the story and Violet’s toughness.”

They did a great job - ready to kick some butt!
Seventeen-year-old Violet Eden’s is back! With a destiny is to protect humans from the vengeance of exiled angels it becomes clear that it won’t be easy as even her partner, Lincoln, is hiding something. And now she has to learn to live with her feelings for him while they work together to stay alive and stop the exiles from discovering the key to destroy all Grigori. It isn’t easy. Especially when the electricity between her and Phoenix ignites and she discovers his hold over her has become more dangerous than ever. Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme with a race halfway across the world to find the one artifact that could tilt the balance of power between Angels and Exiles. And the ultimate betrayal will be exposed.
 A quick excerpt:
“Two tutors and three students from the Grigori training center in New York were arriving in two days and I couldn’t be happier. I was going to be able to learn from the experts and have people my own age to train with, something I really needed. I was sure with their help I would be able to get over whatever it was that had been holding me back.
Griffin had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the two senior Grigori –the intelligence, resources and backup they could provide was much needed. The Scripture that can decipher the identity of all Grigori, even those who have not yet embraced and are therefore defenseless, was at stake.
I would not stand by and watch it fall into the hands of exiles. If they found they key to destroying all Grigori and gained the upper hand, the slaughter would not stop until all the humans knelt before them, worshipping them as gods.”

For more, here's a link to read the first two chapters!

Jessica's US book tour starts Sept 18. The EMBRACE website will have upcoming details.

And enjoy Jessica's personal chat video!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

WOW! 3 Hot Upcoming Releases (5/23/12)

WoW is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine 
and showcases upcoming releases we're dying to read!

by Alexandra Bracken
Dec 2012/Disney Hyperion
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something frightening made her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. She's sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.”
Now sixteen, Ruby has hidden the fact that she’s outwitted the camp’s sorting system—that she isn’t powerless, or safe. She’s one of the dangerous ones… and everyone knows what happens to them.
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes with her life. Now on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her, she joins a group of escaped teens, pursued by terrifying bounty hunters. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
Before the end, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Emily Hainsworth
Oct 2012/Balzer + Bray 
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life and now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.
Nina is a girl from a parallel world where Viv still lives. But things are different there: things have changed in unexpected ways and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day.
As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

by Suzanne Lazear
Aug 2012/Flux
Wish. Love. Desire. Live.
Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.

What are you waiting for? 

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