Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Published:  May 7, 2013
Putnam Juvenile
The 5th Wave #1
My Rating:
5 of 5 stars

The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

My Review: To be completely honest when I first heard about this book and all the hype I actually thought I think I'll skip this one. Not because I was afraid that it wouldn't live up to the hype but because I tend to stay away from alien books. I can count on my hand how many alien books I've read and I guess I just picked the wrong ones because I was missing out on a seriously awesome book.

What makes this book stand out are the characters, not the fact that it is about an alien invasion. I'm sure there are plenty of alien books out there. There are plenty of survival books other there too but I can't remember the last time I read one like this.

The book is told from several points of view but the main character is Cassie. There were times when I couldn't stand her but most of the time her point of view was very enjoyable. She's a strong girl that is just trying to survive in a world. There's nothing special about her, she's just a teenager girl that found a way to keep living even when the odds are against her. I loved how determined she was to keep her promise to her little brother and that she still had a sense of humor while everyone she knew was being killed by aliens.

The point of view switched around frequently but I didn't mind that. I wasn't a fan of Sammy's point of view but I didn't hate it. I loved the part when it was from the Silencer's point of view. And I liked Cassie and Ben's point of views equally. Both POVs had were action packed and some parts were slower than others but overall they were both great.

The romance in the book was the only thing that bugged me. It moved way too fast for my taste but I liked how Cassie pointed this out. I have no idea why Evan fell in love with Cassie and how Cassie fell in love with Evan. At first Evan was a bit of a creeper. He finds Cassie and helps her get better but while she's getting better he bathes her when she's unconscious. He also like to lurk. Instead of acting like a normal person, he'll stand outside Cassie's door and wait. Despite that, somehow Cassie ends up liking him. I warmed up to Evan eventually but it took awhile. It was very obvious what was going on with him right from the beginning but I wasn't too annoyed by the lack of surprise.

I ended up loving this book more than I thought I would, The 5th Wave is now one of my favorite books of 2013. Everyone should definitely read this book.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Guest Post: Ensuing Darknes by Alexis Cain

Top Five Things about Being an Author and Why

#1: Just the act of writing, weaving a story straight from my mind, my heart, has to be at the top of this list. It’s just so personal, just between you and the ideas in your head. You gotta love it.

#2: The schedule of being an author is so flexible; it’s perfect for all I have to do in the day. Morning, night, afternoon, whenever I want, I can write! And anywhere! There aren’t many jobs that can say they offer you the chance to work while lying on the couch with your husband while he plays his video games, having a cat asleep on your lap, and a couple dogs running around playing. Haha, you let me know when you find something better than that.

#3: The sense of accomplishment is one of the most amazing feelings you can have as an author. Finishing for the day or the week feels great, and finishing an entire book is incredible. You feel like you’re on a mountain, with the wind blowing through your hair, and your arms open wide! Haha, or at least that’s how I feel. -_^ I can’t wait to feel the level of accomplishment that will come when I finish the entire series of “The Dark Chronicles”.

#4: The readers are awesome. I love hearing their enthusiasm after reading my work, and how excited they are for what’s next. They are the best, and an extremely important part of my life as an author. Hearing from them is what gives the energy to keep going, and I get a thrill every time I see a new happy review or comment.

#5: The friends. I know writing is mostly a solitary pursuit, but the friends I’ve made through the various social sites I’m on are very supportive and encouraging. Writer friends are great because they understand when you can’t talk to them for a while because you’re in the zone.

Ensuing Darkness by Alexis Cain

The small town of Maxville, Colorado is harboring more secrets than Kota Riley ever imagined.

Hunting, partying, and hanging with the guys has made up the most of her simple life, but as she nears the end of her time in Maxville High, she finds herself in want of something more. Something new. Unfortunately for her, she gets her wish the beginning of senior year when a whole slew of new faces come Waltzing into her life. Literally.

The Peters are a family of professional ballroom dancers, deciding to descend upon Maxville and take their most talented to a series of competitions from California and then hopefully to Italy. Unbeknownst to Kota, however, is that this is just their cover. The family’s dark secrets are the real reason behind their arrival, and their mission:

Stay under enemy radar

Gather the information

Make the switch

Get out undetected

It would have been a success, but when their two youngest get mixed up in a taboo romance with Kota and her best friend Sue, things get nasty for everyone.

Driven by boredom and the disturbing effect the mysterious Peters have on her, Kota starts pushing her way into their secrets without hesitation. She soon finds herself surrounded by everything she never knew existed and the blame is all on her when she risks the safety of her friends and family to discover a truth she was never supposed to see.

About the author
Alexis Cain was born during a storm, in a room with no windows and no electricity. She used to hate reading fiction so much her mother made it a punishment, and then suddenly something clicked. Now she can’t stop writing it.

When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, inventing recipes, or pouring over more books. Ensuing Darkness is her first novel in her series “The Dark Chronicles”, and she is now hard at work on the sequel.

Visit the author's website

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mini Break

I'm on hiatus until June 27th!

Unlike many people I'm still in school. Which means I still have to take finals. I have a ton of projects due soon and I have to do a lot of studying so I thought taking a break from my blog would distract me less. It's crazy how late I'm getting out this year.

I'll be back soon!
(Possibly with a review of The 5th Wave)

Words for the Week #19

"It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it."
― Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Published:  January 8, 2013
Dutton Juvenile
Just One Day #1
My Rating:
5 of 5 stars

When sheltered American good girl Allyson first encounters laid-back Dutch actor Willem at an underground performance of Twelfth Night, there’s an undeniable spark. So when fate brings them together a second time, Allyson takes an uncharacteristic leap, changes course, and follows Willem to Paris. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame...until Allyson wakes up after a whirlwind day shocked to discover that Willem is gone. 

A life upended in one day turns into a year of self-discovery as Allyson embarks on a journey to break free from a lifetime of limits in order to find her true passions, and maybe even a true love.

My Review: I will never get tired of Gayle Forman's books. She has this incredible gift of writing amazing contemporary books. The author makes me want to pick up more contemporary books and that's saying something because I'm more into fantasy and paranormal type books. In fact I tend to shy away from contemporary books unless the book has many glowing reviews. In this case Just One Day had so many glowing reviews and I loved her other two books so I just had to read it.

I was skeptical about Allyson falling in love with Willem in just one day and I thought that it would be too much like the insta love I see in so many books but thankfully it wasn't anything like that. The day Allyson spent with Willem in Paris felt so much longer than it was. Their relationship might have been a little rushed but it worked.

It was very easy to connect to Allyson. I'm sure many people know what it feels like to want to be someone else, even if it's only for a little while. Allyson is a good girl that does everything by the rules and does exactly what her parents tell her to until she figures out that she can change. Her mother has planned out her future without asking if it's okay with Allyson. It's crazy how over bearing her mother is. I was so glad when Allyson finally stood up to her. 

I loved how Shakespeare was incorporated into the book. The themes from a few of the plays that were mentioned in the book were definitely present in this book and I loved how I was able to compare Willem and Allyson's relationship to relationships between the characters in the plays. It makes me want to go read some of those plays.

Each character in the book was there to help Allyson realize what she wanted to do and that people change. It wasn't Willem who changed her but the people that she meet during the year that made the difference. Willem started the change but the credit should go to all the friends she made and people she met. I especially loved that the book took place in Paris and that words from different languages were in. Not all of the words were explained but it's pretty easy to figure out the meaning behind the words.

The transformation that Allyson underwent was very inspiring and I can't wait to see what happens in Just One Year.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Words for the Week #18

“You can be surrounded by people and still be lonely. You can be the most popular person in school, envied by every girl and wanted by every boy, and still feel completely worthless. The world can be laid at your feet and you can still not know what you want from it.”
― Hannah Harrington, Speechless

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #42

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly Meme. It's hosted on Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick:
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Release date: August 27th 2013

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Lottie @ Book Adoration. Thank you so much! She's awesome so you should definitely check out her blog.

The Rules:
Display the award badge on your blog
Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented you with the award
Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers
Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post
Post 7 interesting things about yourself

7 Interesting Things About Me:
  1. I love Doctor Who and Sherlock. I am currently trying to accept that the Eleventh Doctor is going to regenerate soon but that's not going well.
  2. I love The Phantom of the Opera and I will never get tired of seeing it
  3. I've been to Italy and France but I was too young to remember it
  4. I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up
  5. I'm extremely clumsy but I've never broken a bone
  6. I love playing around with photoshop when I'm bored
  7. When I was younger I convinced myself that I was a witch and that I could see the future
I Nominate:
Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian
Tt and Ira @ Never Ending Stories
Amber and Tatum @ Books of Amber
Sydney @ Pika Pages
Annabel @ Sweet Reads
Stephanie @ Bookfever
Nikki @ Fiction Freak
Delaney @ The Awkward-Ness

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Book Blitz: PODs by Michelle Pickett

Release Date: 06/24/13
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
312 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

The bus ride to the quarantine facility took more than ten hours. I was shoved against the window by my seatmate who slept almost the entire trip. He was a big guy, taking up most of the seat, and when he slept his body lolled to the side, wedging me against the metal side of the bus.
 As we traveled, the air turned hot and dry, different than the humid, sticky climate of my coastal Texas hometown. The old school bus didn’t have air conditioning and the small windows didn’t let much air in. My seatmate’s body heat didn’t help. I was hot, thirsty, and had to pee in the worst way.
Wondering how much longer I’d be drooled on by the guy next to me, I strained my face against the window, looking for anything on the flat landscape.
That’s when I saw them.
I don’t know why I was surprised. I should’ve expected it after what had happened at the high school, but I hadn’t. It was worse than at the school—rioters everywhere. They waved anti-raffle signs and signs cursing the “Chosen.”
The land around the quarantine area was flat, dry, and dusty. The people lining the road sat under makeshift tents to keep out of the sun. Some stood on top of their RVs waving their handmade signs; one burned an American flag.
I watched women holding their small children toward the bus, begging with tear-stained faces for us to take them. I wanted to reach out and snatch them out of their mothers’ hands as we drove past. Several of the other people on the bus reached up and pushed their windows shut.
The National Guard at the quarantine site didn’t allow  people to get close enough to touch the bus. They were shot with rubber bullets or Tasered if they tried to cross the police line. Every time I heard the shot of the riot guns I jumped. My muscles ached from tensing them—waiting for the inevitable sound.
“Why are you crying?” A boy sitting in front of me looked at me like I’d grown another head. “They’d probably kill you and steal your place in the PODs if given the chance.”
I shook my head, remembering what my dad had told me. “They’re just scared,” I said. After all, they were, essentially, the walking dead.
The rioters screamed and cursed us. They threw rocks and eggs as we drove by. An egg hit the window next to me, the slimy insides plopping against my head, matting my hair.
“Gross,” the boy sitting next to me said.
I just looked at him and rolled my eyes.
Yeah, the egg is gross. And the drool coming out of your mouth and dripping on my leg while you slept, leaning on me, was glorious.
The bus stopped in a fenced area like the one at the high school. The crowd screamed and banged the fence posts with their crude, homemade picket signs. Some climbed on the fence, pulling at it like chimpanzees at the zoo.
“Stay seated until your name is called,” a soldier yelled. “When you are called, grab your belongings and wait to be escorted into the building.”
Oh please, call this guy’s name. He needs to move before I shove him off the seat. I’m tired of being pinned against the side of the bus. I need some room.
Thankfully, my name was called soon after we stopped. I stood, stretched the kinks out of my muscles, and plowed through the massive body blocking me. Clambering over the other luggage that filled the aisle, I grabbed my two suitcases and stood in front of the bus.
The one-story brick building was large but had no windows, only a single green door. I couldn’t see the other sides, but I had a feeling there’d be no windows there, either—no glass for rioters to break through.
The soldier walked up from behind me, tapping my suitcase with his clipboard. “Follow me.”
I shuffled into the brick building, guided by the same guardsman who’d ripped me away from my parents hours earlier…
“I love you,” my mom said through her tears, her voice thick and trembling.
“I want to stay with you,” I pleaded.
“Come here, kiddo.” My dad, his face distorted with grief, folded me in a tight hug. He kissed the top of my head and told me he loved me and how proud he was of me. “I know, when this is over, you are going to do great things, Eva. you’re a fighter. I love you so much.”
A rough hand grabbed my arm, pulling me away from my dad. “Get on the bus,” the male voice ordered, yelling to be heard over the crying of parents and children saying their final goodbyes.
“I’m not done saying goodbye…” He didn’t let go, pulling me with him. My heels digging into the dirt, I tried to pull away. I needed one more hug, to hear them tell me they loved me and to tell them I loved them, too.
“MOM!” I screamed. “DAD!” Tears stained my face. The man thrust me toward the steps of the old, yellow school bus. I screamed one more time for my parents, telling them I loved them, reaching my arms out to them.
I could see my mom’s body rock with the force of her cries. Tears ran down my father’s face. “We love you, Evangelina,” I heard them call just before the bus door closed.
It was the last thing I’d hear my parents say. It was the last image I’d have of them. I pressed my hand to the window of the bus, my head bowed as I sobbed. I didn’t try to hide my tears. Everyone on the bus was crying for their families. We knew what awaited them.
I shook my head, trying to erase the horrible memory. I wanted to remember the good things about them, not saying goodbye.
Goodbyes are hard, but this one had been different. This wasn’t a goodbye, I’ll see you in a month. It was a permanent goodbye. I’d never see my parents again. The overwhelming sadness took over, like a black hole sucking me in. Fat, salty tears ran down my face, and I could feel my nose running. I wiped my arm across it. My eyes were swollen, my throat sore, and my chest tight.
I was alone. My parents were gone. No brothers or sisters. Just me—an orphan of the virus.

***Advanced Praise For PODs***

“…an energetic, tumultuous roller coaster ride that me on the edge of my seat and biting my nails…You know when Goodreads says “Meet You Next Favourite Book?” Well this is it! This is my favourite book of 2013…In my honest opinion Michelle Pickett is best-selling author material…overflowing with talent…It doesn’t feel like a debut book; her writing speaks of someone who has been writing and publishing books for years.”  ~ Keren of Gothic Angel Book Reviews

“It is very rare these days for a YA book to suck me in so thoroughly that I lose all concept of time and place, I’m just too busy for that.  But PODs did exactly that.  I was pulled right into Eva’s world and stayed there until the end… All in all, I give it my rare 5 out of 5 stars with a warning: Do not pick this book up unless you’ve cleared your schedule for several hours!”  ~ DJ of The Curvy Writer Blog

5 glowing, sparkling stars for this one!...I absolutely adored every character Michelle introduces us to. This book isn't just about a romance, or two people fighting some battle. This book allows us to get to know several, amazing, diverse characters who all grab your heart (even a few who have attitude issues). They all held such an important place in the story… Now for the plot. Holy crap!... Michelle did a flippin' fantastic job giving us each piece of this puzzle… I won't go into details about what happens after they are removed from the POD but O-M-G! The action never stops…This book seriously needs to be a movie. I could picture every detail and already see it playing out on screen. PLEASE SOMEONE MAKE THIS HAPPEN!”  ~ Jessica of Total Bookaholic
Buy Links:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg
Also Available from:

About the Author:
I'm a wife, mother, author, reader, although not always in that order.  I write young adult urban fantasies, science/fiction and paranormal romances and have recently started dabbling in young adult contemporary romance. Reading was one of my earliest passions, writing soon followed. I began writing seriously during college where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Why I chose a career that frowns on creativity remains a mystery.
I’m addicted to Reese’s peanut butter cups and eat way too many while I write, have an abnormal obsession with hoodies and can’t write without one, and I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows on television. An unabashed romantic, I love a swoon-worthy ending that will give me butterflies for days.
I wrote my debut young adult novel, PODs, in 2011. PODs, a science/fiction, post-apocalyptic romance, will be released June 4, 2013 through the amazing Spencer Hill Press.  My second young adult title, Milayna, a paranormal romance, will release through Spencer Hill Press beginning in March 2014. Milayna is a standalone, with series potential. It’s meant to be a trilogy. The Infected, a PODs novel, will release November 2014. It is the second, and last, book in the PODs series.
I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan.  I now reside in a small community outside Houston, Texas with my incredibly supportive, not to mention gorgeous, husband, three amazing school-aged children, a 125-pound lap dog, and a snooty cat.
Keep up-to-date with my current, future projects, appearances, and fun giveaways at

I always love to hear from readers, bloggers and other authors!
Find me here:

(1)   POD's Swag Bundle including: A signed first edition of PODs, PODs bookmarks and some of my next release Milayna, a tote bag, stickers, and a gift card ($10) to Amazon.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 3, 2013

Words for the Week #17

“Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”
― Bernard M. Baruch

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Best of the Bunch- May 2013

Best of the Bunch is a monthly meme hosted by Always Lost in Stories on the last day of every month. The aim of this meme is to share the best book that we have read or reviewed in that month and give it out Best of the Bunch award.

This month I read:
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Eve and Adam by Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Ink by Amanda Sun