Late Night Review: Dead Beautiful

Goodreads
Title: Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
Finished: December 29th
Purchased: NetGalley
★!!

On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she’d ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.
After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”
It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.
Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.
Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.


I guess I have been in the mood for some reincarnation reading this week because accidentally this is the second of the topic I have read this week. The other book I had read was Endless by Amanda Gray. While a good book in its own right, Dead Beautiful surpasses it exceptionally.
Dead Beautiful contains everything that I felt Endless lacked. The characters, Renee and Dante did have somewhat of a romance, while they could not kiss on, the feelings emanated from the pages. I enjoyed the witty banter between the two and on more than one occasion, found myself if not giggling, outright laughing at the words exchanged.
The plot was extremely well developed, and included many details that extended the depth the story entered. I found it extremely enjoyable to read the excerpts of the book the characters reference, in turn the reader can actively engage in knowing all the information as soon as the characters learn it. This allowed for things to be better explained and in turn allowed the reader (myself) to fully understand the plot.
Now, I am a sucker for a good plot twist, secrets, forbidden love and all the other average things that make a good story. But there was something about this one that made it different. All to often, the author reveals the huge plot secret too soon or too late, either one results in a loss of interest for reading. But I found that Yvonne Woon let smalls bits of information out at a time, just enough to keep reading but not enough to lose interest.
 It was very refreshing to read a book without a love triangle, as much as I love them. The book made me feel, which is the main thing I look for in a book, especially one I give a five star rating. This book messes with your emotions right up until the end, and even then it’s like a haha in your face because my emotions are still a jumble. The ending may have been my favorite part of the book, it made me feel confused, angry, happy but most of all the want to read more.

xox Cat

Barnes & Noble Trip

So I know, I haven’t even finished all the other books from my last haul, but I couldn’t help myself. Going to the only book store left for miles around me is just a bad idea. I managed to only buy two books, although I wish I bought more. There is nothing like a hard copy of a book no matter the price, no matter the convenience of my kindle fire. I’m so excited to start reading these! They actually might be finished before the books on my other book haul list… oops.

So on the left side of my adorable sleeping cat is Matched by Allie Condie. This book has been number one on my reading list for far too long and when I saw it on the shelf in Barnes&Noble, I caved. I just had to have it. $9.99

On the right side of the napping Sockie cat is Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I must admit that this book was pretty far down my “too-read” list but sometimes seeing books in person just brings out something in them that makes you want to have them. Also,  $9.99

I am having so much trouble deciding what to read first, since each of these books has many in the series and I just know that I am going to want to read the rest. Not to mention a few other books that are from my last haul. The struggle is so real as a book addict..

I almost forgot, I wanted to mention that I met a fellow lover of goodreads while shopping at Barnes&Noble today. She was working and we had a quick chat and bonding moment over it but I never caught her name. Chances are slim that she’d read this but I wanted to mention it just in case!

xox Cat

Afternoon Delight Review: Endless

Goodreads
Title: Endless
Author:  Amanda Gray
Finished: December 28th
Purchased: NetGalley
★★★

Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them.
When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.
Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock – and the Order – Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life – and beyond death.


I overall really enjoyed this book. It was a book that you kept reading because you couldn’t go to sleep without knowing what was going to happen next. I was however slightly disappointed in the romance department. I understand that Nikolai and Jenny had a past, literally, but their romance with each other just felt too… quick. I wanted more of a fight on Jenny’s part, I wanted some resistance, not utter acceptance. Sure, she remembered their past and trusted him, but come on. Just because someone says you were together in a past life does not mean you should trust that it’s true, it’s called playing hard to get. 

I felt as if there were some holes in the plot, but it was overall an engaging, interesting, unique story line. I really enjoyed the characters. While maybe the romance wasn’t up to my standards, there were great friendships that developed, which I enjoyed just enough to over look the lack of romance. I can appreciate that the story maybe wasn’t all about the love they have, but the journey that Nikolai had to endure to get to her once again. 

Another thing I felt that should have been elaborate more in depth was Jenny’s abilities. I know what they did because before reading, I had read the summary. But the story, I felt, did not explain them in enough detail. What use are they to her besides a way to gain new ideas for her art work? I thought that was something that Morgan should have told her. But I did enjoy the hint that she may be more powerful than she even knows.
I was really shocked at how much I loved the character Ben. I think I could have liked him even more than Jenny. His story was just so.. intriguing. I loved that he had to end up facing his past, in the future. The concept was just so out of the box to me, I hope that if there is a sequel of some sorts, he has a bigger part of the story. 
Overall, I enjoyed this story, much more than anticipated. It was a well thought out and different story line than many other stories that I have read. It was not one that I loved, but I did enjoy it and I would love to read whatever else comes to follow this story. 

xox Cat

P.S. I am in love with the cover!

Friday Finds

I wanted to do a post a little different today, it is not going to be a straight up review but more of an overall general feeling. I want to introduce a series that I am sure many of you guys have heard of which is the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I am absolutely captivated by this series. I’m not sure how she does it, Jennifer L. Armentrout is probably one of my new favorite author. I had never read any of her other books until this series and wow, I am HOOKED. My general theme throughout the series was my jaw continuously hitting the floor. I recommend this series with ever fiber in my being to those who enjoy a good fantasy, mystery, paranormal, or romance novel since it incorporates it all as well as a great sense of humor. I found myself in shock, awestruck and cracking up at the same time while reading any of the following books! Below are the cover and the little synopsis provided by goodreads! enjoy!


The series contains 5 books so far:

Shadows (.5):
The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.
Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.
Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.
Captivated. Lured. Loved.
Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.




Obsidian (1):

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.


 

Onyx (2): 
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.
Something worse than the Arum has come to town…
The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.
But then everything changes…
I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me? No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…



Opal (3):
No one is like Daemon Black.When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well… There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.
But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.
After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.
Together we’re stronger… and they know it






Origin (4):
Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.
After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.
All Katy can do is survive.
Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?
Together, they can face anything.
But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? And will they even be together?

xox Cat

Thirsty For Books Review: Immortals

Title: Immortals (book 2)
Author: Ednah Walters
Finished: December 17th
Purchased: Kindle Fire
★★
Raine finally knows that her gorgeous neighbor, Torin St. James, is a legend straight out of Norse mythology, and that her feelings for him are strong. Torin is crazy about Raine too, breaking the one rule he lives by: Never fall for a mortal. The problem is he no longer remembers her, his memories erased by Norns—Norse destiny deities—to punish her for defying them. She will make Torin forget his one rule a second time and fall in love with her all over again. 
But she quickly learns that well-laid plans do not work when dealing with deities and supernatural beings. Desperate, Raine makes choices that could not only tear her and Torin further apart, but lead to the destruction of everything and everyone she loves.

Ednah Walters is an amazing author with an even more amazing creative mind to have produced not one, but two very unique stories. I was very nervous that Immortals, as the second book in the series, was going to take a turn for the average. An average love story, a plot line that would be too easy to guess. I was pleasantly surprised to find out about the memory loss that was inflicted upon Torin, only because it was a way to continue the story and love story at that without being too repetitive with all the other books out there. 
The books plot moved fairly slow, like in Runes. There were definitely times when I wanted to speed it up and get the end already. Raine was handed a lot more pressure in dealing with Eirik as well as the news her parents tell her. Overall, I liked this book but I do not think it compares to Runes. I found to almost be bored in many parts with a sense that I just wanted it to be over already. Of course, the ending is one to die for as there are some things you just never see coming. 
xox Cat

Happy Holidays from my Kitties

There is no better way to read than doing so snuggled up with your favorite furry person. Mine happen to be cats. Yes I call them furry people and yes this is the best way to read, or do anything for that matter, no questions asked.
I am a crazy cat lady, it seems that the cat lady generation started a bit early since I am only 20, and I know I’m not the only one out there. I know about you closet cat people too!
I have three cats, not too many but I used to have five, I know… eeek. My three cats now do not get along, one of them gets a run of the basement while the others stay upstairs, they are more social and less feral. I love them all the same.
I mean, you guys must know what I mean. How good it feels to dive head first into an amazing book that takes you on an adventure of a life time, all while cozy warm in the heated blanket snuggled up to a kitty cat.

Sockie
Upsidedown

Meet the Co-Writers and Co-Readers themselves and their favorite working positions!

Allie
Snuggled in with her boyfriend

Happy Holidays! Hoped my weird catness brightened your days!

xox Cat

Late Night Review

Goodreads
Title: Defy
Author: Sara B. Larson
Finished: December 23
Expected Publication: January 7th 2014
Purchased: NetGalley
★★★★★!

Is it wrong to already want the second book to come out, when the first, Defy,  hasn’t even been released yet??

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king’s army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince’s guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can’t prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she’s sworn to protect?

Something about this book just grabbed my attention and refused to let it go. I think that it did a really great job at tugging on my fairy tale heart strings from when I was a young reader with the royal characters Sara included. I have a soft spot for strong main character leads who are girls but also the heroine, as Alex(a) is. For a while, books over shadowed just how strong women can be and Defy does a great job of showing how strong Alexa is but also the strength of the male characters, Rylan and Damian.

This particular book has gotten a lot of heat for the love triangle that starts to appear. But I disagree, mostly because I didn’t view it as a love triangle at all. Alexa has always liked Rylan like a brother, and maybe confuses the feelings she has for him for a page or two, but in her eyes, she has always only seen Prince Damian. She is his personal guard of course! While I think that maybe love triangles, as much as I love them, have become slightly overused in the fantasy genre specifically, the Defy “love triangle” is not much of a triangle at all. There was no doubt in my mind who Alexa truly loved in a romantic sense. Not to mention that Rylan wasn’t and interesting character at all. Snore fest. I would be so upset if Alexa ended up with him, he is a poor replacement to her lost brother at best.

I really enjoyed the element of mystery throughout Defy. The plot is rich with secrets that you want to find out but can only truly discover if you keep on reading. It’s not an easy book to predict what the next chapter holds. I found that while the secrets and misleading kept and done by Damian may have been aggravating for Alexa to deal with, it really did make for an interesting story. The only secret I had a slight problem with was the one Alex(a) had thought she kept so secretly. I thought it was not believable that noone really thought she was a boy. Most of the people who suspected her real gender would/could have had her carted off to the breeding houses. I think that it should have been a more tightly kept secret, and when revealed it would have added a lot of anticipation and excited for the reader. 
I want to refute a lot of the negative comments the book is getting, if only to defend the book and author itself. I hate when people don’t look at a book as its own book, comparing it to another has no real positive affect.  Many people say that they don’t like it because it reminds them of other books that have already been done, but let’s be honest with ourselves people.. there are so many “cop cat” books out there and this is not one of them. Just because there is a girl pretending to be a boy and fight does not automatically make it a knockoff of Mulan. Honestly, it’s frustrating to read people bash a book because they have similar components to others. Like a fight between royal families. Okay maybe not the most original motivation for a war in a book, but it’s the extra content added that counts and contributes to the uniqueness, which Defy has.

Another is that the cover is being compared to Graceling, a book I absolutely adore and sure I see the similarities. But let me go find you at least a hundred book covers with a jacked shirtless guys or a hot guy making out with a girl. Similar but different. Not a copy. 
I actually saw a many reviews that I just wanted to comment “no honey, no.” Like when someone mentioned that the characters were unrealistic….NO. You don’t say? It’s a fantasy book for a reason obviously they are not real, I mean unless one of you out there is a sorcerer and wants to let me know! I think I am just going to have to agree to disagree with the horrible things being said about this book. I loved every second I spent reading it and I cannot wait to get more. All I ask is that you give it a chance because it might surprise you in the same way that it surprised me.

And with that rant over, Cat out

xox Cat