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Cinder by Marisa Meyer Book Review

Hey everyone!

So I know this book review is way over due. I’m way behind on this series and just now read Cinder by Marissa Meyer — the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. To catch a glimpse about this story check out the blurb below:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. (via GoodReads.com)

 

The Review

The book actually started out slow for me. I loved the world and the story’s overall idea. Cinder as a cyborg is awesome. It brought me into Scifi again even if this was more dystopian. I was also super excited to read a fairy-tale retelling. I’m such a sucker for those stories. I guess I’ll never really grow up from my Disney roots ;) Anyway, I was a little surprised to see myselfCinder by marissa meyer feeling a bit uninterested in the story. I couldn’t really bring myself into it. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been reading a lot of action-packed novels lately or what. The beginning (and most of the first half) just didn’t do too much for me. However, once the action picked up I was hooked like everyone else. I think I honestly really started loving it once I got to the end. I’m thinking it might be first-book woes that has me not giving this book a full A (or 5 stars). I believe that the next installment will definitely be better as I was left with a great cliff-hanger and a large-scale storyline/mission/enemy to follow through the next couple of books.

Cinder was written very well. I was routing for her from the beginning. I wanted her to get the guy, save her sister, “defeat the step-mom,” and realize her awesomeness. Meyer was a genius in making her a cyborg and placing Cinder in this world. Cinder is not your typical “Cinderella.” Hell, she’s A LOT more badass, which I totally love. It’s nice to see an less Disney-fied version of the familiar character. As much as I know Cinderella was a kind, beautiful and somewhat independent character, Cinder brought on a realness to the role. She was flawed, not perfect, loyal, loving, and a survivor. Those characteristics really made Cinder stand-out for me.

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#StoryCrush Tour and Catch Up

Hey everyone!

Sorry I’ve been MIA! Life got pretty hectic recently, but I’m making a promise to update more frequently from here on out :)

So just to catch you up, I was able to attend a Story Crush Tour event a couple of weeks or so ago and met 5 wonderful and adorable authors. They were all so sweet and had some great advise to share.

The event took place at a Barnes and Noble not too far from me. It was great to grab some Starbucks and chill. I didn’t feel out of place or pressured to be anything. I could just relax and enjoy listening to the authors talk about their books and writing.

I also met some awesome bookish people: Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner and The Broke and the Bookish and Jules from JuliaGraceArts. Jules and I talked a lot since we were the first ones there :) Jaime live tweeted the entire event so if you want some more details about the night definitely check out her twitter feed or #storycrush.

The authors answered some prompted questions and then left the time open for Q&A before they signed everything.

 

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LUX: BEGINNINGS by Jennifer Armentrout Cover Reveal!

Hello everyone!

I’m super excited to share with you all one of my favorite author’s new cover reveal!

So prepare your eyes!

Ok now check out this amazing new cover for LUX: BEGINNINGS, the compilation of the first two novels in the LUX series.

Lux Beginnings by Jennfer L Armentrout

This wonderful compilation includes Obsidian and Onyx–books 1 & 2 of the Lux series. I am absolutely in LOVE with this series and suggest anyone who hasn’t read it to pick up this great 2 in 1 book. (Trust me, you’re going to want to jump right into number 2!). I own all four of the novels so far, but I’m really thinking of picking up this bad boy just for the bonus content! (Yes, I’m mildly addicted ;) )

Here’s the blurb to give you more info on the book:

 

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The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow

I was given an ARC e-book version of this book through NetGalley and Harlequin TEEN in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate the opportunity that NetGalley, Michelle Madow and Harlequin TEEN provided me. All opinions are my own and not influenced by any outside factors. The Secret Diamond Sisters is due out on shelves on February 25, 2014. 

The Review

Savannah, Courtney and Peyton are three sisters who grew up on some hard times. They’ve never known their father, their mother is an alcoholic, and they’ve ended up taking care of themselves most of the time. But then things got way worse with their mom and she ended up in rehab. Since they’re all minors, their unknown father decided to make an appearance to take care of them. Turns out their dad is actually a billionaire who owns a string of hotels based out of Las Vegas. Now all three of The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madowthem are swept off to live on the infamous Strip for the summer and possibly longer. They’ve been given a penthouse suite, unlimited credit cards and personal body guards for their safety. They should fit in no problem, right? With some unlucky encounters, backstabbing neighbors, and a distant father, these three sisters have a lot to learn about living in Vegas. But more importantly they have to learn how to be themselves in this fast-paced, no-rules environment with secrets hidden around every corner.

I was so excited to read this book. The premise set up a lot of mystery and scandal to be had and I wanted to jump in with two feet. I am, after all, a huge Gossip Girl fan and I couldn’t wait to see if this story had the same scandal appeal. However, not even half-way through I began losing interest. I desperately wanted to like this book, but things in the story just held me back.

The sisters were given three separate personalities that stayed true throughout the novel–giving each of them a separate and clear voice. What I found lacking in the characters was their substance. Their personalities just didn’t work for me. Savannah was young and impressionable, but she came off a bit too spoiled for me. It didn’t really make sense to me that she went from having almost nothing to feeling like it was okay to go-to-town with her credit card right away. I do understand that a girl at her age wouldn’t think much about it especially having a best friend who had a lot of designer things. She just annoyed me I think. She was very insecure which I could relate to, but she instantly went into make-over mode just a bit too hard for my liking. Then again, you can’t like every character.

Courtney was the sister I thought I was going to relate to the most since she was the responsible one. Although I did connect with her character, I still wasn’t fully invested in her. I did, however,  enjoy her storyline the most.  She didn’t stray too far from her original self, but also grew as a character when she began relaxing and opening up. Her love interest was also sweet.

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Retribution by T. G. Ayer Cover Reveal!

Hey everyone,

Some exciting news today! I get to show you all the cover of T.G. Ayer’s new NA paranormal novel Retribution (Chronicles of the Irin #1). So without further adieu, let’s let our eyes feast on this beauty of a book cover :)

 

Retribution by T. G. Ayer

 

Wow that’s just stunning!

Here’s the blurb about the book:

Evie belongs to the Brotherhood of Irin and together with the other Nephilim of the world; she is a protector to humanity, protector against evil. But evil has found its way into the Brotherhood. Someone has murdered her guardian and Marcellus, the new Master makes demands of the warriors that go against all they stand for. Demands Evie just can’t carry out.

Evie uncovers Marcellus’ plot to collect a set of special seals, but when a high-level demon reveals the truth behind the Seals of Hades, Evie knows there is no way she can allow the Master of the Irin to get his hands on them. But will keeping the Seals from Marcellus cause her to sacrifice more that she should? Will vengeance for her guardian’s death be enough or will she need more to satisfy her Immortal soul?

I can’t wait for this novel to hit shelves. It’s definitely on my TBR.

Ayer has also written seven other novels which you can find on GoodReads.

Here’s More about the Author :)

T. G. Ayer

I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognize that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practice given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends,

T. G. Ayermytea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other’s loves – it works wonderfully…

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.

 

You can find T.G. Ayer on…

 Facebook

 Twitter

 WordPress

 Goodreads

and her website at: http://www.tgayer.com/.

Thanks for stopping by to check out this beautiful cover! Another great thanks to Nichole at YAReads for putting together this Blog Tour :)

As Always,

Happy Reading!

xo

NicoleLynn 

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Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott Book Review

I received an e-book ARC of this novel via NetGalley and Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate NetGalley and Scholastic for giving me the opportunity to review this book. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by outside persuasions, incentives or ideas. 

The Review

Tella is in the middle of Montana. Home-schooled with no electronics and living in an extremely small town, Tella is bored as hell. Her parents decided to move away (taking her life of friends and entertainment with them) because her brother got sick. Doctor’s can’t determine what’s wrong, so they’ve been dealing with it best they can. Then a small blue present appears on Tella’s bed one day and everything changes. The box contains an electronic message on how to become a Contender in theFire & Flood by Victoria Scott Brimstone Bleed race. The prize? A cure for her brother. So Tella sets out to become a part of the race. Help from a stranger gets her in into the race when he helps her grab an “egg” as the first assignment. This “egg” becomes her assigned Pandora Companion that will help each contender through the 4 phase epic race across jungle, dessert, ocean and mountain. After trailing her “helper” and then joining a group of other contenders, Tella fights to survive and make it through each leg of the race. She’s not the only one fighting for the cure an there can only be one winner. Will she she make it to the end?

A lot of people have been describing this book as a cross between The Hunger Games and the Amazon Race. I can see that, but I think that description limits the story. I think there’s more too it than that combination. Plus where I didn’t really like The Hungers Games (yes I know go ahead and yell at me, but I just didn’t. You can read all about that here), I really enjoyed this story. I think because this story was more believable to me. Collins didn’t set up the Dystopian world well enough for me to believe that what became of America would actually allow kids to hunt other kids (especially with how rich and egotistical the first & second districts seemed). However, Victoria Scott set up the believably of the race for me. There were no rules except to make it to base camp during each phase of the race. No one had to kill another contender–that was a personal choice. Plus all the contenders were different ages and not just kids or young people. I also got a conspiracy/blackmail feel from the history behind the race and those themes I can believe in especially with the sci-fi twist coming from the Pandora Companions.

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Birthday Book Post: Today’s New Releases!

Hey everyone!

So I don’t usually do release date posts, but in celebration of my birthday (eek the big 2-3 today) I thought I’d share some of the books that were published today. Kind of like books that share my birthday ;) If you know of any others (past or present) let me know! I’ll add them to the list :)

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, GoodReads

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor 

via GoodReads:

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.

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#LoveAThon Mini Challenge #5: Letter to Yourself!

Hey everyone!

If you haven’t heard already it’s Love-A-Thon weekend! Alexa and Katelyn hosted this amazing event and you can read about it here. For right now it’s the mini challenge #5: writing a letter to your past or future self. I chose future. I hope you enjoy :)

Dear Future NicoleLynn,

I hope you read this whenever you’re feeling down or lost or in need of a push. Even though right now things are a little murky and you’re still trying to figure things out, you’ve done some amazing things in life so far. You’ve graduated college with two degrees – the first one in your family to graduate from college. You’ve studied abroad in Rome and were able to see some wonderful parts of the world like London, Pair and Barcelona. You’ve found a great group of friends who are there for you and understand you. You’ve started a blog all on your own and are having a great time finding your writing style, meeting other bloggers, and falling in love with some great books. You were able to land four internships and are working two jobs to pay back your loans until you find something more full time. You’re a hard worker who’s got lots of dreams and you can reach them if you just keep trying.

So here are some pick-me up messages to keep you moving along :)

1. Never Give Up
I know you, ’cause I am you, and you sometimes struggle with this. The mantra is overused and worn out, but that doesn’t mean it’s lost its trueness. You can’t give up. Even when you’re feeling like a failure or like your dreams are impossible. You just have to hang tough and stick it out. Never keep fighting for what you want. You won’t be happy if you give up. So don’t :)

2. Remember Who You Are and Where You Came From.
Reread the first paragraph. Yes, you did do all of that. You did in the first 23 years of your life. So you’re not a CEO of your own business, playing on an Olympic team, or rocking a fabulous NYC job. You’ve still done some incredible things. Never forget all those accomplishments. The numerous amounts of time you spent working on various projects to achieve your goals. No one can take those accomplishments from you. So be proud of them and let them push you forward. Also don’t forget the people who’ve been behind you. Your family and friends love you and support you. They’re there cheering you on even if you can’t hear them. They’re there. So remember you’ve got people to fall back on if you need it. They’re rooting for you to make your dreams come true, so go do it!

3. Take Some Risks
I know you’re not a big risk-taker. Fear has held you back before. You’ve got to let go of this though. Take some more risks in your life and see where you end up. Some amazing things can happen from just taking that one scary leap. I think you’ll be a lot happier if you do :)

4. Laugh.
If you’re reading this and your sad, stressed out or in a life rut, I want you to laugh. Right now. Go on Youtube and watch a silly cat video if you have to. But you need to laugh.                        Did you do it yet?  Good. I know life is always going to have its serious moments and its struggles. Please laugh as much as you can. ­Laughing does wonders for the soul and I hope it lightens yours. Don’t take like too serious like I know you tend to do. You’ll be happier if you let loose more and laugh often.

5. Never Stop Reading.
Reading has gotten you through so much in life. Just take a look back at this blog. It’s filled with some awesome stories, characters, and places. Never forget this love you have. I hope you continue to read and to read often. If you haven’t read for yourself in a while, pick a up a book you want to read and read it. Reading has always been your escape (along with music), so make sure you take your necessary escape trips. Also I hope you keep writing about it to, or anything really. Writing helps you escape just as much, so keep doing it.

I hope these things give you the pick-me-up or push you needed right now. I know you’ve got it in you to accomplish your dreams and do great things with your life. You just have to remember what’s inside you and what you’ve already accomplished. On a side note: I really do hope you’ve kept up this blog and stayed in touch with this wonderful blogging community. This is such a wonderful thing in your life right now and I hope it continues to be in the future.

All my love,
Present NicoleLynn (or you from the past)

I hope you all enjoyed my letter to myself. I know it’s a bit personal, but I had to lay it all out there :) I can’t wait to read all of your letters. It’s a great way to get to know everyone even more!

xo,

NicoleLynn