Review ~ The Scorch Trials

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Title: The Scorch Trials

Series: The Maze Runner #2

Author: James Dashner

Publication Date: Oct. 12, 2010

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4.5 Star**** Review

The Scorch Trials picks up right where The Maze Runner left off. If you haven’t read The Maze Runner then you probably won’t want to read this review as it will probably contain spoilers.

As I did with the first book, I read this book aloud to both my youngest and middle child. My daughter occasionally gets interested but her excitement often wanes. I think that has to do with her age, though. Now my son, he is all excitement over every chapter. The book is full of action and every chapter ends with something that begs you to turn another page. There are tons of twists and it’s completely unpredictable. We’ve enjoyed coming up with lots of theories along the way.

There are some things concerning Theresa in this book that will leave you questioning everything. People are pit against each other. Not all will survive. Who’s really good? Who’s just playing the game of survival?

This second book ends in a similar fashion to the first and begs you to pick up book 3. To appease my daughter, we’re currently reading a different book for now, but I think as soon as we’re done, we’ll be back to book 3 for our next read aloud. My son & I are really curious how this trilogy will end!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Angelfall by Susan Ee

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Title: Angelfall

Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1

Author: Susan Ee

Publication Date: Aug. 28, 2012

Genre: YA / Sci-Fi/Dystopian / Paranormal

It’s been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back…

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4 Star**** Review

We’ve all seen our share of zombie apocalypse stories over the last few years. Oh, but I haven’t seen or heard of a zombie story that has come close to this angel apocalypse tale.

The first chapter was interesting, but not amazing. BUT, I was quickly hooked and couldn’t put the book down. Towards the end of chapter 3, Susan had me aching for a character that I hadn’t even really been introduced to yet.

Penryn is one tough girl. She reminds me a little of Katniss in the Hunger Games. She’s taking care of her younger handicapped sister and dealing with her schizophrenic mother. She has a great strength of character. Her ability to deal with her mother is beyond me!

Raffie “plays” the tough guy. You get the sense that he’s JUST playing that role, though. Angels aren’t supposed to be with humans, so maybe he’s putting up a front to Penryn. The angels that broke this rule produced the evil nephilim spawn, and Raffie has spent centuries tracking these creatures down.

I love the writing style. Susan strongly appealed to my emotions through the senses. There’s some absolute brilliance displayed in some of her words.

The rosy love I’m supposed to feel for her is slashed with black and splattered with various shades of gray.

You can expect some funny moments. And then some adrenaline pumping moments. And a little bit of mystery. It’ll take a while to figure out who the bad guys are.

It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger but the ending leaves you begging for more. 4 very strong stars! So unique and unpredictable. I’ve already read the second book, World After, and I have to say that this series just keeps getting better! Watch for my 5 star review to come! I absolutely cannot wait for the third book, End of Days, set to be released May 12th.
*I received a copy via Netgalley and Amazon Children’s Publishing in exchange for an honest review.*

About the Author ~ Susan Ee

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Susan Ee has eaten mezze in the old city of Jerusalem, surfed the warm waters of Costa Rica, and played her short film at a major festival. She has a life-long love of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, especially if there’s a touch of romance. She used to be a lawyer but loves being a writer because it allows her imagination to bust out and go feral.

Goodreads * Website * Twitter

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book to Movie Review ~ Mockingjay Part 1

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My 4.5 Star Review

Let me start by saying that this is my review of how well the movie was in comparison to the book. If you haven’t read the books or watched the movies, then I must warn you that this review will be full of spoilers!

As you can see from my 4.5 stars, I was pretty pleased with the movie. One of my favorite things about this movie was Katniss and the emotion that she displayed throughout the entire movie. You could see her love for her sister and mother so clearly. You could see the pain she felt in visiting the devastation of District 12. You could feel the wretchedness she felt watching the hospital being bombed and then her anger that followed. Best of all for me, though, was the emotion she showed concerning Peeta. I actually teared up with her the first time she saw Peeta on the TV screen and realized he was alive. The emotions were powerful! I loved visibly seeing her love for him! Then with the rescue scene (the movie extended this scene, but it worked well), when Katniss was petrified of losing both Peeta and Gale at the same time – so good!

I didn’t enjoy not seeing much of Peeta, but you could visibly see the deterioration in him as he was being poisoned. He did such a good job in his last interview with Caesar Flickerman when he warned them about the capitol coming for them. You could see the raw emotions and the struggle he was going through. Then the scene where Katniss first comes into the room with him was so realistic. It was painful to watch but a great portrayal.

I was really curious about where they would end the movie. It ends shortly after Peeta’s attack on Katniss with their reuniting. I really had hoped it would go a little further giving you hope about his overcoming the damage done to him, but that will be saved for part 2. I can’t believe I have to wait another year for it. I’m not at all disappointed, however, that they turned this book into two movies. I think too many good details would have been left out.

If you’re wondering about whether it’s appropriate for your children, my personal opinion would be that it’s fine if you thought the first two movies were okay.

So, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the book/movie!

Happy Reading,

Alison

In Between Seasons ~ Release Blitz

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Show n’ot Tell Publishing Presents:

NEW ADULT POST – APOCALYPTIC ROMANCE SERIES

In 2021 the world as we know it changed. The government collapsed, and the worst characteristics of human nature were shown as the world fell into ruins. Years after The Fall, the Tribes that were established are still at war. They still fight to keep what they pillaged, and most of all, they fight to keep their lies a secret. In a world filled with deception, nothing is as it seems.
I was born into this world.
Hunter Marks was molded into this world; a General— a person cold and harsh. A person meant to kill me.
We were told to just believe.
We were taught to never question.
We’re supposed to be robots, and accept our roles in this altered society.
Too bad Hunter and I don’t follow the rules.
And we’re a hell of a lot stronger than they ever thought possible.
They’ve been searching for the world’s deadliest weapon.
It’s me.
And I’m not following the leader any more.

Book Trailer

ExcerptI would have given him everything.
I would have melded every part of me into him.
My breath caught in my throat.
I already had.
Love hadn’t existed in this world. Only hate, deceit and lies, but by letting him in I’d let all of that crumble. By letting me in he’d done the same, and now we were engaged in an even deadlier game than before.
We weren’t enemies as we had been born to be.
We weren’t friends as we had come to be.
Then what were we? I let my hands run through my hair as I clasped my eyes shut even tighter.
We were cursed.

Young woman standing in dark forest

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Release Special Ebook- Just $1.99 for a limited time!

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Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.
Cassandra Giovanni is published by Show n’ot Tell Publishing based out of Connecticut, USA.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~Goodread

Cover Design: Gio Design Studios

Photography: Alex Kotlov via iStock

 

Happy Reading,

Alison

VORTEX ~ Book Blast & Giveaway

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VORTEX

Synopsis

The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.

Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.

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Giveaway Time!!!

Giveaway is open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter

1 Winner will receive an Copy of VORTEX by S.J. Kincaid

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About the Author ~ S.J. Kincaid

S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland, that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex came out in July of 2013. The final book in the INSIGNIA trilogy will come out in Fall of 2014.

TWITTER: @SJKincaidBooks
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SJKincaidBooks
WEBSITE: http://sjkincaid.com/

Happy Reading,

Alison

Justice Buried ~ Blog Tour & Review

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Justice Buried
By Hilary Thompson

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81XcpTqw8PL._SL1500_The people need Justice, but she’s not listening.
One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three cities. Now the community of Asphodel is trapped underground, waiting for the prophesied maiden of Justice to return and save them from their Fates.
Sixteen-year-old Astrea is supposed to be this savior – too bad for them she isn’t a believer. Trea fights against her false destiny: she rebels against her family and friends, then refuses her arranged marriage to the charming but deceitful Lexan. Learning her life is in danger, Trea is forced to trust Lexan – until she discovers a power she never knew she had, and one he already knew he did.
As betrayal closes every door, Trea decides she must submit to her stars and accept her fate. Then a handsome stranger offers her an unexpected escape and the chance to create her own destiny.

Excerpt

This excerpt shows the main character, Astrea, selecting her gown for the upcoming Choosing Day ceremony, where she is expected to choose Lexan as her future husband. However, for Astrea, the ceremony will also be the first public step of fulfilling the prophecy which her city has been waiting for a hundred years to see.
I like this part especially because it shows Astrea moving from vulnerable and unsure of herself, to powerful and brave. I hope you enjoy!
– Hilary

I hang back from the other girls, but the shopkeeper has been watching me as I run my fingers along each dress, reluctant to commit any to the changing room. I’m hesitant to see my plain reflection next to Isa’s curves and Garna’s elegance. She waves everyone away and takes my shoulders gently.
“Let me find your dress. You should look like the star, shooting from heaven,” she tells me quietly, kindly, her eyes lingering on my diamonds. Her subtle admiration gives me pause – in the midst of all my preparation for the worst, I have failed to remember the hope my Choosing Day means for the people of Asphodel.
We are an underground people. People who worship the sun, moon, and stars, yet have never seen such things ourselves. My partnership with Lexan allows the prophecy to begin. The star-bright maiden and her scales of justice.
I am – without asking, without wanting – a savior of Asphodel.
The impending reality of this thought sends me to my knees on the floor of the small changing room. I never wanted this. I’m not even seventeen. I can’t run a city…I can’t even manage my own small life. How can they expect this of me?
Then I realize that this is precisely why Keirna is angry – in her mind, we do not need a child savior. Surely there are others who feel this way as well, some who are certain Asphodel does not need a revolution, no matter what the ancient prophecy requires.
A knock on the door. A bundle of red fabric passed hand over hand. A click of the latch. And I’m alone with my destiny.
I open the door and peek out, shy but strangely proud. Several girls are grouped at the edge of the mirror, chatting and giggling. Isa sees my face first.
“Well, come on out, silly! I want to see you in that dress!”
Hesitantly, I open the door a bit further. Isa’s enormous smile lends me the courage I need to emerge, and the girls’ squeals and spontaneous claps prompt me to look in the mirror.
The dress is exquisite. Brilliant veins of orange and red flow around me, catching the true fiery pigments of my hair. The light fabric envelops my body, showing off muscles I have recently developed and curves I never knew existed. A lower skirt of ash gray, sewn with thousands of tiny crystals, swirls beneath the ribbons of sheer red fabric, sparkling in competition with the diamonds in my cheek and lighting up my dark gray eyes. The neckline is low enough to cause me embarrassment, and the back dips as well, held in place by a dozen thin strands of crystal.
I am…beautiful, somehow. I was made for this dress.
I look powerful. Vivacious. I could twirl and combust and consume everyone if I desired.

My ****4 Star Review****

When I started reading Justice Buried I was thoroughly confused and didn’t think I would enjoy it. But then after being dumped in this underground world, I quickly started to find my place.
This story is such a unique blend of dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy and romance. The pacing is nice and smooth. The book never dragged, and the characters are all well-defined. I could relate to Astrea and sympathize with her, and yet I could still see the age appropriate immaturity in her. I appreciated her strength. If you want a tough heroin, you can find one here! Then there’s the intriguing love triangle with Lexan and Stian. Let me say that I have a clear favorite! If you read the book, I’d love to discuss it with you!!
Aside from the characters, the plot really sucked me in! It’s definitely not predictable, and I can’t wait to read the next book to see where it’s going! I’ll warn you. This ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. You’re just reading along and then BAM, the end. It got me, though, can’t wait to read the next one!!
*I received a copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.*

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71YyuBrRXUL._SL1500_Lexan’s Pledge [A Starbright Secrets Novella]

Author’s Note: this is not a full-length sequel to Justice Buried. It is a short novella telling Lexan’s side of the story!

There will come three…
A child of peace, born in a place of war.
A child of right, born in a place of many wrongs.
A child of lawfulness, born in a place with no laws.

The secrets of Asphodel continue to spill as Lexan tells his side of the story. Lexan has been pretending for so long that he barely remembers why. All he knows is that it’s getting harder to be the image of perfection that everyone expects. With Keirna plotting murder, Saloman having visions, and Trea throwing tantrums, Lexan just might be ready to risk his world for the chance at a better one. Available now on Amazon!

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hilarythompson-275x300About the AuthorHilary Thompson is an independently-published author who released her debut Young Adult novel, Justice Buried, in January, 2014. Justice Buried is the first in a dystopian fantasy series incorporating mythology and astrology, with the second full-length title due later in 2014.

She also teaches high school English, which gives her some insight into her target audience, and helps her maintain a thick skin.

 

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Happy Reading,

Alison

Branded ~ Book Tour

 

Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki
A Sinners Series

Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Excerpt

I turn on the faucet for a long while only to discover ice-cold water rushing out. The water never warms and I begin to understand. The Commander thinks he can wash away my soul by freezing me to death. He thinks he can destroy me by stripping away my possessions. But he can’t and I won’t let him take my memories, my ambition, and my pride. He thinks I’m so easily broken. The Commander doesn’t know anything about me, what I grew up with, what I endured—the father I lost, the mother I hate, the brother who walked out of my life, and the stepfather I was forced to accept. He thinks since I was rich, making me poor will cause me to give up. What he doesn’t understand is that, after my father passed away, I grew up behind walls of hatred. I had nothing, but had everything at the same time. I owned expensive clothes, enjoyed good schooling, and lived in a nice home. But my body was just a shell protecting an empty, desperate heart. My life was a colorful façade. I had so much time to sit and think. I spent the majority of my life between four walls. I was abandoned, neglected, starved, betrayed, and abused. I’ve already been treated like the scum of the earth, so the Hole is nothing new. He wants to erase every sign of my existence on this earth, but I won’t let that happen. He can strip me naked, but he’ll never reach my soul. It’s personal, completely personal.
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About Abi and Missy

Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Abi’s Goodreads / Missy’s Goodreads

Happy Reading,

Alison