Review: Elevated

Monday, October 27, 2014
Title: Elevated
Author: Elana Johnson
Publication Date: 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.

My Thoughts

Ohmygawd. I seriously just need the next book of Elana's!!! Reading the sneak peek for Something About Love just drove me crazy, as if reading Elevated wasn't enough for me. Because it definitely isn't! I was actually hesitant to read it because it's written in poem verse form, and all my experiences with poems just suck (because they're all related to school). But I'm so glad that I decided to give this a try, and bloody hell, it was so good! Seriously, you have to read Elevated. Why? (at least in my case):

  1. It's heartbreaking. And tear-jerking. At least for me. The rawness of the emotions is just so overwhelming. Every pain, every guilt, every single emotion just drips out of the book and I can feel it so vividly. I am Elly. I am in the story. That's what it felt like. I couldn't even pity her. Or sympathize with her. Because that's just it; reality happens. And reading this novel is the same as living in the reality, that there are just some things we cannot control. There are a lot of what-ifs, what-nots, maybe's, and a whole lot of others. The thing is, reading Elevated through Elly's perspective made me ponder on the things that I had, have, will have. It made me appreciate, cherish, and be gratified with everything that is in my life.
  2. It's awe-inspiring. The ending (nope, not going to mention it), gave me something to think about. It inspired me to start doing something worthwhile and to just live my life. Enough said.
  3. The feels. Really. There's too much feels jam-packed into this novel that I could hardly stop reading. I was greedy, greedy and greedy for more. I wanted to keep on flipping through the pages, delving into the story, but I just can't. It's overwhelming in the way that I just have to stop every once in a while. Otherwise, I might just as well as have been torturing myself. Yes, it was just that intense for me.
  4. The characters. They have their faults. Their flaws. But they all have something in common: the want to do something right and to be able to become someone worthy for others. It doesn't matter if it's for a relationship, or for a friendship. That's just how it is. And this is what makes the characters very humane and relatable. All of them have their own problems to deal with, but no one is alone. And they make sure their friends know that, and it's really amazing how they can balance everything even when things seem to not go their own way.
  5. The plot. It's awesome how a lot of things could just happen in one elevator ride. It's too surreal with the way that the past and present alternate, but they are intertwined and they meet by the end. The plot may be sort of cliche (it was kind of predictable) but still empowering and inspiring. Yet again, at least for me.

To make my reading experience even more magnificent, I felt like I was stuck in the elevator, as I roadtrip going back to Las Vegas from Arizona. (YESSS HELLO MY DREAM FINALLY GOT TO BE IN THIS SIDE OF THE STATES) Excuse my hyperness, but, yeah. With almost everyone asleep in the car, it was like I was in my own world. Just my book, the scenery and I. Amazeballs.

I completely, totally, absolutely recommend reading this! A very short novel that makes me appreciate poetry more, Elevated is a magnificent story on growing up, moving on, and building a path for our own lives. It just sums up a lot of things about family, friends, love and life. I really, really, really cannot wait to read Something About Love!

My Rating

Review: Ugly Love

Friday, October 24, 2014
Title: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: 2014
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Synopsis from Goodreads:
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don't expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can't handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

My Thoughts

I’ve been a fan of CoHo ever since I read Slammed, and her other novels didn’t fail to please either. Naturally, I got excited to read Ugly Love as well, expecting that I would get the same feels that I did before. But Ugly Love seems different now from all the others, and I’m still not entirely sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe it’s both.

I’ll start with what I don't like about it. It makes me really sad how Tate was so needy when it came to Miles. She kept on refusing to believe that she was just hurting herself by pursuing a relationship with him. What makes it worse is how Miles didn’t even have the strength to stop despite knowing that he was using Tate for all the wrong reasons. Granted, Tate was accepting of all that suffering, but that doesn’t make it any less cruel. He constantly reminded Tate that she shouldn’t expect anything out of their arrangement, but seriously, I think he’s smart enough to realize that that wasn't going to work out. He knew it from the start, but he just went on and on because… what? He needed Tate? He of all people should know how horrible it feels to be pushed away by someone you love, and yet that didn’t stop him from doing the same thing to Tate. Besides, how did Tate even fall in love with Miles when she hardly knew anything about him?

Then there are the things that I do like. For one, it doesn’t show the part of love that we’re all so used to seeing in novels by now. I actually appreciate this because it tackles more than the happy and simple aspect of love, making the whole thing more realistic. For Tate, I may not approve of the situation she got herself into, but I can’t deny that it’s something plausible, especially in the world today. The same goes for Miles—the change he underwent wasn’t abrupt, because it wouldn’t have been realistic if that were the case, and the eventual closure he got would’ve been less interesting to read about. The pacing was just right for everything to make sense.

Overall, I think the strongest point that Ugly Love has to offer is its believability—like love, it doesn’t skip the bad parts and focus solely on the good ones; it gives you a taste of everything, regardless if it’s what you want or not.

My Rating

Real Rating: 3.5

Blitz+Excerpt: Prisoner

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Title: Prisoner
Authors: Annika Martin & Skye Warren
Publication date: October 23, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis from Goodreads:
He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell.
But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think.
And you might crave him more than your next breath.
"Sexy, dark and thrilling. I loved every second of it!" – New York Times bestselling author Katie Reus


Will be found here come release day:

Excerpt from Prisoner

I back up until the truck stops me. I’m sweating, but the hot metal is almost a relief. Warmer and more human than the flesh-and-blood beast that looms in front of me.
But I have something to say too. Something true. And I want him to listen. “You might hurt me. You might touch me. But I will never, ever touch you. Not of my own free will.”
I’m shaking by the time I’m finished talking. Tears are threatening again, but I don’t care about them. They don’t make me weak. I know what real weakness is. I saw it inject itself with drugs and hook up with abusive men just to get its fix. I watched it die. That will never be me. Never.
He reaches up to cup my cheek—the side without the scrape. On purpose? I don’t know. He trails his thumb over my eyebrow and down my temple. Places he couldn’t touch when I had my glasses. Like he’s learning me, mapping my face. The inside of my chest feels bright and quivery, but I keep my frown.
"So I can touch you?” he asks gently. “But you won’t touch me back.”
My voice trembles. “I didn’t say that.”
"Didn’t you?” His hand trails lower, down my neck. Goose bumps rise all across my chest and over my arms despite the heat.
He caresses my skin right where my collarbone is, softly, with the back of his knuckles. I clench my fists at my sides, dreading what comes next. He’s going to keep moving lower, until he’s touching my breasts. And then what will I do? Cry? Scream? There’s no one to hear me. The guy from the truck has disappeared over the ridge.
I let my eyes close. “Stop.”
“You don’t want this.” His tone is conversational.
“I hate you.”
“What do you want, then?”
“I want you to die. I want to hurt you. I want you to let me go."
He laughs softly, a puff of breath against my forehead. “In that order?”
My teeth clench together. “Take your pick.”
“You know what I think, Abby? I can call you that, right? It’s cute. Like you.” His hand curves to the side, feathering light touches along the cashmere of my sweater. He grips my hip as if we’re dancing. And we are dancing. It’s a sick song he plays.
“I think you want to fix me. That’s what you were doing at the prison. That’s what you’re doing now. But the thing is, Abby, it’s not going to work.”

About the Author

I’m a NYT bestselling author living a stone’s throw away from the Mississippi with my awesome husband and two cats in a home full of plants, sunshine and books. I'm heavy into writing love stories about criminals--some of them are dirty and fun (my Kinky bank robbers!) others are dark and intense (Prisoner!)
I also write gritty romantic suspense as the RITA-award winning author Carolyn Crane.
Author Links
Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of dark romantic fiction. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely tender. For those new to her work, consider the bestseller Wanderlust or Don't Let Go.

Author Links

Blitz: The Land Unchartered

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Title: The Land Uncharted
Author: Keely Brooke Keith
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Edenbrooke Press

Lydia Colburn is a young physician dedicated to serving her village in the Land. Day and night, she rushes by horseback to treat the ill and injured, establishing a heroic reputation as the village’s new doctor.

Naval Aviator Connor Bradshaw is flying over the South Atlantic Ocean on a mission to secure any remaining sources of fresh water in a 2025 world torn apart by war. A malfunction activates his aircraft’s ejection system, parachuting his unconscious body to the shore of a hidden land. 

Lydia risks her safety to help the injured outsider despite the shock of his mysterious arrival and the disastrous implications his presence could have for her peaceful society, which has gone undetected for seven generations.

Connor searches for a way to return to his squadron, but his fascination with life in the Land makes him protective of Lydia and her peaceful homeland. And while Lydia’s attraction to Connor stirs desires she never anticipated, it also pushes an unwanted admirer to stage a dangerous attempt to win her affection.

As Connor tries to keep the Land off the radar, he learns the biggest threat to Lydia lurks in her village. But when Lydia’s greatest passion and darkest fear collide, will she look to the past or the future to find the strength to survive?

Add The Land Uncharted to your shelf on GoodreadsShelfariLibraryThing, or FictFact

Pre-order today!
 Have your ebook of The Land Uncharted signed via Authorgraph!
Praise for The Land Uncharted:
"Not only is Keely's writing beautiful and full
of vivid detail, but the story and characters are incredible! I love the way
she crosses genres and how well it all blends together.” -Christina Yother,
author of Reverie

The Land Uncharted captured my interest from

the opening lines. Keely Brooke Keith skillfully weaves an engaging story that
explores the possibilities of a simple, peaceful existence in a society set
apart from a world ravaged by conflict. Equal parts suspense and romance, this
debut novel is a compelling read.” -Heidi McCahan, author of Unraveled

About the Author

Keely is a bass guitarist and lives on a hilltop south of Nashville. When she isn’t writing stories or playing bass, Keely enjoys dancing, having coffee with friends, and sifting through vintage books at antique stores. 
Author Links:
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Book Blitz Organized by:

Review: Chasing Wishes

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Title: Chasing Wishes
Author: Nadia Simonenko
Publication Date: 2014
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Synopsis from Goodreads:
"I wish I didn't have to go home. I wish I was someone else—someone with a future"

For sixteen-year-old Nina Torres, it feels as if life is nothing but a dead end. Despised by her rich classmates and afraid that she'll become just like her drug-addicted mother, Nina's future seems to get dimmer every day.

There is one bright spot in her life though...

Sitting beside her one night, the only person in the world who cares about her makes a promise. No matter what happens—no matter how much Isaac's wealthy family disapproves—he and his girlfriend Nina will be together forever.

Fate plays a cruel trick on Nina, though, and a visit from Child Protective Services the next morning turns Nina Torres into Irene Hartley, a woman with a future but who will never see her beloved Isaac again.

Nine years later, a blind and incredibly handsome young entrepreneur hires Irene to be his personal assistant. Terrence Radcliffe reminds her so much of Isaac that she can hardly believe her eyes, and she's falling for him fast. Irene knows that fairy tales don't come true, but she allows herself one last wish. She wishes that she could finally say goodbye to Isaac and let herself take a chance on Terrence.

What she doesn't know is that Terrence is also searching for someone: a shooting star who streaked through his life nine years ago, and he won't give up until he finds her

Chasing Wishes is a powerful contemporary tale of lost love and wishes come true, recommended for ages 17+ due to adult content.

My Thoughts

Right from the start, I already thought that I'd fall in love with this novel, and boy, I was right. I found myself in Irene's character, the way that she loves fairy tales but comes to realize that it doesn't really come true. The way Chasing Wishes is written with its alternating point of views between the past and the present, and between Irene and Terrence is beautiful. It provides a whole new perspective, and I love how the past and the present kinda just meets by the end of the story.

Although we already know that Isaac is Terrence, and Nina is Irene, it just doesn't diminish the excitement I have on reading how they'll realize it for themselves. There were some parts that irritated me a little because just when I thought they'd have an inkling of who the other person was, it'd turn out that I'm wrong. Times like that I'd be frustrated and found myself wishing them a happy ever after also.

I love how Irene knows where she came from, and her character even grew more with that. It was heartbreaking to see how awful her past was, but she is admirably strong that even I don't think I could have done what she had done. Even after everything, I love how Irene did not really change even after she met Terrence, and when she was surrounded by luxurious aura. The way she describes things so vividly paints a mental image in my mind, which makes me appreciate what they're also seeing at that moment.

When it comes to Terrence, it is whoa. Dealing with blindness is no small thing, but he is a survivor. He doesn't just accept things, he tries to do something about it. I think that's the thing I like most about him. Moreover, he follows what he thinks is right, and doesn't let himself be dictated by others. For him to be like that at a young age is truly amazing because not many know what they want in life at that age.

Irene and Terrence aren't perfect people. They are both flawed, but that's what makes them even more beautiful together. Chasing Wishes gives a hope that sometimes, it is also alright to wish for something and believe in it. We just need to chase after our wishes also, and do something about them. A truly beautiful modern fairy tale that I recommend reading to everyone! 

My Rating

Review: Cloud Atlas

Saturday, October 18, 2014
Title: Cloud Atlas
Author: David Mitchell
Publication Date: 2004 
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Synopsis from Goodreads:
A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles and genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventures, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

My Thoughts

I first found out about David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas through the movie adaptation last 2012 (which I didn't watch), and I didn’t really take much interest in reading it. I was only reminded of it about a month ago, when our teacher in Literature had us read it. I was a bit hesitant at first, but now I can see why it's our teacher's favorite novel.

The plot revolves around six stories, each nested in the next. It begins in the nineteenth century, advancing through time until we reach the last story that's set in a post-apocalyptic future. We explore the tales of six different people--Adam Ewing, a notary on board the Prophetess, Robert Frobisher, an aspiring pianist, Luisa Rey, a journalist digging for the truth behind a potentially harmful nuclear power plant, Timothy Cavendish, a publisher tricked into a nursing home, Sonmi~451, a fabricant (or server) in Nea So Copros (or Korea), and Zachry, a valleysman who tells the adventure of his escape from Ha-why (or Hawaii)--eventually realizing how their lives are connected, even through time.

Cloud Atlas blew my mind. The mere idea of creating such an interconnected world of characters is complicated enough, but Mitchell manages to do it beautifully. The voice of each character is so distinct and well-written that you could be convinced of their existence. Admittedly, it was hard to read at first, especially considering how it started with a story from the nineteenth century--all I could think was, What the hell is this guy talking about? But as the story progresses, the concept behind it becomes clearer and clearer, and it's like a light bulb just goes on in the back of your head and you realize how fantastic the whole thing really is.

The most interesting part for me would have to be An Orison of Sonmi~451. It's about a future where corporations rule society, as is evident by how they call everyday things like cameras and cars as nikons and fords, respectively. It serves as a kind of wake up call to how much we tend to value branding these days, and the dangers posed by maintaining such an attitude. Mitchell's rich imagination of the scenario was particularly awe-inspiring. I mean, who knows? It may be creepy, but it's not that absurd to think that this could actually resemble our future...

All in all, Cloud Atlas is an engaging read with wonderfully designed characters and worlds that will just suck you right into the stories they have to offer. This review is barely enough to do its brilliance justice, so sci-fi fan or not, you should give this book a shot! 

My Rating

Blitz+Giveaway: The Secret Diamond Sisters

Friday, October 17, 2014

Title: The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)
Author: Michelle Madow 
Publication Date: February 25, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Number of Pages: 381 pages
Summary from Goodreads:

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite.

Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.


"Sexy and often electrifying ... Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps." 

"This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour ... get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride." 
--RT Book Reviews

Book Two

(cover linked to Goodreads)
(Available for Pre-Order)

About the Author

Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida ... but she loves going to Vegas.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, joinMichelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!

Author Links:
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Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon

wonderfully wicked read-a-thon
The  Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon is a time when we all get together to dedicate the days of October 17-27 to as much reading as possible. You read as much as you can in order to get yourself a little further through that huge to-read pile! We know real life gets in the way and even if you can’t participate more than one day, you’re welcome to join in on the fun!