Tuesday, 11 November 2014

(Un)bidden by Melissa Haag!

Title: (Un)bidden
Author: Melissa Haag          
Series: Judgment of Six #4
Genre: Paranormal, romance, YA, werewolf, supernatural
Source: ARC
Pages: 249
Rating: 5 STARTS

Available at: 
Amazon(.ca) • Goodreads • Amazon(.com)

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
I left home because I didn’t want to end up in a cage like a lab rat. Hitching rides, begging for cash, and sleeping on the ground got old fast. That was the only reason I braved an overgrown path to a group of buildings. I’d hoped to find a bed and a decent night’s sleep. However, what I found was a place overrun by werewolves.

While on the run, Charlene finds herself surrounded by werewolves, creatures she can’t control with her mind like she can humans. Their existence has her believing she’s found a safe place to stay, a place where secrets are okay. However, she soon discovers she’s anything but safe. Charlene must learn how to use her abilities to influence the strange new species because if she can’t, the next bite she suffers might just kill her.

Read how the cycle begins, and have no doubt. Charlene’s past will shape the future of the Judgements.

My Review:
Melissa contacted me early in my blogger life to first read her books for a review because she wanted to prove me wrong in my claim that werewolf YA books were getting old and predictable. To date, I have read everything Melissa has sent me and I have never been happier to be proven wrong every single time I pop open one of her books. You can read my praises of Hope(less) HERE, (Mis)fortune HERE, and (Un)wise HERE.

I do have to admit the order of this series is a little confusing on the time line. Melissa explained it to me like this: “The first two run parallel.  The third one jumps back just a bit but meets up with the end of the first two.  This forth one starts at the end of the third, then we travel back as Charlene recalls her first weeks at the Compound and what drove her to leave home.  Then it jumps back to the present, just before the girls find Peace in the bar.” So keep that in mind when you read this series!

Out of the entire series, this is the book I was most impressed by. Charlene is the reason the wolves live in a civilized manner, they did it all because of her. But when they started out, they had nothing but a beaten down building to work from. They had no money and very few tools, they had to build everything from scratch, or live off what they could find in a near by junkyard. They amount of thought that must have gone into thinking about all of the tiny details (like fixing windows, and thinking about the changing seasons, and how they were going to feed people with minimal food sources) is ridiculously impressive. It’s the details in this book that really make it amazing.

Of course, you also have the awesome characters. Remember Grey from book 1? You get to learn a little bit about his backstory and you feel a lot more sympathy for him than you originally gave him in the first Hope(less). Of course, we get to see Charlene and her story as well as the secrets she keeps and continues to keep. I found it really fascinating how central Charlene is to this series. Without her, there is a good chance that the wolves would have continued to die off (I’m pretty sure the fact that the race isn’t doing so hot is why the Judgments have been reborn- to decide if they are worth saving.) But her secrets may just be the saving grace of the werewolf race, even if it means the possibility of fracturing her relationship with her mate.

AND LETS TALK ABOUT HER MATE! Yum. That is my word for him. Out of all of the mates thus far, I am most impressed with Thomas. All the other mates kind of knew what was going on. Most of them knew who they were and what their beliefs were. Thomas had to develop and adapt WITH Charlene. He had to change everything he thought about the world, and they ended up growing together. For once, the heroine didn’t need to play catch up to understand her mate’s feelings, because neither of them really understood their attraction for each other.

The only problem I had with this book was that it’s placement was a tiny bit awkward. I understood why Melissa wrote it now because you need to know Charlene’s secrets in order for the series to continue I think. However, I was majorly disappointed by the gap where I hoped to see Isabelle’s story. She seems like she is going to be another kick ass (literally) character, much like Bethi. It would have been nicer to read this book as the first instalment… or maybe the second or as a novella? I don’t know, it was just a little awkward to write it in the middle of everything.

Anyways, like I said, this book exceeded everything I thought it would be and showed that YA werewolf genre still has something to offer the world. Melissa is such an amazing author, even in her stand alones. I recommend this book to all my YA lovers out there. On a side note, if you are desperate for more Melissa Haag (I KNOW I AM!) try reading Touch (review HERE), and be on the look out for some novellas that are coming in the boy’s POV (Clay is first I do believe!). 5/5 stars for one of my favorite authors out there!

**NOTE** You can now find my name with a snippet of my review at the back of the book!

Monday, 15 September 2014

$25 Amazon Giveaway!!!

In honor of my 2 year anniversary coming up, I wanted to create a giveaway for my wonderful, loyal followers. The prize is a $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD, and it will be open internationally. I want to give a huge thank you to my followers, but also the authors that have trusted me to review their work, and those that have recommended me to other authors. You are all so amazing, and your support gets me that much closer to achieve my dream. So thank you all. You are my inspiration.

This giveaway lasts until October 5th, after which, a winner will be randomly chosen. The winner will be contacted personally and will have 48 hours to respond confirming they have received my message. After I receive a response, the gift card will be sent electronically via email or Facebook, depending on the winners preference. With their consent, I will also post their name here on my blog. On the off chance I do not receive a response from the winner within the elected time frame, I will contact the runner up and the same rules will apply.
Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 12 September 2014

On a Wing and a Dare by Linda Ulleseit

On a Wing and a Dare (Flying Horse Books, #1)Title: On a Wing and A Dare
Author: Linda Ulleseit         
Series: Flying Horse #1
Genre: Children’s fiction, magical, medieval esque
Source: ARC 
Pages: 232 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
In Tremeirchson, a barn leader’s children are expected to follow their parents into the sky, becoming riders of the magnificent winged horses that are the medieval Welsh village’s legacy. Neither Emma nor Davyd, however, want to follow that tradition.

Sixteen-year-old Emma risks losing her family by following her heart. Eager to take her place in the air, she longs to ride a forbidden winged colt born in barn of her father’s biggest rival. She also dreams of the rival’s sons, not sure which she truly loves. Bold and exciting, Evan will someday lead his father’s barn. Davyd is quieter, more dependable, with an ability to get things done. Her father disapproves of both boys and pushes her toward an ambitious newcomer. He also insists she ride the colt he’s picked for her.

Davyd, also sixteen, is plagued with a secret—he is afraid of heights. Refusing to become a rider means public humiliation, his parents’ disappointment, and lifelong ridicule from his brother, Evan. He reluctantly prepares to join his family aloft in the Aerial Games that provide the entire village with its livelihood and tries desperately to think of an alternative.

As Tremeirchson’s barns prepare for the Rider Ceremony, winged horses suddenly start dying. Shocked, the adults hesitate, mired in tradition and politics. Is it a disease or poison? Accidental or purposeful? Someone must discover the answer and act before all the winged horses in the world are gone forever

My Review:

Welcome to this stop in the Book Tour! If you aren’t here for that, welcome to my blog and this review! I am going to get right into things here, so I hope you enjoy!

This was a different read for me. I don’t usually read novels that are directed toward a younger audience (with an exception for anything Rick Riordan) so reading On a Wing and a Dare was something new, but it had some pretty great reviews, so I gave it a shot.

I loved a lot about this novel. I liked the premise (who doesn’t love Flying Horses?!), and I loved the novels mystery around discovering why these horses are getting this illness and dying. The author did a great job with subtly giving the reader clues without slipping and showing all her cards. You grow with the characters as they go on an adventure to gain the knowledge they need to save their livelihoods. In addition, the world that is described is established quite well. The author explains foreign words and terms quite well and as a reader, I was never majorly confused at any point of the novel.

The Aerial Games was probably the most interesting aspect in my opinion. When I was reading up on this book before I read it, I read someone say that the Aerial Games reminded then a little bit of Quidditch, and I think that that is a great analogy. While yes, they are completely different games, the air aspect was similar, and it was nice to have something to keep in mind visually while imagining the games.

Of course, with every good novel comes a love story. It’s a tale as old as time, which brother do you pick? While I loved the theory of the love story behind Emma, Evan, and Davy, I wasn’t in love with the execution. I believe that Linda Ulleseit did a pretty good job with laying it out and creating friction and conflict, I just found the choice of who would win Emma’s affections a little too obvious at the beginning, so I felt that the struggles surrounding the conflict a little futile.

I only really had one major issue with this novel, and that was the language used in combination with the world described. In my mind, the world was described in a medieval-esque fashion. By that, I mean that modern inventions like electricity, guns, cars, etc. haven’t been invented and aren’t used.  However, extremely modern language was used. Despite the medievalness of the novel, the language used in writing it was extremely modern. I assume that the less mature and more modern language was used in attempts to relate better with younger readers, however, I personally found it extremely distracting. It was probably the one major thing that I found truly took away from the novel, but I did give the author a little slack seeing as this was her first novel (I believe), and that it was directed at a younger audience.

Overall, this was a quick, fun, and interesting read. I would definitely recommend it for my younger friends and readers because it does have quite the unique premise involved. Flying horses is definitely a niche that Linda Ulleseit discovered and she found a way to fill it in nicely. Also, did anyone else catch that Well-done Ms. Ulleseit!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Spark by J.B. North

Title: Spark        
Author: J.B. North
Series: Legends of the Shifters  #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Shapeshifters, Religion, Sword play, Magic
Source: Kindle
Pages: 402 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
For more than a decade, Ivy Oliver has lived in a dark, crumbling orphanage where she was sent after her parents’ death. Her only hope for a life of simplicity and happiness is the trial, a test that frees her second form from where it’s been buried since her birth.

That hope is dashed, however, when she transforms into a creature that rips her away from the only friends she’s ever had and ensures that her enemies are numerous. She is dragged unwillingly to a school that will discipline her in the ways of survival and defense. There, she makes both friend and foe. She discovers things she never knew about her past and her future. This tiny, insignificant girl is faced with a crushing destiny that might be too staggering for her to bear. She will have to abandon her shy, quiet demeanor and take on a fearless spirit if she wants to survive

My Review:
I have been on a role lately with good books and Spark is no exception.  When I first read the blurb to this book, I initially thought it would be about dragons because of the title... that and because I found this book through the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section of a dragon book I had just purchased. I was surprised to find I was wrong, but I liked what I found much more than what I thought it to be.

To start off this review, I would like to comment on the fantastic job North did on the world building of this novel. She did a fantastic job of explaining new concepts without over explaining or giving tedious information. The world described was easy to understand, an quite fascinating. However, I found that the writing did a lot more telling than it did showing. This isn't the biggest issue in the world, in fact it is a very minor one, but if North can master the skill of showing her audience rather than just telling them, I truly believe that her writing can be utterly outstanding. As it is, it is very well done, but that little push has the potential to make her truly great.

Character Development was beautifully done in my option. The main character, Ivy, wasn't really a whiner, which I was immensely grateful for. Sure, she realized the situation she was in sucked, and maybe it was unfair, but she made the best out of a bad situation and made a plan to make things better. She got shit done despite the challenging obstacles that are put in her way at every turn. The great thing about this book was that you didn't only watch Ivy grow, you saw secondary characters like Kurt and Roland grow as well. Not subtle growth, but obvious growth that made the characters more interesting and gave the reader a deeper connection to them.

Plot wise, the book had a lot of twists and turns. I am usually really good at guessing the ending, or at least major event in the book, way before they happen. This was not the case in Spark. The build up to the major events are so subtle that you really need to be reading the book carefully to fully catch them. I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong in my assumptions, but as I said earlier, what actually happens was so much better than the subpar assumptions I had made out. I did find that the ending was completely shocking. There was very little build up to it, but I'm not sure if that was on purpose to create a bigger Shock Factor, or just something over looked by the other. I am going to give North the benefit of the doubt here and guess the former rather than the latter. I will say that I was very sad at the end of the book, and as of right now, I don't see how the ending was necessary, BUT! I do think that the author will explain why the ending was necessary in the sequel.

Overall, this book was well done. It ended off sad, but with a cliffhanger so that the readers (like myself) will be begging for more. I am only sad that I found this book so early to its release date... now I have to wait for the sequel. This seems to be a popular theme for me lately. I would like to see some more showing rather than telling, and a huge explanation of the ending (I'm still heartbroken and a little mad about it). Other than that, the novel gets a 4.5 star rating in my books. I can't wait to see the next installment.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Karma by Donna Augustine

Title: Karma      
Author: Donna Augustine
Series: Karma #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Source: Kindle
Pages: 252 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
People say karma's a...well, you know. Personally, I don't think I'm that bad. It's not like I wanted this job. I wasn't even in my right mind when I accepted the position.

Now, I'm surrounded by crazy coworkers like Lady Luck, who's a bit of a tramp, and Murphy's Law, who's a bumbling oaf. But the worst is Fate. He's got a problem with transfers like myself, and I have to see him constantly. It's unavoidable. We're hunting the same man—my murderer.

My Review:
When I saw the cover for this book in the New Release section of Amazon, I was immediately drawn in before I ever read the blurb. The concept of this book was so fascinating (reminding me a bit of the movie The Guardians with Santa, The Easter Bunny, Jack Frost... etc) that I was surprised how few authors have written around the idea... or at least very few authors that I know of. Saying that, having found this original idea, I was ecstatic to read the book.

I am so glad to say that the book lived up to my expectations. Augustine's writing was exciting and riveting. She knew how to give subtle hints to the reader without exposing too much and to keep the reader interested. The plot seemed well thought out and developed into something much more complex than I had originally thought it out to be. The Universe is complicated; it makes sense that a bit of that complexity would seep into a story written about it.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the novel would fall to the characters. To start off we have the main character Karma, and her love interest, Fate. Karma's development throughout the novel was outstanding. You can see her transition from her old life as a human, to her new life as an Unknown Force of the Universe (UFU). Not only her physical limitations and struggles, but also her mental and emotional transitions as well. You watch her struggles and you witness her strength as she over comes them. Fate's development is less obvious, but his development is no less important. It is done subtly, but you can see his feelings change toward Karma. You witness his confusion about how he should feel about her and you empathize with his uncertainty as a slew of emotions wiz past him.

Of course, we have our minor characters that show up as well. We get to see classics like Lady Luck and Death, as well as some less familiar faces like The Cat Lady and Murphy's Law. I feel the minor characters really kept the story going. Karma's excitement over Santa's existence to the fall out of her interaction with Cupid, these minor snippets laid the foundation of Karma's new world. I look forward to reading about more Unknown Forces in Augustine's sequel.

Overall, I have to say that I really did love this book. If anything, I'm sad I discovered it so soon after its release date, because now I have to wait an eternity before the sequel is released. This novel truly met all my expectations and even has the beginnings to my favorite kind of love story, hate that turns to love (am I weird for that?) The plot was well paced and fascinating, sneaking in new UFU's when it needed some filler (which I thought was a clever idea). The writing was easy and straight forward, but well done and captivating. An Easy 5 stars, and I cannot WAIT until the net installment.