Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review: Embrace by Cherie Colyer

Synopsis:
How far would you go to save the people you love?

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins
out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.
Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.

My Review:

   Didn't expect that! The author was able to use the factor of unpredictability quite well in her story and the story as a whole wasn't what at all what I expected it to be - I mean it in a good way of course - but I wouldn't really wanna spoil for you, would I? You'll simply have to read it to know.

   For a starter, I really liked Madison and was able to feel for her, although she hated the idea of change and always saw it as a bad thing - unlike me, I can always see a change as a better thing not the othe way around - but it's enough to say that she was mature and loyal which I really liked in her character. However, I didn't really have a favourite character but Issac - our male lead - did have a sweet side in his character, away from all the mysteriousness and the obsessiveness.

   I didn't really like the love story as much which was a very instant one. And although, as we go on in the story we do understand the reason behind the strange connection between Madison and Issac but it just wasn't enough for me to enjoy it as much as I wanted to :/ The ending took me by surprise which I liked and by the end of the book, I started to think better of the relationship between Issac and Madison - they were actually making a cute couple - but because this book is a stand-alone novel, further development between them wasn't possible.

    Overall, Embrace isn't really what you think of - whatever that is because the blurb is a very obscure one - but I could say that it was a good paranormal YA novel. The book had it's flaws and some cliched parts, but the storyline itself was enjoyable. So I'd recommend this book for those of you who enjoy YA novels with paranormal twists as well as it being a light read.

Title: Embrace
Author: Cherie Colyer
Series: Stand-alone
Published: December 20th 2011 by Omnific Publishing
Source: Cherie Colyer for review purposes ( Thank you so much! )
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 3/5

Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Goodreads Summary:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.


My Review:

   I haven't read a dystopian future novel for ages now and I can say that I missed them a lot! And Legend by Marie Lu was just what I need. It was a very enjoyable story and a promising prequel too! The pacing, the world-building, the characters were all well-put together and formed what I could call a

   June Iparis was a character that I just craved for. I absolutely adored her relationship with her brother, Metias ( who just seemed so kind ). And how he died  just ripped my heart out and made me shed a tear. June was this smart-ass girl and I admired how smart she was and how she noticed every tiny detail and turned it into a part of the situation or the person. I loved he raw feelings and how loyal she was to herself and what's around, once she realised the wrong from the right, she took actions smartly and wisely. Unfortunately though, the romance in this book wasn't as good, it just lacked the passion and the authenticity. The book had it's flaws and some cliched parts or rather really traditional parts that just didn't suit the storyline because it was a really good one.

      Overall, I cannot say anything except that I enjoyed this book and even devoured it one sitting! And although, in my opinion the story itself should have been carried out differently, in a further unique way. It was still really good and entertaining but not the best. It didn't leave me with much of a cliffhanger too. A riveting story with an enjoyable story line and bunch of good characters . So if you're not as familiar with dystopian future novels then I can guarantee that you'll find this one quite amazing. Recommend it! 

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Published: November 29th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
Source: Owned
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

xoxo, Mariam

Monday, November 12, 2012

Greta And The Goblin King Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt + Giveaway!


Hey guys! So today, I am very excited to be taking part in the Greta & The Goblin blog tour,  hosted by Shane from Itching For Books. In my tour stop, I'll be featuring an excerpt as well as my review and a giveaway for the chance of winning a finished copy of Greta & The Goblin King! Hope you enjoy and good luck winning :D

***

 Blurb:
While trying to save her brother from the witch three years ago, Greta was thrown into the fire herself, falling through a portal to a dangerous world where humans are the enemy, and every ogre, goblin, and ghoul has a dark side that comes out with the full moon. To survive, 17-year-old Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young Goblin King, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her determination to escape. But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. The full moon is mere days away, and an ancient evil being knows she’s the key to opening the portal. If Greta fails, she and the boys she finds stranded in the woods will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back . . .

My Review:

      For a starter, this book was just amazing! I REALLY enjoyed the idea of this book and the world-building as well which was so well-crafted and creative and I liked that the story is slightly reminiscent of Peter Pan in the terms of the 'lost boys' being in another world, it's just that in this book, it wasn't Neverland, not even close.  

     When I first started reading this book, I was put off by the third POV narrating - which really annoyed and confused me throughout the rest of the book - and then, I was also kinda put off by the idea of ugly monsters and ghouls but there was something about the plot that gripped me. For me, it became sufficient to be reading about a new thing and I was really intriguied by the world-building and the plot which was full of unexpected incidents. Add on that a kick-ass heroine and it was complete. Greta of all, was able to fill her place as the protagonist and I honestly enjoyed her the most. A human thrust into the cold Mylena but she preserved it all good and fought her way through bravely.

    There wasn't much of a love story in this book, just a beginning of one. The ending, however, was a bit child-ish and wasn't all satisfying because it was when things started to get hot between Greta & the Goblin King, Issac that the book ended and we didn't get to know what happened to the 'lost boys'.

     Overall, I didn't expect liking this book as much as I do now, I was vastly impressed. And along with the eventful plot which was full of twists and turns, the kick-ass protoganist, and the surprisingly sublte world-building, the story itself was a poignant and original one. So if you are a fellow fantasy lover and want a change, away from the accustomed worlds of vampires and witches, then by all means, go ahead and read this book, you won't regret it. But now I'm just eagerly awaiting the sequel. Recommend it!

Title: Greta And The Goblin King
Author: Chloe Jacobs
Series: Mylena Chronicles #1
Release Date: November 13th 2012 by Entangled Publishing, LLC
Source: For Review ( For blog tour )
Links: Goodreads
Rating: 4/5


Excerpt:

Chapter 1
When she’d set out to track the foul beast hunkered down in the cavern ahead, Greta hadn’t counted on gale force winds and an ice storm engulfing three goblin territories descending like a bitter, frozen plague to torture her.

She should have. A blinding blizzard was nothing less than typical Mylean weather, and after spending four years stranded here, she definitely should have expected it. The cold had long agopenetrated her thick coat and the layers of wool and soft cotton, until it seemed more like days than hours since she’d felt the welcome of a roaring fire in the hearth, but her comfort would have to wait a while longer. A young goblin boy had gone missing from his home in the village. She refused to believe he was dead already.

With a weary sigh, she squinted through a break in the canopy of gloomy evergreens, gauging the amount of fury left in the turbulent sky. The shadows falling across the blanket of craptastic white stuff were still long, but at least she could see her hands in front of her face again. She had to have been on the ghoul’s trail for at least three hours by now.
Three hours of non-stop fun
.


She approached the cave entrance carefully. After scoping it out from a safe distance, she circled back and came at it from the side.

Her stomach twisted as she thought of the kid suffering inside, but the image that came to mind wasn’t of a frightened goblin child. Instead, she saw a human boy from another time and place.
Drew.

Shaking her head, she squared her shoulders and kept moving. Blizzard or not, she needed to bring the goblin home alive if she wanted to get paid, and the creature who took the boy had ensconced itself and its prize deep inside the cave.

A noise. Distinctive from the natural groaning of tree limbs weighed down by snow. A crunch behind her as someone took a step closer.

Damn. She’d miscalculated, assuming no one would have followed
her while she was following the ghoul.

She spun as a familiar flash of amethyst rushed her in the not quite dark. Before she could duck and roll, a thick, muscled arm slammed across her chest and shoved her against the cave wall so hard the back of her head scraped rock.

With a speed and strength that had been drilled into her daily for four years, Greta brought her knee up. Her attacker evaded but wasn’t quick enough to avoid her headbutt to his lying face.
“Danem Greta, stop.” Isaac grunted and frowned down at her.
She sneered at his use of the conventional form of Mylean address. Not that she wasn’t used to it, but coming from Mylena’s shiny new goblin king—who was only a little older than her seventeen years—it felt like a veiled insult instead of an expression of respect.

With a hard swallow, she took in his appearance. His fur-lined cloak gaped open at the throat, and black hair streaked with deep purple curled at his neck. He had a square face and sharp features, although his cheeks were pale and smooth in the dark of the forest.

Like most goblins, he was tall and wide, built like someone had simply chipped away at a hunk of granite. It wasn’t hard to imagine him in a fight to the death for the goblin throne, no matter how young he was.

He rubbed his abdomen with a pinched expression. “What did you do that for?”
Because I knew it was you?
“Oddly enough, I don’t enjoy being attacked from behind by strangers.”

His startling violet eyes locked on her. Lying eyes.
Manipulative eyes. Eyes she’d been seeing in her sleep for too many nights. He chuckled low under his breath. “Ah, but I’m not a stranger to you, am I?”

She fought against the deep cadence of his accented voice and the mischievous grin that curled his lips, reminding herself it was all an act. Their entire relationship was based on tricks and lies, and Greta wasn’t going to fall for them again.
“But since you mention it,” he continued, “which one of us is out lurking in the
Goblin Forest in the middle of the worst storm all year?”

She rolled her eyes. Sure, if he wanted to press the issue, this was technically the Goblin Forest and he was technically the goblin king. She was trespassing.
   Technically.
Not that she cared about such minor things as legal boundaries. Not when it came to doing her job. Especially in a territory run by an arrogant goblin whose biggest claim to fame was that he happened to be the youngest monarch Mylena had ever seen.
“This can’t be the worst storm all year,” she said. “I’m sure the one that slammed us a fortnight ago was just as bad. Are there ever any conditions in Mylena other than crappy?”

He grinned and his face was transformed. Suddenly, he was the boy she’d met that evening at Maidra’s who smiled at her and made her feel accepted for the first time since…well, since
she found herself trapped here. As the only human in a world where her kind was reviled and any suggestion of their presence created a furious outcry for blood, acceptance and the possibility of friendship were things she’d never expected to experience.

But she didn’t want him to be that boy again. He should go back to being the goblin king. At least then she knew where she stood—as far away as possible.

***
   
Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About The Author:
Chloe Jacobs is a native of nowhere and everywhere, having jumped around to practically every Province of Canada before finally settling in Ontario where she has now been living for a respectable number of years. Her husband and son are the two best people in the entire world, but they also make her wish she'd at least gotten a female cat. No such luck. And although the day job keeps her busy, she carves out as much time as possible to write. Bringing new characters to life and finding out what makes them tick and how badly she can make them suffer is one of her greatest pleasures, almost better than chocolate and fuzzy pink bunny slippers.


Official links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook




Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Showcase Sunday #2




Showcase Sunday is yet another fantastic meme hosted by Vicky
 from Books, Biscuits and Tea where we get to share all the books we received for review, bought, won or borrowed. So as exciting as that sounds we also get to know about tons of new books to add to our ever-growing lists and just visit many blogs and comment on hundreds ;) So enjoy! :D

***

Books I Recieved For Review:

   

Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas ( My Review HERE  )
Greta & The Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs
Embrace by Cherie Colyer

  

The Mapmakers Union by MJ Fletcher 
The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie
Entangled by Jamie Carie

*Thanks to Stephanie Thomas, Chloe Jacobs, Cherie Colyer, NetGalley, MJ Fletcher, Nikki Jefford, B&H Books*

Books I Got:

  


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Boyfriend Thief by Shanna Norris
The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by



Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness ( This one was surprisingly a DNF for me :/ Click HERE to see what I though of it on Goodreads )

***

So that was about it this week! Any exciting books that you got? Tell me about it in the comments down below or leave me a link to your own post which I'll be sure to check out ;)

Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Book Review: The MapMakers Union



Synopsis:
Chloe Masters has a death wish, at least according to her friends. Still reeling from the loss of one of those closest to her she is living life on the edge. One by one she is pushing everyone away. Leaving her with the very person who betrayed her... Faith.

Her memories still locked away by the Forget Me Not, can Chloe discover the truth before she loses everyone she loves?  
  
My Review:

     Again, MJ Fletcher just keeps blewing me away. The    amazingness continue in the third book in the Doorknob Society where normal life couldn't be be on the same page with Chloe Masters. Wow! This series was just full of twists and turns and I really admire how the author was able to keep it all together and going on in this pace and orgnization, it just seemed so put together and authentic. 

   There are INCRIDEBLE things that I wouldn't be able to give away but the connections with the characters keeps growing here - mainly with Chloe. The ending which was crazy in a good way went a little bit on the hasty side and it's something I'm starting to recently notice that most authors do unfortunately.

   Overall, if you didn't already start reading this series then you HAVE TO! And this book was nothing less but I just wished for some romance and after what we got in the first two books it was hard for me to go through one without any. A definite page-turner, heart-wrenching and poigant story with an eventful storyline that would keep you getting through the pages like crazy, eager to know what's next. Can't wait for the next installment of this series!

Title: The Mapmakers Union
Author: M.J. Fletcher
Series: The Doorknob Society ( Book 3 )
Published: September 25th 2012
Source: MJ Fletcher ( Thank you so much ! )
Links: Goodreads
Rating: 4/5
My reviews: Book 1 | Book 2

Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Reaping Me Softly Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Today I'm really happy to be taking part in the blog tour of Reaping Me Softly by Kate Evangelista. For my stop, I'll be featuring a guest post that Kate Evangelista wrote for us as well as a giveaway for the chance of winning one of 10 ebooks of Reaping Me Softly! Hope you like it and good luck winning ;)

***

Synopsis:
Ever since a near-death-experience on the operating table, seventeen-year-old Arianne Wilson can see dead people. Just as she’s learned to accept her new-found talents, she discovers that the boy she’s had a crush on since freshman year, Niko Clark, is a Reaper.

At last they have something in common, but that doesn’t mean life is getting any easier. All while facing merciless bullying from the most powerful girl in school, Arianne’s world is turned upside down after Niko accidentally reaps the soul of someone she loves. This sends them both into a spiral that threatens to end Arianne’s life. But will Niko break his own Reaper’s code to save her? And what would the consequences be if he did?

The Writer’s Cave – Kate Evangelista

            Every writer should have a writing cave—a place they could call their own where they are at their most creative. As someone who loves to travel, I think of myself as being able to write anywhere. So long as I have my trusty Elvis (my silver Acer Notebook) and headphones blasting out the current mix I’ve put together that inspire me to write whatever it is I’m putting together at the time, I’m happy.

           When I was starting out as a writer, I found myself drawn to my local Starbucks. Their table to chair height ratio was optimal for writing. The atmosphere, though often crowded, worked well for me. Like I said, if I had my headphones on, I could tune out a natural disaster or the zombie apocalypse.

            One day, I was talking to my mother about made asking Starbucks where they got their tables and chairs from. I wanted to maybe purchase one table and chair for the house so I could continue writing without having to leave. Instead, my mother went to Starbucks with a tape measure and began taking down the measurements of the table and chairs. Next thing I know, she’s moving a huge ceramic vase to my room’s balcony, a marble tabletop, and a couple of iron chairs.

            I stared at the set up bemused. No way was I going to be comfortable writing on my balcony on a makeshift table and an iron chair. But I never should have bet against my mother. I should have known from years of experience that she’s never wrong. But being the rebellious daughter, it was expected of me to balk, and I did. So, she said try it just once, if I didn’t like the experience, she would march right back to Starbucks and not leave without a table and a chair. Knowing my mother, I knew she was serious.

            Not one to back down from a challenge, I wiped the table down, set up Elvis, put my headphones on, and started writing. The next time I looked up from the screen was four hours later, and only after my wrists had started to complain from the abuse I was giving them. My mother had been right. The table was just the right height. And the most surprising thing of all? The iron chair was actually so comfortable. My JLo ass didn’t complain once.

            Ever since then, I’d officially moved my writing cave to my balcony. I know, how can it be a cave when it’s outside? In my opinion, a writing cave can be anywhere. Despite what Patricia Dunker says about writing being done behind closed doors inside darkened rooms, wherever you are most comfortable that’s where your writing cave is. Mine just happens to be on a balcony overlooking a pool and lots of mango trees. I sit on a surprisingly comfortable iron chair and my table is a marble countertop over a white vase.

So far, I had written five novels and edited two for publication in my outdoors writing cave. It’s only when it rains that I go back to my Starbucks refuge, but that’s not very often. As much as possible, I like my little set up. It seems to bring out my muses. What do you think of my writing cave? 

***

Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Check out the rest of the tour stops:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #13

Gain New Blog Followers

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by 
Alison Can Read and Parajunkee where they choose a featured blogger every week along with a question for everybody to answer! It's an awesome way to meet new book bloggers and share the follower love :)

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Q: What is a deal breaker for you in a book? For example, do you abhor love triangles? Or can't deal with bad editing?
Bad editing can't really make me stop reading a book but it can definitely annoy me. And I don't at all abhor love triangles only if it's a really cheesy one or just a bad one overall. But one thing that can be a real deal breaker for me is slow pacing. Other stuff like insta-love, overdone plots and annoying protogonists ( mostly indecisive female protoganists ) can REALLY bother me while reading a book but with a good spin or a good storyline, I can usually get over the flaws.

***

So what about you? Leave me a comment down below or a link to your own post which I'll be sure to check out ;)

Happy Friday!
xoxo, Mariam

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