Saturday, February 23, 2013

Barbie Girl Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway



Synopsis:
The only thing that 17 year old Barbie Starr wants to do is graduate high school so she and her little brother, Everett, can get out of Alabama. She doesn’t care about the rumors that are spread around about her like wild fire. Rumors are nothing new to her. Sure, maybe she could change her reputation, but why bother. She is leaving Alabama as soon as she can. That is, if she can pass algebra and graduate.

The only thing Dylan Knight would like to do is go through high school unnoticed; he has had enough of the drama that is high school. He took the whole of last summer to bulk-up: finally he is not being called names or being shoved into lockers. He wants to remain on the outside of the circle of constant rumors that surround the so-called popular kids who get all the attention. He would not, however, mind if his long time crush Katie took notice of him.

 But it is Barbie who notices Dylan and she offers him a deal he can’t pass up: if he helps her pass algebra, she’ll help him get the girl of his dreams. Dylan agrees, but, as it turns out, nothing is simple when it comes to Barbie. Somehow, she can’t help but draw attention to herself — and to him. Soon Dylan finds himself tossed into the whirlwind of rumors that seem to follow Barbie everywhere. Can he save his reputation and still get the girl of his dreams? Or will Barbie be the one to break through his carefully-built facade?


My Review:

    Well what can I say about this book guys because I just really had contradicted feelings about the whole thing. At first the story sounded so cheesy but honestly as the events of the story unfolded I was imprisoned. Firstly, because here we had a bad girl instead of a bad boy which I enjoyed this fact by the way, it changed the story's essence and instead gave it a unique touch.

    The storyline, although was for the most your typical high school story, there was something gripping about it but also lets not talk about the majorly tacky parts in this book. But apart from that, I really liked the twists that the author added but I wouldn't want to give anything away, would I? and I know it may seem cliched but there was more to the story than the cheap drama.

   Told from two different POVs but the guy's - Dylan, the male lead - narrating his side of the story wasn't as guy-ish as it should be, I guess it was just lacked something and add on this that Dylan had this really glinky character that didn't at all match with his build-up body. Seriously, his character was so contradicted and you wouldn't know how to precisely specify him as; the cute, kind & witty type of guy or just an old-fashioned jerk. 

   Barbie - the female protagonist - was well, really 
contradicted within her herself firstly and outside, to people as well. She at times was a cranky slutty girl whom didn't care for other people's sayings and at other times she was a kind girl with a broken heart. There was definitely more dimensions to this character - whom was my favorite of all
 - and I can't wait to see more of her in the next book and overall, the author nailed it pretty well with her characters. The relationship between Barbie & Dylan though was electric and utterly sweet for the most part, it started a bit weird but it was good.

   Overall, I had some mixed feelings about Barbie Girl but I actually ended up liking the story and I'm definitely planning on reading the next book in the series - although I guess contemporaries are more appropriate as standalones but in this case it was totally fine because of the killer cliffhanger. A thought-provoking story, full of emotions, intensity and cool epic-ness. It presents a story of struggle, love, responsibility and most importantly life, Moreover, the contradiction in this story won't make it easy to forget.

Title: Barbie Girl
Author: Heidi Acosta
Series: Baby Doll #1
Release Date: November 3rd 2012
Source: Review Copy from Blog Tour 
Rating: 3.5/5


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Giveaway #1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

      The winner must reply within 24 hours, otherwise another will be chosen. ( Check Terms & Conditions )


About the Author:
Heidi.jpgHeidi Acosta was born on Long Island, New York. Moving around a lot when she was younger, she has lived in New York, Arizona, New York (again), Washington, Georgia, and Florida, in that order. Each place offered her something special, but she will always consider New York her home.

Heidi started writing as soon as she could spell. When she was three, Heidi’s mother gave her a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods; thus beginning her lifelong love affair with literature.

Writing soon also became a form of therapy for Heidi, when she realized that no matter what was happening in her life, she could find emotional escape while writing. Some of her earliest stories featured her as a princess who explored new worlds with her horse Buttercup. If it sounds romantic, it wasn’t, there was no prince charming in those fairy lands (boys where yucky).

Heidi now resides in Florida with her husband, very active daughter, one hyper Chihuahua, two sweet cats, and one very fat moody cat.

Author Links:

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Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam



Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE

Monday, February 11, 2013

Phoebe Pope And The Year Of Four Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.


As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.

Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.


My Review:

    Frankly, the premise of this book gave the impression that this book was yet another paranormal story with just the same outline but with shape-shifters instead. However, it turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable. And although I'm not a huge fan of shape-shifters, the world-building of this book was interesting, aside from the fact that the bad party in this book was some type of paranormal shape-shifter tigers - the Vigos - which was a bit eerie but went with the whole theme of shape-shifting perfectly.

    So the story follows Phoebe Pope, a shape-shifter and a girl whom lost her only parent, her father, in a recent accident caused by the Vigos - the shape-shifters enemies. Phoebe then enrolls at a spy academy for shape-shifters, following her father's footsteps or prehaps seeking revenge for his death.

   One thing that I really liked about this book was the characters. The characters were authentic and the interactions between them were nicely handled. Phoebe - the protagonist - developed pretty well as the story unfolded. She was kind, down-to-earth and I ended up loving her, as well as Colten - the male lead - whom was also a sweetheart.

   At first, the idea of a celebrity with signs shown that he and the protagonist, Phoebe are going to fall in love sounded so cheesy but the author transformed this cheesy concept into a paranormal happening within the story and as the story continues, not only won't you notice it but you are going to enjoy it. But the romance between Phoebe and Colten was actually SO cute! Although the attraction was instant, it grows - as the events of the story unfolds  - into a more genuine and interesting relationship that I personally enjoyed.

   Moreover, the author's writing style also helped a lot. The book was smoothly written and although it was written from a third point of view - which was slightly annoying -  the author was able to brilliantly added some twists and turns that greatly served the story. And I'll be sure to read the next book whenever it's out.

   Overall, this book left me with a smile on my face. Although the story had it's flaws and some cliched parts, it was a page-turner and an energetic eventful story that kept me entertained until the end. So if you are new to reading paranormal stories, I'm sure this book will be of great interest to you and even if you are used to reading a lot of fantasies - like me - I'm sure as well that you'll find this book enjoyable enough ;) Keep in mind though that there was a considerable amount of focus on the romance in this book which personally, wasn't a problem for me but rather an enjoyable addition. 

Title: Phoebe Pope And The Year Of Four
Author: Nya Jade 
Series: Shapers #1
Source: Review Copy from Blog Tour
Release Date: October 30th 2012 by Dreamwell Publishing
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

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Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Author Photo- Nya Jade- credit Michael Lavine.jpgAbout the Author:
Nya Jade is a singer-songwriter and author based in San Francisco. Her music videos have aired on the VH1, BET, and MTV networks. USA Today hailed Nya as a “young female troubadour worth keeping your eyes and ears on,” in an entertainment feature on up-and-coming singer-songwriters. “Her cool singing voice recalls Sade,” said the LA Times.

Between writing and performing new music, Nya took a musical sabbatical to focus on writing a novel—an endeavor she found quite daunting, until she began looking at each chapter as a verse in a very long song. Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is her first novel.

In her free time, Nya enjoys hanging out with family and friends, searching for amazing gluten-free desserts, and bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes.
Nya holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Sociology, both from Stanford University.


Author's Links:



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Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam


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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Showcase Sunday #3



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! OR you can join the fun :D

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So this week I received for review Phoebe Pope And The Year Of Four by Nya Jade. Not much but this was actually the only book I read during the last two weeks which was a miracle because we moved out and those two weeks were SO tough for me - and there is still no internet in the new house too :( - so that's why I have been off it for a while ;)


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And don't forget to stop by tomorrow to check out my tour stop in the Phoebe Pope And The Year Of Four blog tour!


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Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam
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