Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefanoPerfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Internment Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on October 1, 2013
Pages: 356
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
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On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

With Perfect Ruin, Lauren DeStefano has written an amazing, imaginative world filled with incredible, lovable characters. She’s descriptive and elaborate, and the reader will feel as though they are on Internment, living out the events of the story right alongside the characters.

Morgan, the MC, is a daydreamer. She has a unique voice and through her eyes, we see what it’s like to live in a world in the sky. Morgan is the perfect balance of curious and obedient. She’s curious about the ground, yet smart enough to know she shouldn’t think about it. Because of her brother, Lex, she knows all too well what thinking of the ground will do to a person. I found her character fascinating, and I loved seeing the story through her eyes.

Pen, Morgan’s best friend, is an incredible character. She has all these beliefs and all this faith. She’s the obedient one, with her feet planted firmly on Internment. And yet she seemed like a wild card to me, throughout the majority of the book. I had this feeling she would end up getting into a lot of trouble. My suspicious were pretty accurate!

Lex is a particularly interesting character. I don’t really know how to describe him without spoilers, but he’s a very insightful character, offering clarity at times when clarity is needed. And yet, he’s troubled and he knows more than he is letting on. We learn more about that as the story progresses.

And then there’s Basil. I absolutely adored Basil. He was sweet and romantic, open-minded and loyal. He’s the perfect Book Boyfriend and I loved the chemistry and attraction between him and Morgan. He has some incredibly sweet moments throughout the book and I adored him for it.

There are so many fascinating characters in this story, I could go on forever just discussing what I loved about them. But then I would also spoil the entire book for everyone. So just know that the characters in this book were fascinating and interesting. There were certainly some characters that were unlikeable. Every book has some unlikeable characters; without them, there is no conflict or resolution. And, in true DeStefano fashion, the characters never have an easy time of it. If you’ve read The Chemical Garden trilogy – all three books, I mean – you’ll probably read that, groan, and grab some tissues before sitting down with Perfect Ruin!

And then there was that ending… Uhm, whoa! First of all, I totally guessed one thing and sort of guessed another, yet they were still shocking to read and I was thrilled! But that cliffhanger!!! The suspense!!! I seriously can’t wait a whole year to see what happens next!

All in all, Perfect Ruin was an incredible read. I loved every second of it, I would definitely recommend it and I can’t wait to see what happens next! DeStefano is a truly incredible story-teller and I can’t wait to read more books by her!


Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten WhiteThe Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
Published by HarperTeen on September 10, 2013
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

When I first heard about this book, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I love Greek Mythology, but while I find Egyptian Mythology interesting, I wasn’t sure if it was completely my kind of thing.

But then I read it. And it really exceeded expectations. Also? The cover is really gorgeous!

The first half of the book was a little slow, and I had some trouble getting into it. Isadora was a fascinating MC in the beginning, though a little immature. At times, she rebelled against her parents, while at other times, she just acted like a brat towards them. Her character really matures throughout the book, though, and she experiences one of the greatest transitions/character arcs I’ve seen in YA in a long time.

I really enjoyed Isadora’s interior design skills. That aspect of her character made for fascinating reading. Instead of DESCRIBING a room, which gets boring since every book does it, Isadora told us how she would CHANGE the room, what she would remove and what she would bring in. It made it much more interesting to read!

The Egyptian Mythology in this book was so fascinating! Like I said, I’m more into Greek Mythology, but learning about the various Egyptian Gods and Goddesses was so awesome. It made me realize I love Egyptian Mythology just as much as Greek Mythology. Although there were a lot of Gods and Goddesses mentioned, and sometimes it was really hard to keep track of who was who. I kind of wish there had been a character guide in the back of the book to help me keep track.

I loved Ry. He was such a great love interest, for so many reasons. I REALLY WISH I could say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything. But he was pretty much the PERFECT love interest.

Other characters I loved: Sirus and Tyler were great. I loved their personalities, who they were in Isadora’s life and how they helped her throughout the story.

The second half of the book, as well as the ending, absolutely blew my mind and I just fell in love with the book. I was shocked, I was thrown for a loop and I did NOT expect certain things AT ALL. It was great! Sometimes, I can predict certain things in a book, and it was awesome to be surprised for once!

Overall, a great read. Slow in the beginning and you need to give Isadora a chance to grow on you (and she does!), but it really picks up halfway through and becomes an amazing, awesome read! I would DEFINITELY recommend it.


Review: The Survivors by Amanda Havard

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Survivors by Amanda HavardThe Survivors by Amanda Havard
Series: The Survivors #1
Published by Chafie Press on March 28, 2011
Pages: 302
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
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In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, twenty-six children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived.

The Survivors is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the fourteen ill-fated Survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for over three centuries. Isolated on a Montana mountainside, only Sadie, the rogue daughter, dares to abandon the family’s sacred hiding place. But no matter how far Sadie runs, something always pulls her back.

On a muggy summer night in Tennessee, she witnesses a shocking scene that will change her life forever. It is the first in a sequence of events that will drag her from the human world she’s sought to belong to for over a century and send her back to her Puritanical family and into an uncertain future filled with cunning witches, mysterious nosferatu shape-shifters, dangerous eretica and vieczy vampires, millennia-old mythology, and the search for her own mortality. After all…


The Survivors will steal your heart and invade your mind. Fall into the pages of Sadie’s life, a world so frighteningly similar to your own, you’ll find yourself wanting to go to the Montana mountains to find the Survivors for yourself.

And it is only the beginning.

I enjoyed this book so much! Right off the bat, the prologue and first chapter had me hooked. The writing was amazing – smooth, descriptive and vivid. The memoir sections were so intriguing. It was a great way to reveal background information, without overwhelming the reader. These sections were interesting and insightful.

Sadie was a fascinating character. The way she viewed herself, the way she viewed the world. She’s mysterious and aloof in the beginning, but as her story unfolds, we learn more about her and the reasoning behind her beliefs. I was so swept up in the formal tone of Sadie’s voice, I jumped a little every time something “modern” like Bergdorf’s or Taylor Swift were mentioned, because they seemed like they didn’t belong, in Sadie’s world. Sadie’s constantly searching for answers: Who are we, really? How can we be killed? It’s fascinating to see how this all unravels.

I loved Cole right away. He was just awesome: sweet, reassuring, funny and charming, as well as non-threatening and respectful (In Sadie’s words). I was rooting for Cole throughout the whole story. I wanted Sadie to fall in love with him, wanted them to be together. At one point, later in the story, Cole and Sadie meet up, and Cole’s thoughts are hysterical, especially since he was so proper and traditional in the beginning. Also hysterical? An angry Cole – he gets so indignant, it’s kind of adorable.

Mark Winters is a complicated character, especially when we are first introduced to him. I truly expected him to be the third part of the love triangle, and I was surprised when he wasn’t. He tries so hard to act tough and dangerous, and I couldn’t help but laugh along with Sadie at his failed attempts to appear menacing.

I really didn’t like John. We only get some of his background in this book, but the way he treats Sadie is so terrible. Perhaps he has his reasons, but I still wanted to strangle him for the most part. He was a little too zealous for my taste, and I felt so bad for Sadie during the scenes with John. Catherine, too, is another character that treats Sadie terribly.

Everett Winters is just… Swoon Worthy. I didn’t want to like him at first, because… Well… Cole! But Everett quickly won my heart, and I constantly found myself going back and forth between these two amazing guys. Everett is so understanding and encouraging, and his love for Sadie is obvious and sincere. Also, the couple times Sadie reads Everett’s mind? Everett’s thoughts are so hysterical! I was laughing out loud.

Finally, I absolutely adored Ginny. She was sweet and down to earth, and her power is probably the coolest out of all the powers we are introduced to. She’s almost like a sister to Sadie, and her intentions always seem good and honest.

The encounter between the Survivors and the Winters’ had me nervous the whole time. I had a terrible feeling something bad was going to happen. I especially didn’t trust John and some of the Survivors, although I did have moments where I thought the Winters’ were going to attack. It was an incredibly tense scene.

The second half of the book was especially intriguing, as we finally get some answers. Going into this book, I assumed it was 100% about witches and the Salem Witch trials, and discovering all these other mythical and supernatural creatures exist was fascinating. I don’t want to say too much about this, because I don’t want to be too spoiler-ish, but some of the revelations here were truly shocking. The epilogue has some surprising twists, and the cliffhanger ending will leave you both satisfied and desperate for more.

Favorite Quotes:
“I hated having to try so hard to act human when stupid human emotions came to me so easily, without my permission or acceptance.” Sadie (Pg 41).
“I wasn’t afraid of dying. I was afraid for my life.” Sadie (Page 113)
“I need you to love me more than death. Can you do that?” Everett (Page 263)

**Page numbers may vary, depending on book format**


Review: A Matter of Heart by Heather Lyons

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Matter of Heart by Heather LyonsA Matter of Heart by Heather Lyons
Series: Fate #2
Published by Cerulean Books on June 23, 2013
Pages: 424
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

No longer in high school, Chloe Lilywhite is now living and working in Annar, the Magicals’ city-state plane of existence. Since moving, she’s joined the Council, gone on missions with the Guard, moved into her own apartment, and enrolled at the University of Annar. Plus, she’s happily engaged to be married to Jonah Whitecomb, the literal man from her dreams, not to mention her Connection. While she still struggles with aspects of her craft, Chloe feels like she’s finally coming into her own, especially after a difficult year that had her questioning nearly everything in her life.

After a brutal attack by the Elders, her life is turned upside down once more. Accusations fly throughout the Council and Guard, forcing Chloe to confront her worst fears about what’s she’s capable of as a Creator. And then there’s the matter of Kellan Whitecomb, Jonah’s twin brother and Chloe’s ex, who resurfaces after disappearing months before. Although Chloe chose Jonah, and despite their best efforts, the two find it hard to stay away from one another.

But no matter what Fate throws at her, Chloe is determined to take charge of her life, even as it begins to spiral out of control.

*This is a New Adult title, suitable for readers 18+.

A Matter of Heart by Heather Lyons was so, so amazing. Heather did a fabulous job with this sequel. Sometimes, the second book in a series isn’t as good as the first book; it just can’t live up to the hype of the first book. But that is ABSOLUTELY NOT the case with A Matter of Heart – it stands on its own and is an overall amazing read!

As with A Matter of Fate, this book sucks you in from the very first page and takes you on a wild ride. There’s an action scene almost immediately, followed by a scene that holds some incredible insight and has some great moments between Chloe and Kellan (Kellan! Swoons!)

I absolutely love Chloe. Honestly, I’m pretty sure she’s one of my favorite MC’s ever. Her destiny as a Creator carries so much weight and responsibility. Yes, she complains sometimes and she does go through some mini-meltdowns in this book, but she still holds her head high and tries to think of others before herself. We also get to see Drunk Chloe again, and let me tell you, she’s hilarious. It’s so wrong, but I love Drunk Chloe!

If you read my review for A Matter of Fate, then you know I’m 100% Team Kellan. So it’s no surprise when I say: Jonah makes me soooo mad! He’s so quick to assume the worst, and I hate his temper. He needs to trust Chloe already! I mean, I get why he doesn’t and I guess at certain times (I admit reluctantly) he would be an idiot to trust her, what with her and Kellan’s history, but still. It’s irrational, but it irritates me! I think part of the problem was that I was just sick of the fighting, in general. I know no relationship is perfect, but how can they be soulmates with THIS much fighting? Didn’t they learn their lesson in A Matter of Fate? Clearly not. But it’s okay, because I want Chloe and Kellan to end up together, so she and Jonah can fight all they want! *Grins.*

There’s a LOT of tension between Chloe and Kellan in A Matter of Heart, especially in the beginning. There’s a funny scene where they trade insults, and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. And I even agreed with Kellan a few times!

I seriously love Callie. I know I said this in my review of A Matter of Fate, but it still holds true. I love her friendship with Chloe. She’s honest and blunt, and she tells it like it is, even when Chloe doesn’t want to hear it. Honestly, as far as friends go, I prefer Callie over Cora. There’s something about Cora that.. I can’t explain it. She’s a great character, but I just love Callie. Maybe it’s the WAY their friendship developed, but I feel like Chloe and Callie were MEANT to be friends. They just fit so well together.

The ending absolutely blew my mind. I didn’t see it coming, and I was shocked, to say the least. It was so sad, for everyone involved, and I’m really anxious to see how things are resolved in the third and final book, A Matter of Truth (out in November). Honestly, waiting for November is going to be so tough! I need to know what happens next! I need to see who she ends up with!

All in all, loved this book. I did get irritated with the characters – a lot – but in a good way, if that makes sense – I was so invested in this story line and these characters, I couldn’t help but yell at them when I thought they were being stupid, or cry with them when they were hurt and upset. It’s a great thing to read a book and be that invested in it – It means it’s well written and amazing. I hope that makes sense! And I highly, highly recommend this book, as well! You’ll swoon over Jonah and Kellan, trust me!


Review: A Matter of Fate by Heather Lyons

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Matter of Fate by Heather LyonsA Matter of Fate by Heather Lyons
Series: Fate #1
Published by Cerulean Books on August 30, 2012
Pages: 550
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Chloe Lilywhite struggles with all the normal problems of a typical seventeen-year-old high school student. Only, Chloe isn't a normal teenage girl. She's a Magical, part of a secret race of beings who influence the universe. More importantly, she's a Creator, which means Fate mapped out her destiny long ago, from her college choice, to where she will live, to even her job. While her friends and relatives relish their future roles, Chloe resents the lack of say in her life, especially when she learns she's to be guarded against a vengeful group of beings bent on wiping out her kind. Their number one target? Chloe, of course.

That's nothing compared to the boy trouble she's gotten herself into. Because a guy she's literally dreamed of and loved her entire life, one she never knew truly existed, shows up in her math class, and with him comes a twin brother she finds herself inexplicably drawn to.

Chloe's once unyielding path now has a lot more choices than she ever thought possible.

A Matter of Fate by Heather Lyons was amazing – plain and simple. It was unique and original, the world-building was incredible and I loved Chloe’s voice and the tone of the story. I don’t think I can put it into words in a way that will make sense, but I just loved it.

The main character, Chloe, is a Magical. Magicals are the “cause of an event. The effect is what society and the people within choose to do with it once it’s begun.” Everything about being a Magical is set in stone, and Chloe just wants to be able to make her own choices.

Chloe’s relatable and likable. As a Creator – someone who can build up and destroy civilizations at will (or, as per the Council), she has many responsibilities. Creators are especially important to the Council because they are rare. As such, Chloe’s life is even more set in stone than most Magicals. She doesn’t like having her entire life mapped out for her, but she still manages to hold her head high.

Near the middle/end, Chloe really starts to get obnoxious and hypocritical. But oddly enough, this felt like it matched her personality. I don’t even know if that makes sense. She was whiny, hypocritical and ridiculous, but she had her reasons for it, so it didn’t annoy me as much as it normally would. I understood where she was coming from, and I understood why she had to whine and pout for awhile.

Early on in the book, we are introduced to Jonah and Kellan Whitecomb. In the beginning, Jonah comes off as a loner, keeping to himself and ignoring Chloe almost completely. It takes way too long for Chloe and Jonah to talk, honestly, and Jonah’s constant avoidance of Chloe gets frustrating. As the story progresses, we learn why he avoided her, but it’s still really upsetting. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Jonah well enough, but he wasn’t my favorite match for Chloe.

Kellan, though, is swoon-worthy almost from the minute he and Chloe start talking, and I instantly loved him and wanted Chloe to be with him. Some of my favorite Kellan moments? When he calls himself an attention whore, I laughed out loud! Also, when he used the term “Ankle Biters” he reminded me of Uncle Jessie from Full House. This definitely earned him some brownie points!

I loved Karl, so much. He was protective and fatherly, like a big brother for Chloe. He tried so hard to act tough, yet deep down, he was just such a softie. His guidance was exactly what Chloe needed. He was trustworthy, both to Chloe as a character and to myself as a reader. His protectiveness brought happy tears to my eyes.

Another character I loved is Astrid. As much as Karl is like a fatherly figure to Chloe, Astrid is like a motherly type to her. She’s kind, understanding and, above all else, honest. She doesn’t belittle Chloe, the way her parents do. She confirms so many things for Chloe, putting Chloe at ease – to a certain extent. It’s more than Chloe’s parent’s have ever done and, for that, I love Astrid.

Cora was a frustrating character. She was the stereotypical best friend, both there for Chloe and also completely oblivious. It was obvious from the beginning she was flirting with Raul; Chloe was so surprised when she finally found out, but I thought what was going on was crystal clear. Cora meddled too much, especially in things that were not her business and things that concerned Chloe, Kellan and Jonah. This, too, was frustrating. Yet, at one point, something happens and Cora lectures Chloe about it (well, it’s more like an all-out, explosive yelling match) – and even though her methods were wrong, I absolutely agreed with Cora!

Finally, I LOVED Callie. I know, I know – Jonah fans will hate me. Maybe? But Callie was great. She was funny and sarcastic, she spoke her mind, and I never saw her as a threat to anything or anyone. Honestly, since I want Chloe to end up with Kellan, I didn’t see Callie as a threat to anything at all.

The ending was explosive and amazing, and it set things up nicely for the second book. I can’t wait to see what happens next! I’m still rooting for Kellan, though!

Also, I just want it on record: I totally called the whole “voice in her head” thing! I can’t go into details, because it’s too spoilery. But it’s epic and I totally called it, right from the beginning!


Review: A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel HarrisA Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris
Series: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #2
Published by Entangled Teen on August 6, 2013
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

Rachel Harris has written a touching and heartwarming love story with this sequel to My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. It is beautifully written, both vivid and descriptive. Alessandra’s voice feels authentic, making the reader feel as if they truly have time-traveled to the sixteenth century.

Alessandra is everything you can possibly want in a main character. She is a proper young lady who yearns for more, but feels trapped in her own time. She wants “passion, equality and freedom,” all the things women in her time period cannot have. All she has to look forward to is a loveless marriage and a life of propriety and society rules. Until fate intervenes and sends her to the twenty-first century, where her distant cousin, Cat, lives.

There’s definitely an adjustment period for Alessandra. Her exploits in the twenty-first century were hilarious. My favorite moment was when she identified a Hooters as an owl shop. It’s amusing seeing how Alessandra’s sixteenth century mind views the twenty-first century technology, dress and ideals. She’s adorably clueless, and so fascinated by simple things – it makes her seem humble and lovable.

So… Austin. Ahhh, Austin. Normally, male characters as cocky as Austin would turn me off. He’s just so full of himself in the beginning, thinking he’s some kind of bad-boy rebel. But, he’s so adorable while teasing Alessandra and her absolute cluelessness makes it that much funnier. So, despite my reservations, Austin won my heart almost immediately. Alessandra’s outrage over Austin (she call’s him the “embodiment of evil” and likens time with him to the symptoms of an illness) only make you root for Austin even more. He takes the prim and proper lady and turns her into a typical outraged teenager.

The whole time I was reading, I pretty much alternated between laughing hysterically and crying (Sometimes just a few tears, and sometimes lip-trembling sniffles). Honestly, I wish I could go into greater detail here, but I don’t want to accidentally go into spoiler territory. Just trust me and make sure you have tissues by your side at all times!

The other couple to take note of in this book is Cat and Lucas. I know you Cat and Lorenzo fans are probably ready to egg my blog for this, but trust me, you’ll love how it all turns out for Cat!

The ending was absolutely perfect. My heart was in my throat for most of it, and I was pretty much close to tears the whole time, as well. But it was awesome, amazing, and perfect. Overall (if you couldn’t tell from my gushing review), I loved this book so much and I would highly recommend it.

Honestly, before I began reading Rachel Harris’ books, I wasn’t a huge romance fan. It kinda bugged me… It was too mushy and rainbows and kittens for me – I prefer science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, etc. I liked romance that had vampires in it… Does that count at all? Anyway, I won an advanced eBook of Taste the Heat, Harris’ adult romance (published July 8, 2013) from Foreward Lit. Not only is she an amazing and talented writer, but she really pulls you into a world with characters you care about, who feel real and relatable. The romances are always genuine, and the plots are well thought-out. For those reasons, among others, I would recommend Rachel Harris to anyone and everyone – especially to those who want to read romance, but aren’t sure where to start.