Unleashed – Sophie Jordan

Unleashed coverUnleashed
By: Sophie Jordan
Uninvited – Book 2
Available 24 February 2015

Don’t forgot to check out the first book, Uninvited, on Goodreads.

Unleashed, the romantic, high-stakes sequel to New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s Uninvited, is perfect for fans of James Patterson’s Confessions of a Murder Suspect.

Davy has spent the last few months trying to come to terms with the fact that she tested positive for the kill gene HTS (also known as Homicidal Tendency Syndrome). She swore she would not let it change her, and that her DNA did not define her . . . but then she killed a man.

Now on the run, Davy must decide whether she’ll be ruled by the kill gene or if she’ll follow her heart and fight for her right to live free. But with her own potential for violence lying right beneath the surface, Davy doesn’t even know if she can trust herself.

This Blonde’s Review:
In the first book Davy tested positive for HTS and her whole life changed. I liked Davy in the first book and I was looking forward to getting to know her better in this one. The book starts with Davy and her friends getting ready to cross into Mexico. Things don’t go as planned and Davy finds herself shot and separated from the group. Then she is found by the guy in the boots, who saves her and takes her to a secret facility. Davy finds the resistance without trying to.

Davy fights not to get attached to anyone and tries to stay on her own. She wants to stick to the plan to get across the border and rejoin her friends. She refuses to let herself care about Caden or any of the others. But when someone comes along who insists on seeing you and cares about you no matter how hard you try not to care, it can be hard to resist. Davy has a hard time resisting as well. And as much as she doesn’t want to join the resistance, she finds herself drawn to having a purpose.

When they realize there is a traitor in the resistance they know they have to find out who it is before Davy can leave. Somehow she keeps surviving despite all of the reasons she shouldn’t. The girl Davy is by the end of this book is much stronger than the girl she was in the start of the first book. Caden was so great, I couldn’t help but love him. I loved that he was a leader and that people knew they could trust him to do the right thing.

I enjoyed this book and I think that if you’ve read the first book you’ll want to read this one. I enjoyed it and loved the introduction of the new characters and what it meant for Davy’s life.

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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Around The World Tours, Book Review


Little Peach – Peggy Kern

Little Peach coverLittle Peach
By: Peggy Kern
Available 10 March 2015 (my birthday!)

What do you do if you’re in trouble?

When Michelle runs away from her drug-addicted mother, she has just enough money to make it to New York City, where she hopes to move in with a friend. But once she arrives at the bustling Port Authority, she is confronted with the terrifying truth: she is alone and out of options.

Then she meets Devon, a good-looking, well-dressed guy who emerges from the crowd armed with a kind smile, a place for her to stay, and eyes that seem to understand exactly how she feels.

But Devon is not what he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution where he becomes her “Daddy” and she his “Little Peach.” It is a world of impossible choices, where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition.

This hauntingly vivid story illustrates the human spirit’s indomitable search for home, and one girl’s struggle to survive.

This Blonde’s Review:
Many don’t want to think about girls being trapped and sold for sex in this country. And the ones who accept that it happens can’t understand how it can happen. Little Peach tells the story of Michelle and how she became Little Peach.

Michelle’s childhood wasn’t a safe one, her mother was a drug addict and all she had was her grandfather. When he dies she finds herself at the mercy of the men in her mother’s life until her mother kicks her out. She believes she’ll be able to join a friend who went to New York City and takes a chance. Except when she gets there she doesn’t have any idea where to go. She’s helped out by a nice guy who offers to let her stay with him and help her out until she can find her friend. She’s sure he’s the nicest and is helping her because she’s worth it. That there are people who want her around, even if her mother didn’t.

Watching the way Michelle becomes Little Peach and the things that she accepts in her life is heartbreaking. It shows how a girl can think she’s making better choices and really setting herself up for more hurt. We can see the way that these situations affect the other girls in the house, some not growing up and others growing up too fast. We’re able to see the way the girls can bond, even in those situations.

It is an awful truth of our world and enough to break your heart. I’d hope that it is also enough to open people’s eyes to some of the things in this world. Because these things do happen in the world and in our country. And not everyone can do what Michelle manages to do, many will pay the same price the other girls have paid or continue to pay.

If you enjoy books that address difficult issues that face us then you’ll want to read this one. I’m not sure that I can say you’ll enjoy it since it’s a hard book to read at many points, but it is worth reading.

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Posted by on December 21, 2014 in Around The World Tours


The Last Time We Say Goodbye – Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye
By: Cynthia Hand
Available February 2014

There’s death all around us.
We just don’t pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn’t look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she’s just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that’s all she’ll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there’s a secret she hasn’t told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex’s brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn’t have to be real to keep you from moving on.

This Blonde’s Review:
Lex’s story is heartbreaking. It’s the story of a girl whose brother commits suicide and how she lives after he is gone. She pushes her friends and boyfriend away. She stops considering her future. Lex just exists as the girl whose brother died.

When she thinks she sees the ghost of her brother she runs. She can’t get away fast enough. Somehow it helps her reconnect with a childhood friend who is able to be there for her in ways her other friends can’t. And she finds a letter her brother left behind for a girl. When he left so little behind for anyone else, this was big.

Lex starts to get to know more about her brother after he is gone. She starts to see their relationship and to appreciate what they had. And she has to deal with feeling as though she failed him. Lex will have to face what happened the day he died and why she feels that she can’t allow herself to move on and be happy.

There are so many things I liked about this book, like the way that Lex put herself out there for her brother’s friend. I liked that there wasn’t one big reason for the things that happen in this book, just as there often isn’t in real life.

It broke my heart to see things that reminded me of my own little brother. I know I did the same thing as Lex, not noticing my brother despite loving him. When a book can make you look at your own life it is doing something right. When I finished this book I wanted to cry and then I wanted to call my brother. So this book did something right for me.

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Posted by on December 15, 2014 in Book Review


A Wicked Thing – Rhiannon Thomas

A Wicked Thing
By: Rhiannon Thomas
Available February 2015

Rhiannon Thomas’s dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

This Blonde’s Review:
This story is another retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but this one is different than another that I’ve read before. In this one Sleeping Beauty has been asleep and kept as a political piece. Princes have been going to kiss her each year in all of the years she’s been asleep. Everyone she has ever known is dead and when she wakes they expect her to play the mild little princess.

Aurora is more than the sleeping beauty that stories have been told about. She has a fire inside of her, strength, intelligence, and independence. She sees the way the kingdom is being run and she doesn’t agree. She’s not sure how to stand up to it, but she knows that the other options she’s seen aren’t good either. So she waits and doesn’t do anything. She’s pressured by a boy in the resistance, by the queen, by a visiting prince, even by the witch that cursed her.

Seeing Aurora turn from the weak girl who silently followed directions into the girl who discovered and accepted the magic inside of her was great. I’m not sure how I feel about the decision she made, but when people want to use you sometimes the best thing you can do is stop letting them. I really liked her prince as well, even if he was too young to be able to fully stand and be the good man that you can tell. It was a good thing to see even if he wasn’t able to stand up yet because it gives you hope for the future since he was the one truly good thing.

If you like reading retellings of fairy tales that have a different sort of ending then you’ll enjoy this one. This isn’t about a girl waking up and falling in love with a stranger who kissed her awake. This is a book about a girl waking up and trying to decide the best way to take care of her kingdom.

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Posted by on December 14, 2014 in Book Review


The Start of Me and You – Emery Lord

The Start of Me and You coverThe Start of Me and You
By: Emery Lord
Available March 2015

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for a year, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

This Blonde’s Review:
Paige is trying to find her way back to being a normal teenager, someone who is more than the girl whose boyfriend died. She creates a plan for how to get back to a normal life. Getting a new boyfriend, why not start with her old crush Ryan, and joining a club are the best way to start. Of course she didn’t count on Max. Max is Ryan’s cousin and he’s part of a club that she thinks she could be good at. Even if it isn’t a cool one, it could still work.

In some ways, following the plan works out for Paige. She gets to experience things she never would have tried before, she learns that there are people who care about how she’s doing, and she gets to be friends with so many new people. Including Ryan and Max. What she didn’t expect was to become so close to Max, or for Ryan to like her best friend. But she’s sure that’s a temporary setback. Somehow it’ll all work out.

Paige was so great. I can’t imagine being that girl who can’t get past something that happened to someone she barely knew. The death of her boyfriend has followed, and will continue to follow her, for longer than she knew him. She barely had time to care about him before he was gone. Clearly when you lose someone important to you it takes a huge toll. We never think about how it can impact someone who barely knew you, especially if that person was someone everyone would assume was a huge part of your life. She was such a great character though since there really was so much more to her than that. She was dealing with issues in her family and reaching for a goal that she was afraid to hope for. But she was going for it anyway, which made me love her even more and hope that she could make it all work.

I really loved Max. He sounded like he was so adorable. He and Paige were cut from the same cloth, they were great as friends but would clearly be even better as a couple. Her connection with Ryan is so superficial that we can’t help but like him but not want him for her. I love that they were able to become friends and count each other as someone they trusted.

I would love to see more about the rest of Paige’s friends since they were all so great. I loved seeing the way they were all so different yet were willing to do whatever they had to in order to be there for each other. This group of girls is basically the picture perfect idea of what a friendship with a group of girls should be. Then when you added the guys into the mix they didn’t take away from that at all, they strengthened it, even knowing that there was attraction going around.

I especially loved the class project at the end. After everything that happened and how bad everything seemed to be at that point, it was so perfect. I won’t give it all away but it made my heart all kinds of happy and I did not want to book to be anywhere near ending. I really want to see more of these characters in the future.

Basically this book gave me all of the happy feelings. It was so great because to me it showed exactly how everyone wants it to be. A great group of friends that you know you can lean on is central to making everything wonderful. Then finding a great guy who knows how wonderful you are before you even recognize what you really want and need is icing on the cake. If you like feel good books that make you want to climb right into them then you’ll love this book.

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Posted by on November 26, 2014 in Around The World Tours, Book Review


Blog Tour and Giveaway! :: Anomaly – Tonya Kuper

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Tour schedule found here.

Anomaly coverAnomaly
By: Tonya Kuper
Schrodinger’s Consortium – Book 1
Available Today

Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…
Worst. Birthday. Ever.

My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

This Blonde’s Review:
Imagine finding out you could make almost anything happen just by willing it into existence. Josie has always been driven by logic and science so at first this is hard for her to understand. But luckily with her history she is able to understand the science and theories behind it and they can refer to things casually to give us a basic idea of how it works without a whole detailed explanation the way you would with someone without her background.

The other important thing we need is an attractive guy. Reid is supposed to train her, get her to trust him, but still keep his hands off. Obviously that isn’t going to be easy for him and we love that it isn’t. He doesn’t want to let her know his connection to her family or that he’s cared about her for a long time. Reid trains her to get her ready for an important mission, but he also helps her deal with the other issues in her life because he does care about her. Which makes him someone that is easy for us to care about too. I really enjoyed Reid and the way he does everything he can to help her, whether it means being hard on her to get her ready or stepping up and helping her when she needs it.

Josie is so great, I loved her intelligence and logical side. With her education she knows things that others wouldn’t since she has been in training for this her whole life without realizing it. It makes her better prepared than anyone else would have been, but the unusual upbringing also gives her some personality strengths that make her so great to read about as well. She has some family baggage she’s dealing with, but those issues added to the story rather than taking away, and I couldn’t help but feel for her. I wanted things to be better than they seemed and to get answers that would bring her family back.

I liked this book and I’m looking forward to the next books in this series since I will enjoy finding out more about what happens. I want to find out more about the organization that wants her dead and more about what happened with her brother. I want to find out about Josie’s father and what is happening with him. And I especially want to find out more about what could happen with Josie and Reid.

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About the Author
Tonya Kuper’s debut, ANOMALY, the first in the Schrodinger’s Consortium young adult scifi trilogy, releases November 2014 by Entangled Teen. She lives in Omaha, NE with her two rad boys and husband, is a music junkie, and a chocolate addict. Star Wars & Sherlock fan.

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There’s also a giveaway if you’re interested!


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Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Blog Tour, Book Review


Positively Beautiful – Wendy Mills

Positively Beautiful
By: Wendy Mills
Available March 2015

Jodi Picoult for teens meets Lurlene McDaniel. Beautiful written, beautifully moving, a vivid contemporary story of a girl’s unusual but terrible dilemma – and the love story that springs from it.

16-year-old Erin is a smart if slightly dorky teenager, her life taken up with her best friend Trina, her major crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had the knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.

Then everything changes forever one day after school when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer. And there’s even worse news to come. Horrified, Erin discovers that her grandmother’s death from cancer is almost certainly linked, the common denominator a rare gene mutation that makes cancer almost inevitable. And if two generations of women in the family had this mutation, what does that mean for Erin? The chances she’s inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to know now and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?

As Erin grapples with her terrible dilemma, her life starts to spiral downwards, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking with grumpy Stew and his little yellow plane, Tweetie Bird. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. Down on the ground it’s a different story, and facing betrayal from Trina, humiliation from Faith, and a world of disappointment with Michael, Erin knows she must discover the truth about herself. Sure enough, she’s positive for the gene that’s slowly killing her mom.

Suddenly, Erin’s life has turned into a nightmare, and the only person she can truly talk to is a girl called Ashley who she meets online. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away with Tweetie Pie to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair – but ultimately to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty, meaning, and love.

This Blonde’s Review:
I’m just going to start with a confession that this book made me cry. So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on shall we?

Erin’s father died when she was young so all she has had was her mother. When she finds out that her mother has breast cancer, while knowing that her grandmother died of cancer, she is devastated. She knows she has to be there for her and struggles to support her mother. But the way single mothers are, she wants her daughter to continue living her life and not give everything up for her. When Erin overhears a conversation and demands answers she learns that there is something called a cancer gene and that she may have it. As we all know, when we’re told not to think about something that doesn’t mean we won’t think about it. If anything, that means we focus more.

With the internet as an instant resource for anything Erin very quickly finds a message board in attempt to find answers. Mostly older women who tell her to forget it until she’s older, but she does make one friend who is her age. A friend that she connects with strongly. I loved hearing everything her new friend had to say, it was always so thoughtful and deep. Ashley was focused on living rather than letting a potential cancer gene hold anyone back from a fulfilling life.

Erin’s response to everything is to take up flying. When she’s finally able to fly solo she finds herself making the impulsive decision to fly towards Ashley before she even realizes her destination. All she knows is she wants to experience the peace that her friend seems to find.

Seeing Erin struggle to come to terms with her potential future and her mother’s heath was heartbreaking. I could see myself in her shoes, whether I would have responded the same or not. This story was heartbreaking and I loved it. I loved getting to know Erin’s family and friends. I loved everyone in her friend’s family, some more than others.

If you enjoy reading stories where people have to deal with the fear of losing the people they care about, and deciding whether to risk their own hearts, then you’ll love this one.

1 Comment

Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Around The World Tours, Book Review


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