Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ten Tiny Breaths {by K.A. Tucker}

Title: Ten Tiny Breaths
Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths, #1
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.
Kacey doesn't want to feel. She doesn't. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.
But Kacey isn't the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgivable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

All in all, I'm not exactly sure how I felt about this one. I have not really forayed into the New Adult genre, so I wasn't completely sure what to expect. And I did like it, truly, but I still have conflicting feelings about it.

Kacey has spent the last four years after her accident trying to forget it. Although she has put aside her self-destructive lifestyle for her sister, she still is cold and hard, and doesn't let anyone in, except Livie. (Until Trent, that is.) Then finally, the string snaps, and they run away to Miami, where they decide to start anew.

I did like the characters, both major and minor. In fact, one of the major reasons I think I will continue with this series is because of the characters. I especially want to read book 3 (Cain's story) and 4 (Ben's story). I feel each one was well-written and brought something to the story, no matter how small a part it was. Some of them were predictable, some of them were your stereotypical characters, nothing special about them, but I still enjoyed them.

For the most part, I enjoyed the story line as well. It wasn't anything terrible unique or different. In fact, it was quite cookie-cutter and predicable, the same plot we've seen before. The author did twist and change it, and although didn't make it completely new or unique, made it fun and exciting. It kept you interested enough to keep reading, but I felt like it wasn't supposed to be as much about the plot as it was about the characters and emotion.

Emotions. This book was full of them. Laughter, sadness, grief, despair, happiness, joy. They are there, and you will feel them. This book was about growing, changing, life, love, and hope. And it did that very well. Sure, the plot is predictable, the story line stereotypical, but the author was able to get the feeling of raw emotion through quite well, and for that I would definitely recommend it.

And as for what happens in the end? (The "plot twist" that, well, could be guessed quite early on.) That's kind of where the conflicted feelings come in. I liked it up until that point and then....I don't know. I applaud Kacey for having the strength to do what she had to, for herself and for Livie. But as for Trent...then the whole getting back together thing...I don't know how I feel about it. I just don't know.

The series:

I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

K.A. Tucker

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Friday, December 20, 2013

{Cover Reveal} Othello

You guys know how much I love retellings, so today I am excited to share the cover for an awesome Shakespeare retelling: Othello by C.E. Wilson.

So without further ado...

Title: Othello
Author: C.E. Wilson
Series: Shakespeare for Everyone Else, #2

Shakespeare’s work features some of the most memorable stories and characters ever created, yet for too many curious readers the combination of ultra-dense dialogue and unfamiliar historical settings make tackling the Bard’s work something between a tedious chore and a confusing mess of bird-bolts and quondam carpet-mongers.
While it’s nearly impossible to replicate or improve on these works, it is (thanks to their timeless nature) possible to make them more accessible to a wider audience.
In this Young Adult retelling of one of William Shakespeare’s most memorable plays, join C.E. Wilson as she breathes new life into Othello, the second book in her series Shakespeare for Everyone Else.

And there you have it! I can tell from the cover that this is going to be a very different and interesting retelling. And it's also nice to get a Shakespeare retelling that isn't Romeo and Juliet.

Check out the first book in the Shakespeare for Everyone Else series:

C.E Wilson

C.E. Wilson is currently living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and her two dogs and two cats. They are all the loves of her life. When she’s not writing young adult fantasy novels, she enjoys writing short stories on her Deviant Art page. She loves to write stories involving giants and little people (also known as GT) and nothing helps her to write more than Coca-Cola and glazed doughnut holes.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

{Blog Tour} Review: Clan by Realm Lovejoy

Hey guys! Today, I am excited to be part of the blog tour for Clan by Realm Lovejoy. I'll be sharing my review of this book, so keep reading!

Title: Clan
Author: Realm Lovejoy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon 

No variation. No deviation.
On Clades, to be a Clan is to be an exact copy. A perfect society cloning themselves to survive, even as the zombielike Frags threaten to overrun them on an unforgiving planet. 
Clan 1672 (privately known as Twain) was never supposed to survive the Incubation Tank. But he did. Illegally. He is different from the other Clans. 
A secret that could destroy him.

Wow. What an interesting book. I was pleasantly blown away by it. I am always wary of futuristic novels, because it has to be well done. Well, I am pleased to announce that this one was very well done.

Twain is a Clan. Except, not really. He is hidden away, never allowed out of the house, to see another Clan, or to even look out the window. The only person he has is his sponsor ("father"), Twigg, and the computer. All Twain wants is to be out there, with the other Clans, doing what other Clans do. Except he can't, because he isn't even supposed to be alive. When he is discovered by the leader of the Clans, he is allowed to live, and finally be like other Clans, like he's always wanted. Except, he soon finds out that not everything on Clades is like he has been taught.

Even though everyone is a clone of the same person, the author did a really good job with characterization. Each of the main characters are different, distinctive. Twain is a bit different character. Since he's been hidden away for all of his life, he is very naive, like a child instead of the teenager (I think) he is. I also loved the other characters. Each one has the difficult issue of trying to separate themselves, be an individual. It was a hard task, but one Lovejoy pulled off quite well.

I did not know what to expect going into this, but it surprised me at every turn. Just when I thought I had it figured out...I didn't. There were definite plot twists, and Lovejoy kept it interesting the whole time. And that end? I thought I knew how it would end. But it didn't end that way. What. 

Oh, and Twain's real secret? The one that even he didn't know about? Without spoiling anything...

I would definitely recommend this book. It was such a refreshing, interesting take on sci-fi and I loved it. It will definitely keep you guessing and entertained. Not to mention, Lovejoy touches on some really tough, deep issues that are more prevalent in our society than we would think. And I hear the paperback even has illustrations. You can't beat that.

I received an ecopy in exchange for my honest opinion for this blog tour. This does not affect my opinions in any way, except that maybe I need a physical copy to see these illustrations.


About the Author:

Realm Lovejoy is a writer and an artist. She was raised in Washington State and the alps of Nagano, Japan. Her father is a Japanese ex-monk and her mother an English teacher from Rhode Island. Her art is influenced by both the East and the West.
Realm aspires to tell stories through her writing and art.
She is agented by Jessica Regel.

1 Signed Paperback + CLAN Button + Signed Illustration from Paperback (US only)
6 Paperbacks (US only)
10 eBooks (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 16, 2013

What's in the Snow Scavenger Hunt

Hey guys! I am excited to be part of the What's in the Snow scavenger hunt. This is a fun blog event hosted by Read Books and Live Green & Reviews Abound. Make sure to check out their intro posts for the huge giveaways, as well as the list of all the blogs participating so you can visit them as well!

So without further ado, today I have...

So I know you celebrate Chanukah. Can you tell us a little bit about it, for those of us not as familiar with it?

Of course! Chanukah commemorates the end of the Maccabees’ battle against religious intolerance in ancient Israel. The story goes that, when the Maccabees finally won the ability to go back into the Temple, they only found enough purified oil to light the menorah for one night – but a miracle happened, and the oil lasted for eight nights instead.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions from your childhood?

A few weeks before the holiday, we would always bring out the books corresponding to that holiday to sort of “gear up” for what was to come. The same books came out every year, and it was like seeing old friends after a long time apart. I still do the same thing with my kids (and of course we add a couple – or ten – books each year. 

What are some new traditions you are trying to start with your kids?

Oooh, good question! I’m a serious introvert, so entertaining is tough for me, but I want the kids to  have the memories that come along with sharing their holidays with their friends. So this year we had an ice cream party for Sukkot (a harvest festival) and a Chanukah party, too. 

Favorite holiday memory?

Over winter break, staying in pajamas and watching TV with my siblings all day, and cuddling up together in one big bed (usually mine) and chatting late into the night. 

Worst holiday memory? (You don’t have to get too personal here. Maybe just something humorous or light that happened.)

Haha thanks for the leeway! It has to be the year I tried to host my sister and brother-in-law for Chanukah at our brand-new house. I was trying my hand at frying latkes for the first time ever and had no clue what I was doing. I should have read a tutorial, but I didn’t. Long story short, the house filled up with smoke quicker than I ever imagined it could, we had fire alarms going off and doors open in the frigid cold, trying to get rid of the smoke. 

And I think I got about eight latkes out of the ordeal. They were burned on the outside and raw on the inside. 

We ordered pizza.

You have four kids, which means the holidays must get insane. Craziest thing that has happened (so far)?

Yes! Last year my daughter caught her pigtails on fire with the Chanukah candles. Twice.

{Speed Round}
Favorite winter scent? Cinnamon!
Favorite winter drink? Peppermint or Caramel hot chocolate.
Favorite winter food? Donuts! (I mean, that’s my favorite food always, but Chanukah gives me a religious excuse to eat them.)
Favorite holiday desert? My family’s sugar cookie recipe from Germany.
Most worn winter item of clothing?  My scribbling suit! A humungous ugly knit sweater coat I wear for writing. It makes me look like a hermit (which I kind of am.)
Favorite nail color to wear in winter? Gold, with subtle sparkles.
What is winter like where you live? Honestly? It’s a toss up. We’ve had winters where it stays mostly in the 50s, and others where it’s nothing but snow, ice, and frigid temperatures.
Favorite winter activity? Sitting inside under an electric blanket.
Favorite winter TV show? Is a movie okay? Love Actually.
Favorite winter song? Sleigh Ride! It’s a long story that involves high school showchoir.
Favorite book to snuggle up with? Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Quickest answer in the bunch. 

Leigh Ann has been kind enough to provide 1 winner with copies of all three of her books: One, Two, and Solving for Ex. Huge thank you to Leigh Ann for taking the time to answer these questions, as well as have this giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh wait. You guys are just here for the clue? Fine. Use this clue to get more entries into the big giveaway over at either Read Books and Live Green or Reviews Abound!

Clue #1
Don't forget to visit every stop in the scavenger hunt for more blog-specific giveaways, as well as the clues for the big giveaways. Happy holidays!