Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Giveaway/ Cover Reveal: Hollywood Holiday by Sasha Summers

The Cover:

The Blurb:

All she wants for Christmas is for Hollywood to love her again. But once she meets him, her Christmas list changes.

Jen’s only Christmas wish: Hollywood falling back in love with her. Meeting ex-Marine Gunner was a bonus. She likes that he isn’t impressed by celebrities or the movie biz. She likes that he’s funny and sweet … and drop-dead gorgeous. And she loves that he has no idea who her alter-ego is: Jen Fleming, Hollywood bad-girl and paparazzi target number one. Why ruin an amazing affair when he’s leaving after the new year?

But the closer they get, the harder she falls, and the more she wants to tell Gunner everything. Especially once he shares his secret with her.

Her new Christmas wish: Gunner accepts and loves her for who she really is.

Know More about Red Carpet Series Book 1: Hollywood Ever After (Paperback Giveaway)

She wasn’t meant for movie stars, Hollywood, or happy endings. And then she met him. 

Happy Endings are for fairy tales. Or the movies. Not for real life. At least, not in Claire’s life. Even though she’s starting over, she knows better than to want too much this time. But when she falls, literally, into the strong arms of Hollywood’s ‘it’ boy Josh Wiley, Claire’s in for some surprises. Her plans for rest and relaxation are forgotten as one incredible night with Josh becomes two… And her heart begins to want him as much as her body. Will two kids, one bastard ex-husband, and Josh’s juggernaut career mean the end of their affair? Or can Claire find her happy ending after all?

About the author:

Sasha is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, Hollywood, history, and travel. It’s no surprise that her books include a little of each. Her first play, ‘Greek Gods and Goddesses’ was written for her Girl Scout troupe.   She’s been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Publishing Date: November 29, 2011

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Pages: 305 (Hardcover)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.


I cannot even put my love for this novel into words.   I cannot believe I put off reading it for so long.  It's insanity.    This book has actually been on my to-read list for quite some time (which is true of many books).  I probably would have gotten around to it sometime.  Maybe.  

But anyway, we were at school, and there was a list of books that we had to pick off of for our "Fall Read" in English class. As I looked at the list, these were my thoughts:

Crappy Book by Crappy Author *facepalm*
Crappy Book by Crappy Author *facepalm*
- Crappy Book by Crappy Author *facepalm*
Crappy Book by Crappy Author *facepalm*
- Crappy Book  by Crappy Author *facepalm*
Crappy Book  by Crappy Author *facepalm*
Legend by Marie Lu *PRAISE THE LORD* 

So, needless to say, Legend got pushed up to the top of my to-read list pretty quickly.  And now, having read it, I am stinking KICKING MYSELF for not reading this before now.  DUDE. I loved this book so much.  

In Day's and June's world, America has been split up into to side fighting a war: The Republic (the Western states) and the Colonies (Eastern, also known as the "Patriots").   Day and June both live in the Republic, though Day is a wanted criminal and June is one of the top military experts of the Republic.  But, despite what they may think, they have more in common than they believe.  

When June's brother Metias is murdered and the top suspect is Day, she chooses to track Day down, no matter what the cost or how long it takes.  When she finds him, however, not everything turns out as she expects. 

So, first, the obligatory, (yet also not-so-obligatory ;) paragraph on Day.  OH MY GOODNESS.  I love him so much.  Day is a kick-butt main character who hits a good balance of emotion mixed with action.   And, let's face it, he's also one beautiful boy.  He's a main character that just makes you naturally want to be around him.  Or, he makes me feel that way, at least. 

And June is stinking AWESOME.  She's the cool spy  who can do anything in those cliche movies that everyone watches mixed with Sherlock Holmes.  She can take the tone of someone's voice and tell you about how old he or she is and where the person is from.  Give her five minutes in a room with the person and she can tell you anything you need to know.  It's scary. 

And, let's not forget,  Legend is a book with a fantastic plot.  WHAT DOESN'T THIS BOOK HAVE?!  Seriously.   It was a well-written book that completely met my expectations on every level.  I was very happy reading it.  If this book has been on your TBR list for a while, get to it.  It'll be worth it, I promise.  

Favorite quote from the book: "Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time."

Peace Out, Girl Scouts!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Flood Friday (#2)

Hey, everyone! Here at Raindrop Reads, I highlight a "character-of-the-week" on Fridays, and, sticking with the rainy theme of my blog, I like to call it Flood Friday.

This Friday's Character:

Cassia from Matched by Ally Condie

*Caution, mild spoilers if you haven't read the book*

I feel like Cassia gets shafted a lot because she's a city kid.  But let's face it, if we're basing our opinions on that, she proved us all wrong with Crossed.  But, anyway, Cassia is just a pretty kick-butt girl.  She's feminine, but she knows how to handle herself in pretty much any situation she's put in.  That, in my opinion, is an awesome characteristic for a female lead to have, and Cassia pulls it off in a manner that to me is absolutely extraordinary.

In Cassia's world,  the Society is in control.   They decide what you eat, what job you have,  what you read, what you listen to, how you spend your time, and even who you will marry (or be matched to, hence the title).  The Society controls every aspects of their lives.  But Cassia doesn't let them control hers.  She finds a way to challenge the government and challenge the rules in everything she does.  She won't let them decide her life for her.

Why I love Cassia:

She's not some little passive main character.  SHE KICKS BUTT.  She doesn't just ask for things to get handed to her.  She may be a city kid, but she knows how to handle herself in almost any given situation.  And she won't let the Society touch the things that she loves.

Also, one of the things I love most about Cassia is that she never complains.  Ever.  And believe me, she has  every right to.  At least, more right to complain than over half the annoying main characters that do complain the whole book *cough* Kelsey from Tiger's Curse *cough*. But does she complain? Nope.  Does she sit around and mope and gripe and whine the whole time?  Nope.  She just picks herself up and moves on.  She works to take care of the people that she loves and she gets done what needs to get done.  And I'm over here just like, "GET IT, GIRL."   She's just awesome.  No other words for it.  She doesn't let others define her, and she definitely doesn't let others decide her life for her. 

So, if you guys need a good read pretty soon, be sure and check out Matched.  It's an awesome book, and (obviously), it has an amazing main character.  I could go on for hours.  

Also, are there any characters (good or bad) that you guys want me to highlight for Flood Friday in the next few weeks? (You can check my read shelf on Goodreads to see if I've read the book you want).

Peace Out, Girl Scouts!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.


What is it about fiery red-heads that just make good main characters?  Seriously. They're just so interesting.  Now I understand why The Doctor has always wanted to be a ginger.  Can't say I'd argue with him.    

Anyway, I had some SERIOUSLY HIGH expectations for Defiance.  I mean, I have been waiting on this book ever since I saw the cover (how freaking beautiful is that cover art?!) and read the description on Goodreads.  And, I will say, Defiance met my expectations pretty well.

And, despite what I usually feel about changing  P.O.V. books, I seriously enjoyed having both Logan's and Rachel's viewpoints.  Redwine pulled it off quite beautifully in my opinion.  It tremendously helped to enhance the plot of the book and gave it an interesting side that wouldn't be seen if it had only been told from Rachel's point of view.  In fact, I think I honestly enjoyed reading what Logan had to say more than Rachel most of the time.   

One thing that I seriously like about this book was that Logan and Rachel had history.  So many YA books these days have a "hey-I-just-met-you-now-kiss-me-I-love-you" kind of feel to them.  It was nice to get a background story along with the characters so that the love story wasn't something just completely out of the blue.  My favorite types of YA books are when the characters have history, so that's one component of this story that made me extremely happy.

As far as characters go... I am in complete love with Logan.  He's one of those guys that always has a plan, is strong, firm, compassionate, loving, steady, and he always knows what Rachel needs.   He's just awesome.  He's one of those guys that I wish I could just read off of the page.  (Why, oh why, could I not be Meggie from Inkheart?)  

Rachel, on the other hand, I'm not so sure about anymore.  I loved her in the beginning, but then, she was a lot more innocent in the beginning.  Granted, she did go through more than I could ever even imagine, but still, towards the middle and end of the book, she started to act solely to get revenge.  Which seriously gets on my nerves.  

This one part of the book demonstrates my feelings exactly on this subject:
" 'Rachel? What do you need?'
I remember Melkin saying he'd lost almost everything, the weight of unspoken grief hanging over his words, and wonder if giving him one piece of the truth might work in my favor.  Especially if what I need is something he might secretly want as well.  Looking him in the eye, I say, 'Revenge.  I need revenge.'    
His eyes darken and slide away from mine as he hefts the pack against his back.  'Try not to harshly judge those of us with more than that left to live for.' "

And Melkin's response is pretty much how I felt about Rachel's attitude the whole second half of the book.  Honestly, she could have found something than revenge and rage to feed off of the whole book.  Something other than revenge to fight for.  But she didn't. And that seriously gets on my nerves.

So for that reason, I give this book four stars.  But, despite that part of Rachel that irked me,  it was a fantastic book with a lovely plot, and I will eagerly await book two.  

Favorite quote from the book:
"I need Logan.
Not because I need saving.  Not because he could plan our way out of this.  But because on some basic, soul-deep level within me, he is the solid ground beneath my feet.  The one who looks at me and sees." 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Flood Friday (#1)

Hey, everyone! Here at Raindrop Reads, I highlight a "character-of-the-week" on Fridays, and, sticking with the rainy theme of my blog, I like to call it Flood Friday.

This Friday's Character: 

Tris from Divergent by Veronica Roth.

*Caution: Mild spoilers if you haven't read the book.*

Tris is one of those awesome characters who just inspires you to be a better person.  In her world, a dystopian Chicago, all of the people are split up into five groups called factions.  The five factions were formed each with a moral value to uphold: Abnegation (selflessness), Amity (peace), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (bravery), and Erudite (knowledge). When a child reaches the age of 16, he or she chooses what faction they will remain in for the rest of their lives, based on what interest most suits their personality.

Though she grew up in Abnegation, Tris chooses Dauntless as her faction, as she has always looked upon the daredevils with fascination. Here, she learns to do some pretty kick-butt things, like shoot a gun with accuracy, combat fighting, and she also learns to face her fears, in quite a literal way.

Why I Love Tris:

She's just so awesome.  She's dependent upon others, but not so much that she can't fend for herself.  She's the perfect mix of social interaction mixed with isolation.  She's not afraid to face her fears.  She takes pride in doing it.  It doesn't mean that she's not scared or that it's not hard, it just means that she doesn't wimp out when opportunity rises.  Four, one of the guys she meets over at Dauntless compound once told her, "Fear doesn't shut you down, it wakes you up."

That's something that has fascinated me for quite some time about Tris.  She doesn't shirk in the face of danger.  She is an inspiration to me, and hopefully to many others as well.  She is selfless (having grown up in Abnegation, it is one of her defining qualities), and she is also extremely brave.  Those have become two of my biggest life goals, because I don't want to get caught in a situation and wimp out or be selfish.  I want to do what is best, and I feel like those qualities make a person absolutely beautiful.

So, along with an amazing main character, I'll add that Divergent and Insurgent are absolutely amazing books.  If you have not read them, you need to go buy them as soooooon as possible.  You won't regret it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (#4)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that asks bloggers to feature books that they are ever-so-eagerly waiting for.

Top of my to-read list for this week:

Reached by Ally Condie

Publication Date: November 13, 2012

Snippet from Goodreads:

Cassia faces the ultimate choices in the long-anticipated conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Matched Trilogy

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

I can't believe that this is the final installment of the series. :(  It always breaks my heart when I think about my favorite series coming to their ends.  It's really an awful paradox, because I am dying to know what happens, but I don't want the story to reach it's finish.  All that aside, I still cannot wait for Reached! I eagerly await seeing what Condie does with the rest of this story!  I'm sure she'll far exceed my expectations. 

So what are you guys waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review: Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck

Review: Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck 

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
With three of the goddess Durga's quests behind them, only one prophecy now stands in the way of Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan breaking the tiger's curse. But the trio's greatest challenge awaits them: A life-endangering pursuit in search of Durga's final gift, the Rope of Fire, on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.  It's a race against time--and the evil sorcerer Lokesh--in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the bestselling Tiger's Curse series, which pits good against evil, tests the bonds of love and loyalty, and finally reveals the tigers' true destinies once and for all. 



I have been waiting on this book for who-knows-how-long.  I mean seriously, guys.  A long time.  I am quite emotionally close to the first three books in this saga (Tiger's Curse, Tiger's Quest, and Tiger's Voyage), so when I finally got the chance to read Tiger's Destiny, I was quite ecstatic.  

So, that being said, I went into Destiny with a wonderful attitude.  And then, I realized that Kelsey was an idiot.  Of course, I've always known this, but she just seemed to make me more mad than I've ever been with her in this book.

For starters, if she can get herself into any type of trouble, she will.  And she can't save herself either.  That's Ren and Kishan's job.  I would say that Kelsey Hayes is pretty much the total and complete polar opposite of Katniss Everdeen (and several others, but I used Katniss because she is perhaps the most widely-known).  

I feel like the whole time,  Kelsey complains.  And I just want to punch her in the face and say, "GIRL.  YOU HAVE NOTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT."  You have two beautiful boys fawning over you, you get to go on tons of adventures, oh and not to mention that Ren and Kishan LOVE you.  They are a couple of gentlemen (quite possibly the best in the entire world), filthy rich (not a deciding factor, but a pretty nice side note), completely romantic, etc., and they are in love with YOU.  

And do you know what she says? "I just want a normal life.  I don't want to be special.  I'm too plain-Jane for this type of thing." (Not specifically.  But she does say some things that are frighteningly similar to that.  multiple times). 

But, aside from Kelsey's attitude, which I force myself to ignore, I did love this book for Ren and Kishan and the adventure of it.  And of course, Ren in this novel is absolutely heart-melting.  I'm just over here like, "REN. FORGET KELSEY.  MARRY ME."  In the words of my best friend Abby, over at @Wintry Words , If there was any doubt that I was Team Ren before, all those doubts are gone.  

Destiny, I thought, did very well as far as plot went.  Colleen never fails to give an interesting quest for her books.  My biggest thought while reading this book was, "AHH.  It's all just one big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff."  And that pretty much describes this quest.  Thank you to The Doctor for that wonderful description of time; it is quite fitting.  

In the end, this novel was just emotionally-attaching (as are all the other books in this saga), and when I finished, it just left me wanting more and more.  Colleen always manages to rip my heart to shreds with these books.  It makes me so incredibly sad that the next book (Tiger's Dream) is the last.  But alas, it must come to an end sometime.   Either way, this book did quite well in my opinion, and I cannot wait to see what Colleen has in store for Dream.