Incriminating Dating Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Rebekah L. Purdy

Published April 10th 2017 by Entangled Crush

Pages – 189

GoodReads

Rating – 4/5

I am so excited to be part of the Blog Tour for Incriminating Dating! Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me a copy on NetGalley for an honest review and including me within this tour! 

GoodReads Summary:

Ayla Hawkins is ready to stand up for change in her high school. But winning the election for class president against popular Jenna Lee will be impossible without a miracle. When she stumbles upon Mr. Perfect Luke Pressler defacing public property and catches it on camera: cue miracle. Ayla’s got the dirt she needs to get Luke on Team Ayla—in the form of her new fake boyfriend.

One mistake. All Luke wanted was a night to goof off, to blow off steam. The pressure of maintaining the perfect facade when his reality was crumbling around him had become too much, and next thing he knew, he was pretending to date Ayla Hawkins. But his little blackmailer turns out to be kind. Honorable. Opinionated. And just the breath of fresh air he didn’t even realize he was suffocating for. But Luke and Ayla come from different worlds, and once the election is over, their fauxmance will be, too.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book features adult language, sexual situations, and plenty of girl power. Reading may result in swooning, laughing, and looking for a Luke of your own.

 

Characters:

Ayla – Editor-in-chief of the school newspaper; Passionate for Drama Club –  I personally enjoyed reading from Ayla’s POV since I immediately loved her from the start. She is so fun, bright and very passionate about key issues within the school and society and is strong enough to bring them into the light. The fact that she had such nerdy interests (Doctor Who, Zelda, and Minecraft) and an obsession with Pizza made her even more adorable!

Luke – Star Basketball Player; Despite the image that he builds for himself in school, Luke is a teenager who is going through some tough situations at home and it is discovered through his relationship with Ayla that there is a lot more to him than what is initially known. He is a very complex character but that is what makes him so interesting. Side Note: I adored his little brother Landon – he was such a cutie! 🙂

 

My Thoughts

I personally enjoyed reading this novel and the characters truly helped make this such a fun read. While it is true that this novel is within the contemporary  genre and therefore, is a cute fluffy romance, it was still an enjoyable read since you see the character relationships grow in a decent pace which added to a realistic flow to the story. I also felt that the connection between Luke and Ayla was so genuine and real and you couldn’t help but root for them throughout the book.  Luke would give Ayla the confidence she needs to face her fears at school and Ayla is Luke’s pillar of support who always keeps him grounded and pushes him to make the right decisions.

Purdy also did an amazing job with her writing since it was so engaging and the alternate POVs had a clear distinct voice for each main character and it was not confusing when switching between the parts. Overall, the story did flow naturally from chapter to chapter and it did highlight some significant themes within our society. I would definitely recommend this if you would like a sweet, spring read! 🙂

 

About the author:
Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. Shes lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California. Rebekah has a business degree from University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also has a big family (6 kids), she likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Bunch complete with crazy road trips and game nights. When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazillion pets.

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Excerpt:

Before the football game got started, the announcer came over the loudspeakers to tell the fans about the booth. Hoots and hollers went up through the crowd, and soon we had a long line of students waiting for their turns.

I stood near the booth, making sure to thank everyone for coming out and to actually talk to them. Surprisingly, they seemed receptive to me and my ideas.

“I’m so glad you’re running,” a girl named Brooklyn said. “It’d be nice to have someone normal as president, you know. Someone who cares about the art programs.”

I smiled. “Thanks. I promise, I’ll be fighting hard for those things.”

When halftime rolled around, we still had students lined up. Partially because Stacy promised to post pics on our school newspaper’s social media pages, and partially because I think people liked the idea of taking crazy photos with the popular kids.

The volleyball team left to take their places on the field, and I trudged to one of the chairs behind the booth. I so wasn’t ready for this. Chloe sat next to me. Thank God I didn’t have to do this alone.

“Here, put on some red lipstick. You want to stand out, you know.” She laughed, dabbing my lips. “Now smack them together.”

Trying to ignore the small group standing around us, I did as she said. A few guys hopped into Chloe’s line for a pic, but mine didn’t have anyone yet. And of course the girls were lined for Brady and Jack. I glanced around nervously. This was kind of embarrassing—no one wanted to be seen with me. Did I have something stuck on my face? Maybe I wasn’t pretty enough. Then someone came to stand in front of me. My gaze slid up to find Luke. He held up a twenty-dollar bill, then put it into the can. What was he doing? I knew he didn’t have that kind of money. But my thoughts quickly turned from his money to the fact he was paying to take a picture with me.

“So, what do we want to wear in our photo?” Luke said, reaching for a pair of dark shades and a ridiculously large cowboy hat.

“Um, I’ll take this…” I grabbed a large purple boa and wrapped it around my neck, pulling on a pair of long, lacy white gloves.

We stepped inside the booth…and lined up in front of a computer screen that Chloe’s dad let us borrow, which showed both our faces on it.

“I think we ought to make this a really memorable picture, don’t you?” Luke’s voice sounded deeper.

He moved toward me, his breath warm against my cheek. He wasn’t even looking at the camera. Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. Holy shit. My first kiss. And it’d be with Luke. Freaking. Pressler.

Fangirl Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“I’m the kind of girl who fantasizes about being trapped in a library overnight.”

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published September 10th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 445

GoodReads

Rating: 4/5

I think I might have found my new favorite contemporary book! : )

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From the very first few pages, I was automatically grasped by the story since it was so reminiscent of my early college days. The characters also made the story so enticing and I yearned to learn more about them as the novel progressed. I truly saw myself in Cath, our main character, because I too was highly introverted and I also had a fear of being placed into a social gathering since at that time in my life, I was going through some social anxiety due to my past experiences. But like Cath, when you do meet people who are willing to understand and respect your personality, that is when the walls that you built start crumbling down and you realize that the world may not be as scary as it seems.

Summary:

Cath’s world practically revolves around Simon Snow and her endless pages of fan-fiction and when she was young, she was able to share this love with her twin sister, Wren. Now that the two girls are beginning a new life at college, Wren is ready to let go of the fandom while Cath cannot help but hold on to it. Despite being so close when they were young, Wren decides not to be roommates, leaving her sister all alone. Cath is now surrounded by a brash roommate and her charming boyfriend, a skeptical professor, and a classmate who also shares her love for writing. While being suddenly thrown into this new environment, Cath is forced to learn how to live her own life without having to rely on her sister. With the addition of complex relationships, class struggles and worrying for her Dad, the path towards succeeding in college and life may not seem as easy as it seems.

 

Characters:

Cath – Fanfic writer; Social Anxiety; Cares for Dad/Sister – Cath was someone I could easily connect with since I pretty much shared her experiences when I was in college. The fact that she tends to avoid social situations leads to her snarky and sometimes sarcastic comments which had me amused at certain points. Despite that, she does have a soft side since she was very much attached to her father and would always check up on him since he would be home alone.

Levi – Very Sociable; Next Door Boy personality – Levi is male character who looks and feels so realistic to a normal person. I liked the fact that Rainbow Rowell did not have to make him be this typical YA bad boy who is oozing with sex appeal. He is pretty much the average, sweet guy who every girl would want to meet and have a relationship with. That is not to say he is completely perfect since he does have his own flaws. However, I admire the fact that he is willing to accept and take responsibility for any mistakes he has done.

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Wren – Bold; Outgoing – Wren’s lifestyle is college was the complete opposite of Cath and through her we got to see a complete different side to the life on campus. Although she is not the main character, Rainbow Rowell did do a great job in developing her story arc to highlight some important issues we face in college.

Reagan – Blunt; Straightforward – The dynamic between Cath and Reagan was so much fun to read about. I loved the friendship that grows between them and how Reagan was able to bring Cath out of her shell and help her adjust to college life.

My Thoughts: 

If you have been following my blog, it is no secret that I typically do not reach for contemporary books since I generally prefer sci-fi/fantasy novels since they are the ones which provide an escape for me. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed reading this novel since there were so many moments which I found to be truly relatable. Some examples, existed within the college lifestyle such as the initial fear of being in a new place, having to make new friends, living with a roommate, stressing about classes/exams, etc. I love the fact that Cath would hide a bunch of protein bars in her room to avoid going to the dining hall which is kind of what I did but the only difference was that I basically lived off of ramen 🙂

The only issue I had with this novel which prevented me from giving it a perfect 5/5 was that I felt the ending did not seem as complete or resolved as I would have liked it to be. This could be because there was not much of a direct goal which had to be accomplished by the end of the story or that Rainbow Rowell did not want to drag the book out to make it longer than it needs to be. I did appreciate that we saw some growth in Cath since she is able to speak up for herself and does not shut everyone out like she initially had done from the start of the novel. The romance was beautifully developed and both Cath and Levi just seemed right for each other.  ship.gif

Overall, if you are looking for a fun and light contemporary read, you should definitely pick up Fangirl! 🙂

Fun Fact: I was living on campus for my first year of college and during the final exams of my first semester, I actually overslept and woke about approximately 15 minutes before the start of the exam 😦 The main issue was the lecture hall where we the exam was scheduled was on a separate campus and I has to take the bus to get there. This was probably the day (and may be the only day) where I broke the record for the fastest time I have ever gotten out of bed and gotten ready to go out.

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P.S – I surprisingly did make it there and managed to finish the exam on time hehe

Did any of you guys read Fangirl? What were your thoughts on it?

~Ash~

Swinging At Love – Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Kendra C. Highley

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: March 13th 2017

Pages: 191

Rating: 3/5

GoodReads

Thank you so much to Entangled Publishing for providing me an e-ARC of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review! 

Summary:

Alyssa and her family are facing a potential shutdown of their batting cage while Tristan has completely lost his swing for the game. A lot of things are on the line for him: being the potential captain of his team next year and that his entire team is counting on him to help them win the upcoming championship. When things seem to worsen, he decides to step away from his teammates for awhile and practice in a small center, known as Swing Away and this is where he meets Alyssa. Impressed at her technical expertise at the game and her softball skills, the two of them manage to grow close right away. What seems to be a very simple relationship grows to become even more complicated as time progresses.

Characters:

  1. Alyssa – Responsible, Independent, Bold; I was impressed with Alyssa’s character from the first chapter. She is so knowledgeable yet she never gets too arrogant about her skills and her sense of responsibility towards her familial issues was something to applaud at her age.
  2. Tristan – Charming, Passionate for Baseball, Swoon-worthy; Tristan was definitely a sweet character who had me squealing at some scenes 🙂 He does have his issues which he needs to solve but I did wish there was more depth to his character – a little more depth and development and I would have loved him even more 🙂
  3. Dylan – Hilarious; Dylan was the comic relief in this book for sure, there were scenes where he had me giggling at his ridiculous dialogue.
  4. Lauren – A bit spoiled but a good friend to Alyssa. She does have her flaws which she manages to realize at the end and eventually grows from it.

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a cute contemporary read, then this will be perfect for you. Although this is the second book of the series, you do not have to read the first one in order to read this book since they are more of companion novels than actual sequels. Some of the previous characters include Faith, the dancer, and Kyle, the Senior Captain of the Baseball team, do play a part in this novel and we see how their relationship progresses after the first book. To be honest, after reading a few of Kyle’s scenes in this book, I actually want to read the first novel just to see more of his laid back and sometimes cocky personality.

The only few issues/critiques I had with this novel is that I wished the writing could have been a bit more intricate and in terms of plot, I felt that a few of the issues were resolved too quickly and almost easily. It could be because this was a very short novel but if the trials and character complications were given more depth, I feel that it would added more heart and emotion into the story. Overall, this book was a cute and romantic contemporary read and I would recommend it if you are looking for an easy read to get out of a reading slump since I pretty much raced through this book in a few hours. I think I might even pick up the first book of the series! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading and I will be back with another post soon!

~Ash~

Top 5 Urban Fantasy and Epic Fantasy Books

Hello everyone! It’s time for the final post for the Entangled Teen Event, Team Urban vs. Team Epic Fantasy which is to name your top 5 Urban Fantasy or Epic Fantasy books. I really can’t pick favorites with genres especially with these two since I randomly switch back and forth between both of them. So please enjoy my picks (in no particular order) for the Top 5 Urban Fantasy and Epic Fantasy Books.

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GoodReads defines Urban Fantasy as a “subset of contemporary fantasy, consisting of novels and stories with supernatural and/or magical elements set in contemporary, real-world, urban settings–as opposed to ‘traditional’ fantasy set in imaginary locations.”

Top 5 Urban Fantasy

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The Raven Cycle – One of the most unique YA novels out there! The concept of fortune tellers, ghosts and other paranormal features made this series such a delight to read. But the final piece of puzzle had to be the characters who were all amazing to read about and you can not help but grow attached to them over time.

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Angelfall – I absolutely love the incorporation of the fallen angels into the post- apocalyptic genre. It was so unique and thrilling I just could not stop reading!

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Harry Potter – Although the world of Harry Potter is an independent world of its own, there is still some crossover between the real world and the wizarding world which is why I added this into the Urban Fantasy category. I think its safe to say that this series is beyond phenomenal from its characters to the plot lines and the world building!  This series was practically my childhood.

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Percy Jackson – I only started reading Percy Jackson after a fellow blogger recommended it to me and I absolutely loved it! It was amazing to see the imaginative incorporation of mythological creatures into the real world

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Hush Hush series – Another fallen angels series which I quite frankly enjoyed! I loved how the author maintained the mysterious aura throughout the series with the usage of paranormal beings/occurrences

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According to GoodReads, Epic Fantasy is defined as ” set in invented or parallel worlds and takes some elements from High Fantasy but in a bigger and more epic way (e.g. the stakes are greater; the land/world is in peril; the conflict shakes all who dwell in the world of the story).”

Top 5 Epic Fantasy

An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes – A brilliant and electrifying debut set in a brutal world inspired by the Roman Empire. It is so fast paced and the stakes are so high in this novel that you end up on the edge of your seat at certain moments! A great thrilling read!

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Six of Crows – Set in the Grishaverse, this book follows a group of thieves and spies from the slums of Ketterdam who try to pull off an incredible and almost impossible heist. Six of Crows is set in a world inspired by Russia during the Tsar’s rule but it also incorporates a magical system of the Grishas. This book was amazing and the characters are so well developed as much as the world itself, it was such an enjoyable read!

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A Court of Thorns and Roses – Now I know this is slightly more New Adult but I wanted to add this onto the list since I believed it fit well within the Epic Fantasy genre. Believe it or not, this is my first Sarah J Mass book and despite the slow start, I ended up enjoying this book at the end. This is set in a complete fantasy universe despite switching from the human and fae worlds and Sarah does a fabulous job in developing her world to make it seem so believable and from what I am hearing, the second book only gets better and I can not wait to pick that one up!

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Falling Kingdoms – Described as the Young Adult version of the Game of Thrones, the world of Falling Kingdoms is merciless, intricate but also magical. We even dive into the political tensions between the various kingdoms, assassins, and other magical beings as well.

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Throne of Glass – Of course we have the ever so popular Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas who is the Queen of writing Epic Fantasy since she has such amazing world building and character development skills!

What are your favorite Urban Fantasy and Epic Fantasy books?

~Ash~

TEAM EPIC : Why I Love Epic Fantasy!

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Hello everyone! As promised, here is Team Epic’s side to the Team Urban Fantasy vs. Team Epic Event hosted by Entangled Teen. Hope you all enjoy reading! And don’t forget to enter Entangled Teen’s giveaway for this event HERE. Best of luck to all who enter!

Team Epic: Why I Love Epic Fantasy!

Erica Cameron – Island of Exiles (The Ryogan Chronicles, #1):

“Why do I love epic fantasy? It’s a blank slate. We can erase all of our preconceived notions of society and law and even science, throwing all of that over the side of a cliff. Epic fantasy lets us push humanity well past the breaking point with ever more impossible landscapes and situations. It lets us see what we could be if only we let ourselves get there. Plus, epic fantasy is, well, epic!”

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Book Description:

In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle. On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.

But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen.

To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.

Buy Island of Exiles

Amber Mitchell – Garden of Thorns:

“When I read and write, it’s because I want to escape and nothing gets you farther from your troubles than the distant shores of entirely new worlds. Epic fantasy invites you onto its tropical beaches, into its lush jungles and through its exotic cityscapes, shaking out its uncharted map for you to explore. Every page brims with fantastic characters questing, battling men and extraordinary beasts alike with magic flowing from nimble fingertips and daring sword fights. The allure of entirely new cultures, the epic stakes, swoon-worthy romances, and the flowing dresses of epic fantasy will always have my heart.”

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Book Description:

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll to take to her grave if she must.

Buy Garden of Thorns

L.E. Sterling – True North (True Born, #2):

“Don’t get me wrong — #TeamUrban is great. I love time jumpers and magicians running around a book. They make you blink and question what you saw. But I prefer life in a funhouse mirror. Give me a goblin market. Give me a warrior queen with immortal blood. I want the snow queen’s glass shard to be embedded in my eye. I want to completely escape the bounds of reality — not be shackled by them. I don’t want to just question my perceptions — I want to know I’m not in Kansas any longer.”

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Book Description:

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

Buy True North

Nicole Luiken – In Truth & Ashes (Otherselves, #3):

“First for the endlessly inventive magic. Second for the fascinating new worlds to explore. Third for the fantastic creatures that dwell there: dragons, gargoyles, demi-gods and phoenixes are just a few of the ones I’ve used.

Epic fantasy gives a writer a bigger canvas to paint. Instead of a city, a country or even worlds. Wars. Heroes. Villains. Destinies. Everything is bigger is epic fantasy. The stakes are higher, instead of a single group, the fate of a world can hang in the balance.”

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Book Description:

The Mirror Worlds are but dull reflections of the True World, where magic and technology blend together…

On the True World, Belinda Loring has known from childhood that she must Bond with the son of another noble First Family. Uniting the families ensures hers will hold onto its powerful position, and so she’s always pushed down the tender feelings she has for her best friend—gorgeous, steadfast Demian, who isn’t noble.

But when the ceremonial magic goes disastrously wrong, Belinda becomes a national disgrace. Scorned as Broken, she turns to Demian for help getting revenge on the man who ruined her: the radical Malachi.

But the seeds of Malachi’s murderous plans lie buried in Belinda’s past, in the dark days of her kidnapping—a period of which she has no memory. And Demian may hold the key to recovering all that she’s lost—and saving the worlds.

Buy In Truth & Ashes

 

Renee Collins – Relic:

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Book Description:

After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.

Buy Relic

Rebekah L. Purdy – The Summer Marked (The Winter People, #2):

“Epic Fantasy is an escape from the “real world” and takes you to other lands, places you can only dream of, which is why I love it so much.  And there’s so much more opportunity to really explore new creatures and characters within these worlds. I mean, who doesn’t like the idea of stepping through a closet and finding a cool fantasy world? LOL.

I’m also a big fan of the epic battles (think Lord of the Rings or Throne of Glass). Girl with a sword=Awesome.”

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Book Description:

Fresh off a break-up with her boyfriend, Kadie’s glad to be home from college for Thanksgiving. All she needs is a rebound guy, a box of chocolates, and some girl time with her best friend, Salome. Problem is, Salome isn’t returning her calls, and her family won’t say where she is. Feeling sorry for herself, Kadie ends up at Club Blade, a place filled with pumping music, dangerous guys, and promises of a good time. However, when midnight strikes, Kadie’s fun turns into a nightmare as she’s ripped from the human world into Faerie by a vengeful Winter Prince named Etienne. For the first time in her life, she realizes the monsters Salome always spoke of are real, and they’ll stop at nothing to destroy her friend.

Salome thought the winter curse was behind her. But winter has left its mark. Not just on her, but on the whole summer court. The Kingdom of Summer is falling apart, and Nevin is hanging onto his throne by a thread. With war on his doorstep, he has no choice but to send Gareth into enemy territory, which means Salome will be left alone—vulnerable in a world she doesn’t understand. A place where beauty is deadly and humans are pawns in the macabre games the Fae play. Both Kadie and Salome will have to call on all their strength to survive in a world where humans aren’t meant to be. With death and enemies all around them, it’ll be a miracle if they can survive.

Buy The Summer Marked

Chloe Jacobs – Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles, #1):

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Book Description:

While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse.

To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape.

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…

Buy Greta and the Goblin King

 

I really loved learning the various reasons why authors loved the Urban Fantasy or the Epic Fantasy genre. This is primarily why I love reading in the first place. In both cases, the fantasy books serve as an escape from reality through which you can dive into an unknown world and meet amazing characters or learn about the fantasy political and magic system. The experience itself can be unearthly or dreamlike.

From Team Epic Fantasy, I personally liked L.E. Sterling reasoning, “I want to completely escape the bounds of reality — not be shackled by them” and Nicole Luiken who saidEpic fantasy gives a writer a bigger canvas to paint. Instead of a city, a country or even worlds. Wars. Heroes. Villains. Destinies. Everything is bigger is epic fantasy.I found both examples to be the reason why I sometimes reach for an Epic Fantasy book. 

Do any of you guys have a preference over which genre you like the most? Are you Team Urban Fantasy or Team Epic Fantasy?

~Ash~

Team Urban vs. Team Epic Fantasy Week and GIVEAWAY

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Hello everyone!!! Hope you all are doing well!

I am so excited to participate in the amazing YA Series Promo called Team Urban vs. Team Epic Fantasy hosted by the Publisher, Entangled Teen! During this week long event, I will be creating posts featuring some of the publisher’s new and backlist titles along with some of the authors’ Q&A over whether they are Team Urban or Team Fantasy. This week long event started from February 28, 2017 and will end on March 3rd, 2017.

Urban vs. Epic Fantasy Week Schedule: 

  • Tuesday, February 28th: Team Urban vs. Team Epic Fantasy Twitter Chat @ 9-10 pm EST
  • Wednesday Mar. 1st: Bloggers post a feature with authors who ascribe to #TeamUrban
  • Thursday, Mar. 2nd: Bloggers post a feature with authors on #TeamEpic
  • Friday, Mar. 3rd: Bloggers and authors can write / share related posts, including: why they’re Team Urban or Team Epic, their Top 5/10 Fave Urban or Epic Fantasy Reads, and/or the Top 5 Reasons They Loved _____ (an urban or epic fantasy read)

And I am so excited to let you all know that Entangled Teen will be doing a Giveaway as well! This giveaway will feature an Urban vs. Epic Fantasy Prize Pack, including:

* Paperback of True Born

* Hardcover of Thief of Lies

* Paperback of Spindle

You may enter the giveaway HERE on their official site 🙂 All the best to all who enter!

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I personally have a very difficult time choosing whether I love one genre over the other since they both have their own individual charm. How about we check out what the authors have to say about Urban Fantasy?

Team Urban: Why I Love Urban Fantasy!

1 . Shonna Slayton – Spindle:

“Urban fantasy reminds me that our own world is magical. We are so used to the way our world works that we take for granted how incredible it is that our heart beats, our brain imagines, that our eyes see color.

As a writer, urban fantasy allows me to open up my imagination on multiple planes. I still work with the real world, but I get to add layers onto that. It’s like going from black and white TV to color. Like Dorothy in dusty old Kansas stepping into the colorful land of Oz.”

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Book Description:

In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger…

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

Buy Spindle

2. Danielle Ellison – Salt (Salt, #1):

“Whether it’s witches, demons, ghosts or other types monsters, there’s nothing like escaping the sometimes mundane reality of our world, or giving what we know every day a spice of fantasy.  Filled with kick-ass heroines who aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe in (and hot, just-as-fierce love interests) Urban Fantasy inspires you look beyond what you see and be more than you think you can be. Plus, life is more with some magic: more dangerous, more unpredictable, more chaotic, more fun.”

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Book Description:

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Buy Salt

3. Rachel Harris – My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #1):

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Book Description:

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits…right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

Buy My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

4. Gloria Craw – Atlantis Rising (Atlantis Rising, #1):

“I love Urban Fantasy because it infuses normal life with myth and magic. It’s so exciting to have something in common with a character who finds a magic object, special ability or a secret origin. The possible ways her courage and passion might be tested are endless. When she does triumph against fantastic odds, I’m left feeling inspired and reassured that I can overcome great obstacles in my everyday life too. Urban Fantasy reminds me that the ordinary in us can sometimes be…extraordinary.”

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Book Description:

We’ve stayed hidden too long… I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger. So I hide in plain sight, wearing drab clothes and thick glasses and trying to be invisible. I’m so good at hiding, no one has ever noticed me. Until Ian…the mysterious and oh-so-cute boy I know I need to avoid.

Now I have been seen. And more terrifying still, I am wanted—by those who would protect me and those who would destroy everything and everyone I love. But if they’re all terrified about who I am, wait until they see what I can do…

Buy Atlantis Rising

5. Brenda Drake – Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):

“I’m such a fan of Urban Fantasy for many reasons, but mostly because writers can take our normal world and, either secret or not, add a dash of the fantastical to it. With mystical creatures hiding from humans or living side by side with them, deliciously nefarious things can happen. There’s just something extraordinary about urban fantasy. It’s the ability of the writer to look at something normal in the human world and mix it up. Changing a simple book into something that can transport someone from library to library or hiding a zoo of magical beasts in a common suitcase.”

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Book Description:

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Buy Guardian of Secrets

6. Chris Cannon – Fanning the Flames (Going Down in Flames, #4):

  1.      There are no maidens that need to be rescued in urban fantasy. More than likely the females are the ones kicking ass.
  2.      I love the snarky banter that occurs when you throw modern day characters into            strange/magical/supernatural circumstances.
  3.      Anything is possible in urban fantasy. There are no rules about what types of                  paranormal creatures you can have. If you want to create dragons that breathe fire, ice, wind, sonic waves, and lightning, you can, just like I did in Going Down In Flames *cough cough* shameless self promotion

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Book Description:

She isn’t afraid of anything…except losing the knight she loves. Bryn McKenna has it all, including her smoking-hot knight turned live-in boyfriend, Valmont. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting into the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparents want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.

If she doesn’t say, “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon, she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.

Buy Fanning the Flames

 

7. Tara Fuller – Inbetween (Kissed by Death, #1):

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Book Description:

Death doesn’t fall in love. Usually. Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Buy Inbetween

 

Hope you all enjoyed the post for today! I will be making a post for the #TeamEpic Authors and their thrilling books tomorrow so please look forward to it!

How about you guys? Are you on Team Urban or Team Epic Fantasy?

~Ash~

The Bone Witch Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“There is no greater strength than the ability to understand and accept your own flaws.”

Author: Rin Chupeco

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: March 7, 2017

Rating: 3/5

GoodReads

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire publishing to providing me this arc for review on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Summary:

The Bone Witch starts off with a girl named Tea who accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead and upon doing so, she learns that she has a special talent for necromancy. This type of gift is super rare in society but Tea is taken in by her mentor, Lady Mykaela, to train as an Asha  for a few years. Here, she learns of dark forces which are lurking nearby and how she is might hold the key to resolving the danger around them.

My thoughts:

When I first saw this book on the upcoming releases on goodreads, I was automatically intrigued by the description due the inclusion of necromancy. How awesome is that? It was so interesting and in a completely different genre that I normally read so I was so excited when I was offered a copy on Netgalley! First of all, can we talk about how gorgeous this cover is? I love the colors: royal purple with a hint of gold intricate patterns which almost gives it a divine look. The skull in the center no doubt adds a bit of a chilling and creepy aura to the book which fits perfectly with this paranormal genre.

To start off with the positive aspects of this book, I will say that the writing is beautiful and the world building/ setting is brilliantly done. For example, I did like the incorporation of heartglasses through which you could read a person’s emotions based on the color.I also did enjoy the spark of diversity which the author added through the incorporation of an Asian inspired setting.

However, I did feel that the descriptions of the world overshadowed the plot to the point where it felt like very little happened in the novel. This was what I was disappointed about because there was so much potential for a great storyline and character arc but in the end, this book ended up falling short of my expectations. I do feel there is room for expansion and further development of the plot so perhaps we might see something better in the second book?

In terms of the main character, I felt that Tea was intriguing at the start due to her unique talents and strengths at necromancy but as we moved through the story I saw that there was not much character development and for this reason, she ended up becoming quite bland. I would have liked to see her face more challenges and obstacles in her path where she had to make tough decisions (good or bad) and learn from them but we did not get to see much of this in the book.

Overall, I thought that this was a great book in terms of world building and writing but it did not perform well in terms of plot. If any of you decide to read this book, please let me know your thoughts below!

~Ash~