Enter to win a Signed/Personalized copy of Fever by Lauren DeStefano here

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Once by Anna Carey

Title: Once
Author: Anna Carey
Series: Eve #2
Published: July 3, 2012 by Harper Collins

Sixteen years have passed since a deadly virus wiped out most of the Earth’s population. After learning of the terrifying part she and her classmates were fated to play in the rebuilding of New America, eighteen-year-old Eve fled to the wilds and Califia, a haven for women determined to live outside the oppressive rule of the king of New America. However, her freedom came at a price: she was forced to leave Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. Eve quickly learns that Califia may not be as safe as it seems and soon finds herself in the City of Sand and the palace of the king. There she uncovers the real reason he was so intent on her capture, and the unbelievable role he intends her to fill. When she is finally reunited with Caleb, they will enact a plan as daring as it is dangerous. But will Eve once again risk everything—her freedom, her life—for love?

A Copy of this Book was Provided by the Publisher for Review

My Review:

If you haven't read this first book in this series, Eve, I would recommend picking up a copy now, because this story just got ten times more intense!!

In Once, the reader delves deeper into the politics of this new dystopian world. At the start, a huge plot twist is revealed regarding Eve, which changes the story drastically. The secret could easily be predicted, but its a welcome 'game-changer' that stirs up the drama, risk, and desperation of this story. I definitely believe that this was the extra oomf this book needed to set it apart from every other dystopian. 

The majority of this book focuses on this major plot reveal, so I'm sorry this review is a bit vague, but I don't want to ruin any surprises. The pace of this book has slowed down a lot, but that doesn't detract from the writing or plot. If anything, it adds a bit more thrill to the story line because you don't know when all hell is going to break loose. The bad guys are a bit harder to figure out and as a reader you're left with that feeling that you can't trust anyone. 

I will tell you that the romance has stepped it up, as it is much steamier. The relationship between Eve and Caleb has progressed beautifully and there is a palpable tension between the two characters. There are quite a few 'blush-worthy' scenes which only increases my love for this pairing. There are also quite a few new characters introduced who also stir up some much needed insanity, but even more enjoyable is the chance to revisit some old ones. There is a perfect balance of old and new in this book which will lead perfectly into the third book of this trilogy.

Overall, this book was definitely an improvement to an already successful dystopian. Everything has intensified- romance, risk, betrayal, secrets- and everything comes together into one INSANE ending that will leave you desperately wanting more. Carey has skillfully created an amazing bridge book that has upped the anty in an already amazing series. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the awesome ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is:

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend As Good Beach Reads

1. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen- Sarah is the go-to author for all things summer. She has cute romances, relatable characters, and of course this book takes place at the beach!

2. Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols- I actually read this book when I was on vacation at the beach. It has a steamy romance with a man in uniform!

3. The Au Pairs series by Melissa de la Cruz- This entire series is incredible for summer. Its about three girls, hired on by a rich family in the Hamptons as Au Pairs. Its hilarious with some incredible romance and fun moments.

4. He's So Not Worth It by Kiernan Scott- This is the second book in the series, but takes place during the summer at the beach.

5. Beach Blondes by Katherine Applegate- Another summer book about girls on vacation together in Florida. What kind of trouble could they get in to together?

6. Island Girls by Rachel Hawthorne- Another book about best friends spending the summer together at a vacation house. Why can't my summers be like that?

7. Bad Girls by Alex McAulay- A book about girls sent to a reform camp in the tropics. It's actually a more serious read, but still perfect for a hot day.

8. Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen- Of course Sarah made it up here twice! Another book set in the summer about a self-conscious girl finding herself and love at the beach.

9. Amplified by Tara Kelly- A girl just out of high school leaves home and auditions for a band as lead guitarist. The hilarity and awesomeness of this book cannot be explained!

10. Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern- Two best friends road trip across country to save their other friend after she faked her own kidnapping. The one-liners in this book are gut-busting. And of course there is some sweet romance too.

*Ok, so there was an older book I was trying to remember that I wanted to put on this list but can't think of its title. It was about two ex-friends, one girl is extremely popular and the other is an athlete, who go on spring break together last minute to Florida. They end up staying in the athlete's grandmother's condo and both fall in love with the same guy. There is a sequel to this book about going to Paris. Anyone ever read them?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton

Title: Emma Hearts LA
Author: Keris Stainton
Published: June 7, 2012 by Orchard

Emma's not sure that LA's for her, but when she accompanies her sister Jane to an audition, a chance meeting with a teen TV star starts to change her new sunshine lifestyle for the better... But what about Oscar, so far her only friend in LA, who's turning out NOT to be the idiot she thought he was?

Soon Emma begins to find herself torn between two boys and reconsidering her entire future.

Maybe LA's not that bad after all.

A Copy of this Book was Provided by the Publisher for Review

My Review:

The premise for Emma Hearts LA is exactly what it sounds like- a cute fast read. There isn't much dimension to the story, some might label it fluff, but Emma Hearts LA although underdeveloped, is a sweet story. Emma has recently moved to the LA area with her mother and sister following her parent's divorce. Luckily her neighbor, Oscar, is an old childhood friend, who is there to make the transition easier for Emma. Oscar is your typical boy next door, slightly awkward but the unknowingly charming good guy. However, when accompanying her younger sister on a Hollywood audition, Emma meets teen star Alex, and LA has just become a whole lot more interesting.

The best way to really describe this book is cute. Its an innocent storyline, geared more for a younger audience, as there is more 'butterflies in your stomach' romance as opposed to 'hot sexual tension'. The characters are young and their relationships are purely innocent. Even TV star Alex, who is described as being gorgeous, is too nice and polite!

Although lacking in chemistry, the characters were fun to read. Emma is your typical YA protagonist stuck in an unfortunate love triangle with two amazing guys. Everyone in this book just read a little too sweet or too good that it made it a little boring. I wanted some tension or drama, but there really wasn't much that made this book stand out. There were some 'awe-worthy' moments, such as an awkward first kiss and serenading scene, but it didn't make up for the majority of this book being forgettable.

I would recommend borrowing this book if you're going to give it a shot and would definitely pass it along to a younger (possibly middle grade) reader.