Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (45)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to read.

My pick is Make It Real by Sabrina Elkins!

Goodreads summary:

If you want real love, you have to let someone in.

There are movies, and then there's life. Taryn Lord knows that better than most. She's just been cast in her first big-budget role, playing the girlfriend of ├╝berdriven, incredibly gorgeous heartthrob Connor Hayes. Getting involved with him in a high-profile romance to boost publicity isn't her idea. But maybe he's a better actor than she gave him credit for, because the real Connor is infinitely more intriguing and attractive than the surly star she thought she knew.

Hollywood loves a bad boy, but Connor's demons aren't ones he's willing to share. So he stays closed off from everyone. Until Taryn starts getting under his skin—and into his dreams. Their on-set fling was supposed to ignite social media and then fizzle to nothing. Fake is easy. This is raw, unpredictable and risky. Because when the cameras stop rolling, there's no choice but to get real….

My thoughts:

I'm beyond excited for this book!  I read Sabrina Elkins's first book, Stir Me Up, when it released last fall and loved it.  Taryn was one of my favorite minor characters in it and I can't wait to read her story.

Make It Real releases July 1, 2014.

What's your WoW pick?

~ Kaitlyn

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (12)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted at Tynga's Reviews.

Here's my haul!

Books I bought/received:
- The One by Kiera Cass
- Pawn by Aimee Carter (Thanks to Harlequin Teen for sending me this!)
- Avalon by Mindee Arnett (Thanks to Andye at Reading Teen for sending me this!)

Books I got from the library:
- Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
- Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
- Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

I've actually read all the top three books, but have yet to read any I've gotten from the library.  I'd better get on that soon before they're due, lol.  I'm especially looking forward to Eon: Dragoneye Reborn; I've heard so many great things about it!

What's in your book haul?  Leave a link to your blog so I can stop by!

~ Kaitlyn

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

ARC Review: The Girl With the Windup Heart by Kady Cross

Goodreads summary:

In 1897 London, a final showdown is about to begin.

London's underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End's most dazzling circus.

Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe-especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.

Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, by temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist's maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-face with the destructive power he wields.

My review:

What a cute read!  I enjoy Kady Cross's books so much.  They're so fun and easy to get lost in, and the historical details and steampunk aspects combine to give this book a unique storyline.  
There's two storylines going on in The Girl With the Windup Heart: Mila's quest to become independent, and Finley's struggle to save Griffin, who's been captured by The Machinist.  Both of the storylines were intriguing and held my attention.  Mila, who's a somewhat new character, is charming and funny.  Although I loved the drama and the inevitable romance between her and Jack Dandy, I felt like it probably could've been resolved much sooner if they just sat down and had a serious conversation.  But I suppose we wouldn't have much of a plot if that happened. ;) Mila needed to go off on her own, join the circus, and get a taste of adventure.  And the Jack/Mila romance really is so adorable - Jack is so sweetly protective and one of my favorite characters, plus he has some of the best lines.  Actually, Jack reminds me a lot of Captain Hook in Once Upon a Time; they both struggle over whether or not they're good enough for the women they love.

Finley and Griffin's goal to defeat The Machinist has been going on throughout the whole series, so it was nice to finally see it get resolved.  They're such a sweet couple, and while the romance is present, it's balanced out by lots of action and suspense over how Finley can free Griffin.  There were definitely some nerve-wracking moments!  But it was hard sometimes to go back and forth between the two separate storylines - Finley/Griffin and Mila/Jack.  It almost seemed like there was too much going on at once.

I also found it a little confusing to remember all the characters and their storylines/pasts.  With each book in the series (this is the fourth), we get the point-of-view of a different character, along with the points-of-view of previously introduced characters.  In this book, Cross does a good job overall of including enough details that I could remember most of the different characters and their relationships to each other, but it's still a lot to keep track of.

Even though a couple minor things bothered me, such as all the characters and all the little storylines, this series had a great ending and everything was resolved perfectly.  I'm going to miss all the characters and their adventures!  If you're a fan of historical fiction or steampunk, definitely check this fun series out.

*I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks!

My rating:  3.5 stars

~ Kaitlyn

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Book Review: The Warrior by Victoria Scott

Goodreads summary:

War between heaven and hell is coming, but Dante Walker makes it look damn good.

Dante’s girlfriend, Charlie, is fated to save the world. And Aspen, the girl who feels like a sister, is an ordained soldier. In order to help both fulfill their destiny and win the war, Dante must complete liberator training at the Hive, rescue Aspen from hell, and uncover a message hidden on an ancient scroll.

Dante is built for battle, but even he can’t handle the nightmares where spiders crawl from Aspen’s eyes, or the look on Charlie’s face that foretells of devastation. To make matters worse, the enemy seizes every opportunity to break inside the Hive and cripple the liberators. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching, and to stand victorious, Dante will have to embrace something inside himself he never has before—faith.

My review:

The main reason this series is so fun is because it's just so different than all the other paranormal books.  And its main character, Dante Walker, is one of the most wildly unique, hilarious protagonists ever.  Victoria Scott is so talented at creating original stories with unforgettable characters, especially in this book.  In fact, I think The Warrior might be my favorite out of the trilogy!  Everything about this book was perfect: characters, plot, action, pacing, romance.  There was hardly a thing I disliked, and it's not often that I read a book like this that I just want to gush over.  But I'm still so blown away by how amazing this book was that I can't help it!  

I just love all the characters.  I'll admit I was a little nervous going into this book that I would forget all the minor characters, but it was easy to remember them.  I love all the varied interactions and relationships between the characters, and not just the romance.  Yes, Dante and Charlie are adorable, but I also loved the deep friendship between Dante and his best friend, Max, as well Dante's friendships with Anabelle and Blue.  It was just so sweet to watch how all the friendships and romances grew.  Although, admittedly, my heart was totally broken by some events that happened at the end of the book.

The romance takes a backseat in this book since there's so much plot development, but that's not to say that it isn't present.  In fact, there's several romantic storylines scattered throughout the story, and I quite liked that.  Even though Dante is the only narrator - and even though he's quite sarcastic - the cute moments between characters such as Anabelle and Kraven, and Max and Valery, were added in perfectly.  And of course, Dante and Charlie remain an adorable couple.  Dante is so protective of her, but I love how by the end of the book, he learns how to let her fight for herself and be her own person.

The plot blew me away with the detailed world-building and suspense.  There's never a lack of action, and the big battle and showdown at the end does not disappoint.  Not only did I love the action scenes, I love how Victoria Scott holds nothing back.  She's not afraid to let characters get hurt.  *sniffle sniffle*  Plus, there are a couple fantastic twists, seeing as how Dante and the others must decide who can be trusted.  The first twist completely blindsided me - it was so shocking and painful that I couldn't believe it.  The second one, I kind of saw coming, but I still felt the emotional impact.  Scott is so good at making you invested in the story so that you feel everything the characters are suffering.  And the ending was just great; that epilogue wrapped up the series perfectly.

I've enjoyed this series so much.  It's guaranteed to make you laugh and cry, and you'll be completely wrapped up in the characters' journeys.  I'm going to miss Dante Walker and the rest of the gang, but I'm so glad I got the chance to read this series!  You don't want to miss out on this addictive series.

*I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks!

My rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

~ Kaitlyn

Friday, May 2, 2014

My Top 5 Books of April 2014

I enjoyed nearly all the books I read during April.  According to Goodreads, though, I'm a couple books behind in my reading challenge.  Grrr.  Since school's winding down in May, I'm going to make a bigger effort to get more reading done.

Here's the books I read in April:

- Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
- Cress by Marissa Meyer
- The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman
- School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
- Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
- How to Love by Katie Cotugno
- Dangerous by Shannon Hale
- A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
- My Not So Super Sweet Life by Rachel Harris
- Love Disguised by Lisa M. Klein
- The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross
- You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith
- Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton
- Control by Lydia Kang

My top five favorites:

1. Cress by Marissa Meyer.  Spellbinding and enchanting, this third book in the Lunar Chronicles completely captivated me.  I love how Meyer puts her own totally unique spin on fairytales - this one's about Rapunzel.  Cress, the heroine, was an amazing character that I grew to love - plus, she and Captain Thorne were adorable together!

2. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller.  I can't get enough of historical books, and I love that this one is set during the early 1900's in England - definitely a time period full of change and new ideas.  The author did a wonderful job with all the historical details, and I enjoyed the main character's journey of independence.

3. My Not So Super Sweet Life by Rachel Harris.  I can always count on Rachel's books to make me fangirl and swoon.  I devoured this cute contemporary story.  The sweet romance and funny characters put a smile on my face.  Rachel's books are so addicting!

4. How to Love by Katie Cotugno.  This story really blew me away.  It's a contemporary about a girl who has to relearn what it means to love and decide who's important in her life.  I loved it except for one thing - I thought Sawyer's character was a jerk.  That part bothered me, but other than that I really enjoyed this story.

5. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover.  After reading nothing but glowing reviews for this book, I had pretty high expectations, and I'm happy to say that they were mostly met.  This was more of a 4-star book than a 5-star book for me, but that's not to say that I didn't love Hopeless, because I did.  It was an inspiring story full of twists and originality.  I'll definitely check out more of this author's work!

What books have you read lately that you loved?

~ Kaitlyn