The Selection, by Kiera Cass

Okay, I’m going to admit that the reason I wanted to read this book was because of the fun, whimsical cover. Also, I enjoyed the sound of the premise. But I really thought it would be nothing more than a cutesy romance. I was pleasantly surprised and ended up liking this book a lot more than I expected to.

America Singer (love that name, by the way) lives in a dystopian world where people are numbered by their caste. She is a five, so her family is relatively poor. However, she loves a boy named Aspen who is a six and sixes are even less well off. Her family would never want her to be with a six – that would be marrying down. She gets a letter in the mail that the prince is looking for a wife and invites girls at the age of sixteen to enter the selection where he will choose someone to marry(think the Bachelor). At the urging of her family, and, surprisingly her boyfriend, she enters. She ends up making it and when she arrives at the castle she finds that Prince Maxon isn’t at all what she expected.

I am usually a sucker for forbidden love so I thought for sure that I would be on Team Aspen all the way. However, I found him to be irritating with all his pride issues and everything. Don’t get me wrong, the author wrote him very authentically and I’m sure that is how a boy in his caste would feel.  But Prince Maxon swept me off my feet. He was a great hero and I’m totally rooting for he and America to be together.

I thoroughly enjoyed the world that Cass created and I look forward to reading the next book! I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!

Advertisements

Arise, by Amber Garr

Arise: Book 3 in the Syrenka Series

About the Book:

After the betrayal of those closest to her, Eviana Dumahl struggles to cope with her new reality.  Kidnapped, broken, and confused, she is forced to engage in a war that will alter merfolk politics forever.  With her estranged father leading the charge, Eviana has no choice but to stand by his side.  Her continued existence hinges on the acceptance of the power growing inside her, even when that means embracing the family’s dark lineage.

Kain Matthew will sacrifice the world for Eviana.  And he is not alone.  As time runs out, her friends fight to save her life and theirs.  An unlikely alliance gives them the edge they need to take a stand, although it keeps Eviana’s heart trapped in the past.  A new discovery explains some of her previous mistakes, but it may not be enough to stop her father’s plans.  Merfolk, selkies, and water sprites work together to save their kind, only in this final battle, not everyone will survive.

In the striking series conclusion, Eviana will learn the true meaning of power, sacrifice, and love.

My Review:

So, I finished this book in less than 24 hours. I read straight through until it was done. I just had to know what would happen to Eviana. Garr did a fantastic job with the ending of the Syrenka series. I was definitely satisfied with the ending. The book was filled with angst, romance and tons of action. Eviana really came into her own in this book. It was definitely my favorite of the series! So, I gave it 5 stars! I will definitely be reading all of Amber Garr’s work in the future!

About the Author:

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

Social Contact
Website:
http://www.ambergarr.com

City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare

This is a hard review to write. On the one hand, I am completely addicted to this series. It is well-written and engaging and keeps me entertained. This book was no exception. On the other hand, I didn’t like the plot for this book.

Let me just start by saying that Cassandra Clare is an amazing author. I believe that her greatest strength as a writer is her ability to give her characters a voice. Every character speaks in a unique way. I know who’s talking without reading the tag line every time. And I love the way she writes witty bad-guys. It’s so endearing and I find myself laughing out loud at many of the things Jace or Magnus says (also Will in the Infernal Devices series).

From the very first book in this series I fell head over heels in love with Jace. Simon is quirky and funny and probably makes a great best friend, but Jace is…well…Jace is Jace. Need I say more?

And that brings me to the issue I had with this book. Jace quite literally wasn’t Jace. And I didn’t like it one bit. Not only did I not like it but I didn’t really buy it. By the fifth book I feel like I know Jace (he is my book boyfriend after all), and even brainwashed I just didn’t think he would behave in the way he did. I really had a hard time with it and I found myself begging the real Jace to come back the whole time.

However, I did read through it rather quickly. It had all the elements I’ve come to love in this series – the suspense, romance, action and it kept me on the edge of my seat. And the ending was satisfying so I was happy with that. I do hope that Jace stays himself for the sixth book though…which I am anxiously awaiting! 4 out of 5 stars!

Betrayal, by Amber Garr

Betrayal: Book 2 in the Syrenka Series

About the Book

Eviana Dumahl has returned home as a clan leader, an orphan, and a heartbroken teenage girl. Her parents are dead and her boyfriend, Brendan, has decided that he needs some time away. While battling her inner turmoil, Eviana is forced into the war that Lucian Sutherland has incited amongst her own kind. With the help of Kain, her friend and formally betrothed, the two work together to prove that they deserve their birthrights as young merfolk leaders.

 When the Council requests a demonstration of Eviana’s mermaid powers, she finds herself with an opportunity to win back Brendan’s heart. But her orders to train with a repulsive merman and the presence of an attractive new suitor challenges Eviana to embrace her leadership and resist temptation. Lucian is after her, and no one seems to understand why. Loyalties are tested as the casualties increase, showing Eviana that sometimes it is impossible to delineate between friends and enemies.

 Betrayal is the second book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends as they navigate through the challenges of existing in a secret world.

My Review:

I have to say that I am completely addicted to this series! I finished the first book in 2 days, then immediately jumped into the 2nd book which I also read in 2 days. The pacing in this book is amazing – just like in the first. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to know what would happen next. Eviana’s character is really blossoming and I like her more and more as I read. Garr added in some new characters in this book. One in particular whom I like a lot is Graham. He is witty and sarcastic and adds a fun element to the book.  Garr does a great job with creating unique characters. Again, there is plenty of mermaid folklore and a lot of mythical creatures. The book ends with a cliffhanger that will leave you wanting more!

I liked this book even more than the first and I can’t wait to find out what will happen in the third. I give this book 4 stars!

About the Author:

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

Social Contact
Website:
http://www.ambergarr.com

iFeel, by Marissa Carmel

About the Book:

Lust. Anger. Hate. Desire. Love. Happiness. Joy. iFeel. Liv Christianni is isolated, alone, tortured and withdrawn, saddled with the torrential downpour of the world’s emotions. Accepting of her providence Liv has lost all hope, until one day fate steps in and spins the course of her life like a spiraling top. Hunted by a Spirit Stalker, Liv is forced to gain control of herself and her surroundings, threatened by the touch of her immortal love; she must find a way to survive both physically and emotionally as her reality is shaken up like dice on a Craps table. Can she find the courage to accept her true self? Can she love unconditionally cognizant of the condemning consequences? Can she rise from the ashes to become the person she was always meant to be? Funny, witty, real, and poignant, iFeel rips into your soul, and sets your emotions on fire. If you are a fan of Charmed or Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries or The Secret Circle this series is for you!

Author, Marissa Carmel

Promises, by Amber Garr

Promises: Book 1 in the Syrenka Series

About the Book:

Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.

 When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined.

 A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those who she once considered friends. Amidst encountering
senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life that she had so adamantly tried to escape.

My Review:

I was so excited to participate in this blog tour because I really wanted to read this series. For one, I love the cover of these books and I also love stories about mermaids. Ever since I was a little girl and first saw the Little Mermaid, I have been enchanted by them.

There were many things I loved about this book. First off, I really enjoyed all the mermaid folklore. The book was filled with many mythical creatures – water sprites, selkies, kelpies, merfolk, shape shifters. Garr did an amazing job of creating another world for me to explore in and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found myself whisked away into an imaginary realm. I also am a total sucker for fobidden love and love triangles and this book had both! The pacing was great and I read through the book quickly. It was full of action and suspense and I was glued to the pages from start to finish.

I have to say that I am completely Team Kain! Brendan seems like a nice guy and it’s clear that Eviana’s feelings for him are stronger but I personally thought Kain was the better guy for her.

The only thing I didn’t like at first was Eviana. She seemed kind of like a spoiled brat to me and I had a hard time connecting with her. However, by the end of the book I saw significant growth in her and I started to like her more. So, I have hope that I will connect with her even more in subsequent books.

Overall, I thought it was a very enjoyable read so I give it 4 stars!

About the author

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

Website:http://www.ambergarr.com
Blog:
http://ambergarr.blogspot.com
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amber-Garr/232359720165110
Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5374297.Amber_Garr

Enter the tour-wide giveaway of all three (3) signed paperbacks of Promises, Betrayal, and Arise + Swag to one winner. Open INTERNATIONAL, ENDS SEPTEMBER 30, 2012. Enter below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/34a2ce15/

To check out the schedule for the Syrenka series tour click the link below:

http://bookshelfconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/07/now-scheduling-syrenka-series-tour.html

Lone Wolf, by Jodi Picoult

I have read every single book of Picoult’s and have been a fan of hers for years. There have been a few books I haven’t liked as much as the rest but overall I find her books to be consistent. Lone Wolf was no exception. I will admit that Picoult’s books have felt a little formulaic lately but I think the formula works so I won’t fault her that.

This book is about a man and his daughter who are in a car accident. She survives with some broken bones, but he is in a coma and is not expected to make a full recovery. His daughter, along with his son whom he hasn’t seen in 6 years, are faced with deciding to either keep their father alive in a vegetative state or pull the plug.  As always, Jodi Picoult, takes a moral issue and weighs every side of it.

I read this book in less than two days because I just couldn’t put it down. There were many questions and lots of secrets and I just had to know the answers! Picoult’s writing style was rich and beautiful as always. I love the way she words things.

My biggest criticism of the novel and the reason I only gave it 4 stars was because I didn’t really like the ending and I didn’t particularly like or feel connected to many of the characters. This has actually been my issue with many of Picoult’s novels. She writes fascintating stories but a lot of times her characters are less than sympathetic and kind of static. However, I still enjoyed the book immensly and will continue reading novels by Jodi Picoult.