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Category Archives: Reviewed by Michelle

Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper

Source: Netgalley
* I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Release date: November 4th, 2011
Series: The Sea Monster Memoirs #1
Edition: Ebook, 314 pgs
Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon/ Barnes & Noble/ Book Depository

Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.

Tangled Tides did not win me over in the first chapter, or even the second for that matter, but the description had me so intrigued that I didn’t want to stop for fear of missing out on something great. I mean.. what’s more precious to Yara than HER LIFE?! I just had to know. My gut was right and I ended up loving this story!

This story is a combination of multiple paranormal / fantastical creatures. It’s not just mermaids and selkies like the description includes. There are also bird like Sirens, Ghost like figures, and Gorgons!! Yes Gorgons, as in Medusa. Snake hair and a gaze that turns you to stone MEDUSA! Karen Amanda Hooper added elements that basically made it to where I could not put this story down because I just HAD to know how it all tied together. 

The characters were strong, though some more than others. You may think that there is going to be a love triangle in the beginning of the story, but rest assured there is not. I really enjoyed the push and pull of the romance that was there and really can’t wait to see how it grows! Yara was a very …. Stubborn girl.. but she has her reasons. With all the lying going on around her and being forced to become a mermaid against her will, who wouldn’t be a bit pissed off and hard headed?

Sometimes the world got a bit confusing with so many elements going on. At times it frustrated me, and at others I thought ” this is probably how Yara feels about everything that’s going on. Overwhelmed.” 

The story has some great scenes. The concepts were wonderful and really had me entranced during certain scenes. There is some wonderful humor, interesting mythology, new ideas on mer and selkie lore, some heartbreak and deceit…. It just really all blended together wonderfully. 

There were definitely some complications with the story. Some ideas that didn’t quite mesh well, some moments when it seemed over the top, and some writing that didn’t quite feel polished. BUT the overall story held me and had me wanting more. None of those things made me want to stop the book or even put it down for a moment.

I would highly recommend Tangled Tides to fans of Mer and Selkie stories, and also fans of mythology. These elements are combined in a way that I hadn’t experienced before and I think other readers will really enjoy it!


Steel Lily by Megan Curd – Dual Review and Giveaway

Steel Lily (The Periodic Series, #1)

Steel Lily by Megan Curd

Source: Received a copy from author in exchange for an honest review, no compensation.
Release date: August 12th, 2013
Edition: Ebook
Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Dystopia
Rating: Brittany: 5/5
              Michelle: 4.5/5

Synopsis via Goodreads: 
AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs.

She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Four: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life.

Or so she thinks.

That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Four. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued. But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better.

…Which means digging deeper.

When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, she learns that while some secrets are better left concealed, humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything…including the fate of your world.

Brittany’s Thoughts

This book was awesome!  It is steampunk, dystopian, elemental and science fiction heaven.  I LOVED the world building, it was so unique.  From the idea of domes, to the elemental abilities, to the character’s problems everything was so remarkably different than other books in this genre.  I was feeling tired of the dystopian genre but this book was the perfect cure. Megan Curd’s ability to create images is out of this world!  I felt like I was in the dome with the characters! The plot twists and turns enough to keep you guessing but not feeling dizzy.   

I really liked Avery’s character.  She is one of the strongest water Elementalists despite that she very much wants to be a normal teenager.  At first I was not sure if I was going to enjoy Avery but she really grows into a more sassy and spitfire character by the end.  I also really enjoyed the banter between Avery and Jaxon.  Yes, there is a swoon worthy boy in the book! 🙂

I haven’t read a dystopian this good since The Maze Runner, Divergent, or even Hunger Games.  It just caught my attention from the first sentences to the last!  The ending was ARGH and a little bittersweet but it makes me want the second! 

If you are looking for something different and love dystopian novels, than this book is for you!  I also really think fiction readers will like this book, it has just a little bit of something for everybody.

Michelle’s Thoughts

Ah Steampunk how I love you so! If it weren’t for the inevitable bad guys that always show up in steampunk novels I would want to dive in and live there. It’s just such a unique world. Right from the start of Steel Lily I could picture the world playing like a movie in my head, I could smell the rusty metal I could hear the gears turning. Megan Curd did a wonderful job of pulling me into Avery’s world and keeping me there… 

The characters in Steel Lily were entertaining, strong and varied. Jaxon was one of my favorites, so cocky and full of sarcasm but also a bit vulnerable once you break though the layers. Avery was a “spitfire” as well, She is tough and stands up for herself and her family and friends no matter what. I wanted to get to know some of the side characters more.. they kinda pop out of the background every now and again and leave you stunned. But it didn’t deter from my love of the story. 

The magic or Elemental side of the story was really interesting, I can’t wait to see how the idea grows with the characters and what more will come. Steam punk and magic was a perfect blend and really kept me hooked on the story. 

I agree with Brittany, Steel Lily has a bit of everything. Magic, Romance, Action, Adventure, Science and Survival. Mix it with amazing characters and Megan Curd has a fan in me! I can’t wait for # 2!!

We are so excited to offer you a chance to win a copy of Steel Lily for yourself! Megan has offered up 2 Ebook Copies ( international ) and 1 signed paperback for the U.S. ! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

   a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Beautiful and The Damned by Jessica Verday ( Dual Review )

Source: Edelwiess and Netgalley

* We were given a copy of this book in exchange for an Honest review, all thoughts and opinions are our own.*
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: October 1st, 2013
Series: Companian to the Hollow Trilogy
* You do NOT need to read The Hollow Trilogy before reading this one, but there is a small spoiler if you haven’t*
Edition: Ebook, 320 pages
Genre: Young Adult/ Paranormal/ Fantasy
Rating: Brittany: 5/5
             Michelle: 4.5/5

Cyn’s blackouts have deadly consequences in this sexy, suspenseful spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Hollow series.Cyn and Avian are far from a perfect match. She’s a witch who casts spells on men so she can steal their cars. He spends his time being judge, jury, and executioner to the truly evil in the supernatural realm.

When the blackouts Cyn’s been having ever since her time in Sleepy Hollow start escalating, she finds herself unable to remember where she’s been or what she’s been doing. Frightened, she seeks guidance at a local church, and it’s there she meets Avian.

The unlikely pair soon discovers that her blackouts are a side effect of what she truly is—an Echo—a conduit for souls of the dead. The only way to prevent Cyn from losing complete control is to return to Sleepy Hollow and vanquish the source of her power—but she may not survive the process. And if she does? She won’t ever be the same…

Brittany’s Thoughts:

I read the first book in the Hollow Series so long ago that I have forgotten all about it. Apparently there are some spoilers in this book if you haven’t read the whole Hollow Series but I didn’t notice them. I loved Beautiful and the Damned. It’s a dark and very entertaining read. I am not sure where it fits in with the Hollow Series but its a great stand alone story. I think it is meant to be a companion novel. It is scary, twisted and just plain good and I read it in about one sitting.

The story follows Cyn and the predicaments she finds herself in due to her “nature.” I was very curious about Cyn’s blackouts and how everything would pan out. I was also very scared for her safety throughout the book because some scary stuff goes down while she is blacked out. I, of course, was just hoping that Avian would come to her rescue. Their relationship isn’t a quick and easy relationship, as they spend most of their time trying to avoid the other. I like that sort of push and pull relationship as opposed to the fall in love over night one.

Overall, I would recommend this book to paranormal lovers and for anyone that has read the Hollow Series. It was a fast read with lots of bumps and twists that will keep you reading.

Michelle’s Thoughts:

I LOVED the first two books in The Hollow Trilogy ( yes, I fell behind and haven’t gotten to #3 yet >.< ) Jessica Verday’s writing is just so rich, I still remember reading about the homemade perfumes in The Hollow Trilogy and immediately being able to actually imagine the smell. I will admit I tried making my own after that.. I failed. 

Anyway. The Beautiful and The Damned is a Companion novel to the Hollow Trilogy, But it’s quite different. It’s Darker.. at least in my opinion. Cyn is in a intense situation by no fault of her own, and some of the things that happen to her and almost happen to her are truly scary. The group of Characters is small, but it just allows you to get to know Cyn and Avian better. I agree with Brittany in that I really enjoyed the push and pull of their relationship rather than them having it easy. They are both characters that have had to deal with alot and it just makes them stronger. 

I’m excited to read more about these characters and their lives in future stories. I want to know more about Avians Demon background, how he becomes so close to a man of the church, and how Cyn is going to change him. I’m also curious how Cyn is going to change and grow now… The Beautiful and the Damned had a small spoiler for book #3 in the Hollow Trilogy. But It wasn’t so bad that I got upset about finding out, but I will be going and reading #3 ASAP. 

Highly recommend this story for fans of YA Dark Paranormals ! Also, if you Haven’t read the Hollow Trilogy? Go read that now as well! 😀

The Shade of the Moon ( Life as we knew it #4 ) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Source: Edelwiess

* I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an Honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release date: August 13th, 2013
Series: Life As We Knew It #4
Edition: Ebook, 304 pgs
Genre: Young Adult/ Post Apocalyptic / Survival
Rating: 1/5

It’s been more than two years since Jon Evans and his family left Pennsylvania, hoping to find a safe place to live, yet Jon remains haunted by the deaths of those he loved. His prowess on a soccer field has guaranteed him a home in a well-protected enclave. But Jon is painfully aware that a missed goal, a careless word, even falling in love, can put his life and the lives of his mother, his sister Miranda, and her husband, Alex, in jeopardy. Can Jon risk doing what is right in a world gone so terribly wrong.

I really wanted to like this one. I did. I LOVED the rest of the series. It was heart wrenching and honest and had amazing characters. The Shade of The Moon however, fell completely flat for me. 

Jon grew into a completely unlikable character. I honestly couldn’t stand him, and as the story went on I liked him less and less. Even when he was trying to redeem himself.. I just didn’t care. For me to enjoy a book I also need to at least kind of like the the character. They can have faults sure.. but there was pretty much nothing I liked about Jon anymore. 

It was awkward for me to go from an entire series that focused on Miranda to her barely being in the story at all. I feel like the story took a completely different turn that left me, and probably other readers thrown for a loop. 

The story felt like an unneeded addition to a series that was amazing as it was. I pretty much wish I had stopped at book #3 and let myself believe that was how it ended. Most of the time even if I didn’t love the series, I push through to finish it so that I can see how it all wraps up and what happens to the characters. I really wish I hadn’t with this one. 

I definitely recommend the rest of the Series. But I would pause before reading #4 :/ 

I hate rating a book 1 star, But that was my honest opinion of the book. I understand that everyone has the right to a difference of opinion, so if you read this book and enjoyed it please feel free to say so in the comments.

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all–hope–in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Source: Personal Copy

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: January 1st 1983
Series: Song of the Lioness #1
Edition: Paperback, 274 pgs
Genre: Young Adult/ Paranormal Fantasy
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon
* We receive a small kickback from amazon purchases, all will go towards funding future giveaways!
Rating: 5/5

“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”
And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.
But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

Tamora Pierce will always have a reader in me. No matter what she writes she will always be on my Auto buy list. Alanna The First Adventure is the story that started it all and won my heart. The thing that I really love about this book and the series as a whole, is that you get to grow right alongside Alanna. Or well, I did the first time I read it. that was when I was around 12 or so, and I didn’t have all the books at once so I read them spread out… ANYWAY. Alanna’s character grows throughout the book, not just personality wise but she actually ages as well. Some stories are set in a shorter period of time, even some series only revolve around a year of time passing. With Tamora Pierces books you get to watch the character grow and change and experience the vast range of emotions that we all do growing up. You don’t just know her as a Preteen, you read about her as a preteen, a teen and an Adult, and even get to read more about her in Pierce’s other series. 

Alanna The First Adventure is filled with action and adventure, magic and intrigue. This first book doesn’t really have Romance, I mean… she is 11.. and pretending to be a boy, makes things a bit difficult. That is one of the reasons though that I love recommending this series to younger readers. Like I said, you get to grow with the character. 

Alanna is a wonderful character. Filled with fire and wit and a desire to to anything within her power to get what she wants- to become a Lady Knight. The other characters in the story are amazing as well. You’ve got the ones you hate, the ones you adore, and the ones that grow on you. They all do something that helps Alanna grow as a Page and as a person. 

I’ve read alot of reviews that say the bones of the story are alot like Eon- Girl disguises herself as a boy in order to become a great warrior. But PLEASE keep in mind, The Song of The Lioness was written well before Eon. Eon is an amazing story yes, but just because they have some similarities should not make you think you are just going to be reading the same story all over again. Give Alanna A chance to win your heart 🙂 I hope you love her as much as I did. 

Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper

Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper

Source: NetGalley

Publisher: Starry Sky Publishing
Release date: May 25th 2012
Series: The Kinderly Series Book #1
Edition: Ebook, 368 pgs
Genre: Young Adult/ Paranormal Fantasy
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon
* We receive a small kickback from amazon purchases, all will go towards funding future giveaways!
Rating: 4/5

Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories.

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she’s supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life.

Nathan is convinced his family’s plan to spark Maryah’s memory is hopeless, but his love for her is undying. After spending (and remembering) so many lifetimes together, being around an empty version of his soulmate is heart shattering. He hates acting like a stalker, but has no choice because the evil outcast who murdered Maryah in their last lifetime is still after her.

While Maryah’s hunter inches closer, she and Nathan make assumptions and hide secrets that rip them further apart. Maryah has to believe in the magic within her, Nathan must have faith in the power of their love, and both need to grasp onto the truth before they lose each other forever—and discover just how lonely eternity can be.

Grasping at Eternity gave me everything I wanted out of this book and more! If I wasn’t already a huge fan of novels about Reincarnation, Grasping at Eternity would make me one. Karen Amanda Hooper adds some twists to the idea that really add to the story and helped keep me interested.

The characters are all vibrant and all have very different personalities. I fell in love with them and really enjoyed finding out more about their past lives. Reading about their past lives got a bit confusing at times, but it made sense for it to be that way. They can’t control what body they are reborn into. One life your best friend may be reborn as your brother/sister, the next they may be your father/mother! The one constant is they always had their soulmates. Until Marayah went and screwed that up for Nathan by Erasing that is.

Grasping at Eternity was a wonderful blend of just about everything I love in a story. Romance, Action, history, fantasy and a bit of mystery! I cannot wait to read book #2 and see what happens. Grasping at Eternity left me with my heart racing and dying to know what happens next. I also plan for sure on reading Karen Amanda Hooper’s other book  Tangled Tides. I’m curious to see what more this author has to offer and what she does in the world of Mermaids!


King Hall by Scarlet Dawn

King Hall by Scarlett Dawn

Source: NetGalley

Publisher: Escape Publishing
Release date: August 1st 2013
Series: King Hall #1 – No series name yet
Edition: Ebook, 280 pgs
Genre: New Adult/ Paranormal/contemporary-ish
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon
* We receive a small kickback from amazon purchases, all will go towards funding future giveaways!
Rating: 4/5

King Hall — where the Mysticals go to learn their craft, get their degrees, and transition into adulthood. And where four new Rulers will rise and meet their destinies.

Lily Ruckler is adept at one thing: survival. Born a Mystical hybrid, her mere existence is forbidden, but her nightmare is only about to start. Fluke, happenstance, and a deep personal loss finds Lily deeply entrenched with those who would destroy her simply for existing — The Mystical Kings. Being named future Queen of the Shifters shoves Lily into the spotlight, making her one of the most visible Mysticals in the world. But with risk comes a certain solace — her burgeoning friendships with the other three Prodigies: a wicked Vampire, a wild-child Mage, and a playboy Elemental. Backed by their faith and trust, Lily begins to relax into her new life.

Then chaos erupts as the fragile peace between Commoners and Mysticals is broken, and suddenly Lily realises the greatest threat was never from within, and her fear takes on a new name: the revolution.

I have been looking for a awesome Paranormal New Adult book ever since this whole New Adult thing started. I mean.. I’m 24. I LOVE YA, but sometimes I want to read about characters that are more around my age, and experiencing the same things as me. Yes I remember my High school loves and losses like they were yesterday, but I don’t always want to relive that. I am so happy to say that I have Finally found a NA Paranormal that I highly recommend! 

King Hall wasn’t what I prepared myself for. The description and the cover art led me to believe it was going to be more of a historical fiction story. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading it to find out that it was actually set it pretty much current times. Internet, cell phones, tv all that Jazz. King Hall is just a secluded school.. so the mystical world is kind of separated from all of the Human World stuff for the most part. 

This story will break your heart right in the beginning, I felt like I spent the rest of the book trying to heal that heartbreak right alongside Lily. It was really interesting to me that, while there is romance in the story, Lily’s story isn’t really about romance. It’s more about Healing, and growing into herself. The Mystical races are kind of known for their ” friendlyness ” though, and even though she may be healing from losing her soul mate, she still gets herself into some .. compromising positions … ( Please remember this is NA not YA, I do not recommend this title for younger readers as there are “sexy times” to be had.) 

This story had amazing characters. I loved the relationships between the Kings and Queens, both the friendship and the romance sides. They were all so unique and each brought something different to the table. They helped remind me what REAL friendship is. 

There is NOT a love triangle. But there is… a kinda taboo relationship.. though at the same time it’s not really Taboo… and it’s not really a relationship :/ It’s kinda a : they are there for each other in anyway that they each need, it was something that I could really relate to and helped me truly feel for the characters. 

The Paranormal aspect of the story is really interesting, each race bringing something different to the table, and also each relationship creating their own magical bond, then the Kings and Queens having unique gifts themselves. It may sound complicated but it was complex in a way that kept me wanting to know more! Great action scenes that kept me on my toes and intrigue to keep me guessing. 

While the writing style at times left something to be desired; a bit repetitive and simplistic at moments, it did not stop my from absolutely LOVING this story. I cannot wait to see what happens in book #2. 

Rating: 4.5/5