"...her secret is patience..." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 26, 2013

Book Spotlight: Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

From Goodreads.com

     Across a Star-Swept Sea is set in the same world as For Darkness Shows the Stars. If you remember my review of that book, you'll remember that I really enjoyed the world Diana created. Persuasion is one of my all time favorite books and I really enjoyed the retelling, set in this future society. When I found out there is a companion novel, I was very excited. Not sure what to expect from The Scarlet Pimpernel retelling, I have to be honest and admit I really enjoyed it.
     Persis is a rich spoiled girl, living life to the fullest away from the apprising on the island of Galetea. What the rest of the world doesn't know is that Persis is actually the infamous Wild Poppy, rebel and spy. Along with a group of trusted confidants, she battles the injustices that are brought on by those in power. When a handsome Galatean medic comes to her rescue on a mission gone not as well as she planned it, her world changes. Now, they are to play a loving couple in the eyes of everyone and Persis finds out that saving innocents is not the hardest job she could have. Keeping herself from really falling for Justen is. 
     Persis is an interesting character. I loved seeing the two sides of her, the rebel and the spoiled brat, battling each other. She is a brilliant girl who has to hide that aspect of her at every turn. I liked seeing the kind of a person she was with her friends and family. She had the smarts and the confidence to pull of being Wild Poppy, but she also had the compassion that set her apart from others. Sure, at times, I wanted to scream at her, but that was mostly when it came to Justen. 
     Now, Justen. Oh, Justen. He has just as many secrets as Persis, and he carries them close to his heart. I like that Justen has a conscience, that he wants to do something to right the wrongs of the society. He has a good heart and the love for his sister is adorable. It's fun seeing Persis and Justen together. She tries so hard to keep up her charade, yet he ends up seeing through it anyway. On the other hand, she has to forgive him for many things. I think that's what I like best about their relationship. It's not all beds of roses, they really have to work at it. 
     The world Diana created is powerful and unique. The characters that live in this world are fresh and intriguing. The combination of the two makes for an interesting tale. I really enjoyed how the first book tied in to the second, and it was nice seeing the characters from the other book. If you enjoyed book one, I highly recommend Across a Star-Swept Sea. The book hits shelves on October 15th, 2013. I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

     Happy reading, 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Spotlight: The 100 (The Hundred #1) by Kass Morgan

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

From Goodreads.com

     The 100 was a book I was very interested in reading, ever since I saw the preview for the show. I was one of the people who didn't even know there was a book till later. Let me tell you, the book was great. 
     The book centers on four different characters, all involved in the 100 who are sent to Earth. The space station these teenagers are living in is slowly running out of supplies. The government decides to send the 100 juvenile delinquents to Earth, to find out the conditions of the planet. The teens have been imprisoned for various crimes and this is their way to "give back" to the community. When the group lands on the planet, all kinds of adventures begin. 
     Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect from the book. I was a bit nervous considering it's supposed to be about 100 characters, all at once. Obviously, I knew the story would focus on the predominant characters, but I didn't know who or how many. I liked the number four. I liked the four different personalities, the four different predicaments the characters were in. I don't know that I liked anyone in particular, but I know a few of them drove me a bit nuts at times (which is a good thing). 
    It was also nice to see the back story on the characters. The flashbacks of explanation were in perfect places, and I was very happy to figure out how these characters arrived at the places they were at. I'm excited to see where the story goes from here. 
    Also, yes, I'll be watching the show. Even from the opening pages, you can tell the show will be different. However, I'm super excited to see what happens on screen. I kind of really like the dynamics of the show and the book being released together. Ms Morgan is a wonderful writer and I think this book is a good solid debut. I look forward to seeing what happens next!
     The 100 arrives at bookstores September 3, 2013!

     Happy reading, 


Friday, August 16, 2013

The Elements Book Cover Tag!

Hello lovelies,

So, I did a thing. Yes, I participated in a YouTube book tag! I know, crazy right? Anyway, here it is.


Hope you enjoyed! If you'd love to participate, don't forget to leave links below. Thanks for watching!

Much love, 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book Spotlight: A Tale Of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #2) by Rachel Harris

     Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

     One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

     With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

From Goodreads.com

     Alessandra is a sixteenth-century girl in need of a twenty-first-century adventure. So when the fates hear her plea, she shows up on her cousin's doorstep, ready to experience this other world for herself. Everything about this century is baffling, including the gorgeous surfer Austin. But Alessandra didn't come to sit on the sidelines, she's ready for an adventure. And that's where the real fun beings. 
     Let me just start out by saying I loved everything about this book. While I really enjoyed the first book, I was a little unhappy in the end there. If you know me and my romantic heart, you know why. Going into Less's story, I was a little nervous, I have to admit. But I am happy to report, I was not disappointed. Honestly, I don't think Rachel can disappoint me. I pretty much adore everything she writes. Anyway, off track here. 
     I really enjoyed Alessandra's character in this book. I liked seeing her blossom out of her shell, exploring the different sides of her personality. Her contrast with her cousin Cat is evident, but the dynamics between those two are great. They compliment each other without being too similar and I loved that. 
     Now, the swoon factor in this book is mighty high. I freaking loved Austin.
 I loved how much of him we saw, how much we got to know about who he is. Just like Less, I wanted to hug him to pieces for most of the book. And his possessiveness when it comes to Less? 
Oh my... Okay, I'm done now. 
     Also, I really liked that we saw Cat and her own story brought to light a little bit. I'm glad that she's getting a happy ending as well. I know that happy endings don't always mean finding your Prince Charming, but it doesn't hurt. And although I kind of wish...nope, not going there. You just have to read both books and figure things out for yourself!
     Alessandra's journey is one fun adventure. This book will have you laughing and on the edge of your seat, which to me spells one fun ride. I'm telling you, I'll read anything Rachel writes. Go grab a copy of A Tale Of Two Centuries for yourself and experience the awesome story of sixteenth century sixteen year old girl dealing with twenty-first century problems. 

This book makes me happy

     Happy reading, 


Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Spotlight: Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

     If you can grill it, smoke it, or fry it, Nora Henderson knows all about it. She’s been basting baby back ribs and pulling pork at her father’s barbeque joint since she was tall enough to reach the counter. When she’s accepted to Taste Test, a reality-television teen cooking competition, Nora can’t wait to leave her humble hometown behind, even if it means saying good-bye to her dad and her best friend, Billy. Once she’s on set, run-ins with her high-society roommate and the maddeningly handsome—not to mention talented—son of a famous chef, Christian Van Lorten, mean Nora must work even harder to prove herself. But as mysterious accidents plague the kitchen arena, protecting her heart from one annoyingly charming fellow contestant in particular becomes the least of her concerns. Someone is conducting real-life eliminations, and if Nora doesn’t figure out who, she could be next to get chopped for good. 

With romance and intrigue as delectable as the winning recipes included in the story, this debut novel will be devoured by all.

From Goodreads.com

     Nora is a small town girl with big town dreams. When she's accepted to Taste Test, a reality TV show for teens, she's more than ready to go. Leaving her family and friends behind, she heads to the big city to prove to the world that she's more than just a small town cook. She meets all kinds of interesting- that's a safe word- people, including the rich and handsome Christian. He gets right under her skin. She works hard to prove herself in a world so different from her own. And if that's not hard enough, someone is sabotaging the show. Now, she has more than just who wins to worry about. 
     Guys, I absolutely loved this book. Nora was a really fun character to get to know. I liked seeing her fight her way past the rich and snobby, showing them her true colors. Sure, there were times where I kind of wanted to smack her, just a little. But that is only because I was rooting for her. It's always a sign of a good character when there is emotional reactions from the readers. :)
     Now, Christian was all kinds of swoony. I liked how they were rivals turned acquaintances turned partners. And then some *wink wink* He was a great solid character who made me laugh out loud more than once throughout the book. I really enjoyed his and Nora's relationship. They were adorable together. I also really like that it wasn't love at first sight. There was definite tension, but it was explored throughout the whole book. 
     Overall, this book is a must read. Anyone who enjoys a good story mixed with some delicious recipes will find a win in this book. Not only are the characters engaging, the book is filled with yummy treats for everyone to try. Seriously, I loved this aspect and the fact that I didn't have to guess what goes into any of the dishes. I could just try them myself. Ms Fiore, this book is delectable and I look forward to reading more of your stories. 
     This book hits the shelves August 27th, 2013. Get it, read it, love it!

     Happy reading,