Monday, June 30, 2014

Cover Reveal: After Us by Amber Hart

About BEFORE YOU (Before & After Us #1)

Some say love is deadly. Some say love is beautiful. I say it is both.

Faith Watters spent her junior year traveling the world, studying in exquisite places, before returning to Oviedo High School. From the outside her life is picture-perfect. Captain of the dance team. Popular. Happy. Too bad it’s all a lie.

It will haunt me. It will claim me. It will shatter me. And I don't care.

Eighteen-year-old Diego Alvarez hates his new life in the States, but staying in Cuba is not an option. Covered in tattoos and scars, Diego doesn’t stand a chance of fitting in. Nor does he want to. His only concern is staying hidden from his past—a past, which if it were to surface, would cost him everything. Including his life.

At Oviedo High School, it seems that Faith Watters and Diego Alvarez do not belong together. But fate is as tricky as it is lovely. Freedom with no restraint is what they long for. What they get is something different entirely.

Love—it will ruin you and save you, both.    

Links for BEFORE YOU


Sometimes secrets kill. Maybe slowly, maybe painfully. Maybe all at once.

Melissa smiles. She flirts. She jokes. But she never shows her scars. Eight months after tragedy ripped her from her closest friend, Melissa is broken. Plagued by grief, rage, and the painful memory of a single forbidden kiss.

Javier has scars of his own. Life in the States was supposed to be a new beginning, but a boy obsessed by vengeance has no time for the American dream. To honor his familia, Javier joins the gang who set up his cousin, Diego. The entrance price is blood. Death is the only escape.

Two broken souls could make each other whole again—or be shattered forever.

Our time will come. And we’ll be ready.

AFTER US is expected to release December 30, 2014.  Add it on Goodreads here.
“What I want is for you to want me like I want you!”
I clamp a hand to my mouth. Regret slaps me in the face.
Javier pulls my hand away. His stare takes in all of me. My eyes. My lips. I’m embarrassed by what I said. I’m embarrassed by my ridiculous heart, which thumps loudly, echoing his every touch.
“You want me, mami?”
Yes. In the deepest parts of my bones, yes.
“Answer me.” His voice is demanding.
“No,” I say, stubborn.
A grin crawls across his face.
“I owe you an apology,” he says. “I couldn’t talk to you earlier. Wanted to. But I couldn’t. You understand?”
“Not at all.”
Javier’s warmth reminds me of the water. Of wanting to jump in. I’d do anything to cool off.
“If I explain it to you, will you remember in the morning?”
“Probably not,” I answer honestly. “But then again, you’re hard to forget.”
Links for AFTER US
About Amber Hart
Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She's the author of BEFORE YOU, AFTER US, UNTIL YOU FIND ME, and sequel to UNTIL YOU FIND ME (untitled as of yet). Represented by Beth Miller of Writers House. 

Connect with Amber Hart

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Buying Time- Signed Copy of Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

I've been absent for the past few days because I got  oral surgery.  Not wisdom teeth removal, but I have felt like Isla minus finding a charming fellow named Josh.  I have been suffering, not from physical pain but from having to eat oatmeal  and soup more than once a day.  So, as a treat, I've bought myself a signed copy of Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth.  And how do you benefit?  Well, I'll tell you all the details so that you can get your copy too.
A little while ago, you could preorder a signed copy from Barnes and Noble.  Don't even bother anymore, trust me.  She already signed the 6,000 copies, and they were all ordered.
However, you can get a signed copy if you come out to the Four Tour!  But, the Four Tour only consists of four stops.  Surprise, surprise. 

BOSTON - July 8: Veronica Roth Solo Event at 7PM
Nevins Hall
Memorial Building
150 Concord Street
Framingham, MA 01702
*books sold by Barnes & Noble
For information, please call: 508-628-5567

ATLANTA - July 10: Veronica Roth with Marie Lu at 7 PM
Agnes Scott College
Presser Hall
141 East College Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030
*books sold by Little Shop of Stories
For information, please call 404-373-6300 or visit

DENVER - July 15: Veronica Roth with Margaret Stohl at 7 PM
Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch
9315 Dorchester St
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
For information, please call: 303-322-1965

LANSING - July 16: Veronica Roth with Phoebe North at 7 PM
Schuler Books & Music
2820 Towne Center Blvd.
Lansing, MI 48912
For information, please call: 517-316-7495

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Current Goodreads rating 4.22

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Characters: Cath and Wren really reminded me of myself and my sister.  No, we aren't twins, nor were we ever really best friends, but I relate to Cath's love for books and her introversion.  On the other hand, my sister is much like Wren, more social to say the least.  Initially, I wasn't a huge fan of Wren because she ditches her sister.  The two grow apart, and I felt for Cath.  I was delighted when Cath found Levi who makes her happy and is always therefor her.  I even loved Regan.  Her iciness thaws, and she is actually pretty cool.  Haha pun intended.   

Plot: I listened to the audio book (the narrators were great), and I'll admit that I checked out during the Simon Snow scenes.  Then, I was talking with my friends and found out that they completely skipped over the fanfic.  Aside from that, I loved this book!!!!!!!!!!!!

I loved the evolution of the relationships between child and parent, sister and sister, girl and boy, etc.
I loved that Rainbow Rowell brings attention to mental illness and shows the importance of forgiveness.
I loved that this could be considered NA and it doesn't have any sexual content.
And I love the romance.



This is the perfect read for the summer before entering college.  That's when I read it, and it has a special place in my heart now....(Awwww)

x Carly
View all my reviews

Blitz: Unwritten by Chelsea M. Cameron

Blair Walton isn’t your average tattooed children’s librarian. She’s also one half of bestselling romance author, Scarlet Rose. Along with her bff Raine, she spends her nights writing books so steamy, she’s afraid they would shock her Southern conservative grandmother to death, if she knew about them. Blair and Raine keep their smut peddling ways a secret from everyone, including family.

On deadline for their latest book and out of ideas, Raine suggests (demands) that Blair find a guy and “do some research.” It just so happens that Blair has a guy that’s ready and willing. Declan Bennet has all the qualifications: He’s British, looks fabulous in a suit and gets bonus points for being a single dad. But what started out as a research project quickly turns into something much more. Someone else is writing this love story and Blair has completely lost control. But will Declan still feel the same way when he finds out the truth about Blair and her secret motives?

“You’re kidding,” Raine said that night as I gave a dramatic reenactment of meeting Drake’s father that afternoon.
“Would I make something like this up?” I said, realizing too late that yes, I definitely could.
“Dude, you’re a writer. I’m a writer. We make things up for a living.” She gestured to make her point. Raine always had to gesture when she was talking. Even when her hands were full. She always had a tendency to spill things.
“Yes, good point, but still. No, I am not making this up. He was completely real. And gorgeous and that accent.” I had that tingle again just remembering.
“You’re talking about the dad, right?” It took me a second to realize what she said.
I smacked her on the arm. “Ew, pervert. Yes, the dad. I wish I could have gotten his name. If only the stupid nanny hadn’t filled out the form. Then he would have had to print his name and I would know what it is.”
“Well, another part of our job as writers is to know things. And if we don’t know them, how to find them.” She ran to her computer and started typing like a madwoman.
“No, Raine. No. We swore we would only use your powers in extreme emergencies.”
She didn’t look up at me.
“There’s a cute guy involved. That qualifies this as an emergency.”

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, LIsten coming out in 2014.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

YA Prom

I'm a little late in the game for posting, but I had to join in!

Alexa and Gaby, two other book bloggers came up with "YA Prom."  Basically, you come up with your dream prom, providing pictures of the dress, the date (any book boyfriend of your choosing), and whatever else you can fathom.

Without further ado, here's mine...

This is the dress I originally picked and tweeted.

But, I've changed my mind.  I love Angelina's famous dress!  The slit is just high enough.


Noah Shaw from Michelle Hodkin's Mara Dyer trilogy.  I always pictured Max Irons as Noah, maybe because of their being British.

I miss my really short hair.

I didn't go to my real prom.  Instead, I went to Book Con.  I don't regret my choice because I'm not the type to go to prom.  Why would this awkward, introverted, dance-hating girl spend $110 just on the ticket?
But, I thought this idea was super cute and especially awesome when I saw everyone participating on Twitter.    

However, I'm putting my own little spin on this YA Prom.  No, Noah and I will not be attending the tradition, high school gathering where people feel the need to imbibe.  We're going to get all fancied up and head to my favorite restaurant--Vedge--in Philly as we try to outwit each other.  A perfectly simple night with the perfect fictional boy...
I hope you find your real life Noah.
Leave me a comment and tell me about your YA Prom : )
x Carly

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thoughts on the Delirium Pilot

Remember when Lauren Oliver's Delirium was possibly going to be a TV show on Fox, but then it never made it past the pilot?  Well, if you haven't heard, a few days ago
 (6/20) it became available for FREE on Hulu for 30 days.

And international fans can view it on WIGS' website, I believe.

I watched it, and it was fabulous!  Not just because Emma Roberts played Lena (That was a deliberate word choice.  Any of my readers used to watch Unfabulous?)

Along with her, Daren Kagasoff from The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and Gregg Sulkin from Faking It star.

I haven't read the books, but I have had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Oliver.  I must say that she deserves your support, so watch the pilot so that an entire season can be filmed!! The plot is very interesting: Love is a disease.  It clouds judgment, leading to reckless decisions.  But, at 18, everyone gets cured and gets an assigned partner.

Sure there would be no hasty choices or heartbreak if a world without love existed, but where would the passion go?  What about all of the positives that love brings?

Overall, I loved the action and romance, but the relationship between Lena and Alex felt too rushed for me.  Then again, a lot had to happen in a short period of time. 

Fox stopped this project because it figured that people wouldn't be into a YA show, and I have to agree.   Yes, people of all ages like The Hunger Games, but that seems rare.  The target audience for Delirium is definitely teens, and I think it would have gone over well if it were to premiere on a channel like the CW.  The premise of the show and book is awesome, and I think the audience could be diverse if people give it a chance.


THE ENDING!!!!!!  What a cliffhanger!

WIGS must make more Delirium.
x Carly

Release Day Launch; Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker

FWTF RDL Banner 3  

We are thrilled to celebrate the Release Day Launch of K.A. Tucker's FIVE WAYS TO FALL!! FIVE WAYS TO FALL is the fourth novel in her Ten Tiny Breaths Series, published by Atria Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

  FWTF final cover
About FIVE WAYS TO FALL: Purple-haired, sharp-tongued Reese MacKay knows all about making the wrong choice; she’s made plenty of them in her twenty-odd-years. So when her impulsive, short-lived marriage ends in heartbreak, she decides it’s time for a change. She moves to Miami with the intention of hitting reset on her irresponsible life, and she does quite well…aside from an epically humiliating one-night stand in Cancun with a hot blond bouncer named Ben. Thank God she can get on a plane and leave that mistake behind her. Football scholarship and frat parties with hot chicks? Part of charmer Ben Morris’s plan. Blown knee that kills any hope of a professional football career? So not part of the plan. Luckily Ben has brains to go with his knockout looks and magnetism. After three long years of balancing law school with his job as a bouncer at Penny’s Palace, he’s ready to lead a more mature life—until his first day of work, when he finds himself in the office of that crazy, hot chick he met in Cancun. The one he hasn’t stopped thinking about. If Ben truly were a smart guy, he’d stay clear of Reese. She’s the boss’s stepdaughter and it’s been made very clear that office romances are grounds for dismissal. Plus, rumor has it she’s trouble. The only problem is, he likes trouble, especially when it’s so good-looking…  

Atria Books ** IndieBound B&N ** Amazon ** iBookstore ** BAM ** Bookish ** Other


EXCERPT: Ben I love the angry ones. Of course, anyone who knows me would argue that I love any and all women, and I can’t exactly disagree. But I love the angry ones the most. They’re a challenge to be conquered, the reason for their fury usually fitting neatly into three buckets: insecure, scorned, hormonal. And this chick gazing up at me with fire in her caramel eyes? I’m betting on bucket number two. “My, what an awfully bright red shirt you have on,” she pushes out between gritted teeth, as if she’s trying to be polite but can’t hide her disdain. I didn’t know what I was walking into when the punk-rock chick with the crazy-ass muscular body waved us over, but her friend with the purple hair and her back to me had me intrigued. Now that I’m getting a good look at her face, I know who I’m spending my last night with in Cancún. She’s not what some would call traditionally “pretty.” Her eyes are slightly too big and far apart, her nose is slightly too long and slender, and her lips—though nice and wide—are on the thin side. Yet something about all of that put together makes her sexy as hell. Maybe it’s the little nose ring. Or maybe it’s the way her decent-sized tits are pressing up against me, her low V-neck tank top—a casual shirt, telling me she’s not trying to pick anyone up—giving me a fine view of her cleavage. Whatever it is, my dick is certainly pleased. “You like it?” I ask. An irritated glare flickers to the material. “No.” I can’t help but chuckle at her candor. “Will you at least give me a head start before you gore me?” Those thin lip curls into a condescending smirk. “Bulls don’t see color. That’s a myth.” The only thing I love more than an angry girl is a smart, angry girl. This is going to be fun. “Well, how about I solve the problem for you.” I take a step back from her and swiftly yank my shirt off, exposing six days of suntanned skin and an upper body that I know looks damn appealing because I work my ass off to keep it that way. The random catcalls from the tables around confirm it. And then I simply stand there and grin like the cocky ass that I am as Angry Girl can’t keep her eyes from scanning the muscles I’ve honed since my college football days, her lips parting ever so subtly. I see the shift in her, the moment where she realizes that, though she’d prefer to castrate the entire male species right now, she can’t ignore her attraction to me. At least, that’s what I want to see.   FWTF Reese  
Don’t forget the rest of the Ten Tiny Breaths Series…

...and you can Preorder…
In Her Wake

Author PhotoABOUT K.A. TUCKER: Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.      

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads ** YouTube ** Pinterest ** Instagram


Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: From Ashes by Molly McAdams

From Ashes (From Ashes, #1)From Ashes by Molly McAdams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Current Rating on Goodreads 4.17

Aside from her dad, who passed away when she was six, Cassidy Jameson has only ever trusted one man: her best friend, Tyler. So of course she follows him to Texas when he leaves for college. She just didn't expect to be so drawn to their new roommate, Gage, a gorgeous guy with a husky Southern drawl. The only problem? He's Tyler's cousin.

Gage Carson was excited to share an apartment off campus with his cousin. He didn't mind that Tyler was bringing the mysterious friend he'd heard about since they were kids ... until the most beautiful girl he's ever seen jumps out of his cousin's Jeep. There's something about Cassi that makes Gage want to give her everything. Too bad Tyler has warned him that she's strictly off-limits.

Despite everything keeping them apart, Cassi and Gage dance dangerously close to the touch they're both been craving. But when disaster sends her running into Tyler's arms, Cassi will have to decide whether to face the demons of her past ... or to burn her chance at a future with Gage.

Characters: Alright, I know that Cassidy is really kind but how drop dead gorgeous is she??? A character's physical appearance is not important to the reading experience for me, but every single (no, I'm not exaggerating) male in this novel wanted her.  It just got annoying.
Aside from that, as I said, she is a super sweet girl who had a rough life.

Tyler is Cassidy's best friend.  He grew up next to her and helped her out.  He's always been there for her, and she doesn't trust anyone else.  Frankly, I thought that Tyler is the most interesting character because he is dynamic.  His character has a huge arc from beginning to end.  Though he is a huge jerk in the middle, I like how he ends up.

Gage is the smoking hot, ranch-working cousin of Tyler.  He is slightly older, but as soon as he sees Cassidy, it's game over.  Gage is a sweetheart, but I hated his temper.  I despise when guys get into fist fights over girls.  It's not manly.

Plot: From Ashes is told in alternating POV, and I wish it weren't because there was so much whining from both Cassidy and Carson!!! They spend the whole book thinking that the other isn't interested, and it got boring.  I know that the ladies who read this book either love or hate it, and most love it.  But, this wasn't amazing sexual tension.  No, it was complaining and pining.

Overall thoughts: No, I didn't love this one.  It entertained me, but it's not good enough to recommend.  The whining reminded me too much of Twilight, and the book is considered NA, so I assumed that the characters would be more mature.  You know what happens when you assume...

Is it just me, or is anyone else tired of plots centered around an abused girl being saved by a boy?  I don't want to be insensitive when I say this because abuse is a serious and real matter, but there are so many books, especially NA, that center around domestic violence or rape.  
View all my reviews

x Carly

Blog Tour (Excerpt): Mad Love by Colet Abedi

23-year-old aspiring artist Sophie Walker can think of no better place than the exotic paradise of the Maldives Islands to escape the wrath of her controlling parents, the monotony of her boring legal work and her passionless boyfriend. With her two best friends along for the ride and to help her find herself again, Sophie is not prepared for the enigmatic Clayton Sinclair. Clayton comes from another world of privilege that seems like a fantasy to Sophie.  Can this man introduce her to the passion & seduction she never realized she was desperately searching for? Sophie quickly becomes ensnared in Clayton's seductive web until a shocking treachery makes her question her judgment and actions.
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And then a thought explodes in my brain like a firework on the Fourth of July: he’s sleeping with her. Or, at the very least, he has slept with her. Probably a thousand times. It’s clear. Oh God, I’m going to puke.
Sheila walks in behind them smiling like a well-fed cat and looks over at me and practically shrugs her shoulders as if to say, Sorry! That bitch. I picture myself throwing her over the side of the yacht. Is this woman the “piece of art” she wanted to show Clayton? I feel like someone just punched me right in the gut.
I wonder how quickly the helicopter can take me back to the resort. Hell, how far away can it take me so I can run away and just forget that I ever thought for a second that Lord Clayton Astor Sinclair could possibly be mine.
My body tenses up and I turn abruptly. I’ve got to get out of here. I need . . . Erik and Orie each take an arm, holding me still.
“What the fuck is that face?” Erik whispers down at me, his eyes worried.
I’m so happy there’s soft music in the background and people are talking loudly, paying attention to their own conversations and not ours.
“Air. I need air. Now,” I manage to croak out, and the two guide me out the door, which thankfully go in the opposite direction from where Clayton is standing with Miss Universe, and onto the deck.
I take deep, deep breath, clench my fists, and beg myself to get a grip. Why? Why does she have to be here right now and ruin this for me? Why am I letting her make me feel inferior? But I mean, seriously, she could make a supermodel hate herself.
“Talk to me, Goose,” Erik demands as I and suck in the night air trying my hardest not to act so obvious.
But I can’t form a sentence. Not yet.
“I don’t mean to take away from what’s obviously a serious situation but Sophie is so not Goose. If anything, she’s Maverick and you’re Goose,” Orie breaks the silence.
“So I’m the one who can’t eject himself from the seat in time?” Erik sounds annoyed.
“Yeah, I guess. If you want to put it like that.”
“That’s so fucked that you think so little of me.” Erik goes on.
“Erik, we’re talking about Top Gun, a movie,” Orie returns. “Why do you have to be so dramatique all the time?”
“Art imitates real life,” Erik says. “And I’m offended you think I’m Goose when I’m so Maverick. Or maybe even Ice-Man.”
Before Orie can comment—
“Did you see her?!” I blurt out, interrupting a conversation I know they will no doubt pick up again as I turn to face them. “That . . . that . . . Helena Christensen doppelganger?”
I’m sure my face is pale, my insecurity written all over it. Erik knows me better than anyone.
Both guys look instantly pissed off. What the hell?
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Erik snaps.
Orie takes the calmer, gentler approach as he always does, and brushes back my long hair. At least her hair is shorter. It seemed thin, too. Good! A flaw! Surely there are more. Right?
“You’re not going to cry, are you?” Erik looks horrified at the thought.

He quickly turns to Orie and orders, “Inside. Shots. Tequila. Pronto.”

Colet Abedi has been an entertainment industry executive for over ten years. In addition to working on many television programs for NBC, ABC, FOX, and most cable networks, she is best known for her work as head writer for the telenovela serials American Heiress and Fashion House, the latter of which starred Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild, on the FOX-owned MyNetworkTV. Abedi currently has one television series in syndication, Unsealed: Alien Files, and has completed Five Souls, her first feature film. She is also the co-author of young adult fiction novel, FAE. Book one was released July 2013 by Diversion Publishing Group and was an instant online bestseller. The Dark King, the second in the planned FAE trilogy, was released May 2014. FAE was recently optioned by Ridley Scott. Colet is a native of California, graduated with a B.A. in English literature from the University of California at Irvine, and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three dogs.
Instagram: @coletabedi

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver #1)The Giver by Lois Lowry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Current Goodreads rating 4.11

Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for It Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

So, I read this because my best friend loves it. And... because the movie comes out really soon.  It has a promising cast, and I might be fairly attracted to Brenton Thwaites.

Originally, I read this when I was in 5th or 6th grade.  I absolutely hated it.  Yet, reading The Giver now, I have such a greater appreciation for it.  This is not a children book.  the writing is juvenile, so it is marketed toward 12+, but the themes are very adult.  May I be so bold as to say that this is among one of the first dystopian novels? I have nothing to support that claim, but I do know this: The Giver came out before The Hunger Games which came out before Divergent.  The Giver and all of these books challenge psychological debates about the relationship between freedom and happiness.

Can you be happy if you give up all your freedom?

Some criticism: I was the same age as Jonas is in the novel when I read this book.  I realize that Jonas was precocious; he had to be to be selected as Receiver, but the rest of us at 12 years old are not aware, for the most part, of the world's evils, its imperfections.  For this reason, I dont think this should have been a kid's book.  I didn't feel that Jonas is relatable at all for kids.

I fully support the changes between the film and book that I've observed from the movie trailers and cast interviews.
1. Jonas and his friends are older.
2. There are action scenes! (I found myself a little bored while reading the book.)
3. Jonas' friends have larger roles (The book is pretty short, so things like characters were expanded to make the movie long enough.)

Overall feelings: I liked it, but not nearly as much as other people have.  It was a quickie (because of its tiny nature) with not enough excitement.  However, it evokes some interesting philosophical questions. I will be reading the rest of The Giver Quartet because I want to finish what I started, and they are easy to read.

View all my reviews

x Carly

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Literary Spin on My High School Graduation

I graduated officially from high school this afternoon.  Yes, I had to wear the abominable, indestructible, ever so flattering (that's sarcasm) articles of clothing called a cap and gown.  But, this spin on honorary cords was pretty cool.  I must give it to you, Mr. K, though I wanted to have easy, simple cords that matched the others, these were memorable.  For one, I had to watch a YouTube video on how to tie a square knot.  Secondly, I pinned it on with a pin that I got from a Cassie Clare book signing where she signed City of Heavenly Fire.  It was an awesome event, one that I look back on positively since I got to talk with Cassie, unlike the TMI mall tour, and realized she's not a *EXPLICIT*.  She seemed to really love interacting with her fans, so I'm blaming the lameness of the mall tour on the sponsor Rue21. Grrrr!!

"The end is also the beginning..."

How true is that?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chapter Release Blitz: Girl Lost by Nazarea Andrews

GIRL LOST by Nazarea Andrews
May 3014

Northern was supposed to be a fresh start—a place where people didn't know who I was or how I had spent years in and out of mental institutes. People didn't know about my parents death or the island no one heard of. But when Peter sits next to me in lit class, I can’t stop the memories, and I don’t want to. He looks too much like the boy from the island, and despite my best intentions, coaxes my secrets from me.

He’s gorgeous, irresistible, a little mad, and completely lost—we are a pair of broken cogs in a world neither of us truly fits into. And he listens when I talk, about the past and the terrifying future. He is somehow gentle and fierce, heartbreaking in his devotion and savage in his defense.

When Belle, his best friend, shows up, pale and lovely and sick, Peter pulls away from me, a startling withdrawal. It’s a relationship that scares and confuses me. She is at times warm and friendly, and other times is violent and unpredictable.

Peter says that he wants me, but refuses to let himself get close. And there are secrets, surrounding both of us, that border on nightmares. As the memories close in, as Belle gets sicker and more violent, I’m torn between what is true and what I believe, and what this magical boy knows about my mysterious past.
*Suitable for 17+. A romantic contemporary retelling of the boy who never grew up.

Chapter 1.

There are a few thing you should know about me, to start. I am Gwendolyn, the eldest daughter of Piers Barrie. I am a college freshman, and an heiress.
And, I am quite mad.

Freshman orientation is a joke. A mass of wannabe jocks and pretty boys waiting for fraternities to swoop in and give them a team to play for. Catty girls with perfectly styled tresses and designer handbags and a superior air of injured dignity. Gatherings of this sort are beneath girls like them.

I stand in the doorway, uncomfortable. Take a deep breath and paste a fake smile on.

This is my fresh start. Here, no one knows Gwen Barrie. They don't know about the Second Star or my parents.

They don't know about the time I spent in Pembrooke. That is the most important thing. I clench my fist, steadying my breath.

Someone bumps me from behind, and I shift a little as my younger brother steps up. He eyes me worriedly, and I smile, softlyI’m fine, Micah.”

“Darling, you are the furthest thing from fine I’ve ever seen. I’m still not sure why Grayson said this was a good idea.”

I flinch, furious that he would even mention that. “You promised,” I say stiffly.

I stalk away from him before he can respond, weaving through the crowd. Northern University is small, one of the reasons Grayson selected it. It’s perfect for me.

The dean is finally silent, and I drift through the crowd toward a group of girls who look friendly enough that I’m not ready to bolt. Micah gives me a little space, but I can feel him watching me from the corner of the room. He’s drawn into a conversation by a pretty blonde, and I release a sigh of relief.

Micah isn’t like me—he’s comfortable in groups like this. He would thrive at a larger school, but he wouldn’t leave me. After almost ten years of taking care of me, he wasn’t going to trust me alone at college.

“Excuse me,” a male voice says, and I twist. The speaker is a tall, slender young man in a white button down and black jeans, with dark hair, murky blue eyes, and a smile that makes me shiver.
I shove the memories down and force a polite smile. “Sorry.”

“No need to apologize. I didn’t want to startle you. Are you a transfer?”

I flush—this is a question I’ve been dreading. “No,” I mumble, looking down into my toes. “I deferred after high school.”

A smile tickles his lips, and for a moment, he looks less menacing. Less like a memory.

Across the room, a flash of movement catches my eyes, and I pale as I see the guy. He’s surrounded by other students, and I only see a glimpse—but I take a few stumbling steps in his direction, my heart pounding.
No. No. I can’t do this—I refuse to believe this. Not today, not here. I turn away and collide with Micah. “What’s wrong?” he asks, his voice low and worried.

“I need to go,” I whisper. His eyebrows inch up, that familiar worried look. My brother is too young to look that old.

“Come on, then,” he says immediately.

“Stay,” I order. “You were having fun—and I’m fine. I just need some air.”

His expression is one of disbelief, so I give him a smile, a real smile. “Promise.”

I squeeze his hand lightly and head to the exit. I don’t look back—I don’t know if that’s evidence I’m getting stronger or if I’m too scared to chance it.

I wander through campus until I’m at the Cliff. One of the reasons Grayson and I chose Northern was the seaside location. I need to be close to the water—as terrifying as it can be, I can’t imagine life without the steady throb of the ocean and the relentless whisper of waves. I stand on the Cliff and stare out at the wind swept sea, and I let the dangerous memories take me under.

I see him everywhere. In other patients, at Pembroke. At school, when Grayson thinks I’m sane enough for it. Laughing cat eyes and a shock of red hair, slanted, sly features. He isn’t the same as anyone else, and I can’t shake him.

They say I imagined it.

But they’re wrong. I saw him again, and it’s been six years. Micah is talking to Grayson and Aunt Jane. I know what they want to do. I’m so tired of years spent Pembroke.

A flash of red, a crooked smile from under the tilted cap. I shudder, and for the first time, I turn away.

I pretend.

I chose to not believe.

And ignore the flash of angry hurt that fills his eyes as I focus on my brother.

“What are you doing?”

I jerk around to face the unfriendly voice. A girl is standing a few feet away from me, her eyes narrowed. She looks annoyed, and I shrug helplessly. “Nothing. Just…um. Who are you?”

She huffs. “Orchid Lewis.”

The name tugs at my memory, and I frown. “Have we met?”

“No,” she says abruptly. “But if you’re Gwendolyn Barrie, I’m your roommate.”

I perk up. I’ve been looking forward to meeting the face on the other side of the email exchange. She seemed polite enough, then, if not incredibly warm. Now she’s staring at me like I’m crazy—I know those looks, because they’ve been directed at me for so long.

“You shouldn’t stand so close to the cliff, you know. It’s dangerous.”

Understanding sweeps me, and I flush. “Oh. I’m not—I wasn’t...” I trail off as her expression turns vaguely curious. “I wasn’t paying attention,” I finish lamely.

She stares at me for a long moment, and then, “Did you make it to orientation?”

I nod. “For a few minutes. Then I got out of there. It was too crowded.”

“Our class is only, like, two hundred people.”

I know that, and I’m annoyed that she feels the need to point it out. “I don’t like crowds,” I snap and turn away from the cliff, stalking toward the dorm hall. Orchid trails along behind me, a drifting presence.

“Was there anything we actually needed to pay attention to?”

I slide a glance at her, and she shrugs. “Hanging out with a bunch of over-eager jocks isn’t my idea of a good way to spend my last day before class.”

I laugh. “Nothing we haven’t been told in the admin packets. You came for a tour, right?” She nods, brushing a lock of straight black hair from her eyes. “Then you’ll be fine. We both already have our schedules.”

“Great.” She fidgets as I flash my key card and the door buzzes open. She follows me through the empty hall, pass the elegant, overdone commons room. She laughs a little. “What do they think we’re going to do in there, have high tea?”

I giggle, and her eyebrows wing up, like birds independent of the rest of her face. The rest of her expression remains immobile, but those thin dark eyebrows express a wide array of emotion.

I’m staring. I shouldn’t stare. This isn’t Pembrooke—staring gets noticed here.

Our room is on the third floor, with no elevator. The dorms of Northern are lovely, all cream brick and slate siding and soaring arches and columns. They claim to be original buildings, from when the university was founded in the mid-1800s. But they lack the basic amenities of modern structures. Like properly sealed windows and efficient heating. And elevators.

Orchid reaches our door first and lets it swing open. I’m a little embarrassed by how barren it is—I’ve seen the other girls’ rooms, half glimpses snatched through the open doors, and I haven’t done anything like them. There is nothing to say I’m here, aside from four large boxes and three suitcases. There are no pictures hanging, no personalized touches. I haven’t unpacked.

Part of me doesn’t believe that Grayson will let me stay. I’m an adult, and Aunt Jane can’t do anything to force me back into institutional care, but she controls Barrie Enterprises.

I grit my teeth and smile at Orchid. “You can have your pick,” I say, waving at the empty beds. She takes the bed to the right, and I move my stuff to the left, situating my desk to face the window. I push it open, and she gives me a curious look as the sound of the wind and the ocean seeps in. “I like the fresh air,” I say simply. She doesn’t comment, and I stare at my untouched boxes. Nod to myself, firmly.

I can’t screw this up. It’s my chance to prove to Micah and Grayson and Jane—to everyone who matters—that I’m not insane. I haven’t seen the Boy in months—not counting this afternoon, and I can dismiss that, because I didn’t see him. It was a boy, a normal student, a redhead, but not the Boy.

With that thought firmly in mind, I busy myself unpacking the boxes, working alongside Orchid in companionable silence.

Author Information

Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.