Sunday, November 30, 2014


Rating: B
Release Date: 12/9/14
Game of Thrones meets the Grimm’s fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora’s throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it’s too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

My thoughts on the book:
Princess of Thorns is a captivating and lovely fantasy novel. I wasn't blown away by the writing or characters at first, but I was still curious enough about the plot to see things through, and I'm so glad that I did. I was never bored, and I fully intended on finishing the novel; I just didn't think that it'd grab me the way that it did in the end. There is enough action to keep anyone interested, and I obviously wasn't rooting for evil to win, but Aurora and Niklaas were really frustrating at times. When I finished this book, I was left with a happy feeling. I'm really glad I read it. 

Aurora is stubborn and obsessed with freeing her brother. I get it. I mean I'm an only child, but if my mom, dad, cat, or best friend were trapped by an evil ogre, you'd better believe I'd be obsessed with saving them. I hope that I wouldn't be as stupid and reckless with it as Aurora is, though. Also, her inability to trust anyone really grated on my nerves. I'm not a big truster myself, but communication is key to success in anything. When people don't know what they're up against or the gender of the person they're traveling with, you can't expect your quest to go well. And how stupid is Niklaas? "Ror" refuses to bathe with him, has a high pitched voice, doesn't have any face hair, carries on and on about women's rights, and stares at Niklaas like a creeper from time to time. How did he not know Aurora was female until 60% in? That just seemed too convenient and a bit forced, in my opinion. It was my main pet peeve with the story. Also, Niklaas is terribly stubborn to the point of stupidity, too. I spent a lot of time wanting to slap some sense into him and Aurora. However, they are flawed and real characters, and they grow throughout the story. I can appreciate that. 

The plot is action-packed and full of adventure. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and dying to know what happens next. Yea, Niklaas not knowing Aurora is female is a bit of a stretch, but the rest of the plot (except the ending) is believable and extremely intriguing. I really didn't know if they'd make it in time to save Jor or not. The ending works out a little too well - at least part of it does, but some of the lines at the end are just beautiful and really grabbed at my heart. Some of the lines even made me tear up a bit. I also enjoyed seeing how everything comes together and how Aurora changes to adapt to her different situations. Furthermore, the alternating points of view are decently written. Aurora and Niklaas sound a bit alike, and since they speak different dialects, I wish their voices had more differences, but Ekeeta was very well-written, I thought. I liked getting different points of view in this novel, and normally I don't. However, it adds some depth and allowed me to trust the story more. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book for anyone who loves fairy tale retellings and fantasy novels. It's a bit different, and there are nods to different fairy tales throughout the novel, which I enjoyed. Check this one out. You won't be sorry. 

Pre-order Princess of Thorns

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BLACK WIDOW by Jennifer Estep

Rating: A
There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan.

With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.

The thing is, I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident—and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bulls-eye. Though new to Ashland, this M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames.

My thoughts on the book:
Black Widow reignited the magic in this series. I was really bored with the past couple of books, and I was about to break up with this series, but this novel changed my mind. Gin got put through a lot in this installment, and she really showed her strength. Gone were the weak and easily remedied problems from the previous two installments, where there were either no problems at all and the entire book was a memory, or the problems were too easily solved, in my opinion. Gin really had to fight to survive again, and I loved that.

Gin really grew quite a bit in this series and showed her good side along with her bad ass side. I really loved how she evolved, and the ending made me really proud of her. This was very much a Gin-focused book, and I enjoyed that. I'm not a fan of Bria and Finn's relationship, and it was nice that I didn't have to see that forced on me (and them) any this time. Owen was present some, and everything he did just reaffirmed the fact that he's perfect for Gin. Her friends supported her from afar, but they were still there for her. I liked the balance in this novel and how it focused on Gin's growth instead of her dependence on others. I felt like it took her back to her roots a bit.

The plot was fast moving and full of action and suspense. More than once, Gin defied odds and survived. There were some tense moments, for sure, but I had faith she'd pull through. She kind of has to, since she's the narrator. The big reveal at the end completely blindsided me. I did not see that coming, and I loved how Gin handled it and set herself apart from the Monroes. This plot was much more complex, in my opinion, than the last novel. Estep's writing was top notch, and the only weird thing I noticed was that Gin kept telling the reader when she went to the bathroom. That was just odd to me. Oh well, whatever. The ending tied things up nicely and left me dying for the next book.

Overall, I'd recommend this novel and series to anyone who enjoys tough urban fantasy female leads. This is one of my favorite series, and Gin is one of my favorite characters.

Order Black Widow!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

CAPTIVE by Aimée Carter

Rating: B- 
Release Date: 11/25/14
For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever. 

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. 

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

My thoughts on the book:
I have always been an Aimée Carter fan. I loved her Goddess Test series, and I absolutely adored the first book in this trilogy. The story in Captive did not disappoint, but Kitty was one of the most annoying protagonists I've read lately. I spent the majority of the book wanting to beat her over the head with a shoe. And I don't feel like she grew as much as she should have. Hopefully that'll be rectified in the final installment. The plot itself was fast-paced and had me hooked instantly. Carter's world-building was top notch, and I felt like I was in the new America she created. The romance was obnoxious and lukewarm at best, though. While this book didn't exactly fall flat for me, I'm a big character person, and disliking two of the main characters really made it hard for me to enjoy this novel as much as I could have had they not been so unlikable. 

Kitty, Kitty, Kitty, why are you such a selfish and ignorant brat? It blew my mind that anyone in this book thought she was brave or inspirational because she was anything but. Maybe if you couldn't read her inner thoughts, she didn't seem like such a little bitch, but my lord she was terrible. All she cared about was herself, her own comfort, and Benjy. The entire country is suffering as badly, if not worse than you once did? Oh well, let's go screw Benjy. That's all that matters. Also, let's ruin all of the plans for the revolution and tell random strangers about what's going on. That sounds super smart. Agh! The revolution would have been better off if Kitty had gotten killed, and so would the book. She was a useless idiot for the entire novel. Benjy was weak and pathetic as ever, and I really wanted him to go away. Even if he wasn't around, he was still there, because apparently Kitty has an obsession problem. Knox was the only redeeming character in the novel. I absolutely adored him, and I really hope to see more of him in the next installment. I also hope Kitty grows the hell up and stops being such a whiny, self-centered brat. She came very close to ruining a really well-written novel. 

The plot was amazing, and I really loved all of the secondary characters who were willing to give up their lives for a chance at freedom. The thing I love about dystopian novels is the revolution, and this novel had plenty of that. Also, Carter completely messed with me a few times while I was reading this. Something would happen, and I'd be like, "no... that can't be what actually happened. Surely the author is messing with me right now because wow. wtf." I really love when writers do that, and it kept me reading, even when I wanted to strangle Kitty for being such a stubborn idiot. The events in this novel were heart-wrenching and beautiful and everything a revolution should be. The world-building was spectacular. I felt like I was in every place that Kitty was, and everything was believable and made sense. I was able to willingly suspend my disbelief and completely immerse myself in the world that Carter created. I love when that happens. The twist at the very end shocked me, and I can't wait to see what happens next. This book ended on a tiny bit of a cliffhanger, though a lot of things were resolved as well, so I wasn't annoyed at the ending. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book and trilogy to anyone who enjoys a good dystopian plot. If you're looking for likable characters, it may not be for you (though I'm trying to reserve judgment until the final book comes out. Characters do change, and I didn't absolutely hate Kitty in the first novel). If you read and enjoyed Pawn, like I did, then this book is a must-read. 

Order Captive today!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A DARKER PAST by Jus Accardo Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway!

Rating: A
The past is Darker than they thought…

Between helping her mother with the Darker Agency and laying the smack down on monster baddies, Jessie Darker puts the “normal” in paranormal. But lately, things have gotten a little crazy…even for a smart-assed half-demon teenage girl.

For starters, Jessie’s been contracted into fifty-five years of annoying servitude. To a demon. Then there’s Lukas Scott, her sexy new boyfriend. Once the former incarnation of Wrath, he’s been going through some…uh, changes. Like residual anger. And trading chaste hangouts for lusty make-out sessions.

But it’s when Lukas and Jessie accidentally release a Very Nasty Demon that things get really bad, setting into motion a chain of death and mayhem that threatens both Earth and the Shadow Realm. Jessie has exactly four days to fix it…before all of Hell breaks loose.

My thoughts on the book:
I absolutely adored Darker Days, and I had been looking forward to the sequel for some time. A Darker Past did not disappoint. Accardo's lovely and captivating writing combined with Jessie's sense of humor and Lukas' depth made for a terrific novel. Everything I loved about the first book was present in the second installment as well. I can't wait to see what's in store for Jessie and company next!

The characters in these books really make the stories what they are. Each character has depth and is extremely unique. I absolutely love Valefar. I know he's supposed to be a horrific demon, but he just cracks me up. Lukas' adjustment to the 21st Century is also endearing and funny. Jessie's sarcasm makes me love her, and Kendra's flirty nature is a nice offset to Jessie, who had sworn off boys until she met Lukas. I also enjoy reading about Jessie's parents. Her demon father and human mother make for an interesting couple. I'm so glad that the parents aren't conveniently MIA for the novel and that Accardo has included them in the story. Jessie and Lukas both evolve over the course of this novel, and every change felt organic. It seems as if Accardo lets the characters tell their own stories instead of manipulating them to fit her plot. I really love books like that.

The plot itself is packed full of suspense, not only because of Lukas' changes (showing a darkness that his character lacked in the first installment), but also because of the fact that they have four days to fix their mistake before they have apocalyptic repercussions. Between my interest in the characters and the suspense of this novel, I was flying through the pages. However, Accardo's exquisite world-building can't be ignored. I really love she gives us more history about the Darkers and Belfairs and talks about the ancestry in this novel. I'm a big history dork, so seeing more history made me understand the world that much more. Also, the author paints vivid pictures of both Hell and the Earth-bound settings. My only complaint about this novel is the ending, which I felt was a little bit too clean cut. I'm still looking forward to the next installment, though!

If you're looking for a lighthearted, fast-paced read, look no farther than this series. It's a great escape from your everyday life, and Accardo is a fantastic author.

About the Author:
JUS ACCARDO  spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food.

Jus is the bestselling author of the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing, as well as the Darker Agency series, and the New Adult series, The Eternal Balance. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Author Links:


Friday, November 14, 2014

OTHERWORLD NIGHTS by Kelley Armstrong

Rating: B+
This short story collection will include many brand-new tales and others only previously available on Kelley Armstrong's website. Most of the stories will feature the werewolves of the Otherworld, Elena and Clay, Jeremy, Karl and other members of the American Pack. These are some of Kelley Armstrong's best-loved and most enduring characters, from bestselling books such as Bitten, Stolen and Frostbitten.

1) Demonology - Adam's mother discovers what he is
2) Stalked - Clay/Elena honeymoon story from "My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon"
3) Hidden - SubPress 2012 Elena/Clay novella
4) Twilight - a Cass story from "Many Bloody Returns"
5) Chivalrous - Reese's backstory from SubPress's long sold-out "Tales of Dark Fantasy 2" (the Dec'14 SubPress graphic novella picks up this storyline)
6) Lucifer's Daughter - Hope/Karl story from "Blood Lite II: Overbite"
7) From Russia with Love - Elena bonus story included with hardcover of "Thirteen"

8) Vanishing Act - brand-new Savannah/Adam novella set after "Thirteen"

My thoughts on the book:
I'm normally not a huge fan of short stories, but I always love everything Kelley Armstrong writes. This collection was no exception. I didn't absolutely love "Twilight," "Lucifer's Daughter," and "Chivalrous" wasn't my favorite, but I adored "Stalked," "Demonology," "Hidden," "From Russia with Love," and "Vanishing Act." Elena and Clay are my favorite fictional couple ever, so I'm glad that this book had 3 stories about them. Getting to know Adam's mom a bit and seeing her reaction when she learned about his abilities was interesting. Adam is one of my favorite characters, so I always like anything to do with him. I never really cared for Cass, which is probably why I didn't like "Twilight" that much. I also never really liked Hope and Karl, so "Lucifer's Daughter" was lukewarm for me. I liked Reese okay, but I wasn't invested enough in his character to really care about "Chivalrous" one way or the other.

Overall, I'd recommend this anthology if you're a huge Kelley Armstrong fan like me. It's a great book to add to your collection.

Buy Otherworld Nights

Thursday, November 13, 2014

BREAKING THE RULES by Katie McGarry Media Blitz!

Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5)
Release Date: 12/08/14
Harlequin Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry.

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.

Available for Pre-Order:
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Books in the series:
(covers linked to Goodreads)
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About the Author
KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website,, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Author Links:
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From Echo’s Point of View
I smile, amazed by the roses, by his faith in me and by the fact that he’s absolutely fantastic. “Thanks.”
Noah gently pulls one of the curls. “Damn, baby, don’t look at me like that.”
“Like what?”
“Like you want me to kiss you.”
But I do want him to kiss me. Instead, I shove at his wall of a chest, and he winks at me before he grabs the keys to the car and walks out the door. The air conditioner kicks off, and I lean against the headboard, staring at Noah’s roses on the bedside table. I pick one up, inhale the sweet scent and wonder, when it comes to it, why I’m waiting.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SKY PIRATES by Liesel Schwarz

Rating: B-
Following A Conspiracy of Alchemists and A Clockwork Heart, Sky Pirates is the third book of the Chronicles of Light and Shadow series, starring the spunky dirigible pilot Elle Chance and the handsome warlock Marsh. For urban fantasy fans and readers of Gail Carriger's Changeless and Cherie Priest's Boneshaker, a fun, fast-paced, action-packed new historical fantasy adventure series starring vampires, fairies, and the unforgettable heroine, Elle Chance.

Set during the Belle Epoque, Sky Pirates is a thrilling and inventive historical fantasy novel, where the myths and legends of Old Europe live side by side with the wondrous creations of modern scientists and aviators. It's also set in a world haunted by vampires, fairies, and other supernatural creatures. And it mixes a thrill-a-minute page-turning plot with a genuinely moving love story. In Sky Pirates, Elle and Marsh escape to the jungles of Cambodia in search of a sacred temple that holds the key to erasing the barrier between Shadow and Light.

My thoughts on the book:
Sky Pirates got off to an incredibly slow start for me. Elle's obsession with bringing back Marsh was a bit annoying at times, though I can't say that I wouldn't have been the same way in her position. Once the ball got rolling and we were able to get to know some of the new characters, though, things started to pick up. I really loved Dashwood, and Schwarz's writing was much better this time around, in my opinion. The last half of the book flew by, and I liked the ending. I hate love triangles, though, so that detracted from the book's rating. 

Elle was a bit stagnant for the first half of this installment, but by the 50% mark, she started growing. She was incredibly selfish during the first part, and I didn't like that very much. I liked her as the book progressed, though. Patrice was a good villain, and he's all kinds of messed up. It was interesting to see things from his perspective, showing how awful he was. Dashwood was a fantastic hero. I loved him very much, and I'm totally shipping him and Elle now. Marsh bored me. A lot of the pirates were fun, and they each had their own personalities. 

The plot was slow to start with, but picked up and was fast-paced toward the end. Elle being stuck in the jungle was a fun change, and I enjoyed the setting very much. The monastery was also interesting. As I previously stated, the writing was well-done. The romance and chemistry between Elle and Dashwood was fantastic. I just wish Marsh hadn't come back, honestly. I was sad he went away in the last installment, but since he was gone, I wish he'd stayed gone. The ending tied things up nicely.

Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone who loves steampunk. You'll enjoy this series. 

Order Sky Pirates

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Nano Update

Hey guys, sorry for not posting reviews lately, but I've been writing like a maniac for my first ever NaNoWriMo! I'm up to over 13,800 words and still going strong! Today is double up day, so I doubled up on my word count, and I'm about to double up on a donation as well. Why don't you do the same?!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

PENUMBRA by Keri Arthur

Rating: D

Agent Sam Ryan wants out of the Special Investigations Unit. She’s sick of the attitude from her partner, Gabriel Stern. She’s sick of the paperwork. Most of all, she’s sick of feeling lonely. But her boss isn’t about to let her go that easily. He gives Sam a choice: either stay stuck in her office or guard a clone replacement of Dan Wetherton, a government minister. Sam reluctantly chooses the latter—even though she suspects she’s being used as bait to draw out the SIU’s elusive nemesis.

Gabriel would like nothing better than to be on his own, without a partner to hold him back. Then he learns that Sam has been assigned to protect Wetherton—or whatever it is that’s replaced him. Wetherton’s clone could have come from only one place: Hopeworth, the military base that contains the secrets of Sam’s past. Determined to protect her, Gabriel is drawn into a fight against unspeakable evil. And all too soon, Sam and Gabriel discover that the connection between them is far more powerful than anyone could ever have imagined.

My thoughts on the book:
This novel annoyed me, mainly because the ending isn't conclusive and the series isn't going to continue. I feel like the least that Arthur could do is rewrite the ending to make it conclusive since the books are getting reprinted, but apparently that wasn't an option. Because of that, I really didn't like the book. That and Sam just got on my nerves. I finished this book, but I kind of wish I hadn't read it. I liked the other two novels so much better.

Between Sam and Gabriel, I spent most of the novel wanting to hit something - or someone. They are both so stubborn, and it just got on my nerves. It was okay for the first two books, but something needed to give in this last installment, but nope. They just stayed annoying for most of the story. I didn't feel like they grew at all. I hate when characters don't develop.

The plot itself was pretty pretty slow moving, in my opinion. It didn't keep me interested like the first two books did. Everything just seemed to drag. I felt that more stuff should have been explained, and as I previously mentioned, I hated the ending. I was bored a lot during this book, so it took me longer to read than it should have.

Overall, I really didn't like this book. It wasn't the worst thing that I've ever read, but it certainly wasn't the best. I've come to expect more from Keri Arthur than that.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Day 1 of NaNoWriMo!

I don't know how many of you are writers/wanna-be authors like myself, but I'd love to have you all on my writing buddy list, so please feel free to add me! My name is AmberLane.

What are you guys working on? What genre? What are your characters' names? What time period?

I'm working on a book based on Celtic Mythology. It's Urban Fantasy, set in Chicago and Ireland. My main characters' names are Jacqueline O'Brien Fitzgerald, Keagan O'Neill, and Weylyn Sorensen. It's set in contemporary times with random flashbacks to the past because my characters are immortal.

I'm so excited to participate this year! I already updated my word count for the first time. I hope to see some of you over there. Good luck to all!

Books I'm Grateful I Read Giveaway Hop!!

Hey guys, I am so excited to share with you all the books that I'm grateful I read. I'm only putting the life-changing ones on this giveaway, otherwise you'll be at my blog all day reading through your choices, haha. I'm grateful I read tons of books! These are the ones that really changed the way I think, live, and feel about things for one reason or another. Whether it be a really profound line in the book or the story addresses something important, these novels made a difference to me. I'm so glad that I can share them with you now, too! I'm sticking with works of fiction since this is a fiction blog, though many anthropological, philosophical, and historical texts have changed my life as well. Without further adieu, here are your choices:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
By: Sherman Alexie
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike. 

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This is one of the first books I ever read by an indigenous author, and it changed the way I viewed race relations between native and non-native people. It also spurred my interest in American Indian Studies, which I got my BA in two years ago. I would have never taken that path if it hadn't been for this book, and now I've joined the fight for indigenous rights. I'm so glad that I now know what indigenous people are up against so that I can help spread the word. American Indians are only one half of one percent of our population, so the more people who know what's going on with them, the better. 

By: Hannah Harrington
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This novel touches on a lot of important social issues. It caused me to think about these issues in more depth. I really love when books do that. 

Pushing the Limits
By: Katie McGarry
So wrong for each other …and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. 

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. 

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My thoughts on the book:
This book has a beautiful story, and it deals with very real problems that teens face. I feel that it's an important read. 

Pivot Point
By: Kasie West
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This book blew my mind. As a writer/wanna-be author, it opened an entirely new world to me. I had no idea that you could write a book like this. I don't know that I could pull something this complex off, but it made me realize that the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity. I don't have to try and conform to what has already been published. I need to be my own type of writer. Also, the story itself is amazing and has stuck with me for over a year now. 

Raven Boys
By: Maggie Stiefvater
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
Much like the book above, this book really opened my mind to different types of writing. Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors now (I had never read her other series). Her writing is ridiculously amazing. She's an inspiration. 

Amber House
By: Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed
"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
Amber House, and its sequel Neverwas, both really address race issues and societal expectations. I loved that. Also, these two books ask what a person should be willing to give up to save the person closest to them. If you've already read Amber House, you can choose Neverwas as your book. I'm grateful I read both of them. 

The Sweetest Dark
By: Shawna Abe
The Sweetest Dark is filled with thrilling romance, exciting adventure, and ancient magic. Shana Abé brilliantly captures the drama of post-Victorian England, while unfolding a passionate love story that defies time.
“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.” 
Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.
England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.
Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.
Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This is one of those novels that will rip your soul out and give it back to you. It defines selfless, eternal, unconditional, real love. I'm normally not one for love stories, and most love stories don't alter the way I think at all, but this one really will change how you view things. It made me rethink if I've ever loved anyone at all. It's beautiful and heartbreaking, and the sequel is, too. If you've already read The Sweetest Dark, then you can choose The Deepest Night as your book. I'm grateful I read both. 

Breaking Beautiful
By: Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.
When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
Breaking Beautiful deals with abuse and how it breaks someone's mind. This book is so important. It's not pretty, and Wolf pulls no punches, but more books like this need to exist. It's arguably one of the most important books on this list. 

By: Kelley Armstrong
Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
Bitten is the book that got me into fantasy/paranormal type reads. Elena was the first character I've really been able to relate to in a long time. I picked it up by chance at my local library, and I fell in love. Kelley Armstrong is still my favorite author. 

A Clockwork Orange
By: Anthony Burgess
A vicious fifteen-year-old "droog" is the central character of this 1963 classic, whose stark terror was captured in Stanley Kubrick's magnificent film of the same title.

In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. When the state undertakes to reform Alex—to "redeem" him—the novel asks, "At what cost?"

This edition includes the controversial last chapter not published in the first edition and Burgess's introduction "A Clockwork Orange Resucked."

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This novel really makes you think about a lot of things. Can people be saved? *Should* they be saved? What is good? What is evil? What is free-will? This book is horrific and wonderful. 

Shatter Me
By: Tahereh Mafi
I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I'm more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This novel really shows how you can gain strength by just accepting yourself. It's an empowering read, and so important in this day and age where women are made to feel so inferior. 

By: Sherrilyn Kenyon
The most anticipated story in the blockbuster Dark-Hunter series. The never-before-revealed story of the Dark-Hunter leader, Acheron.  He was made human in order to escape death, but in death he was reborn a god. . . 

 Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, Acheron became the sole defender of mankind.

Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he’ll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence.

Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both.

War has never been more deadly... or more fun.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
First, let me say that the synopsis really sells this story short. Acheron's story is brutal and lovely. He has suffered abuse his entire life, both living and dead. Yet he still chooses to undergo pain to help others. He's an inspiration, and this book really made me rethink my own life and my own past. It taught me how to forgive myself and let go. It also ripped my soul out and handed it back to me in shreds. 

The giveaway itself:
You can choose one of the books from above. This giveaway is international, as long as the Book Depository ships to your location. Don't cheat. I do check these things. And umm that's it. Thanks so much for stopping by!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other blogs on this hop here!