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Thursday, July 25, 2013

TBR Thursday: On Distant Shores

On Distant Shores (Wings of the Nightingale, #2) 
Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A comfortable boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie’s cozy life gets decidedly more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson. Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancée. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they’ve made?

"With her signature attention to detail and her talent for bringing characters together, Sarah Sundin pens another exciting tale in her series featuring WWII flight nurses. Fans new and old will find in On Distant Shores the perfect combination of emotion, action, and romance.
 Why I'm looking forward to this book: I loved the first book in this series and I've really liked Sundin's other books, she's a great author and I cannot wait to see what her latest book has in store!! This book was supposed to have been released August 1st but some copies have already been shipped out and/or are available. There is a giveaway going on at Goodreads as well as on the author's blog here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Her Family Wish

Her Family Wish by Betsy St. Amant.
 Visit Betsy St. Amant on her website and on her blog.
Her Family Wish
Taking pictures of other people's happiest moments is the perfect job for Hannah Hart. Secretly fearing that she won't ever have a family of her own, Hannah prefers to hide behind the camera. Until she meets assistant principal Jude Bradley, whose twelve-year-old daughter instantly bonds with Hannah. Jude might just be the man to give Hannah a reason to smile—if he can let go of the past. The more Hannah and Jude discover they have in common, the more Hannah wonders if there's a family in her future after all….
5 stars

Thanks so much to Ms. St. Amant for sending me a copy of her book! I'd enjoyed her YA book, Addison Blakely: Confessions of PK, and was excited to read another one of her books. She was so sweet to send me two to read and review. Thanks again, I'm really enjoying them!!!

Hannah Hart is helping out her friend, an art teacher, when she meets Jude Bradley and his daughter. Jude is the vice principle and when Hannah offers to do a shoot with them (noticing his daughter's natural beauty despite the more childish way she dresses) he turns her down very strongly. Unsure why but knowing she shouldn't dig deeper Hannah lets alone for a while. Still they keep seeing a lot of each other. Hannah knows she should be more distant but she can't help but like Jude...a lot. She has her past brings up doubts before her and her visible and non-visible scars left from a car accident make sure to remind her exactly how impossible falling in love again is.

Jude has a weight of his own to carry with a difficult decision at work. Cut his best friend's job along with the sports department or his daughter's joy at school, the art program. He's attracted to Hannah but can't get over what her business means to him and his pain in the past. But the way she gets his daughter to open up so easily only draws him more and more...with an excuse for it too.

Pros:The romance was SO sweet and definitely felt real. A lot of times it just seems fake, but this romance wasn't just all "I like you and your pretty and done" it had deeper meaning and was a lovely example of a real, Christ-driven relationship. And it was really sweet, did I mention that? There were a lot of layers and...ehhh prejudices that they both to get to and over. Their pasts and all. Props to the author for those feeling real as well and not sounding stupid, haha. The plot was nice, not super fast paced but a nice steady one with several surprises :) I really loved Hannah and loved her as a main character, I related to her really well and I just liked her a lot! Jude was a sweet guy and he and Hannah were SO adorable :)

Cons:There were a couple scenes where something was realized about God or He was mentioned that I thought were a tad slow/dry/needed something.
Content:Separation (I think), a couple kisses and attraction. Mention of drugs, past car crash, bad affects of modeling, and running away.

Overall, so so so sweet it is a great romance that I really enjoyed. It's one you should read when you want to get away and read a lovely story :) I'd recommend to YA+ girls and women looking for an enjoyable and inspirational read.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

TBR Thursday:Into The Whirlwind

Into the Whirlwind
After her father's death, Mollie Knox takes over his watchmaking company and uses her head for business to solidify the good name of the 57th Illinois Watch Company. Her future looks bright until the night her beloved city is destroyed in the legendary Great Chicago Fire. With her world crumbling around her, Molly must do whatever it takes to save her company in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Zack Kazmarek is an influential attorney with powerful ties to the political, mercantile, and ethnic roots of Chicago. His only weakness is Mollie Knox, a woman who has always been just beyond his reach. However, all bets are off after the fire destroys Chicago, and Mollie is in desperate need of assistance. Just as Zack finally begins to pursue the woman he loves, competition arises in the form of a hero from her past who can provide the help she needs to rise from the ashes.

While Mollie struggles to rebuild, the two men battle for her heart. One has always loved her, but the other has the power to save her. In the race to rebuild the city, can she survive with her business and her heart intact?

Why I'm looking forward to this book: Elizabeth Camden has written some very lovely romances that I've just loved. I'm definitely looking forward to her next book, it looks really great :) She writes wonderful historical fiction and her covers...wow I just love them!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Barefoot Summer

Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter. The first book in the Chapel Springs series.
Madison’s heart has been closed for years. But one summer can change everything.
In the years since her twin brother’s drowning, Madison McKinley has struggled to put it behind her. Despite the support of her close-knit family and her gratifying job as a veterinarian in their riverside town, the loss still haunts her.
To find closure, Madison sets out to fulfill her brother’s dream of winning the town’s annual regatta. But first she has to learn to sail, and fast.
Beckett O’Reilly knows Madison is out of his league, but someone neglected to tell his heart. Now she needs his help—and he’ll give it, because he owes her far more than she’ll ever know.
Madison will do anything—even work with the infamous Beckett O’Reilly—to reach her goal. And as much as she’d like to deny it, the chemistry between them is electrifying. As summer wanes, her feelings for him grow and a fledgling faith takes root in her heart.
But Beckett harbors a secret that will test the limits of their new love. Can their romance survive summer’s challenges? And will achieving her brother’s dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?
5 stars. 
Having read some of Denise Hunter 's other books before I was eager to pick up her latest, especially with such a gorgeous cover!

Madison McKinley has to race in the River Sail Regatta...and win. Her twin brother had bought a boat and was determined to be the youngest to win the Regatta. But that was before he died. Now Madison is determined to fulfill his dream and win for Michael and finally become at peace with his death as well. But first she has to learn how to sail. The last thing she expected was for her lessons to be given to her by Beckett O'Reilly. He did something to Jade, her sister, and she doesn't know what...but she doesn't trust him. He was the bad boy in high school and was hot and cold with her. Friendly one moment and so cold the next. 

Beckett has loved Madison since forever almost. She's gorgeous and way out of his league. He may have changed his ways since his youth but he still knows he's no good for her, coming from such a respectable family and all. He comes from a broken one. But when their thrown together he can't help wondering if it isn't another chance for him to make his move. As they become better friends he falls more and more in love. He just isn't sure how Madison feels. And doesn't real matter, he's sure he'll never be good enough...

Pros: The connection that made the town and characters come to life. It was so strong and present. It made everything so real and cute. I loved how the McKinley family fit together, PJ and Ryan especially were so funny and perfect. There were things you could find that would relate to you...small town or family wise. There was a scene where Mrs.McKinley was teased for letting a baby roll or fall or something of that sort and that's the same thing my mom gets teased for. I loved Beckett and Madison, together or apart they were sweet and great characters. I liked both of them and I though that all the layering (she is doubtful about this, dislikes something here, he fears this caused by this and altogether it causes awkwardness and some fun and tense scenes) was done really well. The plot was interesting, unique, exciting and calm put altogether and coming out into a lovely story all in one. Wrapped up and big-picture-like. And the romance was just so good. Well ground and just lovely! The two words I would use to describe this book would be something along the lines of "extremely sweet." 

Cons: There were a fee slower parts or annoying scenes but I couldn't really name any and the good far outweighs the bad. I did feel like the beginning started a little wrong but two chapters in and everything was peachy. 
Content wise there was an alcoholic father, a fire, a death in t he past, a couple kisses, and attraction. 

Overall, this book touched my heart. I haven't read a book in a while that had such a lively and truthful picture of a Christ centered romance that was just beautiful. And the whole book is extremely sweet and its not just the romance, the small town feel adds a lot as well. I would recommend to adult and teen ladies who are looking for a sweet summer read that will leave them smiling. 
I review for BookSneeze®
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review and the thoughts I've expressed are my own.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stacking The Shelves (1)


STSmall Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews  to share the virtual or physical books received that week.

This is my first time linking up. I've thought about it before. But now that I'm coblogging at another blog and getting more books and all...well it just made sense, haha.

This week I got a couple books from the library. Mainly Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

For review
Aquifer

Won
Stealing the Preacher
What'd you guys get this past week?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Moon and More

 The Moon And More by Sarah Dessen.
The Moon and More
Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.
3.7 stars.


Having read several of Sarah Dessen's other books and enjoying them quite a lot I was super excited to hear about her new book!! I couldn't wait to see how it turned out and started this book almost as soon as I got it.

Emaline works at the family business of beach house rentals. She does everything from complimentary welcome baskets, greeting and signing people in, getting items the renters ask for, and bringing them extra towels. She doesn't exactly love her job, but it is interesting. Plus she leaves for college in the fall, it's just the summer. She has everything, typical beachy boyfriend who is awesome, your average college plan and a great family. She just didn't know how much could change in one summer.

First comes the breakup and then the odd rebound with Theo, a guy who is working on a documentary. His boss is rude and bossy and they're in the priciest rental. At first he kept popping up but then after the breakup...he helped. And he's so different! Then her Father (biological dad) is back in town with her half brother. It's the first time she's seen him in a while and she's not sure how to act around him. Add that to common friend and family drama and everything seems to be different from how Emaline expected to spend her summer.

Pros:This is the perfect summer read and I mean perfect! It just has that beach feel too it. Like I said this was one I had been looking forward to for a while now and I was hoping for a good bit from it. Maybe to much. don't get me wrong, I did like this book a lot. It just didn't agree all the way with me. But you can read about that in the following section. What I did like was the characters, as usual Dessen has done a really great job on her characters! They stand out and speak for themselves :) I felt like I could totally picture them really easily. Emaline's job sounded so interesting! I wish we had gotten to see more of it but we did get to see a good deal, so I'm happy. Just all the people she must see every year, it just sounds fun :) I know it wouldn't be, but still. Haha. The plot is slower but still interesting and fun. This isn't a super deep book, it has it's moment but I would say it's pretty lighthearted.

Cons:I was bored a couple times and at some point between setting it down and then picking it back up to start reading again something changed in my head. And I really started to dislike Theo. And I was so right about him. I think the romance in this book was kinda conflicted...and it kinda made some parts of the books conflicted. I don't know. I was a little surprised by the ending, I wouldn't have expected it from the beginning or even middle of the book! But it was really just right :)
Content wise there is some cussing (36-ish words), kissing, some boy drama, and mention of having sex but there is no description. Having a baby out of wedlock and some drinking.

Overall, I liked this book and there were some things I liked over other things. The romance I didn't like as much. The setting and certain characters, yes! And it depends on the type of reader it is too, some parts were a little too slow for me. I would recommend to 15+ girls who enjoy a fun, beachy read and the contemporary genre :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Anomaly

 Anomaly by Krista McGee. The first in the Anomaly series.
Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.
Decades before Thalli’s birth, the world ended in a nuclear war. But life went on deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. Since then, they have genetically engineered humans to be free from emotions in the hopes that war won’t threaten their lives again.
But Thalli was born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far thanks to her ability to hide those differences. But Thalli’s secret is discovered when she is overwhelmed by the emotion in an ancient piece of music.
She is quickly scheduled for annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk, convinces The Ten to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the scientists’ Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance in the pods.
As her life ticks away, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer—someone even more powerful than The Ten. What’s more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she’s been looking for all along.
Thalli must sort out what to believe and who she can trust, before her time runs out…
4 stars

 I have L-O-V-E-D, loved this authors other books and I was super happy to grab a copy from Booksneeze. I was interested to see how Ms.McGee would transfer from a contemporary romance genre to science fiction dystopian. I was sure she could do it though :)

Thalli is a seventeen year old girl who is the musician in her Pod, Pod C. The third generation since the world was destroyed decades ago in something called a nuclear war. Thalli has always known she was an anomaly, she tried to hide it, she would be taken away. That's what happened to Asta. The monitors took her away to the Ten, the scientists who are the reason they were created. The Ten survived the war by going underground and then creating the State.

They build it all and created the Pods and created everything! With science of course. The old reproductive ways were so...primitive. The scientists know what's best. And now, Thalli will be annihilated. They discovered her. She cried and showed emotion when playing an old piece on her violin. Somehow she knows there is more, a strange man tells her that there is someone out there called the Designer, just as she thinks she won't get another chance. But she does. What will she choose to do with it?

Pros:It felt a little different (more science fiction than dystopian) and it didn't have the dark and crumbling feeling that a lot of dystopian books do. There are a bunch of fun gadgets, rules, tech, all that science-y stuff. And he characters...they were pretty well done. As they are the remainder of what is left on the earth. Not a lot of diversity. But I liked Thalli. Berk was nice too. They bot made a great pair it was so cool to see how they just connected and knew God was out there. Or the Designer. Same thing :) There were some really cool plot twists. Over and over again! Something would pop up and who knew if it was real or not? There is a lot of trickery. But isn't that was scientists are all about when it comes to experiments? :) I think she nailed it. I mean she totally made a wonderfully plotted book even though it wasn't super exciting. The world building rocked and it was a great switch over! I still liked her contemporary books better, but this one is just lovely, in it's own unique way.

Cons:I didn't totally connect with Thalli at times and I needed a little more action for this to have totally been perfect. I got a little bored :/
Content wise there was a kiss (forehead/cheek), being tested upon, atheist type deal beliefs with the scientist.

Overall, the world building and plot were great. It was a tad slow and didn't "feel" dystopian. But I enjoyed it lots :D I'm so excited to see what comes next and I was super happy at how this book turned out. I would recommend to 13+ girls who enjoy science fiction/apocalyptic genres. It's wonderful clean, Christian based adventure!

I review for BookSneeze®
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review and the view's I've expressed are my own.

TBR Thursday:Of Beast And Beauty

Of Beast and Beauty
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Why I'm looking forward to this book: I'm all for retellings, although sadly the don't all turn out to be amazing :/ I am hopeful that this one will turn out well though!! The release date is July 23rd.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

TBR Tuesday:Starglass

Starglass 
Terra has never known anything but life aboard the Asherah, a city-within-a-spaceship that left Earth five hundred years ago in search of refuge. At sixteen, working a job that doesn't interest her, and living with a grieving father who only notices her when he's yelling, Terra is sure that there has to be more to life than what she's got.

But when she inadvertently witnesses the captain's guard murdering an innocent man, Terra is suddenly thrust into the dark world beneath her ship's idyllic surface. As she's drawn into a secret rebellion determined to restore power to the people, Terra discovers that her choices may determine life or death for the people she cares most about. With mere months to go before landing on the long-promised planet, Terra has to make the decision of a lifetime--one that will determine the fate of her people.

Why I'm looking forward to this book: I've read a couple reviews and overall this book just looks fun and unique :) It sounds very original and exciting!This book will be released July 23rd.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Program

The Program by Suzanne Young.



In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Thoughts: I had been looking forward to this book for a while, I had also heard that it was good from several reviewers...turns out they were totally right!!
In Sloane's world teen suicide is an epidemic sweeping through teenagers. There are monitored high schools with quizzes daily about how a teen is feeling. Had someone close to them committed suicide? Yes in Sloane's case. Her brother had. Her whole world hurt then. The only reason she got through was James. Then when her best friend became depressed it was almost worst. Because now she's back from the Program. And she doesn't remember them. Her friends. Her boyfriend. All gone. Because that is what the Program does to a person.
The Program wipes out the teen's memories in hopes of blocking out the pain. They let the kids start afresh and monitor them for relapses. No one knows exactly what happens in the Program though. Not really. Sloane's school is being monitored and the pressure to be happy and fine weigh in on her. Depression and hurt seem to be rolling in on all sides. James is all she has now. He helped her through her brother's death. He tried to be strong. But now? He's been having trouble...he's been in trouble for a while now and she doesn't know how long she can help him. He made her a promise, that he would keep them out of the Program. But he wasn't able to keep that promise. Now Sloane herself faces to Program. What will she come out as? What will they do to her? 

Pros: The world the author built. I could totally believe it. All of it. And it wasn't dying exactly...it wasn't crumbling away and all dark and gloomy. It was rather like the cover. Sterile and shocking at times. While I don't exactly understand how suicide could be contagious...other than, you know, a person being obviously and naturally being depressed after a friend's death. Anyway while I didn't get the "spreading" part I could totally get how serious it was. Like super serious. Teen dying and really, while the Program (yucko) tried to help out they were really increasing suicide a lot of times, I thought. The parents too. All that pressure. Anyway, in the science fiction-y world building way, this book rocked!!!
Emotionally too. I totally felt Sloane's pain and I was mentally screaming in several scenes just wanting the hurting to stop for her :( It's a sad story in some ways...but don't worry it does have a happy ending! Haha. Anyway, I really liked Sloane. She was so super loyal to her friends and she was real. She wasn't going to be a total Katniss Everdeen she was going to be herself. And I liked that. Her backstory was really gorgeous and I was smiling when I heard the pieces and saw them fitting together...(view spoiler) James was so super sweet and I loved the idea of his tatoos. At first (the first chapters) I didn't know if he was really caring...but wow. He really loves her. And it shows through so many of his actions. I figured before starting this book that they would be put in together, whoever they were. Then I read the back and actually started reading. Then I thought that one of them would be put into The Program. And then a little ways in I wasn't so sure. So not only are the characters believable and well expressed but the plot is taunting and unpredictable...in a good way. And it's a very thrilling book. When you go through what is happening it doesn't sound that exciting...but the way it's written? It is very exciting. I couldn't (and didn't want to) put it down.

Cons:There was some content I wasn't fond of, but I didn't mind. The rest of the book made up for it. I can't think of anything, any complaint other than if the author doesn't write a sequel I will be so mad... The ending was...evil. It left you hanging with a hint of what could happen next. And I desperately want to know what that is.
Content wise there were 95 cuss words (two were f). Mention several times of having sex and sexual lusts. There are 2-3 sex scenes that are brief and barely described ("like fire" and the other time skipped over). There is some kissing and also a guard/handler in the program who rapes or "helps" the girls in the program out but in return asks for something. Talking of suicide and also several suicides and attempts. The stealing of memories. 
Overall, I very much enjoyed this book. It's a wonderful, different dystopian and was very well written and it was so much fun to read. Seriously. I enjoyed it bunches! I would recommend to dystopian fans, girls 15-16+. This is a great YA dystopian, seriously pick it up! It's one of the top 5 books I've read this year. Easily.
Rating: 5 stars.
Love, Sierra 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Once Upon A Prince

 Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck.  
Once Upon a Prince
 via
Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by bestselling author Rachel Hauck, treats you to a modern-day fairy tale.

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

Thoughts:I had picked up one of Rachel's books before but hadn't gotten around to reading it. I figured she was a pretty good author and had seen some positive reviews. All her books seemed really sweet :) When this one came out I really wanted to read it and it looked very good!
Susanna has just been dumped. She'd been with Adam for twelve years only to hear that "he'd found the right ring, just not the right girl" and that he'd met someone else. Even in her pain she begins to realize that he was right. They weren't in love and right for each other. She was in love with the plan and security that he brought. In the days and weeks following her break-up. Susanna meets a wonderful guy, Nate. He changes her tire and drives her to the hospital in an emergency and waits for her! He's got a great personality and although she is attracted to him she's sure it's just a rebound from being dumped. Nathaniel is a prince. A Crown Prince who is expected to inherit the crown any day now. His father has leukemia and is only just hanging on. He came over to visit a distant relative and met Susanna. She is so refreshingly real and beautiful. He finds himself really liking her. Even thought he has so many problems over in Brighton and he isn't allowed to marry a foreigner. He feels like it wasn't just chance that he met Susanna...

Pros: Susanna was a lovely character, as was Nate. I didn't feel totally "wow" about them but I still really did enjoy their story. Susanna was fun and determined. There were several scenes that made me smile at just how strong she was in awkward situations! Nate was a little bland, but he was a great guy and would totally make a great king! I loved how they encouraged each other in their faith and lives. The plot wasn't super complex or anything, it was mostly straight forward although there were a couple surprises along the way :) There were some really sweet parts and picturesque scenes. Susanna lived in a beautiful spot. The ending was really sweet and there were some side characters that I really liked as well. The romance was clean, very sweet and mature (if that makes sense) they were definitely aware of where they stood and how God should be a part of their relationship and all that.

Cons:Sometimes the characters, plot or chapter was a little dry or slow. Otherwise I don't have any complaints! There wasn't any cussing, drinking, or etc. Just a couple rumors and a God centered romance with only like one kiss.
Overall, this is a super sweet love and "the one" story that is clean (-one rumor that is inappropriate for younger teens) and is a great and sweet read! I liked it a lot although I didn't fall in love with it. I really liked it. 
Rating:3.5 stars.
Love, Sierra

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sky on Fire

Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne. The second book in the Monument 14 series.
Sky on Fire (Monument 14, #2) 
Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.

Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .

Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . .

Thoughts: So I was super excited for this book, it was the sequel to Monument 14. Which had been really good (-the ending, which felt weird :/) and I had basically been dying for this book. Come however long it was later, I get to read it and I just enjoyed it to death! Or nearly to death. Several times. It is a very exciting book. Dangerous as well.
On the way to school Dean and his brother, Alex, were in a school bus full of kids, and it was just a normal day. Then (to the best of my memory) an earthquake struck and hail pelted the school bus. Their driver managed to get them into a huge Costco/Walmart type store where they were safe. There were 14 kids. Their driver left them, she went to try and get help. They closed up the doors and barricaded them. And tried their best to survive when no one came for them. The next thing they know they find out that a chemical weapon has been released into the air, it causes different reactions depending on a person's blood type. If you're AB you get delusions. If you're B you have reproductive problems. If you're A you get blistering skin (not pretty). And O? You turn into a rage monster. So now...they have to stay inside, it's an incredible risk to go outside.
At the beginning of this book Dean, three little kids and the girl he's had a crush on for forever have stayed at the supermarket. The others, or what remains of them, have left to go and try to reach the airport. They think there is help there, if only they can make it! Meanwhile Dean and the others have their own share of problems back at Monument. From polluted air sneaking into the building to intruders. It doesn't look like the kids will ever be safe.

Pros: This book is super exciting, the action hardly ever stops! From stuff like injuries, traps, air leakage, intruders, and other dangers. The world is very well developed and so dystopian/apocalyptic! The cover reflects that perfectly. I mean to some this could be kinda depressing I guess, but I really enjoyed it! We also get to see some of outside now, in the first book they didn't really go outside. Now some of them do. So lets see...cool world building. Like I can see it...and turning a supermarket into a home with nickname for everything? Um, I love it. Pretty much excitement through the whole thing and it kept me turning pages? Uh yeah. And the characters? I liked them pretty well. Some more than others and let's face it, not all the time do people behave the best under life or death, gruesome situations. Just saying. So even though they weren't the best all the time, they did try. They became like a big family :)

Cons:
There were perhaps a few parts that seemed rushed and I didn't quite believe or feel like Astrid and Dean's relationship was realistic. It wasn't instalove though so I don't mind too much. This is a bit of a shorter book, the ending epilogue seemed a little too happy-touchy-feely compared to the rest...but then if I had just gone through all that the kids had I'd be enjoying Elmo 24/7. And the ending was seriously good. Just a little rushed. Tiny bit.
There was a good bit of content: thirteen cuss words, a good it of violence/death/severe injuries, smoking and drinking in a couple scenes, mention of past almost rape, [Astrid and Dean have sex but it isn't described really, (hide spoiler)] and Dean lusts Astrid a little.
Overall, I loved the world and adventure parts in this book! The characters were okay and although some parts might have been a little hasty and there was some content...I really did like this book :) It was a great dystopian! I would recommend to a bit older teens because of some of the content. If you like dystopian, you'll like this book! 
Rating: 4 stars
Love, Sierra