Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

Title: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: May 28th 2013
Published: Harlequin Teen
My Rating: 3.75 stars
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....
Dare You To is another astounding novel from Katy McGarry that brought waves of emotions and feelings through me just like what she did me in her first novel, Pushing the Limits. Although I think the latter was a whole lot more intense and emotional, the former was still definitely a very sweet and enjoyable ride.  

I'm a sucker for opposite and antagonizing couples. So of course, Beth and Ryan were sold to me. But what I appreciated a whole lot more in this kind of arrangement was that their roles were reversed - it's now the bad girl and the good guy. It was refreshing to see the guy being the one who was more understanding, more patient and tolerating. The one who waits and supports. It definitely add more to the level sweetness and swoon-y-ness of the story.    

Beth wasn't a very easy character. This girl's tendency of self-sabotaging was quite alarming and frustrating. Although I loved her strong, sassy and fierce character, I did struggle some time understanding what was really up with her. Finally learning what had really happened when she was a kid that made her think that she owed her mother, I felt sadness and ache on what she had to suffer. 

Ryan, on the other hand, was a character that was easy to identify with and understand. The "golden boy" who seems so perfect and pieced together. But digging a little deeper will make you see that his character has some torn and frayed edges too. I love how both of he and Beth, despite the problems and flaws between them, was able to help each other developed and faced their own demons. 

Although the plot had been a bit standard and formulaic, I loved how Katie presented it through the characters of Beth and Ryan and how well she was able to emphasized the significant things - the understanding the forgiveness, the acceptance, the courage and of course, the love. 

I recommend this. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#29)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" is..

Title: Rearview Mirror
Author: Rachel Harris
Expected Publication: 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Aubrie Guidry is living a lie. After the death of her best friend Krista in a devastating car accident—one where Aubrie was a passenger in the car—she’s given up her goth girl/performing arts persona and taken on, well, Krista’s.

She’s a cheerleader. She’s spunky. She’s blond.

The only time she’s able to admit to the pain she still suffers from is when she’s alone in her room, looking in the rearview mirror from her friend’s totaled car, and writing her true feelings in invisible ink on her bedroom walls. That is, until Ben, Krista’s brother, comes back to New Orleans from NYU. Ben sees right through Aubrie’s façade, and is desperate to save her.

But when Krista’s voice starts speaking to both of them, can they uncover what really happened that fateful winter’s night?
I love love love the sound of this! Although it seems like this one is pretty dramatic and emotional I can feel that this is something I would love and enjoy. I've heard so much about the author and her other books too and most of them were positive so hopefully, this would be a great read. The only downside though is the release date, 2015 is too far!! *sigh*

Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Apollyon (Covenant #4)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: April 4th 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
My rating: 4 stars
Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.
I'll probably make this a little shorter than most of my reviews since it's been more than a month since I finished it and I'm afraid I'd forgotten some stuff about this one. But one thing I know and so sure about is that this book is absolutely fantastic! I know, I know, I've said that a million times in all of JLA's books but there was just something very definite in this one making me breathe and say that finally, everything is happening my way. 

One thing I like so much about this book was - okay, I don't know what this say about me starting this review with the hero/love interest, but it was just something very hard not to notice and has to be said right away - the change in Aiden's character here. After three books, I'm finally seeing this other side of Aiden that was just so refreshing. The side where he was a lot more open in his feelings, in his love and devotion to Alex. This Aiden who laughs and jokes and even flirts! Which was enough to send me over the edge and be gaga, but also sent warm fuzzy feelings in my chest. I seriously couldn't love him more. 

Alex too had undergone a significant change and development in this book. She matured a lot in here, especially given their situation. She had some reflecting too with her old self and her new self. It was actually very notable how she starts thinking first now before making any decisions and actions. 

The plot is ever fantastic. Before, most of the time I tend to forgot that this series is greek mythology inspired and not just urban fantasy/pnr story. I liked how the mythology stuff were more pronounced in this book, particularly with that scene in the Underworld. Other than that, the butt kicking action scenes were great and just as thrilling and exciting as in the previous books. 

Although the ending was sort of abrupt and a bit hanging, it still left me with a satisfied and confident feeling. I am definitely very much looking forward for the next and final book. (Huh, I just actually realized now that the series is actually ending in the next book. )= )

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pre-Order and Chapter Reveal: Frigid by J.Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Title: Frigid 
Author: J.Lynn
Expected Publication: July 30th 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.
Today is an exciting day - we have FOUR HUGE SURPRISES for you! Jennifer L. Armentrout's (writing as J. Lynn) FRIGID is set to release on e-book at the end of July. If you're anything like us, you're probably on pins and needles and just cannot wait to get your hands on a copy of this book.

FRIGID has already been given the honor of being named a Romantic Times Top Pick and we're super excited for you to be able to read it as well!

Well, there's good news! Are you ready for those four awesome surprises? Here we go!

1. Due to all the excitement surrounding FRIGID, we have decided to run a special e-book pre-order promotion. We have worked out a deal with the distributor to release FRIGID a full two weeks early -- on JULY 15th!!! -- if we meet our e-book pre-order goal. EEEEP! That's right, if you are like the rest of us and want to be able to read FRIGID in its entirety before its original release date, all you have to do is PRE-ORDER THE E-BOOK NOW! What are you waiting for? GO! Pre-order it!

Pre-order Links: Barnes & Noble / Amazon

2. Need something to hold you over until FRIGID releases? Well, starting right now, you can read the first three chapters of FRIGID for free! Just read below!

3. Can’t get enough of the hot FRIGID cover? Want to see some behind the scenes photos that are sure to make you swoon? You’re in luck! Below you can watch a slideshow of all the behind the scenes photos from the photo shoot! Go on and watch it. We’ll wait, because there is still one more great surprise!

4. And last but not least, if you live near Philadelphia, PA, you're in for a very special treat -- Jennifer will be in Philly in November signing not only FRIGID but also the last book in her immensely popular COVENANT series, SENTINEL! But that's not all, Adam, the super hot cover model from FRIGID will be there as well! So, yes, you'll get to meet Jennifer and Adam! Plus, there will be other great prizes that you seriously won't want to miss out on (dinner with the author and model, perhaps?)! Stay tuned for more details to come! 

We hope you're as excited as we are! So now....Go pre-order FRIGID! Go read those chapters! Go watch that slideshow! And Enjoy!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: Spirit (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Spirit (Elemental #3)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: May 28, 2013
Publisher: KTeen
My rating: 4 stars
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…
This third book of the Elemental series is something I wasn't expecting to really like. It was the book I was least excited about and to be honest I even thought of not reading it. But since I was offered an advance copy and saw a lot of my friends getting excited about it I guess it kinda rub off me. And well, now that I've read it I'm actually very thankful it did. Because I did a total one-eighty in here! 

It was actually pretty funny how fast I change my mind in this book. From being indifferent to Hunter even after the first and second book to being a very loyal and devoted Team Hunter member in just a couple of chapters. I don't know how to explain that but I think I just have to give most of the credit to Brigid's awesome writing ability. 

Hunter wasn't exactly a very easy character. There were so much hidden and suppressed emotions in him, he was a very confused boy thrown into a complex situation with very tight options. He didn't know who to trust and what to make up with his life. I saw a very flawed and vulnerable Hunter in this book, with all his fears and insecurities too. He did some decisions and choices that were definitely quite frustrating and annoying (though I did understand where it's coming) but even through all that I saw how genuinely drawn-out and believable his character is. And I guess that's what made him a lot more easier to understand and like in this book.

Kate Sullivan, this girl was definitely a pretty surprising character. I mean, it was just that she was just totally different than the last two heroines in this series. She's feisty, confident and aggressive - characteristics that might not make you like her right away but I soon did warm up on her and find those things about her very admirable. Michael Merrick also had won a lot of love from me here. Haha. I just appreciate his character more here especially with him being so so understanding and mature (Nick, Gabriel and Chris, you don't know how lucky you are to have a brother like him!)

On top of everything, I have to say that I just love how Brigid wrote the story as realistic as it could be. Especially the emotional aspect of the story. I love how she addresses the issues in each kind of relationships - friendship, family, lover, and also finding one self. It was heartfelt, poignant and definitely very insightful. 

If you think you could only love a Merrick brother, think first and read this, it might change your mind. It definitely did to me. Fantastic plot, thrilling actions and twist and the ever so hot Merrick brothers and of course Hunter, this third book is something you wouldn't want to miss in this series. I recommend this.  

Thank you Wendy (The Midnight Garden) and Kensington Publishing for the copy of this book.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I'm finally and officially back! Yaaaay! :)

After being gone for a month and a half, I'm so happy to say that I'm finally and officially back on the blogging world. And boy, did I miss it so much! I never thought that it would take me this long to get back since at first the only problem was that my computer broke down, and when I finally got a new one another problem came up - my internet connection. *sigh* So you can imagine what my email looks like after all those weeks - it was a mess! Haha! But looking back I think it was actually a good time for me to have a hiatus because I doubt I would be able to blog daily with all the things that took place the last month, which was a lot. 

One was that I graduated! Ha. I got my degree in Bachelor of Science major in Tourism Management at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.! Eeeep!

One down on my check list of Top Things I Have to Accomplish in Life! Yay! Next thing to do - find a job. Haha. 

And then the next is that I had been part of the PR Team of Ms. Rochelle Romero for two awesome and cool events that took place last month.

The first one was the TW Steel Press Luncheon and Cocktail Party were I actually met the very young (he's only 31 yrs old!) and gorgeous CEO and co-founder of this Dutch watch brand - Jordy Cobelens. You know those stereotypical heroes in adult novel - those guys who were already able to accomplish a lot of things at a young age and were like the owner of their own company, has so many talents (yes, this one is a DJ too, isn't that hot? Ha!) and has to travel around the world the majority of time? I never actually quite believe they exist. Ha! But having met one definitely crashed that thought and I am definitely a big believer now. Haha. Here are some of the pictures during the event.

Anne, Me and Jac (PR Team Members)
Jordy Coblenes (CEO &co-founder) and Me
And the other event was the sneak peek preview and launch party of the first Cold Stone Creamery store in the Philippines! One of the best things of being a part of the PR team of this event was that I get to eat tons and tons of ice cream for free! Haha!

And last but not the least! 

I, of course, read tons of awesome books the whole month! Ha! Here are some of them:

I finished two trilogies - The Dairy Queen which is really fun and cute and Study which is quite amazing and Valek! He was just...*sigh*. Anyway, if you're wondering if I've only read Opal now, no. I was just in the mood re-reading it and have some Daemon time (although I did skip the ending. ha!) And yes, Spirit - I'm one of the participating blog for the tour but wasn't able to post a review during the week release because well, you know why. (I'm really sorry Wendy and Brigid, it will be the first review I'll be posting now that I'm back!)

So there you go. That's the summary of what I've done the post one and a half month. I have a lot of catching up to do but I'm definitely excited to be back and visit some of my favorite blogs and socialize with my favorite GR friends! I have missed you guys. Thanks to all those who keep on visiting this blog despite the lack of updates. 
See you guys around! :)


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