Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cover Reveal: Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

I fell in love with Leah Raeder when I read her first book Unteachable. It made me think, made me love, made me uncomfortable. It made me feel.

Ever since I've been closely following her releases, looking forward to each and every one.

Now. Even though it's not coming out until November 3rd, 2015, is Cam Girl. The newest story by this wonderful author. And I'm pleased to be a part of the cover reveal here!

Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art, and her best friend and soulmate, Ellis Carraway. Elle and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.

Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.

Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.

She’s got nothing left to lose.

So when she meets a smooth-talking lothario who offers to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night taking off her clothes on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.

It’s all just kinky fun till a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they open up to each other intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. She agrees, because she’s starting to fall for him. And when he asks to meet, she says yes. Because she’s dying to know the real man behind the keyboard.

Even if one of his conditions is to bring Ellis. The girl who wants nothing to do with her anymore.

Now Vada must confront the past she’s been running from. A past full of devastating secrets—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself...

Review: Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Title: Daughter of Deep Silence
Author: Carrie Ryan
Series: Stand-Alone
Genre: Young-Adult Suspense
Release Date: 26 May 2015

I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.

For a good portion of this book I was on the edge of my seat, absolutely enthralled with Frances' journey and revenge. I was with her one-hundred percent. The people that wronged her deserved to be brought to justice. She had a plan, and she was going to stick to it.

If it had continued in this vein, maybe just for a while longer, I would have given this book a perfect grade. The plan was well thought out, well planned, and beautifully poetic. The suspense - even after I began to get annoyed (which I'll get into later) - was superbly done. I was turning pages, unable to get enough, unable to stop. I had to know how it was going to play out and if Frances was going to get her revenge.

Unfortunately, it didn't take long for Frances' plans to break down. I couldn't stand that she was allowing herself to have these feelings for a boy (Grey) that she thought was - at best - complicit by neglect in the death of everyone she loved and held dear. I could understand everything else that she felt and thought, but not this. If some boy, someone was complicit in such a tragic affair as Frances believed Grey to be, there'd be no forgiveness, at least not as quickly as Frances starts making excuses and reasons for him.

Granted, Grey does seem to be nearly as tortured about their whole history as Frances, but the fact of the matter is that his family survived the tragedy and then LIED about it. While Frances lost her parents, her friend, her life on that ship. Nearly isn't close enough for me. And for this boy Frances changes all of her plans, nearly dying, nearly getting others hurt or killed, nearly losing all justice for those responsible.

And in the end that brought down my enjoyment of the book quite a bit. The cliff-hanger/make-up-your-own-resolution ending didn't help much, but it was really the "romance" that was at the heart of my discontent. I agree that it needed to be there. Frances needed to find some reason - beyond her revenge - to actually live, but the way this one unfolded didn't work as well for me.

Grade: B-

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Movie Review: Jurassic World

Title: Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Time: 124 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Release Date: 12 June 2015 (USA)

Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitors' interest, which backfires horribly.

It's not often that I'm inspired to write a review for a movie. Honestly, I can say that in 10 years of blogging I've never written a movie review (unless you want to count this very short, very early post about Clue). But something about Jurassic World makes me think maybe I should. I've tried summing up my feelings on this movie, but haven't been able to adequately put them together. Maybe this format will allow me to.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Review: Hopcross Jilly by Patricia Briggs, Rik Hoskin, Tom Garcia

Title: Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly
Author: Patricia Briggs, Rik Hoskin
Artist(s): Tom Garcia
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Release Date: 10 June 2015

Mercy is a shapeshifting coyote and honorary member of the Tri-Cities werewolf pack. When the pack stumbles upon the buried bones of numerous dead children, she shapeshifts into a mystery of the legendary fae - a mystery that draws Mercy's stepdaughter Jesse into the fray! The supernatural romance series Mercy Thompson continues in this all-new, original story by New York Times bestselling author, Patricia Briggs, exclusively created for the comic book medium! Collects the six-issue Mercy Thompson comic book series from 2014-2015, a story set in official continuity.

The Mercedes Thompson series is one of my favorite urban-fantasy book series, period. So, of course as soon as I saw this graphic novel on NetGalley - I requested it! I love graphic novels, and when combining with a kick-ass heroine and world I couldn't refuse.

Unfortunately it didn't quite live up to my hopes. While the story was good, and a perfect length for this format, there was no mystery. It was easy to figure out from the beginning who the threat was. The art, while pretty good, didn't 'Wow' me, and left me feeling like some of the panels were rushed and not fully fleshed out.

The story takes place between Frost Burned and Night Broken, and just after Dead Heat. So spoilers through Dead Heat and Frost Burned are possibly.

There were a couple of things that I really loved in this graphic-novel, and a couple that made me think. I was stoked to see that the fae were strategically loosing fae to remind the humans that they were feared for a reason. It opens up whole avenues of stories, and I can't wait to see them. I also really loved that we got to see more of Jesse in this story. What I didn't love was the auto-suspicion that was portrayed here of the wolves, who've never done anything remotely suspicious and always been open and helpful of the police and community. That still frustrates me a lot. Though I suppose it's fairly accurate for how we (humanity) deals with something that's perceived to be 'other.'

Random other thoughts:
*I did NOT picture Zee that way. Whoa.
*Am I the only one that didn't know (or forgot) that Jesse was in high school?? I, for some reason, keep picturing her as much younger.
*Mercy's internal monologuing doesn't come through in the graphic format as well as it does the novel format.
*More fae, please.

None of the characters looked how I pictured them, but that's probably to be expected. Overall, I thought this was a fine addition to the Mercy Universe, but nothing really blew me away either.

Grade: C

Amazon | BN | kobo | Book Depository | Goodreads

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review: Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

Title: Shards of Hope
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling, Book 14
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 2 June 2015

The “smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome action” of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races...

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken...like Zaira.

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