Book in Review: Love and Profanity by Nick Healy

2/5


Title: Love and Profanity
Editor: Nick Healy
Format: ARC
Hardcover: 232 pages
Expected Publication: March 1, 2015
Publisher: Switch Press
Rating: 2/5

Summary: 

Here are more than forty short, brilliant, and unforgettable true stories from writers famous and on-the-rise. Here is the intensity of daily life. Here are transformative moments arising from the mundane. Here are strange and surprising tales that tap into universal truths. Here are teenagers in full splendor and horror. Here they are, bursting with love and profanity.






Honestly, I love the title of this book, and I had high expectations.  But, the title was misleading since the stories weren't really about love and profanity. The short stories tackled teenage life and growing up. I also thought I could relate to it, but I didn't. I don't know if it's just me or it's really not that relatable.

 Most of the stories were beautifully written, but it felt like there were many aspects lacking. It's as if those stories were made up and not based on real experiences. Also, I wished that the authors' bio were already included in the uncorrected copy, so I could understand the stories more. Lastly, I found the divisions of the book off. The stories were divided into four sections- "Love and Profanity", "Love and Physics", "Love and Madness" and "Love and Apologies" Although, I felt that only the first few stories correspond to its section.

This book could have been better if the editing was tight, and it chose the right stories in the book.
There was like one story that could be removed, and there were some that are just anti-climactic and pointless.

I gave this book 2 stars because I felt that it has potential, but because of the not-so-great stories and the placement of the stories that failed to excited the readers, the entire book seemed to fall flat

If you love personal essays then this book is for you!

Have you read Love and Profanity? What did you think? Leave a comment!



Release Day Blitz: Incite by Erica Crouch + GIVEAWAY!!!

 

Book Info Incite, by Erica Crouch

Publisher: Patchwork Press
Release Date: February 17, 2015

Synopsis: Earth is in ruins, and the war of Heaven and Hell has spilled over into the mortal world. In the frozen wasteland of the apocalypse, Azael and his band of cohorts search for Pen and Michael with orders to kill. Little does he know that his sister has incited a rebel army of her own.

Angels and demons alike stand side by side, ready and willing to fight for a future they didnt realize they could have. Change doesn't come easy, though. Pen is wary of joining New Genesis's revolution, but when Azael shows his hand and Pen learns all that he holds over them, she chooses to fight back, no matter the risk. She only has to survive, one hour at a time.


Purchase Links
Apple iBooks http://bit.ly/16feNxu


Blurb for Ignite (Ignite #1):

Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifers vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed.

As Hell prepares for warspreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an armythe lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice.

With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side shes willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark.


Blurb for Entice (Ignite #1.5):

With the aftertaste of Heaven still strong, Pen and Azael cloak themselves in their new demonic destinies, fighting for Lucifer against the angels. Pen, warring against former friends turned vengeful enemies, still struggles with defecting to Hell. But in one short battle, they go from forgotten to famous, thrust into the spotlight where she has no room for uncertainty.

Suddenly top-tiered demons, theyre tasked with seeing through hells new agenda: corrupting man. But tarnishing Eden isnt as simple as they thought it would be, especially when theyre forced to work with another team of demons who are trying to claw their way up the ladder of power.

Entice is an e-novella that prequels Pen and Azaels story in Ignite.



Erica Crouch Biography
Erica Crouch is a young adult and new adult author from Baltimore, Maryland. She has a strange blended aesthetic of cute and spooky, and her books reflect her ever changing mood. (You may find romance, you may find goresometimes both in the same book, but probably not at the same time. Probably.)

Erica is the cofounder of Patchwork Press, an author-powered publisher of middle grade, young adult, and new adult titles. She is the head of editorial services and design, with nearly fifty projects to her name. Find a complete list of Ericas books at ericacrouch.com.

Book in Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Forever Song
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publishing Date: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary:
Vengeance will be hers.

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

Monster.

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions - her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost - the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. 

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

THE FINAL HUNT IS ON.

After that HORRIBLE cliffhanger in Book 2, I thought I had seen the worst. How wrong I was.

Oh Julie. You will never make this easy huh.

The Forever Song was an epic, fantastic and excellent conclusion to the Blood of Eden series. I couldn't have wanted anything more for the last book. Wow... it was exciting, action-packed, gory, bloody, absolutely horrific! But at the same time it was awesome and so kickass. I was on the edge of my seat finding something to hold on to, because I was afraid I'd actually lose it. I certainly did not foresee that ending, but I loved how everything becomes full circle in the end.

In this third installment, Allison's struggle is the hardest. For a newbie vampire, she really is going through a lot with all her mixed up emotions of revenge, anger, and sadness. She certainly has her moments in the book, where she almost gives up to the monster within her, but she always, always finds a way to get back. I loved her character development in this last book, and she has gone a long way from that small weak girl dying in the rain. And my god, Allison is a scary killer with that katana. She is a brave and incredible fighter. This girl is practically my hero.

It was interesting to see a different side of Zeke in this book but Julie really pulled it off with her top notch writing. I can't see any other author write a nice guy into something as horrible as what Zeke turned into in this book and still feel like it makes sense. The character development is incredible, and you never for one second think Zeke is out of character or inconsistent. Everything just adds up!

And then Kanin - he is seriously one of the best characters ever. Truly a master vampire. I really really admired him even more in this book. He's a father figure to both Allison and Jackal and is great at leading people. Jackal, with his morbid sense of humor and his outward facade of bloodthirstiness, is actually a really really complex character. I can really say that he actually has a heart and cares about Allison no matter how much he'd deny it. I especially loved their constant bickering and interaction in this book.

As much as I loved all the characters in this book, I loved almost everything else too! I loved the DETAIL and how well developed every scene and plot point was. Every single thing that happens in this book is so descriptive and visual and so intense - I could imagine it happening right under my nose. Julie's writing is as always, excellent and commendable. I LOVED THIS BOOK AND CAN'T BE ANY HAPPIER WITH THE ENDING. It was hard and heartbreaking and we lost so much, but it was so good and was an excellent way to wrap up the series!

This is not a paranormal YA book series with hot shiny, or sparkly vampires. This is a dark, compelling series with scary, crazy and morbid vampires. Consider yourself warned.



Book Blitz: How (Not) To Fall in Love by Lisa Brown Roberts (Excerpt + GIVEAWAY!!!)


How (Not) To Fall In Love
Release Date: 02/03/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Finding true love on the other side of the tracks was never so much fun in this heartfelt and hilarious contemporary novel.

Seventeen-year-old Darcy Covington doesn't know the difference between a pawn shop and a thrift shop. Even her dog eats gourmet food, so she’s totally unprepared when her car is repossessed from the parking lot of her elite private school. Turns out her father, a semi-famous motivational speaker, has skipped town, abandoning his family while his business collapses. Even David Letterman comes up with ten reasons why her father won’t ever return home.

Desperate to sell her expensive jewelry for much-needed cash, Darcy discovers that her dad’s brother runs a funky thrift shop on a street full of eccentric characters, including a coffee shop owner named Liz and one supremely hot fix-it guy named Lucas.

Darcy finds some solace hanging out with her uncle and Lucas in the thrift shop and working in Liz’s coffee shop, while the rest of her life falls apart. The time she spends with the uber hot Lucas helps takes her mind off her family’s troubles, even though she’s sure he’s only nice to her because he works for her uncle, especially when she meets the cover girl beauty she thinks he’s dating.

Can Darcy find the courage she needs to adapt to the necessary changes brought about by her family’s drastically reduced lifestyle? And will she open her eyes to the amazing realization that Lucas wants much more than friendship from her?


Pre-Order Link:

EXCERPT:
“Truth, Darcy,” Lucas said. “How’s everything going? For real.”I stumbled and he put out a hand to steady me, which didn’t help since the sudden warmth of his touch made me even more klutzy.“I’m okay,” I said, once I’d figured how to walk again.“You’re lying,” he said conversationally, like he’d asked me about the weather. He tossed his long dark hair out of his eyes and I swallowed, trying to maintain my composure. “You’re worried about something. More than usual, I mean.”My lips parted in surprise. “How can you tell?”He shrugged. “I just can.” I gazed down at Toby, whose tail wagged at warp speed. “It might help to talk about it,” Lucas said, his voice soft.I glanced at him, startled at the intensity I saw in his eyes. I turned away, pretending to be interested in the jumble of model airplane kits in the window of the run-down hobby store.His hand brushed mine, lacing our fingers briefly, but before I could catch my breath, he released my hand and took hold of Toby’s leash. He cleared his throat. “That’s what friends are for, right?”
Friends. Right. Of course. I let go of the leash, letting Lucas take over. “Yeah,” I said, my voice a little wobbly. We walked in silence and I wondered if I’d hallucinated the whole almost-held-my-hand thing.“If you don’t tell me what’s up, I’ll just ask Charlie.”I took a deep breath. Inhale calm. Exhale obsessive need to analyze potential hand-holding event.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn't recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life's painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.

Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, several four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter. 

Author Links:


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Book in Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga


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Title: My Heart and Other Black Holes
Author: Jasmine Warga
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Format: ARC Kindle Edition
Rating: 5/5

Summary via Goodreads
A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There's only one problem: she's not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel's convinced she's found her solution—Roman, a teenage boy who's haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other's broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.



THIS BOOK IS JUST BEAUTIFUL.

I LOVED the plot, the characters and basically everything! I have no regrets reading this book. I never expected that a book with a theme of suicide and depression could be this good and could be this full of hope. But My Heart and Other Black Holes completely denied my expectations. Aysel and Roman were really dedicated to help each other die, but truly one spark can change everything. 

Aysel's voice in this book is vivid yet messy at the same time. It's very easy for a reader to relate to her and situations in her life. Same goes with Roman, Aysel's suicide partner.

Among all of the things that I liked about this book, what really stood out to me was the message that the author wanted us to have. Suicide is not the answer to depression. Sometimes we are put into situations just like Aysel and Roman, and we feel like those could ruin our lives forever. We shouldn't keep on blaming ourselves for the wrong things we may have done. Instead, we should start forgiving ourselves and learn from those. If ever we are put into these situations, or depression triggers us, the best way is to talk to someone, and maybe find inspiration from them. 

I am hands down impressed with Jasmine Warga, and I can't wait to read more of her works in the future!


Quotes:
“Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.” 
“I once read in my physics book that the universe begs to be observed, that energy travels and transfers when people pay attention. Maybe that's what love really boils down to--having someone who cares enough to pay attention so that you're encouraged to travel and transfer, to make your potential energy spark into kinetic energy.” 
“You're like a grey sky. You're beautiful, even though you don't want to be.” 

Have you read My Heart and Other Black Holes? What do you think? Leave a comment! 



Book in Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton


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Title: Seeker
Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Format: ARC
Pages: 448 pages

Summary: (via Goodreads)

Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.

Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin's new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.


There's a certain sadness to this book. It wasn't a tragic story, nor was it a touching one. Well, I guess it was tragic. In the sense that these children were brought up thinking they were training for a noble cause, then figures out they were lied to, then Shinobu's father dies, all in the span of about a week. But the way it was written, it wasn't a tragedy. It was an event in their lives. It was scary to picture that a child could hate their father so much that they would wish him dead or leave him to suffer when death was the most merciful option. And yet I liked this book. I liked the world-building. I liked how the book had this oddness to it, this uniqueness. The setting and the plot were great, but the most interesting thing for me was the characters. Some were great, some weren't, yet all were real people with feelings and minds of their own, they weren't just characters. I believe that the best way to express my feelings toward this book is to tell you about the characters and how they are to me.

Quin
I thought Quin would be an interesting character. A female heroine who could beat her boyfriend in a fight, who was incredible at fighting, whose main motivation was not romance. She sounds like someone I'd love to read about. She never lived up to what I hoped for. I was disappointed with her actions. She may be strong physically, but mentally and emotionally, she was lacking. What really frustrated me was her relationship with John. I just couldn't connect with her. She would feel guilty about not helping John, then she'd waver a bit, then she'd think something bad about him, then she'd run away. She's always running away. For a girl who's supposedly strong, she has a million weaknesses. And what kind of person would you have to be to not even care that your father could be killed even if he is a world-class douche? I also felt like she was lacking in character development.

She knew the sight of her father bleeding should bother her, but Quin could not stop herself from feeling a fierce satisfaction at his pain. Briac would kill any of us if he had to, she thought, finally admitting the truth to herself.
If there's something good about Quin, though is that she, at least, eventually figures out the right thing and still has good virtues despite being taught to kill.

The Young Dread
Now here's one of the bravest girls I know. She isn't normal, but something in her remains human even when her companions are as monstrous as ever. She's smart, strong, and brave. He also developed from someone who just followed the Middle Dread into someone who would dare attack him just to do what she thought was right. She may be silent, but she has a great heart that was willing to restore the good of the world when no one else would. I loved her and thought that she was one of the best people in this book.

She saw it then. Her master could not rid himself of the Middle Dread. The reason was a mystery, but the fact remained: her master was tied to the middle. He had been looking, for a thousand years perhaps, for a Young Dread who would do what was right.

John
John is an excellent example of how someone good becomes a villain. He wasn't necessarily treated as the villain here, but in my eyes, he was well on his way to becoming one. I didn't like him, not at all. He reasoned, and he reasoned, and he reasoned. None of his methods were good, but he always thought to himself that he was doing the right thing. That he was bringing back the goodness in the world and giving justice to his family. His mindset was so twisted. I thought that it was good example of character development that turns you bad.

John thought he wanted the same thing- a noble purpose, justice- but he'd already seen Briac's path, and he was willing to set his feet upon it. He was like a sword that had been bent at the moment it was forged. Such a blade would always be bent, as John's heart was bent by the life and the death of the mother he'd never wanted to speak about. At this moment, he was still the John she had known, but he wouldn't stay that way if she helped him now.

Shinobu
He's actually my favorite character in this book. He did wrong things, he turned into someone who his past self would have been ashamed of, he thought he was worthless. This guy. He changes and changes and changes, but there's a part of him that remains the same. That part just shines through all the crap he's been through. He's always Shinobu, with that loyalty, noble heart, and wit. Even if it may not seem like it, he's always doing the right thing. He wasn't shown outright as a very important character, but as you analyze it, you see how important he was to the entire story.

One day I'll forget to eat, forget to check my air tank, take too many pipes at the bar. I'm not a Seeker. I don't even think I'm a person anymore. I'm a ghost waiting to die.

I think that most of them had fantastic, yet subtle, character development. Through all of its faults and shortcomings, I liked this book. I was connected to most of the characters. I loved the world building. I appreciated the changes in the mindset of every character, whether it is good or bad. It was an enjoyable read that made me think deeper about what something could possibly mean and what someone's motives might be.

Book Blitz: Ever Darkening by Janeal Falor


Ever Darkening
Release Date: 01/28/15

Summary from Goodreads:
Perfection. Goodness. Elimination of evil. It's what seventeen-year-old Kaylyn has trained her entire life to achieve. But no one is prepared for the consequences of her actually defeating all evil people on the planet. Finally successful in her mission, Kaylyn faces an unfamiliar world, full of good people doing good things, in which she no longer has purpose.

When the skies grow dark, and a stranger from another village pleads for her help, her instincts roar to life. It turns out their perfect world isn't exactly what it seems. Kaylyn's new quest, harder than any she's been on before, will rip apart her friendships, her life, and her soul more than any evil man ever managed to.


Buy Links:
Amazon | Kobo | SmashwordsBarnes and NobleCreateSpace

Excerpt:

Being the one chosen to kill the entire evil population is a burden heavier than sin. Not that I know what it’s like to sin, but I imagine this is worse. Killing is never taken lightly, even when sanctioned by our leaders, the same leaders who chose me to carry it out. I’ve lost count of how many Malryx I’ve executed for that exact reason. And now there is only one left. Only one evil being. My purpose of being is almost complete.

About the Author
Janeal Falor lives in Utah where she’s finally managed to live in the same house for more than five years without moving. In her spare time she reads books like they’re nuts covered in caramel and chocolate, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and enjoys the outdoors. Her husband and three children try to keep up with her overactive imagination. Usually they settle for having dinner on the table, even if she’s still going on about the voices in her head.




Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY:
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Book in Review: Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Title: Never Never
Author: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Publishing Date: January 7th, 2015
Publisher: Hoover Ink
Format: Kindle
Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary:

Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. 
Complete strangers since this morning. 
He'll do anything to remember. She'll do anything to forget. 


First of all, what can you get from a blurb as vague as that?

I really really did not know what I signed up for when I started reading this book. All I knew is that both Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher were both authors who punched me in my gut in way too many of their books. And I always always felt like my heart was torn into two after finishing anything they wrote.

So what was I doing reading something that two equally horrible and evil authors worked on?

I sincerely do not know but I'm still punching myself internally for making myself go through something like this.

Because, OH MY GOD, I literally have no words because this book just killed me. Do you have any idea how mindfucked I feel every time I finish any Colleen or Tarryn book? Imagine it twice the impact this time. I wanted to jump out of my window, tie myself under train tracks and get run over by a train, twice. 
With a collaboration between two amazing writers (and two evil ones at that), this book doubled on its originality and the pain that it causes its readers. The writing is, as expected, beautiful and has so much emotional depth into it, but really how could I expect anything less from these two wonderful authors?

Book in Review: All Fall Down by Ally Carter


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Title: All Fall Down
Author: Ally Carter
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 5, 2015
Format: ARC

Summary via Goodreads:
A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter. 

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay--in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.


I've always seen books written by Ally Carter whenever I go to bookstores but I never really paid attention to them since I'm not sure if I would like them or not. Now, I know why people adore her works! 

All Fall Down can be compared to We Were Liars by E.Lockhart, wherein you won't really understand what's happening from the beginning until it's almost the end. Even so, you could still distinguish the difference of both. Ally Carter and E.Lockhart had different writing styles which is the main reason why we could see its difference.

I really liked the uniqueness of the plot, like have you ever read a book about embassy rows? I also liked how there were only few characters, but all of them felt very significant and 3-dimensional. My favorite character would probably be Noah. His character is very cute, and he's a football player, sooooo....

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