Food Whore Blog Tour + ARC Review - A Book never tasted this good

Food Whore | Jessica Tom
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Harpercollins
Pages: 352
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: TLC Book Tours

Food whore (n.) A person who will do anything for food.

Fresh out of college, Tia Monroe has every intention of taking the New York City restaurant scene by storm. But after a coveted internship goes up in smoke, Tia’s suddenly just another food lover in the big city.

Yet everything changes when Michael Saltz, a legendary New York Times restaurant critic, lets Tia in on a career-ending secret: he’s lost his sense of taste. Now he wants Tia to serve as his palate, ghostwriting his reviews. In return he promises her lavish meals, a boundless cache of designer clothing, and the opportunity of a lifetime. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Tia agrees.

Within weeks, Tia’s world transforms into one of glamour and luxury: four-star dinners, sexy celebrity chefs, and an unlimited expense account at Bergdorf Goodman. Tia loves every minute of it…until she sees her words in print and Michael Saltz taking all the credit. As the veneer of extravagance wears thin and her secret identity begins to crumble, Tia is faced with what it means to truly succeed. In a city where “making it” is the ultimate goal, Tia will have to decide: how far is she willing to go for the life she craves?

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



If Only This Book Was Edible
I would gobble up it's delicious writing, delicious characters, delicious EVERYTHING.


Have you ever wanted to just live inside of a story? To lay on the crisp pages, wrap yourself tightly around the words, and just submerge yourself within the world? Good, we're on the same page. When it comes to this book, I not only wanted to lose myself in the bustling city of NYC, but I wanted to experience life alongside our vibrant main character. I wanted to feel my taste buds tingling as I sampled the cuisine, feel the adrenaline rush of being surrounded by the one thing I love the most. & if sushi and bacon, two of my favorite foods could be used as an indication of how much I loved this book, then well . . . surely you'd all get my point.

Food whore (n.) A person who will do anything for food. 

Oh Jessica, you know me so well.

Taking one peek at my bio would clearly show you that I love me some food. When I'm feeling posh, I like to wrap a faux fur around my neck, swish some wine around in a spiderman glass, and tell people I'm a " food connoisseur. " It works obviously. Or I just simply tell people I'm a wannabe foodie, which is sooo not a lie people. In this title Food Whore, I got the chance to live out my food lover dreams. It was everything I could ever ask for- engaging storyline, quirky characters, mouthwatering descriptions of cuisine, ins and outs of the fine dining scene, the author clearly left nothing to be desired.

Sashaying around NYC taking the food scene by storm, was 22 year old Tia Monroe. As a graduate student enrolled in NYU's masters program in Food Studies, we follow our main character as she sets out to land an internship with her idol, Helen Lansky, a former New York Times best-selling cookbook author. Of course sometimes life can be a big sour pickle, so when her dream suddenly crumbles like a piece of coffee cake, she finds herself starting from the bottom, tangling herself in a messy web of angel hair pasta, meeting some eccentric characters along the way.

Yall like how I did that huh?

Some people write. Others may cook. And some like Ms.Monroe, are compelled to do both: tell a story through food.

After Tia's internship opportunity with Helen bombs, she is given the opportunity of a lifetime from Michael Saltz, the legendary New York Times restaurant critic. She immediately goes from the bottom of the totem-pole, to mingling with celebrity chef's, rocking designer labels, basically living a life she always pictured she would. In return for her life of luxury, she must not only keep the career-ending secret that Michael no longer has a sense of taste, but she must also serve as his ghost-writer, composing all of his reviews. Michael was bad news from the start, reminding me of a piece of rotten salmon, but when life hands you lemons, you grab those suckers and make lemonade . . . right?

The herring was paired with a curried goat cheese curd with blueberry jam. The duck breast arrived sliced like sashimi, with a smear of fresh American Horseradish.

If there was one thing that I enjoyed the most, (besides the characters of course) it would be the authenticity of this novel. With Jessica Tom being a writer/food blogger from NY, everything in the story seemed real. It never felt as if I were reading fiction, more so a memoir about the life of a young food lover, complete with shots of lies and deceit to keep us readers thoroughly entertained. The writing, especially the food descriptions, were so rich they jumped at you, heightening your senses completely. From beginning to end I was lost in the tomato sauce, deep in a trance I never wanted to be awoken from. Food Whore showed up and out, proving to be an exceptionally solid debut title. Complete with realistic characters, mesmerizing writing, and a captivating plot with twists that made me hungry for pretzels, I highly recommend this to all readers and food lovers alike!


Check out a few of my favorite pics from Jessica's Instagram. The lady knows her shit guys. 


Z Resurrected Blog Tour - Author Interview + Giveaway

Z Resurrected - Anthology
Author(s): Tom Leveen, Dana Fredsti, Joe Mckinney, Eric A. Shelman, Mark Tufo, T.M Williams
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Publisher: Half Light Publishing
Pages: 315
Purchase: Amazon

In this anthology, six horror authors revisit some of their most infamous zombie characters, resurrecting the undead.

Contributing authors to Z Resurrected are some of horror’s best, who have each carved a distinct path in the world of zombies: Dana Fredsti, Tom Leveen, Joe McKinney, Eric A. Shelman, Mark Tufo, and T.M. Williams.


Blog Tour

Tom Leveen Interview + Giveaway
It's almost Halloween people, time to get our asses in the spirit!


Visit the other lovely ladies on this tour!

Bex, Stefanie, Ashley, Nicole, Emily,

Can you believe this is my first interview? I've always shied away from doing them, especially for books I haven't read because it's kind of difficult to come up with not only creative, but meaningful questions to ask the author. When one of my good friends, Bex from Aurelia {Lit, Geek, Chic} asked me to hop on the blog tour for Z Resurrected there was no way I could say no. I noticed Tom Leveen, who wrote the book Random I read and loved last year, had written a story within this anthology, so I immediately called dibs on him. He and I have a little in common, so he's the perfect person to share my inter-newbie experience.

How did I do tommy boy? lol

In this interview, I ask him questions about his YA zombie-apocalypse novel Sick. Stick around for a giveaway for this title open to all US residents!

To start things off, and so that my readers can get to know you a little more, care to share 5 of your top favorite books?

Tommy Boy: Absolutely. Required reading for me would include:

Speak | Laurie Halse Anderson

Stargirl | Jerry Spinelli

The Long Walk | Richard Bachman/Stephen King

The Great Brain series by John D. Fitzgerald

Maudie and Me and The Dirty Book by Betty Miles

How would you describe yourself as a writer?

Tommy Boy: Prolific. I've usually got at least two novels going at any one time, sometimes up to four, and a backlist that would keep me busy for the foreseeable future even if I never had another idea the rest of my life.

Also, neurotic; needy; envious; and doubtful.

I’ve read your YA book Random which covers some pretty controversial topics. Can we expect the same in your zombie title Sick?

Tommy Boy: Yes, I think so. The plot of SICK is about a zombie-like apocalypse, but like all horror fiction, the themes are about something else. It has elements of LORD OF THE FLIES, for example, and even THE BREAKFAST CLUB (depending on who you ask). Racism features prominently, as well as how we treat "the other" -- anyone who we think is different from us somehow. If you want, you can even read some indictments of our public school system and commentary on the impact of war on our kids.

If you *want* to...

As I'm sure you know, we have a ton of zombie titles in the YA genre. What sets Sick apart from the rest?

Tommy Boy: I avoided reading them at the time of the writing, so I can't say definitively how they are different, but I will hazard the guess that SICK is 1) more about relationships than monsters, and 2) possibly more gory. It depends on your Gore Tolerance Level.

How long after the events in Sick does your story in Z Resurrected take place? What's changed?

Tommy Boy: Actually, my story PANIC in Z Resurrected takes place at the same time as SICK. Brian, the protagonist of SICK, spends much of the story trying to find and save his ex-girlfriend, Laura. In PANIC, she gets separated from her friends during the initial outbreak and records what happens to her on a cell phone after she gets isolated with an infected student in a classroom on the other end of campus.

The majority of your titles are contemporary novels with dark subject matter. What inspired the idea to attack a zombie apocalypse theme this time around?

Tommy Boy: I was a zombie fan ever since I first caught NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) on TV when I was a kid, and rented DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) long before I should have been allowed to watch a movie like that. Some high school friends and I got into a long debate about how we would have defended ourselves back in our old drama department, and who would have lived or died. It didn't take long after that to put together the idea for SICK, although I chose to tell it from a non-drama-kid's point of view so that readers could acclimate to the setting the way the main characters do.

If any characters from Sick were a representation of yourself, who would it be and why?

Tommy Boy: All of them, in some sense. That's true of every author I think. Me at my worst, me at what I hope would be my best. I'd probably be Jack. See what happens to him.

I noticed that this title is pitched for lovers of The Breakfast Club and The Walking Dead. Did this movie and tv show inspire you in any way while writing this novel? If so, you get major cool points with me. The Breakfast Club is one of my favorite movies!

Tommy Boy: Me, too! Of course. Now, not every appreciated that tag line, and I understand that - those are two iconic shows that you shouldn't go around comparing yourself to all willy-nilly. But BREAKFAST CLUB was definitely one of the movies I had mind while writing the book, because it was supposed to be about a group of very dissimilar students who end up working together out of necessity at first, and out of solidarity later as they get to know each other. That was intentional. As for TWD, that's an unavoidable comparison these days; I do like the show a lot, but there was nothing in it that particularly inspired me. In fact, I did not watch the show until after the book was published. I think it's safer to say I was inspired by DAWN OF THE DEAD . . . probably both the '78 and '04 versions.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

Tommy Boy: Satisfying my curiosity. Writers are naturally curious, and for me anyway, I write stories to answer questions that pop up in everyday life. Usually it's those "What if" questions, like, what if there were a zombie apocalypse back in my high school days and me and the guys were all in the drama department when it went down? Many novels, like RANDOM, start with asking something like, "Now, why would someone do X?" I write novels or stories to answer questions for myself in hypothetical ways.

You have quite a few titles under your belt, any personal favorites?

Tommy Boy: It varies from day to day, but today, it's been a ZERO kind of day. She's the oldest of my characters in real-time, meaning I first wrote her story back in 1993, so I have an affinity for her and her story. I'm also proud of how my most recent novel, SHACKLED, turned out; I felt I got to put a lot of new knowledge and skills to work in that one. The craft-learning never stops, that's for sure.

Okay, game time! You’re stuck in a cafeteria surrounded by flesh-eating zombies. No weapons, no allies to depend on, just you, yourself, and not I because I’m chilling elsewhere enjoying a piping hot bag of popcorn. What is your epic escape plan?

Tommy Boy: Wow...not many details to work with, so I'll have to make some assumptions. Goal #1 - and this is discussed in SICK - is to get OUT of the building, where there is at least room to maneuver. If the tables are round, flip one of those on edge to create a rolling shield a'la Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in the opening sequence with the gong. If the chairs are those orange and yellow plastic types you see at schools, use one of those to fend off attacks while rolling toward a door or window.

If they are all picnic tables, I think I'm screwed. Aim for the kitchen and hope for a cleaver? Or look for any possible way to climb up to the ceiling and bust into the crawlspace or roof.

Andddd, that's a wrap! For my very first interview, I think I did a pretty decent job lol. So if you're interested in Z Resurrected or Sick by Tom Leveen, make sure you enter the giveaway below!


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Romancing The Dark In The City Of Light ARC Review -- BRB Skin Crawling

Romancing The Dark In The City Of Light
Author: Ann Jacobus
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: St.Martin's Griffin
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 271
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can't shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer's behavior manages to alienate everyone, even Moony, she's forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that'll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



Welcome To The Darkside
Where my skin is crawling, and I may have wanted to puke a few times.


If you've been following my blog for a while now, or have been stalking my tweets on twitter, then you'd pretty much know that Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma is my favorite contemporary title of all time. It covered an extremely controversial topic, taking something that's not only taboo, but completely against our societal norm, and turning it into an insightful, beautiful story that I surprisingly, couldn't help but to love. It was so WRONG, but yet it clicked, everything just worked. However, here is where I draw the line for Romancing The Dark In The City Of Light.

To be honest, I didn't know what to expect from Romancing In The Dark. By reading the synopsis I knew it wouldn't be one of those fluffy contemps, but I also wasn't expecting it to be this dark, and when I say this story definitely takes it there, I mean that times infinity and beyond. I'm a huge fan of darker contemporary, but listen carefully when I tell you that this book will NOT be for everyone. Chapter one starts off very oddly, which shaped the mood for the rest of the story, and while I found it to be repulsive, disgusting, sickening, just plain ole' fucking messed up, I for the life of me could not put it down . . .

Don't fret I'm currently questioning my sanity.

Summer Barnes is probably the worst character I've ever read about. She's a horrible human being, and is not only toxic to herself, but to everyone around her. In and out of boarding schools since her father died when she was 13, she finds herself reunited in Paris with her mother after being expelled from her previous institution for abusing drugs and alcohol. Now in the city of love repeating her second year as a senior, Summer is sinking fast, and us readers receive front row tickets to witness her downward spiral.

From the beginning, I knew I would have a problem with Summer's character. I just didn't care for her too much as a person, so in result, I struggled to make that important connection. Not even her being a young alcoholic irked me to the core. Instead I was more irritated by our MC being a desperate individual that yearned for attention in incredibly strange ways.

Point blank period, the girl was out of control.

People are so weird about death. It's actually a rich and interesting subject . . .

One of the biggest elements in this story is the train-wreck of a love triangle between Summer and two other characters. First there's Moony, a disabled kid from Summer's school. Moony was like a beautiful sunset peeking over a horizon, an incredibly sweet icecream cone on a hot summer day. He was the perfect guy unconventionally, so full of life despite his incapabilities, and I really loved how he had so much to offer. It was so hard to watch her mistreat and lead him on when he didn't deserve it, and I couldn't help but to feel that Moony belonged in a completely different story altogether. One similar to a Stephanie Perkins novel, all teddy bears and cotton candy, certainly not washed out in this craziness.

Your beautiful when you're nauseated. Such a shade of jade green.

Enter Kurt, the true definition of a fucking creep. From the moment he steps onto the scene, red flags and warning alarms are blasting off, and I'm mentally screaming for Summer to get the eff away from this dude. The weird thing about Kurt is that he had this really weird aura, one that was alluring to people, especially Summer. One minute she's completely repulsed by him, the next they're meeting up playing " this shit will get you killed " games around the city. I was beyond freaked out. This man was both foul and manipulative, using the control he had over others to eventually lead them to their END. However, even though I completely despised this dirt bag, the plot twist surrounding his character was absolutely clever, and added even more " UCK " to the mind-fuck that sums up this story.

Romancing The Dark In The City of Light was a complete eye opener for me. I've never battled depression, and if anyone around me was, I was pretty much oblivious, so seeing how tough it is on one's life is quite humbling. The writing flows nicely, fast paced even, despite the dark content that feels as if it's weighing you down. The plot is chilling to the core, and while the characters aren't typically the " norm ", they're diverse, and oh so real, allowing them to be more captivating than I expected. If you can handle the darkness that is this book without grabbing the holy water and warding off all evil, then maybe you'll be able to ride this one out.



The Rig ARC Review -- Prison Break YA Edition

The Rig | Joe Ducie
Released: October 6, 2015
Publisher: HMHkids
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 320
Edition: Paperback ARC
Source: Publisher

Fifteen-year-old Will Drake has made a career of breaking out from high-security prisons. His talents have landed him at the Rig, a special juvenile holding facility in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. No one can escape from the Rig. After hatching some escape plans—and making the first real friends of his life—Drake quickly realizes that all is not as it seems on the Rig. The warden is obsessed with the mysterious Crystal-X, a blue glowing substance that appears to give superpowers to the teens exposed to it. Drake, Tristan, and Irene are banking on a bid for freedom—but can they survive long enough to make it?

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



If Juvenile Prisons Were Actually This Cool
What do you call those moments when you have nothing bad to say about a book? 
Oh yeah perfection.


So this is how it feels to be pleasantly surprised? When I first picked up The Rig, I honestly had no clue what to expect. I used to watch Prison Break all the time, (I thought Wentworth Miller was kinda cute) and the synopsis just screamed this show. So I dived in expecting to be thoroughly entertained, and boy did Joe Ducie deliver! Not only did he give me a fast paced plot, (something I desperately needed btw), but he was able to cook up some hilariously witty characters, and mix them with a smoking hot concept that kept me intrigued from beginning to end. Tika is one happy camper folks.

What To Expect

Fangirl Breakdown

Everything Under The Sun

Hold on to your wigs ladies and gents because you're in for a special treat! Pacing that's faster than you run when yo mama says breakfast is ready. Awesome characters that I either wanted to laugh, chill with, or kick their asses. A high tech prison that made me wish it was my vacation home, (okay maybe not but you get what I'm saying) and just a bunch of FUN ISH. There wasn't anything I was missing!

Fangirl Breakdown

15 year old Will Drake had such an interesting perspective to read from. He's been in and out of juvenile facilities for years, but definitely not for good behavior or because he served a complete sentence, nope our boy is a true escape artist. Successfully escaping EVERY maximum security facility he's been locked down in, I was curious to see how he'd take down the challenge of The Rig, an old oil platform converted into a rehabilitation center for teens . . . that just so happens to be built in the center of the Arctic Ocean. The situation didn't look too promising for him, but Drake is certainly more clever than he let's on.

What worked so well for me, was the fact that the story was just so . . . thrilling. From the moment Drake and other inmates arrived to the new facility, you can feel his desperation to escape. I enjoyed how level-headed and methodical he was, scoping out his surroundings, using his wit to pull information from others, his brain to sort out routes. I was literally on edge with anticipation, not only wondering if he could actually pull it off, but rooting for him to do so.

For someone that enjoys watching documentaries about prison life, (shut up, don't judge me) I knew for sure the setting of this novel would be a huge hit for me. Of course it operates like most juvenile facilities, but what sets it apart, is that The Rig wasn't exactly what it appeared to be. Upon arriving, each inmate received an electronic device that tracks your every movement. It gives a blueprint of where you are in the facility, tells you when your next tasks starts/ends, (schooling, meals, your job) and shows you how much money you owe the system, or have made from whatever job you've been assigned. Hello Apple Watch in 10 years.

I've been secretly whittling a canoe out of soap, elbow grease, unicorn tears, and a teaspoon of shenanigans. Almost ready to set sail, if only I could get this damn tracker off.

Ducie pulled out all stops to make sure he kept up the momentum of the plot and the reader's attention. From the secondary characters that had their own individual stories, the bullies that made life on the rig a living hell, the electronic lacrosse sport of Rig ball which is by far one of the best fictional sports I've ever read about, all the way to the mystery of Crystal -X and what the warden of The Rig was doing with it, he left no room for us not to be entertained. 

The Rig consisted of so many enjoyable elements that it was absolutely impossible to put down. The writing was quite simple but fluid, pairing well with the fast pacing of the plot. The characters were sharp tongued, clever, and down right comical. The action scenes kept everything alive and climatic, creating drama where it was most needed, and seriously, besides the ending wrapping up too quickly for my tastes, there's nothing about this book that I wouldn't praise. Perfect for readers of all ages and lovers of genres other than sci-fi, The Rig is a debut that's sure to be loved by most.

Oh, and about if Drake escaped or not . . .
You'll just have to pick it up to find out!


Dreamstrider ARC Review -- Rambled, Jumbled, Conflicted Feelings

Dreamstrider | Lindsay Smith
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 448
Edition: Kindle
Source: Sunday Street Team
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
add to goodreads

Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject's body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighboring kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage. A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



A fantastic premise that lacks a certain UMPH
Dreamstrider comes out swinging full force drawing readers in. But what happens when it loses it's steam?


Slow and steady wins the race. Or does it?
Dreamstrider was one of my most anticipated reads of this month. Besides the gorgeous cover, I loved everything the synopsis was giving me. Body control, spies, empires, even politics, it just all screamed ME. Up until part two of the story, everything was all good. The writing was exceptional from beginning to end, but the plot - the plot was dwindling fast, and it wasn't until I was around 60% when it dawned on me that this book had everything I could ask for, EXCEPT one major thing was slightly off . . .
The Pacing. 

In this fantastic tale, we follow our main character Livia, a laborer from the tunnels. Unlike anyone else in all of the empire of Barstadt, Livia has a strange but wonderful ability to inhabit the body of another while they're asleep. Her soul controls the body in the waking world, allowing her to move around in their skin, as well as tinker with their memories to collect information, or to learn little tidbits of details about the person who's body she's hosting. This labels her as a dreamstrider, and because she's the only person to possess such a skill, she was hired to work as a spy for the Ministry, a secret union organized by the emperor. Sounds pretty damn interesting right?

What To Expect

Fangirl Breakdown

Snails and TurtlesIntriguing Concept

While the story is pretty interesting, it seems to move in slow motion causing the story to drag a bit. If you find that you normally get bored when this happens, I suggest you keep this in mind.

There's no denying how dope this concept is. Dreamstriding, spies, handsome enemies, traitors to the empire . . there's so much packed into this novel that is sure to keep your attention.

Fangirl Breakdown

Did Liv borrow an invisibility cloak from Harry or?
Let's keep it real, Livia isn't the most . . . lively character. She's a sensible girl, VERY relateable, but for a story like this, I needed someone fierce - someone with an explosive personality that would've grabbed my attention from the start. I often overlooked her, which should seem impossible because HELLO, the story is told in her perspective, but she could've easily been a soggy cardboard box discarded in an dark alley, I honestly didn't notice her. Throughout majority of the story she was quite timid, which added fuel to the fire when it came to her self-confidence. I had such a hard time connecting with her because of this, but I do however, think she was well developed. In the beginning she doubted not only herself but her abilities, and by the end, she transformed into this phoenix that suddenly rose from the ashes and raised all kinds of hell, BUT that's the problem. The character development happened damn near on the same sentence as " THE END ", so by this time I'm sighing and whispering, " it's a little late Liv, a little too late. "

If you're big on romance, and need it as a forefront of the story and developed well, then Houston you'll have a problem. While there isn't a messy love triangle, (you can release the breath you were holding now) we are still spoon fed a double dose of boy drama. Secondary characters, Brandt and Marez, play huge roles within the story. Brandt, son to a royal family, operative to the Ministry, and Livia's bestfriend, just so happens to be her secret crush. With B-rand (yes I gave him a nickname) being from a royal family, and Liv from a lower class in their society, a relationship between the two would be next to impossible. It wasn't as if I were rooting for them anyway. With Liv falling a bit flat and poor Brandt following suit, they weren't a match made in fictional heaven for me

Then there's Marez, the mysterious I can't really say, handsome guy from a neighboring city called Farthinger. From the beginning I knew he was up to something, but that didn't stop me from being all the way intrigued by his character. He was dark, snarky, and okay a little evil, but I felt he and Livia had sparked more chemistry than she and Brandt could ever ignite. I was able to guess the plot twist pretty early on, and because I'd take betrayal over love any day, I wasn't all that dissatisfied as others. 
It's always the good boy she can't have, or the handsome boy that's no good eh?

The mumbo jumbo.
To be completely honest, I had sooo much trouble rating this book. After 3 days of heavy debating, I finally settled on 4 stars. Problem is, I STILL feel conflicted. Dreamstrider had the bones to be a 5 star read for me, but a few missing ingredients kept it from being a dish I could've really loved. I didn't care for our female protagonist, the romance could've been X'd out of the story completely, and the pacing was painfully slow, causing the plot to drag on more than one occasion. However, the writing was beautifully done, the concept was complex, but captivatingly so, and the world-building was crafted so well, I was engaged from beginning to end. So with these aspects being absolutely amazing, shouldn't that be enough to overlook major issues?


FML Dreamstrider has officially defeated the slay queen. 


What's Your Book Fate? -- A Tale Of Highly Unusual Magic

Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Harpercollins
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pages: 320
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Kai and Leila are both finally having an adventure. For Leila, that means a globe-crossing journey to visit family in Pakistan for the summer; for Kai, it means being stuck with her crazy great-aunt in Texas while her mom looks for a job. In each of their bedrooms, they discover a copy of a blank, old book called The Exquisite Corpse. Kai writes three words on the first page—and suddenly, they magically appear in Leila's copy on the other side of the planet. Kai's words are soon followed by line after line of the long-ago, romantic tale of Ralph T. Flabbergast and his forever-love, Edwina Pickle. As the two take turns writing, the tale unfolds, connecting both girls to each other, and to the past, in a way they never could have imagined.

A heartfelt, vividly told multicultural story about fate and how our stories shape it.

To celebrate the release of A Tale Of Highly Unusual Magic, I was presented with a very fun, but also thought-provoking opportunity. In this here post, I'll be asking, (and also answering) a question that will have all of us readers thinking about titles that have affected us in the best way possible. Once you have answered the question in the comments, your input will be used as a valid entry into an international giveaway for this showcased title. Sound good? Okay time for le question!

What is your book fate - what book has changed your perspective, your heart, your life?

Tell The Wolves I'm Home - This is the one book that I absolutely related to 100%. I lost an uncle to the HIV virus some years ago, so to stumble across a book that covered the exact same scenario was almost sort of a blessing. It helped to cope with some of my feelings, and accurately depicted what emotions a family as a whole, and individually would be going through. While it was tough to deal with reality during the death of my uncle, it was easy to escape within the story, experiencing the growth of the characters, as well as myself.

Forbidden - Let me tell you, Forbidden completely changed my perspective on what the Young Adult genre could actually deliver. I've been reading YA since I was in middle school, (think Sarah Dessen novels and Sweet Valley High) so when I read Forbidden, it completely blew me away, and made me fall in love with YA as an adult. Tabitha Suzuma completely pushed the envelope with the story, not only bending the rules on what is considered " acceptable " in YA, but she stepped out of the box completely, and created her own lane. Packed with raw emotion and swift but beautiful writing, I still haven't found a contemporary that knocks this out of my favorite YA contemp spot, and I don't think I ever will. Mind blowing guys, mind blowing.

So now it's your turn. 

In the comment section below, answer the above question. You'll automatically be entered into the international giveaway for A Tale Of Highly Unusual Magic! If you don't want to be entered into the giveaway but still would like to share your thoughts, simply comment telling me to exclude you!


The Assassin's Blade By Sarah J Maas -- All The Feels

The Assassin's Blade | Throne Of Glass 0.1-0.5
Author: Sarah J Maas
Release Date: March 4th 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 448
Edition: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

She Was Fire. She Was Darkness.
She Was Blood, Dust
                                          And Shadow . . .
Is it really a surprise to most that I'm loving this series? Definitely. 

I'm not exactly a " series reader. " In fact, The Lunar Chronicles, will be the first series I've read and completed in my adult years. (I'm not counting Harry Potter & books I read as a kid) The thing is, I lose interest fast, and sometimes I get to the point where I get tired of reading about the same world, same characters, same . . . you know, stuff. I also have terrible commitment issues when it comes to books, (and working out but that's another story) so the thought of actually sitting my booty down and reading multiple books in a series, was enough to give me a headache. Buttttt, it takes a special kind of author, (like Marissa Meyer obviously) to not only grab, but to KEEP my attention, and I'm happy to say that Maas is doing that and then some.
What To Expect

Fangirl Breakdown

Slow StartEmotional

This is what I call the " Throne Of Glass Syndrome. " The beginning starts off a bit slow, just as it did for me in TOG, but it definitely picks up after the first two novellas. But don't give up, they get BETTER trust me.

Ragged breathing, bloodshot eyes, sweating palms, tear stained everything. The connection between reader and the characters, (especially Celaena & Sam) in these novellas are cranked all the way up. Expect the worst and fucking prepare for it.

Fangirl Breakdown

Reading The Assassin's Blade was like looking through a microscope of Celaena's life. In both Throne Of Glass and Crown Of Midnight, you don't entirely get a sense of who she was before arriving at the glass castle to serve the king. You can tell SOMETHING happened, because although she's snarky, lively, and so full of her damn self, you can almost feel the wall she's wedged between herself and others. As I mentioned, in the first two novellas, The Assassin And The Pirate Lord as well as The Healer, kicked off a bit slowly. Now don't get me wrong, they were both rather entertaining, especially since we finally met Sam Cortland himself, but it isn't until you reach The Assassin And The Desert where the story takes the fantastic turn that Maas is known for perfecting. 
If you're looking for the same badassery Celaena displayed in Crown Of Midnight, don't worry, you won't have to look far. It's action packed and just as gruesome, exactly what we'd expect from our favorite assassin.

My name is Celaena Sardothien,  she whispered,  and I will not be afraid. 

The emotional connection I had with this story is what really made this a complete hit for me. If you've already read Throne Of Glass, (which 99% of you have) then you know that alot of The Assassin's Blade was pretty much one big ball of mini spoilers. What's amazing, is that it didn't take away an ounce of the feelings I had, especially while reading The Assassin And The Empire. We already knew something terrible was going to happen to Sam, HOWEVER, I damn sure wasn't expecting it to rip my heart out, and toss it into the next day's trash. I loved the raw beauty of being able to see Celaena broken, lost, even vulnerable, and as the end of the book slowly approaches, you can't help but to wonder whether she'll rise from the ashes like a phoenix, or if she'll cower in a corner like a nervous dog. The thread of betrayal and disloyalty is weaved so thick through these novellas, you're damn near choking on it, and unfortunately for us, as far as feels go, don't expect to get a happy ending that will help repair your damaged soul. Maas has this evil way of giving us these super emotional cliff-hangers, that leave us fiending for the next installment.

 This series has everything you could possibly want, a killer protagonist, (literally) action packed scenes, fast pacing, swoon-worthy boys, an engaging plot line that keeps the reader hooked book after book . . . I mean the list could seriously go on and on. So if you've missed the Throne of Glass train before, I HIGHLY suggest you hop on NOW!

Is anyone else loving this series as much as I? & How prepared should I be for Heir Of Fire?