Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review: Hunting Lila

Hunting Lila
Sarah Alderson
306 pages (Paperback)
Simon & Schuster UK


17-year-old Lila has two secrets she’s prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she’s been in love with her brother’s best friend, Alex, since forever.

After a mugging exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust—her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organization called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they’ve found them.

In a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realizes that she is not alone—there are others out there just like her—people with special powers—and her mother’s killer is one of them…


Lila's had a rough three years with her mother dying, her brother kind of abandoning her, and unusual abilities becoming a part of her every day life. But after a near-mugging, things are starting to look better as she boards a plane and takes off to see her brother, Jack, and his best friend, Alex, in California. Unfortunately, things aren't going to be quite that simple.

Hunting Lila was a rather fast-paced novel that had some mystery and romance thrown into the pot to make it better. The plot of this story surprised me. When I started it, I thought I had it all figured out and would be able to predict exactly what was coming next. However, that was not the case. I kept getting totally thrown every time I thought I knew everything that was going on. It kept me on my feet, that's for sure.

Lila was also a pretty kickass main character. She was really stubborn, which translated to a little bit mopey sometimes and she was also impulsive and jumped to conclusions several times when she really shouldn't have. But she was also a fighter and wasn't willing to back down from what she wanted, which are both great qualities in a female lead. She tried her best to figure out what was going on with her mental abilities, but she also tried to keep control of them most of the time. She tried her best to do what she thought was best for herself, even if others didn't agree.

The only real problems I had were the romance's progression and Lila's trust of Jack and Alex. So, Lila and Alex's romance wasn't exactly what I'd call fast, however once they both understood what the other wanted, it did go a bit more quickly than I would expect of a budding romance. Granted, Lila had loved Alex for a long time, but still. And Alex seemed to go from reserved to fiercely-protective in the blink of an eye. The trust part I just didn't get. Lila tried to get information from them, but they were almost completely uncooperative. They said they'd protect her, but from what? Had I been her, I think I would have been a bit more suspicious and careful, whether they were a brother and a friend or not.

Overall, I'd give this book a hangover level of 4 out of 5.

Review: Beautiful Music For Ugly Children

Beautiful Music For Ugly Children
Kristen Cronn-Mills
262 pages (Paperback)
Flux Publishing


"This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I'm Gabe. Welcome to my show."

My birth name is Elizabeth, but I'm a guy. Gabe. My parents think I've gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I'm right. I've been a boy my whole life.

When you think about it, I'm like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side -- not heard as often, but just as good.

It's time to let my B side play.


Fair warning, if you're not fond of the Transgender community then you most likely won't enjoy this book. I enjoyed this book very much not only because I think that Kristin is a wonderful writer but I also support the LGBT Community. LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community, which is all about celebrating pride, diversity, individuality, and sexuality. 

Gabe is a teenage transgender female to male, who is still stuck in his female body. Elizabeth is his female side, his birth gender, and his A side. This is what most people know him by but he prefers his B side, Gabe. Gabe loves music and aspires to be a big time DJ. His neighbor, John, gets him a small DJing job at a local radio station at night and this is where Gabe comes to life. 

Throughout  his senior year Gabe faces many difficulties and emotional traumas, with trying to get his family to understand him to figuring out what he's gonna do with his life. I feel that many teenagers can relate to Gabe. Sure, not all of us are transgenders but we're trying to understand who we are and figure out what we are meant to do in this world. 

I had the pleasure to meet Kristin on April sixth of this year at a book festival here in Saint Peter, Minnesota. Jordyn and Michaela, the other admins on this blog, and I were able to talk to her. I do think this is a well written book and I'm glad I came across it while at the book festival. 

I give this book a level four hangover.     

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: Sweet Evil

Sweet Evil
Wendy Higgins
453 pages (Print)


Embrace the Forbidden.

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?


I'd like to start off by saying that Anna Whitt is one lucky girl. Even with everything that happened, she got to spend some quality time with Kaidan! That would pretty much make my life.

So, maybe it's becoming obvious that I really loved this book. I enjoyed nearly every aspect of it, more than I can say. The whole concept of the story is what originally drew me to it, but I also really liked the characters and the whole plot line.

I've read a lot of books that focus on demons and Nephilim, but this one was really different. I thought it was an awesome concept. The children of demons, forced to work for and promote the sins that their parents represent. It was a very new way of displaying Nephilin and added an inner mental fight to the plot.

I loved that Anna was the good girl, religious, and always cautious but she was brought into a world where she couldn't survive by being the good-girl. She changed as she had to, but she also stayed the same deep down, staying loyal to what she believed in. Her relationship with Kaidan was so complicated too. She wanted to be with him, but couldn't for reasons bigger than a family feud. Way bigger.

Which brings me to Kaidan. He has to be one of my all-time favorite love interests. Ever. He was a hot, sexy bad boy with just the right amount of tortured and fighting his instincts. Plus, if that wasn't enough, Kaidan has a British accent and is the drummer in a mildly successful band. How much better could he get?

Overall, the hangover level is a 5 out of 5.

Waiting on Wednesday: Premeditated

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine. It lets us spotlight books that haven't been released, but that we can't wait for. This week I've picked Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein, which will be released on October 8th, 2013.


A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.


I can't wait for this book to come out. I saw it on Goodreads a while back and the cover really drew me in. I love how it's all rather pale with her blue eye and the red title adding a little splash of color. I'm also interested in how this story will turn out. I'm always intrigued by bad ass heroines. Either way, I'll definitely be reading this sometime in the future.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review: Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster
Jamie McGuire
418 pages (Paperback)
Goodreads - Amazon - Barnes&Noble


Intense. Dangerous. Addictive.

Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.


I had read a lot of different reviews before I bought this book, so I knew that there were a lot of mixed opinions out there pertaining to this book. Some people absolutely love it. Others absolutely hate it. And I can understand both points equally.

Abby had had a horrible past and only wanted to get away from it, but it didn't take her long to meet Travis Maddox. Their turbulent relationship picked up almost instantly, with no delay. This is where I begin to see both points.

On one hand, their relationship is borderline obsessive and sometimes nearly violent. Travis didn't earn his Bad Boy (with capital Bs) status by jaywalking twice a week. Nope, not even close. Travis was a rather violent man with anger management and jealousy issues and the skills to make himself dangerous when problems occurred. They weren't always willing to be honest with each other (or their selves, for that matter), or to actually talk out any of their issues. They really needed help sometimes.

On the other side, they really did care about each other. Sure they got jealous and Travis could be over-protective, but Abby and Trav really did care about each other. And although they went through a lot of problems, they were fighting for each other by the end. Travis also redeemed himself for the jerk he'd been through most of the story (although that didn't excuse him completely).

What made me really love the story though, and helped me get over how infuriating Abby and Travis were at times, was the fact that I really liked them separately. Call me insane, but I always love the bad boys. And Travis tried so hard throughout the story to make himself better than he was at the beginning, if was hard for me not to adore him. I just simultaneously yanked my hair out sometimes. I also liked Abby, though not as much as I liked Travis, because she seemed to cause all of the problems. But I liked her personality and even enjoyed her double personality at times.

The only actual problem I had with this book was that scenes weren't always as long and drawn out as I wanted them to be. And the book wasn't the most descriptive, but that part worked for this story in my opinion.

The overall hangover level is a 4 out of 5.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review: Hush, Hush

Hush, Hush
Becca Fitzpatrick
391 pages (Hardcover)
Simon & Schuster
Goodreads - Amazon - Barnes&Noble


A sacred oath.
A fallen angel.
A forbidden love.

Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.


I'm going to start off by saying that Hush, Hush is one of my all time favorite books. Ever. My friends tell me that I still talk about it for at least once a day, which I can't deny with any honesty. Just to warn you.

My favorite part about this book is the characters. They all seemed real-ish to me, reminding me of some of my friends. I loved it whenever Nora and Patch were together. I couldn't get enough of the conversations that they had, specifically the banter and the innuendos (mostly coming from Patch). Nora is one of my all-time favorite heroines because she did whatever she could to figure out what was happening. She also never completely trusted Patch and was always slightly nervous around him which I thought was a little more realistic than some other stories. Patch is, of course, very sexy. He is the mysterious bad boy that no one should ever really trust. I loved that, but I normally end up preferring the bad boys in books. (A sometimes unfortunate occurrence.) I also loved Nora's best friend, Vee. She was, to say the least, awesome.

The plot was something I personally loved. It's something you see more and more these days, but I liked that Patch wasn't exactly a perfect guy. I also really love the angel aspect of the story. It almost makes you expect that the characters will have to either do right (or wrong for fallen angels), but sometimes they just do what they think they have to do.

I will definitely be reading this book again in the future and I've already made sure that I own the rest of the saga, because I just couldn't wait to find out what happened next. And I'll be recommending this to people for quite a long time.

The overall hangover level is a 5 out of 5.

Waiting On Wednesday: Project Cain

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights books that haven't been released, but that we can't wait for. For my first Waiting on Wednesday, I've chosen a book that me and my friends have been very interested in. Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard releases on September 3rd, 2013.


Fifteen-year-old Jeff Jacobson had never heard of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen people more than twenty years ago. But Jeff’s life changes forever when the man he’d thought was his father hands him a government file telling him he was constructed in a laboratory only seven years ago, part of a top-secret government cloning experiment called ‘Project CAIN’.

There, he was created entirely from Jeffrey Dahmer’s DNA. There are others like Jeff—those genetically engineered directly from the most notorious murderers of all time: The Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy . . . even other Jeffrey Dahmer clones. Some raised, like Jeff, in caring family environments; others within homes that mimicked the horrific early lives of the men they were created from.

When the most dangerous boys are set free by the geneticist who created them, the summer of killing begins. Worse, these same teens now hold a secret weapon even more dangerous than the terrible evil they carry within. Only Jeff can help track the clones down before it’s too late. But will he catch the ‘monsters’ before becoming one himself?


I'm really interested in the concept of this book, partially because I find the psyche of serial killer's slightly fascinating. Also, I think the cover is very intriguing. I can't wait to get my hands on this book. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Lies Beneath

Lies Beneath
Anne Greenwood Brown
303 pages (Hardcover)
Delacorte Books
Goodreads - Amazon - Barnes&Noble


Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.

It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love--just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves.

One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.


I'd like to start off my saying that I've never really been that into mermaids. They were just never my thing. I did, of course, watch the obligatory Little Mermaid movies when I was younger, but they never really grew to be my favorite mythical creatures. This book kind of changes things. In this story, mermaids are not nice. Don't think Ariel. Think horrible creatures of the deep and monsters that stalk you in the night.

The beginning of the book was kind of startling to me because, as stated above, these are not nice mermaids. Readers are thrust into a world where mermaids kill to survive and that was a new idea to me. But I ended up really liking the idea. Also throughout the beginning of the book, I was kind of confused as to why Calder and his sisters were hunting Jason Hancock. I understood that they blamed him for their mother's death, but what had he done? It wasn't explained until much later what exactly had happened to their mother. Once I figured it out, I was able to enjoy the book more than I had immediately.

Despite the minor issue with how long that took I liked the characters. The whole first book is told through the guy's point of view, which you don't see a lot. I met Anne at a book festival that was held in my hometown and she explained to me that she'd never been able to convert the voice in her head to a female's, so Calder was born. I really liked Calder. He was almost always honest with himself, even if he wasn't honest with those around him. He also really pulled through towards the end of the story, although that had some awful consequences. I also liked Lily. She was one of the more realistic heroines I've read about. She was nervous with Calder right away, and didn't blindly accept the fact that he was always near her. She was in love with Victorian poetry and didn't really care what most people thought about her.

Overall, I'd say the hangover level for this one was a fair 3.5 out of 5.