Monday, December 30, 2013

Book Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

13597723Title: The Naturals
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Source: For Review from Publisher
Edition: ARC
Genre: YA Mystery
Cover Review: I really like this cover, especially the tape!
Tagline: N/A
Series: N/A
Main Character: Cassie

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it's not a skill that she's ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they've begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infmaous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn't realize is that there's more at risk than a few unsolved homicides-especially when she's sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie's head-and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie's gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm's length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.
Cassie is a teenager who lives with her grandmother, while working at a food shop. One day while working, she sees this guy who she finds quite attractive. He asks Cassie if she knows what he's about to order, and she knows what he wants... exactly what he wants. Cassie tells him, and the guy appeared to have known that she would know. You see, Cassie always has had this power where she can always guess exactly what each person would do or say: she's a profiler. It's a natural gift of hers. So when she's asked to go to work with the FBI with other teenagers like herself, of course she jumps on the chance. While working with the FBI, there's a string of murders going on and Cassie may just be able to figure out who the killer is.

I loved The Naturals! I haven't really read a book with a murderer in it, so I was instantly drawn into the world. It was just really intriguing. I also loved all of the characters in this book. Let's start off with Dean, the other profiler. Dean is really mysterious, as he has some secrets of his own. I instantly fell in love with him when I met him, but I was really torn between him and Michael. Michael is really sarcastic and funny, as he never failed to make me laugh. Michael happened to be the guy that Cassie had met at her job, which is how she got into working with the FBI. He's also an emotion reader. He knows exactly how a person is feeling, which I guess could really come in handy.

I think the whole idea of people having powers like this is really intriguing. Just imagine if you could look at a person and automatically be able to guess every single little thing about them-it would be absolutely mind blowing! I absolutely love mysteries and this book was absolutely up to par mystery-wise. The string of murders can easily be traced back to one person, though I absolutely didn't see it coming! There are twists up the wazoo! This is actually the first book by Jennifer Lynn Barnes that I've read, and now I know that I need to read more by her. This book was just so amazing. I think if you're looking for a mystery book with fun characters, this is definitely the book for you.

Rating:

Recommended for fans of:
Mysteries
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Have you read this novel? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you to Disney Hyperion for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review! :)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book Review: Sick by Tom Leveen

SickTitle: Sick
Author: Tom Leveen
Publisher: Abrams
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Source: From Publisher for Review
Edition: ARC
Genre: Zombies, Apocalypse
Cover Review: I love this cover! The zombies are so cool.
Tagline: High school is full of monsters.
Series: N/A
Main Character: Brian


Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead as a group of unlikely allies tries to survive a deadly outbreak.
Brian and his friends are not part of the cool crowd. They’re the misfits and the troublemakers—the ones who jump their high school’s fence to skip class regularly. So when a deadly virus breaks out, they’re the only ones with a chance of surviving.
The virus turns Brian’s classmates and teachers into bloodthirsty attackers who don’t die easily. The whole school goes on lockdown, but Brian and his best friend, Chad, are safe (and stuck) in the theater department—far from Brian’s sister, Kenzie, and his ex-girlfriend with a panic attack problem, Laura. Brian and Chad, along with some of the theater kids Brian had never given the time of day before, decide to find the girls and bring them to the safety of the theater. But it won’t be easy, and it will test everything they thought they knew about themselves and their classmates.
Brian is just your average high school student. He still loves his ex-girlfriend. He skips classes. He loves his sister. The only difference: a zombie plague is about to attack the country, and he doesn't know it. Welcome to Brian's life!

As soon as I saw that this book was a cross between the Breakfast Club and the Walking Dead, I knew that I just had to read it because it seemed like such a good mix. Boy am I glad that I did! Right from the beginning, I loved the wide range of characters. We have Brian, our hero, Chad, our best friend, Kenzie, the little sister, and Laura, the ex-girlfriend who Brian still loves. I'm not a fan of books with only one or two main characters, so the fact that there wasn't one but four definitely made me happy.

One of the most creative aspects of this book was the fact that their weren't any real adults left after the zombie plague. All the adults at the school were either eaten or became zombies, so it was all just kids fending for themselves. Brian's mother wasn't even in town, she was out of town doing research on the zombie plague just as it began. We only hear from her a bit throughout the book through cell phone calls and she definitely keeps the reader up to date on the status of the rest of the world. It was nice to hear from an outside source such as herself.

I haven't read many zombie books, so of course I loved this book. It was unique and original and just so dang amazing. I read it really quickly because I just couldn't get enough. I just wanted to know what happened and I also wanted to know more about all of the characters. This book would make a pretty cool movie too, especially with all of the zombie and apocalypse movies coming out lately. This is the first book by Tom Leveen that I have ever read, so I may have to check out his other books after reading this one. I definitely suggest this book for those of you who are looking for a fun zombie read!

Rating:
Recommended for fans of:
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
The Breakfast Club
Walking Dead
Gone by Michael Grant

Have you read this novel? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you Abrams for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

Stacking the Shelves (31)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
 
I'm so sorry I haven't been posting often, but I'm hoping to get a lot of posts scheduled this week!
I hope everyone had a great holiday!
 
Gifted:
13326831 173322701260013813581990
17383918

My Momentous Month (13-17)

 

I haven't done this meme in so long! I thought to make up for that I'd do it for all of the months that I missed, which is every month since August. I'm including all the books that I've read since then as well. If you'd like to participate, feel free to leave your link down below!

Books Read:
Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen
Gated by Amy Christine Parker
The Uprising by Lisa M. Stasse
Parallel by Lauren Miller
Ravenous by Heidi Loney
3:59 by Gretchen McNeil
Shiloh by Helena Sorensen
Relativity by Cristin Bishara
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Skulk by Rosie Best
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Arclight by Josin L. McQuein
Contaminated by Em Garner
Countdown by Michelle Rowen
Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
When the World Was Flat (And We Were in Love) by Ingrid Jonach
Sick by Tom Leveen
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Pawn by Aimee Carter
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Reviews Posted:
Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen
The Uprising by Lisa M. Stasse
Gated by Amy Christine Parker
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Parallel by Lauren Miller
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Shiloh by Helena Sorensen
Ravenous by Heidi Loney
Contaminated by Em Garner
Countdown by Michelle Rowen
Pawn by Aimee Carter
Arclight by Josin L. McQuein
Sick by Tom Leveen


To Be Read for January:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Favorite Book of the Months:
15790843
Favorites in each genre:

Dystopian The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Paranormal The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Contemporary The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Steampunk N/A
Historical Fiction N/A
Fantasy Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Science Fiction 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad


Favorite Cover of the Months:
17286818


Favorite Characters of the Month:
Male:
Evan from The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Female: Sam from The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky or Kitty from Pawn by Aimee Carter


Favorite Setting of the Month:
I'm definitely going to have to choose the world in Pawn by Aimee Carter. I thought the ranks were such a cool thing to read about; it was so unique.
What books did you read these past months?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Waiting on Avalon!


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that features upcoming books that we're looking forward to!

A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.
Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.
Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.

Avalon will be released on January 1 by Balzar + Bray. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mini Book Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Title: Arclight
Author: Josin L. McQuein
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Edition: ARC
Genre: Science Fiction
Cover Review: I picked up this book for a reason, and one of those reasons was the cover. Look at it!
Tagline: N/A
Series: N/A
Main Character: Marina


No one crosses the wall of light . . . except for one girl who doesn’t remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. A harrowing, powerful debut thriller about finding yourself and protecting your future—no matter how short and uncertain it may be.

The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.
When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

Arclight was a really interesting book. I went into it expecting something way different than what it actually was, and what it actually was happened to be a pleasant surprise! The world that Marina lives in is really cool, and I loved it. I also loved how mysterious our main character was, because sometimes not knowing everything about your main character makes it all the more fun to read. One of my favorite things about reading is the twists, and this book was full of them, which I absolutely loved!

This book was also one of my most looked-forward to books of 2013, and with reason now! The cover is absolutely gorgeous and the story inside definitely matches. I loved the whole idea of the Fade that McQuein came up with. I was instantly intrigued by them as soon as I found out about them. Plus the whole idea that one of the Fade came into the Arclight was absolutely remarkable. I loved how they interacted with the people of the Arclight. If you're looking for a book that's really original and that's also a fun read, definitely pick up Arclight!

Recommended for fans of:
Science Fiction
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

Notable Quotes:
I wasn’t home. Home wasn’t that bed and that pain. Home didn’t hurt. There were no strangers who hid their faces or their voices from me. Home held no secrets. 

Rating:
 
Have you read this novel? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Waiting on Enders!


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that features upcoming books that we're looking forward to!

With the Prime Destinations body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn't want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save Callie's life - but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena's memories, too ...and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body? This is the thrilling sequel to "Starters".

Enders will be released on January 7 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

17679542Title: Pawn
Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Source: Publisher for Review
Edition: ARC
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopian
Cover Review: This cover is gorgeous and definitely has a significance towards what's inside the book, so I love it!
Tagline: The first move is hers...
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Main Character: Kitty Doe

YOU CAN BE A VII IF YOU GIVE EVERYTHING.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked-surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed, and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies, and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Pawn is about a teenager named Kitty, who lives in a society where you take a test at the age of 17 in order to find your place. This test basically assesses how smart you are. The thing is, Kitty is an orphan and doesn't know how to read. She always got by in school by her best friend, Benjy, writing all of her work for her and he even tried to teach her how to read, but she just couldn't. When Kitty's birthday finally comes around, she takes the test and ends up with a III. She was at least hoping for a IV, but she didn't get to finish because she didn't know how to read. It's clear that she is, in fact, really smart though, considering that she got a III and she didn't even finish. Some people take the entire test and end up with only a I or a II.

Since Kitty is a III, she won't live the life with her boyfriend Benjy like she was hoping she would. Benjy would of course score a IV or higher and she just didn't want to bring down his quality by marrying him. So Kitty decides to run away and work with Tabs in her business. On Kitty's first night on the job, she's sold for a lot of money. She's led upstairs and is met by Daxton from the royal Hart family.

Daxton makes a proposition to Kitty: she can either become a VII (which you have to be born into to attain) or she can be sent to Elsewhere, where nobody ever comes back. Of course Kitty decides on becoming a VII, though she doesn't know what's required of her. She wakes up a few weeks later looking just like Lila Hart, the prime minister's niece. Lila died and citizens weren't told about it, so it's being covered up since Lila has the same exact colored eyes as Kitty. Lila has to try to stop the rebellion that Lila started as well as keep up the act of being Lila. She even has to marry Knox, the man Lila is engaged to.

Kitty was such a great main character. Kitty cared about her loved ones and she was very good at solving mysteries. Her love for Benjy was evident and I absolutely loved it. Benjy was such a great boyfriend; I loved the stories of Kitty and him together when they were younger. They've always been there for each other, and that's not about to change now.
 
Daxton was really bothersome to me, though he's supposed to be. He kept Kitty in the dark on a lot of things, as he never really told her where she would be going or what she would be doing. Celia was really sweet for the most part. She loved her daughter and was astonished that they were getting someone to become her daughter, as Daxton nor Augusta really told Celia what they were going to do either. Augusta, Daxton and Celia's mom, was just the ruler of the family. She knew what she wanted and she would stop at nothing to get it, even if it meant bringing others down to keep up an act. Greyson, Daxton's son, would be the heir after Augusta and Daxton died. He was really interested in inventing things and I really loved him. He was always there for Kitty. Last but not least... KNOX. Knox was my all-time favorite character from this book. He was engaged to Lila before she died, though she never really liked him that way. Knox was willing to do anything to help Kitty out and he was very sympathetic to her. I loved him so much!

This story was so enticing. I'm really interested in science fiction worlds where there's some sort of class system, such as the ranks in Pawn. I found it really cool that there was a test that had to be taken in order to find which rank they'd be, and their rank would then determine the rest of their lives. I really loved the whole Hart family. Just learning about each member specifically and what they were like... it was just so fun to read about. There were many mysteries going on as well, which was really fun. Kitty was really nice and she was willing to do anything to protect those that she loved, which is definitely an admirable trait. The ending is full of so many twists; I was on the edge of my seat the entire time! There's definitely many that you won't see coming.

I actually read this book in two days because I just couldn't put it down. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I can't wait to read the sequel, because this is definitely a must read!

Rating:
 

Recommended for fans of:
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Twists 

Have you read this novel? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Waiting on Defy!



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that features upcoming books that we're looking forward to!

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.
The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

Defy will be released on January 7 by Scholastic Press.