Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #38


*Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while, the meme is hosted by Pen to Paper*


Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

PublisherDisney-Hyperion
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Pages: 384

The Story:

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother's murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean's incarcerated father-a man he'd do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer's psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer's brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?

With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel. 


-via Amazon

Meet the Author

I'm a Jennifer who goes mostly by Jen, an Oklahoma girl who's also lived in Connecticut and England, and a writer who has a not-so-secret double life as a cognitive scientist. I love pop culture, mythology, science, superheroes, Joss Whedon, guacamole, television targeted at teenagers, and any song that I know the lyrics to. I have no sense of direction, but can read a book and shower at the same time. As is probably obvious, I do not particularly excel at writing my own bios.

I started writing professionally when I was a teenager and completed my first four published novels while I was in college. Since then, I've split my time between various graduate programs and writing books. In May 2012, I graduated from Yale University with a PhD in Developmental Psychology, which basically means I spent a lot of time thinking about the way the mind works and designing and running experiments that probe the way that young children and non-human primates view the world. My background in the psychological sciences has a habit of working its way into the books I write, sometimes in unexpected ways. 

As a reader, I love strong female characters, books that blend emotional depth with sarcasm and humor, and supernatural stories that feel real. I'm a sucker for romance and search out authors who can write action sequences and violence without pulling their punches.



Want to see my entire Wishlist? Check it out on Amazon: Books I Dream About

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Review : Abandon by Meg Cabot

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

PublisherScholastic, Inc.

Release Date: April 26, 2011
Pages: 320
Source: ARC

The Story:

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

via Barnes & Noble
RatingFOUR Gold Stars!!!


My Review

I LOVE YA retellings of Hades and Persephone! And Meg Cabot's Abandon trilogy is probably my favorite -- tied with Aimee Carter's Goddess Test series. Funny story though, I received Abandon back at RT Los Angeles in 2011 and didn't realize what a gem I had. I didn't read it until shortly before its sequel, Underworld, was released. The only reason why I gave it a second look was because I was on Google searching for Hades and Persephone retellings and Abandon was on the list. I said "Hey! I have that book!" and the rest was history. :) *BTW, can you believe Abandon was my first Meg Cabot book?*

Tag Line:

She knows what it's like to die . . . Now Death wants her back.

Opening Line:

Once, I died.

Plot:

The premise of the story was exactly what I was searching for in a Hades and Persephone YA retelling. The characters on a whole were interesting and believable. Pierce character, while not the most colorful protagonist, was real enough I could immerse myself in the story.


As for the annoying bits, I have to say the elusive "Incident," the circumstances of which were dragged out more than necessary -- mentioning it less would have helped even. Also, not much actually happens. As I read the book I did not realize this but once I sat down to write this review . . . well, I was left scratching my head trying to think of substantial events.

The pace was good for me. Smooth at the beginning, building then picking up momentum towards the end. I thought the end of the story was delicious and my kind of cliffhanger. My hands were definitely itching for the sequel by the time I finished devouring the book.

Character Breakdown:

Pierce Oliviera - I have to admit Olivia was a bit bland for my taste but not to the point she annoyed me enough to abandon *see what I did there hehe* the story. Overall, Olivia's character was enjoyable enough.

John Hayden - I cannot place my finger on it, but there was simply something about John that drew me in. His character was the perfect blend between light and dark. John Hayden is deliciously dark, captivating and brooding but once you get to know him readers can see he is also kind, considerate and charmingly protective. He tickled my swoon spot and I loved him throughout the trilogy.

Richard Smith - The cemetery sexton was by far my favorite character in the story. He was like an endearing curmudgeon and funny to boot. 

Here is one of my favorite quotes from 
Abandon:

Richard to Pierce: "'Impossible, yes,' he admitted after a few seconds. 'But interesting. Like you. And eternity is a long time. So if you have to spend it with someone, I could see wanting to spend it with someone impossible . . . but interesting'" (page 238). 

Richard to Pierce: "'Good Lord, do they teach you nothing in school these days? Have you ever heard of a hyperbole? I highly suggest you look up the word, Miss Oliviera, if you intend to pursue a relationship with a death deity'" (page 245).

Meet the Author:

Meg Cabot is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for both adults and tweens/teens. There have been over 25 million copies of Meg's nearly 80 published books sold in 38 countries. Her last name rhymes with habit, as in "her books can be habit forming." She currently lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and various cats. 

Meg's first ever adult book in the Princess Diaries series, "Royal Wedding", will be available in Summer 2015, along with an installment of the series for younger readers, "From the Notebook of a Middle School Princess". "Remembrance", a new book in the Mediator series will be available in February of 2016.



***Check out Meg Cabot's website for more information about her and the AbandonHERE

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #37


*Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while, the meme is hosted by Pen to Paper*


The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

PublisherDisney-Hyperion; Reprint edition 
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Pages: 336

The Story:

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 infamous 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. Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms close. 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. 

Think The Mentalist meets Pretty Little Liars-Jennifer Lynn Barnes's The Naturals is a gripping psychological thriller with killer appeal, a to-die-for romance, and the bones of a gritty and compelling new series.


-via Amazon


Meet the Author

I'm a Jennifer who goes mostly by Jen, an Oklahoma girl who's also lived in Connecticut and England, and a writer who has a not-so-secret double life as a cognitive scientist. I love pop culture, mythology, science, superheroes, Joss Whedon, guacamole, television targeted at teenagers, and any song that I know the lyrics to. I have no sense of direction, but can read a book and shower at the same time. As is probably obvious, I do not particularly excel at writing my own bios.

I started writing professionally when I was a teenager and completed my first four published novels while I was in college. Since then, I've split my time between various graduate programs and writing books. In May 2012, I graduated from Yale University with a PhD in Developmental Psychology, which basically means I spent a lot of time thinking about the way the mind works and designing and running experiments that probe the way that young children and non-human primates view the world. My background in the psychological sciences has a habit of working its way into the books I write, sometimes in unexpected ways. 

As a reader, I love strong female characters, books that blend emotional depth with sarcasm and humor, and supernatural stories that feel real. I'm a sucker for romance and search out authors who can write action sequences and violence without pulling their punches.



Want to see my entire Wishlist? Check it out on Amazon: Books I Dream About

Happy Reading!

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