Author Interview: Heather Van Fleet

Posted 1 June, 2013 by katheryn13 in Contemporary, Interviews, Mature, Romance, YA / 3 Comments

This, my friends, is the very first time we’ve EVER had the privilage of interviewing an author. I sat staring at this screen for way too long trying to come up with how to introduce this blog post… I am terrible at writing introductions as I’m sure you know if you read the about me section on this blog. “hash-tag epic fail”. Anywho… let’s get this thing rolling with an awkward start! Go me!

I had the amazing opportunity not too long ago to read a really amazing contemporary story called When it’s least expected. It had friendship, dark secrets, and a love that I shipped throughout the whole book. I loved this story. Anywho… not only was I given the chance to read and review the book, I had the chance to have a little interview with the author! I got to learn a little bit more about her, her writing and more ways to stalk her to find out when the next book comes out! 🙂 Enjoy!

So…here goes.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I certainly can! My names Heather and I am addicted to all things books, reading, and writing.

I’m from Northern Illinois, and have been married to my high school sweet heart for over ten years. Or has it been eleven? Anyways, I’m a mommy of three little girls, Kelsey 8, Emma 6, and Isabella (Belly) 3. I’m Starbucks obsessed, I’m an introvert, and I love The Walking Dead.

That about covers it, I think. 🙂

Why did you choose to write?

I chose to write for many different reasons actually. For one, I really wanted to! I’ve always loved to write – whether it was poetry as a kid, or short children’s books as a teenager. Then when my I quit my job to be a stay at home mom and started reading and reviewing books at a website, I really began to ask myself if this was the right time to pursue my supposed pipe dream of finally getting that novel written. At first I didn’t think I could do it because I have like, no confidence in myself – whatsoever. But then my youngest daughter was born, and I took a step back to look at the whole picture and decided that hey, there really was no better time. . .

Basically, now that it’s all said and done, I just wanted my little ladies to know that it is always possible to achieve your dreams – even at thirty years old.

Phew. . . I talk a lot, huh?

What is the hardest thing about writing?

For me it’s making time to actually sit down and do it. Between my girls, my online blogging jobs, cleaning, laundry, and making sure my family doesn’t starve, I barely have time to think. But I manage it in the end. I stay up really late at night, I forgo the chores for a day or two, and I just do it. Writing is an addiction that I will now never be able to break.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

 Coming up with story ideas! They are constantly popping up in my head, and then I have to stop whatever it is that I’m doing, grab a pencil and paper, and then write these said ideas down before I forget them. I actually have a huge binder full of character bios and plot ideas that I have stories for. It’s huge. Like really, really huge. 🙂

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

There are several out there that I truly admire, but the main one is Jennifer Armentrout. The moment I read her Lux series . . . oh boy . . . I knew that she had quickly become my writing Idol. She’s absolutely hilarious, and she writes the heck out of her heroes. There are really no words for that woman’s skills. I’ve actually met her – twice now – and I can say for certain that I was definitely fangirling both times I did.

What is your favorite genre for personal reading?

I’m a big young adult fan – whether it’s contemporary, dystopian, or paranormal. If it’s got lots of feels, and sexy bad boys, then I will devour it.

What made you start writing contemporary stories?

Hmm . . . I guess it’s because I like the idea of realism in books more than anything. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some wolves, and futuristic kick-butt girls, but I get the most out of real, gritty, down to earth plotlines.

Where do you get your ideas?

They usually just come to me to tell you the truth. Or sometimes I’ll see a story on the news, or see a picture somewhere and then an idea hits. It’s really random, that’s for sure. I’ve never had to stop to think about a book before actually. And In my opinion, if you have to think too hard,

then it probably might not feel right in the end. But that’s just me. 🙂

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why in When It’s Least Expected?

I loved the funeral scene. LOL, I know that doesn’t sound like a good part, but my hero, Mason . . . oh boy did he have me swooning over the things he said during those few pages.

What inspired you to write When It’s Least Expected?

I kept getting this mental image of twins in my head, (a boy and girl) and then it kind of went from there.

Anyone in particular you based Mason or Harley off of?

Mason was the guy I would’ve crushed on in high school. Long shaggy blondish hair, blue eyes, loves to surf – I became a bit obsessed with surfing videos on the YouTube while writing WILE and I saw this one particular guy on there, and that was it – that was my Mason. Harley, on the other hand, was a much more fun version of me in as a seventeen year old – the long brown curly hair, big brown eyes. Harley and I dealt with very similar issues and we have a very similar demeanor. But she has a twin, I don’t.

Will there be more to the Mason and Harley love story?

Heck yeah there will be! But they will become the secondary characters in the next book.

Can you tell us about any upcoming books?

Absolutely! Book two in the Perfect Timing Series is ¾ of the way done. The title for that one is A Long Time Coming. I also have my first YA Paranormal book releasing June 14 Resisting Fate. This is entirely different from When It’s Least Expected actually. It’s got dark, broody wolf shifters in it. And I love dark broody wolf boys by the way.

List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?

Ghost Hand, by Ripley Patton is a new favorite of mine. It’s a YA paranormal novel that’s way different then a lot of others out there. Also, Blood, She Read by Sara Hubbard is another great paranormal YA I just re-read recently. And I also just finished up Walking Disaster because I had to get into Travis’s head, of course.

List 3 of your favorite movies?

Dirty Dancing, The Notebook, and Sweet Home Alabama. (I’m a sucker for those romance movies if you can’t tell.)

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Yes – write the book that you want to read. And most importantly too, grow a thick skin if you don’t already have one. I am a super sensitive person, and the mean reviewer people out there can really get under my skin and pull me down. I know, I know – I shouldn’t care what people think because everyone has different opinions and likes/dislikes when it comes to their books. But no matter what, they always make me second guess myself. I can only hope that the feeling lessens as time goes on, and that I learn not to care what people think as much.

Where can your readers stalk you?

Stalk away at the links below! And thanks so much for having me on today. I had an amazing time answering these fabulous questions.

Twitter Facebook Goodreads Website

 Where can I find this awesome book, you ask? Well how about checking out:

Amazon and Barnes & Noble  

Many fist bumps and thanks to Heather for taking the time out from writing her next best seller to come and talk to us. We feel so honoured! 😀 

Divider

4 stars to Icons by Margaret Stohl

Posted 30 May, 2013 by katheryn13 in Dystopian, Paranormal, Reviews, Sci-Fi, YA / 0 Comments

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol′s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn′t know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside – safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can′t avoid.

She′s different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador′s privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn′t a coincidence. It′s a conspiracy.

Within the Icon′s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions – which they′ve always thought to be their greatest weaknesses – may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts – in order to save the future.

 

So I was a little nervous about what the co-author of such a brilliant YA series could bring on her own. I mean, how can you top, or equal, Beautiful Creatures? To me, it’d be hard. So when Margaret Stohl announced Icons, I HAD to read it. And I did. Oh DID I!
At first I found it a little…slow, but sometimes that’s natural. You’re learning about the characters, etc. I had ultimately read the first few chapters online when they were released, so I got an idea if I’d like this. I did. Well, I did and I didn’t.

The only thing I didn’t like so much was that I wasn’t quite so…attached to the characters as I get with most books I like. Other than that, the storyline, plot, dialogue, interaction…all great. I wanted to find out what these people were, what they were made for. Dol was a good character, and I liked that she can read peoples emotions. I had no idea upon starting this, that there would be “powers” involved. I thought it was just a typical dystopian with alien spaceships taking over the world. Boy was I wrong!

There’s more to it than meets the eye, and I think that’s what intrigued me to read more. And more. Until, oh woops, the end. I just… Ro. RO! Poor boy needs a freaking hug! Lucas was great, yeah. Sure. Every hot Ambassador son is gonna be interesting. But RO! Seriously, he’s just…angry all the time, and Dol is the only one who can settle him. And then she goes and does…

No spoilers.

So anyway, the dot thing on their wrists confused me a bit, and other than each having 1, 2, 3, and 4 dots, I still don’t understand it. But hopefully, maybe, that’ll be more explained in the sequel, which I’ve been told is out next Spring. Great. So we have like, another year to go. Woopee. *taps nails with impatience*

I couldn’t tell if there was a love triangle in this, or whether it just…seemed like there was. Because you have Ro, and him and Dol seem pretty close. But it’s hard to get a hold on their…relationship status, as it were. Then other people come into play and I’m left thinking…”what the hell?!” with the drama. Ha. I did find it a little annoying, however, the Dol appeared unconcerned for Ro’s feelings. It was obvious how he felt, yet she was so oblivious…and that got on my nerves. I mean, the dude has been your best friend for years, you connect on another level, and you can’t see how he feels? Wow.
My favourite character has to be the “Merk” Fortis. He was brilliant! Now, I’m not sure if he was supposed to be “British” or if the way of his speak was…i dunno, for fun. But either way, I liked his style. He was fun, quirky, brave, snarky. I mean…Just all around. And what was more, he wasn’t even a main character, he had no main lead, yet he was like…stealing the spotlight. When he was on, I just couldn’t look at the others. I cheered whenever he came on the page. Yes. Cheered. I love the underdogs.
Tima is a nice bit of conflict and the gradual respect she and Dol gain for each other after a while, even if they’re not buddies, is admiring to say the least. I found myself torn between like and dislike for Tima, because she just acted really…annoying? In some parts. Maybe that’s just me.

I need to find out who or what the Icons are. And how they can control everyone. It’s one of those things where…some detail was given, but just enough to keep you wondering and now I’m left both intrigued and confused. But in a good way…I think.

Over all, a nice new series and I’m not usually down with the whole “alien” “beings taking over our world” scenario things, but I seem to be reading a few of them lately. Maybe they’re becoming more popular, but all I can say is you should DEFINITELY check this one out!

 

Kat

Divider

5 stars to Fall of Night (Morganville Vampires #14) by Rachel Caine

Posted 30 May, 2013 by katheryn13 in Reviews, Supernatural, YA / 0 Comments

Thanks to its unique combination of human and vampire residents, Morganville, Texas, is a small college town with big-time problems. When student Claire Danvers gets the chance to experience life on the outside, she takes it. But Morganville isn’t the only town with vampire trouble…

Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying good-bye to her friends is bittersweet, especially since things are still raw and unsettled between Claire and her boyfriend, Shane. 

Her new life at MIT is scary and exciting, but Morganville is never really far from Claire’s mind. Enrolled in a special advanced study program with Professor Irene Anderson, a former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on her machine, which is designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires. 

But when she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire starts to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make…

This is one of my favourites in the series so far. I can’t believe the series is drawing to a close. I can remember when I first picked up Glass Houses and loved every second of it. I just don’t want it to end, but..sadly, one more book after this. *sobs*

Saying Fall of Night is one of my top favourites isn’t a sleight on the others, however. I loved this a little more because it was refreshing for it not being set in Morganville.

But I found myself wishing Claire WOULD go back at some points, though, and I realised…oh god, this can’t be good foretelling. It was slightly predictable, however, that the outside world that Claire wanted so badly, would turn ugly. I suppose because this is ultimately about Morganville, that it made sense that Morganville would come to her in the end. It’s disturbing how happy to see Myrnin and Oliver I was. Especially when in Morganville, I can’t stand Oliver. But as downright arseholish he might be, he does come through when you need help. Even if it is because other vampires are in trouble, too.
I liked the new characters involved and I hope to see more of Jesse. She was badass and was a breath of fresh air to the usual vampires. There were other characters, too, that just added a little…something, to the book and I’ll be sad to see them go, but you know how it is.

It was a little strange not having Amelie in the picture, but that didn’t stop anyone from mentioning her.
There was so much going on, that I couldn’t stop reading. I mean, some of the others in the series, I’ll admit, have had their slow moments. But in Fall of Night, it was so fast paced; little things happening at once.
I found my liking toward Liz hot and cold, which is pretty much how her behaviour went. One minute she was chirpy, the next down right rude, and I wondered when Claire would get the nerve to say something.   And then when Claire started working for Dr Anderson… my paranoia was kicked up a notch.

I was glad that Claire was left alone for a time, and she got to explore her life without the people she had come to care for. It was…weird, to say the least. Even for a short time.

There were many scary, “OMG NO!” moments. And some for people I didn’t even expect. I found out I care more for the vampires than I’d expected.
Shane as usual is an arse, but his heart is in the right place.
Oh man, I don’t know what else to say without spoiling the whole plot. And we wouldn’t want that.

*Shivers* This book gave me goosebumps. In a good way. And I am so excited for Daylighters.
Just take my word for it. If you are having doubts about continuing with the series. ..STOP! And just Read it.

Oh man, I REALLY enjoyed this. *squeals* Come ON November!

Kat

Divider

Review: 4 stars to Fragments (Partials #2) by Dan Wells

Posted 21 May, 2013 by katheryn13 in Dystopian, Reviews, Sci-Fi, YA / 0 Comments

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence—it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what’s left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira’s journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn’t even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity’s time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means—and even more important, a reason—for our survival.

This was one of those times where the sequel outdoes the first. Fragments was fast paced, action packed, intense, and generally thrilling. People died, people suffered but then you rooted for so many people, some Partials, some humans. I certainly did.
I don’t know what my first impressions of Fragments would have been, but I wasn’t expecting this. I loved it. I found I was reading at a much quicker pace than Partials. Also, I’ll just say, remember in my Partials review of a certain word that continued to pop up and drive me nuts? Well, good news, that word in which I shall not mention, eventually pops up half way through this. I had hoped I’d not see it at all, but oh well. I suppose I should be grateful. There were less irritations this time around, and I hoped Kira would succeed. She’s such a strong, determined female lead and you don’t get many of those anymore, at least, not in the books I read. She rarely whines, she looks out for herself and her friends, and even some strangers she comes across. Afa is one of those. He must be in his mid-late 50’s but he’s so lost inside, so damaged mentally, and still no matter how his tempers/behaviours differ, Kira sticks by him, she helps him cope. It’s so…inspiring. It’s how people should treat people in care homes, you know? Don’t just dismiss them because they’re not as quick witted as they used to be.
However, Afa was a genius. A computer genius.

Then you have Samm. Oh boy. I love him. It was a real journey with him travelling across the country with Kira, and unfortunately Heron, who got on my nerves. But she added conflict and that is what made the endless chapters of struggle worth reading. They didn’t just walk, or ride horses across desert. No, they had wastelands, toxic wastelands. Or the Badlands as others called it. They had large rivers to cross with no bridges. They were literally hanging on for dear life in some scenes, and I just couldn’t stop reading. I hoped, for their sake and my sanity, that they made it. I won’t say what happens because that’s for you to find out, but it really is a whirlwind of torment, drama and adventure. I love the action, with guns and the hint that no one is safe, not really. Anyone could die and it could be your favourite character.

Kira’s personal journey was another one that caused me to stick around. I was just as curious as she was to find out who she actually is. Although I did think sometimes she could be a bit…dim. I can’t really describe it, but I just wanted to slap her and tell her to wake up and figure it out quicker.
Then you have Marcus. He had his own battle to endure, and because you didn’t get to know his every movement like Kira, I worried for him more. Haru, I got irritated with in Partials, grew on me in Fragments and I saw why he acted the way he did. Even if he is an insufferable know it all who loves to argue.

The battles that were happening around Kira’s story were so scary that I feared for nearly everyone. At one point, the Partials are fighting themselves, and it gets so intense I was pretty sure someone important was going to get killed.

I just don’t know how else to say it, besides that I thoroughly enjoyed this. I can’t wait for the next book and to find out how they resolve this…problem. That’s the easiest way to explain it. It’s a problem. A very big problem and Kira will either be the solver or she’ll be the downfall of everything they’ve worked for. Who knows.

My reason for rating it 4stars? Because occasionally I did get confused and sidetracked, and annoyed with some characters. Nothing wrong with the writing, because this time the language and description used was much easier to understand and get into. More dialogue, and character development, which is what I like.

Oh and the ending is a real humdinger!
Love it!

Divider

Review: 4 stars to When it’s Least Expected by Heather Van Fleet

Posted 14 May, 2013 by katheryn13 in Contemporary, Mature, Reviews, Romance, YA / 0 Comments

Moving on after a tragedy can be impossible – especially when
you’ve been dealing with them for over two years. But it’s her senior year, and Harley Anderson is more than ready to do just that, even though the skeletons in her closet can’t exactly be hidden.

Enter Mason Daniel, the egotistical, sexy, surfer boy from
California – a boy with his own hidden demons, and an even bigger secret agenda.

Mason isn’t right for Harley. He knows this better than anyone.
He’s the epitome of a runner – a guy who takes what he can get,
only to split a short while later. But he can’t deny the emotions that Harley brings out of him, so he’s going to break his rules for once.

He should have known what it would lead to…

Two kindred souls – both lost and then found. Will they fail, once again, in their search for contentment and
happiness, or will they finally find true love, when it’s least expected?

I was dying to read this story. I can’t tell you how long it was in my to-read list. But… I don’t usually have time to read with student teaching and just too much homework on one plate, I put it off. Lucky for me, I was given this book from the author (THANK YOU!) to read and review. I got so excited I stopped other books I was reading and immediately started!

I’ll start off by saying that this was a really good book. I thought it was super cute. It jumped right into the story and got me hooked from the start. You know it’s good when you are reading during your 5:30 MORNING workout and then having to pick up where you left off when you’re eating breakfast at 7. Each chapter left me feeling as if I had to keep going. It was like mini cliffhangers that just ate away at me, forcing me to keep going and keep scrolling. Screw that I had to teach later that day… I had to know what happened with Harley and Mason. That became top priority and I had to rip myself away from my kindle in order to go to school.

Characters. I believe I will start with Harley. This girl is literally selfless. No joke. I don’t think she thinks about herself what so ever! Literally. She wants everyone to be happy and would do anything to make sure of it. She has had not one, but two tragic events in her life. I am almost certain I wouldn’t know how to continue living if those things happened to me.

One just breaks my heart and the other takes those already broken pieces and steps all over them. Yet… she has the strength and motivation from within to keep going. I admire her for that. It shows that you can get through it; it is completely possible. That’s what I love about Harley. She shows true strength and ability to love unconditionally no matter what. She probably is my favorite female, main character, out of the many contemporary romance stories I have read. She just stands out as a strong woman. People shouldn’t have to go through what she did. She fully blames herself. Yet she goes to school, keeps up with school, has friends, and continues to love. It’s incredible. PLUS I adore her and her brother.  They are the most ideal siblings. They are AMAZING. Seriously. It makes me want to call up my brother and just chat and hang; she loves him to the moon and back and he does her. It’s so sweet and so kind and gentle and just makes me go Aw when I think about it. I love Harley: She is silly, sweet, kind, and just full of love that I believe she could explode from it.

Mason. “hashtag” swoon! 😉 I like me some Mason. He is most definitely that cocky surfer boy you know you shouldn’t go anywhere near yet you know that’s the one thing you want to do. Please… stay away? Was that even an option? I highly doubt it. Mason is the mystery boy that shows up with all his dark secrets and womanizing ways. “Man-whore”, if I can say that. But he has a heart. His secrets are what I believe makes him a lost soul. Mason has lost who he is and what makes him happy because of his secrets. He needs someone to redirect him back to earth and find himself. Mainly… I think Mason is just lost with women, even though I know he is a womanizer. Mason simply has no clue what to do when Harley walks into his life. Not a freaking clue in the world. It’s like he is trying to read a foreign language without knowing that language first. Poor thing.
But I like Mason. He has spunk, charm, and a deep dark side that’s a tad bit scary and a little bit sexy. Mason is one of a kind in my mind. And the way he loves… my god! Let me tell you! The things he does… will just make your heart melt. Mine sure did. I had to clean it up and come back to reality after that. I was just like AW! He gets it now. He finally found what he was looking for and he knows what to do with it.

 

Overall… I really enjoyed this book. It was a sweet romance between two broken souls who needed to find one another to be complete again. They needed someone to put them back together again to finally start living life. I so believe Mason and Harley were that for each other. I believe they complete one another. They… they… I have no words. It’s just a sweet romance. Not one that is built off of sex or desire… one that is truly built on words, emotion, the soul. It touched me where I don’t think I have been touched before (do not make that into what it is not. IT TOUCHED MY SOUL). I fully ship Mason and Harley.

 

This book gave me a roller coaster ride throughout. I wanted to keep reading and throw the book at the same time. I almost cried and I almost cried again. Happy and sad. Sorrow and pain. Love and emotion. It’s just incredible. Their story is truly beautiful and I would read it over and over again. I hope there is more. After that ending… I would LOVE to know what happens next. The next chapter in their lives will be one you will want to read. Mason and Harley are a story about love on a soulful and meaningful way. They love each other because of how much they complete and mend one another. Two people can truly find love in the dark.
Highly recommend. It’s a contemporary romance you do not want to miss. I promise it will touch your soul and change the way you look at love. It’s for the soul, not the physical presents.

 

Christy Lyn
Divider

Cover Reveal: OBSESSION by JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT

Posted 8 May, 2013 by katheryn13 in Adult Fiction, Cover Reveals, New Adult, Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi / 0 Comments

Here at the Book Nerd club, we’re so very pleased to be taking part in this amazing cover reveal of Obsession by the lovely Jennifer L. Armentrout. We’re all very excited to see this beauty. 

So here goes:

OBSESSION-final coverHe’s arrogant, domineering, and… To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something…unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life…or is it Hunter?

It is slightly different to what we usually promote on this blog, but we’re pretty sure you’ll be dying to read it as much as we are. If you haven’t already added this to your to-read list, you should now!

The book will be released on the  31st May 2013 with Entangled’s Covet line.

OBSESSION Link: Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14060046-obsession

GO GO GO GO!

Jennifer L. Armentrout author photoABOUT THE AUTHOR:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Additional links to Jennifer’s pages:

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlarmentrout

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferLArmentrout

Website:http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com/

 

Divider

5 stars to Sever (The Chemical Garden Trilogy #3) by Lauren DeStefano

Posted 5 May, 2013 by katheryn13 in Dystopian, Reviews, YA / 0 Comments

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

It’s been a while since I read Wither and Fever, but one thing I will admit now is I didn’t enjoy them as much as I did Sever. Which I find typical given that this is the final one of a series. Sometimes I find I only enjoy the first two but not the last.

That’s not to say I hated the first two, because I didn’t. In fact I rated them pretty high on my books to read, but style wise, and the way it flowed was so much better and different in Sever, I could just fly through it and not get bored. One thing I did notice, whether that was intentional or not, was there wasn’t as much…(how do I put this?) fancy prose. There was story, there was good character development and things actually happened without blocks of something about the meaning of life right smack bang the middle of an intense scene. I love Lauren’s writing, but sometimes (I think it’s all personal taste, though) it got on my nerves in Wither and Fever.

Besides that, I still *shivers* despise Vaughn and let’s just say he gets whatever he deserves and Linden was right in his choices. It was just one roller coaster after another in this, and I was so hooked.
There are a couple of relatively new characters introduced, Reed (the older brother of Vaughn) and also you meet Rowan, Rhine’s brother. I loved Reed. I thought he was such a breath of fresh air to all the stress and depressing moments, and he spoke so forthright, he didn’t beat around the bush, if you know what I mean. He was honest, and told it how things were.
Rowan…well he turned out to be a little sketchy in my view, but then gradually you find new bits about how he thinks and I learned to like him more.

I really don’t know what else to say besides the ending was so….well done. So sweet, but I felt like there could have been so much more. I mean, I didn’t want it to end.
There is a certain scene that happens maybe three quarters way through and I’ll tell you, it took me ages to realise it wasn’t a hoax. It shattered my whole world (not literally) and I felt like I was in the story, experiencing it with the other characters.
I felt Cecily really stepped up her game and despite how young she was, grew stronger and more determined to fight back, to not be such a whiny, clingy little girl. She grew balls! (do excuse the analogy) And I respected and admired her for it, even if she did overreact to a few things, she still didn’t let anyone push her around. Rhine was also speaking her mind more and you would never think she was just 17. Well, I wouldn’t. She is so much more quiet than the others, it’s hard to believe she’s a main character, but I still admired her persistance, and how genuine she was. How she had difficult choices, and no matter the consequences, she stuck by her decisions.
Sorry, I’m rambling.
Anyway, A definite 5 stars to this and I am so very sorry the series is over. It’s always the way, really. The series you wish would end, continue for a long time, but the ones you just start to really get into, end too soon. I wish Lauren the best of luck for her next project. 🙂

Kat

Divider

5 stars to The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

Posted 28 April, 2013 by katheryn13 in Contemporary, Dystopian, Reviews, Romance, YA / 0 Comments

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

I’ve gotta say, I haven’t rated a book 5 stars in a long time. (well, it certainly feels that way.) First off, it has felt like a lifetime since The Selection came out, and I only read that a few months ago. So…yeah.

I am in LOVE with Maxon. (But I will try not to be too biased…) Now, although he’s not perfect, and yes he may have done a few…things…that will not be spoiled but must still be taken into account, I feel he is still the strongest choice between him and Aspen.
Aspen, to me, got very clingy. Impatient. And yet sweet in certain moments. He has America’s history, he is her past, the place she knew the most, and felt at home with, but things are changing.  Maxon could be impatient too, but more toward the end, and to be fair, who could blame him? America did get on my nerves a little bit in a couple of parts, but that’s mainly because, a little like in book 1, she was going between the two guys like a yo yo and then she’d get jealous or moan when Maxon talked to another girl. I was like “Girl, you can’t be playing them both, it’s not fair!” but it turns out she couldn’t hear me. *sigh*

The writing as usual in The Elite was great, just as good as The Selection, if not better, and each page sucked me in. There is so much going on, and where one moment I was aww’ing, the next moment I’d be cursing one of the characters. I love that it’s not clogged up with unneeded description and there’s plenty of dialogue – which is, what I prefer in a story. I don’t need to know what shade wall paper there is, or the pattern on the carpet. I want to know who’s walking that carpet and where they are going, or who’s talking to whom, you know what I’m saying? And Kiera Cass delivers this perfectly.
The tension between the final selection of girls is palpable from start to finish and still I want to kill Celeste. I rather think that’s the point of writing her as a horrible person, but still, I’m clarifying my feelings towards her.
It was nice to see more interaction between the other girls and America. Whereas in The Selection, you only really heard or saw them in passing, this time there are actual conversations, delving more into their personalities and just how they are competing. It turns out, America has more problems than she thought.

Now, Marlee. Damn girl, what have you gone and done? We finally find out her secret and let me just say it’s scandalous; but the result, I felt was the epitome of how a Monarchy would react. Nothing goes unseen or unpunished, which is why I’m waiting for the ball to drop on the goings on between Aspen and America. (If they ended up getting married, they would be AA. *giggles*) Yeah bad joke. Anyway, there are many sweet moments and one in particular near the end nearly had me crying. I could feel my eyes welling up, but I willed the tears back in because no, I would not cry. Nope.

There’s plenty of bitchiness, arguments, romance, tears, happiness, fear. Funny moments, too. I mean, the whole package. I didn’t ever want to stop reading, and I hoped the book wouldn’t end but sadly it did and all too soon. 🙁 And now we wait for book 3, which apparently is titled “The One” and I am TRULY hoping it means what I think it means. But knowing Kiera it’s something different. *sigh*

The problem with reading a book so soon after it’s released is you then have to wait forever for the next one.

Definitely worth reading if you enjoyed The Selection, and even if you didn’t particularly like that, you’ll surely love this. I did. I really did. 😀

Kat

Divider

4 stars to Partials by Dan Wells

Posted 25 April, 2013 by katheryn13 in Dystopian, Reviews, Sci-Fi, YA / 0 Comments

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials–engineered organic beings identical to humans–has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what’s left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them–connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

So…I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I had been delaying it for months and finally found the nerve to try it. I hadn’t been sure whether I’d like it, and at first I found it slow to get into. The terminology used, the amount of long words and general “dystopian language” I found tiring. One thing I will get out of the way: The amount of times the author uses “kudzu” annoyed me. I swear to god, I got to the point where if I read it one more time, I’d scream!

Right. What I did like? I liked that what I predicted at the half way point, didn’t happen. I mean…wow. I got to a certain part where Kira is with the Partial and I was like “Oh, I can guess what’s going to happen…” and it didn’t.

It was a little sad that there wasn’t much romance in this story, but I guess with everything else that was going on, it would have seemed a bit redundant and wouldn’t have fit.
The whole back story with the government keeping things secret and in a sense, saying one thing but doing another, was very… interesting. I felt it represented well on how life is now with politicians and what might happen in the future. Especially if something like the RM virus happened…
Kira held a positive stand in this and she fought for what she believed in, which was admirable. It showed, also, that whether you do something you feel is right or not, you’ll have to face the consequences. None of the Senate were willing to risk their “control” over the people, and most of all, they didn’t think a 16 yr old plague baby could handle the job where they couldn’t. She damn well could!
I loved the action, the feeling that no one was safe, that anyone could die at any moment. And some did, I’m afraid. Won’t say who, but it gets kinda sad. And intense. And just…all around great. I can’t wait to read book 2, which I believe is already out.

Definitely worth a read. 🙂

-Kat

Divider

4 stars to Fractured by Teri Terry

Posted 15 April, 2013 by katheryn13 in Dystopian, Reviews, YA / 0 Comments

How do you know where to go when you don’t remember where you came from?

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

Or so she thought.

Kyla shouldn’t be able to remember anything. But she can – and she’s beginning to realise that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life, she thinks she’s on her way to finding the truth. But the more she learns about her history, the more confusing her future becomes…

There may or may not be spoilers ahead, depending on what you class  a spoiler, and/or what you just don’t want to read, or whatever. I try. I really do, but sometimes…it’s very hard.

Right, well. That was a whirlwind.

I absolutely adored Slated, and couldn’t believe my luck that I’d found a book that was so…  intriguing, well written, well plotted, well rounded characters (well, most of them), AND in a dystopian world. I mean, how often does that come about? For me, not as often as I’d like.

Slated ended on a somewhat intense cliff hanger, leaving readers to wonder what exactly would Kyla do next. And who exactly was she before she was Slated? And not only did we want to find out, but so did many of the characters that were in the story. Kyla was a mystery, and that’s partly why I was so sucked into this world and the plot because with each clue, with each memory, I wanted to KNOW who and what she was and could do. Fair enough, now, in Fractured, she DID get on my nerves a little a times, hence the 4stars. I found her lack of common sense a bit…draining on my patience. I mean, girl, if someone who has BRAINS tells you NOT TO GO AFTER SOMEONE BECAUSE IT IS DANGEROUS then you should DAMN WELL LISTEN TO HIM!

But of course, Kyla (Rain…Lucy…whoever she is) doesn’t have common sense and therefore ignores warnings. As for her identity, she’s being pushed and pulled in numerous directions, told what she should and shouldn’t be doing, who she should and shouldn’t be, and you know… I was SO glad when the penny finally dropped and she was like, “wow. I don’t have to do what they say. Or be who they want. My decision is my own, not theirs.” *claps* Well f**king done, girl! I mean, it took her a long time to get there, but she finally made it to the crest of the hill and now I need to know…Will she manage to get her own back at the Lorders? Those guys remind me of Storm Troopers. I don’t know what it is…

Okay, so perhaps I’m spoiling a little here, but if you haven’t read Slated, then either way, this whole thing is a spoiler.

But I just got so caught up. I wanted to know where Ben went to, and then new people come into this and I’m like “noooo they’re sketchy!”

I never did like Kyla’s dad, and to be honest, Amy got on my nerves also. She was always so…nosy and wanting to know what Kyla was up to, much like her mum but at least SHE didn’t act all…well, my best word is ‘sketchy’ right now. The whole book leads up to one big event that TOTALLY goes, pardon the expression, “tits up” because…well, you’ll see.

There’s also Nico…I at first had my suspicions about him, and then gradually I started to like him. I’ll leave the rest a blank.

A certain girl who disappeared in Slated reappears and she brings enough conflict that it sidetracks you from what is ultimately happening here. There’s so much going on, which makes it hard sometimes to fully understand, and when one minute you’re asking “what just happened?” the next page everything is explained, so you’re not hanging for long.

I am so excited to find out the conclusion in book 3 which is currently untitled, but I’m sure it’ll be a wicked name.

I think I got everything in there that I could. Either way, if you haven’t read Slated, you should. And then you have to read Fractured, because…well…duh!

🙂

Divider