Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1):Review

18324459Release Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: YA, Paranormal
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Series: Book one of series
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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Summary:The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.
In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is
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I tried. I really did. I even pushed through and read the entire thing but at around the 20% mark I had a pretty good idea of how this story was going to go and had to force myself to not put it down. The concept behind Lailah was pretty interesting. A girl who never ages and comes back to life after she’s been killed but doesn’t know why? Yeah, that’s pretty cool. But, unfortunately that happened to be the only cool thing in the book.

Lailah starts off with a bang. Literally, from the beginning we’re thrown into a bunch of chaos but it wasn’t the type of chaos that’s exciting enough to warrant interest, it was the type of chaos that confused me. I had to reread passages to make sense of what was happening. Everything felt disjointed and messy. Not only that, but I had no emotional connection to our main character Lailah (who at this time is going by the name Francesca) or any of the people she meets. I mean, since I had no prior knowledge to her other than her name (which is later revealed to actually be Lailah) I didn’t care about anything that was happening around her. We end up learning that one of the guys she meets, Gabriel (I will get into more detail about him later) is actually this guy she’s been dreaming about for years (which is something we learn as she meets him) and while this is a huge moment for Lailah, I wasn’t interested enough to particularly care.

Let’s talk about the cliché’s now in Lailah. Oh the cliché’s. This book was full of them. FULL OF THEM! I couldn’t get over it. I found myself wanting to hit my head against my desk a dozen different times. First there’s the infuriating love triangle (that shouldn’t even exist because both guys are terrible options) and of course one boy is good and the other is completely evil. Oh boy…I wonder who the girl chooses? And of course with this love triangle comes all the cliché’s in the history of cliché’s. The “good” guy withholds information every chance he gets which forces the girl into the “bad” boys arms. The “good” guy has another girl lusting after him and of course he doesn’t tell her to back off because he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings AND of course this leads to Lailah (with her perfect timing) seeing all sort of “misunderstandings” between the “good” guy and the creepy can’t-take-a-hint girl.

Of course, Lailah wasn’t all bad. Lailah was interesting enough (aside from her occasions random mood swings here and there) and I could appreciate the mythology behind the angels and vampires and her role in it. While some of the twists were a bit too predictable for me in regards to this I actually found myself kind of surprised by one near the end that I hadn’t expected. That being said, I feel like the whole “there can’t be both good and evil in the world or in a person. A balance doesn’t exist” was extremely underdeveloped. I mean, how many books and movies and tv shows have to exist to convince that YES, good and evil are in everyone? They’re different sides to the same coin.

While Lailah was not my type of read considering some of the stuff I’ve read on Wattpad I can see why it goes to much attention online. The story wasn’t necessarily bad per say, If anything, I feel like it had a very strong concept behind it but ultimately this one was just weighed down by too many factors.

Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters #1 OR Addicted #2.1):Review

Release Date: February 20th 2014
Genres: NA, Contemporary
Publisher:
Series: Calloway Sisters, (Spin off)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Summary: Virgin. Sex addict. Daredevil. Alcoholic. Smartass … Jackass. Her five friends are about to be filmed. Reality TV, be prepared.Rose Calloway thought she had everything under control. At twenty-three, she’s a Princeton graduate, an Academic Bowl champion, a fashion designer and the daughter of a Fortune 500 mogul. But with a sex addict as a sister and roommate, nothing comes easy.After accepting help from a producer, Rose agrees to have her life filmed for a reality television show. The Hollywood exec is her last chance to revive her struggling fashion line, and boundaries begin to blur as she’s forced to make nice with a man who always has his way.Twenty-four-year-old Connor Cobalt is a guy who bulldozes weak men. He’s confident, smart-as-hell and lives with his equally ambitious girlfriend, Rose Calloway. Connor has to find a way to protect Rose without ruining the show. Or else the producer will get what Connor has always wanted—Rose’s virginity.

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR EACH BOOK TO GET BETTER AND BETTER IN THIS SERIES? HOW?

Kiss The Sky is the first book in the Calloway Sisters spin off series but must be read before Thrive (book 2.5) in the Addicted Series to fully understand everything. And I promise you, you won’t want to miss this one if your already a huge fan of the series like I am. I wasn’t hesitante to start this one at all, despite it being told from both Rose’s and Connor’s POV.

If I thought I loved Connor before I’m completely deeply madly in love with him now. He’s a pretentious smartass but he’s my smartmass. I’ve loved Connor and Rose’s dynamic since Addicted To You and i’ve enjoyed watching they’re relationship develop during the books. Going into Kiss the Sky Connor and Rose were already in a relationship and had their relationship dynamic figured out already but it’s obvouis from the start of the book that the two had a long way to go. And I loved every second of it.

“Well, Connor doesn’t believe in magic. If Hogwarts actually existed I’m sure they’d send an owl to shit on his head.”
― Krista Ritchie, Kiss the Sky

Kiss The Sky also provided a completely different backdrop for the characters. In order to save her fashion line Rose signs on for a six month reality show with Connor, Lily, Daisy, Lo and Ryke. Because of this all six of them are surrounded by cameras 24/7 and have to live in the same house. Even though Kiss the Sky is very much Connor and Rose’s story we still get a crazy amount of Lily & Lo time and Daisy and Rkye time (oh come on…we all want them together. Admit it now) and of course we still have some of the trouble and tribulations that come with Lily and Lo’s recoveries.

“People hope to touch the sky. I dream of kissing it.”
― Krista Ritchie, Kiss the Sky

All in all I strongly thought Addicted For Now was my favourite book in this series but now I just don’t know. I’ve come to the conclusion that each both Kristina and Becca Ritchie write is going to be better than their last one and I don’t mind that at all!

“Kiss the sky with me,” Connor whispers, a beautiful smile pulling his lips, “and don’t ever come down.”
― Krista Ritchie, Kiss the Sky

{Blog Tour} Even In Paradise: Author Interview

EIP

20601687Release Date: October 14th 2014
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Standalone
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Summary: When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do… or think they do.
Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.
But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

To celebrate the release of Chelsey Pilpot’s debut novel, Even in Paradise, I was lucky enough to interview Chelsey here on the blog today. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book since the cover was first released (It’s full of summer vibes…how awesome is that?) and I even had Even in Paradise  on my “Our Next Reads” feature a few weeks back!

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If you could have the chance to be any of the characters from Even in Paradise, which one would you choose and why?

 It’s probably no surprise that I’d choose to be Charlie. I would love to see through her eyes how the world changes once she falls in love with the Buchanan family.

Even in Paradise sounds like an incredibly exciting read! I was wondering how you first got the idea for this story and the writing process that came with it.

The idea for EIP percolated over many years. When I was studying abroad in Scotland my junior year of college, a British friend lent me his copy of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, a lovely and poignant novel about a grand family that is undone by secrets, guilt, and war. Many years later, I started jotting down notes for EIP based on one simple idea: It’s possible to fall in love with an entire family.

I don’t think I can tell you how many drafts I wrote. And I will not bore you with the tedious details of the many ways my story evolved and my characters changed.

As for how long EIP took to write, perhaps it’s most accurate to say that it began as a series of epiphanies and was completed in a year of early mornings and late nights.

I’ve heard a few other bloggers say Even in Paradise reminded them of the atmosphere of The Great Gatsby during some scenes. Do you agree? Did you intend for that connection to be made?

EIP is very much a love letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Evelyn Waugh. My references to Great Gatsby are both deliberate and not. For example, the name “Buchanan” comes from Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan, but when a friend said that the ending of EIP echoed the last sentences of Gatsby—“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”—I was pleasantly surprised.

I did not intend to end with one more tribute to one of my favorite novels, but perhaps I have.

At the beginning of the book Charlotte and Julia form a strong bond, one that seems almost irreparable. Did you model the beginning of their friendship to a similar friendship between you and a friend?

Charlie and Julia’s friendship is the first love story of the novel. They’re soul mates, sisters. I am so very lucky to have a close circle of female friends who’d swim to Pluto and back for me and I for them. They definitely inspired (and continue to inspire) my writing.

The cover for Even in Paradise has a very “summer” and “light” feel to it but the book is much more dark and intense than the cover suggests. What was your first reaction to seeing the cover?

I love the cover! The woman who designed it, Erin Fitzsimmons, is so intuitive and talented. She loved my story and it shows in her work.

The cover captures the joys of Even in Paradise with the way the sun lights the beach, but I also think it hints at the darkness. The shadows falling across the sand cause a tightening in the chest, a realization that this beautiful moment cannot last.Unhindered daylight joy is ephemeral and with night comes heartaches and secrets.

Did anyone really encourage your passion for writing when you were younger? Did he/she ever read any of your books? 

I am so lucky to have had (and have) so many wonderful mentors. At Vassar College, I was particularly fortunate to study under the Caldecott-winning children’s book author and poet Nancy Willard, poet Paul Kane, and Professor Karen Robertson, all of whom were very encouraging of my writing. They haven’t read Even in Paradise yet, but I’m looking forward to the day they do.

I am also indebted to my workshop group at the postgraduate writers conference at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. I came to the workshop to talk about a nonfiction book proposal and left determined to make something of the first two chapters of what became EIP. The support of my fellow writers and our teacher Louise Hawes helped me believe I could write fiction.

Do you have any other exciting book news you can share with us here today?

Well, I am wicked (I can’t help it; I’m from New England) excited to share that there will be foreign editions of EIP and I’m working on my second novel while books three and four percolate. (Book five might be there, too. But it’s more like weak tea at this point than strong coffee.)

chelseyphilpotauthorphotoChelsey Philpot grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and now works as an editor and journalist. She’s written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Slate, and numerous other publications. Like her main character, Charlotte, Chelsey attended boarding school in New England. You can visit her online at www.chelseyphilpot.com or on Twitter @ChelseyPhilpot.

STALKING–Hot or Not in YA?

Have any of you guys seen Maroon 5’s latest music video for Animals? I promise, it can’t be unseen. For those of you lucky enough to not have seen it, it features Adam (hot as always) Levigne working as a meat butcher who falls in love with some girl who comes into his store one day (played by his lovely wife, Behati Prinsloo) after lots of stalking and photograph taking we cut to a scene of them on a bed together fully naked making out before a bunch of blood gets dumped on their naked bodies. Creepy, right?

While I saw this video and couldn’t help but cringe at the blood scene (which I guess was trying to be sexy but mainly just creeped me out) I couldn’t get over the fact that Adam Levinge’s character does nothing more than stalk the poor girl (he never had a conversation with her) before they end up in bed together *cringe* THE GUY STALKED HER. Is that supposed to be hot? I don’t think so. It creeps me out, really.

Unfortunately this “stalking” trend is getting increasingly popular. While it doesn’t do anything other than TOTALLY CREEP ME OUT i’ve noticed that it’s getting more and more popular in YA. If anything, it’s trying to appear “hot” in YA.

Remember that time we all read Twilight and Bella woke up one night and found Edward in her room watching her sleep? Remember how creepy that was? Remember how then they end up making out her said bed? DOUBLE CREEPY. Dude, he was watching you sleep. If that doesn’t freak you the hell out I don’t know what does.

While Twilight is the first example I can really think of where stalking in YA was considering hot (or any sort of creepy behaviour in general, really) I feel like I keep seeing it more and more in books.

What about you guys? Are you guys noticing an increase in this type of behaviour being portrayed as hot in YA? Have you read any books lately where this behaviour is present? Let me know!

 

{Guest Post} Author of Snow Like Ashes: Sara Raasch

17399160Release Date:October 14th 2014
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bay
Series: Book one of Snow Like Ashes
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Summary: A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

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I’ve had a number of people ask how to pronounce the names in SNOW LIKE ASHES, and today, all these problems will be solved! Lily was gracious enough to reveal my pronunciation guides for the characters and places in SLA!
Now, I know what you’re thinking — there’s a LOT of characters/places on these lists. But these comprise all of the characters/places that will appear in the whole SLA trilogy — so you get a little sneak peek into who will be appearing in later books!

Pronunciation CharactersPronunciation Places

 

Sara RaaschSara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, comes out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

 

All Lined Up (Rusk University#1): Review

Release Date: May 13th 2014
Genres: NA, Romance,
Publisher: William Morrow
Series: Book one of Rusk University
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Summary:  Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated.Dallas doesn’t know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn’t know that Dallas is his new coach’s daughter.And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

All Lined up was such a refreshing New Adult book. There were no love triangles, no nonstop pointless sex scenes, or characters with BIG altering secrets. All Lined Up was an extremely pleasant read, especially for someone like me whose extremely picky with their NA reads! That being said, while I enjoyed All Lined Up I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing.

Now don’t get me wrong All Lined Up really touched upon some important themes that just worked. The story really focused on the idea of going after one’s dreams and not taking “no” for an answer. The book also featured a really strong father-daughter relationship between the MC Dallas and her father Coach Cole. While I really enjoyed these aspects of the book though, I couldn’t help but feel like everything was really only touched upon. I would have loved if there had been a bit more depth to the story. I felt almost as if everything just came a bit too easy for all of the characters.

I really enjoyed how college football was incorporated into the story as well, especially since Dallas’ father is the coach for the universities football team. I would have loved if we got a bit more form Carson’s perspective during the game time scenes so better understand the dynamics of footballl (since those are always the most fascinating parts to read in my opinion). 

That being said, All Lined Up was a very refreshing read from a lot of the New Adult titles out there and I do plan on continuing with this series and (hopefully) getting more depth from the future characters,

I’ll Give You The Sun: Review

20820994Release Date: September 16th 2014
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Dial
Series: Standalone
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Summary: Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

“Who knows if maybe destiny is just how you tell yourself the story of your life?”
― Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun

My one and only regret regarding this book is that I didn’t read it all in one sitting. I was told time and time again by everyone on Twitter that this one would hurt. That I would feel like someone sawed my body in half, and carefully extracted my insides one by one. For the first 100 or so pages of the book I didn’t feel like this or anything close to it because I was always thinking of something else. I had school my mind, or work or just something else. Because of this I didn’t even have much time to read and since the chapters are very long (very very long) I kept getting annoyed that I couldn’t finish a chapter in one sitting because I happened to pick this book up on the busiest week of my life (my fault, I know) but still! So if there’s one piece of advice I can give you before going into this book it’s so clear your schedule before you read this one.

I’ll Give You The Sun in one word is: heartbreaking. It’s the story of twin siblings Noah and Jude and told from their alternative perspectives. Noah’s chapters are from the past, when they were 13 and 14 years old while Jude’s chapters are set in present day when they are both 16. They’re both two twins who once loved each other very much and were each other’s best friends but after tragedy strikes they find themselves complete enemies. But while people may see this book as having one tragedy that breaks the bond between the siblings I kept seeing it as a series of tragedies that cause a series of heartbreaks and mess with their relationship.

“Maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,” I say. “Maybe we’re accumulating these new selves all the time.”
― Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun

Jandy Nelson’s decision to write from each twins POV during different ages was amazing. It wasn’t at all hard to keep up with the characters in either’s POV. I found myself completely entranced by how different they were in each other’s POV. Thirteen year old Noah and Jude versus sixteen year old Noah and Jude were both startling contrasts. When I started really getting into the story and noticing the huge differences I found I just wanted to bawl up and cry. I wanted to shake each of them and say “Be you! Be who you want to be. There is so much pain you two harbour and you don’t deserve it”

Did I forget to mention this book was outrageously funny? Like laugh out loud kind of funny? While this book did make me cry once or twice and completely rugged my heart strings I also laughed like crazy. Jandy Nelson’s writing is beautiful, poetic, quirky and laugh out loud funny. This story wasn’t only about Noah and Jude–it felt like it was about so much more. It was about NoahandJude, their family, their friends. It was about romance, and magic and ghosts. It was about things that make sense and things that fail to do so. It was about tragedy and it was about healing.

“Castration, Oscore! Understand? You have seen me use the circular saw, yes?–Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You The Sun

While tons of people gave me lots of advice on Twitter before going into this one what everybody failed to mention was that while I’ll Give You The Sun inflicts tons of damage, it doesn’t only just rip your body open and let everything gush out. No, what nobody told me was that while this book rips you apart, it also put’s you back together again.

Addicted For Now (Addicted #2):Review

Release Date: November 29th 2013
Genres: NA, Contemporary
Publisher:
Series: Addicted to You & Ricochet
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Summary:No. More. Sex.Those are the three words Lily Calloway fears the most. But Loren Hale is determined to be with Lily without enabling her dangerous compulsions. With their new living situation—sleeping in the same bed, for real, together—Lily has new battles. Like not jumping Lo’s bones every night. Not being consumed by sex and his body.Loren plans to stay sober, to right all of his wrongs. So when someone threatens to expose Lily’s secret to her family and the public, he promises that he’ll do anything to protect her. But with old enemies surfacing, Lo has more at stake than his sobriety.They will torment Lily until Lo breaks.And his worst fear isn’t relapsing. He hears the end. He sees it. The one thing that could change everything. Just three words.No. More. Us.

Sirri, what in the world have you done to me? I’m completely obsessed with this series! 

Okay now that I got THAT out of the way.

Addicted For Now is easily my favourite of the series so far. If I thought Loren and Lily grew in the last two books they went through a hell of a lot more character development in Addicted For Now. Both Lily and Lo are trying to combat their addictions and not give into temptations but that just happens to be easier said than done.

I continue to be amazed by how Lily’s sex addiction is handled in this series, i’ve never read a book before where a characater is a sex addict but this seems to be the most honest portrayal of the subject ever. Krista & Becca Ritchie have taken such a taboo subject and made it so easy for readers so sympathize with Lily and also understand the ways Lily has to learn to not give into her compulsions. 

“Because I think she loves you more than she loves sex. And you love her more than you love alcohol, but you two just haven’t let yourselves believe it yet.”
― Krista Ritchie, Addicted for Now

At times I just wanted to raise my eyebrows at Lo and be like “Just take her to your bedroom already! What’s taking you so long?” 

While Addicted For Now focused heavily on Lily and Loren it also shined major light on the supporting characters, which are as amazingly portrayed as ever. I’m loving how with each book we’re getting more and more from each of the characters. They all make sure a perfect tight knit group and have the most amazing chemistry ever I was laughing out loud A LOT while reading this book.

“His lips rise. “I usually dumb down around the intellectually deficient so I don’t come off like a complete prick.” I think he just called me stupid.”
― Krista Ritchie, Addicted for Now

Addicted For Now also had several other sub plots that kept me on the edge of my seat THE ENTIRE READ. 

“She shrunk into herself and waited for me to stare at her like she was gross an dirty. But I just wanted to hold her and tell her that she was worth so much more than whatever she was searching for.” ― Krista Ritchie, Addicted for Now

Black Ice: Review

Release Date: October 7th 2014*coming soon*
Genres: YA, Thriller,
Publisher: Simon & Shuester *ARC from publisher*
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Summary:Sometimes danger is hard to see… until it’s too late.Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

Black Ice is surely going to be a favourite for a lot of people or end up pissing a lot of people off. I get it—as I was reading I got . While Black Ice is definitely going to be a love it or hate it book for a lot of people, I completely fell in love with it. I became obsessed with the mystery in it. I couldn’t put this one down. I was sneaking around with this book all the time. I was reading it in the car, at the dinner table, at an amusement park. I just needed to know what happened next.

Britt wants to enjoy a beautiful vacation with her best friend Korbie. When the girls learn that Korbie’s older brother, Calvin (who also happens to be Britt’s ex boyfriend) is joining them on this trip to chaperone, Britt is determined not to let that deter her from her fun. But before the trip really begins the girls get stuck in a blizzard which forces them to seek the assistance of two men who only end up kidnapping them and forcing Britt to lead them through the mountain to save their lives.

The only real problem I think some people might have with Black Ice is centered around Britt’s characterization. She spends some time at the beginning of the book really depending on other people to bail her out of situations, and when I say other people I mean, males. It isn’t that Britt wasn’t capable of being indepedent, no, actually she shows signs at the beginning of the book of being an intellligent, strong minded, independant female but the men in her life (her father, brother and ex boyfriend) have all babied her her entire life. Life unfortunetly meant Britt was used to falling back on men for help.

This didn’t annoy me as much as it could have—believe me, even i’m surprised. Normally all the red flags would have been popping up left and right but that wasn’t the case here. While Britt made a few comments that irked me I never saw her as a damsel in distress. At the beginning of the book she made it quite clear she wasn’t, I mean she even trained herself for her backpacking trip, saved Korbie (the true damsel in distress) and herself during the blizzard and knew hundreds of different facts about survival in the mountains. It was because of this I was never completely annoyed with her and considered waving my feminist flag up in the air. I knew she had it in her to not be so reliant on men she just had to learn it for herself.

Black Ice, while heavily focusing on Britt’s character development was also a very intense mystery and thriller. I could not put this book down. I think i’ve said that already but it needs to be said again. The story behind  the men who take the girl’s hostage and their true motives slowly unravels with each chapter and the mystery of the murders is also expertely weaved into the story. The struggle for survival in the blizzard and the struggle for survival against a killer both created incredible backdrops for this page turning thriller.

“They say that when you’re about to die, your life flashes before your eyes. They never tell you that when you watch someone you once loved dying, hovering between this life and the next, it’s twice as painful, because you’re reliving two lives that traveled one road together.”
― Becca Fitzpatrick, Black Ice

Addicted To You & Ricochet (Addicted #1 &1.5):Reviews

Release Date: June 13th 2013
Genres: NA, Contemporary
Publisher:
Series: Book one of Addicted series
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Summary: She’s addicted to sex. He’s addicted to booze…the only way out is rock bottom.No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex.Their real vice may be each other.

Addicted To You is unlike anything i’ve ever read before. I happily picked this one up on a whim and was bombared on Twitter by a bunch of enthusiastic bloggers (Sirri) who love(d) this series and couldn’t believe I was only just starting it. I was a bit hesitant to start this series since the MC is a sex addict and usually books that are overly sexual can both creep me out or get repetitive and annoy me.  But my fears quickly went away after a few chapters when I realized I was not going to have to suffer through repetitive measly sex scenes. I managed to believe the whole “sex addict” storyline in Addicted To You without them. THANK GOD.

Lily and Lo both come from “privileged” backgrounds but I never once felt like rolling my eyes at what their childhood or home life was like. If anything I was sympathetic towards these two characters who seemingly had it all but felt completely empty inside.

The secondary characters also all stood out on their own and I especially loved Lily’s siblings and how their relationships evolved over the course of the novel. Lily’s older sister, Rose and Lily’s friend (and arch-nemisis of Rose) added some much needed humour to the story.

 

Release Date: August 1st 2013
Genres: NA, Contmporary
Publisher:
Series: Book two of Addicted series
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Summary:As a sex addict, Lily Calloway must do the impossible. Stay celibate for 90 days.Cravings and fantasies become her new routine, but while Loren Hale recovers from his alcohol addiction, Lily wonders if he’ll realize what a monster she really is. After all, her sexual compulsions begin to rule her life the longer she stays faithful to him.Progress. That’s what Lily’s striving for. But by trying to become closer to her family—people who aren’t aware of her addiction—she creates larger obstacles. When she spends time with her youngest sister, she learns more about her than she ever imagined and senses an unsettling connection between Daisy and Ryke Meadows.With Lily and Lo’s dysfunctional relationship teetering and unbalanced, they will need to find a way to reconnect from miles apart. But the inability to “touch” proves to be one of the hardest tests on their road to recovery. Some love brushes the surface. Some love is deeper than skin.Lily and Lo have three months to discover just how deep their love really goes.

After finishing Addicted To You I had to immediately download the next book in the series, Ricochet, since i was well…addicted (like what I did there? No? Want me to shut up? Okay.) So other than the fact that i’m pretty sure Sirri is happy about me falling into the Addicted trap with no intention of ever leaving I do not regret starting this series.

Ricochet picks up right where Addicted To You ends and is still only told in Lily’s POV. Lily and Lo spend a hefty amount of time in Ricochet apeart (If you read Addicted to You, you’ll understand why) but I never once felt like Lo’s absense was taking anything away from the story. We’re treated to some flashbacks of Lily and Lo when they were younger and were also rewarded so,e  more room for character development for them.

I thought Lily and Lo went through some hefty character development in Addicted To You but that was nothing compared to what they went through in Ricochet. Both of them grew so much..i just..can’t…

Also, Ricochet gave the secondary characters a lot of room for character devlopment too. Especially Ryke and Diasy *wink* *wink* *nudge *nudge* and i’m happy to report that i’m pretty happy to hear they get their own book in the Calloway series so I CAN’T WAIT to get my hands on that one!

If any of you guys haven’t tried this series. I consider giving it a try or messaging Siiri on twitter. She’s sure to turn you over to the dark side.

Public Service Announcemt: i’m just here to warn you guys that after a twitter debate it’s been decided that Ryke belongs to Nick, Connor belongs to Sirri and Lo belongs to moi.