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Lauren Wilkerson

Old soul with a thirst for literature & ravishing reads.

Currently reading

The Fallout
S.A. Bodeen
The Twelve
Justin Cronin
American Gods
Neil Gaiman
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
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Reblogged from Shortie Says:

Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted - Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted is the second book is The Goddess Test series. I did read the first book, but unfortunately I didn't review it. The first book was great. It incorporated many aspects of Greek mythology and gave it a more modern edge. The second book however, I was disappointed in. I was so excited when I saw Goddess Interrupted available of NetGalley... I may have even danced a little jig.

The book was very well written and the plot was amazing - just like the first book in the series. What I didn't like is how Kate acted throughout the entire book. Where did her spunky, determined attitude towards her new life go? There were battles and life threatening situations going on and all she could think about is Henry. Why won't Henry kiss me? Does Henry even love me? Henry this, Henry that. It really grated on my nerves. And there were pages and pages of this. Besides Kate insistent whining, I felt like chunks of the story were missing. Or maybe the book just moved to fast. I'm not sure which.

Other than those few things, the book was still enjoyable to me. I would have read it even if I knew I wouldn't have liked it because you have to read the next book in the series, right? And I'm sure I'll read the third book when it is released too. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate - Jodi Meadows

This book totally enthralled me. I don't even know how to explain how epic this book really was. But... I must try. Incarnate had every single element that a good YA book needs - romance, action, mystery, and of course.. the kick ass outcast girl.

When someone dies, they are reincarnated. Each time. Except for Ana. She was born brand new. The others are afraid of her and what her existence might mean for them. Will there be more newsouls? Ana tries to fit in and then here come Sam. This dude knows exactly what to say and when to say it. As their friendship grows into something more, we discover more about their personalities and I felt really connected to them.

The world-building was phenomenal. I thought to myself several times while reading, "How in the hell did the author come up with this?" It is amazing, well written and enjoyable. There were monsters to dodge, people who have lived hundreds of lives, a city to defend... the list goes on. Basically, go buy Incarnate. And you can thank me later.

Review: The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War, #3) - Philippa Gregory

I was so excited when I received this book for review. Historical fiction was my first love and it has been a while since I went back to it. In this regard, The Lady of the Rivers did not let me down. It was full of everything we love in a book.. romance, war, family, love, betrayal, power, and even a little magic.

Jacquetta is the kind of woman we all love to read about. She is loyal to her husbands, can do know wrong and she possesses a unique gift. She can see the future. But she cannot just call upon anything she wants to see and she only sees spinets. The life she leads.. having so many children, always at the queen's side because of friendship, and staying loyal to her king even when she had her doubts.. this makes for an extraordinary book. Not once was there a slow moment in this entire book. I was utterly captivated and immersed until the end. I recommend this for any historical fiction lover. You will love it.

Review: Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien

Prized - Caragh M. O'Brien

I absolutely loved the first book in this series, Birthmarked. Gaia is such an amazing girl who is steadfast in her beliefs and is very passionate and protective when it comes to family. In Prized, we encounter another dystopian world that is very different from the one in Birthmarked. In Sylum there are few women and even fewer babies being born female. The women rule the town and the families. When a couple marries, the man takes the woman's last name. The woman own all of the property. And the big rule... no man can touch a woman. Crazy world, huh?

So we continue Gaia's journey to safety and we hope that the ravishing Leon whom we all know and love will find a way to return her. Gaia doesn't abandon her midwifery skills in Sylum, even though at one point, I thought she would. She had to give up a part of herself in order to find herself again. Yeah... mull that one over.

Overall, I was quite pleased with the second book in this series. The world that Caragh built was so well thought out and I literally felt like I was there... walking the dusty roads in my heavy boots, visiting the townsfolk. I was captivated until the last word. I can't wait to read the next book.

Review: Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

Triangles - Ellen Hopkins

I have a steadfast love/hate relationship with this book. I hated how some of the women cheated. No one condones cheating, but this was a part of what the book was about. It was hard for me at first to feel for the women who had cheated. I'll admit, I was prejudiced towards them completely. I did what every reader does and related the characters to myself and for me, it just did not compute. But then my eyes started to open. These women suffered. They bore the grief of their families and tried so hard to numb the pain. Someone doesn't just wake up one day and say, "Hey! I'm going to cheat on my husband!" At least these women didn't. I'm sure there are plenty of people in the world who do wake up and think that, but that's a whole other discussion. I believe it takes small steps that eventually lead a normal person with morality to cheat. Once again, I do not think cheating is ok by any means at all, but after reading Triangles, I can see how small things in life can lead a person to cheat.

This was my first verse novel and just... wow. The stanzas, the poem-like writing worried me at first. I didn't want to read a book of poems. I discovered that verse novels are not like that by any means. Far from it, actually. Triangles read just like a prose novel. The words were simply... beautiful. This will definitely not be the only verse novel I will read.

I know that Ellen Hopkins' other books are all YA. I read how Ellen hopes Triangles, her first adult novel, will appeal to the people who grew up reading her YA novels are now adults. Even though this is the first novel I've read by her, I can't help but feel comforted that she thought of her readers like that... how she wanted her writing to transcend genres with us. I will definitely have to dive into her YA novels now!

Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-Blood - Jennifer L. Armentrout

There was so much going on with this book... I don't even know where to start. There are pures and half-bloods. In relation to normal human lives, pures are like the celebrites who get everything just for being themselves and half-bloods are even worse off than middle-class. Most half-bloods are forced into a drug-induced slavery working for the pures unless they have a rich pure to back them up and send them to school. The half-blood slaves are literally drugged routinely to keep them calm and complacent.

So Alex is a half-blood that had the opportunity to go to school, but was pulled out by her mother. They both fled the safety of the islands that the pures and half-bloods live on and hid out in various places for three years. Her mother is killed by a daimon, which are basically shadow-like demons who bite pures and half-bloods to drink the ether (life force) that's in their blood. So in comes Aiden, the impeccabbly hot pure blood to save Alex and bring her back to the school.

From there, the story builds on Alex's determination and passion to become a Sentinal and we get to see the relationships she has with those who surround her. I've always been attracted to anything involving mythology and this book was no different. It was literally one of my favorite reads of the year. So basically, you should go buy this.

Review: Frost by Marianna Baer

Frost - Marianna Baer

I'm still not sure what I think about Frost. It wasn't "hairs on the back of your neck stand up" creepy, which I was really hoping for. There was unexplained brusies, a broken vase... that kind of thing. I guess the Paranormal Activity movies have dulled my senses. I did however, relate to Leena on several different levels. She just wanted her senior year at boarding school to be mellow and care-free. Even when Celeste moved into Frost House, Leena actually tried to be genuinely nice to her and she helped her feel as comfortable as possible.

Leena had an uncanny attraction to Frost House which was a bit weird. It was an integral part of the story and I can see how someone can become attached and protective of something like that. I have a couple of things in my house that I like to take out of their boxes and just hold sometimes... just to relive the memories associated with it. Throughout the book, Leena does what she thinks is right time and time again. She is a very strong and determined character that really made the book good. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys paranomal, ghosts, or even a little mystery in their reads.

Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

Pure - Julianna Baggott

This has literally been my favorite dystopian book of the year. Pressia is an amazing character who sees the world as it is and wishes to conquer it. And not in a "I'm the king of the world" kind of way.. more like a "I make my own destiny" kind of way. She is the voice inside us all.. the voice that tells us to push on and to acknowledge our faults and disabilities and to never let those bring us down.

The plot, the characters, the world building.. everything in this book mesmerized me. The mutated humans/animals, the people who were fused to objects when the world exploded... how did the author come up with these things?! Pressia was holding a doll in her hand when the skies erupted. She will bear the brunt of that little mistake forever. The dolls head fused with her hand and at the beginning she would always cover it up with a sock and would pull her sleeve over it. Others were fused to much worse. Or they had radiation poisoning so bad that they weren't really human any more. The children of these people are forever tainted with disabilities, but that it just a part of the world in this book. It is the norm. If you are a perfect specimen, then you are a pure, a person from the dome.

The dome was a safe house against a nuclear war, a natural disaster.. anything that could wipe out humans. But of course not everyone was allowed in when it was time. There was no pushing and shoving to get in, or special admission tickets. You were chosen or you weren't. The dome promised to reunite with those still on the ground, but none truly believed this. But some still harbored hope. Some like Pressia.

I don't want to give away even an ounce of this book to you. It is that near and dear to me. I can't wait for it to hit the stores so I can buy myself a brand new copy and send some to the people I know will appreciate it.

Review: Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane

Children of Paranoia - Trevor Shane

So this book is totally different from my usual genres. That being said.. I really enjoyed it! I actually commented on Goodreads while I was reading it wondering what genre this book is and guess who commented back?! Trevor Shane!! He took the words right out of my mouth and called it a genre stew. I love it. I would label this book as dystopian, action-packed, adventurous, suspenseful with a splash of romance.

The main character, Joe, is an assassin. Yup, he definitely kills people for a living and he does it seamlessly in the first chapter. He is a part of one of two faction. There's the good guys and then the bad guys. He believes he's on the good side. But is there really a way to tell? Both sides kill people. While I can't honestly say they kill innocent people, but some of them are elderly, they are moms and dads, brothers and sisters. This war though and Joe believes his cause transcends morality. Besides his job, Joe is just like us. He eats, sleeps, watches TV, and has a mom. While his job does make him a recluse and non-committal in relationships, I could still identify with him in some way.

While on a job, Joe does meet an interesting girl in a way interesting way. I won't spoil the surprise for you, but it did get a chuckle out of me. Here's where the splash of romance comes in. He's never had a girlfriend. Basically, he can't have one. But will his sudden affection deter him way from his destiny?

Trevor Shane did a great job regarding world building with this book. The dystopian-feel was amazing, but I am a little bias on that comment since it is becoming one of my favorite genres. This book isn't for the faint of heart.. it does have some blood and guts, but what book about an assassin wouldn't? I really did enjoy my foray into a new kind of book that I never thought would be on my shelf. You should give it a try.

Review: After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

After Obsession - Carrie Jones, Steven E. Wedel

I hate to say it, but this book just didn't do it for me. The plot peaked my interest at first... possession and a couple of teenagers attempted an exorcism? I figured it could go horribly wrong or could go hauntingly perfect, right? Either way, I expected either a daunting novel that was a bit scary or one that had it's bumps in the road which smoothed out to a feel-good ending. I received neither. I just really didn't connect with Aimee or Alan on any level. I didn't feel sucked into the story at all.The first half of the book was pretty slow going for me. Nothing really happened besides the day-to-day lives of Aimee and Alan.

There were some things I did like about the book though. The writing flowed nicely and was descriptive, but not over the top. I liked learning about Alan's Native American traditions. I've never really been exposed to the spiritual world of the Native Americans and it really was interesting. Overall, this book was just okay for me. I hate to say that for a book, but there it is.

Review: Possession by Elana Johnson

Possession - Elana Johnson

Another beautifully written dystopian novel. This makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. :) Vi is such a strong, passionate and determined girl. She fights for survival at every moment and actually THINKS before she does something. I hate the stereotype of girls just acting and not thinking of the future. And Jag.. hmmm.. I liked Jag. He's not your typical bad boy. Sure, he has spiked hair, but so does Vi. And sure, he's a little overconfident of himself, but what guy isn't? I loved how he responded to almost everything with a shrug of his shoulders. At first I thought, "Dude.. what?" But then I saw it as a little mysterious and kind of cute. And Zenn? I didn't think much of him because we didn't really get to connect with him much throughout the book, but that's ok. This is a series and because of how this book ended, I'm sure we'll see a lot more of him in the next one.

Vi's dad disappeared when she was young. She always believed he was still alive and she remembered him as a hero. Maybe this is what caused Vi to have a slightly rebellious side. But I'd like to think if I lived in a world where I couldn't stroll through the park with the boy I loved legally, then I'd rebel at bit as well.

I loved the dystopian world that Vi lived in as well. It certainly wasn't post-apocalyptic, as some dystopian novels are, but the messed up society definitely perked up my interest. So many things in Vi's world is illegal. Things that are at the basis of our human nature. Who are the thinkers to believe that they can and should control that? I will open up a can of whoop ass right here on my sofa, in my socks. But to me that's what makes a great dystopian novel.. the villains! Without them, the world would be a pretty boring place.

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin

First thought - WOW. When I first heard about this book everyone was saying, "Who is Mara Dyer?!" Months later, I finally had the opportunity to read a borrowed ARC and I was and still am, a happy camper. Michelle Hodkin's writing is.. simply put.. beautiful. It flows on the pages like a canoe on a river. (Sorry for the bad metaphor.) I read this entire book in just two sittings. And that's with work, college, a house, bills, and a dog. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, but once again.. a girl in a dress. :) It just seems to be the trend of the year.

Mara is such a well-rounded character. I felt many times throughout the book exactly what Mara was feeling. She is not the damsel in distress... she can hold her own. She slowly begins to remember, literally piece by piece, what happened in the accident. When all of the pieces are finally put together, she finds herself. She goes through a hell of a lot of obstacles to find out the truth of her life, but within this journey, we experience a few wtf? moments. I like a little confusion and mystery in my books and Michelle Hodkins did not hold back.

I really enjoyed this book. And I think you will too. Go ahead.. go read it.

Review: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax - Trinity Faegen

First off, I need to get a small rant off my chest. Another book cover with a chick in a dress? C'mon people. We can do better than that. And the girl in the dress has absolutely nothing to do with the book. Is it just me or do you see tons of YA books with a girl in a dress on the cover? It's driving me crazy! Ok. End of rant.

Back to the book. The heat/energy/intensity of Jax and Sasha's relationship is some serious amount of sexytimes. I had the whole knight in shining armor image stuck in my head several times while reading this book. And to me, that's not a bad thing if it's played just right. And it was. Loved it. I thought a few times that I could just start a lil cat fight with Sasha and still Jax for myself. But who am I kidding? A fictional Sasha would probably whoop my ass. More to the point, I usually don't care for romance engulfing an entire book, but in this case, I enjoyed. I really did. It kept me up late two nights in a row reading.

I thought this book had an amazingly well thought out plot. It has the mythology edge that's trending in YA that just scoops you up and swallows your whole. It's mystical and engrossing.. ok I'll stop with the fancy words. Basically, Sasha is like a pure human angel on earth and the bad dude, Eryx, will do everything he can to get his hands on her. That's where the handsome Jax steps in and saves her. He knows this will be his only chance for peace and for a ticket into Heaven. He has to win her over. But he also doesn't want to steal Sasha's mortality and open her eyes to the evil in the world. But he loves her. Doesn't love conquer all? To find out, go buy this book now. I'm serious. I loved it that much.

Review: Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Dark Eden - Patrick Carman, Patrick  Arrasmith

I was captivated by Dark Eden after reading the first chapter. It kind of had the feel of Ann Aguirre's Enclave, minus the dystopian atmosphere. I am attracted to anything that puts me in a world that's dank, gritty, underground, scary and makes me connect with the characters and their thoughts of wtf is going on and wtf are we gonna do? Sorry, that's the best way I could describe it.

So we're with Will Besting the whole time (isn't that the best dude name you've ever heard of?) and he's a pretty sneaky dude. He infiltrates the place they call Dark Eden and watches his peers go into a chamber, one by one and come out cured. He is scared for them, but also curious and maybe even excited that they're now cured. Putting myself in his position, if my ailment was diblitating enough, I'd probably just come out of my hidy hole and get in line to be cured. But Will is cautious and watches the events unfold before making any decisions of his own. He does become a tad bit attracted to one girl who is in Dark Eden, so there's a bit of flirtation, but that's about it for any romance the book has to offer.

Dark Eden started out a little slow, but when it picked up the pace, the action didn't stop until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more of Patrick Carman's novels.

Review: Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Blood Wounds - Susan Beth Pfeffer

Blood Wounds was definitely not what I expected. This was my second contemporary YA novel that I've read and reviewed. Once again, it didn't hit the spot for me. It wasn't horrible by any means, but I just don't think the contemporary genre is for me.

Willa goes through so many emotions throughout this book. I sympathize with her numerous times. She tries to find herself by looking into her past. From my own experiences, I knew it wouldn't end very well if she tried to find her niche in the world by comparing herself to her family. You are your own person, no matter what your background, past mistakes, your heritage.. none of that matters. That being said, I was curious what Willa would find and how she would react to what she would find out about her parents and grandparents. It is a huge, shocking secret that she does find out, so I can't say much about that without spoiling it for you.

The book was interesting enough. It was short and to the point, which is always a plus for me. I don't care much for when authors beat around the bush and Pfeffer definitely didn't do that.