Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In Which I Review... Trust by Tim Mettey

Hi everyone!

Welcome to Mera's YA Book List!

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing my review of Tim Mettey's Trust with you all. Those of you who are linked in with me on Facebook via my profile or via MYABL know how much I raved about this book and this review allows me to rave even more!



18621568
Paperback, 350 pages
Published October 10th 2013 by Matthew 25: Ministries/Kenwood Publishing Group


BLURB:

Nicholas Keller has come to terms with his Thusian heritage and has finally achieved some normalcy in his life. But when new neighbors move in next door at the beginning of his junior year, everything changes. He is launched into an impossible search, uncertain of who to trust, and this time it’s not just his own life that hangs in the balance—it’s the lives of countless others and everyone he loves.



REVIEW:

Tim Mettey debuted his first novel, Secrets (The Hero Chronicles Volume 1) with great success! Nicholas' story is definitely an intriguing one and in Trust, the continuation of Nicholas Keller's story Mettey creates another great work. Nicholas' character is just as amazing as ever and Mettey doesn't falter in his dynamic writing styles.

One thing I really loved about this book was the fact that like Secrets, Trust put me through the wringer. I found myself experiencing the same sensations. For example, in both books I was sure I was spot on with my predictions of what would happen in both books and both times I was shocked to find out I was wrong.

I can't say what happens but I will say that we get a deeper  look into the lives of some smaller characters from Secrets, including that of Nicholas' aunt.

Trust, like its predecessor , was full of excitement, adventure, and just the right amount of plot twists to leave me saying, yes, I want more of Tim Mettey and his writing abilities.

If you read and loved Secrets, you'll love Trust even more. If you haven't, then I recommend reading them both.
 
Everything about this series just shines!
 
5 STARS!

*I received an ARC/Galley of this novel (which I adore) from the publisher!
Trust is available now for your reading pleasure.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

In Which I Review... The Phoenix Rising- Destiny Calls by Phenice Arielle + (GIVEAWAY for BLOG TOUR)

Hey everyone! Welcome to Mera's YA Book List. I've been awol for a while but hang in there with me. There are some big improvements coming soon!

Back to the subject!

Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing the mammoth book, The Phoenix Rising- Destiny Calls by Phenice Arielle.

And I call it mammoth for the fact that it's over 400 pages of word (Amazon actually puts it at 506 pages), lol, but still really good!

Now to the review!

The Phoenix Rising: Destiny Calls

Kindle Edition, 508 pages
Published June 5th 2013 by Phenice Arielle
 
SYNOPSIS:
Sure, Kay’s parents didn’t think twice about sending her to therapy.

After all, Kay fully believes that she just narrowly escaped an explosion, watched a handsome co-ed walk through fire for her—oh, and that she battled an extremely skilled foe to the death—all before her 10 AM class!

They’re just dreams of course, but when this talented NYU student wins a coveted trip to South Africa, she soon finds out the truth—that everything her parents TRIED to convince her wasn’t real actually lies HIDDEN deep in a jungle Kay once assumed was paradise.

Now, if Kay can survive the hand-to-hand combat and the one with the ivory dagger who wishes her death, Kay may just get the answers that unlock her dreams. Kay might even fall in love. On the other hand, our brave girl may get an answer to something she never wanted to know the answer TO:

What happens… when you die.
 
REVIEW:

The Phoenix Rising: Destiny Calls had me hooked at the synopsis. And when I began reading the book, I became even more excited. The cover, which is the type that would lure in the male reading crowd more primarily, is awesomely designed but it so does not do the book justice. Destiny Calls is the first in the series and follows Kay, nicknamed so due to the difficulty of pronouncing her real name, Nanyamka.

"He smiled at me in a way that sent a chill throughout my body, and the tears in my eyes down the sides of my cheeks. That was the last thing I remembered before everything went black. That was the last thing I remembered before I realized I’d never see Beth, my mom, my dad, or even Callum, ever, ever again.”

This passage is on the back of the print copy and we immediately know something is going to happen that is basically going to screw with you good while reading.

I refuse to tell you what happened, because that would be sucky of me, but it was worse than any of the scenarios I imagined.

What I loved about this book was that it tied in the concepts of destiny, soulmates (which I love in books), and the extraordinary.

There was the influence of Romeo and Juliet, lovers torn apart, without being overly present. There was adventure, and in such a way that you wondered if Kay would get back to her life as we knew it.

Kay was a good protagonist, though thoughts of Callum stole the show, even when he wasn't there. One problem I had with Kay was the inconsistency of her memory. I mean, for her to be as smart as she is, she's a budding journalist studying at NYU, and as well rounded as she is, I can't fathom her forgetting some of the important things, and this doesn't even include her dreams (which I understand).

Note: Kay has terrible nightmares that have affected her immensely throughout her childhood and into adulthood.

So, overall definitely a great read. And I would recommend it to my YA readers.

However, I can't give The Phoenix Rising- Destiny Calls the 5 star review I so wish I could. There were a few small errors, and that happens, and do not take away from my rating. I do think the book needed another go through by a well-rounded editor.

Arielle's writing style is unique, in a great way, but her use of detail, which vastly helped build the beautiful world she created, hinders the book a bit also, as some of the writing was unnessecary and a little drawn out. Some scenes were overly descriptive and sentences or passages could be removed and actually help the books readability.

Also, because of who Kay is, the flashback technique was used a lot, and the book would have benefited from italics in those sections.

So, just a few small things I couldn't ignore, and things that I think could've been fixed or discussed in editing.

Still, the adventure and romance, and uniqueness of Phenice Arielle's novel is great, and I can't wait to read the next installment of Kay's story.

I give the book a 4/5 star rating.


GIVEAWAY!!!!

There is a tour wide rafflecopter and here it is! Enter to win some awesome Phoenix Rising swag!
 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Perfectly Able by Suzannah Daniels Cover Reveal!

Welcome to Mera's YA Book List!!!!

Today, we have a cover reveal for a new NA read, Perfectly Able by Suzannah Daniels. SO sit back, scroll down, and read all about the book and check out it's cool cover.

~Mera







Book Info-

Title- Perfectly Able
By- Suzannah Daniels
Genre- New Adult Contemporary Romance
Expected Publication Date- November 29, 2013


Blurb-
What happens when you take a guy who’s afraid of failure…

Ridge Sutherland has his life planned to a tee. Now that he's graduated from college and gotten a job as an engineer, he plans to escape to a week of blissful solitude in the Tennessee mountains to train for his next goal: complete a triathlon...but that was before he realized that his meddling, little sister and her matchmaking friend had other ideas.

…and a girl who’s struggling to find herself…

Ava Nottingham knows all about challenges. Life has thrown her an unexpected one. If she’s learned anything in the last five years, it’s to live every moment to its fullest. But that was before life knocked her to her knees once again. Now, she just needs some time to pull herself together. When she finds herself sharing a cabin with a handsome stranger, she must choose between facing her insecurities and admitting defeat.

…and teach them that sometimes the best things in life are totally unexpected?

Ridge has no time in his schedule for a serious relationship, and the last thing Ava needs is a man who will break her heart. Will their growing attraction demand more than they can give, or are they both perfectly able?



Links-


About the Author-
Suzannah Daniels has had an affinity for words for as long as she can remember.  She grew up in North Georgia with four brothers, so she learned at an early age to admire snakes and motorcycles.  When she wasn't pestering her brothers, she could usually be found reading or writing.


She is the author of Dangerous and Devious, young adult contemporary romances, Ghostly Encounter, a young adult paranormal romance, and Viking's Embrace, an adult historical romance.


Currently, she lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband and her teenage daughter.  Her son lives nearby.  The family pets include a Lab mix, a Basset Hound, a Shih Tzu, and a sweet, little kitty.


Links-

Facebook Event for Cover Reveal- https://www.facebook.com/events/229226953900314/

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Not Pretty Enough Blog Tour (GIVEAWAY+ Review+ Excerpt )



Welcome to Mera's YA Book List! Today we have a blog tour for Not Pretty Enough by Jaimie Admans. Keep reading for my review, a super awesome giveaway, and an excerpt from the novel.
Title: Not Pretty Enough
Author: Jaimie Admans
Date of Publication: August 1, 2013
Genre: contemporary YA comedy

Blurb:

“New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Lloyd Layton will know I exist. He once said three whole words to me, so this is obviously progress. If I don’t get a proper conversation out of him soon, then I’ll take my top off and streak through the cafeteria, because nobody could fail to notice these boobs.
2. I will not get expelled for streaking through the cafeteria.”

Those are the words that begin her mission.
Chessie is fourteen, not pretty enough, and very much in love. Lloyd Layton is hot, popular, and unaware of Chessie’s existence.
Her goal is clear: to get Lloyd to love her as much as she loves him, and she has exactly one year to do it.
As Chessie’s obsession with Lloyd reaches boiling point and she starts to spin a web of lies that spiral out of control, Lloyd turns out to be not quite the prince she thought he was. Can Chessie avoid the gathering storm before things go too far?

-- -- -- -- --
Not Pretty Enough is a contemporary young adult comedy suitable for ages thirteen and over.
Book two in the series will be released early 2014.
 
 
GIVEAWAY!

$40 Amazon GC + swag


MY REVIEW:

I received Not Pretty Enough by Jaimie Admans in digital format for the Not Pretty Enough blog tour hosted by Oops! I Read A Book Again.

Chessie, the main protagonist in Admans novel, was quite a character. She was just as dramatic and unreasonable as you'd expect any young teen to be, but honestly even a bit more.

Chessie, who is absolutely obsessed with Lance, a boy who goes to school with her, spends a lot of her time trying to find ways to get her guy.

From the beginning, I have no idea why she likes Lance so much. He's popular, sure, and even cute, but besides that it is obvious that they have nothing in common, and honestly, he seemed the tad bit like a jerk.

Chessie would have gasped dramatically if she were to hear me say that (and if her hearing me was possible) but Lance actually became more likeable throughout the novel. That is until the end when something happens that makes me regret ever redeeming him of his 'LAME LOSER' title earlier in the book.

But even Lance, despicable as he is, wasn't my main problem with Not Pretty Enough. It was actually Chessie. She was everything a young lady should grow up not to be. She wasn't confident in her self, and she'd easily go to drastic measures to change herself for someone who wasn't even worth it.

However these problems actually made the story good because though I cringed every time she acted completely moronic, and yes, she did screw up a lot, she learned a lesson at the end.

"You don't need a boyfriend to complete you, and you certainly don't need one to make you popular, prettier, or smarter. As long as you're being yourself, then you're perfect."

Lines like these at the end made the book more enjoyable, and made me hate Chessie's actions a lot less.

I like my tea with a good amount of sugar and a nice splash of lemon, and I think it's obvious that this book just wasn't my cup of tea. That doesn't make it horrible however. The book had plenty of morals that are definitely beneficial, tons of activity, and could be engaging.

For these reasons, I give Not Pretty Enough a three star review.

However, I'd recommend this book to my middle grade and lower YA crowd as the dialogue and the characters are definitely more MG geared than YA, and the lessons enclosed are presented in a way that is more MG & Lower YA appropriate.

Though Not Pretty Enough wasn't my cuppa tea, it definitely didn't fail in funny!
EXCERPT:

 

I’ve been in this school for two and a half years now. I’ve had this teacher – Mr Edmond – for a year and a half of them, and he has not yet realised that I am not interested in geography. In fact, the only thing even mildly interesting in this classroom is the fact that Lloyd Layton is in it.

I don’t know if it’s because my seat is directly opposite the teacher’s desk, or if it’s because he just doesn’t like me, but he loves to do quick fire questions, usually before you’ve even settled at your desk and got your books out. I’m always the first one he picks, and it’s always some rubbish about the Earth’s core or volcanoes that erupted fifty years ago. I never get it right, and I think Mr Edmond thinks I’m teasing him by pretending to be stupid when the truth is that I can just about find my way home from the bus stop.

“Miss Clemenfield,” Mr Edmond begins just as we are settling down in our chairs. “The population of Japan is?”

“Um…”

“Wrong. The population of Japan is not um. It is in fact…” He stops and stares at me for a moment. “Francesca, are you okay?”

I look up. “Yes, thank you. Yourself?”

“No, your face. It’s all red.”

“I had to run down from my last class. Mr Griffiths kept us behind.” I nod emphatically. Okay, so I’m seriously unfit. Why don’t you point it out to the whole class and have Lloyd Layton turning to look at my red, sweaty self, panting due to a short run from the maths block?

“If you’d like to go and get a glass of water from the fountain, you’re welcome to go now before the lesson begins.”

“I’m good, thanks.”

He walks away and starts the quick fire questions down the other end of the room.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Ceri, who sits on one side of me, asks.

“You know, you do look a bit red and blotchy, Chess,” Ewan says from the seat on my other side.

“All right, I’m unfit,” I snap. “Why don’t you just announce that I’m a fat cow during school assembly and be done with it?”

“Sorry.” He holds his hands up and starts intently reading his textbook.

Leigh leans across from where she sits a few chairs down. “Don’t worry, Chessie,” she says with a sickly sweet smile that’s as fake as plastic flowers. “I suffer from PMT too. Do you want me to ask for a tampon for you?”

“At least mine’s not permanent,” I snap at her.

After ten minutes or so goes by, the teacher is about to fire another dumb question when he stops in his tracks and stares at me.

“You know, Francesca, I really think you ought to go and see the nurse.”

God, won’t anyone just leave me alone today?

“It’s Chessie, please.” I grab my bag from the floor and dig around in it until I find my compact mirror. “Is there something wrong with the lighting in this class or something today, Mr Edmond? Because I’m absolutely fi—”

Oh God. My face is all red and blotchy. It’s like I’ve come out in some sort of a rash. Crikey, no wonder the teacher was worried about me.

“Sorry,” I say quickly.

“Ewan, Ceri,” Mr Edmond addresses them. “Could you two move your chairs away a little bit, just in case it’s contagious. If everybody could just shift down a little.”

Contagious. Contagious? He thinks I’m contagious? And he’s just announced it to the rest of the class, and suddenly thirty pairs of eyes are peering at me and talking amongst themselves.

Crap.

Couldn’t he just have said something to me quietly, without making the entire class think I have the bubonic plague? That’s just great, isn’t it? Now Lloyd will never look twice at me because I’m like a walking wart. A giant walking wart that is contagious.

Although, perhaps a more pressing matter is what on earth is wrong with me. Why is my face all rash-like? I look like I’ve been sleeping in a nest of stinging nettles.

“I think you should go to the nurse, Chessie.” Mr Edmond puts unnecessary emphasis on my name.

“Yes, thank you.”

I grab my bag and rush out the door, grateful to be able to walk away from the staring eyes.



Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18142578-not-pretty-enough
Purchase links: Amazon
 
About Jaimie Admans
Jaimie is a 28-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps. She has been writing for years but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. Afterlife Academy is her third novel and she hopes you enjoy it. There are plenty more on the way!
 
 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Secret Side of Empty by Maria Andreu BLOG TOUR + Giveaway

Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out Mera's YA Book List!

This post was actually meant to go up on the 16th (I had a huge problem with Blogger, my brother messing with Google, and foolishly forgetting to log out of Google on the home computer, smh) but now I have it up and I'm so sorry Maria and Michelle!
Please forgive me!

Back to the topic at hand! I have a awesome guest post for you guys from Maria Andreu, author of the upcoming YA release The Secret Side of Empty. The Secret Side of Empty will be available for purchase next spring!



Guest Post by Maria Andreu

 

Getting the courage to write a book is always hard.  Getting the courage to write a book on a subject which you’ve kept a secret your whole life is near impossible.  That’s why I consider it a minor miracle that my first novel is going to debut next spring.  It nearly didn’t happen at all.

The Secret Side of Empty is the story of a teenage girl with a big secret:  she was brought to the U.S. as a kid and her parents overstayed their visitors’ visas.  So she is what the news calls “illegal.”  Without a social security number, there will be no college, no job; no driver’s license… nothing that her friends in suburban New Jersey see as their future.  For her, it looks like a blank screen with no options.

I also was undocumented as a kid and, thanks to an amnesty when I was a teenager, am now a citizen.  For a long time, that was my deepest secret, which not even my best friend or my husband knew.  I intended to never tell it but, as stories do, it kept whispering itself to me.  Finally, I started writing what would become my novel, The Secret Side of Empty.  Getting the “yes” from my agency was one of the coolest experiences of my life.  The acceptance email still sits framed in the living room of my house.

When I first started speaking out about my story in a series of essays and speeches, I faced who I was afraid might be my toughest audience:  my (then) 8-year-old daughter.  I figured if I was going to go public with this information, I should tell her first.  Nervously, I told her my own personal story:  crossing the Mexican border at the age of 8, growing up afraid of being deported, finally getting my citizenship certificate with her as a baby on my hip after years of waiting.  I braced for her reaction.  I didn’t want her to be ashamed of me.

“Wow!   That’s so cool!” was her reply.  I couldn’t believe it but I was so grateful.  It was all the courage I needed to go on.

The 8-year-old is now thirteen (it takes a very long time to get a book published!) and she still thinks it’s cool that Mom wrote a novel and has this interesting backstory.  The difference now is that Mom does too. 

Read more of my work at http://mariaeandreu.com


ABOUT The Secret Side of Empty


It's the story of a teen girl that is American in every way except for in one very important way: on paper. She was brought to the U.S. as a baby without proper documentation, so she's "illegal." As the end of the safe haven of her high school days draw near, she faces an uncertain future. Full of humor and frustration and love, The Secret Side of Empty speaks to the part in all of us that has felt excluded or has had a secret too scary to share. What M.T., the main character, finally discovers is the strength of the human spirit and the power that's unleashed when you finally live the truth.
 

Giveaway Info

Maria is giving away two separate prizes on her tour, a $250 Amazon Gift Card AND a Kindle Fire.

 

1)      For a chance to win the $250 Amazon gift card, OR the Kindle Fire leave a comment on her blog post for that day. Winners will be randomly selected on September 30th.

 


Maria Andreu’s Bio:


Maria’s writing has appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post and the Star Ledger.  Her debut novel, The Secret Side of Empty, is the story of an “illegal” high school senior.  It was inspired by Maria’s own experiences as an undocumented teen.  Since becoming a citizen, Maria has run her own business and has become a soccer mom. She lives with her 13-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son in northern New Jersey.

 

Links

Maria Andreu’s website- http://mariaeandreu.com/

Maria Andreu on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritersideofM

Monday, September 9, 2013

In Which I Review... My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron


Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Harlequin HQN
Received for review via NetGalley
NA - intended for older YA + readers
 
 
SYNOPSIS:
 
Two secrets. One bet. Who will break first?

Taylor Caldwell can't decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.

On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he's a tattooed, guitar-playing bad boy. Maybe that's why Taylor's afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn't want to get burned, so she needs him gone before it's too late.

Hunter himself has been burned before, but Taylor's sexy laugh and refusal to let him get away with anything make her irresistible. Determined not to be kicked out of her life without a fight, Hunter proposes a bet: if she can convince him she either truly loves or hates him, he'll leave the apartment—and leave her alone.

But when the man behind Taylor's fear of giving up her heart resurfaces, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.



REVIEW:
 
Wow fricking wow!

Hunter Aaron Zaccadelli! It's safe to assume that I loved My Favorite Mistake. Chelsea M. Cameron has a way with words, especially swoon worthy ones.

My Favorite Mistake follows Taylor Caldwell, a college student with a past so rotten it makes Snow White's apple look like a deliciously sweet piece of cake. When Taylor encounters Hunter, one of her new roommates in her co-ed dorm, one this is evident to the reader. This situation is covered in one thing. Trouble.
Taylor realizes the same thing, calling Hunter trouble just after laying her eyes on her.

Trouble he may be, but that makes for an exciting read.

This book is a breeze to read. It's NA encompassed. There's fun, there's romance, grief, self awareness, and then there's Hunter, with his lucky tattoos, amazing blue eyes, and his skillfully used guitar.

One thing that stands out about this novel is that much of it involves around a dare, and Taylor's obsessiveness to get Hunter out of the dorm.

Remember how I said the author, Cameron, had a way with words.She also has a way with character development.

Taylor Caldwell seems a bit annoying at first. It's totally understandable that she might feel uncomfortable sharing a room with a guy, but I just couldn't fully like her at first. It seems like she's harboring some personal vendetta towards Hunter for absolutely no reason but a few flirty comments.

However, Taylor's reasons because glaring clear, and her slowly growing acceptance of Hunter makes her a loveable character at first.

 
Hunter, on the other hand, is loveable from the beginning of the novel and through to the end. There are moments when he acts like a jerk so much so that it's shocking to the reader. I'd call him to good to be true, but these small instances throughout the book when he does wrong humanizes him, and makes you realize that he is just as screwed up as others. That makes him even more loveable.

The secondary characters were unique and fun, without being over engaging, and the story's plot was great.

Another thing that stood out about the novel was the way music obviously influenced the author and her characters as well. While reading this book, I actually ended up listening to plenty of the songs mentioned, including ones by Coldplay and Taylor Swift.

Who doesn't like a built in playlist, right?

My only problem, and it's miniscule, was that the initial sex scene, which was a major stepping stone in Taylor's life seemed to waver a bit as if the author was wary of writing it. I love that she didn't over power the novel with sex, but that one scene seemed to miss something small but noticeable. It wasn't a detriment to my reaction of the book overall, hence my rating.

Still, Hunter is probably my biggest book crush since Patch, and anyone who follow's Mera's YA Book List, or any of my social outlets, understand what my bond to Patch Cipriano is like. Well done, Chelsea M. Cameron, well done.
 
5 shining stars!

Goodreads link

Thursday, August 29, 2013

In Which I Review... Gone Wild by Ever McCormick



ebook, First, 260 pages
Published August 15th 2013 by Barefoot Publishing
Received via NetGalley for review

ISBN 13: 2940148577508
 
 
SYNOPSIS:
Just before college graduation, Ina--star of her senior class--made a mistake that went viral. Then, when life seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, she walked in on her boyfriend cheating with her roommate. To get away, Ina ventures to a cabin on a remote mountain, intent on some solitary time.

She doesn’t count on Adam -- the man who watches over the cabins -- being so distractingly sexy. Adam came to the mountain to get distance from anything that could cause him pain, and Ina stirs feelings in him he thought he’d left behind.

As Adam and Ina open up about their pasts, the mountain seems like the perfect setting for a second chance at love.

Until they realize they’re not alone.
 

 
 
REVIEW:
 
Gone Wild is a delightfully honest, sexy, and exhilarating novel that isn't one to be forgotten anytime soon. The novel follows Ina, a fresh out of college girl who decides to leave it all behind in lieu of a huge mistake and an even bigger betrayal. Ina drops it all, well everything except her few precious links to the outside world (i.e cell phone and laptop) in order to set out for some much needed alone time.
 
In comes Adam. Ina moves to a cabin on an isolated mountain absolutely set on being with her thoughts and nature alone. She didn't expect the mountain's owner to be a strong, strapping man just years older than her. Adam slowly captivates Ina and every second of it is blissfully amazing. I didn't cringe at the characters questionable decisions. Ever McCormick has a knack for perfectly balancing out the extremities of every situation.
 
Adam, while with his problems, was a gentleman through and through. Adam, like Ina, came to the mountains to get away and has been away for years. Together the two kindle a relationship that is so hot it can set forest fires.

The only problem: the weird occurrences. The moved or missing tools. The slightly open cabin door. The weird feeling Ina has that someone is watching her.
 
This book has it all. Mystery, suspense, romance, heartbreak, betrayal, and sexy. I'd recommend this to all of my NA crowd! To my YA crowds, this book isn't for you just yet. Keep it on your list until you're 18. You won't want to miss out. Seriously, the wait is worth the while.

Four big fat shining stars! I loved every second of McCormick's novel.