Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Darker Past by Jus Accardo (ARC)

A Darker Past (Darker Agency #2)
Jus Accardo
Pub: November 11, 2014

A Darker Past (Darker Agency, #2)The past is Darker than they thought...

Between helping her mother with the Darker Agency and laying the smack down on monster baddies, Jessie Darker puts the “normal” in paranormal. But lately, things have gotten a little crazy...even for a smart-assed half-demon teenage girl.

For starters, Jessie’s been contracted into fifty-five years of annoying servitude. To a demon. Then there’s Lukas Scott, her sexy new boyfriend. Once the former incarnation of Wrath, he’s been going through some...uh, changes. Like residual anger. And trading chaste hangouts for lusty make-out sessions.

But it’s when Lukas and Jessie accidentally release a Very Nasty Demon that things get really bad, setting into motion a chain of death and mayhem that threatens both Earth and the Shadow Realm. Jessie has exactly four days to fix it...before all of Hell breaks loose.

First off, I'll admit I haven't read the first in this series, but I didn't let that deter me from diving right in. I loved Jessie's sarcasm, especially in the first quarter of the book. Her snarkiness seemed to fade a bit from there, but she occasionally graced me with something sassy to lift my mood. Her boyfriend Lukas is recovering from being Wrath's b*tch for way too long, forced there by his crazy ex, and is now under the tutelage of Jessie's Father in hell, but can go back and forth freely. Well, mostly freely like Jessie, who finds herself being sucked into hell every the demon she's now in servitude to decides to beckon her to his semi-creepy side to do a job for him.

While checking out something for her family's demon agency, Lukas' crazy ghost of an ex goes mental and ends up setting loose a demon that had been trapped. And since Jessie's family had a hand in putting him there, he unleashes his vengeance on every member of the Darker family and the ones they love. Who will survive his wrath before he can be trapped again?

A Darker Past started off strong and was a decent story, though it began to drag for me about half way through. I think that might've just been me though. I was enjoying Jessie's sarcastic thoughts so well, that when her sassiness began to fade a bit, it made the story come off a little more ho-hum for me. But I think most people who like this genre will be more than happy with Miss Accardo's world of demons. And romance lovers will be sated with the lustful-yet-still-respectful relationship between Jessie and Lukas, who find being similar in the fact that they're both demon-newbies just a little stressful on the ole love life.

3.5 Dreamcatchers. ARC provided by Entangled Teen for honest review.
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

This Is Your Afterlife by Vanessa Barneveld (ARC)

This Is Your Afterlife
Vanessa Barneveld
Pub.: October 21, 2014

This Is Your AfterlifeWhen the one boy you crushed on in life can't seem to stay away in death, it's hard to be a normal teen when you're a teen paranormal.

Sixteen-year-old Keira Nolan has finally got what she wanted—the captain of the football team in her bedroom. Problem is he’s not in the flesh. He’s a ghost and she’s the only one who can see him.

Keira's determined to do anything to find Jimmy's killer. Even it if means teaming up with his prickly-yet-dangerously-attractive brother, Dan, also Keira's ex-best-friend. Keira finds that her childish crush is fading, but her feelings for Dan are just starting to heat up, and as the story of Jimmy’s murder unfolds, anyone could be a suspect.

This thrilling debut from Vanessa Barneveld crosses over from our world to the next, and brings a whole delightful new meaning to "teen spirit".

Keira Nolan seems to face the problem most teenagers do in high school. No, not the ghost thing, but the part where she always had such a crush on one guy she didn't realize there was another worth having until it was too late. Jimmy was the star athlete every girl wanted, but it was his artistic brother Dan who had eyes for Keira. And when her best friend tried to kiss her for that lovely game of Seven Minutes in Heaven, Keira blurted the stupidest thing possible - next thing she knew, she'd lost her best friend and the guy she aparently had a thing for.

A few years later, Keira's finally inheriting her late grandmother's gift - the ability to see dead people. And her first official ghost sighting? None other than Jimmy himself, who can't remember how he died, nor can he seem to keep himself grounded the farther he travels away from Keira. So not only will Keira have to help Jimmy figure out how he mysteriously died, but he's begged her to tell his brother he's still around. Wouldn't be such a feat if he didn't hate her so much.
It's been a while since I read a YA book that was this cute and kept my attention because of that. Don't get me wrong, the story was simple and I figured out right away why Jimmy died, but it didn't bother me moving forward with the novel. Let's just call This Is Your Afterlife simple and sweet. If you need a light, easy read that'll make you smile and come down from one of the more emotionally heavy novels out there, this is your gem.
ARC provided by Bloomsbury Spark for honest review.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Anomaly by Tonya Kuper (ARC)

Anomaly (Schrodinger's Consortium #1)
Tonya Kuper
Pub.: Nov 25, 2014

Anomaly (Schrodinger's Consortium, #1)Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…

Worst. Birthday. Ever.

My first boyfriend dumped me – happy birthday, Josie!- my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

Hmm. Anomaly was just okay for me; didn't love it, didn't hate it. I will say that I enjoyed the geekiness of Josie and the way she could refer to stories like Star Wars and Thor and compare them to the new version of her everyday life. I also liked that her superpower involved pushing and retracting objects in and out of existence. Definitely a cool ability to have. But the storyline of girl with new abilities training and falling for her hot new trainer has become a bit of a bore for me - I've read it too many times already, so it made the story really drag on until the last fifteen percent. She just spent way too much of this novel learning how to push things into reality. I prefer to read about spontaneous conflict, not the manufactured kind to teach a new skill.
Give it a go if you like, and so long as you don't go in expecting to be blown away, you'll probably be content enough with Anomaly.  2.5 Dreamcatchers.

ARC provided by Entangled Publishing for honest review.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Body Electric by Beth Revis (ARC)

The Body Electric
Beth Revis
Pub.: October 6, 2014

The Body ElectricThe future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?

Ella's life wasn't completely easy. Her father died in a terrorist attack and her mother has an incurable illness that's slowly withering her away. Ella soon learns that her mother's invention - a machine that allows users to relive their happiest memories - no longer works to give her mother peace. So Ella doses herself with an insane amount of nanobots to allow herself to hook up and help her mother through the process. But now her body seems to be able to do things she never should've been able to, like staying underwater for way too long without breathing.

Once the government realizes what Ella can do with her mother's machine, they enlist her help to read the mind of a man they suspect is aiding a terrorist organization. The internal hacking leads Ella to the name of a man who used to work for her father, who is also suspected of leading the terrorist group. But when Ella finally comes face to face and mind to mind with him, she discovers the awful truth - that not only does that man have intimate moments of the two of them together that she can't remember, but that he nor the government leader she's been aiding are what they seem.
I really enjoyed Beth Revis' Across the Universe books, so I figured I'd probably really like The Body Electric too. This dystopian society relies heavily on technology to advance their lives, hence the nanobots circulating their systems. Ella thought she had a relatively low number, but soon learns that she has way more than she thought possible without suffering from bot brain, which basically makes your body go kaput. And once she learns it's probably because of her own father's research, her life will never be the same.

Reading through this, there were a few things that were obviously coming, and a few things that actually surprised me - and I'm hard to surprise. I think my one dissapointment was with the ending and its lack of closure on the romance front. It was left in a way that wasn't satisfying for me. These two characters had a past and I would've liked to see them acknowledge it a little more and choose a path before cutting me off, but other than that it was a pretty interesting novel. So if you're into mystery science fiction, this is a pretty good one to pick up.
3.5 dreamcatchers.
ARC provided by Scripturient Books for honest review.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

99 Cent Sale!

Now through November 12th, you can pick up all my individually released novels for just 99 little pennies. Snatch 'em up while you can. Some are sweet, some are dark, some are dirty, some are supernatural, and all are sassy. ;)

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