Forget Tomorrow by Pintip DunnForget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn
on November 3, 2015
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes the hellish prison.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all.

Callie herself.

This review is long overdue, but that is a common theme for me as of late. Over the past year, I have used any “spare” time (between school, work, commuting, spending time with my family) to attack my leisure/TBR list. So, when I have a moment to write a review/blog during the semester, that means I’m on top of my game. Yay for me!

Check out this lovely book-look created by another fan:

Book Look: Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow #1) By Pintip Dunn
Book Look: Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow #1) By Pintip Dunn by xmikky featuring a mini dress

When I read Pintip Dunn’s Forget Tomorrow earlier this year, it acted as the miracle brain balm to my reading romance rut. With Victoria Scott’s Dante Walker trilogy complete, J.L. Armentrout’s Lux series at an end, and Amy Engel’s The Book of Ivy duology finished, I felt at a loss for where to turn to for my next gripping teen read. Then, lo and behold, EntangledTEEN puts out the first book in another MUST READ series: Forget Tomorrow. My SciFi,YA, Romance loving heart was happy again…and completely in love with the characters and plot of Pintip Dunn’s new series.

I hesitate. Not because I don’t want to touch him, but because I do. I want to take his hand and hold it forever. […] Because five years ago, I never noticed the way his upper lip rested on his lower one, soft but assured. My breath didn’t quicken when he was near, and my stomach didn’t flip-flop whenever he touched me.

Our friendship has entered unfamiliar terrain.

Fans of the above mentioned books and others like the Divergent and UTNS series will find their next action-packed, romantic tension fix with Forget Tomorrow.

Two bad-ass characters, each carrying a secret. 17 year-old Callie is a strong, resilient, complex, and clever character that perfectly complements Logan, her childhood crush, who emanates from the page with quiet courage and a heart of gold. In other words, I’m in love.

This heart-pounding debut explores themes of family, convention and rebellion, identity, and the power of choice. I’m dropping everything to dive into the newly release sequel, Remember Yesterday, TONIGHT.

Follow me on Instagram for a chance to win a hardcover copy of Remember Yesterday in the near future.

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Blog Tour: Collide (The Taking #3) by Melissa West Review +Giveaway!!!Collide by Melissa West
Series: The Taking #3
Published by Entangled Teen Pages: 247
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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Military legacy Ari Alexander has survived alien spies, WWIV, and a changing world order. But when the new leader of Earth uses Jackson—the only boy she's ever let herself care about—to get to her, Ari has no choice but to surrender. To free Jackson, she agrees to travel to the national bases to train others to fight. What she discovers is a land riddled with dying people. Ari has the power to heal by turning the fighters into aliens—half-breeds like her. If she succeeds, together, they have a chance at overthrowing the alien leader, Zeus. But if she fails, everyone she holds dear will be wiped away forever. Once again, everything Ari’s come to believe is thrown into question. In a world of uncertainty, loyalties are tested, lies are uncovered, and no one can be trusted. If Ari and Jackson have any hope at survival and at preserving a life for the future, they must fight the final war with their eyes wide open.

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Check out my reviews of Gravity (The Taking #1) and Hover (The Taking #2).

Collide is a show-stopping, blood-pumping, heart-pounding finish to The Taking series, and hard-core Sci-Fi fans will be just as blown away by this finale as romance fans will be.

Ari is a bad-ass of EPIC PROPORTIONS in Collide and Melissa West didn’t hold back with Ari’s character. Ari fully transforms into a fearless leader in this last book of the series, and it was awesome to see her take on a strong female lead. She is a weapon of mass destruction in Collide and goes to all lengths to fight for what she believes in and to keep safe the ones she loves.

Jackson is as dreamy as ever, and never fails to anchor Ari when she needs it. I really enjoyed his character, and when combined with Ari’s character, the romance element was out of this world. As a team, as partners in this battle against Zeus and Kelvin, Ari’s love for Jackson and his love for her is what makes them strong. They are stronger together than apart, and Melissa West wholeheartedly proves this.

Jackson stands slowly, effort etched into his face, the muscles in his arms flexing. The door to his room starts to open, and my gaze flashes over, every fiber in me focused on keeping it shut. “They’re coming,” I say.

“It doesn’t matter,” Jackson replies, his voice like a warm blanket over my heart, soothing the ache that’s been there since he disappeared. The ache I feared would never go away.

“They can’t contain us. They will never contain us.

The pacing was perfect for this final installment and the plot was compelling, thickening with the pace of the novel. So much action was packed in, one might be afraid that it would take away from the love story- but it didn’t. Despite enough scenes and action sequences to make any Star-Wars fan or Star-Ship Troopers fan squeal for joy, the romance between Ari and Jackson is really where it’s at.

I was SO HAPPY and actually a little shocked that Melissa West didn’t let this thread of the story be overpowered by the Sci-Fi elements, but the woman is MAGIC. Melissa West creates the perfect combination of action/romance qualities in Collide, but for me, it is definitely the relationship between Ari and Jackson that transcends space and time. West really knows how to craft a meaningful relationship between her main characters, and that is what ultimately kept me turning the pages at breakneck speed.

And as if she needed to add any more depth to her story and make certain aspects seem relevant to the world today, West goes and drops lines like this to really get you thinking:

“I don’t like what this means, joining forces with the enemy, but maybe it’s not about sides. Maybe it’s about the best people—the best kind—surviving. Maybe it’s about the birth of a new species, one that isn’t so fixated on the other and is more focused on the best life for all.”

Collide was AWESOME and although I’m sad to see it end, I’m so glad Melissa West gave her fans a terrific ending to this STELLAR series.

And don’t forget to check out one of the COOLEST GIVEAWAYS EVER below. It includes and awesome annotated copy of Gravity and ROSWELL SEASON ONE. How cool is that!?

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About the Author

melissa westMelissaWest writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/InterMix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

Author Links: Website│Goodreads│Twitter│Facebook Book Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

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About Melissa West

Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/Intermix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

Blog Tour: The Book of Ivy by Amy EngelThe Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy #1
Published by Entangled Teen on November 11, 2014
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me.

But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him...

Hello, my fellow BOOK LOVERS! Today is my stop on The Book of Ivy blog tour, and I would like to thank all of you for dropping by. You can check out a video interview of ”speed round” questions I submitted for the author, Amy Engel here on the Entangled Teen blog.  Keep scrolling for my review and  TWO GIVEAWAYS below!

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His eyes are cool, clear green, and they study me with an intensity that makes my stomach cramp. His gaze is neither hostile nor welcoming bu appraising, like I am a problem he is figuring out how to solve. He doesn’t come toward me, but when I get close enough to hold out a hand, as I’ve been coached to do, he takes it in his. He squeezes my hand briefly, which startles the breath in my throat.

Bishop had me at the hand squeeze. 

Bishop Lattimer
Bishop Lattimer

Bishop. Is. THE BOMB.

It wasn’t Bishop’s good looks and altruistic personality that blew up the story world in The Book of Ivy, but it might as well have been. I can just imagine if the United States was plunged into a nuclear winter because of this handsome male character: “Bishop: The boy whose face launched a thousand missiles”.  Amy Engel describes one sexy specimen of a man in Bishop Lattimer, but Bishop leveled me with his quiet, yet powerful demeanor. These qualities gave glorious depth to his attractive facade.

I am propelled to first address the attraction I felt for Bishop Lattimer in this review because of the nuclear-intensity in which this attraction hit me with. A young-man who is far from a product of his upbringing, Bishop embodies all the qualities necessary to lead a people outside of his father’s dictatorial shadow. At first a spoiled and privileged enemy in Ivy’s eyes, Bishop becomes an inviting enigma that keeps the pages turning at top speed in this book. Ivy quickly learns that there is more than meets the eye with Bishop Lattimer,and it’s enough to challenge everything she ever thought she knew about Bishop and his family…. Even her own family.

I shift away from her [Callie, Ivy’s sister], fix my gaze on the far side of the pond. I know what she’s saying is true, but it doesn’t exactly feel true, at least not completely, not when I remember the way Bishop asked me about myself, like he really cared about the answers.

“Remember what we talked about? How they’ll [The Lattimers] try to muddle your thinking? Turn black to white and up to down? Try to make you believe he [Bishop] cares more about you than we [your family] do?”

I nod. I know she’s right. I know what the truth is; I know my family wouldn’t lead me astray and everything they ask me to do is for the good of us all. I have to be strong enough to remember their lessons. More than anything, I want to make them proud.

 

Ivy Westfall
Ivy Westfall

 

Ivy embodies what I want in a female lead. She is strong, smart, and fearless. Ivy has her heart set on revenge in the name of family loyalty and justice; even if it means her own demise. The psychological struggles she faces during the execution of her plan for revenge create a flesh-and-blood character that breathes life into her by-the-book heroine archetype. Ivy is always on guard and constantly clever. Just when I thought I knew the arc of Ivy’s story-line, she makes a decision that cuts like a knife and left me in an emotional upheaval. I couldn’t have asked for more from this book or from Ivy’s character.

The Book of Ivy is entertaining on the level of inception. There’s a strong theme running beneath the surface that really makes this story spark your synapses and question the concepts of criminal and social justice. The world that Bishop and Ivy inhabit isn’t as black and white as the elders of their community want them to believe, and Amy Engel does a brilliant job of presenting the grey areas in ways that are relevant to present-day society. Despite a setting that seems futuristic in its circumstances, there’s a Medieval-vibe to the social structure in Ivy and Bishop’s world that serves its dystopian setting well. The pacing of the novel was patient and hypnotic, succumbing to a nail-biting and heart-pounding series of events by the end. Subtle strokes of character development revealed themselves in each chapter, yielding a story rich in emotions and striking in plot. Writing this review made me want to drop everything and go read The Book of Ivy all over again, so I’ll leave you with my very own GIVEAWAY and one hosted by Amy Engel.

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About the Author amy engelAmy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran,Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two kids. Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV. When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping. The Book of Ivy is her debut YA novel. Find her online at http://amyengel.net/ or @aengelwrites. Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter

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Blog Tour: Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander+GIVEAWAY!!!Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander
Published by Entangled Teen on October 7, 2014
Pages: 350
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
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Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy.

By the time he learns she's ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared).

 

 

Hello, Friends! Today is my stop on the LaOUV Blog Tour and I want to thank YA Bound Book Tours for including me!

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A few hours of your life, plus the pages of this book, equals TIME WELL SPENT.

 

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Summary from Goodreads:

Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy. By the time he learns she’s ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared).

 

DISCLAIMER: I have a tendency to either be severely sarcastic when reviewing books or sickeningly sentimental. I’m apologizing in advance for being the latter. 

I shed a few tears after reading THE FIRST PAGE of this book. First, because it was so beautifully written and second, because I knew what was coming. After chapter one, I was greedy. I curled up on my side of the bed and shut the rest of the world out to finish reading it. Shannon Alexander’s writing is poetic and smart like Tetris. Her story and characters found all the right places to fit in my heart. Charlie and Charlotte’s story soothed emotional wounds that I didn’t even realize I had let fester.

I’ve lost a lot of loved ones to cancer. I practically grew up going to funerals because of the c-word, so Love and Other Unknown Variables really struck a chord with me.  I want to thank Shannon Lee Alexander for writing this book, so I’m going to write her an open letter:

Dear Shannon,

I really loved your main characters, Charlie and Charlotte. Charlie captivated me with the kind of arrogant-insecurity that only a geek of his caliber could pull off and end up being Prince Charming because of it. The way Charlie processed the world around him delighted my synapses, and his timid free-fall into first-love with Charlotte reminded me of the first time I saw a shooting star with my husband.

Charlotte reminded me of my cousin who passed away from cancer at the age of eleven, six years ago. She only had a short time here on Earth but those last few years that she lived, despite her body being ravaged by cancer and chemo, she lived them like a bright Sun that would never burn out. Charlotte’s intensity and stubborn will to fit a galactic year’s worth of life and adventure into the time she had left reminded me of that courage. You extracted the element that keeps hope alive from whatever magic it’s bred from and distilled it into Charlotte and Charlie’s relationship so perfectly.

The tempo of your  novel kept pace with my heart. Your intuitive writing stopped time in all the right places and made me reflect on the things I have to be thankful for including the moments I shared with loved one’s before they journeyed into that next celestial realm.

Thank you for honoring the people who have had similar experiences by not glamorizing or glossing-over the impact that something so tragic can have on people’s lives. Thank you for turning what could have been a black-hole of debilitating loss and despair into a beautiful piece of art that is more cathartic than any therapy session ever could be. You approached this sensitive subject matter with beauty, grace, and boldness. If ever love and hope, sadness and loss, humor and heart could be synthesized in a book; into the ink and letters that make up the words and sentences on a page; you did it. I cried and laughed, sometimes all at once, and that takes some wordsmithing- magic. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Your biggest (and most sentimental) fan,

Regina

If it wasn’t obvious from my letter to Shannon, I FRIGGIN’ LOVED THIS BOOK with the intensity of a solar-ray’s maximum wavelength. It was sad and funny in all the right places, and smarter than Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Don’t compare this book to TFIOS. Love and Other Unknown Variables deserves it’s own spotlight. If you don’t win a copy in the giveaway hosted by the blog tour (ENTER BELOW TO WIN), or from my giveaway hosted on twitter (FOLLOW @CLOCKBIRDSTAR FOR DETAILS), THEN GO BUY IT AND GIVE IT TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW WHO IS LITERATE. It’s worth it, I  promise. 🙂

 

shannonAbout the Author

Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife, mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. Math makes her break out in a sweat. Love and Other Unknown Variables is her debut novel. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

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The Warrior (Dante Walker #3) by Victoria Scott: Review+GIVEAWAY!!!The Warrior by Victoria Scott
Series: Dante Walker #3
Published by Entangled Teen on May 6, 2014
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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War between heaven and hell is coming, but Dante Walker makes it look damn good.

Dante’s girlfriend, Charlie, is fated to save the world. And Aspen, the girl who feels like a sister, is an ordained soldier. In order to help both fulfill their destiny and win the war, Dante must complete liberator training at the Hive, rescue Aspen from hell, and uncover a message hidden on an ancient scroll.

Dante is built for battle, but even he can’t handle the nightmares where spiders crawl from Aspen’s eyes, or the look on Charlie’s face that foretells of devastation. To make matters worse, the enemy seizes every opportunity to break inside the Hive and cripple the liberators. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching, and to stand victorious, Dante will have to embrace something inside himself he never has before—faith.

I don’t mind first endings, second endings or sad endings. But I do mind farewell endings.

There’s no one who hates the ”farewell” ending of a series more than I do.

Now, I can’t technically prove that last statement.

But I CAN prove how much I loved the Dante Walker trilogy and how much Victoria Scott’s debut series meant to me.

How can I prove this you ask? With glowing praise and reverent reviews and five-star ratings?

YES. To ALL of those things….. PLUS a pound of ass-fat.

 

It was July of 2014 and I was dragging myself through a Ripped in 30 Jillian Michael’s workout with the goal of losing some flab.  Physical exertion in the middle of a Texas summer is its own special kind of hell and all I could think about was turning off the dvd, plopping on to my cool faux-leather couch and giving into the awesome book waiting for me to finish it on my side-table.

The Warrior was calling to me. I had put off reading it long enough because I couldn’t handle the thought of my journey with Dante Walker ending and just as I was about to press the stop button on my workout, a thought popped into my head: What Would Dante Do?

Dante would get his ass to work and sweat until his balls chafed to maintain his enviable physique,  that’s what he would do! And then I thought: just like Dante’s built for battle in The Warrior, I’m built for this temporary workout hell.

I am arms for push-ups, I am legs for squat thrusts and I am abs for planks!

 

So, yeah. That’s just ONE of the ways Dante Walker changed my life. He made me drop a pant size.

This past summer, every time I felt like giving up during a workout I just asked myself: WWDD?  Or imagined him waiting to greet me at the end of my fat fry session in all of his sinfully sexy glory.

I feel a little silly sharing this story with you but Dante loves taking the credit for my firmer bum and I can’t deny him anything.

I have a crush on Victoria Scott like I have a crush on Shakespeare. The Warrior was the perfect ending to the Dante Walker series and just as potent and clever as a Shakespearean sonnet. Each scene in The Warrior had a captivating feel that would push, push, push and then pull back in the most perfect and sentimental moments between Dante and Charlie.

Charlie continues stepping backward and I continue pursuing her. Finally, I can’t take it any longer. I reach out and snatch her and make her mine. She’s my moon, and I’ve plucked her from the sky.

[…]

Her smile falls away. She turns her head to the sea. “It doesn’t seem so scary anymore.”

“What doesn’t?” I ask.

“Dying.”

The inner workings of Dante’s mind were both heartbreaking and empowering with each personal demon he fought. Victoria wrapped the soul of a poet into this egotistical bad boy and managed to shine a light through his spiritual imperfections, reforming him without losing any of the diabolical charm that won my heart in The Collector.

The battle scenes were EPIC, the subject matter was dark and the humor was perfection. The Warrior was the best farewell ending to the Dante Walker series that I could have asked for.

If you haven’t had a chance to read The Warrior yet, then enter for a chance to win a signed paperback copy below!

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About Victoria Scott

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her first stand-alone young adult title, TITANS, will be published by Scholastic in spring 2016.

Victoria’s books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. She currently lives in Dallas, and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

The Liberator by Victoria Scott: Review+Giveaway!!!

The Liberator by Victoria Scott: Review+Giveaway!!!The Liberator by Victoria Scott
Series: Dante Walker #2
Published by Entangled Teen on August 27, 2013
Pages: 331
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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Purchase Links: Amazon
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Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance. When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard. With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

Dante Walker. Soul Collector turned Soul Protector. When does the video game come out!?

I’ve always been a sucker for the bad boys. When Dante Walker abdicated his Collector Cuff to save Charlie Cooper’s life at the end of The Collector, a little part of my demon-loving heart died. In The Liberator, Dante’s swingin’ for the other team. Big Guy’s team (a.k.a. Lord of the Heavens), and he’s officially turned his back on Lucille (a.k.a Lucifer). I had mixed emotions about this. I was skeptical about The Liberator, and didn’t know if Victoria could live up to her former glory from The Collector. I mean, Dante as a good guy? Really???

Yes.
Really.

“Is this just a Young Adult novel?!” I thought to myself. Victoria Scott’s The Liberator is genius and even BETTER than The Collector. Dante Walker raises some holy hell in The Liberator, and he’s hotter than ever. Who knew being good could be so bad-ass?

 [sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://mereadalot.com/muzak/SAL.mp3″] <- Click  the play button for this review’s 1st theme song.
(Turning Page by Sleeping At Last)

The first half of The Liberator reads like the calm before the storm. Dante is no longer Satan’s right-hand man, and all he can do is bid his time until more Collectors are sent to finish what he started with Charlie. Charlie’s love has turned a page in Dante’s life. He surrendered who he was for Charlie. Charlie sees what’s good in Dante, and for the first time he’s ready to leave behind his demon-chic life. But now Dante’s having a post-demon life crisis. He’s consuming alcohol and cigarettes like his warring emotions are consuming him. He doesn’t know how to be anything other than what he’s been; living for himself and doing bitch-work for Lucille. Dante’s love for Charlie is the only clear and constant thing in his life and he wants to be better for her, but he feels trapped by what he can’t define; himself. Dante is riding a downward spiral. This lost sense of self and identity might ruin Dante’s chances to stay a Liberator, so Big Guy sends Dante on a mission. Colorado is about to get a lot hotter. Dante Walker is coming to town.

Dante has to leave Charlie back at home for this assignment in Colorado. There’s this chick named Aspen sporting a black soul that needs some saving, and Dante is having a hell of a time resisting his bad boy ways and gaining Aspen’s trust. Despite everything inside of him screaming to party hard and join Aspen in her sinful ways, there’s something about her that won’t let him give up. If he doesn’t liberate Aspen’s soul, he won’t just fail Big Guy, he’ll fail Charlie as well. Aspen has her suspicions about Dante, but she’s lived a hard knock life and she can handle trouble like Bruce Lee handles nunchucks.

Bruce Lee's spirit lives on in Aspen.
Bruce Lee’s spirit lives on in Aspen.

 [sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://mereadalot.com/muzak/devil.mp3″] <-Click the play button for this review’s 2nd theme song.
(The Devil Takes Care of His Own by Band of Skulls)

This is who I imagine  Red to look like.
This is who I imagine Red to look like.

 

The tide turns for Lucille and the gang, and a new breed of soulless wash up on shore. Victoria introduces The Sirens in this second book, and they are more diabolical than The Collectors. They’ve snuck their way into Charlie’s life while Dante’s been gone, and they’ve been playing her. A secret is revealed, and Dante realizes he and the gang no longer have the upper hand with Charlie’s soul. Vallery (a.ka. Red) and Max (a.k.a. Dante’s best friend and a Collector) have been holding out on him. There’s an important piece of information that everyone knew except D-Dub, and when he finds out; Hell freezes over. Dante, Charlie and the gang find themselves in a nest of trouble and a certain legendary Liberator named Kraven might be the only one that can help them. The Devil takes care of his own and Dante’s Black Amex has been revoked. The Collectors and The Sirens are after Charlie with a vengeance and they will stop at nothing to drag her to hell.

 

This is kinda how I imagine Kraven to look like. #BenditlikeBeckham
This is kinda how I imagine Kraven to look like. #BenditlikeBeckham

 

#DavidBeckham #SexyKraven
#DavidBeckham #SexyKraven

 

Dante and Aspen take a pilgrimage in The Liberator, but only one of them returns. We learn something at the end of this book that completely changes the game. It’s genius, and monumental, and ohhhh such a good plot twist. Victoria gave me more than I could have ever hoped for in a sequel to The Collector. The love that builds and burns between Charlie and Dante in The Liberator is the stuff dreams are made of, and no panties are safe from (#pantyinferno). I don’t think I’ve ever read love being experienced so perfectly before. Charlie and Dante’s love is as shiny and pure as the gold-edged pages of a bible.

The Liberator was powerful. Like Moses parting the Red Sea powerful. Victoria has taken this rogue character of Dante, and shined a light through his imperfections. Dante has been transformed by the power of love, and love covers a multitude of sins. One of my favorite scenes in this book is between Dante and Charlie’s grandma. It charged me with such overwhelming feels. That scene could have blown up a city block with it’s emotional impact. It was easy for me to imagine how it felt when a sin seal left Dante’s chest in the The Collector to mark someone’s soul, but you will KNOW what it feels like to have a seal leave your chest to save someone’s soul in this book. Victoria might have mastered the alchemy of story telling.

The Liberator was more than a pulse-pounding, action packed, epic love story; it ministered to me in a way that even Jesus would be jealous of. It reminded me that under the baggage of years of hurt, guilt, anger, and misdeeds some of us carry; there’s still good in all of us, and no one is past the point of redemption. Dante let his demons go in The Liberator, and I think I set a few of mine free as well.

Victoria has a gift for charging the energy of words to their fullest meaning, and crafting a story that is significant beyond just what’s written on the page. This is a Young Adult novel. This is a book worth remembering. This is The Liberator, and it just might change your life.
I’m still looking for the perfect Dante, Charlie, Blue, Annabelle, and Aspen to cast. If I’m lucky, maybe I will have them in time to include with my review of The Warrior, the third and final book in the Dante Walker trilogy due out this May. Don’t forget to add Victoria’s soon to be released novel, Fire & Flood to your reading list!

 

If you want to start the New Year off with a POW!, read Dante Walker #1 & #2 by Victoria Scott. Enter below to win a signed copy of The Collector and The Liberator.
POW!

POW!

“Looking mighty fine, if I do say so myself: red v-neck, dark denim, designer combat boots, and enough testosterone rolling off me to satisfy Nicki Minaj. Pow!” – Dante Walker, The Liberator

 

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About Victoria Scott

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her first stand-alone young adult title, TITANS, will be published by Scholastic in spring 2016.

Victoria’s books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. She currently lives in Dallas, and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel HarrisMy Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
Series: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #1
Published by Entangled Teen on September 18, 2012
Pages: 260
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
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Purchase Links: Amazon
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On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

Check out Michelangelo’s beautiful work and other sources on the Italian icon HERE!

“Caterina, a great adventure is in store for you.”

 

I've mentally cast Lucy Hale from PLL as Cat .
I’ve mentally cast Lucy Hale from PLL as Cat.

 

Cat Crawford comes from your typical Hollywood family: broken with baggage. Her father is a Hollywood executive, and her mother is an actress with a scandalous existence that guarantees she gets lip-service on every tabloid in the country. There’s a new ”mom” in town, and Cat is struggling to reconcile the bitterness she feels from her mother’s abandonment, with the annoying and over-eager woman her father has moved on with. Cat’s step-mom is eager to bond, and is planning a Sweet Sixteen birthday bash for Cat that’s fit for Hollywood royalty. It’s the complete opposite of what Cat wants. As a peace oferring and attempt at family bonding, Cat, her father, and step-mom embark on a trip to Florence, Italy.

 

Florence, Italy (Firenze)
Florence, Italy (Firenze)

 

Cat has always wanted to visit Italy. She has ancestral roots there from her mother’s side of the family, and the history and architecture call to Cat’s artistic nature. While taking in the sites by her lonesome, Cat stumbles upon a ”gypsy tent”, and can’t resist the urge to see what the fortune teller inside has to offer. Thus, the fun begins.

 

fortune-teller-and-crystal-ball-thumb-330x218-26825

 

Cat Crawford is a well developed character that has all the charm of a young Pheobe Cates from Princess Caraboo. You will find yourself sympathizing with and relating to her . I felt like I absorbed the life lessons that Cat learned during her time warp to Renaissance Firenze. Her adaptation to the dated surroundings were exciting to experience from her curious POV. Rachel Harris dares to do what we have all always wanted to do if we went back in time: Show our futuristic goods.  Cat shows her phone and ipod to her Renaissance relative,  Alessandra. (FYI, Cat’s cousin from the past doesn’t explode upon seeing technology.) Alessandra is Cat’s sweet and naive cousin that helps anchor her to this time zone. Cat follows Allesandra’s lead when it comes to fitting in.

 

My SSS Century Piazza
A painting of the Piazza del Mercato Vecchio, where Cat first lays eyes on Lorenzo.

 

This mystical adventure gives Cat more than she bargains for when she finds herself falling for the local charmer, Lorenzo. His sand-colored curls, and dashing good-looks aren’t the only things Cat has fallen victim to. Lorenzo moonlights as an artist, and has the secret soul of a poet. Cat’s in trouble with this one. How can she fall in love with a boy that lives in a different century?!

“Time seems to stop, and the sounds of the market mute. Alessandra was right. This boy is beautiful.

And he’s looking at me.

Lorenzo’s full peach-colored lips form a devastating smile, exposing one slightly crooked tooth. He kneels down in front of me and takes my hand in his.

” You are an angel, a vision sent from Signore.”

[…..]

Obviously this guy is a player and used to girls falling at his feet. Unfortunately for him, I’m not gonna be one of them.

Lorenzo stands and plants a kiss across my knuckles, a move straight out of a romance novel. He winks, undeterred by my lack of a swoon, and with his free hand runs his fingers through his curly golden locks.

My heart goes a little wonky, but it doesn’t mean anything. Experience taught me long ago how fickle that particular bodily organ can be.

I could see Jeremy Sumptor cast as Lorenzo with his hair lightened up a bit.
I could see Jeremy Sumptor cast as Lorenzo with his hair lightened up a bit.

 

Rachel Harris has managed to pull a page (or some magic) out of the 80’s and early 90’s with this fun, feel-good book. It was reminiscent of those movie masterpieces like Back to the FutureBill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Only You. When I read the part about the gypsy tent, I knew I was in for a good time. Read this book, and let Rachel Harris take you on a whirlwind adventure through 1500’s Florence. Cat’s time spent in a historical century proves to change more than her perspective of the time period, it also teaches her a little something about family, freedom, forgiveness, and love. On top of the exploring, romance, and adventure, there are awesome ‘‘oh, my geee” moments when Cat rubs sleeves with a certain Michelangelo, and sees his statue of David before it’s famous. This is the kind of book that you will want to keep in the family, and pass down to your daughters. Ciao!

 

 

 

 

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Stars in September:ARC Review: Made of Stars by Kelley YorkMade of Stars by Kelley York
Published by Entangled Teen on October 1, 2013
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they've never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance's quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.

Then Chance's mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent...they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?

“Even the stars are lies.

They sparkle so brightly, but their shine takes years to reach us.

……………

Maybe I, too, am a star that has already burned out, and nobody has realized it yet.”

Made of Stars was not what I was expecting. I can’t tell you exactly what I was expecting when I saw the title and skimmed the synopsis, but it was along the lines of a Sci-Fi or romance book. MOS is a hauntingly sentimental, contemporary portrait of our three main characters: Hunter, Ashlin, and Chance. The story is beautifully woven between Hunter and Ashlin’s POV’s, and then Chance’s at the very end. This book is like a snap-shot in time of  life defining, and life altering moments in our MC’s lives.

Hunter and Ashlin are half-siblings who have shared their summers since childhood with Chance, the boy who lives near their father’s home. Two years go buy since the two last visited their father, and they are 18 when they make their way back to the place that holds so many fond memories for them. All of them having to do with Chance. As each chapter unfolds, we witness Hunter and Ashlin’s fond feelings for Chance make them question everything they know about him, and about themselves.

MOS is as beautiful as it is tragic, and it’s the kind of story that you read and think, ” These people could be my neighbors…..I knew someone like this….. I’ve experienced this….”  I wouldn’t be surprised to see MOS made into a Lifetime Movie Channel film. The stream of consciousness from the characters flows seamlessly between POVs, and I felt a connection to everyone. Kelley York’s writing is beautiful and haunting. This book was left-field from anything I have read, and I enjoyed the experience. I felt like I shared an emotional bond with the charcters; they felt alive. If you enjoy contemporary stories, situations, and settings, than this book is a must read.

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Book Review: Chaos by Christine O’Neil + GiveawayChaos by Christine O'Neil
Series: Kardia Chronicles #1
Published by Ember, Entangled, Entangled Teen on August 26th, 2013
Pages: 286
Format: ARC
Source: Author
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My name is Maggie Raynard. After sixteen years being just plain me, suddenly, when I lose my temper, my fingers become weapons of mass destruction. Turns out I'm a semi-god, descended from Aphrodite. Sounds cool in theory, but when I accidentally put my ex-boyfriend in a coma, things go downhill pretty fast.

Now some new guy named Mac Finnegan has made it his mission in life to continually piss me off. I'm stuck learning how to use my new powers while also dealing with regular high school problems, and with this annoying—and super-hot—guy all up in my business, I'm about to flip out.

But it gets worse. I just learned there's this watchdog council of semis who keeps an eye out for any bad apples. They think I'm the baddest of the bunch and want to take me out before I do any more damage. My nemesis Mac might turn out to be my salvation, only he's got secrets of his own...and they may just kill us both.

Maggie recently has found out that she is what they call a Semi-God..Someone who descends from a god or goddess. In Maggie’s case, it’s Aphrodite, the greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. She’s slowly coming into her powers and watch out, because if you piss her off you might end up in a coma like her Ex, Eric.

Out of nowhere, the New kid, Hot & Irish, Mac Finnegan, has decided that he wants to mess with Maggie for no good reason. He seems to know how to push her buttons just right and that’s not a good thing for him or Maggie.


I have to be honest, it took a while for the story to get going but once it did I really started to enjoy the book. I loved Maggie and the things that came out her mouth. She was witty, sarcastic and full of attitude and had no problem saying what was on her mind. When you put her and Mac Finnegan together. Wowie! The chemistry between was electric, though both of them try to deny it’s there. The bickering between the two of them was entertaining and sometimes it seemed as though Maggie wanted to attack and kiss him, while other times she wanted to attack and kill him.

It’s interesting to see Maggie’s character develop throughout the book as she learns more about where she comes from and how to control her new powers and try to be the best that she can be, rather than the worst that they expect her to be.

Even though it started out slow, this book did pick up and when it did I couldn’t put it down. If you’re a fan of Greek Mythology and books where the protagonist is a snarky teenaged girl, I definitely recommend this book.

 

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ARC Review: Hover (The Taking #2) by Melissa WestHover by Melissa West
Series: The Taking #2
Published by Entangled Teen on August 13, 2013
Pages: 233
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
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On Earth, seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander was taught to never peek, but if she hopes to survive life on her new planet, Loge, her eyes must never shut. Because Zeus will do anything to save the Ancients from their dying planet, and he has a plan.

Thousands of humans crossed over to Loge after a poisonous neurotoxin released into Earth's atmosphere, nearly killing them. They sought refuge in hopes of finding a new life, but what they became were slaves, built to wage war against their home planet. That is, unless Ari and Jackson can stop them. But on Loge, nothing is as it seems...and no one can be trusted.

The weight of a whole new world lies on Ari’s shoulders.

If you haven’t read Gravity, the first book in this blockbuster series, you can check out my review here.

Looking for a fun Summer series that leaves you feeling like you just came out of an action-packed Sci-Fi film? Then search no more, because The Taking series by Melissa West fits the bill. In Hover (The Taking #2), we join Ari on her new planet, Loge. At the end of Gravity, Jackson, Ari, and Cybil make an intense exodus from Earth to escape the deadly neurotoxins that were released to kill all Ancients, and those who have been healed by Ancients. Ari and Cybil could either stay, and die, or leave and chance their survival on Jackson’s home planet. When Ari wakes up in Panacea, the Ancients version of a hospital on Loge, things do not go as smoothly as she had hoped.

In Hover, Melissa immerses the reader in the surroundings and customs of a new planet. The world she has created is an intriguing blend of an alien-like environment,  with a hint of New-Age-esque supernatural qualities. We are introduced to several new characters on Loge that will play a vital role in Ari’s experience on this alien planet. My favorite of these new characters was Emmy. She’s like the cookie-lady from the Matrix. She has a warm and generous demeanor, and proves to be an ally in Ari’s corner. The knowledge and information she provides Ari with in this book proves to be priceless.

In Gravity, Melissa’s description of Zeus gave me chills. In Hover, he gave me nightmares.  Ari is on a mission to bring down Zeus once she finds out that his corruptible and psychopathic ways have brought Loge and Earth to the brink of war. I loved the development of Zeus’s character and finding out more about what makes him “tick”. His character added an extra-creepy element to this story, and Zeus proves to be more diabolical than Ari could have ever imagined.

I fell in love with Jackson all over again in Hover. In this book, we witness Ari’s struggle to trust Jackson again after learning that he is Zeus’s grandson, and was originally sent to Earth as a RES. Jackson’s gentle yet fierce personality keeps playing with Ari’s heart-strings,  and she’s left feeling confused. Her heart is telling her to trust Jackson, but her life back on Earth, and all of her training is telling her to go with her head.  Ari slowly gains insight into Jackson’s past,  and what has shaped him as a person on Loge. It’s this insight that puts to rest any doubts she has been harboring about his character.The wait to feel and witness any heat between Ari and Jackson was torturous, but once the sparks started, they set the book on fire. The romantic and emotional build up to my FAVORITE scene in this book paid off kindly.

Melissa infused Hover with as much action, emotion, and intensity as Gravity. Ari and Jackson are brought together by what originally tore them apart, and they are challenged with new responsibilities to their comrades and each other. The plot thickens, and Ari realizes she’s no longer the child that was trained by her father on Earth. She is a woman on a mission, and will use all that is special about her to save the ones she cares about. She will be their salvation.

It seems like the next book in this series  is worlds away. Check out my interview with Melissa West here. Collide (The Taking #3) will be out in 2014. I’ll be waiting patiently, like an RES, to get my hands on it. 🙂

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About Melissa West

Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/Intermix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.