Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December Wrap Up 2015

   December along with February are always the busiest months in my house, so obviously it was non stop of everything for this month. I had the most shifts I've ever had at work, compacted into 2 weeks. Holy crow that was exhausting, but awesome because I got everyone amazing christmas gifts this year and I am that much closer to having enough for my San Fransisco trip in March. 
   Christmas wise, as usual we had a lot of stuff planned. Two different dinners on Christmas eve, my Grandma came over Christmas Day and then family friends came over Boxing Day for brunch. Shadowhunter Tarot card set by Cassandra Jean. Cassandra Jean has to be one of my all time favourite designers, her work is breath taking. When I got the tarot cards, I almost died. So yes, it was most definitely my favourite. 
Unfortunately I only got 5 books for Christmas this year, ( Update: Apparently my mom ordered a bunch more and forgot... So more
and more keep showing up and surprising me!) but I did get a Indigo Gift Card as well as a hammock for reading in the summer! I couldn't be more excited for that one! Especially when I use it while we're camping. My favourite bookish gift would 1000000000% have to be the
   With Work being multiple times a week unfortunately I didn't get to hang out with a lot of my friends, or to go out and do stuff in general. I did get to doing a lot of stuff at home though, so in the end it was okay.
   December was a very fast month, and January is sure to be slow and agonizing with exams all month and a huge paper due. But hopefully I get some reading done, as well as a lot of bookish stuff. But otherwise bare with me post wise, cause January is sure to be busy.

   Now for the monthly stats. 

Books Read:

Book Haul:

Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr (ARC)
Revenge in the Wind by Michelle Modesto (ARC)
Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl (Hardcover)
The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong (Hardcover)
Fairest by Marissa Meyer (Hardcover)
Winter by Marissa Meyer (Hardcover)
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (Hardcover)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (Hardcover)
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (Hardcover)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (Indigo Special Hardcover Edition)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Indigo Special Hardcover Edition)
Landline by Rainbow Rowell ( Paperback)
Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk (ARC)
Salt to the Sea by Rita Sepetys (ARC)
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (Int. Edition)
Frostfire by Amanda Hocking (Paperback)
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (AUS Edition)
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder  (AUS Edition)
Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout (UK Edition)

A big thank you to friends and Family for some of the books, McNally Robinson and my Rainbow Rowell mystery sender!

Books Reviewed:

January Books I'm Excited For:

How was your month? What did you do for the holidays? I'd love to know in the comments!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Blog Tour: Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore

   Hello and welcome to the Thicker Than Water Blog Tour! Kelly kindly answered a few of my questions for her upcoming novel and about being an author, so scroll down and check that out. As well as entering the tour wide giveaway! 

Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore

Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages

Description from GoodReads:

   Cecelia Price killed her brother. At least, that’s what the police and the district attorney are saying. And although Cecelia is now locked up and forced into treatment, she knows the real story is much more complicated.

   Cyrus wasn’t always the drug-addled monster he’d become. He was a successful athlete, but when an injury forced him off the soccer field and onto pain medication, his life became a blur of anger, addiction, and violence. All CeCe could do was stand by and watch, until she realized one effective way to take away her brother’s drugs while earning the money she needed for college: selling the pills.

   Soon, CeCe becomes part drug dealer, part honor student. But even when all she wants is to make things right, she learns that sometimes the best intentions lead to the worst possible outcome.

   Thicker than Water is an unforgettable dark, harrowing look into the disturbing truth of drug addiction and the desperate love of a sister watching her brother deteriorate before her eyes.

   From the detailed synopsis of Thicker Than Water, we're to expect a deep and very dark read, it being filled with violence and addiction, what made you choose this grim topic? Do you have a personal connection to the topic?

   My family faced its own struggles with addiction. I felt that my story and the story of a sibling struggling with her brother’s addiction was the tale I was born to tell because I lived it. In the end, my best writing is always about things I know, emotions I’ve felt, and lives I’ve inhabited.

   With Thicker Than Water releasing in a week how do you feel about the launch date coming up so fast? Are you freaking out yet? Or are you a natural now that Thicker Than Water is your third full length novel to be published?

   I’m excited! I can’t wait for people to have the chance to read this book because I desperately 
hope it will help others. I think there is a need for books that address the people who live on the periphery of addictions. They aren’t secondary characters, in this case, even though they often feel like they play second fiddle to the addicts in their lives.

   The cover gods have blessed you with an incredibly beautiful cover, what are your thoughts on it?

   Oh, I love it – I love the idea of hanging by a thread, of being at the proverbial end of one’s rope. That applies to so many characters in this book.

   Once Thicker Than Water releases do you have something new planned for the future? If so, any thoughts on what it might be?

   I’m working on my next book for Harper Teen, HOMEGROWN, which explores the life of a girl whose father operates a medical marijuana dispensary. She is a strong character, like CeCe, and is determined to help patients being rejected for medicinal cannabis. 

   For the heck of it, I was wondering out of the three books you have written so far, whose story would you be interested in becoming apart of? Which world do you think you'd belong the best in?

   Well, because I struggled with a family member with addiction, I guess I sort of lived through aspects of THICKER THAN WATER. But I think TASTE TEST is probably my “dream world.” It was my first book and I put a lot of heart and soul into building a world that I might really want to inhabit.

   Kelly Fiore-Stultz has a BA in English from Salisbury University and an MFA in Poetry from West
Virginia University. She received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2005 and 2009. Kelly’s poetry has appeared in Small Spiral Notebook, Samzidada, Mid Atlantic Review, Connotation Press, and the Grolier Annual Review. Her first young adult novel, Taste Test, was released in August 2013 from Bloomsbury USA, and her second, Just Like the Movies, again from Bloomsbury, was releasted in 2014. Forthcoming novels include Thicker Than Water from HarperTeen in 2015.

   Thanks for stopping by and joining us for the Blog Tour! I hope that you guys decide on reading Thicker Than Water! I'd love to hear what you think of the book!

Week One:

12/28/2015- Ohana Reads
12/30/2015- FICTION FARE
12/31/2015- In Wonderland

Week Two:

1/5/2016- Fiktshun
1/7/2016- YA Book Madness

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Book Review: Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

Release Date: January 6th, 2015
Read: December 11th-15th, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: The Arcana Chronicles, #3
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Source: Bought

Description from GoodReads:

   Heartbreaking decisions 
   Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, the Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

   Uncertain victory 
   Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

   Two heroes returned 
   There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first...?


   We will love you ever so much.
   The Arcana Chronicles has been one of my favourite series since I picked the Poison Princess from the library. The plot, the characters, I was fascinated with it all. Unfortunately the books are some what short and the waiting time is a little over a year for each of the new books, so with Dead of Winter I was going to wait till the fourth books released so that the heart break wouldn't be terrible. But of course my little sister became obsessed with the series too, and when she caught up, she started to continuously tease me about spoiling it if I didn't read it soon. So here I am.
   Dead of Winter did not disappoint, it was as exciting, exhilarating and aggravating as the first two books in the series. Kresley Cole took another step in the right direction when it came to everything, my favourite being the Arcana.
   My favourite part of the series is the Arcana, the game, the powers. It captivates me, I've never experienced a story or plot with them before, so I always need more when the books end. The way Cole develops her characters with these powers are my favourite, especially when Matthew literally tells us them in riddles but we don't figure them out until later. Death's touch, Evie's vines, Gabriel's wings, I need more!
   Continuing on with the Arcana, the Lovers had one of the most important roles in Dead of Winter and heck they had me creeped the heck out. At first when the characters mentioned their powers I was madly concerned but we had Death, so it was no big deal right? Wrong, it wasn't their powers that freaked me out. It was them in general, their obsession with love. They made me feel terrified of being in my own skin. Closer to the end of the book when we got to see the real Lovers, I actually thought I was going to vomit. So congrats to Cole for creating villains that will forever haunt my nightmares.
   Finally the triangle, I understand why people are so done with love triangles but usually with me, I don't mind them. As long as the girl/guy picks the right choice and isn't annoying/frustrating about it. With the Arcana Chronicles I was always on the same team, I have been since the beginning and will be till the end. Both guys had their faults, but Jack messed up in a way that Evie has difficulty with and Aric had already started to make amens for the mistakes he made. I would have thought the choice was clear, unfortunately in the end I think she made the wrong choice, and with the ending we got she'll just have to deal with her poor choices and face the consequences.
   Dead of Winter left me with a cliffhanger that my heart won't soon forget, but with the cliffhanger, it will bring us a great 4th book in the series as well as the Empress at her strongest. May 2016 better hurry the heck up because I was right about my initial foretelling of heartbreak, and now the only cure will be the next book.

Spoiler: Just in case anyone was curious, I am Team Aric forever and always. I just didn't want to say it above in case a reader has yet to read the book.


Favourite Quote:

"Lies are curses you place on yourself. " 

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:

Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Tarot Cards, Magic

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ohana Talks: Bookish Christmas Wishlist

   My family has the same traditions for Christmas every year or every second year. But I decided that instead of giving you all the boring details of my plans, I decided that I'd do something for fun. So today I'm going to telling you what books I asked Santa for! (Yes, Santa;)



Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass (International Edition)
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (UK Edition, black background with flame)
Storm Glass  by Maria V. Snyder (UK edition, black background)
Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout (UK Edition, white background with blue)

   Yes I know I'm bad for not reading a bunch of these yet, and to be honest I forgot to add a bunch of them. Oops, too late now.

   What books did you ask for for Christmas? What else do you have on your wishlist? Let me know int the comments!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Book Review: Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto

Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Read: November 7th- 8th, 2015
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Series: The Ghost House Saga, #1
Format: ARC, 320 pages
Source: Gifted

Description from GoodReads:

   After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother's country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…

   Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander's past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

   To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own.


   The dead never stop envying the living.
   A few years ago I read the Halo Trilogy by Alexandra Adornetto, and I guess you could say I somewhat loved it. So imagine my happiness to hearing about a new series from Adornetto, and it being from HarlequinTeen no less! I requested it, and even won a giveaway for an ARC, even though it never showed up. I was stoked to get my hands on it, that was until I started to hear people's opinions on the book. Everyone was disappointed with it, they said to not bother picking up a copy. So when I finally did get that ARC I was so actively looking for, I just never ended up reading it. Until now that is.
   The first thing I noticed when I started to read the book was how immature the main character was, I just couldn't stand her. She was a shallow, 17 year old that's gotten everything she's ever wanted in life by just asking for it. Normally if the author had actually planned the character this way it would have been fine, but the impression I got from the character was that it was a normal occurrence and how life should be. I was not comfortable with that.
   Then there's the relationship between our main character Chloe and Alex, EW. Honestly, after everything she has learned about him how could she not be creeped out by him? Plus he's dead, why should she go for him when there is a perfectly alive human being who has risked his life for her, right there. I would cringe every time they were together or if Chloe thought of him. Nope, nope, nope.
   Finally, Adornetto's writing, I found it very repetitive. If something would happen, Chloe would always say "I noticed.." It grew quite boring. Then there was the things the characters would say, it was all cringe factor.
   Ghost House was written poorly for me and all the characters made me cringe, but Alexandra Adornetto still had me wanting more of the plot. If for some reason Ghost Hour ends up in my possession then maybe I'll end up reading it, but for now I think it's best if I stayed away from this author.


Favourite Quote:

   " Where did our loved ones go after death? They didn't go anywhere. They stayed right where you left them, because you carried them with you. They were apart of you, like a tattoo. Trying to forget them was like trying to forget you had legs."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:

Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror, Haunted Houses, Ghosts

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Blitz: Killer Instinct by S. E Green

   Killer Instinct by S.E. Green is on sale this month! To celebrate, we’re having a blitz, with an excerpt and a giveaway. Make sure to check it out and grab your copy of Killer Instinct while it’s still on sale!

Killer Instinct by S. E. Green 

Release Date: May 19th, 2015
Publisher: SimonPulse
Series: Killer Instinct, #1
Format: Paperback, 288 pages

Description from GoodReads:

   Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. After-school job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.


   Because she might be one herself.

   Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals and delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder, but with each visceral rush, the line of self-control blurs. And when a young preschool teacher goes missing—and returns in pieces—Lane gets a little too excited about tracking down “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer who has come to her hometown.

   As she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her own past, Lane realizes she is no longer invisible or safe. Especially after the Decapitator contacts her directly. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim… 

   I study serial killers. They’re loners. Obsessive compulsives. People who lack emotion and fantasize violence. Intelligent people who on the outside seem normal. 
   Interesting thing is, I am those profiles. I have urges. I plot ways to violently make people pay for what they’ve done to others. 
   Nature versus nurture. Of course I’ve studied that. I’ve got good parents with decent genetics so for me I’ve always suspected it’s something else. Except . . . I have no clue what. 
   I don’t know why I am the way I am, why I think the way I think, why I do the things I do. All I know is that I’m different. Always have been. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know something was off in me.
   At ten, when other kids were coloring with crayons, I started tracking serial killers and keeping details of their murders in a journal—a journal no one has ever seen but me. 
   Now, seven years later, most teens hang out with friends. I, however, prefer spending my spare time at the court house—with Judge Penn to be exact. He tries all the hard cases. 
   His staff expects to see me, believing my lie about wanting to go into law, and so I give my customary nod as I enter the back of Penn’s court and quietly take my usual spot in the left rear corner. I sit down and get out my summer reading just in case today’s log is boring. 
   It’s not. 
   A balding, short, pudgy, accountant type man sits beside a slick lawyer he’s obviously spent a lot of money on. The Weasel is what I decide to name him. 
   In the viewing gallery sit a handful of women, three are crying and two stoically stare straight ahead.
   On the stand is another one of the expressionless ones and she’s speaking, “. . . classical music, a candle. He knew his way around, like he’d been in my house before. He handcuffed my ankles and wrists to the bed posts and stuffed gauze in my mouth so my screams couldn’t be heard. He cut my clothes away and left me naked. He wore a condom and was clean shaven, everywhere. He had a full face mask on.” No evidence.
   “He raped me,” she matter-of-factly reports and then describes in detail all the vicious ways he violated her. 
   “I’m going to be sick,” the woman in front of me whispers before getting up and leaving the room.  
   I continue listening to the details, mentally cataloging them. Details don’t bother me. They don’t make me sick. They don’t make me want to leave a room. If anything they draw me in because they are just that—details, facts. 
   A few of the women in the room sniffle and I glance to The Weasel. Although he’s doing a good job of keeping his emotions blank, I catch a slight smirk on his lips that kicks my pulse. 
   This is one of the things I consider a talent of mine. While some people show every emotion, I show none. And I can read others’ body language, others’ faces when they think they’re doing a stellar job of masking. The Weasel obviously thinks he’s getting away with something. 
   Thirty minutes later The Weasel is found not guilty due to lack of evidence. As he walks from the court room, his slight smirk becomes more visible when he glances at one of the sniffling women. This is another thing people make the mistake of—confidence, cockiness, ego. 
   The Weasel will rape again. Of this I’m sure. 
    If it is my destiny to be a killer, I’m going to need a type. And today decides that my type will be criminals—specifically, those that have managed to avoid punishment. I turn seventeen next week. The Weasel will be my birthday present to myself. I think I’ve just found my first victim.

   E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a
YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the teen spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Vanquished is her debut novel for adults.

   Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her online everywhere @segreenauthor.

   Thanks for stopping by! I've had a copy for a while and just haven't had a chance to give it a chance  yet, I'll definitely be doing this soon!