Saturday, September 19, 2015

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe

Summary (from Goodreads);


Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends--and planet--behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship. Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber.

Someone tried to murder her.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, Eldest's rebellious teenage heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead.

Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship's cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

My Rating: 

3.5 stars



So you've read the summary (I hope.) If you haven't realized already, this is a book set in the future. It is also aimed at teenagers. I was at the library a few days ago when I happened upon this book. What caught my eye? The gorgeous cover, of course. I mean, look at that detail! I would be a liar if I didn't say I judged a book by its cover. And this book definitely caught my eye when I first saw it. 

 Amy is a teenage girl whose parents are important pieces to a new project: creating a life for humans on a new planet they call Centuari-Earth. Her parents have no choice but to go, mostly because humanity's survival depends on their success. Their only daughter, Amy, however, isn't needed for the mission but she decides to go anyway because of her love for her parents. 

The first chapter is kind of weird. It sort of jumps out at you because it dives straight into the plot. To get to this new planet which is 300 years away, Amy and the passengers have to be frozen to keep them from aging. I found the freezing process fascinating because the first chapter really gives details about the process (which is more than painful) and how it works. Amy remarks on how the workers freezing them don't even bat an eye when she strips down naked (part of the process)--this shows how indifferent and cold they are after doing it a couple hundred times. 

Things are fine and dandy for Amy until 250 years later into the future when she is suddenly left out to melt. This almost kills her and brings us face-to-face with the love interest, Elder. Elder is a swarthy, fine, inquisitive, cute lad who thinks that Amy's hair is just great. He's never seen a color like that and even calls her "the girl with sunset hair." How poetic. 

It takes some time for Amy to recover but when she does...she meets a whole bunch of other people. Like Eldest, the evil-sounding and looking leader of the spaceship. And the doctor whose name I can't even be bothered to remember. And Orion, a Recorder, which is a person who records things. Okay.

At first, Amy resents the people around, blaming them silently for her being awake instead of frozen for at least fifty years. There's also the problem that she'll look older than her parents when they come out. 0_o It isn't until later that she realizes that there is a great picture and that something malignant is working beneath the surface...

Dun dun dun......

Okay, let's move on to the things I didn't like. 


I didn't like a lot of things. 

First of all, the book was extremely complicated. It would take a flowchart to map out all the things that were going on. You got names for jobs and designations that could be so much more simpler. Also, Elder and Eldest? What? Why? Why would you call your characters that!? 

Another pet peeve was the characters. Gosh, I love talking about characters. I love the well-rounded, realistic, down-to-earth characters that people can relate to. Elder and Amy did not do that for me. If anything, they annoyed me. Amy was a flat, one-dimensional character who just explored and didn't do much while Elder just wanted to get into her pants. It sounds rough and I'm sorry, but I was bored to death by the lack of action and good characters in this book. 

The plot was also kind of forgettable. Don't get me wrong, the first chapter is amazing. When I opened it, I was like, "Huh, that sounds cool." But eventually, the action all just sort of dies out and it's just, like, 50 pages of Amy walking around and looking at stuff. Oh and flirting with Elder. It really disappointed me because this book had such great potential to be out of this world (get it? hehe) but it really fell flat. I literally read it a day ago and I can only remember half of the events that happened. It was that forgettable.

I do give Revis kudos for the writing. The imagery and details given in Across the Universe was quite terrific. I could totally see Godspeed and the people's habits and daily routines. However, it was just too convoluted that instead of exciting me, it bored me to tears. I'm sorry for such a biting review, Ms. Revis, but this book was just not what it could be. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Miss Tammy Blackwell! :)

HEY GUYS! I'm super excited to announce that I finally interviewed Miss Tammy Blackwell! For those of you who do not know, Miss Tammy is the author of the Timber Wolves Trilogy and the Shifters & Seers Series that explore the world of werewolves. Her characters are lovable, witty and unforgettable. Miss Tammy was very gracious about it all and I am so happy to have been able to ask her questions about the first of her books, Destiny Binds! :) Check out my review of Destiny Binds here!

Thanks for joining us today, Miss Tammy! It's an honor to have you here. What was the inspiration that made you pick up the pen and write Scout's story? 

I was a Young Adult Librarian when I first started writing Destiny Binds. I had a really great group of kids in my programs, and they all loved books, but I kept getting frustrated that none of the books actually depicted them or their lives. During one of our teen writing groups I wrote a scene in which a girl and boy were trapped alone in a cabin, hiding from the world. From that scene (which later showed up in Fate Succumbs), the idea started forming. Before I knew it, I was spending my evenings writing as much as I was reading.

What was the writing process like? Strenuous, laid-back, enjoyable? 

Writing is very hard for me. I struggle through the entire rough draft. I have to schedule time to write, and then force myself into the chair. The words are slow in coming, and I hate the majority of them as they appear on the screen. But once the rough draft is done, things get fun. I really enjoy revising and editing. Making something from nothing? Hard. Making something that exists better? That gives me a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

Who is your favorite character and why? Which one is like you the most? 

I really enjoy writing Angel. I like how she plays off all the other characters, calling them out on their crap and forcing them to drop their pretenses. Even though I've just finished up the Shifters & Seers series, I would like to come back to that world some day and write Angel's story.
As for who is like me most... I would have to say there is a little bit of Miss Tammy in each of my characters, but probably Scout is the most like me. We think about things the same way, but she usually doesn't react the same way I would to situations.

What were you hoping to achieve by creating this book? (I mean, was the main purpose to make people laugh? Or to write a book that defied people's expectations about werewolves?)

My main purpose in writing Destiny Binds was to give kids like Scout a hero, and not just some Superman character who can do anything. Scout is a flawed hero. She has insecurities, makes mistakes, and can be completely self-centered, but she keeps surviving and trying to do the right thing, which is the definition of a true hero in my book.

Last of all, why did you end the first book like you did? Was there a message that you wanted to broadcast by doing that? 

I knew the end of the first book before I started writing it. It was important to me that Scout face real obstacles and know true loss. The end of Destiny Binds is the defining moment in Scout's life, and forces her to become the person she grows into over the remainder of the series. My hope was that readers would see what Scout endures and realize that if she can survive that, then they can survive whatever they're going through at the time too, no matter how horrible it may be. I wanted Scout's heartache to be another person's beacon of hope.

Thank you very much for being here today, Miss Tammy! I am definitely going to read the remaining books in your trilogy and new series!

Peeps, please check out her book, Destiny Binds--which is the first of many other awesome books--on Amazon! 


YA librarian by day; Caped Crusader by night. (Oh, and I write the Timber Wolves and Shifters & Seers books, too.)

Timber Wolves Trilogy

Fragile Brilliance (Shifters and Seers #1)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Vain by Fisher Amelie

What's up, guys? It's time for another book review! The lucky book to be praised/criticized today is Vain by Fisher Amelie!!!


Summary (from Goodreads): 

If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah...then you’re gonna’ hate my story.

Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.

I’m Sophie Price...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Review:'ve read the summary. I think it's the first thing that hooked me. I mean, the cover is gorgeous but that isn't what you expect. 

A few days ago, my friend and I were at the library, discussing a possible tutoring session that we could hold at the library. Unfortunately, they rejected us. :( It was a bad day only brightened up by one book. This book. :) 

I am a pretty enthusiastic reviewer and I don't tend to give biting, acidic one-star reviews often. I think it is mostly because I understand how hard it is to write a book. I mean, I've tried (and failed). 
I have no FREAKING idea how Ms. Amelie was able to create a book so replete with feeling and emotion that I think I cried a little. 

As you know from reading the summary, Sophie Price is a spoiled, self-centered teenage girl from Los Angeles. She's a people-user and the queen bee of a group of followers. There's no denying Sophie isn't beautiful. The descriptions in the book make her seem like a regular Scarlett Johansson. Boys fall to the ground when she's in their presence. She can make a guy cheat on his girlfriend with a flirtatious smile and a wink.

But it's not until she's away from people and by herself that we see how much Sophie Price hates herself. She thinks her looks are just a facade--a way to hide the truly ugly being behind the makeup and smiles. That's the reason why she uses her friends and takes such good care of her appearance. Because she can't stand the person inside. And my heart breaks for her because she truly believes it.

When Sophie is arrested for drug use, the court sentences her to a few months at an African orphanage. Sophie is to help and change the lives of the kids there. She doesn't know that her life will be irrevocably changed as well. 

There is a perfect blend of romance, love, courage and determination in this book. Sophie is humbled by the horrific things the orphans go through, by the kindness and goodness of the caretakers, Charles and Karina, and the mystery of the young man who works at the orphanage, Dingane. By the end of the book, you'll hardly recognize the selfish, vain girl, so changed by the experiences she gained seeing the struggle and hardships in Africa. Fisher Amelie brings around the extraordinary metamorphosis of Sophie Price, from a girl who thinks she is nothing to a strong woman who knows who she is. 

And OMG, Dingane. Dingane is probably on my Top Ten List of book boyfriends because let me tell you, this boy's got a heart of gold. He's gone through a lot but still sees the good in people. And he loves Sophie so, so much. He's probably the biggest reason why Sophie finds herself eventually. I can't describe the perfection of Dingane. He is just gorgeous. Gorgeous. 

Words cannot describe this beautiful, touching novel. It's full of life lessons that could apply to us. Hopefully, these quotes will give you an idea of the awesomeness of this book and you'll read it!!

“Vanity's a debilitating affliction. You’re so absorbed in yourself it’s impossible to love anyone other than oneself, leaving you weak without realization of it. It’s quite sad. You’ve no idea what you’re missing either. You will never know real love and your life will pass you by.” 

“No one can know sincere happiness, Sophie, without first having known sorrow. One can never appreciate the enormity and rareness of such a fiery bliss without seeing misery, however unfair that may be.” 

“Fear, Sadness. They're not weaknesses. They are overpowering, defining emotions. They make you human, Sophie.” 


Fisher Amelie resides in the South with her kick ace husband slash soul mate. She earned her first 'mama' patch in 2009. She also lives with her Weim, 'Jonah', and her Beta, 'Whale'. All these living creatures keep the belly of her life full, sometimes to the point of gluttony, but she doesn't mind all that much because life isn't worth living if it isn't entertaining, right?

Fisher grew up writing. She secretly hid notebooks and notebooks of dribble in a large Tupperware storage container in her closet as a kid. She didn't put two and two together until after college where it suddenly dawned on her, "Hey, I like writing". She's a bit dense. "No, I'm not." "Yes, you are. Put down that Oreo, your butt can't take any more." "You're rude." "Yeah, yeah." Anyway, she likes to write and has finally beaten her self-esteem into submission enough to allow herself to be scrutinized under the 'other readers' microscope. "No! No! Not a cover slip! Last time it gave me a ra...." (mumbling)

Rescue Fisher from her metaphorical specimen slide at

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Interview with Miss Tammy Blackwell!

Hello fellow readers/writers!

I have a very exciting announcement to make! Tammy Blackwell, the brilliant author of Destiny Binds and the Timber Wolves Trilogy, has graciously allowed me to interview her about her book. For those of you who don't know, Destiny Binds is a hilarious, quirky YA book that revolves around Scout, a down-to-earth teenage girl that we would all want to be best friends with. :)

If you have not read Destiny Binds and the following books in the series after it, I seriously recommend getting the book. It is a fantastic read that is so much more than you think it is. I for one am very excited to hear from the person who made it all happen. The interview will be posted as soon as possible. :)

 In the meantime, click here to see my review for Destiny Binds!