30 June 2012

Willow Reads: Trafficked by Sophie Hayes

When Sophie Hayes met Kas she knew he'd change her life – but she had no idea how much. At first, it was a typical whirlwind romance. But one day Kas told her that love always comes at a price ...

Kas tricked Sophie into travelling to Italy, where he forced her to sell her body to help him pay off a debt. Terrified and ashamed, Sophie worked the dangerous Italian streets without rest, seeing as many as 30 clients in a night. She was completely at Bledi′s mercy for food, clothes and shelter. And without money, friends or family, she was trapped.

But Sophie found the strength to keep going, clinging to life by a single thread of hope: that somehow she′d find a way to escape.

Spoiler Alert right here.

Title: Trafficked: The True Story of a British Girl Forced into the Sex Trade
Author: Sophie Hayes
Page Count: 308
Published: January 19, 2012
Source: Goodreads suggestion

I don't normally read nonfiction books, but for this I had to. I know situations like these happen all the time, regardless of age, height, weight, gender, or any number of other characteristics. I wanted to read about this situation from the eyes of a survivor, and therefore I discovered this book. 

Sophie Hayes had a rough childhood. She had an abusive father, which caused all these trust issues for her as she grew into a young woman. After her graduation from high school, she decided to go straight to work instead of gaining a higher education at the university level.  

Once she gets a job and her own flat, Sophie begins to struggle through the new feeling of being alone and away from home for the first time- that's normal. But eventually she finds friends through work, as well as old friends coming to where she lives after they graduate, and gets a boyfriend. When her first relationship doesn't work out, they're just going through the motions, Sophie has several run-ins with this Kas guy. She avoids him for the moment, but eventually they become best friends. After a few years of talking on the phone and texting, Kas decides to invite Sophie away on this weekend in Spain- just because she needed a break and that's what friends do. She enjoys herself with her friend, and eventually has to go home.

Soon after, Kas invites her to Italy for a week to see where and how he lives. 

"So perhaps it was time to consider the possibility that not all men were like my father and to trust Kas, too. 
It was a decision that was to change everything, forever."
-Sophie, Chapter 4
From then on, Sophie is forced into sex slavery. It happens the night after she and Kas sleep together and she, for once, really lets her guard down.  He insists that she must do this to pay him back for the years of friendship and his personal sacrifices to her. He also claims that there is no other way to pay this debt he has, besides forcing her to do this; she was the only one he could trust. Though Sophie is in a little bit of denial at first, it wares off fast, as Kas threatens her family- most of the time, her brothers.

"Well, if you love someone, you have to make sacrifices for them. We all have to make sacrifices for the people we love, and that's why I asked you to come here: because there's something you can do for me. There's a sacrifice you can make to show me you love me." 
-Kas, Chapter 5 
Throughout this entire book, I was amazed at what Sophie put up with. She was constantly in fear, but she was so strong. Sophie was strong and she was smart, and in her situation not everyone would have done the things she did- but she did everything as right as she could. One quote that struck me a lot:

"For a moment, I felt almost a sense of pleasure, because instead of shouting at me or hitting me, or looking at me with cold, cruel disgust as he'd done so many times during the past 24 hours, he'd praised me, which meant that I'd finally managed to do something right- even if it didn't feel right to me at all."
-Sophie, Chapter 6 

Sophie was so invested in doing things right that she felt happy at doing something right in Kas' eyes. Kas was so abusive to her constantly, all the signs of an abusive relationship are there, and if she did one thing he thought was wrong- wack, smack, hit, beat, bruise. It was sad to read about, and so difficult to imagine. 

Enduring this type of pain shouldn't even be a part of someone's life. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, or they've been raped, or they've been forced into sex trafficking, get help. At the end of Sophie's book, she listed some UK resources:

Sophie Hayes Foundation- www.sophiehayesfoundation.org 
Police Emergency- 999
Crime Stoppers- 0800-555-111
Salvation army- 020-7367-4500 
UK Human Trafficking Centre- 0114- 2523891

Phone: +44 (0)207 921 4258
email: info@stopthetraffik.org
website: www.stopthetraffik.org

William Wilberforce Trust-
Phone: +44 (0)207 052 0336
email: info@williamwilberforcetrust.org.uk
website: www.williamwilberforcetrust.org.uk
Here's a resource for those in the US, brought to me by a simple google search:

Polaris Project-

You can also contact the police in any city of any state. 

Here's some information about the rights of the trafficked-

26 June 2012

Willow Reads: Rapture by Lauren Kate

The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

Spoiler Alert, as always.

Title: Rapture (Fallen #4)
Author: Lauren Kate
Page Count: 448
Book Website: http://www.fallenbooks.com.au/
Published: June 12, 2012

So... What to say about this book? 
I just finished it about 20 minutes ago as of writing this sentence, if that. xD

Right now, I have this empty feeling- similar to what I felt when the Harry Potter series ended for me. I didn't rush on reading this book for a reason. xD

Now, don't take that last statement as a bad thing. I actually loved this book. I only put it off to extend the life of reading a Fallen book for the last time. I'm extremely new to the Fallen series, only reading them a few months ago after I got my nook. I died when I finished the third to the series, Passion, because I wasn't sure when the next  book would be out. After I finished that book, though, I started doing some research; I generally try NOT to research books before I get them for a few reasons- some of which being fear of spoilers and fear of being influenced by the thoughts of others. 

Anyway, this book... It was not at all predictable, I found myself pleasantly surprised. Most of the books I actually read, I can predict at least SOME of what happens- author intention or not. We go through the book, where Daniel is helping Luce discover herself. There are deaths, which shocked me but shouldn't (I mean, every book this dramatic are bound to have them), but it was more about the who than the actual death, I believe... There are so many surprises, too. But the most shocking thing to me? 

Luce is a freaking ANGEL!

Yes. Not what you were expecting, right? Well it happens. Luce grows wings. And to top it off, at one point Lucifer himself taught her about love. Lucifer was the first to discover love. Because he thought he knew what love truly was, he decided he wanted to team with Luce and become something greater than the Throne. 

Oh, and God's a woman. xD I like this part, because I've been to churches throughout my entire life and they're all different... but God has always been a male. I was happy to see a female position there. xD I'm not very religious, but -shrugs- women are the bosses. xD

Back to topic. 

If Lucifer and Lucinda (their names even go together, I hadn't thought of it that way before today!) were together first, why does she drift to Daniel? Lucifer was the Throne's first in command, he was beautiful- even described by Luce herself as more beautiful than Daniel... But she ends up with Daniel. 

She does this because, in all the reasons Lucifer brings up as love, it just doesn't feel right. One day long ago before the actual fall, she's crying- the first to shed tears in Heaven- and Daniel comes up curiously, watching her. They talk, and eventually Luce and Daniel kiss. Somewhere in the mix, they realize that what they have is true love. Lucifer doesn't really notice, and he thinks Luce is still sided with him... So that's when he goes and causes the roll call, leading to the fall. 

So... why does Luce not remember her first life and first love? Why is she reborn all these years as a mortal who flares up when she starts to discover her past? These are questions I need to re-read for, because I didn't pick up on them. xD This is my note to my future self.

Anyway, I gave this book 5 stars on goodreads- meaning I absolutely loved this book. It was a GREAT ending to a series, though it's kind of infuriating we'll never know what happens to Luce and Daniel. I mean, college is just the beginning to adult life right?

17 June 2012

Willow Reads: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

There are definitely going to be spoilers here. xD I just finished this book and I'm going to complain about it a little. 

Title: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Page Count: 418 
Book Website: http://www.richellemead.com
Published: June 12, 2012
Source: Long time Richelle Mead fan
For those who don't know, there are teaser trailers posted on the Bloodlines Youtube Channel for the books as they come around. It will probably be a while before new ones are posted, but they're usually 30 seconds or under of a clip, which contains a quote from the book they're advertising. Kind of cool for me, thought I'd share. 

So I've been a Richelle Mead fan since my sophomore year of high school- I randomly picked up Vampire Academy (book one of the popular Vampire Academy series) at the library and I was kind of putting it off until last to read it out of my stockpile of books. I couldn't have been more wrong, though. And I openly admit that. 

Richelle Mead has put me through some anxious times, but I don't regret it. She's one of my favorite authors by far (though nobody can trump J.K. Rowling in my book), and I'm so glad I started reading VA when I did. I have every single Vampire Academy book, in both book and ebook form... Then there's the Official Guide and the Graphic Novels (I only have #1, but #2 just came out). I also have the first book in both formats to this series, which is a spin off to the six-book VA series. If you haven't read the Vampire Academy books, I suggest you read those before reading Bloodlines and The Golden Lily- it'll help you understand quite a bit about the characters. Plus, they're an amazing read.

Down to business though. I gave this book five stars on Goodreads because I absolutely loved it. xD Richelle Mead has done it again. 

In this installment of Sydney Sage's story:  

While co-protecting Jill with Eddie and a new character to the series (though I think she was in the sixth VA book, Last Sacrifice) named Angeline, some interesting things happen. At first, Angeline doesn't seem to fit in at Amberwood Academy- she breaks dress code rules, punches a guy at an assembly, and keeps coming on to Eddie like there's no tomorrow. She also comes close to breaking the facade of the brother/sister story by asking Eddie to the Halloween dance. 

While that's happening, Jill is still here! She's still dating Micah, that started in Bloodlines. But she's starting to face the fact that she can't date him forever- vampires and humans just can't be together and things are getting serious. She doesn't know that Eddie likes her as much as he does, she has to be blind not to see it if Sydney can see it. We don't get her insight really, it'd be more interesting if we could. But anyway, there's some flames there. xD

Adrian is also here in his beautiful glory. I love Adrian so much. xD 
We find out that he loves cherry slushes and pomegranate gelato, but not everything is smooth sailing. We have another confrontation with his dad, and that goes just about as well a lion would treat its prey. But things get better eventually, and he gets this truck Sydney falls in love with. And there's more romance in store for Adrian here... I'll let you see how- READ THE BOOK! xD Adrian also gets one of the most romantic lines of the entire book: "You are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen walking this Earth." Actually, he says it twice. xD

Sydney also gets some romantic interaction- for a lot of the book, she's dating this guy named Brayden. Well... I'm not actually sure if you could call it romance. Even I know that you feel something from kissing someone you're attracted to- and Sydney really doesn't feel it. Anyway, she thinks she does. He's smart and they have a lot in common, but in the end it doesn't work out. Their breakup was comical, too. Sydney laughs her way out of the coffee shop he works in. But at least it wasn't teary or anything.

The best part though? Another fangirling moment? Even more intense than the Adrian stuff? 

He's there, for all of the book. 
And, if you know me, you know I am totally for Dimitri. 
He's there with Sonya Karp doing some research, as we know from the last line of Bloodlines. But he's actually here! That in itself made me squee. I loved him being there, even though the entire book was mostly romantic tension between Sydney and Adrian. I loved that protectiveness though. He's amazing, and there was ONE mention of Rose, in a phone call. 

Well, now that I've sort of covered some of the main parts of the book, I'm satisfied that I got my current "ajgksgjasogasgjiwefwefjasfjknagls" feeling out and I can go to sleep. xD

But yeah, I loved The Golden Lily, and I can't wait for book 3 of the series called The Indigo Spell. This will be released as soon as possible I hope- according to goodreads, it's expected to be out in February next year but this will probably change as more info comes available. :)

11 June 2012

Willow Reads (18+ Series): Their Virgin Captive by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Brothers Gavin, Slade, and Dex, fall hard for Gavin’s new secretary, beautiful Hannah Craig. The oil executives know they must give her time to get to know them before she can choose one . . . who will seduce the virgin and keep her for his own. But when a dangerous predator begins stalking the small-town beauty, they work together to protect her, abducting Hannah and spiriting her to an isolated hideaway. Once alone with her, none of them can contain their burning desire. Though Slade and Dex don’t mind sharing, Gavin’s tragic past has put distance between him and his brothers. Now, they’re hoping that not only will Hannah love them back . . . but maybe mend their fractured family.

After overcoming her initial fears, the men teach her wild pleasure she’s never imagined. She grows closer to each, their devotion melting her inhibitions. Hannah finds herself embracing love with all three men—and hoping she can heal Gavin’s wounded soul. But her new found happiness turns to terror when her stalker finds her. Will Gavin, Slade and Dex lose their woman to a menace that threatens everything they hold dear, or will they finally unite to make Hannah theirs forever? 

Spoiler Alert

Title: Their Virgin Captive (Masters of Menage #1)
Author: Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Page Count: 201
Book Website: http://www.shaylablack.com/books/html
Published: August 30, 2011
Source: Amazon Books Suggestion

This was such an unbelievable read. Not good unbelievable, but the bad kind. This didn't really work out for me and I'm glad it was such a short read- it only took me two days to complete.. And my goodreads rating is only 1 star, because there is nothing lower and I wanted those suggestions to be far from this book.

Here were some of the issues that crossed my mind as I tried my best to accept this book. I really tried. xD They're just popping up in my head as I go, so they might not be in order.

1.) In the beginning of the book, we're introduced to a plan of Slade and Dex's about how this girl Hannah will be "theirs." To be in a consensual relationship with someone (or someoneS in this case), you have to have the consent of everyone involved in all cases. This deal makes them seem like creepy rapists, and they're trying to get Gavin in on it. Gavin is the only sane one for a while, but then that changes toward the end, too.
2.) Polygamy seems pretty much the same as the Menage deal. And, in today's world, this is considered not only sick and gross, but illegal. I know it would definitely bother me to sleep with more than one person- to even consider marrying three guys would drive me up a wall.
3.) After coming up with this plan, they coax poor Hannah into not going to see her grandmother on this trip she'd been planning for a while. She was forced to go on a private company jet, after Dex broke into her apartment and went through her belongings... And in the midst of it all, didn't grab any bras or underwear because he just assumed the gross plan will go through.
4.) I hate big egos like that.
5.) When they're on the jet, they're so confident with this whole thing that they spank Hannah. And she actually likes it. That brings me to my next point.
6.) Hannah... yeah. She just willingly lets these guys she works for use her. Her first time and she's already letting two guys have sex with her, one after another. And she barely knows these guys. Sure, she's worked for the company for a while, but that means nothing. Personal and work lives generally stay separate. This is nothing about sex before marriage, either. I'm glad that none of the characters seem to have a religion, because that'd add more to complain about. xD But anyway, Hannah is weak and is one of those people that needs a guy to exist.
7.) Hannah goes with it. She lets these weirdos do this to her, with the spanking and the butt plug and the drama. I was cheering for her to leave but then the pilot was drunk. And they got to her.

So these are just a few of the points I hated about this book. I won't be reading Masters of Menage #2, but I'll move on to another book on my to-read list over on Goodreads. Something a little more innocent next time, probably. xD

07 June 2012

Willow Reads (18+ series): Excerpt of Love Unrehearsed, Tina Reber

Ryan is in LA to promote his latest film, Reparation, which is premiering Friday night.  It’s time to introduce Taryn to “his world.” 


So if you feel a tad unsatisfied with some of the open-ended threads from Love Unscripted, we still have Slipknot to film with the enamored Jonathan Follweiler at the helm, then there is the global premier of Seaside II with private jets and foreign countries to visit.  Seaside III is scheduled to start production in the fall and Pete and Tammy’s wedding is in there too.  And what about that script for The Isletin Solution?  What are we going to do about that?   Hmm…


More secrets, more lies, more drama, and certainly more media coverage.  Stay tuned to read what happens to Ryan and Taryn next!! 

1.) As this is merely an ARC of the first few chapters, I'm not doing my usual description of the book. 
Because this is unedited, things here may not appear in the actual book. So don't get your hopes up, this is just part of it. :) 

2.) Here's the usual spoiler warning. :) 

Ok, if you're anything like me and you've read Love Unscripted by Tina Reber... You're wondering what the heck happens next. There are so many opened, untied ends that we're wondering what the heck to do. Personally, I'm having problems reading much else because I want to know what happens to this story. I haven't felt that way since waiting for the next Harry Potter book to come out, which is saying something. Reber has completely won my heart with Taryn and Ryan... Anyway, according to the goodreads page for Love Unrehearsed, it isn't set out for release until sometime next year, but if you know where to go you can get a little tidbit of the book. 

Click on this link to access the first four chapters of Love Unrehearsed, direct from Tina Reber's website. They're unedited, according to the amazing author herself, but I just finished this in about an hour of multi-tasking of packing for a weekend trip and reading from the screen. It's good and I feel better with waiting after the four extra chapters because I can kind of figure out what's going to happen next. xD

To the good stuff now:

Instead of saying exactly what happens I'll give a run-down of what happens. 
  1. The book starts out only 2 days after the conclusion of Love Unscripted. Ryan and Taryn are in bed sleeping when the book starts out. Taryn is in the middle of a nightmare when we begin to read.
  2. We get to have a few confrontations with Marla and David, publicist and lawyer respectively. 
  3. Marla gets fired, and Ryan hires her assistant to take her place after she gets fired; this is a good thing- Trish is great at what she does, and she deserves better than that meanie.
  4. Ryan and Taryn officially come out as being engaged at a movie premiere, for a movie he was filming- it's called Reparation. Taryn does well for it being her first interview, and the ring is definitely there.
Ryan placed his lips right next to my ear.  “Put your hand on my 
chest.”  He chuckled lightly to appear as if we were sharing a private 
joke.  “I want everyone to see your ring,” he said emphatically, gazing 
into my eyes with a certain tenderness that was mesmerizing.  “It’s time 
to go big or go home.  I want everyone to know you’re mine, Taryn.”
- Love Unrehearsed, pg. 59
Tina Reber

There are more, but I can't think of more right now... Four different ones should be enough for the time being... But predictions? I'm definitely expecting this book to be steamy, and I can at least hope for a wedding right? Maybe a nice honeymoon? I hope. If author Reber decides to be nice and gives us another near 700-paged book (maybe even more? I'm probably experiencing wishful thinking overdrive), I hope it at least includes a wedding. xD It'd make my love for the series even more real, because I love weddings and romance. That's just me. 

Anywho, I'm hoping for an early 2013 release if it absolutely has to be a 2013 release. I'm sure I'm not the only one, given the glowing reviews I've read on Goodreads and other blogs I've found recently. 

Update on the release: August 31, 2012 
Most of the views on my blog (250+) are from this post alone, and most search for the release date. You're welcome. :)

05 June 2012

Willow Reads (18+ Series): Love Unscripted by Tina Reber

Ryan Christensen just wanted to be an actor. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think that accepting a role in an unknown film would toss his career into overdrive. His new fame has cost him dearly; anonymity is no longer an option. His fans stalk him, the paparazzi hound him, and Hollywood studios all want a piece of him. Despite all of that, Ryan Christensen craves the most basic of human needs - to have love in his heart and privacy in his life.

Taryn Mitchell, the story's protagonist, is a realist. She's been feigning contentment, running the family pub in Seaport, Rhode Island, while quietly nursing her own internal heartaches. Her feet are fairly glued to the ground and she doesn't buy into all the hype that has descended on her tiny, coastal town. In her world, men are safe if they're kept at a distance.

Fate has other plans for these two when their paths cross one sunny afternoon. A group of female fans has attacked him, leaving his shirt torn, his face cut, and Ryan in obvious distress. Bonds between them form from the most dramatic of circumstances while jealousy, insecurity, and the stress of his celebrity life try to tear them apart.

Through all the tabloid lies, secrecy, and pressure, can Taryn's peace and Ryan's high-profile insanity live together in harmony?

Here's the usual spoiler alert! Spoiler warning! :D

Title: Love Unscripted (Love #1)
Author: Tina Reber
Page Count: 668
Book Website: http://tinareber.com/
Published: March 6, 2012
Source: Goodreads suggestion

Wow. Wow. Wow.
I completely loved this book. From freaking page one! 
I loved that the main character, Taryn, wasn't just some shy and inexperienced, scared of her past, weak person. I loved how she was able to gain Ryan's attention without knowing a thing about the guy, except for what people had told her. And we all know the rumor mill isn't exactly the best place to learn about a person, especially since Ryan is this extremely young and handsome actor who has had a recent rise to fame in a movie called Seaside. She's so selfless, she cares about people to the point to almost being motherly in a way.. She's an amazing person, despite what's happened to her in the past. 

Taryn, like I said, is pretty much clueless about who Ryan Christensen is. She knows that he and his fellow cast and crew brought all this annoying paparazzi to the town she lives and runs a pub in, but that's about it. The entire town of Seaport, Rhode Island is pretty much dazzled with this and fans are going beyond bonkers. One day the fan chase gets so bad that Ryan runs into Taryn's unopened pub to get away from danger; his shirt is torn, face cut, and he is so stressed the poor guy is probably almost reduced to tears. Taryn helps the guy out, giving him an old shirt of her newly deceased father's, cleaning him up, and gives him some free drinks just to sweeten the deal. 

They play pool for a long time, and they get to know each other pretty well in the span of the few hours. Not long later, he starts showing up and soon after that they begin dating. From there, it's a definite fast-paced romantic relationship between the two. It feels so real, too. I wasn't even Taryn, though Reber definitely wrote it so it felt like you were her. You know this girl is head over heels for the guy, and you experience her insecurities that feel so real. And they're easy to relate to... Ryan's this young, attractive, and wealthy actor... Why would he want the everyday average woman when there are so many picture perfect actresses and models out there that might work out better? 

What else is there about the book to love?
Oh! The friends. xD 
They're pretty amazing... I mean, there's humor to them but at the same time when Taryn thinks Ryan gave up on her... They don't let the relationship die, they believe in it. It's amazing. :) 

As with every book, with every author ever, there's going to be things about the book I'm not going to like. Unfortunately this book follows the trend of having a few things, but these definitely should NOT turn you away from reading this book.

I hated the part where Taryn and Ryan have all the problems towards the end. Not that it'd be perfect in paradise all the time, but this was just too confusing. xD I guess that's like a real relationship, though. The whole last bit of the book was sadness wrapped up in depression. It felt real and I didn't like that because it made me want to start bawling. You know that Taryn is hurting. But you don't really know what Ryan was thinking, because Taryn is so depressed. This part of the book would have been cool to alternate viewpoints between the two so we could know what he was thinking-- this is something I normally don't suggest, but with how Reber wrote this book.. It'd work well here. Just not too much of it.

Another thing- I didn't care much for the car accident. I believe this caused the issues mentioned in the previous paragraph. When Taryn lost the baby especially... That made it shades darker for the couple, unfortunately.

Overall, I DEFINITELY recommend this book to everyone. It's got its dark points, but I just finished it yesterday and I'm dying for the release of book #2. I really need to read it. I can't wait for the continuation of Ryan and Taryn's relationship. Hopefully another near-700 paged book where there's a wedding and some kids?

This book was so beautifully written, with beautiful thought out characters, beautiful cover art... Everything is just so beautiful about this book. Tina Reber is extremely talented and if she keeps writing like this, I will DEFINITELY be her number 1 fan... Minus the stalking. Don't want to end up like Angelica, now do I? ;D

Update 6/5/12: I was on Goodreads, like my usual self, and Tina Reber had this video in her videos: 

This is the song that Ryan sings right before proposing to Taryn. So this is kind of amazing. :D 
Bringing it to life makes it better, agreed?

03 June 2012

Willow Reads: Endure (Need #4) by Carrie Jones

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .

Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.


SPOILER WARNING- This book is really new, so I'm going to  put this here. :)

Title: Endure (Need series #4)
Author: Carrie Jones
Page Count: 272
Book website: http://www.carriejonesbooks.com/
Published: May 8, 2012
Source: First book loaned to me by a friend. :)

This series has had my heart since the first book; I instantly fell in love with Zara and her obsession with phobias from page one. Well now the series is over and I'm here to say that, if you're anything like me, you'll absolutely hate how it ends. It seems that we're going to get another book, when we all know that it's not happening. 

In the end, Zara is no longer pixie. She's only half pixie, like the series started all over again but with her having more knowledge and about a year's worth of knowledge of what happened. She ends up with Astley (which I was happy about, honestly... After Nick treated her horribly this time around... I was mad at him), and all of Frank's pixies belong to Astley. Yes, Frank dies finally. Details in the book. ;P

Winter is over. My friends and I own lives where we can all exist without constant fear. It's a life where I can be proud of being half pixie, proud of who I am, who we all have become.
-Final  paragraph of Endure 
It seems pretty final, but it's like "WHAT HAPPENS?" 
What's their next adventure, what's their next drama? 
I mean, there has to be more.. right?

Willow Reads: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Warning- this one contains a bit more spoiling than previous posts. Beware. :)

Title: The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #01)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Page Count: 374
Book Website:  http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/ 
Published: October 31, 2008
Source: Friends. Sisters. Obsessed fans. xD

Ok, so you're under a rock if you don't know about the Hunger Games series' quite recent rise to fame. The books have been around since 2008, and they literally were the series on fire (haha I'm just so lame). They've not even been out 5 years yet and there's already an extremely popular movie out there, which was one of the only page-to-screen adaptations I've ever seen that has followed the original material so closely. I give those people some really good thumbs up, it takes a lot to do that and please so many fans. 

Before you freak, YES! I did read this before the movie came out. It was about a month beforehand. I do try to read a book before its movie comes out and I go to see it. I read the entire series in a week, which admittedly is a little slow for me but I've just finished my first year of college a month ago. So I've been more focused on studies than reading for pleasure. 

I'm pulling this one back out so soon afterward reading the books for the first time because I am hosting a book club thing over on the website I get on, so I figured I'd refresh my memory. 

The entire Hunger Games series is good. This first book was my favorite of the entire series, not because it started it all.. But for a lot of other reasons that I won't mention here, on a review of the first book.

Pretty much Katniss Everdeen, our main character, saves her sister from having to participate in this post-apocalyptic version of Survivor. It's even televised! Except, in this version, the people (called tributes) who  participate in this game are 12-18 years of age. They're selected by what's called a reaping* and then sent to an arena to fight to the death. It's called the Hunger Games. 

Reaping*- There are twelve districts* and a capitol in the post-apocalyptic version of the United States. Tributes to the Hunger games are selected from the twelve districts, two from each, in an assembly called the reaping. It's pretty much random who gets selected, because they pull from a big bowl of names. Each year from the year you turn 12, you get an additional ticket. So 12=1 ticket, 13=2, and so on. You can also get tesserae for additional tickets put into the reaping. Tesserae is food that should last that person a year, though it's not very good. All the districts are very poor. The capitol, on the other hand, is full of wealth and riches. To the whole capitol, Hunger Games thing is just that- a game for them, it's all very entertaining.Their children aren't put into the reapings the other districts face. So why does a reaping exist? It's because humans rebelled against the government 74 years before the book starts, and it's pretty much reminding the civilians not to rebel again. 

Twelve districts*- As mentioned earlier, there are twelve districts and a capitol to Panem. Each district is meant to do something specific. According to Wiki Answers, (WATCH OUT- SPOILERS THERE) the districts are:

District 1- Luxury
District 2- Masonry (not said officially in books, but later revealed.)
District 3- Electronics
District 4- Fishing
District 5- Power (not said officially in books, but later revealed.)
District 6- Transportation (not said officially in books, but later revealed.)
District 7- Lumber
District 8- Textiles
District 9- Grain (not said officially in books, but later revealed.)
District 10- Livestock
District 11- Agriculture
District 12- Coal Mining 

I'm pretty sure they're right, but I can't remember exactly. That Wiki Answers page also refers to a thirteenth district. It used to exist, but was shut down because they rebelled against the capitol. President Snow, the ruler of Panem, uses that place as an example to other districts to remind them not to rebel. 

So pretty much, that's how the book is set up. Just be prepared to fall in love with characters that may not exist in the other two books- I mean, this is a series based on kids killing each other so they can survive. It's definitely fear and desperation to survive at its highest. So just read the book if you haven't already, tell me what you think in the comments, and stick around for the next review. :) 

An unrelated post for a minute...


I've been stalking my stats, and there are some unknown people coming here to look at my blog. I just wanted to encourage those of you who do come visit my page to comment on the posts. I know right now I haven't had very many reviews up but do feel free to ask questions, suggest other books, and participate. :)

Happy reading!

Willow Reads: Morganville Vampires #12- Black Dawn

In Last Breath, the rain brought a new and dire threat to Morganville and its vampires... their ancient enemies, the draug. Now, the vampires are fighting a losing war, and it will fall to the residents of the Glass House: Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire, to take the fight to an enemy who threatens to destroy the town, forever.

Lovers of Morganville, rejoice: Black Dawn takes the intrigue, romance and nail-biting suspense of the series to its highest level yet!


Spoiler warning- If you want to read this series in the future from the first book and haven't started yet... Or if you have started and haven't read enough to be to this point yet, please do not read on. I try my hardest to avoid spoilers from earlier books... But I cannot possibly write about this book and my opinions if I can't say some stuff about the series beforehand. This is your last chance to move away from this post. :)

Title: Black Dawn (Morganville Vampires #12)
Author: Rachel Caine
Page Count: 367
Book Website: http://www.morganvilletexas.com
Published: May 1, 2012
Source: First two books were a Chirstmas gift last year. I love them. :D

For this book, lots of people are torn. It's the twelfth book in the Morganville series; some, like me, are entertained by the book series still. Others, like my older sister, believe Rachel Caine is just grasping at straws to continue her series. They think it's repetitive. So, if you don't care for long series books, Morganville is definitely not for you. Even though Caine is pretty fast with getting her books out. There's not even a year wait between these book release dates, and there are still 3 more new releases to anticipate. At least that's what I've been informed of by MorganvilleTexas.com, which is the website for the Morganville Vampires series.

Reviews on Goodreads mostly seem to be good for Rachel Caine, mostly among 3-5 stars- an average of 4.32, which is amazing for her as an author. I personally gave it all 5 stars because I loved it. Really, I might have done a 4.5 because the changing characters almost every chapter is distracting and sometimes confusing. You sometimes forget which character is narrating because there are so many changes.

Pretty much, this book is the usual action packed bit Caine involves mixed in with the romance. Finally Eve and Michael do have some conflict, from what happens at the end of the last book when they save Michael from the draug pool. If you don't remember, after a while in the draug pool being held hostage, Michael unintentionally bites Eve in his desperate need for blood. So throughout the book, they struggle. They argue a bit, and I won't reveal how that turns out. Read the book. 

Claire and Shane are also back, strong as ever. We're faced once again with a few scares- at one point there's another threat of one of them being dead. Not going to tell which. xD I'm not going to give very many spoilers, just saying. I was so upset about this part. :/ 

The other is so depressed about it, as per usual. 

Myrnin is back, too. I love this crazy, adorable character with the vampire bunny slippers (which you can get here, by the way). He's changed, but he's still willing to help Claire out... Eventually Claire says she quits from working with him, but goes back because the thought of Oliver being mad.. if Amelie dies (leaving the mystery open again), everyone is sure Oliver will take over. And that might not exactly be a good thing, knowing Oliver. 

There's also Theo Goldman in there, he's not that big of a character. He's around to care for Amelie and saves Claire a time or two from danger. Naomi, the lesbian vampire mentioned earlier in the series- Amelie's "sister" of sorts, is also here. She has plans of her own for after her sister passes; Naomi is one of those who plans ahead for the death of her sister... It's kind of sick. 

Anyhow, everything works out. The book leaves a cliff hanger as always, so even if you don't like this one as much as I didn't really care for the previous one- Last Breath, book 11 to the series- you're going to want to continue. There's a lot that still hasn't happened. 

Let's just say Caine has a lot to tie up in the next three books if she wants happy fans. xD
I think the love triangle actually worked for this series, though. Anyone disagree?

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