26 December 2012

Willow Reads (18+ Series): Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.

Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and--was that a meow?--punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.

Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick...

In her third novel, Alice Clayton returns to dish her trademark mix of silly and steamy. Banter, barbs, and strutting pussycats, plus the sexiest apple pie ever made, are dunked in a hot tub and set against the gorgeous San Francisco skyline in this hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight.

Not many spoilers here. :)

Title: Wallbanger
Author: Alice Clayton
Page Count: 300 pages
Book Website: http://aliceclayton.com/books/wallbanger/
Published: November 27, 2012
Source: Goodreads suggestion

Before this book, I had never read an Alice Clayton book before and with this description, I was instantly doubting the hilarity. Ever read those kinds of books where the description is like "THIS IS THE MOST FUNNY BOOK EVER! THIS BOOK IS SEXY AND FUNNY AT THE SAME TIME!" and it dies out really quickly? It doesn't live up to the description? Well that wasn't this book at all.

We open the book with Caroline being annoyed about the guy in the room who shares the same bedroom wall in the apartment building... He's sleeping with someone, and banging something- the girl, the bed, something- against the wall. It's really annoying. This happens over and over and over again for weeks- with only brief times of silence. It gets tot he point where Caroline is spying out of her door's eye hole to get a look at this guy. And then one night... Wearing her pink nightie, Caroline rushes out of her apartment and starts angrily banging on his door. And that's what starts it all.

I don't want to give away the book in this post, so please get it and read it. It's a very hilarious book, and I so totally love it. I'll probably be reading Clayton's books in the near future, but I think I'm going to read a more friendly to younger people book now that I've done two 18+ series books in a row.

Oh, and also, I hope everyone's holiday was great! I had a nice Christmas myself, and the day was amazing. :)

10 December 2012

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

There is no rehearsal for true love.

When A-list film actor Ryan Christensen ducked into her pub to escape his screaming fans, never in a million years did Taryn Mitchell think her life was about to change forever. But now, eight months later, after a whirlwind romance, Taryn wakes up in Ryan’s Hollywood hotel room to find a diamond to die for on her left ring finger—and her face splashed across the cover of every gossip magazine.

Ryan’s very public proposal is catnip to the tabloids, his management team is worried, and Taryn must figure out how a small town girl like her fits into his glittering world. What does it take to make a relationship work amidst telephoto lenses, daily on-set temptations, and jealous fans who will stop at nothing to keep you from walking down the aisle with the man of your dreams?

With no script to follow and no chance for a dress rehearsal, Taryn and Ryan will be forced to take the plunge and risk everything to make their love last.

Spoilers ahead!
Also note: This book is for mature audiences only.

Title: Love Unrehearsed (Love Unscripted #2)
Author: Tina Reber
Page Count: 400 pages
Book Website: http://tinareber.com
Published: September 14, 2012
Source: Continuation of a series.

... Wow.
I'm sort of in that denial stage. The book is over already? Sure, it's not a 700 paged book like Love Unscripted- thanks to editing. STUPID EDITING. -throws a huge dictionary at the editor, but you saw nothing-

Anywho, this book was absolutely red hot. The first book would be ok for maybe 16 or 17 years old, I'd say, when compared to this one. This one would have to wait, because there is so much sex content here. But it wasn't badly written, in my opinion, and I didn't mind it. I was actually happy for it to happen because I love Ryan and Taryn so much.

There were twists in this book, sure. I never expected the divorce that happened. BUT I also didn't expect the weddings that did happen. Yes, weddingS, as in more than one. :D And a surprise engagement toward the end. ^.^

Really, though, this book was good.
I really enjoyed it.


I can't wait to see if there's another book in this series, but I'm not sure she will. This seemed pretty final... and surprisingly... I'm ok with it. They got their happy endings, and that's what I love.

05 December 2012

(18+ Series) Love Unrehearsed Chapter 1!

I was on Tina Reber's website out of boredom and this came up! :)

Need more? Buy the book!

Willow Reads: The False Princess

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court.  But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection.  Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks.  But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever.

A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.

Spoilers- but not very many.

Title: The False Princess
Author: Eilis O'Neal
Page Count: 319 pages
Book Website: http://www.eilisoneal.com/
Published: January 25, 2011
Source: Goodreads suggestion

This is one of those books Goodreads suggested that I didn't really care for. I gave it only two stars on Goodreads, which by definition means that it was ok. Nothing spectacular, not in any sense.

First, I felt that the book could be better researched. You really don't get the time period out of the whole thing, but with how the outfits were described and how the royal system came about... People didn't talk like they do today way back when. Sure, magic and such wasn't involved back then, but people still didn't talk that way.

Second... The whole false princess idea was ok, but then when they switched Sinda with Orrianne, then Sinda goes and says that Orrianne isn't the real princess, and goes on this hunt for the real princess... It's too much.

Maybe it's just a little too young for me. Normally I'm more than happy with the books my younger friends who range from 12-15 might actually read... But this just wasn't very good, even for that age range. If you're just looking for a kind of dumbed down, no thought read, then this is for you.

Anyway, happy reading!

27 November 2012

Willow Reads: Easy by Tammara Webber

A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

Note: This book is mature YA, so please be aware there is sexual content in this book. It's not a lot, and it's not the majority of the book- not enough so for it to be 18+. 


Title: Easy
Author: Tammara Webber
Page Count: 230 pages (ebook)
Book Website: http://tammarawebber.blogspot.com/
Published: May 25, 2012
Source: Goodreads suggestion

Goodreads has done it again. It's creepily accurate in finding reads I'll absolutely love, and gahhh. This book didn't even take me 24 hours to read. Even though it's only 230 pages, it's the last two weeks of my college semester- how did I even find the time? xDD 

So anyway, this book.. Amazing. 

Jacqueline (J*) Wallace is in her second year of college as a music education major (MUAHAHAHAHA! THERE ARE BOOKS ABOUT US NOW! WORLD DOMINATION! ) when her boyfriend of three years, Kennedy, decides he wants to see other people. He lets her down hard, instead of easy, and of course after a three year relationship... It sort of sucks; of course she's heartbroken. She doesn't know what to do, she gets behind in school work and avoids him by skipping classes that she only took to be with him. In fact, she only chose that university for the reason that he would be there. So now she's starting to regret that, because she easily could have gone to a music conservatory and did more with her life.

One night, a few weeks after Kennedy broke it off, J's roommate Erin forces her to go to this Halloween party- J's the designated driver. So she goes and decides after a while that she wanted to leave, texting Erin to let her know just to text if/when she needed a ride home. Heading to her truck, J is unknowingly followed by Buck- a guy who she thought was friendly enough. Buck is drunk at the time, and he tries to rape her. This mysterious guy comes out of nowhere, J doesn't recognize him, and he beats Buck up and insists on driving J back to the dorm. 

Shortly after this, J decides to pull everything together- she starts pulling her weight in classes again, and the one class she has the most trouble with is econ- short for economics. Not only is Kennedy in this class, she missed a midterm and about two weeks worth of classes- talk about grade killer, I flinched when reading this. The teacher, Mr. Heller, decides to give her a break and assigns a project for J to do in place of the midterm. He also suggests a tutor, so she can get ahead easier- just in case she had any questions. 

The tutor Mr. Heller suggests is Landon Maxfield. She e-mails him and their entire correspondence is through e-mail; I can relate to music education majors being incredibly busy. As this is going on, she notices the other guy- the one who saved her from Buck's attempted rape- everywhere. He works at Starbucks, he tutors, and does just about everything else. When Erin notices there's something to be had here, she and another friend create the OBBP (Operation Bad Boy Phase)- this other guy, whose name is Lucas, has tattoos... He really doesn't pay attention in class, and because he can fight he seems hardcore... He looks like a bit of a bad boy. 

So the whole book is pretty much J getting over her breakup issues, unearthing eventually that Landon and Lucas are the same person, and gaining a new love- someone who will love and respect her. 

And I ship these two. I ship them hard. I'm hoping this isn't just a one-shot book, I really want to know what happens next. But at least this exists. It does have a happy ending, I won't go into all of it, but I will say that justice does come to J where Buck is concerned. So yeah, happy days. :) 

So, for now, this is it. Happy reading!

*I refer to Jacqueline as J for this review, it's used in the book, and she hates being called Jackie. Character respect, yo. :look:

25 November 2012

Willow Reads: Hidden (House of Night #10)

At last, Zoey has what she wanted: the truth is out. Neferet's evil has been exposed, and the High Council is no longer on her side -- but she's far from done wreaking havoc in the vampyre world. First, a mysterious fire ravages the stables. Then, Neferet makes a devastating move that will test them all.
With the seeds of distrust sown and Darkness breeding chaos at the House of Night, everyone must band together -- but that's proving to be more difficult than ever before. The twins are barely speaking and the House of Night's former enemy, Kalona, has now become their warrior, pushing their trust to the limit. To top it off, Zoey is pretty darn sure she might be losing her mind. She saw something when she looked at Aurox through the Seer Stone that she can hardly explain to herself, let alone her friends. Is it possible that Heath has come back in a different form? Is that why Zoey's so intrigued by Aurox, when it's so obvious that he's dangerous? And who would believe her if she told them? Zoey knows that following her instinct about Aurox might be just what they need to defeat evil . . . but if she's wrong, it could cause the destruction of those closest to her.
With the tension at a breaking point and friendships on the line, can the nerd herd come together to stop the spread of Darkness before it's too late?


Title: Hidden (House of Night #10)
Author: PC and Kristin Cast
Page Count: 320 pages
Book Website: www.houseofnightseries.com
Published: October 16, 2012
Source: Been reading these for years.

I really didn't want to do this ever to a House of Night book. They started out amazingly well with the first books of the series... Then comes along this one. Beautiful cover... But looks can be deceiving. Am I the only one who thinks the authors are beating a dead horse? Why can't they just get to it and let us know how they meant the series to end? I only gave the book two stars on Goodreads, Reading the reviews on Goodreads, I know people will back me.

And doesn't Zoey seem like she's turning into a Mary Sue? She's perfect in Stark's eyes, and no harm can come to her. She goes through all of this unscathed? No, that's not possible. Come on. And Lenobia of all people liking a human? Come on.

Will I read the next book, and the book after that? Sure I will. Like everyone on Goodreads, the hook is deep within me. I want to know what happens, but I wish it'd be a little more realistic.

13 November 2012

Willow Reads: Bitter Blood (Morganville Vampires #13)

For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to co-exist in peace. But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face is the enemy within…

Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires. 

To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse.

Spoiler Warning- More Than Usual

Title: Bitter Blood (Morganville Vampires #13)
Author: Rachel Caine
Page Count: 404 pages
Book website: www.morganvilletexas.com
Published: November 6, 2012
Source: Long-term love for this series

I have an absolute love for Morganville. I was gifted the first two books of the series for Christmas my senior year of high school, by someone who really didn't know me but got stuck with me in a Secret Santa. He knew I read a lot, and he had watched me read Twilight... Vampires are in Twilight, so maybe I'd like this series? You know, that kind of thing. I couldn't have been more grateful, because I had wanted to read these books for ages. And now, it's book 13. It's hard to believe that it's only coming up on two years since I turned the first page and became instantly hooked.

So, straight out, I loved this book; my rating on Goodreads is 5 stars, and that wasn't even with hesitation. I may be slightly biased, since I love this series so much. Rachel Caine has caught my heart, much like J.K. Rowling did with Harry Potter. She knows how to hit it right in the feels, though.

One thing you may not like about this book is the changing perspectives- it has happened before in Morganville, and it continues on here. If that kind of thing isn't for you, I wouldn't suggest Morganville... You'll be missing out! But anyway, enough of the chit-chat and into the review.

We start out with Amelie in a prologue, which is about Morganville ID cards- Oliver is pushing the issue, and he convinces her that every resident should have one. You can definitely tell by her tone, though, that Amelie has changed. Why, all of a sudden, does she trust Oliver like a lover instead of the enemy she must keep her eye on? I questioned this right away, but we'll figure out why later.

So then, we're taken through the book. Morganville residents do get their ID cards (and find there's a hunting pass for the vampires- pretty much a license to kill one human a year and have a small fine for any other human they kill), Claire and crew attempt to stop it from happening... Myrnin leaves Morganville, or so we're lead to believe... Hannah is pushed from the mayor's office, and there's an "election" to have the next mayor put into office- but really, Morganville doesn't understand voting. A character we had never heard of in my memory (but I want to re-read the whole series), Florida Ramos, is given the spot by Amelie. This isn't a bad choice, she's a strong leader and she knows exactly how the humans feel- seeing as she is one, and she's tired of the vampires having open season with the humans. She herself lost two children to the vampires, and it hurts her.

Then, things change. Pretty much throughout the whole book, people are pinning threatening pictures and things to the Glass House door, there's even an incident of gas in a bottle thrown through the window- causing a fire. It's all to do with Michael marrying Eve, and then it goes to an extreme. Eve gets beat up, causing some internal bleeding, broken ribs, and lots of pain. While Eve's in the hospital healing, Michael is bitten by Naomi. This makes him have to do everything Naomi says, including when she tells him to tell Eve that their marriage is over... Then he promptly is forced to kiss Claire, causing some problems between Shane and Eve. They're all in their separate worlds now it seems, and everyone's sad. Shane won't even look at Claire, Michael packed up and left the night he ended the marriage, and Claire has to help Eve- after that, she tells her parents she'll be there soon.

But it all wraps up. At the end of the book, Claire saves Amelie's life and in return gets permission for Shane to leave Morganville in addition to getting herself into MIT again. She still loves him, even if he is an idiot. Michael and Eve make up, and Claire goes up to her bedroom to be alone. The realization hits.

"Tomorrow, she'd have to think about how to leave Morganville behind, how to go off to a new town, a new school, a whole new world... and somehow do it without Michael, or Eve, or even Myrnin. 
 And maybe even without Shane. 
But she just couldn't face it now."
And then, later on... And this is the ending of the book, beware.
"Shane's arms went around her. It was slow, and tentative, and done in complete silence. He pulled her closer, and closer, until she was pressed against him, back to front. His lips pressed a slow, soft, burning kiss on the soft, tender skin at the back of her neck.
 'I know you didn't ask me,' he said. 'I know you may not want me to go. But I'm going to Boston, and I'll be there when you need me. You don't have to say anything. I know I have to earn your trust back. It's okay.'
 She caught her breath, sighed, and felt her heart break all over again, in a whole new and beautiful way."
 There's still books 14 and 15 on the way, thank goodness. When I finished the book at 2AM this morning, I didn't want it to end there. I wanted more. xD That's not a good stopping place, Rachel Caine! NOT COOL. xD

But one thing I'm waiting on is the marriage- back a few books ago, Shane said something around the lines of "If we make it through this, promise you'll marry me." Claire said yes, but WHEN IS IT GONNA HAPPEN? I am totally wanting Claire and Shane to get married, and have Claire be Claire Collins and have adorable ClaireShane babies and... yeah.. /shifty Can you tell I'm huge on Claire/Shane? xD

Anywho, for some cool extras head on over to morganvilletexas.com and/or http://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialRachelCaine <-- At the youtube there's some ads for the mayor- just fun little videos. Amelie looks like the Overly Attached Girlfriend. Go have fun!

03 October 2012

Willow Reads Books: Hereafter (Hereafter #1)

Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life--or her actual death--she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but "will" him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, "Hereafter" is a sensation you won't want to miss.

Title: Hereafter
Author: Tara Hudson
Page Count: 404 pages
Book website: http://www.tarahudson.com/hereafter.php
Published: June 7, 2011
Source: Goodreads suggestion

Amelia cannot remember much, except that she died in the water and that her name is Amelia. She is some sort of ghost wandering the lonely afterlife until something happens- a boy almost drowns to death in the same body of water. She ends up saving him, though he does die for a short amount of time, and then comes back to life. He can see her instantly after he comes back, but nobody else does.

So, of course, the boy comes looking. His name is Joshua, called Josh by mostly everyone, and he ends up seeing Amelia. Their relationship grows fast and hard, and it's pretty much the most unbelievable aspect of the book. You can't fall completely in love with someone within the span of 24 hours- I don't care how lonely you are.. This doesn't happen- at most, it's infatuation with someone.

But other than that, I really enjoyed this book. The story line is good, I just wish that Hudson had spent a little more time actually developing some sort of romantic relationship; when the whole romance is later tested by Eli, the antagonist of the whole book, it might have made a little more sense to have grown with more time. Love takes time. The whole aspect that the afterlife can mostly be solitude with no ability to remember anything, until someone dies in the same way you did at the same location.. That's definitely interesting.

I'm kind of curious to read the next book of the series, though. I want to see how the relationship is going to turn out between Amelia and Joshua. It's not realistic for a ghost to be with a human... I mean, what are they going to do? Get married? xD

So I don't know. I have to get my hands on book 2 and I'll update then.
Currently reading J.K. Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy," and a review will be up as soon as I'm done and I get to it.

Happy reading!

19 September 2012

Willow Reads: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

Title: Darkness Becomes Her (Gods and Monsters #1)
Author: Kelly Keaton
Page Count: 320
Book Website: http://kellykeaton.net/
Published: Feb. 22, 2011
Source: Friend loan

Ari is unique- she always has been, and always will be. It's not because of her personality, but because she has silver hair that won't change in any way and bright teal eyes that stand out in any situation. Ari grew up in foster care- she loves her parents, even though they're not biological, and she wouldn't change that they were the best thing to happen to her... But she wonders who she is... Really, what kid has bright silver hair before they've really even started aging? So, that's where the book starts out. It has some romance in it, and there's some confusion, but eh...

Overall, though, I have to say this book was a fair read. It wasn't anything amazing or extraordinary. I read it very quickly, with not much thought to put into it... These are the types of reads I like to get into during the school year because it doesn't take much, whereas my school work takes a lot of my mental power... By the end of the day, I was ready for it, and I read it within like three or four nights of eh.. 20-30 minutes before I decided to sleep.

(Must apologize for the short review, I'm at school. xD)

10 September 2012

Tina Reber- Love Unscripted *UPDATED* Release Date Info

My Love Unscripted review from a while back got the most views out of any. Actually, it's the only one that has over 20 views. That post is over 600 views, and for that, I think people who come across this blog will be interested in this information.

So, if you don't go to Tina Reber's website regularly, you wouldn't see this. I'm here to tell you about release date information. I was informed via goodreads and Reber's page that it would be released August 31. Well that changed. I went to the page today, to see if it was out, and this is what shows up:

This is exactly what we've been waiting for. If you have an e-reader or don't mind reading via computer screen, go find it in a few days. If not, we have to wait until January 29, 2013.

Happy excitement and all the feels. :D

Keep up with Reber updates via this link to her official website, and keep reading!

Willow Reads: The Perks of Being A Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Page count: 213
Book Website: http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Stephen-Chbosky/1843916
Published: Feb. 1, 1999
Source: Friend suggestion, also wanted to read before the movie came out. :)

So first off- I want to explain the hiatus that I'm breaking now. College- simple as that. This book took me quite a while to read, not because of difficulty, but but because of time restraints. Anywho, let's get on with the review.

Logan Lerman as Charlie in the film adaptation
of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Sept. 2012
This was totally not the book I expected it to be. Actually, I don't know what I was expecting- this wasn't it. The format is unique, for the main character writes letters to an unknown recipient to tell them what happened. The names aren't correct, because he doesn't want anyone to know who he is. The correct names don't really matter, because the whole book is mostly about his freshman year in high school. To be honest, I don't know how old Chbosky is, but he has his main character sounding surprisingly innocent. These days, you don't get that very often, and it took me off guard. Charlie, the main character, is very innocent, sweet, and sensitive- much like a young child and not so much like the fourteen year old he really is. This could be that he was 14 back in 1992, and I was just being born; times really have changed. But right from the get-go I felt like he was special in some sort of way, not a "normal" teenager (if there really is such a thing, right? xD). He likes school, and he doesn't mind when his favorite teacher Bill gives him extra books to read- actually he loves reading and the stuff Bill gives him interests him. To contrast Charlie with myself, I wouldn't necessarily give my best friends "To Kill a Mockingbird," as well as some other more "classic" reads as graduation gifts. I'm not that kind of reader, my friends aren't either... 

Anywho, besides school, the book deals with peer pressure, underage drinking and cigarette smoking, drug use, masturbation, and a whole range of things any high school student today at least knows about in the fifth grade- just from the detailed health classes schools give nowadays. I just about got a kick out of this part where Charlie asks if the reader knows about masturbation and how it feels. He explains it in  a serious tone, and it just made me giggle. With the teenage pregnancy rates, anyone these days that will get their hands on this book will have already known about this. 

Emma Watson as Sam in the film adaptation of The Perks of
Being a Wallflower, Sept. 2012
Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are a huge bit of Charlie's life once he gets to some friends. Sam and Patrick are siblings by marriage, and those are his two best friends... I really don't want to blame them, but if he wouldn't have met them, Charlie wouldn't have started these things. It leads to depression and a two month long hospital visit toward the end of the book for Charlie. 

Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book. I know I'm way late to the party- this book came out when I was just a wee little kid, oh gosh... I was 7 years old. The reason I heard about this book was because of a friend, and then the movie with Emma Watson is coming out in a few weeks and I didn't want to see before reading. I hate when I do that. And any Harry Potter fan who loves Emma has to go see this movie, she looks beautiful in it! Plus, we get to see her act out an American accent. It's going to take some getting used to. 

22 July 2012

The Shade Series: Music playlist

While the series is over, and I'm about a month late on this fact- and, to be honest, a few years late to the whole thing- I'm still obsessed.

In the first book, Logan's first farewell concert ends with "The Parting Glass": The Keeley Brothers edition. Well that doesn't exist yet, officially or by fans as far as I know (though I'm new to the whole fandom)... Here's my favorite version that I've heard so far:

I have this on a playlist I'm currently compiling. Most of it is Flyleaf, which I have this huge obsession with. I intend to listen to Jeri Smith-Ready's playlist(s) she's released and add my favorites from that, but mostly this is a fan centered playlist. So if you're reading this, and you have some songs that remind you of this series, please feel free to comment. :)

If you're interested in Jeri Smith-Ready's playlist(s), feel free to go here and look around. :)

Willow Reads: Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready

In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart.

Spoiler Alert
Title: Shine (Shade #3)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Page Count: 399
Book website: http://www.jerismithready.com
Published: May 1, 2012
Source: Obsession

This is the last book of the three-book Shade Trilogy. Previously, Zach and Aura temporarily parted ways with plans to meet up in December; Aura would go to Scotland for the couples' 18th birthday and they would spend that time together. Shortly after Zach leaves, Logan passes over at his grave- with Aura as the single witness. 

Then start this book a few hours later. Aura is at the cemetery when she gets a phone call from Megan. The flight Zach was on crashed, and it wasn't likely that there were any survivors. We find out later that this crash was caused by a sort of co-company to SecuriLab, who make BlackBox. They blame this 14 year old kid, whose bag they had shoved a bomb into once it was on the plane. 

Aura understandably breaks down. She can't help it, it seems like the universe doesn't want her to have a boyfriend. But then Dylan calls in the middle of all this, and comes right away. She checks her Zach cell phone- the red one that he gave her before he was supposed to leave for Scotland. 

Well, here's what happened in a shortened version: 

The DMP wrongfully forced the Moore family to their offices. They really had no right, seeing as they were going to deport them anyway. Then, they DID deport Mr. and Mrs. Moore back to Scotland, but not Zachary. They sent Zach to Area 3A, which is where they were going to take Aura and Zach before Logan's last concert. For two months, Zach was in isolation from his parents, Aura, and everyone he knew and loved. This causes some post traumatic stress for him, so upon returning to Scotland MI-X gives him a counselor to talk to. 

Over the months before Aura is able to go to Scotland, she connects with one of Zach's friends and he tells her the truth- it literally made my heart go out to the poor boy. Zach is having nightmares, he won't sleep... Every night before he retires to his room, he has to make sure everyone's where they're supposed to be and even then he worries. He follows everyone he cares about like a lost puppy, and it's not how Zach used to be before America. 

Well, then Aura comes. 
We find out what really happened after a few days of them being together... And some other... steamy events. :) 

Overall you should know that this final book in the trilogy will be pleasing to those who ship Aura/Zach. You can't exactly ship Logan/Aura anymore, because Logan passed over. Don't even dare to ship Dylan/Aura. That's Megan territory by the end of the book. ;)

The ending was good, but it... I want more. Aura goes to university in Scotland, and she probably lives there her entire life. After the first Scotland trip, she says that the United States doesn't feel like home anymore. Her other half is in Scotland. So, unless Zach comes back to America, she won't be back either. I'm almost 100% sure of it. 

I might even break into writing fanfiction for this one if we don't get news of a spin off series. xD I want stuff to happen. I haven't written fanfiction since I wanted a new Harry Potter to come faster than it could be written. xD

It's been an absolute joy to read this trilogy this month- Jeri Smith-Ready is now one of my absolute favorite authors-, and I just marked a whole bunch of goodreads suggestions similar to this series' contents for my own reading pleasure. 

That's it for now, and here is my every once in a while reminder to feel free to comment on any of the posts. Bye! :)

19 July 2012

Willow Reads: Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.
Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.
As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

Spoiler Alert

Title: Shift (Shade #2)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Page Count: 367
Book website: http://www.jerismithready.com/
Published: May 3, 2011
Source: Complete obsession. Thank you, Erica. (-_-")

Ok, I tried. I tried hard to move on from this book onto another loan from Erica. I'm sure I'll love the others but... I couldn't move onto another without knowing what happened next. #Confessionsofabooknerd

ANYWHO. Enough downing myself for not having strength to m ove past Aura and Logan and Zachary and the Keeleys... Yes, I'm obsessed. xD I don't want to read the third book for it to all be over as soon as it started, but I know I can't hold out much longer. I just finished this book like two hours ago.

Book two of the Shade series... In the beginning, Logan is still a shade. If you don't remember from the last part of book 1, he turned complete shade at his farewell concert he held himself. In hopes of him coming back so she can try to transform him back into an ordinary ghost, Aura listens to all of Logan's play lists and waits by her open window for weeks. When the final track finishes, she returns to her window and calls for him... But this time, he comes. And eventually he turns into a ghost again.

Throughout the book, Aura has an internal struggle. Logan's dead, but still there, and then there's Zachary. Zach is an amazing fit for her, but she still feels guilty for having feelings for someone else. A huge portion of this book is about Aura's romantic interests. At one point, it's even transferred from a love triangle to a love square- adding, of all people, Logan's younger brother Dylan into the mix. That surprised me.

Another surprise was that Aura almost slept with all three of her love interests in the book. Not all at the same time, of course, but at various times. Yes, even Logan. On the solstice, Logan solidifies and appears to have an actual body- able to be touched- for about seventeen minutes. In that time, they almost go all the way. More deets wanted? Read the book. -smiles innocently-

Then, when Zach un-invites Aura to the prom, she goes with Dylan. Well, that night makes the two come closer in a way... When Zachary's evil date calls Aura's phone and allows her to listen to him near having sex with her, she's brokenhearted. A few days later, Dylan and Aura are in his new bedroom at the new house, and it gets close there.

Finally, after they kiss and make up, Zachary and Aura are running around solving clues Eowyn gives them. Little do they know that they're being followed by the DMP. So they get caught and they're taken against their will to a place they don't know. They escape and eventually find out where they escaped to. They get back to civilization, where Logan is having a concert on the solstice. He plans to gain his human form back for the concert, then pass over.

Eventually he does pass over, but not that night. :)
Read the book for more information.
You're welcome. xD

13 July 2012

Willow Reads: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. "Almost."
It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.
Spoiler Warning!
Title: Shade (Shade #1)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Page Count: 309
Book Website: http://www.jerismithready.com/
Published: May 4, 2010
Source: Friend loan

This book was one I had hardly heard of before a few nights ago. While over at a friend's house for the night, we began to talk a little about books (not related to studying for our driver's temps test) and she offered to let me borrow some of her newer reads that she had gotten her hands on lately. Her favorite was this book called Shade, and she was scared to read the ending because she wanted to know how it turned out but she didn't want her hopes/dreams crushed. She told me she wasn't sure if it was a series or not, so I told her I'd do some research. Turns out the book is a trilogy, and I cannot WAIT to get my hands on the next one.

In the beginning of the book, we're introduced to our storyteller- her name is Aura. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her Aunt Gina; she's the average sixteen-nearly-seventeen year old girl with a talented, pretty boy boyfriend and a decent best friend. Everything's normal except that, seconds before she was born, a shift happened. This shift made it so every newly born child afterword would live to see the dead (meaning ghosts), separating them from their parents, aunts, uncles, and whoever else they passed on the street who happened to be older.

For Aura, this is an annoying aspect of her life. She does everything to pretend she doesn't see these ghosts, even though she finally breaks and is forced into talking to them.

Well, suddenly one night that changes.

Logan, who is Aura's boyfriend, belongs to a band mostly composed of his siblings. One night at rehearsal, he reveals that they might be signed to a record contract on the night of his birthday. On Logan's birthday, The Keeley Brothers were set to give a concert, and if the odds were in the bands' favor, they might score some record deal attention.

The night comes, and everyone attends the concert. The band is on fire that night, and they did so well that both companies that came to watch the show offered separate deals. Well, the band says that they have to talk to their parents because they're minors, but that they'd consider both options. After that, everyone heads to the Keeley house for an after party.

During the party, Logan and Aura were supposed to sleep together for the first time after several abruptly stopped attempts. Well, when Logan gets beyond drunk with beer and this other combination named Liquid Stupid, he can't "get it up," if you get my gist. Alcohol does that to a guy. Suddenly, Logan has this idea to go take a cold shower to "wake up" from the alcohol, and he takes a mysterious packet with him claiming that it's a shampoo sample. The next thing Aura hears is Logan's sister Sibohan screaming.

Logan is dead.

Aura sees Logan's ghost for about two seconds and he disappears, so she believes he has crossed over. Until, that is, after his funeral when he's playing with some younger family members up by the Keeley's bathroom. This starts a long time stream of Logan starting to come and stay the night in Aura's room until she falls asleep.

Oh, I forgot to mention Zach, aka Zachary. He comes into the story shortly before Logan's death to be Aura's history thesis partner. Their teacher for the class suggested he work with her, and they begin to.

Well, while Logan is off being a ghost and going every place he's ever been, Zach is there for her. You can tell almost right off that he's got feelings for Aura, even if she doesn't see it at first. As Zach and Aura get to know each other, the feelings become mutual. So there forms love triangle typical of YA romance books.

BUT what makes this book unique?

The author... She had me loving both guys so much. I kind of felt I was Aura for a while. My heart ached when Logan died, and every emotional part including him.. Especially right before the trial, even.. I wanted to cry so hard. I really felt for Aura so much.

But at the same time, I'm falling for Zach too. He's so understanding, he's wiling to wait for Aura, and he's adorable with his Scottish accent. I mean, he's Scottish, so of course he'd have an accent from his motherland. xD

Anyway, this book made me laugh.. It made me cry.. It made me feel. This is definitely a unique book. I absolutely loved it, giving it a 5 star rating over on Goodreads. I suggest it for fans of Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, which I've reviewed here. My first post, I believe... I suggest it's similar because it deals with death, what might happen in the afterlife, etc.

So give it a read. See if you like it, you never know! :)

By the way, here's the book trailer:

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?

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