Monday, May 19, 2014

Review of: The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

10429005The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

Page Count(Hardcover Edition): 425 pgs
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: September 6th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Read: from 5/13/13 to 6/26/13
Source: Books-A-Million

Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It’s all about Before and After. What I’m talking about here is the ka-pow, shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy.

Sixteen-year-old Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss—a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.

Jennifer Castle’s debut novel is a heart-wrenching, surprisingly witty testament to how drastically life can change in the span of a single moment
(from Goodreads)

The Beginning of After was truly it's title. After a horrible thing happens and it affects your family or friends, you have to start over again. I know, I've been there my share of times. This book perfectly navigated one girls' journey after her mother, father and brother were killed in a car accident.

One of the most important things this book taught me was how to be sad, how to grieve, which I think everyone needs to know how to do. If you don't grieve, you will never be able to get past something that has happened. But also, after grieving, you have to begin to grow from it. Laurel taught me that it is perfectly okay to feel bad for yourself when something awful happens. But she also taught me the importance of getting back up on your feet and persevering through life once again. Life is full of ups and downs, no matter how much we wish the downside's of life ceased to exist

I think the story line was brilliant. Bad boy neighbors-dad, Mr. Kaufman,  is responsible for the deaths of her family. He is comatose, but the only survivor of that night. I sympathized with Laurel as she began to come to terms with what has happened. She didn't know who to blame, herself for not saving the day, or Mr. Kaufman. David, his son, is also dealing with this car accident as his father is in critical condition. It was nice to see that Laurel didn't automatically shun him, whilst she didn't exactly invite him over for dinner as well. It took time for their relationship to grow, and I appreciated that! Not very fond of insta-loves!

On a happier note, I adore this cover! The actor perfectly resembles what I would have thought Laurel would have looked like. Plus, just the colors and design are gorgeous!

If you're looking for a deeper, emotional contemporary read focused on moving forward in life, this book is for you!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review of: The Elite(The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass

16248068The Elite(The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass

Page Count(Hardcover Edition): 323 pgs
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Released: April 23rd, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
My Rating: 5 stars
Read: from  April 25 to May 02, 2013
Source: Amazon

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller, The Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

(from Goodreads)

The Elite is the 2nd out of three books in Kiera Cass's trilogy, The Selection, of which I am wholeheartedly OBSESSED with! I had high expectations for this book because of The Selection, and let me tell you, I wasn't the slightest disappointed!

Since this is the 2nd book in the series and the competition between girls is narrowing down, it was definitely faster paced than with the first. I loved that, I kept right up with it as I finished it in a mere few days. I couldn't get enough of it. I was turning pages left and right.

One thing that made this book so exciting was the amount of action! The attacks on the castle became more frequent and had higher stakes, so naturally my heart was beating out of my chest. I also adored the development of Maxon and America's relationship. Though Maxon has other girls as well at the castle, it wasn't hard for me to see how much he truly cares for America and all that she stands for! I will support them till the end. (TEAM MAXON ALL THE WAY). 

I won't say it, but something happens to a pivotal character in the story that truly ripped my heart out! I was so shocked when I read the words along the lines of "She is being caned" I love this particular character so much and almost cried when this happened. Props to Kiera for making me so emotional!

As you already know, I like Maxon over Aspen. I believe that Aspen had his chance with America in the beginning, and since that didn't work out, it's Maxon's turn now! I know that America loves them both blah blah, blah, but STILL. I like Maxon better plain and simple. I just wish Maxon would man up and America would quit being so indecisive over the two of them! Ugh just pick one!(Preferably Maxon please and thank you (: )

Yes, yes yes yes yes I totally absolutely recommend this book to everyone and anyone out there because I love this series just as much as the next person and I want you to share these feelings as well with me! But please read The Selection first because reading them out of order would kinda ruin it!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Blog Tour: Hedge Witch(The Coven Land Trilogy, #1) by Simon Kewin

Hedge Witch(The Coven Land Trilogy, #1) by Simon Kewin

Publisher: Stormcrow Books
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Read: April 27th - March 10th
Source: Big thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Simon Kewin for a review copy!

Fifteen year-old Cait Weerd has no idea she’s being sought by the undain: sorcerous creatures of necromancy that feed off the spirit of the living. She doesn’t know the undain need her blood to survive. She doesn’t even know, descended from a long line of witches. Cait Weerd doesn’t know a lot, really, but all that’s about to change.

At Manchester Central Library she’s caught up in sudden, horrific violence. In the chaos she’s handed an old book that’s been hidden there and told to run, hide the book or destroy it. It contains all the secrets of the undains’ existence. They and their human servants want to find that as much as they want Cait.

Cait learns the fates of two worlds are at stake. Just what she needs. Along with definitely-not-a-boyfriend Danny, she has to decide what the hell to do. Run, fight or hope it all goes away.

It's only then she learns who she really is, along with the terrible truth of what the undain have been doing in our world all this time...

Wow this book really got my mind spinning! I couldn't believe how many things happened at once, I was turning pages like a mad man!

One of my favorite things about this book what the development of each character. You get to learn about Cait, Fer, Ran, Johnny, Cait's mother and grandma, and even Hellen and Ariane. Some of this characters had a point of view to read it from, which was really interesting. I had a few laughs when Fer was talking, she has a fire in her!

Usually, fantasy books that involve witches and the supernatural get me lost the moment  I begin reading. This is one of the rare few that didn't. The names and spells of things were actually really interesting, and made sense! Props to Simon for pulling that off.

I loved the fact how, though this book seemed long, the time span was really only a few days. The big groups' adventure got me thinking about what was going to happen next and if the "police" were going to catch them.

All in all, Hedge Witch was a really great read. I enjoyed picking it up everyday and learning something new about their world. Everyone should definitely check this out!


Simon was born on the misty Isle of Man but now lives deep in the English countryside with his wife and two daughters.

He writes science fiction and fantasy as well as some stories that can’t make their minds up.Find out more on his website at

Author Links:

I hope you all enjoyed! Again, a HUGE thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Simon Kewin for letting me be a part of this!!