Side Effects May Vary
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I simply couldn’t put it down.

The characters were awesome. I LOVED Harvey. Alice was not the most likable character at times but I saw through the nasty person she tended to be to a few select characters. Did those characters deserve it? Maybe, but should Alice have been using her precious time on revenge? Maybe not so completely.

I loved and hated the layout of the story. Chapters from both Alice and Harvey’s points of view from both “Now” and “Then”. The “Then” chapters being flash backs of before “Now”, which was current time. I found some of the “Then” chapters imposing because I REALLY wanted to know what was going to happen in the “Now”. The “Then” chapters were very important though.

I see this being a standalone. However, I would not be opposed to reading more about Alice’s life.

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Book Reviews

17 First Kisses
17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book.

The layout was very original. Just like the title suggests we get to experience Claire’s firsts 17 kisses. The timeline switches between present time and her kisses, in order from 1 to 17.

The characters were pretty great. Claire is part of a group of girls, most of them cheerleaders and Claire is a sporty soccer player with more muscles than curves.

I liked Claire a lot. I can’t say the same about her girlfriends. Then again most teenaged females that think they are hot stuff aren’t the nicest people to be friends with.

Sam and Luke and the many other male characters are also great. I really enjoy Sam and wish we could have seen more of him. I had Luke pegged from the beginning and I wish I didn’t. I really wanted him to be as awesome as he was portrayed.

Claire and her family go through some pretty terrible events. The major event is so terrible that I really had a hard time reading about it. As a mother, I simply can not even think about how I might react to the event that happened. If you are not a mother or don’t have younger siblings or close family then the event may not affect you as much.

As for the ending, it was a little too vague and uneventful. I either wish it would have been a longer book to give the ending more detail or the ending should have happened a bit sooner because we are lead up to the end with a lot of events unfolding. The end should have been given a bit more satisfying detail. The only thing I can hope for is a follow-up book that comes back to Claire after she graduates college or maybe there will be a mid-book that covers her years of college. I really didn’t enjoy seeing her lust for some random dude as soon as she moved into her dorm room and then BOOM, THE END.

Should there be more books I will definitely read it as well as anything else by Rachel Allen.

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Book Reviews

Storm Siren
Storm Siren by Mary Weber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, first, this cover is gorgeous!

This book was fantastic.
Loved the epicness of the setting.
The elemental powers of a select few characters was awesome.

Nym was an awesome character. She is strong, yet struggles with self control and acceptance of her ability.

Eogan, Nym’s elemental trainer, was very cool. I enjoyed him a great deal.
I had a hard time picturing him. He’s very dark skinned, yet he had jagged dark bangs as well as bright emerald eyes.

Colin and Breck were outstanding supporting characters.

I ended up loving the warhorses. How cool were they!?

The only other thing I have to mention is: THE ENDING!!!!!!

ZOMG. WHUT!?

How can I possibly read the next book with that ending?
I feel so defeated but I just know Nym will come out on top, right?

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Book Reviews

Drowned_BannerH

Drowned by Nichola Reilly

Harlequin TEEN | June 24, 2014 | 304 pages

Naming Characters – the research, meaning behind, or method of choosing unusual character names.

Here’s a novel thing: I like to pick names for my characters that fit their personalities. I know, big shocker—most authors do that. I used to go on babynames.com and put in what I wanted the name to mean, and it would spit out a whole bunch of names that meant a certain thing, then I would just select the one I liked best.

In the world of DROWNED, the people have been removed from our civilization for a long time. They do not read anymore, they don’t have books or any means of writing, so over the years, language has disintegrated. Much knowledge has been lost, and many of the names have been cannibalized and altered, much like a sentence in a game of telephone. So a lot of the names are not real names at all; just things I came up with because they evoke an image or make a sound that fits the character.

At one point in DROWNED, the main character, Coe, wonders if a person’s name controls who he or she will become. The princess Star, after all, is heavenly. Tiam, the strong, capable boy, is named after Tiamat, a Mesopotamian goddess who controls the chaos of the sea. The goddess Tiamat “gives birth to the world”, and in many ways, gives birth to Coe’s world. Coe’s name is short for Corvina. She’s named after a “smelly, slimy, bug-eyed fish,” which she thinks is fitting, since she is strange-looking and considered the lowest of the low. There is another story behind how she got her name, but that comes later.

The ruler of the land, King Wallow, is a descendent of a doomsday prepper named Agnes Willow, who owned the land they now reside on. In a world where language has been lost, the ruling family’s name changed over time, without their knowledge, and perhaps they don’t even realize now what “Wallow” means. But the royals do wallow; they’re the most self-indulgent people you’ll ever meet.

I had fun naming the secondary characters, since I wanted to pull them from things that have existed in the past, but had somehow morphed in meaning and importance over time. Melame is a mean, older guy who minds the tide pools people wash in. “Melame” is an amalgam of Mean and Lame, because that’s what he is. Burbur is a very busy and important castle worker, used to high-traffic, very hardy, like Berber carpet. Cordon, the chef, is named as such because I can only imagine his ancestor’s favorite dish was Chicken Cordon Bleu. Xilia is a crazy lady, named that because it sounds very much like “sillier”. And she is silly. It’s hard not to hear the name “Mutter” and not think of an angry guy walking around with his head down, mumbling to himself. I also threw in other, more normal names, like Ana and Finn, because I figured that not all ordinary names would fall into the void.

I’m not usually married to the names I choose. Sometimes, a character will change over time and demand to me to be called something else. In that case, I will usually make the change later on. But in this book, Coe was always Coe, and Tiam always Tiam, and I can’t imagine them being called anything else.

Summary (Goodreads)

Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.

Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.

Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

About Nichola Reilly

Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog’s post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.

About Cyn Balog

Cyn Balog is a normal, everyday Jersey Girl who always believed magical things can happen to us when we least expect them. She is author of young adult paranormals FAIRY TALE (2009), SLEEPLESS(2010), STARSTRUCK (2011), TOUCHED (2012), and her most recent release: DEAD RIVER (2013).e. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters.

She also writes under the pen name Nichola Reilly. Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog’s post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Schedule

Monday, June 23rd – Alice Marvels – Character Interview
Wednesday, June 25th – Parajunkee – Guest Post
Friday June 27th – The Cozy Reader – Guest Post
Monday, June 30th – Chapter by Chapter – Guest Post
Wednesday, July 2nd – Reader Girls Blog – Guest Post
Friday July 4th – Such a Novel Idea – Author Interview

 

Giveaway

Each tour stop is offering up a copy of DROWNED, and one winner will receive a fantastic Grand Prize Package including the following HarlequinTEEN titles: 2 copies of DROWNED as well as copies of RAIN, THE AFTERMATH, THE DARK WORLD and OCEANBORN. Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada.

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The One
The One (The Selection, #3) by Kiera Cass

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of my most favorite series to date.
Dystopian elements with a Bachelor reality TV twist.
The final installment was everything I wanted and more and less all wrapped together.
There were a few tragic scenes I didn’t enjoy and would have wished for a different outcome.
Overall, I was pleased with how this series ended.
I don’t feel comfortable going into much more detail but suffice it to say that I look forward to reading more by Kiera Cass.

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Book Reviews, HarperCollins

Burn Out

Burn Out (Burn Out, #1) by Kristi Helvig

EgmontUSA | April 8, 2014 | 272 pages

 

Procurement

eARC via NetGalley.

My Grade

Plot: 5

Setting: 5

Writing: 5

Originality: 5

Characters: 5

Romance: 4

Overall: 29/30 = 96% A

Title/Cover Bonus: 5

Overall

Action packed sci-fi futuristic story about a girl and her guns.

Continue reading…


Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

The Shadow Prince
The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark, #1) by Bree Despain
EgmontUSA | March 11, 2014 | 496 pages

 

 

Procurement

eARC via NetGalley.

My Grade

Plot: 4

Setting: 4

Writing: 5

Originality: 5

Characters: 5

Romance: 3

Overall: 26/30 = 86.6% B

Title/Cover Bonus: 2

Overall

Well done mythological story about a prince, a girl, their friends and their enemies.

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Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

Posted by The Cozy Reader 10 Responses

Book Reviews, EgmontUSA, Giveaway

Paper Hearts

Paper Hearts by S.R. Savell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

I enjoyed reading this book.

The summary had me sucked right in. Teen angst is a great thing and S.R. Savell writes it like a pro.

The characters are great. Michelle was a tad hard to like at first. She is rough around the edges. We learn that she is an unreliable narrator (hint, hint).

Nathaniel is amazing. I was expecting him to be supernatural or something because of his size and his presence. I almost wish some of the chapters were from his point of view. Michelle sums Nate up nicely:

You’re like Mary Poppins with a penis.

– page 29

Michelle and Nathaniel bond and create an odd but great friendship. That friendship hovers near a line of relationship. There is major chemistry between the two. Michelle has had a tough childhood and Nathaniel even more so.

We meet Nathaniel’s grandmother. She is super cool and added some awesomeness to the story.

Plot wise the story was strong. Since Michelle is an unreliable narrator it gets tricky towards the end. Some scenes are retold a few times because Michelle doesn’t want us to know the truth the first time, so pay attention! The truth that we learn is of a tough subject. This subject is rated R and not appropriate for a young audience.

I can’t say that I love the title, though the cover matches that perfectly.
I enjoyed this book very much. The sweet beginning won me over and the end, though traumatic, was handled with care and written perfectly.

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Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

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Book Reviews

 TBKT_BD_Oring_02

THE BOOK THIEF

Based on the beloved best-selling book comes an “extremely moving” (Leonard Maltin, Indiewire) story of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II, Germany. When her mother can no longer care for her, Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) is adopted by a German couple (OSCAR® Winner Geoffrey Rush* and OSCAR® Nominee Emily Watson**). Although she arrives illiterate, Liesel is encouraged to learn to read by her adoptive father. When the couple then takes in Max (Ben Schnetzer), a Jew hiding from Hitler’s army, Liesel befriends him. Ultimately, words and imagination provide the friends with an escape from the events unfolding around them in this extraordinary, acclaimed film directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).

*Actor, Shine, 1996 **Actress, Hilary and Jackie, 1998; Breaking the Waves, 1996

Blu-Ray Special Features

•       Deleted Scenes

•       A Hidden Truth: Bringing The Book Thief To Life

•       Theatrical Trailer

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of The Book Thief Blu-ray as well as a copy of the book!

To enter, please fill out the below Rafflecopter widget.
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Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Point | February 25, 2014 | 288 pages

Procurement

eARC via NetGalley

My Grade

Plot: 3

Setting: 4

Writing: 3

Originality: 3

Characters: 3

Romance: 3

Overall: 19/30 = 63% D

Title/Cover Bonus: 5

Overall

A 100% predictable best friend boy and girl duo that have to overcome an array of obstacles to stay friends when their (romantic) feelings for each other cause issues. No dramatic revelations or heart pounding scenes.

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Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

Posted by The Cozy Reader 2 Responses

Book Reviews, Publisher, Scholastic

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