Friday, May 31, 2013

May Recap, June Schedule

May Recap:

I can't believe how much my blog has grown since November (which is when I first made it). I hardly posted at all before 2012 ended, and for the first few months of 2013, I neglected keeping it updated too. It really wasn't until May that I actually started using it more, posting reviews and book releases, doing cover reveals. I have 32 friends on GFC now! And I've got 26 on Bloglovin! So flipping cool! Y'all deserve a big thank you for checking out The Fox's Hole and giving me a chance. :) 

I think you guys deserve a Zac Efron gif, too. :P

This blog was made for something to pass the time, something for me to use so I could write. I didn't have any expectations about it, didn't even think about using it to help promote authors. 

I'm hoping to do more for it, start doing blog tours and cover reveals. I've got NetGalley now, where I can do more reviews of books, even some that haven't released yet. I probably should stay away from the library until I'm caught up on NetGalley reads, as I have A LOT to do feedback for. 

I'm on my very first street team, too! I'm a Relentless Reader (Cassia Leo's street team name). I'm having loads of fun talking about her books and spreading the word whenever there's a sale, and just having book talk with other readers who love her books too! I still need to decide which team I'm on: Chris, or Adam. But I can't yet because I haven't read Pieces of You. I need to learn more about them before I make a choice. :P 

Pretty much all I've been doing this May is reading, writing, and going to my little brother's baseball games. I got dinner with my college friends today, and tomorrow I plan on doing job applications. So tonight I'm just going to read The Human (The Eden Trilogy, #2) by Keary Taylor. I received an eARC of the book, and I cannot wait to read it! :)

June Schedule:

Okay, everyone! Looks like I'm going to be busy this month (well, as busy as I ever am).

I've got a couple of cover reveals I'm signed up for: Charmed (Death Escorts, #2) by Cambria Hebert, for sure. I'm going to finish up Recalled (Death Escorts, #1) soon. I really like it so far. :) Honestly, there was another one I'm signed up for but I cannot for the life of me remember what book it's for. I feel like a terrible person now. Me and my wishy-washy memory... *sigh

I also signed up to be part of the Branded (A Sinners Series, #1) blog tour starting June 28th. I don't know for sure if I'm on the list, but I hope so! I cannot wait for this debut novel from Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki! It sounds friggin' amazing. In July, I might be part of the Connected (Connections #1) blog tour. I can't wait to read Torn, because Connected left on a horrible cliffhanger! I also signed up for the Blurred (Kiss of Death, #2) tour. I freaking love this series. But these tours are not set in stone, as I sign up but haven't received any emails. I'm not sure if that's normal and they won't send an email until closer to the date, or because they already have enough bloggers. *fingers crossed*

This will be me when I find out: 
Okay, so maybe not exactly. :P I just felt like using a Fresh Prince gif. But I will dance and freak out if the news is positive! 

Oh, June releases I'm looking forward to: 
  1. Branded (A Sinners Series, #1). June 28th.
  2. The Human (The Eden Trilogy, #2). June 18th.
Okay, so I guess there are only two releases I'm looking forward. Huh, I could have sworn there was more. Most of the books I'm waiting on are releasing in July, though. That's a problem. Ugh, I have to wait even longer. Not cool. 

Also, next weekend is the birthday bash! Not book news, I know. But country music is my obsession and I'm so excited to go see some of my favorite singers perform live! And hang out with friends! :) I've also got a ton of open houses to go to for my cousins. I can't believe I've got five of them graduating this year. *sniff sniff* I'm probably going to cry at each one of their open houses. I'm giving them fair warning.

Phew! I think that's everything. I might have only made this post just so I'd have an excuse to use gifs. :P Don't judge me. I love them. 

I hope everyone had a fantastic May! Looking forward to the June posts now. :) 

P.S. I plan on changing my blog name soon. I want something to do with books. The Fox's Hole is more personal to me, and now that my blog has turned into a book blog, I want something different. Something new. Something exciting. I probably won't change it for awhile, as I want this to be the last name change I do. I want it to be perfect. Just thought I'd let everyone know, in case they see a blog name and can't remember ever following it. :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Swoon Thursday #2

Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA BoundFrom the book you're currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you swoon. :) Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the button below and share it on your blog. 

This week I was swooning over Cash from Blurred. Honorable mentions include Morpheus from Splintered (I'm totally on his team) and Nathan from Grasping at Eternity (I loved the book, but there wasn't much romance or swoony scenes). 

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Cash is haunted by things. Hungry, hollow things. They only leave him alone when Anaya, Heaven’s beautiful reaper, is around. Cash has always been good with girls, but Anaya isn’t like the others. She’s dead. And with his deteriorating health, Cash might soon be as well.

Anaya never breaks the rules, but the night of the fire she recognized part of Cash’s soul—and doomed him to something worse than death. Cash’s soul now resides in an expired body, making him a shadow walker—a rare, coveted being that can walk between worlds. A being creatures of the underworld would do anything to get their hands on.

The lines between life and death are blurring, and Anaya and Cash find themselves falling helplessly over the edge. Trapped in a world where the living don’t belong, can Cash make it out alive?

Anaya pressed her forehead to mine and our breaths
clashed in the one inch of space between our mouths. It
took everything in me not to kiss her.

“You even taste like sunshine,” I whispered against her
lips, pushing the white strap of her dress down her shoulder.

My lips didn't need any help finding hers. They knew the
way there, as if it was a well-worn path to home. Alive, dead, in Heaven or Hell, Anaya was home. She was everything. I wrapped my arms around her tighter, my palm finding the small of her back. She opened her mouth under mine and I groaned, pushing her back onto the bed. Anaya’s arms wrapped around my bare back and my hands slid up her sides, wanting to feel something other than the cotton dress covering her.

So, what books had you swooning this week? :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Soulmates and Stars: Grasping at Eternity Review

*I received a copy from Starry Sky Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

I'm a hopeless romantic, who believes in soulmates and true love. So when I read the synopsis of this book, I just knew it would be something that I'd fall in love with. Who doesn't justadore a good book about soulmates and always finding your way back to the one you love, the one you're destined to be with?

Rating: 4/5 stars! 
The Characters:
Maryah: Her story starts off with a bang. And I mean literally. After tragedy strikes, she goes to Arizona to meet her godmother. She's grieving, mourning the lost of her family, and confused by all the things she's experiencing. Between dreams and weird things happening to her at her new house, she doesn't know what to make of it all. As the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place, she starts to question everything she's ever known. Her disbelief pushes her into a dangerous situation, but she comes out of it alive and with some of her lost memories, especially the ones about Nathan. Light returns to her eyes, and everything becomes clearer. Although it's still a haze, all the lifetimes she's spent with her Kindrily, she's determined to get her life and memories back. 

Nathan: Oh, be still my beating heart. <3 Seriously, could he be more perfect? I didn't agree with all of his reactions to some situations, but he did the best he could under the circumstances. Not only is Maryah grieving, he is too, for he's lost the girl that he's loved for many centuries. His disbelief in miracles and his hopelessness drives him away, making him focus on a mission to find the man responsible for all that's happened. Otherwise, he'd have to endure walking around with his soulmate thinking he's a complete stranger. When some of her memories returns, he's happy. But there's still that underlying desperation for her to remember everything, not to mention the danger that she's still in. And Nathan is still harboring secrets that I know will come out in the next book.

With so huge a cast of characters, I was worried that Maryah and Nathan would get lost in the shuffle, that they wouldn't shine more brightly than the rest. This was about her finding her way back to Nathan and recovering her memories and gift. But I loved all of the characters, except River. I knew there was a reason I never liked him to begin with. I don't necessarily care for April either, but that could just be because she's not a part of the Kindrily, so she's not an important character. I can't wait to learn more about this "family" and the lifetimes that they've spent together.

The Plot:
When Maryah moves to Sedona, she's in a state of despair and depression. She's just lost her entire family, and now she's going to be living with strangers on the other coast. Things aren't as they appear in the Lunas household. After some interesting events, Maryah is convinced that she's going insane. And what about her weird dreams that always seem to focus on the ever-elusive Nathan? The family (because there are just too many characters to name) are trying to help her recover her memories by using reminders of their past lives, like this peacock ring and Nathan's presence. Except it isn't easy for him being with his empty soulmate. They are both hiding secrets from other another, and sometimes I just wanted to yell at them to be more honest. But then again, who would believe these insane ideas? Maryah almost doesn't believe them herself, not until Harmony, part of the Kindrily, explains her gift of speaking with ghosts, and that her mother left her something in her jewelry box. After finding out what the Lunas really are, Maryah almost can't believe it, but she knows deep down it's true. But that scares her, and she runs to the only person who is not a part of this. River. Man, I really hated him. When she realizes what a mistake that was, she uses her gift to reach the only person she knows who could be there in time to help her. Nathan. Their connection for each other brings him to her, and they escape the dangerous situation without a wound. Near the end, and Maryah's memories come back, it's clear that there are definitely some questions still unanswered. And Nathan has a secret, too. And oh, I just loved the ending. So beautiful. <3

The Writing:
I really liked the author's writing style, and how she drew me in with both Nathan and Maryah's POVs. It was easy to connect with the characters. But while the book started out with a bang, it seemed to drag a bit through the middle, and then picked up again once Maryah met Nathan and puzzle pieces started to fit together. It was also hard to grasp the concept of Kindrily and old souls, especially with only bits and pieces throughout until they finally tell Maryah everything. I didn't fully understand everything, but then it was crystal clear after that. :)

My Thoughts:
Like I said, I love books about soulmates and true love. Grasping at Eternity was a beautiful story, with amazing characters and a wonderful concept of old souls and reincarnation. There's more to this family, this Kindrily, and all their lifetimes together that I want to learn more about. 

I'm so glad I was approved to read Taking Back Forever on NetGalley. I can't wait to start the second installment! :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Showcase Sunday #3

Showcase Sunday is a featured weekly event hosted by Books, Biscuits, and TeaAny blogger can participate by showcasing what books they received during the week--whether they were bought, downloaded, borrowed, or won.

Dang, I went crazy on the Amazon freebies this week. :P


  • Won: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins. 
Amazon Freebies:
  • Off Limits (Off Series #2) by Sawyer Bennett. 
  • Big Sky by Kitty Thomas. 
  • Veiled Innocence (The Soul Cycle #1) by K.D. Jones. 
  • I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler. 
  • As I Close My Eyes (Breaking Fate, #1) by Sarah DiCello.
  • Dark Secrets (Dark Secrets #1) by A.M. Hudson. 
  • The Light Within Me (Six Saviours #1) by Carly Fall. 
  • Fairytale (Fairies of Rush, #1) by Maggie Shayne. 
  • Rivals by David Wellington. 
  • Pretty Dark Nothing (Pretty Dark Nothing, #1) by Heather L Reid.
  • Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not? by Thompson Square with Travis Thrasher. When I saw this, I really wanted it. I love Thompson Square and that song. :)
For Review:
  • Grasping at Eternity (Kindrily #1) by Karen Amanda Hooper. 
I also finished Blurred this week for review. Check out my blog post of it! :)

What awesome books did you receive this week? Feel free to leave your SS link in the comments below so I can check it out. :)

Saturday Ramblings

Before I started getting out into the blogging world, this was just something to pass the time. I love to write. It's something that has always grounded me, has always been there for my crazy imagination and my need to tell stories. Right now, I'm working on one that could probably be placed in the "New Adult" genre. Whatever that means. It's contemporary romance, something that I've never delved into before. I like it. A lot. I'm only on Chapter 2, but my ideas for this and the way it will go is massive. I'm also still working on my mystery, and writing a little bit of it at a time, though I have plans in my head of where this is going and how it's going to end, which will eventually lead into a second book, and then a third... The list goes on and on. One thing that I've never lacked is imagination and creativity. Some people use their creativity for art and paintings, others use it for decorating. Although, I guess books could be considered art. Each person who reads a book takes something different out of a it, a different message, a different view. Books make the world more colorful, touch people in different ways, and provide us with an escape of our everyday mundane lives.

Right now I've taken on too many books. There IS such a thing as too many books, at least for me. At least right now. This week I plan on tackling my list of NetGalley ones to review, which includes Grasping at Eternity (The Kindrily, #1). Then I can read the next book in that series, Taking Back Forever. I also need to finish my two library books that I have, Splintered, which I'm currently reading and totally falling in love with, and Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2). Seriously, I need to stop. 

I also need to reread my mom's series and put up reviews on Goodreads and Amazon to kick-start her way into the online world of blogging and social media. I was planning on doing more in the way of promoting her books this summer, but I haven't found that much time. Really, I've probably had the time, but I chose to do other things instead. But it's hard to bring people's attention to her series, Legacy of Courage. It's Christian, historical fiction. There's not really a market for it right now, especially in this day and age, where it seems that young adult novels and dystopian ideas are where the popularity is at. Not to mention the big market for "New Adult" right now. It's gaining major popularity, and that seems to be where people are flocking to pick up books from. 

But I know my mom isn't doing this for the money. She wants to touch readers' hearts, give them stories of love and courage, hope and faith, that'll leave an imprint on their lives. She's put her heart and soul into her work, which is more than I can say for myself. Half-finished stories, ideas that aren't taking off in my mind quite as well, no interest in just sitting down and writing. I'm really not so great at productivity right now, especially with it being summer and me slowly decreasing my never-ending to-read list. 

Seriously, I don't know where this post is going. In all honestly, I'm just writing what's on my mind, thoughts that have plagued me since the week started. I guess this could also serve as a to-do list, though I never actually make those. 

Anyway... I'm gonna go back to reading Splintered. Gosh, this book is wonderfully enchanting and fascinating. :) Oh, and I totally need to remake my book boyfriend list. I found some guys that need to be added, and some that need to be bumped up in the lineup. ;) 

So, hey guys. If you like historical stories, or Christian romances, check out the Legacy of Courage series by Carol Woolworth Underhill. Or recommend them to a friend. Click on the images on my right sidebar. Add them to your to-read list. They are wonderful stories of courage, hope, faith, and love: stories that will fill your hearts with a warm feeling. When book 5 is given a publication date and cover and blurb, I will post them, and possibly ask for help to spread the word. I might even see if my mom would possibly give some bloggers or reviewers her books for an honest review. Let me know if that would be something you would be interested in.  :) 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Reapers and Forbidden Love: Review of Blurred

*An ARC was provided by the author and Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Who knew Death could be so appealing? I really loved the first book in the series, Inbetween, but this one exceeded all of my expectations. Once I started reading, I was hooked. Blurred was an addicting read, the forbidden love aspect achingly beautiful, and the story wonderfully told. 

Rating: 5/5 stars!
That cover is seriously one of my favorite covers. Ever. It's gorgeous! 

The Characters:
Cash: In the first book, Cash is just Emma's best friend, a guy with a broken past and a wounded heart. He's always been there for her, even when people thought she was downright crazy. After the fire at her house, Cash was supposed to be at peace. He was supposed to die. In a turn of events Anaya, Heaven's beautiful and enchanting reaper, holds all of the cards, knowing why Balthazar wanted her to save him. It was actually pretty hard seeing the bright and fearless boy in the first book be broken down beyond repair. He was so alive and so full of life that he now feels hollow and empty, just waiting for death to take him. He's confused, angry. The lines are all blurring, and he doesn't know how much more he can take. But with Anaya, he starts to feel like his old self again. And I just love Cash's character--he's hot, got a great sense of humor, and loves beyond all faults. He won my heart with his story.

"You wouldn't be the first girl this shirt has worked on. But you could be the first dead one if you wanted."

"Hey, fuck you too, Casper."

"And everywhere in between, it feels like I belong to you."

Anaya: Even though she played a role in Inbetween, we don't really know much about her. Not until this book. I loved reading about her past! She's been a Heaven reaper for over a thousand years, and she's doing this so she can finally go beyond those gates and see her loved ones. But what Balthazar asked her to do to Cash, it feels wrong. She's trying to figure out if what Balthazar has promised her would be worth losing who she is. Because if she does this, it'll go against everything she stands for. But what she doesn't count on is falling in love with the one boy who has made her feel something in a thousand years, the one boy who looks at her like he needs her to breathe. But she's dead, and he's close to death. She knows nothing could possibly work between them. 

Emma, Finn, and Easton make appearances again, as well as a few other characters. Like Balthazar, who is good at being evil and nice, a contradiction to all of people who know him. Cash tries hard to forgive Finn for what he did, and in the end, he understands better than anyone what it's like to give up everything for the one he loves, to sacrifice himself for a girl. He also sees the appeal and understands why Emma fell for Finn, because he fell hard for Death himself. Death in a white dress with gold eyes. 

The Plot:
What do you do when you almost died and were saved, except now you're being haunted by shadow demons? They're evil, fearful, and hungry. They're hungry for souls, but not just any soul. Cash's soul. As Cash tries to figure out what is going on with his life, Anaya shows herself to him and gives him some answers. It's her fault he's in this predicament, and it's her fault that she triggered his shadow walking abilities. Although she made a mistake in not giving Cash his deserved peace, she's trying to right her wrongs. And I loved how she came to the conclusion that she couldn't do this to him, and that was before she even fell in love with him. But there's still a lot of distrust between the two of them, and it doesn't help when another shadow walker shows up, promising Cash a better choice than the ones he's being given. Noah tries to drive a wedge between Cash and everyone he loves. He draws on people's weaknesses, and what he is "supposedly" giving Cash is something far worse than what Balthazar wants him for. Because shadow walkers are rare, coveted beings, Cash is invaluable to everyone. But it's deciding what team he wants to be on that messes with his head and makes him push away everyone he loves. Anaya is also fighting with herself, trying to figure out what's right and what she should do. When Cash asks her to delve into his past lives, they are both shocked with the outcome. How could Anaya have known that what she'd been waiting for for one thousand years was right there in her arms? She finds out that Balthazar tricked her, and she hates him for it, especially when she finds out the truth surrounding her death. And when Cash is tricked into Umbria with Noah, it's up to Anaya and Easton to save him. 

The Writing:
I love how easily it is for me to connect with the characters. I love Tara Fuller's writing style, and how she uses double perspectives to tell the story. It's so nice to have both of the main characters' sides and thoughts. 

My Thoughts:
I guess I don't even need this section, with all that I've written above. But I do have more to say. The plot was amazing, the story was enchanting: it was a delicious tale of love and courage. The love and passion that sparked between Anaya and Cash was powerful and sizzling to the core. It's clear that there's something more between them, and that death is not going to stop their feelings for each other. Also, is Easton going to get his own story? I have to say, when I first read about him in Inbetween, I imagined him older, graying. I never imagined him young and hot! ;) Seriously, if he's getting his own story, I'm gonna flip out. I want more of Easton after what he did for Anaya in Blurred. There's more to him than his violet eyes and all-black wardrobe. 

I'm so incredibly grateful that I received an eARC of this, because the expected publication date is July 2nd. I couldn't have waited that long!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Swoon Thursday #1

This is my first time participating in Swoon Thursday, a weekly event hosted by YA Bound. From the book you're currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you swoon. :) Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the button below and share it on your blog. 

And I'm so excited, and honestly shocked that I haven't participated yet. I've discovered so many new book boyfriends since the new year has started, and I'm sure I'll find even more as I continue to decrease my TBR pile. Seriously, I need more time in the day for all the books I want to read. 

This week, I've been swooning over Professor Dean West of Arouse (Spiral of Bliss, #1).
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"One day I'm going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me," he said. 
And he did.
Struggling with a tormented past, undergraduate Olivia Winter once led a practical but isolated life. Then she met Professor Dean West, a brilliant scholar of medieval history who melted Liv's inhibitions and taught her the meaning of both love and erotic pleasure. But after three years of a blissful, lusty marriage, Liv and Dean now face a crisis that threatens everything they believe about each other...and sex might not be enough to save them."

I'm not the type who usually goes for the studious professors, the quiet bookish types (Yes, I know I'm a bookworm, and that it's unusual for me to feel that way, :P). But he surprised me in so many wonderful ways. I loved his unfailing love and devotion to his wife, even when they were going through a rough patch. He never wanted to lose her or give up on their marriage.  I absolutely loved their passion for each other, and the emotional connection that tied them together. It was beautiful to see them working things out and sticking together. 

"Come here, beauty. You need to be kissed."

"Because I'll slay monsters for you."

"Why are you waiting for me?" -Liv
"Because you're worth it." -Dean 

Love, just.. love. <3

What books made you swoon this week? What books made you weak in the knees and gave you heart palpitations? Any new book boyfriends? ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Epic Ending to a Beautiful Series

I read for a lot of reasons. I read because it's an escape. I read because when all else fails, a book can pull me out of the worst moods. I read because it keeps me believing in magic and fairytales, true love and hope. I read because I need to; because, even at my weakest moments, it brings me a sense of contentment that I've been sorely missing.

The books that break my heart, pull me along like a rollercoaster ride, and open the floodgates of my emotions are the ones that will stay in my heart forever. They are the reason why I read; they challenge me, make me question life, and after I'm finished, it feels like I've lost a best friend. 

One series in particular, a series that I just finished reading, is giving me the first book hangover that I've had in a long time. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare is explosive, action-packed, and thrilling--a series that leaves you emotionally breathless and completely spent after you're done. A series that is incredibly addicting, where Clare weaves a wonderful tale of hope, love, and courage. 

I'm not going to promise that this review will be comprehensible, or even make sense. I'm not going to promise you that there won't be any spoilers (because there are a lot of spoilers!). I can only promise that whatever I write about this book is not going to be enough to cover all the feelings I had while reading this story. 

Okay, firstly: That cover is freaking gorgeous! Seriously, all three of them are, but this one is my favorite. 

Secondly: I can't even begin to describe how much I loved this book, how truly amazing it was, and how I wish it never had to end.

Lastly: I decided to add in some gifs to help me describe this book, because I'm going to need the help. 

When I found this book at the library (which was the first time I had been to the library in months), my reaction went sorta like this:

I can't believe it took me this long to get Clockwork Princess. I seriously don't know what was wrong with me, as I should've just bought it the moment it was released. It would've been worth the high price, but I dislike hardcovers a lot. I like to wait until the book is in paperback, but that makes me miss out on so many amazing books until I either get over it and just buy the damn book, or I find it at the library.

Before starting, I flipped back through Clockwork Prince to make sure I remembered what had happened. I hadn't read that one in awhile, and I didn't want to go into this one with questions. 

As always, Clare's writing is addictive, pulling me in from the very first page. I love her world-building, the way she creates the scenery and builds me a slideshow of what Victorian London looks like. Some of the people who read her Mortal Instruments series first didn't like that Infernal Devices was set in the past. But seriously, who doesn't love Victorian freaking London? I, for one, love that era and time period. It was such a pleasure to read about these Shadowhunters' lives at the London Institute during a time when women were the lower race and propriety was of the utmost importance. 

It being set in the past was one of the reasons why I decided to read Infernal Devices first, so these were the first books I read by Cassandra Clare. It seems like whatever series everyone read first dictates their opinion of Clare. I personally loved her series, and I can't wait to start reading City of Bones AND see the movie! I'm also not entirely hating on her ideas for two new series featuring the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. I love this fantasy element. Who knows? Maybe my opinion will change when I read The Mortal Instruments series. But I doubt it.

I guess I should start talking about Clockwork Princess now? I don't even know how to start.. 

*Mentally preparing myself for a heavily emotional review* 

In the second book, we find out more about Mortmain's past and a little more about Tessa's powers and that clockwork angel she has around her neck. She's far more powerful than anyone realizes, and Mortmain doesn't just want to use her powers and marry her. He wants to use her to wipe out the Nephilim, the Shadowhunters, for good. 

Will and Tessa are still fighting their feelings for each other. Although she told him that she didn't love him when he confessed how much he cares about her, it's very clear that she was lying. Yet she is engaged to Jem, and she loves him too.

I am Team Jem, forever. <3 It was hilarious, to me, because I always, always go for the bad boys. Until this series. Until Jem, with his beautiful soul and amazing heart, kindness, and strength. He's the rock of the Institute and the reason Will made it through these five years. 

"I would rather insult you than lose you."

"Our hearts, they need a mirror, Tessa. We see our better selves in the eyes of those who love us. And there is a beauty that brevity alone provides."

"Faith, that you were better than you thought you were. Forgiveness, that you need not always punish yourself. I always loved you, Will, whatever you did. And now I need you to do for me what I cannot do for myself. For you to be my eyes when I do not have them. For you to be my hands when I cannot use my own. For you to be my heart when mine is done with beating." 

"Wherever we are, we are as one."

When the rug was pulled out from under me, I was not prepared for the onslaught of emotions that assaulted me. I literally had to stop reading to calm my heart and try to stop crying. I spent a couple hours tending to my wounded soul before returning to the story that had just broken my heart into a tiny million pieces.

Oh Jem... And then about three quarters of the way through, I learned something that had me in complete and total shock! I couldn't even breathe! Holy shit!

But damn Cassandra Clare for making me stop reading because I couldn't handle what had happened to Jem! I thought Jem was lost forever, and then there he was, fighting side by side with Will once again. Talk about a heart attack! Seriously, Cassandra, why did you have to make me think he was dead?!?!

Okay. I should stop talking about Jem before someone yells at me for "spoiling" things. But, really, you probably shouldn't read an entire review if you haven't read the book.

Let's talk about the plot now. In the beginning, Gabriel Lightwood comes to the Institute seeking help. He thinks his father's case of the demon pox has changed him completely and that he's now a giant worm. They all go after it, but they do not learn much more useful information than before about Mortmain's whereabouts. It's not until a skirmish at the Institute following Jessamine's release from the Silent Brothers' care, and Will hears her dying words. Mortmain is hiding in Wales. After the skirmish at the Institute, Tessa is kidnapped. Gideon is injured, and Jem is losing strength and slowly dying. He promises Will that he can look for a cure now, and everyone tries their hardest, even using Magnus Bane, the warlock, as a resource. As a dying wish, Will goes after Tessa alone, leaving the rest of the Institute locked in a political battle against Consul Wayland. The Shadowhunters are left wondering what matters most: saving their friend or losing the only home they've ever had. 

Will finds Tessa, only to be discouraged when he finds that there's no way out of this prison that she is in. That scene between him and Tessa was absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time, for they are both doomed. At that time, I had thought Jem to be dead, as they had. Although I was Team Jem, I still loved Tessa and Will's relationship. And maybe I am quite pleased with how the love triangle ended, although at the time, I wasn't sure of my feelings on the epilogue. 

The scenes between Mortmain and Tessa were awesome to read. She's a strong heroine, and she won't go down without a fight. When Mortmain has the final piece to the puzzle that will unleash hell on the Nephilim, it's time to step up to the plate. Although there's only nine of them left at the Institute, they won't give up until they are dead. 

He underestimates the power of friendship and love. He underestimates the very emotions and qualities that make the Shadowhunters human.

When everyone rescues Tessa and Will, they are attacked by more automatons, this time with demons controlling them, demons that Mortmain had used from the stolen Pyxis. Tessa uses her clockwork angel and Ithuriel to bring down Mortmain once and for all. But after what she did, she needed weeks to recover, as the fires of Heaven almost killed her. 

I love the way Clare wove the tale throughout the story, giving us explosive action-packed scenes to soft, romantic scenes that were a nice change of pace. Nothing was jumbled up, and I loved seeing what happens even when the characters aren't together. Although Tessa, Will, and Jem take point, the other characters are just as important. Charlotte and Henry, Sophie and Gideon, Cecily and Gabriel, even Bridget, the cook. Oh, and I can't forget Magnus Bane! I've come to love all of them just as much as the main three, and I loved having more of them and their stories. It was nice seeing friendships forming, relationships strengthening, and love blooming for all at the London Institute. They are a family; they disagree sometimes, they forgive, and they fight for each other till the very end. That bond between them was beautiful.

What an emotional rollercaoster ride! 
It had so many ups and downs, twists and turns. It was a thrilling ride, riveting and tumultuous, and so incredibly exhilarating, leaving me breathless and weak-kneed and utterly speechless. It never stopped until I read the epilogue!

And boy, that epilogue! 

I still have some mixed feelings about the epilogue. I don't know if I should be happy, because I love Tessa and Jem so much, or mad because it sort of felt like a cop-out to please both Will and Jem fans. But in either case, it was wonderfully and beautifully written, and I loved everything about this story. 

Between the characters, the scenery, and the plot, this was hands-down, one of my favorite books of all time. And it's one of my favorite series of all time. These books will stay in my heart forever. <3

If you haven't read this series yet: DO. IT. NOW. 


Shattered Souls Cover Reveal

Here is the beautiful cover! Expected release date is June 4th, 2013! 

A battle is brewing among the covens…
As Triss prepares to defeat the Praedivinus, a new order rises, and this one is far more deadly. Navigating her way through mystic realms, and unknown portals it is up to Triss to recognize real from imagined and stop the two from colliding.

Shattered Souls by Karice Bolton is the fourth book in the Witch Avenue series. 

Book 1: Lonely Souls
Book 2: Altered Souls
Book 3: Released Souls

Add these books to your TBR list on Goodreads; they're fantastic. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Book Boyfriends ♥

Oh, this is going to be good. So.. I've read many books in the last year, and I think I finally have my book boyfriend list narrowed down. It's really hard, considering the wonderful and swoon-worthy men I've read about. But here is my top 5 (it was originally eight, but I wanted to make the others honorable mentions, because they weren't my favorites but I did like them), with casting for my choices. There might be slight spoilers, especially for my number 1 book boyfriend. I can't just not talk about how much I love Tristan Archer. Please don't read his section if you haven't read the books; I don't want to ruin them for you. Just skim through it. :) 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Peregrine "Perry"(Under the Never Sky): While I loved him in the first book, he didn't grab hold of my heart like the others had. But that Robin Hood persona is dangerously sexy. ;)
  • James "Jem" Carstairs (Infernal Devices): Oh, how I love Jem. He has the most beautiful soul.
  • Gabriel Merrick (Elemental, #2): Gabriel is my favorite Merrick brother! I loved his story a lot, even when he was being a jerk. 

5. Kaidan Rowe 
    (The Sweet Trilogy)

My casting: 
Alex Pettyfer: Although I think his hair is a little lighter than what Kaidan's is, he still comes to mind when I read about this hot bad boy. He has that air of confidence and those smoldering looks down. ;)

At first, I just thought he would be the typical bad boy: sarcastic, moody, and probably bad-tempered. He won me over early on! He was sweet and charming. Kaidan really liked Anna, and it was clear he wanted to do right by her. And he tried his hardest, but with the lives they have to live because of their fathers, he needed to stay away from her. But it was hard for both of them after having fallen in love. He's got a British accent, plays in a band, and is the son of Lust. Holy hotness! :) I can't wait for more of him in Sweet Peril. After a last steamy kiss in the first book, I just know he and Anna are far from over. The whole I-want-what-I-can't-have thing didn't irritate me, either, because I really liked how dynamic Kaidan was. There was more to him than the show he puts on for everyone who would kill him if they knew his true feelings for her.

4. River Wilde
My casting:
Zac Efron: Brown hair, beanie, captivating eyes, and hot physique. Now that I've imagined it, I see him as River. I actually didn't have Zac in mind, until I read a review on Goodreads and knew he was the perfect fit.

River is just.. perfection. I mean, even his name is perfection. River.. *sigh 
He's sweet, charming, and totally hot. When he wants something, he goes after it. He's a fantastic singer, and I'm sure if I heard him in real life, he'd make my heart melt with his smooth voice. What I really loved about him, other than his extremely attractive physique, is the way he takes care of Dahlia. He believes in soul mates and true love and 'once in a lifetimes.' He never pressured her into anything, and when it came to her first love, Ben, he never made her believe that he was trying to replace him. He understood that she had loved him and that she wasn't quite yet ready to let go. The way he took care of her and loved her had me swooning and clutching my heart as I was reading their story. River was the perfect match for her. 

3. Dean Holder

My casting: Jensen Ackles. Although we have the cover reveal for Hopeless, and it has Griffin from American Idol on it as Holder, I still think Jensen comes close to what I saw in my head as I read this story. 
Oh, Holder.. With pinky holding, anti-cutesy text messages, and star gazing by the airport, Holder was everything that Sky had needed. Their love was powerful, magical, and oh, so real. My first impression of Holder was: who IS this guy? What is his story and what is with his fighting with Sky so much? But could he have been more perfect? *sigh. He even makes pinky holding and almost kissing hot! When I found out what he'd been hiding, I was thinking: I knew it. I'd known part of his story all along. He's very passionate about what he loves and he's not afraid of taking charge. God love him for how he took care of Sky. I'm so excited for his book, Losing Hope. I fell hard, and I'm sure I'll fall even harder when I read his perspective of what happened. 

2. Tobias "Four" Eaton 

My casting:
Paul Walker: Although a lot older than what Four is, I think he makes a great Tobias. He's darkly appealing and has that air of mysteriousness. The way he is in action movies makes me think he'd be perfect for Dauntless. 

I knew there was more to Four than we could see, a past that I just wanted to unravel. He was quiet, calm, and dangerous: a man who is trying to escape his past and live for himself. He doesn't believe he fits in Dauntless, and he's got views about the world they live in that people would laugh at him for. He proved to me that the choices you make don't always define you. He had me swooning with his protectiveness toward Tris, even when he was supposed to be acting like the leader. In Insurgent, he just made me fall even more. He loves Tris, but he also doesn't take any crap from her. He makes her question her life and the choices she makes. He makes her feel alive. He's smart, sexy, and confident. I loved how he took care of Tris and how he helped her find her way back to him. Four and Tris are one of my favorite swoon-worthy couples. In a world that was falling apart, their love came out stronger and felt even more real. And even though his name is Tobias, he will always be Four to me. <3

1. Tristan Archer 
    (Archers of Avalon)

My casting:
Ian Somerhalder: sizzling green eyes, rakishly handsome, always wears black. If he were a lot younger and had that tattoo, he'd be Tristan Archer. And I didn't want to go with the model, although he's hot too. ;)

Tristan Archer is my number one book boyfriend. Why, you ask? That's a good question. Let me answer it for you. This trilogy was one of the few books with a love triangle that I didn't hate. Automatically a plus, in my book. Although Gabriel, his twin brother, was dating Scarlet, it was clear that there was something about Tristan that she couldn't stay away from. We find out in the second book that they'd actually met first and fallen in love, back in the 1500s. Throughout those five hundred years, Tristan never stopped loving her, not once. He and Scarlet had been through so much, from breakups and almost hookups (because of a very specific reason, but I can't tell you) to losing each other all the years she was gone. In the beginning, Tristan is that typical bad boy, sarcastic and mysterious, with a little danger surrounding him (huh, sounds like Damon in the Vampire Diaries, :P). But when the flashbacks start, and you see who he is, all of him, you fall even more in love. They had that messy love, the kind that is worth writing about, the kind that makes you want to have that passion and true love that is only written about in books. For days after I finished the series, I was reeling from the sudden feeling like I'd lost a best friend. They had that kind of effect on me, and so did Tristan. He will forever be number one on my list. 

I highly doubt this list will change, especially Tristan being #1. But it seems like every time I read another book, I fall in love with another boy. Maybe I just need therapy. Really, I probably shouldn't be so attached to fictional characters.

What book boyfriends are on your list?