*REVIEW* Starflight

Released today: Starflight by Melissa Landers...

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world--and each other--the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

Wow!!!! This book was AMAZING! I became a Melissa Landers fan when I read Alienated and I really didn't think I would like this book as much as that series. Boy, was that worry pointless! This book was even better than I ever imagined and is now my favorite Melissa Landers book. It's that good!!!

Starflight introduces us to Solara, a convicted felon in a futuristic world who is taking a big gamble to improve her life. Enter Doran, a cocky, rich, self-assured jerk who finds himself smack dab in the middle of a controversy of his own, a controversy that has him labeled as one of the most wanted men in the galaxy. Solara and Doran form an uneasy alliance on the Banshee, an aging ship with an interesting and eclectic group of crew members.

As the group travels the galaxy, they find themselves in unusual circumstances, collecting enemies everywhere they go. Shocking revelations will shake everything Solara and Doran thought about their lives, what they needed to do, and where they would end up. New bonds create lasting connections in this action-packed intergalactic tale full of danger, friendship, romance, forgiveness, and betrayal. 

I love this book!!! The characters are wonderful, such a great group of different and unique personalities. I loved seeing the relationship between Solara and Doran change as their shared journey continued. I cannot wait until the sequel comes out because this is one world you're not going to want to leave!

*REVIEW* Zero Day

Released today: Zero Day by Jan Gangsei...

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping case of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the oval office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold, but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president’s political circle who find her timely return suspicious.

When the NSA approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn't know what to think. How could this slip of a girl be a threat to national security? But at the risk of having his own secrets exposed by the powerful government agency, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

It soon becomes apparent that Addie is much more than the traumatized victim of a sick political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission. Will she choose to complete it? And what will happen if she does?

Zero Day was AWESOMESAUCE! It was an entertaining, well-paced, political thriller that left me salivating for more. The ending definitely leaves a strong possibility of a sequel and a book this good? Definitely should get one!

Zero Day introduces us to Addie, the teenage daughter of the President of the United States who has been missing for eight years. Miraculously, Addie escapes her captors and is reunited with her family and long-lost friends. We quickly learn though that Addie is hiding some pretty major secrets-- secrets that could get not only herself killed, but others as well. As the stakes get higher and higher, Addie is faced with doubts about what she's been told, and what she is supposed to do. Will she make the right choice in the end or will the choice be made for her? Hold on to the edge of your seat because this is one fast ride by Jan Gangsei.

LOVED this book! I decided to read it because it had a Scandal-like feel to it and who doesn't love Scandal?! It really did not disappoint. I had a really hard time putting it down and kept telling myself, "just one more chapter!" The hallmark of a great book is when you're completely unable to honor that promise to yourself. REALLY hoping for a sequel because I can't wait to see what happens next. SUCH a fantastic story!

*REVIEW* Rules for 50/50 Chances

Released today: Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern...

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

I really wanted to love Rules for 50/50 Chances and there were times where I thought it was possible but unfortunately, it just ended up being okay for me. There are some great things about it but the ending left me feeling flat as a reader even if I thought the ending was positive for the main character. 

Rules for 50/50 Chances introduces us to Rose, a teenage girl watching her mom deteriorate from Huntington's Disease. In addition to watching her mom die a slow and debilitating death, the real kicker for Rose is that she has a 50/50 chance of inheriting this disease from her mother. Geneticists do not allow anyone to take the test for Huntington's until they are at least 18 years old, though it's recommended to wait much longer than that since symptoms often do not occur until the person is well into their thirties. Rose doesn't think she can live with the uncertainty hanging over her head and decides she has to know her Huntington's status before making her future life choices. Enter Caleb, a cute and sweet boy who has her challenging all her beliefs about avoiding love and falling for someone since love and life are so unpredictable. Loss is the only thing that Rose really believes in...

Readers are taken on Rose's journey as she waits to learn the truth about her future. Along the way, Rose is forced to consider the rules she has set for herself, and the truth about where she really wants her life to lead her next. 

As I stated above, I really wanted to love this one but I think the ending kind of killed it for me. 

Rose deciding at the VERY end to not find out her test results killed me. While I cannot imagine how I would feel or act placed in that circumstance, as a reader who has been following along her story, it's anticlimatic to realize that I will NEVER know if Rose will develop Huntington's or not. As a reader, that SUCKS. It may very well have been the best choice for Rose but for me? Bah, humbug!
I really cannot imagine how I would feel if I were in Rose's shoes... to live with that kind of uncertainty hanging over you has to alter how you react and live in the world. And to watch your mom go through that? Heartbreaking! This book definitely has the potential to create the feels. Rose is a wee bit annoying at times but again, it's hard to imagine being in her place. All in all, it's worth a read. Some people have loved it... I'm more in-like. And that's okay.


*REVIEW* For the Record

Released today: For the Record by Charlotte Huang...

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything 
Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.
Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule... Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

For the Record is one of those books that completely ensnares you... once I started reading it, I was powerless to put it down! Pesky sleep interrupted me briefly but I seriously inhaled this book in a day. And I have a toddler at home! Thank the fates I read this during summer break while off of work or I would have been having to sneak reading this one under my desk!

For the Record introduces us to Chelsea, a teenage girl fresh off a reality singing competition. Chelsea gets the opportunity of a lifetime to replace the lead singer in an established band. Chelsea knows that this tour has to be perfect... her future and career are riding on it. The only problem is that not all of her new bandmates are happy with her addition to the crew. This becomes more of an issue when Chelsea captures the eye of one of the biggest teen actors of the moment and their tour becomes a bit of a circus... and there's also the issue of the sparks Chelsea thinks she feels with one of the guys in the band... sparks expressly forbidden. Travel around the country with the likeable Melbourne in this fantastic and addictive tale by Charlotte Huang.

I love this book!!!! Like I said above, I couldn't put it down for the life of me. I was really, really sad to see it end and that's the trademark of a fantastic book. I'd really love to see Huang write a sequel.

*REVIEW* The Lies About Truth

Released today: The Lies About Truth by Courtney Stevens...

Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past.

I wasn't over the moon excited to read this one but boy, am I glad that I did! The Lies About Truth is a wonderful story about grief, forgiveness, moving on, learning to live with emotional and physical scars, and healing. It's human nature and left me feeling hopeful.

The Lies About Truth introduces us to Sadie, a girl who survived a horrendous car accident that took her friend's life. Sadie is horribly scarred and struggles to accept her new physical reality... helping her with this is her newfound relationship with Max, the brother of the friend she lost. 

Sadie struggles not only with the physical recovery but with the emotional one as well. Losing Trent has started a domino effect that damages the friendships she has always been able to count on. Will Sadie be able to forgive those closest to her and herself for everything that has led to them being where they are now? Can you ever really turn back the clock and regain who you once were? Find out in this uplifting and heart tugging tale by Courtney Stevens.

I really did enjoy this one. Sadie is damaged but relatable... she's not one of those damaged souls that you end up annoyed with, thinking "okay, you really need to move on now." Sadie takes you on her journey with her and you really feel her emotions and pain and that makes it so easy to root for her. This is a really great story about forgiveness, friendship and loss. Highly recommend.


*REVIEW* The Unquiet

Released yesterday: The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett...

For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill—and replace—a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she’s beginning to suspect she is not a good person. 

The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not—two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They—and their whole planet—are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.

Wow, The Unquiet is a disturbing and interesting ride, that's for sure! I've never read anything similar to this and was really blown away by how CREEPY it all is. Can you imagine never knowing for sure if the people around you are who they claim to be? Any minute, a loved one can be stripped away from you and replaced by an alternate. CREEPY!!!! I really enjoyed this debut novel by Mikaela Everett. Girl knows how to spin a thought-provoking and chilling tale!

THE UNQUIET introduces us to Lirael, a "cottage girl" and sleeper training to take over the life and identity of her alternate on the other Earth. Lirael has been trained in a variety of cold and cruel methods that leave her feeling empty inside. When the time comes to infiltrate her new life, Lirael finds that it's not as easy as she thought it would be to not only fool everyone else, but to fool herself as well. Because shockingly, Lirael is beginning to feel things she never thought possible...

Shocking events, friendships, betrayals and more await readers as they delve into the creepy world that Mikaela Everett created. A heartbreaking twist will break the hearts of those reading this tale and this book will stay with readers long after they've read the final page. A wonderful and addicting debut from a promising new talent.

I highly recommend this book to others. You'll end up feeling weirded out in the best way possible and Lira is the type of character anyone can get on board with. Scoop this one up as soon as you can. Enjoy!


*REVIEW* What We Saw

Released today: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler...


Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

I really didn't expect to like this one as much as I did because the subject matter is just so uncomfortable but I think that a really good book forces you out of your comfort zone at times, forces you to think about unspeakable acts and how you would feel and react if placed in a similar situation. What We Saw will definitely make you stop and think about right and wrong, falling in line or standing up for what you believe, and the sad prejudices that remain about women in the country and whether or not their actions, their clothes, their behavior opens them up for sexual assault. Don't read this one if you're not prepared to think about serious social implications.

What We Saw follows along Kate, a soccer star at her high school who left a party because she was wasted. Luckily, her long-time childhood friend and crush was there and took her home before she could do anything that she regretted. Unfortunately for a fellow classmate, this was not the case for everyone. Stacey... the girl who claims that several star basketball players sexually assaulted and raped her at the party when she was too drunk to give her consent sets off a war in their small town, a town ruled by the fans of their state championship-bound basketball team. People are told to keep quiet and their small town becomes a media circus over night. Kate cannot shake the feeling that the truth needs to come out... but will knowing what happened give her peace or drive her away from everyone, and everything, she's ever known? A gripping and compelling tale based on real events that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

This book is definitely one that should be placed on your TBR list immediately. I was appalled by the actions of some of the people in this book and the sad thing is, you hear about these kinds of things on the news all the time. It really makes you stop and think... what is rape? What is true consent? And is a girl or woman or anyone for that matter ever "asking for it" based on their appearance or behavior? How can "no means no" be the standard when some people are not in the mental state to form words? Wonderful topic that truly deserves to be addressed. I applaud Aaron Hartzler for a look into this, a look that young adults are likely to take because this book is engaging and necessary. My only, and I mean only, dislike about this book is Kate's inability to forgive what she views as a major betrayal. I personally see things a little less black and white and would have liked to see her and this other individual be able to move past the "betrayal" and form a stronger relationship afterwards. But that's just me... all in all, this book deserves space on your TBR shelf. You won't be disappointed!


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