Thursday, February 28, 2013

ARC Review: Death, Doom and Detention by Darynda Jones

Death, Doom and Detention
by: Darynda Jones
Release Date: March 5th/13.
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: E-ARC from Publisher via Raincoast Books
Death, Doom and Detention on Goodreads here.
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
The normal part of Lorelei MacAlister’s life didn’t just slip away quietly the day Jared Kovach came to town. Nope. The normal part of her life shattered. It exploded. It burst into a gazillion shards of fleeting light.

It went out with a bang.

Goodbye normal.

Hello dark and eerie.

While her best friend, Brooklyn, is focusing all of her energy on helping Lorelei hone her abilities, Lorelei is dealing with the reality that Satan’s second in command has taken up residence inside her body. Oh, and the fact that she has a crush on the Angel of Death. But what a beautiful death it is. If those weren’t bad enough, something sinister has come to town and it wants nothing more than to hear Lorelei’s dying breath as it strangles it out of her. Thank goodness the gang has a supernatural champion. But what happens when the only being who can save them switches sides midstream? How can a group of misfits capture one of the most powerful beings ever created? And will they find out how to bring Jared back to them before it’s too late?

My Thoughts:
Classic "bridge" book.

Before I get into my review I just feel the need to point out how the cover for this book makes much MORE sense than the cover for Death and the Girl Next Door. Just saying...

Now when I say "bridge" book, I'm referring to the "in-between" instalments of a series, the fillers between the introduction and the climatic conclusion. That's just how Death, Doom and Detention felt for me.

The beginning starts off with a bang, explaining how Lorelei came to be the "host" of a demon- the Satan's second-in-command to be exact. While I would recommend reading this series in order, I think you would be able to read DDD without missing a beat, because Jones does such a fantastic job of summarizing the events the plot and characters of this series within the first couple of chapters of this instalment.

I must admit, I was very frustrated with the lack of progress made with regards to Lorelei and Jared's relationship. Even though they both have strong feelings for one another, Jared has promised to keep his distance out of respect to her grandparents wishes, and I can understand their concern, you know, because he's the Angel of Death and all, but I was so hoping that we'd have more steamy moments between these two.

While we don't get much progress between Jared and Lorelei, we do see a lot of progress with Lorelei's sidekicks, Brooklyn and Cameron, and man is she lucky to have these guys on her side. I seriously wonder if my bestie would be willing to risk her neck for me as much as these guys (I'm gonna go with no haha).

Jones introduces a new mystery in book #2 in the form of a new and "mysterious" high-school boy, and much of the book is spent with Lorelei and her gang sitting around her room discussing possible plans of action, and less, well, action. Jared's definitely not himself in this book, and I think this is what really irked me about this instalment, because I LOVE this man and I would have loved more action scenes in which he gets to be the hero- But not to fear, I think we're gonna get A LOT of these scenes in book #3 Death and the Girl He Loves. Fingers Crossed!

That's not to say that there's no action at all. In fact, the action really picks up in the last few chapters which leads to a KILLER cliffhanger ending. After reading the ending of DDD, you know Death and the Girl He Loves is going to have an ultimate showdown of Good vs. Evil- so excited!

While I had mixed feelings about this instalment, I definitely plan to continue this series, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a quick paranormal YA read. And if you've already read book #1, than you know you've got to continue Lorelei's story!

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Thornhill by Kathleen Peacock

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

I'm so excited for this sequel! We finally have a title and a cover! But September release, SAY WHAT?! So sad...

Title linked to Goodreads page.
THORNHILL (Hemlock #2)
by: Kathleen Peacock
Release date: September 10th/13.
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.

The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason—and Amy’s all-seeing ghost—in tow.

Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ARC Review: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

The Nightmare Affair
by: Mindee Arnett
Release Date: March 5th/13.
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pre-order here.
The Nightmare Affair on Goodreads here.
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

My Thoughts:
Great, clean YA fun!

Dusty, the main character of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR was such an entertaining narrator! She has a lot of character and I had no problem relating to her. She's hilarious and quirky- I was smiling through most of this book.

There were so many unique aspects of Arnett's debut that I just loved, one of my favourites being the unique, animated personalities of the computers at Arkwell Academy. They kind of reminded me of the mirror on the wall from Snow White- but the sarcastic Shrek version!

I also loved the fact that one of Dusty's love interests (cause there can never be JUST one haha) is a library aide- so unique!

The only thing that irked/confused me a bit was WHY Eli needed to attend Arkwell Academy, as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he does, gives room for much more Dusty/Eli moments, I just wasn't completely convinced he needed to attend Arkwell (but I could definitely be over-thinking this, haha.

Speaking of Eli, LOVE him! His reaction towards Dusty, in the beginning, was pretty realistic and understandable to me and just made Eli seem all the more sincere. But I loved the moments we got between these two *cough* *cough* dream invasions- definitely nothing explicit (very clean YA read) but the chemistry and tension made for a VERY interesting read!

Arnett has penned an interesting mystery for her hilarious band of characters to unfold. As Dusty and her gang strive to figure out the true identity behind the elusive "F", the dialogue/interplay between these characters will have you smiling and laughing. 

I was so sad to come the end of book #1, it came to quick! Please let #2 be longer!

I really loved this debut and I would definitely recommend it to fans of Kim Harrington's Clarity series. Bring on book #2, right now. No seriously can I have book #2?

Happy Reading!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is It Just Me? #1 GIFs are taking over...

So I never rant on this blog, but I just felt the need to discuss this topic...

I was perusing Goodreads the other day, looking for my next New Adult title to read (LOVING this genre right now) and I couldn't help noticing- FREAKING GIFs ARE TAKING OVER!

I always use Goodreads (as I'm sure many of you do, as well) to find relevant recommendations that are similar to titles that I have read and loved, and I always like to read reviews of friends and strangers within the Goodreads community to sway my choice of whether or not I will purchase said title. But I'm finding that this practice is getting a wee bit more aggravating as these GIFs become more and more popular, and I'm forced to scroll down two entire pages (in some cases) before I can get to an actual review.

For those of you who aren't sure what I mean when I say GIF (Graphic Interchange Format), I'm referring to those mini videos/Photos that are on constant replay that seem to be appearing EVERYWHERE in the blogsphere. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Try going one day without coming across one on Goodreads. I dare you haha.

Don't get me wrong I actually find a lot them to be entertaining, in small doses (i.e. one or two, hell even three is cool with me) but 12+ in one post, come on. I feel like GIFs are starting to substitute actual words. I counted, in one review post, 10 GIFs against a total of 14 words, which consisted mainly of bleeped out curse words. Entertaining? Sure. That's how they get all their likes, and by extension, the top of the review list. Helpful? Not really, and it's not just one review like this it's TWO FREAKING PAGES full!!!

I'm not trying to say we should get rid of GIFs, and I'm not saying we should restrict the number of GIFs one can use in a Goodreads review, because, as nice as that would be, it would take away the whole right to freedom of expression and such. I just really felt the need to rant and put my thoughts into words, because this flippin epidemic is driving me nuts!

But hey that's me, I know there are a lot of book lovers out there who would disagree with me on this (please don't come at me with a GIF parade *throws up hands to protect myself*) haha, but I'm truly curious, what are your thoughts on this growing trend- Yay or nay?

Thanks for listening (or should I type READING) to my first little rant.

*Side note: I thought about including like 20 random GIFs in this post out of irony, but didn't want this post to take up my whole blog scroll haha.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

I've already picked this one as my WOW once, but I just NEED it and WANT it so much! O all the feels I have for Kai! (Title linked to Goodreads page)

Wendy has posted a few teasers (which I have been reading over and over) go here to read them, while I hang my head in shame.

by: Wendy Higgins
Release Date: May 1st/13. SO FAR AWAY!!!
Publisher: HarperTeen
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

What titles are you waiting on this week?

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ARC Review: Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Sever (The Chemical Garden #3)
By: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: ARC received from blogger event
Sever on Goodreads here
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

My Thoughts:
This series left me feeling a bit cheated.

Where Fever lacked much of Linden, Sever lacks A LOT of Gabriel (seriously, I felt like he just had a cameo in this conclusion). 

I felt just as conflicted as Rhine with regards to my feelings towards Linden- she spends much of the book reining in her jealousy of his and Cecily's relationship. Before this last instalment, I used to consider Linden a weak, Daddy's boy, but we get to see a whole new side to him- one that is brave and defiant- I much preferred this Linden!

We also find out in this instalment just how powerful Vaughn is, and the extent of influence. He's a bit of an enigma and one I never was truly able to figure out.

There wasn't much action or progress within the first-two thirds of Sever. I was starting to get a little agitated because it just seemed that every chapter seemed to go like this: 

Rhine saying "Ok, I'm leaving now"
and then Cecily saying, "No you can't! Make her stay, Linden." 
Linden "Stay Rhine" 
*Sigh* "Ok, but tomorrow I'm leaving for sure."

Don't get me wrong, we do get some closure between Linden and Rhine (although I'm irritated beyond belief by Linden and Cecily's relationship), but I wanted to pull my hair out a bit and just shove Rhine out the door to go find her brother and Gabriel! 

And then when she FINALLY makes a clear decision to set out and find Gabriel, tragedy strikes, and I cried my eyes out and nearly threw my ARC at the wall, while screaming NOOOOO!!!!! That's how strongly invested I got into this.

There were a few shining moments in this last book though, the introduction of Uncle Reed- loved this man, he's everything that his insane brother, Vaughn, isn't, unconventional and completely loveable! And he provided some much needed comic relief in Sever. I also LOVED Rhine's brother, Rowan, and the sibling bond these two continue to share even after being separated for so long. 

But we don't get to know Rowan to well, because once he's introduced, the action and plot seem to go from 0-60 in 3.5, and suddenly everything goes from hopeful and rainbows to complete melancholy. And then we're given a quick ending wrapped up in a nice bow and I'm left thinking, is that it?

I know that there are many who were thrilled with the way this trilogy has concluded, but I can't help feeling a little cheated with the rushed events. I wish more time (or pages) could have been given to the unraveling of everything Vaughn had been working for, and less to reluctant Rhine at the beginning.

If you've already read the first two books in this trilogy, than you know you have to finish it, because the first two were amazing! Unfortunately I feel as though this instalment ran out of steam...

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pieces Blog Tour: Spotlight & Review

Hello everyone and Happy Family Day to all you Canadians out there! Today, I'm delighted to be one of the first stops on the PIECES BLOG TOUR to celebrate the release of, you guessed it, PIECES by Michelle Davidson Argyle!

Here's some info on the series:

The Breakaway
by: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing 
The Breakaway on Goodreads hereWhen Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escape isn’t high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she’s part of a family—even if it is a family of criminals. But she’s still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she’s falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn’t sure she wants to take it.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

by: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing 
Two years after watching her kidnappers go to prison, Naomi Jensen is still in love with one of them. Jesse will be released in a few years, and Naomi knows college is the perfect distraction while she waits. But when her new friend Finn makes her question what is right and what is wrong, she begins to wonder if Jesse is the one for her … until she discovers he's out on parole. Naomi must sort through her confusion to figure out where love and freedom truly lie—in Finn, who has no connections to her past, or Jesse, who has just asked her to run away with him.

Pieces is a companion to The Breakaway and can be read independently, if desired.
Pieces on Goodreads here

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author:
Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She loves the seasons, but late summer and early fall are her favorites. She adores chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in whatever time she can grab between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She believes a simple life is the best life.

Connect with Michelle:

My Thoughts:
A rollercoaster of emotions!

That's literally how I felt when reading this series. One moment I was upset for Naomi and than a few chapters later I would feel glimmers of hope. I felt this way while reading both The Breakaway and Pieces.

While Pieces can be read as a stand alone, I would strongly suggest reading The Breakaway first to get the full impact of this story and the relationship between the characters.

The Breakaway does a great job at setting up the relationship between Naomi and Jesse and their sexual tension. Naomi is unsure of his true intentions and she's even more unsure of her own feelings. Definitely a case of Stockholm syndrome, but you feel that these two have the potential to truly care for each other.

While she may come from a stable home, financially, Naomi's familial relationships are strained, to say the least, and she continues to remain in an abusive relationship up until her capture. She's clearly a fragile girl desperate for love and I think this is what truly leads Naomi's feelings on, for Jesse. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely a physical attraction between these two, but they're both so damaged it's hard to tell their true feelings for each other.

One character I had a hard time liking was Naomi's Mom. She was a very selfish woman, who clearly wasn't ready to be a mother, I don't think she truly had enough unconditional love to bestow upon her child. With that said, she does make some great strides towards the end of The Breakaway, but she still had a ways to go in my books! 

The ending left of The Breakaway left me hopeful- Jesse stepped up and redeemed himself, and I think Naomi begins to grow as a character and learns that before you can let someone else love you, you truly need to love yourself. 

But than we have Pieces, in this instalment Naomi has had time to distance herself from Jesse and is working through the scarring events she experienced during her kidnapping. Even with time apart from each other, and Jesse still in jail, these two are determined to be together, but even though they may truly love and care for each other- are they truly what's best for each other?

A new love interest in the form of a cute, sweet, cafe waiter certainly doesn't make the decision any easier on Naomi. Finn is everything Jesse isn't, patient, forthcoming with his feelings and a stability that Naomi isn't used to.

There were a lot of twists and turns in this instalment that had me shaking my head in frustration at both Naomi and Jesse, and while I hate to admit it, I think Michelle kept the relationship between these two as realistic as can be expected considering the unconventional circumstances. I really enjoyed her treatment of these two and my heart broke many-a-time while reading The Breakaway and Pieces. 

While I think the ending of Pieces was handled very well, I would still love to see a third instalment (wink wink Michelle haha).

Great contemporary YA closer to New Adult recommend to those ages 16+. This story and these characters put me through a rollercoaster of emotions and had me thinking well after finishing this story!

Happy Reading!!!

Be sure to visit the other awesome blog stops during this tour (complete list linked up at the top of this post) lots of great reviews, posts and GIVEAWAYS to be had!

Special thanks to Michelle and Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this blog tour!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What's the Story McCoy?

Wow it's been a while, how've you all been?

I received some great titles this past month and only bought 3! That's a new record for me. I've put myself on a bit of a book-buying ban (we'll see how it lasts haha)

Here are the beauties I got this past month:
(From the top)
(ARC) The Elite by Kiera Cass - May '13
(ARC) Better to Wish by Ann M. Martin - May'13
(ARC) Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - Now Available!
(ARC) Pulse by Patrick Carman - Feb'13
(ARC) The Elite by Kiera Cass - May '13
(ARC) Rush by Eve Silver - Jun'13
(FC) Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli - Now Available!

I bought:
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel
Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready

That's my story this week, special thanks to HarperCollins Canada, Scholastic Canada, Simon and Schuster Canada, HarlequinTEEN, Harcourt, Sourcebooks Fire, Random House Canada, OLA, Audra, Lindsay Cummings and Angie, for making it so freakin epic!

What's your story? 

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Registry by Shannon Stoker

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

I first came upon this title, while perusing Edelweiss. After reading the synopsis for The Registry, I knew it's going to be a fan favourite, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Title's linked to Goodreads page!

It's a brave new world in America-a world where young women are breeders, and the prettiest go to the highest bidders-in this debut New Adult series for fans of Divergent and Beautiful Disaster
(This pull quote derives from Edelweiss)

by: Shannon Stoker
Release Date:  June 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Indie Review: Prodigal by Rektok Ross

by: Rektok Ross
NOW AVAILABLE!!! (Order your copy here)
Publisher: lc13 Books
Prodigal on Goodreads
Source: ARC provided by Publisher/Author
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
It was supposed to be Lexy Quinn’s year. 

The hard-working wallflower has finally landed the coveted spot as Editor of her school’s newspaper. Then the rug is ripped out from under her when she finds out her mom is sick, and the family is moving half-way across the country to Preston Hills, Texas. Lexy can’t think of a worse place to be than at a school full of snobby rich kids where she’ll have to start all over to get people to notice her writing, or–who is she kidding?—notice her at all.

When the most swoon-worthy boy in town, who also happens to be the jock celebrity quarterback, gives her an exclusive interview, Lexy’s life takes an unexpected turn. Ash Preston is the perfect guy and, even better, he sees Lexy as she wants to be seen. But can she trust him? 

My Thoughts:
A great contemporary YA!

Let me first start by saying that, while I consider myself an open-minded person, I am not religious, not even a little. With that said, I really enjoyed Prodigal. It was a great contemporary read that I think will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessan and Susane Cosanti, it's a great story of love, friendship, family, loss, grief and forgiveness. 

Ross has incorporated a lot of my favourite cliches in her debut, one them being; the new girl caught in a love-triangle between two hot jocks (love this!). 

I really liked Lexy, she's a girl that goes after her goals- becoming a writer for the school newspaper. She's honest and hardworking and confident in her ability. Her voice/narration is refreshing, snarky and relatable. My heart broke a little for the loss and deception she endures at such a young age, but she remains a strong character through it all and I'd admired her strength.

Ash was a great leading man. Gorgeous star quarterback with many secrets and hidden layers. I loved the way his and Lexy's relationship progressed. Although I wanted to smack them both on the head sometimes and say "open your eyes!" with some of their decisions, but I'll chalk them up to teenage naivety. 

I did feel bad for Brian though, he's the resident "Jacob" of this read (i.e. second choice). He's a great guy and the perfect competition for Ash in the battle for Lexy's heart.

The religious undertones in this debut were very much muted and it's a pick that contemporary YA fans, who enjoy a clean and sweet romance, are sure to enjoy! 

Great coming-of-age novel!

Happy Reading!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

ARC Review & Author Interview: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Pivot Point
by: Kasie West
Release Date: February 12th/13. (So close!)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC swap with another blogger
Pivot Point on Goodreads here
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

My Thoughts:
A great contemporary pick, with an evolutionary twist!

I felt a bond with Addison while reading Pivot Point. Speaking from experience, Pivot Point touches on a very hard topic of divorce, and I really found myself sympathizing with her wanting her parents to get back together. Addie is forced to choose which parent she'd rather live with. This decision leads to Addie beginning her next "Search" to decide which path (i.e. Mom or Dad) is the best for her, and this is where the plot truly takes off...

Pivot Point reminded me a lot of the movie Sliding Doors, but with a youthful flare. We're given dual narratives, both told from Addie's perspective, but in different lives. West does a great job with the pacing of these two narratives, I never felt confused or lost while reading Pivot Point and the dual narratives helped to add an element of suspense with the ending of each chapter.

While her parents love lives seem to be falling apart, Addie is not lacking in the eligible bachelor department. She has two completely different young men vying for her attention. 

First we have Duke (who happens to be my pick of the two), who is the stereotypical quarterback- charming, gorgeous and a player, but he's set his sights on Addie. Only we're not so sure what his true intentions are towards our heroine.

Then there's Trevor, a former quarterback due to injury and a norm. He's sweet and thoughtful, but has some unfinished business in the form of an ex-girlfriend.

West is great at paralleling these two boys' personalities through different situations, an example: One holds the car door open and asks if it's ok to turn on the radio, while the other not only turns it on without asking, but turns it up so loud that Addie has to shout to be heard. I do feel for Addie in having to choose between these two, but I think I know which one she's going to end up with (but I'm not saying! :)).

I found that Pivot Point read very much like a contemporary YA title, although it does have some SciFi elements within it, that have more to do with the evolution of the mind above anything. When I first started reading Pivot Point, I thought that Addie and her Mom were kind of snotty, wanting to keep themselves separated from the "Norms" of the world (that would be us), and this superiority complex kind of reminded me of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, it's like a society filled with Sheldon Coopers! Can you imagine? But I really grew to like Addie, although I'm still on the fence with regards to her mother...

O and if all that wasn't enough to tempt you, there's also a murder mystery twisted into the plot of Pivot Point, and you'll be just as eager as Addie to figure out who the murderer is!

Pivot Point really hits all the marks: Romance, friendship, family, mystery, suspense, romance (o sorry, did I mention that already? haha) and ending that will leave you wanting book #2 right away!

Great job Kasie, I can't wait to see what lies ahead for Addie, perhaps another "Search" is on the horizon?

Happy Reading!!!

Purchase Links:
HarperCollins CanadaAmazon | | Chapters/Indigo

Author Interview:

Now please join me in welcoming Kasie to the blog today!

1) When did you first think up the concept behind Pivot Point?
You want me to do math?? Hmmmm.....well it was about a year before I started writing it. I remember it very clearly, I was in the car with my hubby and we were talking about movies we loved that would be good in book form. We started talking about Sliding Doors (which I love) and I said, the idea of alternate realities based on a pivotal choice would be a great idea for a young adult book. And then it too me a year to talk myself into writing it. Mostly because it sounded hard. But also because I was working on other things at the time. 

2) If you were Addison and had to pick which path to take- Trevor or Duke, which would it be? Why?
Is this a trick question? :) I love them both for different reasons. I guess it depends on the other factors happening with the path. Because if you mean that everything was the same except me swapped for Addie then I would've made the same choice she did. But if you mean just based on the boys' personalities then.......yes, this is a trick question. How can you make me choose? Duke is fun and outgoing and oh so charming. Trevor is sweet and thoughtful and laid back. I get them both. :) 

3) Given the choice, would you want to see your potential future ahead of time?
No, I don't think I would. I think it would be torturous. Unless one path leads to lots and lots of chocolate and the other path leads to no chocolate. Then I absolutely need to figure out how to avoid the latter.

4) While reading the beginning of Pivot Point, those who chose to live outside of the world of the "Norms" (Addison included) kind of reminded me of Sheldon Cooper- Are you a fan of The Big Bang Theory? (I realize how random this question is, but I really want to know, haha).
Ha. You're funny. I have definitely seen The Big Bang Theory. And Sheldon is hilarious. But, no, I don't watch it regularly. Every time I watch it though I wonder why I don't because I laugh the entire episode.

5) If you could describe Pivot Point in three words, what would they be?
Fun, Choices, Friendship

6) Who would be your dream cast (actors? actresses?) 

This is a hard question because really no actors or actresses completely match the picture I have in my head for the characters. And I don't want to ruin anyone else's images they might have in their heads of the characters either. But these two actors come pretty close to how I picture Duke and Laila.


As for the other characters, especially Trevor, I just haven't found an image close enough to do the one in my head justice. :)

7) What books are you reading right now?
I'm always reading something. And usually multiple somethings. Right now I'm beta reading for a friend and reading both Prophecy by Ellen Oh and Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi. Books make me happy.

8) How far do you plan to take this Pivot Point series?
As of now it is just Pivot Point and its sequel. I'm batting around some other ideas in the Pivot Point world involving some side characters (perhaps maybe even including the boy who doesn't get chosen....maybe). But as far as Addie goes, her story will be over at the end of book 2. 

9) What can we expect from Book #2?
While Pivot Point was all about Addie's ability, Book 2, even though told from her perspective, focuses on some other abilities in the Compound. Like the ability to be hot and the ability to kiss. Just kidding. Real abilities. But there will be hot boys and kissing.

10) What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don't give up. If writing and being published is your dream, I truly believe that persistence is the key. Keep writing. Keep trying. Pivot Point is the sixth book I wrote. (I needed a lot of practice) I feel like with each try I got better and learned more. I'm so glad I didn't give up even though there were plenty of days that I wanted to. 

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and answer some questions, Kasie!

Thanks for having me Hayley. Those were really fun questions!