Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Female Characters Who Kick Major A**

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So for this weeks, Top Ten Tuesday, as hosted by The Broke and Bookish, I decided to focus on Ten Female Characters who kick some a**. Why? you ask. Well my favorite MCs are girls who take charge, girls who don’t take no for an answer, and girls who prove that you can love a guy without having to let him save the day. So, onward, to my list! Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment sections. 


 

1. Hermonie Granger, “Harry Potter” series: Ummm. She’s the smartest witch of her age and darn proud of it. She proves that you don’t have to have brute strength to be a force to be reckoned with; cleverness is just as useful.

2. Katniss Everdeen, “The Hunger Games,” Trilogy: Sure, Katniss becomes a symbol for a revolution, which is great and all, but before that she managed to keep her family from starving which I think is a pretty kick a** thing for a teenage girl to be doing.

3. Claire Randall/Fraser “Outlander,” series: Okay, so this one is not YA, but it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want. Claire is a strong woman who comes about in a time when women still do not have some basic rights, than she gets transported back in time where women really didn’t have any rights. All through this, she manages to make use of her medical training, save her husband from a sadist, and makes the most kick a** decision of all–to stay living in a time without running water…

4. Harper Prince, “Rebel Belle” trilogy: She’s a debutante control freak who also happens to have super strength. Plus, this whole series has a feminist undertone of being able to be coded completely “female” while still being the person who picks up a sword and saves the day. God bless, Rachel Hawkins.

5. Kesteral, “The Winner’s Trilogy”: Kesteral has become one of my favorite kick a** ladies because of how innately conflicted she is between her duty and what she knows is right. Despite being so intelligent, Kesteral makes some very stupid decisions. What makes her so kick a** is her willingness to sacrifice herself for the good of other, even when that does not go as planned. She’s a perfect character because she is imperfect.

6. Alice ‘Ali’ Belle, “White Rabbit Chronicles,”: Ali is a fighter. She fights for her family, for her friends, and for her love. Even when things fall apart, Ali get’s back up and keeps fighting.

7. Anna, “Sweet Trilogy”: Anna also has to fight. But, I think the most poignant thing about her, the most kick a** thing about her, is that her biggest demon is herself. Anna is literally the embodiment of addiction, so ever day she has to resist the little voice in her head tempting her to give into her darkest desires.

8. Rose Hathaway “Vampire Academy” series: Rose kicks total but for obvious reasons, but what makes her my one of my favorite kick a** females is that she has to go through a lot of growing pains to become the renowned dhampir. Plus, there’s that whole, didn’t let her boyfriend turn her into a vampire thing, which I really admired.

9. Sydney Sage, “Bloodlines” series: Sydney was not one of my favorite characters when I was first introduced to her. In fact, I thought she was a total bigot, which is why she ended up making my list. Sure, Sydney is the smartest of the smarts and I like smarts, but ultimately what makes her so awesome is that she puts aside all of her uncomfortable notions to protect people in the name of duty. I mean a lot of people would not do that. Plus, it helps she ends up thinking of them like family and falling in love but still…strong sense of duty.

10. Alice Reeve, “The Collector’s Society” series: This Alice totally SLAYS. I mean if I could write a perfect female character, she would be it. She’s strong minded, strong willed, physically strong, yet can still rock a boho dress and get the hot guy. She embodies our “idealized” femininity while also turning it on it’s head. Wohoo!

 

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Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

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Title: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Publication date: September 2, 2014

Genre: Dystopian YA

Buy Links: Amazon; Barnes and Noble

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.


The Jewel has been on my TBR list since it came out in September, but I was tepid on reading it after reading some more interesting reviews. After having some free time, I decided to pick this up. The cover is so gorgeous that I couldn’t help but give it a go. Needless to say, it was incredibly interesting. It’s probably one of the craziest concepts I have ever come across and while there definitely were some eyebrow raising moments, there were also some really strong moments. 

What I liked: I think my favorite part was The Duchess. It may seem weird if you’ve read the book, but I think The Duchess was the most multi-dimensional character. Every scene she was in she dominated, and outside of that, I could not wait to learn more about her. While Violet was fine as a character, she was certainly not the one who stole the show. I was also very fond of the world-building. The entire concept of the book was incredibly interesting. Learning more about the world was really what kept me engaged. Every page turned meant more secrets to uncover and it was very riveting. 

What I didn’t like: While I liked the surrogacy concept I thought it was kind of deep for a YA novel. There were a lot of great part of this book, but the whole surrogacy was not very well developed. I had so many questions. Why are these specific girls surrogates? Why couldn’t the royalty have children? Why did these girls have special power? Basically, there were too many questions and not enough answers. I also wasn’t crazy about the romance.To be honest, it was not very well thought out and seemed thrown in as an after thought. I felt like this was just some extra drama that fell short.

Overall, I really liked the concept thought I’m not sure it’s 100% appropriate for everyone, but it’s an interesting read and I’m looking forward to the sequel. Plus, cliffhanger! 3/5

Review and Blitz: Everything (A Songbird novel, Book 3) by Melissa Pearl

 

Everything (A Songbird novel, Book 3) by Melissa Pearl
Release Day Blitz
April 23, 2015

Synopsis

Jody Pritchett had a dream…but life had other plans. Instead of singing and dancing on Broadway, Jody’s a twenty-year-old single mom, living at home with her disapproving father and overbearing sister. The choice to keep her little Angelia came with a high price and although she adores her baby girl, it doesn’t take away the sting of kissing goodbye her chance at a career on the stage.

Leo Sinclair had his own dream…but got lost along the way. After a failed marriage that left him hollow and downtrodden, the Australian songwriter wonders what joy his future could possibly hold. Encouraged by the one family member who doesn’t think he’s a failure, Leo decides to stop living the life everyone expects him to and start chasing his dreams again. When the perfect opportunity comes knocking, Leo leaves Australia behind and hops a flight to LA. With his sights set on selling a musical to a Broadway producer, Leo is determined to finally realize his life-long dream. But life gets in the way again, when he spots a young mother outside his apartment in tears. He never realized how one person, one voice, and one Angel could have him contemplating abandoning his dreams once again. As these two burned hearts wrestle to overcome their past struggles, Leo and Jody must decide what dreams are worth clinging to…because, sometimes, everything you want is not everything you need.

Buy Links: 
Amazon

iTunes

Kobo

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

AND, grab Fever, book 1 in the Songbird series, for ONLY 99 CENTS for a limited time! You can see my review here

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1DC0W19

Review: 
Gosh, this was so good! I’ve read the first book in The Songbird series, “Fever, ” but you can totally read “Everything,” without having read the other books, as these are stand-alone’s. I’ll admit, I took sometime to read this because I have been a little bored with the whole romance genre lately. It was depressing me majorly. Enter, “Everything,” which was like a little whoosh of fresh air. I totally loved it!
What I liked: It was realistic. The character of Jody does not have a grand life, but it’s not totally horrible either. Like many young girls she found herself swayed from her dreams by a guy and in the end she is left to deal with some very real world consequences. Pearl writes what I want to call “reality romance,” there aren’t any gimmicks; no super hot billionaire, no prince, just real world people . Speaking of the “real world” aspects of this, I really liked that Leo    ( the love interest) and Jody build a relationship on mutual interest and friendship vs. just sex. Plus, their relationship lends itself to some very “meet cute” moments. SQUEEEE
What I didn’t like: To be honest, there wasn’t really anything glaring that I did not like about this book. A rarity people!
Overall, this book was a sweet and honest romance. It’s a wonderful read after a long week, or with Summer coming up, a great addition to your beach bag. 4/5
About the Author
Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent
much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book is coming out in February 2014 – True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.


Top Ten Tuesdays: Top 10 Authors of All Times

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Last week I missed Top-Ten Tuesday, as hosted by the Broke and Bookish, but I’m excited to participate this week. This week’s topic is Top 10 Authors of All Times…cause yea that’s not going to be challenging or anything. 

1. J.K. Rowling: OBVIOUSLY. She is the Queen of the World. 

2. Rachel Hawkins: Hawkins has such a wonderful voice. She’s witty, she’s sassy, and overall I just                                                 love everything she writes.

3. Jennifer L. Armentrout: I adore her. She can write a romance and I’ll read it; write a sci-fi YA and                                                           I’ll read it; write a recipe…well you get it.

4. Cassandra Clare: Ummm have you read “The Mortal Instrument,” yea..nuff said.

5. Wendy Higgins: She invented a hot drummer who embodies the sin of lust and is also British. She                                           may possibly be my soulmate.

6. Kresley Cole: I love her hot-steamy YA and her hot-steamy romance. If she writes it, odds are I’ll read it.

7. Melissa Marr: I’ve been reading Marr since I was a teen and she always manages to amaze me with                                       her amazing female characters.

8. Martina Boone: Besides writing a great YA she is super-duper cool and nice.

9. Marissa Meyer: I’m not usually one for cyborg type stories, but Cinder is incredible.

10. A.G. Howard: She wrote one of the only Alice and Wonderland retellings I liked. Her mind is a                                              scary, funky place and I love it.

Review: Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

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Title: Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or make her more powerful than ever.


 

Guys, it has been too long! Life has been beyond hectic. In fact, Miss Mayhem could have been my name lately. I’m so excited to get back to the blog and break my week long dry spell with one of my highly-anticipated Spring reads, Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins. 

What I liked: I love Rachel Hawkins voice as Harper. She’s southern, sassy, and absolutely hysterical. Harper is full of contradictions and one of my favorite female characters of all time. The thing that I love about this series is that this time the girl kicks butt and the boy needs saving. Way to turn the YA formula on it’s head. Outside of the awesomeness of Harper, I loved that the sequel began to explore Harper, Ryan, Bee, and David’s new roles. In the sequel we aren’t trying to solve the “what-am I/how do I cope mystery. This time we explore how these new roles and responsibilities fit into the gangs “real lives.” Lot’s and lot’s of turmoil. 

What I didn’t like: I didn’t feel like Harper had a ton of interactions with the other characters, especially David. Miss Mayhem felt very short and David and Harper’s relationship was barely explored, yet strangely enough it’s the center of the story. Speaking of the story, it moved kind of slow for my liking. I wish it had, had more action. There was a whole trial story line which could have been extremely strong and interesting, but mid-way through that fell to pieces. I guess I mostly just felt a little confused by the sequel. Then when you add in the ending…ugh.

Overall, the books best feature really is it’s main character, but for me, the sequel fell kind of flat 3/5.

Throwback Thursday: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (The Lynburn Legacy Book #1)

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Title: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Buy Links: Amazon

Publication Date: September 10, 2013

Genre: YA Paranormal/ Romance

Rating: 3/5 

Synopsis (from ma’ head): Kami lives in a small English town that holds big secrets. Kami is an intrepid reporter type and therefore wants to uncover these secrets. Also, she speaks to a potential fake boy in her head. Boy isn’t fake and is actually a Lynburn, who are like freaky people who the town fears. Kami and the boy have a potential thing, but it’s weird living in each others minds. Also, there is murder.


So, it’s been a few weeks since I have done a Throwback Thursday post and frankly I blame many things. Mostly, I’m behind on my reading. Spring tends to get hectic for me. My students are wrapping up their school year, so tests/ projects abound. Plus, I’m doing some editing on my own work and trying to clean my apartment. Basically, things are happening. That being said, I was really excited to start this series. The author was new to me but I stumbled across her in a trip to the library and decided I needed to get on this, asap. It proved to be a slow start, but eventually the book captured me. It’s the first in a trilogy and I’m excited to continue reading. 

What I liked: I was really into the whole ‘people living in each other’s heads thing,‘ which is weird but whatever. I thought the way it was handled was actually very smart. Kami was incredibly pragmatic about the whole situation, even when Jared wanted to get her on the guilt train. (That’ll make more sense if you read the book). Either way, I liked that the author explored the idea that you can love someone and also realize that maybe being in a relationship with them is not the best decision. Granted, there are some erroneous circumstances, but still it was handled very well and I loved that. Outside of the whole mind thing, I also loved the diversity of the characters. Kami is 1/4 (?) Japanese, there is a character who comes out as a lesbian, and sorcerers! But really, it’s nice to see diverse characters done in a way where we aren’t just throwing random things in the mix. 

What I didn’t like: In the beginning, Kami irked the crap out of me. She did not seem like a real person, but more like a caricature of a person. By the end, I grew to like her but it was a rough start. Outside of that, I did not feel like enough was explained. Boom, sorcerers! Boom murder! WHERE ARE MY EXPLANATIONS. I’m assuming I get them in books 2-3, but I like explanations, they keep me coming back.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I struggled through the first half, but once action picked up I found engaged with the characters. 3/5 

Have any of you guys read this book? What are your thoughts?

Cover Reveal: Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout

We are so excited to bring you the Cover Reveal for EVERY LAST BREATH, the hotly anticipated conclusion to the Dark Elements trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout!! EVERY LAST BREATH is a Young Adult Paranormal being published by Harlequin Teen and is a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Dark Elements Series. It is being released on July 28th, 2015. Pre-order EVERY LAST BREATH and then be sure to read the first books in this amazing series before its release!

Every Last Breath - Cover

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound ** Kobo ** BAM

 

EVERY LAST BREATH Synopsis:

Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

“Armentrout is a major talent…I just can’t stop reading!”

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter

“Armentrout works her magic with swoon-worthy guys and a twist you never see coming.”

–#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines on White Hot Kiss

And we have a surprise for you! The first books in the series have been given a new look too!!

Don’t miss the previous titles in The Dark Elements Series-now with new covers! Readers interested in downloading the new cover jackets for their previously purchased Dark Elements Series titles, can download them HERE!

downloadhere

For best results when downloading the new cover jackets:

  • Print on 8.5×14″ (Legal paper)
  • Use landscape or horizontal setting = 8.5″ tall x 14″ wide
  • Print at 100% scale or “actual size”
  • Print with the image centered on page
  • Fold and trim to fit

White Hot Kiss - New Cover

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** BAM ** iBooks ** IndieBound ** Kobo ** Walmart

 

WHITE HOT KISS synopsis:

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Stone Cold Touch - New Cover

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound ** Kobo ** BAM

 

STONE COLD TOUCH Synopsis:

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

“Constantly entertaining…the narrative sizzles with as much tension as romance.”

Kirkus Reviews on White Hot Kiss

And the Prequel Novella, BITTER SWEET LOVE…

 

Bitter Sweet Love - New Cover

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** BAM ** Kobo

 

BITTER SWEET LOVE Synopsis:

In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series The Dark Elements, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.

Dez wasn’t just Jasmine’s crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn’t help that Jas’s father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he’s back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn’t taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…

“With her signature flare for combining humor, romance and action, Armentrout weaves a fast-paced read that will have readers’ hearts racing in more ways than one. Like Armentrout’s previous heroines, Jasmine is fun and full of attitude, while Dez is as snarky as he is sexy. This is a must read for new and old fans alike!” –RT Book Reviews

 

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Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

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