Mundie Moms

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Published by: Harlequin Teen
To Be Released on: July 30th, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher to review
4.5 stars: I really enjoyed it
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.   

"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter,  New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series  

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.  

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again -quoted from Goodreads

An edgy, true to life, gritty contemporary, Pushing The Limits quickly pulls you into it's story and both of the characters live's and leaves you thinking about them long after you've closed the book. It's a story that's full of triumph, heartbreak, swoon worthy character chemistry and is one heck of an emotional roller ride. Both Echo and Noah have had their fair share of crap (and I say that nicely) to deal with in their young lives. Each one is trying to piece back certain parts of their lives that were tragically ripped away from them and have now put them on paths they never thought they'd be on. One is trying to remember the night she received her horrendous scares that now mars their body and the other is trying to fight a system that not only ripped his family apart, but abused him in the process. Brought together in their quest for truth, and hope, and a case worker/counselor who won't give up on either of them, both of their lives are about to get a lot more crazy as they both push each other to the limits of love, letting go, and moving on.

Told from alternating points of views, Katie McGarry ROCKED her story telling and the male POV! Not many authors have been able to pull off that point of view, let alone two points of view, but Katie just blew the few who have risen to both challenges out of the water. She nailed Noah's voice perfectly. He's the broken boy who acts like he's from the wrong side of the tracks, but there's so much more to him than meets the eye. I loved that Echo was the one who changed his bad boy ways. Oh yes, Noah is "that" bad boy in ever sense of the way, but you understand why, and you get why he doesn't care what those rumors say about him. Echo on the other hand is an emotional wreck, and and it was so heartbreaking to read her story, and to understand why she became that way. I loved how Katie allowed me to get inside both her and Noah's minds to understand their stories, their motives, fears, desires, and needs.

I love a sizzling character chemistry and well developed romance, wow, does Katie ever deliver on that one! Noah knows how to say all the right words and do all the right things, but Echo throws him off his game a bit. I LOVED that Echo isn't one to give up anything in a moment of weakness. She's someone I really came to admire, because of her strength. I loved that Katie created a relationship between Echo and Noah that is layered, and at times it's simplified and other times it's complex. Katie's intense and raw writing made it incredibly easy for me to not only feel like I connected with these characters on a deeper level than I excepted to, she also made me understand them, sympathize with them and at other times she made the mama bear side of me want to protect them from those who have done so much to hurt them. They're vulnerable, deeply scared, looking for answers, in need of love, hope. In each other they find trust, and understanding, as well a future outside of all the stuff they're dealing with now. Being that they both turn 18 and are about to graduate from HS, I liked getting to see the possibilities that Echo and Noah saw before them. 

Despite some of the horrible things Noah and Echo come to terms with, there are also these fabulous moments of triumph that made me throw my fist up in the air and yell yes, and other moments that made me laugh out loud. Katie truly wrapped up so much into this one story, and did so in away that made her story realistic, and relatable. She made me feel every range of emotions while reading her book, and she layered her story perfectly. I laughed, I swooned, I got a little teary eyed and I felt anger. There are characters in this book who will make you wish you should go shadowhunter on them, because of the things they either do or have done prior to this story starting. But for the few horrible characters, there are also fabulous characters who bring light into some of the darkness, like Noah's brothers. I appreciated the fact that Katie allowed me to see this story from so many different angles. Through Noah's brothers we get to see that just, because Noah thought one thing about his brothers and their foster parents doesn't mean that was necessarily right. That's saying something without giving anything away. That was one of the bitter sweet moments in the book for me.

If you're looking for one of those contemporaries that makes me you fall in love with it's characters, provides you with the right amount of sexual tension that makes the pages sizzle, and leaves you wanting more, than you need to pick up Pushing the Limits. On a note caution, this is not a story I'd recommend to everyone, but it's one that I think a lot of readers will take something away from it. There are some sensual scenes, under age drinking, drug use, mentions of sex and abuse in this story, and a lot language. There's also domestic violence and what's like living in a foster care system that fails. It's a true to life story that doesn't sugar coat the crap that happens when a system fails to protect those most vulnerable, and when a parent does more than just try to take their own. It's a story that reveals the selfishness of one set of parents and a self absorbed step parent, the love a set of foster parents has, and learning to trust in someone you think has it out for you, but really they help you find the voice you never thought you had. At the heart of this story are two teens who learn to love and trust again, and make something of the lives they can once again start living.  

Mid-Year Reads Giveaway: Top 3 Favorite Debs in '12

I'm excited to be taking part in  Good Choice Reading's Mid Year Reads Giveaway! Though it's only June, there have been some AWESOME reads this year that have blown me away, and good portion of those have been from debut authors. Today I'm going to be featuring my top 3 favorite debut books (so far) of 2012. You can read all of this year's 5 star reviews | 4.5 star reviews | 4 star reviews via the high lighted links. Don't forget to read about the giveaway and how to enter at the end of the post!

#1 favorite:

Released on: April 3rd, 2012
5 stars: I LOVED It! Go Pick It Up!
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Series:  His Fair Assassin series, Book 1

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf? 

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. 

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart? -quoted from Goodreads

I am in love with this book! All the things I love about a well written story are found within the pages of Grave Mercy. Beautiful writing, a rich historical setting, an enchanting romance, the unique paranormal element and the lively, in-depth characters. The characters in this book are fabulous, and I really liked that there weren't one dimensional characters who didn't really serve a purpose in the story. No matter how big or little their roles were in this story they each added a depth or richness to the incredibly engaging storyline. Read the rest of my 5 star review here.

#2 favorite:

Published by: Bloomsbury Teens
To Be Released on: February 14th, 2012, TOMORROW
Source: book from publisher to review
5 stars: I LOVED it!
Purchase from: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for -quoted from Goodreads

I didn't think I could love Robin Hood or the legend of Robin Hood any more than I already have, but I'm totally in love with A.C. Gaughen's verion of this historical hero. Her writing is flawless! She not vividly describes what it was like to live during this time period, she also captures the feelings of the people, and the hope Robin Hood and his band of thieves brought to them. I felt like she perfectly crafted together a story of how I envision a younger version of Robin Hood. I absolutely love what she's done with the lore of Robin Hood, Marian and Will Scarlet, not to mention John and the rest of the lively characters present in this story. Read the rest of my review here.

#3 favorite: 

Published by: Harper Teen
Released on: January 3rd, 2012
5 stars: I LOVED It!
Purchase from: Harper Teen | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Browse inside the book via Harper Teen

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction. 

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions. 

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY -quoted from Goodreads

What a stunning debut! I really wasn't prepared to be totally swept off my feet with this book like I was. Veronica's writing is brilliant and it didn't take me long at all to totally fall in love with her amazing story. I LOVED the feel of this book. For me it felt like a blend of fantasy, dystopian and a little bit of sci-fi, which worked beautifully for this book. Along with the fascinating world that Veronica's created are some unforgettable characters. I really enjoyed the journey I took with Aria and Perry, so much so that I kept turning the blank pages of the ARC hoping to find just a little bit more of the story. I didn't want to leave the world or the characters just yet, and I'm sure I'll have the same longing feeling even with this series ends, and it's just beginning.  You can read the rest of my review here.


TO enter to win 1 of these titles, leave me a comment telling me what your favorite read of 2012 has been so far, along with your email address and which of these titles you'd like to win. Open internationally (where the Book Depository ships to). Good luck!

Star Fire Blog Tour: Giveaway

Happy Saturday! I'm excited to be featuring UK author, Katie M. John on the blog today via her Star Fire blog tour. Star Fire is book three in her Knight Trilogy and you can find out more about her book and enter to win her entire ebook series below.

Egypt changed them both in ways no one ever expected. As murder and dark arts cast a terrible shadow over both The Real World and The Realm. Mina's connection to the mysterious Star Fire Sisterhood results in her becoming The Templar's number one suspect.

Set amongst the snowy mountains of Switzerland and the ancient magical forests of France, Blake and the House of Beldevier are given just one chance to save Mina's life - the recovery of The Holy Grail.

In this epic heart-racing finale, ancient myths come alive and old scores are settled. One thing for sure ... the clock is ticking.

About the Author:

Writer of the Amazon Best-selling YA series, The Knight Trilogy, Katie is married to a handsome giant and mummy to a mud-puddle fairy. She likes to write whilst drinking tea and eating jaffa cakes. Most of the time she lives in a fairytale world but other than that she is completely and utterly normal.

Katie's debut YA fairtytale series, 'The Knight Trilogy' has become an international best-seller in several chart categories, Contemporary Fantasy, Myths and Legends, Paranormal Romance. It has also been an Amazon No 1. Best-selling Fairytale.

Her work is a blend of rich imagery and fast paced action. Before writing full length novels, Katie wrote poetry, her works being published in several anthology publications. She is currently working on a stand alone novel called 'Beautiful Freaks' due to be published in Autumn 2012. A high Victorian, Gothic, Steampunk style detective story.

Follow Katie on: her Website | Twitter | Blog | Amazon

The Giveaway
Thank you to Katie, I have 3 Star Fire swag packs I'm giving away to 3 lucky winners!

1st prize pack:

- (1) Ebook sets of the trilogy via smash words which is suitable for all ereaders. The set will include, Book one (The Forest of Adventures), Book two (Immortal Beloved) & Book three (Star Fire)
- (1) Knight Trilogy Magnets

- (1) tote bag

2nd prize pack:

- (1) Ebook sets of the trilogy via smash words which is suitable for all ereaders. The set will include, Book one (The Forest of Adventures), Book two (Immortal Beloved) & Book three (Star Fire)1x handmade metal book thongs with charms
- (1) Knight Trilogy Magnets

3rd prize pack:

- (1) set of the book series signed post cards 
- (1) Knight Trilogy Magnets

To ENTER: please leave a comment with your email address to enter. Open INTERNATIONALLY!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Review: The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

Published by: Harper Teen
Released on:
Source: ARC from a friend
4 stars: I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Series: #3 Body Finder Series

In the end, all that's left is an echo...

Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet's talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it's Violet's job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by "the girlfriend collector" she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new "relationship" and Violet may have caught his eye... -quoted from Goodreads

Talk about a disturbing, heart pounding and suspenseful read! The Last Echo will definitely keep your heart racing as Violet and her team hunt for a killer, and Violet becomes an unsuspecting victim. Kimberly Derting has a way with taking her readers into a dark and chilling place with each of her books. She  allows us to see into the workings of how Violet and her team are able to find those who have been murdered, and she also gives us these bone chilling glimpses into the mind of the killer in the story. Kimberly's writing is gripping, at times intense and incredibly addicting. Her descriptive chilling motives and hair raising scenes get my heart racing as if I was there in person with Violet.

Violet and her team are up against a ruthless killer. Deemed the "boyfriend collector" this guy isn't your average scary killer you'd be able to pick out in a crowd of people. He's someone who blends in with the crowd, making him your least likely suspect. Boy is he good! Getting into his mind set was both disturbing and a bit heartbreaking, because Kimberly allowed me to understand his motives for doing what he does. An author who allows you to sympathize with their killer, no matter how small of a scale it is (and believe me it's on an extremely small microscopic scale), has done a masterful job at creating and writing their story. Kimberly Derting without fail gets me each time!

Character wise, I really enjoyed seeing how Violet changes over the course of each book. I couldn't even fathom having to deal with a fraction of the things she does, and yet after each book I feel like it makes her a stronger person. This time around Violet vows to do whatever she can to save herself. The only problem is, she might be too late. I felt like Violet's team played a more significant role in this book, because Violet finally doesn't feel alone. We get to know more about Rafe, Sarah and the rest of her team. The romance and character chemistry are just as fabulous as they were in the first book. I really adore the relationship Violet and Jay have. He's so right for her.

The Last Echo is a thrilling, heart pounding read that will keep you glued to the pages. It's a fabulous edition to a series full of twists, heart pounding action, and that sweet romance that leaves you sighing. Like the previous books in this series, Kimberly does an awesome job of breaking up the intense scenes with those sweet moments between Jay and Violet. If you're a fan of Kimberly Derting and the Body Finder series, I highly recommend picking this book up!

Happy Friday!

It's Friday!! I feel the need to post a little motivational video to help get our mornings off on the right start. If you're a fan of Super Natural, than I'm sure you'll know who Jensen Ackles is. I guess this is an outtake from one of the episodes. I seriously love this song, and this video will either having you laughing or swooning, or maybe both. I'm not responsible for the swooning part. ;)

Jensen Ackles : Eye of the Tiger by the_boss_7777

Here's to a fabulous Friday!

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

June 29th to July 5th

Today I'm giving away a 2 new audiobook sets. Perfect by Ellen Hopkins and Fire by Kristen Cashore. To enter, please fill out the form below (this is open internationally).

 During the next few days you'll have the chance to visit a large variety of awesome sites who are all hosting a giveaway to celebrate the FREEDOM TO READ! 

Cover Reveal: Fae by Emily White

I'm excited to be among a few bloggers who are helping Spencer Hill Press reveal their cover for Emily White's Elemental sequel, Fae.

Author: Emily White
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
To Be Released On: December 10, 2013
Pre-Order from: Barnes & Noble
Series: Auri #2


Not all fae'ri tales come with a happy ending.

Ella thought taking care of the ego-bloated Mamood god would be a sure way to bring peace to the galaxy and satisfy her taste for revenge.

 But she was wrong.

Despite the fact their god is gone, the Mamood refuse to abandon their attack on the planet Soltak and Ella's own so-called friends start to turn against her. And with Soltak dying--its oceans drying up and its plants withering in the ground--Ella and Cailen suspect there's a new enemy at work. As more people die and more water is leached from the planet, they both prepare for something straight from a nightmare.

The fae are coming.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Book Review (Adult Book): Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Yes, you read that right, this is a review for an adult book. NO, I'm not going to be reviewing adult books on a regular bases, but every now and then (once in a blue moon), you may find a review for an adult book on here. 

Published by: Avon (Harper Collins)
Released on: June 26th, 2012
Source: purchased
4 stars: I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BooksAMillion | Powells | IndieBound | iTunes

She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames -quoted from Goodreads

I've read part of Jeaniene's Night Huntress series, and being that Vlad is a character from that series I was intrigued with wanting to read more about him. And, well that's face it that synopsis alone sold me on picking up this book. Talk about an electrifying romance! Vlad is definitely one of those characters that one, you don't cross and two, who could make you cower in the corner. There's something about him that also draws you to him like a moth to a flame. He's a character who has this commanding presence both in the vampire world and through out history. I loved that it took a fire cracker like Leila to get under his skin, in a good way. The fact that there was not an insta-love between these two made me enjoy the book that much more exciting, and addicting. There's a big difference between chemistry and attraction vs an insta-love and this book definitely has a lot of that first element. It was well written and executed, but once these two got together, holy crap the fire works ignited. 

Being that this is an adult book you can definitely expect to find a few sex scenes and some minor language in this book. I know that seems silly to mention, because that's expected, but I don't want someone reading this thinking that it's the kind that you'd find in a YA book, because this is truly an adult/romance book. Aside from the hot romance, there's also a great paranormal story with an alluring historical twist on Vlad, and a breathtaking setting. I'm a huge suckers for romance, and paranormal elements and Jeaniene delivered both of these to me on a silver platter. I don't know which I enjoyed more, the romance/character chemistry or the history, and paranormal elements to this story. 

The characters themselves were well written, especially Vlad. Leila for me was a little bit harder to really like. I mean, I liked her, I just didn't like being in her head for the entire story. I wanted a bit more from Vlad, but I won't complain too much, because I did get a few glimpses into his past via one of Leila's unique abilities. I also loved Bones and Cat's cameo in the story! I loved these two from the Night Huntress series, and it was great to see them appear in this book. 

This is one action packed, sizzling summer read that Frost fans will devour. There's plenty of danger, romance and that little bit of humor I've come to except and enjoy in Jeaniene's books. Once Burned has all the makings for a series fans won't get enough of. There's something about Vlad that will leave you wanting more. This book's ending will definitely leave fans wishing that Vlad's sequel was already out, instead of having to wait another year. *Being that this is an adult book I'd definitely recommend it to mature, older readers. There's a few sex scenes, and a few uses of the f word and mentions of sex in this book. 

* Side NoteMundie Moms is strictly a YA book review site, but every now and then I do branch out and read adult books, though I don't post my reviews on here, just like I don't post my reviews for other books I read outside the YA scene on here. When I say every now and then, that really translates into rarely, but again, I do get into those moods where I want to sit down with an adult book.

TMI Movie Stuff

Cassie has always done an amazing job at answering fan questions and lately she's answered a lot of TMI movie news questions. Today she posted a series of questions from fans and her answers. This post is quoted directly from her tumblr post today.

sharetheindie asked:
Have you cast someone to be simon? If so, who is it? And if you guys haven’t cast anybody yet, Freddie Highmore comes to my mind whenever i’m reading the series. Just an afterthought. :P
Simon’s not cast; don’t look out for Simon casting till mid-July, because of Reasons. (They are good Reasons.) I always think of Freddie Highmore as Jared/Simon from Holly’sSpiderwick Chronicles. That’s just my brain though. I’ve no idea actually if the casting people have discussed him.
esperenia asked:
I love the thought of David Tennant as Hodge or even Luke, but what do you think of Jennifer Love Hewitt for Jocelyn or as Maryse?  
David Tennant love for the win of course. I think it’s interesting how people visualize the adults. JLH is only 32 I believe - very young to have a teenage daughter. And people are often surprised to remember that Jocelyn, Hodge, Luke, and Valentine are all basically the same age. Late thirties. Valentine’s a little older at around forty and I think of the Lightwood parents as being around that age too. 
ilovestv asked:
David Tennant as Hodge is perfect! Which brings the question have they cast Hodge? Or are the still working on that?
Hodge isn’t cast. The only person who is cast but the information isn’t public is Alec. Otherwise, if it isn’t here, you can assume that character isn’t cast.
So I was just wondering if Max was going to be in the City of Bones movie? Because I know that he doesn’t come in until the second book, but I just wasn’t sure how different the movies would be from the books in that sense. Also, Max is (*cough cough* was) one of my favorite characters so I was just wondering if he’s going to be in the first movie or if he doesn’t come in until the second one. Thanks!
No, he’s not.  I love Max too, but sticking to the book is probably the best move. I mean I sent Max off for the first book so there wouldn’t be a little kid around who had no parents to watch him (leaving him to the tender mercies of his demented older siblings) and I think that problem would extend to the film too.
averysbooknook asked:
I read somewhere that filming for City of Bones is going to start mid-August in Toronto. Do you think that you will join the cast/ crew at any time while they are in Toronto (can you say impromptu book signing ;) “
Hee. *Imagines signing books randomly on the lot* They’ve been really great about extending me an invitation to visit the set, so I think it depends on their shooting schedule, and my schedule, whether I visit the set in Toronto or when they’re filming in New York. I’ll keep you posted.

I have no idea. I am waiting for a phone call that I have no idea when will come, because that phone call itself is waiting on “scheduling issues.” There is no possible way I could know or even guess how long it will take some scheduling issues whose details I wot not of to work themselves out and then for someone to remember to call me. :)