{Blog Tour} Excerpt + Giveaway: PROXY by Alex London

by Alex London
Series: Proxy #1
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia, LGBT
Published May 1st 2014 by Speak (first published June 18th 2013 by Philomel)

Syd’s life is not his own. As a proxy he must to pay for someone else's crimes. When his patron Knox crashes a car and kills someone, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. The boys realize the only way to beat the system is to save each other so they flee. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test the boys' resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay.
This fast-paced thrill ride of a novel is full of breakneck action, shocking twists and heart-hammering suspense that will have readers gasping until the very last page.

The girl’s family must have some cred. You couldn’t get into their high school without paying for it, no outside sponsors allowed. And you couldn’t get eyes like hers without some serious biotech. They practically glowed purple. Her dark hair also had a hint of purple, probably designed to match. The DNA install for that kind of work must have been a nightmare for the coders who wrote it. Very lux.

Knox eased on the straightaway. He was way above the suggested maximum speed, and he was way below the suggested minimum age. He’d stolen company property from his father’s private lot; he’d violated the restricted speedway, violated driving regulations. He planned to do some more violating before the night was over. In the end, someone would have to pay for it.

Everything costs.

But really, who would set the access code to a brand new CX-30 Roadster as 1-2-3-4-5 and not expect his son to take it for spin? If anyone was to blame, it was his father. Knox was sixteen. He was just doing what came naturally.

Like the polar bears.

And look where that got them.

“What’s so funny?” the girl asked, seeing Knox chuckle.

“Just thinking about polar bears,” he said and he reached over to squeeze her thigh.


Alex London

Alex London writes books for adults (One Day The Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War), children (Dog Tags series; An Accidental Adventure series) and teens (Proxy). At one time a journalist reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he is now a full time novelist living in Brooklyn, NY, where he can be found wandering the streets talking to his dog, who is the real brains of the operation.



Review: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss #1
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Published July 16th 2013 by Speak
Format Acquired: Paperback
Source: Purchased from National Book Store
Purchase Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository / National Book Store / Fullybooked

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome √Čtienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?

I admit to having a hard time writing a review for this books. This is one hell of an amazing read! It makes me want to learn French language! Stephanie Perkins is the Queen of Contemporary! I actually don't know who to focus on this book -- Anna or Etienne. This SHOULD be about Anna but as a girl, I can't help but make this book all about Etienne. Anna is such a lucky girl, living in a city of romance, meeting such a handsome British guy who is also fluent at French. Now, isn't that the perfect life?

I like Anna's character. The way she loves watching films and being always organized. Plus, the way readers like me can relate to her emotions and feelings. Especially when she met Etienne St. Clair! Oh my Etienne... He's such a hot and handsome guy (not the bad boy type though) in his own special way. He might be described as short, but who cares?! Everyone needs a friend like him, or more like a lover like him. I love how their friendship bloomed into something deeper and more beautiful kind of relationship. I love how they became honest to their feelings. I love everything in this book!

Just look at my reading progress. Oh, look at those ALL CAPS STATUSES. I think it'll sum up how much I love and squeal for this book while reading it.

Oh, and sorry for the spoilers on the pages above. ;)


Stephanie Perkins

Hi, there! I'm Steph, and I wrote ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, and ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. I also edited (and contributed a short story to) a romantic holiday anthology called MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME. My next YA novel will be horror—a teen slasher published by Dutton.

I don't check blog comments here on Goodreads, so if you want to make sure that I receive your message, please click over to my actual blog and leave it there: http://naturalartificial.blogspot.com


Review: RED AT NIGHT by Katie McGarry

Red At Night
by Katie McGarry
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Published April 1st 2014 by Harlequin Special Releases
Format Acquired: Kindle Edition
Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle
Purchase Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo

In Red at Night, Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She's the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He's a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella's favorite refuge…the local cemetery.
Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah's friends. Once he's sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won't have time for her anymore. Too bad she's already fallen for him.

I was so lucky to get a chance to have this while it was free on amazon. I love Katie McGarry's works (even though I haven't reviewed one, yet) so I didn't hesitate to one-click this.

Stella's favorite hangout place is the local cemetery. It might be spooky but it's where she finds peace and silence. And this is where she met Jonah, who happened to be friends with the kids who bullied her before, and well, Jonah didn't recognize her at first. That's when they started to hang out at the cemetery and they became like "secret" friends since Jonah doesn't mind his best friend, Cooper, to make fun of Stella in front of her. Whereas Jonah has his personal issues, a tragic experience that he can't move on, Stella was there for him.

Later on, they developed feeling for each other. This time, Jonah's no longer cool about Cooper making fun of Stella. But Stella was worried about how deep her feelings might be if they don't stop. She's got no plans on going to college and work instead.

Red At Night is full of feeling and emotions, if you might ask. This is a beautiful story but I it felt incomplete. There were times where my feelings were left hanging. Although this is an 84 pages novella, I think the author can still pull it off. I KNOW she can do better. I just hope she did. Anyway, I know other Katie McGarry fans will enjoy this!


Katie McGarry

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Author Links:


Review: THE START OF US by Lauren Blakely

The Start of Us
by Lauren Blakely
Series: No Regrets #0.5
Genre: New Adult Romance
Published November 24th 2013 by Lauren Blakely Books
Format Acquired: Kindle Edition
Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle
Purchase Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo

A new adult story of First Times. Last Times. Connections. And No Regrets...
I only wanted a tattoo. A mark on my body to remind me of who I used to be. Something to hold onto when I started my penance for all the things I’d done wrong, the bad choices I’d made by the time I turned nineteen. Instead, I found a night of possibility, of truth, of hope for the future. And the most intense physical connection I’ve ever had. 
The only one I’ve ever had, and one I will never forget.
When she walked into my tattoo shop, I knew she was like me. Harley had secrets. She had a messed-up past, and things she wanted to run from, or forget ever happened. I couldn’t let her go. So we agreed on one night – to spend it together wandering around the city, getting to know each other, the clock ticking because we knew tomorrow would bring an end to the possibility of an us.
Unless tonight was only the start.
How can one night be the start of something when tomorrow it has to end?

I've always wanted to get a tattoo but I'm still scared to get one. I'm scared of the pain the needles may bring, but I know it's part of it. I want a dream catcher (I know, too mainstream) but I've always wanted to catch my dreams. Remember them, whether they're good or bad. And if it's something good, I want to make them come true.

In this prequel to The Thrill Of It, Harley got her first tattoo, a ribbon. She walked in at the tattoo parlor of Trey, the cute and hot tattoo artist that would change her life from the day she met him. They were both attracted to each other the moment their eyes meant and this lead them to their sexy moments at the NYC train and back to Trey's place. The scenes were not that really "physical" if you know what I mean but they were already too hot to handle.

This is also the part where they were not yet ready to share each other's secrets but they know that they will soon. I have yet to read The Thrill Of It so I just feel bad that they consider their first night as their last as well. I want to know what will happen next!


Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely is an unabashed fan of clever jokes, toast, and good guys in novels. Like the heroine in TROPHY HUSBAND, she thinks life should be filled with hot men, cool clothes, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband and children, and spends her days writing both true stories and make-believe ones.

Author Links:
Website / Twitter / Goodreads



NOT MY CUP OF TEA is a feature on my blog where I show the books that I did not finish reading. Shameful, I know. I hate not finishing books I started reading. I feel like I'm betraying the author, as well as the characters. I feel terrible for not being able to appreciate someone's writing especially when a lot of people raves about it. But we should not waste our time on things that doesn't work out well with us, right? I mean, Hello? I still dream of finishing my TBR pile!

by Michael Grant
Series: Gone #1
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
Published 28th 2009 by Katherine Tegen Books
In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. Except for the young.
There are teens, but not one single adult. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...
Michael Grant's Gone as been praised for its compelling storytelling, multidimensional characters, and multiple points of view.

Obvsiously, I didn't like his multidimensional characters, and most of all, multiple points of view. The story is really intriguing, but it has a lot of characters, a lot of dialogues, which means a lot of names to remember and I can't. Some were gone in the next chapters (which made them irrelevant) They got mixed up in my head. 

Total read: page 168 of 558

by  Stephen Graham Jones, Paul Tremblay, and P.T. Jones
Genre: Young Adult ???
Published May 27th 2014 by ChiTeen
Things Mary doesn’t want to fall into: the river, high school, her mother’s life.
Things Mary does kind of want to fall into: love, the sky.
This is the story of a girl who sees a boy float away one fine day. This is the story of the girl who reaches up for that boy with her hand and with her heart. This is the story of a girl who takes on the army to save a town, who goes toe-to-toe with a mad scientist, who has to fight a plague to save her family. This is the story of a girl who would give anything to get to babysit her baby brother one more time. If she could just find him.
It’s all up in the air for now, though, and falling fast. . . .
Fun, breathlessly exciting, and full of heart, Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly is an unforgettable ride.

Three authors wrote this book? I'm sorry but the story is just so crappy. Here are some of my annotations while reading:

"Everything is so weird. No freak out moments when Liv saw the floating boy? Come on. We need some pinch of reality here."
"What's his name?!! Damnit. We can't just keep calling him floating boy!"
"Yes. This story is messed up."
"What the hell does that mean?!"

I would have given up during the first 20% but I gave it a chance. Sadly, it still failed. I was deceived by the pretty cover and the title.

Total read: 32%


Review: A WILL TO CHANGE by Beth Rinyu

A Will To Change
by Beth Rinyu
Series: Hope #2
Genre: New Adult Romance
Format Acquired: Kindle Edition
Source: Author (Thanks, Beth!)
Published June 14th 2014 by Beth Rinyu
Purchase Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository

* This is a companion novel to A Cry For Hope and can be read as a stand-alone. 
In A Cry for Hope you meet Jamie’s carefree younger brother, Will. Now read his story… 
Will McAdams is a New York City firefighter who has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, never quite measuring up to his parents standards. He lives his life without regrets, and answers to no one. The women love him and he uses that to his advantage, making it clear that he only has one use for them. 
Gabby Spencer is a nurse in the burn unit of a busy New York City hospital. Her guarded personality doesn’t allow many people into her life and her patients take the place of her lack of family. She masks the pain that she is harboring deep inside with quick wit and sarcasm. 
When Will becomes one of Gabby’s patients they form a special bond and soon become each other's solace. But Will doesn’t see her like every other woman in his life. She means the world to him and he feels an underlying need to always protect her – most of all from himself. Even though he wants her more than he’s ever wanted any other woman, he’s not willing to take that next step and jeopardize everything they have. When jealousy and pain begin to overtake their once perfect friendship, will Will's fear of falling in love and never measuring up, cause him to lose the one and only woman to ever own his heart? 

When did Beth Rinyu disappoint me with her books? Never. Yep, never. And this one? Such an amazing read. Again. This is not one of those instalove books that will give you a thousand questions on how everything happened in an instant. Plus, Beth Rinyu's characters were always so realistic that the readers can easily relate with them. I never had a hard time connecting with her characters. The feelings and emotions always flow instantly from the book unto me.

Will and Gabby's story is about a sweet friendship that gave way to a meaningful, true love. Will is a firefighter. A sexy firefighter that was brought to the hospital when he was injured during one of their missions. Gabby was the nurse who was assigned to look after Will during his stay at the hospital. Friendship bloomed between the two of them. They really had a great potential to be lovers, but there were two problems. Will doesn't do relationships, while Gabby had a boyfriend and she's living in with him.

"For the moment, they were all I need to temporarily help me block out some of the pain. Even though I had just met this girl, I already knew that she was an angel."
Gabby was being abused by her boyfriend, and Will just didn't want this to happen again. He can't let this continue. He helped Gabby get away from her ex, offering her to move in with him. No attachments. Not your typical friends with benefits kind of story. Just friends. Gabby hesitated at first but she had no choice so she gladly accept Will's offer. They had so much fun together. Well, I had so much fun with them. I really like the way they get along with each other. Looks like Gabby is my favorite woman among Beth's characters! She's funny, witty, sweet, caring, loving, and definitely knows how to handle awkward situations. She's the perfect woman every man needs.

"He would never be mine, not in the way I wanted him to be, and I wasn't sure how much longer my heart could handle being around him each day knowing this."
Mixed with family matters, Beth Rinyu once again proved how strong her characters are. How they can stand up with their own feet, be independent and show the world what it takes to be strong. This book will teach you that you can always make your own decisions and choices. Not because other people tell you that something is good for you means that you should do it. You'll always be the one who knows what'll be good for you and what will truly make you happy.

I just love A Will To Change. I love every chapter, from the beginning up to the ending. A story of family, friendship, love, hope, strength and courage -- this book has it all, all you need to fall in love.


Beth Rinyu

Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed Creative Writing. There was always something about being able to travel to a different place or become a different person with just the stroke of a pen - or in today's world a touch of the keyboard. I am the author of The Exception To The Rule, An Unplanned Lesson and Drowning In Love (releasing July 2013).

My life is not as interesting as my books or the characters in them, but then again whose life is? I was born and have lived in New Jersey my whole life. I'm a mom of twin teenage boys, a teenage stepson, a crazy Border Collie and a cat with an identity crisis! I guess you can say writing is my form of Calgon! I am married to a wonderful guy - but we'll keep that between us, I don't want him getting a big head! 

Thanks for taking the time to learn about my books and me! If you decide to read them (and I hope you do!) please be sure to go on and review it for me - yes, even if you don't like it!

Author Links:


Monthly Recap: JULY 2014

Well, hello to my first ever monthly recap! I haven't posted much lately. I've been busy doing some freelance stuff and looking for my first job. And just last week, I was hired and I knew then that I will be busier this time around. My job requires me to work 10 hours per day at the office, and I spend another 4 hours at home for research. I need to learn new stuff for work and I admit it's not easy. I try to read as much as I can before going to sleep and during my way to the office. And I plan to use my weekend for my social and blogging life.

Books read:


Reviews: When I Break by Kendall Ryan | No One's Hero by Kelly Walker
Waiting On WednesdayThe Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows | Queen of Someday by Sherry Ficklin
Book Tours: Vortex by S.J. Sincaid | Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
Release Day: Begin With Love by Kelly Walker

Book Signing Events: I met one of the most adorable authors, Stephanie Perkins! I love her books and we got the chance to receive an ARC of Isla and the Happily Ever After!

New Feature: I love editing and designing using Photoshop so I decided to make fab bookmarks out of my favorite book covers. Hence, the blog's new feature: Bookmarked!

Blog Events: I recently discovered this publishing house and decided to feature their books. I am so giddy to read Queen of Someday! I hosted the Clean Teen Publishing Week plus a giveaway of two books from CTP to two lucky winners!
Featured CTP books: Moonflower by Angela Townsend | Reluctant Guardian by Melissa Cunningham | The Power To See by Jennifer Anne Davis | Double Star by Cindy Saunders