Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

First Published May 8th, 2012
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
468 pages (Paperback)
Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.  (From Goodreads)
Second Chance Summer felt like your classic contemporary novel, dealing with love, loss and life, and that made it feel like a good summer read.

The plot is pretty basic and classic, about a girl having to confront her past while dealing with the pending death of her father.  Having recently dealt with the death of a close family member to cancer, I was instantly able to relate to Taylor.  It isn't easy to watch the ones you love slowly deteriorate.  If there was one flaw with the plot, it was the pace.  This is entirely personal, because we know that I love fact-paced novels.  This book is a lot slower in development, with Matson taking her time and really emphasizing the feelings Taylor experiences.  This isn't a flaw, it's just a matter of personal preference.

As far of characters go, none were overly remarkable, but they were all pretty good.  There was just enough back-story to make sense, and enough development to make the story flow well.  I found little pieces of Taylor in myself, and I think a lot of readers will too, especially those in their late teenage years.   Henry was an okay love interest that didn't overwhelm the deeper meaning of the story.  Taylor's father was a great character, who's little life lessons alone make this book worth the read.

This book has flashbacks.  If I have one major pet peeve in books, other than wimpy female protagonists, it is the flashbacks.  Good on Morgan Matson, because I didn't hate them here.  They were short, to the point, and integrated well.

If you're looking for a relatable contemporary read that deals with very real life events, Second Chance Summer is a good book.  Even if you're like me and enjoy a faster pace, this book has something that will pull everyone's heartstrings.

Much love, Samantha


"Waiting On" Frigid

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I am excited for...

For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love. 

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have. 
But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one. (From Goodreads)
Here's a dose of NA for y'all on this fine Wednesday!  This is still a thing, right?  Regardless, I can't resist a book by JLA.  Hands-down one of my favourite authors, and I have yet to read something by her that I didn't like.  Also, snow makes things better (unless it is late May in Canada, because that does happen).  Frigid will be released as an eBook July 30th, 2013.  Not an eBook person?  The print version will be released later this year.

What are you waiting on?

Much love, Samantha


Top Ten Freebie Week!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Book Habits That Many Won't Approve Of

It's freebie week and my creative side is not in high gear right now.  I was inspired by the countless bloggers who have Book Blogger Confession-style posts, so here is a list of things that I can see some of you scolding me about...
  1. I read in the bath.
  2. I read while drinking.
  3. I read while eating.
  4. One time, I left a book in the backseat of my car for so long that the pages all turned orange, but I kind of love it!
  5. I have an intense dislike for my local library.  It's very conservative and lacks anything interesting.
  6. I will DNF a book really fast if I don't feel like I'm getting into the story.
  7. I always bring a book to work, which would be fine if I didn't work around food and grease.
  8. I will throw a book if it makes me mad or brings out any sort of intense/crazy emotions.
  9. I have loaned out books before, forgotten who I gave them to, then never got them back (Impulse by Ellen Hopkins hurts the most).
  10. I currently have about 5 books on the go.  I usually try to finish one before I start another, but I haven't really gotten into anything lately.
Now it is your turn!  Share your awful book a habits!

Much love, Samantha


Review: Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published April 4th, 2013
Spencer Hill Press
360 pages (Paperback)
Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.
Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.  (From Goodreads)
I'm pretty sure JLA is a superhero.  Or a god.  She's something extraordinary.  I don't think she is capable of writing something that I don't like.

Apollyon was everything I wanted.  Snark and action make me very happy, and with a badass couple leading it all, you will too!

The characters don't disappoint.  Alex remains tough as nails, although we do see more of her vulnerable side.  Aiden continues to be stoic and beyond perfect, but we get to see him be vulnerable too.  Seth is still that character that you want to hate, but hope can turn it around (unless you're Team Seth, in which case I do not understand your perspective).  I also really enjoyed Apollo, Marcus and someone who shall remain unnamed because spoilers (highlight if you dare {CALEB!}).

Apollyon broght even more of the Greek mythology to the table and I love it.  The intricacy and depth of Greek mythology adds another layer to this series, and sets t apart from anything else I have been picking up lately.

I love this series and I love this book.  The romance, mythology, action and drama make for a great read.  Be prepared for a suspenseful ending though, and a rough wait for the series finale, Sentinal, in December November 2013.

Much love, Samantha


Book Review: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

Published March 16th, 2010
Simon Pulse
210 pages (Hardcover)
Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don’t like your best friend’s boyfriend.

Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He’s easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he’s paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna’s boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah’s best friend.

Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she’s thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It’s wonderful... and awful.
Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can’t stop herself from wanting more... (From Goodreads)
I've got several issues with this book.  While it was a quick and light read, it fell way below my expectations, which weren't that high to start with.

I think The Unwritten Rule would have made a great novella.  Half of the book felt like filler.  Get rid of the filler, keep the main plot of girl-likes-boy, boy-likes-girl, abusive-BFF-in-the-middle and we're getting somewhere.

This book needed some humour.  Or action.  Or anything really.  Ryan added a little bit of humour at points, but not enough.  I started finding moments that really shouldn't have been funny hilarious.  For me, this is generally a sign that I'm really not committed to the story.

The characters also lack a significant amount of basic details.  If any of them were ever described in any detail, I missed it.  Yet, we have all this back story and flashbacks that felt unnecessary.

I think a younger audience may enjoy this book much more than I did.  It is a quick read, but overall, didn't grab me at all.

Much love, Samantha


"Waiting On" Allegiant

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I am excited for...
One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent. (From Goodreads)
Normally I like to chose a book with an actual synopsis for this meme.  However, I'm running short on time this week (got to love when your coworker quits and you have to cover her hours plus your own and your summer class...), so I'm picking the obvious!  I am pumped for this one.  Insurgent had an ending that was part cliffhanger, part meh and I really want to see how this series plays out.  The long, and I mean looong wait is over on October 22nd, 2013.

What are you waiting on?

Much love, Samantha


Book Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Published July 31st, 2012
Harlequin Teen
392 pages (Hardcover)
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. (From Goodreads)
Holy crap, this book is good!  Why did I not read it sooner?

Both Echo and Noah are battling some personal demons that I cannot even begin to fathom, and that's what makes this story so amazing.  They fight adversity and find strength in one another and it is beautiful.  Both characters are very well written, as are many of the secondary characters (although I still don't understand Grace's problem.  Geez girl, you are conceited...).

There has been a lot of hype over this book, and it earned every bit of it.  I found the story touching and enjoyable, barely able to set it down.  If you haven't read Pushing The Limits yet, you should before Dare You To (Beth's story!!!) gets released May 28th.

Much love, Samantha


Book Review: Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Published April 30, 2013
374 pages (Paperback)
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? (From Goodreads)
There are no words for my love of this series.  It's just great.  I read this book so fast, I don't even know how to review it.  Therefore, I'm just going to list some stuff I liked...

  • All the characters.  ALL OF THEM!
  • Romance!
  • Drums!
  • Kissing!
  • Heartbreak!
  • More kissing!
  • Surprise twists that I absolutely did not see coming!
  • Laughter!
  • More kissing!
  • Drama!
  • An ending that wasn't too cliffhanger-y but suspenseful enough that I am amped for the next book!
*deep breath* Okay, just trust me on this one.

Much love, Samantha


"Waiting On" Isla and the Happily Ever After

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I am excited for...
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.
Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new. (From Goodreads)
Last week I decided to read Anna and the French Kiss (I finally get the Etienne hype).  Then I had to read Lola and the Boy Next Door.  Now I am impatient over this book!  I can't wait to learn more about Isla and Josh, and see how this story plays out on September 13th, 2013 (why so far away?!?).  I'm also in LOVE with this cover redesign, and plan on re-purchasing the first two with the new covers!  That's big, because I usually just settle for mismatching books...

Much love, Samantha 


Book Review: Lover At Last by J.R. Ward

Published March 26th, 2013
NAL Hardcover
591 pages (Hardcover)
Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.
Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one. (From Goodreads)
My love for the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels is no secret.  They have found their way onto almost every top ten list ever.  When I found out book 11 was going to finally be about Blay and Qhuinn, I was pumped.

I hate to have to admit how disappointed I was with this book.

I know that Ward was trying to set up for the next few books, but Lover At Last felt like it was lacking in pretty much everything.

I want to make it clear that my opinion has nothing to do with the fact that this romance involves two males.  I'm all for it, and had been anxiously awaiting this story.  There has been so much build up to this story, and I don't think that hype helped at all.

The book lacked action, which is what the series is built on.  It somehow tried to follow more of a dramatic path, but stumbled a lot.  There were also way too many plot lines going on.  You've got Blay and Qhuinn's story, plus everthing going on with Qhuinn and Layla.  Then add a new plot involving the shadow Trez (which left a lot of questions, and I would suspect a future book).  Plus Assail is still around, now with his very own stalker/assassin.  And don't forget Xcor and the Band of Bastards.  There was just too much happening, but nothing happening at the same time, if that makes sense.

While Lover At Last didn't meet my expectations, I still love this series and will still recommend it to everyone.  It's clear Ward has some good stuff planned for the future, and you know I will be devouring it.

Much love, Samantha
PS. It was announced that book 12, The King, would be another book about Wrath and Beth.  I could not be happier about this.  Expected publication is March 25th, 2014.


Book Review: With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent

Published March 26th, 2013
377 pages (Paperback)
What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America? It's time to kick some hellion butt...

After not really surviving her junior year (does "undead" count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.
But then she meets Wrath and understands that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can't save everyone she loves without risking everything she has... (From Goodreads)
I'm sad to see this series come to a close, but Rachel Vincent has given us a great ending to Kaylee's story.  With snarky characters and lots of action, this series goes down as a personal favourite of mine.

I absolutely love these characters, but two stood out to me: Tod and Sabine.  Tod is just perfect.  He made me cry twice with his epic monologues of love!  Seriously, you can't not swoon over this guy.  Sabine, on the other hand, is the perfect fiery ball of snark.  I love her no-bullshit attitude, and find her the most interesting to read.  Watching her grow through the series has been great, and part of the reason the I love this series so much.

A lot had to be jammed into this book in order to conclude the series.  At times, this created a slight problem for me.  Parts of the story got a bit too slow for my tastes.  It needed to be done, but still.

This series is jammed full of action and drama, and that makes for a great story.  If you haven't given the Soul Screamer books a chance, I recommend doing so.  Rachel Vincent is an awesome story teller.  I can't wait to give this series a reread in the future!

Much love, Samantha


Book Review: Icons by Margaret Stohl

Published May 7th, 2013
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
448 pages (Hardcover)
Your heart beats only with their permission.
Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.
Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts -- in order to save the future. (From Goodreads)
The idea behind Icons is fantastic.  Aliens have taken control of Earth.  Great, I love dystopian.  I like aliens.  We're all set.  Unfortunately, I don't feel that that fantastic idea panned out.

The world that was created was very confusing.  Some parts were explained thoroughly  while others weren't.  Events were mentioned without any explanation whatsoever, yet it still felt like a ton of the book was dedicated to world-building.  It got confusing and frustrating trying to make sense of everything.

Dol wasn't my favourite characters ever.  In fact, she might be one of my least favourite characters ever.  She was scatterbrained and confusing and didn't make me want to read the book.  The rest of the characters were fine.  I actually really enjoyed Ro, Lucas and Tima.  I also enjoyed the "superpower" aspect of the story, and the way that was ingrained with their personalities.

World-building was this book's downfall.  There were just too many question and too few answers.  Maybe future books will remedy this, but for now, I am left unsatisfied.

Much love, Samantha


"Waiting On" Siege and Storm

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I am excited for...
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm. (From Goodreads)
I'm so pumped for this book.  I love the characters and the world and can't wait to give this book a read.  Siege and Storm is set for release June 4th, 2013.  I'm so excited that I want to say something about the characters and can't think of anything.  There are no words.  Just... get excited everyone.

Much love, Samantha


Top Ten Light + Fun Books I Haven't Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Books When You Need I Would Pick Up If I Wanted Something Light and Fun

Guys, I don't do light and fun.  I do intense and crazy.  As much as I love a cute, romantic story, I dig action too.  Therefore, I changed up the topic a little bit.  These are the books I haven't read before, but would pick up if I was in the mood for light and fun!

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
[Insert Your Favourite Here] by Sarah Dessen
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty
[Again, Take Your Pick] by Jennifer Echols
Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard

So guys, how did I do?  Do y'all recommend actually tackling any of these?

Much love, Samantha


Book Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Published December 17th, 2012
327 pages (eBook)
Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.
Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.  (From Goodreads)
I don't even know what to say right now.  While not my favourite read ever, Hopeless was pretty amazing.  And by amazing I mean destructive.  And by destructive I mean I cried so f**king much.

When I first started this book, I was thinking that it would be like every other NA novel I've read.  While I loved how blatantly honest the characters were, I couldn't help but be distracted by some of the names.  Who names their child Seven?  Who changes their name from Seven to Six?  I just don't understand.

The dialogue sold this book.  I mentioned the honesty in this story.  The dialogue didn't feel scripted and the characters just said what was on their mind.  Sometimes that meant ridiculous run-on sentences but it was nice.  Call me crazy, but I could feel the emotions flowing out of my eReader.

Then things got crazy and my emotions went wild.  The tears were rolling and I just wanted to grab Holden and Sky and give them a giant hug.  I was crying right along with them.

I can't think of anyone I wouldn't recommend Hopeless to, but be ready for all the emotions.  And suspense.  And more emotions.  Totally worth it though.

Much love, Samantha
PS. Not an eBook person?  The paperback will be out on May 7th, 2013 by Atria Books!


April Favourites

It's May, which is a time of birthdays in my family and the actual start of spring where I live.  April wasn't a fantastic month, so the list of favourite things is short but mighty!

Favourite Read: It's a tie between Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins!  Both were made with awesome (reviews for both will be coming soon)!

Favourite Song: It's Time - Imagine Dragons

Favourite TV Show: Deadliest Warrior.  I spent my exam period watching this non-stop on Netflix.  Violence makes studying better...

Favourite Way To Procrastinate: Deadliest Warrior, packing to move home, Frisbee  distracting my roommates, YouTube, food.  Basically anything to avoid studying.

Favourite Caffeinated Beverage: Caramel Macchiato (again...)

Favourite Thing to Look Forward to About May: The weather improving (April still means snow where I live) and catching up with old friends.

Much love, Samantha


Book Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Liani Taylor

Published November 6th, 2012
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
517 pages (Hardcover)
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream? (From Goodreads)
I didn't like it as much as the Daughter of Smoke & Bone (review), but Days of Blood & Starlight is still a great book and awesome sequel!

This time around, the focus is mainly on the fictional world of Eretz.  While I missed Prague as a setting, the world was well developed and complex.  Thankfully, my hardcover copy included a map!

I had a hard time picturing many of the Chimera, which is likely more of a poor imagination fault rather than a character fault.  Some of the Chimera are quite complicated.  I basically ended up picturing whatever I felt like creating in my head, but that was really my only issue with the book.

I love all the characters, and while I would have liked to shake Karou a little, they developed well.  Akiva and Karou had a roller coaster adventure here.  Maybe that will mean a little more kissing in book three?  The relationship between Zuzana and Mik was just too adorable.  They added a needed humour to the story.

Days of Blood & Starlight had death and lies and betrayal and all that fun stuff that gets you so entwined in the novel that putting it down becomes a monumental task.  However, I did find that some spots started to drag a little.  Ultimately, we are set up for what is bound to be a crazy third book!

Much love, Samantha


"Waiting On" The Bitter Kingdom

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I am excited for...
Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most. Riveting, surprising, and achingly romantic, Rae Carson has spun a bold and powerful conclusion to her extraordinary trilogy. (From Goodreads)
I am still not over the ending of The Crown of Embers (review).  It was one of those endings that I will remember forever and never be okay with.  It's also making the wait for The Bitter Kingdom impossible.  Rae Carson, you are cruel and I adore you for it.

If you haven't read this series yet, you've got time before the August 27th, 2013 release.  But be warned of the torturous ending.  I'm now thinking waiting would have been a smarter move...

Much love, Samantha