Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Book Review: Don't Hate The Player.. Hate The Game by Katie Ashley

For Noah Sullivan being the best friend to a douchebag and player like Jake Nelson has never been easy. It's been a rocky road since kindergarten when Jake duct taped Noah to his chair before recess. With just six weeks to high school graduation, Jake accidentally blows his drunken ass up on his grandfather's tractor, and Noah finds himself immersed not only in a whirlwind of grief, but on a quest to find a mystery girl from Jake's past. 

While cleaning out Jake's room, Noah and Jake's dad make a startling discovery. Instead of the obligatory porn collection or pot stash, they find a ring, but not just any ring. Its half a carat of commitment in a platinum setting-proving even man whores have taste. After Jake's mom pleads with Noah to find the girl who meant so much to Jake, Noah begins a modern day Grail quest to track the girl down. Since Jake was a notorious player with a legendary collection of trophy panties, Noah finds himself in over his head. 

There are the usual suspects like Avery, the Ice Princess Jake dated for appearances, or Presley, the school mattress Jake dated for convenience. But the trail begins to point to the most unlikely of suspects: Maddie, the Valedictorian and choir girl who was trying to help the unmotivated jock graduate--the girl who also has surprisingly caught Noah's eye and meddled with his heart. Hanging out with Maddie shows Noah a different side of Jake--one that was deeply human and surprisingly douche-free. And the more he tries to solve the mystery of the ring and of Jake, the more Noah starts to discover about himself and of love.

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"People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive.  It is as though they were traveling abroad."  ~Marcel Proust

Well, what can I say? Don't Hate The Player... Hate The Game is beautifully written. It was an amazing book. It had me crying from the start until the end. I was easily attached with the main character -Noah Sullivan, who lost his best friend, Jake from a tragic accident.

"Jake? Come on, Jake? Answer me you sorry ......! Tell me you being dead is just a joke you're pulling to keep from getting in trouble for skipping out today. Please Jake..."

I got emotional. Noah is in denial stage. How on earth could you overcome the grief and the pain that comes with it when there is so much to do and so much left unsaid? Jake's death was too sudden and too shocking. He left so soon. Noah and his friends shared the initial reaction of utter shock and disbelief. The hardest part is the realization that Jake would no longer be around for everything else.

"Don't be ashamed of your emotions, Noah. Experience them and embrace them. They're what makes us alive and strong"

This book has an emotional impact that once you got started, it’s hard to put it down. It’s an eye-opener. You could feel the sadness, heartache, drama, denial, hate, love, compassion, hope, acceptance and healing. Truly, losing the one you care so much your whole life in an instant is gut wrenching and heart breaking. You must grieve in your own way. If you want to cry, cry. If you need to talk, talk. There's nothing wrong in showing your emotions. It will help you to accept everything and you will be filled with sense of healing and desire to move on.

"This Bible will show you that no matter what happens with him, you're whole"

Reading this will remind you that when you're in your lowest point in life and you realized that the human solutions won't do, there is someone up there whom you could always turn to. Just believe, feel and see.

"It was true that time healed all wounds, but it didn’t quite mend a broken heart"

Eventually, everything will turn out well. Through that you'll be able to heal and truly accept everything that has happened. So never rush yourself into being "okay".

"You’ve been my beacon of light in my storm of grief, and I don’t know if I could live without you."
"You mean everything to me—you saved me from the darkness and brought me to the light. And I can’t imagine a future without you in it. I intend on spending the rest of my life with you."

If there is something that I've learned upon reading this book is that never ever waste a single moment telling and showing the ones you love how much you appreciate and love them. Life is too short. You'll never know what will happen next.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a good read. I'm sure; you'll love it as much as I do. I was completely drawn into it. Kudos to Katie Ashley who did a brilliant job in this gorgeous novel. I was smiling after I finished this knowing that I gained some valuable life lessons while reading it.

This book deserves a 

Katie Ashley is the New York Times Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Veronica Mars, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.
With a BA in English, a BS in Secondary English Education, and a Masters in Adolescent English Education, she has spent the last eleven years teaching both middle and high school English. As of January 2013, she is a full-time writer. She also writes Young Adult under her real name, Krista Ashe.
You can stalk Katie Ashley here:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Review: Blurred (Kissed by Death, #2) by Tara Fuller

Cash is haunted by things. Hungry, hollow things. They only leave him alone when Anaya, Heaven’s beautiful reaper, is around. Cash has always been good with girls, but Anaya isn’t like the others. She’s dead. And with his deteriorating health, Cash might soon be as well.

Anaya never breaks the rules, but the night of the fire she recognized part of Cash’s soul—and doomed him to something worse than death. Cash’s soul now resides in an expired body, making him a shadow walker—a rare, coveted being that can walk between worlds. A being creatures of the underworld would do anything to get their hands on.

The lines between life and death are blurring, and Anaya and Cash find themselves falling helplessly over the edge. Trapped in a world where the living don’t belong, can Cash make it out alive?

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This is the first paranormal novel that I've read and it didn't disappoint. I enjoyed reading Blurred. It’s beautifully written.It's fast pacing and engaging that I wasn't able to stop reading until I finished it. I love the twist and turns and the suspense it brings.

I was attached with Cash, the main character. I loved how Tara Fuller depicted his character. It felt real. It made my heartache knowing that he's in pain and can't do anything to ease it and protect him from whatever the hell is going on around him. Oh, and Anaya, too! She’s too perfect for my imagination. The girl who would do anything and everything for the one she loves. I swear, she’s unbelievable.

I absolutely love the plot it’s intriguing. It took me to a different world and gave me a concept of the afterlife. Fuller's interpretation of Heaven, Hell and Inbetween is clearly expressed. Going to Hell will be my worst nightmare. Ever. *but if Easton will be there to get me,then I might reconsider. Haha..

"For once in my life, I know exactly what I'm saying. I've never felt like this about anyone. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this isn't going to work with me alive and you dead. It isn't going work if I'm in Heaven and you're in Hell. There is only one option that gives us a chance. I feel like I've been waiting for you for a thousand years,I’m taking that option" 

Cash and Anaya's story is beautiful. Love will surely make you do crazy things. You'll sacrifice everything even your own life and nothing can come between the two of you even death.

I would definitely recommend Blurred. Its different and enjoyable read. For those who love paranormal stories, this one is for you. The ending left me wanting for more. Do I need to wait for a thousand years to hear from Cash and Anaya again? Oh gods, I hope NOT. Looking forward to book 3.

This book deserves a 

*eARC is provided by the publisher in exchanged for an honest review.

Tara Fuller writes novels. Some about grim reapers. Some about witches. All of course are delightfully full of teen angst and kissing. Tara grew up in a one stop light town in Oklahoma where once upon a time she stayed up with a flash light reading RL Stine novels and only dreamed of becoming a writer. She has a slight obsession with music and a shameless addiction for zombie fiction, Mystery Science Theater, and black and white mochas. Tara no longer lives in a one stop light town. Now she lives with her family in a slightly larger town in North  Carolina where they have at least three stoplights.
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Book Review: The Photo Traveler by Arthur Gonzalez

Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”

Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it. 

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin Hillstone, life will never be the same.

You can purchase The Photo Traveler on 

WOW!!! Just WOW!! Photo traveling at its BEST! (How cool is that?) I never thought that I would LOVE this, it was FAR BETTER than I expected. It conveys a lot of emotions. I caught myself smiling, laughing, crying, getting pissed and feeling nervous at times. I was trying to figure out what will happen to the main character but boy, I failed! It was hard to guess because the story HAS A LOT OF TWIST AND TURNS. I love the MYSTERIOUSNESS and all that. I'm glad Mr. Gonzalez puts some historical details in it, I love the SALEM WITCH TRIAL. It was so VIVID. I was so engrossed while reading that part (that for one moment I wanted to go there and kick Gavin's ass! What the hell is he thinking?)

When I started reading this, for some reason, I couldn't put it down. I was deeply moved by the story. There is this one particular chapter that really HIT me. I CAN'T STOP MYSELF FROM CRYING! I swear, it broke my heart (and remembering it, makes me want to burst out again). I had made a STRONG connection in each character especially to Gavin. I could feel the weigh on his shoulders. I wanted to help him (if only I could).

I'M INLOVE WITH THIS BOOK AND I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THIS (even if I'm not a young adult. But who cares, anyway?) It keeps me wanting for more. (Imagine my reaction when I found out that the second book is still in progress) I can't wait for the second installment. I know it will answer all my questions.

This book deserves a 

THE PHOTO TRAVELER is young adult author Arthur J. Gonzalez's first novel. Arthur was born and raised in Miami surrounded by his loud Cuban family. He graduated from the University of Florida, where he acquired his coffee obsession and his chocolate hoarding antics. He's the proud father of one baby girl, Sookie—his miniature schnoodle dog. Arthur is a self-professed goofball who spends 98% of his life laughing. He's now working on his second novel.

You can stalk Arthur Gonzalez here:
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