Duality (Melancholia – Volume 1)
The first book in Elle Casey’s Melancholia series is out today. The title is Duality and the book is (in my opinion) one of her best. I was happy to devour the book in just a few hours as I was given an ARC yesterday. I’m not going to give a long, detailed review because I simply don’t want to spoil this book for anyone and it is going to be really hard not to post spoilers. I’m going to try though.
Malcolm’s had a problem for as long as he can remember. No matter where he goes or what he does, he leaves misery in his wake. Sadness and negativity are his constant companions, influencing others around him until they cannot bear to live.
But then Rae shows up in his life, and everything changes. Darkness cleaves to light. Anger yields to joy. The question is whether she’ll be his salvation or his destruction.
Duality switches back and forth between the point of view of Malcolm and Rae. The two are as different as night and day but both want the same thing—a normal life. Malcolm is known as a ghost in his school, the boy that never talks to anyone or participates in anything. Something about him brings misery to people in a way that causes harm. And then Rae comes into his school as a new girl and everything changes. Rae is different too, but not like him. She has had just a hard of life as he has though. Coming into the new school, she is shocked to make a few friends in Kootch and Jasmine and to be so drawn to Malcolm. Full of Miserables, Rainbows, and Neutrals (Got you wondering now, huh?), Duality is a book that will have you turning the pages as quickly as you can, alternating between laughter and tears and back again.
Elle shocked even me, a die-hard Elle fan girl, with this book. It was so unlike her others, but kept with her same style. I loved Malcolm, Rae, Kootch, and Jasmine. Malcolm instantly hit the book crush equation and Kootch had me rolling on the floor laughing. He was so funny. Rae was unlike any of Elle’s other heroine’s and yet she was exactly what the book needed. Jasmine reminded me of someone and I definitely liked her vibe. The high school antics and even the unbelievable situations seemed believable. I believe that Elle hit a home run with this book and that this is one that nobody wants to miss. It was so original, refreshing, and funny—while at the same time tugging at your heartstrings and having you aching inside for them all. Don’t miss this one! I give Duality 5 STARS and would give it so much more if I could.
One of my favorite quotes from the book:
“You’ve got two seconds to get your head out of your colon before I twist your scrotum off and make earrings out of your beanbags.” Jasmine
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REVIEW BY CASSIE HOFFMAN
Word and Breath by Susannah Noel
What would you do if your life was turned upside down and your sister was kidnapped, how far would you be willing to go? That is what Riana will find out in Word and Breath.
Riana Cole a twenty-two-year-old reader who stays to herself and takes care of her handicapped sister and lives a quiet life. A life she prefers to stay just like that. She had to learn the lesson the hard way by watching her family killed, because they were too rebellious by challenging the Union. So she tries to not bring any attention to her and that is the way she likes it.
Riana is a “Reader”. What is a Reader you ask? Since the world we have known is now changed after the Cataclysm a few centuries ago. With the new society came the Union, which provided stability the people were craving. With everything changed, reading was discouraged with other things and that is how the Union likes it. Only a few can read and with that talent Riana is a few of the people who shuffle through papers to find clues that the “Front” have put in them. It could range from a menu, card, newspaper you name it. You just never know where the clue might be and that is Riana’s job to find them.
After a bad day at work, it only gets worse for Riana when she is mugged—thankfully there was someone to help her and that person is Mikel. There is a reason he was there just at the right time. Mikel was sent to sniff out if she is a trader to the Union. Will he decisive and betray Riana, to top it off Mikel is a Soul-Breather, but Riana doesn’t know that fact yet. Trying to get information from Riana, by touching her skin and every time he touches her, she feels a spark. Finally she is opening up to someone of the opposite sex, well anyone at all since her friend Conner disappeared and now Mikel was hired to pretend to like her….Or will he fall for her??
Soon one of Riana’s colleagues, Jenson, confides in Riana and lets her know he is a part of the Front and ask if she wants to join since she is mainly the only one left who knows the Old Language. Is he crazy!? She has lived a quiet life and stayed under the radar. Will she take the opportunity Jenson has offered her, or turn him in?
Everything Riana has known will be turned upside down and shaken, when her sister Jannie disappears, without a trace. There is no clue to what happen to her. Who would do this and why?
With her life possibly in danger, Riana has to go in hiding and hopefully she will be able to find her sister and figure out why this has all happen? I know why but you will have to wait. Tee hee hee!
If not having to worry about finding her sister isn’t enough, Riana gets a HUGE surprise when she finds out her friend Connor is alive and well. He went underground and is a big part of the Front. Connor has been gone for years; will she be able to forgive him?
Mikel is also battling his own self, because he is now falling for Riana and will do anything he possibly can to protect her from the people who hired him to go after her.
Will Riana be able to rescue her sister with the help of both Mike and Connor and what will she do with the new knowledge she has discovered she possesses? In the end will a Soul-Breather and Riana fall in love and for once in her life will she have more than her sister in it? I guess you will just have to see
Word and Breath is a great read. It’s in the genre of Dystopia, plus a little romance and maybe a bit Paranormal and I usually don’t prefer these kind of reads, but this book sucked me right in from the beginning. I wanted to know what was going on and find out FAST! The author knows how to write and spin a story that will keep her readers wanting more. I loved all the characters in the book,, they each brought their own little spice to the book and I enjoyed how she had it where it wasn’t coming just from one person’s point of view, that part I thought was really neat. Plus throw in there a love story and you got a great book. I am excited to see where she goes in the next, you will understand once you’ve read it…I don’t want to give too much away. I give this book 4 STARS!!!
Quotes from the Book:
“She deserves to know the truth. It’s not just politics and cover maneuverings. We’re talking about the difference between truth and lies. I don’t like seeing her every day, talking to her, and being forced to keep her in the dark about something so important.”- Jenson
“I don’t want you to be that person. I just want you to be you.”- Riana
“You have no idea what my life was like before. I’m not a good man, and I can’t be like Connor, always trying to make the world better. But, if you want to help him, if you want to do something good, then I want you to do that. I’m not about to let you go. The only good in my life—the only good I’ve ever known—is you.”- Mikel
Susannah Noel on Facebook:
*REVIEW BY DELIA REMINGTON*
Deadly Kisses by Kerri Cuevas
Aiden Grant is a seventeen-year-old Grim Reaper, and he’s pretty satisfied with the job, ferrying souls in his gondola and answering to his boss, former President Abraham Lincoln. But when his next assignment is to reap the soul of Bee (Beatrice), the only girl he ever loved, his entire afterlife plan is turned upside down.
Unexpectedly, his fatal kiss doesn’t work, leaving their souls linked. Bee turns out to have some special powers, including being able to see grim reapers, making Aiden’s job even harder. Plus, there are his lingering feelings for her getting in the way. And to top it off, the ancients want to use Bee’s powers for themselves.
Aiden has seven days to sort things out, and he’ll have to choose between her soul and his own.
As a paranormal YA book, Deadly Kisses was refreshing, full of surprises, poignant, and at times laugh-out-loud funny. Kerri Cuevas has created strong and fascinating characters, and her narrative style is captivating. As I read,I was reminded of the television show, Dead Like Me, but the attention to detail and deep understanding of human nature made this novel much more engaging. This book has the right balance of love story and action, making it a killer combination.
I give this book five stars!
Quotes from the Book:
“Hope you enjoyed your ride on my rig of death. Please exit on the right and have a golden lovely day. Don’t come back now.”
“I just wanted to get her death over with, but when I saw how she looked bundled up in a rose blanket with her black hair framed against her face, she wasn’t any girl. She was Sabrina’s cousin, and the girl I had always loved.”
“Let’s get one thing straight, death boy.” She poked me in the chest and jabbed a rib bone. “I’m going to set the rules here. Got it?”
About the Author:
Kerri Cuevas was born and raised in Rhode Island. She moved to New Hampshire with her husband, three kids, cats and a rabbit named Hercules in 2005. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing chickens on her small farm or searching for the ultimate mac-a-cheese recipe.
Kerri went to college for Early Childhood Education but now writes books for young adults full-time. Her storytelling stems from watching too many horror flicks as a teen, but she no longer needs to sleep with the lights on.
REVIEW BY MARLENA FEIN
Synopsis of Wander Home by Karen Wyle-
Death is what you make it. . .
Eleanor never wanted to leave the daughter she loved so much. The overpowering urge to wander — to search, without knowing what she sought — drove her away. She left little Cassidy in her family’s loving care. But Cassidy and the others died in an accident before Eleanor could find her way home.
Now, they are all reunited, in an afterlife where nothing is truly lost. Places once loved may be revisited; one may be any age suitable to the mood and moment; memories may be relived and even shared. Surely this is a place where they can understand and heal. And yet, the restlessness that shaped Eleanor’s life still haunts her in death. Somehow, she must solve the mystery of her life — or none of them will be at peace.
Have you ever wondered what life after death would be like? I know I have. This is one glimpse into someone’s imagination as to what happens when our living days on earth are over. What if we are able to be reunited with our loved ones and have a chance to make up our past wrongs? Would we grasp at that chance or lose it? Here is Eleanor’s chance to find herself with her family there to support her. I enjoyed this book even though it strayed out of my normal genre of reads. The afterworld she created sounded amazing and sucked me in to find out more. I wanted to know what they could do and how they could do it. The twist in the book is hard to explain without giving too much away. Basically, Eleanor never felt peace in her human life. She always feels unsettled and never able to be happy with one person. She left her daughter behind with her parents and grandma to help find the cause of her unrest. They all passed away (although we never find out how) and go to their afterlife. Eleanor follows not too long after. Once in her afterlife she starts having flashes and dreams of things that do not make any sense. She continues to delve into them until the mystery is clear.
What I LOVED-
I loved the idea of her world when we move on from our earthly form. If only we knew that it would be that way, I think it would take the fear out of passing on for most people.
What I LIKED-
Her writing style. It flowed very nicely and was edited amazingly well for a self-published book.
What I didn’t LIKE so much-
We never learned how the accident that caused Eleanor to lose all her loved ones in one moment occurred. Some were quite young, so I think if that had been cleared up, it would have appeased my curiosity.
“For now, she would be with the people she loved, and enjoy the day, until she had to dream again”
“He could stand like this forever, and never ask for anything better or more”
“She’d thought she believed it before, but now she felt the difference. This was the woman who had wanted her, wanted her to live; wanted it so badly that she had left the man she loved. left her own mother and father, left behind her memory and even her face in the mirror”
Overall Rating: 4 Stars.
I feel this book could be made into a Novella without sacrificing the story and make it a little more enjoyable read.
Would I purchase this book?
Probably not since it isn’t my normal genre
Did I enjoy it?
Would I recommend it to a friend?
Probably if they enjoy this genre
Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but moved every few years throughout her childhood and adolescence. After college in California, law school in Massachusetts, and a mercifully short stint in a large San Francisco law firm, she moved to Los Angeles, where she met her now-husband, who hates L.A. They eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University.
Wyle’s childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age ten, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age nine.
Wyle has been a voracious and compulsive reader as long as she can remember. Do not strand this woman on a plane without reading matter! Wyle was an English and American Literature major at Stanford University, which suited her, although she has in recent years developed some doubts about whether studying literature is, for most people, a good preparation for enjoying it. Her most useful preparation for writing novels, besides reading them, has been the practice of appellate law — in other words, writing large quantities of persuasive prose, on deadline, year after year.
Wyle and her husband have two intensely creative daughters, the older of whom introduced Wyle to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), for which she will be forever grateful.
Amazon (Kindle): http://amzn.to/WeIrf9
Smashwords (various ebook formats): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/239628
Amazon (paperback): http://amzn.to/Z8fFj0
bn.com (paperback): http://bit.ly/TkulFu
KAREN HAS OFFERED TWO BOOKS FOR GIVEAWAY! TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY, ASK KAREN A QUESTION. IT CAN BE ABOUT THIS REVIEW, BOOKS, WRITING…
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Review by Cassie Hoffman
REVIEW OF ‘DEAD GIRL’ BY B.C. JOHNSON
Going on you very first day with the boy of your dreams shouldn’t end with you being killed. Right?!?
Lucy Day a fifteen-year-old sophomore at Atlanta High school and is your average teenager. She has a massive crush on a boy name Zack and has two best friends, Morgan and Wanda.
Lucy is finally going on her first date EVER and with her dream boy, Zack. Her date should have ended the textbook way. Boy walks you to your door, and gives you a goodnight kiss that makes you have butterflies in your tummy. Well that didn’t happen with Lucy.
Her first date she ended up being killed, or did she?
Getting separated from her friends, Lucy finds herself being chased by three-four guys and gets stuck at a dead-end of an alley. Lucy will not go down without a fight and that is what she gives him. With his friends looking on Lucy does her best to protect herself, but when he pulls out a revolver there is only so much you can do. Trying to wrestle her way from him, the gun goes off with a deafening sound.
Waking up the next day, YES waking up after being shot, Lucy has no scratch on her and is reeling from the night before. She will never be the same girl she was, a lot has changed in the last twenty-four hours. Noticing new things in the next few days as not having an appetite, to being freezing cold and not being tired. What is going on with her? Is she dead?
On top of everything Lucy is trying to figure out, there is a car that she keeps seeing and when she feels it, she gets a sense of something wrong and hides or runs. Who is in that car and what do they want with her. Lucy soon finds out who’s been following her. It is her own Grim Reaper coming to right the error that happen the night in the alley, and his name is Abraham.
Lucy learns there is a price of coming back from the dead, what is this price? Being forced to make one of the hardest decisions of her young life; a decision that could save the ones Lucy loves or could kill them.
What will Lucy choose? What will happen to Lucy? Will Abraham do what he is here for? Can Lucy go back to who she was before that faithful night? All those questions will be answered in Dead Girl.
I loved this book; Dead Girl is such a great read. At first it’s kinds of confusing, but soon you will get sucked into Lucy’s crazy world of the living on a thin line of being alive and dead. You will fall in love with Lucy; her character is a really snarky, comical girl. There are a lot of other characters in Dead Girl that helps make the book. The author keeps you guessing of what will happen next and have you asking, “What is going on”. This is definitely a book I would re-read again. It is such a great read and you will not be let down. Just give it a chance, because like I said in the beginning you will be a bit confused, but soon you will be saying “Ah ha”! I think you will be pleasantly surprised to read in the ending that the author is a man. I was. I just seen a man writing about a 15-year-old girl and he did a great job venturing into the world of us girls. I give ‘Dead Girl’ 4 stars and it’s such a great debut novel, BRAVO!!!
QUOTES FROM THE BOOK:
“You couldn’t go one week without becoming another Unsolved Mystery?”-Morgan
“I just walk around with a red cup filled with soda and act drunk.”-Lucy
“I can’t help it. That high you felt the last time I kissed you wasn’t just my incredible technique. I could hurt…I could make you forget everything you’ve ever…just, no, okay? Not until I figure it out?”-Lucy
“Takes all kinds, Lucy, you think you’re the only freak out there? I’ll tell you what I am. I’m your friend. Now let’s go upstairs and see if we can’t get a pillow fight started.”-Daphne
B.C. Johnson has been kind enough to offer a paperback (USA only) and a digital (International) copy of Dead Girl for giveaway. To enter this giveaway you MUST like B.C. Johnson’s Facebook page and leave a comment on this blog post with a question for him. Remember to click follow replies so that you can see the answer to your questions. Giveaway ends Dec 22, 2012 at 8 am CST.
Today I am going to be doing a double review on the Ele Series by Rebecca Gober & Courtney Nuckels. These books rocked my world, combining my love of paranormal with my recent passion of post-apocalyptic/dystopian. That is one combination you can’t beat. If you haven’t read the books only read the first review, that way I don’t spoil anything for you. The first book is FREE on Amazon and Smashwords and TWO lucky people will win a signed bookmark!
The book starts off with fifteen year old Willow waiting in a huge line with her family. Why? To be screened to see if they eligible to get into a shelter. Willow lives in a post-apocalyptic world which came from a “virus brought forth from a cure”. In trying to rid the world of disease they brought forth a super virus that has been killing people off at an alarming rate. Life as they knew it stopped, children were home schooled and people were afraid to leave their homes. The government implemented Project Ele, which is raising the temperature of the earth to exceedingly dangerous degrees in hopes that it will kill off the virus. The shelters were set up to protect human life, but you have to be healthy with no latent disease in you, and you have to pass rigourous screening to be let inside. Once inside the screening, Willow learns that her and her father are accepted…but the rest of the family is not. With her family torn apart, Willow enters the shelter. Inside life is totally different. Forced to work, Willow meets many kids inside that she connects with, one being her boss. Connor, Claire, and Alec become Willow’s rocks. Together the four of them decide to explore theirselves out of their boredom, finding WAY more than they baragained for. This book is filled with emotion, suspense, action, and a good dose of unique paranormal. I read this book in a day and was SO thankful that I already had book two in my hands. The cliffhanger at the end will have you begging for more. I’m not gonna say much more because I dont want to spoil it. Lets just say that I was suprised at the way the book turned out and that I have found a new pair of authors to love. The small grammatical errors did not detract from the story in my opinion. The book is just too good to care…and this is coming from an editor!
FREE ON AMAZON AND SMASHWORDS:
PAPERBACK: (NOT FREE)
FINDING ELE: BOOK 2
If you have not read book 1 DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW! This is gonna be a short review as I don’t want to spoil it for anybody. The cliffhanger from book one finds Willow on the outside, with more powers than one teenager should have, and a suprising reunion with a mother that is now a warrior. Life on the outside is full of danger. The Reapers are out to take lives and take powers. Stuck searching for her friends, not knowing if they are alive or dead, worrying that her mother’s people won’t accept her, learning how to protect herself in this new, scary world, and getting a hot bodyguard that wants to be more, has Willow’s head spinning. This was the perfect sequel to Project Ele. It had me on the edge of my seat, though I finished it in just a couple of hours. Left with yet another cliffhanger, I am dying for more!
Also check out their Night Marchers Series:
Today I have two beautiful, signed bookmarks to offer up for giveaway. They are double-sided, one side The Ele Series and one side The Night Marchers Series. To win one of these bookmarks all you have to do is LIKE the authors facebook page AND leave a comment telling me that you did ALONG WITH a question for Rebecca and Courtney. Extra entry for liking the Night Marchers (above) page as well.
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/EleSeries
Remember to follow the comments (a box you can check) to be notified to the answers to your questions!
Ends: 11/9/2012 @ 8 am CST