Thursday, 28 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry

I might be a little late with this, but here's the cover of the NA Romance Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry!



I'm so excited for this! I haven't read any of either Jolene's or Nyrae's previous books, but I definitely will soon. And this one sounds amazing!

Here's the synopsis - 

Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn't have a problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—deserve to party, right? Wrong. After taking a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska.

Hockey player Penny Jones can't imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who'll take care of her absent-minded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered with the new tenants next door.

Penny’s too hung up on another guy to deal with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.

Release date: August 6th 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Find Out of Play on:


Frost Fire Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway



I'm so excited to be a part of the Frost Fire blog tour! Thanks to Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours for organizing it :)
Frost Fire is written by Olivia Rivers, a high school student, and it's incredible how beautifully written it is for someone so young!


“Magic is just like love, Allai. It won’t wait for permission before it destroys you.” 

Like sand in an hourglass, Allai’s future is dwindling away. She’s spent her entire life fighting the Mages who threaten humanity, and dreams of someday eradicating magic. But all it takes is an anonymous phone call for the truth to spill out: Allai is the one thing she despises most.

She’s a Mage.

Though ancient law mandates Allai’s death, she still has one last chance of survival. His name is Drake Rhaize, and he swears he can lead Allai to a sanctuary for Mages. Allai hasn’t seen Drake in years, but she remembers him as the Demon boy who used to hold her close and softly whisper that he’d keep her safe. But Drake has changed since then: He’s now suspected of murder, and has been out-casted for betraying his own kind.

While Allai doesn’t trust Drake, she has no choice but to put her life in his hands and hope he can get her to safety. Because Allai’s father has hired a pack of Demons to bring her back to him, dead or alive–and Demons never stop the hunt. 




I’m not going to let anyone hurt you. Okay?
When I started reading this book, I honestly couldn't believe it was written by a high school student. But it's true - Olivia Rivers is I think about a year older than me, and she's written such an amazing book! Frost Fire is a fantastic paranormal read, and it's incredibly well paced. I loved the magic, the action, and the romance in it.

There were quite a few twists and turns in this book, and I loved that. Reading this book is like riding on a roller-coaster. There's a huge twist right at the end, and it left me reeling with shock. I felt a physical need for the sequel right after I finished the last page! The different paranormal creatures in Frost Fire intrigued me, and I was glad that they were original and not played out like vampires and werewolves.

Frost Fire is told in both Allai and Drake's points of view. To be honest, I didn't warm to Allai much in this book, because she spent most of it fainting and crying and in pain. Though I think that once she gets used to her magic, she'll be a really strong protagonist, and I can't wait to see that in the next book. Allai is very determined, and she's extremely brave, too. But she also makes pretty rash decisions. In fact, there are a few things she did that I wanted to knock her over the head for. I do hope she learns from her mistakes, though. I liked her unwavering faith in Drake, and her refusal to believe that he could ever harm her. She's really trusting of him, but with good reason. He was always there for her when they were kids, and he swore to always protect her.

Okay that brings me to Drake. I loved reading from his perspective, because he's such a complex character. He's a tortured guy, torn between wanting to save Allai and wanting to become something good, something better than what his father is. He realizes that he can do both, but that it won't be easy. Drake is on his way to becoming the most powerful demon out there, but he's not arrogant or vain at all. He really does have a good heart, and we see a totally different side of him later on in the novel. He seems harsh and dispassionate in the beginning, but Allai manages to soften him. Drake's sweet and romantic words and gestures sent chills down my spine. He's one of the awesomest book boys I've met so far, and is a major contributor to why I liked this book so much!

Luke is another character I really enjoyed reading about. He's a Persequor, and he's basically Allai's best friend. Probably her only friend in the Sentinel, which is why they're so close. Allai's father doesn't like them hanging around together, but there isn't much he can do about it. Luke's good for Allai - he's wise, and keeps her under control. He also comforts her when she needs it, and her safety comes before everything else. I like the fact that he calls her by a nickname, Allai-bird, and that they banter a lot. It shows how easy and effortless their friendship is, and how much they value it.

Have I mentioned that I love books with road trips in them? Well, I do. And Frost Fire's got a great one, with Drake and Allai desperately trying to reach the Caedes as fast as they can. Road trips always bring people closer to each other, at least in books, and that's exactly what happened here. Drake grows more comfortable around Allai, and soon all the barriers between them that formed after they were separated as kids suddenly disappear. That moment is amazing, when Drake admits to Allai that he didn't want anything between them to change, as well as what happens afterwards. Though I think you might have a good idea of that!

Overall, Frost Fire is an awesome debut from Olivia Rivers, and I'm hoping for an equally exceptional sequel! There's a lot more that Allai and Drake have to discover about themselves, and I can't wait to read all about how they decide to do that. This book is a great introduction to a series that I know I will love. The romance was very sweet and believable, the action was heart-stopping, and Drake was the cherry on the top!

*Thank you to Giselle for choosing me for this blog tour and providing me with a copy for review*

Rating: 5/5

Find Frost Fire on:
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Click here to check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour!


Giveaway!

I'm giving away one ebook copy of Frost Fire by Olivia Rivers.
Open internationally, and the winner can pick what format they want the book in.
Giveaway ends on March 14th.
Enter the Rafflecopter below, and good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Wait for You by J. Lynn

Guys. GUYS. GUYS! I cannot begin to explain how freaking excited I am to help reveal the cover of Wait for You by J. Lynn a.k.a. Jennifer L. Armentrout! Here is the incredibly awesome cover!


Oh my god isn't it bee-yoo-ti-full? I love the colour combination and the elegant font, and just the whole cover in general. And I absolutely cannot wait to read this book!

Here's the synopsis - 

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…


And now for a huge surprise - Wait for You is available NOW!!



About the author:

J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the adult romance Gamble Brothers series, the young adult Lux Series and award winning Covenant Series. She pretty much writes everything—contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. All of her books have one thing in common no matter the name or genre: kissing… and stuff. When she’s not busy writing, which is never, she’s usually hanging out with dog Loki, watching reruns of The Walking Dead, or procrastinating on the Internet.

Find J. Lynn on:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Waiting on Wednesday #20: Perfection

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...


Perfection by J.L. Spelbring

Release date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa's spent her whole life under her creator's strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic.
Only Ellyssa isn't perfect.
Ellyssa feels emotions--a fact she's spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities.
But he does.
His unspoken words and visions of a place she's never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to her than perfection.







Perfection is a debut sci-fi dystopian, and it sounds absolutely amazing! As you should know by now, I love dystopia. And the premise of this one just blows my mind! I mean, the Nazis winning the war? I studied the war in quite some detail in the 10th grade, so I'm really interested in this situation. I'm really looking forward to Perfection, because I just know it's going to be awesome.


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Review: Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood



Iris Dancy’s free-spirited mum has left for Tunisia, her dad’s rarely sober and her brother’s determined to fight anyone with a pair of fists.

When a family of travellers move into the overgrown paddock overnight, her dad looks set to finally lose it. Gypsies are parasites he says, but Iris is intrigued. As her dad plans to evict the travelling family, Iris makes friends with their teenage son. Trick Deran is a bare knuckle boxer who says he’s done with fighting, but is he telling the truth?

When tools go missing from the shed, the travellers are the first suspects. Iris’s brother, Sam, warns her to stay away from Trick; he’s dangerous, but Iris can no longer blindly follow her brother’s advice. He’s got secrets of his own, and she’s not sure he can be trusted himself.


Infinite Sky is a family story about betrayal and loyalty, and love.









Infinite Sky was a little different from what I expected. Mainly because the main characters were so young – thirteen, to be exact. But despite that, their wisdom is incredible. I loved the genuine feel of this book. It’s the kind of book that really speaks to you – something you can easily believe and maybe even relate to in some ways. There’s a sort of innocence to this book, while at the same time you can see the undercurrents of more serious issues.

Infinite Sky follows Iris Dancy, a thirteen-year-old girl living in the countryside with her older brother and father. Her mother has just left them a while back, and the three of them are still trying to figure out life without her. A family of gypsies decides to stay next to their farm for a while, and that’s where the story begins. Iris meets Trick, a gypsy boy who shares the sense of adventure that she has. Iris and Trick soon become close friends, to the horror of Iris’ brother Sam, and her father.

Even though Iris is only thirteen, she has a clear sense of right and wrong, and she stands up for what she believes in. She knows that the gypsies are doing no harm to their family, so she has no problem with a little company next door. Her father takes her goodness for naivety, though, but Iris doesn’t care. She’s curious about Trick and no one can stop her from finding out more about him. I really connected with Iris in this book. I could feel what she was going through – her joy when she was with Trick, her anger after her best friend betrayed her, her anxiety about Sam. Iris doesn’t hold anything back, and she’s a really open person. I really liked that about her. Her love for her brother is admirable, and it was great to see how she could cheer him up when he was mad, and even knock some sense into him sometimes.

Trick, short for Patrick, is the son of the gypsy family next door to Iris. He has a bunch of little sisters, and helps his mom take care of them during the day. He’s a real help to his mom, and he’s very hard working. But sometimes he just needs a break, and that’s what Iris can give him. Trick is equally intrigued by Iris, and soon grows quite attached to her. I kind of have mixed feelings about Trick. I feel sorry for him because of his past, as well as the fact that Sam and his friends take every opportunity to bully him. But Trick makes a huge mistake at a point, something he can never take back. And I’m not sure what to think about that. He does have a great sense of loyalty, though, and I loved how protective he was of Iris.

Sam, Iris’ brother, is a really complex character. He’s gotten in with some bad people, and broken off an amazing friendship with someone he’s known since he was a little boy. Sam gives in to peer pressure a lot of times in this book, and that’s something that we can relate to, since I’m sure we’ve all done that at some point. But Sam gets in over his head, and the consequences of his actions are unimaginable. Sam’s mood changes really quickly, and I could never tell when he was honestly happy or just pretending. He’s a great artist, and I love the fact that he painted a mural for Iris on her wall because she asked him to. Sam really could be a great brother to her at times, and he’s also really protective of her. I just wish he hadn’t taken the wrong path, though.

Infinite Sky is set in the UK, and the characters are all Irish. That makes a huge difference in the style of this novel, especially because it’s set in the countryside. Words like ‘owt’ and ‘bog’ kept popping up, and I had no idea what they were! It’s a nice change, though, reading something from a different perspective. It has a very fresh feel to it.

Some parts of this book are quite heartbreaking, while others make you feel all warm inside. Infinite Sky does have some serious undertones, and I think the overall message of this book is amazing. The pacing is perfect; I just couldn’t stop turning the pages. Infinite Sky is an amazing debut from C.J. Flood, and I’m now definitely on the lookout for new books by her!

*Thank you to C.J. Flood for providing an ARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Review: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? 
Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.

FUELED BY LIES.
RULED BY CHAOS.
ALMOST HOME.



I can't believe it took me so long to write this review, considering I finished the book a little over a month ago. But better late than never, right? I still remember every little detail about Shades of Earth, so I think it's totally fine for me to write a review now. This book totally blew me away. It's completely different from the previous two novels, so different that it seems like another world! And it is, sort of. Amy and Elder have finally landed on Centauri-Earth, and they have no idea what to expect. What they find there will change their lives forever.

When I first found out the cover had changed, I was really mad. And disappointed. I loved the covers of Across the Universe and A Million Suns, and I was really looking forward to seeing how the cover of this book was going to be. But now I see why this was done. Shades of Earth is sort of a departure form what we see in the previous books. In those, everything happened inside Godspeed, but now there's a whole new environment. One filled with jungles and wilderness and mysterious beasts. This cover really fits the novel!

When they touch down on Centauri-Earth, Amy immediately rushes off to unfreeze her parents from the cryo chambers. The landing didn't go quite as well as expected, and there are a lot of injured people. But now that the military people from Sol-Earth are awake, they want to take charge. They scorn Elder as a leader because of his young age, and he resents that. Since Amy's father is the leader of the military, there's a lot of tension between him and Elder. And this, of course, creates tension between Elder and Amy. Their relationship has a lot of ups and downs in this book because of the situation. I'll admit I wasn't a huge fan of the love triangle, but thank goodness it wasn't a big thing in this novel.

Amy has a lot of responsibility in this book, and I think she handled it very well. She's ecstatic to have her parents back, but at the same time she's worried about what it means for her and Elder. She still loves him, but their feelings have to take a backseat while they deal with the situation on Centauri-Earth. Amy always felt that she loved Elder because there was no one else. Now there's a new guy, Chris. She struggles with his interest in her, and her muddled up feelings. I liked how supportive she was to everyone during chaotic situations, and how she tried so hard to calm everyone down. She has great leadership qualities in her, it's easy for people to listen to her. She's also a lot wiser than she ever was before, and we can see that in this book. This, I think, is my favourite quote from the book -
I learned that life is so, so fragile. I learned that you can know someone for just days and never forget the impression he left on you. I learned that art can be beautiful and sad at the same time. I learned that if someone loves you, he'll wait for you to love him back. I learned that how much you want something doesn't determine whether you get it or not, that "no" might not be enough, that life isn't fair, that my parents can't save me, that maybe no one can.
Amy goes through a lot in Shades of Earth, so much more than what she had in Across the Universe and A Million Suns. A lot of things in this book change her forever, and she becomes all the more stronger because of it.

Elder really grows a lot in Shades of Earth. He has to take care of his people as well as establish his place on Centauri Earth. Amy's dad, Colonel Martin, doesn't believe Elder is a good leader. He tries to overrule him on everything, and Elder hates that. He doesn't get much respect from the people from Sol-Earth, and I really felt for him throughout this book. On top of that, Elder worries about his relationship with Amy, that he's losing her to Chris. He makes a lot of sacrifices in this book, and they show just how good and selfless he is. Everything he does is for his people and for Amy, and his unwavering loyalty is so admirable. His love for Amy is incredible. I love reading from Elder's point of view, because  his feelings for Amy are so deep, so sincere.
It's hard to think about all the bad when she reminds me of all that's good.
I might have the whole world now, but it's not enough if I don't get to share it with her. 
After reading reviews of Shades of Earth before picking it up, I was scared to read it. All of them said that Beth Revis isn't afraid to kill people off, and man, is that true! So many people die in this book that I honestly cannot keep track of it. It just shows how dangerous a planet they've stumbled upon, but despite that they do their best to make Centauri-Earth their home. This book is so heartbreaking, so intense. Most of it is like a movie running through your head - the visual imagery is great and the pacing is perfect. In fact, I've never read a book that had such amazing pacing. Every chapter makes you want to turn the page immediately. It's like a drug!

With this book, nothing is what you expect. I really mean that. There are so many twists in this book, so many shocking revelations. It's amazing! I loved every second of it. Shades of Earth is a perfect ending to the Across the Universe trilogy, and I'm really happy with how Beth Revis tied up all the strings. It was incredible to be a part of Amy and Elder's journey for three years, and I was so devastated to let them go. I would give this book a million stars if I could, it was just that amazing! I cannot wait to see what else Beth Revis has got in store for us after this heart-shattering trilogy.

Rating: 5/5

Review: The Trouble with Flirting by Claire LaZebnik


Franny's supposed to be working this summer, not flirting. But you can't blame her when guys like Alex and Harry are around. . .

Franny Pearson never dreamed she'd be attending the prestigious Mansfield Summer Theater Program. And she's not, exactly. She's working for her aunt, the resident costume designer. But sewing her fingers to the bone does give her an opportunity to spend time with her crush, Alex Braverman. If only he were as taken with the girl hemming his trousers as he is with his new leading lady.

When Harry Cartwright, a notorious flirt, shows more than a friendly interest in Franny, she figures it can't hurt to have a little fun. But as their breezy romance grows more complicated, can Franny keep pretending that Harry is just a carefree fling? And why is Alex suddenly giving her those deep, meaningful looks? In this charming tale of mixed messages and romantic near-misses, one thing is clear: Flirting might be more trouble than Franny ever expected.







I haven't read Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, the novel on which this book is based, but I have to say I really enjoyed this regardless! The Trouble with Flirting is a really cute novel, and I loved the humour in it. With its comical misunderstandings and light romance, this novel takes on the style of Shakespearean comedies, which I found to be really appropriate since the students at the summer program are acting out different Shakespeare plays.

Franny runs into her old friend Julia Braverman while at the Mansfield Summer Theater Program, and she's thrilled to find someone she actually knows. She's even more thrilled with she finds out that Julia's twin brother, Alex, is also attending the program. Franny's had a crush on Alex since the 8th grade, and no matter how much she tries to deny it, she hasn't gotten over it. There's a new guy in town, though - Harry Cartwright. Easily the best-looking guy at the program. But Franny's only got eyes for Alex, until she notices Harry's keen interest in her. The Trouble with Flirting is a hilarious but dramatic novel about love and heartbreak.

Honestly, I don't usually read books like this, since I'm not a fan of chick lit. But I loved this one, mainly because I adored the characters. I could really relate to Franny on account of the whole college issue. In fact, all the students seem to have college credit on their minds. Since I'm kind of in the same situation, I really got them. Moreover, this book isn't at all predictable. I won't say any more about that, in case I give anything away!

Franny is an awesome protagonist - she's fun and amusing, and at the same time hardworking and determined. She's not flawless, and I liked that about her, because I've read a lot of YA books with unrealistically perfect heroines. Franny gets jealous, she makes mistakes, but in the end she gets back on the right track. There were a few moments where I felt pretty annoyed at her, though. The times when she was with Harry but would never take him seriously, acting like it was all a big joke. I guess Harry's reputation made her think that way, but I wish she'd seen his sincerity from the start.

Speaking of Harry, I loved that guy! He's probably my favourite character in the book. He was definitely the funniest. Yeah, he's got a reputation, but he doesn't lead girls on. He lets them know that what they have isn't serious. He's honest about it, and I admire that. I really liked Alex, too. He's more mysterious, and the little things he does for Franny are incredibly sweet. Although, he's going out with Isabella, Harry's best friend, throughout most of the novel, so his indecisiveness about the two girls got on my nerves. But he's still awesome!

Julia is another character I really liked. She's Alex's twin, and they look very alike - dark hair, blue eyes, incredibly gorgeous. Julia initially has a thing for Harry, and she flirts with him excessively, along with a bunch of other girls. When Harry decides that he wants to pursue Franny, Julia moves on to another guy, Manny, who thankfully is a lot better for her. I liked Julia because she was always there for Franny, even when she was jealous of her blooming relationship with Harry. Isabella is a character I have mixed feelings about. Beautiful just like the rest of the girls, Isabella is definitely the most ambiguous one. I couldn't seem to figure out whether she actually liked Franny or not. She develops a relationship with Alex right at the beginning of the book, and she knows how envious Franny is of her. However, Franny is surprised to learn that Isabella is actually quite insecure. She finds this out when Isabella's jealousy shows through her facade, after Alex buys Franny some books she wanted as a surprise for her. Isabella's relationship with Harry is also quite confusing. They're best friends, but have never had romantic feelings about each other, even though they could be the poster couple for a movie. They don't hide anything from each other, and Harry's seen to be very protective of her. I guess their relationship is more like something between a brother and sister, but somewhat deeper. Still pretty confusing, though!

There is a helluva lot of jealousy and misunderstanding in this book, so get yourselves ready for that! I loved how everything was so confusing in the middle but it all worked out in the end. For most people, anyway. The Trouble with Flirting is a great summer-y sort of novel, and is actually quite reminiscent of a few Meg Cabot books I used to read. I will definitely be checking out LaZebnik's other novels, because I loved her writing in this one. I finished this book in a day, that's how into it I was! It's well-paced and interesting, making you want to turn the pages as fast as you can.

*Thank you to Claire LaZebnik for providing an ARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Review: What We Become by Jesse Karp




"There is a mind out in the city. It is more powerful than any mind before. I want it."
The Old Man wants absolute power. He knows Mal can give it to him.

"Fight me."
Mal will fight to the death to keep the Ole Man form getting what he wants. Somewhere, Laura, the girl that Mal loves, is safe. He will not let the Old Man take that away from her.

"Tell me, Laura, what is your life like now?"
Laura's life is hollow, as if the best part of her is gone. She must find what she lost. If she doesn't, there is no more her.

Mal and Laura are on a collision course: with each other, with the Old Man, with the end of a battle begun two years earlier.
They will probably lose. They will probably die. Bu not to try, to give up now, would be worse.

In this haunting companion to Those That Wake, Jesse Karp brings us a story of love, memories, and what it means to fight, even when you know you can't win.

What We Become is an absolutely amazing sequel to Those That Wake. It's got incredible depth, fantastic characters, and a fast-paced and intense plot. I really loved this book, way more than I expected to! Those That Wake didn't rank too high on my favourite dystopians, but this one totally blew me away. What We Become is a novel about strength, loyalty, love and sacrifice, and it leaves you with a heartfelt message and, above all, hope.

The world building in this book as well as in Those That Wake is very intricate and detailed, and I loved the premise from the first page itself. Mal and Laura live in a world where technology has taken over. In Those That Wake, they defeated the Man in Suit and stopped hopelessness spreading all over New York City. This time, though, they have to stop the Old Man from taking over the minds of every single person in the city. There's a problem, though. Laura remembers nothing about the events that transpired in Those That Wake. She has no idea who Mal is, or Remak, or Mike. She's going to college, trying to enjoy herself and live her life. But she feels empty, like she knows her memories have been taken. Laura's quest to find answers and, eventually, Mal, is a remarkable and life-altering one.

I loved, loved, loved Mal in this book. He's a powerful fighter with unyielding strength, and he'll do whatever it takes to stop the Old Man. He's someone who will never give up, no matter what. Mal's resilience is amazing, and I honestly think he's one of the best YA protagonists out there. Mal's had it tough his whole life, and Laura was the one bright thing that happened to him. To have her not remember him at all must have killed him, but he knew he couldn't dwell on it, because he had to save his city. I think these lines from the book sum up who Mal really is throughout most of the book - 
There was so little left for him, so little to hang on to, to look forward to. He wasn't afraid to lose anything, because there was nothing left to lose. He battled life just because he wasn't willing to give up the fight.
Mal is incredibly selfless, and even though he knows his brother, Tommy, doesn't remember him either, he still regularly sends him money so that he and his wife can have a good life. Mal is all alone initially, with the exception of Rose, a girl he meets on the streets. They stick together, but Mal's heart remains with Laura. I really admire his strength, and how he keeps going no matter how much pain he's in. There was a lot of graphic imagery of his fights and injuries, which made me kind of queasy, but it also made me open my eyes to how tough Mal really is.

Laura, as I've mentioned, doesn't remember anything that happened to her in the past few months. Her parents remember her again, after they had forgotten her in Those That Wake, and they find nothing amiss either. A few memories, or certain feelings and intuition, come back to Laura, and she desperately wants to find what she's lost. She breaks up with her boyfriend and drops college to set off and find answers. With her is Aaron, the son of the late founder of Intellitech, the company that makes all the tech gadgets that everyone is so immersed in. Together, they discover remnants of Laura's past and even meet the Librarian. But Laura only regains all of her memories the moment she sets eyes on Mal. I love Laura's steely determination to find what she needs, as well as her ability to see the good in everyone.

I was annoyed that Mal and Laura's reunion took so long (more than three-quarters of the book!) but I forgive Jesse Karp for that because the reunion was everything I expected and more. My heart stopped when they finally met, and it pounded throughout the whole chapter. Mal and Laura complement each other very well, and they're amazing together. They really do bring out the best in each other. I loved every second of the time that they spent together, but I just wish there was more. I really want to share part of a page from the book, my favourite one from the whole book, and the one that summarizes exactly what Mal feels for Laura.
Through his eyes, she did not see the same Laura she saw every day in the mirror. She saw herself through the prism of Mal's longing. One facet glowed with his awe of her: her ability to feel so openly and earnestly, her connection to the world and the people around her, her willingness to give herself to them. Another facet shone with her fragility, which bred in Mal the fierce, indestructible need to protect her, to make sure her open and earnest heart was never, never tarnished or tainted or bruised, because, to him, it was the only good, true thing in the entire world.
This is the final line of the paragraph, and I think it's the best line in the whole book - 
To him, she was the hope that real happiness of any sort could exist in the world.
What We Become has a heart-wrenching ending that brought tears to my eyes. It's very bittersweet, and very unexpected. I understand why Jesse Karp wrote it, but I wish it was different. But I knew that this book wouldn't have a classic happy ending for everyone. Those last couple of chapters really were unforgettable, and I even lay awake the night I finished the book, thinking about Mal and Laura, the characters I fell in love with and the ones that just feel so real to me.

Of course, Aaron and Rose were both amazing supporting character too. Aaron is amazingly well-informed and mature for his young age (he's only eleven!). And I think he kind of has a crush on Laura. I liked that he really grew to care about her, and made some great decisions in the end. Aaron's character developed a lot throughout the novel, and he becomes someone that his dad would be really proud of.
I wasn't a huge fan of Rose initially, I felt she was too whiny. And too clingy with Mal. I mean, okay you didn't have a great life, but Mal doesn't like you that way. So suck it up. Her jealousy of Laura was also quite annoying. She even wanted to change Mal's memories and replace Laura with herself! Talk about psychotic... But Rose really did step up in the end. She showed great courage, and actually stood up against someone. And later on, she becomes a nurse and helps people who were like her, which I really admire.

What I love most about this book were the characters. They really came alive to me, so much more than the plot did. Sometimes the plot was too technical for me, and I had a hard time understanding all the semantics. But I really connected with Mal and Laura, and even Aaron and Rose. All four of them are amazingly strong characters, and they're what makes this book so awesome. I'd definitely recommend this book and series to anyone who loves dystopia - the concept is intriguing and this book is just so emotional! I really didn't expect that, since the whole population of New York City is so detached in this series. But the last quarter of What We Become is intense and heartbreaking and exhilarating all at once, so the emotions you'll feel are overwhelming! I will definitely be re-reading this series when I can, just for this amazing book.

*Thank you to Jesse Karp for providing an ARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

In My Mailbox #9


In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren which allows us to share the books we’ve bought, borrowed and received.
Here's my haul for the past 2 weeks!


(these are just the print copies)

Bought


Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

I bought this from a fair in school today, and since it was only $2 (crazy, right??) and the movie is coming out next month in Singapore, I decided to go ahead and buy it. Hopefully I enjoy it as much as other people did!

Won


A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

I've already read and reviewed this, and I loved it! So of course I was really happy to win this. Plus, it's signed :)

Borrowed


Cinder by Marissa Meyer 

I borrowed this one again from Rabiah, since I really need to re-read it before I read Scarlet. Fun fact - Cinder is the first book I reviewed on my blog!

Received for Books That Glow: YA & MG 2013



Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough
ARC of Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood
Frost by Kathryn James
ARC of The Murmurings by Carly Anne West (from Edelweiss)
ARC of Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy (from Edelweiss)

Don't Expect Magic is actually the first book in the series, which was published in 2011. The sequel, Who Needs Magic? is part of the event, and Kathy very generously sent me and Rabiah copies of Don't Expect Magic so we can catch up! So thanks, Kathy!
I just finished Infinite Sky a couple of days ago, and I really liked that one. Look out for my review soon!
Frost is the sequel to Mist, and I still have to start this series. I love the cover!
I'm also really looking forward to reading The Murmurings and Criminal, they seem like really awesome thriller novels!

Received for Blog Tour


Dear Cassie by Lisa Burnstein

So that's it for this week! I'm really happy with my haul, since I'm looking forward to all of these books (apart from the ones I've already read, of course). I do have quite a lot to read over the next month or so, so hopefully I won't be drowning in my reading pile!
What did you guys get this week?