Thursday, April 30, 2015

REVIEW: On The Fence by Kasie West

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 1 comments
Title: On the Fence
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication: July 1st 2014
Cover Rating: 3/5

On The Fence was such an amazing book! You should definitely read The Distance Between Us before hand though. One of the major characters from The Distance Between Us pops up a lot and it would be nice to have some back story as to who she is.

Charlie is a tomboy. I actually don't think tomboy is a strong enough word. She is a guy with pretty hair. She has never really had a mother figure and she is afraid "normal" girls won't accept her so she sticks to her 4 brothers and best friend.

She has a thing for all sports but she also likes to live on the wild side by speeding in her car. She normally gets off because of her father but this ticket was the last straw. Her father makes her pay for the ticket and that starts this entire journey of finding herself and finding love.

I believe that working for Linda at The Bazaar is the starting point of her self doubt. She starts wondering if she really is the girl she wants to be. I actually think getting a job and being around other people was a great way to start her journey.

Charlie meet's a lot of new people, like Evan. Evan has only seen Charlie in her make-up and work clothes and Charlie pretends that that is actually who she is. She really should have told him but I think their relationship sparks Charlies feelings for someone else. 

I loved the romance in this book. It wasn't much and it didn't really pick up until the last few pages but I could feel it building throughout the entire book. 

Braden sounds sooo amazing. He is definitely swoon-worthy. He never really hides his feeling but he also is never straightforward with them either. I am sooo glad he didn't end up with the bubbly chick with words written across the ass of her pants. (Read the book, you will understand).

I really enjoyed how the title is actually incorporated in the book. Most titles are just that, titles. But this one has a true meaning.

I loved the cute little things Charlies brothers came up with for traits that she should never date a guy for having. That definitely showed how much they loved her if they made up a list of who she couldn't date. 

The ending with her mother and finding out the truth was a little bit shocking. I really didn't expect it and that is what I truly loved about this book.

Kasie West surely knows how to write an amazing contemporary novel that has a strong impact and inviting story line. She knows how to keep a reader interested and I will definitely read ANYTHING she writes.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 Kitties.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

REVIEW: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Title: Girl of Nightmares
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication: August 7th 2012
Cover Rating: 5/5

Starting this, I had no idea where Kendare Blake was going to take it. The way she did was brilliant. 

For the first time in years Cas settles down and finishes out his junior year with Carmel and Thomas. He is not used to this, but they are his best friends and he isn’t over what happened to Anna. How could he be? He loves her and she saved all of their lives.

Cas focuses his time in trying to find a way to get her back to him. Being without Anna is bad for Cas. He loses sleep worrying about her. Then, it happens. Anna starts reaching out for him. Cas doubles his efforts and does all he to find a way back to her, to bring her back. He gets help from Carmel and Thomas and all those that he can. 

Everything with Anna has been tormenting him since she left and seeing her just makes it worse for him. Watching Cas go through what he goes through and has to deal with, I feel so bad for him. The girl he loves is somewhere. Where that is, no one knows, but Cas does all he can to save her and get her back. 

Through it all, I was hoping that they would end up together, even though that’s not possible through all that they are told and find. 

The ending for me was bittersweet. It didn’t exactly end the way that I wanted it to end, but I’m okay with how it did. The characters made peace with how everything worked out and that’s the important part. 

I’m a huge Supernatural fan and I got hints of the show throughout these books and that made me love these books even more.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mini Review Monday[39] Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake

I’m all for books that deal with the supernatural, especially ghosts. When I heard about this duology I knew I had to read it. I knew I was going to love it and I did. 

I loved Cas from the very beginning. His job is to kill ghosts who cause a disturbance by killing living people. Due to his job he and his mom have to move around a lot to hunt and kill these ghosts. 

His newest job is to kill a ghost by the name of Anna. But this job isn't like the rest because Anna isn’t someone he has faced before. She is different and he doesn't know why. 

This time around he forms relationships with a few of his classmates, which he isn't used to because it doesn't happen. He does his job and moves onto the next. 

With Anna being different he has to ask for help from the friends he has made. In the process of trying to figure out what to do, a bond forms between Cas and Anna. He falls in love with her. I haven’t come across a book where a human falls in love with a ghost and it was fun to read something new. 

I found this book to be creepy in the spots where something ghost related happened and I loved that. In those spots as well it got to be gory, which made it better. 

The ending was a good ending and I don’t know where Kendare Blake is going to take the next one, but I’m excited to see where she does.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up[3]

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Mini Review Monday - Tilt by Ellen Hopkins

Review - Falling Into Place by Kat Zhang

Series Spotlight - Touch of Death Trilogy by Kelly Hashway

It's my BIRTHDAY!!! I will post pictures of all my gifts on next weeks Weekly Wrap-Up. 

Happy Birthday To Me!

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 11:30 AM 1 comments
So... Today is my birthday. I feel so old! But my Husband and his family surprised me with a trip to New York and the Strand. This is probably the best birthday I have had in my entire life. But it isn't over yet so I can't say that for certain! His parents are paying for the books I get, they told me to get AS MANY AS I WANT! I picked up 10 and they said "That's it" SERIOUSLY?! I am truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life. Not just because they are buying me books but because they care about me. I hope everyone is having a fantastic day! I will post pictures of the books and other birthday things I get in next Sundays Weekly Wrap-Up!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Series Spotlight: Touch of Death Trilogy by Kelly Hashway

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 1 comments

Title: Touch of Death, Stalked by Death and Face of Death
Author: Kelly Hashway
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication: January 15th 2013, August 13th 2013 and January 7th 2014
Cover Rating: 3/5

Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway is a very interesting twist on some of the Greek Gods. I have never felt very strongly about the Greek Gods and, quite frankly, I didn't even think I would enjoy reading books about them. But I really enjoyed this book. Medusa has always interested me. I guess that makes me twisted. Oh well! It is also a Coming of Age story where coming of age isn't exactly a good thing. 

Jodi is a sweet, innocent girl. She has been home-schooled her entire life and she is pretty new the the whole "being around other people" thing. She just wants to live a normal life but, unfortunately for her, she was born as something not quite human. She is also stubborn and refused to leave until she almost killed someone she couldn't imagine living without. I thought being stubborn was a Taurus thing. Haha! Ahh, zodiac humor fits well for this book. I also kind of think her mother knew about her because she was home schooled for most of her life. It's just a hunch.

Alex is a weirdo, at first. Who the heck stalks a girl in order to get her to like him? I mean, I guess it kind of worked out for him in the end. But that still isn't the way to go about those types of things. By the end of the book I have a love hate thing going on with my feelings for Alex. He did prove his worth but I still don't trust him.

Poor Matt, the doctor and the school nurse. It must really mess with Jodi conscience knowing she did what she did. I was more upset what Matt killed the bunny. I wonder what that says about me. But Jodi went through so much more after leaving home that I'm shocked she didn't run away screaming. 

Learning about Ophi and Medusa was extremely cool. I found myself looking up Ophiuchus and reading the meanings behind a lot of things in the book. I enjoy a good book that makes me want to learn more about the subject it's centered around.

The ending was completely crazy and chaotic. Everything exploded in a matter of like 20 pages. There was plenty of action and plot throughout the rest of the book but the end is where everything goes down. I love the bargain Jodi made with Hades. It was the perfect punishment for Victoria and Troy's "gang". 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

When I first started Stalked by Death I was wondering where the author was going to take everything, The first book had such a sense of finality that I didn't really think it needed a sequel. But I am glad there are more books because you get to see some of the characters progress, or in Alex's case, digress. 

Jodi really progressed through this book. She start out being overly worked and kept trying to do everything on her own. But because of that and other circumstances she ended up putting herself and everyone else in a lot of danger. 

Alex was a total jerk through the entire book. I feel like his jealousy and over protectiveness kind of pushed Jodi towards Chase. I do admit he truly had something to worry about but there was still better ways to handle everything.

I didn't like Chase from the beginning. He seemed like a womanizer and shouldn't have been trying to get with Jodi. The fact that Chase was trying to get in-between Jodi and Alex just proved what kind of guy he was.

Leticia needed to grow a pair. She is an OPHI for god sake and she was acting like a 5 year old who dropped her ice cream at the park. I honest feel like she was worse than Abby. Very cry babyish and very immature. She asked impossible things of Jodi and refused to accept things at face value.

The entire plot-line was done very well. The fact that Jodi could accidently raise the dead was a great angle and it had me guessing what was going to happen a lot. 

The one thing that I keep wondering is, if they know they are deadly to humans, why do they put humans at risk by living around them. I am sure they could all live fine on their own. I think it has something to do with the thrill of being around the humans. They could kill them so easily.

The ending is definitely a cliffhanger. I am going to start the next book ASAP. That ending just can't happen. I am pretty sure Hades is happy now. I wonder how Jodi will get the Ophi out of this mess. I feel so terrible for the people who read these books before the last book was out.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

I couldn't wait to start Face of Death. The way Stalked by Death ended made jumping right into the last book unavoidable. This book was definitely a joyride from Hell. HAHA pun intended. There WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. So caution.

Jodi has gone to Hell. But so have all of her Ophi friends. She goes through so much inner turmoil and internal battles because of having to watch her friends be tortured. The fact that Jodi lost her human self and that weak human form was pretty much the solution I found to be a little odd. 

The fact that Jodi has to pretty much split herself was pretty interesting. It was a little hard to picture but it was a pretty cool concept.

MATT? WHAT?! Oh my god. I wasn't expecting that AT ALL. I knew he was dead and everything, yeah. But I didn't expect him to be in Hell. Hades is truly a cruel man for pulling Matt from Heaven. 

I still didn't like Alex too much in this book. He was a little bit better than the first two books but just something about him makes me not want to like him. I am okay with the fact that him and Jodi did end up together though. I think they are good for each other. 

After finishing the trilogy I have decided that I would have been fine with their only being one book. As I said in my last review, the first book had such a sense of finality that I kind of lost my attachment to the characters when it ended. I did enjoy that there was more to the story but my detachment from the characters made it hard to really focus. I am not saying the book is badly written or anything like that. In fact, the books are amazingly written. I just lost my attachment because of how the first book ended. 

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

As a whole I really enjoyed the trilogy. Jodi was a little bit of a cry baby and annoying at times but she made up for it in some ways. I don't normally enjoy Zombie books but the Touch of Death Trilogy was more than just zombies. It was as Coming of Age novel with a lot of trials and tribulations. There was so much drama and emotion in these books. It was also a great twist on some Greek mythology. The author knows how to write perfect situations and very believable characters even if the general story isn't something that can actually happen. Sadly, I did lose my connection with the characters after the first book so I was reading for the plot instead of pure interest in what happens to the characters. I have read one other book from this author and I can say, without a doubt, that I would buy more of her works in the future. I highly recommend this author and her books to anyone who loves YA paranormal, zombies and a good "love" story.

As a side note: If you like Kelly Hashways writing but find yourself feeling like I did about the book then please try her The Monster Within series. I really loved the first book and the second book will be out soon! 

Overall, I gave the entire trilogy 4.5/5 stars.

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as an editor for Leap Books as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. Hashway is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. 

1) Did you plan on writing Touch of Death as a trilogy?

Actually no. I wrote the book as a standalone at first but decided to change the ending slightly and leave it open to becoming a series. Once I started planning book two, it became clear that it would be a trilogy when all was said and done.

2) What about the undead appeals to you?

Years ago I read the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong, which features an MC who is a necromancer. I fell in love with necromancers at that point and knew I wanted to write about an entire cast of necromancers. As far as the undead, I think it's sort of everyone's nightmare—the idea of the dead coming back to life and trying to kill the living. What better addition to a series that borders on horror?

3) Would you want to be an Ophi?

Probably not since they are poisonous to humans. My poor Ophi cast goes through so much in this series, and when I think of all Jodi lost and had to give up, it's not something I'd want to live through.
4) What advice would you give someone who wants to become an author?

Read as much as possible. Reading is the best way to research the market and improve your craft—other than writing.

5) Who would you have picked? Chase or Alex?

Alex definitely! I HATE Chase. He's the only character I've ever written that I just loathe. I usually love my villains just as much as my heroes, but not Chase. There's no love there. Alex is someone I fell for early on in the series, which is why I went back and wrote a free prequel novella called Kiss of Death, which tells Alex's story before he met Jodi. That's perma free on my publisher's website:

6) What was the inspiration for the Ophi?

I'd have to say Medusa. I came across a lesser-known myth about her that I loved. According to that myth she was wrongfully cursed by Athena, who was jealous that Poseidon loved Medusa and not her. I felt like Medusa got a bad reputation for no reason, so I wanted to write about characters who were descended from her and be able to show Medusa in a very different light. She's very beautiful and motherly to the Ophi in this series. Because not many people know this myth about Medusa, I also wrote a short story prequel to the series, highlighting it. That's also free on my publisher's website:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

REVIEW: Falling Into Place by Kat Zhang

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Title: Falling Into Place
Author: Kat Zhang
Publisher: Greenwillow
Publication: September 9th 2014
Cover Rating: 4/5

I really liked this book but the overall concept of it really pissed me off. I feel like the overall point of this book was showing that lives aren't important and are disposable. And that you can run away from your problems even if you are the one who created them.

We have this really popular bitch who likes to ruin lives but then one day decides that she can't handle all the bad stuff she had done. So she tries to end it all. And that is what really ticks me off. The least Liz could do was stay alive and DEAL WITH the pain she was feeling after hurting so many people. She dug her grave. Now sleep in it. She felt that she had the right to try and take her life and leave all the people she has ruined still alive to deal with their pain. What right did she have to end it? This just REALLY irks me. 

I enjoyed all the flashbacks and the fact that a lot of people really sat down and thought about the things they have done in their lives. Liz's mother and two best friends really take this hard and they think about everything they should have done differently and how they want to be different people. 

Liz really should have reached out to her mother instead of pushing her away. Just because a parent works a lot and goes on work trips doesn't mean that they aren't still your parents. It takes two to tango. Parents cant help you unless you want to be helped. You can't expect your mother to fix everything without you telling or showing her what you want and need.

Liz is one of the stupidest girls I have every read about. She ruins lives, has a boyfriend who cheats on her but stays with him and she tries to drown everything in alcohol. Hasn't anyone ever told her that your life is what YOU make it? I guess not.

The ending was a shock. I really didn't expect it to happen. Now I just want to know what happens with Liam. Maybe if Liam had been in her life before the "accident" then Liz would have felt like she had more of a reason to live.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mini Review Monday[38] Tilt by Ellen Hopkins

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Title: Tilt
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication: September 11th 2012
Cover Rating: 5/5

I love how Ellen Hopkins writes. Once you start reading one of her books you get lost in the stories and the characters. 

I loved this one more than Tricks. One thing I really loved was the side characters got a voice in the story. Such as Alex, Shelby, Brianna, Chad, etc. I like how they got a page for them to see how they are feeling or handling a situation. 

This book contained some really serious aspects of a teenagers life. How parents can treat their children, young love, an unplanned pregnancy, abortion, adoption, chronic illnesses, depression, HIV and Aids. All of these aspects were mentioned. 

We got to see how young love can turn bad or turn good. How both the mother and father deal with or not deal with an unplanned pregnancy. How a family reacts to said unplanned pregnancy. We got to see how dysfunctional a family can be. Not only did we get to see an unplanned pregnancy, but also a chronic illness, being gay and HIV/Aids. 

Having a family member with a chronic illness drains their family members. My mom has a chronic illness and I take care of her. It is a lot of work and is very emotional. 

We saw how family members and society treats gays, which makes me sad because they are people too. They are the same as you or I. We are all human. 

We got to see how some young girls out there change themselves just so a guy will like them. They turn into someone they or their best friend don't recognize. If that guy doesn't like them then they move onto someone who does and then they are left hurt and in worse shape than they were in to start. It shows you how some guys take advantage of girls just so they can have sex. 

This book was very emotional and I connected to some aspects of it because they relate to my life currently and from my past. I can't wait to read more by Ellen Hopkins.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up[2]

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 1 comments

Mini Review Monday - Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

Author Spotlight for Kate A. Boorman

Author Spotlight for Mary Elizabeth Summer

I have received nothing in the mail this week except a new computer mouse. I am waiting for a ton of Author Spotlight books so next week will be HUGE! Check back next Sunday!

My birthday is next Sunday! My husband and his parents are taking me somewhere and they wont tell me where. I have a feeling but I guess I will find out in a week. I can't wait! I have been so stressed lately with my parents and everything else going on. I need a break. I haven't done a YouTube video in over a week I believe. I hope everyone has had a good week! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Author Spotlight: Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Mary Elizabeth Summer contributes to the delinquency of minors by writing books about unruly teenagers with criminal tendencies. She has a BA in creative writing from Wells College, and her philosophy on life is “you can never go wrong with sriracha sauce.” She lives in Portland Oregon with her wife, their daughter, a scaredy-cat lab/pitbull, and their evil overlor—er, cat. TRUST ME, I’M LYING is her first novel.

Title: Trust Me, I'm Lying
Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication: October 14th 2014
Cover Rating: 4/5

I have never read a book like Trust Me, I'm Lying before. I own a few Mafia/Mob/Crime Infested type YA books but none of them sound really intriguing. This book sounded both intriguing and different so I was excited to read it.

Julep, if that is her real name, goes through so much in just one book that I am shocked she hasn't been committed to some shock treatment insane asylum. She is so strong but she is also bull-headed. She wants help but at the same time she knows that might mean jail, expulsion or death for the people that want to help her. 

Sam is a great side-kick. But that is all Julep sees him as and it's very obvious that the reason he puts so much on the line for her is because he wants to be more than a side-kick. I can't say that I wanted Julep to end up with Sam but I can say Sam was a great guy and he deserved a great girl.

Oh lord, Tyler. At first I didn't trust him. He is Mr. Popular and every girl wants a piece of him. So why would he want to help anyone? But he turned out to be pretty genuine and I fell for him. In the end, I wonder how Tyler's father feels about everything that happened. I know it ripped my heart out. But it must be killing him knowing he is the reason for how his son ended up. I truly wanted Julep to end up with Tyler.

Julep's dad is the biggest part of the book. He might not be an actually speaking character for most of the book but if it wasn't for him Julep and her friends wouldn't have been in the situations they found themselves in. I can't say whether I like him or not because I didn't get to know him that well. But after hearing everything he's put Julep through and the life he has lived because of being a grifter kind of made me angry. Being a grifter is a job for a single person. Not someone with kids. And he brought her into his world. Some part of him HAS to feel guilty for everything he has done.

I loved the preppy private school setting of the book. It truly added to the story. And the fact that Julep was in this school also helped her out a lot. Sam, Tyler, Heather and Murphy all helped her out A LOT but she wouldn't even know them if it wasn't for St Aggie's. Most of what Julep did also wouldn't have been possible without the fact that everyone she knew was part of a super wealthy family with connections. They say money can't buy happiness but in the case of this book... I say it can. 

I was left with so many questions that I am praying the second book answers. Like what the HELL did Julep's mother have to do with this entire situation and the "blue fairy" situation. I know her mother has to play a big part somewhere. The book didn't end on a cliffhanger PER SE but the entire book built me up to tons of questions that need answers NOW. I was definitely in tears by the end of the book. 

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

1) Where did you get the idea for Trust Me, I'm Lying?

I got the idea one night while watching back to back episodes of White Collar and Leverage. I said to my wife, "Man, I wish I could read a book about a teenage con artist, but I don't think one exists." I went to bed that night thinking nothing more of it, until I woke up the next morning with Julep's voice in my head. She literally would not shut up until I wrote her story. I was resistant at first, because at the time, I didn't consider myself a mystery writer. But I just kept asking her questions, and her answers back kept intriguing me, so I ended up writing it all down. ;-) (By the way, there are several books with teenage con artist protagonists--I just didn't know about them until after I wrote Trust Me, I'm Lying.)

2)What kind of research did you have to do for the book?

I did all kinds of research--the different kinds of cons, how to make convincing fake IDs, stuff about The Adventures of Pinocchio, stuff about Chicago, stuff about Ukrainian orphans, cars (the cars in this book are almost characters unto themselves), Catholic high schools, racetracks (I even went to our local racetrack to get ideas), how to blow stuff up, sound engineering, hacking, PI stuff, FBI stuff--basically, anything and everything that could land me squarely on the government watch list.

3) Is St. Agatha's a real school?

It is not a real school, but it is loosely based on St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. The campus in my mind is very similar to that one. The Brockman Room in the book is based on The Brunswick Room at St. Ignatius. 

4) Have you ever been to Chicago?

Nope. I keep meaning to go, but things keep coming up. I will say, however, that Google Maps Street View is a beautiful thing.

5) Are any of your characters based off of a real person?

Nope. Although some of my college friends suspect otherwise. But as far as I know, I never based any of the characters off anyone real.

6) What is your favorite genre to read?

Science fiction. Hands down. But I loved mystery when I was younger--especially Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, and Richie Tankersley Cusick (and the occasional Nancy Drew).

7) How many books are going to be in the series?

Um, I'm not sure about that. It partially depends on how many books my publisher wants, but it also depends on how much story needs to be told. I'm a pantser by nature, so I don't have everything all nailed down as far as the series storyline goes. But there's at least two books and a novella so far. There could potentially be more...

8) If Julep had the choice of what kind of family and life she could have what do you think she would pick?

This is tough, because I'm not even sure Julep knows herself. She thinks she does, but I don't think she's right. I think the white-picket-fence life would make her blood itch. But she's a bit tired of being the fixer for everybody, and the prospect of a normal life seems like a vacation by comparison, so she thinks that's what she wants. Still, at the end of the day, she's a fixer. It's who she is. And until everybody's problems are solved, she'll keep trying to fix them. :-)

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