Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: Scarlette by Davonna Juroe

Author: Davonna Juroe 
Publisher: BumbleB Media, Inc.
Release Date: October 12th 2012
Pages: 292
Read in: 2 days


What if Little Red Riding Hood was real? 

Ninety years before the Brothers Grimm penned their version of Little Red Riding Hood, a historic, gruesome series of events shocked all of Europe. In 1765, an unidentified wolf-like animal ferociously mauled dozens of peasants in the Gévaudan region of France. 

Whispered rumors of unnatural creatures blended with age-old superstition, causing mass hysteria, and a werewolf was blamed for the carnage. Alarmed, King Louis XV sent his best huntsmen to rid the province of the beastly scourge, but this legendary massacre had only just begun. 

Scarlette, an 18-year-old peasant, lives under this dark threat, knowing the nightmarish monster lurks in the surrounding forest. A poor seamstress, she labors to make ends meet and is skeptical of supernatural gossip. 

Until her grandmother survives an attack. 

Scarlette learns her grandmother is infected by the bite of the animal. Desperate to save her, Scarlette begins to uncover the dark secrets of her village and finds there are those who wish to keep their pasts hidden. As time grows short, Scarlette is befriended by a local nobleman and a woodcutter who share an eerie history with the wolf. 

To save her grandmother, Scarlette must unravel the mens' connection and solve a long-forgotten crime. But as she pieces together the clues, Scarlette finds herself torn between the two men, both of whom desire more than friendship and together hold the key to the cure. 

Based on both the traditional Grimm and Charles Perrault versions of Little Red Riding Hood, this dark YA is set against the Beast of Gévaudan attacks, blending history with fairy tale and gothic romance. Unique to the genre, the novel revives the French fable of the girl-in-the-red-cloak with a new, shockingly real existence that blurs the line between folklore and reality.

*A free review copy was provided to me by the author*

Scarlette was an intense, thrilling, and extremely creative retelling of the fairy-tale  Little Red Riding Hood. Scratch retelling -- it was an original, twisted, nerve-wrecking, nail-biting, turn-up-your-heat-because-you're-shivering kind of novel that will forever be engraved in my mind (and Kindle.) Scarlette takes place during the 1760's in a small village in France where once happy and carefree people are now scared, paranoid, terrified, and starving because of a small HUGE problem -- the loup-garou, more commonly known as the werewolf (make that  werewolves -- plural.) Scarlette, the nineteen-year old protagonist lives with her verbally/physically abusive mother, and her sweet grandmother. She gets through everyday doing just that, getting by. This all changes on the evening her grandmother is attacked by a wolf.

I found Scarlette's  plot to be extremely compelling and ultimately ... different. There was romance and then there was action! I loved  how Juroe was able to maintain a balance between these two elements in the story. I really enjoyed the character development that went into the creation of Scarlette. She was confident, curious, feisty, yet modest. The problems she encountered in her everyday life weren't extremely dramatic, but once her grandma was attacked -- BOOM! Everything kicked into gear for her! Sure, she cried and remembered all the great times she'd had with her grandmother prior to the attack, but what really made me happy was her ability to get back up, adjust, and look for answers.

What I didn't love about Scarlette was the semi-love-triangle aspect that went down. The love triangle is formed between Scarlette, Francois, the woodcutter, and Louis, the Baron. I felt as if the love triangle was a bit forced -- if not a bit rushed.  Francois briefly states the reason for his hostility towards the Baron, but I never really felt it was justified. Louis, on the other hand, wasn't  as developed, depth-wise, as Francois.  Not to imply that I disliked both guys in the love triangle, I just felt as if I was more inclined to prefer  Scarlette single.

Scarlette was a dark, gothic retelling of the fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood, that captured my interest from the very first page right down to the end. From the plot twists to the deadly mystery, this chilling story will make you fear the things that go bump in  the night.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publisher:  Dial Books For Young Readers
Release Date: June 14th 2012
Pages: 394
Read in: 1 day

One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

My Life Next Door was a funny, hectic, and enjoyable contemporary read that'll have you smiling, cheering, and shaking your head all while thanking your family for resembling some aspect of normal. I found myself hysterically laughing at some points in the story. Which I thought was a really good technique on Fitzpatrick's part. In my opinion, he was able successfully communicate the Garrett's quirkiness and hectic day-to-day routines. From Mrs. Garrett's breast feeding on the porch to George, Jase's little brother's, infatuation with astronomy straight down Alice, Jase's older sister, frequent escapades. The characters were also beautifully developed! I mean, honestly, coming from a teenager (ME) - we're awkward, dramatic, and extremely emotional but together we make a hell of an amazing novel.

I didn't dislike anything in this book - at all. There were no absolutes, it was definitely not insta-love, and if I may, I'd just like to state that there seemed to be an absence of paper-flat characters.
What's that I hear? I'm sorry is that a ... A what? A little bit louder, please? Oh! A five star! I'm sorry I thought I heard you ask if I loved My Life Next Door. In that case, my answer would be "Heck, yeah". To-read, To-borrow, To-love, To-everything! Just make sure you get your hands on this amazing novel! (PLUS: Isn't that cover beautiful?! )

Thursday, February 14, 2013

[GIVEAWAY] - Valentine's Day Giveaway

Why hello there beautiful/handsome? It's Valentine's Day! Yay! (All the chocolate is on sale today! >:D) We just wanted to say we love you guys, and are so grateful to have your support. Because of this, we decided to host a last minute Valentine's Day giveaway with our good friend Amelia Bedelia (it's just Amelia, actually) @ The Blooming Reader. Read the rules, please! 

Giveaway Details:

-The giveaway will start on Thursday, February 14th (Valentine's Day) and end on Friday, February 15th 11:59 pm
-Seeing as this is a YA blog, the book you choose will be of the YA/NA (New Adult) genre.
-Must be 13 or older to enter this giveaway.
- If the Book Depository ships to your country, then you're illegible for the giveaway. 
-The winner will be announced on the following Saturday, and notified via email or tweet.
-The winner is required to respond within 48 hours or the "win" will be invalidated, and another winner will be chosen.
-The book will be shipped to you as soon as the Book Depository transaction goes through. We are not in any way responsible for the damage or loss of the book during its shipment.

The List:

NOTE: Some of the books have not been released yet, in that case it would be a pre-order.


Woah. Okay, those were A LOT of books! 2 lucky winners will get to choose a book from this list. It truly and honestly PAINS me to say - erm type -- what you're about to read, but ... If none of these books appeal to you *Choking on disappointment* then you will be allowed to choose a book available at the Book Depository for no more than $15. 

Ta-da! The Giveaway!:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Nantucket Blue

Created by: JillBreaking the Spine

Feel free to use our graphics guys, as long as you link back, or let us know you're using them. (:

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted every Wednesday. For this meme, you're asked to post a picture, and an overview of the book that has not come out yet. You're then asked to discuss why you're waiting for this book. (A release date for the book is also appreciated.)

What We're Waiting For!

Author: Leila Howland
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date:  May 7th 2013

For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.

Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t. 

When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.

But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.

A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue
Why We're Waiting
We've been stalking this author since the overview and cover came out on Goodreads. Honestly, we basically reply to all her tweets the  second after she writes them. LOL just kidding ... we think? We're actually really looking forward to Nantucket Blue, because of the whole rich becoming middle-class aspect. For some reason, we've found that we LOVE books with that story line because of the adjustments the characters and the people around the characters have to make to get back on track. Seeing if the families and friends are up for the challenge is the most appealing part. BESIDES, THAT COVER? Ooh, la la 

Link us up! 
We'd LOVE to check out your 'Waiting on Wednesday' Post!