A Review of AFTER by Anna Todd

 

22557520Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

What did I think?

I swore I wouldn’t read this book, but alas all the banter about Anna Todd in my classroom was enough to change my mind. My students were raving about After, but begged me NOT to read it. Said it was too bad and I’d yell at them for reading it, but they get all giggly when talking about it. Well, if you know me at all, you know that I’d do just what they didn’t want me to. One night it was very slow at the bookstore, so I picked up After to read. 60 pages in, I was hooked. It reminded me of when I started reading Jaime McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster. I remember meeting Travis for the first time. He’s one character that many wish were real! Lol!

Always and Beautiful Disaster have two things in common; both books revolve around sexy, tattooed bad boys. And each is broken and sworn off relationships for good, but change their mind when a particular virginal girl comes into the picture. Now, I get that this is supposed to be fan-fiction starring Harry Styles, but I don’t get it. Without knowing this before reading Always, I’d never put the two together.

As much as the story drew me in, I still found some issues with it. First of all, some of the dialogue was too clean. Very little contractions from college students means I question the validity of the characters, especially if they are as hip as those in the story.

Second of all, Hardin treats Tessa like absolute shit. I love a bad boy like everyone else, but Hardin is just downright mean. There’s only so much good sex can deviate the attention away from a guy who is just being a jerk. I understand Hardin has some real issues, but not all sexy guys are verbally abusive. Of course I like Hardin…when he lets his guard down.

Annnnnndddd then there is the whole ending. Of course there’s a sequel, of which I will probably read. Even with the negatives, I really enjoyed Todd’s writing. I think it’s fabulous that she became a big sensation on Wattpad and is now traditionally published. As a writer it’s a dream come true. I hope after this, she continues to write new stories.

Cover Reveal: SCARRED BY VENGEANCE by Valia Lind

GUYS! My lovely critique partner is revealing the cover of book 2 in the Titanium Series today!!! I am so happy for her. Why not help me celebrate and check out this fab cover!

 
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SYNOPSIS:

This is the mission: Save. Protect. Destroy.

Everything in Anastasia’s world came crashing down when the one person she decided to trust failed her. On the run, now more than ever, she’s trying to piece together the life she doesn’t remember. With Blake still missing, she sends the rest of the family away, hoping to keep them out of danger. But being alone is a lot harder than it used to be and she blames herself for allowing Logan into her heart. He’s gone now and she must let him go. Even though her perfect memory continues to play out the time they’ve spent together, much like a broken record.

But Anastasia has no time to dwell on the mistakes of yesterday; her mission isn’t over. Kallos Enterprises continue their experiments, as the death rate goes up, and Anastasia has no choice but to fight. However, she’s not as cold blooded as she used to be and that proves to be a problem when the people she cares about are once again put in danger. With her strength—and memory—failing and Blake’s time running out, Anastasia must tap into parts of herself she never knew existed, hoping that in the end, it will be enough to save them all.

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Release Date: March 24, 2015

Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24279127-scarred-by-vengeance

Website: https://valialind.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ValiaLind

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ValiaLind

First 3 Chapters of book 1, PIECES OF REVENGE are up on Wattapad: http://www.wattpad.com/story/32213459-pieces-of-revenge

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Valia and me:)

Author info:

Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction. You can visit her online at https://valialind.wordpress.com or follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind

 

TEASER: 

I try to stay off the grid. The run down hotel I’m at right now has no Wi Fi, no cable TV, no computers in the lobby. I paid cash and they let me chose a room on the other side of the building, away from the front.

I had to leave Chicago, even for a little bit. I didn’t go far, but the pressure of the big city was getting to me. I felt like I was being watched on every corner. At least here, I can hide away until my wounds have stopped bleeding.

I lay down on the bed, stretching out my sore muscles. It’s been three days.

I should be better by now.

I should be getting back to work.

I should be hunting those bastards down.

But I can barely breathe without my ribs protesting in pain. I hate feeling this helpless. The ever present rage within me burns hotter and hotter. Each passing moment, my mind runs over all the ways I’ll make Foster pay.

A sneek peek at SALT AND STONE by Victoria Scott

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In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can’t quit–she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone’s keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you’d relied on most suddenly isn’t there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left–and only one can win.

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Here’s a sneek peek…straight from the boss…

I swallow and stare at him in the dark, my entire body itching to feel his touch. When I see the anticipation in his stance, the way he looks at me as if I’m both infuriating and appealing — it makes me feel powerful. But when he takes a step in my direction, that power plummets to some place untouchable. Now I’m a seventeen-year-old girl again, standing in the shadows with someone who feels like he’s lived three lives to my one.

“Come with me,” he orders.

There’s no room for refusal, and I don’t want there to be. He takes my hand to help me step over sleeping bodies, both human and Pandora. When I stumble, he leans over and sweeps beneath my knees. I’m brought into his arms with the same ease I may use to curl a rabbit to my chest. But I’m not such an innocent, silent creature.

I’ve got spirit and fire in spades. Though, right now, as he carries me to the single back bedroom, I have neither. I’m somebody else now. I’m Tella Holloway, Boston girl turned Montana transplant, sitting on the edge of her bed, awaiting her very first date with the boy who makes her parents uneasy. A boy who doesn’t speak nearly enough, but when he does, this girl stops and listens. In my mind’s eye, I’m wearing the silver-sequined dress that’s hibernated in my closet far too long. I feel beautiful and confident, and who cares if he said we’re going to the lake at night? I want to glimpse the look on his face when he sees me. I envision how his entire face will light up as if it’s lit from within. How his full lips will part slightly and his cold blue eyes will soften.

Guy sets me on my feet, and I gaze up at him.

Oh yes. Right there. That’s the look I imagined.

© 2015 Victoria Scott.  From Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott, published by Scholastic Inc.  All rights reserved.

Want to win a copy? And trust me, if you haven’t read anything by Victoria–you need to. Click on the link below at the chance to win a copy of Salt & Stone.

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A Review of ALL THE RAGE by Courtney Summers

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Expected publication: April 14th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin

 

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

What did I think?

It’s not often that I finish a book and I’m left speechless. Only Courtney Summers is capable of shutting me up! Lol! This is a story told by a girl who is left to feel that it’s all her fault she was raped. Between the girls in the locker room treating Romy like she’s worthless, and the local sherif intimidating her…it’s no wonder she keeps quiet about her pain.

I feel very saddened that in our modern society, girls raped by popular, rich, handsome boys/men still need to fear speaking out about their abuse. Even other women blame the victim, strip her down even more than the attacker. I’m hoping with this book, Courtney Summers makes a difference; gets people thinking, talking, about changing rape culture.

Well done Courtney!

 

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