Tuesday, January 14, 2014

4 Books I forgot to review in 2013! | Mini Review: Viral Nation, Anatomy of a Single Girl, Stargazing from Nowhere, and Shymers

Let's face it, we all have done this sometime or another, forgot to review a book given to you by a author/publisher. I knew full and well that I needed to review these books but I keep putting it off and getting distracted (or busy!) 

Nobody's Perfect. 

So today in order to make up for my mistake I will be doing mini-review for each one of these awesome books that I forgot to review in 2013. 

First let's begin with a book called, Shymers by Jen Naumann. 

Title: Shymers
Author: Jen Naumann 
Published: November 2nd 2012 by At or With Me Publishing
Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Author
Genre: Science Fiction > Dystopia
Reading Level: YA

In a distant future, Olive Mensing is raised in the solitude of the forest by her parents, away from Society. For a time she is happy and content, trusting in everything her parents tell her, and thinking she has the rest of her life ahead of her. But not long after her father’s mysterious death, Olive and her mother are torn from their home and thrown into the very place Olive was raised to fear. There she will discover the brutal truths her parents had tried to keep from her - a Society divided by two classes (Shymers and Futures) based on how many days people have to live, and a government that locks people away for rebellious behaviors. 

Although everything seems backwards and hopeless in this new world, Olive makes a few new friends and develops her first crush on a handsome boy. But even then, things aren’t as easy as they should be. She finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of hatred, sadness and lies that spins out of control, forcing her to choose between what her heart wants and what she knows is right.
Purchase @ Amazon | B&N | KoboThe Book Depository 

I was pleasantly surprised by how amazing this book truly was. To be totally honest, I was not sure what to expect from this book since it is a self-published novel. I found myself somewhat apprehensive to begin reading it. On a whim I decided to pick it up and give it a try. I figured I'd read a few pages and see if I liked it. Little did I know I would finish the entire book THAT day. YES, it was THAT good GREAT! 

The story-line was unlike any other Dystopian novel I've read. The world building was remarkably unique and  richly developed. The idea of being classed into groups by how long you're going to live is not only insightful but  really makes this story unlike any other.  I was fully engrossed by Olive and Harrisons dual POV's. Without going into to much detail about what really happens in the book I must say one of the best parts was when Olive finally sees who she really is and the power she holds leading her to question everything the government has said. The romance between both Olive and Harrison was both beautiful and raw. Thier journey to do what's right and rebel against the government may be the hardest thing they've ever done. 

I highly recommend Shymers if you're a fan of Dystopian novels.  Without a doubt one of my favorite Dystopian reads on 2013. 

Now it time for Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes...another epic Dystopian novel.

Title: Viral Nation
Author: Shaunta Grimes 
Published: July 2nd 2013 by Berkley Trade
Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Author
Genre: Science Fiction > Dystopia
Reading Level: YA

After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.

Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.

When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.
Purchase @ Amazon | B&N | Kobo | The Book Depository | Indiebound

 Viral Nation is your "end of the world, now we must start over" novel.  After a deadly virus claims most of the world's population, a group of elite scientist find a cure for the virus after traveling into the future. This "cure" also happens to control everyone who uses it. Without  a mandatory daily does of the vaccine you would slowly die. 
Olive the main protagonist of the story knows the rules and obeys them rightfully. She has high hopes that she may be accepted into a privileged boarding school where she can learn a trade and move up into the world. So after being rejected, sadly because she was not allowed to bring her service dog into the school and partly because of a certain *cough* B with a inch, Olive now feels very sadden and troubled with the choice that was made. Soon after she is offered another type of schooling and a chance to travel into time to discover more about the future and what it holds. Olive knows this is a once in a lifetime thing and accepted but what she finds in the near future is not at all what she expected. 

What is everything you knew and trusted was wrong? Would you make a stand for what you believe in or trust what you've been lead to believe your entire life?

Viral Nation is one fast-paced, dystopian thriller that kept me guessing until the very last page.  Debut author Shaunta Grimes is a genius when it comes to world building, character development and a enthralling story-line. I recommend this to all science fiction/dystopian book lovers. 

Here's one of my favorite Contemporary Romance reads of 2013, Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky. 

Title: Anatomy of a Single Girl (Anatomy #2)
Author: Daria Snadowsky 
January 8th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 227 pages
Source: Author
Genre: Realistic Fiction, 
Contemporary Romance
Reading Level: YA - New Adult

With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl.
After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one. 

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever. 

In Daria Snadowsky’s daring follow-up to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through.
 Purchase @ Amazon | B&N | Kobo | The Book Depository | Indiebound

In mid 2013 I reviewed book 1 in this series, Anatomy of a Boyfriend (review) and if you've read my review you know how much I absolutely positively adored the book. I couldn't wait to see what happens next and of course being the impatient person I am I didn't. I picked up Anatomy of a Single Girl almost directly after reading book one. Once again, I was blown away by the AWESOMENESS that is Anatomy of a Single Girl! I love author Daria Snadowsky spunk, her "balls to the wall" attitude and her flawless writing style. As said before, Daria Snadowsky has easily become of my new favorite authors. I really believe there is nothing she could write that I would not like. 

In book one, Dominique aka "Dom" has really grown up a lot. She's had her first kiss, her first slide into "second base" and her first time having sex.  Dom also has sadly had her first big heartbreak. He boyfriend dumps her, online no less, taking all of these "first times" with him. 
Now Dom is in college, away from home and away from the boy her broke her heart. Dom knows she must move in life and love to begin a new and maybe even someday fall in love once again. So when she meets a super cute guy, named...well...named GUY (hehe) Dom decided to forgot her X and move on the greener pastures. Determined not to be broken-hearted again Dom decides a sexual relationship with Guy is better...and more fun... than getting hurt again. It's not until Dom gets to know Guy much better that she finds herself growing deeply in love with him. Sadly she is mistaken. Guy only wants a sexual relationship, not love. 

In the end, Dom learns love is hard to find and being single for a while is OK. I feel she really came into her own in the book. Both books were outstanding and without a doubt two of my favorite books read in 2013.

Last but not least, Stargazing from Nowhere by Isabel Thomas & Marilyn Thomas. 

Title: Stargazing from Nowhere
Author: Isabel Thomas & Marilyn Thomas 
Published: July 22nd 2013 by Do Art Publishing

Paperback, 448 pages
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reading Level: YA

Kristen Morgan's blog is about to get her into trouble. Deep trouble. Online, she is known as "Stargazer" from the popular Stargazing from Nowhere blog, while in real life she is a regular fifteen-year-old high school student. This online anonymity is quite liberating, allowing her to be completely honest with her readers. Through a twist of fate, Rising Tide, the band she has bashed the most online, ends up in her small town, which sends Kristen into an excited panic. To continue gathering fresh material for her blog, she poses as a Rising Tide fan. After sneaking into the band's private party, she comes face to face with the band's drummer, Michael Stevens, who happens to be even more gorgeous in person than she cares to admit. Something unexpected also happens to her when she meets him: she becomes giddy, nervous, and inarticulate, leading Kristen to realize that her interest in Michael has nothing to do with her blog, but everything to do with her heart. As Kristen and Michael grow closer, does she have to make a choice between blog or boyfriend...Or is the choice made for her?
 Purchase @ Amazon | Smashwords 

The sole reason I wanted to read Stargazing from Nowhere is because it has always been my dream to meet a rockstar and date him. Growing up I desperately wanted just that. It was a fantasy of mine for a sexy rockstar *cough* Nick Carter* *cough* to fall in love with me, and we'd get married and have a bunch of kids. *sigh* Of course, that never happen. (surprise, surprise). Stargazing from nowhere is about a girl who ends up getting what everything dreams of, to date a rockstar. 

Blogger, Kristen Morgan tells it how she's it, even when it comes to bashing a famous rock band who she used to really love. All of her thoughts and feeling right there for the world to see on her blog, Stargazing from Nowhere. When the unthinkable happens, the band Kristen bashes on her blog decided to come to her hometown for a visit, Kristen doesn't know what to think. Are they coming to look for this anonymous blogger or just to get away from it all for a while? Kristen in no way thought her path would cross with a certain sexy drummer, Michael Stevens but when it does Kristen never excepted for the two them to fall in love. But what's more important love or blogging?

Find out what happens to Kristen when her wildest dreams come true and the decisions she makes along the way. Will Kristen do the right thing and tell Michael who she really? Sometimes the truth really can set you feel. 

I must say I really loved this book more than I thought I would. I felt like I was reading what I would love to happen to me. Kristen was such a fun and relatable character. I could totally see myself doing the same things, making the same choices she did. I am super happy that I read this book. I most definitely recommend Stargazing to Nowhere to anyone who's ever had a celebrity crush and YA alike. 

Phew, finally done. :) It feels good to finish up my 2013 reviews. Once again my apologies to all of the authors who have been waiting for these reviews. Thanks for being patient with me and for giving me your books to read. 

I would love to hear my readers thoughts on my reviews. :) I look forward to your comments. 

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