Jun 29, 2014

Welcome to the Summer Blogger Promo Tour!


Welcome to the Summer Blogger Promo Tour! Us ladies here at The Book Bratz decided to host a tour to promote some pretty awesome book bloggers, even though book tours are pretty awesome...we just figured that it was time for some bloggers to be recognized for a change. So, the Summer Blogger Promo Tour was born!

How does it work?
Every Sunday (starting next week) in July and August, we're going to be putting up a post for the tour here at The Book Bratz--and our post will be highlighting a different awesome book blogger and their blog each week. In return, the other book bloggers in the lineup will be doing the same thing on their blog every week! So you guys pretty much get to find out about 8 awesome new blogs to go follow throughout the summer. How cool is that? Pretty awesome.

We're sooooo excited for this summer tour to finally kick off! Here are the awesome blogs we'll be covering throughout the next two months:

July 6th: Dana and her blog, Dana Square (Read it here!)

July 13th: Andrew and his blog, Endlesslyreading (Read it here!)

July 20th: Ana and her blog, Ana Loves... (Read it here!)

July 27th: Ella and the YA Club and their blog, The YA Club

August 3rd: Stefani and her blog, Caught Read Handed

August 10th: Jen and her blog, Ink on the Shelf

August 17th: Mily and her blog, The YA's Nightstand

August 24th: SJ and her blog, SJ Bouquet

After that, August 31st is going to be a wrap-up post on how awesome the tour was, who we met and what we learned, etc. Get ready, because it's going to be an awesome and interesting summer.

See you all next week when we talk about BookCon and more with our first stop, Dana Square!

Jun 28, 2014

ARC Review: Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin

Title: Tabula Rasa
Author: Kristen Lippert-Martin 
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: eBook
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: September 2014

*I received an ARC ebook copy of Tabula Rasa By Kristen Lippert-Martin  via Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review*

Summary: 
Sixteen-year-old Sarah has a rare chance at a new life. Or so the doctors tell her. She’s been undergoing a cutting-edge procedure that will render her a tabula rasa—a blank slate. Memory by memory her troubled past is being taken away.

But when her final surgery is interrupted and a team of elite soldiers invades the isolated hospital under cover of a massive blizzard, her fresh start could be her end. 

Navigating familiar halls that have become a dangerous maze with the help of a teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, Sarah starts to piece together who she is and why someone would want her erased. And she won’t be silenced again.

A high-stakes thriller featuring a non-stop race for survival and a smart heroine who will risk everything, Tabula Rasa is, in short, unforgettable.


~~~


Fast paced, with raw emotional scenes and plenty of action, full of twist and turns. It left me on the edge of my seat until the very last word. 

The story starts in the the operating room were Sarah is undergoing an experimental surgery (Tabula Rasa) to have her memories erased. She doesn't know why, only that she is lucky to be given a second chance. But things don't go planned and soon the lights are out, soldiers burst in shooting, and there is not escape, especially not with a full force blizzard outside. 

When Sarah barley escapes from the hospital with her life she runs into Thomas, who she begs into helping her escape the soldiers that were sent to kill her. Soon Thomas and Sarah are in a fight for their lives.

I didn't release how fast this book was until the end. The whole story only takes place only a handful of days, and the setting is one place. The hospital. 

I liked Sarah too. She was strong willed and sarcastic, two of my favorite things in a character. It was also refreshing to learn her memories that were taken during surgeries along with her. You never knew what was coming next.

I haven't been content with an ending to a book/series in a long time. But I can say that I was more then happy with the ending. Yes, it may not have been ideal but it is better then nothing right?  


RATING: ★★★★








Jun 25, 2014

Nominated For a Liebster Blog Award!

Recently, we were nominated for the Liebster Award by Emily @ Tea & Fangirling

About the Award: 

"The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn't that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it's a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs." -(We Loved Here)

Rules:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you, plus create 11 questions for the people you tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!

11 Things About Amber: 

1. I sleep way too much. 
2. My favorite food place is Taco Bell. 
3. I am a junior in high school. 
4. I have 3 siblings: 2 brothers and 1 sister.
5. I'd rather read than go out and socialize.
6. Starbucks is my biggest weakness.
7. I speak horrible Italian.
8. I am from Long Island, New York.
9. I want to go to medical school.
10. My youngest brother will be in 3rd grade when I graduate high school.
11. Did I mention I like Taco Bell? 

11 Things about Jessica: 

1. I love reading and writing.
2. I actually published my first book not too long ago, which you can buy by clicking here!
3. I've been dancing for 14 years.
4. I want to go to Columbia University to get a Creative Writing degree.
5. Nutella is love, Nutella is life.
6. My favorite book is Looking for Alaska by John Green.
7. I forced my boyfriend to read TFiOS to see if he would cry (he claims he didn't, but I believe otherwise).
8. I have one brother and one sister, both younger than me.
9. I'm currently applying to work at Barnes & Noble.
10. I'm currently writing my second book.
11. This is going to be my second year as a NaNoWriMo Participant!


Our 11 questions from Emily @ Tea & Fangirling:

1. What is your favorite genre of books?
Amber: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror and sometimes Mystery. It depends on the book, though!
Jessica: I'm all for YA, specifically contemporary!


2. Do you have any pets?
Amber: I have a Yellow Lab named Bud and a black Beta fish named Smokey.
Jessica: I have several--a naughty little beagle named Lola Belle, a beta fish named Mugsy Mallone, a goldfish named Cam, and a sugar glider named Zoey!

3. What is your favorite stand-alone book of all time?
Amber: I have to pick one? I guess The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
Jessica: Looking for Alaska by John Green, for sure.


4. What is your favorite final book in a series you've read?
Amber: Again, I have to pick one? This is really hard. But I have to say the conclusion to Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series.
Jessica: I'm not a huge fan of series books, but the conclusion to the Gossip Girl series was pretty good.


5. Least favorite book character?
Amber: Adam from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I liked him at first but then by the end of the trilogy I hated him.
Jessica: I'm going to have to say Adrian from Vampire Academy and from Bloodlines. I just can't make myself like him..I don't know.


6. Favorite childhood book series?
Amber: Haha, I didn't like reading as a child. You couldn't even get me to read Dr. Seuss.
Jessica: I was a big fan of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden.


7. Favorite TV show?
Amber: Pretty Little Liars.
Jessica: Definitely Degrassi.


8. What is one book that you can read again and again and never get tired of?
Amber: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Jessica: It's definitely a tie between The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, both by John Green.


9. A book character you wish was real?
Amber: Daemon Black from Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux series or Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
Jessica: Augustus Waters! That boy is a godsend. 


10. Favorite author you follow on Twitter?

Jessica: @realjohngreen


11. Favorite book quote?
Amber: “My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”
Jessica: "Love is just a shout into the void, and oblivion is inevitable."


We Tag: 



Our Questions For Our Tagged: 

1. If you had to choose, who would be your book boyfriend?

2. If you could redesign one book cover, which book would it be?

3. What's one book character that you wish had their own series?

4. What was the worst book you've ever read?

5. Why was the book you mentioned in Question #4 the worst book you've ever read?

6. If you could recommend one book to the whole world, what would it be?

7. What's one of your favorite book blogs that you follow? (Tag them!)

8. What was the last book you read (completely finished)?

9. How many books do you want to read throughout 2014? (If you have a Goodreads account--what is your 2014 Reading Challenge goal?)

10. What's one genre that you just can't get into?

11. What's your favorite thing about being a book blogger?



Thanks again for our nomination, Emily!

ARC Review: Amity by Micol Ostow


Title: Amity
Author: Micol Ostow
Genre: Horror
Format: eBook
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: August 26, 2014

Summary:
Connor's family moves to Amity to escape shady business deals. Ten years later, Gwen's family moves to Amity for a fresh start after she's recovered from a psychotic break.
But something is not right about this secluded house. Connor's nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons and destruction. Dreams he kind of likes. Gwen has lurid visions of corpses that aren't there and bleeding blisters that disappear in the blink of an eye. She knows Amity is evil and she must get her family out, but who would ever believe her?
Amity isn't just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a bloody end as she's done before. As she'll do again.
Alternating between parallel narratives, Amity is a tense and terrifying tale suggested by true-crime events that will satisfy even the most demanding horror fan.
~~~



".... a gruesome thriller suggested by the events of the Amityville Horror."

I saw the name Amity and the first thing that popped into my head was The Amityville Horror. I live on Long Island. Less then twenty minutes away from the actually Amityville Horror house, so of course anything involving it will catch my attention. I was disappointed that this wasn't a retelling. But besides that I enjoyed the story.

This was another book were I abandoned all my responsibilities and laid on the couch all night to read. It is told in alternate times. Ten years ago and today. 

Conner had lived in the house ten years ago. Now, when I first started the book I liked Connor, I really did. Then the book progressed and I found that some things he did were not normal. My biggest question is, was he in love with his sister? There is a part in the book that suggests that, then a dream were she kisses him. 

Qwen currently lives in the house. This was her parents latest escape with their family after Qwen's latest mental break down and she is convinced not to screw it up. Then she starts having the dreams, starts referring to Amity as if she were a person and seeing things, just like Connor had. 

As much as I liked the book there were things I didn't like. There were many things that were unclear or unanswered. Especially Connor's letter at the end. What exactly did he mean by everything he said? Who was the decomposed girl that Qwen kept seeing? Was it Jules or someone else from Amity's past?


RATING: ★★★





Waiting on Wednesday: Talon by Julie Kagawa (#6)



"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine




Title: Talon 
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Page Number: 400
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 28, 2014

Summary: 
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons. 



Jun 24, 2014

ARC Review: Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West

Title: Pieces of Oliva (Charleston Haven #1)
Author: Melissa West
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook
Publisher: Penguin/InterMix Books
Release Date: July 15, 2014

*I received an ARC ebook copy of Pieces of Olivia By Melissa Wesr  via Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review*

Summary:
Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future. 
But on one fated night, everything changed.

Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life.

She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal... that is, until she meets Preston.

Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars.

Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for…



~~~

I won't lie. Going into this book I was nervous. I don't read contemporary fiction much. Actually I never do. I usual need a book with a fantasy or sci-fi aspect to keep my interest. But Pieces of Olivia was different. I was hooked with in the first few chapters, and by hooked I mean: I abandoned all my responsibilities to read.

Olivia, how my heart broke for her when she would talk about the night of the party, the one where she ended up scared and broken. The end of high school the start of college is suppose to be a good time, not one filled with nightmares and lost. But when she enrolls at Charleston to restart her life she never planned on meeting Preston. Olivia's roommate, Kara's best friend. 

Preston isn't the type of person so have a long lasting relationship. He has flings that last for a bit and then end. Kara gets stuck being the between girl, stuck listening to these girls complain about Preston and she hates it. 

When Olivia asks why Preston doesn't do the relationship thing she receives the reply from Kara that is isn't her story to tell. When she asks Preston, he tells her the same thing: It isn't his story. So that leaves you wondering. Who story is it then? 

All through out the book there was always this strange tension between Kara and Preston that I was dying to know, and then bam! You find out and your heart splits open and you look for your box of tissues. I could only imagine what ran through Olivia's head. 

"I can't breathe when you're around. I can't think. I can't control my mind and forget my body. I am useless and weak and I hate this version of myself. Yet... I have never wanted anyone like I want you." 

The book takes place over a couple of months, from the start of their first semester and into part of their second semester. So the romance wasn't fast, it was set overtime and I loved that. I don't like books where the Main Characters rush into a relationship head first and saying "I love you." It is just not real like that. Plus, Olivia wanted him and slowly fell for him through out the book.

I really adored Preston and Olivia's relationship. He never pushed her to tell about her past, and when you have a dark past you don't want someone pushing for you to tell it. That is just how it is.  But Olivia wasn't the only one in the book with a story, and Preston's reasoning for not dating long term bought tears to my eyes.  

Now Rose, I loved her. Her and Olivia's relationship wasn't one of a patient and a doctor, it was like two friends. At first when Rose was talking about ghost I thought the woman was crazy, but then as Melissa introduced her tp you began to see that she was a good thing for Olivia to have. 

 Now, I must wait until December of Miles of Kara by Melissa West, which as the title says is about Kara. *sighs* Melissa West also said that the cover for the second book will be even better then the first. *even bigger sigh* But I still have to wait! 

RATING: ★★★★





Jun 23, 2014

Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Title: Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood #1)
Author: Victoria Scott
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 305
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: February 25, 2014

Summary:
Time is slipping away.... 

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Victoria Scott's breathtaking novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go.


~~~



As the GIF above says, I have all these feels that I didn't have when I started reading. Including millions of unanswered questions, and an almost eight month wait to get the answers. Oh boy. 

Did Fire & Flood remind me of The Hunger Games? Yes. There were some things I found similar, but a majority of it wasn't even remotely the same. Which made me happy because I wanted to love this book and guess what!? I do! (I have read enough reviews to see that people are torn) There are similar themes and settings, but every book has to start somewhere and this is totally different. 

I have two brothers, one seven and another fifteen. I would easily give my life for either of them. (No matter how much I say I hate them.)  I can see Tella's determination to get through The Brimstone Bleed successfully. Though she questions herself throughout, or makes stupid decisions. But she is sixteen, sixteen year olds can make stupid decisions. 

The Pandora's reminded me of Pokemon. Only these were animals with genetically altered abilities. Some that were really cute, then some that are really scary. Madox, if he was real I would probably kidnap that poor thing because he was so cute. I worried about him more then the main characters sometimes. 

As usual I fell in love with the boy who the main character is lusting after. This time his name is Guy, we are totally going to get married. You know if he was real and all. Guy was very mysterious and I feel we learned the most about him in the last 1/4 of the book. 

I don't have much to say about this book. Have you ever loved something so much you have no words for it? Well that is me right now. 


RATING: ★★★★★













Jun 22, 2014

Book Blitz: Honey Queen by Christina Mercer (Giveaway)




Title: Honey Queen
Release Date: May 31, 2014

Summary from Goodreads:

Love is honey sweet,
but it comes with a fatal sting . . .



Melaina Maris needs wings to fly the gap between loving Sam and her family’s
ancient curse that forces carnal love and then kills the male lovers. She won’t
let the same fate that killed her father befall another. She refuses to allow
her goddess-created bloodline to continue. But there’s no easy way out,
especially after the curse turns her into the Honey Queen—savior to honey
bees—intensifying her charms.



To help her fulfill the curse’s demands in the least harmful way, her grandmother
takes her to mate with terminally ill Boyd. But Boyd’s gay. And an expert in
mythology. Instead of having sex, Melaina learns how she might summon the
goddess who created the first ancestor bee-charmer and cursed her bloodline.
Melaina's magic—tears to save honey bees from endangerment—could be enough to
persuade the goddess to end the curse. But an unexpected discovery soon changes
that hope, spinning Melaina into a swarm of love, friendship and death.








Available from:

Amazon




Excerpt #1:


“What about you?” I fold my arms against my chest, suddenly aware I’m not wearing a bra. “Have you felt okay since being in the hospital?”

“Yeah. They pumped me up with adrenaline and I was good to go. Have to carry an EpiPen with me now, just in case.”

Just in case he tangles again with my sisters.

I nod like a bobblehead doll and wonder if it’s the aftereffects of the trance, or whatever it was I just awoke from, or if it’s Sam’s presence that’s causing the room to shrink.   

“Listen,” he says, “I thought we could go for a walk by the river. I brought a couple poles to throw in the water.”

“I . . . really need to shower, change my clothes, plus I have a lot of things—”

“Change your clothes and meet me outside,” he says, and heads for the door.

My jaw falls. Gran was righter than royal jelly. Every cell in my body is screaming to touch him, and now he’s insisting we go out. Double crap. But I need to go; I owe him that much. I will just have to maintain control.
I hurry upstairs and swirl a toothbrush in my mouth, throw on some jeans and a fresh tee, and grab a hoodie. I scribble a note to Gran before I head out the door, fully aware I’ll be facing her crinkled forehead later.

The passenger side of Sam’s white pickup is open, inviting me inside. He’s behind the wheel, head cocked to watch me as I walk toward him.

Steady now.

We’ll walk by the river, maybe fish. Then I’ll tell him once and for all we can’t ever be more than friends, and that he’ll thank me in a few months when August brings his eighteenth birthday and his ticket to boot camp somewhere far from here. He won’t want to think about leaving, but for once, I agree with his dad. Sending Sam away is the best thing for him.

It’s the best way to keep him alive.







About the Author:
Christina Mercer is an award-winning author of fiction for children and
young adults. She took Writer’s Best in Show at the 2012 SCBWI CA North/Central
Regional Conference, was a Semi-Finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakout Novel
Award Contest, and won Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer's Digest
Self Published Book Awards. She holds a degree in Accounting from California
State University at Sacramento and a Certificate in Herbal Studies from Clayton
College of Natural Health. Christina resides in Northern California enjoying
life with her husband, two sons, four dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees. 


Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png





GIVEAWAY:


1 ebook of Honey Queen (INT)
1 "Honey Bee" swag pack (USA). Swag will be bookmark,
buzz card, beeswax lip balm, honey sticks, honeybee charm.
a Rafflecopter giveaway













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