Where have you been?!

Hello Dear Readers!

It’s been a while… whoops! I’ve had an extremely busy few months… graduation, moving to a new campus in a new town… I haven’t had much time for reading and writing, much to my disappointment.

I have been working to get used to my new adventure, and hope to be back with another review soon!

Thanks for sticking with me, and as always… Keep Reading!

Kayla

“For The Record” by Charlotte Huang – REVIEW!!!!

For the record

As a music addict and a massive fan of Fall Out Boy, I couldn’t not read a book endorsed by Pete Wentz himself. Charlotte Huang’s debut novel For The Record tells about the thrills of living life on the main-stage… and how being in the fast lane of the music industry can mess with your identity.

Chelsea Ford thought she was doomed to return to small town life after losing a reality TV vocal competition, but when she receives an offer to become the new lead singer of her favorite band, Melbourne, she knows her life will never be the same again. As she exchanges her hometown comforts  for tour bus antics, dramatic confrontations,  and dozens of live shows a week, Chelsea realizes that the life of a performer is not as perfect as she’d hoped it would be.

Struggling to find her own sound in the massive wake of the former leading lady, Chelsea fights for acceptance not only from fans and sponsors, but her new bandmates who haven’t quite accepted the idea of a pop singer as the front-woman of a rock group. Chelsea quickly becomes caught up in the emotional strains of life in the spotlight, and must learn how to adapt in order to win her way into the hearts of thousands.

For The Record takes an interesting look into the side of the music industry you don’t often see. For a musician and self-declared band obsessed person like me, I loved being able to experience the lives of my favorite artists through Chelsea and get an inside point of view on what makes the world of music go around.

I recommend this novel to the fans of Ally Carter, Becca Fitzpatrick, Lauren Oliver, and Julie Kagawa. Packed with drama, intrigue, and romance, For The Record is one read you will not be able to put down!

Happy Reading!

Kayla

Connect with the author:

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“Illuminae: The Illuminae Files_01” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – REVIEW!!!!

Illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is a suspenseful science fiction novel that tests the tactical skills and emotional strength of the characters to the absolute limit on every page.

When Kady Grant made the decision to break up with her long-term boyfriend Ezra Mason, she prepared herself for the worst. Fighting, screaming, and crying were all things Kady was ready for, but never in her worst nightmares could she have anticipated what actually happened after the split.

Set in the year 2575, inhabitants of an illegal mining colony on the outlying planet Kerenza IV were going about their daily operations when tragedy struck. Caught in the center of a vicious cooperation war, the Kerenza colony, under the control of the Wallace Ulyanov Consortium, was raided by BeiTech Industries, leaving the tiny frozen planet in shambles and its desperate citizens fleeing for space.

Only one ship makes it through the deadly space battle to help evacuate the colony. Severely damaged, the Alexander, along with two small ships from Kerenza IV, the Hapatia and the Copernicus, must make the long journey to the nearest wormhole get the refugees to civilization, and with it, justice.

Throughout the book, it seems as though everything that could possibly go awry not only goes wrong, but magnifies in intensity as the inhabitants of the three ships struggle to survive against man, machine, and disease.

I recommend Illuminae to science fiction and dystopian lovers of any age. The unique style of the book (a compilation of evidence, interviews, and video transcripts) will have you hooked until the very last page. I promise you, Illuminae  is like no book you’ve ever read before.

Happy Reading!

Kayla

More Information:

Author’s Social Media

Amie Kaufman

Instagram

Twitter

Website

Jay Kristoff

Instagram

Twitter

Blog

Sequel/Companion Novel “Gemina” coming out this fall!!!!

“All The Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven – REVIEW!!!!

all the bright places

I feel as though the authors of books that are both terribly sad and touchingly inspirational will never cease to amaze me with the depth and rawness of their writing. Jennifer Niven, the author of All The Bright Places, is no exception.

Niven cuts directly to the heart from the first line of the book until the final page. Her characters are so realistic that you feel as if they are telling you the story themselves rather than through words on a page. Narrated from the perspectives of Theodore (“Finch”) and Violet, two high school students each struggling with their own emotional walls, the novel digs into the depths of adolescent minds consumed by thoughts too deep and dark for anyone that young to have to handle.

Finch has a soft soul that is utterly torn to pieces by the horrors of the world. When he is not in an almost comatose state of depression, he is weighing the merits of different ways to die. On the day he meets Violet, Finch is standing at the top of the school bell tower, trying to decide if jumping off would be a respectable death for himself, and whether or not it would be convenient for the people in his life. Just as Finch decides that the mess he would leave behind is too much for his school to clean up, he spots Violet on the shallow ledge.

Violet climbed to the top of the bell tower on that fateful day during a subconscious trance of depression and guilt brought on by recent tragic events in her life that she feels overwhelmingly responsible for. Terrified for her safety as she realizes the enormity of her situation, Violet is saved by Finch, and the two eventually become friends.

The novel follows their journey of love and hate for oneself and life, documenting the ups and downs of their emotions and thoughts.

I would recommend this book to anyone emotionally strong enough to finish it. (If you were able to get through and enjoy The Fault In Our Stars or any other novel by John Green, you should be fine.) All The Bright Places highlights the importance of addressing the mental and emotional health of young people. Whether you are struggling with these issues in your life or not, this novel will open you up to an entirely new perspective on feelings and empathy.

Happy Reading!

Kayla

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” – John Green, The Fault In Our Stars

Guest Post: Behind the Novel – “Minotaur” by Phillip W. Simpson

minotaur

Phillip W. Simpson is the author of the new novel Minotaur. I was able to connect with him through Chapter by Chapter to get his personal perspective on the book. I hope it sparks your interest!

Greek mythology is a popular subject for many authors, spanning across a multitude of subtopics and genres. As a well-read lover of mythology based books, I would like to know what makes Minotaur unique? Besides being told from the “monster’s” point of view, how does this novel stand out from all the other stories of demigods, underworld creatures, and dangerous quests?

Good question. It’s because it takes a story that everyone knows well and turns it on its head. We know the ‘facts’ of the story. We know what ‘really happened’ but when all is said and done, to really know what happened is an impossibility. Writing didn’t exist then. It was a story based on an oral tradition. Nothing was written down. There are no photos. In other words, the only evidence exists from the story telling – the story has been told and retold over countless generations. It has been diluted and changed to suit the needs of the most powerful city state at the time – Athens. There is no evidence, no eye-witness reports. Essentially, I have created my own ‘truth’ in this book.

Let’s assume for a minute that there was a Minotaur, a Theseus and a labyrinth. Let’s assume we ‘know’ all there is to know about them. But what is the truth? We ‘know’ that the Minotaur was part bull, part human. We ‘know’ that he was imprisoned in the labyrinth. We ‘know’ that the Athenians sent young people there as tributes, to be consumed by the Minotaur. Finally, we ‘know’ that Theseus slew the Minotaur.

But, we don’t. There is so much room to manoeuver amongst this myth, it’s incredible. What if the Minotaur only had a slight deformity giving rise to the myth? What if the Minotaur was imprisoned because his father was embarrassed by him? What if Theseus and the Minotaur were old friends and secretly in cahoots? Now you’ve got a different story.

The story is told in first person by the Minotaur (Asterion) but he is telling his story to the Roman historian, Ovid, trying to convince the poet that this indeed is the truth. I think structurally, this also makes the story a little different as we come back to present action (Asterion telling the story to Ovid) from time to time. This is also an underdog’s story. When you are dealing with a hero, you expect to cheer for him but the Minotaur is not what you’d consider a hero. For thousands of years, he has been demonized, hated and spurned.

In my story, he is not particularly heroic either. He isn’t better or more handsome than other men. He is just a misunderstood youth with a deformity and a desire to fit in. Most of all, he wants to be loved. I think this is a point of difference when compared to other stories based on Greek myth. It makes him a much more sympathetic character and ironically, more human and less godlike (in my opinion).

Thanks Phillip!!!

Happy Reading!

Kayla

Paper Towns #readersacrosstheworld Project: Week 2 with Meagan from The Book Forums!

Hello people! *Waves to the people* You are all probably looking at your computer wondering who this strange person is who hijacked your favorite blog, but never fear super Meagan is here!

Yeah I’m sorry about that… but in all seriousness, I am here to talk about a book that is very close to my heart and that has introduces me to a lot of important things in my life— Legend by Marie Lu! Now I want you all to imagine a tall, awkward, frizzy-haired seventh grader— that was me. This seventh grader doesn’t have the most friends and kind of feels like and outcast, but all of the sudden she finds something great… BOOKS! First it was The Hunger Games but then that seventh grader needed more! One day she was surfing the Amazon when she came upon the book series known as Legend! The seventh grader became addicted to this new series and it led her to more and more books and eventually led her to starting her own Bookstagram page.

I’m going to stop talking about myself in third person now to say that Legend led me into this amazing world of books and word of book blogging. I would not be the reader I am today without that book and please go check it out if you haven’t yet!
Along with books, a lot of places have had a huge impact on my life! I live in Louisiana and not far from my house there is a water park called Blue Bayou and Dixie Landin! This is a decent sized family park with certain rides so old that you’re scared that they’re going to collapse, and this place holds a special place in my heart! I grew up always looking forward to what ride they were going to build for the new season. I have so many memories of waiting to be tall enough to ride the taller slides and coaster (yes there’s only one). This parks launched my love of theme parks and roller coasters and I just don’t know where I’d be without it!

Well that’s it from me (AWWW, I know, you don’t want me to go…) but sadly I have got to go.
Keep Reading…
Meagan!

Connect with Meagan!

Instagram

The Book Forums blog

Paper Towns #readersacrosstheworld Project: Week 1 with Janae Mitchell!

Inspiration can come from many things, including books and places. Even as a small child, I’d read a book and it would inspire me to think about that world and how it differed from, or resembled, mine. Or I’d visit a place and it would make me think about the people who lived there, wishing I knew more about their lives. Needless to say, my love of reading led to a love for writing, and my love of the small, historic town I once lived in led to my first novel.

 A photo taken at The Revolutionary War Graveyard in Dandridge,

TN, where an actual scene from For Always took place.

Living in a house that was once slave quarters during the Civil War, we had many strange things happened, which led us to believe our house was haunted. Because of this, I became intrigued by the paranormal. The beautiful, historic town of Dandridge, TN, where we lived, only added to this interest. As you walk down the streets of this tiny, little town, it’s like the history around you comes alive, making the ghosts of the past almost feel like they are walking among us. I love it, and this love of a small town, as well as my fascination with the paranormal, inspired my very first published YA paranormal romance, For Always.

This novel takes place in Dandridge, where many readers have actually taken pictures of themselves at certain book locations and sent to me. There’s even a cemetery right in the middle of Downtown where several scenes in this series take place, which local readers of Dandridge seem to love, visualizing the story as they drive through town. Aside from this town being an inspiration for my first novel, my first novel has actually become an inspiration for me, taking on a life of its own, it seems.

When I wrote For Always, I never thought it would be something that anyone would read, let alone become published, with thousands of copies downloaded within a few months time. I also never thought readers would love this story and the characters as much as I do. So, when I started getting messages about how this series got someone into reading again, or how it’s someone’s favorite series ever, and the fact that I still get messages and comments like this, it inspires me to continue to write. There are several other books and authors that I take inspiration from, but For Always is the most personal one.

Putting so much of myself into my characters, they each have a part of me in them, and vice-versa. To this day, one of the quotes I say the most often (even more than Harry Potter) is one from my main character, Malyn Reed. “Sometimes keeping your mouth shut and not saying a word takes more strength than opening it and saying a thousand.” When I want to blow up on someone, or voice my opinion, when that opinion won’t add anything to the conversation or topic at hand, I say this quote to myself, biting my tongue. My characters seem to inspire me to be a better person, not only when it comes to writing, but in my everyday life. So, if you see this quote pop up randomly on my news-feed, you’ll know I’m having one of those moments.

When it comes to books, especially those I love, I don’t just read them, I devour them, highlighting those lines that take my breath away, re-reading them again and again. Books, including mine, are mostly written to tell a story, however, that story can light a fire inside us, inspiring us to do things we may not have done otherwise. Harry Potter makes us believe in magic, transporting us to a place muggles would never be allowed to go had it not been for J.K. Rowling. Twilight gave a new birth to YA readers across the globe, including me, causing us to embrace that once forgotten love of reading. The Hunger Games made us want to unite for a greater cause *hold up three fingers & insert whistle here*. They’re not just stories for some of us. For some of us, they are a part of us; a world we are a part of each time we open that book or think about that character, who we feel like we actually know, not just read about.

No matter if it’s Dandridge, TN… Forks, Washington… or Hogwarts… it’s home to us for as long as we like; or at least until we close the book.

 

 

 

Connect with me!

“The Secrets We Keep” by Trisha Leaver – REVIEW!!!!

The-Secrets-We-Keep

 

The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver is a heart wrenching novel about the ease of losing yourself in the midst of crushing grief.

Identical twin sisters Ella and Maddy Lawton could not be any more different. Quiet, reserved, artistic Ella just doesn’t understand the draw Maddy has to a wild social life, and is content to be the introvert of the pair. Ella claims that she will never be as overly dramatic and involved as her sister, until the night the girls get into a horrible car accident and Maddy is tragically killed.

When Ella wakes up in the hospital, everyone, including her parents, believes that she is Maddy. Because she feels enormous guilt for playing a part in the death of her sister, Ella internally swears to take on the life that Maddy never got to live, justifying her decision by the amount of sadness she will be saving the long list people who cared for Maddy versus her own small group of friends.

Ella soon assumes every aspect of Maddy’s life: her clothes, her friends, and her social calendar. She even goes so far as to attend a funeral dedicated to herself. The book follows Ella’s grief, regret, and self-doubt as she struggles to keep her survival hidden from everyone in order to give up her life so that her sister may live through her.

I found The Secrets We Keep to be both incredibly sad and uplifting. While the driving factor behind the story was rather depressing, the most of the novel focused on overcoming hardships in order to find yourself. I cried several times while reading this book, but also found lovely passages that made my giddy heart swell. Leaver is brilliant at weaving her reader’s emotions into a chaotic and yet beautiful harmony in which the good perfectly balances out the bad.

I recommend The Secrets We Keep to those fans of John Green and Jennifer Niven. You will not be disappointed in this hauntingly inspirational read.

Happy Reading!

Kayla

Buy the book here:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Connect with Trisha Leaver:

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Twitter

paper towns blog project

Hello Readers!

As you may know, the movie “Paper Towns”, adapted from the book by John Green, will be released in theaters on July 24th, 2015.

I am a massive fan of all of John Green’s work, but Paper Towns is hands down one of my favorite books. I am inspired and motivated to live life to the fullest every time I read it, and my tally of times read is becoming rather high. Along with my passion for reading and writing, I also love to travel and am intrigued by the many cultures and experiences there are in the world. These two enthusiasms are perfectly blended in Paper Towns, which got me thinking, as an excellent book should. And so, without any further adieu, here is my plan. It my not live up to the standards of Margo Roth Spiegelman, I hope you will join me nonetheless.

I would like to start a worldwide blog project in which guest writers from around the globe submit a post about a book that inspires them in life. There would be no specific rules or guidelines as to what to write about, as long as the post addresses how the book motivates or inspires the reader and why others should read it. Then, as I am also trying to include a worldly experience, I would love for the contributors to write about a personal experience that they’ve had in their own country, state, city, or town that shares a bit about the culture or wonders in that place. Think of it as a world tour through the stories of other readers and writers. If the experience could be related back to the book in any way, that would be even more amazing, although it does not have to.

Creativity is the only boundary, so feel free to include things such as pictures, quotes, or anything else to your post.

I sincerely hope you choose to participate! If you do, or if you have any questions at all, please contact me in the following places:

Email: literaryobsessionsblog@gmail.com

Instagram: @literaryobsessionsblog or @shadowhunter_runes_1234

Happy Reading (and Writing)!

Kayla

#ReadersAroundTheWorld