Sunday, March 30, 2014

Royally Lost by Angie Stanton ARC Review

Name: Royally Lost
Author: Angie Stanton
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Format: E-Book ARC
Preorder the book on Amazon
336 pages

Thank you so much Harper Collins and Edelweiss for sending me an ARC copy of this book to review!
Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?


My Review:
Overall, Royally Lost was a sweet and fun contemporary romance! Yes, it was cheesy and unrealistic-but it still was a fun read. 

What I liked the most about this book was the plot. Yes-this would never happen in real life BUT it was still fun to imagine Nikolai and Becca wandering around Europe together. I thought they made a really adorable couple and it was interesting to see how they both grew throughout their journey together. Nikolai brought out the adventurous side of Becca-making her do things that she never imagined she would have done. Becca made Nikolai feel like a normal guy-one who doesn't have to listen to his authority figures and be a normal teenager.

I also really like Angie's writing style. I thought it was very unique and this book was fun to read. It definitely made me forget about schoolwork for a while and just focus on getting lost into Nikolai's and Becca's world. Something else that I really liked about this book was reading about the different places in Europe. I felt like I was on Becca's and Nikolai's journey and I loved reading about the different places they visited.

Overall, Royally Lost was a fun read! Definitely was a cute contemporary romance and yes-it was cheesy but sometimes we all need to read an unrealistic romance! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday 124: Dark Metropolis

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Name: Dark Metropolis
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Add the book on Goodreads

Cabaret meets Cassandra Clare-a haunting magical thriller set in a riveting 1930s-esque world.

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don't always seem to stay that way.

My Thoughts:
Who here doesn't love a good magical thriller set in the past? This book looks fantastic and the cover is wonderful. I can't wait to read it!

What are your thoughts? What are you waiting for this week? Let us know in the comments!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole Review

Name: Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles # 2)
Authors: Kresley Cole
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Buy the book on Amazon
320 pages

Shocking secrets.
Evie has fully come into her powers as the Tarot Empress, and Jack was there to see it all. She now knows that the teens who’ve been reincarnated as the Tarot are in the throes of an epic battle. It’s kill or be killed, and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

Unexpected allies.
With threats lurking around every corner, Evie is forced to trust her newfound alliance. Together they must fight not only other Arcana, but also Bagmen zombies, post-apocalyptic storms, and cannibals.

Gut-wrenching treachery.
When Evie meets Death, things get even more complicated. Though falling for Jack, she’s drawn to the dangerous Endless Knight as well. Somehow the Empress and Death share a history, one that Evie can’t remember—but Death can’t forget…

In this seductive follow-up to Poison Princess, #1 New York Timesbestselling author Kresley Cole takes us deeper into the dark world of the Arcana Chronicles.


My Review:

What another fantastic sequel!  Whenever I read books that I love as much as the first one in this series, I am immediately worried when the second one comes out.  I have such high hopes for sequels, but I am thrilled to say that this one did not at all disappoint!

I loved the main character, Evie, in this book.  She transformed so wonderfully from a scared girl who did not know anything about what was happening, to a brave and powerful young woman who was not afraid of anything.  Like most people I am a fan of powerful main characters in YA series, but I am even more impressed with these characters when I get to see them develop.  She knows what she has to do in order to win the game and survive and while she doesn’t always have a strict plan, she is not afraid to take risks and see what happens.  I particularly liked how Evie discovered that her world was surrounded by different shades of gray, rather than just black and white.  She began to learn that there was good hidden in some of her enemies, and she also began to discover the bad that was just beneath the surface inside of her friends and allies.

In this sequel, Evie’s relationships also change.  She develops unsuspecting alliances and trusts them wholeheartedly, even though she knows that in order to survive, all of the others around her will have to die.  As hinted at both by the title and the book’s summary, there is definitely a love triangle in this story.  However, I didn’t mind it as much as I mind love triangles in other books, mostly because it was so much as a Jack versus Death dichotomy.  Rather, Evie discovers what she likes and dislikes about each of them, and then proceeds to spend time with each of them separately.  The two men do not butt heads or fight for her, but instead Evie, as the powerful one, has to decide on her own who to choose.  And, as far as this book goes, she is more focused on who she has to protect and who she needs to protect her, rather than choosing someone to spend the rest of her life with.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this book.  I think that Kresley Cole created a fantastic world filled with even more captivating characters.  The story never gets old, and I had trouble putting the book down.  I ended up finishing it in less than a day.  I would definitely recommend this book to YA fans, and if you haven’t read the Poison Princess, it should be first on your to-read list!

My Rating:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday 123: City of Heavenly Fire

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Name: City of Heavenly Fire
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: May 27th, 2014
Add the book on Goodreads


I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!

My Thoughts:
I can't believe this is the last Moral Instruments book! I have been reading this series for seven years, and while I can easily admit that I loved the first three books much more than the last two (which may be due to my age, I'll admit), I still cannot wait to read this final book. I hope it lives up to its hype!

What are your thoughts? What are you waiting for this week? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine Review

Name: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Constantine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: December 31st, 2013
Format: E-Book ARC
Buy the book on Amazon
371 pages

Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how. 

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

My Review:
Ugh I really really wanted to like this book but it just wasn't working for me. While the overall premise of The Promise of Amazing was very original, this one just fell flat for me :(

First things first; the writing of this book was all over the place. While I did really like the alternating perspectives between Wren and Grayson, the writing was very confusing and hard to follow. Some of the side plots literally made no sense to the overall plot of the novel which was confusing and frustrating to read. I thought they weighed the story down and made things a lot more confusing for the reader. I think the author should have stuck with one clear storyline, instead of adding four different subplots that made this book a tangled mess. What also really bothered me was that some of the plots she didn't even end up resolving-which was annoying because I wanted to know what happened!

I also wasn't a fan of the instalove in this book at all. While I really thought Grayson and Wren were a cute couple, the instalove in this book just wasn't that great. I definitely think the fact that Wren saved Grayson's life definitely made their relationship flourish-but it still felt super rushed and didn't feel real. What also bothered me was some of the side characters-especially Luke. I really thought he was jerk and did absolutely nothing to the plot. One more thing that really really bothered me was the epilogue!! It fell so flat and I didn't think it resolved anything! 

Overall, The Promise of Amazing really didn't work well for me. What started as an awesome contemporary romance-ended up falling flat and leaving me super confused. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday 122: Dangerous Creatures

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Name: Dangerous Creatures
Author: Kami Garci and Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 20th, 2014
Add the book on Goodreads

A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed...others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she's a bad girl. She's Dark. She's a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she's around. Lucky for her, Wesley "Link" Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn't hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of Beautiful Creatures, are back and casting another magical spell. Their signature mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance, along with a dash of fun and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more.

My Thoughts:
The Beautiful Creatures books were some of my favorites growing up, and I am thrilled that Garcia and Stohl have decided to write a spin off series about my two favorite characters. Who else who has read Beautiful Creatures can't wait to get their hands on a copy?

What are your thoughts? What are you waiting for this week? Let us know in the comments!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Book Trailers: Round Eight

Hi everyone! Here are some of the book trailers that we at Catching Books loved watching from the past month. We hope you like them, too!

My favorite trailer is definitely Ignite Me, which probably has something to do with the fact that I am so incredibly excited to read this book.  Now that it's officially out, I absolutely have to get my hands on a copy!

What are your thoughts? Do you like book trailers? Which one do you like the most? 
Let me know in the comments :)

Q&A with Author Amalie Howard

Hi everyone! Today I have a Q&A post with Author Amalie Howard, discussing her new book Alpha Goddess, and other books she's written! Check it out below :)

You released your first book “Bloodspell” in 2011, which led to an impressive five book publishing deals. How the heck do you have time to write so much, and what does it feel like to have your work recognized in such a great way?
I am so incredibly grateful that my wonderful editors saw something they loved in my books and wanted to publish them. All three of my upcoming novels—WATERFELL, THE ALMOST GIRL, and ALPHA GODDESS—each brings something different and unique to the table, so I’m really excited that readers will get to sample such a diverse range of what I have to offer as an author.
As far as writing so much, I’m very lucky that I’m a fast writer, so once I get an idea in my head, I just go. I plot a basic outline of my expectations, and then I let the story take me on its journey. And as I always say to my teen creative writing classes, writing is like homework. You have to make time for it and be diligent about doing it.

What will fans of “Bloodspell” like best about your upcoming titles?
Fans of BLOODSPELL will enjoy meeting some very special new characters and being introduced to completely different worlds—figuratively and literally, especially in THE ALMOST GIRL. In WATERFELL, I was particularly excited to share my love of the ocean (I grew up on an island) and surfing! I also wanted to explore the myth of the sea monster and shift it from something terrifying into something beautiful … enter the mysterious world of the Aquarathi!
I’ve always been fascinated by quantum mechanics (even though I was hopeless at physics in high school) and the possibility of alternate universes. In THE ALMOST GIRL, I was able to explore that and more in this book, like the whole concept of nature versus nurture and whether we evolve differently based on harsher environments. I think this book will take readers on an interesting journey.
In ALPHA GODDESS, I wanted to explore some of the stories I’d been told as a child. I also wanted to share some of my experience with readers. My father comes from a long line of Hindu priests, so these myths were a large part of my childhood. The Ramayana is a particularly beautiful love story, and while my novel is a work of fiction, I really enjoyed crafting my version from such an inspiring mythology.

Your next release, “Waterfell,” departs from the world of vampires and witches but stays in the realm of fantasy and science fiction. What do you like about those genres?
Clearly, I love escaping reality. Fantasy and science fiction have always been my true loves. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great contemporary novel as much as anyone, but getting lost in a an epic fantasy world or meeting characters from other planets who have superhuman powers is icing on the cake for me. I like being able to push the boundaries of reality, to create mind-boggling ‘what if’ scenarios … for example, with WATERFELL, what if sea monsters really did exist? And what if they were a species from another planet hiding on ours? And what if they could shift into human form? With science fiction and fantasy, the possibilities are endless.

Like all of your books so far, “The Almost Girl” features a strong, independent female character as the protagonist. What do you hope readers learn from her?
I’m a huge fan of strong female protagonists (that said, I do have a novel with a strong male protagonist so I’m not gender-biased). I do like strong protagonists on the whole, but I also do think there has to be character growth that is transparent and meaningful to the reader. No one’s going to relate to a character who stays the same. With Riven from THE ALMOST GIRL, I love that she has to dig deep down to embrace her emotions. A soldier first, she’s so hard on the outside but still vulnerable on the inside—I really connected with her struggle to just let go of all her rules and be a girl. We build so many walls to keep from being hurt that we don’t allow ourselves to connect with others. I love that she was brave enough to trust her heart. In the end, I’m hopeful that readers will empathize with Riven and learn, as she does, that humans are born to feel, and that being open to life and love doesn’t make you weaker … it makes you stronger.

“Alpha Goddess” is your take on an Indian mythological tale. Where did you first hear about it?
Although ALPHA GODDESS is a work of fiction, a lot of my inspiration for the characters and the world-building in this novel is based on Hindu mythology. My father is a second generation Brahmin (priest class in traditional Hindu society), so Indian mythology was an integral part of my childhood and religious education. Fascinated by stories and legends of various Hindu gods who incarnated as avatars to avert human tragedy, I wanted to write an epic story that encompassed some of the Hindu mythology elements I enjoyed as a child, like the Ramayana, the story of Rama and Sita. Of course, ALPHA GODDESS is my own invented take on another reincarnated version of these characters, and does not actually exist in Indian scriptures.

You are quite the world traveler. How do you incorporate the cultures you come across into your writing?
I love meeting new people and exploring different cultures. I really believe that traveling the world has helped me to craft my characters, especially the ones that aren’t human (whom I have to invent). How do they evolve? How are they different from regular people? How are they the same? I enjoy using elements and facets from all the different cultures I’ve interacted with over the years to develop compelling scenarios and create robust characters in my writing.
I also like to include some of my favorite cities in my novels, for example, Paris and New York in BLOODSPELL, San Diego, California in WATERFELL, and Fort Collins, Colorado in THE ALMOST GIRL. Although a writer can research anything online, writing about a place I’ve actually been to helps me to picture scenes and places more vividly. It allows me to create more authentic descriptions, so that my readers can feel like they are there, too.  

We can only imagine you’re working on something new. Can you give us any sneak peek into the mind of Amalie Howard and what’s to come?

            I’m working on several different projects. I’ve just finished writing OCEANBORN, which is the sequel to WATERFELL, and I’ve also just completed a near-future, technological YA thriller/romance, which has a male protagonist that I’m very excited about. That one is now in the capable hands of my agent. In addition to that, I have outlined a companion novel to ALPHA GODDESS, and I am about to start writing the sequel to THE ALMOST GIRL. Lastly, I’m fleshing out a joint project with another YA writer that’s super secret and under wraps for now. So yes, I’m busy, but I’m embracing it all (with a lot of gratitude).

 In Serjana Caelum’s world, gods exist. So do goddesses. Sera knows this because she is one of them. A secret long concealed by her parents, Sera is Lakshmi reborn, the human avatar of an immortal Indian goddess rumored to control all the planes of existence — Illysia (the Light Realm), Earth (the Mortal Realm), and Xibalba (the Dark Realm). Marked by the sigils of both heaven and hell, Sera’s avatar is meant to bring balance to the mortal world, but all she creates is chaos. A chaos that Azrath, the Asura Lord of Death, hopes to use to unleash hell on earth.

Torn between reconciling her past and present, Sera must figure out how to stop Azrath before the Mortal Realm is destroyed. But trust doesn’t come easy in a world fissured by lies and betrayal. Her best friend Kyle is hiding his own dark secrets, and her mysterious new neighbor, Devendra, seems to know a lot more than he’s telling. Struggling between her opposing halves and her attraction to the boys tied to each of them, Sera must become the goddess she was meant to be, or risk failing, which means sacrificing the world she was born to protect.

Retellings of classic fairy tales and Greek myths are becoming staples in the young adult and adult fiction genres, and now Amalie Howard, author of the popular “Bloodspell,” brings the myth of Rama and Sita’s love story to an exciting new level. Howard’s stunningly fresh voice and imaginative characters promise to make “Alpha Goddess” an exciting addition to the young adult fiction world. Aimed at readers ages 13 to 17, both girls and boys will relate to Sera’s and Kyle’s realistic teen persona and dilemmas while learning more about a famous Hindu myth.

 Some links for all of you guys to check out!!