Review

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Guest Post by Samantha Durante, author of Stitch

Published October 20, 2012 by crysbookreviews

EPIC Plot Twists: A List of Favorites from Samantha Durante, author of Stitch

 

Thanks so much to Crystal for hosting the Stitch Blog Tour today!

 

Over the course of the tour, it’s been SO much fun for me to share my work with readers and hear reviewers’ reactions to the book.  And in all the reviews and comments I’ve read, there’s been one common theme running through them all: “I never saw that coming!”

 

Those five little words make my heart swell, because there’s nothing I love more than an EPIC plot twist!  For some reason I’ve been blessed (or perhaps cursed!) with an uncanny knack for guessing where a plot is going, and I’m often disappointed to find that I’ve inferred the direction of story before I even make it to the halfway point.  So whenever a twist really takes me by surprise, it makes an impression.  To celebrate the awesomeness of out-of-the-ballpark plot twists, here’s a quick recounting of some of my favorites:

 

****WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD!!!****

 

The Sixth Sense

 

Whoa, whoa!  Bruce Willis has been DEAD this whole time??  And the kid knew???  Insane.  I did NOT see that coming!

 

Game of Thrones

 

Okay, George R. R. Martin has pretty much proven himself to be the master of the epic twist, and as much as I HATE him for continually killing off all my favorite characters (especially the wolves!  I love the wolves!), I have to give credit where credit is due: Game of Thrones keeps me on my toes.  And while there are oodles of amazing twists to choose from in this series, I have to select the Red Wedding as the one that stands out most in my find.  FINALLY things are starting to look up for the Starks, my heart is all melty since Robb is in love, the Freys are being uncharacteristically gracious about Robb’s faux pas – and then they all walk into a slaughter.  Just WRENCHING.  I still cringe just thinking of it.

 

Star Wars Episode III

 

Okay, okay, we all watched Episodes 4-6 first, so we knew Anakin Skywalker was going to turn evil, that’s no surprise.  But then I spent all of Episodes 1 and 2 falling in love with him despite his flaws (and Hayden Christensen’s acting…), and I knew he would be redeemed in the end, so I was willing to cut him a little slack.  After all, poor Anakin was dealt quite a hand in life, and his love for Padme was SO deep that he just went a little psycho when she died – that’s excusable, right?  Except then he went and SLAUGHTERED ALL THE YOUNGLINGS at the Jedi Temple!  WTF Anakin??  That is NOT okay.  This was brutal.  And, I’m sorry to say, unforgivable.  Luke should have let him die on the Death Star like he deserved.  Oh, Anakin, I feel so betrayed.

 

Sharon Shinn’s Samaria Series

 

 

I had no idea what I was getting into with this series.  Funny story – one of my roommates in college said she was recommended Archangel by a friend, but she got the impression from the cover that it was a religious book, and knowing I was Catholic, thought maybe I might like it and gave it to me instead.  Now, I ended up LOVING this book, but not for any reason having to do with my religion.  I loved this series because it initially presents itself as a romance between angels and humans on a carefully constructed world where the angels sing to God for sustenance and medicine and rain, but you find out in the second book that GOD IS A SPACESHIP and the angels are genetically engineered humans and all of these people are refugees from a long-ago ravaged Earth.  WHOA!  That was about the LAST thing I was expecting from this nice fluffy romance novel, and it totally knocked my socks off.  I loved the series even when I thought it was just an angel romance, but that sci-fi twist brought me to my knees in worship at the altar of Sharon Shinn.  Just amazing.

 

Portal

 

After finishing the game Half-Life 2, my husband decided he would play the puzzle game, Portal, which came bundled with it since I was sitting on the couch ignoring him while engrossed in some book.  Initially we were just expecting a simple problem-solving game, where you need to use physics and a neat portal-opening gun to get yourself from one side of each room to the other as your character wanders through some kind of run-down testing environment.

 

There was pretty much no background provided besides some prompts from a female computer voice that guided you through the stages.  The voice (GLaDOS) said some quirky things which were mildly entertaining (“Please place the Weighted Storage Cube on the Fifteen Hundred Megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Super-Colliding Super Button.”  “Perfect. Please move quickly to the chamber lock, as the effects of prolonged exposure to the Button are not part of this test.”), but we didn’t think much of it.  I continued reading my book on the couch while he enjoyed his game and that was that.

 

Until I hear GLaDOS say, “”Please note that we have added a consequence for failure. Any contact with the chamber floor will result in an ‘unsatisfactory’ mark on your official testing record followed by death. Good luck!”  I looked up from my book and said to my husband, “Did she just say that?”  He shrugged an, “I guess so,” and continued on with his game.  And the comments continued to get weirder and weirder.  “Frankly, this chamber was a mistake. If we were you, we would quit now.  No one will blame you for giving up. In fact, quitting at this point is a perfectly reasonable response.  Quit now and cake will be served immediately.”

 

Cake?  Really?  At this point my interest was piqued and I put my book down.  And sure enough, as the game continued, GLaDOS’s character developed and we soon realized that there was much more to this little add-on puzzle game than we expected.  In addition to the fun and challenging puzzles (which often required the two of us working together to solve), there was an engaging storyline filled with memorable quips and even a boss battle against – you’ll never guess it – GLaDOS herself!  Yes, the seemingly helpful computer turns on you in a most vicious way, and you must seek her out and destroy her to save yourself, even as she tries to manipulate you into not doing so (“Well, you found me. Congratulations. Was it worth it?  Because despite your violent behavior, the only thing you’ve managed to break so far is my heart.”).

 

And the best part?  Once you finally reach the end, you are rewarded with an awesome song sung by GLaDOS herself.  This game was about the best lazy Sunday afternoon surprise I’ve ever had.

 

****END OF SPOILERS****

 

Until I Die by Amy Plum

Published May 20, 2012 by crysbookreviews

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Until I Die by Amy Plum

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series. From Goodreads.

Oh Amy Plum why do you do this to me? The ending was so heartbreaking and gave me hope at the same time. I was happy to see that Kate and Vincent were so cute at times, I really liked how they discussed a future. I really want them to have a future and be happy, they deserve it.

Now I miss Charlotte and even with his snarkiness, Charles. I am glad that Charles works through his issues. He wasn’t a bad guy, but Arthur and Violette that took their spots in the house, I was iffy with. Arthur had his moments that confused me because I couldn’t figure out if he was pro or against humans being in the know. Violette seemed like she wanted to be Kate’s new girl bff. This wasn’t going to happen because that is Charlotte and Georgia’s spot luckily.

The bad guy was literally the last person I saw coming. Okay maybe not the last person because that would be Jules or Ambrose. Who were in the book a little bit. Not as much as I would have liked because they are hilarious. Although you learned a little bit about Ambrose this time, you finally learn how Jules died.

The whole book was amazing, Paris is described beautifully. The characters are so realistic, they all have their flaws but they are willing to work around them to stay together.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Published May 18, 2012 by crysbookreviews

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Storm by Brigid Kememerer

Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

When Becca Chandler saves Chris Merrick from being beaten-up in the school car park, she has no idea how dramatically this one action will change her life. Chris is no ordinary guy and neither are his three older brothers. The Merrick boys are Elementals. Hot. Powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

Then there’s Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time. With her life at stake, Becca doesn’t know who to trust or whose secrets she should keep. And with two boy vying for her affections, and pressure rising all around her, will she find out in time who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all?

Take Cover.
The storm is coming
From Goodreads.

This book was really good throughout the whole thing. I really wanted to know what happened to Becca but when I did, I felt so bad especially since she blamed herself for what happened to her. She is definitely a lot tougher than most people give her credit for. She doesn’t take crap from anyone other than at school.

Chris meets her for the first time when she saves him from getting beaten to death. Luckily for him she was taking self defense classes that night. That night she ends up meeting officially his brothers, Michael, the oldest, and the twins Gabriel and Nick. Of course Michael scares the bejeesus out of her so it doesn’t exactly work to his advantage.

I like how she isn’t afraid to say what she is thinking, even if it’s not the right time to think it. Especially to her dad when he comes back into the picture after leaving years before with only 2 phone calls a year, or to Hunter, the new guy.

Now after not getting much of the right attention from guys, she ends up getting attention from Chris and from Hunter. Every time she is with Chris, you can almost see how they would be good for each other but they almost refuse to do anything about it. Especially since Chris is so hot and cold, makes sense since he has the water element as his power. He doesn’t have a temper like Gabriel though, nor is he as calm as Nick. I definitely preferred him over Hunter. Not that Hunter was a bad guy, just that I felt like there was something missing between Hunter and Becca.

There were so many secrets and lies between everyone that in the end it was nice to see that most of them came out and were handled somewhat. It’s only the first book of the trilogy, I am sure there are more secrets to come out.

I give the first book 4 out of 5 stars.

Die for Me by Amy Plum

Published May 17, 2012 by crysbookreviews

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Die for Me by Amy Plum

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again. From Goodreads.

Now this book makes me feel like I am actually in Paris throughout it. I love the details that Amy puts into it. There are so many places that I would like to go that are mentioned in the book. I know Kate has a rough time throughout most of the book because she has to deal with living a life or just doing the motions of living. I am really glad that she chose to live; she deserves to be happy and loved.

I love her social butterfly of a sister, Georgia. She is not only a nice person but she cares more about her sister having fun then of herself having fun. Which she has fun anyways, because she is that type of person that will always make the most of the situation. Their relationship is really special because even though they have their grandparents, they really only have each other left out of their family.

Now Vincent, not only is he hot but he’s caring and willing to put up with some of Kate’s bad decisions. Most guys wouldn’t wait around for the girl to realize the mistake, but he did and he made sure to give her the space she needed to figure it out. His family of course couldn’t or wouldn’t give it to her, why? Because the care a lot about Vincent.

Of course the bad guy was a horrible person who used poor Georgia to gain access to Vincent body when he was dormant. Of course Lucien was a little surprised to learn that Kate wasn’t willing to just let him kill Vincent. I know I wouldn’t just let someone kill my boyfriend because of some crazy vendetta.

I know I haven’t said anything about the other characters in the book but if I had to pick my favorite I would be hard-pressed too. I really enjoyed Ambrose and Jules, especially with their flirting not only with Kate but with Georgia too. I also liked Charlotte too, she was so nice and I loved the friendship that bloomed with Kate almost immediately between them. Her Mamie and Papy were also very lovable, they care so much about them that will do just about anything to make sure that they are happy now.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Now onto the second of the series!

Awkward by Marni Bates

Published May 16, 2012 by crysbookreviews

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Awkward by Marni Bates

Mackenzie Wellesley has spent her life avoiding the spotlight. At Smith High, she’s the awkward junior people only notice when they need help with homework. Until she sends a burly football player flying with her massive backpack and makes a disastrous – not to mention unwelcome – attempt at CPR. Before the day is out, the whole fiasco explodes on YouTube. And then the strangest thing happens. Suddenly, Mackenzie is an Internet sensation, with four million hits and counting. Sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes, she even catches the eye of the most popular guy at school. And that’s when life gets really interesting… From Goodreads.

This book was quite funny throughout the book. Poor Mackenzie, she had such bad self esteem and didn’t even realize it most of the time. She went through quite the transformation, from nobody to somebody.

After an embarrassing but hilarious video of her gets posted on YouTube, she tries to act like everything is normally until it literally blows up in her face and over a million people see it. Now she has paparazzi after her and everything. Then it seems to calm down again, only for it to start up all over again because a super hot band used that video for their music. Sounds awesome right? I wouldn’t think it was because now her whole world is blasting all over the news.

Most of the news isn’t true too; she’s dating the lead singer of the band, drugs, sex, etc. She gets drunk one night but that’s because she didn’t fully understand that she had a thing for one of the most popular guys in school, Logan, and she sees him kissing his ex girlfriend. Of course she doesn’t know that he told her no after that kiss. Oh and on top of that she realized the guy that she has had a crush on doesn’t really exist, and only wants to date her until the popularity runs out and then he will dump her like nothing.

She learns a lot about who she is, and what she wants out of life. She doesn’t want to be famous, she wants to go to college, and she is actually a really great friend to Jane and Corey. She makes a lot of mistakes but she apologizes every time and most of the time it is to Logan.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, and I can’t wait for Invisible to come out. I want to know more about Jane.

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Published May 12, 2012 by crysbookreviews

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns? From Goodreads.

The title of this book is perfect for the whole thing. I love how Anna doesn’t give into the pressure around and how good she actually is. Even better is that she isn’t the pushy kinda good too. She cares about her best friend Jay so much that she doesn’t let him give in to his possible addictive nature and she loves her adopted mom Patti just as much.

Anna finds out she is Nephilim but not really. Yea it’s one of those kind of things but it’s pretty awesome when she meets her dad and he tells her his story. She is his only kid ever. This means she is special but of course everyone who ever meets her knows she is.

She meets Kaidan at one of his shows Jay takes her too. And she instantly lusts after him which says how hot he is. Every girl wants him and he doesn’t discriminate. When he meets Anna though there is something about her that makes him want her and not want her at the same time. Throughout the whole book he pulls her closer to him but at the same time he pushes her as far from him as possible. Her heart gets broken more than once by him and it almost seems like he doesn’t care but he does a few things for her that shows he really does care.

I like the twins, Blake and Kobe. They are friends of Kaidan’s that also befriend Anna. But it looks like some of them want Anna for more than a friend. Kaidan is not happy about that at all. Yet he doesn’t want to be with her. So it is just confusing for poor Anna.

I can’t wait for the second book to see where it takes everyone. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Published May 9, 2012 by crysbookreviews

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Timepiece by Myra McEntire

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking…

Kaleb Ballard’s relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb’s powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he’s stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough…

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts. From Goodreads.

I am so glad that this book was from Kaleb’s point of view. It made it different since he feels everyone’s emotions. I honestly felt bad for him at points in the book because he felt that his dad chose Michael over him. But I was really happy about the relationships that got closer throughout this book. Not just with Kaleb but with everyone else.

I don’t want to give away too much because this book doesn’t come out until June 12th but I was lucky to get it from Netgalley beforehand. In this story Kaleb and everyone is giving an ultimatum that shows everyone that Chronos is very serious about finding Jack. I won’t tell you what Chronos is yet because it is all explained in the book.

You get to know more about Emerson’s best friend, Lily. You get to see more of Nate, Dune and Ava. You get to see a whole other side to Ava actually and you learn that she isn’t as mean as she wanted you to believe.  Dune shows more of his ability and Nate has his moments of comedic relief.

There isn’t much time travelling in this book but that is okay because you get more than enough of the rips throughout the book. And sometimes they are very, very real.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Teaser Tuesday!!!!!

Published May 8, 2012 by crysbookreviews

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!

To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read

•Open to a random page

•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

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“I look at her. I have spent the past few months afraid of the word “Divergent,” terrified that anyone would discover what I am. But I won’t be able to hide it anymore. I nod.” page 85.

Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Published April 30, 2012 by crysbookreviews

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Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…From Goodreads.

 

This is the first book in the series and let me tell you it did not disappoint me. I am rereading the series since it had been a while so I wanted to make sure that I remembered it correctly when I did do the reviews for each book. In the story Kylie is sent to a camp for troubled kids because she got arrested at a party with alcohol and drugs. Little does she know that she is being sent there because she is special. So special that no one knows what she is in a camp full of supernatural creatures. While on the road to discovery she because really good friends with her camp roommates, Miranda and Della.

Miranda is a witch and Della is a vampire so they are always fighting and poor Kylie is always breaking it up. But I love the dynamics between the three of them. They really try and help each other out. Kylie and Miranda ended up helping Della by donating blood to her and Kylie and Della helped Miranda out with her dyslexia. Now Della and Miranda tried to help Kylie out with finding out what she was but that was harder to do.

Now of course there is a love interest in the story. But luckily enough she got Derek, the half Fae boy and Lucas, the werewolf that she has known since she was a kid. Now the problems were that Derek looked too much like her ex and Lucas she thought ate her cat. Yea, she was having those kind of problems. But that didn’t stop her from falling for both of them. Especially since Derek was okay with waiting for her and being her friend and Lucas gave her a kitten that looked just like the cat that his dad ate and not him. And that they were both super hot, that helped also.

Kylie and her mom have a really rough relationship. She thinks her mom is cold all the time to her and her dad not knowing that she didn’t know how to be any other way to her without telling her the truth about her. I thought at first that she was hiding something because she cares about Kylie but she maintains a pretty good distance between them. So I thought automatically that maybe she is a supernatural but was hiding it from Kylie. But no she is just a regular human.  Meanwhile, growing up Kylie was close to her dad only when her parents decided to divorce did she realize that she wasn’t as important to him as she thought she was. He ended up forgetting to come to Parent’s Day and when she refused to talk to him, he called her mom and mentioned it but never apologized for forgetting to Kylie.

The reason everyone doesn’t know what Kylie is is because she can see ghosts. She calls the ghost “Soldier Dude” for most of the book. When she finds out his name is Daniel and he was her biological father that changed everything. She was upset that she never knew him, but her mom when she confronted her about it was so relieved to finally tell her. And that was what her mom had been hiding all those years.

The action in the book isn’t until the very end when they are trying to find out who is killing endangered felines at a zoo in the local area. This is where Derek came into play and helped since he can communicate with animals. Before long they are attacked and Daniel ends up helping her because he can’t stand the fact that she will get hurt. So after the fight, Derek finds out he can overload people’s emotions and Kylie finds out that she can jump into ghosts to protect herself and others.

I gave Book 1 5 out of 5. I loved it.