Heart of Thorns book cover

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix Blog Tour | Review, Fav Quotes, & Giveaway!

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix Blog Tour | Review, Fav Quotes, & Giveaway!Sanctuary by Caryn Lix
Published by Simon Pulse on July 24, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Pages: 480
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg      


My thoughts

I almost gave up on Sanctuary. The first 90 (give or take) pages gave us a great rundown on Kenzie’s world: how the society worked, which groups were in power, and why the ship, Sanctuary was created; but very little action. Just when I was close to marking this book as DNF – non-stop action kicked in – and I was hooked! 

Kenzie was a complex character. She was raised to believe that any individual with supernatural abilities was dangerous, and that it was a great honor to work, even die for Omnistellar, the most powerful corporation in the world that kept teen supes incarcerated. When Sanctuary was breached, and Kenzie was forced to team up with the teens for her own survival, she started to lose her loyalty and faith towards Omnistellar. The teens weren’t as non-human as she was led to believe. I admired Kenzie, because she was incredibly brave and compassionate. She couldn’t stand to see anyone in pain, and regardless of her upbringing, didn’t hesitate in helping and protecting the teens.

The setting was deliciously eerie. From the moment we met Kenzie, and the other guards on Sanctuary, I feared for them. Even though there was an advanced AI system monitoring and controlling the prison cells, the guards were seriously outnumbered by the “dangerous” teens. The story got even more nail-bitey when teens started disappearing, and strange creatures started roaming the halls. As promised, this book was full of suspense, thrill, and danger, and gave me major goosebumps.

Sanctuary was intense and shocking, and I’m so glad I didn’t give up on it. There was a big cliffhanger at the end of the book, and I really hope we get at least two sequels, because I think there’s a lot more story to tell. There’s also many characters I want to get to know better.


A few of my favorite quotes

I tucked myself behind him and drew my strength from his hand against my back, and just for one damn second, I didn’t let myself think. It was maybe the most freeing experience of my life.

There was a protective quality to his hold, as if he could somehow keep me safe if he just made me small enough.

We might be foolish. We might even be going to our deaths. But at least we were doing it together.


About the author

Caryn Lix has been writing since she was a teenager and delved deep into science fiction, fantasy, and the uncanny while working on her Masters in English literature. Caryn writes novels for teens and anyone else who likes a bit of the bizarre to mess up their day.

When not writing, Caryn spends her time obsessively consuming other people’s stories, plotting travel adventures, and exploring artistic endeavors. She lives with her husband and a horde of surly and entitled animals in southern Alberta.


Click here to follow the rest of the tour!


Enter below for a chance to win a copy of
Sanctuary! (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Heart of Thorns book cover

Rules of Summer (Rules of Summer #1) by Joanna Philbin | Bring the sunscreen

Rules of Summer (Rules of Summer #1) by Joanna Philbin | Bring the sunscreenRules of Summer (Rules of Summer, #1) by Joanna Philbin
Published by Poppy on June 4, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Goodreads
four-stars

There are two sides…to every summer.

When seventeen-year-old Rory McShane steps off the bus in East Hampton, it’s as if she’s entered another universe, one populated by impossibly beautiful people wearing pressed khakis and driving expensive cars. She’s signed on to be a summer errand girl for the Rules—a wealthy family with an enormous beachfront mansion. Upon arrival, she’s warned by other staff members to avoid socializing with the family, but Rory soon learns that may be easier said than done.

Stifled by her friends and her family’s country club scene, seventeen-year-old Isabel Rule, the youngest of the family, embarks on a breathless romance with a guy whom her parents would never approve of. It’s the summer for taking chances, and Isabel is bringing Rory along for the ride.

But will Rory’s own summer romance jeopardize her friendship with Isabel? And, after long-hidden family secrets surface, will the Rules’ picture-perfect world ever be the same?


Headed to the beach this Summer? This is the perfect book to bring along!

Unlikely friendships. Isabel and Rory come from completely different worlds. Isabel has a few siblings, no responsibilities, and is handed just about anything she wants. Rory is an only child, with a needy, selfish, immature mom, and has to work hard for everything. I liked how Isabel helped Rory gain more confidence and step out of her comfort zone. In return, Rory helped Isabel, well, become less of an entitled b*tch.

Isabel’s not the greatest. I hated her the moment she was introduced. She was that classic, rich, snobby, mean girl, who had it all, and appreciated none of it. Thankfully by the end of the book, I hated Isabel a little less, because she had started to mature.

Jarring POV swaps. The POV swaps between Rory and Isabel were rough.  The switches happened pretty sudden, and by the time I got re-acclimated with one of the girls, another switch would happen, and I was thrown off again.

Why should you read this book? Because it’s the perfect Summer read! There’s forbidden romances, family drama, flawed characters, and so much more!

Side note: I’m really looking forward to book two and how it skips a year.

four-stars
Heart of Thorns book cover

Onyx and Ivory (Rime Chronicles #1) by Mindee Arnett | Zero info-dump

Onyx and Ivory (Rime Chronicles #1) by Mindee Arnett | Zero info-dumpOnyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett
Published by HarperAudio on May 15, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Purchase
Goodreads
four-half-stars

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.


I finished Onyx and Ivory in one day, because it was sooo good.
Why was it sooo good? Well…

Zero info-dump. This book introduces us to many territories, characters, and types of magic, all of which are easy to keep straight, because of the gradual introductions through casual and natural dialogue.

I was duped. I really liked the daydrake mystery, because the orchestrator of the attacks was not who I was expecting.

A great cast of characters. I liked all the characters in this book, especially Dal, because he reminded me of my favorite Shatter Me character, Kenji. Dal’s that awesome friend who always has your back. He also tells it like it is. If you’re being a jerk, he’s gonna call you out on it. Like Kenji, Dal will also do it in a funny and sarcastic way. There were a few other characters like Signe, who I wanted to know more about, but didn’t get the opportunity to, because she wasn’t fleshed out enough. Hopefully in the book(s) to come, she and the others will be.

A romance worth rooting for. Kate and Corwin had great chemistry, a by-product of their constant witty, funny, and swoon-y banter. I also adore romances that start with friendship, and then develop into something more, so I was team #Korwin from the beginning.

I really enjoyed Onyx and Ivory, and I hope that book two is just as good. I also hope that we get a little more Kate, and a little less Corwin in book two. I liked Corwin well enough, but sometimes his chapters dragged, and I was more interested in knowing what Kate was up to.

 

four-half-stars
Heart of Thorns book cover

The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista Blog Tour | Excerpt & Giveaway!

The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista Blog Tour | Excerpt & Giveaway!The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista
Published by Swoon Reads on June 19, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 240
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother's best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she's always dreamed of—starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan...right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png   photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg       


Excerpt

          “Oh, there’s pie!” Stella said. The excitement in her voice pulled him away from his thoughts. “My treat!”

          She opened her bag and grabbed her wallet. A small book fell out as she did so. Will was about to call her attention to it, but she had already scampered away to buy dessert. Curious, Will reached out for the book. It was handmade, and on the cover it said BOYFRIEND BRACKET in glittering letters.

          “What the hell?” He grimaced as he flipped through the book.

          Inside were pictures and information on eight guys. If Will remembered correctly, they all went to Oak Hills High. One of them had even been on the football team with him. The guy she was with at the frat party. On the back of the first four pages were notes in Stella’s cursive writing.

          For Tommy Larrabee, she’d written, “Give Tommy another chance. He’s a nice guy. Passionate.”

          For Kevin Marquez, she’d written, “Cute, but too self- involved. Totally no connection.”

          For Daniel Connors all she’d written was “Pervert.”

          And for the fourth guy, Joey Esposito, she’d written, “I like him.”

          Those three words were the worst of them all. They were three stabs in the gut for Will. Not only was she dating, but she had a roster of guys she had placed in a bracket so she could pick a boyfriend. Most of the guys in the book were total idiots. The kind he and Cam had worked hard to scare away from her.

54


About the author

        

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with an Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full time and is based in the Philippines. To learn more about Kate, please visit her website at www.kateevangelista.com or follow her on Twitter @KateEvangelista


Click here to follow the rest of the tour!


Enter below for a chance to win a copy of
The Boyfriend Bracket (US/CAN Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Heart of Thorns book cover

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry | A spicy romance

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry | A spicy romanceNowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1) by Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 26, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Goodreads
four-half-stars

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.


This book surprised me. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would! 

I’m glad I took a chance. When I read the description for this book, and saw Motorcycle gangs, I was like – eh, no thanks. Then I saw forbidden romance, and I was like – heck yeah, let’s do this.

Bad Lauren. I’m ashamed to say that this is my first McGarry book. But believe me, it’s not going to be my last. Now I know why so many readers love this author.

Real characters. All the characters in this book were complicated and felt so real. They all had their own issues to work through, and I enjoyed following them on their personal journeys.

The MCs had great chemistry. I immediately loved Emily and Oz because of the zingers they shot back-and-forth. From the moment they met, there was  a lot of sexual tension, and it was agonizing waiting for them to acknowledge their strong attraction.

I’m a hungry reader. This is yet again, another book I started listening to, and then switched to reading, because I wanted to devour it quicker than the narrator allowed me to.

I plan on reading the rest of the books in this series eventually, I just don’t know when, because my TBR is huuuge. I’m sure my fellow bloggers can relate. #thestruggleisreal

four-half-stars