Review: The Accidental Kiss

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The Accidental Kiss

Author: Nicole Simone
Series: The Kiss series, #1
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Nicole Simone
Publication Date: August 12th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 279
Source: InkSlinger PR
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis (Goodreads):

They were like fire and ice.

But he was everything she didn’t know she needed.

Marked by tragedy, Sky Noel leaves Los Angeles with her mom to start anew in Castor, a small town in Louisiana. It was supposed to be Sky’s chance to have a normal life but she soon finds out normal isn’t written in her DNA.

When a mysterious boy named Daemon shakes up Sky’s fragile hold on reality, she is thrust into a world where zombies and voodoo not only exist in the pages of a novel. They are hidden in the darkest corners where danger lurks and death awaits. With a price on her head, Sky has to put her trust in the boy with the ocean blue eyes but is Daemon everything she was warned against and more?

Tricked into selling his soul, Daemon lives out his existence at the mercy of the voodoo priest. That is until one fateful night when his path is forever changed.

Desperate to atone for his sins, Daemon brings it upon himself to protect Sky at any cost. However, a secret hidden in his past could rip away the very person who makes him feel human again.

 

Opening Lines

The stark white hallways smelled like cleaning fluid as I navigated my way through the throngs of students. I glanced down at the piece of white paper with the number 301 written on it and looked back up. Down right panic coursed through my veins when I realized the lockers didn’t have numbers on them; only weird symbols that looked as if they belonged in a geometry book. I was totally screwed. ”

Excerpt From: Nicole Simone. “The Accidental Kiss.” iBooks.

The Good

…she soon finds out normal isn’t written in her DNA.”

Oh Sky, I kind of giggled at how far from normal her life really is! The second I saw the cover for The Accidental Kiss I just knew I had to read it. I mean have you seen that cover? Go ahead; scroll back up at look at it. Hot right?! I love the pose of the characters, and the smoking background and skulls are a perfect touch for this paranormal book. I honestly had my fingers tripled crossed hoping I would make it onto the tour, and it was my Waiting on Wednesday pick on my other blog. This book sounded amazing and I knew there would be a lot of people signing up. Thank you InkSlinger PR!!

I devoured this book as soon as I received the ARC, I read it so fast that a couple of days later I had to re-read it. I did some research and found out that Nicole has been working on this story for 5 years, this just goes to prove that handwork really pays off! I loved this book so much. I don’t read a lot of Paranormal books because I’m a picky individual but this one is making it onto my paranormal favourites list! The world building was executed perfectly, which is something a lot of authors struggle with in the fantasy and paranormal genre. There is a unique and interesting combination of zombies (omg, yes) and magic/voodoo that really works out well in this story.

Now let’s talk about the characters, they are just PERFECT! Sky is an all around great character, she can handle her own and does a really good job at adapting to her new lifestyle, plus I loved her attitude. Now Daemon…can I have him? Please?! If I was to ever come across a real life Daemon I would jump him in a heartbeat! The chemistry between them is great, and the sexual tension. OMG! I had the biggest grin on my face while reading certain parts of this! And the little one liners Daemon would give had me laughing so hard. Daemon and Sky were seriously a perfect combination that really complemented each other. The only thing I didn’t like, and it’s really minor, was the ending! For me it came too soon and now I’m impatiently waiting for book two! I’ll be stalking Nicole’s Goodreads page & Website to try until I find a release date :).

Lasting Impression

Overall, The Accidental Kiss did not disappoint me! I cannot wait to continue with this series, seriously I just can’t wait. I also plan on reading more by Nicole Simone, I really love her writing style. I’ll be re-reading this again later this month, yes I loved it THAT much!

4.5 stars

Giveaway!

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About the Author

Nicole Simone works in digital media by day and at night, pen’s character driven romance novels that will make your mama blush. She lives in Los Angeles, C.A with her fat bulldog named Humphrey.

Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Review: Playing With Matches

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Playing With Matches

Author: Suri Rosen
Series: N/A
Genre: YA, Romance
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication Date: September 9th, 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 255
Source: ECW Press
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks
Chapters | Kobo | Book Depository

Synopsis (Goodreads):

A cross between Jane Austen’s Emma, Dear Abby, and Yenta the matchmaker!

When 16-year-old Raina Resnick is expelled from her Manhattan private school, she’s sent to live with her strict aunt-but Raina feels like she’s persona non grata no matter where she goes. Her sister, Leah, blames her for her broken engagement, and she’s a social pariah at her new school. In the tight-knit Jewish community, Raina finds she is good at one thing: matchmaking! As the anonymous “MatchMaven,” Raina sets up hopeless singles desperate to find the One.

Can she find the perfect match for her sister and get back on her good side, or will her secret life catch up with her?

In this debut novel, Suri Rosen creates a comic and heartwarming story of one girl trying to find happiness for others, and redemption for herself.

 

**I received an advanced copy from ECW Press in exchange for an honest review**

Opening Lines

Here’s some advice if you plan on taking the Number 7 down Bathurst Street at 7:36 a.m. Do not sit downwind from the woman eating the industrial-grade tuna fish. And if The Groomer is on the bus, get ready to duck at the first sign of the nail clippers.”

The Good

If I could sum up Playing With Matches using only one word it would be Cute with a capital C!! Seriously, I think my face still hurts from smiling so much awhile reading this!

First off I just have to talk about the cover and my physical copy of this book. I was sent a PDF version until Playing with Matches was ready to be mailed out; when I opened the PDF I was so surprised by the cover design. I love the choice of colors and font used. I remember looking at it thinking how soft it looks! And when it came in the mail and I basically fell in love with it. The cover, the back of it, the font used, colour choices, the text style and the little arrows were all just beautiful touches to make this book look fantastic! And the spine! Let me just say that this book looks amazing on my bookshelf. I mean, if you still want to go and buy the ebook version, sure knock yourself out! But you’ll be missing out on one BEAUTIFUL book!

Raina Resnick is the main character and narrator throughout Playing With Matches, and I have to say that her character brought this story to life! I loved her character development throughout the book, it made her into a realistic character that people can relate to. I admit I was on the fence on if I would really like Raina’s character at the start of the book, but you quickly grow to love her. One thing that really bothered me was Raina’s family. HOW IN THE WORLD COULD YOU BLAME HER?! Ben was clearly a loser who didn’t understand that no family is perfect. My heart broke for Raina,  she was really just trying to make everyone else happy. Who hasn’t been in a similar situation of trying to make others happy?!

Now Suri Rosen…debut novel? Lies I tell you, LIES!! I’m only kidding. But Suri Rosen if you happen to actually read this I would like you to know that I am in awe of you. The writing style was perfect, everything just had a great flow. I have to say the biggest (and best) thing that I didn’t see coming was the fact that Suri Rosen didn’t focus on giving Raina a love interest. This made Playing With Matches refreshing and unique compared to all the young adult books that do focus on love interest. Suri Rosen proved that there is more to a character than falling in love, and that’s an important message!

Lasting Impression

Overall, Playing With Matches was such a cute read and I loved it to pieces!! A unique and refreshing read that has made its way onto my favourites list. A huge congratulations goes out to Suri Rosen, what a fantastic debut novel! I look forward to reading more of her work. Did I love it? YES. Should you read it? HECK YES!!!

5 stars

 

Giveaway!

Open internationally.

One (1) paperback copy of Playing With Matches!

Playing With Matches

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Review | Aspen

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Aspen

Author: Rebekah Crane
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA, Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: In This Together Media
Publication Date: June 5th, 2014
Format: ebook
Source: Jen Halligan PR
Purchase: Amazon

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One quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake.

In the next instant, her life changed forever.

Aspen doesn’t want to remember the car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard– because Katelyn may have died — but she didn’t leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it’s kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn’s former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels.

Popularity, Homecoming Court, hot guys – none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She’s been busy trying to keep her stoner mother Ninny in line and out of unemployment. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics and her therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can’t control … and doesn’t want to.

A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, Aspen is about the best-worst accident of your life … and what comes next.

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First Impression

This will be my first Rebekah Crane book, I didn’t get the chance to read Playing Nice so I’m excited to read this. Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor…that is a mouth full of a name! This sounds like something that could be made into a TV series or movie. However, the synopsis is really intriguing but I worry this might be a complex story to follow.

Opening Lines

“Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor, get your gimpy butt down here,” Ninny yells from the bottom of the staircase.”

The Good

Rebekah Crane has created a unique and simple story. I enjoyed the fact that the plot wasn’t too complex and I didn’t struggling to understand everything that was taking place. Every character played their part and there wasn’t a single moment that I felt a character was being used as a filler while reading Aspen. I have to say that Aspen was one of my favourite characters, what I can say? I love when characters are sassy! And Aspen is Sassy with a capital S! I have to say my favourite thing about this whole novel was how real it felt! Rebekah Crane has a way of writing and makes you feel like your witnessing the trauma first hand!

The Bad

  • Nothing I would consider bad.

The In-Between

  • Developments/Flashbacks – There were some flashbacks that I felt could have used more visual details for the readers. Also, there were developments between characters (trying not to give anything away!) that were not included in the story, it was obvious they took place but there wasn’t enough details for readers to get the full picture.

Lasting Impression

Overall, Aspen is a beautifully written and unique book with key concepts of self discovery. I’m now a fan of Rebekah Crane and can’t wait to read another one of her novels!

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4 Stars


Link: http://youtu.be/QVTve0hAlk8
Video created by Genius House Media. Find them on Facebook and Twitter!

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One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of Aspen, an ebook of Playing Nice, and a $10 Amazon gift card (US only).

Five (5) winners will receive an e-book copy of Aspen (INT).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Rebekah Crane fell in love with YA literature while studying Secondary English Education at Ohio University. After having two kids, living in six different cities, and finally settling down in the foothills of her beloved Rocky Mountains, her first novel, PLAYING NICE, was published. ASPEN, her second YA novel, set in Boulder, CO, is due to release in summer 2014 from In This Together Media. She now spends her day carpooling kids or tucked behind a laptop at 7,500 ft high in the Rockies, where the altitude only enhances the experience.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

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ARC Review | Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly, #3)

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Strange and Ever After

Author: Susan Dennard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly, #3
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected Publication Date: July 22nd, 2014
Format: eARC
Source: FFBC
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus…all before it’s too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.

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** I received an advanced copy from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.**

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First Impression

Something Strange and Deadly was a series I’d hear people talk about often but in all honesty I really had no idea that they were talking about. So I finally did my research, read the synopsis and I knew this would be a good series!! How often do you come across the combination of zombies in an historical setting? Never. While I did really want to read the books I never had the motivation to start them until I came across the blog tour. I went out and bought the previous books and dove head first into this world, and boy I’m happy I did!

Opening Lines

I was not suppose to be here. Oliver would be furious. Joseph even more so. This dock was the no-man’s-land between realms. It was a place for ghosts.”

The Good

Sometimes books can be predictable, okay most times, but especially when a series comes to an end. When I started Something Strange and Deadly I didn’t know what to expect, neither with A Darkness Strange and Lovely. Although, I have to admit I feel like A Darkness Strange and Lovely suffered a bit from middle book syndrome. But when it came to Strange and Ever After I thought I had it all mapped out. I didn’t think there would be any MORE surprises and I was beyond wrong. The thing that I loved the most about this book was the character development, through the past books we see Eleanor trying to come to terms with all that is right and wrong and I feel that as a final book she finally blossomed! Now Oliver and Daniel, I wasn’t sure what path she would take with these two characters and you won’t be able to either.

Now for the heartbreaking part: the ending. While I was getting closer and closer to finishing Strange and Ever After I started to realize where Susan was going. I screamed “NO!” at my book because I couldn’t believe she would actually do it, but she did! She gives you an ending you don’t really see coming, and although I hate it, it was the perfect and most fitting ending I could ask for. Lastly, I found that as each book was written Susan just kept on improving. Not to say that the previous books were written poorly, they weren’t, it was just that she was so descriptive in the final installment and I went through so many different feelings! I’ll leave you with two quotes that I loved and are the only ones that won’t really spoil anything. While this review can seem vague I just don’t won’t to spoil ANYTHING for anybody, because this book was beautiful as much as it was perfect and one I think everyone needs read.

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“…because I could not have my good-bye. My final “I love you”. There would be nothing.”

“Tears ran down my cheeks, but I didn’t mind. They were as common as spring rain these days-and I hoped just as cleansing.

The Bad

  • The fact that it had to come to an END!!! But really there is nothing I would consider bad.

The In-Between

  • Still haven’t come across anything.

Lasting Impression

Overall, Strange and Ever After is a beautifully written conclusion to this trilogy. I can’t express how much I want everyone to pick up this book! If you haven’t read this book yet, get it! If you haven’t read the previous books, go pick them up! Strange and Ever After won’t be released until July 22nd, so you have time! I’m so excited and looking forward to Susan’s next series Truthwitch that is expected to release sometime in 2015, let the waiting game begin.

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4.5 stars

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– One (1) hardback copy of Strange and Ever After (US only)
– One (1) E-book of Strange and Ever After (INT)
*Giveaway ends on July 22nd, 2014!*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I am a writer, reader, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. I used to be a marine biologist, but now I write novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (I really like swoon-worthy rogues).

I live in the Midwest with my husband and two dogs (Asimov and Princess Leia), and you can learn more about my crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on my blog or twitter.

My debut, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY is now available from HarperTeen along with the prequel, A DAWN MOST WICKED, and the sequel A DARKNESS STRANGE & LOVELY.

Look for STRANGE & EVER AFTER in summer 2014 and TRUTHWITCH in fall 2015!

Note: I am on Goodreads to READ. So, if you want to discuss books and the joys of literature, add me as a friend.

Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Review | Stained (Stained, #1)

Stained

Author: Ella James
Series: Stained, #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Barkley’s Books
Publication Date: August 16th, 2012
Format: ebook
Source: Mark My Words Book Publicity
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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After a fire destroys seventeen-year-old Julia’s home and kills her foster parents, she chases the half-demon responsible across the country and back, determined to avenge her family and discover why a host of celestial baddies want her dead. With Julia is enigmatic hottie – Cayne, who has his own score to settle with the half-demon, and who might be just as dangerous as the creature he and Julia hunt.

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** I received a copy of Stained from Mark My Words Book Publicity in exchange for an honest review.**

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First Impression

You can never be too sure of what to expect when you start a new book. Although I read the synopsis, I found it very vague and still didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Was I walking into an Angels vs. Demons version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Or is this the Angel and Demon version of Twilight?

Opening Lines

The monster clawed the dark sky, hissing and spitting and belching ash. Its fat orange talons twisted the little house until it cracked, until the walls caved and the roof collapsed.”

The Good

  • Descriptive & Action – I enjoyed Ella’s descriptions. It was easy for me to visualize what was taking place throughout the whole novel. Just take the quote above as an example! As for the action, the fighting scenes between Samzaya and Cayne and other Nephilims were well written. There was a decent balance between the action scenes and the rest of the story.
  • Romance – Romance? What romance? No I’m kidding there was some. Thank you for not making it an insta-love driven book! At the beginning she points out he’s hot and how nervous she gets around him but Julia gradually deals with her feelings towards Cayne. And while Cayne tries to fight his feeling for Julia he finally gives in…towards the END of the book…hmph.
  • The EndingCLIFFHANGER!!! Yep, she gave us a cliffhanger as an ending, which I think was a great way to tie up a first book in a series. The cliffhanger that was given was perfect, if she chose anything else it wouldn’t have flowed well.
  • References – I know I said it in my first impressions that I wasn’t sure it I would be getting the Angel vs. Demons version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Twilight, but this book ACTUALLY made a reference to both!! I actually giggled over this for probably 2 minutes.

Are you the reason that I haven’t had a breakdown—because you hypnotized me?”
“I can’t do it with you.”
“Oh, and I believe that, Edward.”
“Edward?”
Twilight!” He didn’t seem to recognize it. “You’ve never heard of Twilight?”
“No.”
Amazing. “Well whatever. I still don’t believe you.”

&

Julia saw a flash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and laughed, half ecstatic, half terrified. “You can’t be serious.”

The Bad

  • The Beginning – The first part of Chapter 1 was solid! I can’t say the same for the second part of Chapter 1, I felt like there was too much information that Ella James just crammed into the first 3 chapters. I was extremely confused with the description of her ‘Sight’ and felt like it could have been explained and portrayed better.

The In-Between

  • POV – Once I got about 10 chapters in I kept hoping it would switch to Cayne’s perspective, but it didn’t. After awhile I was getting tired of Julia’s perspective, not that I found her annoying but Stained had the perfect set up to have a duel POV. Also, some of the details that were given made more sense to come from Cayne. I had to wait until Chapter 27 to finally get his POV and that bothered me. Also, I felt that the chapter that brought in Nathan was random! I sat there thinking, “Who the heck is this guy!” I ended up rereading the chapter prior thinking I missed something.
  • Editing – I know every book has them, but this book had some serious grammatical and formatting errors. Not bad enough to the point that you can’t read the book, but bad enough that you constantly notice them.
  • History Lesson 101 – Similar to the beginning I had no clear understanding of Julia’s ‘Sight’ or the whole Nephilim thing. I felt like I needed a crash course history lesson to bring me up to par since no real background was given.

Lasting Impression

Overall, Stained was an interesting book. It had its flaws but those won’t deter rate me from reading the rest of the series! So if you’re looking for a YA – Fantasy with a little bit of romance I would recommend giving Stained a read!

*All quotes came from Ella James. “Stained.” iBooks.*

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3.5 Stars

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ARC Review | Wild

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Wild

Author: Alex Mallory
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Retelling
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected Publication Date: July 8th, 2014
Format: ebook
Source: FFBC
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Bookdepository

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In this action-packed and timely “Tarzan for the digital age,” Cade, a teen raised in the wilderness, is brought into modern civilization.

The forest is full of secrets, and no one understands that better than Cade. Foraging, hunting, surviving-that’s all he knows. Alone for years, Cade believes he’s the sole survivor. At least, until he catches a glimpse of a beautiful stranger…

Dara expected to find natural wonders when she set off for a spring break camping trip. Instead, she discovers a primitive boy-he’s stealthy and handsome and he might be following her. Intrigued, Dara seeks him out and sets a catastrophe in motion.

Thrust into society, Cade struggles with the realization that the life he knew was a lie. But he’s not the only one. Trying to explain life in a normal town leaves Dara questioning it.

As the media swarm and the police close in, Dara and Cade risk everything to get closer. But will the truth about Cade’s past tear them apart?

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First Impression

Tarzan retelling? WHAT!! There are many retellings out now a days, but how often do you come across one on Tarzan? I can’t think of any, it’s just so rare! Back in April after reading the synopsis I added it to my 2014 shelf and when I say there was a blog tour for it, well of course I had to sign up! I mean…it’s TARZAN!

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The Good

  • More plot, less romance – I loved that this was not a romance driven novel. I mean yes, you have a little bit of romance between Cade and Dara, obviously! But it was more described as two characters being interested and curious about each other. Wild has a solid plot, with romance floating in the background.
  • Writing style – Alex Mallory knows how to write! I found her writing to be very descriptive and has a beautiful lay-out which helped made me feel like I was actually IN the story! I like that she went with third person POV, it allows for readers to see different perspectives and get a real sense of what was happening.
  • Characters – I loved the two main characters; Cade and Dara! Cade, oh Cade. He’s just so adorable! My heart broke for him; being ripped away from the only world he knows and thrown into the world he didn’t know existed is just plain cruel. I just wanted to grab him and hold him and tell him everything was going to be okay!! Now Dara is a strong-willed individual, if she sets her mind to something it’s happening. There’s no way to change her mind. And the secondary characters had a bigger role in this than I expected, but liked! Cade and Dara had great chemistry together and even as individuals they brought a lot to this story.

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The Bad

  • Nothing really that I would consider bad.

The In-Between

  • Pace – I’m a little bit of an impatient individual and when I get to books that have long and slow chapters I tend to lose focus. Wild is a slow pace kind of story that bothered me, but it’s so well written that I didn’t want to DNF it.

Lasting Impression

Overall, Wild was a beautiful modern-day retelling of Tarzan. A little slow at times, but still a solid story! If you love Tarzan, retellings, or in the mood for a contemporary novel I recommend giving Wild a try!

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3.5 Stars


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Tour-Wide Giveaway!

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US Only | Must be 13 or older to enter

* A Wild Prize Pack Featuring:*
– a signed, finished copy of WILD
– a copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ TARZAN OF THE APES
a DVD (region 1) of Greystoke: Legend of Tarzan of the Apes
– bookmarks
+ a stuffed plush flu microbe. (US Only)

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Alex Mallory is a pen name for YA author Saundra Mitchell. She’s a big fan of reading, history, camping and competitive M&M sorting.

She once crossed a dilapidated train trestle in the middle of the night, 200 feet above the Wabash River, in a futile attempt to prove her love to someone who had no idea she existed.

1) She lived to tell about it. 2) It didn’t work. 3) She doesn’t recommend it.

Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

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