Book Review & Giveaway: Fire Country by David Estes

Fire CountryTitle: Fire Country (Country Saga #1)

Author: David Estes

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb: In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer’s even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.

Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.

Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.

As the desert sands run out on her life’s hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.

My Review: Fire Country starts off with a girl, surviving in a dystopian world. She is trying to mentally prepare herself for the traditions of her tribe, The Heaters. All while dealing with bullying, an abusive father and circumstances beyond her means. She has a best friend, Circ, who she’s starting to see as possibly more than a friend but she knows their romance is impossible as there is a way for mating among the Heaters that doesn’t even allow them the possibility.

Siena, the main character, was real. Her insecurities, I very much understood, related to and believed. She’s not only dealing with insecurities and emotional and physical scars but there is a world of suspense and conspiracy going on around her. She puts herself in situations to try and unravel these mysteries and boy, was I in for a treat. Siena has a strong will and an even sharper mind. She is physically lacking- too skinny and weak. Yet this does not stop her. She learns to accept who she is, her body and see what she thought were negatives as positive. I love her transformation and seeing her become as physically strong as she is mentally.

So characters: As already covered, Sienna is awesome. Circ, her best friend, is beautiful. He is there for her. Both emotionally and physically. He is strong, a warrior, and uses his strength to protect his people and her. Their romance is truly something I loved. Perry OMG, Perry! He is fricking amazing. I love his banter with Sienna. He has such a prickly personality (Ha!) and dry sense of humor and I loved him! If his name was anywhere on the page, I laughed. And then laughed some more. The best thing about Perry? So much about him is amazing but I won’t spoil the best part.

Estes writes in a way that allows for the reader to completely immerse themselves in the novel. From the language to the imagery to emotions that run so pure that you sometimes forget yourself while reading. You laugh and cry and mourn and leap with joy. Speaking of laughs, there was something I thought of after finishing this novel that I just want to share. Have any of you watched Laugh At My Pain a comedy special by Kevin Hart? He has this ongoing joke throughout the show. He’s joking about money and how when he can’t afford something he explains his financial situation, “Because the way my bank account is set up… I have a checking and a savings but all the money is in my savings…” The more he tells it, the funnier it becomes. Estes, did something to that effect in Fire Country. An ongoing joke that even in the most suspenseful or heated moments cause a laugh. This novel gave me an insight to Estes’ sense of humor and I gotta say, you are a funny man!

The novel ended well and after all the bangs and fireworks one would expect of a grand finale and then the pace slows to fill in all the blanks that we wondered about throughout the novel. It also set the tone for the sequel, which quite honestly, I’m looking forward to. I also know this series is described as a sister series to The Moon Dwellers, but I didn’t really understand it at first. Now I do and I feel that these books, in both series, are a must read.

*I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway: It’s that time again, where you get the chance to enter another amazing giveaway. This very emotional and gushing girl is offering you the chance to win an ebook copy of this novel. To get a little colloquial, you would be wooloo, to not enter. This is once again a Rafflecopter giveaway and to enter, just click here. Good luck!

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Book Review: The Edge of Never

the edge of neverTitle: The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never #1)

Author: J.A. Redmerski

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: –The New York Times, USA Today, and Wallstreet Journal bestselling blockbuster–

Sometimes life takes you off course . . .

THE EDGE OF NEVER

Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett thought she knew exactly where her life was going. But after a wild night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she shocks everyone-including herself-when she decides to leave the only life she’s ever known and set out on her own. Grabbing her purse and her cell phone, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus ready to find herself. Instead, she finds Andrew Parrish.

Sexy and exciting, Andrew lives life like there is no tomorrow. He persuades Camryn to do things she never thought she would and shows her how to give in to her deepest, most forbidden desires. Soon he becomes the center of her daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But there is more to Andrew than Camryn realizes. Will his secret push them inseparably together-or destroy them forever?

Due to sexual content and language, this book is recommended for 17+ – Adult Contemporary Women’s – New Adult Fiction (less)

My Review: As ridiculous as it sounds, I have half a mind to re-rate all of my previously read books in order to do this one justice. The Edge of Never is truly a remarkable book that deserves 5 stars like no other.

The first few chapters of The Edge of Never are perfectly summed up in the blurb. Not at all boring. I read the beginning excerpt on Amazon and it was truthfully what made me NEED to read the book in the first place. But call me lucky as hell because I ended up winning a copy of this novel in a giveaway. So me being me, I start the novel from the beginning (even though I had already read the first couple of chapters) and was once again completely caught up in the book. The Edge of Never is truly a rare gem in the fact that it only gets better as the novel progresses. There is never a dull moment, had an amazing pace and the more I read the better the story was and the more attached to the characters I became.

Seriously, I have never ever read a book that truly only gets better with every page I turned in the way that this novel does. It’s like the more I read the more it drew me in. I was truly living this story along with Camryn and Andrew. I smiled, I laughed, I cried and even got a little hot and bothered with some by descriptive and sexy sex scenes. So yeah, definitely for the mature (17+) YA audience.

The Edge of Never was truly a very emotional read for me. With lots of extremes. From exuberant laughter to the most extreme cry I’ve ever had with a novel. So when you go to go read this novel, be mentally prepared- and physically: Have your box of Kleenex nearby.

Reading literature as I do, I have to say that I have developed quite a few book crushes over the years. Edward from Twilight, Jace from The Mortal Instruments, Four from Divergent- just to name a few. However, Andrew has trumped them all. Nope, no book crush here. I practically fell in love. He is so freaking sexy. Although he is smokin in the looks department that’s not at all what I’m referring to. He is funny, caring, thoughtful, respectful… The list is kind of endless. In truth one of the things I loved most was just how good Camryn and Andrew are for each other. I love his playfulness and his way of drawing her out of her shell. I love their banter and its humor was amazing. The chemistry they share, their flirting and the build up was quite epic. With all of that being said, Redmerski does a great job with providing a plot twist that although she hints at, leaves the reader floored.

The Edge of Never is told from both Camryn and Andrew’s POV and Redmerski was amazing with it. Being the avid reader that I am, I’ve read plenty of novels from both male and female POV. With that being said I don’t think I have ever read one done quite so well from a male POV. I don’t know how to describe it except to say that it was real. Each character having their unique voice. Their is never confusion as to who is narrating because of this.

So, if all my gushing wasn’t clear enough, The Edge of Never is an amazing novel. It is an emotional read but that is easy to fall in love with. This is a read that I definitely recommend and one of the best books I’ve ever read. FUONLYKNEW thank you for the amazing giveaway that got me this book.

Book Review: After the Fall

Title: After the Fall (Clash of the Otherworlds #1)

Author: Elle Casey

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: The Light and Dark Fae have come together, a tenuous peace formed at the urging of the Overworld. Potty-mouthed teen, Jayne Sparks, and her fellow changeling friends find themselves once again in the middle of a maelstrom of conflict, mystery, and magic that they must struggle to not only understand but to overcome. Jayne Sparks Blackthorn hereby cordially invites you to follow her into the Gray…

*Clash of the Otherworlds continues where Elle Casey’s War of the Fae series left off

My Review: I find myself having a tough time reviewing books that come from a series. I feel limited in the sense that it’s harder to not provide spoilers. Like me being particularly emotional in Bella and Edwards wedding from Breaking Dawn and writing something to that effect. For someone who has read Eclipse they are already expecting this. However this will be a total spoiler for those who have only read Twilight or New Moon. Uhum… So I hope you understand my dilemma and my usual hope of not providing spoilers. Which for those of you who are unaware is why I tend to keep reviews about sequels short. However, I’ll admit I can’t help myself on this one. Those of you who have yet to finish reading the War of the Fae series or don’t enjoy **SPOILERS**, stop here. You have been warned.

After the Fall begins where War of the Fae ended. I was pretty much left not knowing what to expect. The Light and Dark Fae have united, Jayne and Ben got married and now they have a war with the Otherworlds to deal with.

In regards to Ben and Jayne, we all know how stubborn and head strong Jayne can be, but I was left feeling hopeful that things would work out between them with their steamy kiss, a few heartfelt promises and overall attitude at the end of New World Order. However, this book highlighted all of their problems and it seems to me that their relationship may not work out. First, Jayne is having a tough time getting over Chase. Then Ben can’t seem to make up his mind as to whether he is a possessive a-hole or a sweetheart. He changes moods as much as you would expect a PMS-ing girl would. The jury is still out on Ben. He needs to pick a side like who do his loyalties lie with? There is such a shroud of mystery around him and I’m honestly not sure if he’s a good or bad guy. But then I remember that Chase sanctioned their union and spirit has blessed it. Surely Chase would never marry her off to a traitor to their race right? Well, I guess we can say I keep going back and forth on this. I think we just need to learn a little more about him before we make up our mind about liking him.

Casey reveals more of Jayne’s heritage and she does in the most unexpected way. Then in regard to the ever hilarious Tim the Pixie, he is dealing with having his wife around and getting to know his son. I absolutely love his character and cannot possibly count the laughs I’ve had on his account. His son Willy is pretty awesome too and is also pretty funny; Especially with his spider nakie stuff. I seriously couldn’t get enough of it.

It turns out that Jayne has more potential that anyone could of ever imagined. Like… How about a major **SPOILER** now? Again, MAJOR SPOILER!!!! Our Jaynie girl can wield all four elements. That was a wowsers moment and the scene was exciting as hell. I’m still grinning like a madman over that amazing action scene.

After the Fall is a pretty intense book. The pace is fast, the action is intense and it is hilariously funny. I truly think that I would have ended up in a mental institution had I read this book in front of anyone outside of my family. I looked absolutely crazy with my wild reactions, burst of laughter and in my general excitement over this book. Good thing my family is used to me turning into a madman when there is a book in my hands… 😉

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Book Review: New World Order

Title: New World Order (War of the Fae #4)

Author: Elle Casey

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Will the fae will be able to make the sacrifices they must to survive?

Jayne Sparks and her Light Fae changeling friends face off in the final battle against their enemies. But the identify of their true enemies isn’t as clear as it once was. Are they the ones breaking down their doors … or perhaps another entity, hiding in the shadows?

Friends come and go, bridges burned are rebuilt, love is lost and found. The survival of the fae depends on the answer to one question: Which burns hotter … hatred or hope?

My Review: Let my start this review by saying that I absolutely love this book. Casey finished her War of the Fae series with a bang. It had everything I loved about the series: humor, friendship, love, romance, action, Jayne’s bad-assery and a plot that was as awesome as it was unexpected.

The series ending was very bittersweet for me but I loved it. It ended in a way that allows for Jayne’s story to be continued, which Casey is doing in Clash of the Otherworlds. Which you guys should be seeing a review for in a couple of days. Now I apologize for my short review but I am still feeling very emotional after finishing New World Order and I have some crying to get back to. Now if you’ll excuse me…

Book Review: Darkness and Light

Title: Darkness and Light (War of the Fae #3)

Author: Elle Casey

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Blurb: The animosity between Darkness & Light continues to grow, as do Jayne’s supernatural, elemental abilities in the Green Forest. Long-lost friends arrive, new friends leave, passion burns, and mysteries abound. What is Light and what is Dark? Who can the Light Fae trust? Who will be left standing in the end and whose side will they be on? Nothing is ever as it seems, and all is fair in love and War of the Fae.

My Review: I plan on keeping this review short… Lets see if this works out.

Elle Casey does not disappoint with Darkness and Light. I really enjoyed this novel and laughed more in this one than I have in any of Casey’s other novels. Which considering everything, is no easy feat. This book took me through many highs and lows- I cried from laughter and I cried from sadness. It was well written and I loved the action and the great plot twists. The only reason I am not giving it five stars is due to a lull a few chapters into the book. The pace of the book considerable slowed and I was a bit bored by it. After all, I have gotten used to Casey’s fast pace and am considering the idea that she has spoiled her readers with it.

Darkness and Light is a great continuation to the series. It was impossible to put down and I loved the stage that has been set and cannot wait for the last installment, which I’m sure will show the final battle of the War of the Fae.

Book Review: Call to Arms

Title: Call to Arms War of the Fae #2)

Author: Elle Casey

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Follow Jayne Sparks, the (still) potty-mouthed seventeen-year-old and newly changed elemental fae and her friends – an incubus, a daemon, a green elf, a water sprite and a pixie – as they struggle to find their places in the Light Fae community of the Green Forest and prepare for the upcoming battle against the Dark Fae.

My Review: So… Many of you may already know that once upon a time I read Call to Arms and gave it a very mean review. Knowing now that was an all emotional reviewer, I read this book for a second time- With an open mind and at a slower pace.

Well I can tell you now, that was a total fail. I started the book and was immediately swept up in the emotion of the book. I didn’t stand a chance. I read this book straight through only stopping for a nap. As in, I had to charge my iPad and decided to get some sleep while that happened. It was the middle of the night after all and the first thing I did after opening my eyes was to reach over and start reading where I left off. Now that I have finished reading Call to Arms I find myself having a lot to say. I hope not to bore you guys and I’m sure you will find a review somewhere in here… Eventually. (Haha…)

First, I want to apologize to Elle Casey. Wow did I do your book an injustice with my angry words and harsh review. I realize now how juvenile and angry I was then… Sometime ago, someone pointed this out to me and thank God for that. Thanks to this person’s honest and wise words I saw the error of my ways and have since continuously asked myself what exactly makes a good review. Yet one thing I have never reverted back to are my overly emotional and mean reviews. I consider myself someone who can admit being wrong- which I totally was.

Back to Call to Arms, I completely fell in love with this book. This book picks up right where The Changelings left off. Jayne has decided to become a changeling and accept the Fae blood that runs through her veins. Call to Ams follows Jayne and her friends integration into Fae society. Jayne continues to have a terrible potty mouth and a sick sense of humor that i just couldn’t get enough of and with the new characters we are treated to in this book, I did some serious LOLing. Jayne is always finding herself in crazy a** situations so the reader is never at a loss for action scenes. There also some hints of romance I hope to see more of in the books to come. The reader is also treated to lots of answers to the questions that arose in The Changelings.

The characters were fun and spunky and once again bring different things to the table. However, I want to specially talk about Becky (whom I kinda bashed in my first review). I think I just didn’t get her the first time around. It wasn’t that Becky’s character was lost, more so that she became a better, stronger person. I think that would happen to anyone who found themselves lost (a runaway and homeless) and finally finds their purpose in life. I think my head was just too far up my a** to see that the first time around. 😉

Call to Arms is truly an amazing sequel and I absolutely loved reading it. I look forward to reading the sequel… Which you should be seeing soon. I know I already mentioned Casey loves her cliff hangers and I’m going crazy to know what happens next.

Book Review + Giveaway: The Changelings

Title: The Changelings (War of the Fae #1)

Author: Elle Casey

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Jayne Sparks, a potty-mouthed, rebellious seventeen-year-old and her best friend, shy and bookish Tony Green, have a pretty typical high school existence, until several seemingly unrelated incidents converge, causing a cascade of events that change their lives forever. Jayne and Tony, together with a group of runaway teens, are hijacked and sent into a forest, where nothing and no one are as they seem. Who will emerge triumphant? And what will they be when they do?

My Review: The main character Jayne and her best friend Tony end up as runaways in Miami after a series of crazy events. They find shelter among a group of homeless teens and are trying to figure things out while being penniless. They soon find an opportunity to make $500 in a medical study and they all jump on it. After an unorthodox test and an interesting interview, they are invited to what they are told will be a physical portion of the test. Up to this point to story is pretty good. Jayne is a strong character who is wittingly funny and the first to say what’s on her mind so you are never bored. However, it is after this point that the story really starts.

They are dumped in a forest in an undisclosed location and are told to find their way to four waypoints. To complete the task they have to tie one of their four flags to each waypoint. They are told that upon completing the physical portion of the test not only will they receive the promised $500 but they would also have an opportunity to earn a bonus. Sounds easy enough right? Well except for the fact that they are told that whatever rules or laws they were taught to follow don’t apply and they are each given a weapon. They soon find that there is more at risk than the money they were hoping to earn. After all, at every turn they are fighting for their lives.

The characters are all great and I have no complaints about them. With so many dynamic characters, there is never a dull moment.

  • Jayne is a very strong character. She has a big heart and a terribly funny sense of humor. She is big on tough love and very perceptive.
  • Tony is Jayne’s nerdy best friend. He is her support system and I love how easily he reads Jayne and seems to be the only one capable of reining her in.
  • Spike is the character Jayne is immediately drawn to. He is handsome, musical and very charming.
  • Chase is the strong and silent type. He rarely speaks and Jayne keeps hoping that he will be one of those silent but deep characters and I’m still kinda waiting for the deep part of it. 😉
  • Ok. There are actually a few more that make up their band of runaways but I’ll be stopping here. What can you expect from them? They all bring something to the table. They are honest and fun and I enjoyed getting to know them.

    This book is incredibly addictive and I found it impossible to put down. It is funny, action packed and you are left guessing after well placed plot twists and plenty of betrayal. This is an amazing book that will leave you desperate for the sequel. Elle Casey is known for ending her novels with cliff hangers… Well in The Changelings she leaves you with a WTF moment and desperate to know what happens next. With this being said, my review for Call to Arms will be up very soon.

    Giveaway: Elle Casey is once again, generously, giving away two copies of her novel to two lucky guys/gals. This is the first installment of a series of four. For your chance to enjoy the first book in this great series just fill out the form below. The giveaway ends Monday October 29th 2012. The winner will therefore be announced on Oct 30th. Good luck!

    Apocalypsis: Book Review + Giveaway

    Title: Apocalypsis: Book 1, Kahayatle (Apocalypsis #1)

    Author: Elle Casey

    Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

    Blurb: My name’s Bryn Mathis. I’m seventeen years old, and I live in a neighborhood outside of Orlando, Florida. I live alone because my dad died almost a year ago, along with all the other adults in the world. I’m almost out of food and the gangs of kids that roam around my town are getting more vicious by the day.

    It’s time for me to leave and find another place to live … a place where I can find food and shelter … a place where they won’t be able to find me.

    Alone, it might have been possible; but now I’ve got company. I’m worried that I don’t have what it takes to get from here to my final destination.

    And I have no idea what might be waiting for me when I get there.

    My Review: Have you ever wondered what a world with no adults would be like? Or if teenagers can survive in a world with no parents? Well, Casey paints a very honest and realistic view of what this world would be like. Apocalypsis is a dystopian novel where a disease kills off most of the population. In this novel, anyone who wasn’t a who teenager died- adults and children alike. The story is told in first person POV and from Bryn’s perspective.

    So, let me give you a quick synopsis: Bryn’s father who was well aware of the fact that he would be dead soon did everything he could to prepare Bryn. He left her stocked with food, a gun, first aid supplies and other necessities. He taught her how to pack, how to camp, how to defend herself using Krav Maga and he left her a plan. At some point she would have to move and find a safe place to settle down.

    If you don’t enjoy reading books that tend to be addictive and take over your life until you have finished reading it- stay away from Apocalypsis. It was nearly impossible to put down. It is also funny- I spent most of the book chuckling or full out laughing. It’s action packed- Bryn is a certified badass and there was always someone’s ass for her to kick. It’s suspenseful and gross- the reality of their world is crazy (although realistic) and at times hard to stomach. There is also a hint of romance- it was nice seeing the attraction and chemistry between Bryn and Bodo.

    The characters are dynamic and fun and I loved getting to know them.

  • Bryn is funny, brave and very likeable. She has a great sense of humor and spends most of her time teasing others. She can totally kick ass and protects the people she cares about.
  • Peter is a great support for Bryn. He’s often her voice of reason. He is surprisingly strong but is the weakest character of the bunch.
  • Bodo is a sweetheart. He plays Bryn’s love interest. He is strong, has a crazy hot body and has a great accent (I love how Casey presents his speech to us). He tries very hard to be of help and to make Bryn happy- totally cute and romantic. However, he is surrounded by a shroud of mystery and his secrets left me with a feeling of foreboding.
  • The one negative I found was that there is never any explanation of this disease that decimated the population. To be clear, neither the reader nor the characters have any understanding of it. After all, when the adults are the scientist and doctors and they are dying off, there is no one else left to explain it. All we know is that there was something in the hormones raging in teenagers that made them immune to the disease.

    This is a novel that raises the question of people and human nature and survival. It is a prime example of Darwin’s ideas- A world where you must adapt to survive (survival of the fittest). Apocalypsis is fun, realistic, hilarious, and heartwarming. I really enjoyed reding this book and would definitely recommend. I look forward to reading the sequel and knowing what happens next.

    For a chance to see just how good this book is be sure to enter the giveaway.Elle Casey is once again, generously giving away two ebook copies of Apocalypsis. This giveaway is open until October 21, 2012. The winner will be announced October 22. Good luck!