Book Review + Giveaway: The Brown House

Title: The Brown House

Author: Christy Sloat

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Some secrets should never be revealed…
Brylee Branson begrudgingly made the excruciating move with her family from the warm sandy beaches of California to small town living in New Jersey. As if she wasn’t miserable enough, they’ve moved into a creepy old house that everyone in the area claims is haunted. Brylee dismisses the idea of ghosts and hauntings, until she begins to see and hear things that can’t be explained…

Brylee has no choice but to seek the help of new friends to unlock the secrets of this place she now calls home. But some secrets should never be revealed. Can the teens find a way to release the spirits imprisoned within the walls? Or will the curse claim them, too?

My Review: I gotta say, I really enjoyed this novel. From the dark curses, evil witches and angry ghosts to the honest friendship, budding romance and the inherent good in the characters.

Sloat weaves a great story of a girl who’s family lose everything and get a chance to start over. The protagonist, Brylee doesn’t want to move but she wants to see her family happy and understands the importance of the move. She plays nice and doesn’t complain although her parents know she doesn’t want to move. So when she finally comes forward about experiencing some paranormal activity in her new home, her mom screams at her thinking that it’s some ploy to return to California. Needless to say that the house really is haunted. I love how Sloat presents the paranormal activities to the reader. I feel as if she eases us into the creepy factor of it. From the get-go its creepy but on a minimal scale. Yet towards the end of the novel I was seriously creeped out and testing my hubby’s patience. All the lights on and becoming his shadow until the goosebumps faded.

I loved Brylee’s strength. She is someone who knows who she is and who she wants to be and she sticks to her guns. She has a lot of spirit and is a character I really came to love. She is strong and honest and very relatable. I loved her inner struggle in remembering who she was and remaining who she wants to be. I loved the honest friendship portrayed in this novel, the budding romance and how realistic the marriage of her parents is. In speaking of marriage, from the very beginning Sloat tugged at my heart strings. She has one of the most beautiful dedications I have ever read in a novel . “For Joe. You have showed me that this is where I want to spend my life. Forever in your arms and by your side. Family is forever.” The romance in this novel is just as sweet and beautiful as this dedication.

The Brown House is a great novel with lots of intrigue and suspense. Sloat revels the story to the reader a little at a time. It mostly leaves you in a state of suspense until the entire story is revealed. She does this in a great way. This book demands your attention: it’s a novel that will keep you reading and thinking about it when you’re not. Again, it is a great read and one I truly enjoyed.

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

Now, for the fun part, Sloat is generously going to giveaway one paperback copy of this novel. For a chance to win a copy of The Brown House fill out the form below. The giveaway ends November 22, 2012. However, a couple disclaimers must be out into place first. 1. This giveaway is limited to the US and Canada. 2. As this is a physical book and giving your mailing address will be necessary, be sure you ask your parent/guardian for permission before entering if you are under 18. Good luck!

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Book Review: Covet

Title: Covet (The Clann #2)

Author: Melissa Darnell

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Dangerous to be together. Painful to be apart. Savannah Colbert knows she broke up with Tristan Coleman for the right reasons. Most of all, to keep from killing him with her new vampire abilities. But try telling her heart. Now, lost in a sea of hostile Clann faces, Sav tries to come to terms with what she’s becoming and what that means for her future. And that someone is doing their best to bully her into making a terrible mistake.

Tristan can’t believe Sav won’t even talk to him. If being apart is her decision, fine. Just don’t expect him to honor it. But even as he prepares to fight for the girl he loves, forces beyond their control take them both in directions neither could have foreseen or prepared for.

A reckoning is coming… and not everyone will survive.

My Review: In essence Covet is the same as Crave. It is about forbidden love, friendship, family and playing the cards you are dealt in life.

This novel begins with Savannah returning from Paris with Tristan. Tristan is still unaware of the promise she made to the vampire council. The Clann is going crazy trying to find him and kidnapped Savannah’s grandmother in the hopes of finding his whereabouts. When they reach the Circle where her Nanna is being held hostage, Savannah once again promises to stay away from Tristan- this time with him hearing it.

Although the story is once again told in switching POVs, the first half of the book it is mostly Savannah’s narrating. I gotta say this made the book so emotional for me. Boy did this book bring on the waterworks. Savannah experiences so much loss and her narrations are so real and honest that the reader is riding this emotional roller coaster along with her. I love how easy Darnell makes it for the reader to connect with her characters.

We also get to met some new characters and see a lot of character development. This also includes us leaning people’s motivations… Um, like Dylan- He’s always been such a douche. In Covet your opinion of him will not change, after everything, he is still a douche. But with the insight Darnell provides you begin to sympathize with him. We learn what his motivations are and why he is the way he is. Then there is Savannah. Man do I love how much stronger and independent she becomes in this book. She also learns to forgive herself and to live with her mistakes. After the death of one of her loved ones, I was hoping with all of my might that Savannah would rebel- in a kind of F*** everyone kind of way. But thankfully she is smarted than me and rebels in the awesomest way possible. So guys are you ready for this **SPOILER**? Savannah learns to wield magic. It leads to the most amazing showdown and I loved every word of it.

One thing I did not completely appreciate is Darnell use of foreshadowing. She does it in such a way that made a lot of potentially amazing plot twists become transparently obvious. I think it would have enjoyed it more if she used the element of surprise more.

With all that being said, I gotta say I have no clue what to expect in the sequel. Covet ended in a way I wasn’t expecting and it has the potential to make or break the romance between these star crossed lovers. Because although Savannah turned out to be a woman of her word, Darnell still finds a way for this novel to still be about them and in a way romantic. In the yearning and ‘I love you but can’t have you’ kind of way.

I believe Covet is a great sequel. It is emotional, romantic and nearly impossible to put down. I enjoyed the action and am left with nothing but curiosity for it’s sequel.

*I want to thank HarlequinTEEN for providing me this ARC.

Book Review: Crave

Title: Crave (The Clann #1)

Author: Melissa Darnell

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Savannah Colbert has never known why she’s so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It’s as if he’s a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she’s destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back…different, and suddenly he can’t stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences….

My Review: Crave is a modern day Romeo and Juliet but with a twist. Savannah and Tristan were best friends when they were younger and although banned from seeing one another they haven’t been able to forget each other. Fast forward to their high school freshman year. As the blurb says, Savannah gets sick and comes back basically being irresistible. Every guy is looking at her with new eyes and Tristan finds himself wanting her even more. And this is the book for a while. They each want each other but are both trying to stick to the rules their families have set for them.

Clearly this book is about Tristan and Savannah and the reader is just waiting for them to get together- which eventually they do. Although this is a great read it does get a little tiresome at some points. The book spans over a year and at times I wished it had a bit of a faster pace. However, I can’t deny that Darnell does a great job setting up the story and allowing the reader to get to really know the characters.

I love the romance in Crave. It is beautiful and heart warming. Tristan is the perfect gentleman. He’s also handsome, thoughtful, caring, protective and so swoon worthy. He’s a character that is easy to fall for and believe me, fall for him you will. Darnell tells the story from both Tristan and Savannah’s POV and it made me enjoy the book a lot more; To have that full understanding of them and their intentions.

Crave also tends to be suspenseful. Apparently these two are in more danger than they ever realized. With Savannah being a vampire and Tristan a witch they are forbidden from loving each other. They soon realize that in being together they risk ending the tentative peace these two species have and risk starting a war. I don’t think Romeo and Juliet had anything on these star crossed lovers. Especially when Savannah can drain him with a kiss.

I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to it’s sequel. This is one I recommend.