January 29, 2016

ARC Review | Beyond the Red by Ava Jae

Beyond the Red 
By Ava Jae
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Beyond the Red by Ava Jae Review352 pages

This book was provided to me from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.

An alien queen, Kora, and a half-breed slave, Eros, have more in common than anyone would want to believe. Both are shunned and hated. Both just want to do what is right for their people. Both of their lives collide when they are forced to work together to save those that they love. 
They live on a planet on the verge of revolution from the plots to kick Kora from the throne in favor of her war-hungry brother and the threats of rebellious humans. The only way to hinder the constant criticism of her rule is to quickly find a mate to share the throne. But finding love in a revolution is harder than Kora thought.
Eros and his human people are constantly being hunted and killed for invading the alien planets. Only a few nomads are left, despite the alien army's efforts to eradicate the human species. Unfortunately, those few survivors might not stay survivors much longer.
The key to keeping their separate people alive is to bring them together, in defiance of the years of hatred and fear between their species. 

January 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday | Songs that Have Been Stuck in My Head All Week

This is a weekly list meme hosted by the wonderful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. 

This week is a freebie post, so I got to pick whatever topic came to my mind first (after about 15 minutes of brainstorming, but I am not bitter or anything). Since I have been listening to a lot of music lately, I decided to talk about the songs that have been stuck in my head lately. Just to warn you, I am still a music newbie and I am by no means a music expert (I cannot even play an instrument). 

In case you are wondering, I mostly listen to pop, pop-punk (I am a little bit behind on the times) and even some alternative music. But, I am pretty much open to trying any kind of music (except for rap). 

So, I made you guys a playlist of the top ten (ish) songs that have been circling in my head for the past couple of weeks.

January 22, 2016

Mini-Reviews | Breaking hearts, demons, and thoughts on how we treat people

Since I do not have a Time-Turner, a TARDIS, or a cloning machine, I just do not have time to write a full review for all of the books that I read. So, I have decided to write mini-reviews to discuss the books that I do not have as much to say about. That does not mean that I did not like these books, but sometimes, as creative and amazing as my brain is, I just cannot think of that much to write about a book. 

Today, I am discussing how Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between broke my heart, how The Demon King gave me hope for books with multiple perspectives, and how You are Mine's unique premise was not enough to make me love the story.

January 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I have recently piled on to my towering to-read list

This is a weekly list meme hosted by the wonderful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. 

Today's topic is the top ten books most recently added to your to-be-read list. My TBR list is constantly fluctuating, with additions practically every day and even some removals. I try to keep my TBR down to a minimum by periodically going through my Goodreads lists and purging books that I do not have any interest in anymore. 

With the help of Goodreads, I am going to list the 10 books that I have added to my to-be-read list most recently. 

January 17, 2016

Review | An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)An Ember in the Ashes
By Sabaa Tahir
An Ember in the Ashes #1
Published April 28, 2015
446 pages
Fantasy, Young Adult

Freedom is in short supply in the Empire.

Laia watched her family be mercilessly murdered as her defiant brother was dragged to prison. No one escapes Martial prisons, but Laia is willing to do anything for the only family she has left. Apparently, everything includes accepting the dangerous, and doomed-to-fail, mission from the elusive Resistance. The only way to get her in is to sell her as a slave to the most brutal woman in the Empire in the most dangerous place in The Empire.

Elias is a good soldier. But that does not make him a good person. He lived his years at Blackcliff in a constant cycle of training, obeying, and killing. He is a slave to the expectations of the Empire. Graduation is coming up, along with a chance to break that soul-crushing cycle. While Elias wants to escape with his soul intact, it seems like destiny will do everything to rip the life from him. 

These two desperate slaves to the Empire meet when the world is in the midst of chaos, which quickly includes them in its madness.

January 14, 2016

YA Author Rendzvous Guest Post + Giveaway with Bethany Wicker

Let us introduce YA Author Rendezvous – a group of independent Young Adult, Middle Grade and Children’s Book authors who have banded together to bring their stories to as wide an audience as possible. Visit them online and find some great reads!

January 12, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I meant to read in 2015 but was too lazy to

This is a weekly list meme hosted by the wonderful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. 

Ironically, today's topic is a testament to my laziness, which is why I have not posted a TTT in the past couple of months. Scheduling posts ahead of time requires effort and time and I have not had a lot of either lately. But, in an effort to keep myself on schedule, I am going to (try to) post TTTs consistently again.

As you all should know, I am a rather slow reader. I am by no means a speed reader, and I have come to terms to that. Unfortunately, this means that there are always a lot of books that I miss out on. There were quite a few 2015 releases that I was not able to get last year, but I hope to this year.

January 10, 2016

Sunday Street Team + Interview | The Possibility of Now by Kim Culbertson

The Sunday Street Team is a group of bloggers led by the marvelous Nori @ ReadWriteLove28 who aim to bring well-deserved attention to new and upcoming books and their authors. 

This month's author is Kim Culbertson, who is the author of the contemporary novel, The Possibility of Now.

The Possibility of Now
The Possibility of NowBy Kim Culbertson
Published January 26, 2016
305 Pages

Mara James has always been a perfectionist with a plan. But despite years of overachieving at her elite school, Mara didn't plan on having a total meltdown during her calculus exam. Like a rip-up-the-test-and-get-escorted-out kind of meltdown. And she definitely didn't plan on never wanting to show her face again.
Mara knows she should go back,only she can't bring herself to do it. Because suddenly she doesn't know why she's been overachieving all these years. So Mara tells her mom she wants to go live with her estranged dad in Tahoe. Maybe in a place like Tahoe, where people go to get away from everyday life, and with a dad like Trick McHale, a ski bum avoiding real life, Mara can figure things out.
Except Tahoe is nothing like she thought it would be. There are awesome new friends and a chance to finally get to know Trick, but there are also still massive amounts of schoolwork. Can Mara find a balance between the future and the now, or will she miss out on both?

About the Author

Kim Culbertson is the author of Catch a Falling Star; Instructions for a Broken Heart, a Northern California Book Award winner; and Songs for a Teenage Nomad. When she’s not writing young adult novels, she teaches high school creative writing. Kim lives with her husband and their daughter in Northern California. For more about Kim, visit www.kimculbertson.com.

January 3, 2016

Book Battle | Alive by Scott Sigler vs. Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Welcome to Book Battles, a feature here at Crazy for YA where I put two books in the battle ring and have them fight it out to see which one is better.

Today's fight is between Alive by Scott Sigler and Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant. 

Alive is a science fiction thriller about a girl who wakes up in a coffin without a clue where or who she is. 

Messenger of Fear is a thriller that leans more on the urban fantasy side of the spectrum about a girl names Mara and her exploits, or more like terrors, with her new nightmare, the Messenger of Fear. 

Since both of these novels are thrillers, it is best if I do not reveal a lot about the nature of the plot. I want to keep the mystery and suspense intact.