Review: One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

Title: One Past Midnight
Author: 
Publication:  July 22, 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Reviewed by: Isalys
Rating:  5 Stars
Reason for Reviewing:  ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is...


For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.

With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?

Sabine is unlike anyone she's ever known.  Every night, at precisely midnight, she is transported to a parallel world where she lives an entirely different life for 24 hours.  Her name and physical appearance remain the same, but she has different families, different friends, different lifestyles. In her Roxbury life, she's a bit of a punk/delinquent who has a strained relationship with her family but a little sister she adores.  In her Wellesley life, she's a rich socialite who despite her parent's divorce, maintains a good relationship with both of them, although her big brothers are jerks to her. She, along with her two best friends, rule the school and is of course dating the most popular boy!  She's spent 18 years of her life bouncing from one life to another and she hates it.

Sabine wants nothing more than to be normal.  To have one life, no matter how imperfect it may be that she can focus all her attention on; one life where the people in it know who she really, truly is (not this person with the world's biggest secret).  She's accepted the duality of her life if only because she can't do anything about it, until one little glitch changes everything.

One day while hanging out with a friend in her Roxbury life, she trips and breaks her arm.  That night, at midnight, she "quantum leaps" into her Wellesley life fully expecting her injury to carry over as it always does except that this time, it didn't.  She hatches a dangerous plan to begin testing her theory that if she can eliminate one version of herself, she can carry on as the other.

What really got my attention when I decided to read this book was the notion of one person living parallel lives.  I'd never read a book set in parallel worlds before and I'm so glad I started with this one.  I really admired Sabine's ability to be so strong and composed while managing her two vastly different lives without confusing her memories or blowing her cover.  It would be a lot for anyone to keep up with!  I loved that Jessica Shirvington managed to write the same person in two entirely different lights and still make her wholly likable in both.

The plot is seemingly simple. To try to find a way to rid herself of one life so she can live the other...but how do you decide which life is the one worth living?  Do you go with the obvious choice if it means losing people you love but gaining uncertainties?  She thinks she knows which one she wants to live out, but in trying to determine if this is even possible for her, things begin to shift and the life that she thought she no longer wanted is now far more appealing when a guy named Ethan walks into it....and most importantly, tells her he believes her and he believes in her!

There are two guys in Sabine's lives; one in each respectively.  But it's Ethan in her Roxbury life that steals the show and her heart (and mine too!).  What started as a friendship not only evolved into love, but into something so meaningful and profound that it changes her entire view on the meaning of life!  Toward the end of the book, Jessica Shirvington wrote one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful scenes I had ever read, and I relived those moments in my memory long past my bedtime.
By the end, I think I had more questions than answers, like why did Sabine have two lives? Was she the only one or did other people also have multiple lives and just didn't know it?  You know what though, I was okay with that because these are some pretty heavy questions and if our first-person narrator doesn't know the answer than I can't expect to know it either.  I guess there are some mysteries that life prefers to keep a secret!

One Past Midnight is a wonderfully written, riveting, and unquestionably clever story filled with unexpected twists that will have YOU thinking about the depth of life and love.

 WHERE YOU CAN PURCHASE

Author Friend In Need!

Hi friends!

I'm going to go off script for a moment here because I'd like to let the book community know about an author friend in need.

I recently learned that romance author, Kristine Cheney has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of invasive ductal carcinoma, a common but malignant form of breast cancer.  Sadly, she does NOT have any health insurance and to qualify for any medical assistance through her hospital, she is required to quit her job. 

Just last year, her young granddaughter (2 years old) also fought a battle against Leukemia and thankfully she is now in remission.

As you can imagine, she and her family have faced some very serious personal challenges and the long road continues, not only with regard to her own health but her finances as well.

I was not asked to write this.  I was not asked to share her story.  I was not asked to donate anything.  I wanted to write this post because I know her to be a really sweet lady who needs help but doesn't ask for it.  Another friend of hers started a fundraiser to help raise money to help cover the MANY daunting medical expenses that she'll have coming up and I made a small donation.

Please do not feel any obligation to donate money!  A kind word on her page or a share on Facebook or Twitter would be equally great!
If you are interesting in donating though, you can find her fundraising page HERE


Get to know Kristine a little better by find her on own site or on her Facebook Fan Page.


Thank you!

Blast: Witch Hunter Olivia by T.A. Kunz

Witch Hunter Olivia
by T.A. Kunz

In the town of Piedmont Pointe, where paranormal is the norm, a girl can easily get herself in over her head with a single wrong move. Unfortunately for Olivia Adams, she’s about to make several.

Starting over is never easy, but it seemed like the only option to Olivia. The decision to turn her back on the Guild of Witch Hunters, the very group she devoted her entire life to, was one of the hardest things she ever did. It meant leaving her family, her friends, and her old identity behind forever. Coming to terms with what caused her to abandon her duties in the first place was even harder.

While trying to lay low and stay off the Guild’s radar, Olivia finds herself thrust back into her old ways after unknowingly interrupting an assassination hit on a powerful witch. What follows is the last thing she ever thought she’d agree to do—protect the very thing she was groomed to hunt.

To complicate things even further, Olivia begins to develop feelings for a tattoo artist who also happens to be half warlock, and no matter how hard she tries to fight it, she can’t resist her inescapable draw to him. Olivia’s forbidden relationship isn’t her only issue though, because once the mystery behind the assassination attempt starts to unravel, she’s forced to choose sides when the loyalties still tied to her past life are tested again.

So much for the idea of a fresh start.

 Here's what New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors are saying about Witch Hunter Olivia by T.A. Kunz:
"Witch hunters and sexy tattoo artists? This New Adult Paranormal is EVERYTHING fans of romance and action are looking for."
- #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

"A fun, action-packed, enjoyable read!"
- New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack

"The perfect blend of New Adult and Paranormal. It's absolutely fantastic!" - New York Times bestselling author Nichole Chase
WHERE TO BUY

AmazonAmazon UKAmazon AUSB&NiBooksKobo


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author T.A. Kunz has always had a fondness for reading thrilling mysteries and action-packed urban fantasies. So, it was no surprise when T.A. decided to write stories that they’d fall into one of those two genres. T.A. lives in Central Florida with two fur babies and a mechanical engineer who also happens to be quite the culinary badass, which there are no complaints about. Being a self-diagnosed caffeine addict, many joke that T.A.’s addiction to Starbucks coffee will likely be their downfall later in life.


Review: Anthem's Fall by S.L. Dunn

Title: Anthem’s Fall
Author: S.L. Dunn
Publication: Prospect Hill Press, July 2014
Reviewed by: Stephanie
Rating: 4 stars
Reason for Reviewing: Ebook provided in exchange for an honest review
Above a horrified New York City, genetics and ethics collide as the fallen emperor and a banished exile of the same herculean race ignite into battle over the city’s rooftops. In the streets below, a brilliant young scientist has discovered a technology that can defeat them both, yet might be more terrible than either.

Set both in modern New York City and in the technologically sophisticated yet politically savage world of Anthem, Anthem’s Fall unfurls into a plot where larger than life characters born with the prowess of gods are pitted against the shrewd brilliance of a familiar and unlikely heroine.

 
A story of beings with the strength of gods causing the genocide of neighboring planets while tampering with genetic organisms to further their own race...um yeah, that sounds like my kind of book. When I read the synopsis for this book I was extremely impatient to devour each page. The beginning starts off very slow so please keep with the story and soldier through. I know I kept having to stop and refresh myself with a caffeinated beverage before diving back into Kristen Jordan's chapters in the story. I’m not sure what I didn’t like about this character. Maybe it was that I didn’t really get to know her much and she just sounded a bit white and black with no shades of grey. I wanted her to become a kick ass character or shock me, but nope... all she did was blush when people said she looked way too young. I still have faith she could redeem herself in the second book so fingers crossed.

I truly enjoyed the chapters about Anthem and the Primus race. I found that whole Sejero upgrade race thing fascinating and how the Felixes turned on their masters. These scenes were kinda gory but I’m not a squeamish type so if you are just a heads up. I just wanted more backstory about this savage planet and the inhabitants that coldly devalue other’s life that are not Primus. Perhaps I’m partial to science fiction intergalactic alien themes and just wanted more Anthem but was only given a glance. I know...I know, patience young padawan. Haha.

The recurring thought that drifts off the pages is just how far, for example, will the human race go to tamper with genetics? Indeed that is the question and very valid one at that. I think what freaked me out the most about this story was the possibility of creating a life form such as an animal or human with unmeasurable strength. I can hear that scene in Jurassic Park where Dr. Malcolm says, “Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.” I think we rarely think if we should and in the case of Anthem, they fall victim to that same scenario. Well, before I get way off track here, let’s talk about the ending and the book as a whole, shall we?

The ending was just WOW and UGH and now I am left wanting mooooore! You wicked wicked author, S.L. Dunn! I know that I didn’t quite tell you what happened, but that would ruin the ending and we can’t have that. *wink* Just be prepared for what may come and is probably not what you expect at all. Okay, I’m done with the hints. You will get no more out of me unless you have a cookie. *sinister grin* Yes...yes I could tell you more for some cookies. *rubs hands together* Muahahaha!

Moving on to the book as a whole. Well, what can I say other than, this book has it’s dull moments which are in the very beginning, but once that is in your back mirror, it’s action scenes with super strength giants, creepy blue eyed murderous Felixes, a hunky exiled royal hero, bloody battlegrounds in Anthem/Chicago/New York, and cool Sejero names like Gravitas and Vengelis. So if these themes appeal to you, then I suggest you definitely get a copy of Anthem’s Fall today. I look forward to reading the next book, Herculaneum.

Blast: Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

Blind Spot
by

BLindSpotpaperback

There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.
Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name... to find a murderer.

This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.
WHERE YOU CAN BUY
Available now at these fine retailers in eBook and Hardcover, and in paperback on
June 10, 2014
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bio: Laura Ellen writes YA contemporary mysteries and thrillers from her home in Arizona, while also freelancing as a manuscript consultant for aspiring authors. She has a MA in Children's Literature and began her career as a teacher in both Language Arts and special education. Diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration as a teen, she drew upon her own experiences with vision loss to write her debut YA thriller Blind Spot, an emotional and suspenseful page-turner. Laura is represented by Jill Corcoran at Jill Corcoran Literary Agency and is part of the Sleuths, Spies, and Alibis blog crew. Want to know more about Laura Ellen? Go to www.lauraellenbooks.com or catch her on twitter @lauraellenbooks or facebook
 
LauraEllenGiveaway
GIVEAWAY
One Winner will get signed copies of BLIND SPOT and DEAR TEEN ME as well as a BLIND SPOT swag pack that includes, gum, magnet and magnifying glass bookmark.
Open to US Only | Must Be 13 + to enter.
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