There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane ~ Tour Review and Giveaway by Jaime!




There Once Were Stars
Melanie McFarlane
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?




My Thoughts and Feels...

Initially, what attracted me to this one was the cover. It is just beautiful! And the story sounded pretty good, if I do say so. Turns out, it is close to as good as it sounds!

I love the setting of the story, first off. I love the idea (in a book, not real life) of a world built inside of a dome. I can sit and think about all of the many details of said dome, and how it functions for a while. It is such an intriguing, if not completely new, idea.

Nat, the MC, is a scientist. I love that the author created a smart, brave female character. But I must admit that Nat kinda drove me crazy sometimes. I mean, I get it. I do. I can't imagine losing my parents, living with a grandmother like Nat's and living your life in a dome (COOL DOME). Thankfully as the story progressed, she became an awesome character.

There is a love triangle in this one, and it wasn't the best I have read, creatively speaking. The romance was never my main focus though, so this didn't bother me too badly.

There Once Were Stars was a really good dystopian. Not perfect, but I enjoyed it from beginning to end. That is saying something, because it has been a long time since dystopians and myself have gotten along. The ending of this one will have you on the edge of your seat, and leave you sitting wherever you are, feeling satisfied. Melanie McFarlane has a knack, and I can't wait to experience it again!

About the Author...


Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.
She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.


Giveaway...



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Into the Light (Into the Dark #2) by Caroline T. Patti ~ Release Day Celebration and Giveaway

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Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for
Into The Light (Into The Dark #2) by Caroline T. Patti
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
 
Happy Book Birthday, Caroline!
 
Into the Light Cover
 
Mercy’s family is back together and the threat of danger appears to have passed. But any relief she feels is short lived as she is ripped from her body and thrown in jail. Gage and Nathaniel’s plans to break Mercy out won’t exactly be easy. Stuffed full of a chemical binding agent, Mercy is trapped inside the body of a convict without the ability to breach and set herself free. Unfortunately for Mercy, being trapped in jail becomes the least of her problems when she meets her evil twin, Justice.
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Into the Light (Into the Dark #2) by Caroline T. Patti Publication Date: August 23, 2016 Publisher: Month9Books

 
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
 
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A girl’s sweet sixteen party is supposed to be among the most memorable events of her life. But on the night of hers, Mercy Clare wakes in the waiting room of a hospital with no memory of how she got there. To make matters worse, she’s wearing something she’d never be caught dead in: her best friend Lyla’s clothes.
Mercy’s nightmare is just beginning. The doctor arrives to tell her that it’s she who lies in the hospital bed waiting to die. A trip to the bathroom confirms Mercy’s fears, as Lyla’s face stares back at her and Lyla’s curvy figure pokes through her tight clothes.
But finding out what’s really going on won’t be easy. Because if Mercy wants her body back, it might just cost her Lyla’s life.
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Caroline T Patti is the author of The World Spins Madly On and Too Late To Apologize. When she’s not writing, she’s a school librarian, mother of two, wife, avid reader and Green Bay Packer fan. You can chat with her on Twitter: carolinetpatti or find her on Facebook: Author Caroline T Patti.
 
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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
 


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Jaime Reviews ~ What Light by Jay Asher

By Jay Asher
Published on October 11, 2016
Published by: Razorbill
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing again. . . .
Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.



What Light...

This is an adorable contemporary story, perfect for Christmas time! Tree farms and Christmas trees, wreaths, family and friendship, romance! There is a lot of cute packed in to this tiny story!

Sierra and her family spend every Christmas in California, where they live on their tree lot and sell trees to the happy customers. They have built completely different lives in California, with friends and people they love. Sierra has always felt that California is her other home. She misses her friends in Oregon, but she has Heather in California. This year is different for the family, though. This year may be the last year that they spend in California, due to financial reasons. As heartbreaking as it is, Sierra is determined to have the best last California Christmas ever. What she does not plan is meeting a boy that she could fall madly in love with...

What light is the story of Sierra and Caleb, and the start of their romance. Caleb doesn't have the best of reputations, and at first Sierra tries to stay away. But it doesn't take long for her to really see Caleb, and when she lets herself see him, she can't help but fall in love with him. Their romance is sweet and innocent, and made me smile. All of the relationships in this story made me smile... What Light is based on relationships of every sort, and every one of the relationships was one that I adored. Sierra has three amazing best friends, two of the best parents in the world, and now she has Caleb. I loved the happiness that emanated from this book.

I don't have any complaints at all about the book, but a caution to older YA readers like myself. As much as I liked this, it is also geared towards a much younger crowd than myself. That is not to say that I regret reading it because I absolutely do not. But there were times when I was a little bored, and some eye rolls here and there. That is no fault of the story though. I fully believe that, in the hands of younger teens, this story will bring nothing but delight and joy. And THAT is what I will take from this one... Delight and Joy!

Jaime Lynn

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Jaime Reviews ~ Caraval by Stephanie Garber

By Stephanie Garber
Published on January 31, 2017
Published by: Flatiron Books
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.



Caraval...

I don't know how I am going to write this review, because I really don't have the right words to express how I felt about it. It wasn't the perfect novel, there were two or three pages that I didn't fly through, but man.... it was the perfect story for me! I loved Caraval! LOVED IT!

Caraval is full of magic, beautiful and terrifying. Good and bad are blurred. Relationships aren't what they seem, and neither are the characters. You can't trust your eyes in Caraval, you have to follow your instincts. And sometimes the heart is the biggest betrayer. But in the end, the prize is extraordinary!

Caraval's cast of characters is a unique mix of dark and light, sinister and sweet... These characters have depth and there is more to them all than meets the eye. There is no telling who you can really trust, or if you can trust a single one of them. The bonds of love and the lengths that one will go for that love is a big part of this story. I loved the the relationship between Scarlett and Donatella. They are sisters, exact opposites, but the love they have for one another knows no bounds. The romance is quirky and strange, but sexy and swoony. It is a very shippy ship.

I adored Caraval. I really did. In the very beginning, there were two or three pages that moved a little slowly, but after that I couldn't put the book down. This magical world is one that I will happily return to, again and again. The ending sets things up perfectly for a sequel, with a possible/probable character switch? And it is brutal... but it definitely leaves you longing for more, with a smile on your face!

Jaime Lynn

Jaime Reviews ~ The Vanishing Throne (The Falconers #2) by Elizabeth May

By Elizabeth May
Published on June 21, 2016
Published by: Chronicle Books
Source: Edelweiss
Everything she loved is gone.

Trapped. Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the fae portal she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes in an alien world of mirrors, magic, and deception—a prisoner of the evil fae Lonnrach, who has a desperate and deadly plan for his new captive.

Tortured. Time after agonizing time Lonnrach steals Aileana’s memories, searching for knowledge to save his world. Just when she’s about to lose all hope, Aileana is rescued by an unexpected ally and returns home, only to confront a terrifying truth. The city of Edinburgh is now an unrecognizable wasteland. And Aileana knows the devastation is all her fault.

Transformed. The few human survivors are living in an underground colony, in an uneasy truce with a remnant of the fae. It is a fragile alliance, but an even greater danger awaits: the human and fae worlds may disappear forever. Only Aileana can save both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing so might be her life…
 

Goodreads | Amazon  

The Vanishing Throne...

I finally read The Falconer about a month ago, after several failed attempts. I don't know what was wrong with me those first couple of tries. It was fantastic. I couldn't resist the chance to read and review The Vanishing Throne, but I was a bit worried that I wouldn't click with it the first time I sat down to read. Fortunately, that didn't happen. I finished this book up in two days, and I am officially going nuts to get my hands on the third book.

This book starts right up, after the battle in the park. Kam wakes and realizes that she is in the Faerie kingdom, imprisoned by Lonnrach. He takes her to a room, mirrored floor to ceiling, and does some horrible things to her. Things that almost break her. When she almost can't bear any more, she is rescued by an unlikely person, a fae. Taken back to her world, she is horrified to realize that three years have passed and that her world is destroyed. As Kam and her rescuer make their way to the hiding place of the last remaining humans, she learns the truth of what happened after she was taken. And the truth is devastating.

This story blew me away. It is nothing short of emotional, heartbreaking and uplifting, all at once. The characters have grown immensely in this story, and they completely captured my heart. The romance heats up between Kam and Kieran, and it is sexy and heartwarming. The friendships that are forged in this one are strong and beautiful, and the friendships that grow stronger are just as beautiful. And let me tell you, the action is non-stop. There is always something happening, a fight, a death, a choice... there is never a dull moment.

With all of our favorite returning characters, and a few new ones that make the story feel complete, this sequel to The Falconer is oh so good. As much as I loved the first one, this one is even better. And with the arrival of Kieran's sister, Aithinne, it gives us one more character to fall in love with.

If you haven't read this series yet, or like me started it and couldn't finish the first time, give it another chance. This series is something special, and I am so glad that I am not missing out. Now hurry up, book 3! That ending was absolute torture!

Jaime Lynn

Jaime Reviews ~ Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

By Audrey Coulthurst
Published on November 22, 2016
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.


Of Fire and Stars...

Alright guys... so I am going to be totally honest with you. I did not love this one. I liked it , but there were definitely a lot of times where I found my interest waning. There were great elements to the story, though. It definitely was not all bad.

First off, I want to reiterate, there were times when I liked the story. When the story moved outside of the castle, it become instantly more enjoyable for me. I felt like, when the story was within the castle walls, it lost a lot of the mysterious vibe that it should have had. There were more dialogue scenes, and things that just didn't work for me. When outside the walls, the book came to life. I loved the description of the city streets and the bars, the sense of danger that hovered over everything. Those were the best parts. And towards the end of the story, the last few chapters, I was a little more invested. The stakes were higher, and the emotions were up, and I felt that pull again.

The characters were all written well, but the standout was absolutely Mare... I loved her attitude, her unwillingness to bend to the rules that everyone wants her to adhere to. I loved that she loved her horses, and was a strong, fierce women. I also loved the soft side of her when it made an appearance. It made her seem more REAL to me. Denna was a good character too. By the end of the book, I loved her. I loved what she could do!

So.. would I read a sequel? Surprisingly, yes! I think that, with the way things ended, if a sequel were to pop up the action could be non-stop. And, as sad as it was, I liked the path that Mare and Denna were on at the end. And I have to say... the writing really is tremendous.

Jaime Lynn

Jaime Reviews ~ The Flame Never Dies (The Stars Never Rise #2) by Rachel Vincent

By Rachel Vincent
Published on August 16, 2016
Published by: Delacorte Press/MIRA Ink
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
For fans of Cassandra Clare and Richelle Mead comes the unputdownable sequel to The Stars Never Rise, a book Rachel Caine, author of the bestselling Morganville Vampires series, called “haunting, unsettling, and eerily beautiful.” 

ONE SPARK WILL RISE. Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go. 

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen . . . even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.


The Flame Never Dies...

 The Stars Never Rise was a fantastic story. When the chance to read the sequel came about, I jumped all over it. I was a little hesitant to start reading it once I had it in my hands. Second stories can be very hit and miss, and I did not want this one to be a miss. Thankfully, I was hooked immediately. 

 This story starts off a few months after the ending of the first book. Anathema has been living in the badlands fighting degenerates and raiding Church caravans for food and supplies. On the way back to their hideout from one of these raids, they see a little boy standing beside a car on the road. Stopping to investigate, they discover a grisly scene. They decide to take the boy with them. thus leading to some horrific events they never could have seen coming. The one good thing that comes from all of this is finding a group of freedom fighters. They become allies, and teach each other, becoming friends along the way. After a false labor, and the disappearance of one of their own, everything goes haywire. Grayson and Nina find themselves in the one place they never wanted to see; Pandemonium, a city of demons. A fight for their lives ensues, and a chance to make a difference in this never-ending war. 

 This book made me cry. A lot. And it made me fall all the more in love with these amazing kids. Rachel Vincent has a knack for writing the best kind of characters. Even the annoying ones that you just want to slap sometimes are so easy to love. The stakes in this one are so much higher, and it made for a non-stop, flat-out thrill ride.
 I loved the ending of the book, but I haven't seen anything about a third book yet. The only way this book becomes less than stellar for me is if there isn't another book to finish off what has been started in this amazing series. There is definitely a need for a final war. And a chance for Nina to get her family back!

Jaime Lynn
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