Young Adults Science Fiction

Ferocious by Paula Stokes #Review + #Giveaway

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Vicarious Series
Book #2
Paula Stokes

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Contemporary
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen (Macmillian)
ISBN: 978-0765380968
Pages: 352
Word Count:
Goodreads Rating: 4.3
My Rating: 5.0

Book Description:

Paula Stokes returns to the world of Vicarious in this sequel, a high-action psychological thriller with a protagonist out for vengeance.

When Winter Kim finds out that her sister is dead and that she has a brother she never knew about, only two things matter―finding what’s left of her family and killing the man who destroyed her life. Her mission leads her from St. Louis to Los Angeles back to South Korea, where she grew up.

Things get increasingly dangerous once Winter arrives in Seoul. Aided by her friends Jesse and Sebastian, Winter attempts to infiltrate an international corporation to get close to her target, a nefarious businessman named Kyung. But keeping her last remaining loved ones out of the line of fire proves difficult, and when all seems to be lost, Winter must face one last devastating decision: is revenge worth sacrificing everything for? Or can she find a spark of hope in the darkness that threatens to engulf her?

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Praise for VICARIOUS


“Combining elements of sci-fi and mystery, Vicarious is an expert blend from an author gifted with the ability to jump genres and stick the landing every time.” ―Paste Magazine

“A total mind-bending thrill ride, with a heroine who’s as smart as she is strong. Readers will love Winter!” ―Lindsay Cummings, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zenith and The Murder Complex

“Reading Vicarious is like tiptoeing across a field of landmines. Blindfolded. Stokes delivers enough adrenaline to make readers beg for mercy.” ―Victoria Scott, author of Titans and Fire & Flood


“An action-packed thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end–I couldn’t put it down!” ―Kristi Helvig, author of Burn Out and Strange Skies

“Vicarious by Paula Stokes is a fast-paced thriller that grabs your attention on page one and doesn’t let go. The main character is a fresh take on the usual heroine in YA novels.” ―Julie Bond, Sales &Marketing Manager/YA Specialist, Read Booksellers

“This is the thrill ride you’ve been waiting for all summer.” ―PopCrush

“Pulse-pounding adventures and high-tech blend masterfully with romance, intrigue, and current issues, making this book completely captivating for any audience.” ―VOYA, starred review

“Stokes delivers fans of suspense a story full of twists and turns…The author admirably handles graphic and disturbing material in a subtle way.” ―School Library Journal

“A powerful kick-ass girl caught up in a high-tech, twisty mystery…Buckle up, this thrill ride travels at breakneck speed.” ―Justine Magazine

“Smart twists and turns…smart sci-fi worldbuilding. Complementing the mystery is a slow-burn love story between Winter and Mexican-American Jesse Ramirez, a fellow stunt artist. Their relationship is tender and complicated, with enough tension to sustain itself and enough heat to pop when things pay off.” ―Kirkus Reviews


My Take on the Book:

Whoa whoa whoa. I’m a bit late to this party and I’m a bit mad at myself because I honestly can’t believe that it took me this long to find out about Paula Stokes and this duology. I’m shook.

While I normally steer towards the more supernatural, paranormal or even dystopian novels I often enjoy novels that are stepped more in fact than fiction. This set of books does a great job of mering the real with fiction. While the ViSe recording technology that a good portion of these books focus on does not exist in our present day world, they did not seem too unbelievable or far off from reality.

I was particularly fond of the character developments, mainly Winter’s. I think Stokes did a great job portraying this character and shinning a light on the complexities of mental illness while helping to cast aside the stigma that surrounds it. In addition to these thoroughly fleshed out characters, I found myself really enjoying the romance. Most appealing to me was that this was not a instantaneous connection but rather a slow burn romance that started well before we were even introduced to the characters in book 1. It helped to make this story more realistic.


5 Quills

I can’t wait to get my hands on more books my Paula Stokes because if these two were anything to go by, this author is extremely talented. Loved this duology and I can’t recommend it enough. This series was well worth muddling my already hectic schedule and coming out of hiatus to review. If you like action and mystery these are the books for you. The technology in these books gave me a J.D. Robb type feel but the writing is not like any I’ve encountered before, making this an original and well thought out story!

About the Author Paula Stokes

Paula Stokes is the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious and Girl Against the Universe. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She also loves interacting with readers.

Photo Content from Paula Stokes



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Broken Skies Review + #Giveaway

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Broken Skies
Broken Skies Series
Book #1
Theresa Kay

Genre: YA Science Fiction Dystopian
Release Date: March 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1495468896

Pages: 380
Goodreads Rating: 4.65
My Rating: 4.5

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Book Description:

Thirty years ago, there was the Collapse. A massive war fought with biological weapons and followed by plague. Almost everyone died.

Ten years ago, the aliens showed up. They made one of our cities their own and that’s where they stay, for the most part anyway.

One year ago, I killed two men and went a little crazy.

Today, the aliens took my brother and I will do whatever it takes to get him back even if it means partnering up with the enemy, an alien boy who makes me think things I shouldn’t and makes me feel things I don’t understand.


My Take On The Book:


There is so much to say about this book and yet I find myself at a loss for words.

First let me say how much I enjoyed reading about each character seen through the eyes of Jax, and while she has her own opinions, he own likes and dilikes I was able to make my own assessment of these characters. Their stories were crafted beautifully if not heartbreakingly so. But not only were the characters and their stories unique and surprising but kinda uplifting. I’ll explain that more later.

In this story you are introduced to a whole heap of characters most notably is the female lead and narrator Jasmine (Jax). She is extremely vulnerable, jaded and pretty much shattered (broken is to simple a word to describe her) but Jax is also fierce, loyal and loving. The next character I came to hold in high regard is the beautifully mysterious alien boy Lir. Its hard not to fall in love with him. But the most entertaining thing about this book besides the romantic development between the 2 leads was the stories conflicts. The book is littered with prejudices and heartbreak but while that was a main focus for the character’s choices and actions what I remembered most after finishing was not the negative but the positive that comes in the form of family, friendship and love, an undying loyalty to those you care most for.

Its an enthralling tale and a perfect first book to this series. I’m eager to learn more about this damaged world and the people/aliens inhabiting it.


The Great (Pros):


  • The Ending. The highest praise I can give this book is to its ending. While it is a cliff hanger, one that will leave you jonesing for book 2 ‘Fractured Suns’. It’s an ending that will most definitely leave you with a heavy heart and your throat tight.


  • Unpredictability. While there are some elements in this story that you might suspect, there are a hell of a lot that you won’t see coming.


  • Jax. As I said earlier, Jax is a shattered girl. As the synopsis says, she killed to men and went bonkers but her character has this way of persevering and there is so much strength in her it hard not to admire her. She has a survival instinct that also conflicts with her conscience and she so utterly human and flawed you want to see a happy ending for this fierce a loyal warrior.


  • Lir. Prepare to swoon on sight. He is so charming and maybe just a tad smug. I love the way Ms. Kay describes him. The differences between the humans and the aliens is kinda breathtaking.


The Not So Great (Cons):


  • Something. I’m not sure what that something is but it made me want to skim over some parts of the story it was a constant struggle for me to keep my mind on the current page. It was harrowing, I just wanted to get to the end… maybe it was too much emphasis on the anticipation.


4.5 Quills


But over all it was a great read with consistent characters and a beautiful story. While reading this book and writing this review I caught myself thinking about the shows ‘Star Crossed’ with Matt Lanter and ‘Rosswell’ with Shiri Appleby. Its funny cause now that’s all I want to watch. Its books like these that make me love this genre.


About The Author 

The only person she knows who had a subscription to Writer’s Digest at eleven and was always excited to write research papers, Theresa has been putting words to paper since a young age. She writes predominantly in the sci-fi and urban fantasy genres. Residing in central Virginia, she juggles two kids, a husband and a full-time job in addition to her writing and in her free time she reads almost anything she can get her hands on.

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“I received a free copy of the book from the author/publisher for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are expressly my own”

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Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki Review + Giveaway

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Sinners Series

Book #1

Abi Ketner &

Missy Kalicicki


Genre: YA Science-Fiction Dystopian

Release Date:  June 28, 2013


ISBN: 978-0989527408


Pages: 252

Goodreads Rating:  3.94

My Rating: 4.5


Book Description:

Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.

Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

My Take On The Book:

Wow, holy cow. I’ve wanted to read this for awhile now, ever since I participated in the book blitz. So I literally  jumped at the opportunity to review it. It did not disappoint.

This is a truly amazing book by two very talented ladies and a great start into what I’m sure will be a popular series. You can see all the thought put into this book in every turn of the page.

The Great (Pros):


  • The Characters. Every single character had something to offer the development n this story. The good guys were great and even a bit faulted. I liked most of them even Keegan( though I will admit to wanting to slap him around a couple of times) and the villains were truly sick a twisted individuals. They leave you feeling vulnerable.
  • The Hole. While the place itself was a rank and horrifying, that was the aspect I liked. It was a bad place unlike any before it. It gave the story a special element of grit. A terrifying place had me biting my nails for the innocent Lexi.
  • The Romance. ::sigh:: Cole is so yummy and noble. While I love Lexi, he is the reason the romance worked. He had this way about him and he’s just perfect for her.
  • The story of Lexi. It was utterly depressing but it was perfect for the story and character development and it helps you understand the actions of each character a bit more.
  • Zeus. I’m a sucker for animals I love them lol. I’m not sure if it’s the goofy and protective way about this dog or the fact that he’s a Great Dane that acts more like a lap dog (except when he puts the mean face on) that made Zeus one of the best parts of this story.


The Not So Great (Cons):


There isn’t much I can say about this title thats negative and what I can say doesn’t affect the rating too much.

  •  Lexi’s Letter to Cole. Something about this letter bugged me. Not so much in how it was written but I guess in what was written. I think I expected more from her backstory and it felt a bit childish for such mature context. It was something that stuck with me after reading it and not in a good way. I’m not sure how to explain it, so you’ll just have to read it for yourself to see what I mean.
  • Romance. While I enjoyed the romance and Cole… it was a bit fast paced. Parts of it seemed rushed and it threw me off a couple of times. I think, if a bit more time was spent exploring that connection I might not have felt that it was so rushed.
  • Keegan. While I like his character, I also disliked him. It was a love hate thing. He was so stubborn and pigheaded and wayyy too controlling. There was so much we didn’t know and probably won’t ever know about him and that just leaves his character up in the air.
  • Jumpy. Unfortunately, this book was really jumpy. It looked like it was heading one way then made a 180 and went a completely different route. It was just a bit difficult to navigate if your reading it quickly. Slow down when you read it so you can understand it the first time round.


4.5 Quills

Honestly, it was a good book and a great intro to what I’m sure will be an even better series. I look forward to reading the next book and seeing how the story progresses.

 Buy Links:

About The Author 

Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out, as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Author Links:


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20 ebooks of Branded (mobi) Open Internationally

5 signed print copies and picture of Cole (US only)


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“I received a free copy of the book from the author/publisher for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are expressly my own”

A Review on Gateway by Christina Garner

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(Gateway Trilogy #1)
Christina Garner

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date: May 17, 2011
Pages: 185

Goodreads Rating:  3.63
My Rating: 5

Book Description:

Everybody has their demons. Some are just a little more real than others…

Ember has always known she doesn’t belong in this world. But when she tries to correct the mistake, she wakes to find herself in a mental institution.

She’s soon drawn to Taren, the mysterious boy with hazel eyes. He’s not what he seems, but what is he?

When chaos erupts, they are forced to flee the institution together, and the secret that Taren has been keeping brings Ember closer to understanding her own. And leads her to… the Gateway.

My Take On The Book:

After reading the synopsis of the book I went into what my friends would call a book obsession in overdrive. I just knew I had to read it. The premise was right up my alley and I couldn’t get this book out of my head. It was haunting me. The cover though minimalistic was right on point with the story. And once I started I couldn’t really stop. It took me a couple of hours but truthfully I think it only took so long because I was forced to stop 3 times, once to sleep, the next to eat and the last because I had errands to run and you can’t very well read while driving a car. I’ll admit the. Chapter lengths threw me for a loop in the beginning as the first 3 were relatively short but understandably so. It was at chapter 5 when I realized they had lengthen dramatically. But I kinda liked it that about the story.

The Great (Pros):

  • Ember. There is just something about this girl that makes you care. She’s strong even if she herself doesn’t know it and it’s refreshing. Too many times you have a strong female character that just oozes self-esteem and that can make it too hard for a reader to connect with the character. Ember was nothing like that, she had limitations and while she felt inadequate quite often it wasn’t done in a whiny way. She just pushed herself to be better.
  • Taren. Right off the bat I loved his character. He was shrouded in mystery and you really don’t know where he stands but I’m a sucker for those kinds of leading me. He had his moments, or rather I had moments where he made me angry but I always held out hope. His chemistry with Ember was tangible and sweet. And his caring for Callie usury proved how multidimensional he really was.
  • Kat. What’s not too love about her. She’s snarky, caring, tough as nails and loyal. She’s understanding to Ember’s situation, a real friend to Taren but from what I see, it doesn’t get in the way of her ability to do her job. Plus she’s a lesbian which is way cool because I haven’t read many books with gay female characters as they all tend to be gay males.
  • Callie. So cute and innocent. And downright frightening. I really liked reading the scenes with her.
  • Demons, daemons and the gateway. I loved the history and thought put into this book. The difference between demon and daemon is chilling and the gateway was crafted so perfectly I was able to envision it all with crystal clarity.
  • Guardians and Keepers. While these terms have been used before and will probably continue to be used in paranormal books, I liked the variation in this story. It just serves as further proof at the attention this author gave the story while writing it.

The Not So Great (Cons):

There aren’t many to speak of. The story was left open ended but not a cliffhanger. The characters were well developed but we didn’t get too much backstory which is fine. There were some passages that I had to reread because the wording felt a bit odd but that was the only flaw I could find in my eyes. I can honestly say there aren’t any characters that I disliked.

5 stars

This way a solid read. Something I would happily recommend to readers. It had romance but nothing too severe to stifle the progression of the storyline. It had genuinely unique ideas which is hard to come by when dealing with paranormal books especially those with demons. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next instalments! Keep your eyes peeled for my review on the next book 🙂 if you read Undertow, Scars of the Bifrost or Dark Souls after my review or you’ve read The Revealers by Amanda Marrone then this book is right up your alley. You can purchase this book via amazon or B&N for 2.99. I suggest you also take the time to sign up for the author’s newsletter for info on this series.


Author Bio 

Christina Garner began writing stories at the age of six. At eighteen, her aspirations as an actor had her loading up her Buick and setting off for Hollywood. Since then she has written and directed 10 short films, including Rewind and Reminder, both of which received acclaim on the festival circuit. In 2007 she was hired to write her first feature film. May of 2011, her debut novel, Gateway became an Amazon Bestseller, followed by Chasm, Book 2 in The Gateway Trilogy. Look for Tether in late 2013.

Thanks for stopping by,


 “I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are expressly my own”