Friday, September 27, 2013

Coming Soon: RED HILL by Jamie McGuire! Details from Bookish.com.

Red Hill by Jamie McGuire
Published by Atria Books
Publish Date: October 1, 2013
368 Pages
Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.

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Have you guys read any of Jamie McGuire's previous books? I've read Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster - I've been looking forward to Red Hill! Plus I really like that cover! 



Today, the cool folks over at Bookish have both the Prologue and Chapter One of Red Hill posted for our peeping pleasure! 



Click HERE to start reading Red Hill! 

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These are nothing but screenshots from my phone. 
But since they made me want to read these articles,
 I thought I'd spread that love to you guys. 
You're welcome!

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Bookish also has a Q&A segment with Author Jamie McGuire in which she talks about not only her new book but other upcoming projects and what inspires her. Here is a small portion of that Q&A interview: 
Bookish: Are there special touches you find yourself putting in to make it a "McGuire novel"?
JM: A "McGuire novel," to me, is something that keeps you turning the pages. I've heard this phrase a lot--"unputdownable." I strive, every time I write a book, to end the chapter where the reader can't stop. The reader that says, "I'm going to read one chapter before I go to bed"--it is my mission to make sure that that reader can't do [that]!

Click HERE to check out 
Jamie McGuire's Interview with Bookish!

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Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, OK. She attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Her most recent novel, Walking Disaster debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. She has also written bestselling contemporary romance Beautiful Disaster, and the Providence series.


Jamie now lives in Enid, OK with her three children and husband Jeff, who is a real, live cowboy. They share their 30 acres with six horses, three dogs, and Rooster the cat.


Find Jamie McGuire: 

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Are you Bookish? 

You can follow Bookish to keep up with bookish things! 
(see what I did there?) 




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Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller Review Guest Post & Giveaway!

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publish Date: September 24, 2013
308 Pages
Source: Publisher
Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility. (from Goodreads)


Where the Stars Still Shine 
by Trish Doller 

My Thoughts:  I hardly know what to say when it comes to Trish Doller, but I know that in this I am not alone. When I read Something Like Normal last year - and every time I've read it since the first - there's been something about it that I can barely put into words, although I've tried that before. Trish Doller has this way of writing a story so that you want to crawl into the book and just BE THERE. The characters come to life; their joys and their pains and their emotions and their sorrows and their everythings - all of these things are things that we, as readers, are able to feel too. I'm not sure how this amazing author is able to do this, but she just does. She did it once before, and I'm not at all surprised that she's done it again with Where The Stars Still Shine

You guys, like everyone else, when I found out about this new book a long time ago, I RUSHED, SPRINTED, RAN to Goodreads to quickly add it to my to-read shelf. Why did I do this? Did I think this would make the book come out sooner? Would this make me any closer to the publication date? Would it land the book in my hands sooner? No, no I didn't think any of that. It's silly, really, but I was so excited (like everyone else) that I just wanted to be a part of the next thing that came from her pen that I wanted in on it RIGHT NOW. And I wanted to be a part of everyone else that was excited too. It sounds so silly, but you all know what I'm talking about because you all sprinted to add it to your shelves too. 

The thing about Where The Stars Still Shine is this: I began the book only having seen the cover. I didn't go into it with a single shred of information about the story at all. I had not read the summary. I had not read any reviews. I only knew this: After reading and re-reading this author's previous work and falling so incredibly hard for it for so many reasons, I trust her completely. She's in the club, y'all. All I need to know is that she has something in the works, and BAM! I know that I'm reading it. 

So I begin the story, and just a few paragraphs in, I had to stop. Why why why, you ask? Well, I knew right
away that this is the type of story that one doesn't merely sit and read in a haphazard fashion. Or at least not ME. So I sat down my Kindle and I grabbed my lovely coffee mug full of my favorite brew, I grabbed my favorite blanket, I snuggled down into my recliner, and I lost myself in the story. And this is how it should be when you read this book

And this is how it will be when I re-read this book. 


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I know some of you are wondering about this blog post, wondering where my standard recaps and details are. I usually spend some time telling everyone some things about the story, but this time I'm not going to do that. I went into this story blindly and it was so lovely, so perfect, so right. You may choose to do this and you may not; either way is fine...but I'm going to let you all decide that for yourselves. It was the right decision for me because it made the story surround me and hug me and I just lost myself in the world of Tarpon Springs, Florida. I fell in love with this giant Greek family and this girl that felt so, so lost that she didn't even know how to find herself. I fell in love with this boy - oh, this boy. Of course, if anyone knows how to write the boy, it's Trish. And I fell in love with this father and the family at home. I fell in love with every single thing, every word, every emotion that I felt. 

You guys, if you don't know: Trish Doller writes perfection. I'm not saying that lightly, either. It's a huge thing to elevate someone to the status of "one of my favorites" after reading only one book, but that happened last year. Where The Stars Still Shine only served to solidify that decision and it only served to solidify and support my decision that Trish Doller's books are auto-read for me, hands-down, mostly likely from here on out. 

This review is vague, but there are times like this when those of us that truly love books and truly love reading as much as I/we do - sometimes we just have to learn to trust the authors. Right? You guys know what I'm talking about. As for me and my bookish self, I decided a while back that I would be trusting Trish Doller and it paid off in bountiful ways with this beautiful book. What a gift to the bookish community, to contemporary lovers, to YA readers everywhere! This one is a winner, you guys. If you've read this blog post wondering what on earth I'm telling you about this book and you just can't figure it out at all by now, it's this: you will not be disappointed by this book, so just read it. And from now on, just trust Trish Doller. There is no disappointment in her books, her characters, her stories, the worlds that she creates. Plus, she's just a nice gal. It's WINNING for everyone. 

And seriously, she wins all of the awards for writing the stories that just stick to your ribs. 

I recommend Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller for everyone, regardless of age, regardless of what types of books you enjoy. And I still will always recommend Something Like Normal to everyone as well. And when Arcadia Falls comes out, I'll likely read it the very same way - blindly - and my review may very well sound a lot like this one. I can't wait to find out. 

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YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS! 

I'm truly honored and excited that Author Trish Doller is here today
to talk a little bit about 
writing controversial themes 
in her newest book 
Where The Stars Still Shine

If I had to sum it up in one word, writing controversial themes in Where the Stars Still Shine was scary.

I knew as I was writing that sexual abuse might be a trigger for sensitive readers and that the sexual content might be a magnet for book banners. But here’s the thing: If I worry too much about offensive content, I risk the integrity of the story that needs to be told. So I pulled on my patented (not really, but it should be considering that she’s target number one) Lauren Myracle Bulletproof Writer Vest and set to work. 

I did a lot of research on sexual abuse so that Callie’s behavior would make sense, but that I would also handle it with sensitivity. I have a friend who was abused as a child and when she read the book, she told me she felt so many of the same feelings as Callie and asked me, “How did you know that?” And I think the answer is that after you do all the research and have all the facts and “typicals” of abuse, you have to put yourself in the character’s head. I’ve been fortunate. I’ve never been abused, but I can imagine what sort of pain I would feel. I can imagine how I might have responded as a teenager. I can imagine what Callie is hoping to gain by engaging in promiscuous behavior and I know how I would feel when the encounter left me as shamed as my abuser had. It’s really not that hard, but I think it’s vital to the story––even if it ruffles some feathers along the way. 

Stemming from this is the sexual content itself. I knew early on that Callie needed an experience that was different from experiences past. She needed someone who would help erase some of the shame and who would show her what a healthy sexual relationship looks like. Someone who would think about her needs as well as his own. While the scenes makes for a much more mature book than I expected, I wouldn’t change a single moment, because Callie learning she has sexual agency is enormously important. And I don’t think that’s a bad message to be sending to teenage girls. It’s not encouraging them to action, but it’s certainly saying that the right partner is respectful, responsible, and cares about you. 

By now the book is out in the world, there might be some controversy. I hope not, but I’ve got the Lauren Myracle Bulletproof Writer Vest on. I’m ready.


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Where The Stars Still Shine will appeal to fans of:

YA Contemporary with Issues & Romance
Trish Doller
That's all you're getting, guys! Trust your author.

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
is currently available for purchase.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher to read and share my thoughts on this blog. All of the above thoughts and opinions are mine! Thank you so much Bloomsbury USA Children's! 

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I've been a writer as long as I've been able to write, but I didn't make a conscious decision to "be" a writer until fairly recently. For that you should probably be thankful.

I was born in Germany, grew up in Ohio, went to college at Ohio State University, got married to someone really excellent, bounced from Maine to Michigan and back to Ohio for awhile. Now I live in Florida with my two mostly grown kids, two dogs, and a pirate. For real.

I've worked as a morning radio personality, a newspaper reporter, and spent all my summers in college working at an amusement park. There I gained valuable life skills, including counting money really fast, directing traffic, jumping off a moving train, and making cheese-on-a-stick. Also, I can still welcome you to Frontier Town. Ask me sometime.

These days I work as a bookseller at a Very Big Bookstore. And I write.


Find Trish Doller: 

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And now for the Giveaway! 

Bloomsbury USA Children's 
and Author Trish Dollar have generously offered 
one copy of WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE for one lucky US reader! 

*US Only Please * Contest Ends 10/11* 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

BEAUTIFUL BROKEN by Nazarea Andrews Review Excerpt & Giveaway!

Beautiful Broken by Nazarea Andrews
Series: University of Branton #2
Publish Date: September 24, 2013

Source: Author for Review - Thank you!
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


She's been broken by her past. He's been breaking for as long as he can remember. Together, they can make each other whole--or destroy each other.

When his best friend asks for something, Dane rarely says no. But babysitting a newly sober Scout Grimes for three weeks isn't exactly a normal request. And with their history, it's a recipe for disaster. Not to mention, she's drop dead gorgeous and he can't touch her.

There are few people Scout trusts as much as Dane Guillot. He's always been her safe place, where nothing can hurt her. He's also been the only man she's never let herself want--screwing up their friendship isn't worth one amazing night together.

They have too much history, and too much personal baggage to ever work. But if they are willing to take a chance on love--it might be worth the risk.



Beautiful Broken by Nazarea Andrews 

My Thoughts:  You guys may have seen me rave and gush about This Love by Nazarea Andrews throughout the summer and even recently when I revealed the cover for this book. I absolutely loved it, and for several reasons. The story is good, the setting is good, and the characters are great (what's up, Atticus!). I have recommended that several people read that book and I'm completely hoping that you ALL have done so by now because it's high time you pick up Beautiful Broken


(You can read my thoughts on This Love HERE.)

I think - maybe? - it's possible that I liked Beautiful Broken even better than This Love


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Beautiful Broken opens with Scout Grimes being released from rehab - she's being picked up by Dane Guillot, an accident lawyer that also happens to be her really great guy-friend. Dane is picking Scout up because her brother Atticus (yes, the one from This Love) is out of town working on a book while he is on professional leave from working as a Professor at the University in town. Since he's out of town and can't make it back, Dane is the obvious choice for this happy occasion. He's thrilled to be picking her up; he's missed her and is ready to see how she's doing. She walks out with a chip on her shoulder: she's upset that Atticus didn't even care enough to pick her up, she's upset that her dealer is standing there waiting for her (how did he find her anyway?), and now she has to face Dane again. OH THE STRESS. Scout immediately starts snapping the rubber band she now wears on her wrist as part of rehab/therapy. 

Over the course of the next little bit, it's determined that Scout will be staying with Dane. Dane is at first taken aback because 1) how on earth can he be around her, after everything that happened? and 2) how on earth can he be responsible for NOT FALLING FOR HER? She's Atticus' younger sister and he knows he'll get his butt handed to him on a platter if anything were to happen between the two of them before Atticus moves back home. Seriously, how does Dane get himself into these situations? He relents, though, because he knows that after what happened to her at the University, there's no way she'll be going back there. And she doesn't need to be living alone, newly sober and all. And he still feels guilt, so much guilt...

AAH, he'll just have to control himself...with this extremely beautiful girl that he's had his eyes on forever... 

...or, seriously, Atticus will have his head. 

Dane knows he's in big trouble. 

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I loved Beautiful Broken. I always get so nervous about series books because I'm so scared that I won't love them as much as the previous book, but then I do. And this book was so good, so so good. Not only was the story enjoyable, but there were some interesting choices that Author Nazarea Andrews made when she wrote it that really just MADE IT for me. But I'll get to those in a minute. 

First of all, where the first book was the story of Atticus and Avery - Beautiful Broken focuses on Dane and Scout. They're both in the first book here and there, although they aren't a large part of the story. Dane is one of Atticus Grimes' oldest friends and older brother to Scout. Dane actually used to live with Scout and Atticus for a long time, and then Dane and Atticus roomed together in the dorms at the University. So...there are very strong ties between the characters between these two books. They all treat each other like family. I love that. 

When we first meet Dane as he is picking up Scout from rehab, there are things we can pick up on right away - he cares about this girl, he has some issues of his own, he feels extremely protective over her, and he is carrying guilt for something that happened in the past between the two of them. Bit by bit, pieces fall into place about each of these things and there is a very clear picture painted about the WHY's of everything. It doesn't take long to figure out that not only is Dane attracted to Scout, but he has a thing for her. But the really wonderful thing is exactly how deep and far that thing runs...it goes way, way back. I absolutely loved reading about Dane's feelings for Scout, particularly the fact that she wasn't aware of all of them for a long time and the fact that they were friends first - that made it so much fun for me. 

Another thing about Dane is the fact that he was trying to balance his affections for Scout with respect for his friend Atticus - Dane didn't want to cross any lines with his friend's sister, but OH DEAR, you can't really help who you have feelings for now can you? This part of the story was great - I always love reading how people war with themselves and their head and their heart over L-O-V-E; I'm not sure why I do, but I just do. Dane was no exception. However, he was no idiot either - he knew who he wanted, what was best for himself and for Scout, and he knew that he needed to make some big life changes and decisions to go after this woman he loved. There were a couple of bumps along the way but that's life and THIS is where Scout was such a great character. 

Scout was a mess before - and understandably so. Scout's story is a trauma story, and her issues took place before the book began. The Scout we meet in the story is one that is on the mend after years of suffering the aftermath of some really bad stuff, a really horrible thing that led to a downward spiral. It's interesting the choices that Scout made - these are laid out in the story - who she chose to trust, why she didn't trust some people vs. others, etc. As a newly sober Scout, you would think she would be fragile and need a lot of care and attention, and to a degree that's definitely the case. But she ends up being the strong person for Dane in lots of ways too because he has some unresolved issues - some of these issues have ties back to Scout and some don't. Scout is not whiny. She is not weak. She is not annoying. She gets out of rehab and begins to mend, and that is fabulous to read. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It doesn't mean that she isn't afraid that she'll relapse, it means that she is written as a normal, human character that thinks like a regular person would but is strong and has a support system and GAH, I really just liked her quite a bit, you guys. 

Plus, siblings named Atticus and Scout? PLEASE. I don't even need to go there. We all love that. 

Really, this book tells a great story. A great love story, actually. I love it when there are guy-girl friendships that turn into relationships - I will ALWAYS love those stories, and this is one of those. And for some reason, this one just sticks with me, and it's Dane's side of the story that makes that so. He felt very real, and I loved that. 

Okay, remember when I mentioned that I loved a certain decision that the author made with this book? Well it all has to do with the setting - the time setting, actually. Beautiful Broken doesn't begin after the end of This Love like so many series books these days. It actually overlaps This Love - I LOVED THAT. Why? Because while This Love was obviously a summer release that was set largely in the summertime, Beautiful Broken is a fall release that is set in the fall of the year - the beginning of the semester at the University. There is so much talk of the leaves crunching, the smells of fall, the crisp feel of the cool air, and everything about that time of the year, which happens to be my favorite time of year. I love the way Nazarea Andrews made each of these releases match the time-settings in her books. That may be a little bit odd or dorky of me to feel that way, but it felt very neat to me and I think other readers will like that too. 

After two solidly great stories in this series, I'm definitely a fan. I think I remember possibly seeing that there will be a third book coming out in 2014? (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) I certainly hope so. I want to stay in this world with these characters a little longer and I think hope they have a little more story to tell. I recommend Beautiful Broken to fans of New Adult Contemporary Romance and fans of a college setting as well as fans of steamy, swoonworthy love stories. 


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YOU GUYS!! I have an excerpt from the book! 

This is from Dane's point-of-view. 
And man, it's good. 
This story is really good, you guys. 

I'm a bastard. I know it—know from the way my office staff is ignoring me as much as they possibly can—but I don't really give a damn. 

She's been here three days, and she's already getting into my head, under my skin. It's a bad idea. I don't know why I agreed to it. I feel antsy, too tight in my skin. I want to score.

Jesus. She's got me that rattled, that I'm ready to go hunt down the nearest dealer at UB and pop a handful of pills.

My phone rings and I grab it, "Guillot."

"Dude. You sound tense. What's wrong?" 

"You dumped Scout into my lap like I've got nothing going on in my life, and then you think asking what's wrong is a good idea. What the hell?" 

Atticus laughs. "She's not so bad."

Then why am I the one dealing with her? "And yet," I say, my voice patronizing. 

"How is she? Seriously." 

There it is—the concern that Atticus is good at, when he can remember. Atticus is a good guy—one of the best, and a helluva a lot better than I'll ever be. But sometimes, he's a shitty brother. I should tell him about Kevin, but all that will do is bring Atticus back early, hounding her. She doesn’t need that.

"She's good. Avery is trying to get her a job today," I say.

"Why? She'll be starting school in a few months," Atti says, bewildered. 

"Because Scout needs something to keep her occupied and away from drugs," I say patiently. "And don't push the school thing. It might not be what's best for her." 

There's a moment of quiet and then: "What's going on there, Dane?"

I fill him in on our conversation, about Scout's hesitation to go back to school. I don't go into why the UB campus makes her so nervous. It’s not my story to tell. 

My secretary, Glenda, knocks, her eyebrows raised. "Someone to see you, Mr. Guillot." 

Thank God. "Atti, gotta go. Appointment." 

"Do I need to come home?" 

A few minutes ago—before he called—I was ready to pack her up and ship her to Atti's cabin in the middle of the woods. 

Now the thought of her leaving me makes me want to panic. I shake my head before remembering he can't see me. 

"No. She's solid. We're going to a meeting tonight. Just give her some space. Try to be accepting."

He sighs, but I know my best friend, and I know he's backing down for now. I hang up and call to Glenda, "Send in my appointment." 

Scout breezes into my office in a short sweater dress, torn tights, and black knee high-boots. She's got on a little bit of makeup, her long black hair pulled into a high ponytail on her head. She looks amazing, like sex on a stick, and she's staring at me with a challenging gleam in her eyes.

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Beautiful Broken will appeal to fans of:

New Adult Contemporary Romance
Romance: Slow-burn. No Triangle. 
College Setting. 
HEA!

Be smart, younger readers! 

This book is for the older-YA and adult reading crowd!


Beautiful Broken by Nazarea Andrews
is currently available for purchase. 

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Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.

Find Nazarea Andrews

*********************************************************************

And now for the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia Review & Giveaway

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
Series: Legion #1
Published by Little, Brown BYR
Publish Date: October 1, 2013
320 Pages
Source: Publisher
Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.


Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way. (from Goodreads)



Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

My Thoughts:  I have to admit that I wasn't sure what to expect when I began Unbreakable - I'll be honest and admit that I haven't read the wildly popular Beautiful Creatures/Castor Chronicles Series that Author Kami Garcia co-wrote with Author Margaret Stohl, so I went into this book having nothing to compare it to. In truth, I think this paid off well for me and what I found was an engaging story that was action-packed and exciting. 

The first thing you need to know is this:
Kennedy mom has just died and 
now a ghost is after her. 
Wait, what? Let me back up. 

The book opens as Kennedy is walking through a creepy graveyard trying to find her cat when she happens upon a ghost - a gal in a white gown, sort of hovering. Completely creeped out, Kennedy goes back home and goes on with life. Later, she goes out with friends to a movie only to come home and find her mother lying lifeless on her bed - with her cat on top of her chest. Strange, right? YES, but there's a reason for it - no spoilers here! Mom's death was ruled heart failure and Kennedy is OF COURSE devastated since her father isn't around and the only relative she has left is an aunt that she isn't close to. Kennedy makes plans to attend a boarding school in upstate New York and begins packing. 

During the night in what is to be her last night at her house, Kennedy wakes up with a strange pressure on her chest. Well, wouldn't ya know this pressure turns out to be that very same ghost gal from the cemetery  How the heck did she know how to find Kennedy? Again, no spoilers here, folks. BUT! Before Kennedy can get another thought in or a breath or even attempt to move beneath the weight of this...thing, some dude busts into the house with a gun! He takes a shot and this ghost-girl scatters into millions of particles and just floats away.

Kennedy is freaked-the-heck out. Um, what just happened here, exactly?

The second thing you need to know is this:
It seems that The Legion has found Kennedy. 
The need her plus they're trying to keep her safe.  
Naturally, Kennedy has a ton of question for the not-one-but-TWO guys that have barged into her house in the middle of the night to track down this ghost-girl that has followed her from the cemetery  For starters, who the heck are these guys? And how did they know this ghost would be in her house? And what did this ghost even want with her anyway?

The guys are Jared and Lukas Lockhart, two members of The Legion - which is much too complicated to try to explain in-depth here, except to say that they're the good guys. They are basically ghost-hunters or demon-hunters, or perhaps a combination of the two. They're part of a group of five - The Legion - and they know all about Kennedy Waters. It's very interesting, though, that Kennedy Waters doesn't know a single thing about them. 

Before much explaining can be done, however, Kennedy's house begins to turn on them - see, another supernatural entity is in there - it locks the doors, trying to keep the trio inside and then starts throwing the home appliances and kitchen utensils all over the place. When the kitchen knives start flying through the air, Jared, Lukas, and Kennedy realize they'll have to break down the door and escape the house - and that's just what they do. Of course, this means that Kennedy leaves everything she has behind just as the house basically destroys itself.

Okay, well, if the ghost didn't freak Kennedy out enough, whatever just happened with her house kind of tipped the scales. Somebody better start explaining things to her...and fast. They scramble to their waiting van outside and get outta there, and Kennedy starts learning things. AND WOW. 

The third thing you need to know is this:
Kennedy gets to meet the other two members of The Legion.
There are five members in all - she's already met Jared and Lukas. When they arrive at their destination - a well-hidden warehouse that's their sort-of base camp - she is able to meet a young boy they call Priest and a beautiful girl named Alara. That makes four, right? The four members are pretty convinced based on several hints and clues that Kennedy is the fifth member - and this is news to her. 

The four take their time explaining The Legion: what it is, the history behind it, its importance, etc. to Kennedy and why they think that she absolutely must be the fifth member. Despite the fact that each of their families have spent time preparing them for years for their roles within The Legion (since the job is passed down within families), Kennedy has never once heard her mother mention this before. She feels no connection to this group at all. She has a hard time believing that she can contribute anything to their ultimate goal - which is quite HUGE - and she feels like she has no talents to offer either. But again, before they really get the chance to discuss this much further, their safe place - the warehouse - is attacked by supernatural entities and the group has to flee. 

It seems that Kennedy is going to be the fifth member whether she likes it or not, at least for a little while. At least until she can prove that she isn't, because she still isn't convinced. Because these four definitely need help with their task. Like I said, it's pretty doggone HUGE. 

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Okay, so Unbreakable by Kami Garcia has a ton of stuff packed into it. A TON. There is so much information in there that it's really hard to share my thoughts with you without just flat-out telling you the story. What I do want to tell you is that I found it highly engaging and fast-paced, and I think it's definitely an action-driven plot, in my opinion. I also think the characters are extremely likable. 

I liked Kennedy from the start - she's living with her mom and her cat, and life is good. Her dad left years ago for reasons that Kennedy never understood but will always feel are her fault. Kennedy has a strange ability - she has a photographic memory of sorts - she is able to memorize text/drawings down to the finest details in a matter of seconds. Because of this, she's always had a really easy time in school, but a hard time maintaining friendships and relationships - people have used her for her abilities in order to cheat, etc. This has caused her to be a little bit on the introverted side as the book opens, but this is all tossed to the curbside when she has to leave in a hurry and fight alongside the other four members of the Legion. Kennedy is forced to reach down into herself and find strength and gumption and stuff she never really knew she had just to survive, and I liked watching that about her. 

Kennedy is a great female lead in that she is strong and unafraid to do what needs to be done, even when things are scary or tricky. I love that she bonds with these four people that are basically unknown to her because they're all she has left. I love that she feels a fierce protectiveness for them after such a short time. Even with all of these great things, Kennedy is also flawed and makes mistakes, and this is something that I absolutely love about leading characters - when they aren't perfect. Kennedy's imperfections are actually just as important as her strengths as this book progresses and I'm EXTREMELY interested in seeing how this develops her as a character over the series. 

The other four members of the legion are likable as cast members as well. I certainly love Priest, the youngest of the group. Known for his ability to turn things into anything usable, he is basically their mechanic, inventor, and engineer of the group. He makes the tools they use to hunt. Such a smart young guy with a snarky little attitude, and a fun character. Great, great cast member. And then there's Alara - she's the only other female in the group, so naturally there is the expected tension right away when Kennedy arrives. Alara makes her share of sarcastic comments and has plenty of rude stares, and for this reason it took me a few pages to warm up to her - Kennedy as well, obviously. But Kennedy isn't weak by a long shot and wasn't about to let Alara bring her down, so after she not only proved her strength to Alara but also helped her out of a few tight spots, Alara came around and quit being such a snob. I can't say that she is my favorite of the group yet, but Alara is coming around. 

Then there are the brothers - Jared and Lukas. Now, these guys are the supposed love interests of the book from what I can tell, and based on the book trailer (below) they're identical twins and quite good-looking. It's clear right away that there is some tension between these two brothers - something has happened in the (recent?) past and one holds it over the other's head. Kennedy also picks up on this and it's obvious in the reading that it disturbs her. Jared is the quieter of the two; he's pensive and kind, often preferring to keep to himself for whatever reason even when the five are gathered together. Lukas seems to be more outgoing - making jokes, that sort of thing. Both of the boys have great skill where fighting is concerned, so they both seem to be on even playing fields within the group. However, there is that thing that is the elephant in the room that comes up so often in the pages - and we don't find out what it is for quite a while in the reading.

About the romance in this book - you know, I felt like it was kind of complicated and also not. I was fortunate enough to meet this author at a signing for this book and she did mention that there is a love triangle, so I was waiting for it, waiting for it, waiting for it - and I could see the potential. AND as the book progressed, the further into the pages I got, the more I could sense that it was coming. AND...toward the end, I finally felt it flesh out into an active triangle. Sort of. The thing is this: while these two brothers are brothers, and they both are interested in Kennedy, it felt more to me like they were mostly interested in Kennedy like she was the new kid on the block for a long time. It was only at a certain point in the book that an actual romantic thing happened and I could see OH OKAY, THERE IS GOING TO BE AN ACTUAL ROMANCE HERE SOMEWHERE! But even then, it was still a very small portion of the story, in my opinion. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I felt like the romance in this installment of this book took a backseat to the action of the story, and I think that is pretty great. This is not a kissing book. Love triangle or not, sometimes that's pretty darn cool. I'm not against love triangles - you guys know that I love them especially with brothers as I've made it known here - so it would not have bothered me to see more of a love triangle, but the truth is that I just never felt like the love triangle was really as big a part of the story as it was buzzed to be. That's not to say it won't be more of a plot element in the next book because of the way the book ended - but the way things are now, it just didn't feel very triangle-y to me. Also, like I said, I felt like the romance was second to the action and main story-line of the book. I have yet to see very many other opinions on this book yet so I have no idea if other people feel the same way that I do yet or not - I may be alone in this opinion.

Ultimately, I think Unbreakable was a pretty pleasant surprise. After not knowing what to expect, I found that my heart sped up a few times and I was turning the pages quite fast. I have no idea where the book will go from the ending it has (hello, unexpected!) but I'm anxious to see what happens next for this rag-tag group of young supernatural hunters. 

I recommend Unbreakable to fans of young adult paranormal and supernatural stories. I'm not usually a huge fans of books with demon-ish threads in them, but I did find that I liked this one and will be continuing the series when Unmarked comes out!

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Unbreakable will appeal to fans of:

YA Paranormal/Supernatural
Romance:  Love triangle, but it didn't feel very strong
as a plot line vs the other plot lines. 
(This may change in future installments!) 
Ghosts

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
is currently available for purchase.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher to read and share my thoughts on this blog. All of the above thoughts and opinions are mine, mine, mine! Thank you so much Little, Brown BYR! 

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Kami Garcia is the #1 New York TimesUSA TodayPublishers Weekly, LA TimesWall Street Journal,Indiebound & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Series (BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS, BEAUTIFUL CHAOS & BEAUTIFUL REDEMPTION) — and the author of UNBREAKABLE, the first book in The Legion Series, releasing on October 1, 2013 (from Little, Brown).



Find Kami Garcia: 

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Here are some websites you can visit to 
find out more about the Legion Series: 





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And now for the Giveaway! 

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
and Author Kami Garcia have generously offered 
one copy of UNBREAKABLE for one lucky US reader! 

*US Only Please * Contest Ends 10/5* 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
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