Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vain (The Seven Deadly #1) by Fisher Amelie

Vain (The Seven Deadly #1)
Fisher Amelie
390 pages
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: August 16th, 2013
Rate: Loved it

"Vanity's a debilitating affliction. You’re so absorbed in yourself it’s impossible to love anyone other than oneself, leaving you weak without realization of it. It’s quite sad. You’ve no idea what you’re missing either. You will never know real love and your life will pas you by."

This is not a story about a good girl who's life made her miserable and she acts because of it and then finds redemption and all that. This is not a story about a desperate girl in search for love and once she finds it, love can cure and beat everything kind of story. 
This is Sophie Price's story and she's all but good. She's what you may know as a queen bee. Rich, beautiful and sex addict girl. And she uses it all to get everything she wants. In fact, If you would know her, you would hate her. She uses her friends and proves to everyone what she is capable of. 
To sum all up, she's every girlfriend's worst nightmare and every boy's fantasy. 
This is the story of how she went from being the most envied and hated girl in her little rich world to being arrested and sent to Uganda, turning into a completely different person. That, made her now be the girl that no one in her social circle would want to be. At least not anymore. And the most fascinating thing about it? She would not change a thing about it.

"Your heart is startingly beautiful, Sophie." - Ian" 

I am completely impressed by Ms. Amelie. It's been a while since a book impressed me like Vain did, at least not with a story similar to this. The last time was with Angie Stanton's books and Fisher Amelie not just impressed me, but made me want to read more about The Seven Deadly series.
First, I have to say it, I adore the title of the series and the titles of her future books. The Seven Deadly: Vain, Greed, Fury, Lust, Idle, Binge and Envy. Seven sins, seven stories, seven people from Sophie's circle who wouldn't change a thing about her lives after being on the top and falling from it. Just an extraordinary title, idea and series. I love it!
With an incredible writing and an unexpected plot, Fisher Amelia creates a unique story that makes the readers feel the full force of this exceptional book, with its twists, romance, rich societies, power and the steps to become a good person, someone who cares about the others more than anything else.
I think I really liked this story because it's not "another love story". This is the story of a girl out of control and with a rich family that seems not to care about her behavior until it goes public, who finds her own redemption after being punished by the law.
Ending up in a country like South Africa, where she finds not the commodities she is used to and people who's lives are far more awful than hers, makes the main character realize that people around her, now, have more motives to hate their lives. Instead of doing it, they live their lives like it's the last day. They don't cry all the time for their misfortunes, instead they laugh and play and they are only little, helpless kids.

"Fear, Sadness. They're not weaknesses. They are overpowering, defining emotions. They make you human, Sophie."

Through the story we see the change in the character. She starts in LA, full of things only filthy people can afford and with a group of friends that I would not like to have. What may shocked you the most is that she's the queen bee of this group and she is the mean one, the stealing-boyfriends-for-one-night type and the person who everyone follows. I am used to read about characters who are attacked and mistreated by people like Sophie, so it's refreshing and funny reading about her story.
Vain. Her sin is vanity. She's pretty and she know it and she takes fully advantage of it. She uses people to get what she wants and think that she is irresistible.
But when everything gets messy and her beauty cannot solve this huge problem that she's into, she's forced to live six months in a sort of orphanage for kids in South Africa for six months. This move, we didn't see it coming. At all.
And then Sophie meets reality and starts to see the world, her world and her life with another eyes. And we also get to see a hot guy named Ian that would not fall for Sophie's beauty. That's a first!
It's nice to see how how she changes there. How she struggles with everything and finally finds a home in the most unexpected place, where she finds a new family to care about and love. A few things she wasn't familiar with in LA.
Once you finish the book, you realize how this is story is not about a romance only story. Is a novel that makes you think how important life is and not only the material things. Howe a wealthy life may not assure you happiness and how you can find love and a second family in the most unexpected places.
I tried to put myself in Sophie's life. When she's in Africa. I totally freak out when I see some type of insect so I'd have a hard time. I'd miss my luxury things and may not eat anything! (No kidding!). So I can understand the effort she does. However, I think I would end up choosing the life she chose, because I totally adore the ending of this book.

"You have no idea what you do to me. I've felt things for you these past few months that don't seem healthy. I've wanted you so desperately I'm afraid it may not be natural. You consume my thoughts, Sophie...You've arrested my senses and I can't seem to get enough of you. That's what scares me. I'm so deep there's no getting out for me. You own me, you know?"

My heart was broken when I read about the orphanage. About the kids being mutilated and left without a family only to have more soldiers in a non-sense war. It really broke my heart to imagine those little poor kids, afraid of the people who made their life a living hell, always hoping that they would not come back for them or to take their lives. It's a topic that Fisher Amelie writes with such a sensibility and a plain reality that you end up thanking her for sharing this type of world with us.

"And what is there to be joyful about?" I asked honestly, thinking on the images of dead children curled into themselves at the village. Another burst of silent tears streamed down.

"Life, Sophie. They still live. They breathe, they love each other, they find joy in the world around them for no other reason than because they are children. They are resilient. They will always rise above. Always. It is a curious facet of the innocent young."

With well-crafted characters, an amazing plot and surroundings, this book promises a lot of romance and action. It also shows us a different world and how life can change a person, showing us how life can be improved and no matter what you are or how you have behaved in the past, you can always find redemption, love and even death at the end of the road.

"No one can know sincere happiness, Sophie, without first having known sorrow. One can never appreciate the enormity and rareness of such a fiery bliss without seeing misery, however unfair that may be."

Because this is not another romance story. This is the story of Sophie Price and how she went from being the most envied person in LA to a pariah in her social status and she wouldn't change a thing.
And because I'm in love with this story and I'm, for sure, going to wait anxiously until the second book, Greed, is released, I'm going to give this book a five gorjuss dolls. I'd give this book more gorjuss dolls, but our ranking has not that many gorjuss dolls in it. So five is our top!
Book Addicts, this is a MUST READ book. Don't wait anymore. You'll be captivated with Sophie from the first page and you'd want to read more! I can assure you that!

"Tell him he was my greatest adventure. Tell him I love him." 

Ben Barnes as Ian Aberdeen
Diana Agron as Sophie Price
Alex Pettyfer as Spencer Blackwell

What do you think, Book Addicts?

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Unofficial Addiction Blog Tour: The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy #1) by Laura Howard

The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy #1)
Laura Howard
197 Pages
Publisher: Finding Bliss Publishing
Realease Date: April 28h, 2013
Rate: Enjoyed it

The Forgotten Ones is the first book in the Danaan Trilogy and a fantastic adventure that will take you in a wonderful, and at the same time, frightening, journey.

When I started reading The Forgotten Ones, I was so hooked up in the story! I was in love with Ms. Laura’s writing and the book itself. Ok, I admit that Laura’s writing is mind-blowing, I do like it! But when I was on the page 137/186 the author started to throw a lot of names! That was it; I couldn’t deal with so many names at the same time. There was a point where one of the characters said a name, and I immediately thought “who’s that?” Funny thing? Allison was as lost as me! *giggles*

“’Which one is Deaghlan again?’ I asked. My mind swirled with all the new names to remember”

This made me laugh, a lot! Anyway, after a few pages (20 more or less) I got back on track. Despite this misfortune, I still think that Laura Howard’s writing is perfect! It is enjoyable, descriptive and beautiful.

The Forgotten Ones shows Allison’s POV. I liked seeing her perspective. I could feel her doubts, her fears, and her happy moments. Although I would have loved some chapters from Ethan’s side of the story I enjoyed reading Allison’s point of view.

Another thing that made this book enjoyable was the plot. It was intriguing, passionate, and heartbreaking! I liked more the first part of the book than the second one. By first part I mean when she is on earth, and the second when she’s on the faerie territory. I must clarify that when Allison went to the fairies land, it was magical and scary at the same time! 

In the first part, for about 70 pages (guessing), we get to see Allison and Ethan’s relationship (He’s to die for! *fangirling*). Well… more than relationship I will describe it like this: he has a big crush on her and he definitely shows it. Allison? She is like in love with him, but doesn’t want to be with Ethan in a relationship (Don’t worry Ethan, I’m available *wink*). Anyway, I somehow understand why Allison doesn’t want to be in a relationship, but I still don’t see why it will affect with her “duties”. I know, you are wondering what these mysterious “duties” are, but it is up to you to read the book and find out. 
Although I liked Allison & Ethan’s love story, I felt like something was missing. I wanted to know more about how deep their love for each other was, why Ethan has such a big crush on Allison and vice versa. I wanted, needed, to know the backup story. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the chemistry they had and the sparks that flew when Ethan was around Allison.

When I first was introduced to Ethan, I knew he was going to be my husband a big part of my love for The Forgotten Ones. He is so sweet, charming and don’t forget, please, he is a hottie! I liked how he was with Allison; he gives himself to her, kind of. I felt really sorry for him because for all he knew Allison didn’t like him the way he did. I also had a strong feeling (a bad one) when something happened that had to do with Ethan. Do you want me to tell you what it was? Oh my dearies, I will be a good girl and let you find out by yourselves *hugs*. 
As for Allison, I liked her sometimes and I wanted to slap her other times. I like her because she is such a strong and fierce girl. I admired her because of her dedication to her mother and family. She really takes care of her mother.
As I have said, I wanted to slap her because she was mean with Ethan (not all the times, I must say). If you don’t want to show him how you feel, fine! But have some respect and treat him with kindness! He was nothing but gallant and sweet with her. I ended up forgiving her because of some things happened that lead me to forget about my bad feelings for her. 

In the second part we have the adventurous journey. We met some good fairies and some bad ones…wait, bad it’s not the word, more like EVIL, your worst nightmare! 
I liked the suspense and the scary thoughts that came to my mind every time Aoife’s (EVIL!!!) name was pronounced! I liked Aodhan’s courage. I pity Liam and felt compassion for Allison’s mother, Elizabeth. I had a lot of different emotions while reading this part, but I loved each one of them. In this part there are some twists that will catch you off guard but you will embrace them gracefully! I liked this part but I am doomed when it comes to romance, hence why I liked more the first part than the second one.

If the whole story wasn’t good enough, there comes the end. I freaked out with the end! I had a hard time believing what I had read! I was shocked (it has something to do with Ethan), for a reason, and not so shocked for other. I know… this sound weird, but if you read the book you will understand me! It is just that some things at the end I predicted it (you have it written quite before ending the book) and some of it didn’t see it coming! 

So guys, it’s time for me to say goodbye to you and if you like fairy tales, adventurous stories and a pinch of romance this is your book! You have to read The Forgotten Ones, because I can assure you one thing: you will have an intriguing journey full of magic, and you're going to love it. 

Finally I would like to thank Xpresso Book Tours for giving us the opportunity to read this wonderful book and to Laura Howard for sharing her magnificent work with the world and with us, of course.

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Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

Grand prize giveaway (OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)
5 eBook copies of The Forgotten Ones
25$ Amazon Gift Card

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Interview with Janine Caldwell

Book Addicts,

Soon we are going to be part of the Visited Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours and we wanted to do something special about it. So today we have the author of Visited, Janine Caldwell, in our blog. We are going to get the chance to know Janine a little bit more and know more about this wonderful new story!

Janine Caldwell
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: May 25th, 2013
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Synopsis via Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Joanna Murphy has lost faith in her life. Vying for her mom’s attention, she’s resentful of her stepdad’s intrusion to their family. Her best friend, Tommy, has no clue she’s in love with him as he dates girl after girl without noticing how it tortures her. The final kicker, though, is God’s sick joke to make her freakishly tall when everyone knows boys prefer petite girls.

Then in a bizarre accident Joanna meets James, a breathtaking teen who appears to her after an unusual falling star sighting. Suddenly, her dream for an alien encounter becomes all too real. But when she finds her life has been made unrecognizable, she’s forced into an explosive study of the original design for her life that just may have her regretting every wish she ever made.

Janine Caldwell 

was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after her high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English. 

Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.

Books published by Janine include Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy, and Rematch and Double Fault, the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released this fall.

I can’t pick one. Impossible. So let me give you a list of my favs. 

Dystopian: Scarlet, Divergent, Matched, Under the Never Sky, Hunger Games, The Selection, Uglies, The Giver, Cinder 

Other Fantasy: Obsidian, Harry Potter (books 4-6) 

Religious: Cross Roads, Heaven Is For Real, Life of Pi 

Classics: Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Atlas Shrugged, The Catcher in the Rye

When my workout is done, all the house chores completed, and everyone is away from the house and it’s perfectly peaceful.

Sherlock, Vampire Diaries, Glee, Downton Abbey, Gilmore Girls, Felicity, Roswell, Lost, Game of Thrones, and pretty much any period piece from the BBC or Masterpiece Theater.

August Rush, Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley version), The Matrix, Pitch Perfect, Sixteen Candles, The Princess Bride, Orange County, Dead Poets Society, 10 Things I Hate About You, all the Harry Potter movies, all the Anne of Green Gables movies, Lord of the Rings.

If it’s a work day: workout, rush through whatever chore needs done, get at least 3 to 4 hours of writing/editing in, have dinner magically prepared for the family, watch a movie with family or maybe just watch TV, read, go to bed early.

If it’s a fun day: workout via a hike or yoga, have lunch out with husband or friends, go see a movie or shop, have dinner magically prepared for family--or better yet--go out to dinner, read an awesome book I can’t put down.

I don’t believe I have one favorite song, but if I did it would probably be by the Foo Fighters. I’m obsessed with them even though they’ve been around a long time. They inspire me still.

Dessert of all kinds.

Trent Astor from The Vortex Series. Since I created him, I could make him exactly match my ideal fantasy.

Not sure what the question is here. If you’re asking if I practice one of these, then neither, but if you’re asking if I prefer to read about magic over mythology, I would go with magic.

Fantasy and Dystopian but there always needs to be an element of romance for me to be truly hooked.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about me and my books. I’m just like you, a fan and self-proclaimed addict of books.

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This story came about after my time co-leading a local high school youth group. Hearing about their teen issues and struggles inspired me to reflect on the theme, “Be careful what you wish for.” It was difficult trying to create a broad enough story that would not only appeal to Christian readers, but to secular readers as well.

Joanna Murphy is a high school volleyball stud. Why? Because she hovers somewhere around the 6 foot mark! The problem is she’s terribly self-conscious of towering over everyone, especially her best friend and secret object of her heart, Tommy Durant. Joanna cannot see her uniqueness as anything but a fault and would do anything to be and look like someone else. She really isn’t in to music. How she spends her time when she’s not playing volleyball is by reading sci-fi books and chatting on her science blog about anything alien-related.

Tommy is your carefree, easygoing, too-charming-for-his-own-good kind of guy. However, he has his faults. He’s a poor loser and has a detrimental jealousy issue that ends up ruining most of his relationships. James, on the other hand, is a mysterious, intense stranger who acts confident in everything he does. He has out-of-this-world good looks, which is both a blessing and a curse. Beyond his outer beauty, though, he has honorable intentions and a pure heart.

When Joanna hits rock bottom, when she stops fighting James and finally confesses everything she feels. With her raw honesty comes true internal change.

For Joanna, I like Jane Levy currently starring in Suburgatory. She has the wit and charisma of Joanna, the red hair and clever blue eyes. Not sure how tall she is, but Hollywood can make anyone what they want these days. 

For Tommy, I truly see Logan Lerman, AKA Percy Jackson. That boyish charm, electric blue eyes, and black hair that can hang low in his eyes, is just perfect for Tommy. 

For James, I see Alex Pettyfer. Good gracious that guy is hot. He has many looks, but when his hair is blond and bleached out on the ends, he is how I imagine James. A strong jawline, almost unnaturally good-looking, and Alex almost has James’s gray eyes as well.