Friday, October 2, 2015

TOUR STOP: The Danaan Trilogy


Pages: 197
Source: Mark My Words Publicity
Publication Date: April 28, 2013
Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.
What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

Pages: 163
Source: Mark My Words Publicity
Publication Date: April 21, 2014
Allison thought it was crazy enough when she found out her father, Liam, wasn't entirely human. But now she has to join his magical allies to unravel his former mistress's plans. Aoife wants to keep Allison's parents apart forever. 
Despite Allison's efforts to keep Ethan, the only guy she's ever cared about, out of this supernatural mess, fate keeps throwing him back into the mix. 
Will Allison be able to find the amulet that holds the enchantment Aoife placed on Liam and destroy it? Are Ethan' s feelings for Allison strong enough to endure the magic of the Tuatha De Danaan?

Pages: 182
Source: Mark My Words Publicity
Publication Date: October 24, 2014
The eagerly anticipated finale of USA Today Bestselling Danaan Trilogy. 
The time has come. Allison's quest to save her mother from Aoife's wicked enchantment will test everything she believes in. Who is trustworthy in the land of the Fair Folk, the Tuatha de Danaan? It's up to Allison, along with her host of allies, to unravel the truth. 
Journey along and discover the power of family, love and duty as Allison faces the most difficult trial of her life. 

Hello everyone and welcome to my tour stop for the Danaan Trilogy by Laura Howard! Since this is an overall trilogy review I'm going to get straight into my review and try to keep this as non-spoiler as possible!

I've been wanting to pick up this trilogy for the longest time ever since I read one phrase in the synopsis of The Forgotten Ones: Tuatha de Danaan. A huge part of my life from middle school onward has been fascinated with the heroic legends and beautiful stories of Celtic and Irish mythology so it's no surprise that I was so excited to read a YA novel focusing around the Sidhe. While this story didn't exactly deliver a heroic legend, it was so fast paced and engaging journey that kept me furiously pressing the keys on the Kindle because I couldn't read fast enough.

The story telling is so gripping and the situation of things in the novel when it first begins just allows everything to fall into place. There were some things that I can trouble grasping such as the whole half human half fairy deal that was going on with Liam. Everything just seemed so messed up and out of everyone's control throughout most of the book that it felt like the character really couldn't do anything but sit and wait. 

While I had some trouble connecting with Allison for maybe 20-30% of the novel, I was still able to enjoy the story through her perspective. I am honestly loving the twisted fairy idea that I have been reading lately and Aoife is definitely twisted. I will admit she's a bit wrong in the head, but I didn't perceive her as much of a threat. She was just a really annoying character who kept getting in the way of things. I will also say that I wanted a different outcome for her, but maybe I'm being to harsh.

In terms of the other characters, I did not like Ethan for the majority of the first book because he got in the way of Allison's goal of breaking the geis on her parents. However, his dedication is admirable and at the end I do think they make a good team. I didn't trust most of the Danaans for a big chunk of the trilogy because they were just so manipulative, but in the end I guess everything did work out.

All in all, I enjoyed the overall story and how engaged I was while reading. I sort of put off reading this until the very last minute which isn't a good idea, but I managed to blow through the entire trilogy in just two days. Also, does anyone want a spin-off with Samantha and her bodyguard (his name is escaping me) as the main characters? Personally, I think that'd be amazing~

LauraAbout the Author
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.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Monday, September 28, 2015

#NOTD: Cute Bears

Hello everyone! So I am finally taking a break from my massive onslaught of reviews which hopefully I will keep up my pace with everything, but I did promise something else. I did my first #NOTD in August and I thought I'd keep it up. I really enjoy doing my nails even though I don't keep a manicure very long. Either way, I found this really cute image on Pintrest which sparked this design:
Really cute. Too cute for me, but I'm sure someone else would love to have me do their nails like this.:
(Pintrest Image)

So....I'm still working on how I want to format these types of posts so if you have any suggestions please let me know!! I remembered to take pictures while I was doing the design (kind of) so let's go~

What I Used:
(L-R): Tempest (Sinful Colors), My Button Fell Off (Spoiled by WetnWild), Black on Black (Sinful Colors), Icing on the Cake (Pop-a-razzi)

Cute stickers! I bought mine from Taiwan so I don't have exact names/links. I also used some heart glitters and a bow accessory.

Dotting Tools (Sally Beauty Store)

1. Apply a base coat to protect your nails (not depicted). I used Revlon's Treat and Boost.

2. Apply a light purple polish on your pointer, middle, and pinky and a light pink polish on your thumb and ring. (For my other hand I switched up the order a bit)

3. Take a larger sized dotting tool and drag it along the middle portion of your nails that are painted pink with white polish.

4. Take a smaller sized dotting tool to dip two small black dots for the eyes and one dot on the white for the nose.

5. I used the smallest sized dotting tool and used it horizontally to make two small marks under the nose to represent the mouth.

6. Lastly, take a cute sticker and place it at the corner of your nail to represent a little bow for your bear. I decided that my purple nails looked lonely so I took two heart glitters and placed them together at the tip to form a bow.

The Final Product:

So that's my little design! I completely forgot to take pictures of the intermediate steps but I'll definitely try to remember in the future! Please let me know in the comments below what you thought of this post and if you have any suggestions for future designs! I'm thinking about doing a book cover inspired design but I'm still waiting for the inspiration since I'm pretty new to nail art. 

Foreverly Obsessed,

Friday, September 25, 2015

Review: Bitterroot

Pages: 110
Source: Author/Elephantine Publishing
Publication Date: September 20, 2015
Seventeen year-old Regan Vuk has lived her whole life under the shadow of her future: the pack alpha. She is fast, smart, and determined. According to her own pack members, she is a shoo-in. But Regan’s dad has a secret.
Seventeen year-old Charlie spent her adolescence drifting from place to place with a mother desperate to hide her illegitimate daughter from the unforgiving reality of werewolf pack dynamics. All Charlie has ever wanted is to know her father--and the family that's been kept from her all these years. But most of all, she wants a place to belong in the world. Where she doesn’t have to pretend she can’t sprout fur and paws at will.
Being kidnapped on her way home from prom was not what she had in mind.
When Charlie finds out the only way to fit in with her new family is to defeat her long-lost sister for the role of alpha, she refuses. That is until she learns that the strange and alluring vampire she's befriended, Owen, is the same vampire prince that's been promised the winner.
Regan has no doubt that, although she loathes the vampires, it will be her who "wins" Owen.
Only problem: Charlie's already fallen for him.
Bitterroot is a Young Adult Paranormal with a dose of sibling rivalry... Who will you root for?
Bitterroot is a 3-part novella series by Heather Hildenbrand & SM Reine
Hello everyone! Welcome back to another review! I know I just said that I was going to post something a little different and here I am with another review, but I promise tomorrow I'll have something new up! All right, let's keep things short and sweet and get into the review~

Charlie has been told since she was little that werewolves were cruel creatures and she and her mother had to constantly be on the run. On the way home from prom, she gets kidnapped by a pack whose alpha claims to be her father. He introduces her to her half sister Regan and drops the bomb on her. Even though Regan has been training to be alpha for years, since Charlie is only a couple months younger, they both have claim to the throne and they must fight each other in a contest. Whoever wins will marry Owen Vossi, the vampire prince whose Regan loathes and blames her mother's death on. 

If I remember correctly, this book is broken up into a three part novella so this first section really just introduced the characters and got the story going. As much as I love werewolves, pack law sounds like it literally sucks. It's like everything in life is dictated by the traditions and decrees of those who have lived before you and you can no say in it. With that being said, I felt so bad for both characters who wanted so different things but were stuck to the same fate.

The little catch phrase is: Who will you root for? I can't make a decision as of right now as I want both girls to have lives that aren't exactly the end goal. Regan should be the Alpha just because she's always trained for it, but she shouldn't have to marry the possible murderer of her mother. Charlie on the other hand literally got thrown into this world and I just want her to go back to being with her mom. Again, pack law is pretty unfair and horrible.

Again we have the werewolf vs. vampire hatred which I get but I wish it wasn't so commonly used. In this story it makes sense since they suspect that the Vossi family murdered Regan's mom and pack Alpha. But this is just so overused to the point where I didn't really care what the other wolves said about the vampires. Owen Vossi...I can already tell he's going to be one of those smart aleck characters who are cocky and annoying, so the verdict on him is still up for grabs. As for that statement in the summary: Charlie's already fallen for him - not exactly true...they did try to kill each other when they first met...

Overall, it's a nice start to a novel. I hope that the next parts are longer since I read this in less than 30 minutes. As an opening it was decent and I'm intrigued to see how the authors develop the story further.

*Huge thanks to Heather Hildenbrand and Elephantine Publishing for providing a copy to review. All thoughts are 100% my own*

3 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review: Summer Marked

ISBN: 1633750094
Pages: 304
Source: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
The sequel to the chilling Winter People returns to the world of Faerie, and is a romantic and enchanting follow-up.
Salome left humankind behind to be with her boyfriend, Gareth, in the Kingdom of Summer. But now forces of darkness are rising. Her happily-ever-after is coming apart, and the Kingdom is on the brink of war. 
Newly-single Kadie Byers is on her way home for Thanksgiving, imagining a visit filled with hot chocolate, a hot guy for a little rebound action, and some girl time with her bestie, Salome. Except she receives a message from Salome with two important words: PLEASE HURRY.
When Kadie rushes to help Salome, she’s ripped from the human world and pulled into the kingdoms of Faerie, where she's shocked to learn that Salome's monsters are real, and that she's now at the mercy of one extremely vengeful Winter Queen... 
Now both Salome and Kadie must find a way to survive the deadly chaos...or lose themselves to Winter's deadly, icy grasp.

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another review! Wow, I'm pretty impressed with myself for keeping on top of my reviews so far this week. I'll try to post something a little different to mix things up since my past couple of posts have all been reviews. Anyway, yesterday was the release of Summer Marked which is the sequel to The Winter People (my review) which I read in August and really enjoyed. If you haven't read Book 1 I'd advise you to check out my review first since this might spoil you a bit. Alright, let's get into the review~

Salome thought that after breaking the curse on Nevin and becoming a faerie to be with Gareth that life would be perfect. However the Winter Queen will not be so easily deterred and she is determined to bring all of the kingdoms under her control so she decides to hit close to home. The Queen tricks Kadie Byers, Salome's best friend, and kidnaps her which plunges Kadie into the terrifying world that is the kingdom of Winter. In Summer, Salome struggles to figure out what choices she has to make, even if they go against everything she ever wanted.

This wasn't as suspenseful as the first book in terms of suspense. In The Winter People, Winter felt like an ominous enemy while this book portrayed it as an extremely real and gruesome enemy. I literally am going to get nightmares just thinking about the bones and the Red Room.

Okay I'm going to talk a lot about characters since they literally blew my mind. Starting off with the most sadistic person I've ever read about, Grisselle the Queen of Winter. She's definitely insane but if her story is true then she does have some tiny right for her actions...or at least it makes more sense why she's doing everything. However, that does not condone her actions and basically all the torture and abuse that occurs in the kingdom. As for Kadie, I didn't love as a narrator in comparison to Sloane but I admire her struggle for survival. It was just a bit harder to connect with her on a different level other than feeling helpless and sympathetic towards her.

As for be honest I didn't like her as much as I did in the first book. I get the desire she wants for a peaceful life but she needs to stop being so infatuated with Gareth. My eyes got a workout from all the rolling they did at her constant fretting. On a different note, can I please get marked as well??? Even though I wanted to shake some of that romanticism out of her, I'm still so pumped for everything that's going to happen next. Okay final round-up: I freaking love Daruch and I want him alive! Aruba is the best horse on the planet. Gareth and Nevin both need to take a step back and let Sloane grow without their interference and Gwenn is amazing.

Even though I didn't experience heart palpitations from terror, the story was still intense and gripping with these beautiful descriptions of the Faerie world. I'm literally dying from withdrawal and the next book needs to be in my possession now!!

*Huge thanks to Entangled Teen for providing a copy to review. All thoughts are 100% my own*
4 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

VIDEO: Would You Rather 2.0 Tag

1. Would you rather do only review videos or only tag videos?
2. Would you rather always see the film first or never see the film version of books?
3. Would you rather have a list of every book you've ever read (like Goodreads from birth) or still have the physical copy of your first favorite book?
4. Would you rather have an active in-person book club of non-booktubers or have lunch with your best booktube buddy once a year?
5. Would you rather have the time to read everything you want to read or the money to buy everything you want to read?
6. Would you rather dream cast the film or have editing power over the script for the film version of your favorite book?
7. Would you rather have your favorite fictional superpower or your favorite fictional technology?
8. Would you rather read an amazing story with a 'meh' ending or a 'meh' story with a spectacular ending?
9. Would you rather not be able to read in a moving vehicle or not be able to read lying down?
10. Would you rather reread your favorite book or series with fresh eyes, like the first time, or be able to un-read your biggest disappointment?
Bonus: Would you rather go to Hogwarts or live in Middle Earth?

Foreverly Obsessed,

Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: What I Thought Was True

ISBN: 0803739095 
Pages: 422
Source: Library
Publication Date: April 15, 2014

From the acclaimed author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.
Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.
A magnetic, push-you-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.
Hello everyone! Today I'm finally going to be doing my review for What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick! I read this during the BookTubeAThon for the challenge to read someone else's favorite book which technically isn't 100% true but it was pretty close. Huntley Fitzpatrick is one of my friend's favorite authors...anywho, let's just into the review~

Gwen Castle can't wait to get out of her home on an island and be rid of all the rich vacation people who come in the summer. After a minor incident with Cassidy Somers, a rich kid from across the bridge, she is determined to get out as fast as she can after high school. Her biggest fear is to be subjected to cleaning houses like her mother. Then she gets some interesting advice from her father that helps to push her into a summer full of restlessness and romance as she tries to find out who she wants to be and what is true in the world that she lives in.

Huntley Fitzpatrick is just one of those authors who just write about pretty much everything and it will be profound. What I Thought Was True deals with a lot of real life factors in teenage lives that other contemporaries tend to skip over - divorce, teenage hormones, society classes, etc. This story outlines the struggles that Gwen faces as she has to learn from mistakes she's made in the past that led to some slut-shaming in her life now. I found it pretty refreshing how Fitzpatrick took a different route to exploring the societal take towards slut-shaming. She didn't use the standard pure girl and a sexually active friend to demonstrate her purpose. It made the characters and the events that were happening a lot more real.

While I loved a lot of things about this book, the factor that bumped it from a 4 to a 3.5 in terms of rating was the length. There were so many parts of the book that could have been cut out or at least shortened and the story would still be fantastic. With the being said, I did struggle a bit to finish the book because at times I got so bored. Factor the fact that I was reading this during a readathon and you can see my frustration...

As far as characters go, I mentioned before how Gwen was depicted as such a real character through her actions and struggles. I really loved the slight comparison between Gwen and Cass because it just displayed what a real teenage relationship was. There's some drama, but not an overload of it and they talk about mature things and think with their heads. On the otherhand you have Gwen's best friend and cousin. Now that was a curve ball I wasn't expecting. I'm not going to go into too much detail with it, but it was kind of interesting how different their relationship was from Cass and Gwen's. 

I still really enjoyed the book despite being slightly frustrated with how long things were going on. With the ending, it felt like the author realized how long the book was getting and just wrapped everything up as quickly as she could. However, the ideas and values that were addressed in the story kind of balanced everything out.  
3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Cute Brown Spinning Flower