Like Candy by Debra Doxer | ARC Book Review (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

(Candy #1)

Published: July 28th 2015

Synopsis:

Revenge is sweet, just like candy.

Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.

Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.

Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.

Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.


Like Candy_bookcover

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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Genre(s): Romance, Mystery, Young Adult

Page Count: 258

Format: ebook

Purchase: Amazon


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Check out the rest of the tour schedule!

Welcome to my review tour stop of Like Candy by Debra Doxer, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

Note: I received a free digital eARC of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for review purposes. This does not affect my review.

Like Candy was an entertaining romance and mystery (mostly romance)! I know the genres include ‘mystery’ but really the majority of the book was romance, or that’s how it felt like. It wasn’t ’till I reached near the end of the book where my heart was really beating because of the mystery, my toes curled in anticipation to see what will happen next. Although this was misleading and kind of threw me off, I really enjoyed this book nonetheless.

Plot

The plot was kind of a surprise to me, mostly because from the blurb, I was expecting some kick-butt action from the main character, Candy, but instead got a girl with no skills other than to be able to manipulate and pull pranks on people who’ve wronged her. I also think it could’ve been better executed, it had the potential to be both a contemporary romance as well as a mystery and spy novel, and sometimes that clashed. That being said, the plot was still very entertaining. Despite what I just said about the two genres clashing, I really enjoyed the fact that while we were led to believe the book was all romance by the first part, there were little twists and turns here and there that made the storyline more engaging and unexpected. A lot of the book did focus on the romance between Candy and Jonah, though, so beware of that. Although the plot wasn’t exactly what I expected, I liked the way things turned out, even though the expected cliffhanger at the end has me cursing that I can’t yet read the next book. 🙂

Characters

Candy herself was an interesting character, one for which I have conflicted feelings toward. On one hand, her manipulative attitude, and actions, instead of coming off as badass, as she says herself, at times felt plain mean and petty,and rude for no reasonNot to mention throughout the book she hardly showed any assassin or badass skills at all, which was kind of disappointing. On the other hand, I did understand why she acted the way she did, and found it intriguing, as twisted that may sound. All she really wanted was her father’s approval, the one thing she never seems to be able to get. Her father is often cold and distant, which frustrated me because Candy deserved more, from her father, at least. She was, no matter how much of a strong, assassin kind of character she claimed to be, still really innocent and with no mother and a pretty bad childhood, she wanted, no, needed her father to be proud of her. I understood that, it really made her character, although sometimes hard to like, easier to sympathize with, because a parent’s approval is something we’ve all wanted some time or another, am I right?

As for the other characters, they shined less brightly than Candy, obviously, except for Jonah and Candy’s father. But starting with Jonah, the love interest. I can’t exactly say what I liked most about him, but I did like his character.

“I wish I was the first guy you fell for. Then maybe the shadows in your eyes wouldn’t be there, and when I told you how beautiful you are, you’d believe me. You make me want to erase those shadows and chase away the memories that put them there, because every day that you don’t realize how amazing you are is a tragedy in my book.”

He was definitely swoon-worthy! And hidden inside him there are a bunch of mysteries and secrets which added both depth to his character and more uncertainty that kept me engaged in the story.

As for Candy’s father, I was quite frustrated with him in the way he treated Candy, both hot and cold moods (generally cold) but his character really intrigued me. By the end of the novel we hardly knew anything more about him than when we started (which was kind of irksome, to be honest) and he was in a cloud of mystery. He has a lot of potential to be a crucial part in the story, and I’m really interested in seeing how he will turn out to be.

Writing Style

The writing style was great! I couldn’t stop reading, everything flowed seamlessly, and there were often parts of the book where it was like reading poetry without actually reading poetry, if that makes any sense.

“As I watched my mother fade and my father grieve, my inability to do anythings sat like a weight on my chest, growing heavier each day until something as simple as breathing hurt. All I could do was stand by while everything fell apart, and no matter how much I wished for things to get better, they never did.”

Although novels written in first person is sometimes a hit or miss kind of thing, in this book, I really felt Candy’s emotions, her feelings, really clearly and the writing was executed very well for the story. It was steamy in some places, mysterious in others, cute in several places. All arranged nicely to really show Candy’s feelings.

Overall…

This book felt more like a ‘hit or miss’ to me. You either like it or you don’t. The plot was an interesting combination of both mystery and romance, while most of the book focuses on the romance, there is more to it that keeps you engaged in the story. I’ll be looking forward to the second book, especially after the cliffhanger in this book! I’m also interested in seeing more of Candy’s development. She was fine in this book, however there are several things about her that I think I was supposed to enjoy, but instead I found came off as shallow and unmoral, and which might be delved into more in the sequel. I did really sympathize with her and understood her though, which is a plus in the reading experience. The secondary characters weren’t the greatest, but both Jonah and Candy’s father had a lot of depth to them and have the potential to be great characters in the sequel. The writing was easy to read, seamlessly flowing and really helping to get the readers acquainted with the way Candy thought. All in all, this book was quite enjoyable and I liked it!

This book will have you gobbling it up like candy! Eat it quickly!

Analee 10


Debra

AUTHOR BIO:
Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”
Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.
Author links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway -$50 Amazon gift card and an ebook of Like Candy
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Deception So Dark by Clara Kensie | Book Review

(Run to You #2)

Published: May 1st 2015

Synopsis:

Originally published as the Run to You serial parts 4-6— Fourth Shadow, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense.

Deception So Dark is the complete second novel in the Run to You series, a riveting thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past, and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

With no more secrets to keep them apart, Tessa and Tristan embark upon a desperate search to find her missing brother and sister. But not even Tristan can keep Tessa safe from the hostile classmates at her new school…or from the nightmare that haunts her even while she’s awake. As Tessa’s nightmare becomes all too real, her hope of getting her family back together feels ever more out of reach. When a psychic warns her that leaving town may mean her death, Tessa still cannot stay when she uncovers a potential lead to her brother and sister. Not even if she must go alone and risk losing it all: Tristan, her family, and even her life.

Run to You is Tessa and Tristan’s story—two full-length books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Danger. Deception. Betrayal. It must be true love.


Deception So Dark_bookcover

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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre(s): Young-adult, romantic thriller

Page Count: 325

Format: E-book


 Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Run to You Series Review

Hello fellow bookworms! I have for you now the review on the sequel to Deception So Deadly, Deception So Dark. (You can check out the review to Deception So Deadly here.) This book, was even more mind-blowing than its predecessor, if that’s even possible. Although there are a few things I liked better in the first book, this book took me on an unforgettable roller coaster and I really enjoyed it. (I’ll be skipping the quick summary this time, by the way.)

Plot

The plot, the plot. It picks up from where the first one ended, and at the start, I will admit I wasn’t convinced that this book would be able to impress me. But I shouldn’t have doubted it, because this book instead brought a organized mashup of plot twists, interesting ideas and cliffhangers. I say organized mashup because while it was all sorts of things mixed together, it was done in a calculated and organized manner, which means the plot twists and cliffhangers weren’t all over the place or anything, just like the first book. Everything was done, I felt, to a certain purpose, and it was really well delivered.

Characters

In the first book I really got attached to the characters, and reading this book was great because I didn’t have to go through the trouble of getting to know them and worrying about whether I like them or not. Tessa, our heroine, made a lot more mistakes in this book than in Deception So Deadly (which seems to be a common theme in YA books, I think) but luckily I still managed to really like her. I suppose it was because I understood her needs and why she did what she did, and a part of me approved of her decision, and admired her for it, no matter how risky and unintelligent it was. No character is perfect, right? As far as flaws go, Tessa’s weren’t bad, and didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of her character.

As for where Tristan is concerned, I still really liked him! I loved seeing how much he truly, sincerely loved Tessa, it was beautiful. What bothered me about him was mostly because he was a bit too obsessed with keeping Tessa safe, and had a bruised ego when he couldn’t. I guess I admire his love for Tessa, but it got on my nerves a bit afterwards. However, in essence, I wasn’t truly upset with him, especially after all he does for Tessa. All in all, the characters were fantastic.

Writing Style

The writing style didn’t change much as far as I could see from the first book, luckily, since it was gripping, engaging and easy to read! I really enjoyed the writing style, it made my reading experience better than it already was by being simple, but gripping and interesting from the very first page.

Overall…

I enjoyed this book so much! Even more than the first book, which I didn’t think would be possible. The plot was a lot more suspenseful in this one, although I think the first book is more fast-paced. I completely fell in love with the characters all over again, and really admired Tessa, sympathizing with her as well. I also really loved the romance in this book; it was sweet, strong and true, I loved how no matter what, Tessa and Tristan’s love stayed sincere and prevailed. The writing was great, just as gripping and interesting as it was in the first book. All in all, this book is one I would recommend you don’t miss if you’re interested in reading a YA romantic thriller!

Analee 10

Deception So Deadly by Clara Kensie | Book Review

(Run to You #1)

Published: May 1st 2015

Synopsis:

Originally published as the Run to You serial parts 1-3: First Sight, Second Glance, and Third Charm.

Deception So Deadly is the complete first novel in the two-book Run to You series, a riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker—after all, she can’t even tell him her real name. But Tristan won’t be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss…

Run to You is Tessa and Tristan’s story—two full-length books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Danger. Deception. Betrayal. It must be true love.


Deception So Deadly_bookcover

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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre(s): Young-adult, romantic thriller

Page Count: 325

Format: E-book


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Run to You Series Review

This book was so good! Full of romance and mystery, this book is one you don’t want to miss. In a nutshell, I really loved the thriller aspect of this and the plot twists were great!

Quick Summary

Tessa Carson’s psychically gifted family has been on the run ever since a man named Dennis Connelly burst into their house and tried to kill them. Now they keep moving from place to place, keeping their identities secret. They can’t even ask anyone for help either, because when they do, those people mysteriously die, presumedly because of Dennis Connelly.
In their new town, Tessa meets Tristan, but doesn’t want to get too involved with him—he’s not even allowed to know what’s her true identity, so what’s the point? But Tristan is determined to know more, and Tessa can’t help but fall for him…

Plot

The plot was just great! I admit, I wasn’t that into it at first, but once I kept reading, I got really into it. I loved the idea of having psychic powers (first of all, who wouldn’t want those kind of powers? and secondly, they make all stories so much cooler!) and I really liked the whole idea of the book; a family on the run and all. Everything was set up very well, the plot wasn’t all over the place or anything, and there were plenty of plot twists and cliffhangers to keep readers on the edge of their seats! Of course, some of the plot twists can be considered predictable, I guess the only reason they weren’t for me was because I didn’t want to believe what I already saw coming. 😛 Nonetheless, this book was full of suspense and mystery, and I really enjoyed the romance too.

Characters

I just loved the characters; Tessa was just such a sweetheart! Being the only one in her family without a psychic gift, Tessa never fit in, not even in her own family. While her siblings thrive at school, wherever they go, Tessa struggles to keep up. This feeling of isolation, this feeling of being different, I sympathized with, and that made it quite easy for me to connect with her and like her. I really loved Tessa’s character; she may be considered naive by some, but I found her to be realistic. I didn’t approve of all her decisions, but I loved reading about them all the same. By the end of the novel (when all hell breaks loose) I was really hurting for Tessa, I had grown so attached to her that I felt her pain, and my emotions were all over the place.

The love interest, Tristan, was great too. I absolutely loved seeing his relationship with Tessa grow, and how natural it seemed. I could genuinely believe in the romance, and totally rooted for it too. He was simply so sweet and understanding, his interactions with Tessa was something I looked forward to the most.

Clara Kensie did a great job of having me emotionally invested in the characters, which made tragic and shocking events in the story have a greater impact, as I cared so much for the characters. It was great!

Writing Style

The writing style was gripping, I couldn’t stop reading it, and I really enjoyed it. Written in the perspective of Tessa in the first person, the writing style allowed me to clearly see Tessa’s feelings, which in turn allowed me to strongly sympathize with her. The writing style was very subtle, I was able to picture everything without having to be told what everything was like. All in all, the writing was great and simply added to my overall reading experience.

Overall…

This book was a great read, you’d never be able to tell from the cover or the beginning of the story how great it really is, but it really is. This book honestly had my heart clenched in a fist or something. The plot was hooking, and I especially enjoyed the psychic part of the whole family-being-on-the-run. I really loved the characters; I sympathized with them, and really connected with them, even though in essence I have nothing in common with them. They (or more specifically, Tessa) was simply likeable. The writing style was gripping, I couldn’t stop reading the book and the writing style made the experience quite memorable! I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for an addictive, fast-paced romantic thriller, filled with plot twists and unique ideas. 

What do you think of this book? Interesting or no? Let me know in the comments below! 

A meal of Deception and So Deadly, coming right up! You can take it to go.

Analee 10

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard | Book Review

(The Lying Game #1)

Published: December 7th 2010

Synopsis:

I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does–an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me–to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, care-free daughter when she hugs my parents goodnight? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Let the lying game begin.


The Lying Game_bookcover

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My Rating: 4 stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre(s): Thriller/Mystery, Romance, Young-adult

Page Count: 307

Format: Hardcover

ISBN: 0061869708


This was used for the Popsugar challenge: A book based on or turned into a TV show.

This book was positively addicting! The only thing that prevented me from reading this in one sitting is that I didn’t have enough time. It did give me some PLL vibes at first, but overall it was its own story that I really enjoyed!

Quick Summary

Emma Paxton finds out she has a long-lost twin sister (named Sutton Mercer) and is excited to go meet her. The problem? She can’t meet her. Because Sutton is dead.
Now Emma is stepping into her twin’s life, and it seems no one knows that Emma isn’t really Sutton. Emma has to figure out who killed her twin before it’s too late… Continue reading

Unleashed by Liz Coley | Book Review

(Tor Maddox #1)

Published: May 1st 2015

Synopsis:

When sixteen-year old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one question—if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the truth and taken action?

Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again, she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one, that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighborhood, that she’d spend her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would become a mission to save them all.


Unleashed

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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Publisher: LC Teen

Genre(s): Young-adult, thriller

Page Count: 306

Format: E-book


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Hi! Today I have for you a review on Unleashed, the first book in the Tor Maddox series by Liz Coley. To be quite honest, I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting from this book, but I’m happy to say whatever my expectations were, they were met. Unleashed is a fun, interesting book that all dog-lovers will find enjoyable!

Quick Summary

When man’s best friend are found to be the holders of the New Flu, a deadly virus that can be transmitted from dogs to humans, everyone is buying into the government’s propaganda—except for Torrance Olivia Maddox (AKA Tor), who discovers the truth before any other citizen. What started off as a fight to keep her dog turns into the ultimate battle to save all the dogs in the country before it’s too late. Continue reading

Unknown Sender by Ryan Lanz | Book Review

(Stand-Alone Novelette)

Published: June 5th 2015

Synopsis:

Jessica’s world revolves around studying at college and affording prepackaged meals, which leaves little time for socializing. In fact, she is quite content without being noticed, which only makes the attention of a mystery texter all the more unwanted.

She isn’t unfamiliar with strange advances, but this is something entirely different. This person knows things about her. Things beyond just an average stalker.

Even after all that, Jessica would be much more content to forget than discover who is chasing her, electronically or otherwise. Eventually, she finds out that she can’t outrun her past.


Unknown Sender

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My Rating: 4 stars 4/5 (Really Good)

Book Information

Publisher: Applebury Press

Genre(s): Horror

Page Count: 25 (Print Edition)

Format: E-book


Note: I received a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Hi! Today I have a review on a novelette written by the person behind the Book Review Directory, Ryan Lanz. It was an entertaining read filled with suspense and elements of horror. Read on for an in-depth review.

Quick Summary

Unknown Sender follows Jessica, an ordinary college girl—ordinary, at least until she starts receiving texts from an anonymous stalker. With stress from studies, she doesn’t have time for jokes like this. But what if it isn’t a joke? Things get messy when the past catches up with her… Continue reading

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Book Review

Stand-Alone

Published: April 15th 2014

Synopsis:

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?


My Rating: 5 stars 5/5 (Outstanding)

Book Information:

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Genre(s): YA Mystery, Thriller

Page Count: 384

Format: Hardcover

ISBN: 1423175123


 

I love Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books. She’s an amazing author, and she has creative plots that are addicting. This book is not exception! I couldn’t put it down, and when I started it, I just continued. And continued. And continued. I loved it! ❤

Continue reading