Friday, February 28, 2014

Blackness Takes Over by Norma Jean Karlsson (Book Blast)

Shannon Kelly’s life has been anything but typical.
Her life has been altered viciously at the hands of others twice.

However horrible they have been, it’s these changes that have given her a family and career…now possibly love.
The last thirteen years she has been supported and loved by her protector, her entertainer, and her comforter, but never a lover.

When Dylan Kellerman enters Shannon’s life he changes its course in more ways than one.
He gives her hope and promise of a future she was convinced wasn’t attainable.

Just as she begins to believe she has finally turned her life into something she can build a future on…blackness takes over.


Blackness Takes Over is Norma Jeanne’s debut novel. What began as an homage to the home town of a homesick Midwestern girl, unfolded a story of love, danger, humor, and trust. She’s currently working on her untitled sophomore effort. We can’t wait to see what thrilling saga she leads us through next!

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Norma Jeanne recently found herself relocating to the United Kingdom. Now living in Belfast, she took hold of the opportunity to kick the 9-5 job for a chance to become an author. The best part: working from her home office, she gets to spend more time with her cast of crazy characters (written and real).

In her free time Norma Jeanne is a voracious reader and consumes books as readily as meals. She is a people watcher by nature and uses her experiences in life, observed or otherwise, to build the worlds and characters that thrive in her books. A believer in the strength of the human spirit, Norma Jeanne writes the stories of people that persevere when all appears to be lost.

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” –Dylan Thomas

Open Internationally. 13+ to enter.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mackenzie Duncan Series by Adrianne James Blitz

The Tempering

The Mythology department at prestigious Harvard University is tiny—and Mackenzie Duncan has just been selected as one of the lucky few. Her love for myths and legends is deep, but she never thought any of it could be real.
After being attacked by a large wolf while walking home alone, Mackenzie realizes something is not right. She heals quickly, has suddenly become super strong, and is experiencing mood swings that can't possibly be normal. The myths she's studying aren't myths at all. Werewolves are real, and she's one of them. Fear of what she is, and who she might hurt sends Mackenzie running from the life she’s worked hard to build–and straight into the arms of a handsome Were named Geoff and into the home of his pack. Living with her new pack takes the edge off her confusion and self-loathing, but the arrival of new pack members changes the dynamic, and tests Geoff and Mackenzie’s growing relationship.
The hardest part of being a werewolf is to have no control and no memory of her time as a bloodthirsty beast. When a moon cycle passes, and she is actually able to remember bits and pieces of the night, she starts to ask questions, and the more questions she asks, the more she realizes she doesn’t like the answers. Can she set aside her own sense of morals to belong to a pack that is like a family or will she leave everything behind yet again in search of a life she can be proud of?

The Enlightening

Mackenzie Duncan found out that pack life wasn’t for her. Now she is running for the second time in the six months since she was bitten and turned into a Werewolf. But this time, she isn’t alone. This time, she has Geoff and Liam with her, two very hot Werewolves vying for her heart.
But her companions aren't her focus. The only thing she can focus on is getting far from her old pack and their murderous ways. Only, she doesn’t just want to run. She wants to warn every pack she can that their lives are in danger too. No one should be turned against their will like she was and no other pack should have to surrender to the ideas of a centuries old, power hungry woman.
Not only does Mackenzie have to deal with her crazy ex-pack leader sending people out to kill her, she has to keep both men at arm’s length (and that proves to be much more difficult than she thought), but she finds out more about her own life and heritage than she ever thought imaginable.
And suddenly, everything makes sense...

About Adrianne James

Growing up, Adrianne couldn’t get her hands on enough books to satisfy her need for the make believe. If she finished a novel and didn’t have a new one ready and waiting for her, she began to create her own tales of magic and wonder. Now, as an adult, books still make up majority of her free time, and now her tales get written down to be shared with the world.
During the day, Adrianne uses her camera to capture life’s stories for clients of all ages and at night, after her two children are tucked in bed; she devotes herself to her written work. Adrianne is living the life she always wanted, surrounded by art and beauty, the written word and a loving family.
As a young adult and new adult author, Adrianne James has plans to bring stories of growing characters, a little romance, and perhaps a little magic and mythology down the line for her readers to enjoy.

Wakefield by Erin Callahan & Troy H. Gardner (PROMO)


Young Adult Paranormal
Date Published: October 2012

Orphans Astrid Chalke and Max Fisher meet when they’re sent to live at Wakefield, a residential and educational facility for teens with psychiatric and behavioral problems. Astrid’s roommate cuts herself with anything sharp she can get her hands on and Max’s roommate threatens him upon introduction. 

Just as Astrid and Max develop a strong bond and begin to adjust to the constant chaos surrounding them, a charming and mysterious resident of Wakefield named Teddy claims he has unexplainable abilities. Sometimes he can move things without touching them. Sometimes he can see people’s voices emanating from their mouths. Teddy also thinks that some of the Wakefield staff are on to him. 

At first, Astrid and Max think Teddy is paranoid, but Max’s strange, recurring dreams and a series of unsettling events force them to reconsider Teddy’s claims. Are they a product of his supposedly disturbed mind or is the truth stranger than insanity?

Purchase Links:

Erin Callahan lives with her husband in the bustling metropolis of Hooksett, New Hampshire, and works for the federal government. She enjoys reading and writing young adult fiction, playing recreational volleyball, and mining the depths of pop culture for new and interesting ideas. A year after graduating from law school, she found herself unemployed and took a job as a case manager at a residential facility similar to the one featured in Wakefield. Though she worked there for just over a year, the strange and amazing kids she met will forever serve as a well of inspiration.

Troy H. Gardner grew up in New Hampshire and graduated with a B.A. in English/Communications with a dual concentration in film and writing from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He spent ten years working in the banking industry dreaming up numerous stories to write. When not writing, which is seldom, Troy busies himself jet-setting from Sunapee, NH to Moultonborough, NH.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Review: Dummy & Me by Sydell Voeller

Fifteen-year-old Deanna Lambert is miserable. She can't find her niche with the popular kids at school and believes she is ugly. Then too, after her mother deserted the family to pursue an acting career in New York City, Deanna's father has grown distant and embittered. Now Deanna is saddled with most all the chores at home—and she and her dad barely communicate. Yet Deanna's one happy escape is her volunteer work at the nearby Children's Hospital. There the activities director convinces her to get back into her ventriloquism, a creative skill Deanna's grandfather had taught her years earlier. Deanna and her puppet, Ramblin' Roy, entertain and delight the young hospital patients, but Deanna is worried. What if the kids at her school discover what she's doing? Will they think she's just “a baby” who still plays with dolls? Deanna takes the risk, but one problem soon leads to another. Can she ever gain true acceptance at school, especially from Jason, the guy whom she has a major crush on? And most of all, can Deanna embrace her gift of ventriloquism, and in so doing, come to terms with her mother's leaving?
My Rating

My Review
Dummy & Me is a sweet, lighthearted read that can appeal especially to those late in middle school or early in high school. It's a short read that can be finished pretty quickly, but still has some really strong themes and a fun voice, despite the small number of pages.
This story is truely unique, and intriguing, even for those of us who aren't huge fans of ventriliquism (those dummies are a bit creepy). Maybe I can't connect quite to Deanna's hobby, but all of us can relate to wanting to fit in and even being embarrased about what really makes us happy.
Which leads me into the wonderful themes of Dummy & Me. Through Deanna and her story, the reader is able to be inspired to do what makes them who they are, despite what others may think. Initially, Deanna was embarrased to perform her act in front of a crowd, even though it had already done a lot of good at the hospital. However, although she was scared, she went and performed, and it all worked out in the end.
Deanna is an inspiring character. She isn't perfect, but she has a voice that is very real and fun to read. Getting into her head is highly entertaining, even if it sends me back to my freshman days. She has a good heart, something that's clear from the very beginning.
I was a little disappointed in the length of Dummy & Me. Sometimes, the story felt a bit rushed, and I thought that more of the plot could be unpacked. However, the themes still got across strongly, so my opinion was not impacted by that too strongly.
All in all, Dummy & Me is a lovely, light read. Whether you are going through the transition into high school or trying to black out those memories, it's a good read to spend an evening with.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Unbound by Georgia Bell

After her father dies, Rachel realizes she is scared and stuck. Scared of heights, of cars, of disasters harming the people she loves. Stuck in a life that is getting smaller by the minute. Stuck with a secret she has kept all her life: Someone has been watching over her since birth. Someone who tends to show up when she needs him the most. Someone she believes is her guardian angel.

Eaden is a 1,500-year-old immortal who wants to die. Drained by a life stretched too thin, he has requested his final reward – a mortal sacrifice bred specifically to bring him death. But something went wrong. Rachel’s ability to grant death has mutated in ways that threaten to upset the uneasy alliance between mortals and immortals. And utterly beguiled, Eaden discovers that although Rachel is the key to his death, because of her, he no longer wants to die. And he will do anything to protect her.

Swept into a world of legends, caught between the warring political factions of immortals, and carrying the future of mortal kind in her flesh and bone, Rachel must risk everything to save her world and the man she loves.
My Rating
My Review
Unbound captivates from the very first chapter, engaging readers in a breathtaking romance and suspenseful plot. I could not put down the novel until I finished reading the last page and - even now - I cannot wait for more.  

This is not your average romance. In many ways, it's better. It does have everything you look for in a romance: awesome female, swoon-worthy male, heartwarming dialogue, steamy makeouts, but it also has so much more, like a strong plot that incorporates elements of other genres, excellent pacing, and a downright addictive quality.

I can't, however, allow myself to simply mention how much I loved the characters in passing. I can relate to Rachel. She's strong, even if she doesn't quite realize it all the time. She's brave, even if she's still afraid. She's suffered, but that doesn't stop her from hoping. Plus, she's a mild introvert who loves reading and I can definitely respect that. (Is it just be or do bookworm characters give you a warm, fuzzy feeling?) It's really unfortunate when I get annoyed with the female protagonist, and it was refreshing to find the exact opposite.

Eaden is so much more than a cool name. Not only does he prove that chivalry is not dead (I mean, he was practically around when it started) but any guy who takes a girl to a Shakespeare play for a first date is a complete gem in my book. Not to mention, he has some lines that make the romantic in me faint a few times over. In a good way.

The romance (at least, on one side) does happen a bit quickly, but I really didn't mind it. It's fiction, if I want to believe that falling quickly in love can happen, I'm going to do so. Besides, it gives a sense of magic and urgency, almost the kind of Romeo and Juliet addictive romance. (I'm just comparing the actual feel of the romance here, not the characters, plot, or anything like that.)

Speaking of the plot, it will keep readers turning pages until they happen to glance at the clock and realize they should have gone to bed three hours ago (and then proceed to finish). Some of the twists really took me by surprise, and even if there wasn't a whole lot of action in one sense, the action in the other sense, suspenseful discoveries and brilliant writing kept the story moving alone.

I highly enjoyed Unbound and can't wait to see what's next for Rachel and Eaden.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Review: Life, Love, and Surviving High School by Ann Herrick

Becca secretly lusts after Brent, Claire's boyfriend--then Claire makes Becca an offer about Brent that she can't resist.

Becca's in high school, but she hasn't been on the same page as her best friends since just before the start of middle school and she doesn't know exactly how things got so different. Not different in some edgy, gritty, she's-a-rebel way. More of a Yes-she's-a-dork way. Which makes it all the more amazing that while other friendships have crashed and burned all around them the four of girls have managed to stay Best Friends Forever. She doesn't need to share in her friends' spotlight. Becca's happy to follow along in the shadows, as long as she's not totally cast aside.

She's definitely not ready for guys. In fact, she just wants to skip right over high school and jump straight to twenty-two. By then she figures she will have gotten through her first date, first kiss, passed her driver's test, taken the SATs, filled out all those college applications, somehow survived living in a dorm and gotten her college degree without all the anxiety and drama.

Instead, just after silently deciding to not even think about guys and concentrate on school work for the next four years, she is instantly mesmerized by Brent, a seriously great-looking senior who also happens to have a long-time girlfriend, Claire. Not one to be the "other woman," Becca imagines creative ways for Claire to be out of Brent's life.

Meanwhile, Becca forms a strictly friends-only relationship with Colt. Becca and Colt turn out be good partners when it comes to studying, taking pictures for the school newspaper and working on a term paper together. But when one day Claire makes an offer about Brent that Becca can't resist, that changes everything.
My Rating: 3.5
My Review
It has been too long since I've read a lighthearted teenage romance and Life, Love, and Surviving High School did not disappoint. I had read It's All in Your Mind before, and fell in love with it, so I had high hopes for this novel. Luckily, I loved it all the same.

Becca is a wonderful character that easily can connect to the reader. She's funny, quirky, and witty. Even when she doesn't make decisions I'd agree upon, they are realistic for the character and work well with the story. I think just about anyone can relate to the struggle of wanting to fit in, or even feeling left behind, especially in the age of just starting high school. I felt like a freshman all over again, with her distinct voice playing in my head.

The relationships between characters are very true to life, which really allows for the reader to feel like part of the story. Too many books focus on the romance and don't pay enough attention to the great friendships - which are likely to be more lasting anyway. In Life, Love, and Surviving High School, this isn't the case. Of course, the girls get distracted by their love interests and hopeful conquests (they're fourteen), but when it comes down to it, their friendship is important and lasting. Even Randi, who didn't seem to connect as much with Becca initially, had one of the best relationships with her in the end.

My favorite thing about Life, Love, and Surviving High School had to be the characters. I loved the characterization, it was absolutely fantastic. They all had unique personalities that they stayed true to, which lead to believable and entertaining figures. Even the more minor characters - like Becca's parents - had great moments that allowed them to be some of my favorite characters. Then, of course, there's Colt. (I still can't think of many things he can't do. Where are all these teenage boys who love to read in reality? Hiding underground?)

Although it is a quick read, Life, Love, and Surviving High School is entertaining and fun. Laughing and smiling half the time, I couldn't put it down until I reached the final page. I highly recommend rekindling with your inner teenage girl and getting a copy as soon as you can.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn

Skyships, saber duels, and lots of royal intrigue... and, of course, kissing.

The Third Daughter of the Queen wants her birthday to arrive so she'll be free to marry for love, but rumors of a new flying weapon may force her to accept a barbarian prince's proposal for a peace-brokering marriage. Desperate to marry the charming courtesan she loves, Aniri agrees to the prince's proposal as a subterfuge in order to spy on him, find the weapon, and hopefully avoid both war and an arranged marriage to a man she does not love.

Third Daughter is a steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood (Bollypunk!) romance that takes place in an east-Indian-flavored alternate world. It is the first book in the The Dharian Affairs Trilogy (Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter).

From the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, The Dharian Affairs is a new series filled with equal doses of action-adventure and romance. Third Daughter has been nominated for the Illinois Librarian's "Soon to be Famous Author Project" wherein librarians hope to discover local authors whose "work will jump off the page for readers."
My Rating: 4
My Review:
It's hard not to instantly fall in love with Third Daughter. One of my favorite things about Steampunk is the incredible world-building involved with the genre. There's always adventure, and just about anything seems possible. Quinn did such an excellent job with the world of the novel that readers can easily become absorbed in the story. 
Third Daughter combines the delicious back story of royal houses and the kingdoms they run with the gear-spinning, metal-clunking adventure of Steampunk, all the while throwing in loss and betrayal and love. Really, readers get the entire package in this one.
I could not get enough of the plot of Third Daughter. It really kept me guessing, and I cannot recall a slow scene or chapter that I wasn't eager to read. Many parts were suspenseful, keeping me leaning forward and excited. There were some great reveals that really plowed the story forward to the satisfying end.
Plus, you know, I'm a sucker for Skyships.
I'm also a sucker for good characters, and Third Daughter doesn't disappoint. All in all, I enjoyed Aniri as a protagonist. Sometimes I wanted to slap some sense into her (in the most loving of ways) but she's strong, stubborn and capable of a lot more than she initially believes. I knew I loved Ash before I knew that was his actual name. If the ladies are looking for a great romantic interest, look no further. One of the real character gems for me, however, was Janak. Not only does the reader question him, but he has a wonderful back story reveal that really shows his true colors. And he can kick some ass. (Lastly, I'm a sucker for assassins. In fiction, mind you.)
The writing of Third Daughter is as engaging as it is beautiful, and all of these components - plus others I did not go into - really come together to craft a wonderful story. Whether you are a tinker-at-heart reading this through your goggles, or someone who still doesn't quite know what Steampunk is, Third Daughter is not one to miss.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Steampunk with Heart: The Heartbeat of Steampunk: Romancing the Matchine

Steampunk with Heart: The Heartbeat of Steampunk: Romancing the Machine
with Jacqueline Garlick and MeiLin Miranda
**see bottom of post for steampunk giveaways**
**see Steampunk With Heart Page for Facebook Party schedule**
It's no accident steampunk has become so popular; here in the 21st century we're facing an information revolution, just as the 19th century struggled through the industrial revolution. The rise in wearables, Internet-connected everything and, perhaps most troubling, governmental and corporate mining of personal data can alienate one a little. Even as we depend on tech more, we feel less in control of it and the changes it's bringing to the world.
Enter steampunk and its beautiful, handcrafted machines of gilded cast iron and brass. So many of the stories in this genre reflect both the giddy hope of new technology and the fear of change. Steampunk tech seems more tactile and understandable: the boiler heats up, the steam goes round and round woh woh woh, and Science comes out here, right? It's a little more human.
Another fun and relatable element of steampunk is how the genre encourages writers to push boundaries, allowing the technologies of today to mingle with those of the past. Throughout the pages of steampunk novels readers are exposed to thought provoking themes, such as man versus machine, or man and machine, united. Or, as in the case of “Lumière,” machine as man’s best friend and protector, as well as evil counterpart.
It is this license of creative freedom that makes steampunk such a tantalizing genre for writers, and such a rewarding and intriguing one for readers. Imagine worlds filled with outrageously crossbred contraptions, tied to epic adventures, laced with memorable stories of love. What more could a reader ask for, right?
In “Lumière,” Eyelet Elsworth searches for her father’s prized possession, thinking it is the answer to all her problems, only to discover—as with all things scientifically developed—her father’s prized possession is capable of things far beyond her wildest expectations, and not all of them are good. Along the way, Eyelet finds love and acceptance in the strangest places, and from the strangest creatures, and learns to fight for what she believes in.
In MeiLin's "The Machine God," a mysterious island floats high above a city-state bustling with new industry. No one's ever been able to reach the island--until a wonder fuel is found, and an inventor uses it to power her gyrocopter to the island.
Even though the people there live in primitive conditions, once magic powered mechanical marvels so terrifying that their coming of age ceremony includes the oath "Magic and Metal No More." A professor discovers what really powered those marvels, and that human greed, not machines, may be the real obscenity.
All in all, steampunk novels offer readers an escape from reality into worlds filled with mysterious technology of incredible consequence. Steampunk readers are rewarded with lush depictions of times gone by, tinged with dystopian trimmings and characters brimming with heart!

I'm Jacqueline Garlick. Author of YA, New Adult, and Women's Fiction. I love strong heroines, despise whiny sidekicks, and adore a good story about a triumphant underdog. I love to read, write, paint (walls and paper) and plan cool writing events for cool writers (check out niagarawritersretreatandconference (dot) com.) I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate, grammar, and technology.You will always find a purple wall (or two) in my house (perhaps even a door) and a hidden passageway that leads to a mystery room. (Okay, so you won’t find a hidden passageway but a girl can dream, can’t she?) Oh, and tea. There will always be tea. I love specialty teas...and collecting special teacups from which to drink them. (See website for collection, plus Facebook and Goodreads.)
In my former life, I was a teacher (both grade school and college-don't ask) and more recently, I've been a graduate of Ellen Hopkin’s Nevada Mentor Program and a student of James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass. An excerpt from Lumière earned me the 2012 Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship. Lumière—A Romantic Steampunk Fantasy—is my debut novel, Book One in my young adult The Illumination Paradox Series.
Lumiere (The Illumination Paradox)
Kindle | Nook | Print
One determined girl. One resourceful boy. One miracle machine that could destroy everything. After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her father’s prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures, but just as Eyelet locates the Illuminator, it’s whisked away by an alluring thief. She follows the boy, enduring deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the Illuminator, only to discover the miracle machine they both hoped would solve their problems may in fact be their biggest problem of all. 

MeiLin Miranda writes literary fantasy and science fiction set in Victorian worlds. Her love of all things 19th century (except for the pesky parts like cholera, child labor, slavery and no rights for women) has consumed her since childhood, when she fell in a stack of Louisa May Alcott and never got up.
MeiLin wrote nonfiction for thirty years, in radio, television, print and the web. She always wanted to write fiction, but figured she had time. She discovered she didn't when a series of unfortunate events resulted in a cardiac arrest complete with electric paddles ("clear!") and a near-death experience. She has since decided she came back from the dead to write books. MeiLin lives in a 130-year-old house in Portland, Oregon with a husband, two teens, two black cats, a floppy dog and far, far too much yarn. You can find her at her website.

The Machine God (The Drifting Isle Chronicles)
Kindle | Nook | Print
Folklore Professor Oladel Adewole leaves his homeland for the University of Eisenstadt to pursue his all-consuming interest: the mysterious island floating a mile above the city. The first survey team finds civilization, and Adewole finds a powerful, forbidden fusion of magic and metal: the Machine God. The government wants it. So does a sociopath bent on ruling Eisenstadt. But when Adewole discovers who the mechanical creature is--and what it can do--he risks his heart and his life to protect the Machine God from the world, and the world from the Machine God.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Review: Lovely Vicious by Sara Wolf (Tour Stop)

Fire meets ice. Love meets hate.

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to the Buttcrack-of-Nowhere Ohio to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing – Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.

The game board: East Summit High.

The reward: Something neither of them expected.

**This book contains language, some of which may be unsuitable for younger readers.

**This is the first book in the LOVELY VICIOUS series.

Purchase Links:

My Rating: 5

My Review: 

Do you see that little *** above, noting that this novel is the first book of the Lovely Vicious series? If not, go back and read it. Then read it again. Why am I telling you this? Because when I finally got the chance to read Lovely Vicious, I had not read my email in a while, and forgot that it was part of a series. Thus, when I got to the end, I was ready to smash my ereader with an aluminum baseball bat. I don't want you to go through that.
What I want you to do is get your hands on a copy of Lovely Vicious. I don't care if you have to lie, cheat, or steal. Okay, maybe don't do those things. It's worth it a lot easier to just click on the purchase links above. Regardless, you need to read this novel. Even if you think you don't, I'm pretty sure you do.

I can't remember the last time I fell so hard for characters. Lets start with Isis, who can also be known as one of my favorite voices in all of fiction. She's funny, clever, strong, and I feel that I can relate to her so much more than other YA contemporary characters. (People who use confidence and humor to hide insecurities, unite!) From the very beginning, I knew that she was golden, then she said "less-than-stellar" and I knew that she's my soulmate. Or whatever the equivalent of a soulmate is when talking about a non-romantic fictional character that you can see yourself in.

Then there's Jack. Living(ish), breathing(ish), fictional proof that teenage girls really are attracted to guys with a dark side. If you like a character who is a lot more than meets the eye, you'll love Jack. He's not the traditional love interest in any way, which just make him more wonderful. Although at times (really just one time in particular) I really had to question certain things that I found attractive.

Lovely Vicious is fantastically written. Isis has such a great sense of humor that she makes for a perfect narrator. The pacing is excellent, as I completely devoured the book. I quite literally could not put it down. It kept me guessing, smiling, laughing, shouting 'NO!' alone in my room so I sound like a crazy person - all the things that one looks for in contemporary YA. There are excellent themes that can hit home with just about anyone, regardless of their age and experience.

There are some books that I feel like I can go on and on about forever, excited from my post-reading high, and this is definitely one of them. The fastest way to my heart for a novel is to have a dark side, followed closely by humor, bonus points for sarcasm. Lovely Vicious just plowed on through.

I can say all I want about this book, but it's really something readers should experience for themselves. Give it a chance, you definitely won't regret it.

You may, however, feel a longing for book two so strong, it almost hurts...