Saturday, November 15, 2014

Adios, America!

Hi guys! So here's my obligatory post to give you an FYI that the blog will be pretty quiet for the next month. I know, I know, don't cry, but there somehow someway you will find a way to go on without my reviews and posts and overall flails...I'm kidding, you probably won't even know the difference while I'm gone. I leave for another adventure today and this time I'll be spending a month in South America! I've never been before and I am oh so excited to hike the Inca trail, explore the Amazon jungle, see the Paris of the West (Buenos Aires) and get wild in Rio.  


I'm meeting my travel soulmate and one of my best friends, Rachel, in Peru where the Inca Trail, Machu Piccu, and the Amazon Jungle awaits us. I'm making it my personal mission to find Tarzan so be ready for an engagement party when I get back ;) Rachel and I met a few years ago in Europe and have been trying to meet up at least once a year to run around a foreign country and make questionable decisions. I am so excited to see her because this is our second trip in a year!!

And don't be TOO sad about missing me because I've already scheduled two posts and tweets about the Re-Read Challenge Hannah and I are doing so yay!! And of course, I will never be sad to open up my email to find random comments from all you lovelies if you feel the desire to leave me some love :) And you KNOW I'll be Instagram'ing the shit out of every wi-fi opportunity I get. 



So there's that! I hope all my American loves have a fantastic Thanksgiving and you all have a great time at the Mockingjay premiere! It is my ONE regret about the timing of this trip but I swear, that will be number one thing I do when I get back. Peace out, y'all. See ya soon!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Too Hot To Handle

"But life is all about facing your fears, right?
Isn't that what you said?"
--Lisa Desrochers, A Little Too Hot


Genre: NA Contemporary
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Pages: 416
Publication Date: January 12st, 2014
Source: Bought
Previous Books in Series: A Little Too Far & A Little Too Much
Goodreads Description

If you play with fire…

Tossed out of college and cut off by her parents, Samantha West is in pretty dire straits. So when her rocker best friend hooks her up with a job dancing at a gentlemen’s club, who is she to turn it down? Plus, there are rules to dancing at Benny’s: No touching, keep your clothes on at all times, and never get closer than three feet. Unfortunately for Sam, her first private client makes her want to break every single one of them.

Harrison Yates is scorching hot, but he’s got a past that involves being left at the altar not too long ago. Sam is determined to make him forget about his ex, but when she makes her move, it flings her life into a spiral of chaos she never saw coming.

Because Harrison Yates isn’t who he seems to be. And his secret will probably get her killed.

I've read A Little Too Far and A Little Too Much previously and loved them. I love Lisa Desrocher's writing and her character development. She takes complicated love stories and makes them beautiful. With that said, after reading her previous books I didn't know how I would feel about this one. Sam was the girl Trent was seeing in A Little Too Far...also Lexie's best friend. I remember being really annoyed with her that she was with Trent. Not her fault, she didn't know anything and poor girl ended up with a severely broken heart in the end, but I still wasn't sure if I would connect with her...

Sam

And I am so glad I did. I have no idea why I waited so long to read this book because it is fantastic. Sam is a fuck-up. Her words, not mine. She got kicked out of school, she got kicked out of her parent's house, she has no job, no place to live, no direction in life whatsoever. This poor girl is a puppy whose been kicked one too many times while she's down. Her best friend Jonathon knows the owner of a Gentleman's Club where women dance, keep their clothes on, and make money. She takes the job and on her first night she locks eyes with Harrison who then buys a half hour private dance from her. They end up talking the entire time and he keeps coming back to watch her dance and buy time with her to talk...and then maybe a little bit more. Sam starts to really like him and wants things to move outside the club...and from there you'll have to read the book. Sam's tenacity is what I loved most about her. She's down but she's not out. She does what she has to do in order to keep her head up and move on. Her feelings are hurt, she's been hurt by the people who should unconditionally love her, and she's just trying to make it. I loved her character. She is so much more than what meets the eye and she truly loves the people in her life that do support her. She is a good friend to Jonathon and Izzy and really cares about her friends.

Harrison

Holy. Hot. Damn. I don't think a pale pink button down shirt has ever looked so hot in my head. This guy is swoon-worthy and just TOO HOT, pun intended. His vulnerability, his protectiveness of Sam, all of it had me wanting more, more, more of Harrison. When we get to dig deeper and know more about him, I loved that, too. There are reasons he has to be distant with Sam and the internal struggle he goes through constantly is extremely sexy. He needs put up boundaries but when he says to hell with it, watch out. He cooks, he takes care of himself, he's just a freaking catch and I think he is my favorite of all of Lisa's men...yeah, I said it. It's true. I love Trent and Alessandro...mmm Alessandro...but Harrison really stole the show for me.

The Plot

Not gonna lie, the description doesn't give you a lot to go on...and then you start reading... and it all makes sense why. There is no way I can tell you the plot twist or what happens the last 70% of the book because it is such a shocker and I had no idea the plot was going to go this way and I LOVED it. It was so unbelievable but in a good way. Like, wait what? Is this really happening? This is the direction we're going? Well okay the, let's do this. I wish I could tell you more but just know I really like how the story developed and the conflict that was presented.


The Reveal

Ok, this isn't really a Beast critique of the book but I also reserve this space for plot points that make me angry feel. When the big reveal happens that the plot summary alludes to, I was so mad!!!! Mad in a way that my feelings were completely on point with Sam's. My heart hurt. I wanted to cry for her. I just could understand so completely what she was feeling and the disappointment that was wracking her. Oooh, my poor heart, I just wanted to scream at the world for her. Obviously, this is very vague and not revealing but I can't tell you the big plot twist! What fun would that be?


Reserved Seating
If you're looking for a more fun New Adult book that also has good character development this book is a good one for you. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Missed Connections of Epic Proportions

"Men are the weak ones, luv.
Didn't you know?
Oh, you make a lot of noise, but it's the women who are strong. Where it counts.
In 'ere...touching her fingers to her heart."
--Jennifer Donnelly, The Tea Rose


Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 544
Publication Date: December 10th, 2007
Source: Bought
Previous Books in Series:First book in series
Goodreads Description

East London, 1888 - a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger's son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.

But Fiona's life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit propels her rise from a modest West Side shop-front to the top of Manhattan's tea trade. But Fiona's old ghosts do not rest quietly, and to silence them, she must venture back to the London of her childhood, where a deadly confrontation with her past becomes the key to her future.

So I've had this on my shelf for awhile and I've been on a binger of historical fiction for the past few weeks AND the book came highly recommended from Hannah. I was in the mood. So I started...and I'm so happy I did...

Fiona

The story is focused on Fiona Finnegan, a working class 17 year old girl in love with her childhood sweetheart, Joe. They are ridiculously adorable and plan to dream big and open up their own shop one day. That's the beginning and let me tell you when I say I can't even begin to talk more about the plot because SO MUCH happens that I'll go off on seventeen tangents only being able to describe one-tenth of the plot of this epic story. This book is a chunker, people, so know that a lot of drama happens for us to read about so I'll spare you the details and urge you just to read the book.

See? I wanted to talk about Fiona and I've already written an entire paragraph about how I can't tell you all the stuff that happens. Anyways. Fiona is the type of character I love to find while reading. Independent. Strong-willed. Ambitious. Driven. STRONG. She is so fucking strong it breaks my heart sometimes. She cares deeply for her family and those she loves and will do anything and everything to protect them and take care of them. Her journey is one of shitty circumstances and even shittier luck sometimes...and yet she persevers. Jennifer Donnelly wrote a character that has flaws, isn't perfect, but hot damn if you don't just bleed your heart out for her. This bitch does not mess around and she never stops working towards her dreams. Without giving too much away and because it says so in the description, Fiona fights for her dream and succeeds and not by luck. She's smart. I mean, she's really f'ing smart! She asks for help, she doesn't pretend to know it all, but she learns and I love her for this. Reading about her journey broke my heart as well as uplifted it. I cannot say enough about how much I love Fiona's character and it is a character that is inspirational for anyone who reads about her.

The Story

The story takes us from 1888 London with Jack the Ripper terrorizing the streets to New York City. How do we get there? Don't even ask. The ups and downs of this story and its fluidity was everything. We have a lot of character arcs to keep track of, a lot of details falling into place, and a LOT going on in general with regards to the plot. I loved it. This is why I love big books. We get a complete circle of a story complete with character exploration that isn't rushed and the slow burn of what's going to happen next? I didn't want to stop reading this because of all the drama (I mean that in a good way). I just can't say enough that what I love about this book is that while so much happens, we get so much development of not only the plot but of the characters. I feel completely satisfied after finishing this book.

Nick

While Fiona is my favorite character, Nick makes quite a good argument and is second in my heart only to Fiona. Nick...Nick is just amazing. He's Fiona's best friend and without giving too much plot detail and the circumstances surrounding the situation, he saves her life. He saves her life and he doesn't even know it. She in turn saves him in many other ways and their relationship was my favorite of the entire book. Sorry, Joe, I'll get to you next. The warm fuzzies I got while reading about them just made my heart swell. They are a perfect team and they love each other so much. I had tears in my eyes multiple times because they care so much for one another that it breaks your heart in the best way.

The Romance

Holy angst, Batman. This book needs to come with a warning: Massive Feels Ahead, Read At Your Own Risk. Ugggggh, you guys! Joe and Fiona are just freaking amazing! They are so comfortable with one another, they love each other so incredibly much, and they're freaking adorable!!! I loved when we got to be inside Joe's head and hear what he thinks about Fiona. It's just too much of a good thing. He is so funny and witty and charming and you JUST WANT TO KILL HIM at some points, you learn to move forward. While I wish I could have gotten more of them, how their relationship played out was absolutely perfect for the story and the pacing. It needed to happen the way it did but it still hurt to read it...le sigh...

The Women

My favorite theme of this book was the underlying criticism of how men deal with conflict. My quote at the top pretty much lays it out but it is seen quite clearly with how the women deal with defeat and how the men do. Examples? Fiona's mother Kate. Woman loses everything. I mean, everything she holds dear. She works her ass off and does whatever she can to provide for her family. Fiona is the same way. She loses even more than Kate--no spoilers--and she perseveres. She doesn't give up. She doesn't even see that as an option. She has her moments of despair, nobody's perfect, but at the end of the day she fights. She fights for herself, her family, everything she holds dear. She does not give up. Joe's mother also has an AMAZING story where that quote comes from but I'll let you read it to find out. Men? Well, Joe doesn't handle things very well and thank goodness for that because he sulks and gives all he has to his business. That's all I'll say. Fiona's Uncle Michael is the epitome of a sad and broken man. It's ironic when you compare his loss to Fiona's, I actually laughed out loud at his weakness. I know you can't compare loss but with all that goes on I wanted to slap Michael myself and be like want to go one for one on who's life is shittier? Fiona will win. Hands down. Don't play with her. I just loved that Donnelly highlighted the strength of women to endure basically anything life throws at them. I know I'm generalizing because everyone is different but I've learned that as a loose general rule, women are strong of heart, much more than men and I loved this example of it.




Jack the Ripper

While I know a lot of people love this storyline or any book involving this part of history, it's not something that personally interests me. So for me, this aspect of the story fit but wasn't my favorite. I didn't really like reading about the murders or the investigation, it kind of bored me. I also KNOW that it fits into the storyline in a major way, I also felt it was kind of unnecessary, too. I know that doesn't make sense but it does in my head so whatever.


Backstage Pass
If you like your historical fiction with fantastically flawed characters, a lot of drama and angst, and a heroine who won't quit--this one's for you.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Place To Call Home

"It means I've moved around a lot since I left Loveless.
I never stayed in one place for very long and I've never managed to settle.
I always thought that meant I was adventurous, that I had the soul of a gypsy, but Phil made me realize that i was always looking for a safe place to land, a place to call home.
I have never had that before."
--Jay Crownover Rowdy



Genre: NA Contemporary
Publisher: William Morros Paperbacks
Pages: 416
Publication Date: October 21st, 2014
Source: Bought
Previous Books in Series: Rule & Jet & Rome & Nash
Goodreads Description

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with this sizzling, sexy story of love, heartbreak, fate, and second chances.

After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister.

Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good.

Oh, my gosh. Where do I start?!?! Jay Crownover's books, especially her Marked Men series and ESPECIALLY Nash and now Rowdy, speak to me on a very personal level. I swear on all things literary, Saint is the closest character I've found to discovering myself in a literary character. Like...it's scary. Her issues are my issues. Her insecurities are my insecurities. No joke but I'm not here to talk about ALL my love for Nash and Saint (and I could be here all day), I'm here to talk about my book karma with Rowdy. Yes, people, book karma strikes again so this won't be a typical review of Belle and Beast, one because I have no Beasts and two because I want a flow of thoughts. Let's try to do this in an eloquent fashion...pardon my flails...

Rowdy is all about finding a place to belong and the discussion of everything happens for a reason. This is something I have believed in my entire life. There have been too many coincidences and too many amazing things that I have been blessed with to not believe that everything has a purpose and happens in the right timing. There is a higher power working with us and this book is just one beautiful example of it. The main motivator in this mantra is Rowdy...which was surprising to me. I didn't expect this kind of divine theory from a male character which just goes to show how much more he has going on underneath that sexy pompadour. His belief of everything working in its own timing was refreshing and beautiful. For a man who had been dealt a shit hand in his early life I didn't expect him to be so open to accepting things working outside of himself. I loved this and I loved his journey to accepting Salem back into his life.

Salem...Salem is yet another Jay Crownover character that I felt a huge connection to. Saint is still the most like myself in literary form but what Saint lacks, Salem makes up for. Salem left home at 18 after surviving a hell of a controlling father. She never looked back and has been moving around ever since. She's been looking for a place to belong and call home without even knowing it. She was adrift before Phil stepped in and invited her to Denver and I loooooved that she felt a connection and a sense of belonging when she moved to Denver. Of course, Rowdy didn't hurt either. Salem is a complex character still working through her feelings about Rowdy's past with her sister and understandably so. She wants to be somebody's number one. She's sick of being in the shadow of somebody she loves dearly but wants to be appreciated for herself.

Salem and her journey is almost exactly what I am going through in my life right now. Most of you know, I recently started travel nursing over 6 months ago. I've been in San Diego, I'm about to go home for the holidays and spend a month in South America traveling. I don't really know where I'll be moving in January. Maybe back to San Diego, maybe somewhere else, maybe Colorado if there's a job, haha. I can understand Salem's gypsy ways because, let's face it, travel nurses actually call themselves modern day gypsies and I JUST was talking about this with another traveler. So reading Jay's dedication and her introduction felt like she was talking directly to me. I have small moments of panic when I think about January and how I have no idea where I'll be in life but that only lasts like 10 seconds because I truly do believe, like Rowdy, that we all end up exactly where we are supposed to be...but I'm still too far on Salem's team to really know where I belong. I'm still searching for that place that feels right, that feels like I belong. Does that place involve love? Yes, if I'm being honest. I have a feeling I'll settle down location wise when I find somebody worth settling down for. Don't get me wrong I love my family in Wisconsin and I'm hoping to be close by but I want to find my own way and place to call home. While I feel like I do have a home, I've always felt just a little removed from it for some reason. I believe everything happens for a reason and everything happens in God's timing but...it's frustrating to keep being a nomad sometimes. Like Salem, I want to find where I belong.

Okay...back to the book. Detour over. Salem and Rowdy's journey to not only each other but their own self-acceptance in a way was what drove this book. Their relationship was started over a decade prior when they were children and them having a past was just one thing I loved about their relationship. I loved that Salem was the one in Rowdy's childhood that helped him feel like he was worth it. It breaks my heart that not only he but countless children in this world feel this way due to loss and abuse and other heinous circumstances. I loved that Rowdy had somebody there to care. Somebody there to tell him his feelings were important and wanting art over football was okay. I wanted to badly to jump into this book and hug them both as children it just broke my heart. And the way they both are able to come back to one another and not only forgive but grow is just...perfection.

Now, we can't forget our other players in this Marked Men game. The glimpses and moments we get with favorite characters past does NOT disappoint. Major developments are happening everywhere and my heart just bursts with feels for all of them. I love these characters so hard and I love seeing them all so happy and growing and still being utterly devoted to one another. The girl time is especially present in this book and these were some of my favorite chapters. All these females have something beautiful and special and unique to bring to the table and OMG we still have one more book...and a spin off series. I hope you keep spinning Jay because I never want to leave your Denver.

If you haven't started the Marked Men series yet, you are so totally missing out. These books are not just about the sexiness of the men or the fierce will of the women, they are about so much more. Jay Crownover writes real people with real insecurities and real problems. Anybody and everybody could find a character they can relate to. Seriously, read the Marked Men, get your life right. Not only are they emotionally deep...there is that element of sexy men and even sexier times.


VIP
If you love reading about real people with real problems with sexy men and women...these books are for you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Trust Is Dangerous

"I love people, but they don't love me back.
What if there's a reason?"
--Kit Rocha, Beyond Possession



Genre: Adult Dystopia, Erotica, Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Kit Rocha
Publication Date: November 10th, 2014
Source: ARC provided by authors in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Beyond Shame & Beyond Control & Beyond Pain & Beyond Jealousy & Beyond Addiction
Goodreads Description

Tatiana Stone has worked hard to establish herself as one of Sector Four's most skilled crafters. All she wants is peace--but the sins of her father haunt her. He ruled the sector as a petty tyrant before the O'Kane takeover, and plenty of people harbor bitter memories of his cruelty. Especially now that Tatiana's beloved baby sister has fallen in with a man who wants to start a revolution.

Zan failed his boss once, and it won't happen again. So when Dallas O'Kane asks him to defuse the rebellion brewing in the sector, he'll do whatever it takes to get the job done--including seduce Tatiana. It's the perfect opportunity to get closer to the pretty crafter and complete his mission. But what he discovers is a fiery, passionate woman--and an affair that could destroy them both.

It took all of about 10 seconds and 2 pages for me to already be squealing about being back in Sector 4. I love this world, I love these characters, I just can't get enough. This novella tells the story of Tatiana and Zan. Tatiana, the daughter of former Sector 4 leader, and Zan, a deliciously sexy man who is still beating himself up over Trix's kidnapping. Together, these two are not only scorching hot but they have some issues to work through...but I'm getting ahead of myself...

While I love all the books and novellas of this series, I really didn't think I could be surprised by character's badassness anymore. Beyond Possession surprised me in the best possible way. Tatiana is a female heroine who I found myself really relating to (I'll let the irony that her name is Tatiana sink in for those of you who know me). She is a woman who has been dealt a shitty hand in life and because of her father's actions and failure she has learned to be completely dependent on herself to the extreme. She has come to accept that she cannot trust anyone, everyone is out for themselves, and people acting selflessly and people who could actually care about her do not exist. This...broke my heart. I, too, have a lot of difficulty in actually trusting people, especially in regards to relationships so her struggle spoke to me. I can completely understand how unwillingly she is to believe that there can be better out there. That idea of 'this is too good to be true' is completely understandable as is the feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Her actions and hesitation towards letting Zan in felt completely realistic to me and this journey was my favorite part of the story.

Zan is perfect for her. His understanding of her walls and his approach is just right on. I loved that the conflict didn't come from him trying to push her to accept him all the time. He knew when to push and when to approach with caution. This balancing act was tenuous and sexy and led to so much sexual tension. Not to mention the HOT sex scenes. Kit Rocha never ceases to amaze me with their characters chemistry and their ability to make me fan myself. Zan is one deliciously large man and, obvi, love a girl with curves.

The actions of the gang in regards to the rebellion by a man named Wallace kept the political intrigue fresh and I loved how this was dealt with. I loved seeing Dallas reach out into the community to show the citizens how he was as a leader versus Tatiana's father. I also totally smirk when people, like Tatiana, Six, and Finn, tell newcomers that this really is as good as it seems. The rumors behind THE Dallas O'Kane and his gang are sexy and terrifying but we all know the core of them are big teddy bears who want to curl up with their partner and call it a day. Le sigh...

Beyond Possession was a fantastic addiction to the Beyond series and, duh, I already can't wait for the next one.


Backstage Pass
If you love books about learning to trust, dirty sex, and independent women...this book is for you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Feels Like Home


Ah!!! OMG I totally forgot to do this TTT hosted by The Broke and The Bookish! It's past midnight Eastern time...I'm whipping this up because

1. I LOVE RE-READING!!!! 
2. Hello! Hannah and I are doing a Re-Read CHALLENGE!
3. I need to vent feels and excitement on the ones I'm excited to re-read!
4. This is further promotion for our challenge
5. This helps me start my epic list of books I want to re-read for the challenge
6. I LOVE RE-READING!!!

So because of all this last minute post and being stressed with packing and moving, I'm just listing them...sorry not sorry...here we go...

1. The Bronze Horseman & Tatiana and Alexander
Because...Duh...

2. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Because...I need Dean Holder and Sky back in my life

3. The Birthmarked series by Caragh O'Brien
Because...I LOVE THIS SERIES SO HARD

4. Captive in the Dark series by CJ Roberts
Because...sexy and fucked up beyond words is my MO

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Because...Katniss...

6. The Marked Men by Jay Crownover
Because...I don't even think I need to dignify this with a reason

7. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
Because...Panty-dropping Russian bastard

8. The Boleyn series by Laura Andersen
Because Dom...always Dom

9. Juliet by Anne Fortier
Because this original take on Romeo and Juliet needs to be back in my life...plus Siena, Italy

10. Harry Potter
Because...all is well

What are you guys excited to re-read?! 
Are you joining in on the challenge!?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Do You Belong Above or Below?

"No bond is the same as that between sisters."
--Ally Condie, Atlantia


Genre: YA Fantasy, Mythology
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 368
Publication Date: October 28th, 2014
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Standalone
Goodreads Description

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.
The Idea

Not gonna lie, the whole idea of the Lost City of Atlantis is something that has always fascinated me...as well as The Little Mermaid but I digress. So the idea of Atlantia and how people still live Above an incredible idea. My favorite part of this book was unraveling the mystery of how this underwater world came to be. We meet Rio in the beginning of the book and it is the anniversary of the Divide, the time when people were separated Above and Below. At this time and their age, they are able to decide if they choose to stay Below or go Above and work to provide for those below. This felt so Divergent mixed with Hunger Games sacrifice that I was immediately drawn into the story. The story starts to get very interesting when Rio tells us all her life she has longed to live Above and her sister has always wanted to stay Below...well that's not what happens. In a twist of circumstances we are not privy to yet, Bay (her twi sister) decides to go Above, leaving Rio stranded Below with no explanation as to why she left. Dun dun dun. From there we learn that not all is utopian in this underwater world and the secrets start to pile up to the coast.

The steady reveal of the Sirens in the world as well as what really happened in the divide was paced really well. The idea that this society can actually live and function under the sea is fascinating. I loved learning about the background of how things function and to learn that corruption seems to be at it's heart is something that kept me reading. What the hell happens if something leaks?! What if the Above got pissed and tried to infiltrate the Below? All burning questions I had while reading because this book has a premise that is extremely intriguing that I HAD to keep reading.

The Sisterly Love

At the core of this story though is the love Rio has for her twin Bay. She is shocked, hurt, angry, and fifty other shades of emotion after her twin leaves and she refuses to just sit Below and accept it. She plots and confides in her secretive aunt in order to find a way to get Above. The bond her and her sister have is beautiful and the lengths they go to for one another are inspiring. I love reading a good sister story because I really don't think enough positive sister relationship books exist out there *coughTheBronzeHorsemancough*. I have two sisters who I would go to the Arena and back for so I love books that explores the delicate yet stronger than steel bond that sisters have.

Resolution

While I am incredibly pleased I was able to read a fantasy/parnormal this is a standalone novel, I can't help but think this world and plot could have easily been extended into a very dynamic and engaging trilogy. There is SO much we learn about the Divide and I think there really could have been a lot of development between the worlds beyond just this book.

General Admission
If you love paranormal, long to live out your Little Mermaid fantasy, and standalone books...this one is for you.

Wait! There's more! Enter below to win an Atlantia necklace from Penguin with dirt from Above or sand from Below!


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