Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I honestly loved this book, this is on one of my higher recommendations of must reads!  The first chapter immediately hooks you, but I won't lie the next couple chapters were a tad slow at times (The build).  However, that quickly changes and before you know it, you are going to be so sucked into this book (like I was).  Even though it's over 400 pages, you are going to find it near impossible to want to put down!  So here goes my attempt at a review without ruining anything for those of you who might want to read it:)

Mara Dyer is the only survivor of a terrible accident and unable to remember any of it.  Suffering from PTSD she moves with her family to  Miami to hopefully leave the accident behind.  Mara is enrolled in a fancy private school with all the norms that come with high school. Including the great looking and intriguing Noah Shaw, who is also the guy with the not so her style "reputation".  Aside from not being able to avoid constantly running into Noah.  Her other problem is her mind is full of flashbacks.  Some that she understands and others she does not and pretty quickly a lot of bad things begin to happen around her and life for Mara begins to get a little crazy.

This story is full of mystery, darkness, humor, and at times quite twisted.  But it also has a seriously great build of romance.  In fact because of the way the author hooks you into the love story, it's light and heavy with some fun humor and situations.  I seriously found this to be one of the most likable YA romances I have read since Twilight.  However, unlike Twilight the female character Mara, isn't needy and as desperate as Bella was.  Mara is a strong and independent fun character, even with all her issues:)  I didn't find her or the romance storyline in the least bit annoying, instead it was something new and a little fun.  I bet you can't read it with out getting a bit simile on your face during certain moments!

This book will not only keep you guessing throughout, but for myself left me walking away from it unable to get it out of my mind for a while. (In a good way, I think:).
I will also note, as being an adult who also loves YA.  This particular book seemed to steer clear of the regular teenage banter that most YA novels have, it's almost like a YA for an adult reader...  If that makes any sense at all, maybe you should just read it and then you'll get what I mean!

The only major downside to this book is the fact that it is only Volume One...  I wont write anything of all the twists and turns and how it ends, other than to say I cannot wait to read Volume Two and if you read it, if you enjoy YA I have a feeling you will too!

Book Review: Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

     I NEVER WRITE BOOK SPOILER REVIEWS, SO ENJOY!  Shattered Souls is my new idea of a perfect YA ghost story.  This book has a little bit of everything.  Visions, haunting spirits of the dead, ghost hunting, gorgeous guys, reincarnation, special abilities, passed on spirit resolutions, love triangles and suspense.

Lenzi feels she is slipping away, the voices, the visions...  She's  worried her life may end as her dad's did.  Then when one of her visions comes to life and she meets Alden, things start making a little sense.  
Alden explains to Lenzi that she is actually reincarnated and has lived several lives as a Speaker.  One who communicates with lost souls and helps them move on to the next life.  Alden is her Protector.  Lenzi has to make a decision, accept the life she was born for, or her life with her current boyfriend Zak.  
She soon learns time is not something she has, her past is coming for her with death on it's mind.  She must choose her destiny now.

     I seriously loved this book!  I kept wanting more, so I literally read this fast paced novel cover to cover.  The author captured my attention right from the beginning and I never felt that let up.
Some novels when you start into them have what I call a predictability factor, that point where you get to in a novel and you immediately know each direction the author is going and how it will likely end.  I can honestly say I didn't have that moment in this book.  I was entertained and enjoyed each and every direction the plot went.

     If you love reading YA with a likable love triangle and enjoy a little supernatural.  You will love Shattered Souls!  This is one read I highly recommend!  I also HOPE that this author decides to write more, I'd love to read a sequel!

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

     I have been waiting to read this book ever since several of my blog followers had raved about it when it came out.  Myself being a recently big Hunger Games fan.  I was really excited to see if Shatter Me would be as great as I had been told and if I would have just as hard time putting it down.

Shatter Me is a fabulous read!  The writer has such a unique writing style, and for myself it was like nothing I had read before.
Not only are you reading it through the main character Juliette's point of view, because of the authors strikingly unique writing style you get to feel like you are inside her head.  It really made for an interesting approach to a novel.

Juliette has been locked up in solitary for 264 days, and before that had lived a life of pretty much the same.  Always wishing for the ability to be normal, to be able to be touched without very, very bad things happening.  Will she ever find a way out? A friend? A reason to want to live and feel human again?  A reason to fight back?

This book not only kept me turning pages and wanting more.  But also gave me the perfect combination of futuristic science fiction and romance.  This and books like these are the reason I absolutely love YA these days!  Shatter Me created those wow and indecisive thoughts throughout that keep me enjoying every storyline twist.  I adored the good guys, and even loved the bad guys.

The author creates such an interesting twist of events at the end, I can honestly say I cannot wait for the sequel to see what direction the author decides to go with it.  I am hooked, and enjoyed loved Shatter Me!!

Book Review "Anna Dressed in Blood"

     This was one of those books that you begin and within just minutes you are completely sucked into the story and can't wait to read on.
Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake, takes a completely different spin on ghost/spirit hunting.  I honestly wasn't expecting to enjoy this book so much (seriously).
How do you combine a bit of romance and a guy who's job is to hunt down and kill the dead who remained to haunt and linger and take innocent lives?  This book is how!
This book will creep you out, and at the same time make you laugh and crave for more.

The main character Cas, is a ghost hunter and his abilities have been passed down through him, generation after generation.  He moves around the world with his mother "A White Witch" and her cat and he seeks out to kill the dead who refuse to remain dead.
(I am sure you can already tell the author has a sense of humor)
His father lost his life to a very powerful demon, and Cas has been secretly training and researching everything he can so he can one day track down what killed his father.  When he learned about a ghost named Anna, he is intrigued and he has to find her and kill her because when he does he knows he will be ready to go after what killed his father.
What Cas doesn't expect is to find some unexpected friends along the way, and even more so he never would have dreamt in any of his wild nightmares what will happen when he meets Anna one of the most powerful ghosts he's ever seen.  So powerful that not a living creature can last a moment in her presence without her effortlessly crushing the life out of them.

I loved so many things about this book, really the only thing I didn't enjoy was some of the language used.  I understand some may have been needed to give the effect of how teenagers speak to each other.
However, I think that the point could have been put across and left some of the bad language out...  Of course that is just my opinion.  With that said, everything else is great and I still recommend this as a must read for YA book lovers!
I can almost guarantee that you'll have a hard time putting this down and you'll hate any interruptions!  It's not just about the story, the author did her homework when it comes to voodoo and witch craft.  (Not that I am into those sort of things at all, frankly they freak me out.)  But she combines just enough research and knowledge with her twisted yet very satisfying plot.
You'll love Cas, and even more you'll love the powerful Anna.

Even better, this is one of those books that ends on it's own.  Sure the author could have plans for a sequel, but its not one of those books that you finish and have a big let down because you have to wait a year or so to find out what happens next.  Maybe I've read too many sequels lately, but I found that to be refreshing!  That although I'd be more than interested in a sequel, I am content if this is it.  (Prior to this review, I have not checked the author's site to find out any of her future writing plans.)

So pick this book up, you will NOT be disappointed!!!  (However, I don't recommend reading this alone in an old haunted house, well unless you like that kind of stuff).  Enjoy!!