See How They Run by Ally Carter

Watch my new video ‘The 5 Stages of Finishing See How They Run by Ally Carter’ HERE!

Inside every secret, there’s a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions–from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace’s past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.

I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to review this book. I finished it in December, nearly a month ago. I really need to step up my game. I guess it’s just because I’ve been so behind in reviews lately, and I’m reading faster than I’m reviewing. Oops. (I can’t help that The Selection series is so addicting that I must keep reading instead of taking a break to review it)

I think this was my MOST anticipated read of 2015. Trust me, it didn’t disappoint. With lots of action-packed scenes and maybe a few tears, See How They run lived up to my expectations.

Okay, so All Fall Down ended on such a cliffhanger. See How They Run picked up right after the first book ended. The overall storyline was AMAZING. I don’t think I liked it quite as much as the first book, but it is still so so so so good. I really loved the character development. All the characters grew and developed beautifully in this book and I really felt like I got to know the characters better.

I loved all the world-building also. You really got to know more of the world outside Embassy Row. That was very enjoyable.

Plus, the book is totally clean! Maybe a few kisses and the sort, but no language or inappropriate content. It does have violence, but not so much that it’s overwhelming.

-Lilian-

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

After losing her parents in a car accident and her sister to a house fire, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Life is finally starting to feel normal again when an envelope arrives in the mail–addressed in her sister’s handwriting. And the note inside claims she is still alive.

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case, but he’s coming up with more questions than answers. If Ginny Reed is still alive–who is the woman buried in her grave? Where is Ginny? And is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game–or the target of a sinister plot? As he digs deeper, one thing becomes clear: whoever is behind the bizarre ruse has a deadly agenda.

Bestselling author and two-time Christy Award finalist Irene Hannon warms readers’ hearts as they root for a romance between Lance and Christy, but she pulls out all the stops as this high-stakes thriller chills to the bone in a race to the finish.

I received this book by Revell Publishing in return for an honest review.

I am such a fan of mysteries. I’ve recently found a love for reading mysteries and thrillers. So I jumped at the chance to read and review this awesome-sounding mystery.

Let me start off by saying that I had no idea this was the second book in a series. I had no idea (and this isn’t the first time this has happened…). But, you honestly don’t HAVE to read the first book to understand this one. I’m sure I would have understood the parts with his brother in it better (since the first book is about this protagonist’s older brother), but it wasn’t necessary. (I also learned afterwards that there is a book in another series about the same guy in this book… this is like a huge puzzle)

Okay, so this is technically an adult book. I have read a very limited amount of modern adult books (all from this publishing company, actually), so I’m sure my review will sound different than all the adults out there who are also reviewing this book.

So, I wasn’t the BIGGEST fan of this book. I mean, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t… amazing. I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing, mainly. Again, it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t something I loved. The plot was okay, overall, but I’m not planning on re-reading it, and I don’t even know if I’m going to read the rest of the series. I feel like this book would be more appealing to adults, but to the YA lover in me, I didn’t get attached.

The romance was cheesy and bland. I don’t understand how adults can bash YA and say it’s kids stuff, and then read this. The writing and romance wasn’t profound or deep or new or even great., and I’ve found way better stuff in YA books.

The plot was lacking character and interest. It had a good storyline to it, but then it fell flat and didn’t wow me. The mystery wasn’t mysterious. The characters were boring. The antagonist was scary (seriously, he was twisted), but it didn’t surprise me or excite me. If this book wasn’t for review purposes, I probably would have given up halfway through.

This book is Christian and totally clean, though.

In the end, its an okay but basic adult ‘mystery’ that left me bored.

-Lilian-

Interview with Emilyann Girdner PART 2!!

(Check out Part 1 here)

Me: Do you have a favorite line from your books?

Emilyann: “Well, it just really sticks in my head so I guess I’ll go with this one and it’s actually from the new one, The Haunted Realm. It’s ‘If I dare to love, I dare love to break me’.”

Me: What character from your books is most like you?

Emilyann: “That’s hard to say. They’re all kind-of splits from different kinds of me and people I know. I guess, the main character… When I was in high school I went through a lot of hard times and hard things and I was thinking how isolated I made myself. So that definitely contributed to this character. I think I like to think I’ve come past that quite a bit, but I do think it’s a fault of mine. That definitely is a core attribute of Araina, who’s the main character in The Labyrinth Wall.”

Me: Did you try to base her off of you or just when your writing it kinda happened?

Emilyann: “No, that definitely was kinda organic. And there’s so many different ways that she’s totally different, which is fine because I get to  live through that, like with things I would never do but Araina would do. So there’s a kind of ‘Oh, that’s what that would be like!’ I guess.”

Me: What can readers expect from your series?

Emilyann: “They would be getting into a epic fantasy world, so think The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, but it would be done in a Hunger Games, dark, fast style. So that’s really what they’re getting into if they jump into it. I love both those two things and I tried to bring them together.”

Me: No fighting to death in an area?

Emilyann: “No, not that side of it, but it is pretty dark.”

Me: Who is  your favorite Hunger Games character?

Emilyann: “Oh, favorite wow. Um, probably Rue. She’s sweet. And there’s a character in my book who I feel like, to me, kind of mimics her essence a little bit.”

Me: What Disney character are you most like? If you’re a Disney fan.

Emilyann: “I’m a HUGE Disney fan and I love Belle. I think all of us readers, creatives identify with Belle, yes, exactly. I love her and her adventurous spirit going out into the fields with the flowers an the reading and just everything.”

Me: Early bird or night owl?

Emilyann: “Night owl, by nature. I’m up late, that’s the insomnia thing. Ideas just come to me when I’m not ready.”

Me: If you were stranded on a desert island with 3 books, what 3 books would you take with you?

Emilyann: “Okay, so that’s really tough, because there would be 4. So, can I cheat and just pretend it would work out that way? So, for me, I am very Spiritual, so I would take my Bible. That would definitely be number 1. Uh, I love The Hobbit, so definitely The Hobbit. And then, The Fairy Guardian, you should look into it, cause it’s a really good series and it’s about fairies so you’ll love it. And then, definitely, one of my favorite books that definitely inspired me to get into writing is The Elf Queen of Shannara by Terry Brooks. It is fantastic and you have to look it up.”

Me: Books you want to read in 2016?

Emilyann: “I’m working on the Harry Potter series so that’s not coming out, but I’ll continue going through that and I’m actually reading another series, which is part of the Elf Queen of Shannara books.”

Me: Favorite genre?

Emilyann: “Fantasy and dystopian.”

Don’t forget to look up Emilyann and her books The Labyrinth Wall and The Haunted Realm! Make sure you look those up and buy them, cause of course you should buy them! Thanks for reading and check out Emilyann on social media below!
Emilyann’s Facebook Page- https://m.facebook.com/emilyanngirdner/
The Labyrinth Wall Facebook Page- https://m.facebook.com/TheLabyrinthWall/
Emilyann’s Blog- http://www.emilyanngirdner.com/?m=1

-Lilian-

Interview with Emilyann Girdner PART 1!!

In December I had the pleasure of interviewing Emilyann Girdner, the author of the Obsidian Series! (Check out the first book HERE)

I know, I know you are all probably wondering why this is being posted almost halfway through JANUARY!? Truth is, this is supposed to be a video interview. BUT YouTube decided to hate that video and it has failed to post every time I’ve tried for the past month. Seriously. I tried shortening the video into 2 parts, and I’ve even googled as many ways as I could think of. It just never posted.

So, here I am. I’m going to just type this interview by hand in two parts (Cause it’s a lot of typing and I should probably be doing school right now… oops). So sit back, grab your favorite hot drink, and enjoy the first half of the interview.

Me: Can you tell me a little more about yourself and your books?

Emilyann: “My name is Emilyann and I’m the author of The Labyrinth Wall. It’s a, I think a really exciting story. It was really fun to write about a girl who was created in a labyrinth and she lives there and that’s her whole existence. She’s created as a servant there so that’s all she knows. But then she catches a guy walking through a wall into the labyrinth. She’s never seen anyone walk through a wall. He’s got special abilities. He’s different from everyone else there. For the first time she questions ‘Where did this guy come from?’ and she has to solve the mysteries of what else is out there. Her whole world has been shattered and she needs o figure out what’s actually going on.”

Me: “What books influenced you as a child?”

Emilyann: “As a child, oh my goodness, I loved so many books. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, loved that. The Serendipity books, I don’t know if you.. yeah and that’s, you know, with the little pink dinosaur and there’s actually a book about serendipity. And then there’s a little cartoon that was made. I absolutely loved that. Anything whimsical, fantasy, you know, that I could escape to and imagine new things… I loved it.”

Me: And did it affect your writing at all? Like the fantasy love as a child?

Emilyann: “Oh I’m sure, yeah, of books and movies, I think that definitely influenced the books.”

Me: When did you decide to write a book?

Emilyann: “Actually, my very first book I wrote before my senior year of college. I majored in creative writing and then I switched to art and I loved all of it. But I really got into art for a long time and I just felt like something was missing. So I decided to get on my computer and start writing again and a whole novel came out of me in three weeks over the summer break. I just loved it. I loved imagining and thinking of these characters and stories. So that’s how that started and then I later wrote The Labyrinth Wall as my second book.”

Me: What is the best part about being an author?

Emilyann: “There’s so many great parts. For me, just the writing, cause, I mean, it’s like breathing to me and I just love to write. I think I’d be a little bit of a kook if I wasn’t writing so that’s beneficial. But, also, what’s been surprising is as writer you don’t necessarily think you wanna get out there and talk to people. You’re kind of talking to people through your writing. But I’ve really gotten the opportunity to do all these events and start to get to know so many people and get to hear their ideas. I love that. I love connecting with other creators. So I would say that’s been my favorite aspect.”

Me: What is the worst part about being an author?

Emilyann: “Insomnia, probably. It can take a toll.”

Me: What do you want readers to take away from your books?

Emilyann: “People ask that and I don’t, at all, wanna be going out there and saying ‘This is something you should think or believe’. I’m very cautious of that. In fact, you know, with my writing, its a learning process for me. That’s part of what I’m doing, is working through life. There’s so much that goes on that it’s hard to process and that’s what I’m doing. What I have heard from people is they’ve said ‘That really connected with me’ or ‘I’ve gone through something similar’ and I love that. I want them to be able to, kind of, work through things like I am, but I’m not trying to really say anything specific.”

That’s all for today! I really hope you enjoy reading this and PLEASE check out Emilyann’s books! (Link posted at the beginning of article) Come back next time for more questions about Disney characters, writing, and being stuck on a desert island!

-Lilian-

Lock and Mori by Heather W. Petty

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

I won this book in a giveaway by the lovely magazine Justine. They sent me close to 15 books, this one included, and I was the happiest girl ever when I opened it!

This book started with a promising start, but by the middle of the book the mystery is solved and its filled with stupid decisions and two annoying love-sick kids.

I’ve never read a Sherlock book before (YET), so I can’t compare this to that. But, from various reviews I read about it on Goodreads, it doesn’t compare to the originals, and I believe that. This story was full of plot holes and boring scenes.

Okay, first, the whole Lock and Mori love was disgustingly boring. I also think it was unnecessary. Does society realize that not ALL good books need people to hook-up?

Second, the mystery was solved in the middle of the freaking book?! That annoyed me the most. It didn’t leave me wondering anymore because everything was figured out.

THE PLOT HOLES.

I mean, what about the heist crew? What happened there? What importance did Lock’s brother play and why did he just appear? Sadie Mae just like disappeared? And Watson? He was in like one scene.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good mystery. This just wasn’t.. a good mystery.

The Other Stuff:

This book did progress in profanity through the book. It started getting heavier and heavier. Plus, I remember one scene that involved a lot of profanity and guys saying inappropriate, sexual things to girls. Plus, if I remember correctly, it was hinted once that Lock/Mori (or both, I don’t remember) had slept with others, and it was hinted that they slept together, considering one morning she woke up and had to put Lock’s shirt on.

In the end, this book had more bad than good and I’ll probably pass on the sequel. I’ll also probably get rid of this book, soon, as I look for more shelf space.

-Lilian-

The Scorch Trials MOVIE REVIEW!

I know I am SUPER late on reviewing this. But I didn’t watch the movie until Friday, finally.

I was planning on seeing the movie in theaters, but then I read some reviews online that said the movie was close to being rated R and that it was way more intense then the first one, so I decided to wait until DVD, just in case the review was right.

Oh it was right.

I don’t regret waiting for DVD one bit. The movie was intense from the beginning. In one scene, I honestly couldn’t watch because of the freaky cranks, so I just looked down at my phone. Some parts felt like a horror movie. It was scary and intense and not child-friendly.

And what do a lot of people in movies do in intense scenes? They cuss. And, boy, was this movie filled with profanity. Me and my friend (whom I was watching the movie with) counted as many uses of certain words we could hear, and it was a lot. The ‘S’ word was used around 15 times (from what we heard, since it was mostly under-the-breath)  and the ‘B’ word was openly used at least 2 times. That’s not counting mixed uses of the ‘H’ and ‘D’ words that we didn’t bother counting. The middle finger was also used in one scene, and it was plainly shown. They didn’t try to hide it.

It is also not like the book at all. I feel like its very loosely based on the book. A few key moments are accurate, but the inaccurate scenes are much more prominent.

In the end, forgetting all those nasty scenes and the profanity, the movie was good and enjoyable. It was entertaining and I enjoyed it. But the profanity alone watered it down and made it fake and less enjoyable. The movie is the matures movie I’ve scene and its not for kids or even some young teens.

-Lilian-