Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Stay With Me by. Paul Griffin

Title: Stay With Me
Author: Paul Griffin
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date:
September 8, 2011
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis from Goodreads: Fifteen-year-olds Cece and Mack didn't expect to fall in love. She's a sensitive A student; he's a high school dropout. But soon they're spending every moment together, bonding over a rescued dog, telling their secrets, making plans for the future. Everything is perfect. Until. Until. Mack makes a horrible mistake, and in just a few minutes, the future they'd planned becomes impossible. In this stark new reality, both of them must find meaning and hope in the memories of what they had, to survive when the person they love can't stay. From award-winning writer Paul Griffin, Stay with Me is both heartbreaking and uplifting, filled with characters (both dog and human) that will forever change the way you look at the world.

Review: Real and heartbreaking to the core, Stay With Me by Paul Griffin is a showcase to teen romance and the struggles of the reality that some teens face on a daily basis. Stay With Me is truly a breathtaking novel that shows sometimes even the deepest love is not enough create a happily ever after.

There is really so much to say about this book but I'll try to keep it short. The romance in this book may seem to be a little quick, but I still felt the connection between the two main characters instantly. It may have started off as a simple attraction, but it did blossom into a very unique love. They are so devoted to one another, and they are definitely there for each other through thick and thin.

Mack and Cece both are and have been living hard lives for a long time, and when they finally find each other, they become each other's reprieve from the harshness of their lives. Mack has to be one of the most interesting characters I have ever ready about. Since the book is told from both Mack and Cece's perspective you get to a really know the character Mack. From how he sees the world, and how the world sees him.

To be honest, this book had me in tears in a lot of places for a lot of reasons. In a lot of places, I felt like the book got really open and raw with the feelings and emotions of the two main characters that I could connect to what the both of them were going through so well. The romance, the pain, the loss, the forgiveness, and all of the problems Mack and Cece were going through were laid out so vividly to the reader that I dare you not to shed a tear while reading this book.

Stay With Me is one of those books that I know is going to be with me for a long time. It is a novel that has really touched my heart and one that I know I will never get tired of recommending.

Recommendations: If you want a deep and captivating read that will make you smile and definitely have you shedding a few tears along the way, Stay With Me is a perfect read.

Overall: 5/5

Characters: 5/5 
Plot: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Entertainment: 5/5
Ending: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Cover: 5/5

If you liked the romance in Stay With Me, check out the romances of Simone Elkeles Fuentes Brother's Series:  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: Fate Fixed by. Bonnie Erina Wheeler

Title: Fate Fixed
Author: Bonnie Erina Wheeler
Publication Date: July 1st, 2011
Pages: 294
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis from GoodreadsWhen Lexie Anderson’s mother suddenly announces she is marrying a Romanian immigrant, Lexie willingly leaves behind her busy life in Connecticut for her penance in “The Moose Capital of the World.” Small town living is strange enough, now Lexie must cope with her overbearing stepfamily monitoring her every move. They disappear into the woods at night and keep a strange secret locked in their shed. Her once calm mother is now having violent outbursts and Lexie’s little sister is hearing sinister sounds coming from the forest behind their new home.

Lexie’s biggest surprise comes when she discovers the boy she has been dreaming about since her accident is living in Maine. Despite Torin’s questionable reputation, Lexie cannot resist the physical and emotional attraction pulsating between them.

Animals and people in town are turning up dead and Lexie learns the strange new world she lives in has real life monsters. Just when she decides she wants to be with Torin forever, she must fight to protect her mother and sister from being harmed a formidable evil

Review: The dynamic paranormal duo of the werewolf and the vampire will never tire if there are books like Fate Fixed always bringing something new to the table. Definitely exciting and unexpectedly twisted, Fate Fixed was something new and fun to read.

As far as first impressions go, I was pretty sure main character Lexie had a good head on her shoulders after the first two chapters of the book, but after that, that impressions left immediately. She was an...interesting character. She of course is going through the usually teenage angst of having to move away from your friends and school when your mother remarries, but in some ways, I thought she was a little too trusting if you know what I mean. Of course I am so glad to see a girl freak out with the mention of a vampire, (I really think girls are becoming a little too comfortable when they see fangs pop out of their boyfriends mouths), but in a lot of areas, I was seriously questioning her judgment. I mean there has to be some boundaries for love at first sight.

So I think it is fair to classify this book as a paranormal romance, but in the beginning I was seriously having trouble with the romance. It was so, incredibly, and extremely rushed.  I am all for the "love at first sight" aspect that characterizes paranormal romances, but the romance was way too fast for me to even be able to acknowledge it until 3/4 of the way through the book. Though I eventually was able to think of what they had together as a "romance" not just lustful infatuation, in the beginning it was sort of took away from the story.

Onto the more fun parts of the book, I have to say I found it a bit twisted. The book is told in alternating perspectives between the two main characters, and an anonymous wolf. I really read faster for the chance to read the wolf's part of the book as the story between the two main characters went along. It was so dark and cynical that I couldn't wait for this anonymous character to meet with the main ones for what I new was going to be an action packed confrontation. 

I have to say that despite the fact that romance did through me off, I thoroughly enjoyed Fate Fixed. It is a great combination of a light read, yet one that will still keep you anticipating a great ending.

Recommendations: For those who (like me) will never get enough of vampires and werewolves, this books will definitely be a good read.

Overall: 3/5

Characters: 3/5 
Plot: 3/5
Originality: 3/5
Entertainment: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Cover: 3/5

If you like this book, check out the Hearts at Stake by. Alyxandra Harvey

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guest Post! Natasha Larry, author of Darwin's Children

You guys may know that I recently read Natasha Larry's debut YA book Darwin's Children and absolutely loved it. Today I am lucky enough to have Natasha Larry doing the very first ever guest post on Black and Blue Ink! Read on and enjoy her story and how she became the author she is today!

How I Accidentally Became a Young Adult Author

                One of the questions I get asked most often is: why do you write young adult paranormal/fantasy fiction? I never pictured myself a fiction author, not to mention a young adult author. I went to school to study History and considered myself a serious academic. The truth is that Darwin’s Children started as an adult series-a project that began because I’ve always been a comic book nerd. For the longest time, I couldn’t get it to work and nearly gave up on the project until something magical happened. I had a daydream and wrote it down immediately. That daydream later became the prologue of the first book and I haven’t looked back since.

                The magic that happened was that Darwin’s Children became a story for young adults. I suppose it always should have been. My experience writing Darwin’s Children as a young adult novel was incredible and effortless. I literally felt like I was flying and was reminded of why I wanted to be a writer in the first place. I’ve always loved to read thanks to my father, and all people that love to read have that one author or story that seals the deal for them. For me, it was Judy Blume’s Superfudge.

                I heard my 5th grade teacher tell this story and ever since I’ve been a Blume-maniac. As a young girl, I don’t know how I would have known anything of the world were it not for her book: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I loved the feeling of having a book as a best friend and that was when I started writing. It was all about discovery and coming into your own back then. As a kid I always wrote fiction, and then something terrible happened. I became an adult.

                I stopped writing all together in Graduate school. Of course, I didn’t really stop writing. I probably wrote more in Grad school than at any other time in my personal history. I say I stopped writing because the dream was gone. I wrote because it was required and people sort of expected it from me. Comic books helped keep me young at heart, and I think that had a lot to do with why I wanted to write about super humans. Most people assume I’m influenced predominantly by the Marvel Universe, most notably, the X-Men, and when I first started writing Darwin’s Children, I was. However, my writing didn’t really take off until I started dreaming again and this didn’t happen until I expanded my reach into the DC Universe.

                I remember sitting down to read a graphic novel entitled Kingdom Come by Alex Ross and Mark Waid. The novel deals primarily with the growing disconnect between old school superheroes (think Superman and Wonder Woman) and a new generation of vigilantes. Reading this book made me feel the way I felt when I was a kid reading Judy Blume. I know, I know. My fan boy buddies just died knowing I compared a comic book to Judy Blume. The important thing is that the feeling came back and I was able to dream. One line in particular stood out the most.

“The sheer force of Batman’s presence kindles a desperate ember of hope.”

Thank you Natasha for the guest post! It's great to hear that you continued to write through school. I know a lot of people who aspire to some day write novels, myself included, don't thing its possibly to do that and go to school and pursue an education. Glad to know its more than possible! I can't wait to read what's next for Darwin's Children!

Natasha's Links:
Website: www.natashalarrybooks.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/natashalarry

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4356316.Natasha_Larry
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Natasha-Larry/e/B0051BVEGW
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/natasha.larry1

Darwin's Children:
My Review

Barnes and Noble

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