Review - The Program by Suzanne Young

The Program (The Program, #1)The Program (The Program #1) 
By Suzanne Young
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Borrowed ARC from Stacee of Too Fond of Books
Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads / IndieBound

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

In Sloane's world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane's parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they'll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who's been through The Program returns as a blank state. Because their depression is gone - but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He's promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promise they made to each other, it's getting hard to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

           I loved this book, I so did. It has such a unique concept and it was so well done. There were times that I was so involved in Sloane's story and what was happening that I wasn't aware that I was acting out how I was feeling through my facial expressions. I received some weird glances from my mom. I enjoyed this book so much that I'm buying myself my own copy and it's even going in my favorites pile.

Sloane isn't allowed to show her real emotions because if she does, she gets sent to The Program and her memories get wiped out. So ever since her brother's death, it has become even worse to hide her true feelings from her parents who have her under constant surveillance. She can only show her real emotions to her boyfriend and best friend, James, who is also struggling with hiding his emotions.

At first, this book sounds daunting and depressing but the minute I started reading, every pre-conceived notion I had, faded away. I was immediately sucked in and couldn't put the book down. I really clicked with Sloane and found myself living out her emotions. I felt her grief towards her brother's death, her anger with her parents and The Program, her desperation to understand what is real and what is fake, I just wanted to give the poor girl a hug and be there for her. I wanted to reach into the book and help her out and be the friend she needed.

Suzanne Young did such an awesome job in making the reader connect and feel everything her characters were feeling. As Sloane was explaining how she and James got together, I swooned and cried and fell in love myself. When I was reaching the end of the book, I was a nervous wreck because there were so many questions arising and the pages were dwindling that I just knew things weren't going to end happily. With that ending, I sure hope Ms. Young continues the series and give us a clue on what happens next because OMGINEEDTOKNOWWHATHAPPENSNEXT. I totally recommend The Program to anyone who loves a good, angsty, psychological, romantic book.

Cover Reveal - Unspoken by Camille Dixon

Expected Release Date: May 2013
Publisher: Camille Dixon
Cover designed by: Camille Dixon
Cover Reveal organized by: Xpresso Book Tours

Jaxon Michaels is every father's worst nightmare for his teenage daughter, but Clarice Gibson knows him better than anyone. Best friends since the sixth grade, Clare and Jax have walked the fine line of friendship for six years.

But when Clarice's friend Jessica starts dating Jax, Clare finds herself starting to notice him in a different way, one she's not entirely prepared to face. As their senior year approaches and her true feelings are unburied, Clare begings asking herself the one question she vowed never to think about: What if she's in love with her best friend? Their friendship is further strained when the captain of the football team - and Jessica's twin brother - sets his eyes on Clare. As loyalties and friendships are tested, Clare and Jax find it harder to keep themselves firmly planted on the friends' side of the relationship line.

A line they are getting dangerously close to crossing.

About the Author, Camille Dixon:
I'm a southern girl who's spent the last few years freezing my toosh off up north. Except for the snow, things are pretty good. I love sunshine, sweet tea, and romances that touch my heart. A lifelong romantic, I found my own prince charming at an online dating site, Six months later, he asked me to marry him. Picture Perfect is my debut novel.

Cover Reveal - Ten Days by Olivia Mayfield

Expected Release Date: May 2013
Publisher: Olivia Mayfield
Cover Design by: Jen Naumann
Cover reveal organized by: Xpresso Book Tours

Seventeen-year-old Cally isn't like the others. In her society, the Machine caters to every whim, ensuring people don't have to leave their pods. But Cally, and her best friend Marshal find themselves drawn to how things used to be, when people lived on the surface of the Earth and relied upon manpower, not technology. When physical contact wasn't uncivilized, and love was normal, acceptable, embraced. Cally tries to swallow down her increasing dissatisfaction with the "rules," as well as her rapidly developing feelings for Marshal, a task getting harder each day.

Then, things start going downhill, fast. Food is spoiled. Air grows musty. The population panics about the dysfunction - is it sabotage? Anarchy? But Cally and Marshal discover the truth: The Machine, the answer to all their problems for longer than anyone can remember, is breaking down. Now, these two have to risk it all to save themselves and the people they care about...before their entire world destroy itself. 

About the author, Olivia Mayfield:
Olivia Mayfield has been an unabashed fan of romance since she was a young teen, secretly devouring her mom's Harlequins. She has a bachelor degree in Creative Writing, as well as a Master's degree in English, and lives with her family in Ohio. In her free time, she loves reading, shopping, wearing absurdly high-heeled boots, cheesecake, singing karaoke, and harassing her friends.

Review: Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1)Infinite Days (Vampire Queen #1)
By Rebecca Maizel
Release Date: Aug. 3, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Personal Copy
Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads / IndieBound

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: "Throughout all my histories, I found no one I loved more than one."

Those were some of Rhode's last words to me. The last he would pronounce his love. The last time I would see his face.

It was the first time in 592 years I could take a breath. Lay in the sun. Taste.

Rhode sacrificed himself so I, Lenah Beaudonte, could be human again. So I could stop the blood lust.

I never expected to fall in love with someone else that wasn't Rhode.

But Justin was...daring. Exciting. More beautiful than I could dream.

I never expected to be sixteen again...then again, I never expected my past to come back and haunt me...

         I first heard about this book through one of my bookish friends on Goodreads and after hearing her rave about how good and well written the book is, I decided to give this book a chance. I really enjoyed the book and found the concept of becoming human after being a vampire really unique. I haven't read or heard of books like it and found it to be a fun read.

Lenah Beaudonte was a vampire for almost 600 years and after becoming human again, gets a chance to be a normal teenager. While dealing with the loss of her mate, Lenah begins her new life and learns what it like to experience everything as a human. She soon meets Justin and is thrown his popular clique.

I found Lenah to be a really interesting protagonist and I loved whenever she had a flashback. I actually enjoyed those parts a lot more than the actual story and I which we had gotten more of them. Most of the time, I found myself rolling my eyes at all the cliches of high school and would skim ahead to an interesting part.

My favorite parts of Infinite Days was whenever Rhode was mentioned. His sacrificed for Lenah and how much he loves her, gah, totally left me gutted. I had all the feels when we learn of what he did for Lenah.

I was really surprised by how it ended, I so did not see that part coming. However, I was expecting the whole Vicken parts since he was given so much importance throughout the novel. I can't wait to read Stolen Nights.

Book Blitz and Excerpt - Drowning In You by Rebecca Berto

Release Date: April 12, 2013
Publisher: Rebecca Berto
Purchase links:

Secretly crushing

Crushed by a tragedy

Charlee May's been crushing on Dexter Hollingworth since she was fifteen. Five years later, a horrific skiing disaster at Mason's Ski Lift Resort leaves her millionaire dad critically injured and her mom dead at the hands of Dexter operating the lifts. Charlee is suddenly the sole caretaker for her little brother while their world falls apart.

Dexter couldn't bee more different from Charlee. He's tattooed, avoids exclusive relationships and his dad has fair share of illegal dealings. With Dexter's reputation, almost everyone believes he planned the Mason's skiing disaster.

And after all these years, he's still crushing on Charlee May, the girl who's too good for him.

When this cruel twist of fate ties Charlee's family and Dexter's reputation together, Charlee and Dexter wonder if their feelings are reciprocated, while Dexter discovers his dad is trying to steal the May's millionaire fortune.

But like an addiction, one look, one touch, one taste - they're hooked no matter the consequences. 

Drowning in You Excerpt:

Dad and I look at each other at the same time and I need to speak first or else I’ll cop it, I know I will, and I need to explain that I was just being silly and I’m doing the best I can to be nice for Darcy.
However, getting in first, Dad says, “I’m never getting out of here.”
He doesn’t rub my shoulders or pull me to the bed so he can lean in, trembling with the effort, to kiss my forehead like he used to before a bedtime story. There’s no contact, no connection.
I want my mom. I don’t want to be Darcy’s mom.
There, I thought it. Did you hear that, Dad? I’m not ready for this. I’m not ready because Mom shouldn’t be dead and you’re not dead yet. You hear me?
He just says, “Charlee? You hear that?”
I bop my head up, left, down. It started as an I-don’t-know but I’m not sure what I did in the end. My brain didn’t compute his message. Refuses to compute it.
“Oh, Charlee.” Dad sighs a ragged breath.
This shouldn’t have happened. My best friend Rosa’s dad isn’t like this, so why should mine be? My dad’s not even fifty and hers is fifty-five! Dad winces as he tries to push himself up in bed and it’s so feeble that I can’t watch the same man who used to pin me down and tickle me ‘til I had cramps of pain from laughing struggle like this. I can’t watch, so instead his grunts pierce my ears because I close my eyes. I clench my fists by my thighs until he stops making those God-awful sounds and…
And would you look at that! My father is sitting upright.
“My liver now isn’t—”
“Dad!” Darcy hooks his arm around the doorjamb and skids to a stop inside. He puts his hand to his chest and says, “She’s coming right now.”
“Okay, okay. Come here. Whoa, did she give you coffee?”
“No, I just came here as quick as I could, Dad. I promise she said she’ll come real soon.”
“You’ve done great. Come sit down.”
Darcy, smiling and satisfied with what he’s achieved for Dad, trots over to his chair and sits on the edge. He pulls out his handheld game from his pocket and starts jamming buttons. Then, apparently remembering something, pulls out his cell from his other pocket and starts texting.
Dad’s eyes say come here so I scoot closer.
“He’s a smart ki—” Dad starts, but footsteps are approaching our door. He says, “No tomfoolery with him. You tell him straight up, Charlee. You’re Melissa now and I am —”
“Walter!” someone says from the door.
It’s Lisa. She’s my favorite, because she sometimes has a sour candy for Darcy to suck on, and she always says how Dad’s improving, giving him smiles and pats on the back.
As Mom to Dexter, Lisa has the same shocking blue eyes as he does. She wiggles her hips at the door, fingering her pocket. She has a somewhat round face, whereas Dexter’s is square and bulging with veins and all that sexy stuff I could only dream of touching, but Lisa Hollingworth is cute, in a Mom way. I bet if Dexter never opened that potty mouth I used to hear while I ogled him from the sidelines of the football field he’d look like a Mama’s Boy, too. But when he opens that mouth, his voice is sex oozing from those luscious lips.
“Watermelon,” she says to Darcy.
Darcy drops his electronics on his chair as if they are plastic toys from a McDonald’s Happy Meal and grabs the twenty-cent candy from her. Shame, really. That kid doesn’t know value. But there’s something comforting in that; Darcy is still learning, and I guess I can still tell him our Dad is going to be fine.

About the Author, Rebecca Berto:
Rebecca Berto is the author of the dark contemporary/literary novella, PRECISE and the upcoming new adult contemporary romance novel, DROWNING IN YOU. She is also a freelance editor.

She writes stories that are a bit sexy, and straddle the line between Literary and Tear Your Heart Out. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She's strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiable crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

Author Links:

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) 
By Wendy Higgins
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Personal Copy
Reviewed by: Jenn and Daisel T.
Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads / IndieBound

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Daisel's Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Overall Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Embrace the Forbidden.

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discover her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

           I absolutely love this book. I might fangirl throughout this post but with good reasons! The plot, the twists with the demons and the angels, Anna, Kaiden, the whole story. Sweet Evil really has it all. The storyline is great, the characters developed throughout the story and they are believable. The good girl and the bad boy don't change their personalities for the other. I found myself enjoying the secondary characters AND there's no love triangle! *pump fist in the air* The romance is really steamy, talk about sexual tension. I had to reach for something to fan myself with during some scenes from the book.

Anna was such an incredible female protagonist, a really wonderful character. I felt like hugging her sometimes for simply being herself. She is the sweetest and nicest girl you can ever imagine, there's nothing bad about herself. Kaiden, on the other hand, *fans self* is the complete opposite of Anna. He is thrilling, alluring, sexy and he is very, very, VERY seductive. Like this is JOB. Kaiden is the bad boy that daddy warned us about, yet we can't resist or stay away from him. He is not innocent, he uses girls and throws them away, yet he doesn't come off as an asshole.

"He was smokin' hot. As in H-O-T-T hott. I'd never understood until that moment why girls insisted on adding an extra T. This guy was extra- T worthy." - Anna


"What do you want from me, Kai?"
"For starters?" His voice lowered to sexy, dangerous depths. "I want to introduce myself to every freckle on your body."

The plot in this book is really interesting. When Anna meets Kaiden, she comes to a realization that her life is going to change forver. She learns about who she is and what her purpose on Earth is supposed to be. Good or Evil? What will she choose?

"The purpose of life is to find your way back to a spiritual way of thinking and living - to be able to get past the physical stuff."

Overall, this story has it all. Romance with some steamy scenes, action, some quick exchange of wits, and I experienced all sorts of emotions while reading: swoons, butterflies in my tummy, heartbreak and tears. The story is fast paced, and it's never boring or overwhelming; Sweet Evil is a highly seductive read. It's one of the best stories that I read in 20120 and I would recommend this book to anyone. 

          After a lot of pushing and prodding from Daisel, I finally decided to pick up Sweet Evil.  And after finishing, I went ahead and apologize to her for delaying in reading it. I won't go into a lot of details about the book since Daisel already said most of what needed to be said but I'll just explain why my rating is a little bit lower than hers.

I really like the story and the premise of Sweet Evil but I just couldn't find it in me to love it. I found the writing a little too...plain. There are some authors that just have a way with words that just makes you fall in love with their characters and the world they created. They create such a vivid and real world that you can't help but fall into the storytelling. But I just didn't feel that way about Ms. Higgins' writing. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book and I'll be reading the rest of the series because I need to know what happens next. Also stopping me from rating this higher is Anna, our heroine. She is just too much a good, religious, naive girl that is sort off putting. Her naivete sort of makes me a bit exasperated because it feels a bit forced and not real.

I can't wait until Sweet Peril comes out because, let's be real, I need me some Kaiden and I need to what he's up to. He can't be left alone for too long, so I hope Anna gets some answers.

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