“Nerve” by Jeanne Ryan

This book was hard for me to put down…it builds with a heavy sense of foreboding but with an eagerness of seeing just how far will it go and if our girl has the “nerve” to go through with it.  I really really enjoyed this book!

Title: Nerve

Author: Jeanne Ryan

Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin)

Summary (by Goodreads):

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it’s exhilarating–Vee and Ian’s fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they’re directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they’re playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?

My take:

Disclaimers and such: I received this book from DAC ARC Tours!  Thank you for letting me read and review this ARC and thank you to Dial Books as well!  So although, I received this book for free in exchange for a review, all thoughts are my own.  This book was published September 13th!

In the book, “Nerve” is a new reality game based on the idea of someone taking a dare and, when successfully completed, earning a prize.  Contestants may enter by completing a preliminary dare and making sure the video is streaming through their phone to “Nerve”s website as they are completing the dare.  With enough views, comments, and popularity, “Nerve” will dare the contestant to do something else.  The dares get bigger and so do the prizes, but once you start, do you have the nerve to actually go through with all of it…to the end?

We find Vee in the beginning of the book as a back stage makeup artist to her friends who are in a school play.  No recognition and no fame has put Vee in the backseat watching everyone else get all the glory.   She doesn’t mind it, but a little recognition wouldn’t kill would it?  To gain the attention of a certain boy in particular, Vee enters the Nerve game by completing a preliminary dare and with the growing number of fans…Vee finds herself texted by Nerve to do another dare, but this time for a prize.  And so it begins…

I tried to find a “Pringles – Once you pop, you can’t stop” gif, but couldn’t find one!!  If someone finds one, tell me where and I’ll put it up!

We have a couple of characters in this book, boys in particular.  Matthew: the boy who Vee has a crush on, but she can’t tell if he’s really that into her or just after her best friend.  Tommy: the good boy that has a crush on Vee (and who Vee should like back), but he doesn’t have the guts to tell her.  Ian: the very cute boy that Nerve pairs Vee with as a partner to go through competitions/dares with.  I picture Scarlet O’Hara out on the lawn in the beginning of Gone with the Wind…if you haven’t read or seen the movie, just…now.  Go see it now.  It’s a classic.

As the dares progress, feelings escalate and the feeling of invincibility sets in, but just how far is too far?  Pretty soon we see the true nature of each person.  Is Ian too perfect?  Will Tommy be there for her in the end?  Who is Matthew really crushing on?

The book really feels like an adrenaline rush and it starts with coasting, then goes to jogging….and then you feel like you’re sprinting to the end.  What I think drew me in the most was the fact that this seemed like a game that you would possibly see on TV.  With all the reality shows…why not have one where people are dared to do crazy stunts for prizes at home with friends watching?   Question is, would you be one of the people to do it and have the nerve to do everything they ask?

Read it!  Read it!  Loved it!!  🙂

Myst~

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TTT – Top Ten Bookish People I Want to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten Bookish People I Want to Meet”

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun way to spice up Tuesdays (because everyone hates Mondays, Wednesdays are the halfway point, Thursdays are “little Fridays”, and everyone knows about Fridays… :)) and it’s hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

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10: John Grisham – I just want to know how he comes up with his stories and ends up on the best sellers list every time!  He’s got to have some great tips…plus, does anyone know if he was an attorney earlier or does he do all the research himeself for his stories?

9: Seal Member who shot bin laden – I know they’ve recently figured out who this guy his, but I would love to just be able to shake his hand and ask him how he’s kept it a secret for this long! 

8: Stephanie Meyers – First I would want to know how she deals with the mass media of love AND hate, then I would want to know if she thinks she could ever top Twilight?

7: Margaret George – I LOVE her books.  Just to sit down to lunch with her and talk about all the different periods of history she’s covered with how she decides to put little details in the chapters would facinate me.  I’m a history junky at heart.

6: Phillippa Gregory – Her love stories with the different characters ALL in the and around the same era are amazing reads for me.  I love being able to look through the eyes of the different characters that may have been mentioned in another book to see the different points of view. 

5: Christopher Paolini – To be SO young and come up with those characters, the adventure, the places…I would love an afternoon to sit with him and just see what all he thinks about day in and day out.

4: Amy A. Bartol – This is the first author to reach out to me and send me one of her books.  I absolutely adore this woman and the characters she has given us!  I fangirl for her and what makes it awesome…she is totally cool with it.

3: Veronica Roth – I would love to know how the series ends…if she wouldn’t give up the ending, I would settle for an afternoon of find out how she thought of the factions and the different characters.  I would be surprised if she doesn’t come out and look/sound like Tris! 

2: Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games…it was a bestseller, now a major motion film.  I would love to know how she feels about the movies.  I would ask her if she’s got any other book ideas.  I want to know why she put Peeta and Katniss together…I would demand to know why Gale just wasn’t the guy she chose.  Can you tell I’m a little biased?

1: J.K. Rowling – I just want a day with her.  7 books…that’s all it took for her to be set for life.  She could choose to never write another book again.  How amazing would that be?  I want to see how quirky she is…beacuse to come up with Dobby, Hippogrifffs, and floo powder means either you’ve just got a great imagination or maybe a few nuts and bolts that aren’t tightened all the way.  Either way, I would love her the same.

Personal Effects by E. M. Kokie

With everything going on in the middle east and the loss of our ambassador and ex-navy seals, I found this book to be fitting.  Please keep your thoughts and prayers on the families who have lost loved ones or are seeing them being deployed to help protect the Americans still living in those countries.  This book totally caught me by surprise.  I knew what it was about and I knew it would probably deal with a few tough situations, but this book had so many moments where you didn’t know how things could ever be set right.

Title: Personal Effects

Author: E.M. Kokie

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Summary (by Goodreads):

Ever since his brother, T.J., was killed in Iraq, Matt feels like he’s been sleepwalking through life — failing classes, getting into fights, and avoiding his dad’s lectures about following in his brother’s footsteps. T.J.’s gone, but Matt can’t shake the feeling that if only he could get his hands on his brother’s stuff from Iraq, he’d be able to make sense of his death. But as Matt searches for answers about T.J.’s death, he faces a shocking revelation about T.J.’s life that suggests he may not have known T.J. as well as he thought. What he learns challenges him to stand up to his father, honor his brother’s memory, and take charge of his own life.

First Sentences:

Of all the lame shit on Pinscher’s backpack, his “War is Not the Answer” sticker pisses me off the most — even more than his “Practice Nonviolence” button, which makes me want to practice some violence on his face.

It’s not enough that I have to listen to him run his mouth all the time.  But to have to see all his slogans and crap on his backpack, watch him strut around and show off, laughing like it’s all a big joke — it’s almost too much to take.  Espectially on Monday mornings.  Especially on a Monday morning after an even more shitastic than usual weekend.

My take:

Disclaimers and such: I received this book from DAC ARC Tours!  Thank you for letting me read and review this ARC and thank you to Candlewick Press as well!  So although, I received this book for free in exchange for a review, all thoughts are my own.  This book was published September 11th!

I want to preface that this book does contain profanity, a fair amount. As you probably saw from the first few sentences.  Our main character is also a boy and is dealing with the rush of hormones, so he does deal with the temptation that all boys deal with at that age.

The other thing our boy, Matt, is dealing with…is a whirlwind of anger.  Anger at his physically abusive father, who swears his punches are to help him “man up”.  Anger at his mother for leaving them when he was only 4 or 5 years old.  Anger at his brother for dying while serving in the Army overseas.  Anger at bullies at school who wear shirts/pins that try to undermine the war and make it seem like Matt’s brother, T.J., died for nothing.  Everything soon comes to a head and Matt finds himself “seeing red” with consequences.

The only saving grace to Matt is his best friend, Shauna, who has the courage to stick with him through everything he deals with and is there to listen, to provide a shoulder, or just a distraction from the life he’s learned to deal with.

Matt feels the only way to deal with the loss of his brother and abusive father is to find the personal effects of T.J. and go through them.  Everything that they got back before the funeral has been hidden by his father and Matt cannot seem to find them, no matter how hard he looks.  He strikes a break one day when 3 lockers of personal effects come in from the Army filled with everything Matt owned and had with him.

After his dad leaves for work one day, Matt goes through each locker looking through each item.  Uniforms, t-shirts, iPods, pictures, and letters.  Lots of letters.  People Matt has never heard of…along with one person in particular who has written Matt over and over.  Who were these people?  Who is this “C”?  Could T.J. have had a relationship and not told Matt?  Why would Matt show up for a week at home, tell him he was deploying to go back to the middle east, but actually spend months with these people before really going back?

I liked this book.  I read through the bulk of it one night and finished it the next morning.  It was such a “real” feeling book.  I could see this unfortunately happening to someone like Matt and it made me want to sit up with him to find out what was really going on and who his brother really was.

Myst~

Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

I can’t put my finger on why I’m intruiged by this book so much.  I loved the idea of the book from the beginning and although it ended how I figured it would, I enjoyed reading it unfold.  I even got surprised with a few things at the end!

title: Darkness Before Dawn

Author: J.A. London

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary (by Goodreads):

Only sunlight can save us.

We built the wall to keep them out, to keep us safe. But it also makes us prisoners, trapped in what’s left of our ravaged city, fearing nightfall.

After the death of my parents, it’s up to me–as the newest delegate for humanity–to bargain with our vampire overlord. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the monsters. Then again, nothing could have prepared me for Lord Valentine . . . or his son. Maybe not all vampires are killers. Maybe it’s safe to let one in.

Only one thing is certain: Even the wall is not enough. A war is coming and we cannot hide forever.

First Sentences:

Standing on my balcony, I watch the sun paint its descent across the sky.  Soon the monsters will come out to play.  They like the night.  They feed on it.

Sometimes they feed on us.

From here, I can see the twenty-foot-high concrete wall that surrounds Denver.  It was built shortly after the thirty-year war that pitted humans against vampires came to an end.  It keeps out most of the monsters.  Most of them.

My Take:

I read this all in one day.  I found myself fascinated with the idea behind the story and wanted to know how it would progress.  I totally saw some things coming and then there were a few things that made my jaw drop and point my finger at the book going “Wha….I… Wha…..How?  Why did the author think of that???”

Dawn lives in a world where vampires came out to everyone.  Instead of being afraid, we treated them like celebrities and wanted to know what they thought of us.  Before we know it, we’re in the middle of a war and end up with colonies situated through out the United States with walls built around them with a vampire overlord.  There is “peace treaty” that keeps the vampires out of the city with the exception that human citizens are willing to volunteer to give blood to ensure the vampires can sustain life.

Dawn’s family is not the norm.  Her parents were the delegates, the negotiators, on behalf of the city and one night they are murdered by rogue vampires.  Lord Valentine soon requests Dawn to be the new delegate and not everyone is excited about it.  She’s only 17 and the whole city of Denver would rely on her to keep the peace.

When Dawn and Tegran (Dawn’s best friend) come back from a party…they find themselves trapped on the trolley with 4 vampires.  The situation looks grim, but someone saves them.  Victor.  He’s kind, he’s handsome, he’s a gentleman, and soon she finds out that he’s not human.  A friendship blossoms even under the stress of her new job and the horrible things the kids at school have said or done.

When things get a little messy and confusing between Dawn and her boyfriend Michael, she goes to Victor for comfort and finds that the lines aren’t so black and white.  There are many many shades of grey.  Speaking of Shades of Grey…I might have a review for that next week!  🙂

As Dawn tries to keep Lord Valentine placated, her friends kept in the dark for their safety, and keep her the relationship going with Michael, Dawn realizes that what she’s known all her life may not be entirely true.  Dawn finds she needs courage to face obstacles head on and figure out who she really wants to be and who she wants to be with.

When vampires are found murdered in the city and Dawn finds that someone is following her, things seem to go from bad to worse.  The murder of the vampires brings up questions about what creature would do such a thing; the hooded figure following her makes her wonder why someone would spy on her.  The mystery, the relationships, and the negotiations is just a sample of what this 17 year old has to handle.

I really enjoyed the book.  It leaves you with a good sized cliff hanger though.  It’s not major enough to go “OMG!”, but it’s big enough to go … “ugh! When’s the next book?”  December…this year.  Don’t worry too much!

Myst~

Narc by Crissa-Jean Chappell

Super excited to see this one published in a few days!!  This book is great at showing what teens are like and what a teen feels when thrown in an adult situation.  It’s gritty but great and a good read!  Definitely worth reading.

Title: Narc

Author: Crissa-Jean Chappell

Publisher: Flux

Summary (by Goodreads):

“You’re going to hate me forever when you learn my secret.”

Seventeen-year-old stoner Aaron Foster was offered a choice: go to jail or turn undercover narc to find the dealer who’s funneling drugs into Miami’s Palm Hammock High School. But Aaron has never been good at getting close to people. He’s human wallpaper, a stoner wastecase who’s obsessed with video games and street magic.

With a cop from Narcotics breathing down his neck, Aaron gets himself invited to parties where the deals go down. To get close to the school’s biggest players, Aaron lies to everyone–most of all, the cute but troubled Morgan Baskin. With the Everglades party on Halloween night–and a planned drug bust there–just days away, Aaron realizes that he’s falling hard for Morgan . . . and trying to protect her could cost him everything.

My take:

Disclaimers and such: This was a book from NetGalley.  It was given to me to read and review for free; I am not getting paid for this review.  This is my honest and true opinion.  That being said, thank you to Flux for letting me read and review this book!!  Everyone else, look for it to be released NEXT Wednesday!!!

Aaron gets pulled over one night for running a red light and a cop finds weed in the car…actually on his younger sister.  When forced between seeing his sister go to jail or help the cops find who is supplying his school with drugs, Aaron chooses to become an undercover narc.  Aaron soon has to choose between his newly made friends and the local law and finds that the right thing is hard to do.

Aaron makes friends with some new people; mainly 2 girls, Skully and Morgan.  Skully’s parents are filthy rich but have no time for her or her diabetic brother; so she lives in her own mansion and throws parties all the time.  Morgan’s step-mom has convinced her that she was too fat and needed to be a size zero…ever since then she’s been trying to fix herself with drugs and cutting.

Aaron’s father was killed overseas in Iraq while taking pictures of soldiers.   This leaves his mother, who is barely home to notice anything going on, with him trying to take care of things while looking over his little sister.  Poor guy!  So he truly feels alone in anything he does and feels like there’s no one to talk to.

I loved how conflicted Aaron got over friends and family.  Even though he knows what needs to be done in order to keep his family together, the friends he’s made need help and getting them sent to jail doesn’t sit right with him.  The author does a great job showing how putting kids in an adult situation doesn’t always mean it’s a black and white issue…there are many shades of grey.

I’m normally not big on contemporary books, but I really did enjoy the book, the characters, and the dilemmas.

Myst~

Poppy: Revealed by Riana Lucas

I absolutely adore this series.  I tore through this book and I’m still pining for more.  I cannot believe the emotion and love that I have for these books and the talent the girls have that write this series!!  I haven’t disliked as single book in this series yet!

Title: Poppy: Revealed (The Deadly Flower Series #3)

Author: Riana Lucas

Publisher: Self-Published

Summary (by Goodreads):

Poppy: Revealed begins with Poppy and her friends locked in battle with the Unseelie Court who have stormed the Seelie Castle interrupting Poppy’s Coronation Ceremony. After Damien’s attack, Poppy finds herself fully entrenched in planning for war with the Unseelie Court. While out for a walk, Poppy is encountered by a mysterious Golden Fae who is also Unclaimed. Interestingly enough, the Golden Fae is capable of tamping down the violence of the disease. Meanwhile, Reed asks Poppy to take him back to the Human World to visit his mother forcing her to fulfill her promise to him.

Will Reed decide to stay in the Human World? What does this dangerous Golden Fae want with Poppy and the Seelie Court? How will Poppy plan, train for, and execute a war with the Unseelie Court?

First Sentences:

“Release me at once!”  I demand, in a voice that would usually be met with immediate compliance.  Except that it is my mother whom I am speaking to and she just shakes her head disapprovingly at me before turning away.  I storm over to the wall or whatever it is and look out at my people and my friends preparing for a battle for their lives, a battle that I should be preparing to be a part of.

My take:

Disclaimers and such: I received this book from Riana Lucas!  (Which I just recently realized is two best friends writing together!) They sent me the first 2 books in this series for me to read and review and were AWESOME to send me the third!!  So although, I received this book for free in exchange for a review, all thoughts are my own.

These characters make me lose sleep and make me bite my nails.  I swear.  They break my heart one moment and make me cheer them on the next.  The villain makes me want to hurl spoons at the wall and a death of a friend makes me sniffle back tears.  I do not want this series to end, but for the health and safety of my job, my husband, and myself…..  seriously, I don’t want it to end…ever.

Poppy: Revealed picks up RIGHT where Poppy: Awake leaves us hanging.  Crazy cliffhangers…these girls…the death of me.  I know I mentioned it in my last review, but I LOVE it when authors pick right up where it left off.  It’s not like I fell asleep for a couple of hours, it’s like I blinked and we’re still in the same room, same situation, same breath… 

Poppy is trying to learn to trust and is allowing herself to slowly open up to her mother about her fears and her feelings.  She’s not quite like this:

But at least she’s not:

At the same time, Reed and Poppy are finding themselves meeting and talking to each other in their dreams.  It soon escalates and it leaves Poppy and Reed trying to figure out what it all means and what is happening between them.

Reed soon admits that he misses his mom and would like to be able to take a trip back to the human world to see her.  When she takes Reed back to visit, Poppy finds that things are not as they should seem and that what may be best for Reed is to stay with his mom.  It starts the biggest “DTR” that I’ve ever read.  Mom, I know you’re probably reading this going, “DTR??”, means “define the relationship”.  🙂

So girls….ummm…..

We are going to get a smooch in the next book right?  Because you know I’ve been DYING for one and I was SO sure we’d get some lip locking in this one.  I feel like I’m Sebastian from the Little Mermaid yelling at Eric “Go on! Kiss her, you IDIOT!” 🙂  The slow kindling romance in these books are so good though, so I can’t complain too much.  But too much more build up and I’m going to explode.  Haha!

If you’re not reading this series, you are missing out on a great story, an adventure, and some amazing friendships.  Get addicted to the series!  🙂  Poppy  ;  Poppy: Awake  ; Poppy: Revealed

Myst~

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books”

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun way to spice up Tuesdays (because everyone hates Mondays, Wednesdays are the halfway point, Thursdays are “little Fridays”, and everyone knows about Fridays… :)) and it’s hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

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Across the Universe

I love the setting in this book!  Being set on a space ship that HUGE, with crops growing in it, a colony of people, animals, warehouse of people frozen…it’s just so big and it’s hard to wrap your mind around.  LOVE it.

Eragon

The world in this book is so big.  It has countries and you’re flying from place to place on the back of a dragon.  It’s just so amazing! Plus the story is one of my favorites!

Hunger Games

When I first read this book, I couldn’t believe the world feeling of it.  I want to say this was really my first dystopian novel that didn’t include zombies or vampires….I seriously loved the world building.

Harry Potter

Of course the world itself is the actual world, but Hogwarts is just so magical.  There’s no place like it with moving staircases, the room of requirement, bathrooms with moaning Myrtle, the whomping willow…I could go on and on…including the talking portraits, the ceiling in the dining room…

Angelfall

A world in which the bad guys are angels and it’s every man for himself, Penryn is forced to try to keep her mom sane while looking for her sister since she had been kidnapped by an angel.  It’s just such a different story with a little bit of romance and some awesome one-liners.

Forest of Hands and Teeth

Zombies.  Zombies.  Zombies.  They’re the good scary kind too.  The world setting in this one is a little different since people are “holed” up within a fence in the middle of the forest and have no idea what has happened to the rest of the world.

Poppy

Two faerie courts and a warrior who travels from the Fae world to the real world on a mission.  The magic is so tangible and so amazing! It’s a beautiful world wrapped with an adventure!

Divergent

I love the factions.  I love the people.  I love the way everyone knows who they are, what they stand for is clearly seen, and there is a tangible feeling of disconnect between everyone.  The world setting is so different and so amazing!

Seraphina

Dragons, as a big flying animal and as people, are living in this amazing world with this huge white tower in the middle of the city.  The world includes magical creatures and a world of souls reborn over and over…it’s a completely new story.

The Pledge

This world was so different with the classes seperated by languages.  I wouldn’t necessarily say the world is “vivid”, but it’s so real that it made for an interesting take on the world we live.