Monday, July 28, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

Title: Of Metal and Wishes
Author: Sarah Fine
Pages: 320
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: August 5, 2014
There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.

My Thoughts: As soon as I finished reading chapter one, I just knew I was going to love this book. The eerie setting gave me a feeling similar to what I get when I look at photos of old buildings and factories. Wonder and awe. I felt this way not only with the setting but the entire story. It wasn't at all a surprise though because Of Metal and Wishes is the fourth novel I've read by Sarah Fine and her stories are some of my absolute favorites.

Of Metal and Wishes revolved around Wen, a sixteen-year-old girl trying to adjust to living with her doctor father at the local slaughterhouse Gochan One. Although she was friendly with many workers at the factory, it didn't stop the loneliness and sadness that consumed her ever since the death of her mother. Her responsibilities as her father's assistant kept her busy and were a comforting distraction, but life at Gochan One became complicated and dangerous for Wen once the barbaric Noor were hired to work there and she challenged the ghost haunting the factory.

While Wen seemed unsure of herself and what she wanted in the beginning, there was a quiet fierceness to her that was hard to miss. Her compassion and bravery were traits I really admired about her. When most of her people treated the Noor horribly, she took care of the Noor and stood up for them. Sometimes she made mistakes or acted impulsively, but she always tried to do the right thing and didn't allow others to influence her decisions. She went through a lot in this book and grew immensely, and I found her to be such a great and relatable character.

The Noor, specifically their leader Melik, had quite an impact on Wen. To most of Wen's people, the Noor are considered lower than dirt. Wen was quick to judge them too, but she eventually saw how wrong she was. Melik was honorable, hardworking, and treated his people with respect, which fascinated Wen because it didn't match what she had been told about the Noor at all. Melik had me swooning with his words, his actions, and the attention he gave Wen. I loved their tentative romance and how comfortable and protective they were of each other. What they shared was sweet and slow-burning, and I was always so happy when they had moments alone together. Being around Melik and the other Noor really helped Wen to see the world in a different way.

The mysterious Ghost was another important part of Wen's journey. He brought life to the factory, granting wishes to the workers and making Wen feel less alone. However, he also brought fear and death, and I didn't know whether or not to trust him. His obsession with Wen was a curse, but I admit, in a way, it was a blessing for her as well. If it weren't him, Wen wouldn't have gone through all the guilt that she did, but without him, she wouldn't have survived many of the things she experienced. I guess that's why I found myself sympathizing with him. He did some pretty horrible things in the factory, yet I thought he proved that redemption was possible. It even made me wish things had ended differently for him all those years ago, and I know Wen felt the same way.

I really liked that Of Metal and Wishes showed the importance of kindness, trust, friendship, and love. For Wen and those she cared about, the final chapters of the book were a bit heartbreaking and bittersweet. But it was also full of hope, which made it a fitting end to the story. With its beautiful and fluid writing and characters that were remarkable and inspiring, Of Metal and Wishes easily became one of my favorite books this year. I can't recommend it enough, and I can't wait to read the sequel!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Bookittyblog and Joyousreads have also read and reviewed Of Metal and Wishes, and you can read their reviews on their blogs. Not only that we're giving away a signed ARC to a lucky winner! The giveaway is open internationally and ends August 4. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email before a new winner is chosen. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass

Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass
Release Date: December 31, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen

If you want more, you have to give less.

That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.

So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love.

Pre-order it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author Bio: Alexis Bass grew up in Washington, went to college in Arizona, and spent her early twenties in Seattle. She currently lives in Northern California with Dylan McKay, her gorgeous and rambunctious golden retriever. She loves good fashion and good TV as much as a good book, and is a huge advocate of the three C’s: coffee, chocolate, and cheese. LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES is her first novel. Visit her at or on Twitter: @alexisbasswrite

Giveaway: Alexis is giving away a $50 gift card to the book retailer of your choice! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Falling Away by Penelope Douglas

Falling Away (Fall Away, #3) by Penelope Douglas
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: January 6, 2015

Jaxon is the guy she’s supposed to avoid. 
K.C. is the girl he won’t let get away....

K. C. Carter has always followed the rules—until this year, when a mistake leaves her the talk of her college campus and her carefully arranged life comes crashing to a halt. Now she’s stuck in her small hometown for the summer to complete her court-ordered community service, and to make matters worse, trouble is living right next door.

Jaxon Trent is the worst kind of temptation and exactly what K.C. was supposed to stay away from in high school. But he never forgot her. She was the one girl who wouldn’t give him the time of day and the only one to ever say no. Fate has brought K.C. back into his life—except what he thought was a great twist of luck turns out to be too close for comfort. As they grow closer, he discovers that convincing K.C. to get out from her mother’s shadow is hard, but revealing the darkest parts of his soul is nearly impossible.…

Pre-Order Falling Away
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Falling Away - Teaser
(unedited, subject to change prior publication)

“You’re afraid of yourself,” he said flatly. “Not me.”

And then he backed up, looking down at me." And that’s why you’re gutless, K.C." All the softness from his voice was now gone. “Now I have to shower, and you need to leave.”

And he turned around and strode for the men’s locker room.

I shook my head.

He was wrong. I wasn't gutless. Why did he keep saying that?

I sniffled and cleared my throat, standing tall. “Maybe I just don’t want you,” I blurted out and damn near smiled when he spun around, looking surprised. “Maybe I just don’t want you, Jax. Did you ever consider there might be one woman in this world that doesn’t pant after you?”

And I breathed out a small laugh as I spun around and headed for the door.

But before I even reached the handle, an arm circled my waist, yanking me back into a warm body, and I gasped just as my hair was swiped to the side and a hot mouth was on my neck.

Everything fell apart. My knees buckled, but he held me tight as my eyes closed, and my neck fell to the side, inviting him in.

Oh, my God!

It felt so good. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t pull away. I couldn’t stop him. His mouth was like hot water pouring over me, creating a blanket of heat. His teeth grazed my skin, rough but not hard, and he slid his lips and teeth over the sensitive area under my ear, and I wasn’t sure if he was kissing me or getting ready to eat me.

He left short but deep kisses across my neck, at the base, and under my ear. His tongue flicked my ear lobe right before his other hand reached around and turned my chin to him.

And then his mouth was on mine. I moaned and gasped, probably sounding like I was in pain, but I couldn’t help it. The tornado between my legs made my skin tingle.

Jax’s tongue found mine, and I groaned into his mouth, inhaling his scent that reminded me of summer. Of sweet cotton candy on a Ferris Wheel and cool water on hot skin.

The heat, the wetness, the taste, everything was hard and fast as his lips worked mine.

Keeping the same arm around my waist, his other hand left my face and dove straight under my skirt and into my panties.

“Oh,” I whimpered a muffled groan into his mouth that still held me hostage. What was he doing? I needed to stop this!

But my eyes fluttered as his smooth fingers dipped into my center, swirling the wetness already there around my clit.

And then his mouth left mine, and he yanked me up off my feet and growled in my ear.

“You’re so wet for me, K.C.” His voice was hard and threatening. “You're gutless, helpless, and a fucking liar, too.”

And then he dropped me on my ass, and I fell to the mats, shaking with confusion.

All I heard behind me was a door open and close, and I knew I was alone.

Bringing a shaky hand to my mouth, I sucked in air like it was going out of style. “Holy shit,” I whispered.

© Penelope Douglas, Falling Away
Buy books 1 & 2 of the series
Bully (Fall Away, #1)
AmazonAmazon UKB&NKoboiTunes
Until You (Fall Away, #1.5)
AmazonAmazon UKB&NKoboiTunes

Pre-order RIVAL
Coming August 26, 2014
Rival (Fall Away, #3)

About Penelope
Penelope Douglas is a writer and teacher in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to "just get the degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, the show Sons of Anarchy, and she shops at Target almost daily.

(1) $50 gift card or (5) $10 gift card. Winners choice of either Amazon or B&N card. Open internationally.