Release Day Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 28th 2014
Purchase: Ebook • Hardcover
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (HarperCollins) in exchange for an honest review

The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi’s “masterpiece” Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it’s time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won’t even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

Into the Still Blue is the EPIC conclusion to the fantastic Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi, and  wow, it didn’t disappoint! I had high hopes for this book, and it was nearly perfect. Perry and Aria are so dear to me, after reading their journey that was filled with action, romance, and thrills. I had a wonderful time reading Into the Still Blue, but I have to admit, I’m incredibly sad to be leaving Perry, Aria, and their world.

It had been a while since I last read Through the Ever Night (which is my favorite of the series), so I couldn’t remember much about what happened before Into the Still Blue, but luckily, Veronica Rossi is a brilliant storyteller. She managed to have me catching up quite quickly and effortlessly. It’s so easy to get sucked into this dystopian world, to get hooked onto Aria and Perry’s journey toward the Still Blue. There’s action in every scene, and the book kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time while reading. I just couldn’t put the book down! I was hooked on every word, every page, and I just can’t get over the storytelling! The writing is phenomenal–Veronica Rossi writes in dual third-person POV, and she works it. She’s probably one of the few authors I actually really like and am impressed with who write in this style.

Perry and Aria are put to the final test–they have to unite the Outsiders and Dwellers and get everyone to the Still Blue, all the while trying to get back Cinder from Sable, the evil Blood Lord who killed Perry’s sister and who wants total control of all Outsiders and Dwellers. Sable kidnapped Cinder, who is the only known person who can combat the deadly aether that ravages their world. There is just so much that goes on in this book, but it’s also so easy to keep up. All of the characters go through hell and back all to find a better future–friendships are put to the test, there are betrayals that shock the hell out of you, revelations that you never see coming, and SO MUCH MORE! I can’t even describe how heart-pounding and exhilarating it was to read this book.

I LOVE the characters! Perry, Aria, ROAR(!!), and even Soren are the ones who make this book, this series, special. You feel all the emotions that they feel as well, and you cheer for them over and over again. Each character is unique and complex and so real. They come alive off the pages–Veronica Rossi has created the most incredible cast of characters that I will miss dearly! And one of the top things that I will miss too? The BROMANCE between Perry and Roar. 😉

And have I mentioned how much I love Aria and Perry? They were wonderful in the first two books, and it’s no different in this final one. I loved them even more in Into the Still Blue, where they’re actions really show how much they’ve grown. As I was reading, it all came back to me how much I really cared for these two characters. They’ve endeared themselves to me, through their actions, words, and love. God, I just love the romance between Perry and Aria. The love they have for each other is rock-solid, something that strengthens them and gives them hope for a brighter future, and it’s just beautiful. And yet at the same time, Aria and Perry are brilliant as individuals as well. But still, who doesn’t love a good romance? And this one is sooo good!

“What I was trying to say,” he whispered, “is that I see you in everything. There isn’t a word for you that means enough, because you’re everything to me.”

Perry makes me swoon so. freaking. hard.

I never wanted the book to end–but when it did, I was smiling so hard. I LOVED the ending! It was so beautiful and heartwarming and believable. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed with this brilliant final book. And if you haven’t read this series yet, you must! The Under the Never Sky series stands out in the dystopian genre, and is a must read.

4 hearts–loved it, but I can’t give a 5 because it didn’t have the same oomph as the second book!

4 hearts

Reading Order: Under the Never Sky series

Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi Brooke by Veronica Rossi Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

#0.5 ~ Roar and Liv: Ebook • Goodreads
#1 ~ Under the Never Sky: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Through the Ever Night: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Brooke: Ebook • Goodreads
#3 ~ Into the Still Blue: Ebook • Hardcover • Goodreads

Blog Tour + Review & Giveaway: Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

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Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Branded (Sinners #1)
by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
Release Date: 06/28/13
252 pages
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Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

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Branded was quite a thrill to read! It’s got a great, angsty forbidden love and a plot chock-full of intense action. It’s dark and gritty, and the authors hold nothing back. This is a young adult book, but there is death, gore, and murder, so just beware! If you think this is just a simple, clean dystopian, you’re going to be in for a shock. There is an incredible amount of violence in this book, which I really enjoyed, because the authors really make me feel for the main character, and for her pain.

In the world Lexi Hamilton lives in, there exists The Hole, the place where people are sent to when they are accused of displaying one of the seven deadly sins. Lexi is wrongfully accused of Lust, and is forced into The Hole, and is branded with a blue band around her neck. The blue represents lust, and there are different colors for each deadly sin. These brands dehumanize those who are marked, and even worse, The Hole is absolutely filthy. It’s dirty and grimy, and the people live there do anything and everything to survive, including killing others.

It’s so, so painful for Lexi to be taken to The Hole. She has an awful, tragic past, and even though she’s a good person, she’s closed off. Her heart can’t take any more pain in her life, and I felt so much for this girl. She’s been dealt a bad hand in life, but being sent to The Hole might just ironically be the best thing that could have happened to her. Lexi is assigned a guard, a gorgeous man named Cole. He’s tough on Lexi but he still treats her infinitely better than other guards would. Lexi and Cole have to spend time together, especially since they live in rooms right next to each other. Lexi sees him only as an untrustworthy guard working for the evil Commander, but she slowly starts to see the good, kind side of Cole. He has a good heart, he’s loyal, and he’s got a dog named Zeus!

Cole is such a sweetheart! He’s cold in the beginning of the book, and doesn’t see Lexi any differently from the other prisoners in The Hole, but as he gets to know her, he falls for her goodness, for her huge heart, and for her incredible courage. Because no matter how bad her situation is, Lexi always moves forward. Some things might bring her down, but she’ll get back up. I really admired Lexi, and I adored Cole for his sweet actions and words.

“You’re beautiful. That’s the problem.” He shuffles his feet and shifts his weight uncomfortably. “They can’t stop looking at you.” He glances up at me for a brief second before locking his gaze on something behind me. “And I understand why.” The words come out so soft I can barely hear them.

Sadly, the romance sort of tapered off during the second half of the book. I mean, I still really wanted Lexi and Cole to get their happily ever after, but it just wasn’t the main focus of the story anymore. At least for me it wasn’t. In the second half, I didn’t feel the same intensity between Lexi and Cole as I did in the first half. And the book shifted more towards the rebellion against The Commander and his soldiers. There’s some awesome action scenes, but things moved a little too fast for me near the end, so I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I wanted to.

Branded has some twists and turns that kept me reading, and for dystopian fans, or even romance fans, this book is worthy a try. Cole is the sweetest, and Lexi is such a tough heroine. I give a 4 for the first half, and 3 for the second, so 3.5 hearts!



about the authors

Abi Ketner & Missy KalicickiAbi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

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20 ebooks of Branded (mobi) Open Internationally
5 signed print copies and picture of Cole (US only)

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Blog Tour + Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol

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Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol

Title: Under Different Stars (Kricket #1)
Author: Amy A. Bartol
Genre: YA Dystopian
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All she wants is a home, but can she find one…UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

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This is my first time reading a book by Amy A. Bartol, and I’m impressed! I highly enjoyed delving into this fantastic dystopian world filled with intrigue, romance, and action.

It’s been a while since I’ve read anything other than contemporary, but Under Different Stars reminded me of just how much I love the dystopian genre. And there’s also some fantasy and sci-fi too, which I love. I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d be reading about–the blurb didn’t really tell me much. And while it took a bit to get me hooked onto the story, once I did get hooked, I couldn’t stop reading. There’s never a dull moment in Under Different Stars, and the characters are all well written and very likable.

Kricket is just a girl who doesn’t have any parents and is waiting for the day until she turns 18 so she can finally not have to worry about being placed in a foster home. She’s a fairly normal girl… until the day she gets chased by two different sets of men–Trey and his soldiers, and Kyon and his soldiers. Both of them want to take her away from Earth, because it turns out that they’re not human–and neither is Kricket. Kricket manages to avoid them, but eventually she is taken by Trey, and they, along with Trey’s men Wayra and Jax, have to travel to the world of Ethar to get to the country of Rafe, where Kricket half belongs.

Kricket was originally born in Ethar, and she is half Alameeda and half Rafe. This new world Kricket is thrust into is confusing and overwhelming, with its different lingo and mannerisms, but Kricket never gives up in the face of adversary. She’s tough and smart and witty, and eventually, she wins over her kidnappers. Kricket and Trey become more comfortable with each other, and there is an underlying sense of tension between them.

It was so fascinating to read this book. I never knew what to expect. Kricket’s life is constantly in danger, and Kyon is one of the reasons why. Trey becomes her guardian and protector, and though he’s not allowed to fall in love with her, he can’t help it.

“He was telling us that your voice will give comfort when the night becomes its blackest,” he replies. “And I’ll protect that voice with my body, my mind, and my spirit… because without it, I’m alone in the dark.”

Trey is the sweetest! He’s fiercely protective of Kricket, and he’ll do anything to save her life. And in between people who want to use Kricket as a pawn and a war brewing between Rafe and Alameeda, Kricket needs all the protection she can get.

I had such a great time reading Under Different Stars. It was nothing like anything I’ve ever read, and I loved that. It’s intense and thrilling, and I’m incredibly excited for more of Kricket’s journey.




Water swirls around me as I open my eyes. I shiver, realizing I’m in Trey’s arms. He’s standing chest deep in crystal blue water with Wayra pacing on the bank only steps away. Clutching Trey closer to me, my cheek remains on his shoulder. Watching a bead of water slip down his powerful neck, I hear Jax say, “She’s waking up.”

Trey, cupping his hand in the water, pours some of it over my hair. It drips down the sides of my face, cooling me. “Let’s get her out. I’ll get the visor and we can check her vitals.”

As Trey wades out of the pond with me in his arms, I try to lift my head from his shoulder. It makes me dizzy so I lay it back. It’s then I notice that I’m only in my bra and underwear. A blush creeps into my cheeks as I hug Trey tighter to me. Wayra meets us on the bank, draping a blanket over us. Trey sits down with me on his lap. He leans against a tree trunk holding me securely to his chest. Peeking at his face, he seems angry as he smoothes my hair back from my face.

Hurrying over with the visor that looks like grandma goggles, Trey sets them on my eyes. Everything is green as I gaze around at the water in front of us. Flashing green lights and readouts occupy the peripherals of the glasses, but the information is running faster than I can possibly read it.

“Ho!” Jax exclaims next to me.

Immediately, Trey’s arms tighten on me as he barks out, “What? How bad is it?”

“Naw, it’s not bad…it’s just…Kricket…” Jax breathes, like he’s in awe. “Look at this brain activity…it’s massive.”

“What do you mean?” Trey asks with relief in his tone.

Jax grins. “She’s lighting everything up. Look at her frontal lobe…it’s off the charts.”

“What does that mean? Is she healthy?” Trey growls.

Jax nods enthusiastically. “She’s healthy! We didn’t fry her with heat stroke, that’s for sure. Or, if we did, she’s got more brain activity than anyone I’ve ever seen to compensate for it,” he replies, sounding seriously geeked about it.

“Those things aren’t broken, are they?” Trey asks speculatively.

“No…here.” Jax pulls them off my face. “Wayra, come here.”

Wayra walks over and Jax puts the glasses on his eyes. “See! He’s normal, well, normal for him. See how it doesn’t light up in these areas?” he points out to Trey.


“Now watch this,” he says, taking the glasses off of Wayra, he places them back on my face. “See? It’s like Christmas in Chicago with all those lights,” Jax says proudly.

“So that means she’s smart?”

Jax beams. “Yeah, she’s smart! She’s brilliant! There’s no telling what she can do.”

“If she’s so smart, why did she run until she almost popped? Why didn’t she just tell us she needed to rest?” Wayra asks derisively.

“Personality flaw,” Trey replies. “She’s going to show us that she’s not weak.”

“She’s sitting right here,” I murmur, pulling the glasses off my face and handing them to Jax.

about the author

Amy A. BartolI live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re  real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.

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prizes Under Different Stars

1st place: KINDLE FIRE + ebook of Under Different Stars
2nd place: Kindle Cover + $50 Amazon Gift Card
3rd place: $50 Amazon Gift Card

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  • Giveaway administered by Amy A. Bartol
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  • Before entering this giveaway please check: To ship Kindle Fire outside the U.S. view important information specific to your country.

Early Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Pawn by Aimee Carter

Pawn by Aimee Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Publication Date: November 26th 2013
Purchase: Ebook • Hardcover
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Harlequin Teen) in exchange for an honest review


For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.

This was one of my anticipated new releases this year, because I loved Aimee Carter’s The Goddess Test series, but unfortunately, the first book in her new The Blackcoat Rebellion series fell flat for me. I’m a huge fan of dystopian books, and I had expected something unique and exciting, but while the concept was intriguing, Pawn couldn’t hold my interest, and the characters grated on my nerves more often than not.

I didn’t hate the book, but I didn’t really enjoy it either. Mostly because of Kitty, the heroine. She should have been perceived as a survivor in her new world, someone tough, determined to live, and courageous. But to me, she was weak and annoying. Every decision she made was with hesitation, and sure, maybe she needed to make rational decisions to keep herself alive, but it was tiring to see her never fighting for herself. It was always, “I have to keep myself alive” so she does nothing because she doesn’t want to jeopardize her life. She becomes a pawn, and even worse, a pushover. She was always second-guessing herself and saying how she has no choice but to do others’ bidding, except near the end, when she finally makes bigger and tougher choices.

In Kitty’s world, at seventeen, you receive a number tattooed onto yourself, and that number determines everything about you–your job, your life, your quality of living–and the higher your number is, the better off you are. The numbers range from I to VII. The Ones ending up being killed, and only the Hart family, the leaders of this new world, are Sevens. On Kitty’s seventeenth birthday, she receives a III and a job in the sewers, and is devastated. If she’d gotten a VI, she could have lived a relatively normal life, but with a III she has to leave her home and boyfriend, Benjy.

Kitty doesn’t want the life of a III, so she goes with a prostitute to be auctioned off. At this point, I wasn’t sure why Kitty wanted to join that kind of life, and I honestly had no idea what was going on. Pretty much the only thing I liked about the book were the twists and surprises Aimee Carter has up her sleeve. So instead of being auctioned off, Kitty meets with Daxton Hart, the prime minister, a man who has nearly all the control in her country. She has a choice of either death or becoming a VII, so of course she chooses to become a VII.

What Kitty unknowingly agreed to was becoming Daxton Hart’s neice, Lila, who was killed recently. Kitty is Masked and is surgically transformed into Lila, and has to learn how to be Lila if she wants to keep living. Kitty enters this world of death, corruption, murder and chaos, and has to do Daxton’s bidding to stay alive. Kitty’s new life involves speeches to give, rebellions, and family problems. And the Hart family has serious problems. They’re so manipulative, always plotting someone’s and/or each other’s murders, and while all of this should have been intriguing, I wasn’t interested at all. I didn’t like the main character, so I couldn’t connect with her, and the story was too convoluted to enjoy.

The romance was also very weak. Even though Kitty has a boyfriend, their relationship wasn’t fleshed out well enough. They loved each other, and yet didn’t seem to belong with each other. I’m not sure if Aimee Carter did this on purpose, but either way, I didn’t care for the romance. If you’re looking for a romance book, or even something like her Goddess Test series, look elsewhere. Pawn mainly focuses on the dystopian aspect of the story, and it’s mostly politics at that.

The villain was at least mildly interesting, since Kitty’s never sure who the villain actually is. There’s so much backstabbing that there’s no one she can trust. Even I couldn’t tell who was the good guy or the bad guy. If you’re more into this kind of story, with political agendas and corruption and secrets that eventually get someone killed, then Pawn might be for you. But for me, it just didn’t click.

2 hearts

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer


Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 5th 2013
Purchase: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Hey guys! Sorry for not reviewing in a while, school and finals week just took over my life, but it’s summer now so I have all the time in the world to review and read(: {except for SAT school but let’s not talk about that}

I remember getting this book from Lacey and thinking that I probably wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as the first book, Cinder, because it had two different point of views (Cinder’s and Scarlet’s). Normally, I don’t enjoy books with many point of views because I just want to concentrate on ONE character and I start getting confused between what is happening in whose point of view because there’s just so many feels and information going through my head. SOOO, when I started reading Scarlet, I was kind of bored, but that was also probably because I was being bias with my only one POV thing and I really did not understand why we had to read Scarlet’s story. LITTLE DID I KNOW.

I honestly loved both point of views so so much and they were both very interesting! There wasn’t an imbalance, with one being more interesting that the other.

*ALSO, IS IT JUST ME, OR am I literally the last person on Earth to realize that Cinder = Cinderella & Scarlet = Red Riding Hood. like what is wrong with me I am literally the slowest person ever.*

Anyways, if you guys have that feeling too about too many povs, try checking this book out! You might like love it like I did! I JUST TOTALLY LOVED THIS BOOK AND I DON’T THINK I EVER WENT THROUGH A BOOK SO FAST BEFORE LIKE I FINISHED IT IN ONE DAY AND I STILL had homework but you know.

I honestly canNOT wait for the 3rd book to come out next year i AM SO EXCITED




Reading Order: The Lunar Chronicles

Cinder by Marissa Meyer Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Cress by Marissa Meyer Winter by Marissa Meyer

#1 ~ Cinder: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Scarlet: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Cress: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Winter: Goodreads (Nov. 10, 2015)