SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews

Well there is not much to say abut me. I love coffee and books and if I can drink a fresh hot coffee while reading even better:)

I started to review a couple years ago and I still loving it. I love the book community and met many awesome people along the way. I'm looking forward to connect to even more of you awesome people out there and of course continue to discover more great books.

You can also find me at my blog over at SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews . And on Goodreads 

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Review: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire - Sarah J. Maas

 

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.

OMFG, first of this book is absolutely insane. So many things are happening, so many new characters and new groups, new and old alliances are made and broken.

There is suffering but also hope, there is love and there is also betrayal. A way overdue war is brewing.

To be honest I don’t even know how to review this book and give it the credit it deserves without spoiling anything.  So I will make this review rather short and just go over certain point and charcaters without going to much into detail.

But really I think this a series everyone who loves fantasy should read, just as simple as that.

Celaena, at the end of last book she left for Wendlyn, and we discovered who she really is as Chaol did some research. We see her first in this book, as she arrives in a new place with new people. She is all alone and has to face some pretty cruel tasks.  She is forced to face her true self and learn to be that. She is still not herself and not over to what happened last. We get to see a semi new side to her, broken and without hope as she faces all the new challenges thrown at her. We see her slowly healing and dealing with the aftermath of the events in the last book. We see her grow even more and embrace a new life.  We also get a great peak into her past, her past as a child. Which I really enjoyed.

Chaol. I always was a huge fan of his and still am. But I think he got some off the worse if it in this book. We get to see him torn, between love and loyalty. For her and for his best friend and his kingdom. He struggles a lot in this book with the secret he knows. He also makes some new allies, which was really enjoyable and I think is a new bromance all on its own.

Dorian. I’m torn with him, really Am., I like him but he also annoys me. We learn a little more about his gifts but not as much as I would have liked. Also, I was happy for him but I also wanted to tab his eyes out, not sure why because, I really never was team Dorian and I kind of felt betrayed by my own feelings lol.

The King….. Short… he needs to DIE!

Now some quick things about some of the new people, not all because there are quite a few so I mentioned some that have a bigger part.

Manon, to be honest I was bit confused about it at first. About who, why and how it all comes together. Her part was almost like reading and complete different book up to a certain part when it clicks and we know where it is going. I really enjoyed her and canot waiyt to see how it all plays out. I’m sure it will be bloody and it will be big and epic.

Sorscha, she kind of came out of nowhere and I was not sure how I felt about that, even more so when it was revealed that she was kind of there the whole time. I did like her and her part and would love to learn more about her.

Aedion, really enjoyed him and his story and love that we get all that backstory from and about him. I have a feeling we will see a lot more of him in future books.

Rowan.  I went from hating him to loving him. I can’t wait to read more of him. We already learn a lot of him and his tragic past but I think we will learn a lot more. Also love the friendship we get with him. Hashtag friendshipgoals.

I think that is it about it about the people without giving too much away.

As mentioned we get to meet some new people, new groups and new places. We follow all of them and the Glass Court that we already know. Plus of course Celaena/ Aelin. We get all the different storylines in one big story and everything will come together. At the very beginning I was a little confused and thought it will be confusing with so many new people and POVs but it really wasn’t.  While I absolutely loved this book and thought it was epic, I must say. I thought the beginning was a bit slow and that is why I cannot give it a full 5 stars. But the rest of course was fast paced and awesome. Filled with action, love and sorrow, hope, humor and betrayal all in the right places. It will give you all kind of feels.

Overall epic book and I can’t wait to see what will happen next but I’m sure it will be bloody and epic.

I rate this book 4 ½ ★

Some of my favorite quotes:

“You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love.”

***

“Their hands clasped between them, he whispered into her ear, "I claim you, too, Aelin Galathynius.”

***

“Because I am lost," she whispered onto the earth. "And I do not know the way.”

***

“You collect scars because you want proof that you are paying for whatever sins you've committed. And I know this because I've been doing the same damn thing for two hundred years. Tell me, do you think you will go to some blessed Afterworld, or do you expect a burning hell? You're hoping for hell--because how could you face them in the Afterworld? Better to suffer, to be damned for eternity and--”

***

“As for Celaena," he said again, "you do not have the right to wish she were not what she is. The only thing you have a right to do is decide whether you are her enemy or her friend.”

***

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Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

Links

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Amazon

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Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/review-heir-fire-throne-glass-3-sarah-j-maas

Reading progress update: I've read 253 out of 608 pages.

Lord of Shadows - Cassandra Clare

uhhhh what ?!?! 

Review: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas

 

"A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

If you have not read book one, this review may contain spoilers.

This book starts of pretty much where the last one ended. I really liked the last book but I must say I LOVED this book. I just loved it, everything about it was great.

The story telling, the world setting, the characters growth and arcs, the endless twist and turns and many shocking surprises.

This book gave me whiplash like hardly any book before. I went from laughing and swooning to be being shocked, heartbroken and sobbing like a fool. Just be be brought back to being shocked to the amazing and powerful ending of this book. While some of the things with Celaena I suspected other came as a complete surprise.

Too not spoil anything to those who have not read it I will not go into too much detail as always.

In this book we learn so much more about our major players in this series. Celaena, Dorian, Chaol, Nehemia but also a lot more about the king and his motives.

We also get to meet some new people. Some are nice, others not so much.

There is still a love triangle but I must say I did not mind it as it fit and actually some things made sense.

We learn so much more of Celaena, her past her future plans and so much more. As mentioned about I had some idea what was about to come for her but some things were a surprise. But really it made sense. We get to see her at her best and maybe even happy, but we also get to see her at her worse and see why she is Adarlan's most feared assassin.

Dorian surprised me in this book, in more than one way. I actually thought he was great and reacted fairly well to certain ‘news”. There is more to Dorian than believed in book one.

The same goes for Chaol. I also liked him and he also surprised me with some reactions he had. Also some new and interesting facts come to light about him and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Nehemia, also plays a huge part in this book again and some new and very shocking are revealed about her. I love the friendship her and Celaena have.

Some people from Celaena’s past that shake things up and also give us a closer look at her past and the life she lived.  We also meet some new people on the Kings site.

Overall. I cannot say enough how much I loved this book and everything about it. Even when it pulled me off cloud nine so I could have had my heart ripped out and slowly trampled on and after that just sitting there in awe.

If I could give it a ten star rating I would but as my rating only goes to 5, a 5 ★ it is.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“I can't tell if I should be ashamed of wanting to hold you on this day, or grateful that, despite what happened before now, it somehow brought me to you.”

***

“I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn't, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.”

***

“Who said anything about shame?" She gestured down to her naked body, even though it was covered by the blanket. "Honestly, I'm surprised you're not strutting about, boasting to everyone. I certainly would be if I'd tumbled me.

"Does your love for yourself know no bounds?"

"Absolutely none.”

***

“Then Celaena and the King of Adarlan smiled at each other, and it was the most terrifying thing Dorian had ever seen.”

***

“If they wanted Adarlan's Assassin, they'd get her.

And Wyrd help them when she arrived.”

***

“But he had no idea what sort of darkness lurked inside her, or what sort of monster she was willing to become in order to make things right.”

***

 

Available NOW 

  

 

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

Links

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Amazon

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Reading progress update: I've read 143 out of 608 pages.

Lord of Shadows - Cassandra Clare

Things are a little tense 

Review: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas

 

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world

I’ve been hearing about Sarah J Maas’s books for a while now and after having read The a Court of Thorns and Roses Series I thought it was time to dip my toes into her Throne of Glass series. And man am I happy that I did and I’m not sure why I waited so long. The only good thing is now I can binge read the books

I loved this book. I loved everything about it. The story, the characters, the writing, the magic and the endless twists and turn. I say that even though there is a love triangle, most of you know that I’m not a big fan of them but I must admit. It is very well done in this book and not all that bothersome. Considering Celaena is doesn’t even really catch on to both of them.

I already have picked my fav. I will not say who and why in this review, to not maybe spoil it to the few who have not read it yet. I know some have not but I think I’m pretty late on this series lol

I also super enjoyed the multiple POVs we get in this books, that way we get as much info as we can and get to know some of the other people in the book better.

Celaena I just loved her. I loved that she is that super bad a$$ assassin, known and feared by most but yet she has a pretty vulnerable site to her. She has fears and worries like most of us. I loved her backstory and I can’t wait to read more about her and her past. I love that she is super smart and thinks things through beforehand…. Well most of the time. I love her sense of humor and that she fights what she thinks is right. I also loved that she is such an avid reader.

Dorian. I enjoyed very much. I loved that he didn’t “act “as the crown prince as he should. I loved that he matched Celaena’s humor and sarcasm with his own.

Chaol, I also enjoyed very much, he was also funny and met her sarcasm plus he could fight her and survive.

Nehemia, I liked her a lot and can’t not wait to learn more of her.

Like, I said before I loved this book and everything about it. We get action, romance, lots of humor magic and lots of twists and turns. I personally can’t wait to learn and fight out more about the forbidden magic, the history and what is about to come. I of course have my theories and we shall see what will happen next and how long the love triangle will last or if she will even choose one ever.

Overall, great book and I rate it 5 ★. It could have been a 4 or better but I really loved this book and how I connected with it so I give it as solid five stars.

Some of my favorite quotes

“Libraries were full of ideas—perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”

***

“How long was I asleep?" she whispered. He didn't respond.

"How long was I asleep?" she asked again, and noticed a hint of red in his cheeks.

"You were asleep, too?"

"Until you began drooling on my shoulder.”

***

“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name's Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I'd still beat you, no matter what you call me.”

***

“She moaned into her pillow. "Go away. I feel like dying."

"No fair maiden should die alone," he said, putting a hand on hers. "Shall I read to you in your final moments? What story would you like?"

She snatched her hand back. "How about the story of the idiotic prince who won't leave the assassin alone?"

"Oh! I love that story! It has such a happy ending, too—why, the assassin was really feigning her illness in order to get the prince's attention! Who would have guessed it? Such a clever girl. And the bedroom scene is so lovely—it's worth reading through all of their ceaseless banter!”

***

“What's the point in having a mind if you don't use it to make judgements?”

***

Available NOW 

  

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

Links

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Amazon

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Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/throne-glass-throne-glass-1-sarah-j-maas

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor

 

 

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

I’ve been seeing this book around all over the place and been meaning to read it for a while now. So I was happy to finally get to it. I must admit that whole I liked it a lot it was not as good as I thought it be until the last few chapters. The beginning for me was a bit slow and confusing and I had no idea what was going on for a while or where it was going. Even though we go through a couple timelines throughout the book it became less confusing the more I got into the book. The world and character building was absolutely beautiful. I really enjoyed the different worlds and times. I enjoyed the characters even more. I really liked one of our main character Karou, she sis strong can kick butt and of course fly (lol ) and has a funny side. I also really liked Zuzana and what she meant to Karou. I did have a little trouble connecting with Akiv in the beginning but it seemed to get a little better throughout the book and we get deeper into the story. I also think and sort of hope we will see more of Kaz. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and looking forward to book two, which I think will be even better. As the story seems to be just starting at the end of this book. And now that we have all the introduction into the world and people over with. I will rate it 3 ½ ★ as the beginning was a bit too slow for me.

Available NOW 

   

Laini Taylor

Hi! I write fantasy books. My latest is STRANGE THE DREAMER, about a young librarian, a mythic lost city, and the half-human children of murdered gods. Check it out :-) Before that I wrote the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE trilogy, which has been translated into 32 languages. It's about a blue-haired art student raised by monsters, a broken angel, and a war that has raged for 1000 years in another world. I also wrote LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES, which was a National Book Award finalist, and the DREAMDARK books. As well as various short stories and novellas.

Thanks for reading!!

Links

Website *** Twitter *** Goodreads *** Amazon

 

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Blog Tour: Not Dead Yet by Samie Sands with Giveaway

Today’s stop is for Samie Sands’s Not Dead Yet. We will have info about the book and author, and a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway. Happy Reading :) 


The AM13 Outbreak has affected everywhere, the entire world has experienced infection.   Victims of the virus are no longer human, they've changed, become something scientifically impossible. With their loss of human function and their new lust for flesh, there’s only one word to describe them...   Zombies.   The world is divided as everyone tries to work out how to survive. Many have already lost their lives in the fight, but there are still a few who are not dead...   Yet!

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Previous Books in the series 

Book One

Leah Watton’s practical joke has spiralled way out of control—all to impress a crush… With a prank online video, Leah hopes to catch the attention of Jake Colton, a cute, blond-haired, blue-eyed co-worker she’s had a crush on for months. But instead of sending it to Jake, she manages to forward the clip to her boss—who buys every gory second. When mass panic ensues, Leah learns the video is more than a staged act… The government is calling the virus AM13. As the outbreak spreads,citizens are forced to stay indoors while they assess the gravity of the illness. Most people are quarantined in their homes, but Leah,Jake, and Leah’s best friend Michelle are some of the unlucky few who are stuck at work when the Lockdown occurs. That’s where she first encounters one of the infected… Aside from a contaminated woman devouring one of her co-workers, Leah has another problem. Does she do as she’s ordered and stay at work? Or should she disobey government orders and break free to reunite with her family? She can’t go it alone—after all, Leah has none of the skills needed to survive—but with Michelle and Jake by her side, not even a contagious virus and a sea of the dead can keep her from… Breakingout of the Lockdown…

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Book Two 

Every attempt to contain the deadly AM13 virus has failed, leaving humanity on the brink of extinction… The plague is spreading out of control with no cure in sight. Then the government announces its new plan—a sanctuary in an area completely untouched by the infected—as long as you can get there alive andunscathed. Ethan Watton has managed to survive this long, even with OCD making everyday more hellish than it already is… Ethan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder dramatically affected his life before the infection began. Now he’s desperate to get as far away from the zombie virus as humanly possible. Isolated and afraid, Ethan thinks there is no way in hell he will survive the epidemic.   Alyssa Turner has spent her teenage years prepping for the undead to challenge her zombie killing skills… Alyssa knows with absolute certainty that she will survive the AM13 virus.She’s read all the books, watched all the films, and done all the research. She’s strong, tough, and a self-proclaimed badass. Any group would be lucky to fight alongside her…until the unthinkable makes her doubt every skill she’s acquired. Dr.Jones is a scientist who doesn’t understand why he was selected to produce a cure… Surely there are survivors more experienced in virology than he is. And what will happen to him—and the rest of the species—if he fails? Is the fate of the human race really resting on his shoulders? Or are there others working toward the same goal? With the zombies multiplying and survivors struggling to make it to the sanctuary, Ethan, Alyssa, and Dr. Jones fight to fulfill their destinies. If they fail, their fate is sealed, and they will join the millions of others who have been… Forgotten.

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Book Three

Writing books about the horrors of the zombie apocalypse is one thing—but Georgie Blake can’t believe it has become her reality… She never expected her fictional stories of blood, death, and the consumption of human flesh to jump off the page into the real world.She certainly didn’t think she’d survive this long if they had.As a shy novelist, she was sure she’d be one of the first to die. Safe in the Sanctuary, Georgie holds on to hope for a cure... But that’s not all she holds on to. The government has promised the people of the Sanctuary that they can return home. The rumours are rife that there is an antidote on the horizon. But even if not, the infected are dying out, throwing the treacherous AM13 virus to thebrink of extinction. If the infection dies out, this horrible nightmare Georgie is living in will be a distant memory. Until everything that’s right goes terribly wrong... Soonafter meeting some new friends in the Sanctuary, Georgie learns she’s going to have to face the monsters outside the walls if she wants to return to her old life. But for a scared, introverted bookworm, it may be too much to consider... WillGeorgina conquer her fears of the dead to return home, or will she beone of the countless others who have gone Extinct?

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Samie Sands is a 28 year old freelance graphic designer who has recently decided to follow her lifelong dream and use her creativity in a new way by writing. She has a degree in Media Studies and PR and has already had articles published in a number of e-zines, including one of the most popular pieces at Zombie Guide Magazine. She has also had short stories included in a number of successful projects. She livesin a small seaside town in the UK, but loves to travel to gaininspiration from new places and different cultures.

Links

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Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-not-dead-yet-samie-sands-giveaway

Review: By the Book by Julia Sonneborn

By the Book - Julia Sonneborn

 

An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

Anne Corey is about to get schooled.

An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.

Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

I’m always up for a second chance romance, but unfortunately this book was not for me. From the plot line to the characters were things I disliked. For one we had way to many clichés in this. Both character and story wise.  Also it was way to predictable for me, while we get a little of that in a lot of books, this was just too much along with the clichés.

The main characters who us a English Professor is also a bit of a  literary snob, so is also her co-worker who also happens to be her best friend. He wont read anything published after 1920 which would be fine if it didn’t come  over so snotty. Speaking of the best friend who also happens to be gay, he could have not been more of a stereotype, the way her dressed or talked or behaved. I think that could have been much better and less cliché and it would have been more enjoyable. We have come so far when it comes to LGBTQs so there is no reason to throw out all these cliches.

I also was not a big fan of the Anne, who also was been way to overplayed . She lived to much in the what has been and not in the what is happening now. She seemed to play with people because she only thought f herself at times.

Overall, I was not a fan but I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will overlook all the clichés like the book much better.

I rate it 2 ★

*I received a free copy from the publisher and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

Will be available Feb 6th 2018

JULIA SONNEBORN IS AN ENGLISH PROFESSOR AND A LOS ANGELS NATIVE. AFTER HEADING EAST FOR COLLEGE AND GRADUATE SCHOOL, SHE HIGHTAILED IT BACK TO CALIFORNIA,WHERE SHE NOW LIVES WITH HER HUSBAND, TWO KIDS, TWO CATS AND A DOG.

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Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/review-book-julia-sonneborn

Blog Tour: Deliverance by Kristy Centeno with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today’s stop is for Kristy Centeno’s Deliverance. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :)


He’s been locked away his entire life. He dreams of freedom. The only way he can accomplish his goals is by breaking free of the chains tying him to a dark past and gloomy existence. But there’s one catch. He’s not human. And he’s never set foot outside his jail.   Devoted to saving his peers as well as his own life, he sets out to find the one person that can help him achieve his objectives. He knows where she will be and what she will look like, but what he doesn’t anticipate is the fact he finds himself caring for the girl whose life he’s put at risk, more and more each day.   He has no name. He has only known hatred and violence before her. However, she will teach him to have faith in humanity, even if she can’t trust him. Together they will embark on a journey to bring down a corrupt system responsible for the loss of many innocent lives. But when he finds his feelings compromised, can he still move on knowing that doing so will put an end to the life she once knew? How far is he willing to go to be free?

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She coerces my lips open with her tongue. I oblige, shutting my eyes to revel in the barrage of sentiments borne of her actions. For once, I allow myself the luxury of being consumed by an emotion I can hardly keep under wraps. A craving unlike any I’ve ever felt before rises and quickly becomes my biggest enemy. I’m overwhelmed with the need to caress Kristina—to lure her in and keep her tightly clutched against my chest. I want so much more than to sit still as her tongue invades my mouth, gently stroking my own. My body betrays me in a very physical way. In my confusion, I’m apprehensive as to how to proceed. Where do I go from here? I wrestle with my desire to explore her body, and her specific requirements to keep my appendages where they won’t come in contact with any part of her anatomy. Not easy to do with our mouths joined, and Kristina so painfully close to me.

Kristy Centeno is the author of the Secrets of the Moon saga and Keeper Witches series. She has always had a passion for books and after years of being an avid reader, she decided to transform her desire to write into a reality and thus, her first novel was born. When she’s not busy taking care of her five children or holding down the fort, she finds time to sit and do what she loves the most: writing.

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Reading progress update: I've read 688 out of 688 pages.

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices) - Cassandra Clare

The end ... so many emotions 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 603 out of 688 pages.

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices) - Cassandra Clare

I did not see that coming 

 

Featured Friday: Fillius Glint by Ditrie Marie Bowie with Excerpt and Interview

Today for “Feature Friday” let us welcome the wonderful Ditrie Marie Bowie and her book Fillius Glint.

We will have info about the book and author, agreat excerpt of the book and a interview with Ditrie Marie.

Make sure to check everything out and go and show her some love and add the book to your TBR ;) 

Happy Reading :) 


35156081

When you are an adult, living with your parents can be awkward. All Nigel Iffik wants is one quiet night alone with his hand. Instead, he unwittingly unleashes a malicious virus which infects his entire family's network of electronics and Universe Growers. Trillions of sentient beings succumb to destruction as his sister, Nancy, scrambles to undo the damage to her mostly unprotected Universe Grower. Will the anti-viral protocols stop the digital onslaught in time?

Follow four residents of one such endangered universe as they chomp tacos, battle the absurd, and uncover a secret that will change their lives forever.

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This dream was boring. Instead of battling fire-breathing dragons or taming ninja rats, I was standing around waiting for something to happen. I mean, come on. Elder Boya was here, too, even though he’d died five years ago. And Dream Boya wasn’t a paragon of action-adventure, either.

Just. Standing.

We were stuck in the center of my village— a patch of dust ringed by straw-thatched huts. I ran past the taco trees that bordered the village, but the dream plopped me right back in the center whenever I closed in on freedom.

Screw this, I was sick of standing. I sat down on the ground in a huff.

Dream Boya wore blue ceremonial robes that fluttered in a wind I couldn’t feel. His white beard had been combed and threaded into intricate braids. I wondered what the special occasion was.

Other elders were behind him, but they weren’t real people— more like formless shadows. A crowd thrummed behind me, but I couldn’t turn my head to watch them.

Dreams were weird.

Bored, I reached into my pouch for a bauble. But there was nothing there. Frantic, I patted the ground all around me. The satchel was nowhere to be found. Irritated, I scratched my nose. That bag wasn’t only my livelihood— it was the sign of my office. A smetoriya wasn’t complete without one.

I glared at the others in the dreamscape. Had one of the shadows stolen my pouch? I saw the marking staff in Dream Boya’s hand, the knots and whorls of its wood as ancient as my people. That’s when everything clicked into place. In this dream, I hadn’t been made a smetoriya yet. Not officially.

Without warning, the dream world hushed. It was a silence that rattled my bones.

Boya spoke. “It is your eighteenth spring, Calliya Tregoriya. The time has come. You must stand before the people and be marked. Guardian watch over us as we celebrate, the elements witness this day. Did you complete the poros wreath?”

Glancing down, I saw a wreath resting in my palms. It looked like the one I had woven for the real ceremony: tiny leaves and delicate white petals intertwined in an elaborate braid. The main difference was this one glowed like something out of the Spiritwait. Shuddering, I stood up and passed it to Dream Boya. He accepted the gift with a slight bow of his head. A ghostly wind tousled his robes, but the breeze didn’t touch me.

A creeping unease rushed down my shoulders. Air was one of my elements to call; I should at least be able to sense it moving.

The errant wind blew over the poros wreath, crumbling it to dust in Dream Boya’s hand. “It’s gone.” He whispered, his rheumy eyes brimming with confusion. “Gone.” He threaded knobby fingers through the braids of his beard, tugging in frustration. “Ill omen. Ill portent. Oh, woe be unto all who stand witness here this day.” The marking staff drooped and darkened, writhing in his grasp; Elder Boya’s face twisted in tormented anger.

At least the dream was getting interesting.

“Two cycles did I train you, Calliya Tregoriya. Three more cycles did I guide you through the wilderness. Why did you abandon me to the dust?”

Whoa, now. Abandon was a harsh word. Thanks to old age, Elder Boya had met his dust without any input from me. After he passed, I had bound his body to the elements and freed his soul to the Spiritwait. I had done my part. Dream Boya needed to chill the snarks down.

The marking staff leaped out of his hand and slithered to the ground. The weird wind strengthened and inflated Boya to twice his size. “You have forsaken me! You have been marked! You shall be marked!” The staff snaked its way toward me, but I couldn’t move my legs to dodge out of the way. It wrapped itself around my ankles, cramming them together. I lost my balance and crumpled to the soil.

This was seriously uncool. But wait, it got better.

The snarking staff bit me, sending a sharp pain up my legs followed by an indescribable chill. A thick liquid clotted my veins and tightened my jaw.

Poisoned. Paralyzed. This was the worst dream ever.

Dream Boya leaned over me, his features subtly shifting. Tan and weathered skin became smooth and waxy white. Dark, heavy-lidded eyes brightened and changed into large yellow spheres with nictating membranes. The Crenosiyo sage transformed into the Guardian-cursed demon, Qorxu.

Even though I knew this was a dream, a surge of fear shook my soul as the devil leered over me, came close and closer. My spirit screamed, but no sound came out; my mouth was petrified into silence.

Gasping, I awoke to the sounds of the forest. My heart beat a wild rhythm against its bony cage.

Worst. Dream. Ever.

Hello Ditrie Marie. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and chat with us, it is great to have you.

 

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

That's a great question. I hate spending money on anything; it makes me terribly anxious. But I'm really glad I invested in copies of Vellum and Scrivener. 

What author, dead or alive would you love to co-write with and why?

Terry Pratchett, hands down. His writing was deliciously punny, and I find myself leaning heavily on that comedic fantasy style.

What is your writing Kryptonite? 

Anxiety and self-doubt. Nothing will kill a story faster.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I don't know how original it is, but I am myself. I write the stories that I enjoy reading. And I'm a weird, quirky little person. So, if nothing else, I write for all the weirdos out there like me.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Words have had incredible power in my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a bilingual household. My mother would often tell us stories or play story-making games with my brother and me when we were little. And no matter which language she's speaking at the time, my mother has an admirable ability to spin stories in an engaging and captivating way. She can tell me about someone walking down the street and make it feel like I'm reading a mystery thriller or a comedy depending on how she spins it. It's pretty amazing.

 

This was fun, again thank you so much for taking the time to chat. You rock!

 

Ditrie Marie Bowie

 

Ditrie Marie Bowie (née Sanchez) is a Puerto Rican in British Columbia, Canada who writes fiction. She is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)and co-editor of Strange Stories to Tell in the Park. Bowie is also the creator of the webcomic, This Writer Can’t Draw. A classically trained pianist and former educator, she has lived in three different countries spanning two continents. And she met her spouse in a video game.

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Blog Tour: The Divinity of Anila by Cloud S. Riser with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today’s stop is for Cloud S. Riser The Divinity of Anila. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


--My name is Anila. Up until a few days ago, I thought I was just like every other teenage girl. Seriously, life was awesome. I was popular, had great grades, and was on my way to getting a scholarship to one of the top universities in the state. Then my boyfriend decided to go crazy on me, and I end up in a car with some other guy who claims magic is real. Crazy, is what I say. Pretty sure he's out of his mind. I--

--Hold on a minute, Nila is not giving me a fair chance. The name is Bailey, and I'm not crazy. I'm a Muse. And so is she. That's why her boyfriend got uber possessive on her. Muses inspire the best in others, and without control over their magic, a Muse can be pretty addictive to hang around.   Which is why I'm here, to teach Nila how to control that magic so she doesn't cause any more problems with the every day humans. See--   --I hate how he says every day humans like I'm not one of them. Oh, and get this, I apparently can't touch him, even just a tiny bit, because we might create magical sparks...or something?--   --Look at all the things she doesn't know about being a Muse. The sparks help us find our soul mate. Do I need to explain why I don't need her touching me right now? We just met. Besides, it's common courtesy. Keep your hands to yourself.

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 “I love you,” Levi purred into my ear as he kissed along my jaw. Any eighteen-year-old girl would have been thrilled to hear those three words coming from their deliciously handsome boyfriend of two months. The thing is, I'm not just any teenage girl. Truth be told, hearing the words “I love you” made my stomach twist, and I don't mean that in a good way. Probably because deep down in my heart, I knew he didn't mean it. Levi sure sounded convincing, and maybe he believed it was true, but with the way he preferred to try and suck face with me twenty-four/seven instead of actually learning who I was...well, I don't think I need to elaborate on my apprehension to say those three words back. When it came to Levi, the most I knew about him was that he was twenty, was interested in Biology and Chemistry, and was on his college's basketball team. Beyond that, getting him to say a whole lot about himself was like pulling teeth. At first, it didn't bother me. He was cute, in college, and seemed genuinely fascinated with me. Too fascinated with me. That should have been my first tip off right there that something about this guy wasn't all right. He had a charm, though, that made me want to ignore all of the warning signs. Not to mention the fact that he was tall, athletically built, had luscious blond hair, and sparkly blue eyes didn't help. The guy was the definition of physically perfect. A guy so good looking noticing me would never happen again in a million years. Shallow? Yes, but he was also a nice person... from what I knew of him, I mean. His hand went under my shirt and made its way up toward my breasts. That was new for him. Kissing, I let him do. Copping feels and allowing him to touch my bra was not a part of my comfort bubble. With a great deal of gentleness, I placed my hand over his and pulled it out of my shirt. Maybe he thought I was playing around with him, because he just moved it right back. We went back and forth a few times before I finally wiggled my way out from underneath him, falling to the floor from his dorm room couch. “I don't like that,” I said, being blunt. Levi pushed out his lower lip. “I'm sorry, Nila, you're just so...” I placed a finger over his lips. “I'm not mad as long as you respect I'm not ready.” “Well, why aren't you?” he snapped, so suddenly I jumped away from him. My entire mouth seemed to turn into cotton, as I tried to articulate how I was feeling. “Because I'm just not.” “You're eighteen.” “So?” “So I don't get what the hang up is. We're not going to get in trouble.” Then he asked the question that made me throw up a little in my mouth. “Don't you love me too?” Thankfully, I was still on the floor. I managed to pick myself up in a way that didn't let on just how much I was shaking, and I smoothed out my shirt. “It shouldn't matter if I love you or not. If I'm not ready, then I'm not ready. End of story.” “No, not end of story. There's a reason.” His gaze became narrower and I noticed something resembling tears in his eyes. What the heck? Why was he getting so worked up over this? “We haven't been together for too long, and I don't know a whole lot about you. I like you a lot, but this isn't how I want...” I shifted where I stood, trying to hold onto my confidence. “This isn't how I want my first time to happen.” He rolled his eyes at me, the angry tears still present. “You have a guy who loves you and wants to show you how things are done right, and that's not good enough? Should I get you a dozen roses or litter my room with candles? Is that more your thing? What do I have to do to prove to you what I feel is real and I'm the one?” “Whoa, okay, the one?” I laughed. I probably shouldn't have, but I did. “Levi, we've been together for two months. Do you even know the color of my eyes?” “Honey, that's what they make me think of. And I know you ate cereal for breakfast this morning because I can taste it on your breath,” he said. “Last night you spent the night in watching a bunch of shows on wedding dresses, so I know you're kind of a hopeless romantic. I know you a whole lot better than you think.” He knew a lot of things he shouldn't have known. I certainly never told him what I was doing the night before. So how did he know? Did he go hide in the trees outside of my parents’ house and spy through the windows? The idea sounded ridiculous, but he was putting off some major creepy stalker vibes. Slowly, I took in a deep breath and made my way toward the door. “Wow...” “See? I pay attention.” “Yes,” I said carefully. My freedom was only ten feet away. I could make it. The question was, would he let me? Levi slouched where he sat. “You've made up your mind.” “There's a lot I need to think about.” That seemed like a safe answer. Setting him off could prove disastrous. Levi was on the edge, and I didn't want to be the one receiving the brunt of those raw emotions building inside of him. “Fine, bye.” He hunched over even more. So broken. I felt bad, guilty, and those feelings were almost enough to make me stay. Then I remembered how creepy he was acting, and rushed out of the door. I'd been gone for all of three seconds when Levi sent me the first text. “This isn't the end.”

 

Cloud S. Riser is a Minnesota native. She has lived in Minnesota her whole life. She will probably remain there for her whole life too. The mother of The Squid, Skyscraper, and two cats, her life is definitely never dull. An adventure she braves with her husband. In order to stay sane, she creates massive amounts of fiction which she has decided to share with the rest of the world for the simple reason of: she is a storyteller.

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Reading progress update: I've read 470 out of 688 pages.

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices) - Cassandra Clare

Oh snap !! 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 360 out of 688 pages.

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices) - Cassandra Clare

I wonder why the cant be together ... I have a idea iof why but we shall see 

 

Image result for anticipation gif

 

Blog Tour: Jack & Hyde by Cloud S. Riser with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today’s stop is for Cloud S. Riser’s Jack & Hyde. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


Double, or.... Something

For the most part of his life, Jack Anderson has been plagued by a mysterious disease that makes him a weakling and unable to live the normal life of a teenager. Over the summer, he is shipped off by his parents to a special hospital located in a remote desert-like area where he is to undergo a groundbreaking treatment. After enduring months of questionable medical experiments performed by a group of doctors who are supposed to help him get better but in reality are keeping him sick on purpose all in the name of medical research, Jack escapes from the clandestine medical facility and heads for home.

While Jack was being experimented on against his will, a clone of himself named Hyde was sent to his hometown as an imposter. Enter Jack’s good friend Kayle — “The Freakazoid” — and Claire — Jack’s longtime girlfriend — who begin to see the chinks in facade. To complicate matters, Hyde can’t stand the sight of Claire and begins to develop romantic feelings for Kayle.

When Jack returns home, he comes face to face with his clone and while at first the two boys can’t stand the sight of one another, they soon stumble upon the plan to destroy them both and become allies to fight for their right to co-exist.

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Chapter Two

Kayle  Blog

 

School— the bane of just about every teenager’s existence. You all know how I feel about it. I don’t think I can find anyone who actually likes being there. Even the vast majority of the popular kids hold a special loathing for the place, and that’s saying a lot because they’re, you know, the popular kids. Their only advantage is they somehow figured out how to make the institution known as high school, bearable.

I’d almost be jealous if it didn’t mean sinking to the level of conformity required to fit in. Is there something wrong with partaking in school spirit and going to the weekly big game? No, but those things also didn’t meet my interests, so why should I feel the pressure to go to them? Why should I be outcast for doing my own thing? Being one with the crowd just for the sake of belonging feels an awful lot like selling out to me. Even at sixteen-years-young, I know that selling out is not worth it—ever.

If I didn’t need a high school diploma to get a decent job I actually liked, I probably would have dropped out as soon as I was legally allowed to. However, I’ve put in so much time at Becker High, I need to finish if only so I don’t feel like I’ve wasted so much of my life there.

To my advantage, I do get the privilege of roaming through the hallways unnoticed. People stay out of my way, and I stay out of theirs. Do they whisper about me behind my back? Of course they do. If there is a catty girl in the school who doesn’t hate my guts, I would have to wonder if I had landed in another dimension. When aren’t high school girls being catty? Am I right? Even I find myself partaking in the sport every so often—only out of self-defense. Though, I swear, taking the high road is a lot easier said than done when the same five people like to push every single one of my buttons. Yup, that’s right. I’m about to go on a Jack rant. Okay, maybe not a rant, but another story about him. Why do all of my interesting stories have to revolve around him?

Yes, that’s right, Jack Andersen—the sick kid who happens to be my locker neighbor. For those of you who are new to my blog, I’ll give a brief history lesson. Like most of the students in my class, I’ve known him since preschool. During assemblies we almost always have to sit by one another whenever the grade is organized by alphabet.

Jack used to be sweet. I used to feel bad for him. Used to.

The guy is always in and out of the hospital. Jack suffers from some bizarre illness that affects all of five people on the entire planet—or so the rumors say. Having known him for so long, I’ve witnessed enough of his poor health to know for fact he is in rough shape. The sickly pale color of his skin is sometimes even tinted with green on especially bad days. Oh, and how thin he is, like he only has enough muscle to keep himself alive and moving and nothing more. The frailness is another thing. One wrong move and he could be on his way to the ER with a broken bone. I’ve watched it happen many times.

Somewhere between middle school and high school, Jack ended up becoming Mr. Popular. It probably had something to do with him catching the eye of the most popular girl in school, Claire Winters…who is Satan incarnate. Ever since then, he changed and sick, sweet, Jack wasn’t so sweet anymore.

It makes being his locker neighbor a nightmare.

Back to the story. So I’m watching the main entrance of the school from my locker, keeping my eyes peeled for Jack or his girlfriend to grace the building with their presence. If I don’t sit down in front of my locker every morning, the most adorable couple of Becker High will make sure to invade on my space with their fluffy, obnoxious, PG-rated PDA. It would be easier if the two would just make out on top of my locker, but no, they have to go for the kill with their terms of endearment and Claire’s high pitched squeal of a giggle.

Claire walks into the school first. Because I’m the observant artist that I am (and for some reason some of you actually care about this stuff): her long, blonde hair was pulled back into a high ponytail, and her large, perfect curls bounced with every step she took. She, of course, wore a tight black sweater. It went far enough down her torso to barely cover her abdomen, because her low-rise, boot cut, jeans certainly weren’t going to. Black, high heeled boots clicked down the hallway past me at record breaking speeds. The girl didn’t even glance toward Jack’s locker as she went by. Even when Claire and Jack fought, there was always at least one look at his territory. Immediately I knew something was up.

I’m thinking: maybe the rumor I heard last Friday was true after all. During orientation last week, there had been whispers that Jack had died, or gone into a coma, or something equally as tragic, over the summer. I’d heard the rumor a number of times before, so I didn’t think much of it while I was setting up my locker for the year and taking my ID photo. After all, if I believed everything I heard, I’d be a member of a cult, slept with an entire rock band, and did heroin on a regular basis. Rumors are nothing more than modern day fairy tales. Fantasy filled lessons of life, or unrealistic happily ever afters, or in Jack’s case: the tragic end to a great hero.

For a moment, my gaze followed Claire down the hall to her own locker and I tried to get a read on what was going on based on body language alone. There were no tears, but Claire’s body was more stiff than usual, which was saying a lot for the coldest of ice princesses. Despite being petite in size, Claire usually holds the confidence of a giant, strutting around as if she owns the school and everyone in it. All of that attitude and arrogance was missing from the girl I saw this morning. When students started to surround Claire in droves, offering up tearful hugs, the rumor of Jack’s demise became a reality.

I contemplated briefly going over and offering my own condolences. It seemed like the right thing to do. We’re far from being close friends, let alone acquaintances, but I still knew Jack well enough. Even if he was sometimes a complete dick to me, he didn’t deserve to die or suffer the way he did. At the same time, joining in on the crowd to express my sympathies didn’t seem right either. It needed to happen in a private moment or it would probably come across as insincere.

I looked over at Jack’s locker, or what was supposed to be his locker. Every year we were on a different floor of the school, but always right next to one another. The empty space would be strange, or even worse...having someone new to annoy me for the rest of the year.

Would the school fill his vacancy so quickly? The guy was popular and loved by teachers as well as students. He didn’t cause trouble, just made stupid comments about business that wasn’t his. Almost everyone thought of him as some kind of martyr, sent to this world to suffer. If he did truly die, his sainthood would be validated. The idea makes me want to gag.

Then, all of a sudden, the halls grew eerily quiet. One-by-one the students’ chatter faded into silence. No one dared to cough, let alone sneeze. Outside of one classmate who decided to shut a locker, it was unbearably void of sound. I am not making this up.

Next, I heard the heavy, arrogant, swagger of footsteps coming toward me. Like the red sea parting, students moved to either side of the hall, giving me a perfect view of Jack walking to his locker from the front door of the school. I’d been so busy watching Claire and everyone else, I hadn’t thought to keep watching for the newcomers.

Jack’s appearance wouldn’t have been so intriguing if everyone else wasn’t acting as if they’d seen a ghost. Not to mention, there were things different about him. His body had lean, healthy muscle and a nice, natural, tan coloring to his skin. Rather than looking like a member of the reanimated dead, he actually resembled a human being. Everything else about him was the same. The short, platinum blond hair that was styled in neat, gelled spikes was still present. Jack hasn’t updated his haircut since he was twelve. His preppy attire made the classic All-American appearance complete. Ew. A miracle happened over the summer.

The silence broke when Jack started to whistle, acting as though nothing were out of the ordinary. In truth, nothing should have been. He must have been the only one who didn’t get the memo on his death.

“Morning,” he greeted me, looking down at the paper that had the year’s locker combo written on it.

I shifted my gaze up to him. “Huh?”

“I said, morning. Buenos dias, bienvenidos, pick your favorite.”

I stared up at him with raised eyebrows.

He frowned. “Konichiwa? Ni Hao? Guttenmorgen? …why are you looking at me like I have three heads all of a sudden?”

“If you hadn’t noticed, everyone is looking at you like you have three heads,” I said in a staged whisper.

“Why?” he pressed.

“You didn’t hear that you died over the summer?” I asked.

“Again?”

“Yeah, I know. You die every summer and holiday.” I, surprisingly, managed a small laugh, taking advantage of the pleasant moments with him while I could. When he’s nice to me, I do enjoy his company.

Jack rolled his eyes and pulled out a few books from his locker. “That’s one rumor I’m happy to officially get rid of.”

“J-Jack,” Claire’s soft voice broke in.

He spun to face her and gave her what appeared to be a rather forced smile. “Hey beautiful girl.”

“Your mother said...”

“She was misinformed,” he said blandly. “Obviously I’m alive, and even better, I’m cured.”

“H-how?” Claire’s eyes brimmed with tears. The whole scene was starting to turn into some kind of bad teenage soap opera program.

Jack placed a finger over her lips. “I don’t want to talk about it right now. What matters is I’m here and fine. We have a lot of catching up to do.”

At that point, I tuned out. The two were going to get sappy, and I would lose my breakfast if I continued to subject myself to it.

Some people think I’m jealous of people like Jack and Claire. They’re beautiful, popular, and the definition of perfect. The great deal of animosity I hold against them would be a symptom of said jealousy. So was the nauseous feeling in my stomach whenever I watch the two lock lips repeatedly over Jack’s locker, or tried to. For some reason, Claire’s kisses seemed to only land on his cheeks and forehead this morning. But honestly? I can’t think of one thing to be jealous about. Because they had each other? I have plenty of time for boyfriends once my pickings aren’t limited to the population of Becker High.

No, my problem with them isn’t jealousy. It’s annoyance. They are annoying and rude. At least Jack seemed to get some common courtesy over the summer because he finally didn’t subject me to their cutesy lip pecking. No one does that anymore. Get in the new millennium. What else annoys me about him and Claire? They are too perfect. It’s surreal how flawless they are. So no, it’s not jealousy per sé, it’s a deep frustration over the future of my generation—remember: Jack and Claire are considered cool. Everyone who isn’t me wants to be them. Soon, there will be hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of Jack’s and Claire’s destroying originality forever.

“Get a room,” the voice of Miles Stanson said, though it was mostly in jest. Still, it got them to stop, right? He nudged Jack into his locker before going in and giving the other guy a large hug. “Man, is it good to see you.”

I gazed up at Miles, who is probably the only popular kid in the school who doesn’t make me want to beat my skull against a wall. The guy is genuine, doesn’t play the stupid games the other popular kids play, and has something resembling intelligence in his brain. He acknowledged me with a small wave, and then went back to bothering Jack.

Laughing, Jack returned the hug, a look resembling relief was in his eyes. His entire body relaxed, as if he actually wanted Miles to interrupt his moment with Claire. Come to think of it, when they had been kissing, he’d been less involved in the process. While she tried to crush her mouth against his, he was much more conservative and only nuzzled her. I thought that was a bit strange. Shouldn’t they have been exchanging saliva and tongues like there was no tomorrow? Regardless of the rumor, I had heard Jack went away for the summer for some kind of special treatment program. No doubt they missed one another. That’s what normal people do when they’re apart for a long time, right?

Miles’s next question confirmed this rumor. “What happened this summer? You were supposed to call and keep me posted.”

“Don’t be offended, man, I didn’t get to call anyone,” Jack said. “Not even my parents or Claire. They were kind of strict about using the phone.”

“Isn’t that kind of weird?” Miles asked.

He shrugged. “Given all of the other things I had to do while I was there, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to talk anyway. But yeah, it seemed a little weird to me too. It got results. I shouldn’t complain.”

“Yeah, that’s for sure.” Miles stepped back and briefly did a once over on Jack. “You look as good as new.”

“I know, maybe I should actually try to play football this year instead of just manage the team,” Jack joked.

Miles clapped him on the back. “If you think you have some kind of natural skill, we could use the help. Not doing too well this year. Then again, having you back on the team to help with strategy and morale will help.”

“Can you boys talk sports later? I’m kind of in the middle of something here,” Claire said, glaring intently at Miles before her gaze wandered down to me to give me one too for good measure.

I rolled my eyes, and returned the glare, making sure to not be phased by Claire’s immaturity.

Also unbothered was Miles, who laughed it off. “You can have him for the other twenty-three hours of the day, promise. The bell is going to ring soon anyway. I’ll bug you about it at lunch, dude. Then I can get the rest of the team to back me up and you can tell us all about your awesome time in California. I mean, you couldn’t have gone down there and done nothing right?”

Jack’s body stiffened ever so slightly. No one else probably noticed it, but I did. His jaw tightened. “Right, yeah, lunch, sounds good.”

“Cool.” Miles gave a wave and made his way down the hallway. A few other friends of Jack’s attempted to come up and say hello as Miles was leaving, but anytime someone got close, Claire made sure to ice them out with glares and the possessive way she clutched onto Jack’s shirt.

Carefully, Jack lowered her grip on him, instead holding her hands in his own. “I have to get to class. Being late wouldn’t be a good idea.”

“What’s your first class?” Claire asked, and I was about to block them out again now that things were no longer interesting. Jack’s answer surprised me for some reason.

“Advanced World Lit,” he said.

My class. I had to suppress a groan. Why did he have to invade on my territory? The first thing that passed through my mind was: If she’s in that class too, I’m giving up on junior year.

The pout Claire wore was like some kind of pathetic puppy dog who’d just lost its favorite treat. “Boo, I thought you were going to stay in Spanish with me this year. There’s only one class for third year students.”

“I tested out.” He kissed her forehead. “I gotta go, I’m sorry. I’ve gotta organize my locker and all that other stuff still. I just got back on Saturday so I’m kind of discombobulated. But I’m sure we’ll have a class together later.”

“Okay, I guess I can live with that.” She kissed his cheek. “Bye Baby.”

“Bye,” he said, a large smile on his face. As soon as she was out of sight, the smile faded and he muttered under his breath. “Psycho.”

That caught my attention again. I gazed up at Jack, eyes wide.

He met my gaze with his own. “You’re giving me the three heads look again.”

“I heard what you said.”

“What, bye? Ooh, scandalous.”

“No, the other thing,” I said. I’m not crazy. He called his girlfriend a psycho.

“Don’t know what you’re talking about.” He winked, grabbed his notebooks for class, and then shut the door. “Come on, let’s go.”

I pursed my lips together. “Excuse me?”

“I can walk you to class?”

“Why do you want to?”

He shrugged. “Why not?”

I peered up at him. “Don’t you hate my guts?”

“Nah, but I do think you’re weird.” He paused. “Right? I mean, you are weird?”

Something about his hesitation confused me. He’s called me a weirdo, a freak, and a whole slew of other synonymous nicknames. Most are harmless. What hurts me most is the fact he feels it necessary to say them more than the actual words themselves. I expected so much more from him. Why would he hesitate as if he weren’t sure if he should say it to my face if he’d never had issues with it before? Did he finally have a change of heart? Perhaps he grew a brain while in Cali? Or rather, his brain regained its ability to think properly now that it’s healthy again.

Standing and gathering my things for class as well, I rolled my eyes again, because that’s what I do when I’m annoyed. With everything I needed in my arms, I slammed my locker door shut. “I prefer individual, but if being my own person is weird, then yes, I’m weird. Strange. Bizarre. Call me whatever you want, Jack, because what you think of me doesn’t matter in the slightest. It never has.”

“Awesome, so I can walk you to class,” he said, shutting his locker and then grinning down at me.

With a groan, I started down the hall. Jack kept pace with me. I still haven’t figured out why he was so gung-ho about taking me to class. My guard is up though in case it’s some kind of awful prank. It would not surprise me in the slightest if Claire arranged something over the summer to humiliate me in front of the whole school. When I call her Satan incarnate, I’m serious, and she’s got a huge beef against me for some reason even though I’ve done nothing to her. It’s not even because I’m “weird”, because she’s sweet as pie to all of the other kids who have still maintained their individuality. She’s nice to everyone. E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. But me.

Something is up. Outwardly, everything about him is exactly the same. On the inside, he’s different, and I am going to figure out why.

I gotta run. There will be more to this story later, you can guarantee it. Just had to vent my frustration over Jack being Jack. Once again, he’s the center of attention and if he thinks he can play mind games with me, he has another thing coming. My gut says he’s changed, though, and if that really is the case, then I need to be prepared even more because Claire isn’t going to like it.

Why do I get the feeling I’m the one who’s going to suffer the most no matter what happens?

 

Cloud S. Riser is a Minnesota native. She has lived in Minnesota her whole life. She will probably remain there for her whole life too. The mother of The Squid, Skyscraper, and two cats, her life is definitely never dull. An adventure she braves with her husband. In order to stay sane, she creates massive amounts of fiction which she has decided to share with the rest of the world for the simple reason of: she is a storyteller.

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