Month: November 2012

Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Book Review)

Posted November 14, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 8 Comments

Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Book Review)Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Series: Black City #1
Published by GP Putnam's Sons on November 13, 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
0 Stars

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Black City is a very dark romance that takes place under harsh conditions and during very harsh times. It’s gory and bloody and actually rather upsetting, which is why I’m having such a hard time reviewing it! I wanted to love it, and while I loved aspects of it, parts of it upset me so much that I’m afraid my thoughts about the book are a bit tainted. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. The idea is awesome. I’ve always been a fan of forbidden love, but a love that makes a dormant heart beat after so many years? That’s powerful. And I’ve always enjoyed post-apocalyptic stories. I love watching an author’s creativity run wild with all the possibilities of a new beginning.

2. I really liked Ash and Natalie. Ash is this bad boy, who softens and becomes a force for good once he has a reason to fight. Natalie is his reason, and I loved the devotion he felt for her, even when he was confused and trying to figure his life out. Natalie developed throughout the story into a really strong, exciting character. She went from a ball of nerves to a spitfire, crusading for what’s right. She took so many risks and cleared so many hurdles, and I really enjoyed reading of her strength.

3. I also really liked the supporting characters: Day and Beetle. I loved the friendships and love that circled around these four people.

4. This story is gory, and I had a really hard time with that. There’s SO much blood, death by crucifixion, torture, a rape attempt, drug overdose, numerous attacks, sacrifices, and murder. And it was all described in depth.

5. The worst part of this book, though was a very upsetting scene with the murder of a cat. Many of you know, I can not handle cat killings. I just can’t, especially when they are overly gruesome and detailed. They are unnecessary, and I slaughter books with scenes like these. I refuse to read anything else by an author who does this, because I think it’s terrible and I think it promotes animal violence among young people. I boycotted Origin when I found out about a similar scene in that book, and I vowed to never read another book by Elizabeth Chandler after reading her Kissed by an Angel trilogy and coming across another scene like this as well. I honestly had to talk myself out of quitting this book. I set it aside for hours, and finally went back because by accepting this ARC, I promised a review. I had to try and give the book a fair chance. I’m glad I finished it, because I was very curious about how things would go down. I was either intrigued enough or horrified enough, that I had to see if these people could pull out of the evil world they were living in and make a better life for themselves. Honestly, though, I did not recover from the heartbreak of that one scene. Luckily Black City did not end in enough of a cliffhanger that I’m dying for the next book. I can just quit here and be satisfied enough with the ending I’ve been given.

All in all, this book was dark. I can handle dark, but not this dark. I was super intrigued, and really enjoyed aspects of the story. The characters were great, and I loved the romance and the creativity of the idea. But the violence was just too much for me to handle, and the animal violence has me so sad that I don’t even want to continue with the series. I can definitely see why people are raving about the story, but I also wish I had known about this one scene before I chose to read it. I know there are many readers who feel the way I do, so this is the warning I wish I had received. I’m extremely disappointed that I did not love this book as much as many of my fellow readers did.

0 Stars

Debut Author Challenge 2013 – I’m so doing this!!

Posted November 12, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 2 Comments

I’m so excited to be participating in the Debut Author Challenge, hosted by Tara at Hobbitsies, 2013! And I was also incredibly honored when Tara wrote and asked me to design the buttons for this year! 2013 is already looking like it’s going to be full of amazingly wonderful debut authors, and I know I’ll be shoving as many of them into my reading list as possible. I love supporting new authors! Anyway, here’s my list of DAC hopefuls, although I’m sure I’ll be editing this (and adding to it) as time goes on.


Taken by Erin Bowman (coming April 16, 2013)
MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza (coming March 12, 2013)
Dualed by Elise Chapman (coming February 26, 2013)

Linked by Imogen Howson (coming June 11, 2013)
Reboot by Amy Tintera (coming May 7, 2013)
Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller (coming June 18, 2013)

The Reece Malcom List by Amy Spalding (coming February 5, 2013)
The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar (coming March 21, 2013)
That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard (coming April 2013)

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (coming May 7, 2013)
The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan (coming May 14, 2013)
Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green (coming May 14, 2013)

So, which debuts have you giddy with excitement?

Showcase Sunday (#4)

Posted November 11, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 10 Comments

Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea. We get to showcase our newest books or book related swag and see what everyone else received, borrowed, bought, and downloaded!

Wow! I have not participated in SS in months now! Might as well jump in and show you all the goodies I’ve gotten as of late!

Received for Review:

Dualed by Elsie Chapman
The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand
Renegade by J.A. Souders
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce





Snowed Over by Angie Stanton
Stork by Wendy Delsol
Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole
Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
Smart Girls Get What they Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
So Close to You by Rachel Carter







Shelter by Harlan Coben
Seconds Away by Harlan Coben
+ a Mickey Bolitar tote and swag, thanks to Britt at The reading Nook and Penguin Books!



So, what new lovelies have been added to your shelf lately? Have you read any of the ones I got?

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (Book Review)

Posted November 8, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 8 Comments

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (Book Review)Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Series: Time Between Us #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 9, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

I was SO excited when I got to meet Tamara at ALA. She’s super nice, and told me a little about her book. I was already sold on it, but she made me even more excited. I love time travel and romance. This book was everything I could have hoped for, and so much more. Rarely, and I mean rarely, does a book make me feel the things this book made me feel. I adored it, and I know it will stick with me for an extremely long time. I wish I hadn’t had to wait so long to read it! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I loved the idea of this novel. A romance that sweeps across two decades, with travel and mystery and all the emotions that come with the fear of time separating them once again. It’s dangerous to get invested into a relationship that has so many unavoidable loopholes. I just loved it!

2. I loved the unique take on time travel. It’s hard to explain, but I really enjoyed reading all about how Bennett does it, and how he can take people with him.

3. Anna and Bennett are wonderful characters. I was pulling for both of them, and I really got attached to both of them. Usually I care more for one member of a romantic duo over the other, but I honestly can’t tell you which person I like more in this one. Anna is strong and confident and willing to take risks. She’s so relatable and normal. Bennett is impulsive, a wanderer across continents and time. I want to date him and I want to be her. 

4. The travel aspect of Time Between Us was amazing and unexpected. All Bennett has to do is hold Anna’s hands, close his eyes, and “poof” them both to some exotic island or secluded village. I loved reading about where they went, and what they did. I’m a lover of all things travel and exploration, and I just soaked those flawless descriptions of Italy and Mexico and Thailand in like a sponge. Tamara is amazing at world building and placing you in each location right along with her characters. 

5. The romance was so simple and sweet, yet deep and believable. I love the way Anna and Bennett danced around each other and their feelings. I loved reading about their inner thoughts, and how they were scared and excited and both longed for each other for so long before actually doing anything about it.

6. Anna’s friends were wonderful! I love her adorable British best friend Emma and her longtime childhood pal, Justin. They added so much to the story, and brought out the best in Anna. I also really liked her parents. I love books that depict parents as friends rather than a hindrance.

7. I have an even greater lover of the 90’s. I loved all the references to 1995. The music, the way people talk, the hair. It was so great to go back and visit!

8. This book made my heart happy. I don’t cry while reading. I hate it, my eyes get puffy, and then I can’t see… and I have to put the book down. It’s a messy sight. But I cried! The ending is just so beautiful and perfect that I shut the book and cried. And then I just sat there and wished I could go back and have a “do-over” and go back and read it all over again! 

9. This book keeps you thinking long after you’re finished. As I reflect on my experience reading it, little nuances in the storyline jump out at me and make even more sense than they did before. More pieces of a puzzle I thought I had already completed keep falling into place, and it makes me love the book even more.

Basically, you need to read this book. Any book that leaves me in tears, looking for a time traveling stranger out my window, and wanting to go and take risks and throw caution to the wind is a book you neeeeeed to read. I really loved it so much, and writing this review has made me love it even more! Time Between Us has jumped to the top of my leader board for 2012, and it’s going to be really hard for any book to beat it at this point!

5 Stars

Top Ten Hilarious Book Titles

Posted November 6, 2012 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 10 Comments


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, which means I got to pick whatever I wanted to write about! I’m in the mood to giggle right now, so I’ve decided to list the top ten funniest titles I’ve heard of!


1. Why Bring That Up? A Guide To and From Seasickness by Dr. J. F. Montague

2.  Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank: And Other Words of Delicate Southern Wisdom by Celia Rivenbark

3. He Just Thinks He’s Not That Into You: The Insanely Determined Girl’s Guide to Getting the Man that She Wants by Danielle Whitman

4. I Could Pee on This: and Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Mariculiano

5. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D.

6. Italian Without Words (Now you can communicate in Italian even if you don’t know a single word.) – by Don Cangelosi and Joseph Delli Carpini

7. When Your Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’ll Be Me by Cynthia Heimel

8. People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It by Gary Leon Hill

9. Anybody Can Be Cool—But Awesome Takes Practice (Devotionals for Teens) by Lorraine Peterson

10. Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid by Denis Leary

I could not have made these up even if I wanted to. And believe me, it was hard to narrow down to just ten! Anyway, I hope I got you laughing a bit. Have you run across any funny book titles? Let me know! Oh, and link me to your TTT. I love it when we do freebies, because all the lists are super

Where’s Jana? + Christmas Announcement

Posted November 5, 2012 by Jana in About Me / 2 Comments

Hi guys!

I know it’s been about a week since I last posted, which is really out of character for me. I have been incredibly sick for the last two weeks, and just had abdominal surgery on Halloween to get my gallbladder removed. We’re all hoping this fixes things, but I have not gone to work, and I have hardly read anything because the meds I’m on make me very weird. I can’t even focus on words right now. I’m on the road to recovery, though, and am extremely confident that this surgery will drastically improve my life.

In other news, I have been busy getting posts together for my Bookish Little Christmas event, which is happening all next month! If any of you: bloggers, authors, publishers, and/or readers are interested in doing anything on my blog in honor of my Christmas celebration, please let me know! I’ve got spots available for guest posts about Christmas topics, Christmas book reviews, book features, giveaways, etc. Let me know soon, though, because spots are filling up! Thanks to all of you who have contacted me so far. I’m super excited to have you on my blog. :)

Keep your eyes open for normal life back again on the blog soon, and I’m still on Twitter because that takes very little thought. Come talk to me! I’m bored in bed, and will eventually run out of episodes on season 3 of Vampire Diaries!