Existence Trilogy by Abbi Glines

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Existence
Pagan is an ordinary girl on the outside but what no one knows is that she can see the souls of dead people. On the 1st day of her senior year she sees a soul of the most gorgeous guy sitting on the picnic table outside the school. She has found out from past experience that if she ignores them they won’t follow her. So she walks past him and goes to meet her best friend Miranda to see what classes she has. Miranda is drooling over Leif Montgomery who is the high school quarterback. As Pagan goes to her first class early she realizes that she should have waited since she is alone and that is usually when she sees the souls. Of course there sets the soul who starts talking to her which freaks her out because the entire time she has seen the souls they have never spoken.

As the day goes on she thinks about this strange occurrence. At lunch Lief whom she considers an arrogant jock comes and asks her to tutor him in speech. Pagan showing her dislike questions how he knows he needs help already causing home to walk away dejected. When Pagan gets home her mom confronts her telling her about Leif’s learning disability makes her feel like a jerk. She agrees to tutor him. Then her soul comes back and pretty much stalks her telling her what he thinks.

As time goes by Pagan’s feelings for Leif start to change, she begins to like him. One day he upsets her & she over reacts by leaving the school. The soul tells her she needs to stay he begs but she still leaves. As when upset people are driving she wasn’t paying attention & got in a car wreck, almost killing her. The soul keeps her company while she is out of school, he plays her a lullaby and she thinks about him a lot. When she gets back to school she is dating Leif & Miranda is about to jump out of her skin with excitement because Dank Walker, a rock star, is enrolled in her school. Who also happens to be the soul following her around.

As things progress and twist and turn I couldn’t put the book down. Trying to figure out exactly who Dank is, what is wrong with Pagan. Then when you think you know it all Dank drops a bomb of a cliff hanger on the last line of the book!!!

I give this book 5+ stars!!!!
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Predestined
Warning if you haven’t read Existence then you might not want to read this review!

Pagan is a selfless giving person and that could get her into some issues. Dank has come back to her, when she gave the ultimate sacrifice to live in pain without him so he wouldn’t be tortured.

So now Pagan has a new boyfriend, a new friend & a missing ex boyfriend who isn’t quite human. As it turns out Pagan has a protector against dying early but now he has to fight the death voodoo king for her soul.

I loved the way Abby keeps the story changing and gets you all wrapped up in the story. She makes it easy to feel what they are feeling in the book so much that you don’t want to put it down!

I give this book 5 stars.

Manda
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Ceaseless
Pagan and Miranda are in college and meeting old friends and new well new to them now friends.
Wow if Pagan and Dank can’t get a break! So she survived her ordeals with the voodoo Prince but now the deity has decided she needs to be given the chance to chose between her soul mate and Dank. The only way to make the choice fair, the deity wipes Pagan’s memories and that of her friends and mom. So now Dank has to win her over without scaring her.

Again I couldn’t put this book down! Unfortunately this book several grammatical errors. So even though this is one of my favorites I’m giving this book 4.5 stars!
~Manda~
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Bookish Thoughts
Crys and Manda

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A Fun Paranormal Romance for Teens

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Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18104846-awakening?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Awakening-The-Guardians-ebook/dp/B00EBUPSLG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1380673281&sr=1-1&keywords=awakening+samantha+long

Barnes N Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/awakening-samantha-long/1116357956?ean=2940045197496

Synopsis

When Sophie moves to Boston to get away from the people who ridiculed her for her psychic talents, she wants to start fresh. But when a demon attacks her study group at the library, she has no choice but to reveal her abilities to warn the others.

She learns the attacks won’t stop until she’s dead. To stay alive she joins forces with the other students and a secret society that has battled the demons for centuries.

The last thing she wants to do is be a pawn in the war of good and evil. When her visions start showing events from a past life, she can’t ignore the connections it shows. She has no choice but to acknowledge the bonds that tie her to the other students, even if some of them refuse, to have the strength to defeat the demon that hunts them down.

Will she survive long enough to stop the demons from destroying everything and everyone she loves?

Just A Tease
“Finally. I thought you’d never wake up.”
The voice whispered like death over Sophie’s senses. Her heart stuttered when she turned on the bunk and looked out. Akeldama sat in a chair just outside her cell. Perfect, pale legs peeked out from a sleek red dress.
The demon’s skin was so pale, Sophie wondered if the person she wore had been dead for days. Blue veins crawled across the skin like highways, all meeting in the center of her chest.
“That’s a little different than the mommy-and-me act.” Sophie tried to keep her voice from shaking. Her fear was so sharp she could almost taste it.
Akeldama laughed and Sophie knew she heard Death in the sound. It froze her insides. She tried to keep a calm face. “Oh, I have a whole host of disguises. It works to not look the same every time I kill someone.”
Instantly Todd’s face, his smile, shot through Sophie’s mind. Her body tensed against the cold wall. Words, full of rage, formed but she couldn’t force them out. Instead, she glared across the cell.
The malevolence thickened. It reached out to Sophie and gripped her hard. The breath disappeared from her lungs as she was dragged from the bed. She hit the floor of the cell hard enough to knock her teeth together. Before she managed to inhale, Akeldama’s power tightened and hauled her to the bars

Our Thoughts
We read this then discussed this together at length. It took me(Crys) a bit to get through the beginning but once I got it in my head that this was written more for a young YA target audience I was fine. The story is full of action and suspense. The romance was sweet and innocent. The storyline was well thought out and well written. It was enjoyable but if you are looking for a little more adult this isn’t it. Overall, we couldn’t settle on a rating so we’ll give two.
Crys 3.5 Stars the only reason I rated it this low was it is advertised as a para romance but it is definitely YA, young Ya at that.
Manda 4.5 stars
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Bookish Thoughts
Crys and Manda

Trapped with Stained by Ella James

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Stained on Goodreads

Julia is a 17 year old orphan, she has finally gotten adopted & life is good. Her adopted parents love her & take care of her. She has friends & a normal teenage life, until one night she comes home from sneaking out to find her house on fire & her parents dead. Above the burning house is a bird like creature with burning eyes. She takes to the streets not wanting to go back into the system since she will be 18 soon. While hiding in a warehouse she hears someone on the roof then before she knows it there is a man on the floor in front of her. She goes to him and she sees knots in his aura so she works on fixing them. Then she sees the creature from her house, the man gets up & statutes fighting him. The creature hurt finally takes off after telling her she should be dead. She follows the around & finally gets him to talk to her & tell her his name is Cayne. Cayne finally decides he will use her as bait to kill the half demon Samyaza who is trying to kill them both. After traveling together for a while Cayne starts to open up & tell her what he remembers. The places that they go to find Samyaza are mostly filled with people he has killed that have star burst birth marks on them that match hers. So now they want to know more about her & the people with the birth marks.  The twists and turns keeps you reading but beware the book ends with a to be continued…

I give this 4.5 stars. I loved it and will read the next one!
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Manda

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Bookish Thoughts
Crys and Manda

Sneak Peek of Gary Caruso’s The Dark Side of Truth

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Release Date: September 2013
Audience: Teens (main character is 15)

The small peek I got of this book, I totally can’t wait to read the whole story. The opening line rocks, “My name is…”, blah, blah, and “God hates me.” I mean can it get any better than that? Keep your eyes out its going to be awesome. Save the end of your summer with this one give the kid something to read on the bus.

Just A Tease
After returning the box to its hiding place, he reached for his phone, rotating it to different angles. “The next cache is about a mile up the trail. Once we loop around, we’ll stay to the left when the path splits.”
“I’ll follow you.” I didn’t want to admit it, but I was having more fun than I ever thought I would. It was like having a treasure map where “X” marked the spot, except the treasure was a bunch of worthless stuff.
We continued up the path for about a mile. Just like he said, we looped around and headed back on the Confederate side of the trail. After another thirty minute hike, it was time to turn left. That was until we noticed that turning left meant navigating a huge section of fallen trees and thick brush with thorns.
“Now what?” I asked.
“Well, it isn’t much of a trail, but the cache must be over there. The hint has to do with a pile of leaves.” He took a closer look at the trees, rocks, and fallen leaves that blanketed the area. “I think it might be by that big lump of leaves, but the map says it’s a little farther away.”
“Should we check it out?” I asked, hoping he would say no.
“I’ll search this area. Go ahead another hundred yards and see if you can find an easier path to the leaves.”
I started alone up the trail. Mason yelled a couple of times. He must have been knee-deep in thorns. I grinned. It was the first time I had heard him use profanity. I kept moving forward, but my trail narrowed and roots stuck through the dirt like speed bumps. With my attention searching for piles of leaves, I tripped on a root, falling to my hands and knees. As I brushed away the dirt, I looked in Mason’s direction, hoping he didn’t see how uncoordinated I was. The way the trail curved, he was out of sight. There was no way he saw me fall. I continued forward, keeping my eyes on my feet.
“Will!”
My head snapped around when I heard Mason scream. It wasn’t the same, I found the cache scream of joy as before. The pitch of his voice was high and sharp. He was panicking, yelling for help. I couldn’t imagine what could have scared him this much. I sprinted in his direction. The trail led me around a dense area of brush. Then I spotted him. He sat on the ground, frantically driving his feet into the forest floor, pushing himself backwards, away from a pile of leaves.
“Calm down,” I said. “Are you hurt?”
“Get him off me! Help! Get him off me!”
“What is it, a bug?” As I reached for his hand to pull him to his feet, I caught a closer glimpse of his face. He was pale, almost transparent. It was like something had scared him enough to freeze his blood. His mouth hung open and his eyes stretched wide, strained on something in front of him.
“Mason, you’re freaking out. What’s wrong?”
“Oh my God, Will! Help me! Please help me!” Tears now flooded down his face.
I moved behind him, hoping to recreate his point of view. Then I saw what had frightened him. Partially covered by a mound of wet leaves, a light, chalky grey hand, the color of sidewalk cement, lay flat across the ground. It almost touched Mason’s leg, like it was trying to grab at his ankle. I held my breath and my heart thumped in my ears as I followed the shirt-covered arm until I saw the dull, lifeless eyes of someone I knew.
“It’s Mr. Peters.”

About The Author
Gary Caruso lives in northern Virginia with his wife Jill, but their favorite place is in Ohio with their three beautiful grandchildren. Although Gary is exhilarated when he sits down to write, teaching middle school science is his first love. He’s passionate about empowering students to make thoughtful decisions and positive choices in life. Gary enjoys reading, especially fiction that blurs the line between what’s real and what’s fantasy. He never imagined becoming a writer until an ordinary car ride on a spring day jolted an unlikely thought into his head. Gary’s early experience writing is a reminder that no matter how intimidating the challenge, action and determination are the foundations for fulfilling any dream. Gary has an insatiable love for writing, a blessing he’s excited to share with his readers.

Stalk Gary
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Goodreads Author Page
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Bookish Thoughts
Crys and Manda

Action and Romance Brought to You by Gary Caruso

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Our Souls to Keep by Gary Caruso is a amazingly brought together story about love and the mysteries of death.  The slow build of the story was intriguing I fought between annoyance and enjoyment. The slow burn was like slow cooked chilli. It took forever but in the end it was needed, necessary for the beautiful conclusion.

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Our Wake

Wake is a human who sold his soul to save someone he loves. This led him into a life as a soul collector, the demons responsible for the misery of the world.  After feeling his human emotions start to return, he starts to question his current life. This happens about the same time he receives an important assignment. He is supposed to collect the soul of a pregnant teenage girl. Not necessarily for her soul, but so the suicide taints to soul of the child.

Wake shifts between his own conscience and his duty as a collector. 

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Our Annamarie

Annamarie is kind, hopeful, and very brave. She finds herself taken with Wake and when he offers her a safe place for her baby she goes with him. After battles, car crashes, some pregnancy issues, and a few angels and demons they reach the end of their road. Does Wake find a way to release his soul from Satan’s grasp? Can he and Annamarie find out if the feelings they have together are lasting?  Pick it up to find out.

This has an intriguing cover and powerful storyline meant for older teens.  As an adult I certainly enjoyed it! As I already said the beginning was a slow build until it found the fever pitch that controlled the rest of the book. There is no cliffhanger and the twist at the end leaves you with a story that sticks with you. There are very few editorial issues and the pacing was perfect for the story. This book is something I would recommend for teens over 16 as long as they are mature enough to handle a few tough subjects. There is no sex but with teen pregnancy there obviously was at one point. There is talk of murder, abuse, and a very graphic suicide scene.
Overall we are looking at a 4.5 star read!
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Just a Tease
The crowd thins, eventually leaving Annemarie and me alone in the hallway. She gathers her books and turns, quicker than I expect. I can’t maneuver out of her way. Our collision is mild, but jarring enough to dislodge the books from her hands.
“I’m so sorry,” she says as she kneels to pick up her scattered books.
I should be helping her, but my eyes are fixed on her graceful movements. Her long brown hair has fallen to the side, exposing the back of her softly curved neck, and every reach for a stray book lengthens her back and shoulders, inviting my touch. From the lowest point, just above the waist of her jeans, the tip of my finger would snake upward, navigating the gentle ridge of her spine until my hand laces through the richness of her flowing hair.
She tilts her head upward and grins at me. “Are you okay?”
Her voice snaps me from my fantasy. “Me? Yeah, I’m…fine. Oh, god. I’m so sorry. I should be picking up your books. You’re…you know.” I point feeble-mindedly at her extended stomach.
“Pregnant,” she says as she stands and straightens her blouse. “It’s all right to say it. I already know.”
The tip of her tongue unknowingly caresses her lower lip and the gentle arc of her full upper lip stretches, the smallest amount, as a smile slowly radiates across her flushed cheeks. These emotions, human, raw and…hormonal, forgotten for so long, now my only hope for clear thought is to suppress them. This has to be one of Satan’s sadistic jokes.
I laugh from embarrassment, but it’s the first time, in too long, that the sound of untempered, unrestrained joy bubbles from my heart. How can she have this warming effect on me? I want to say something cute and funny, but my mind is a hornet’s nest of scrambled thoughts.
“You look familiar,” she says. “Do we have a class together?”
I gaze into her hazel eyes. I must appear flustered because she tilts her head and grins.
“No. I mean, I don’t know. Today is my first day at this school.”
“Great. Welcome to Roosevelt High School. My name is Annemarie.”
“I’m Wake.”
“Wake? That’s an interesting name.”
“Yeah, I know. It sounds like a funeral.”
“I like it. But I have to go. My little guy keeps pushing on my bladder. Lately, I have to use the restroom between every class.” She covers her mouth as if she gave too much information to someone she just met, but her joyful eyes can’t hide the smile hidden behind her hand.
“I can’t believe I just told you that.” She starts to hurry away, but looks over her shoulder. “See you later, Wake.”
I wave like an embarrassed adolescent. What a lousy first impression. I sounded like a bumbling, immature little boy.
I watch as she continues down the hall. I’ve seen other pregnant women before. They were clumsy, out of balance from carrying extra weight in front. But not Annemarie. Her steps are graceful and refined, like she’s gliding on a frozen pond. The gentle curves of her hips have remained slender, and sway hypnotically side-to-side in a rhythm that matches the drumming of my heart.
What am I thinking? Mooning about like a lovesick teenager. I can’t let my physical attraction for Annemarie erode the resolve I’ll need to complete this assignment. Yet, she’s the most beautiful… Does she even know how she makes me feel…how human? I’m stuck in a moment reserved for young love. There’s nothing merciful about denying the uninhibited excitement coursing through every inch of my body, but my plan is already in motion. The fate of my mother’s soul is in my hands. As much as I hate myself for thinking it, Annemarie’s beauty has to be extinguished. I have to collect her. I know Satan is convinced these human emotions will help, but right now, I wish I was a stone-cold demon. It would make it a lot easier to incinerate her goodness from the earth.

Stalk Gary
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Want More Wake?
Here’s a short story.

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Bookish Thoughts
Crys and Manda

Vengeance Blog Tour

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Find Out More
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17705724-vengeance
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Vengeance-Dissidence-ebook/dp/B00DEVFTKI/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371352296&sr=1-8&keywords=jamie+canosa
B&N:
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Blurb
Things aren’t always as they seem. In fact, in a world of secrets and lies, almost nothing ever is. But, Kaleigh made her choices and now she has to live with the consequences. Haunted by her guilt, Kaleigh is forced to question everything she thought she knew. From friends and foes, to loyalty and love, she’s quickly losing faith in herself and those around her. Everyone she cares about has been launched to the front lines, but can Kaleigh find the strength within herself to keep fighting? Or, surrounded by loss, deceit, and betrayal, will her fiery spirit finally be extinguished?
Our Thoughts
This is the second book in this series so needless to say you really need to read book 1 first and this may contain minor spoilers.
This is along the same lines as the Matched series, Divergent series, and the Hunger Games series. The second book takes place in the middle of an uprising against the strict control of the powers that be. Kaleigh has been thrust into the leadership of the rebel force. Now her character bugs me. She is almost apathetic most of the time. I do understand her though. She just wants the changes for her and a few close friends and the selfish heroine is nice to see it’s very realistic. But in my mind it is naive to think things for you could be different and not change anything else. Does the rebellion win the war and change things? Does Kaleigh work through her losses and step up to the leadership role that was thrust on her? I don’t know let’s read to find out.
This is a 3.5 star read. I enjoyed it. I didn’t like the cliffhanger that “forces” you to get the second book. But the story is intriguing and I did enjoy it.
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About the Author
Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Ravena, NY with her wonderful husband and three crazy kids . . . plus the dog, the bird and the rabbit.
Her debut novel, Dissidence, was published in 2012 along with several novellas, including ‘Temptation’, the first in her Heart and Soul mini-series, and her contemporary NA romance, Fight or Flight.She currently has several projects in the works. Another (spin-off) contemporary NA romance, Sink or Swim, coming in July, the fourth and final installment of the Heart and Soul series coming in August, and the sequel to Fight or Flight, entitled Now or Never due out this fall.

Stalk Jamie
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJamieCanosa?ref=hl
Blog:  http://jamiecanosa.blogspot.com/
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6150972.Jamie_Canosa
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JL_Canosa

GIVEAWAY
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Blurb
In dystopian America, sixteen-year-old Kaleigh finds out quickly what having a big mouth and not enough brains to keep it shut can earn you. A one-way ticket to the work camps that no one even knows exists.Nuclear war has ravished the nation, and a century later, the survivors are living in an entirely new world. In a society where everything is decided for you, from where you work to who you marry, dissidence is not taken lightly.But, even inside the camps, Kaleigh’s fiery spirit refuses to be extinguished. In a single moment of defiance, she manages to spark a riot that ignites into a full-blown rebellion.With growing numbers counting on her, not just for their freedom, but for their very lives, two different boys vying for her heart, and trouble brewing from within the camp itself, can Kaleigh find a way to step up and become the leader everyone is counting on her to be, or will even the most carefully laid plans come crashing down around her?

Find Out More About Dissident (Book 1)
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16173593-dissidence Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Dissidence-ebook/dp/B00ADQ6YQU/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1370962709&sr=1-5&keywords=jamie+canosa
B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dissidence-jamie-canosa/1113848548?ean=2940015786156

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Bookish Thoughts
Crys and Manda

Matched Take 2

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Over the weekend I read Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I really enjoyed it, in fact I could barely put it down. Here’s the thing though it is almost exactly like Matched by Ally Condie.

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Lena lives in a United States that is overcome with science.

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The government has made love into a disease. At 18 you get an operation that somehow removes the pleasure receptors in your brain. Lena is a typical brainwashed resident in this controlled world. She can not wait to get the cure. Then as the story unfolds she begins to realize they steal something from you to make your mind docile. She starts to understand when she meets Alex.

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There is something off with him he has the scar that proves he is cured but his eyes are too bright and he shows too much emotion. He hides a secret Lena can tell, but what is it? He brings a light to her gray world and she is terrified. Will she accept his love or return it? If they buck the system will either survive their disobedience?
Overall, this book gets 3 stars. It was a five star read, the pace was excellent. I was intrigued from beginning to end and I really related to the characters. So why 3 stars it was Matched slightly different characters, places, details, etc. but the main theme was the same. I will say with innuendos and conversations about sex and intense romance I recommend this book for 14 and up.

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