Tag: Cynthia Hand

Rowena’s DNF Round Up

Posted July 2, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

I’ve never been one to review the books that I didn’t finish but after reading Kat’s post about her DNF reads over at Cuddlebuggery, I thought I’d take a page out of her book and do the same here. Mostly, I just want to remember why I didn’t read certain books, gave up on them or whatever.

Thanks for the inspiration, Kat.

1
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand.

There’s death all around us.
We just don’t pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn’t look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she’s just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that’s all she’ll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there’s a secret she hasn’t told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex’s brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn’t have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

This book was one that was really slow going for me. I kept waiting to connect with the main character Lex but that never happened and then about 35% through the book, I threw in the towel. It’s not a bad book, the writing is actually good but it’s one that was really sad and I just wasn’t in the mood for it so I put it down. I haven’t wanted to pick it up again either so I doubt I will, not any time soon anyway.

You can purchase this book here or here in e-format.

2
Better than Perfect by Melissa Kantor.

Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.

This is another book that I thought I’d like but just couldn’t get into. The beginning was slow and after trying and not being able to read past the 20% mark, I gave up.

You can purchase this book here or here in e-format.

3
Still the One by Jill Shalvis.

Darcy Stone is game for anything — except sexy Navy veteran and physical therapist A.J. Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately, Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.

A.J. admits it — Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?

This is a DNF that surprises me because I love Jill Shalvis’ books. I adore her contemporary romances and her heroes but Darcy got on my hot damn nerves in her brothers book and the first part of this book, she did the same until I just couldn’t be bothered to finish her story. Poor AJ, I just know that I could have loved the hell out of him but I just couldn’t connect with Darcy and all of the lovey dovey crap that Wyatt and Emily were pushing. I get that they’re happy but it felt like every time they were mentioned, they were ALWAYS all over each other and being completely annoying in their love that I gave this one a pass.

You can purchase this book here or here in e-format.

4
Kissing Ted Callihan by Amy Spalding.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist meets Easy A in this hilariously realistic story of sneaking out, making out, and playing in a band.

After catching their bandmates in a compromising position, sixteen-year-old Los Angelenos Riley and Reid become painfully aware of the romance missing from their own lives. And so a pact is formed: they’ll both try to make something happen with their respective crushes and document the experiences in a shared notebook.

While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over someone’s heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, who she’s been obsessed with forever-His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But suddenly cute guys are popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! With their love lives going from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid realize the results of their pact may be more than they bargained for.

This is a book that I probably would have loved but every time I picked it up, I thought about the YA Reviewer Bingo Card she put together, the one where she’s making fun of reviewers/readers and I got pissed off all over again so I kept putting it down. It’s been months since that went down and I’m still not over it so nope, I’m not touching this book.

You can purchase this book here or here in e-format.

These books are available from Harper Teen, Berkley and Poppy. Buy links are provided below each review. These books were provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Watch: Boundless by Cynthia Hand.

Posted October 5, 2012 by Rowena in Promotions | 0 Comments


The past few years held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner ever could have anticipated. Yet through the dizzying high of first love to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she could no longer deny was that she was never meant to have a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seemed like the best option, so she’s headed back to California—and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must choose her fate once and for all.

Thanks to Becky over at A Reader’s Devotion for bringing this book to my attention. I hadn’t heard much about the next book in this series but I’m looking forward to it. I have enjoyed both of the books that came before and am pretty anxious to see what Hand is going to take the series. So much happened in the first and second book that I’m itching to find out what happens in the third. In Book 1, I was Team Tucker but in Book 2, I was Team Christian for a little bit. Who knows what team I’ll be in Boundless.

This book comes out on January 22, 2013…so that’s not even a long wait, woot!

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Harper Teen.
Pre-order the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.

Posted January 31, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments


Rowena’s review of Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.

Main Character: Clara
Love Interest: Tucker or Christian? Who knows.
Series: Unearthly, Book 2
Author: Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Clara Gardner knew that as a part angel she would one day have to fulfill her purpose, rescuing Christian from a forest fire…what she never considered was what might happen if she were to fail.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend Tucker, Clara must deal with the repercussions of what happened the day of the fire as the two boys vie for her heart. And, as she is drawn further into the world of angels and part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain after a shocking revelation, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning…

Last year, Unearthly was one of the first books that I reviewed for the blog. I absolutely adored that book. I enjoyed getting to know Clara and Tucker and I enjoyed seeing them fall in love. Hand did a fabulous job of making me feel for her characters, the way that I would feel for my friends. They became my friends and I was totally Team Tucker by the end of the book.

Now that I’ve finished Hallowed, I’m not sure what team I’m on. In Unearthly, I didn’t think that there was a Team Christian but I was totally loving Christian in this book. A lot more than I remember loving Tucker in the last book.

In this book, Clara’s back and the fire is behind her. Her purpose is something of an issue in her life because she’s not sure what happens next. What happens if you don’t fulfill your purpose the way that you’re supposed to. Clara’s in love with Tucker but she can’t forget about Christian. Try as she might, she’s drawn to Christian in a way that she’s not drawn to anyone else. He understands what she’s going through because his purpose wasn’t fulfilled either since it was linked to hers and they’re both stuck in this weird place where they’re not sure if they’re supposed to move on or stick close. Clara wants to move on but it’s clear that Christian doesn’t share the sentiment.

Tucker and Christian continue to battle wills in this book and in this book, I found myself annoyed with Tucker, more than Christian even though Christian does a douchey thing. For me, Christian tototally won me over in this book (not that I didn’t like him in the other book) and after reading it, I found myself truly conflicted over who I wanted Clara to end up with.

Clara reminds me of Elena from the Vampire Diaries. She’s that martyr that is always so wrapped up in herself and how to save her loved ones that she doesn’t take the time to ask those people she’s always trying to save about the issues they’re facing. In this book, Clara is so wrapped up in keeping Tucker alive, in keeping her feelings for Christian under wraps that she doesn’t notice that Jeffrey is pissed off. What I liked about this part of the story line is the way that Hand handled it. There are so many things that could have happened that made Jeffrey as angry as he is but when we find out the real reason he’s so angry, it surprises you. Not surprised in the sense that it was unbelievable or anything but surprised, because it made sense.

There are a lot of things that pop off in this book and a lot of questions that are raised in this book. What happens next? What is going to happen next year? Where will the next book take place? What’s going to happen to Jeffrey? Where did he go? All of those things wrap around themselves until you’re anxious for the next book already. Kudos to Cynthia Hand for writing a book that has definitely hooked me in even more than I was before. I can’t wait for more. If you read Unearthly and enjoyed it then I’m positive that you’ll enjoy this book as well. So give it a go, Christian is a cutie patootie, so he’s reason enough. =)

..and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Harper Teen.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

Book Watch: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.

Posted July 8, 2011 by Rowena in Promotions | 2 Comments



For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

I read and adored the first book in this series so it’s no surprise that I’m anxious to get my hands on this book as well. I really enjoyed getting to know Clara, Christian and Tucker. And I really want to know what the heck Jeffrey was up to when the shit hit the fan in Unearthly. I have so many questions and I’m really just thirsty for more so I’m happy as all get out about this book. It comes out on January 14, 2012 so we’ve got a bit of a wait but I don’t care, we’re getting more so woo hoo!

Mark your calendars, we’ve got a cover and a release date so I’m one happy camper!

..and that’s your scoop!

Pre-order the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

Review and Giveaway: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand.

Posted January 4, 2011 by Rowena in Giveaways, Reviews | 44 Comments


Main Character: Clara Gardner
Love Interest: Tucker
Series: Unearthly, Book 1 (I don’t know what the series is called yet)
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Ever since I read the blurb for this book, I wanted it. I wanted to devour it and the first chance that I got, I did exactly that.

I devoured this book in one work day and I was not feeling bad about it. It’s hard to feel bad about blowing off work when you have such an awesome book to read and this book was fantastic. I enjoyed it from the beginning of the book to the end of the book. For me, there wasn’t that beginning hump where there’s a big ol’ info dump where the author is setting the book up and it takes a little bit for the book to pick up and keep your interest. Right from the beginning, I wanted to keep turning the pages.

This story follows Clara Gardner from California to Wyoming where she meets Christian, the guy from her visions, the guy who has something to do with her purpose in this world. Every angel blood has a purpose and Christian is tied to Clara’s purpose and it’s because of this that Clara and her family pack up their bags and move to the wilds of Wyoming to help Clara figure out what she’s supposed to do to fulfill her purpose.

Hand did a phenomenal job of building a world of characters that I wanted to know more about. There wasn’t a character in this book that I didn’t find interesting. For me, what makes a book spectacular is my ability to connect with the characters and Hand did a wonderful job of making me connect with each and every single one of her characters. From Clara to Christian to Tucker to Maggie and Jeffrey to Angela and Wendy, I wanted to know more about each of them. Hand’s writing made me feel as if I was a part of the story and I could see everything come to life through her words. I could see Clara’s wings as clearly as if she showed herself right before my very eyes and I could feel Clara’s frustration surrounding her visions and her purpose. Everything was just so real to me.

So much happens in this book that I’m anxious for more. I have so many questions about this series and after stalking Cynthia Hand’s blog, I’m happy to see that there will be a sequel. This makes me so happy because I want to know more. I want to see what happens with Clara. I want to know more about Christian. I want to know more about Angela. I want know what Jeffrey was doing while everything was going down and I want to know more about the colors of everyone’s wings. I want to know what Maggie’s purpose was, I want to know more about Wendy and Tucker. I just want so much more and I’m glad that we’re going to get it (in the form of another book).

If you’re looking for a book with great characters and a storyline that will keep you turning the pages faster than you can blink then this is the book for you. Cynthia Hand introduces a world that will make a lot of YA readers happy and I think this is a winner of a series and I’m so very anxious for more.

Read this book!

Giveaway Alert: Because I loved this book so much, I’m offering up three copies of this book to three lucky winners. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post letting me know why you want to read this book and I’ll throw your name into the drawing for a chance to win a copy of this book. Three winners will be chosen and the winners will be announced, three weeks from today to give people a chance to get their entries in. Good luck!

Giveaway ends January 25, 2011 and winners will be announced shortly after.

..and that’s your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com