Review: ReAwakened by Ada Adams Blog Tour + Playlist

Click the banner for the tour schedule.

I’m incredibly excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Ada Adams’ new book, ReAwakened! I’ve put together a bit of a playlist of songs that came to mind whilst I was reading the book. There’s also a link to the rafflecopter giveaway for the tour near the bottom of my post where you can enter to win some prizes.

Title: ReAwakened (Angel Creek #2)
Author: Ada Adams
Genre: Paranormal Romance; Vampires; Urban Fantasy
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: 27 November 2012 
Pages: 314 pages (eARC)
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:
Becoming a vampire guardian was Dawn Fairchild’s ticket out of the Scarlet House. Fresh off a successful mission, life in Angel Creek should have been great. But when her sort-of-maybe-boyfriend, Sebastian, disappears on a quest to help a beautiful vampire from his past, Dawn finds herself amidst a web of danger, lies, and deceit.

Joining forces with Razor, an enigmatic rebel lacking both a verbal and a physical filter, and her band of Misfits—Brooke, Sophie, Hunter, and Seth—Dawn is thrust into a race against the clock to solve the mystery surrounding brutal Born kidnappings and come to terms with the sudden discovery of her own unique powers. With time ticking away and Born vampires’ lives in jeopardy, it quickly becomes evident that someone—or something—desperately wants Dawn and is willing to shed any amount of blood to get her.

Dawn has only one chance to face her demons and overcome all obstacles standing in her way as she embarks on the biggest mission of her life—one that threatens a deadly outcome for all involved.

My Review:

I admit it – I’m often very critical when it comes to the second book in a series. And I had high expectations for ReAwakened after enjoying ReVamped so much – but this book more than lived up to them. In a word it was MORE. More action, more drama, more romance and more of the characters that I grew to love in the first instalment.

Dawn and her merry bunch of misfits have gone back to Angel Creek after the events at the Scarlet House.  After some playful training with Sebastian (Hit Me With Your Best Shot), Sophie, Seth, Brooke, Hunter and Dawn are all instated as the new official Guardians of Angel Creek (Heroes).

Things are looking up for the group until Sebastian runs off to find some missing Born vampires with the gorgeous Latina Made, Lena, leaving Dawn home alone (Protection). Good thing that Dawn has a distraction from her worry about Sebastian’s safety when Razor comes to town (Sexy and I Know It).

Mutant werewolves (Howl) and hyped up rogue vampires are only the beginning of Dawn and her team’s worries when they find out just how bad the problem with the missing Made vampires and the new President’s agenda. Dawn can’t seem to get away from her past – or more accurately Aurora’s past – and her new friends all have to face their own demons as well.

There’s so much about this book that I liked. The old crew is back together but they are continually growing – both in their humanity as well as in their Guardian skills. I love the transformation that Brooke is going through. One of the highlights for me was the back stories of Brooke and Hunter. Ada Adams really lets you know that her secondary characters are just as important as her main ones by showing you they’re three-dimensional and can feel just as much and as deeply as Dawn.

That’s not to say Dawn doesn’t get to shine. She’s a bad-arse warrior vampire with a heart of gold. She’s not perfect by any means but she’s believable and at times she’s incredibly amusing. Her relationship with Sebastian develops more in this book and I’m really starting to root for them as a couple – it’s more than just mutual attraction and goes beyond her resemblance to Aurora.

The new characters in this book were my favourite thing about reading  ReAwakened. Razor made me laugh but he’s deeper than what he first seems. To quote himself, he’s a “deep deep well of awesomeness”. And he is – both awesome and not the shallow flirty party boy he tries to pass himself off as – but he’s a lot of fun too.

Plot wise there is so much going on, but it all felt like it happened in a natural progression. It didn’t feel rushed but I was excited and surprised when certain events unfolded.

The ending almost killed me – cliffhangers! – but I know that without a doubt I’ll be getting myself a copy of the third Angel Creek story as soon as it’s released sometime in the future.

My Playlist!

I had a lot of fun putting this together… and to be honest… It nearly ended up just being an entire playlist of Florence and the Machine. But I branched out a little and here’s the songs that I ‘felt fit the novel. In my summary you can see some of the places that my songs go with and others are more general. All links go to videos on youtube.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar – “Hit me with your best shot
Why don’t you hit me with your best shot”
(It’s more the playful attitude of this song rather than the lyrics)

Heroes by David Bowie“We can beat them, forever and ever
Oh we can be heroes, just for one day”

Protection by Massive Attack (I see this as what Dawn wanted to say to Sebastian) – “You’re a boy and I’m a girl
But you know you can lean on me
And I don’t have no fear
I’ll take on any man here
Who says that’s not the way it should be”

Sexy and I Know it by LMFAO (Razor’s theme song…)

Howl by Florence + the Machine
“If you could only see the beast you’ve made of me
I held it in but now it seems you’ve set it running free
The saints can’t help me now, the ropes have been unbound
I hunt for you with bloodied feet across the hallow’ed ground”

New Soul by Yael Naim (For me this is Dawn’s theme)-
See I’m a young soul in this very strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit ’bout what is true and fake
But why all this hate? try to communicate
Finding trust and love is not always easy to make

Naive by the Kooks (about a certain character) –
“How could this be done
Your such a smiling sweetheart
Oh and your sweet and pretty face
In such an ugly way
Something so beautiful
That everytime I look inside”

 Battlescars by Guy Sebastian (feat. Lupe Fiasco) (it might just be because this song was on the radio when I was reading this book but it felt like it fit Dawn/Aurora’s relationship and their dealing with Sebastian) –
“You hope the wound heals but it never does
That’s cause you’re at war with love
You’re at war with love
Yeah

These battle scars
Don’t look like they’re fading
Don’t look like they’re ever going away
They ain’t never gonna change”

That’s probably enough… I have more but this is already my longest blog post ever so I think I’ll stop listing songs.

 

About the Author

“Many people sing in the shower. I, on the other hand, write scenes in my head and act them out.”At age five, Ada read her first chapter book – Pippi Longstocking. Ever since that moment, she developed an intense passion for the stories and characters found within the pages of literature.In her career as an actress and a writer, Ada currently spends most of her days immersed in imaginary worlds. Much like the characters she enjoys playing and writing about, Ada is a martial artist with a Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. She is also a big proponent of lifelong learning, and has attained Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (it aids in creating characters with unique quirks!) as well as a Master’s of Science in Education.Ada strives to bring a fresh voice and perspective to fiction. She has been writing creatively for many years. “ReVamped” is her debut novel.She lives in Toronto, Canada, and enjoys adventurous nature hikes with her adorable puppies Cara and Oreo.
Ada Adams can be found at 
Website  | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Publisher | 
Buy ReVamped (Angel Creek, #1)
Amazon | Amazon (Kindle) | B&N |
Now for the tourwide giveaway!

~*MEGALICIOUS TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY*~

* 3 winners (One grand prize winner +2 small prize winners) *
* One main entry per person
 *
* Must be 13 years or older to enter
 *
* Open Internationally *

* Winners will have 48 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen

 *
~*Grand Prize Winner will win the following*~

PRINT COPY OF ReVamped
PRINT COPY OF ReAwakened
ReVamped POSTER
ReAwakened POSTER
2 ReVamped/ReAwakened POSTCARDS
3 ReVamped BOOKMARKS
3 ReAwakened BOOKMARKS
I ❤ SEBASTIAN KEYCHAIN
I ❤ HUNTER GUITAR PICK
I ❤ RAZOR DOGTAG
DAWN’S NECKLACE

a Rafflecopter giveaway (click here to enter)

Thanks to Ada Adams and Jessirae for providing me a copy of ReAwakened for review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books For 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I’m Most Anticipating for 2013 

There are so many books I can’t wait to read that are being released next year. I’ve preordered a lot and can’t wait to get mail box surprises!

This list will only be books that have titles and/or covers (so no Untitled third instalment to Veronica Roth’s Divergent series).

Paranormal/Dystopian series I can’t wait to continue

Natural Born Angel (Immortal City #2) by Scott Speer (sometime in April)

Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver (March 5th)

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer (February 5th)

New Paranormal/Dystopian series

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger (February 5th)

Dualed (Dualed #1) by Elsie Chapman (February 26th)

Nameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness #1) by Lili St. Crow (April 4th)

Contemporary

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook (January 29th)

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith (April 2nd)

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt (March 25th)

Things I Can’t Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) by Miranda Kenneally (March 1st)

Those are my top ten most anticipated releases of 2013 for YA.

And just in case you’re interested – these are a few of the more adult releases I’m excited about…

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs (March 5th)
Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11) by J.R. Ward (March 26)
Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead

Book Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Touch of Power (Healer #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, magic, adventure
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publication Date: December 2011
Pages: 390 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The price of peace may well be her life…

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogue who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader – an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own – is unequivocal in his demands; Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince, the leader of a campaign against her people.

As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for.

My Review:

Avry of Kazan – a healer on the run ever since the Plague started three years ago and the people turned against those with the power to heal. After an incident lands Avry in a jail cell and a date with her death in the morning, a stranger offers Avry a choice. She can come with him and save his friend or keep her appointment with the gallows.

Taking Kerrick of Alga up on his deal, Avry joins his warriors as they make their way though many of the Fifteen Realms facing assassins and magicians on an adventure Avry never saw coming.

This book is the kind of adventure fantasy book that I adore. There’s action and drama. Despite the time frame of this novel taking months and there being down time in between deathly feats, there was never a boring moment during the entire book.

Avry is a kick arse heroine. She’s strong in spirit and can hold her own against Kerrick and his bunch of merry men but she knows how to follow orders when completely necessary. The Monkeys (Quain and Loren), Papa Bear (Belen) and Flea are absolutely fantastic. They provide much necessary comic relief – not only to the reader but also to the other characters.

The magic in this book is fascinating. The eleven different types and the magicians who control them are well thought out. I thought the mages were especially intriguing. Jael, Tohon, Sepp and the others are characters that I loved reading about not just for their personalities but for their powers and how they worked.

There’s so much going on in this book – the current political power struggle, magic, the back story between the royals of the Realms, healers and the Plague – but Synder managed to write it all in such a way that made perfect sense. There were times when I felt like Kerrick’s group were wandering mindlessly for a while before something new happened and they had new purpose but for the most part I loved how everything come together.

Touch of Power is the first book in the Healer series with the second, Scent of Magic, being released in January 2013 by HarlequinTeen.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

I thought I was doing a good job at keeping my vampire/zombie/supernatural obsession at bay… but it turns out everyone I know knows just how much I love things that go bump in the night.

This is a review for the fifth book in the Vampire Academy series, Spirit Bound, but I wanted to share something my sister-in-law made of me last week.

She’s never made a character cake before but she knew just how much I love vampires and zombies so she made this creation:

It’s a Sachertorete – the most delicious chocolate cake ever – complete with lots of m&ms and strawberry jam in the middle because every good zombie and vampire has blood and brains on the inside.

It felt appropriate to show this picture of the best cake ever along with a review for what is quickly becoming my favourite YA paranormal series.

Title: Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Magic, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin)
Publication Date: May 2010
Pages: 489
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Salvation has its price…

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Siberia, Dimitri’s birthplace, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s – and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It’s graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He’s out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won’t join him, he won’t rest until he has silenced her…forever.

But Rose can’t forget what she learned on her journey – whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose’s prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what – and who – matters most to her. And in the end, is true love really worth the price?

My Review:

Spirit Bound is a return to the Rose I had loved from the first few books of the series. She’s still on a mission – and an absolutely crazy one at that – but she’s using the lessons she’s learned from St. Vladamir’s and is starting to think like a Guardian should.

I really enjoyed this book for so many reasons. We’re getting to see more of the world the dhampires and Moroi (and Strigoi) inhabit and how the adults of that world operate.

There’s so much action in this book – and I loved every minute of it. Rose is back to her kick-arse self who is still learning on the job. She’s no perfect and she’s making mistakes but I like that she’s being seen to have grown from her experiences. She’s taking her Guardian training into consideration in the real world – scoping out environments and taking in the minor details that a civilian may have missed.

The other characters are all growing up and growing into the vampires they’re going to be – Christian, Adrian, Eddie and most importantly Lissa. The developments in their powers and personalities are great to read.

Although I’m generally not a fan of love triangles, the tension between Rose, Adrian and Dimitri amuses me. These characters are all so flawed and whilst I have a hope as to how things will end for Rose romantically, I can’t help but appreciate her internal struggle when faced with her relationships with these two very different vampires.

There are some things that were happening that felt like an obvious attempt at setting up for drama and pivotal plot points in the final instalment (Last Sacrifice) but despite these I was impressed as always with the strong writing and attention to detail over the course of the novel.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Paris
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: December 2010
Pages: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near – misses end with the French kiss Anna – and readers – have long awaited?

My Review:

I’ve been hearing so many good things about this book since it was released two years ago. I’ve had a copy for a while but kept putting it off because I often find that my expectations get out of control and I end up disappointed when there is so much love around for a particular novel.

Happily, this was not the case with me and Anna and the French Kiss. It’s a sweet story of Anna who – despite her own wishes – gets shipped off to Paris for her senior year of high school. Her father (a famous novelist who from the sound of things is the next Nicholas Sparks) wants to appear more cultured in his circle of friends. His solution for this is to send his daughter away from her mother and younger brother so she can spend her senior at a prestigious French boarding school in the heart of Paris’ Latin Quarter.

I love books set in boarding schools. And books set in Paris (or really anywhere in Europe). So add a somewhat naive 17-year-old and a gorgeous boy with incredible hair and a British accent and it’s probably no surprise that this book had me swooning.  I didn’t want it to end.

For me, the key to my enjoyment whilst reading a contemporary romance is to have a hearty dose of realism. These characters aren’t perfect. Anna was, at times, slightly frustrating and St Clair was broken is his own way. But it was because of these flaws that these characters had such an effect on me. They’re fantastic on their own but I was really pulling for them as a couple even when things seemed impossible.

I loved the supporting characters too – I wanted to know more about all of them. Both the ones still in the US and Anna’s new classmates in Paris. They all have their own stories and baggage.

This is a very sweet romance that’s fun, flirty and set in France.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books & Authors I’m Thankful For…

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books/Authors I’m Thankful For

I found this list to be one of the hardest I’ve had to come up with.

JK Rowling / The Harry Potter Series: These books mean a lot to me for so many reasons. They were the first books that I owned that my friends and family wanted to borrow. My copies are all dog eared and spine broken and whilst normally that would annoy me, I like that these books of mine look like they’ve been loved and that I got to be the one to share these stories with the people I love. I have a feeling that this will be a popular one this week but I don’t care – I’m thankful for her books and her for writing them.

Dick Bruna: I have loved his Miffy books for over twenty years. When my mother got sick of reading Miffy at the Zoo and Miffy’s Birthday for the thousandth time I read to myself. Despite not being able to read a word I knew these books off by heart and carried them everywhere with me. These books started my love of reading.

I saw a video of how Dick Bruna creates his drawings. I never worked out how much effort went into his books.

Emily Bronte / Wuthering Heights: for teaching me that characters don’t need to be liked in order to love a book. Also for showing me that the classics can be fun to read.

Oh Heathcliff! 😛

Roald Dahl: I love Roald Dahl. I borrowed his books from the library when I was younger. ALL THE TIME. I checked the BFG out so many times that when the library had a sale, the librarian put a copy of it aside and gave it to me for being such a good reader 😀 His novels are ones that mean so much to me – I have memories of my own life events tied up in his stories because I’d read them so many times growing up that the stories and my own life seem intertwined…

And there’s no way I can include Roald Dahl on my list without also mentioning Quentin Blake…

Francine Pascal (and all her ghost writers) and Ann M Martin: These were the first series I read that really had me anticipating the future books and stories. It was exciting coming up with who was going to be with who and what trouble the Sweet Valley people or the Babysitter’s Club would come up with next? I even have a copy of Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later sitting on my desk because even now, I can’t get enough of Elizabeth and Jessica and their twin drama.

And my last one:

JR Ward (who is most definitely not a YA author but I felt like belonged on my list anyway): for making me fall in love with paranormal romance/ urban fantasy novels. Thanks to stumbling upon Dark Lover back in 2006ish now my bookshelves are full of sexy vampire novels…

I don’t have anymore books/authors but I am thankful for a few more bookish things:

My year 4 teacher: As year fours a much to old to have nap time, we weren’t too old for reading time. When people who didn’t want to listen to the story were allowed to close their eyes and lie down… but for everyone else those twenty minutes a day we were allowed to listen to our teacher tell us stories. She read I am David by Anne Holm. It introduced me – in a way I’d not really been aware of before – to things like the Holocaust and put a human face on the effects of war for me.

My brothers: for having such extensive book collections of their own and letting me have a free reign. Whilst spy books and Rumpole of the Bailey aren’t my favourite genre, they also introduced me to Jeffery Archer and Bryce Courteney – authors that I absolutely love.

Mum: for taking us all on a trip to the local bookstore on the first week of every holidays to buy ourselves a new book. And also for asking me for new recommendations every months or so of books I’ve loved so you can get them for your kindle.

Book Review: ReVamped by Ada Adams

Title: ReVamped (Angel Creek #1)
Author: Ada Adams
Genre: Paranormal Romance; Vampires; Urban Fantasy
Publisher: CreateSpace; Amazon Digital Publishing
Publication Date: Feburary 2012 
Pages: 291 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Read a free excerpt containing the prologue and first two chapters: here

Synopsis (from goodreads):
A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.

My Review:

Dawn has been training and waiting all her life to be given a mission – and finally that dream comes true. Her father, the Vampire President, sends her to organize and “reVamp” the four remaining Angel Creek vampires into the town’s guardians. Easy! Or so Dawn thought until she meets her newest recruits and finds them to be a little more Breakfast Club than Fight Club. Nevertheless, this is what Dawn has been waiting for and helps the four train to be the best vampire guardians they can be. Trouble arrives in the form of a kidnapping, a secret history and the strange bad boy who lives in the middle of the woods. Dawn and her misfit vampires need everything they’ve got if they’re going to be able to protect Angel Creek from its enemies…

This is one of those books that I picked up and finished before I even realized it. The style is so easy and fun to read. The characters are very likeable too. I adore Dawn from the start. She’s a strong, independent warrior who has a softer side to her as well. I found her gang of misfit vampires to be delightful although at times they felt a little too stereotypical. I love a bad boy and Sebastian was no exception. He’s gorgeous, a little broody and I thought he was a perfect match for Dawn.

I was surprised when I reached the end of the book that all the events happen over a month time-frame  The pacing felt right and natural to me. I found myself a little shocked that the inept vampires of Angel Creek were able to transform themselves in that time.

For me, one of the strongest parts of this novel is the world that is created. Vampires are out in the open and even competing in their own reality TV competitions. The differences between Born and turned vampires were interesting and consistent across the novel.

This is a fun book to read. A great addition to the YA vampire genre with an interesting plot and some fantastic banter exchanged between the characters.

I’m extremely lucky to be participating in the blog tour for the second novel in the Angel Creek series (ReAwakened). Look out for a review on the 29th of November.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon