Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop!

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop!
September 1 - 7

Welcome to my stop on the giveaway hop! I'm giving away an Advanced Reader's Copy of:
The Lost Code (The Atlanteans #1)

What is oldest will be new, what was lost shall be found.
The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy.
But global climate change is not something new in the Earth's history.
No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race--a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.
Now it is Owen's turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry . . . and that "less-than-ordinary" can evolve into "extraordinary."
Kevin Emerson's thrilling novel is Book One of the Atlanteans series--perilous adventures in a grimly plausible dystopian future, fueled by high-stakes action, budding romance, and a provoc-ative question: What would you do if you had the power to save humanity from its own self-destruction?
This is an ARC, a paperback uncorrected proof. It does have the full cover.

Enter on the Rafflecopter form below!
You must be 13 or older  and live in the U.S. to enter.

Then check out the other blogs on the hop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal X 4!!!

The Lost
(Celestial Blues #2)
Vicki Pettersson
March 19, 2013

Wow, just as gorgeous as the first book - the pink is beautiful!

(Desdaemona #2)
Ben Macallan
October 30, 2012

The first in this series and I have a love/hate relationship but this cover is alright. The first cover has Desi on it as well but she was not the main character. In this one it sounds like she is the center of the story so it makes sense that she is on the cover this time around. 

Rogue Descendant
(Nikki Glass #3)
Jenna Black
April 30, 2013

Beautiful cover - no idea about the tiger - kind of a lot of that one color but the yellowish-green is a pretty color at least.

(Edie Spence #3)
Cassie Alexander
June 2013

I don't like this model as much as the one on the first two books. I love the layout for all the covers in the series though, and the pretty red does help.

So. . . what do you think? Let me know your opinion on these covers in the comments below!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shadows Before the Sun by Kelly Gay

Shadows Before the Sun
(Charlie Madigan #4)
Kelly Gay
Release: July 31, 2012
Goodreads     Amazon

The electrifying sequel to the acclaimed urban fantasies The Better Part of Darkness, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, and The Hour of Dust and Ashes!
After filling out mountains of paperwork, Detective Charlie Madigan sets out for a death-defying trip into heavenly Elysia to rescue her partner Hank and bring the siren home. Of course, she doesn’t expect to leave behind an all out siren revolution or return home to find that jinn crime boss, Grigori Tennin, has begun a massive search for the divine being, Ahkneri. Tennin’s tactics set off a chain reaction that puts Charlie in the crosshairs of the shadowy creature known as Death and awakens Ahkneri from her long sleep. And when Vengeance rises, Atlanta will never be the same.  

Hank deserves more than you falling down now, Charlie. Stand and fight.

The Charlie Madigan series continues to impress and entertain me with this fourth installment, Shadows Before the Sun.

First of all, let me tell you that the above synopsis really does nothing to tell you what this book is about. In fact, the part of Tennin and Akneri isn't even exactly correct. But have no fear, I will help you out. At the end of the previous book Hank was carted off, back to his home of Elysia. This book starts with Charlie getting ready to leave for Elysia, embarking on a rescue mission to bring Hank back. No one knows if Hank if dead or alive, or perhaps something even worse than dead. At the airport she meets a traveling partner she didn't realize she was going to have - Alessandra, the Oracle. Alessandra and Charlie have a spotty history - they're both strong and stubborn women, and throw in Alessandra's mysteriousness and they don't really get along.

Charlie and Alessandra are quite the pair and I really loved that Gay finally let us learn a little more about the Oracle. I enjoyed watching the two grow closer as they worked together to con the Elysian royalty and find Hank. It turns out that Alessandra is a complicated character, even more mysterious than previously thought. Her actions and reasoning are intriguing and I grew to love her character in this one.

We get to read several short scenes from Hank's point of view and it was a nice change to see things through his eyes. It also confirms what we readers suspect, Hank is indeed alive but not exactly doing well.
Sometimes he dreamt. . . Mostly they were nightmares, repetition of his torture, of his tired soul being pulled back in his broken body. But some were relished, like those of death, blood, and vengeance against the Circe. And some were more painful than others. The good ones were the worst.
But here is part of the reason this book gets four stars instead of five: Hank is missing for 3/4 of the book. No, I'm not kidding. And these brief scenes where we see Hank's situation from his point of view do nothing to fill the void felt by his absence. I just felt like the whole trip to Elysia took way too long and took us too far from Charlie's world. Everyone is missing in this one: Rex, Emma, and Brim are only in the story briefly, Charlie's sister Bryn and the mage are never seen at all, and Gregoi Tennin is completely out of the picture.

Perhaps this whole part of the story could have been shorter? I'm not sure how but goodness it was like  reading a whole different story. Since Gay's diverse group of amazingly written characters are one of my favorite things about this series, and with the way things were left between Charlie and Hank, I wasn't ready for them to all be missing or barely around in this book.

That doesn't mean this isn't a great story, because it certainly is. There are a lot of twists and turns that I didn't expect. And like I said previously, I really did like Alessandra taking a step to the forefront. I also loved the world building Gay gave us with Elysia. She managed to create an entirely different world from Earth and Charbydon. Her famous world building is a major strength in this series.

And when that 3/4 of the book is over and everyone has found their way back to Earth? The story moves right along at a fast pace. Some wonderful things that I've been waiting for finally take place and the book's ending battle is amazing and well constructed.
God, he was beautiful.

And there was so much more to him than just the beauty. It was everything I'd learned, everything on the inside, everything he had endured that added to the picture standing there all hard and lean, a fallen angel with a tormented soul and a devil's attitude.
The introduction of a new and perplexing character, named Leander, while in Elysia carries over to the story on Earth and leaves us wondering where his story will go in future books. Charlie's connection to the Ancient Akneri is explored further and we finally get to find out more about the Ancients and Akneri herself. Questions also finally get answered about Death, the mysterious smoke-like creature who comes to Charlie every time she uses her powers and tries to kill her.

It almost feels like Gay is cramming as many story line closures as she can into this last quarter of the book. I hope this doesn't mean this series is in danger of not continuing, because I adore this series and even though this one is my least favorite so far, the series as a whole is one of my all time favorite urban fantasies. I believe Kelly Gay has stated somewhere online that the series is indeed continuing, but I still have concerns.

My hope for the next book is that we get to explore Hank and Charlie's continuingly awkward yet chemistry-filled relationship, we get to see Emma and Brim work their magic together, Bryn and the mage reappear, and we get more REX!

Recommended for fans of: urban fantasy, unique fantasy elements, strong heroines who have realistically clumsy or embarrassing moments, and sexy sirens.

This review is based on an early finished copy provided by the publisher.


Reviews for previous books in the series:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (33) - Frost Burned

Frost Burned
(Mercy Thompson #7)
Patricia Briggs
Release: March 5, 2013

Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson's life is calming down, at least enough that she can focus on mundane matters like Black Friday sales. But on her return, Mercy is unable to contact her mate, Alpha Adam Hauptman, or the other members of their pack. All she knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam's disappearance may be related - and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from the most unlikely of allies: the vampire seethe.

I love the Mercy Thompson series, even though the most recent was not at all my favorite. I'm looking forward to this one though, it sounds like things are getting back to normal!!!

What is your WOW pick this week!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blade Song by J.C. Daniels

Blade Song
(Kit Colbana #1)
J.C. Daniels
Release: August 1, 2012
Goodreads     Amazon

Kit Colbana—half breed, assassin, thief, jack of all trades—has a new job: track down the missing ward of one of the local alpha shapeshifters. It should be a piece of cake.
So why is she so nervous? It probably has something to do with the insanity that happens when you deal with shifters—especially sexy ones who come bearing promises of easy jobs and easier money.
Or maybe it’s all the other missing kids that Kit discovers while working the case, or the way her gut keeps screaming she’s gotten in over her head. Or maybe it’s because if she fails—she’s dead.
If she can stay just one step ahead, she should be okay. Maybe she’ll even live long to collect her fee…

You know how sometimes you feel like you read a different book than everyone else? Yeah, that's me and Blade Song. I did not care for this book at all. I adore urban fantasy, its my favorite genre to read. I like the love/hate relationships, the strong heroines, the balance of fighting and romance, and the mysteries to be solved. This book fell flat for me in every one of those areas.

The heroine is supposed to be a baddass that several are comparing to Kate Daniels. She wields a katana and works with shifters. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, at the mention of her name in the same breath as Kit's, Kate Daniels has passed out from shock. Kit and Kate are nothing alike. Kit makes stupid decisions over and over again and her choices of allies and enemies boggles the mind (Jude the vampire? NOT your friend Kit). And she is supposed to be a sword master with her katana that she has a special connection with. Instead, we CONSTANTLY see her using other weapons instead of the sword. Why? I want to see some serious sword fighting dammit!

Kit's relationship with our hero, Damon, starts off on shaky ground and they instantly don't like each other (although Kit is attracted to his physical hotness). I thought I was getting some of that love/hate that I love, where the hero and heroine banter back and forth until their chemistry wins out and they fall madly in love, and into bed. That is not what I got. Kit and Damon have a hate/hate relationship, with both treating the other awfully. Their banter is not playful and on the edge between arguing and flirting. Their's is just fighting and being mean. There is even a point where Damon smashes Kit's head again the trunk of a car and chokes her out to the point that her throat and voice are messed up for a while. What. The. Hell? How am I supposed to swoon over that? And Damon is not nearly as apologetic as he should be or charming enough after that happens for me to get over it. Ugh.

Then, at 60% in, suddenly they are head over heels for each other. Its a very awkward transition that felt disjointed to me. Why the sudden change? I just couldn't by it.

I also didn't really love the world this story takes place in. None of the secondary characters really flourish for me and I felt like it was just the Kit and Damon show with these useless extra people occasionally thrown in.

I read just over 70% of this book, which I think was quite noble of me considering my issues with it. I also feel that this is enough of the book to write an honest review of it. I realize that the romantic relationship probably continues to evolve in the last 30% of the book, but I just couldn't get there.

However, several of my good blogger friends have read and loved this book - and I mean loved it. If you're still on the fence, please feel free to read their positive reviews and make up your mind for yourself. I have listed links to their reviews below. This one just wasn't for me AT ALL, even though I gave it a valiant effort.

Not Recommended.


Check out some other opinions:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Early Review: Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Full Blooded
(Jessica McClain #1)
Amanda Carlson

Release: September 11, 2012
Amazon Release: Available NOW!

Born the only female in an all male race, Jessica McClain isn’t just different—she’s feared.
After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.

Also check out my interview with the author Amanda Carlson HERE

This book took me on a great ride that made me not want to put it down! I was completely sucked in by the exceptional characters, fast-paced action, and lots of twists and turns.

Full Blooded is the first in a new urban fantasy series that centers around the Northern U.S. Pack of werewolves. There are other paranormal beings (witches, vampires), but the wolves are the focal point. Our main character is Jessica, daughter of the Pack's Alpha and new to being a werewolf. The story begins with a bang as we watch Jessica change for the first time. Jessica is the first of her kind, and to make matters worse it was predicted that if she became a wolf it would lead to the demise of her Pack. This is a really interesting concept that I haven't read before. Typically the issue revolving around females in shifter books is that there aren't many of them or that they need to be protected so they can breed. This concept takes that idea step further - there aren't any female werewolves.

Jessica is strong and smart, not without her flaws, but with very few stupid moments that made me scratch my head. For the first few chapters I had a difficult time not comparing this series to Rachel Vincent's Shifters series - the way Jessica is loved by some and reviled by others, the ever so plenty number of male wolves hanging around, the family structure of the Pack and the fact that Jessica is the daughter of the Alpha - it was just really hard not to make those comparisons. And while I adore the Shifters series, the main character, Faythe, grates on my last nerve for more than half the series and I was fearful of getting involved in another series where I want to strangle the heroine. I even put the book aside for several weeks.

Imagine my surprise when I finally got back around to Full Blooded and devoured the rest of the book in one day! Jessica is nothing like Faythe. Although there are many similarities to the other series, this book shines all on its own and does not read like Shifters at all (again, I want to say that I love that series, I just didn't want to read a copy and I didn't want another Faythe).

This series does have a plethora of men to adore, and adore them I do. Here's a little rundown of the men in Jessica's life:

Tyler: Tyler is Jessica's brother and, obviously, the Alpha's son. He is a strong fighter who is fiercely protective of Jessica. They have a close bond and a secret connection that begins when she changes for the first time.

Nick: A shifter, but not a wolf, Nick is Jessica's close friend and buddy, as well as her partner at her human P.I. job.

Danny: A trusted member of the Pack, Danny oversees the Pack members living in the city away from the Pack. He is a little overly independent at times for a werewolf, and his accent helps to make everything out of his mouth sound clever.

James: Dark, serious, and sexy - that's James. He is the Alpha's second and his body is to die for. We even get a little glimpse of him at his sexiest in Full Blooded. Don't forget his delicious Irish brogue.

Rourke: Another shifter who is not Pack, but don't ask him what kind of shifter he is, Rourke's trustworthiness is always in question since he is a hired mercenary famed for his skills and his ruthlessness. He is well-built, strong, and sexy galore. He has a complicated chemistry with Jessica that we just don't know whether or not to trust.

(Callum McCain) The Alpha: Jessica and Tyler's father is the Alpha of the Northern U.S. Pack. He has a reputation for being the strongest of all the Alphas. He is respected and he is fair.

See what I mean? A lot of men to keep track of. By halfway through the book I really wasn't having any difficulty keeping them separate, but occasionally I would confuse two characters. They are all wonderful characters, though some get more fleshed out than others. I hope as the series continues we get to know more about each of these yummy men.

Fans of shifters stories and urban fantasy with likable heroines will love this start to a new series. Oh, and there is romance in this book, the kind that I love in my urban fantasy. This is decidedly not a paranormal romance, but those of you that need a little heat between those fight scenes won't be disappointed. In the next book I expect we might get even more steam. This series is definitely one to watch!

Recommended for fans of: strong but affable heroines, a delicious harem of male side characters, werewolf stories, Vincent's Shifters series, and great urban fantasy.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Blog Tour: Full Blooded

Welcome to my stop on the 
Full Blooded Blog Tour!

My blog is the first stop on the tour, but due to some issues with scheduling my post somehow didn't go live yesterday like it was supposed to.

First, some info about the book:

Full Blooded
(Jessica McClain #1)
Amanda Carlson
Release: September 11, 2012
Amazon Release: Available NOW!

Born the only female in an all male race, Jessica McClain isn’t just different—she’s feared.
After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.

You can read my early review of Full Blooded HERE!

I'm super excited to have the author, Amanda Carlson, here with me today! Continue on to read her answers to my interview questions!

About the book 
Full Blooded is a story about werewolves, which while not being a new concept is still a little different for each author. Tell us why you decided to write about werewolves and how your wolves are different from others. 

I love wolves! Pure and simple. I was fascinated by the entire world of shifters when I started reading urban fantasy several years ago. I wanted a tough heroine, and a wolf fit perfectly. My world is big in FULL BLOODED, every supe you can think of exists, but there were no female wolves until Jessica came along. My Pack wolves are superstitious, and a myth is delivered right after her birth that incite chaos throughout her childhood. My Pack dynamics, rules, relationships are all unique. One of the best things about my story is my heroine is surrounded by family and friends. This isn’t an angsty dark UF, this is a fun, snarky action-packed adventure. 

Jessica is a strong heroine. Tell readers a little bit about her. 

Jessica was raised in an adverse environment, which could’ve hindered her growth, but instead she learned and grew from it. She doesn’t take anything too seriously and since she’s new to being a supe, the readers get to go on the journey of discovery with her. She also kicks some serious ass! 

There is a handful of great male characters in this book. Who is your favorite of all your fictional, Full Blooded men? 

Oh, lord! Can I say I love all of them? Each one is a treat to write, and my crushes vary day to day. If I had to pick one, however, it would have to be Rourke, but James is a very close second, followed by Danny. 

About the author 
How long did it take you to write Full Blooded? 

It took me two years to finish FULL BLOODED, in part because I put it in the proverbial “drawer” for eight months because I wasn’t convinced it was good enough. But I finally un-earthed it, thanks to two awesome beta readers who agreed to take a look (love you K & D), and finished in the spring of 2010. I edited it so many times over the course of the next year it was silly. Then when my agent got a hold of it we dove in again five or six times. Now writing the third book, I finally feel like I’m honing my craft and it’s a great feeling. Writing is hard no matter how you slice it, but getting better at what you do is icing on the cake. 

Where do you do most of your writing? 

My office is a sunroom attached to my bedroom. I love it and do most of my work there. Occasionally I go out to a coffee shop, especially in the winter when I feel the SAD coming on! Winters in Minnesota are long and cold. 

Who/what helps you the most when you get writers' block? 

Wordwars. Making myself accountable to others is what keeps me on task. It’s an awesome tool and I highly recommend them. Get on twitter if you’re a hopeful writer and use the hashtags #wordwar or #1k1hr (1,000 words in one hour). The word count is not important. It’s all about staying focused and on task for a solid hour. It’s a miracle worker. What writers block? 

Fast Five: 
Favorite recent movie: The Avengers 

Celebrity crush: TOM HARDY 

Favorite guilty pleasure: US Weekly 

Best book or movie romance: Recent movie romance: This Means War, but one of my all time faves is: Shakespeare in Love. Best book romance has to be anything by Georgette Heyer. I collect her work. She is amazing. 

Favorite junk food: French fries all day everyday 

Thanks for having me! I had a blast chatting with you. Hope to do it again soon.

Thanks so much to Amanda Carlson for visiting!

Be sure to check out Full Blooded, and don't forget to check out the novella for the Jessica McClain series (available now) and the second book in the series, Hot Blooded, coming in April 2013!

(Click to go to Amazon)


Monday, August 20, 2012

Blogger Buddy Love (6) - Escapism From Reality

Blogger Buddy Love is a feature I started to help some of my fellow Terrible Girls gain exposure and followers. Please check out their blogs and show them some love!

Today's Blogger to Love Is:

Name of blogger(s): Samina or also known as Escapism Fanatic

Started blog: Blogging since at least 6 months but I have started beeing more serious about it in the past few months.

Top three favorite genres: 
Urban Fantasy/Dark Fantasy
Young Adult - usually with a dystopian or fantasy theme
Historical Romances

Genres reviewed: Mostly the above 3 genres, but sometimes I also throw in PNR or contemporary Romance or maybe erotica but rarely. So basically whatever good book I fancy.

Top five books so far in 2012:
Masque of the Read Death by Bethany Griffins.
The Whole Experiment in Terror Series by Karina Halle.
Succubi are Forever by Jill Myles.
Angelfall by Susan Ee
Anabelle Lee Series by Stacey Jay.

As you can see I'm am indecisive and have full series on my list. I have read some great books recently so I can't make up my mind.

Please go check out this AWESOME blog and show her some love - and followers!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blogger Buddy Love (5) - Sinfully Delicious Book Reviews

Blogger Buddy Love is a feature I started to help some of my fellow Terrible Girls gain exposure and followers. Please check out their blogs and show them some love!

Today's Blogger to Love Is:

Name of blogger(s): Emmy

Started blog: May 2012

Top three favorite genres: UF, PNR, erotica

Genres reviewed: UF, YA, Erotica, PNR, Fantasy, Steampunk, Romance, Historical (Oy, I'm bad at categorizing. There must be a way to narrow that down!)

Top five books so far in 2012:
Dead on the Delta
Chasing Magic
Red Fox
THAT was hard!

Please go check out this AWESOME blog and show her some love - and followers!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Follow Friday (40)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read

This week's question:
What would you do over if you were to start your blog again from scratch?
Probably create it on Wordpress instead of Blogger. A lot of bloggers have made the switch in the last few months, but its just too much work for me right now and I really don't want to learn a new system for posting!


Guys! This blog has been nominated in a couple categories for the Bloggy Awards! I am pretty excited to have been nominated and even more excited that several of my blogging buddies have been nominated as well! Plus, the categories I'm nominated in so far are wonderful categories that I am super honored people would nominate me for:
Most Helpful
Nicest Blogger
Best Reviews
If you're a fan of this blog please feel free to nominate me or vote for me when the competition begins! Also, please nominate other blogs you love - you can nominate more than one blog and in several categories so go crazy and show your favorite blogs some love!

How to nominate: 

See Who Has Been Nominated So Far:

You can also follow me on Twitter:

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cover Reveals: Rachel Vincent and Deilah Dawson

Oath Bound
(Unbound #3)
Rachel Vincent
Release: February 19, 2013
The Tower Syndicate will fall...

The secret daughter of the head of an infamous Skilled crime family, Sera Brandt has hidden her past, her potential and especially her powers. But when a tragedy strikes her other family, Sera needs justice. And the only way to get it is to reveal her heritage– including a rare Skill– and take the reins of the Tower Syndicate from her cunning and malicious aunt.

if he can figure out how...

Kristopher Daniels might have the answer. He's fought the syndicate to protect his sisters, but he'd never realized just how close to the new heir he needed to get....

And if they can survive.

Neither is used to trusting. But there's something between them that can't be ignored. And so Sera is on the run with a man she can't figure out, a target on her back and the new knowledge of just how powerful she really is....

Wicked As She Wants
(Blud #2)
Delilah Dawson
Release:  April 30, 2013
The second book in the Blud series follows debauched musician Casper Sterling on his own romantic adventure with a vicious Blud princess.

The Mysterious Madam Morpho
(Blud #1.5)
Delilah Dawson
Release: October 2, 2012
Taking place after Wicked as They Come, this original eBook features a mysterious lady and a reclusive mechanical genius who find love and danger in a traveling circus.

An elusive woman arrives at Criminy’s doorstep with a steamer trunk, begging for a position in the caravan to perform her unique new act. She opens her trunk to reveal a menagerie of brilliantly colored butterflies. The woman, who calls herself Madam Morpho, is on the run from a dark past in London, where she was forced to leave her equipment behind and abscond with only her tiny performers. Playing a hunch, Criminy hires Madam Morpho on the spot. Taking her down to meet Mr. Murdoch, the reclusive talented engineer who keeps the carnival’s clockworks running, Criminy instructs them to work together to design and build a groundbreaking new circus for the butterflies. Amid the magical ambiance of the circus and the hint of danger from Madam Morpho’s pursuers, she and Mr. Murdoch soon find that their scientific collaboration has produced chemistry of a more romantic kind.

So, what do YOU think?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

The Lost Girl
Sangu Mandanna
Release: August 28, 2012
Goodreads     Amazon
Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.
But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.
Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.
What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.
From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.

What is this power the dead have over the ones they leave behind? It’s strange and beautiful and frightening, this deathless love that human beings continue to feel for the ones they’ve lost. 
The Lost Girl absolutely blew me away with breathtaking writing and heart wrenching emotion. Sangu Mandanna is an extremely talented author whom I will be watching in the future.

The above synopsis really gives a good description of the story. Eva has been raised in an isolated cabin in the country in England for fifteen years. She has been trained daily to be an exact copy of a girl named Amarra who lives on the other side of the world. Eva is something called an echo, people who were created by the "Weavers". Someone, somewhere, has to decide they want an echo of someone made, typically a close family member. The idea is that if that person should ever die, the echo would step in and replace them.

It's an interesting and complicated idea - to replace someone dead with an exact replica. It raises all sorts of questions about morality, of course, but even more so about what we can handle or accept as human beings. Could you really accept a replica of a loved one and go on living life as though it was really them there with you?

Eva is a wonderfully sad and tragic character. Her life is the only one she's ever known. She's receives a journal from the real Amarra weekly that details what she ate, drank, wore, read, watched, etc. and Eva must spend her following week copying it exactly. If Amarra gets a haircut, so must Eva. If Amarra gets a tattoo, Eva must get one also. Amarra holds a serious grudge against Eva. Even though we don't ever read from her point of view, its pretty obvious that she does not like the idea of having a copy of herself out there somewhere that might one day replace her, especially when she falls in love.
She was right. I am the thief. I’ve taken everything that belongs to her. She’s had to give it all up. What must that be like, to know that every single thing you wear, every last thing you know, is being copied, mimicked, duplicated halfway across the world?
I may not like her much, but she shouldn’t have to tell me a thing. I feel nauseated at the very thought of being a window into a love I have no right to.
Eva has "Guardians" that raise her, train her, and protect her. One of her guardians acts as a mother figure and caretaker, one as her teacher, one as her 'doctor', and one who trains her in the ways of a modern teenager. All of these characters are terrific, especially her stubborn but loving 'mother', Mina Ma.

But out of these, the character I loved the most was Sean. He is tasked with teaching Eva how to act like a normal teen should she ever need to go and replace Amarra. Eva and Sean's friendship eventually grows into something more, but it is forbidden for any of Ava's guardians to start a romantic relationship with her. It's obvious that the two have strong feelings for each other, but they have a pretty big hurdle standing in their way.
He crosses the room and comes to me, his feet brushing softly against the floor. I look up at him. He touches my face with his thumb. “I’d rather spend the rest of my life without seeing you ever again,” he says, “than watch them destroy you because of me.” His hand slips to the back of my neck, skimming over my Mark, and stops in my hair. He leans down and kisses my forehead. I long to reach up, close my fingers over his arm, and keep him here. He pulls away but not by much. His mouth lingers on my forehead and then, as if with an effort, he straightens.

“Want him,” he says, his face hidden in shadow, “not me. He’d love you more than I could.” Then he leaves me alone.”
Of course, tragedy does eventually strike and Amarra dies. Barely any time is wasted as Eva is whisked across the world to India to slip into Amarra's place. Only her immediate family is to know that she is an echo. She has to convince all of Amarra's friends, teachers, and boyfriend that she is Amarra, because echo's that can't convince everyone that they are the real deal get destroyed.

Its kind of horrific to think that Amarr'as family, fresh with grief, must treat Eva like she is in fact their daughter. Each member of the family deals with this in a different way, from the mom trying to accept her so deeply that she has convinced herself it is simply Amarra in a new body to the littlest sibling easily accepting Eva as a totally different person who just happens to look life her former sister.

It is horribly sad to read Eva's thoughts throughout the book, especially as she tries to convince Amarra's friends and family that she deserves to stick around. She has a lot of questions about who and what she really is and what she really deserves. She experiences a range of emotions throughout the book, but what she feels most is fear of discovery and longing to be a regular human. She keeps feeling like deceiving Amarra's friends and boyfriend is wrong and she also can't forget that she left Sean behind. When Eva is given the option to run she takes it, and tries to disappear with Sean. This brings about a whole new list of problems and emotions and filled out the story to make it complete. Eva's life is brought full circle as she must confront the Weavers that made her and will ultimately decide whether to keep her or kill her.

This was an amazing read and I highly recommend it to everyone. There were several times that I got teary eyed as I read Eva's melancholy thoughts. Mandanna's writing is spectacular and gorgeous and I am really looking forward to what she has for us in the future.
There’s a girl on the path ahead of us. She has dark hair and eyes like me. She falls down and starts to howl. Her father leans down and kisses her knee and wheedles a laugh out of her. And for no reason at all it makes me think of the Weaver who made me. Of how he will never pick me up when I fall.

I want to be human so badly it hurts.
Recommended for fans of: beautiful and poignant YA, Masque of the Red Death, books that make you think, books that make you cry, and hopeless love.


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