giovedì 26 marzo 2015

Review&Interview: Grim Crush by S.L Bynum + Give@way!

Grim Crush

Author: S.L Bynum
Published: August 15th 2014
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Number of Pages: 226
Format: eBook
Source: Received from the author for review
Purchase: Amazon, TBD

1. Do not interfere with someone's death. 2. Do not become emotionally involved. 3. Do not show yourself to the living. As a grim reaper, seventeen-year-old Xia has to follow these Rules. But when she meets Shilah, a Native American boy who can see reapers, she figures the rules don't apply. To find out why he can see her, she pretends to be human, since carrying a scythe probably isn't the latest teen craze. Things become unnerving as she begins experiencing first-time affection with Shilah, but she's irreversibly drawn to him. Suddenly Xia finds herself breaking Rule Two, even while collecting dead souls behind Shilah's back. It isn't long before she is caught red-handed by the Angel of Death himself, and then not only is her relationship at risk, but also Shilah's soul. And this leaves Xia wondering: can love overcome Death? 

My Review

Grim Crush was a lovely Paranormal novel that I had been offered to review and I am so grateful for it ! I can't express how excited I get when I actually have the opportunity to discover new great novels and present them to new fellow readers!

Grim Crush can be described with 3 adjectives : funny, fluent and unpredictable. 

As soon as I started reading I was dragged in Xia's world and I knew that the book was going to be quite engaging. I already read one paranormal novel about grim reapers but I was happy that the author decided to describe their most human part, instead of focusing on their dark side and job. I immediately loved the concept of Xia's work, the fact that she and her family of reapers had the responsibility to guide one's soul toward the afterlife. I loved the light atmosphere that we find through all the book, it actually eases the huge amount of deaths we need to deal with, following Xia's life (or non-life!). 

I have to admit that the fact that Xia was going to fall in love with  Shilah, may have been a little too predictable and I really wished the author would have focused a little bit more about the growth of their bond, instead of jumping too prematurely into their love story; I couldn't help feeling like everything they said and everything they're willing to go through, was a little too much for two teen who have barely known each other for a month.. but these are not two normal teens we're talking about, this much is true.

Something I was a little disappointed with was the fact that I cannot really have a mental picture of the characters because there were really few physical descriptions about them. I would have loved to explore more the characters' physiognomy and physicality but I really hope we would get to know them better in the following books.

And finally, when I said that this book could be defined as unpredictable... I mean it ! I was really surprised with the ending ! I had so many theories and thought that the book was going to end inevitably in one way, but then, all of a sudden, the author pulled out something totally unexpected that really made me curious about what may happen in book #2 ! So, Leiann Bynum, just HURRY UP!

Rated 3.90

Interview with the author

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing? 
My name is Leiann Bynum, author name S. L. Bynum. I am twenty-five years old from Greensboro, North Carolina. I first started writing when I was twelve, when I wrote a rendition of The Three Little Pigs fairytale for a homework assignment of my brother’s. I loved being able to create my own characters with their own personalities, and creating my own world for these characters.

Describe your novel in two sentences. 
Grim Crush is about a seventeen-year-old grim reaper named Xia, who enjoys carrying a scythe and helping souls of the dead. When she falls in love with a human boy, breaking a Rule of Reaping, she risks his soul and the balance of life and death.

What would you say the hardest part of writing this book was? 
Putting traces of myself into my main character, Xia. Through her, I revealed part of my heart and feelings towards love and affection.

If you could work with any author who would it be?
J. K. Rowling. She inspired me to want to become a full time writer, and I love how creative she is in her work. I feel like we could put our creativity together and make something fabulous.

What books have most influenced your life? 
This might sound crazy, but the Goosebumps books by R. L. Stine. They helped me discover my love of books and writing. The first novel I ever attempted to write, I was twelve, and I wanted it to be like a Goosebumps book, so I tried to make it horror. It was terrible, and that novel will never see the light of day in the publishing world.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Grim Crush! And I have a couple other finished novels I hope to get published soon!

The author has kindly offered to giveaway 1 eCopy of Grim Crush for one lucky winner. How to win? Just leave a meaningful comment about the review and/or the interview ! Good luck !

venerdì 13 marzo 2015

Review: The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

The Accidental Empress

Author: Allison Pataki
Published: 17th February 2015
Publisher: Howard Books
Number of pages: 512
Format: eARC
Source: Received from Publisher
Purchase: Amazon, TBD

From Goodreads

The year is 1853, and the Habsburgs are Europe’s most powerful ruling family. With his empire stretching from Austria to Russia, from Germany to Italy, Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich, and ready to marry.

Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, “Sisi,” Duchess of Bavaria, travels to the Habsburg Court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young emperor. But shortly after her arrival at court, Sisi finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister’s groom. Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead. 

Thrust onto the throne of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court, Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world.

With Pataki’s rich period detail and cast of complex, bewitching characters,The Accidental Empress offers a captivating glimpse into one of history’s most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Hapsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved “Fairy Queen.”


I actually haven't been reading good historical romances for a long time and I am so happy I decided to purchase this one, since it was an amazing discovery ! I may say that I am kind of obsessed with the genre but I usually didn't get much excited about historical characters other than the Borgias and the Tudors.. but WOW! Sisi is one hell of a heroine ! I will definitely keep an eye on her for the future !

Speaking of her, she definitely had such a fascinating life : she married at only fifteen, stealing her sister's groom, with who she had inadvertently fallen in love. Maybe back then she didn't quite realize how her life was going to change, how difficult it would have been for her to learn how to become a good Empress, something her beloved Franz has been trained to do all his life, but especially, she didn't know that living at the Austrian court wouldn't be as easy as living in the lovely, cozy Castle of Possenhofen. 

In this hell of a background not only she succeeds in surviving, she also managed to stand out. After all the humiliations and the sufferings she has been put through, Sisi learned how to be brave, how to be respected and how to get what she wanted in a life where everyone's opinion counted, except for her own. 

I obviously loved Sisi's relationship with Franz Joseph at the beginning, and the fact that they kind of broke the rules to follow their hearts, considering that Franz was not supposed to marry Elisabeth but Helene. I firmly believed in their love story, and I still do for some aspects. I really liked how the author focused on their bond, without really making it the main object of the book; sometimes I easily got frustrated because I felt I needed more Franz and Sisi's scenes, but then I realized that, to build a complete portrait of the character, the love story was just a minor topic to focus on.

I LOVED the emotional complications this book had, and I have to admit that naively, I couldn't see them coming. I thought that the author's choice to insert some small previews of what was coming was brilliant, because it created an electric suspense that completely thrilled me, even if I didn't exactly know what was happening.

I really appreciated how loyal the author has been toward historical information. After finishing the book, I immediately made my researches on the topic and I found out that 90% of the book actually contained real information, that have been then romanced by the incredible Allison. I think that one of her greatest ability here, has been the capacity of making the reader grow fond of her heroine, and I think this is what every historical romances author tries to do, and Allison Pataki certainly made it.

I am now just anxious to know if there will be sequels (as she has said at the end of the book, Sisi's life still has a lot of amazing events to occurr!), but in the meantime, The Traitor's Wife goes straight to my to-read pile!

If you love historical romances, and you have a passion for complex heroines, this book certainly won't disappoint you!

Rated 5.0 !

Favourite quotes:

" A deity does not quake simply because the crowd yells. An empress stands fixed, immutable: the calm that continues on, even as the world rages."

"Don't you see, my darling?" He lifted her hand, resting it on his chest so that he could feel his heartbeat, its pace rapid like horse hooves against his breastbone. "Don't you see? Oh, but you know this well enough already. That there is nothing that requires more strength than to allow yourself to be weak for another."

Images by Freepik