Lets Talk BOOKS

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ by Harper Sloan

perfectly imperfect book tour

Meet Willow and Kane in the newest stand alone by Harper Sloan!

NOW AVAILABLE on the following retailers:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1QqBIuM

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1HPNwUw

Nook: http://bit.ly/1kZQ87U

iBooks: http://apple.co/1WW6mAw

perfecty imperfect

Blurb

Mirror, mirror … who’s the fairest of them all?

I still cringe when I hear that line. A fairy tale that had girls pretending they were the fairest, the most beautiful, and the most entitled. A fairy tale most couldn’t grow out of turned my haunted childhood memories into a living nightmare. Girls who grew up believing that pile of garbage became the meanest of all ‘mean girls.’

And those mean girls were right – it was a line meant for all the beautiful people in the world – and I knew the answer would never be me.

The women with long legs, flat stomachs, and perfect chests.

The type of women Kane Masters gravitated toward.

Well, that’s definitely not Willow Tate.

No. That will never be me.

Because I’m completely imperfect.

And … I hate myself.

I have no idea what Kane could possibly see in someone like me when he could have them.

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Excerpt

“Are you nervous right now?”

I nod.

“Tell me why.”  His demand, steady and calm, gives me the courage I need to tell him.  To open a vein and bleed my insecurities.

“I’m not perfect,” I whisper.

“And neither am I, Willow.  I don’t want perfect.  What so many see as perfect, to me, is fake.  Perfect isn’t achievable naturally.  No one, and I mean no one, is perfect.”

I’m shaking my head before he’s even done speaking, but one long finger comes up and presses against my lips before I can speak.

“No, let me finish.  There isn’t beauty in perfection.  It’s as fake as the image the word projects.  Beauty is found in imperfection, Willow, because to admit you’re not perfect means you’re admitting you’re not whole and absolute.  When I think of myself, I see someone willing to admit he’s as far from complete as it gets because, in order to get to that perfection, I need to find the other part of me who will make my life better.  To take all the faults I have and fill them, and only then will I be there.  You see, the way I see it, the only way to become perfect is to find that perfectly imperfect person who brings it out of you.”

When he stops, I swear I might have stopped breathing.  How am I supposed to respond to that?

“Do you trust me?” he asks, his voice strong and sure.

“Yes, Kane.  Nerves or not, I do.”

“Then let me show you what I see when I look at you.”

He brings his hands up, framing my face once again in a way I’m quickly becoming addicted to the feeling of.  His warm eyes implore, begging me without words to let him continue.  I do not intend to stop him, regardless of the butterflies currently taking over my system.  I’m all in.

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This Booknerd’s Thoughts: 

This sweet and sexy read was more than I expected! I’ve read a couple stories where they give us a heroine that doesn’t fit the usual mold (physically) and they were done well. Perfectly Imperfect is most definitely one of them. Harper Sloan’s Willow was raw and real and gave us a glimpse inside the mind of a woman whose image does not fit society’s perception of beauty. With that, we see the honest thoughts and insecurities that plague a woman’s mind and how they can most definitely hold her back from living her life; preferring to hide than exhaust herself, trying daily to meet these standards.

Willow’s home life and family live and breathe the entertainment and beauty industry’s need for supermodel “perfection”. A tragedy that hit Willow’s life at a young age threw her into a downward spiral of hate, guilt, loneliness, and eating disorders. Growing up, she never found herself fitting into the standard of “perfection” her family and family business expected of her.

Then comes Kane, a well-known actor who definitely gets around and has been seen with countless modelesque woman who would be considered the “perfect” body type.

What I loved about Kane is that his desire and interest in Willow was not what some may fear is a “fetish”. He felt a connection from the moment he first laid eyes on her and felt it again, years later when he saw her again. When he felt what he always hoped to find within another, he was a man on a mission, pursuing relentlessly for the beauty found in being perfectly imperfect. This story pulls at your heart string in many areas. It gives us a glimpse of the beauty and hope a woman can find within herself when she finally chooses to take the reins and steer her life where she always wanted it to go. She fights her demons, yanks their choking hands off her and learns to love herself. The perk was finding a man who helped her see what was already there.

It’s sweet and sexy and empowering. It’s a must read! Don’t miss this one!

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Photo Nov 16, 5 04 44 PM

About the Author:

harper sloan

Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed ‘Estrogen Ocean’, much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her eReader attached. She enjoys bad reality TV and cheesy romantic flicks. Her favorite kind of hero–the super alpha kind!

Harper started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn’t take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

perfectly imperfect live

GIVEAWAY

$50 Amazon Gift Card

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Lets Talk BOOKS

DNF: I hate not finishing books!

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Get ready for a bit of a rant, y’all! Now, I know this can’t just be me but I have this little OCD-like quirk when it comes to books. No matter how much I am not enjoying a read, I will push through. I will keep this teeny tiny unicorn poop pellet of hope that maybe, just maybe, things will get better. Why?

Because, I HATE NOT FINISHING BOOKS! 

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I don’t know what it is but it bothers me. My friend Melody is the complete opposite. She is perfectly capable of having no conflicting emotions whatsoever about marking a book DNF and moving on.

“I don’t give a fuck. I don’t waste no time.” *sings* “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

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I have never DNFed a book before. Even some really crappy ones. I read one a couple months ago that irked the living hell out of me. I was so passionately irked, I just had to run to Amazon and leave my frustrations in a 2-star review. I avoid reviewing books that I may give a low rating to. I want to support and encourage more times than not but this one was just not getting away without a rant. I felt all that and I STILL finished that damn book. The incomplete factor in a book gives me hives. Even if they were a Free One-Click. Imagine the ones I PAID for. Even more so, I want to make sure I finish them.

Well, the day came, folks.

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There are a couple books that I marked as “currently reading” on Goodreads that have been sitting there…waiting…incomplete status. I’ve been telling myself that I’ll eventually get to them because hopping on my Goodreads and seeing them there as “currently reading”–STILL–and knowing others see it, gives me anxiety.

I had to finally ask myself the real and hard questions.

“Desiree. Are you really going to finish it? Are you even interested in going back in? Do you even remember what the hell is happening in the story?” *crickets*

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This has happened before and I have gone back just to get it over with and finish. This time around though, I must be honest and admit that it’s just not going to happen. I don’t even remember what happened in the story. Le sigh. And so, we have Desiree’s first DNF. *hangs head in shame*

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Let’s look at my list of “Currently Reading” from my Goodreads page and discuss which are getting the dreaded, “DNF” marking and the ones I’m still holding out hope for.

The List:

the allure of julian lefray

Oh, Julian. Julian, Julian. I was so excited for this. I had actually seen a book blogger post a beautiful picture on Instagram with this book that had just released. Some of you already know I’m a book cover slut. If I see one that just smacks me in the gut like a hot guy passing by, turning and giving you that grin that oozes alluring pheromones; Pfft! You’ve got me! *wipes drool from side of mouth* 

Funny, that the very title of this one gave that exact feel and scenario. The Allure of Julian Lefray” by R.S. Grey seemed cute, sexy and promising. I remember purchasing it and jumping right in.

Lately, I’ve been on a New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance kick. I haven’t forgotten you YA, I’ll come back, but I’ve just been in the mood for funny, sweet, sexy reads.

Normally, I’ll finish these in one sitting. The fact that I got as far as 80% and for some reason stopped makes me wonder. Something must not have been grasping my attention. Sadly, for the life of me, I can’t even remember anything about the story. Nothing. If I can’t recall any events from the book, that tells me something.

 

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It’s been weeks. I’d look at my Kindle, starting a whole new adventure in another book and think, “Should I?” Nope. That was always my lackluster response. Finally, this morning I crossed, once again my Goodreads and it was there. Staring at me. Mocking me. The incomplete failure that all have seen, sitting there, festering. (Yes, I’m well aware of my dramatics) I asked Melody about DNFs and how she goes about it on her GR (goodreads) and she talked me off the shame spiral I was taking myself through over intentionally choosing not to finish a book.

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And so I did it. I marked my first DNF today. It was both liberating and cringe-worthy, but felt like freedom all the same. It was official. I removed this weight off my shoulders. Sorry Julian, the allure was there. Your staying power? Not so much. Hmm *strokes imaginary beard* this could totally be a life metaphor about guys and dating but if I start on that train, we’re gonna be bunny trailing this little blog post WAY off course.

On to the next book’s life sentence!

Since youve been gone

Now, here’s a book that I was really excited to get–okay, maybe I should stop saying that ’cause I seem to say this about every book. I bought this fresh, sunny, summer read and took it on a roadtrip with me.

I began reading Since You’ve Been Gone” by Morgan Matson and it was cute and mysterious. There’s this whole premise about one from the bestie duo who just up and disappeared and no one knows anything about how or why. The mystery factor is what keeps you pushing through, wanting to know. There’s also a list left to the bestie behind, challenging her to do things outside of her comfort zone.

All this sounded like an adorable and enjoyable read. Somewhere along the way–I’m guessing around 43%–I was feeling a little worn out waiting for the mystery to be solved. I became invested, hoping for the MC’s possible love interest sub-plot to pick up but the story started dragging and I just put it on pause. This was back in December.

Now, I don’t think I will DNF this one. I want to finish it. I’m curious and do remember the events of what I’ve read so far. So, this one survives the chopping block. I will finish you one day–hopefully before the end of the year.

 

Beautiful Ellixir

Oh, Beautiful Elixir” by Addison Moore, how I wanted to like you. I really did. But, holy hell, I’ve never disliked a main character/heroine so much before. I have been an avid reader of Addison Moore. She was one of those Automatic one-click authors for me. I loved her “3am Kisses” series and read and enjoyed the first two books in the “Beautiful Oblivion” series. This here is the third book in that series. I should’ve known something was up when I read the latest from her “3am Kisses” series and for the first time, did not enjoy it. I was sadly, disappointed. I expected so much more and it just fell flat. Then I saw this one come out and started it.

47% later I just stopped. I’m surprised I got that far but like I’ve been saying, I have a thing about not finishing a book. I just cant do it–till now. Let me just say, when it comes to New Adult/Adult contemporary romances, I forgive A LOT from main characters and their romantic leads. I go in usually not taking them all that serious. I read a lot of NA/Adult romance for the fun thrill of it. Sometimes, you find those authors that just do it right. But not always.

Anyway, this was just one MC I could not forgive and get past. This chick was a pathological liar and there was nothing appealing or redeeming about her. The entire time I’m thinking, “What the hell is wrong with this guy? Why is he into her?! She’s horrible! She’s so flippant and irritatingly indecisive.”

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The more I read, the more annoying she was. My main characters by no means need to be perfect but there was nothing likable about this chick. Again, this has happened to me before and I STILL pushed through and finished those stories. This one? I just couldn’t.

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So, after this liberating and nerve wrecking decision, I thought long and hard–okay, not that long or hard–and decided this book will just have to be the second victim in the DNF fate of books.

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My Life Next Door

Ah, cute YA contemporary. This is one of the good ones. I know it is! I was really enjoying it, I remember. I believe I read that 45% of My Life Next Door” by Huntley Fitzpatrick in one sitting. Don’t ask me what happened because I couldn’t tell ya. At some point I stopped and never picked it back up.

I plan to. This is one of those I will not DNF. I want to finish and relish all the cuteness. Unfortunately, I am Dori (forgetful character from Finding Nemo) so I don’t remember much if anything about what I have read. It was a while ago so, I’m gonna say that’s the reason.

Fear not, cuties, once I find myself in that ‘easy breezy YA contemporary’ feel again, you and I. It’s a date.

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Last but not least…

LEGEND

This book. This. Book. I had bought this during the hype of the upcoming conclusion to the series, Champion was about to be released. Legend” by Marie Lu was the YA book that year. The entire series was being praised and if you read YA, then you just had to have read this.

I got it. I cracked it open and started reading. For some reason, Goodreads won’t give me a percentage progress on this so I marked it as 60 pages out of 305. Not very far…

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I liked what I had read thus far. Dystopian is my favorite genre. I love it hence I’m even writing in the sub-genre myself. This is one of the Dystopian books that everyone is telling me I must read. I know. I’m sorry! I believe what happened was that at the the time I cracked this open, I just wasnt in that mindset to read it. I was in the mood for something completely different. Sometimes, you’re just not in the mood for a certain type of read and that has nothing to do with that particular book. The book could be amazing! You’re just not ready to read it at that moment.

Well, that’s what happened here. Unfortunately, that pretty thing up there has been sitting and waiting…and waiting. I just havent found my way back to it. With that said, this puppy’s not getting the DNF stamp. I will most definitely be reading this and the following two in the trilogy. When? Not sure, but it’s gonna happen, dammit.

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Oh, brother. That was all a mouthful. I hope you all enjoyed and hopefully, I’m not the only one in this struggle out there. Do you DNF? Are you a little neurotic like me and NEED to finish books even if they’re sucking?

Where do you stand on marking books DNF? Let’s talk about it!

 

Writing Blog

Writing Blog: Day 2 – Researching ALL THE THINGS (editing)

Welcome back for another day in my writing process bubble!

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As some of you already know, I’m in the EDITING portion of my manuscript. I spent over a year working on my first book from Idea to First Draft. After sending it to a freelance editor, I walked away from book one and took my editor’s advice to work on a different project. Okay, I didn’t quite walk away from the story immediately.

First, I was completely baffled with the reality that I had actually written a book. More specifically, That. Book. The book I cried, laughed and bled with and for. The book that went through big changes and makeovers before it settled into the official first draft. Then came the fact that I missed my characters and their story. I wasn’t ready to walk away. I wasn’t ready to have anyone else’s voice but theirs. So, what did Des do? She began outlining and ultimately writing chapter one of book two.

Luckily, I saw previously from an author I enjoy how that is not recommended. And it makes sense why. The editing process butchers your first draft. So many things could change like plot points, scene rearrangement, characters may get cut off, etc. Writing the next book before editing and having a final draft of the first would only be wasting your time. You’ll have to go back and change everything you wrote in book two. For that, might as well work on something completely new.

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Fast forward many months.

I recently got back my first batch of edits for draft one. Then, Desiree pretended they weren’t there. Desiree felt her eye twitch at all the suggested changes that already caused her brain to hurt and heart to weep. Desiree was overwhelmed at the prospect of holding a baby mammoth of a manuscript for the first time and ripping it apart with red ink. Desiree clearly lost her damn mind because she is talking about herself in third person.

Yesterday, I introduced you all to the Kraken (aka. Baby Mammoth) and taught you all a valuable lesson. Unless you plan to further lose your mind, don’t attempt to print your manuscript on an ancient, slow as hell printer unless you have the patience of a silent monk.

I don’t know if anyone has caught on yet, but I am procrastinating the shit out of this. Granted, I’m actually doing something productive that will benefit my editing but still, I’m full on dragging this out like a mother. Today, I took to Youtube to add to my ‘Editing Process Research’. I actually found some amazing nuggets and I don’t regret a single procrastinating second!

Again, I’ll say it. WRITING IS HARD. And even harder when you’re learning as you go. I’m sure when it comes time to edit my second book project, it won’t feel as daunting and otherworldly. Yes, otherworldly, like a magical world of unicorns that only seasoned authors know and understand and all you want is to be one of the cool kids who are also in the ‘know’. I haven’t felt in the ‘know’ for over a year hence the stalling tactics called DENIAL!

Researching the editing process for some reason was harder than searching for the concept/idea to drafting process. As an aspiring writer, you want to feel confident in what you’re doing, what you’re expected to do and how you’re expected to do it. There are rules to writing a book. Sure, you can break them, but as with anything of the sort, you first need to learn the rules before you can know how to break them. Hopefully, this turns out to be helpful to the writer out there in the imaginary world of words who feels lost just like I did.

Some of the tips at a glance:

Disclaimer: There may be some repetition among some of these tips, but each source provided a different, fresh look into the idea.

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Four Stages in Editing Your Manuscript:

1. Line Editing – Read it out loud and make sure every sentence is the best it can be. While reading the sentence, if it makes you cringe, REWRITE it. 

2. Copy Editing – Involves typos, yes, but also is where you may catch issues with inconsistencies, or dates/timeline that may not add up. This person highly recommended a professional for this stage.

3. Proofreading – Catching any final mistakes. Having a physical copy for this stage is recommended.

4. Beta Readers – You need them! When proofreading your book, you’ll only see what you want to see on the page. Get fresh eyes!

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While reading your hard copy, any place you stumble or need to reread, EDIT IT. If you stumble, you bet your readers will.

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What are the different types of edits for novels? – Answered by a Junior Editor

1. Proofreading – They check over the grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The technical aspect.

2. Line Editing – Here, editors go through your prose, sentence by sentence. They help make the sentences sound better. They make the prose flow better and sound more cohesive. They clean up the writing so it reads easily. This stage does not affect the story at all.

3. Copy Editing – Different people interpret this term differently. Some refer to this the same as a proofread. Sometimes a Copy Editor refers to someone who proofreads AND line-edits. (make sure if you’re paying for this service, you clarify what you will be receiving from this stage of editing) 

4. Developmental Edits – Focuses on the BIG PICTURE. The flow of the story, the plot line, characters, what things can be improved to further improve the story as a whole.

Tips by: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5W3s1jCr4E

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Those were just little snippets from some of the videos I will be sharing below. In addition to the two videos I will be sharing on Editing, I will be adding–what I found quite fascinating–HarperCollins publishing’s ‘Editing Process’ within their different departments. Kind of cool to see how it would work going through the Traditional Publishing route.

Enjoy below! I’ll see you soon with more from my writing bubble!

 


 

 

Uncategorized

MAIL DAY: Books!

MAIL DAY-Books
Mailman courtesy of: Petshopbox Studio

“Hello Bernard!”

*skips over to Bernard the Mailman*

“What do you have for me today”

*Bernard, the quiet type, reaches into his satchel and takes out*

into the still blue

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

and…

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Infinite by Jodi Meadows

*Des practically tackles Bernard the Mailman to the ground, grabbing books, runs inside, calling out across her shoulder*

“Thanks Bernard!!!”

*Bernard the Mailman grunts an “Mm-Hm” and goes along his day*

Happy Mail Day: BOOKS!

Hello everyone! How is February treating you? Can you believe January is over and February has already arrived? Goodness me, time really needs to simmer down and calm it’s horses!

Welcome to my new Feature: MAIL DAY: Books!

Simple, but I thought it would be cool and bookish of me to share with you all the glorious-smells and feels like Christmas-days of Mail, when books come home to me!

Sometimes the journey is AGONY! Such as Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi, making me wait till possibly February 9th-12th to receive. Not Ignite Me’s fault…it’s Barnes and Nobles and Amazon’s fault. *grins* 

“But Des, why not go to the book store and have the wondrous experience of purchasing the book the day it’s released?”

Oh reader, I would LOVE to have such an experience but my BOOK STORE IN TOWN SUCKS!

Barnes and Nobles is the only bookstore we have in town that remains current. The two indie bookstores I would love to visit and purchase from, do not have a wide range of YA titles, hence it is not a priority for them to stay up to date with New Releases…that breaks my lil’ corazon (heart) a bit…no, a lot. *sighs*

So, I am robbed from such an experience and must order on Amazon. Amazon wants to charge me a butt-load to have it delivered on release day. Some authors have told me to request it from bookstore. Barnes and Nobles wont even have the book brought to the store, they will request it and have it shipped to my house which would take over a week of business days. Ugh.

But enough of the sad stuff…TODAY WAS A MAIL DAY!

As most of you know, I have truly enjoyed reading the first two books of each of these series.

(click on book titles and authors for Goodreads links)

 

Under the Never Sky

Through the Ever Night

Into the Still Blue

by: Veronica Rossi

&

Incarnate

Asunder

Infinite

by: Jodi Meadows

I have fallen for Perry’s strong and silent self, and I have swooned at Sam and Ana’s relational dynamics, quirks and all.

A part of me is sad to see these two series come to an end. I’m not ready to say goodbye, dangit! I have heard brilliant things about the ending of both of these series, which makes me VERY happy.

The last series I read and finished was the Divergent series…I mentioned that in one of my recent posts and it just dawned on me that I’m lying. Divergent wasn’t, The Hunger Games was.

Well, both were heavy-hearted endings. I’m excited to finish a series and walk away feeling fulfilled and happy…from what I’ve gathered of other’s brief reviews. (no spoilers, of course)

I feel torn between which to start reading first. Tonight I will begin one of them. Which to pick?

Happy Reading!

 

 

Uncategorized

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (book review)

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Goodreads Synopsis:

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11594257-under-the-never-sky?from_search=true

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This is book one from Veronica Rossi’s trilogy. (Tri-logy meaning tres books *winks*)

I am extremely glad that I got on the Perry and Aria bandwagon late, why?

Well, because I am hooked and book three already is set to release at the end of this month so I can read the whole series like the impatience fangirl I am! (said all that in one breath)

I had this book on my TBR pile for a few months now. I had received it with three other books I ordered by mail. It was one happy day. I had a book photoshoot day. Interesting enough, one of my most popular reblogs on Tumblr have been the shot of this very book.

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So what did I think about this:

The world is a Dystopian survival story set far in the future with hints of Sci-Fi, I guess you could say. Veronica Rossi gives us two worlds. The world where the Dwellers abide in man-made Pods. The “government” I guess you could say, created these high technology Pod dwellings underground to protect people from the Aether storms. These Aether storms are high electrically charged storms that have destroyed and incinerated towns, cities. Within these Pod dwellings, science has dominated their way of living. Everything that is done, is done with a purpose. Children are carefully manufactured scientifically–no one’s an accident, no trait, look is an accident. Everyone is beautiful. Everyone has perfect teeth. No woman goes through menstruation, (theres a reason I mention this–yes, it may or may not have been brought up in the book through a certain scene. Cue: Mortification) hence the reproductive process is all scientific. They believe anything else would be animalistic, savage-like. How do they live and entertain themselves underground in these dwellings? Well, through Realms of course! Everyone in these Pods (i.e. Reverie, Bliss, etc) wear Smarteyes. They are clear almost silicone patches that go over your Left eye. Instantly, the device attaches like a leech/parasite connecting with your brain. This then gives you the opportunity to visit Realms. You can go, be, do, anything you desire just by the thought of it.

Aria is one of our main characters. The story is presented through a Dual-Perspective. Our second main character is Peregrine a.k.a. Perry.

Aria is a Dweller, or a Mole as the Outsiders snicker. She grew up in Reverie with her Mother, Lumina, who is one of the high level scientist/geneticist. She opens the story and all we know is that she is in search of information about her Mother. She had been worried. It has been five days from the start of the book and her mother has not checked in. Even with her mother being far in Bliss, busy with her medical research, they had daily scheduled visits in the Realm where Lumina and Aria would meet in a magnificent Opera theatre, and at Lumina’s request, Aria would sing an Opera piece, using her genetically beautiful Soprano range, set in place before birth by her mother. Soren, the son of Reverie’s Director of Security–Consul Hess–would be her target to get answers out of. Lies and a framing cause Aria to be thrown out and left alone at “the Death Shop” out in the Outsiders world to die. Dwellers bodies don’t last in the Outside.

Perry is what the Dwellers call the Outsiders, or Savages. All we know is that many vicious and horrifying stories have been told to all Dwellers about those who live on the Outside of the Pods, with the Aether storms–such as cannibals. The Outsider’s world resembles much of Native American living. They don’t seem to posses any advanced technologies. Perry comes from a tribe called The Tides. There, his brother, Vale is Blood Lord–the leader of the tribe. The only way another can rise is through a fight to the death. Either you die at the hand of the new Blood Lord who challenged you for the position or you surrender with a knife at your throat and pledge your life to them. Talon is Vale’s son–Perry’s nephew–whom he has a deep connection with. They are all recently mourning the death of Val’s wife, Talon’s mother, Mila. Tension between Vale and Perry carry out, leaving Talon in the middle, as Perry’s desire stirs and believes he needs to be Blood Lord. That means either his brother’s unlikely submission or death. Talon has already lost one parent, could he really be the cause of leaving him without the other?

Tragedy, Secrets, and Lies begin and thrust these two polar opposites together unexpectedly. Aria needs answers, and needs to find her mother. Perry’s nephew is kidnapped by Dwellers–Aria’s people–and he will stop at nothing to get Talon back.

The world-building is beautiful and well done. The entire time I am reading, I can see the brilliant blues that cast light and shadows across the sky and land on the Outside. At one point, Aria describes looking up and the sky appearing as Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

There are Scires and Audiles, Seers and then there’s Cinder–just a boy with a gift no one has ever seen before. On the outside they have those who they called “Marked”. Those Marked have gifts of scenting emotions which are called tempers–the Scires. Audiles have a keen sense of hearing from yards, miles away and if they touch another, they can even read their thoughts. Seer’s …umm, so I don’t remember what they can do exactly, I just know they tend to have the ability best in the day, Perry is a rare one who can see clearly in the night, like a cat.

I loved this book through and through. I pretty much devoured 80% of it in two nights…two long nights. I didn’t sleep when normal people sleep due to staying up till 3am in the morning each night. It was New Years Eve and New Years Day so it was fine.

I loved the main characters. These two characters are quickly becoming one of my favorite YA couples. I would absolutely recommend this book. Go find it, check it out! The entire series will be available by the end of this month so you can eat it up in one sitting! I agree with one reader, I think I would have really enjoyed this story being told through 1st person instead of 3rd person perspective. It took a little time for me to get used to, since lately all I’ve read is 1st person. In the end, you get used to it. Veronica Rossi at least still does a great job at describing well their thoughts and emotions in the moment.

This concludes the non-SPOILER section of this review…Further down, I will now go into certain details that will give away moments, details, plot info from the book.

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Spoilers Section:

I love Spoiler sections. This is where I get all fangirl and squeal, and scream, and jump up and down and…ok, ok…let’s get to it.

I love Perry and Aria together and I love Perry. I thoroughly enjoyed how much Aria and Perry HATED each other for pretty much the entire first half of this book. It was well done *golf claps*

“Well done, Veronica Rossi”.

I understand the tension. Here is Aria, being kicked out of Reverie, left to DIE all due to stupid Consul Hess (Soren’s–the arrogant jackweed’s father) wanting to cover up his son’s moment of CRAZY where he went ape-crazy (literally) and burned down Ag6, killing Aria’s best friend, Paisley and most of the others he force-locked within the abandoned Ag6 that night. To cover up his sons MAJOR indiscretion, he got rid of the evidence–ARIA; who unfortunately mentioned recording on her Smarteye proof of Soren’s moment of crazy. We know that she lost the Smarteye Soren RIPPED off her face, and that Perry found it and kept it. Here she is, dropped off in the Death Shop they all have heard so much horror about, left at the mercy of the Aether storms, in a medisuit–possibly her only means of surviving as long as she has out there–so she believes.

On the other side of things, we have Perry. He and Vale fought, hence Perry skulked off in a tantrum to the Dweller pod in the first place. He found an apple for Talon (Talon’s favorite and rare to find) and got himself tangled in this mess with Aria.

They, Aria’s people, kidnap Talon and tried to kill Perry. They didn’t succeed. Perry and his crazy scent gift finds Aria in the middle of nowhere, where an Aether storm is about to attack her. He football tackles her, yelling that he lost everything because of her, a Mole. She is just as feisty, yelling for him to not touch her. He’s a Savage and she is disgusted by him and his ability to probably infect her just by breathing near her.

The only reason Perry even bothers not leaving her out there to die, is because he needs her to get Talon back. She tries to escape him but isn’t successful, especially when this barbaric Savage threatens you with a large knife.

Throughout the story, enters Roar who is hilarious and awesome. He’s full of himself but in that good humored way that breaks tensions when they’re high. He’s apparently very good looking and an Audile. He loves Liv, Perry’s sister but she was given to another Blood Lord for a wife as a trade for food provisions for the Tides. I am excited to see his story unfold. I love the little elements he provides in the story–bridge between Perry and Aria at times.

Here’s some cool fanart I found: Margot from EpicReads does this Fauxtography series inspired by YA books. The berries images inspired by the scene in the book with Perry teaching Aria how she can tell safe berries from poisonous ones; those are her photos someone used to make this collage below 🙂

Margot’s The Real Fauxtographer “Under the Never Sky” shot here

tumblr_mxx0pivzbs1rcfjfio1_500

Peregrine-under-the-never-sky-30735781-578-306I loved this fan art of Perry and the storms. I think he looks perfect. Even his almost dreaded hair, the tattoos, weapons–brilliant!

Scenes I TABBED in my book as memorable: (chronological order)

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Tab #1 – The moment Aria brought into the story the title of the book. (page 124)

“Do the clouds ever clear?” she asked.

“Completely? No. Never.”

“What about the Aether? Does that ever go away?”

“Never, Mole. The Aether never leaves.”

She looked up. “A world of nevers under a never sky.”

Tab #2 – The infamous berries scene (page 167-169)

So they are NOT getting along here. She just witnessed him kill, no wait, slaughter and decapitate cannibals in the wild who manipulated Aria with kindness. After days of not getting Perry to talk and being afraid of him, here comes this one guy, charismatic, young and kindly conversing with her. Aria had gone to find berries to prove she could be useful while Perry left her in the cave to hunt. Watching him slaughter these men turned her stomach and an anger of disgust rose within towards Perry’s ability to do such a thing. Later, he offers to find food to feed her but she snapped at him saying she wanted nothing from him.

So he cleverly goes over and brings a branch of berries. He tells her that he’ll teach her to hunt for her own food then. She responds to this and he’s relieved. So he tells her that first, she needs to crush a small piece and smell it.

Here, her scent is now of violets and not of decay and death as it was in the beginning when they met…

PAUSE. TIME OUT…

Can we talk about WHY her scent is NOW violets. I didn’t TAB this part but oh, it is most definitely memorable.

“Holy Red Faced Mortification Batman!”

The end of chapter 16 (Perry’s POV chapter-page 153-154)…Oh, dear, I’m laughing replaying the entire scene in my head. Aria wakes up and he instantly breathes in her temper and panics, asking her what’s wrong.

She tells him that she is dying. She’s bleeding.

Poor Perry freaks out trying to assess the situation. Where is she bleeding? Her feet? Or did she eat the poisonous berries (this is remember, before the berries scene)?

Perry inhales and suddenly, her musky Dweller scent is almost gone.

For the first time since he’d known her, her flesh smelled like something he recognized, feminine and sweet.

He smelled violets.

He took a step back, swearing silently as it hit him. “You’re not dying…you really don’t know?”

“I don’t know anything anymore.”

Perry looked down at the ground and drew another breath, no doubt in his mind.

“Aria…it’s your first blood.”

“What The…Omylanta…WHAT?” was everything I was repeating in my head over and over. I was MORTIFIED for her. It continues now with the next chapter, 17-ARIA’s POV.

She was bleeding. Like an animal. Dwellers didn’t menstruate.

She’d been prepared for death. Death was to be expected on the outside. A normal consequence of being tossed into the Death Shop. But no matter how she looked at it, menstruating was utterly barbaric.

And this gorgeous, wild looking guy had to tell her! Oh dear God, where is the mercy!? *laughing, cringing, laughing more*

Anyway, back to the berries. Now thanks to her new found bloody circumstance, the up side? She smelled like violets now.

Next, Perry had her look at the color of the berries. Then, rub it on her skin, after that, put it on her lip. Perry’s heartbeat picks up watching her do these things. She’s oblivious, feeling determined and strong to learn something for her own independence. He starred at her lower lip even after she had placed the berry there. He couldn’t look away. Now, he told her to place it on her tongue.

Perry shot to his feet before he finished the words, nearly tripping over himself. He ran a hand over his head, feeling skitty, like he needed to laugh or run or do something. He picked up a stone and tossed it into the creek, trying to get the image of her tasting the berry out of his mind. Trying to keep from pumping her scent into his nose like wanted to.

They have then a light moment, and laugh. It’s a wonderful scene. Of course, one of my favorites. Be sure to check out the entire fauxto from Margot’s YA book Fauxto series (link above the fanart collage).

Tab #3 – (page 238-243) Aria is at Marron’s and finds out the Auds overheard that Bliss was destroyed by an Aether–where her mother is. Roar’s brilliant and snarky matchmaking plot leading Perry to go to Aria’s room to comfort her himself. Perry was hoping Roar would go since Aria and Roar get along so well and well, due to his own silent nature, they haven’t clicked yet through conversation the same. He’s been also trying to avoid her because they have no chance together, so why torture himself and go there?

I laughed out loud when Roar gave his analogy of his own moment with Liv.

“Remember that time I was trying to talk to Liv and I fell off the roof?

Later, Perry not understanding where this was going…

“Was there a point to that story?” Perry stepped out as soon as the elevator doors parted. “Are you coming?”

“Fall off your own roof, Perry,” he said as the door slid closed.

Best. Line. Ever.

So Perry goes, hesitates but enters the room to find Aria sitting on her bed, hurting. He scans the room and knows the only other place to sit is in the space beside Aria…on the bed. The eternity for him to take those four steps to her bed. He sits and notices nervously every detail that only when you’re mind is reeling, and emotions are heightened, do you notice.

They converse and have some breakthrough. My favorite is after he apologizes for not being kinder during the first part of their journey, she says she’ll forgive him on two conditions.

First–she cons him into explaining his own temper right now (in that moment). It’s very vulnerable for him and though he tries, he freaks out, clams up from being so exposed and says he just can’t do it.

“Now you have an idea how it feels. How exposed I feel around you.”

Perry laughed. “That was tricky of you…”

Then, her second condition,

“Will you stay? I think I’d sleep better if you stayed here tonight. Then we could miss them together.”

Love it!

Tab #4 – Perry finally asks to hear Aria sing (After already hearing her accidentally on one of the first nights in a cave, when she woke from her first Dream/nightmare and was singing to herself). Page 250-252

Here everything changes on the outside for Perry and Aria. Things held within, not spoken, begin to be expressed. Its so second nature for her to sing. She knows she can and never hesitates to do it. Possibly from years of her mother having her perform during their visits. Also must be after her last encounter with her mother–in person–denying her mother a moment to hear Aria sing for real, not in a Realm, which was weird and uncommon for Aria. She had a sullen teenager moment and was a complete brat, singing a ridiculous song instead. It was the last time she was able to sing for her mother. Perhaps, that kept her from wanting to ever hold back when asked to sing. Plus, she was confident because it was genetically something she knew was given to her.

She sings for Perry and he is mesmerized.

Perry closed his eyes when she was finished. “You have a voice as sweet as your scent,” he said, his words deep and quiet. “Sweet as violets.”

Her heart stopped in her chest. He thought she had a scent like violets? “Perry…do you want to know the words?”

His eyes flew open. “Yes.”

Her eyes never shifted away from his as she translated and it’s as though a force pulled their hands together. Something now changed between them. It was beautiful. My feels were so jumping in my heart!

Tab #5 The Van Gogh’s Starry Night reference that painted more clearly what I was already seeing in my head while reading this. Page 294

Tab #6 THEIR FIRST KISS *squeals* *flails arms around* *grabs Russ-teddy-and squeezes him with joy painted on my face*

pages 295-298 <~~~cause Roar comes and jokingly interrupts!

Roar had been teaching Aria to fight with a knife. That was Roar’s specialty weapon, not Perry’s. His was the bow and arrow. One day, Aria is practicing by herself and later catches Perry standing there, watching her for who knows how long. He offers to be her sparring partner today cause Roar is still sleeping. Freaking out she pretends it’s “Cool”.

After some genuine back and forth and then sprinkle on some flirting, Perry gave in like a man in heat *rolls head back laughing* He tosses his blade aside.

“I can’t concentrate. I thought I could do this.” He put his hands up in defeat. “Can’t.” Then he came closer. Aria didn’t think her heart could beat any faster, but then it did, faster with every step he took toward her, until it hammered against her chest, making her breathless when he stopped right in front of her.

“I’ve been watching you and Roar. Wanting it to be me training with you.” His shoulders came up. “I don’t want to do it now.”

“Why?” Aria’s voice was high and thin.

He smiled, a flash of shyness, before he leaned close. “There are other things I’d rather do when I’m alone with you.”

Time to step off the edge. “Then do them.”

*gasps* ARIA!

Eeeep! Feels!

Tab #7 Umm…errr…yeah…so treehouse, Aria, Perry, Divergent shirt off-Tattoo touching-makeout-scene moment (funny, they both have one…and…I dont hate it! ) and then…*clears throat* Aria and Perry bond and are joined intimately. I love the last paragraph, page 325. Nicely done VRossi! *winks*

And last but not least…

Tab #8 The Spontaneous Kiss:(page 327) The only thing I dared mark this book with. I lightly, highlighted it cause it was just too darn sweet and precious. I loved this.

In the afternoon, they stopped to eat on a rocky outcrop. Perry brushed a kiss on her cheek while she was chewing, and she learned that it was the loveliest thing to be kissed for no reason, even while chewing food. It brightened the woods, and the never sky, and everything. Aria embraced the tactic, calling it the Spontaneous Kiss…

*sighs serenely*

Well, there it is folks. If those tabs didn’t stir your curiosity to read this book, then I don’t know what will. I mean, for those who haven’t and still decided to read through all the spoilery parts.  I enjoyed this book. It was just a wonderful, beautiful, endearing story filled with brilliant imagination and dimensional characters that you can’t help but love!

I hope if you havent, you will check out this series. I am staring my mailbox down wanting the second book of the series immediately. I am glaring more at my inbox which has yet to tell me that the Amazon seller has shipped my book. *mouth curves downward* Not happy…not at all. Well, that’s what I get for being impatient and ordering something online on New Years Eve…

Really Des? Really?

Happy Reading Everyone! Till next time!