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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hi, darlings! Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday over here at Sparkles and Lightning, all thanks to the lovely Jill over at Breaking the Spine! It's a super fun meme that I absolutely love.

I'm very excited about my pick this week and cannot wait to share it with you!

Stalked by Death (Touch of Death, #2)
Kelly Hashway
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Jodi knows that any slip-ups made by the Ophi--a special group of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac--will fall on her shoulders... and that Hades is just waiting for them to screw up so he can wipe out the Ophi line.
Unfortunately, Jodi has only convinced one Ophi to join her school: A hot guy named Chase who jeopardizes her relationship with Alex. Jodi loves Alex, but Chase can enhance her powers with just a touch—making her stronger than any Ophi has ever been.
Her mixed emotions send her powers surging out of control, and the dead start rising without her conscious summoning—exactly what Hades doesn't want! If she chooses Alex over Chase, she may lose the battle to Hades, leading the Ophi race to extinction. If she chooses Chase, she might be able to stop Hades for good… but lose everything else.
Jodi needs to figure things out fast--because death is stalking her at every turn.
Confession: these links are actually for Touch of Death, since Stalked by Death is apparently not available for preorder anywhere yet.

So, I absolutely loved TOUCH OF DEATH. Like, absolutely LOVED it. It was seriously easily one of my favorite reads of 2012.

Jodi is an awesome heroine, and Alex is a wonderfully hot and fantastic love interest. It's interesting that there's going to be a love triangle in this one. I certainly don't like the idea so far but we'll just have to see how it plays out!

It sounds wonderful. Not everything is going to be easy! There are some definite struggles ahead. But seriously, if anyone can do it, Jodi can. She is awesome like that.

And there is, of course, cover love. It matches the first one beautifully, and yet it also very different. I adore her expression and the colors are gorgeous.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Link me up! :)
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
So, while I received a copy of EVERY DAY from the publisher a long time ago, I was also lucky enough to get chosen as an Ambuzzador for Random Buzzers. My chosen book was (is) EVERY DAY, and so I received two copies in the mail. One of the copies is for me to give away to you!

In case you've forgotten, I absolutely loved EVERY DAY, and you can read my glowing review here. That book deserved every single one of its five shining stars. It was absolutely gorgeous.

Well, it's a fairly simple giveaway. It's basically like my other giveaways. I've taken to using rafflecopter lately with the exception of Magic Mondays, which I'm sure you've all noticed. All you have to do is read my Giveaways page before entering to keep me happy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well, darlings, I can only wish you the very best of luck!

The Hunt (The Hunt, #1)
Andrew Fukuda
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Purchase
Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.
When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?
So, Andrew's first book, which is much lesser known than this one, is called Crossing. I first read Crossing a few years back and I literally fell head over heels in love with it. It broke my heart. It made me feel wild and crazy emotions. It made me cry my eyes out. And I knew then that if an author could make me feel like that, I would follow him wherever he would take me. And though I have taken forever to review this on account of being somewhat lazy, this book absolutely did not disappoint. I understand that it isn't for everyone, but that absolutely did not keep me from loving it.

Our hero is Gene, a human in a world of vampires. He is different from most people in the fact that he wants to stay human. I know that that's one of the main places where opinion splits for this book, but I really admire him for that. He doesn't abandon his ideals, and he wants to stay true to who he is and not give into the monstrosity. I also think that Gene's methods of survival weren't always perfect, but he deserves credit for going through it all by himself. I loved Gene's courage, and I didn't find hid choices cowardly. I also think that he had wonderful character growth, and I was pleased to see that.

Ashley June is our love little love interest. At first, I had a really difficult time relating to her. She was almost boring, and didn't seem to have much substance. But as time went on I found myself connecting to her more and more. She didn't choose her place in the world, and in general she does try to make the best of it. She could be whiny, but she could also be strong. She doesn't let people tell her what to do, but she isn't a brat. She certainly isn't perfect, but she has a fiery nature and a good head on her shoulders.

By some twisted mistake, Gene manages to find himself entangled in the hunt, in which vampires track and kill humans for blood sport. But not as a human. Instead, he's on the side of the vampires. Determined to keep his secret and remain human, as well as survival, are Gene's primary goals. He is determined to hold on to his humanity, and so he does his best to blend in with the vampires without becoming one of them.

I thought that is was genius, honestly. In our society vampires are often an overused ideal. In this book, they're not. Sure, there are books that are similar, namely The Immortal Rules, and I'm sure there are others. Even so, there are several defining factors that make it completely unique.

I found the hunt itself to be an absolutely fascinating and horrific concept. It's absolutely disgusting, and it isn't glorified or justified at all. It's simply something awful that is, but nothing that anyone can do anything about. It was really interesting to see the dynamics of exactly how it played out, and to hear Gene's views on it.

I was pleased and surprised by the amount of action. For some reason, I truly was not expecting so much. But I loved action, and I especially love blood (at least when it comes to books) so I was thrilled by this. I loved the way it kept me tense, constantly at odds and never sure what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed the tension and suspense, which added another layer to the story and more excitement for me.

Overall, I totally loved this and absolutely enjoyed it. There are definitely mixed opinions on this, but in mine this was truly fantastic.

Romance. Gene and Ashley June definitely have chemistry, but it takes a while for that to become clear. At first, they have a natural mistrust and antagonism, or so it appeared to me, and understandably. But as the time goes on, they find themselves somehow drawn to one another. They can't help the attraction they feel. And as they slowly begin to acknowledge this, the connection between them starts to come out. Overall I feel like there wasn't too much romance here, but I am actually truly looking forward to its continuation.

I have loved Andrew's writing from the first time I read it, and that hasn't changed. It's phenomenal. The amount of emotion that he is able to portray in one sentence in incredible. Anger, desperation, joy, terror…it's all there, at different appropriate moments. I love that he can make me feel the way that Gene does. It makes it very easy to connect to Gene's voice and his story. I also love the way the characters are developed, and I especially appreciated the world-building. It's a unique build for a unique world.

I was actually shocked by the ending, and I didn't see it coming at all. Though the cliffhanger is cruel I also think that the way it was employed is pure perfection. Everything gets drawn together, and a sudden clarity descends upon the entirety of the novel. I really felt that this was the best way to pull everything together, and I like the way that a lot of the conflict is resolved, but there's still plenty to look forward to. It is, essentially, the perfect balance.

So basically, I loved this. I thought it was amazing. It definitely made me think, and I truly do feel like it is different from all the other vampire books out there. There's an more real emotional aspect to it, and there's something in it that feels very alive even amidst all the death. I definitely recommend this, and though not everyone loves it, I know that a lot of people will. I myself will definitely be eagerly continuing this series.


Monday, October 29, 2012
Hello, loves! It's Monday again! And y'all know what that means. It's time for another Magic Monday! To learn more about Magic Mondays, you can visit my Features page.

And then without any further commentary, it's time for this week's book of choice! It's a lesser-known book but one I personally loved.

Antony John
Release Date: November 21, 2012
Griffin and I were more than brothers. We were the colony's outcasts, the constant reminders that not everything is created perfect. Knowing it wasn't my fault didn't change that at all.

Well, doesn't that sound intriguing and fabulous? I know it does. That's why I chose that particular excerpt. It is very awesome. Fantastic. It's not an action-y moment, but I like it because it reflects Thomas's surprising wisdom.

Please read my Giveaways page before entering.

Here is this week's .

Go ahead and enter!

Good luck, roses!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.

When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father’s capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart’s twisted world, Zara’s path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara’s hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father’s evil nature, or they will take him out.

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels’ command and where the prince’s heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she’s truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.


There's nowhere left to hide.

I thought vampires were our enemies - they controlled our lives, isolated our cities, and demanded our blood - until I met Victor. With Victor taking over as the new Lord Valentine, things were supposed to get better. Instead, they're worse than ever.

Day Walkers, a new breed of vampires who can walk in the sun, are terrorizing the city. Blood supplies are low, and if Victor's vampires don't get enough, they will become infected with the Thirst - a disease that will turn them into mindless killers.

To stop it, I must journey across the desolate wasteland to the very place where the sickness began. I can only hope that the answers that await me are enough to save us all . . . before it's too late.


Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction--which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart...misses. Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress--she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.


Saturday, October 27, 2012
Shift (The Protector, #2)
M. R. Merrick
Publisher: M. R. Merrick
Release Date: January 29, 2012
Source: Author
Goodreads | Purchase
Devastated by a terrible loss, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else—a monster threatening to tear her apart.
As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.
I actually ended up loving Shift even more than I loved Exiled, which is saying something. It also got five stars, which is also saying something. I really, really loved this one, you guys. It was awesome. There was excellent character growth and the plot actually moved forward, which is more than I can say for some books. Basically it was an excellent second book. I also really like the title because it can be taken literally or…not. And depending on which way you choose to take it there are vastly different meanings.

Chase continues to grow as a character much as he did in the last one. He's still prideful and arrogant, and more than a little impulsive. He doesn't always think before he does things and he clearly has a temper. Even so, while I don't condone what he does I can see that he doesn't do things simply to be cruel. Though I don't always like his arrogance, which he still has an abundance, we all have our faults. Plus, he is definitely getting better at learning to control it.

Rayna still has the same awesome attitude that made me adore her in the first one. I love that she isn't afraid to stand up to Chase and call him out when he's being a jerk. At the same time, she can be sweet. Rayna is incredibly stubborn, and sometimes she needs a little pushing to do the right thing, but she isn't difficult only for the sake of being difficult. She's unconditionally loyal to Chase, which I also like, but she still gets upset with him.

I was feeling too lazy to make individual headers today…
There's a revelation about Marcus in this book that I had actually suspected but that Chase didn't, and it was really interesting to see that. Marcus don't show much emotion, but I think that he's actually incredibly passionate and just has learned to hide it. I still want to know more about him for sure.
Riley is kind of a jerk, but I think that's the point. He doesn't seem like a good man, let alone a good father. But even Chase notes that he wasn't perfect, but that he wasn't always like this, that he's changed. And when you hear something like that, you can't help but want to hear more about the why. Although he's not a likable character, he's a very interesting one.
Willy learns to stand up for himself and others in this book, which I love. He's not just the underdog anymore! He's willing to face down dangers for Chase and he really starts to find his own place in the world as well. I didn't care for him too much before, but I really like the direction his character was taken in, and as far as I am concerned character arcs are always a win.
Tiki is still completely loyal to Chase, and will do anything for him even when he doesn't want to. He'll put himself in incredible danger. I don't know. He's not from this world, so he often acts odd and is very unusual. Still, I feel like we didn't get to know him as much as I would have liked to, so hopefully that gets rectified.
Chief has an actual name that also starts with a C, but for some reason I can't actually remember what it is, so whatever. Anyway,  I think that Chief is a spectacular character. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of him. How true were his intentions? Does he really want to help? I couldn't be sure, and needless to say I was definitely suspicious.
I have something a secondary character fetish, so it happens a lot that I'll randomly latch onto some character who appears maybe three times and decide that they are the awesomest person in the book. Not even making that up. But anyway, the point here is that I really, really like Jax. He's not an important character for most of the book, but by the end he is and I'm sure we'll see more of him, which naturally I am happy about.

One of my favorite words these days is spectacular, and it happens to apply here. This book is, in every sense of the word, spectacular.

Chase is the Protector, but it's not entirely clear what that means yet. Even so, we can see that he's changing, and I mean in things regarding magic mostly, without getting too spoiler. Unusual circumstances surround him, and highly irregular occurrences also. I actually really want to say more on this, but I hate making spoiler tabs because they screw me up on my blog. And it would get way to spoilery to not use one.

This is just wonderful. I enjoy the way everything works out. It's very complicated, but it's also not so complicated that I can't understand. It isn't oversimplified, and there are complicated lines of loyalty and hatred that make up ties and breakages. I like the interconnections and seeing how everyone interacted with each other. It added a certain depth to the story.

What else I liked is the background. There's always something we don't know. Usually more than one something. There's definitely history in most of this, and hidden motives that we can't begin to guess at.

We get some awesome new characters in this book, with their own complicated background, both villains and heroes. And each has their own piece to contribute. It's a very tangled web of intrigue and also of sacrifice, as many of them have to decide just how much they're willing to give up.

There's a ton of action, so that meant that I was never bored. I turned the pages of the book at an insane rate. I didn't want to stop reading it. It enthralled me.  Thrilled me. It kept me interested and throughly entertained.

What I'm trying to say here is that this thing was conceived from awesomeness.

There is more romance in this book than there was in the last one, so that just kind of makes my heart happy. I love the chemistry between Chase and Rayna, and moreover, I love that it isn't instalovey at all! There is way too much of that everywhere these days and so it was refreshing not to see it here. I love that it was given time to develop. I expect there will be troubles ahead, since, you know, there always are, but, well, you know. They'll work through them, eventually. But what's a little love without a little war? NOTHING. (Okay, so I've clearly been reading too much Shakespeare lately.)

Like Exiled, shift is told in first person from Chase's perspective. His outlook on the world is an interesting one, and I love being inside his head. His actions are often brash, and he doesn't think them out fully. But being able to see his thoughts as he does questionable things certainly makes him more likable than he would be otherwise. Also, I really like the way everything is described. Whenever a new place is visited, it is described so vividly that I can practically see it, and I love when I can picture myself in the same place as in my books.

The ending was perfect. I really, really loved the way it ended. There was definitely a certain level of happiness and security, and I was glad to see that a large piece of conflict has been resolved, yet of course the main conflict got only more complicated. But we're left knowing more than we did before, and it definitely spiked my desire for the next book. I enjoyed this ending also because it was fairly upbeat. That's not always something you see, and so it wasn't just fun to see it here, it was different.

So, I recommended this series after the first book and now I can recommend it even more confidently. I loved this one even more than the first one, and everything basically only got even more fantastic. So, I think you should go pick this up, like, ASAP. Pretend for life depends on it or something if that helps. I am, of course, totally in love with the series, so I would read the next book no matter what.


*****FINAL RATING: 4.60 RED ROSES*****
Friday, October 26, 2012
Exiled (The Protector, #1)
M. R. Merrick
Publisher: M. R. Merrick
Release Date: April 12, 2012
Source: Author
Goodreads | Purchase
Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase's birthday, the bloodline stopped.
Exiled without the Circle's protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle's agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can't do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna — a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret.
In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it.
When I first started reading this, I had no idea that I would love it so much. Usually I don't. I mean, yes, it sounds intriguing but I'm not going to lie, when I first read about it it honestly didn't sound like anything special. But I could not be happier to be wrong. Exiled blew me away with its sheer awesomeness. It had some truly lovable characters, and it had some seriously epic action balanced with enough emotion and drama to keep me completely invested.

Chase makes an enormous and fantastic character arc throughout this book alone, and I'm sure that that's something that will continue. He starts off pretty arrogant, and he still considers himself a true hunter despite his exile. He hates demons and Underworlders, and he kills them without discretion. His first eye-opening is when he meets Rayna. The change isn't immediate, which shows good attention to detail. His turnaround is slow and realistic, and isn't overexaggerated. Chase certainly still has a way to go when it comes to arrogance, and pride appears to be his strongest flaw. Even so, his dynamism suits him and he's an extremely likable hero.

Though "love interest" is far from her functioning role in this particular novel, that's still what she will ultimately be, and so she goes here. She's unique, even among the Underworlders. She has hunter blood, demon blood, and shifter blood. For the most part, though, is hasn't caused her too much trouble. She can hold her own. Basically, she is a total badass and I have a total girl crush on her. I also like that even though she's tough, she has feelings and she lets them show. She has a temper, but she doesn't let it control her.

Yeah, I was too lazy to make individual headers. It happens.
Marcus is Rayna's guardian, and his most notable characteristic is that he rarely shows any emotion. He doesn't really seem bothered by anything. Even so, he's not a bad guardian. Clearly, he cares about Rayna and is a good father figure for her. I also have suspicions about him, and it's pretty clear that he has secrets. He's definitely a character I want to learn more about.
Tessa is Chase's mother, and I really liked reading about her. Strangely, it didn't bother me that nothing seemed to be wrong with her. Obviously, we all have her faults, but it wasn't necessary to mention hers so I'm glad that they weren't. I really, really enjoyed seeing how much she cared about Chase, and impressed by the lengths she was willing to go to for him.
I love reading about fathers, particularly when there's a rift between them and their children, since my own father and I don't get along at all. Riley was a really interesting character. There's a sense that he wasn't always who he is now, and even that who he's being now isn't who he was supposed to be. He doesn't seem at all like a nice guy, but he's still Chase's father.
Willy is a demon that Chase rescues and against all odds, befriends. He's timid to the extreme, and suffers from stuttering. I think he does want to help Chase, but he lacks the bravery to do so. Even so, I think he has the potential to grow into a more dominant character and I'm looking forward to seeing it when he does.
Tiki is intensely loyal, which we can see from the very beginning. From the moment he meets Chase, he's do almost anything for him. While that kind of loyalty seems questionable for obvious reasons, it somehow makes sense in the novel. Seriously. I actually think Tiki is a really interesting character. He's actually kind of funny since he's so weird by our standards.

I love talking about plots. Particularly when they are fun and action-y.

Okay, so I may secretly enjoy making fun of books that appear not to have a plot, but anyway, that's so not the case here.

This plot is intense. I use that word a lot, but only when I mean it. I mean, there were some really high stakes here. At the beginning, Chase naturally has no idea what he is getting into. I really liked the way everything was revealed bit by bit so that the story unfolded in this gorgeous and beautiful way.

I really like the way the connections formed too, and the way that I was continually surprised by major twists. Some things I suspected and was wrong. Some I suspected and was right. Some things I never saw coming! But no matter what happened, expected or not, everything fit perfectly into place. Obviously everything was well thought out and put together carefully. There aren't random plot holes, and it also isn't too perfect. It's about the perfect balance, actually.

I also adored the way emotion was incorporated. Sometimes some plots get so into the action aspect that emotion gets totally disconnected, and I don't like that. This book was easy to connect to because Chase's feelings (mostly) became mine. There was sadness, and anger, and a desire for vengeance, along with a wide spectrum of others, each one with a reason. Though I didn't always agree with Chase's actions, I could at least understand them.

You guys know the movie Total Recall? Yeah, this book kind of reminded me of that. Don't ask me why, because I have no freaking idea. The plots aren't even similar or anything like at all. So I'm probably just weird. But I loved Total Recall, so despite the fact that I can't actually justify this comment, it is totally a compliment.

This book didn't have much in the way of romance, but this is my favorite section of my reviews to write, so I'll put something here at least. Chase and Rayna aren't really shown to be explicitly interested in each other (yet) but they definitely have chemistry, which of course opens the doors for future romance. And I'm sure that you all know about my romantic-to-a-fault tendencies, so…

Matt's writing is awesome. I'm generally a third-person type of girl, but when first-person is executed well it can absolutely make me melt. I loved Chase's voice, and hearing his thoughts and what was running through his mind made him very real for me. I also liked the dialogue, particularly the banter between Chase and Rayna. I also the way emotion is conveyed. It isn't also stated explicitly, but it still comes across, and that, you know, is a gift. Oh! And the world-building is truly fantastic. It's unique and fun, and it was done in a believable and yet also remarkable way.

The ending was very unexpected for me. There was one thing that I suspected from the beginning, but having my suspicion confirmed was just as thrilling as finding it out for the first time, so no complaints there. I also really like how a lot of the plot was wrapped up and it wasn't dragged out unnecessarily, which is probably one of the most frustrating things ever. There's somewhat of a cliffhanger, but it's not an awful one, not really. And yet it's still the kind of ending that left me reaching for the next book before I even quite finished this one.

I think the main question here is, would I recommend this? And my answer is, absolutely! To everyone. Most of you know that I have my boyfriend read most of my books. He loved this one possibly even more than I did. So boys, girls, whatevers…read this! I am almost positive that you'll love it. Obviously not everyone in the universe will love this, because that would just be weird and unnatural, but I'm starting to ramble. Anyway, my point is that you should at least check this one out, mkay? I'll definitely be continuing this series.


Thursday, October 25, 2012
Crewel (Crewel World, #1)
Gennifer Albin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Source: Purchased
Goodreads | Purchase
Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.
Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.
Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
Wow. Crewel was absolutely breathtaking. I mean, literally. It stole my breath away. It was absolutely stunning. Gorgeous. Phenomenal. Sparkling. Glittering. Worthy of the absolute most lavish praise I could bestow upon it. I mean, it was absolutely spectacular. It is easily one of the most amazing books that I have ever read. Everything about it shines. The characters shimmer, the world glows, the sci-fi and the magic blending together in a explosion of perfection. I really have very, very few complaints if I have any at all. This book stole my heart and kept me up all night reading, but it was worth it.

I really surprised myself by how much I loved Adelice. What I liked most about her is that she isn't perfect and doesn't try to be. She starts off mostly accepting her position as a Spinster, even if she doesn't really want it. But soon, all of that is thrown into question and she isn't sure if the government is always right anymore, and she doesn't know who has answers. But instead of giving up, she really pushes forward and keeps trying to find out information, but she doesn't do so in a stupid way that puts her life at risk.

Josten, or Jost, is the main love interest. He's somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades, although officially he's the head valet. He's a very mysterious character and even harder to figure out. Everyone is keeping secrets, but he's keeping the most. I love him. I really like the way that he treats Adelice, like he respects her and like she's important. Jost also has somewhat of a sexy rebellious streak that comes out more than once and is very, very attractive. Plus, he's apparently very strong, and that's always hot.
I'm actually not sure if Erik is going to continue to be a love interest of not. Adelice's interest in him seemed to fade out, but it's obvious that he still likes her. And I like him, so I'm including him here. I really love the way he makes Adelice laugh, and he even eventually is willing to push his orders to a certain point in order to protect her. He can be sweet, but he's also tough, and I completely fell in love with him just for that. He abandons Maela for a chance with Adelice. Erik is a fantastic character, and probably actually my favorite.

Cormac was, frankly, disgusting. And that's the only reason I'm mentioning him at all. I need to get my disgust for him out of my system. His humanity is questionable and he's a self-serving jerk who's never once tried to do anything for anyone else's benefit.

I'm sure I've already exhausted my supply of positive adjectives, though that probably won't keep me from using them again. Because if any book deserves them, this one does. Seriously, it literally stole my breath. It kept me on the edge of my seat, despite the fact that it wasn't even that intense, not really. I just couldn't seem to help getting into it.

It was impossible not to get into it. Adelice's voice is so real that it drew me into her story, into her world, into her life, until I never wanted to leave. I started to understand how the government worked, and her torn heart, and all the choices she'd made and all the ones she would have to make. Nothing was easy for her. But every step of the way, I seriously felt like I was there.

I mean, I really only have good things to say. The whole Spinsters concept, and therefore that of the weaving, was fascinating. The Spinsters have relatively little power, really, but it is they who hold the world together. I'm definitely looking forward to learning more about them and figuring out how the whole ability to weave thing works. I also found the sense of hierarchy disgusting but somehow intriguing.

It's a dystopian world. It took me some time to realize that, but it is. It is our world, but not. Like Earth, but different. Nearby, but also far unless you know the way.

Summing it up, all I need are words like wonderful, marvelous, and fantabulous. Really.

I really liked the romance here. I especially liked that although there definitely was romance it was light and didn't monopolize the entire plot. First Adelice has something with Erik, and while they have sparks that fly it's hard to tell if it will last. (Although I think I'm Team Erik, whether or not he's actually going to be a love interest.) I love Jost too, of course. He really takes good care of Adelice and is always there for her, and he treats her well and they have chemistry, though a softer type. Eventually, their mutual trust turns into something deeper. And then there's no turning back.

The writing is absolutely amazing. Amazing amazing amazing. I love Adelice's voice. At times, she sounds young and innocent, but in many ways, especially at the beginning, she is both of those. And her voice reflects her character arc of awesome. Also, the writing is so lush and descriptive. Through Adelice's eyes, the weave is almost seen as a living thing, pulsing and gorgeous and bright. It shimmers and twists under her fingers, and it holds everything together yet is so delicate. And the world-building? Lovely. Adelice describes everything around her without sounding odd.

The ending was fantastic. It was, if I'm honest, wholly unexpected. Never in my wildest dreamings did I imagine it ending that way! I was shocked. But once I got used to the idea, I really liked it. It ended up being perfect. Basically I read the ending twice to soak up the magic and awesomeness. It made sense with where the novel was going but also took it in a new and unexplored direction. The best part about it, though, it that it left me craving the next book, but not so desperate that I'm tempted to prostrate myself and refuse all sustenance but water until I can read the next book.

So yeah, if you haven't gotten the point by now, Crewel was absolutely a jewel. It totally blew me away. I never expected anything so amazing as I got, although I should have, given other reviews. Even so, Crewel is a delightful departure from the same-old you often get in YA these days. It was definitely unique! Honestly, I don't know how I could have not fallen in love with it. I'll definitely and eagerly be continuing this series! And of course, I recommend this to everyone with all my heart. All of it. So seriously, log off the Internet, head to the bookstore, and buy this book. Right. Now. You can thank me later.


*****FINAL RATING:  4.90 RED ROSES*****
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Welcome to my young adult reading blog! Sparkles and Lightning has young adult book reviews with the occasional children's or adult's book review sprinkled in. It will also be totally and completely fun :) Have a look around, have some laughs, and most of all, have a perfectly sparkly, electric time!

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I'm a university student and ballroom dancer who spends too much time curled up with a good book. Red roses are my favorite and I love a good love story.

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