Georgetown Academy: Book One by Jessica Koosed Etting & Alyssa Embree Schwartz

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10:22 PM

Title: Georgetown Academy: Book One
Author: Jessica Koosed Etting & Alyssa Embree Schwartz
Publish Date: October 24, 2012 
Publisher: Coliloquy
Pages: 126
Other Books in the Series: Georgetown Academy: Book Two, Georgetown Academy: Book Three, Georgetown Academy: Book Four 
Buy the Book: Amazon
Rating: ★★★★

It’s the beginning of a new political administration. That might not mean much at most high schools, but at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school, January 20th means new alliances, new flings, and new places to party.

While freshmen—nicknamed “interns” for their willingness to jump into bed with anyone higher on the D.C. totem pole—navigate the not-so-friendly halls of GA searching for Algebra and Bio classes, the school’s lifers have other things on their minds.

For self-proclaimed D.C. royalty Brinley Madison (of those Madisons), the first day of school is all about establishing the social hierarchy and playing the part of perfect political wife to her boyfriend, the outgoing Vice President’s son. Too bad he has a wandering eye that puts Bill Clinton’s to shame. Can she keep him, and her own secret vice, in check?

Ellie Walker, Brinley’s best friend, floats through the halls on the arm of golden boy Hunter McKnight (the JFK of GA). But when her ex-boyfriend, Gabe, returns to town and her Senator mother’s political nemesis is reelected, Ellie’s life starts to snowball out of control.

Shy, quiet Evan Hartnett is more into books than beer, and her closet is full of t-shirts and jeans instead of Jason Wu and Jimmy Choo. No one’s ever really noticed her—but she’s been noticing them. When her star rises as an intern at D.C.’s most-watched political news show, she soon finds the two worlds colliding in ways that make her question what’s secret and what’s fair game.

New girl Taryn Reyes is all laid-back, California cool; with a father who’s in line to be the first Hispanic president, she’s ready to dive into the D.C. scene with an open mind. But when her fellow students turn out to be more interested in spreading rumors than making friends, she realizes that forging a drama-free path might be a lot harder than she thinks.

With so many new friends and former flames in the mix, things are bound to get a little heated. And while diplomatic immunity might keep the cops away, there’s not much it can do about the press.
 
In a town where one teenage misstep can turn into a national scandal, the students at Georgetown Academy will have to be on their best behavior—or, at least, they’ll have to make the world believe that they are.

Because there’s only one rule: whatever you do, don’t get caught.

I was honestly surprised when I first began the book because I didn't know whether it would capture my attention quite like it did. By the time I finished the book, I was dying to read the next and then the next and so on and so forth. It is truly an addicting read, one that leaves the readers dying for more. Although the short number of pages left for little background or character development, it certainly added to the truly addictive quality of it. 

Ellie was by far my favorite character simply because she seemed to try to be a good person, despite all of the pressure of having a politician as a mother. She had a certain amount of undeniable strength that resided just beneath the surface and only appeared when it was clear she needed to use it the most. With everything she faces during the story, she struggles through it with grace and a sense of loyalty to what others would want for her, which often means giving up what she truly wants. She is by far the kindest of the bunch and I adore her for that.

I think Evan reminds me a lot of myself in some ways, except for the lusting after my old best friend's boyfriend and wanting to have him for myself. She is very quiet and into herself but proves to be friends with even the most unlikely of people. I admire a lot of qualities about her, even if some things certainly make me sad. Sure, she may think she belongs with Ellie's boyfriend, yet in the end it only proves that she is not quite as good as I would want her to be.  Hopefully she becomes the person I hope she would be.

There is always one character out there in the story that I should like but really don't and in this story it is Taryn. I really don't think she did anything wrong per say but I certainly have determined that she is not my favorite by any stretch of the imagination. I think our personalities clash too much or something. She has endearing qualities (possibly?). However I placed her against Ellie from the moment that Gabe began to play a role in the story. Maybe I will learn to love her as the story progresses.

I feel like if there is anyone who faces the pressure of having influential parents, it is Brinley. Her dirty little habits certainly will come to haunt her as she struggles between being happy with her life and feeling so overwhelmed with obligations that she can't turn to anything else. I find her almost endearing because it truly shows how much she has to face as a daughter to someone like her father with a family like hers. The poor girl really can't be expected to keep her head above water after everything she faces.

Gabe is someone that I can only see one person with and of course, nothing is as simple as it seems. People, especially those involved are constantly trying to ruin a relationship that I can see myself rooting for. I really love him and can't wait to see how much he develops. 

Hunter is also a love interest in the story and Ellie's boyfriend. He is described as the perfect guy and yet I struggle to find him as perfect for Ellie. Perhaps for someone else but certainly not for my favorite girl.

Luke should really just come out of the closet and become the character he is meant to be. In some ways, I think it shows how much growth he needs to have because he is so afraid about being himself. Although it may influence the way voters view his father, who has staunch views against gay marriage due to his region, it certainly should never take the backseat to his father's success. I'm all for Luke's happiness and coming out of the closet so that he can be who he wants to be.

I can't wait to read the next books and you shouldn't wait to read this one!

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Wilde's Fire (Darkness Falls #1) by Krystal Wade

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12:49 PM

Title: Wilde's Fire
Author: Krystal Wade
Publish Date: May 13, 2012
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Pages: 324
Other Books in the Series: Wilde's Army (Darkness Falls #2), Wilde's Meadow (Darkness Falls #3) 
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Rating: ★★★★★

"There is no pain in this death, only peace, knowing I am going to die with the one I love the most." - Katriona Wilde. Katriona Wilde has never wondered what it would feel like to have everything she's ever known and loved ripped away, but she is about to find out. When she inadvertently leads her sister and best friend through a portal into a world she's dreamed of for six years, she finds herself faced with more than just the frightening creatures in front of her. Kate's forced to accept a new truth: her entire life has been a lie, and those closest to her have betrayed her. What's worse, she has no control over her new future, and it's full of magic and horrors from which nightmares are made. Will Kate discover and learn to control who she really is in time to save the ones she loves, or will all be lost?

Here is my official view on fantasy novels, you ready? The books will either be amazing or disappointing. It's hard to find middle ground, especially when someone is creating a world all their own. I respect people that do that sort of thing because I know how much effort and thought it takes to make a world that makes sense. But that doesn't mean it always works out, so this made me wary at first when I began to read this novel. Somehow along the way, it captured my heart and five stars. The story was wonderful to read and I certainly found myself reading the rest of the series after I finished this one because I couldn't get enough. It became one of those books that once I set it down, I wanted to pick it back up and read it all over again.

Kate, from the moment the story began, held a huge amount of pressure upon her shoulders even when she didn't realize it. Dreams of one man and death haunt her each night and she knows that the man of her dreams is real and that she is in love with him or at least will be. Of course, no one else seems to believe her but that's their issue not hers. She has a certain amount of obliviousness which is adorable and silent strength that proves to be a great resource to her throughout the story. After following a bright light through the forest while hiking with her sister, Brit, and her best friend, Brad, they find themselves in a world that is definitely not their own. Then she finds herself face-to-face with the man who has haunted her dreams and a prophecy that has been attached to her name since before she was born. Beautiful, calm, strong, and brave are some of the words I attach to her and I love her.

I have a love-hate relationship with Brad over the course of the novels. Once you read the books, you'll understand why. He is the typically friend-zoned guy who seems to think he has a chance with the main character when really, she's been in love with this dream guy since she was fourteen. He sadly stumbled into the wrong world when Kate drags him to a world she has only dreamt about and it was most certainly at the wrong time. When he finally gets the nerve up to kiss her, it turns out his whole situation takes a turn for the worse and leaves him without any idea that she doesn't feel that way for him. Of course, his story can only get worse as the story progresses.

Flanna was an endearing character from the moment she was introduced to the novel. She had a witty, sarcastic, and loving way about her that made it hard not to love her. It was clear that she was similar to the woman of the house in this military base that Kate finds herself in. Her jobs were making food for everyone there (which is a higher number than I would ever be willing to cook for) and also caring for the animals that they housed their, such as horses and chickens and goats. Kate and Flanna quickly became friends as they worked together on those duties and found a certain amount of common respect for each other that could not be found with anyone else. She wasn't afraid to ask Kate to work with her and she definitely wasn't afraid to call her on the carpet when she was being stupid and moody. 


Arland is the main love interest of the story, although the two of them seem to face a great deal of challenges along the way. He is a clueless male when it comes to certain things about Kate and yet he is a born leader. One of the youngest to take command of a military base, he has a bright and powerful future ahead of him that many expect. He rarely loses his cool in the face of intense and dangerous situations and shows his strength multiple times throughout the course of the book. However no love story is complete without Kate saving him a couple of times, even though he was born to protect her. Who knows, sometimes things get a little backwards.

I absolutely love and adore this story. Read it. No seriously, go check it out. 

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The Body Electric by Allie Duzett

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11:42 AM

Title: The Body Electric
Author: Allie Duzett
Publish Date: May 14, 2013
Publisher: Istoria Books
Pages: 252
Buy the Book: Amazon
Rating: ★★★★


Lena Clark, a small-town teenager, falls for a stranger with a mysterious past—and a frightening present. Before she knows it, she is a target, wrapped up in his quest to escape the wrath of a jealous queen from a world Lena never believed existed…

Lena Clark’s high school world comes crashing apart when she discovers that the most popular jock in school—her boyfriend!—has been cheating on her. In the aftermath of the drama, she meets Zach Zuson, a newcomer so her small Colorado town. It’s clear that he’s different: it’s in the way he talks, and the way he moves, and the way he looks at her as if he’s hiding something. And then, it’s in the way he single-handedly strangles a full-grown mountain lion to death right before her eyes. Next thing you know, an ancient monster is attacking them. Suddenly, life for Lena is a lot more complicated than she ever imagined it could be.

When Zach decides to put an end to the attempts on his life for once and for all, Lena gets dragged along, eventually ending up alone at the party of the century. Little does she know that this party is attended by bloodthirsty killers, or that a jealous queen has made Lena a target, too. Now Lena must find the strength to survive.

I've always had an interest in Greek mythology, although Roman is perhaps just as interesting but less focused on. So, when I received this book, I was thrilled at the prospects of the story because it centered on something that I have spent a lot of time reading about. It never ceases to amaze me that people can bring to life so many different aspects of this mythology and how each is as unique as the rest. I adore the way she brought to life the Gods in a way that can be comparable to Percy Jackson but still maintains its own spin. The story was beautifully written and captured the story of a girl caught in an immortal struggle between a demigod that shouldn't exist and a queen determined to make sure he no longer does.

Lena surprised me, to be honest. I am very used to the whole idea of someone being self-centered and selfish in the young adult genre. But instead she seems to be keenly aware of everything around her, which leads her to refusing to kiss the hottest guy in school. She knows when things don't feel quite right and sticks to her beliefs, even when she doesn't know what they are yet. In the story, she didn't anticipate meeting a boy who could capture her so completely (although the word "love" doesn't frequent this book between the two) and yet, she knows that there is something different about him -- something that could very well prevent their relationship from blossoming like it should. I think it is her lack of selfishness near the end of the novel, even if there is still a hint of it, is what really made her a likable character. 

I loved the whole concept of Zach. There something about him that while he is a mythical character of sorts, he seems very real throughout the story. I definitely liked that he was down to earth and relatable to the extent that I honestly enjoyed reading about him and of course, Lena. I was a little worried at first when she was introduced as having a boyfriend but then Zach came along and let's be honest here, if I had a choice between demigod and well average boy, there really wouldn't be a choice, now would there? 

One thing I always worry about in young adult novels is how the family of the characters is portrayed by the authors. I think it says a lot about the author and the book when the family is written just right. Her family is kind of great. They support Lena and don't come off like tyrants whose sole goal in the novel is to ruin the main character's life. It's like we as readers got hung up on the whole Romeo and Juliet sort of family dynamic and lost something very important along the way: not all families suck. I get it, teenagers hate the world (families included) but if the story's good enough, do you think the readers need one more reason to look at their families like they suck? 

I've already mentioned how much I liked the Greek Gods during the course of the story. This includes, I suppose, the villain of the novel. The interpretation of the Gods used during the novel was relatable and clung to some of the mythology that surrounded those particular Gods. It was great seeing how the author viewed them and put them on paper. 

Overall, this was an awesome story. I hope that a sequel will come along because truth be told, the ending was somewhat of a cliffhanger and left me wanting more. 

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