Cipher - Cindi Madsen

Monday, July 22, 2013

"One Gift. One Curse. One Purpose."

Cipher - Cindi Madsen
Summer Davis sees deaths before they happen. She attempts to live a normal life by focusing on the dance team and her quarterback boyfriend. But then the way-too-cheery Angel of Death shows up and tells her she’s a Cipher—a person chosen to help people who are going to die resolve problems with their loved ones. Ashlyn Moore, one of Summer’s classmates, is going to die, and she needs Summer’s help before that happens.

It’s nearly impossible to get through to Ashlyn, who surrounds herself with chess nerds and geeks and makes it clear she doesn’t want to be friends. Desperate to complete her Cipher task before it’s too late, Summer turns to Troy, the guy who’s always been there for her and one of the few people she can trust. With his help, she makes progress. In fact, the closer she gets to Ashlyn and her friends, the more she feels like she’s finally found where she belongs. 

As the clock starts running down on Ashlyn’s life, Summer decides to change her objective. She’s going to save her new friend before it’s too late—even if it means messing with fate.

Summary and Picture from Cindi Madsen,

My thoughts:

What is it with Cindi Madsen that she wrote stories that are in-line with my taste? Though this was the first YA book I had read from her, I loved her Accidentally in Love Series #1 Falling For Her Fiancé and #2 Act Like You Love Me. She had captured me again. I was captivated in a different approach but with the same effect: I ended up falling in love with her book.

Cipher, being the first book in the series, showed so much potential. It managed to show what and where the story revolved. It was about a Cipher, what a Cipher must do and what the Cipher must look forward to. Aside from that, it was genuine— the story about friendship and romance was not forced; and that there was a connection between the characters (and also a heartfelt connection with a reader). It lived up to my set expectations and it left me looking forward for the next book.

The cover, summary and title:
Aside from the story, the marvelous plot and spontaneous feel of events; the cover was something to be stared at. It was just so gorgeous! The dark blue color of the background, the wind-effect, the girl that had this light-and-sorrow-feel emanating from her, and the font used; it was all emitting the paranormal vibe. The cover gave justice to the book, and from the summary you will somehow understand it, the girl itself was a portrayal of light—the mission to help resolve a relationship and sorrow—because whatever happens, death will occur to that particular person she was in need to help. The summary showed a parallel connection with the story, while not giving away much of what will happen.
Lastly, the title, about this one, let me tell you something:
The first thing I did before I read the story was to open my dictionary and look for the meaning of:
(noun) The symbol 0 denoting the absence of a magnitude or quantity: zero, naught
(noun) A method of secret writing
(verb) To compute arithmetically
*Decipher – decode

But, do not be lured, it is not any of the above concepts.
A Cipher, is a shortened version of a decipher, but it means (according to the book and I quote):
“You get a person assigned to you, and then you help them before it’s too late.”

Did that trigger your curiosity? I love angel-themed novels, movies, TV series and it was sort of like that but in a different way. Cipher was a good and beautiful book that must be read by paranormal lovers.

The story (if the summary was not enough):
Summer, the heroine, has this gift (or curse) of seeing how people die before it happens. At first she acted nonchalant about it but one event had changed everything—her mother’s death. Months past and she already transferred to another state, where she somehow has a perfect life: she became a popular girl and a cheerleader, has a perfect best friend (Kendall) and has a quarterback boyfriend (Cody).
But someone unexpectedly showed up and changed her life. She was told why she was seeing deaths and that she has a mission. That she is a Cipher and she needs to help one Ashlyn Moore before Ashlyn dies. And as a Cipher, she needed to help fix the relationship with Ashlyn and Ashlyn’s Mother.
She needed to be close with The Misfits (the reject group), it was easy to get along with the others but Ashlyn was a tough cookie. While she was trying to get closer to Ashlyn; her perfect life was drifting apart: Cody was trying to get in her pants and Kendall was getting irritated by her associating with The Misfits; then she made a choice– she broke up with Cody and preferred to join The Misfits. The rug was snatched under Summer’s feet, the pressure to make Ashlyn and her mother connect was difficult. Ashlyn had some fats in her and Ashlyn’s mother, a fitness professional (though Ashlyn’s mother was pressuring her with a good reason); and the mother-daughter barely talked.
Summer’s life was now different, both good and bad. She might have her bad days from her former so-called friends (but dance was her passion so she suck everything up); but good because she found real friends with The Misfits—gained true friends, a best friend (Ashlyn), and love with Troy. She succeeded but she was faced with the truth: Whatever she does, the inevitable (death) will happen –she can live with guilt, if she failed; or feel overwhelmed, if she was able to help.

Longer rantings:
“To help her resolve some things before she dies.”

Cipher is a Young Adult Paranormal book that really dealt on teens. And what made me enthralled to it, aside from the cover, was its purity in delivering the story and the transition of showing the ‘normal’ teen to face her ‘gift’. At the start of the book, it portrayed how normal the heroine was then what one ‘vision/instinct’ had changed everything.

Before I regard Cipher, there was a book that kept on popping in my head: ‘Before I Fall’ by Lauren Oliver. I would not deny that I like these types of books—something that deals with the reality, of dilemmas, of death (or substance abuse) along the lines of teenagers (and troubled teens). It made you look into a teens’ mind and what you can do to help.
So to those who read ‘Before I Fall’:
Remember countless times the same day happened for the heroine to figure out what to do?
How she found out things bits by bits?
How she reached out to know the person, that person’s story?
Mostly, how to fix things and save that person (even if it was the heroine who died) in the end?
It was not just making a way for things to happen the way it should happen. The story dwelt on fixing things before the right time comes. Just like Cipher, the thing was: whatever happens, the person will still face death but along the way he/she must fix something before it was too late and have peace with death.

The first chapter made an impact by showing what Summer had and what she must do. It enlightened me, as the story progressed and there were no mediocre events that made the story lose its focus. As what I had written above, there was this unexpected person who told Summer, the heroine, what she was needed to do. This person was Gabriella or what Summer called her at first: Cotton Candy– the angel of death. It was so girly and unexpected for an angel of death (blame the stereotypical reaper image); I did not know what to make-up for what was happening. My turbo mind was tuned up and I cannot help but ask myself: What if you’re in Summer’s  situation and a fairy-godmother-looking (pink bubbly dress; Marilyn Monroe hair; and oh yeah, glitters and sparkles before disappearing) was telling you that you need to help someone to resolve their friendship before someone dies?  Also, that gift really was a curse in itself too— it was passed through generations: through the eldest daughter. Not really an ideal job, it was very tedious and responsible.
The gift, which is also a nightmare flashes when a physical encounter—like arms brushing, occurs.
To see how someone dies.
To have an urge to warn them but must not.
And to think of yourself as crazy? One tough job.

Just like Summer, I was dumbfounded at the start. I mean, a huge “WHAT” was primarily etched on my forehead. And honestly, I was thinking: “Is this book some sort of guardian angel thingy?” Well, I’ll make it clear: a huge NO. It was different and Ciphers were different from Guardian Angels. They, the Ciphers, were not to intervene and were only supposed to help resolve relationship.
They (Ciphers)were to help resolve a relationship but not to save. Which was, I think, a little confusing on Summer’s part; or just because she was stubborn? I would say that I got infuriated with both Summer and Gabriella. Gabriella knew something but she was not much of help, which Summer really needed. But then, Summer kept on delaying and there was the time that she was trying to save Ash—which was a task not for her. Though I understood Summer, because her life got so confusing after knowing she was a Cipher and she has her own life: a cheerleader, a best friend, a daughter and a girlfriend; all was getting hard to her, put in her mother’s death (which on she kept on blaming herself), her Dad dating someone, the pressure to swipe her V-card to her boyfriend and a somehow faux best friend. Yet, whatever she was dealing with, she must do this task.
After all, you can’t mess up with fate. If you alter it, things get tricky or sometimes don’t end well, but the bottom line: it will happen.

The story was spontaneous. It was not confusing and that there was a natural flow in the story; it was like a jigsaw puzzle put in together: it fits and had created a story shifting to normalcy into the paranormal, then back. It also dealt with a teenagers’ life— losing your virginity or not; choosing between friends; feeling pressured; widowed/separated/single parents; being strong or succumbing fear; and of course, having fun. It was easy to understand. Their stance, the social strata, just everything was a normal high school setting. It was simple to grasp, imagine an American-based TV series or movies or teenage books, it was how it worked there. There were the shallow popular girls and the disadvantaged-nerds. The nerds were cool and very tight with each other. It was not just being smart; that was though already but then you’ll see how these nerds were, like normal people, they have: talents, skills, just with a higher IQ.

I loved how the story dealt with friendship, both the real and faux ones. The friendship with Kendall (Summer’s best friend) was bordering shallow-fake and real—she did show an authentic interest in helping Summer before but then her jealousy and somehow Summer’s ignoring her made her the typical backstabbing bitch friend. There was the typical jock and virginity issues that I will gladly say, Summer fought to not puddle on Cody’s feet (even if she was having guilty thoughts). Then the real friends, The Misfits (or the reject group), Summer found real friends and a boyfriend in them—the friends you can count on and will cheer you up, even if you had a bad day.

As the story progressed, I liked Summer and I understood her better, aside from my head-nodding to her Oreos (double-stuffed) and milk fandom; she was a dancer, music-lover, and not a shallow person (like the stereotypical cheerleader)—who also made her own choice. Then there was the moment when it showed how her mother died, it was morbid. And countless times, she blamed herself, succumbing to what ifs and had a depression before she resided in California. Then there was this need to focus on getting her mission to be a success, it was very difficult because the relationship between Ashlyn and Pamela (Ashlyn’s mother) was somehow hinder by Ashlyn’s friendship with Summer. They had become best friends and it was so entertaining to read!

Along the way, aside from friendship, as simmering love story was surfacing. Another entertaining and a much needed flutters in the stomach feeling was being brewed. Is it wrong to love Troy when he said Sunshine, the very first time? I mean, a hot Cali boy + smiling voice (metaphorically, if not blatantly written). Le best friend then he was the one Summer wanted to call that particular night Cody ditched her! Troy was like a golden boy, he was loved and he was friends with anyone. He was a character that I was looking forward to, every time (freely blame the girl in me). Also, I wouldn’t deny the connection or chemistry between him and Summer, because it was really there. Then there was their kisses which were natural, not forced and not making it have much emphasis but you do know it was intense and have meaning even if it was brief. Troy was a real friend; he was there all the time and he didn’t make Summer feel any less, even if Summer decided to vent out three quarters of her secret.

Then there was this dreadful event that I wanted to get away from: Ashlyn. Because Summer and Ashlyn were getting so far along, then of course there was this inevitable. When things get too good to be true; you just know something bad will happen. Like Summer, I knew it was going to happen very very soon; but like her, I was being optimistic; that maybe it would not be as immediate as that or that maybe her visions/instincts were somehow incorrect. I kept on pretending that maybe there will be a twist that everything will be all right. But then, I just know. Sooner or later, more on later, it will happen.

Bear with me, I feel saddened but also happy when I remember Ashlyn and Summer’s friendship.
I cried, I laughed. Mostly, I used my reserved pent-up emotions.
I would be a hypocrite if I say the story was mediocre. Honestly it was not, it strikes pure genuine emotion in a reader. Everything, as I said awhile ago, was spontaneous. Well, yes it was planned: to meet Ashlyn (to help resolve the barely-there relationship with Ashlyn’s mother, Pamela) but their (Ashlyn and Summer’s) friendship was real.
I cried most was when I was reading it… Towards the end, I was in front of a box of pizza (if you read the book, you will understand me): call me crazy but I mopped out, yes, the ugly cry. I was thankful no one saw me but really, I felt my heart constrict. It was tough. I had the memories flowing before me of what happened.
I felt bad for Pamela, because it was just heartbreaking, not even a whole 24 hours to enjoy the company of her daughter. Pamela was in deep grief and regret but then felt somewhat comforted. As much as I grieved with Pamela, I felt in despair for Summer, and for myself too. I felt that chest-tightening feeling when she remembered how Ashlyn’s face would lit up and uttered words. I felt like I saw in Summer’s shoes (metaphorically, of course), feeling whatever she was feeling but at the same time, sensing my own sorrow and feeling this strong connection with them: I felt like I lost Ashlyn too. Honestly, I also missed Ashlyn. That was how I felt connected with the story, like I was part of it.
Ash and Summer’s bond was something worth envying. It was true friendship and I agree what they jokingly-described themselves: they were awesome. Their friendship blossomed into something so wonderful, that as a reader, I enjoyed very much; that I had the urge to call my friends and have some get-together, watch some movies, have a slumber party; just doing nothing but feel sated.

This book was all I could ask for, a fantasy and a reality. A refreshing read that was heart-wrenching that made me felt hollow yet full. It was emotional but enjoyable.

For me, this was a merge of original concept and a link with John Green’s ‘Looking for Alaska’ and ‘TheFault In Our Stars’ and Lauren Oliver’s ‘Before I Fall’. Well, mostly the moments. I had written awhile ago its comparison with Before I Fall; as regards with John Green: the events there was very high school, just having fun and the moment they were looking for Alaska and how they cope with it was similar to what happened in Cipher. The emotions I felt during The Fault in Our Stars came crashing through, the event in Cipher was raw, then the eulogy also made me remember Gus; I was just a major wreck afterwards.

This was a story that will make you show how emotions run wild. How teenagers’ life do revolve; Cindi Madsen knows what she was writing, she had shown a real life story in high school; it might be set in a paranormal genre but when you think of it—it does happen. Our Ciphers maybe our family, friends or a nuisance who wants to interfere; but does knows how to help resolve our relationship with others (sans the visions). It must be taken into consideration how the story was plotted— it was remarkable: the family, friends, faux friends, tragedy, romance, just about everything or life itself; and the natural flow of the story were written in perfect cognizance to a YA reader.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

P.S. Gotta love the part where Summer sensed the incoming angel of death and shocked the living daylights out of Gabriella *snickers*

For Cindi Madsen:
Just like a customer who had eaten a very sumptuous meal from a luxury restaurant, please regard my compliments to the chef. As what I had written above, Cindi Madsen knows how to write (not to mention, bias on her subject included) and she knows what she is writing. An author who knows how to shift her writing to the suitable readers of this book: the teens. As a teen reader, I did felt the connection with her books (even the Accidentally in Love Series) – the characters, the story itself, and how free-flowing the story was. She is a natural writer.
So without further ado:
Compliments to the author for a very well-written YA Paranormal Romance!

For Book 2:
Since there was a sneak peek, based from that snippet: I just hope Troy and Summer would not have a major drama in their relationship. Death and major romance drama are not something I am looking forward to. Well let’s see, I am a sucker for romance and of course what Summer’s mission will be now. I just hope Liam would not be a third-wheel since he will be getting close to Summer because I don’t know what metaphorical-hair-gripping-and-invisible-furniture-throwing I would be doing by then. *sighs* Honestly, I just want to read the second book now. As much Troy and Summer will make me over the moon; a detainee that will not live through his parole and must make amends with his son is something I am dreading to find out. I just hope Summer can overlook her past and be successful (I know she will).

Oh and I hope I can see more Marcie. I do not know why, but I just wanted to know her. She has too much on her shoulder yet she was such a loving friend.

Author Bio:
Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children. She is the YA author of DEMONS OF THE SUN & ALL THE BROKEN PIECES, and the adult author of FALLING FOR HER FIANCE, ACT LIKE YOU LOVE ME and CINDERELLA SCREWED ME OVER.

Author Links:

Website  |  Blog  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

I had received an eARC from Cindi Madsen herself, in exchange for an honest review.

-     Jassie

Just Breathe - Rachel Brookes

Friday, July 5, 2013

"Please remember, no matter what...
Just breathe."

Just Breathe - Rachel Brookes
For Savannah Rae, living life without her parents was unimaginable. But being blamed for her first love’s suicide? That destroyed every part of who she was. 

Gone were the days of innocence, happiness, and dreams. Now her days simply meant attempting to survive. In her mind, her only means for that was replacing her grief with men, booze and the fast life. And for five years, it worked.

When an opportunity to leave the nightmares of her past in Australia opens up, she takes it. Los Angeles beckons - with hopes of late nights, new beginnings, and the promise of a string of endless men to distract her, she can’t wait to dive in.

One thing she didn’t count on was meeting her match.

In the eyes of outsiders, Tate Connors has it all; the ultimate LA bachelor who is content with his lifestyle of wild nights, women and one night stands. He's Mr. Unpredictable with looks that could destroy any woman with one glance.

The craziness of Los Angeles throws them into the chaotic path of each other. Savannah becomes the perfect game, and Tate becomes the ultimate prey. Lines are crossed, emotions are smashed, and the idea of who they truly are begins to be tangled.

However, one thing will become clear.

They are more alike than either one could ever have imagined.

Purchase Links:      Amazon UK     ||     Amazon US

My thoughts:
The cover, title, summary:
I love a book that catches my eyes, makes me curious by the title and summary, and makes me grab a book because it satisfied my eye-ogling and curious mind. Just Breathe, did it to me. Have you appreciated the cover? The words that popped in my mind when I saw it were: Lost and Free.
The lady is beautiful (even if her hair wasn’t caramel-blonde) and she seems wandering… I just love it so much! I mean how nothing was out of place, the lightness in the background, down to the fonts used and the birds and dandelion’s silhouette. It portrayed Savannah, the heroine, as she accepts everything and finally able to just breathe.
 I just fell in love with cover! *coughs the-book-cover-whore-in-me coughs*

The story:
What if running away from your problems are getting out of your home town and be living in another country? When you half-decided to get rid of your past? But then you find yourself being drawn yet again… but in a most intense level?

                It was a story of a girl who knew how to play a guy’s game. A guy can melt a woman with his looks: those wickedly handsome faces and hot body, top it with those husky voice uttering words that makes a woman a puddle for her own good. Those guys who just want to get what they want and leave before anything. A man can do it, why can’t a woman do it too?

And let’s just say our heroine plays the same game.
                Then that guy comes along and he also plays the game.
But in their case, they were using these escapades because they were avoiding being attached; they were both broken and running away from their own past. Sex and alcohol were their way of running and trying to forget the past.

                Yet they were in for a surprise when lust was taken over by the passionate pleasure of falling love.

Get all your shots ready, because you’re in for a cray cray story!
Hot, rough, steamy and intense. That will surely make you hot and bothered.
*prepare your hands for fanning self or have air cons on full blast*

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Longer rantings:

Lust at first sight.
This girl knows the game. That guy found his match.
(Un)fortunately, sexual tension is an explosion. And they didn’t expect lust mixing up with love.
Unexpectedly, they found themselves falling fast and hard.

Savannah Maree Rae did not mind being called a slut or whatever derogatory words, it did not even bother her in any bit. She played this game because if guys can snatch strange women to bed, she can too; and this was her way to run away from her dreadful past, alongside with her best friend, tequila. Having lost her loving parents and her ex-boyfriend (who blamed her and wrote in his suicide letter that it was her fault); she was left with emptiness and the fear of falling in love. She found herself leaving Australia for Los Angeles and she will find that everything that she feared will be faced there.

                And she will be faced head-to-head with the captivating Tate Connors: the owner of the bar, Red Velvet, and the strikingly-handsome twin of her new best friend, Tanzi. A charming playboy who knows what he wants and will get it in any way; an insufferable arsehole for Sav but finding herself enamored by this hot piece of specimen. But also broken with his past: his so-called Dad and his past love.

When they thought they were seducing, they both found themselves attracting each other.
The once game became a challenge and lead to a passionate story of lust turning to the depths of falling in love. Keeping and fighting their own demons and surviving their past.
Both broken. Both similar.
They found themselves helping each other.
And I will use what Savannah said: it was either to sink or swim.

Here’s the thing: I kept on asking myself if one of them was bipolar. I swear I was being dumbfounded that they’re okay then they’re not. I mean, I get it but it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t question their sanity once in a while. The thing was that, they both over think.

I am still lost on what or how to feel: character deaths that had huge impact in their lives; a person that should have been a parent figure… But then with all those that hindered me, there was the fun, “live while we’re young” vibe in it. And really, I am torn on what to say, it was fun but it definitely had the moments that makes you realize, it is not just pure fun in life. The story was a natural, free-flow, real story that makes you feel being strained in the past but then letting go; being serious about work but then having fun with life. It was just real that you both have your ups-and-downs parts.

The story pace was fast for my own liking but I did not really care, I was enjoying every bit of it. Savannah did mention that she was falling fast and hard. And it did reflect the story, since it was only on her point-of-view; a reader would read how she thinks, over thinks, dread and progress throughout the story. The secrets were divulged instantaneously but then it correlates with the events. The story had a spontaneous feel in it, that you get in the head of the heroine but also observe the other characters; aside from the flow of the story, the writing was freely-written, no highfalutin words, it was easy to grasp and be connected to the story. There were no random or abrupt moments that lose your focus on the story and the characters were a pleasurable read. A reader understands immediately what and who the characters were; and that was how detailed the author wrote it.

The prologue was a beautiful letter Sav’s Dad had written, and it was perfect in every sense, talk about Dad was so wise to write such letter. And Sav kept this letter everywhere she goes, and remembers the words: Just Breathe. It was noted that our lovely heroine was an ice princess. But then she was shattered so it made sense… she was shattered emotionally by her past and now, that ice was shattered by Tate coming to make her feel once again.

Tate was (and still is) drool-worthy, I shall give every girls out there some tissues to avoid public drooling and uhm, I know I shouldn’t say this publicly so let’s imagine I am whispering this: Beware of panty/knickers-dropping moments and being hot and bothered *coughs or-you-can-just-ignore-the-panties-to-save-you-the-worry coughs* He is smoldering hot and he can cook. The guy can freaking cook, he just slashed and ripped out my tick box as sexy-hot-smirking-toe-curling-lip-locking… okay I will not rant about this guy. Let’s say he’s beautifully broken and romantic? More than the physical and other lovable things about Tate, I loved his character when he was shown as being powerful but he was so vulnerable. And this thought ran my mind: Being able to shed a tear or tears does not make you less of a man; it showed how a strong person has their own weakness or weaknesses. Tate was such a romantic, which he only unleashes with Sav.

Savannah knew what she wanted and like Tate, she has ground rules already. She was a total heartbreaker. She has the confidence, the best friend (tequila) and she was like a bitch but in a very fun character. The way her story and her character (and the other characters) written was very enjoyable! Her character being told was like the story was being said in front of me; it felt like Sav was sharing with me but not in boring way. You know the feeling of having a girls-night-out and you are telling some random topic? It was like that with Sav, it felt like you were partying with her and she was telling her story over drinks. Her character was just so entertaining just like Tanzi, the new best friend and the twin-sister of Tate. Tanzi was such a filler-character, she was just the positive vibe of everyone and alongside with her boyfriend, Jack, they were the perfect happy couple.

Aside from what I said awhile ago, I praise the author, Rachel Brookes, about the story, how it was written, the plot and most especially the characters. She had written a story that is exciting and sassy. Other than just being a reader, I felt like I was in the story too. Truth be told, it was like, I was Sav’s BFF there for the moment and while she was ranting her story sans the overtly drama… we were just having fun and know more about everyone. Every moment felt like having a girls-night-out: drinks, guys and stories to share. She knows how to give you fun, when you want to have a wild night, let go and be free but it shocks you when she gives you drama.

Like the worst thing to break is a broken person. It takes a lot of proving to trust a person; and a double-whamy comes your way the moment that person was broken and you break the trust he or she entrusted you with. And dang did Tate did that to Savannah. Boy did that created a mess to their lives. When you think that they were being fixed; the one messes up. It took a lot of patience on Tate’s part and understanding on Sav’s. The way that it was written was not sugary-sweet, it was real, it showed how Sav really try to fight herself: the emotions, the urge, all the feelings were genuine. And honestly, that was my favorite part.

Lastly, saving the best for last, I love that the story also revolved in friendship. And they, the characters, were so enthusiastic; every each character was a very supportive one. It was crazy how I enjoyed being with them. If everyone has their own fictional boyfriend, I would say I now have a fictional circle of friends. Being with the story of the happy couple, Tanzi and Jack, who were such a fun couple to read and their antics, especially Jack’s; the new couple, Lucas and Ali, mentioning how a true friend Lucas was; and of course, the extreme warmth of love between Sav and Tate’s. All of the individual characters were such a joy to read. And you can feel them warming up and willingly welcoming you to their group. They showcased such a tight friendship that was to be envied about.

And oh, Mr. Davenport, Can you be my foster parent? Gods, you “damn sexy poppa”, you are such a heartbreaker. I will highly-settle with being a foster child even if you were being an ultimate fantasy at Beautify Magazine. You have the looks, the finesse, the reputation, the voice plus the accent. You are mega-swoon-worthy; the age is nonsense.

There were things I wish I had seen: the letter of Corey; Sav’s work, since I really wanted to know how she is in a workplace; and more of the beach, because I’m greedy to have beach scenes. But nonetheless, I had enjoyed the fantastic read.

Outrageous enough, I like my Tim Tams more…
Let’s just say, eating Tim Tams are now a wonderfully “Tatey-Savory” delight?
(That was such a fail attempt at Tate-Sav pun *facepalm*
Tatey? That sounded like a child saying tasty *again with the facepalm*)

Cheers to a game that became a challenge and to falling in love! Bottoms up!
To all of us: Just Breathe!

P.S. To Rachel:
Dear Rachel,
I was this (shows a tiniest gap between forefinger and thumb) close to loving you entirely, but how could you just drop the bomb like that? Whyyyy, those 3 words killed me!

I have my expectations about the Book 2 already, since I can sense how both beautifully broken couple will be able to face their relationship “more”. Will we know more about Savannah, and the other lively characters? Will Tate’s past make a comeback to make Sav and Tate’s relationship stronger? Like, will Daddy Connors and Tate or Sav’s exes show themselves up, all of a sudden?

*sighing while fingers tap the wooden desk waiting for Book 2*
I shall recall all your Aussie words! 

Author Bio:
Rachel Brookes is from a coastal town on the east coast of Australia where beaches, kangaroos and surfers roam free. She writes angsty love stories with a pinch of craziness, a dash of drama, a cup of romance and a spoonful of sexiness… oh and the main ingredient hot guys. 

Rachel sometimes forgets to eat, sometimes forgets to sleep and sometimes can’t remember the last time she cleaned her apartment but that’s because she is in a long term relationship with her laptop and is constantly writing. 

When she does step away from her laptop she can be found taking too many photos, making scrumptious cocktails, laughing at Adam Sandler movies and spending her time with her amazing family and friends. 
With her first novel, Just Breathe, due to be released in July 2013, her dream of releasing a book will become reality. With another three books already taking up her mind, she cannot wait to start this crazy ride.

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-     Jassie

Cover Reveal: Finding It - Cora Carmack

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Oh my gosh, I am a super fan of Cora Carmack, I had fallen in love with Losing It and Faking It! And now, the other book, the one for Kelsey is one of the most awaited, well other than Keeping Her that I can barely stand because it's Garrick's POV! But let's dwell into the most-awaited Cover Reveal, are you ready? Can I say I ABSOLUTELY FLAILY LOVE THIS COVER?! AAAAAH~!

Finding It - Cora Carmack
Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She's having the time of her life...or that's what she keeps telling herself.

It's a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you're afraid you won't like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey's loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey's mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

Author Bio:
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life – boring jobs (working retail), fun jobs (working in a theater), stressful jobs (teaching) and dream jobs (writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too.

Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today Bestseller. Future titles include FAKING IT (June 2013), KEEPING HER (August 2013), and FINDING IT (October 2013), all with William Morrow and Company.

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-     Jassie

Cover Reveal: Cipher - Cindi Madsen

Monday, July 1, 2013

"One Gift. One Curse. One Purpose."

Cipher - Cindi Madsen
Cipher by Cindi Madsen
Expected Publication: July 22, 2013

Summer Davis sees deaths before they happen. She attempts to live a normal life by focusing on the dance team and her quarterback boyfriend. But then the way-too-cheery Angel of Death shows up and tells her she’s a Cipher—a person chosen to help people who are going to die resolve problems with their loved ones. Ashlyn Moore, one of Summer’s classmates, is going to die, and she needs Summer’s help before that happens.

It’s nearly impossible to get through to Ashlyn, who surrounds herself with chess nerds and geeks and makes it clear she doesn’t want to be friends. Desperate to complete her Cipher task before it’s too late, Summer turns to Troy, the guy who’s always been there for her and one of the few people she can trust. With his help, she makes progress. In fact, the closer she gets to Ashlyn and her friends, the more she feels like she’s finally found where she belongs. 

As the clock starts running down on Ashlyn’s life, Summer decides to change her objective. She’s going to save her new friend before it’s too late—even if it means messing with fate.

Summary and Picture from Cindi Madsen,
You can check it out now at: Cipher (Goodreads)

Author Bio:
Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children. She is the YA author of DEMONS OF THE SUN & ALL THE BROKEN PIECES, and the adult author of FALLING FOR HER FIANCE, ACT LIKE YOU LOVE ME and CINDERELLA SCREWED ME OVER.

Author Links:
Website  |  Blog  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

P.S. Check out my thoughts about Cipher days before or on the release day itself!

-     Jassie