Book Review: Sapient by Jerry Kaczmarowski

Title: Sapient
Author: Jerry Kaczmarowski
Genre: YA Thriller
Published:  April 13th, 2015
Page Count:  378 pages
Format:  eBook
Source: From author/publicist in exchange of my honest opinion.


Summary:
Abandoned by her husband after the birth of their child, Jane Dixon’s world is defined by her autistic son and the research she does to find a cure for his condition. She knows her work on animal intelligence may hold the key. She also knows that the research will take decades to complete. None of it will ultimately benefit her son.

All that changes when a lab rat named Einstein demonstrates that he can read and write. Just as her research yields results, the U.S. government discovers her program. The army wants to harness her research for its military potential. The CDC wants to shut her down completely. The implications of animal intelligence are too dangerous, particularly when the previously inert virus proves to be highly contagious.

She steals the virus to cure her son, but the government discovers the theft. She must now escape to Canada before the authorities can replace her son’s mental prison with a physical one.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars
I wrote this review of Sapient a couple of months ago, a few days after I finished the book, and while all the thoughts written here still remain, I have to add what I think about this book now.

Sapient is not my typical kind of read. When I was speaking about it, a lot of friends even told me that they thought it weird that I was reading something other than YA. Well, technically, this book is a cross between YA/Regular Fiction, because it is told in several points of view and one of them is a young boy with autism. But it is so different from my other YA books. This book's reading level is more advanced, but I didn't find it difficult to understand. In the end, I came to enjoy Sapient a lot. 

I'll break it down to three reasons:

The Characters & POV's. This book is not only told from Jane's pov (the mother looking for a cure) and Robbie (her boy with autism), but it's also told from a lab rat named Einstein and a one-eyed dog named Bear. This diverse set of characters was what made (in my opinion) the story all the more intriguing. I admired much Jane risks for to find a cure for her son, the length she goes through even though it's dangerous. Being inside Robbie's head was astounding since we are there with him when he has autism and when he slowly starts to get cured. Einstein and Robbie has to be my favorite characters. Their bantering, actions and quick-wits (they are submitted with autism tests with positive results) had me chuckling and enjoying their characters too much.

The Plot. I honestly thought I was going to get a bit bored with the story when I first started Sapient what with all the lab research and stuff, but I didn't. In fact, Sapient had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was a race against time full of revelations on every corner! What I learned from all of this is that research, testing and finding a cure for something certainly looks like a risky thing.

The Journey. Yes, I'm making this into a reason because even though it's part of the plot, I feel like emphasizing how cool it was for me to know about the places and a bit about the people Robbie, Einstein and Bear meet on their trek. From San Jose and all the way to small towns in Washington. That Mexican camp? I've seen it! And while I was reading that particular part of the book, I thought the author was going with the same-old stereotype that us Mexicans  only eat tortillas and tamales. But just after I finished this book, I went outside and saw gramps eating Tamales and a quesadilla! You can't imagine how hard I laughed at that. But we do eat other stuff besides that of course. ;)

So all in all, Sapient turned out to be a good read. It was entertaining, though I must emphasize again that it's not entirely YA so if you aren't much into regular fiction, maybe this won't be your type of read. There's a teensy bit of romance, but it's not really something worth rooting for. 

Sapient is about the lengths one goes to save the people you love, to give them an opportunity for a better life. Even when the world is against you. 



The Week's Entrée #79

Hey everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

I'm sort of falling into a rhythm of only posting three times a week and I think I need to post a bit more. So I was thinking...  should I get a new feature? I believe if I had another weekly feature I'd be able to at least post 4 times a week. What say you? What do YOU want to see on the blog? If you have any recs, I'm all ears (eyes?)! I will of course, do my best to keep posting book reviews, and once my sis gets settled down in her new place (YES, she's leaving  me behind *cries*) she'll be more active here as well.


With that out of the way, all I have left to say is HAPPY MONDAY! And happy reading as well!

Now back to our regular schedule...

*****
Books I Got Last Week:

{For review}
From Netgalley, authors, publishers, etc.

 


I received these awesome books last week and I'm pretty excited to read them soon. Actually, I already read It's A Wonderful Death and it was a reaaaaally nice read. 

To Read This Week:

 

These are two books I started reading ages ago but I ended up putting down in order to read other books that I needed to review stat or books I couldn't wait any longer. But I must read them NOW. So this week it is, yay!

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are YOU reading right now? :)

That's What HE Said Thursday #54: Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door

                                
That's what HE said Thursday is a weekly meme hosted at Chapter Break where you post a favorite line of a book boyfriend to his girl. It's the perfect meme to share all those awesome quotes!

Today's quote is from Cricket of Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie 
Perkins!

                                                 Quote:

"I can't stop thinking about you, and I'm not the guy I used to be, I've changed-"
"Cricket-" I look back up, feeling faint.
His blue eyes are bright. Sincere. Desperate. "Go out with me tonight. Tomorrow night, every ni--" The word cuts off in his throat as he sees something behind me.
 
-Cricket to Lola




Cricket Bell is the sweetest most charming guy that I've ever read. He is my number one book crush EVER. This is the type of book that I would wish I would be reading for my first time. The reason: Cricket. I adore him! That's why I dedicate this week's quote to him.
In this part of the book, Cricket asks Lola to date him, but he is crushed as he suddenly realizes something. Want to know why??? Read Lola and the Boy Next Door! I highly recommend it. Did you already read it??? Isn't he a dream!!! <3 <3<3

ARC Review: Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru by Tera Lynn Childs

Title: Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru
Series: Creative HeArts #1
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published:  September 14th, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Page Count: 245 pages
Format:  eARC
Source: From publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.


Summary:
When life gives you a blank canvas, make art.

Sloane Whitaker hates everything about moving to Texas. She hates leaving behind her friends and half her family in New York, starting over senior year at Austin’s NextGen Academy, and having to say she lives in Texas. Most of all, she hates that it’s all her fault. If she wants to earn her way back to the Big Apple, she has to prove she can still be the perfect daughter.

Which means no vandalism art, no trouble at school, and absolutely no Tru Dorsey, her serial screw-up neighbor, who loves nothing more than pushing her buttons.

But from the moment he vaults onto the roof outside her bedroom, there is something about him that makes her want to break every rule. Suddenly it’ s not the ten things she hates about Tru that are at the top of her list. It’s the ten reasons she doesn’t want to be without him.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 3/5 stars
If you're looking for a sweet, light summer read without too much angst or heartbreak, then Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru is the kind of book you'd want to pick up. It was a nice read for me, not that memorable, but cutesy and fun to read.

This book, however, doesn't really follow along the lines of the famous Heath Ledger movie, Ten Things I Hate About You, so if you're only interested in it because of the title, then you'll be slightly disappointed. BUT, there's this sort of one-sided love-hate relationship so maybe that's why this title was chosen for the book. Not really sure...

Putting that aside, what I liked most about Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru was the main male character, Tru. He was an adorable bad boy and pretty fun to hang around with. He was truly the star of this show, because despite his bright persona, he's the one carrying the most weight on his shoulders. So yes, you will find a character with some depth inside this book.

I'm not sure if I liked Sloane, I believe she was too judgmental of everything that wasn't from New York. I wanted some character growth from her, but I don't really think she changed at all except for her thoughts about Tru. 

Oh, there's also a lot of talk about art in here, so if you are into graphic design and well, ART, maybe you'll be able to relate with a few of the characters.

The ending wasn't exactly what I was expecting or hoping for since a lot of things are left unanswered from Tru's side of the story, but maybe we'll get them in the next book in the series? I don't know how that will work since I *think* it'll be written by another author, but here's hoping that we do get a few more answers!

The Week's Entrée #78

Hey everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

I hope everyone is doing well. I feel so disconnected to the book blogging community! I'm slowly making rounds to blogs I love and catching up with books &  reviews. Now that exam week is over, I'm definitely focusing more on reading and watching kdramas (a priority as well! Have you seen The Heirs? Loved it!). 

*Ahem* Anyway, hope you are reading and loving many many books! Oh, and don't you forget to enter all the giveaways going on here on the blog. ;) ---->>>>

*****
Book reviews in other sites:


I reviewed Thorn by Intisar Khanani at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers

Guys, this book it's beautiful! It's not your typical YA read because it really doesn't focus on romance (no insta-love!), but it has amazing characters and impressive values. READ IT. 

Here's the book's summary:

For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed.

Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.

But powerful men have powerful enemies–and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometime the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.


*****
Books I Got Last Week:

{For review}
From Netgalley, authors, publishers, etc.


I received this cute little picture book from the author in exchange for an honest review! To those who didn't know, I ADORE picture books. Did I mention it's so cuuuuuute? And about dinosaurs, eep! 

To Read This Week:

I'm not reading anything new this week. I need to finish a lot of books I've started but have had to put down due to a busy schedule. But this week is the week I'm reading until their last pages! Wish me luck tho, I may need it.

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are YOU reading right now? :)

Book Review: On The Run by I-Lanaa Twine

Title: On The Run
Author: I-Lanaa Twine
Series: The Moriya Chronicles #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: August 29th, 2014
Page count: 302 pages
Format: eBook
Source: From author in exchange of an honest review.

 Goodreads | Amazon 
Book Summary:
Isn’t it amazing how in a mere split second, the very essence of who you are can change forever? That in just an instant your entire life can be ripped to shreds? 

One night, three years ago, my mother was torn from us. Gone, without a trace. And just like that, nothing was ever the same.

Thrust into a world of darkness and danger, my father and I were forced to flee a past that haunted us and the beasts that hunted us.

As the black walls of despair closed all around me, I felt eternally lost... 

Until I found him. And he helped me find myself. 

Derrick Harris was a beacon of the purest light, guiding me straight into the warmth of his heart.

But sometimes the past has a way of finding you. Lies have a way of catching up to you. And secrets never seem to stay secret for very long.

Now all that I hold dear is at stake, and I must fight to survive, or my entire world will crumble before my eyes. 

I am on the run… 

     *The Reader's Review*

     My rating: 3/5 stars
Writing this review was hard. Extremely hard. So hard in fact, that it's been months since I last finished On The Run. I've written and rewritten my jumbled thoughts, but it's been a real struggle. But I can't keep putting this off, so I just decided to delete everything I had and start all over again.

But, why has this book proven to be so difficult to review? Well, I think it has to do with the fact that I'm torn about it. I really don't know if I loved or disliked the story. Even though it's been a long time since I read it, and I've had some time to think about it, I still cannot tell. Maybe it's because I actually felt that I read two books instead of one. I'm not talking about length, it's just that the first half of the book is kind of the "normal" part, and once it hits mid-point, it drastically changes into a different world which I had a bit of trouble adjusting to at first but end up loving a lot.

The second half of the book was so much better than the first because it doesn't drag. While the first part was slow and pretty much uneventful except for the romance that blooms between the mc, Delilah, and a sweet boy (broke my heart btw), the second part was exciting and more action-packed. There's also a great character that turned out to be my favorite, even more than Delilah, but I cannot talk about that person because it basically ruins a few plot twists. Ugh. That's why I cannot talk much, I only want to talk about the second half.

Anyway, what I can tell is that the author has a great writing style and I liked how creative her world-building gets as the story progresses. I wish she would have focused a bit more on the beginning of the book and on the characters, but her world-building certainly proved to be the strongest asset of On the Run.

As you can see, I still can't settle about anything when it comes to this book. If I only confused you then I'm terribly sorry. Let's just say that for me, this book was an okay read with many pro's and con's. I guess it will depend on the reader whether he/she will like it or not. 

Steam by Stacey Rourke Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway!


Hi guys! I can't believe today is the day for my stop on Steam's blog tour. I've been following this series right from the start and man, it's AMAZING. Totally badass. Anyway, today I bring you my review of this epic third & last book plus one heck of an incredible giveaway. I hope I can really convince you to pick up this book, it's SO worth your time. Read away, lovely people!
..........

Title: STEAM by Stacey Rourke
Series: The Legends Saga #3
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Published: September 10th, 2015

Summary:

Time passes, sins forgotten.

The bodies of the victims long since rotten.



Trapped within the essence of the Headless Horseman by the guilt of slaughtering her best friend, Ireland Crane follows the father of science fiction, HG Wells, in search of freedom from the curse that binds her. Instead, she discovers even he has a hidden agenda. A dark, relentless passion to be reunited with the woman he loves has driven him to manipulate time and a murderous Horseman.

Yet heed my warning, as the Raven flies,

The Hessian will come … and you will die.


All that prevents Ireland from abandoning Wells’ twisted pursuit, or introducing him to her sword, are the undead witches haunting her. Begging for freedom from a vile succubus, the ghoulish coven leads Ireland and her crew on a journey through Salem’s sordid past. There, they learn there is more to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s history than a scarlet letter, and the secret they’ve uncovered seeks to destroy them all.


Purchase
Books 1 & 2 

 
..........
The Reader's Review
My rating: 5/5 stars
No no no no no no no no no NO!

Stacey Rourke, why did you stab me in the back?! WHY? I just cannot find the strength to deal or carry on with my life right now. I'm absolutely heartbroken and struggling with a runny nose. But WOW, Steam was definitely the BEST book in the series. Shocking? Yes. Exciting? YES. Creepy? OHMYGOD YES! On so many levels. Fear this book, you guys. It will absolutely destroy you.

But Steam definitely delivered what I wanted and even more (maybe too much *glares at Stacey*). Like with the first two books, Steam didn't loosen its hold on me until I was 100% ruined. I laughed, I ate my nails, I cried my eyes out. I had FUN. This is why I LOVE how Stacey Rourke writes. She's a GENIUS. She truly knows what to give to her readers because The Legends Saga was IS a fantastic series with the right amount of everything you wish to read about. It's epic.

I seriously loved how we get once again two stories instead of one. There is of course the main character's story, Ireland (a.k.a. the hessian) and this time, Preen, a server to the Goddess and the elements, although from a different time frame. Preen's point of view serves as background to understand the goings on with Ireland and company struggling to get rid of the headless horseman's curse and other legends. Familiar with HG Wells? Oh, you're going to love it!

Oh, I know, I know. I'm probably getting carried away with the praise, but I can't help it. I ADORED this series. I ADORE Stacey Rourke. I loved and I'm going to miss my dear characters so, so much. Ireland will always be my favorite badass, sarcastic hero. Noah the only cool normal guy from the bunch. Ridley, the hilarious charmer. And Rip, nothing short of awesome. These four are the best gang I've ever had the pleasure to meet. So, yes, you must meet them. 

You must read these books.
..........
About the Author

-RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
-Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
-Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series as well as the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 


..........

Giveaway

September New Release Giveaway Hop


Apologies for not putting this up earlier!!! But HI & welcome to the September New Release Giveaway Hop hosted by Librarian Lavender & It Starts At Midnight

 All September book releases are fabulous must-have books so I'm really excited to be giving one away to one lucky reader! So enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win ANY new release for up to $17 USD from Book Depository (as long as they ship free to your country, check here to make sure) OR Amazon (depending on location).  

Here are a few popular September releases:


 


& so many more! 
Gosh, I bet it will be hard to only pick one from this awesome bunch.  

Anyhoo, this contest is open Internationally and ends on September 30th at 11:59 pm EST. Good luck to everyone and thanks so much for stopping by!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to hop along to enter more September New Release giveaways! 

The Week's Entrée #77

Hey everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!


GUESS WHAT?!


The Reader and the Chef is now on Instagram!

The Chef and I have our own personal accounts where we post our bookish stuff plus really awesome pics of our dogs, but we wanted to have one specially for the blog! So now we will be posting our photos of books and food and more books and lots and lots of other things book related there so give as a follow and we'll make sure to follow back to also check your awesome book pics. :D

Also, I forgot to tell you about the twitter giveaway I'm hosting right now! Go RT this tweet & follow me (if you don't already) to win one of the three books pictured below. And the fun part is that whichever book you pick, I'll also get it for myself. :D


*****
Books I Got Last Week:

{Purchased}


I just found out that Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone is on sale for $0.99 on every major ebook seller! Here's the link to Amazon if you want to snatch a copy of this must-have book for your kindle. ;)

To Read This Week:


I'm currently reading Steam by Stacey Rourke since its blog tour is stopping by my blog this week. Oh man, this book is FANTASTIC. And creepy.  It's also the last book in the Legends Saga (I think). Don't ever want it to end!

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! Hope you have a wonderful week. :)

Book Review & Cupcakes: Chemistry by Jodi Lamm


Title: Chemistry
Author: Jodi Lamm
Published: June 10, 2015
Page count: 212
Format: Paperback
Source: From author in exchange of an honest review

Book Summary:
You don’t want to read this book. I’m warning you. This isn’t a heartwarming, boy-meets-girl, high school romance. I wish it were—God, do I ever. No, if you read this, you’re going to be angry… with me, mostly. You’ll probably yell at me, if you’re the type of person who yells at books. You’ll tell me not to be so stupid, but I won’t listen. I’ll be exactly as stupid as I need to be to destroy everything I love because that’s who I am: a walking, talking tragedy. That’s who I’ve always been. But if you’re determined to read on despite my warning, I may as well introduce myself. My name is Claude Frollo, I’m nineteen going on ninety, and this is my story. It isn’t pretty, but it’s honest. And it’s the only story I have left to tell.


 *The Chef's Review*

     My rating: 4/5 stars
   This was definitely an interesting read. When I heard about "Chemistry", it said that it was based on the famous book by Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. That was enough for me to get me start on it as soon as possible. In my childhood, I remember watching the Disney version of this classic novel so while I was reading this book I couldn't help but keep imagining and classifying the cartoon characters. However, Jodi Lamm's version is not alike at all to the Disney plot.

   This contemporary retelling of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame was starred by a completely crazy character named Claude Frollo. I think that it was intriguing to be able to travel on the mind of this character, at least for me. You see, I'm used to reading books based on the hero or the bad person turning into a good kind of character eventually, but in this story, Claude stays 100% true to his way of being. I kept waiting for the part where he would finally recapacitate and do the right thing, but that certainly didn't happen. You could see him struggling with his feelings and macabre thoughts. This was, in a way, something new to me. However it wasn't at all bad, on the contrary, I found it enthralling.

  So really, Chemistry is a refreshing retelling that I believe deserves a thumbs up! It was easy, fast to read and not at all boring.

   And because I had the urge to do a bit of fangirling, I decided to use my hands to express my love for this book. What do you guys think? You like?


Thanks for reading! 

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne Sale + Giveaway!

Hey guys! I'm thrilled to share with you today TWO awesome things:

First, Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne, the first book in a thrilling YA fantasy series is on SALE for 99 cents! Get this book pronto because this amazing prize will only last until tomorrow, September 13th.


Here's a bit about the book if you are not quite familiar with it:


Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
Published July 8th 2014 
 Disney-Hyperion


 Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs. But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down.  But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival — and vengeance — might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives. In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner — and danger is a way of life.

Get it for 99 cents!
Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play


And two! (Bet you almost forgot about the second thing). In celebration of Midnight Thief's special prize, Livia is giving away one awesome prize pack! Oh, and the best thing is that it's INTERNATIONAL. Check it out!


The prize pack includes:

1. An audiobook of Midnight Thief
2. A signed copy of Poison Dance. (With author’s handwritten annotations in the margins, if you’d like).
3. An early draft of Daughter of Dusk (sequel to midnight thief) with author’s editorial marks.
4. Assorted swag.

Sweet, right? Enter the rafflecopter below to win!


Huge thanks to Livia Blackburne for letting me share this awesomeness with you!

About the Author:

Livia Blackburne wrote her first novel while researching the neuroscience of reading at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Since then, she’s switched to full time writing, which also involves getting into people’s heads but without the help of a three tesla MRI scanner.  Her novel MIDNIGHT THIEF debuted with Disney-Hyperion in July 2014, and its sequel DAUGHTER OF DUSK came out in August 2015.
Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play
Oh, and the sequel is out now too!
I'll leave the links below just in case. ;)


 Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Kobo