Fierce Reads Blockbuster Event!

Can you guys believe that its been about three weeks since I’ve done a book event? Yeah! Three weeks! Insanity! Ever since I got back home from ALA in Las Vegas, link I’ve been overwhelmed with work, abortion and my novel, that I just haven’t had much time for blogging or going to book events.

Luckily, that is about to change VERY soon. I had an awesome time tonight at the Fierce Reads event at The Grove in Los Angeles, and will be attending a James Dashner and a Maggie Stiefvater event in the next few days and I’m very excited for those. Things are picking up guys.

Tonight I headed down to one of my favorite bookstores for what was sure to be an awesome event. I love Barnes and Noble in general, but I love going to the one at The Grove because they always have such great events and the event coordinator, Lita, is just a doll. I got there early, grabbed my wristband, and had lunch at Veggie Grill (yum yum!) before heading back to the store for the event.

The authors attending this event were four total YA all stars:

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Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles series, including Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and soon to be, Winter. Winter hits bookstores next year, but before that, a prequel story about Queen Levana will hit bookstores. Yay!

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Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha Trilogy, including Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising. She’s currently working on another series, which takes place in the same Grisha world, not long after the end of Ruin and Rising.

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Anna Banks, author of the Syrena Legacy, including Of Poseidon, Of Triton and Of Neptune. She also has a new book called Joyride heading to bookstores next June!

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and

Ann Aguirre, author of the Razorland trilogy, including Enclave, Outpost, and Horde. And soon to be a TON of other books! This includes a new adult trilogy whose titles are Backstreet Boy’s songs. I call that a win.

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I was SO excited because I love all of these authors so much, and I always have a good time going to these events.

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We took our seats, and Lita talked up the event and the authors, and even talked about the moderator, Anthony Breznican and his debut novel, Brutal Youth. She talked it up so much that I immediately went downstairs to pick myself a copy of it. He was so awesome, a great moderator and was fun to talk to after the panel. He seemed happy that some of us grabbed copies of his book; it must be SO nerve wracking to have your debut novel out there!

Then Lita and the fantastic people of Macmillan Teens had a surprise for us early arrivals: ARCs! You know me, I can NEVER get enough of books :) I immediately went forward to check out what they had. I had most of them, from ALA, but they had a copy of Caragh O’Brien’s Vault of Dreamers, which I hadn’t managed to score at ALA. That was exciting. I also had my sister with me, and she was kind of my assistant for the event, so she grabbed a copy of Josephine Angelini’s Trial by Fire. Now, if you guys pay attention at all, you’ll know that I already have a copy of Trial by Fire so this one is going to be up for grabs very soon!

Then the event! Yay!

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All four ladies were so much fun in the panel. I honestly haven’t laughed so hard in so long. Leigh was her usual hilarious self and Marissa had a quirky little sense of humor. Ann Aguirre had a sort of awkward sense of humor, which remind me so much of myself that I just couldn’t stop laughing. And ohmygod, Anna Banks’ dry sense of humor was KILLING me. I could NOT stop laughing. It was too much.

They talked about their books, their inspirations for them, how they tackled them. They talked about books they loved, and what books inspired them. What I really loved is how they dove into the appeal of YA to adults and the growing diversity in YA books. Those are two very important topics and I was eager to hear what they had to say about it!

Then was the signing, of course. I got books signed by all of them, because I’m spoiled that way ;) I got Mortal Danger signed by Ann Aguirre, Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, and my extra copies of Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo.

Because I already have my entire Lunar Chronicles signed (so far), I bought an extra copy of Cinder (and also Shadow and Bone) and those will be up for grabs soon as well!

I think I cleaned up pretty nicely after this event!

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Not a bad haul from the event!

I also managed to get my hands on some extra stuff! Check it out!

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I bought extra copies of Cinder and Shadow and Bone and those are both signed by the author. I got my hands on that extra copy of Trial by Fire, which doesn’t hit bookstores until September! I also got an Of Poseidon sneak peek booklet signed by Anna Banks and a bookmark signed by Ann Aguirre, and ton of other cool bookmarks and pins. Keep an eye out because a giveaway is coming VERY VERY soon!

Leigh’s mom was there, and I’ve met her twice before, at the Siege and Storm release party and the Ruin and Rising release part, and she’s such a doll. She remembered me and gave me a big ol hug and sat next to me during the event. She’s such a sweetheart :)

I also met a “fan” of What A Nerd Girl Says today, named Laura! She was SO cool, and I always love meeting you guys so NEVER be nervous to say hi. I’m kind of a weirdo so please do! Also, she read my excerpt that I posted the other day of The Awakened, and loved it, and that gave me SUCH a boost! Thanks for that, Laura :)

All in all, a super great night and I’m always so glad to go to the Barnes and Noble at the Grove and to go to Fierce Reads events. I ADORE Macteen and they put out so many amazing books and I will go to every Fierce Reads event that I can!

Until next time, folks! And keep an eye out for that giveaway!

I’m Alive! And I Have an Excerpt from The Awakened!

I know, troche I know, I know. I’ve been the absolute WORST blogger the past week and a half.

I’ve just been SO incredibly busy! Life has been getting crazy and I’m just trying to keep up as much as I possibly can. I’m working hard, spending time with my boyfriend and my friends, going to book events and most importantly: I’m trying to finish my novel.

As some of you may or may not know, I’ve written the first draft of a novel called The Awakened. It is a young adult science fiction, with a touch of romance. I was watching The Walking Dead one day when I was kind of sassy and said something along the lines of “Why didn’t they just nuke all the zombies?” Of course, that brought up so much and that sparked the interest for my novel. I finished it about a month ago and have been working as hard as I can to edit it and get it out to my beta readers! I’m hoping by the end of August, I’ll have a solid manuscript to shop around to agents.

That being said, editing is SO not fun. I cant’ wait to be a “real” author one day and have an editor to help me all the time. I’ve had my super awesome cousin helping me and she’s seriously been SO invaluable to me but god, it is a TON of work. Its frustrating, tiring, and sometimes I feel like I’m going to give up but I love this novel and I love to write and I’m determined.

So to apologize for the fact that I’ve just been massively MIA on this blog, I decided that I would share a little excerpt from my novel. First, lets get a synopsis going so you guys have a little background of what this novel is about:

Zoey Valentine is living a normal life in New York City. She reads, goes to baseball games with her dad, goes dancing with her best friend Madison and avoiding the bane of her existence and her next door neighbor, Ash. Then the virus hits, wiping out a third of the population. Everyone is scared, but it only gets worse when the bodies start disappearing and reappearing as the awakened. They’re like zombies, but smarter, quicker, meaner, and they are only focused on one thing: their hunger for human flesh. Now Zoey is on the run, away from New York City, hoping to find a place of safety, away from the virus and away from the monsters that are chasing her. 

*************

The part that I’m about to share is this: Zoey has been having nightmares, nightmares of the awakened. She wakes up one night and turns to the last person she ever expects to find solace in: Ash Matthews.

“Can you…” I squirmed uncontrollably, hardly believing what I was about to ask him. “Can you stay here, with me?”

 

His eyebrow raised in confusion. “I’m not going anywhere.” I didn’t answer, just lifted up the blanket and scooted over, not meeting his eyes. “Oh. Oh!” It had dawned on him, finally.

 

The next few seconds were like the longest seconds of my life. When I felt the bed sink down from his weight, and the warmth of his body under the covers with me, I felt like letting out a sigh of relief. I didn’t though, of course, just scooted down to lay down, my back to Ash. His hand crept across the blankets before meeting mine. I jerked back, before letting his fingers intertwine with mine. The sound of deep breaths met my ears a moment later, and I fell asleep, my hand clutched in Ash’s.

 

The next time I woke, it was morning, and I felt warm. No, I felt hot, stifling. I noted that the blanket was not wrapped around me but there was a solid presence against my back. I opened my eyes slowly, and looked over my shoulder, finding Ash pressed tight against me, his chest rising and falling with each breath. He didn’t move, except to wrap his arm tighter around my waist. His hand was still, impossibly, intertwined with mine. I traced circles in his palm with the pad of my thumb. I was afraid to move or breathe. I didn’t want to break the spell that was cast over the two of us, that made it okay for us to sleep like that.

 

I wasn’t sure how long I lay there, before I heard a hitch in his breathing and his grip loosened. I froze, and then slowly looked over my shoulder again. Ash’s eyes were open, drowsy with sleep. He yawned widely and then looked down at me, his hand rested gently on my hip. His eyes widened when he realized how close we were and he pulled away.

 

“Shit, sorry, Zoey,” he said, pulling his hand away from my bare hip. Why the hell did I sleep with in just a tank top and my underwear? Why didn’t I exercise more restraint while having St. Joseph’s star quarterback in my bed? “I didn’t mean to…”

 

“It’s fine,” I said, stiffly, pulling the blanket up over my legs. “Can you maybe just…get out of my bed? Please?”

 

He ran a hand through his messy hair and I saw the slight shadow along his chin and jawline. I suddenly had the urge to run my hands across it, to feel the roughness of his skin. I leaned forward, our faces so close. He looked surprised, his sleepy eyes wide. My hand lifted to his face, as if it had a mind of its own, and I found myself cupping his cheek in my palm. Ash was incredibly still, waiting to see what I would do.

 

My entire body was shaking, and I moved myself closer, pressing my lips tight against his before pulling back, shocked at my own movements. Ash watched me in shock, his breath coming out quickly before he darted forward and captured me back in a forceful kiss. I gasped, and fell backward, my arms out in a shield. “No, don’t…don’t do that,” I said, scrambling away from him.

 

Ash was still on the bed, his hair ruffled, and his eyes wide in surprise, his lips red from the pressure. “Zoey…”

 

“No, just don’t…” I said, grabbing shorts from a drawer and pulling them over my underwear. “Don’t kiss me.”

 

He sat back, rubbing his brow, looking perplexed. “Okay, I won’t kiss you.”

 

I was still trembling. “Good. Great.” I spun on my heel and practically ran out of the room, doing the best I could to hide my flaming face as I went.

*************

The fact that you guys have very little context in this passage makes me kind of happy and hopefully makes you guys excited to read this! Let me know what you think!

Giveaway: The Iron Trial Advanced Reader’s Copy by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black!

When I was at ALA just a few weeks ago, order I managed to grab an extra copy of The Iron Trial. The Iron Trial is a brand new book coming out this fall, seek from well-known YA authors, this web Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. I’m about 80 pages in and I’m loving it. Its middle grade but these are two authors that I absolutely love so I’m enjoying it.

I have no idea how I ended up with an extra copy but I did and of course, I don’t need an extra copy! SO! I’ve decided to have a quick giveaway for this book!

Here are some pictures of what it looks like!

The Prize!

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Those are NOT real signatures on the book. Sorry :(

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Please keep in mind that this is a paperback, advanced copy. That means there could be changes between this version and the final hardback copy.

Rules! (Yes, there have to be rules!)

The contest will run from today, June 12th to June 20th!

The winner will be contacted within 24 hours of contest end. If winner(s) do not respond within a 24 hour period of contact, their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.

Come back every day to share on Twitter and Instagram to earn more entries!

This giveaway is in NO way endorsed by any authors, their publishers or any other affiliates.

What A Nerd Girl Says is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged prizes. It HAS happened before, but only once!

Enter Now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good luck!

Weekly Fangirl Round-Up

 

 

 

Nerd Girl News

A new trailer for Gone Girl has been released!

A new poster was released for Sam Claflin and Lily Collin’s next movie, Love, Rosie.

J.K. Rowling has released new Harry Potter content, in the form of Rita Skeeter story!

President Snow has released his second official Panem address, check it out.

A new Maze Runner trailer is coming at the end of July 

Speaking of The Maze Runner, the screenwriter has joined the team, initiates, and will be penning the script for Allegiant Part 1.

Check out Page to Premiere’s interview with The Giver author, Lois Lowry!

The Outlander TV series has announced that it will be a split season and a sneak preview will be hitting the internet!

The actor that gave us a chilling portray of Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter movies was found dead while on a hike in California. Raise your wands!

Check out the first look to the first episode of Doctor Who, Series 8. Eek!

The nominees for the Emmys have arrived: who made it and who was left out?

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians has been announced as a pilot by the SyFy network.

Robbie Amell has been cast as Firestorm in the Arrow spin-off show, The Flash!

Disney is developing a live-action Dumbo movie…and all I gotta is, why?

New extended trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy was released, featuring some kickass moves by Karen Gillan and Zoe Saldana

Community may not have been picked up for another season BUT Sony is planning a movie!

FOX announces its 2014 premiere dates .

Read an excerpt from Rick Yancey’s The Infinite Sea, the sequel to The 5th Wave.

Looks like fans of Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush Hush saga will not be seeing the story on the big screen.

Brandon Routh aka Superman has joined Arrow for Season 3 as The Atom.

Two more people have been added to the cast roster for the mysterious Star Wars movie.

 

 

 

 

 

Posts and Vlogs

 

Book Review: Timeless by Alexandra Monir

June Book Wrap Up

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite YA High Fantasy Series

Vlog: My Adventures in Las Vegas for the ALA Annual Conference 2014!

Vlog: Monday Missions #12

Book Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Book Review: Trial by Fire (ARC) by Josephine Angelini

Tuesday Top Ten: My “Auto-Buy” Authors

Vlog: June Book Haul

Book Review: The Young Elites (ARC) by Marie Lu

Book Review: Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Book Review: Invaded (ARC) by Melissa Landers

Epic Reads 30 Favorite Books Challenge

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Epic Reads Favorite 30 Books Challenge!

So just about a week or so ago, seek Epic Reads celebrated gaining, more about I believe, 30K followers on their Instagram. They asked their followers to celebrate by snapping photos of their favorite 30 books.

And I SO wanted to join in. But a few problems. First, I had to stop and thinking about what 30 books were my favorites. That’s hard. There are books that will remain favorites and there are books that will come and go as favorites. Most of this list will probably stay the same, but some will change, obviously as I read more books.

Also, I’m not sure where my copies of all these books actually ARE. I have over 600 books, you see, and they’re all just sort of scattered everywhere so getting together my 30 favorite books, once I actually figured out what they were, was going to be kind of an impossible task.

SO! I decided to just do it here on the blog :) Like I said, most of these will remain favorites for a long time. I wrote out the top 30 books that came to my mind as being my favorites and this is what I came up with. Who knows, maybe next year, there will be a whole different list.

But I doubt it!

Check out my current top 30 books below. They are in no particular order :)

And don’t forget to share your own favorites in the comments!

(You’ll notice that I skip straight to book 3 of HP. I LOVE the entire series as a whole, but I love 3-7 the most!)

SARA’S TOP 30 FAVORITE BOOKS (at least for this moment…)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

5

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

6

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

2

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

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Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Winger by Andrew Smith

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Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

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City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

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Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

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Legend by Marie Lu

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The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

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Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

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The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

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The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

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The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

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All American Girl by Meg Cabot

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This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

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Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Unremembered by Jessica Brody

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Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer

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Between the Lines by Tammara Webber

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Princess in Love by Meg Cabot

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Book Review: Invaded (ARC) by Melissa Landers

17316770This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through Disney-Hyperion at the American Library Association Conference for free. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Young Adult, medical Science Fiction, for sale Romance

Pages: 

368

Part of a Series?:

This is the second novel of the Alienated series. To read my review of Alienated, click here.

Release Date: 

February 3rd, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe…until a threat to both their worlds reunites them. 

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

My Review:

Please note that while this review will have no spoilers for Invaded, it will have spoilers for Alienated. Please check out the review for that book at the link above!

I have never been so grateful in my entire life to the girl working the Disney-Hyperion booth at ALA a couple weeks ago. I spotted Alienated, because it had been on my radar and I asked them if they were giving out copies of it. They weren’t BUT they were having a signing with Melissa Landers later in the day and giving away the second book, Invaded. I decided to try and make it to the signing. Melissa’s signing was literally at the same time as David Levithan, Jay Asher, Lauren Myracle, Jessica Brody, Josephine Angelini…a ton of authors. But I wanted to make it. I bounced from booth to booth to booth and finally made it over there and was excited to see that she was still signing.

Then I got super sad because they were out of books. I decided I would stand in line to talk to her anyway, maybe just introduce myself and then the girl in front of me said “I don’t know Melissa, so here, have this”, and handed me a copy of Invaded. I was so excited. Melissa was super sweet, and I knew I had to get home and read Alienated. Which I did, in one night. The next day, I read Invaded. I’m so glad that I got my hands on this book because it pressured me to purchase and read the first one and I absolutely love these two books. They are easily now a favorite for me.

Melissa continues a well thought out story that she had concocted in book one. We leave book one with this: Cara and Aelyx will be split for months, Cara to continue the exchange program on L’eihr and Aelyx to go down to Earth to complete the alliance, to ensure that it goes through. While the first book was centered on the somewhat small circle of Cara and Aelyx’s romance, and the town that turned their backs against them, this book focuses on the bigger picture. The romance is there (oh thank god, because it makes me so happy) but its so focused. Cara is figuring out more and more who she is and what she wants and where she wants to be. She’s figuring out where she fits in, on the planet that she’s intended to spend her life. She’s trying to come to terms with how different the L’eihr really are to her. Her life in their schools, and their society is difficult and the ever optimist is having problems. I love this character development. It makes me incredibly happy to see a character struggle and question things, even things she was so firm on before.

Then we continue to Aelyx. I love that he was able to spend more time on Earth. Obviously he changed his mind about earth and the alliance when he came to the exchange program and fell in love with Cara. But I think in Alienated, it had more to do with Cara and his affection for her and her parents that changed his mind more than anything else. I mean, the other humans he was exposed to didn’t exactly give him reason to want to save the planet or anything. However I think by spending more time on Earth, around other humans and without the rosy taint of love with Cara around him constantly, he grew more desiring of the alliance. I liked that he seemed to be trying new foods, and that he genuinely started a friendship with a new character. I liked the effect it had on him and his personality and I love what that did to Syrine. I loved the way the L’eihr changed during their time on earth.

I also really liked the bigger picture we got. This wasn’t just about Cara and Aelyx anymore. This was about the betterment of both societies, both species and the necessity of the alliance. The events that were happening on Earth and the events that were happening with Cara in space, they were threatening to this alliance. Everything is hanging in the balance, one small move could ruin everything. Not only would it ruin this beautiful romance that I ship so hard its not even funny, but it would ruin the relationship between these two species and it would mean the complete destruction of the planet, because Earth so desperately needs the L’eihr to cure the water supply.

The only slight problem that I had was that Cara had to make a fairly big decision in the end. I’m happy with the decision that she made but I was kind of thrown off with how quickly she made it. She was very adamant in her decision but she changed her mind, I was very thrown off. I thought it would have taken a bit more for her to make that decision and I was slightly upset that the character would…change her gumption that easily. However, when I was talking to Melissa on Twitter, she said Disney-Hyperion have signed on for two books, and so she probably had to wrap it up as much as possible while still enticing interest for a hopefully third book (Please Disney-Hyperion!!!!). So while I wasn’t a massive fan of this, I understand why it was done. I know that’s vague but I’m trying to be spoiler free!

All in all, if you loved Alienated, you’re going to love Invaded. I know that the final product may be completely different from what I read but I’m hoping that there are little changes because I really did love this book and I’m hoping the publishers hear my plea for more books!

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars