Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dream of Me Blog Tour!

Hey everyone! Today I'm part of a blog tour for Dream of Me. Stay tuned for a giveaway!

Dream of Me (Dream Maker, #1)Dream of Me by Quinn Loftis

“In the evening… [he] blows softly upon their necks, till their heads begin to droop. […] Under each arm he carries an umbrella; one of them, with pictures on the inside, he spreads over the good children, and then they dream the most beautiful stories the whole night.” ~ Hans Christian Anderson

Since the dawn of time, Brudair, otherwise known as the Sandman to the world, has faithfully lived out his purpose, faithfully performed his duties. He has never questioned his lot among the immortals, until now, until her. Sarah Serenity Tillman, a consummate beauty both inside and out, is a high school senior five months from her graduation. She has great plans, dreams of leaving the small town of her childhood behind her forever. But destiny has other plans, and it’s the Sandman’s job to make sure those plans are fulfilled.

The tall muscular Sandman, known as Dair to his friends, dressed in black, wrapped in shadows, is more than a myth. And he has a job to do. His very existence makes him a creature of the night, because dreams, (yes the legends got that part right), were indeed his specialty. But his purpose was more than just weaving dreams for sleeping children. No, his dreams were made to influence, made to ensure that certain special individuals, those individuals who would change the course of history, actually accepted their chosen destiny.

Little does Serenity know that she is Dair’s next assignment. And the dream that he weaves for her, if she follows its influence, will change the course of, not only her life, but possibly the whole of history as well. But she isn’t the only one being influenced. The beauty inside of her was weighing on the Sandman, lighting up the darkness that was his constant companion. Her light was warmth, it was life, and he didn’t understand how he had survived the previous millennia without it.

The Sandman was indeed greater than anything humans had ever imagined, and his purpose was vital to the course of history. So what happens when the weaver of dreams gets so distracted by a mere human that he ignores his own duties in the immortal realm? How can an immortal who was never meant to have a mate, join a young woman in her destiny without irrevocably changing the lives of millions and potentially altering history in a way the Creator never intended?

“Dream of me, Princess,” Dair whispered into her ear.
“Then weave me a dream, Sandman,” she said softly. “And we can dream together.”
As her eyes grew heavy, she heard Dair’s voice telling her to sleep, to open her mind to him and let him in. I’m all yours, she thought as sleep finally claimed her.





Buy links:



Quinn LoftisAbout the Author
Quinn is an award winning author who lives in beautiful Western Arkansas with her husband, two son (and one on the way!), Nora the Doberman, and Phoebe the Cat (who thinks she is a ninja in disguise). She is the author of twelve novels, including the USA Today bestseller, Fate and Fury.  Quinn is beyond thankful that she has been blessed to be able to write full time and hopes the readers know how much all of their support means to her. Some of her hobbies include reading, exercising, crochet, and spending time with family and friends. She gives all credit of her success to God because he gave her the creative spirit and vivid imagination it takes to write.


Author Links:

Book Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

When I opened the file that contained the excerpts for the blog tour, I immediately looked for one that contained Emma. Thankfully there is one. :)

Serenity knew she was asleep, even as she was blinking her eyes open. She looked around her and, once again, she found herself sitting in the waiting room of her family doctor. There were a few other adults sitting in the room, and on the far side of the room, a young girl of about seven or eight years of age was standing, staring at the large aquarium that took up most of the wall. She had smooth, ebony skin and her hair was pulled back in a tight braid that hung down her back in a shiny rope. Serenity had the distinct impression that she needed to talk to the girl, but just like the other times in the dream, she resisted. Something about the child felt ominous, and Serenity didn’t want to know what it was. All of a sudden the heads of everyone in the room snapped up and looked straight at her. She turned to her right to see that even Darla was staring at her. The only one not looking at her was the little girl.
“You must stay,” they all said in unison. Serenity was sure that at any moment the music from Psycho would begin playing over the loud speaker instead of the local Christian radio station that the office usually piped in. “Your place is here. You are needed. The future depends on the path you will choose.”
“Oh, for goodness sakes, are you trying to scare her half to death?” To Serenity’s surprise, the girl was the one who had spoken. She had turned around and was looking up at the ceiling as if it would speak back. “For someone who has been doing this for as long as you have, you’d think you could be a little less creepy.”
“Who are you talking to?” Serenity asked.
The girl's head lowered and kind hazel eyes met her own. She smiled at her and Serenity found herself smiling back.
“The Sandman, of course,” the girl told her matter-of-fact like. She walked over to the seat on her left and sat down with her legs dangling freely in the air. “I’m Emma,” the girl said as she held out her hand to Serenity.
Serenity took the offered hand and shook it, noting how much smaller it was than hers. “Nice to meet you, Emma; I’m Serenity.”
“You don’t have to do what they say―what he,” she motioned up to the ceiling, “is trying to influence you to do.”
“You mean the Sandman?” Serenity asked. Her interest had been peaked the moment Emma had mentioned the mythical character, and she wondered if the need to know if he was real made her just a bit loony.

Emma nodded. “Who do you think brings the dreams?”

Now for the giveaway! There are multiple awesome prizes, so be sure to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Neophyte's Tale Cover Reveal!

Hey y'all! Today I'm scheduled for a cover reveal from Good Tales Book Tours! Hope you enjoy. ;)

Title: Neophyte’s Tale
Author: CK Dawn
Publication Date: May, 2015

Abbey Thorne hears voices. Well, one voice repeating one word, over and over again. Soft and sweet with the promise of power, it calls to her. The twelve-year-old has no idea that the tender little word is actually a catalyst that serves to reveal a world hidden to most humans. Abbey has yet to discover that following the word’s call to its origin will change the course of her life forever.

Abbey and her mother don’t have much, and depending on the day, sometimes they don’t even have a roof over their heads. She wants more out of life than just wondering where her next meal will come from. So she shouldn’t be wasting her time daydreaming about going on a selfish quest… or should she? Does she have the strength to leave behind what little she has? Will she have the courage to break through the illusions surrounding her and lift the cloak of shadows?

Author Bio:
Coffee lover, gamer girl, Sci-fi enthusiast, and overall crafty individual, CK Dawn graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Interior Design and a minor in Architecture (I know, right?). Loving to be creative but feeling stifled by invoices, custom orders, and curtain patterns, she decided instead to follow her favorite philosophy: if you do what you love you'll never work a day in your life. So, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... she finally decided to pick one of the stories that had been bouncing around in her head and boom, Cloak of Shadows came to life.
CK lives with the love of her life John, his cat Scout, her cat Hagrid, their mutually adopted and socialized feral kitten Pepper (yes, cats have favorite humans. It's a thing), and their dog Diesel (aka Methane-- Please, don't make her explain).
She credits her mother for the strong independent woman she is, her father for her inner peace and beautiful outlook on life, and the summers of sweaty, manual labor on her grandparents' farm for her strong work ethic.
In writing, CK has truly found her bliss. Stay tuned, because there will be a lot more to come in her Netherwalker series. Seriously, things have only just begun.
Author Links:


Time for the cover! Drum roll, please....



**Drums roll down a hill**

A Neophyte's Tale, An Abbey Thorne Short Story (Netherwalker #.05)

Dark and mysterious! Exactly as I like my sausage. Now go add this book to your to-read list!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cress

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)Cress by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

YES now I can finally read Fairest!
Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has. 
Just like in Scarlet, I'm pretty conflicted about the writing. It was so cheesy, but there was a ton of good banter too. Especially this part, blatantly stolen from Tangled:

“Captain?"
"Yeah?"
"Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?"
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. "No. I'm pretty sure it was Cinder.”
Something brought you here fate, destiny, a horse funny Tangled scene
Still, there's the perfect balance between lightheartedness and, well, the opposite, especially in the end. The stakes are high. I laughed. I cried. I am beyond excited for the last book, Winter, because the main character's mental state deteriorates throughout the course of the book, and call me crazy, but I love an insane character. I've always wanted to read about one.

Annnnnnyyyyway, yes, this review does have a little to do with Cress. Thorne isn't quite so one dimensional here, and while Cress's inability to save herself got a little annoying, it also made sense. I mean, she's lived on a satellite for seven years. She's not exactly a warrior, and that's okay. She still pulls her weight by being the technician.

I love the worldbuilding too, like the reason why they can have hovercrafts in the future. It's because their roads have magnets, and I guess so do their cars. It's pretty awesome.

View all my reviews

Grading:
Violence: B
I don't remember anything else, but Marissa Meyer is pretty good with all these.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Half Breed Queen Book Blitz


Half Breed Queen (Skatia Narratives, #1)
Release Date: March 2015
322 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Devastating tragedy puts 14-year-old high school freshman Marla Owens, on a fast-paced journey of survival, revival and coming of age. Driven by a force she can't begin to understand and a burning need to find out the truth, she heads toward her mother's home in North Dakota. She soon learns more about herself and her family than she could have ever imagined — her mother was royal heir to the powerful Skatian throne! And now the Skatian people need her to protect their world from those who wish to conquer it.

In a classic tale of good versus evil, set on Earth and beyond, a young girl fights to survive to become a young woman—and the reluctant queen of Skatia. Who can she trust? Will she be able to control her own immense abilities and justified anger to do what's right? One thing's for sure: Marla's not in Texas anymore!



Hey everybody! Today I'm here with a book blitz/promotional post! Thank you, YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to do this When I saw the cover for Half Breed Queen I totally wanted in on it. I love stars on covers. This post includes an excerpt AND an international giveaway for a $25 Amazon giftcard from the author!


About the Author
LA Hendricks is an IT project manager by day and science fiction/fantasy novelist by night. A longtime lover of words, she reads science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance novels regularly (when there is time). When not reading, writing or working, LA can most often be found watching football or basketball with her adorable cat, Mona.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png


Excerpt from Half Breed Queen:

She was focusing on a rather complicated answer when the warning pain struck in her gut. It was as bad as the others, but her body seemed to adjust better to the pain. She closed her laptop and shoved it in her backpack, prepared to run if necessary. She grabbed her tote and set it next to her backpack, tossing the extra water bottle in as well. She looked out the window and saw that they were in the middle of a forest, not a city or town in sight. Not even a house. She tried to open the door to the compartment and found it was stuck. No matter how hard she pulled, it just wouldn't budge. As her fear and frustration grew, she could feel the change coming on. She took several deep breaths, trying to calm herself down and keep from turning into that purple alien monster again.

Sitting in her seat, she continued the deep breathing to clear her mind. In her mind’s eye, an old police station and a man she'd never met appeared. He sat behind a large, old wooden desk; his sheriff's uniform was a bit too snug to be called comfortable. She saw him look up at her as though she were standing over him.

“Marla,” he said gently.

Marla opened her eyes and looked around her expecting to be in that same sleeper compartment.

“Marlaveenia,” he said again, with a little more force.

Marla began to blink her eyes and shake her head, anything to try to make sense of what had happened.

I couldn't possibly be here, she thought, apprehension and anxiety growing in her mind. This is impossible. I’ve lost my mind. Marla found herself becoming hysterical.

She felt the increasingly familiar and frightening rumblings of the body change coming over her and, unable to stop it, she turned to run out the door.

“Marla, wait. Stop!” The man’s voice sounded concerned, but Marla couldn’t worry about that. She needed to get someplace where she would be alone. She’d make sense of how she got here later. She ran down the street towards the woods on the edge of the little town. As she ran, she passed a sign that read “Edgemeadow, Pop. 231.” Marla stopped dead in her tracks, completely dazed by what she saw. As she turned to find the man in the sheriff’s uniform closing in on her, her legs buckled from underneath her, and she fell to the ground in a dead faint.


Marlaveenia is one of the coolest names ever, by the way.

Now here's the giveaway! Go on, enter. You know you want to.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Anywhere but Paradise

Anywhere but ParadiseAnywhere but Paradise by Anne Bustard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm writing this review in July, 2014, nearly a year before the release date. I have no idea how accurate this review is about the final book.

You have been warned.

Thank you, NetGalley and Egmont USA, for this free book to review!
Moving from Texas to Hawaii in 1960,12-year-old Peggy Sue faces a difficult transition when she is bulled as one of the few haole (white) students in her school. This lyrical debut novel is perfect for Common Core classroom connections.

It's 1960 and Peggy Sue has just been transplanted from Texas to Hawaii for her father's new job. Her cat, Howdy, is stuck in animal quarantine, and she's baffled by Hawaiian customs and words. Worst of all, eighth grader Kiki Kahana targets Peggy Sue because she is haole--white--warning her that unless she does what Kiki wants, she will be a victim on "kill haole day," the last day of school. Peggy Sue's home ec teacher insists that she help Kiki with her sewing project or risk failing. Life looks bleak until Peggy Sue meets Malina, whose mother gives hula lessons. But when her parents take a trip to Hilo, leaving Peggy Sue at Malina's, life takes an unexpected twist in the form of a tsunami. Peggy Sue is knocked unconscious and wakes to learn that her parents safety and whereabouts are unknown. Peggy Sue has to summon all her courage to have hope that they will return safely.
One thing I really liked was how it showed that white people (haoles) can be bullied because of their skin color too. Even though it's set in the 60s and in Hawaii, this is still a tale to be told.

Despite how much I dislike her name (Peggy Sue? Really?), she really is a likable character. I could feel how much she missed her cat and her terror when the tsunami hit.

What I didn't like as much was Peggy Sue's reaction to Kill Haole Day. While the likelihood of Kiki actually killing someone is slim, THIS IS SERIOUS. Don't the teachers realize that at the end of every school year, the white kids get beat up? Why don't they take extra precautions? Have some responsibility, people.

Would I read other books by Anne Bustard? Maybe. I found her writing style confusing at times, but still enjoyable.

View all my reviews

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

Hey y'all! I'm linking up at Tynga's Reviews for all of the books I've collected this week!

Currently Reading:

I pre-ordered this a while ago and was so excited when it arrived the day it came out! Naila visits Pakistan with her family, where they force her into an arranged marriage. I read in a review that there's a rape scene, but I saw it in the "age 7 to 12" section in Barnes and Noble yesterday. Hm.

A very bland book about a very bland woman who goes in search of her long lost family. Meh.

I love me a good audio book! I've been making hats for premature babies and chemo caps for, well, older kids while listening to it. I'll include a picture of them all in my review.

I'm also reading Night of the Nindroids with my little brother, Michael. He does Zane's voice and I do everyone else. By the time we'll be done, it'll be almost his birthday, which leads me to the next picture:

Barnes and Noble/Library


I'm going to give This Is Not a Book to Michael for his seventh birthday. He helped me with a lot of Wreck This Journal's prompts and really enjoyed it, and I promised him his own once he learned to read.

It's next to impossible to get a good picture of The City of Ember because of its dark cover, but I bought it and its sequel, The People of Sparks, for 50 cents each at the library. Score!

I mainly got Listen, Slowly from the library because of its gorgeous cover, but the synopsis drew me in as well. It's about a girl who goes to Vietnam! This seems to be an international reading week for me.

And there you have it! What kind of covers do you like best: elaborate colors like Listen, Slowly or simplistic ones like The Fault in Our Stars?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The One on Non Fiction

Even though I've read a lot of non fiction, I rarely post my reviews here. The reason is that most of them are too short to include, and it just feels weird putting up a whole new post for, like, a hundred words. So here is a collective post on plenty of non fiction titles! I wrote most of these a long time ago, so their style may be...different (any other reviewers get self conscious when they read their old reviews?)

Storyworld First: Creating a Unique Fantasy World for Your NovelStoryworld First: Creating a Unique Fantasy World for Your Novel by Jill Williamson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love it! I'm about to start editing a fantasy novel, and I think this will really help me. Storyworld First is pretty short, but there's plenty of information to take in. A few parts of the book were copy and pasted from Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft into a Published Book and Jill's blog, so I had read that content before. But if you don't stalk Jill like I do, this should be a perfect read!


So, You Want to Be a Dancer?: The Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Dance IndustrySo, You Want to Be a Dancer?: The Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Dance Industry by Laurel Van Der Linde
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Thank you, Netgalley and Beyond Words Publishing, for this free book to review!

Now, I haven't done ballet since I was about seven years old. But I once read a different book in the Be Who You Want series (So, You Want to Be a Writer?: How to Write, Get Published, and Maybe Even Make It Big!), so when I saw this on Netgalley I requested it. I don't know what exactly I expected this book to be, but it turned out to be more of the history of different dancers and their forms. This may be helpful to dancers who are looking into what might work best for them, but if you're a writer looking for research help (like me), this is probably not the book for you. Plus, almost every interview felt forced and unenthusiastic, especially the ones by kids. I had an ARC of this though, so maybe that will be edited and the format will be fixed. My e-copy was not the highest quality.

But that's just the opinion of a reviewer, not a dancer. Since I'm not the intended audience, other people will probably enjoy this much more than I did.

So, You Want to Work in Fashion?: How to Break into the World of Fashion and DesignSo, You Want to Work in Fashion?: How to Break into the World of Fashion and Design by Patricia Wooster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not intending on working in the fashion industry, but I've read a different book in this series (So, You Want to Be a Writer?: How to Write, Get Published, and Maybe Even Make It Big!) and enjoyed it, so I requested this on NetGalley (plus, I like clothes).

Thank you, NetGalley and Beyond Words Publishing, for this free book to review!

I'll admit it, a lot of this book went over my head. If you're interested in the fashion industry though, you'd probably like this book. It shows a realistic way to follow your dreams, and it teaches you a ton about the industry. Who knew there were so many different paths that all have to do with clothing?

One thing I wished the book addressed was body image, especially in the modeling section. Just a paragraph or two would have been nice, since anorexia can be a huge issue for models.

Would I suggest this book to people who want to join the fashion industry? Absolutely. It's frank but supportive, offering lots of tips on how to get started, even if you're still a kid.

Finish This BookFinish This Book by Keri Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To enjoy this book's potential, you should probably be a kid who lives by a forest. Not me. This was still fun though, and I did enjoy some of the training.



Knitting in the Nordic TraditionKnitting in the Nordic Tradition by Vibeke Lind
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

No wonder this is so old fashioned: The first edition was written about thirty years ago.

Thank you, NetGalley and Dover Publications, for this free book to review!

What I liked:

1. All of the fair isle. There were tons of great ideas that I'll turn into blankets or scarves.

2. The suggestions that showed knitting in a new way. Who knew you could use a sewing pattern for knitting?

What was meh:

1. Everything looked so...old. That might be because of the blank and white pictures, but still. I doubt many modern people will be wearing those sweaters.

Great Little Gifts to Knit: 30 Quick and Colorful PatternsGreat Little Gifts to Knit: 30 Quick and Colorful Patterns by Jean Moss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am currently knitting a blanket, and wow, does it take a long time. This book has some great ideas for shorter project to do when I'm done!

Thank you, NetGalley and The Taunton Press, for this free book to review!

There are some really great projects in here, such as socks, mittens, and hats. Most of the patterns I'd never use though. I don't wear shawls or fingerless gloves. Also, I wish there were more ideas in the His section. I doubt I'll ever make a guitar strap.

Would I read more books from Jean Moss? Probably not. I might have liked this book more if I was closer to her age.

The Babysitter's Backpack: Everything You Need to Be a Safe, Smart, and Skilled BabysitterThe Babysitter's Backpack: Everything You Need to Be a Safe, Smart, and Skilled Babysitter by Melissa Higgins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm a babysitter who wants to expand her business. When I saw this book on NetGalley, I immediately clicked "Request". So thank you, NetGalley and Capstone, for this free title to review!

Man. This book is serious about babysitting. Resumes? Safety classes? Those are good things, of course, but they certainly aren't necessary. I've babysat at least five families without those.

The game ideas are wonderful. There are lots of toys at the house, but the kids get used to those. There are a bunch of easy to put together game ideas in this book.

Unfortunately, this book does not go into detail for what to do in unavoidable emergencies such as tornadoes or fires. I'm sure most people already know what to do about those, but considering how often it talked about child safety, maybe these issues could have been addressed as well.

Also, not everything is a choking hazard. According to this book, children shouldn't go to sleep with a stuffed animal or blankets, and they certainly should never sleep on their stomachs! First of all, my little brother has slept on his stomach for over a year now. And I babysit a little girl who always sleeps with a stuffed monkey. Does that raise their chances of suffocation? Possibly. Could they suffocate without those things? Possibly.

Would I recommend this book to other babysitters? Sure. While it sometimes goes over the top, there are also some great ideas in it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Host

The Host  (The Host, #1)The Host by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't think I've ever been so conflicted about a book.
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.
Here's the gist of it:

The first and last hundred pages were amazing. I thought I'd hate everything about it, but to my surprise, Stephenie Meyer, is (in my opinion) a terrific writer. I even took out a pen and hightlighted some quotes! Here's one of my favorites. It's said by Ian, of course. Not Jared.
“It's not the face, but the expressions on it. It's not the voice, but what you say. It's not how you look in that body, but the things you do with it. You are beautiful.” (Page 390)
The 400 pages in the middle, however, were terrible. Mostly because of (you guessed it!) the love interest, Jared. Except for him, everything else was awesome. The worldbuilding was interesting enough that I don't mind how nothing happened in those 400 pages.

If Stephenie Meyer wrote a book without a romance in it, I'd probably love it. She's a great writer--just not if you're looking for healthy relationships.

FYI: I'll probably use "Melanie" and "Wanderer" interchangeably, but sometimes I won't. Melanie is the human that Wanderer is inside. Melanie is super tough and won't let anyone take over her life, including Wanderer. Oh, but Jared is the exception, of course. She and Wanderer are both obsessed with him, but Wanderer is a smidge for rational about what's going on.

Now for a game! I found a website with the examples of how Twilight meets all 15 warning signs of an abusive relationship by the Nation Domestic Violence hotline. If your relationship meets one or two of these, you're supposed to be concerned. Let's see how many Melanie/Wanderer and Jared meet. I'm estimating 13 (don't worry, I last read this list a few weeks ago--I'm not making an "estimate" as I type these out).

Warning #1: Does your partner look at you or act in ways that scare you? YES. Melanie is terrified of Jared, but she still loves him. She never really feels betrayed, just acts like she's gonna wait it out till he's nice again.


Warning #2: Does your partner control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go? Yep. After the humans find Melanie/Wanderer, Jared gets to be her guard when they break her back to the caves. Whenever anyone else gets near her, he gets angry.


Warning #3: Does your partner make all of the decisions? Hm.... This is a tough one. In the end, Wanderer makes a ton of her own choices, but throughout the rest of the book, everything is up to Jared. So this counts as one.


Warning #4: Does your partner act like the abuse is no big deal, it's your fault, or even deny doing it? Yes yes yes. In the end, he's sort of sorry though, I'll give him that. But until that point, everything is Melanie's fault, of course. After all, she's the one with a soul inside! That makes it okay to do whatever you want to her! Even if other people have realized the truth (like Ian--he was bad at first too, but then realized his mistake and was obviously sorry) it's okay to abuse her.


Warning #5: Does your partner threaten to commit suicide? Off the top of my head, I don't remember Jared ever saying he would literally kill himself if something happened to Melanie. Probably because he's too busy hitting her. But hey, The Host misses at least one warning.


Warning #6: Does your partner threaten to kill you? Of course. He nearly does, in fact, because Jeb, the guy in charge of the caves and Melanie's uncle, decides her fate should lie in Jared's hands. One day Jared decides to do it, but Jeb conveniently doesn't have his gun with him. If he did though, Melanie would have died, because Jeb "is a man of his word".


Warning #7: Does your partner try to isolate you from family or friends? See #2.


Warning #8: Does your partner damage property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.)? Well he damages Melanie's face, but I can't remember him breaking anything else. So I'll let this one pass.


Warning #9: Does your partner push, slap, bite, kick or choke you? See basically everything above, but here's on of my states updates from Goodreads, at 29% of the book: "After hitting her once and a week later having the next blow blocked by someone else, Jared says, "I'm ready to go for three". Melanie, why aren't you feeling angry or betrayed? Are you a total idiot?"


Warning #10: Has your partner ever abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place? I actually don't think he did. The Host appears to be standing up better than I expected it to.


Warning #11: Does your partner scare you by driving recklessly? Jared does scare Melanie while out on a raid away from the caves by driving too fast. He was worried about being caught and possessed by a soul though, and Wanderer is used to following the laws. Given the circumstances, I'd say that while he is driving recklessly, he's not doing it to scare her on purpose. Off the hook.


Warning #12: Has your partner forced you to leave your home? No, they have to leave from their first home before Melanie got Wanderer because they had to find Jeb and the caves. Not Jared's fault, so he's good here too.


Warning #13: Does your partner prevent you from calling police or seeking medical attention? They can't get professional help because of all the Souls in the towns, so Jared can't be blamed for that. He never stops her from going to Doc either.


Warning #14: Does your partner view women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles? Now, I am the queen of misunderstanding things, so maybe The Host clears on this one too. But people (especially Jeb) kept saying that Melanie's body belonged to Jared; ergo, he should choose whether or not she lives. It was just the way they phrased it that sounded really off. 1/2 a point.


Warning #15: Does your partner accuse you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships? He doesn't accuse her of cheating, but he is jealous of her friendship with Ian. See, Ian loves Wanderer, and Jared loves Melanie. Thing is, you can't separate Melanie from Wanderer, so she kisses both boys. If I were in Jared's place, I'd probably be jealous too though. Another 1/2 point.


Total Score: 8
Only eight! I was expecting way more. Comment with how many you thought it would be!

More things to consider, taken from my states updates (there's nearly thirty in all, in case you're wondering. You can see the rest here):


28%: "Yes, if my ex boyfriend told my uncle to take away my sleeping bag so that I would have to sleep in a bare rock cave, I, too, would be entirely understanding. NOT."

46%: "Jared raised his voice, so that anyone between here and the main plaza would hear. 'Come out, come out, wherever you are,' he called, his voice hard and mocking."

77%: "Yes, Jared, Ian is right. If your hotel room has two beds and there's two guys and one girl, you can't ask her who she'd rather sleep with. You just give her the other bed whether she's asked for it yet or not. You'll survive."

Also, this conversation between Melanie and Wanderer:
"I can't believe he hit me," Melanie mused, her thoughts incredulous rather than resentful. She was not over the surprise of it yet. I hadn't been surprised in the first place. Of course he had hit me. 
I wondered where you were," I answered. It would be poor manners to get me into this mess and then abandon me. 
She ignored my sour tone. I wouldn't have thought he'd be able to do it, no matter what. I don't think I could hit him. 
Sure you could. If he'd come at your with reflective eyes [all souls have eyes like that, FIY] you'd have done the same. You're naturally violent.... 
Melanie tried to consider it impartially. I don't think so. Not Jared...and Jamie [her brother], there's no way I could hurt Jamie, even if he was.... She trailed off, hating that line of thought. 
I considered this and found it true. Even if the child had become something or someone else, neither she not I could ever raise a hand to him.That's different. You're like...a mother. Mothers are irrational here. Too many emotions involved. 
Motherhood is always irrational--even for you souls. 
I didn't answer that. (Pages 140-141)
And there you have it. It's a shame the middle of the book was so bad (and so long) because the beginning and end were epic. I'm writing this within an hour or two of finishing the book, so I still kind of have the hangover from that ending.

Grading:

Language: B
Sexual Content: A or B
Violence: B or C