Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dream Casting: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Trying my hand at Dream Casting! Here's my dream cast of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series! Check out my review of the whole series: here

Emilia Clarke as Karou

Karou is five foot six, but seems taller in the same way that ballerinas do, with a long neck and willowy limbs. She is creamy and leggy with long bright azure hair - which grows blue naturally due to a wish - and eyes like silent-movie star. She has many tattoos with the visible ones, "true" and "story", on her wrists, while the palms of her hands are marked with indigo-colored, eye-like hamsas.
Karou is initially introduced as a young girl with mostly normal teenage preoccupations like boys and clothes. She is shown to be humorous, and also curious and somewhat rebellious. She appears mysterious to many of her human friends, with her pockets containing curious things like ancient bronze coins, teeth, and tiny jade tigers. She never talked about herself and none of them knew of her background.

Tyler Posey as Akiva

Akiva is a supernaturally beautiful young man whose face possesses high cheekbones. He is tall, with muscular arms and tanned skin. He has short dark hair. Like all seraphim, his wings are fiery and able to be hidden while casting a glamour - though they will still appear in his shadow. Akiva's amber eyes, framed with heavy eyelashes and kohl, are fire-like as well.
Akiva is an intelligent and resourceful young man, having taught himself magic and hidden it from most except for his two closest siblings and Madrigal. He has a fiery streak of independence, supposedly similar to that of his Stelian mother, and is deeply loyal to those he loves. A visionary, he dreams of a peaceful world where chimaera and angels can live together in peace.

Jeremy Irons as Brimstone

Brimstone is heavily scarred and possesses the arms and torso of a muscular human covered in a tough brown hide, with legs like that of a golden lion bearing raptor-like feet. His head is ram-like with hide instead of fur and gives way to scales around his flat, ovine nose, and reptilian eyes. Giant yellowed rams horns frame his face on both sides and the only ornament on his person is a set of jeweler's lenses on a chain. Brimstone is a hermit and is rarely seen outside his domain in Loramendi's west tower. Brimstone is very quiet and does not waste his words. He is a father figure for Karou.

Issa has the fangs and hood of a cobra, but the beautifully angelic face of a woman. Like all Naja, she does not wear any clothes. Instead, she decorates herself with snakes. Issa is very wise and is Karou's mother-figure in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Pheobe Tonkin as Liraz

Liraz, like her brother Hazael, has fair hair and blue eyes. Her hair is pulled back into several tight-looking braids. While attractive, her beauty is "coolly sharklike"and her eyes appear apathetic. Liraz is the perfect embodiment of a soldier. She is a deadly killer who expresses no emotions except on occasions, when she is around her brothers. Intimidating and fierce, she has been cited as the person one would least like to have as an enemy among the angels.
It is revealed many times that Liraz's fierceness is a facade for her fears. She is afraid to care, afraid to show her fears, and most of all, she fears intimacy.
The only people she cares about are Hazael and Akiva and she would do anything for them.

Janel Parrish as Zuzanna

Zuzana's most notable physical trait is her shortness, often being referred to as a "rabid fairy". She also has black hair and "dark Slavic eyes".
Karou once described Zuzana as "a tiny fairy. A rabid one that bites." Despite her small size, Zuzana is rather violent. However, Zuzana is also a loyal friend, having been the first to remain friends with Karou despite her initially secretive nature. She also travels to Morocco to search for Karou when she disappears.

Who do you think should be cast as your favorite characters?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Empire of Night (Age of Legends #2) by Kelley Armstrong [Release Date: April 7, 2015]

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that features upcoming novel releases.

Empire of Night (Age of Legends, #2)
Genre: YA Fantasy > Setting: Asia
Hardcover, TBD
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Harpercollins
Noteworthy: This is book #2 in the Age of Legends series, beginning with Sea of Shadows.
Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least, they were.

Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, the emperor has sent them on a mission to rescue the children of Edgewood—accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of imperial warriors. But the journey proves more perilous than they could have imagined. With treachery and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on all their influence and power to overcome deadly enemies—not all of them human—and even avert an all-out war.
I just finished reading Sea of Shadows, the first book in the Age of Legends series. I was pretty critical of the book in my review (check it out: here), but I can't leave a series unfinished! Plus, Sea of Shadows really set the groundwork for an epic-scale sequel. Hopefully Empire of Night delivers. Also, who in Harpercollins is coming up with these titles and these covers?? OMG. They're gorgeous!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Period Dramas (For Jane Austen Book Lovers)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week we’re listing our…

Top Ten Period Dramas (For Jane Austen book lovers)

I love period dramas. This is a list of period dramas set in England (or between England and America, in the case of Titanic). Every movie on this list is deeply romantic and authentic to the time period portrayed. Enjoy!

1. Pride and Prejudice (1995)
"Jane Austen's classic novel about the prejudice that occurred between the 19th century classes and the pride which would keep lovers apart."

2. North and South (2004)
"North and South is a four part adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's love story of Margaret Hale, a middle class southerner who is forced to move to the northern town of Milton."
3. Titanic (1997)
"A seventeen-year-old aristocrat, expecting to be married to a rich claimant by her mother, falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic."
4. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
"A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays."

5. Emma (2009)
"Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors for her friends, most of all Harriet Smith. Emma is desperate for Harriet to find happiness, but every suitor she finds for her friend ends up attracted to Emma herself. But is Emma so focused on Harriet's happiness that she is not considering her own happiness in love?"
6. Bright Star (2009)
"The three-year romance between 19th-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne near the end of his life."
7. The Young Victoria (2009)
"A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria's rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert."
8. Dangerous Beauty (1998)
"A Venetian courtesan becomes a hero to her city, but later becomes the target of an inquisition by the Church for witchcraft."
9. Under the Greenwood Tree (2005)
"In this lighthearted romance from Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy, the beautiful new village school teacher is pursued by three suitors: a working-class man, a landowner, and the vicar." 
10. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
"When Robin and his Moorish companion come to England and the tyranny of the Sheriff of Nottingham, he decides to fight back as an outlaw."
 Honorable Mentions: Persuasion (2007), A Room with a View (1985), Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008), Wives and Daughters (1999), Becoming Jane (2007), Emma (1996)

Bonus: A Little Princess (1995) & The Secret Garden (1993)
 What are your favorite period dramas? 

Top Ten Tuesday: Teen TV Dramas

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week we’re listing our…

Top Ten Teen TV Dramas

Teen dramas defined my childhood and teen (and a lot of my adult) life. I'm going to go back in time a little for this list because some people need to rediscover the shows that defined teen drama in the 90s and early 2000s.

(1997 - 2003) 
A young girl, destined to slay vampires, demons and other infernal creatures, deals with her life fighting evil, with the help of her friends.
Book Recommendations: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
(1994 - 1998)
She's Alex Mack. One minute she's walking home...the next there's a crash and she's drenched in some weird chemical! Then she gets powers...

(Kat: Admittedly not a "drama" but it reminds me of a cool YA series and I was obsessed with it when I was younger)
Book Recommendations: The Animorphs by K.A. Applegate

Kyle XY
(2006 - 2009)
A family takes in a formerly institutionalized teen savant who is missing standard human behaviors such as anger, joy and love.
Book Recommendations: Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, Unremembered by Jessica Brody

(1999 - 2002)
Living among the citizens of the infamous New Mexico city of Roswell Max and Isabel Stevens and Michael Guerin keep a secret, they're aliens. Max risks everything when he uses his alien abilities to heal Liz Parker after she is fatally shot in the stomach in a dispute between two customers at her family's diner.
Book Recommendations: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Friday Night Lights
(2006 - 2011)
The trials and tribulations of small town Texas football players, their friends, family, and coaching staff.
Book Recommendations: Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger, Crackback by John Coy

My So-Called Life
(1994 - 1995)
A 15-year-old girl and her trials and tribulations of being a teenager and dealing with friends, guys, parents and school.
Book Recommendations: Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro, Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Freaks and Geeks
(1999 - 2000)
A television show about two unique groups of teenagers dealing with life in high school during the 80's.
Book Recommendations: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe  by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

(1999 - 2001)
Two girls who despise each other, due to being on opposite sides of the "popularity fence", are forced together upon learning that their parents are getting married.
Book Recommendations: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, So Not Happening by Jenny B Jones, How to Be Popular by Meg Cabot

Dawson's Creek
(1998 - 2003)
Four friends in a small coastal town help each other cope with adolescence.
Book Recommendations: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, That was then this is now by S.E. Hinton

Party of Five
(1994 - 2000)
Five siblings are left to find their own way in the world when their parents are killed by a drunk driver. The series revolves around the struggles of raising each other and the struggles of life in general.
Book Recommendations: 
Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

Saturday, July 12, 2014

YA Asian Series, Book Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong + Dream Casting

This is the first book I'm reviewing for my YA Asian series of reviews, in which I will read Asian-inspired YA books, including Asian-American inspired YA books. I love all types of cultures, but I have an affinity towards Asian culture because of my own Korean ethnicity. In any case, I thought it would be fun and would be a good chance to bring to the fore YA books with Asian-inspired settings or cultures. I'll also have to GO BACK IN TIME to read  (and/or re-read) old favorites to review, like Noriko Ogiwara's brilliant Tales of the Magatama series (which, technically is straight-up Fantasy, but in my opinion is YA Fantasy), as well as Diana Peterfreund's YA Dystopias For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across the Star-Swept Sea.

Feel free to recommend me books! Onto the review!

Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1)

Genre: YA Fantasy > Second-World Fantasy
Setting: Pseudo-Asian Inspired 
Copyright: 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Hardcover: 416 pages
Axie's Rating: 2 out of 5
Twin sisters Moria and Ashyn were marked at birth to become the Keeper and the Seeker of Edgewood, beginning with their sixteenth birthday. Trained in fighting and in the secret rites of the spirits, they lead an annual trip into the Forest of the Dead. There, the veil between the living world and the beyond is thinnest, and the girls pay respect to the spirits who have passed.

But this year, their trip goes dreadfully wrong.
Reasons WHY you should read this book:
**The Joy is in the Journey plot line. Most of the book is a journey, which means new terrains and new enemies!
**We be sisters. The bond between the sisters is super strong, there's no sister-hate here!
**Boyszz. Two of them. One for each sister, duh. 
**Asian-inspired setting. Kind of, sort of. More on this later.
**Horror. This book has some pretty legitimate horror scenes, especially in the first quarter.
**Monsters and Mayhem. Think shadow stalkers (evil spirits that can re-animate the dead) as well as legendary monsters like wormes and thunder hawks. Also people are monsters, too!
**First Book in a series. This book is definitely Book 1. It ends on a major cliffhanger and sets the stage for an epic war.
**Animals are Best Friends. Ashyn and Moria both have spirit beasts, animal companions that provide additional support.

Quick plot: Ashyn and Moria are the Seeker and Keeper of the village of Edgewood's Forest of the Dead. As the Seeker, Ashyn must venture (annually) into the forest to put the spirits of the dead to rest, while as the Keeper, Moria must protect the village from evil spirits trying to enter from the forest into the village. One night, Ashyn goes into the forest to put the dead to rest, only to be attacked by shadow stalkers, monsters created from dark magic. The entire village of Edgewood is massacred, and in the aftermath, Ashyn and Moria are separated, set on a path towards the emperor's capital in order to warn him of a coming evil. 

I'm not a fan of dual POV with two female viewpoints. I'm the type of reader who likes to feel connected to the heroine, and it's hard to connect when I've dichotomous feelings between TWO heroines. I chose my favorite (Ashyn), and found the Moria chapters frustrating because I disliked Moria. These two girls are completely different, too different. It almost made it impossible NOT to prefer one to the other because of how extremely opposite they are. Ashyn doesn't speak her mind at all, while Moria won't shut up (even when danger is near). Ashyn is overly romantic and innocent (Ronan, Ashyn's love interest, even points this out to her) while Moria just wants men for sex. The thing is, neither girl is unlikable, they're just so "cliche-ly" different. It becomes a matter of what cliche you like more. 

The plot drags after the first third. I really liked the first third of the book because of the real horror the girls were facing. It felt like a horror novel. Plus, I hadn't read the rest, so there was so much potential (lol). The last 2/3 consists of journeying (with other stuff), and it lost most of the momentum the novel had in the first 1/3. Also, I legit had no idea what was going on in this novel until Moria said it aloud... Spoiler: "...mercenaries were responsible for what happened in Edgewood, presumably working with--she paused--"men of magic. They unleashed the shadow stalkers, among other things."-Sea of Shadows

Worldbuilding. Ashyn and Moria can speak to spirits, so there are spirits.... There is...magic or sorcery. The empire they live in is an Asian-inspired Empire...but Ashyn and Moria are from the North and have red hair. There are volcanos? Okay, I give up. There was worldbuilding, but it wasn't done very well. I don't have a clear picture of what the world is like, what the rules are. I don't even think the characters know, either. There were some concepts that seemed really cool that I wish played more of a significant part, like the fact that Ashyn and Moria can speak to spirits. What are these spirits? Are they spirits of the dead? Where are the spirits speaking from? A different plane of being? Also, cool, there are legendary beasts. What makes them legendary? What are the legends about these beasts? What other legendary beasts are there beyond the two kinds that actually make appearances in the book? Why is it believable that they'd show up suddenly, yet no one believed they ever existed before?

They'd have two days of walking to reach the middle of the forest. Behind them, a guard unspooled a bright red ribbon in their wake. Once they entered the dense woods, the ribbon would be the only chance for the guards to find their way out again. - Sea of Shadows (11). 

Cover Envy: The quote above reminds me of the cover of the novel. The image of the red ribbon spooling through the dark forest is haunting. These are the words that come to mind while looking at the cover: hawk, blood, yin-yang. The cover definitely sets the tone for the book.
Main Character(s): There are two main narrators of the book, Ashyn and Moria. They're twins and complete opposites. I liked Ashyn more than Moria, mostly because Ashyn has a vulnerability that Moria completely lacks--and I found Moria irritating at times. 
All You Need is Love: The romance was underdeveloped. I don't believe it! I guess I believe Gavril and Moria, mostly because they, at least on paper, seem like they should fall in love, plus they have a decent amount of chemistry even though no one acted upon it!!! Ronan and Ashyn...have no chemistry, but apparently they love each other??? 
Favorite Secondary Character: Tyrus. I like bastard sons of the emperor. What can I say?
Diversity: Okay, this part might be a little critical, mostly because I was reading this book with the pre-knowledge that it would have Asian cultural influences. Let's begin with this passage that I found problematic, in which Moria describes Tyrus, and the people of the Empire in general (keep in mind that although Moria is from the "north" she spent the majority of her life in the Empire):
"He looked--as she would have excepted from the emperor's son--empire-born. Of course, they were all born in the empire, but the term was used to denote those who came from the original kingdom that had eventually conquered the surrounding lands and formed the empire. His skin was the color of golden sand, his hair straight and black, his cheekbones high, and his dark eyes slightly tilted. It was, within the empire, considered the highest standard of beauty--a standard, Moria suspected, set by those who ruled it. She was not herself given to preferring any regional "look" over another, but even she would admit the boy was very well formed from face...." -Sea of Shadows
Scenes like this stuck out mostly because they're out of place. Moria takes the time to tell us that Tyrus is beautiful because he fits the "standard of beauty." By pointing out the "standard of beauty", it supposes that it's not the default "standard of beauty". What is the default standard of beauty? The way she's describing just a beautiful Asian is that a "considered" "standard of beauty"? And if the "original kingdom" is based off of a conquering Asian kingdom...then it would have been an Asian kingdom conquering an Asian kingdom and therefore the "standard of beauty" wouldn't be that he's Asian, but something else, like that he has blue hair or something (he doesn't have blue hair).

Moving on. Filial Piety. Yikes. She "word dropped" this term hardcore. Okay. Now I'm all about spreading unfamiliar Asian terms around, but filial piety in this book is loosely used to describe something super stereotyped in Asian culture, that is, the BEGETTING OF SONS. If filial piety is a PIE, than she only used the smallest sliver of it. Filial Piety, at it's core, is respect for one's elders. This is why, when an elderly person walks onto a bus in Korea, someone young will immediately stand up to let them sit down. It's why Mulan prays to her ancestors in the beginning of the Disney movie!!! In Sea of Shadows, filial piety is "word dropped" whenever Gavril does something for his father, like saying his father wasn't "blessed with fertile wives", aka it wasn't his father's fault he didn't have many sons. This is problematic because it confuses "filial piety", a completely Confucius term, with a patriarchal, stereotyped idea of Asian cultures, specifically Chinese culture (if Sea of Shadows is based on Ancient Chinese cultures). Although "filial piety" does have the idea that children should have children, specifically sons, to carry on the legacy of their parents, it's again, just a sliver of filial piety and sort of bastardizes the Confucius term and makes it seem misogynistic. YES, ancient Asian cultures were patriarchal, but why must the Asian parts of this Asian book be A. the misogyny of Asian culture, B. Japanese names in a Chinese-based cultural system, and C. white protagonists in an Asian setting who are lauded for their non-Asian beauty??? END.

Recommendations: Tamora Pierce's Trickster's Choice for a diverse cast and awesome magic. Check out this fun Epic Reads post about books with strong bonds between sisters.

Dream Casting:

Kaya Scodelario as Ashyn

Kaya Scodelario as Moria
I like how she can look both timid and fierce (as evidenced by the two completely different photos). 

Ok Taecyeon as Gavril 
He has that warrior look. He's also muscle-y.

Jung Joon Young as Ronan
He has that mysterious, thief-y edge.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Young Elites by Marie Lu (Release Date: October 7, 2014)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that features upcoming novel releases.
The Young Elites

Genre: YA Fantasy
Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
We met the beautiful Marie Lu at ALA Las Vegas this year! We're super excited to read The Young Elites!
Axie, Marie, and Kat (and The Young Elites).

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Novel Review: Gravity by Melissa West

Gravity (The Taking, #1)

Title: Gravity
Author: Melissa West
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Setting: Future American Capital
Copyright: 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Paperback:  284 pages
Kat's Rating: 2.5/5
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.
Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war. 

Cover Envy: Pretty. I write Sci-Fi so I'm super envious of this simple, yet pretty cover.
Main Character: Ari is a strong main character, but I worry that she's too strong at times and it makes it hard to connect to her as a reader. That being said, she does have a lot on her shoulders (kind of reminds me of June from Marie Lu's Legend)
All You Need is Love: Jackson Locke - sexy alien boy (oooh, I'm already intrigued). Kind of a jerk (eh, less intrigued). Trying to save the world (okay, I like him again). Messes with the main character's head a little (wtf? Why do guys have to do this?) At the end, I can tell that he cares about the main character, but I still can't figure him out as a person.
Allies and Adversaries: The friendships were set up, but I felt a little lack in execution. The main BFF wasn't really fleshed out as a character, but she was presented as loyal, which I always look for in a good YA BFF.
Writing: Pretty straight-forward, but it is Sci-Fi, so that's what I think this genre needs.
Friends and Family Plan: Ari has to deal with a strict, demanding father. And Jackson's family is presented as demanding as well. However, there wasn't that close family-ties feeling I tend to enjoy from YA books. That's fine since it's Sci-Fi, but it also seemed to leave a tiny hole in my heart.
World Building: I liked how Melissa West built this world. It is probably what she did best. Creating a future with a complex world.
Recommendations: Alienated by Melissa Landers, Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout

I think I can understand Melissa West as a writer, she's definitely got the Science Fiction thing down. She built a very complex and interesting world. The government was built to respond to two big events: World War IV (a nuclear war) and the arrival of the Logians (or Ancients as the humans call them) from another world.

Where I think some people might have issue is that it's hard to connect with the main characters. As a science fiction reader, I don't usually mind this, but I do understand that this is also YA, so we like our characters to be emotional and angsty.

There are some angsty-type scenarios, like a Romeo and Juliet-type love and a possible love triangle. But I did fail to ever really feel for the characters, and I think it's because the whole book I'm told what to feel instead of shown. Even though the book is told in first person point-of-view, instead of letting me discover things, the main character just says "I was sad" or "I was scared." Which didn't necessarily make me feel sad or scared as a reader.

There were some plot holes and a few "what?" moments for me. I don't know why Ari does some of the things she does except that she's told it's the right thing. For me, that's not necessarily enough to drive a science fiction plot.

All-in-all, this book met some basic YA criteria. At times it was Twilight-like (which some people might enjoy) and others it seemed almost Divergent-y (again, something that readers could get into). Finally, I can't help but compare it to Jennifer L. Armentrout, because she writes about aliens and she is Melissa West's in-house colleague since Entangled Teen published both of their books. Everyone knows how much I love J.L. Armentrout's books, so I did find a few similarities (who wouldn't since it's a book about a girl who meets a hunky alien).