Monday, November 17, 2014

Black Ice is a Wicked Moustache Twirler

Title: Black Ice
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Received by: Purchased
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

It is my opinion that Becca Fitzpatrick is one of the best YA writers within the growing genre. She has a unique way of attacking her story and most important, keeping her readers glued to her books. Like her prior Hush, Hush series, Black Ice is amazing and dark, plus so much fun to read. I’ve read comics that feature authors of fiction as guest authors for their comic book characters, such as Jodi Picoult writing for the Wonder Woman series. Becca Fitzpatrick is one of those authors I’d love to see do this for DC or Marvel. I say this because she is marvelous at writing thrillers. Her Hush, Hush series was cast in the paranormal romance genre but it is an amazing dark thriller as well.

There are a lot of adults who read YA and some who are probably thinking about it. I can’t tell you how many times someone comes into the bookstore I work at requesting an awesome title they heard of then are surprised when I walk them over to the teen section. Black Ice is a great stepping-stone into the YA genre. It has a small group of characters but each gets a solid story of development to keep the reader involved and most important, guessing and predicting like crazy. The book also has an insightful message that I did not see coming. It was totally unexpected and something all people should strive for in an independent future.  



Britt Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there…and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target...

Brit leaps immediately off the page. Besides planning her backpacking adventure, she doesn’t have to many other big goals besides making her boyfriend jealous and proving him and others wrong about her abilities to conquer Teton Range. But she’s likable for some reason and I wanted to know more about her story. The flashbacks into her past with her ex-boyfriend Calvin were most helpful. Some readers may not like Brit right away, which is what I think Fitzpatrick might have been striving for. She’s in her own little world but slowly creeps out to see who she wants to be. Brit is a young girl who seems to tolerate a lot. She tolerates a best friend that’s a bit spoiled and envious and tolerates doubt of others regarding her independence. I had a major AHA moment when I realized what Brit had to conquer as a character. It’s a solid story of perseverance over fear.

So I’m going to mash up the male characters into a pot because they were all outstanding. Either I hated, loved or wasn’t all too sure about the men in Black Ice. Brit is in desolate territory with two suspicious men, it’s a very scary place. One minute she sees a confidant then in a split second she feels death approaching. For me Mason’s character was the star of the book. He along with Brit has so much inner unraveling to offer the reader. It’s great spider webbing on Fitzpatrick’s part. Calvin is someone who just doesn’t seem to appreciate Brit and notice what a great person she is, plus he has his own issues with his father’s expectations.

I would like to state that I don’t believe romance is the main theme at all in this story and it isn’t would readers should focus on. I think it’s the message of overcoming the obstacle of loss. In Black Ice the right people gravitate to one another in order to help each other, unbeknownst to them of course. There is moment in the book when Mason and Brit face a bear and it’s very scary. I believe there may be symbolism in this scene, maybe how the two approach fear. If anyone has read Black Ice please feel free to comment.   

Black Ice is unlike any book that I’ve read. I was completely immersed into the quiet tension of the characters. It reminded me of the Shining actually, cold isolate danger of the unknown. A remarkable read perfect for the cold months ahead. I highly recommend this wicked moustache twirler to your shelf this winter.      

This is a very short song but when I hear it I think of the entire book, plus it has a nice dark and cold feel. 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blog Tour: Pieces of My Heart by Jamie Canosa

Title: Pieces of My Heart
Author: Jamie Canosa
Received by: Author

I’m always happy to participate in Jamie Canosa’s Blog Tours, and her new book in her Pieces series does not disappoint. I will admit, I felt it was going to be challenging to read about things to come for Jade and Caulder. Just a reminder for anyone who hasn’t read Falling to Pieces, the first book in the series, first of all, have you been under a rock? Read this book now then read the sequel because this review may have spoilers if you haven’t. Now back to Jade and Caulder, these two go through a serious grieving process and in doing so they naturally get closer. When I found out what Jamie’s next book was going to be about, I was shocked. I didn’t know how Jamie was going get her audience to adore Jade and Caulder. I knew it was a definite challenge for an author to successfully write a convincing storyline for two people so close to a unique character as Kiernan, but she did it! I adored this insightful story that could challenge me as a reader.


Kiernan Parks settled all the scores. He finished what he set out to do and then . . . he left.

He left Jade. Heartbroken and weary. Existing one day to the next. One breath after another. The only way she knew how to move forward, forever missing a piece of her heart. Until an unexpected surprise throws her volatile life into upheaval, once more.

He left Caulder. Guilt-ridden and grieving. Fighting to hold it all together. Not just for himself, but for the people he cares about. Staggering under the weight of his obligations.

He left them alone.

He left them together.

Jade was someone I thought I knew completely after the first book, but Jamie brought plenty of new surprises. Jade was someone who I rooted for to succeed in the first book, in this book she became someone who I felt was an enabler when it came to her alcoholic mother. But then after Jades layers thinned out I realized the determination in Jade, I didn’t see her as weak, even though sadly she sees herself this way. I saw a young woman with a big heart that saw only the best in the close people around her. It made me think about all the people who have a harmful addiction and don’t have people in their lives like Jade. But people like Jade also need to be told they are extraordinary and that they matter. Because a lot of times they don’t get this from the people they might be trying to help.

Jade goes through tons in Pieces of My Heart. She has to come to terms with even considering the idea of a relationship with Caulder, the brother of Kiernan. She was just discovering her strengths before Kiernan passed and like the book title states she falls completely to pieces. Readers will be able to identify with the idea of falling apart and having to rebuild your life. In life it happens more often than expected, no matter if you’re grieving, examining your future, or failure. Life happens and you have to figure out a way to go on living in it. This is what Jade deals with, along with Caulder.

I was excited to learn more about Caulder this time around. I loved the storyline between him and his father. It was unexpected tension that served as a great surprise to Caulder’s character. His decisions about his future were also refreshing. His discussions about his choices with Jade gave him a lot of life. Jade came through as always with support and while doing this their increasing closeness became believable.

I have to say that Jamie gave Caulder the best dialogue possible. He speaks with such certainty and determination towards Jade. He’s either pleading his intentions to her, telling her how unreasonable she is our revealing the true picture she has at home with her mother. While reading I saw him as her Jiminy Cricket, her conscience willing her to the right path.

Pieces of my Heart is a remarkable tribute to Kiernan and the two people he loved most in his life. If Kiernan had survived I do believe that he and Jade would be together but life isn’t perfect. It’s messy and unpredictable, Pieces of My Heart shows having expectations for people in life doesn’t always pan out and when faced with the unlikely, you should at least consider it because it may have the best outcome you could have ever managed. But you still have to take the leap.

I picked this song because it speaks to the very moment that Jade and Caulder new things were changing between them. They struggle with the guilt, and their undeniable  feelings for each other. But the bottom line is they each start to find out far more about each other for the better.  


Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Ravena, NY with her wonderful husband and three crazy kids . . . plus the cats, the bird and the rabbit.