Book Review: The Awakened by Sara E. Santana

26847637you can find the book at:
GoodReads
Amazon
Author website

my review:
NOTE: I’ve already posted this review when I was apart of The Awakened Blog Tour but I wanted to post it again because the review is buried underneath so much blog tour stuff.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

~ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review~

Zoey Valentine’s life revolves around avoiding her irritating next door neighbour, Ash, and surviving the constant self-defence classes her police officer father makes her take. That is until the zombie apocalypse hits the USA, and the entire country is thrown into a frenzy. What seemed like an unusual illness, is actually turning everyone into a zombie-like state. Except, they’re much faster than the usual. When Zoey learns that the US government decides to bomb every major city, including her home city NYC, she finds herself on the run with her father and Ash in a desperate dash for survival.

This book was really great, in some sense, was really guessable in certain scenes but the way Santana writes makes it a really interesting read with a great cast of characters, each different in their own unique way. I enjoyed the doses of humour and heart within the novel and alongside Sara’s writing style which is easy to follow and compelling to read. She has the makings of a decent storyteller with this fast-paced debut novel.

Anyone who actually read my reviews knows that no good book ever goes unscathed. What really dragged this down was mainly due to certain aspects I personally didn’t like.

I think I’m the only person so far that didn’t like Ash? No offence, but he’s so irritating! Despite he does change in the end, and he ends up with Zoey. But, honestly, I didn’t find it cute that Ash was just terrible to Zoe since she was little. And Zoey knows it but yet she was still attracted to him? If I was being bullied by a boy and would in no way have some sort of attraction to him. Honestly, I would have ditched him the minute the apocalypse started. Despite Zoey telling him explicitly, she doesn’t want to be near him, he continues to flirt with her despite having a girlfriend and she’s already said no? And then when another survivor lowkey flirts with her, he gets annoyed? I just thought that behaviour was problematic and he should’ve backed off a bit.

Also, what was going on with her dad? I honestly hate it when adults assume boys teasing girls means he likes her? Her dad wanted them to get together despite Zoey CONSTANTLY telling him he’s been bullying her at a young age and the way he puts Ash on a higher pedestal than his own daughter was extremely worrying. He does kind of admit it in the end and apologise, but overall, the only character I found myself rooting for was Zoe. The romance in this novel was a bit off to me. Ash and Zoey literally pick the worst moment to get all hot and steamy, especially towards the end.

Kindle Edition, 317 pages
Published by Oftomes Publishing (first published December 1st 2015)
ASIN: B017AD8K9W
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Book Review: Secrets in Phoenix (Phoenix Holt #1)

You can find the book at:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble (unavailable)
Author website

my review:

Rating: ★★★☆☆

When fifteen-year-old Sophie is sent, alongside her twin brothers, to a remote village and enrolled in a strange boarding school by their Great Aunt Ness, they never expected to find a hidden room which reveals that the residents of Phoenix Holt are anything but ordinary. And neither is her family.

I have to say I was extremely impressed with this one from Lapore. She seems to have this ongoing thing with witches in her novel, and since she has so many, I went in reading thinking it was going to be waay similar to How I Found You. But it wasn’t. And I certainly preferred this one than How I Found You.

It was a fun and energetic read from Lapore as we follow Sophie and her polar opposite twin brothers Sam and Todd in a journey to Phoenix Holt from their home of Port Dalton. I really enjoyed her writing style, it’s simple yet descriptive that you’re not overwhelmed by the language. What I really enjoyed were the moments between all three siblings, they played pranks, treated each other like crap, but at the end of the day showed that they cared for each other. It was just a nice difference compared to other YA I’ve read recently where siblings don’t exist or just distant to the storyline.

However, I wish there was a better development between Sophie and Jaxon. I know it would develop in the next novels, but it felt quite plain although I did enjoy Jaxon’s past which was really interesting. I also did have an issue with the boarding school. It was boys only, but it was never addressed why? Since the reason behind them being there is a massive spoiler, I won’t say, but it was confusing as to why no girls were there.

Overall, an interesting novel about witches, family and just the beginning of what Gabriella is capable of doing with this world.

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Oftomes Publishing

ASIN: B015L0GPD4

The Awakened Blog Tour – Author Spotlight + Guest Post + Review + Giveaway

Official Awakened CoverOkay. I am SO EXCITED to be part of the The Awakened Blog Tour. I love apocalyptic novels, especially zombie ones, and the author, Sara E. Santana, better known as WhatANerdGirlSays, has been on such a journey to get this one published. I’ve been following her blog for a while, and it’s so great to see her finally a published author.

Today I’m featuring Sara here on the blog. She going to tell us about her writing space and method and the struggles of writing a book, offering some do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing a novel. I loooove getting a peek into author’s lives and writing processes so I’m thrilled to share this with you today. I’ll also include my review of her soon to be released debut novel, The Awakened at the end of her guest post, including a link to the giveaway she’s hosting! You can preorder The Awakened now for Amazon Kindle. Paperbacks will be available for purchase on the day of release, which is the 1st December.

I would also like to note that if you preorder the Kindle version, you can get a free signed bookmark. In order to claim your bookmark, you must message your proof of purchase/preorder and your name and address to sesantanawrites@gmail.com

Continue reading “The Awakened Blog Tour – Author Spotlight + Guest Post + Review + Giveaway”

The Awakened by Sara E. Santana- Cover Reveal!

I am so happy to be part of the OfTomes street team and help release the cover + release date for The Awakened by Sara E. Santana, which is the third novel to be published by by the amazing Benjamin Alderson of OfTomes Publishing.

And without further ado…. HERE’S THE COVER!!

Official Awakened Cover

Look how great it is! It was designed by Kim G, who designed the other OfTomes novels as well.

Official synopsis

Zoey Valentine is concerned with two things: surviving the multitude of self-defense classes her dad makes her take and avoiding Ash Matthews.

That is, until the Z virus hits, wiping out a third of the population in a matter of weeks. If that weren’t frightening enough, the bodies of the victims disappear and suddenly reappear, awakened from their dead state. They’re faster, smarter, and they work together to get the one thing they crave, human flesh. The United States is in a panic and then the government decides the unthinkable: to bomb every major city overrun with the awakened.

Now Zoey is on the run, with her dad and Ash, desperate to find a place of safety amongst the ruined remains of the country.

The official release date is December 1st, 2015 and it will be available in Kindle and paperback format! Preorder is only available for the kindle edition! Add it to your GoodReads here!

About Sara E. Santana

Sara Elizabeth Santana is a young adult and new adult fiction writer. She has worked as a smoothie artist, Disneyland cast member, restaurant supervisor, nanny, photographer, pizza delivery driver and barista but writing is what she loves most. Her first story was written at age nine. She runs her own nerd girl/book review blog, What A Nerd Girl Says. Her favorite books are a tie between Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling and Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce. She lives in Southern California with her dad, five siblings and two dogs. Her debut novel is The Awakened.

Make sure to check her out at the links below!

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