Monday, December 23, 2013

Under Different Stars by Amy Bartol is out of this world. Check out my 4.5 Star review

Title:   Under Different Stars (Kricket #1)
Author:   Amy A. Bartol
Genre:  YA Dystopian

Book Blurb:
All she wants is a home, but can she find one...UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket's gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

My Kaptivating 4.5 Star Review

“I’m just saying that when there is little left to lose, the consequences of ones’s actions don’t carry the same weight...painful or otherwise.”

Kricket Hollowell never really had it easy. Growing up in the foster care system, she learned at a young age how to adapt and most importantly survive. She has never really fit in and with her uncanny ability to know when people are lying; it is after all something that has helped her survive. She only trusts her two closest friends Enrique and her roommate Bridget. Doing everything under the radar, Kricket can’t wait for the day she turns 18. She will be free to go to school, get a real job and to be able to live the life she wants without fear of the case workers putting her back into the system she has worked hard to stay out of.
Kricket’s life changes in the blink of an eye, when two men appear in her life. Both gorgeous and scary and they both want her for different reasons. 

Everybody wants something, Trey. Some are up front about it and some, well...some just lie.”

Kyron Ensin wants nothing more than to own Kricket. After all, she has been awarded to him by the brotherhood. He will do anything to get her, for his people and hers for that matter. They believe she is the prophecy. He will stop at nothing to bring her home and claim her.
Trey Allairis is a military man. He had no idea what he was signing up for when he went to extract Kricket from Earth to bring her back home. She definitely wasn’t what he expected. Her defiance intrigues him, her bravery just takes his breath away and her beauty and wit is more than his body can handle. They have an undeniable pull towards each other but he tries to remind himself that she isn’t his problem. She is just a mission and the sooner he can complete it the better. When she is threatened by an enemy, Trey does everything he can to protect and teach her. Their rough start blossoms into so much more, more than either of them expected. He soon realizes that he can’t be without her and will do anything for her.

“You’re tough?”
“I’m stone.”
“Stone can be broken.”
Tilting my head towards him, I meet his eyes. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I’m used to holding on to nothing as tight as I can.”

Kricket is a wanted young woman, not only wanted for her looks but also for her gifts she is slowly coming into. She realizes that she and Trey are nothing but pawns in struggle for power.
Forbidden to be together and constantly being torn apart, they join forces and with the help of some trusted friends, they will do what they must to be together. Love is supposed to conquer all but their fight to be together is just beginning. As more people find out about her gifts, the more her life is no longer her own. 

“I wasn’t trying to pawn you off, I was trying to let you choose...I’d like to think that I would’ve let you go, Kricket, if that was what you wanted, but the truth is that I don’t know if I’m am capable of letting you go.”

Her dreams of being independent come to a screeching halt and her fight for survival is kicked into high gear. With the ones she loves being threatened she does what she can to keep them safe. She is trying to play a game in a world she barely understands with laws that are so different from the ones she grew up with.
Together, Kricket and Trey will do what they can to stay together but with unknown enemies coming at them from all angles, they are far from a happily ever after. With a war on the horizon, Trey promises to get her back to Earth so that she will be safe. Trey along with his unit, will do anything to make that her reality and anything to protect her.

Amy did such a great job with the wonderful characters and bringing them to life. You felt Kricket’s struggles, her pain, her love. She is na├»ve but yet so independent, quick witted and smart and not to mention brave. She is stunning and has the body of a goddess and what makes her more beautiful is that she doesn’t know how beautiful she truly is and that makes her more desirable. She takes on her challenges with ease on the outside but secretly wants to run and hide on the inside. She knows what she wants and will do what she must to get it. Knowing the uphill battle her and Trey face, she is willing to risk her life to be with the man she loves.
Trey is a freaking badass military man, a hot hot hot one at that. I am definitely adding him to my book boyfriend list. He is smart, tough and determined. He plays by the rules, always. When Kricket comes into his life, she literally tears it upside down for him. He doesn’t know how to handle the emotions and feelings that Kricket brings out in him. The one thing he does know with 100% certainty is that, he cannot and will not live without her by his side. Rules be damned. I enjoyed seeing the emotions he was battling internally. I found myself cursing him for being lame by denying what he was truly feeling. He frustrated me at times but in all good ways.
Kyron is your typical gorgeous arrogant man. I was kind of torn with him, I liked him and then I didn’t like him. I developed a love hate relationship with him. He is a part of Kricket’s world. A part of her world she yearns to understand and he is aware of her want to know more about her mother. He makes a fantastic frienemy.
Jax and Wayra are fantastic supporting characters. They had just the right amount of humor and showed up at just the right places in the story.
Amy is an author who has a knack for creating fantastic worlds and characters you either love or hate, especially those ones you love to hate.
This story is out of this world, a must read. Amy Bartol is a shining star and her light is only getting brighter!
A fantastic read that fills you with sadness, frustration, want, lust, happiness, suspense and of course love.
I look forward to more of the Kricket series and seeing the obstacles that she and Trey along with their friends will endure on their journey to find happiness.

Water swirls around me as I open my eyes. I shiver, realizing I’m in Trey’s arms. He’s standing chest deep in crystal blue water with Wayra pacing on the bank only steps away. Clutching Trey closer to me, my cheek remains on his shoulder. Watching a bead of water slip down his powerful neck, I hear Jax say, “She’s waking up.”
Trey, cupping his hand in the water, pours some of it over my hair. It drips down the sides of my face, cooling me. “Let’s get her out. I’ll get the visor and we can check her vitals.”
As Trey wades out of the pond with me in his arms, I try to lift my head from his shoulder. It makes me dizzy so I lay it back. It’s then I notice that I’m only in my bra and underwear. A blush creeps into my cheeks as I hug Trey tighter to me. Wayra meets us on the bank, draping a blanket over us. Trey sits down with me on his lap. He leans against a tree trunk holding me securely to his chest. Peeking at his face, he seems angry as he smoothes my hair back from my face.
Hurrying over with the visor that looks like grandma goggles, Trey sets them on my eyes. Everything is green as I gaze around at the water in front of us. Flashing green lights and readouts occupy the peripherals of the glasses, but the information is running faster than I can possibly read it.
“Ho!” Jax exclaims next to me.
Immediately, Trey’s arms tighten on me as he barks out, “What? How bad is it?”
“Naw, it’s not bad…it’s just…Kricket…” Jax breathes, like he’s in awe. “Look at this brain activity…it’s massive.”
“What do you mean?” Trey asks with relief in his tone.
Jax grins. “She’s lighting everything up. Look at her frontal lobe…it’s off the charts.”
“What does that mean? Is she healthy?” Trey growls.
Jax nods enthusiastically. “She’s healthy! We didn’t fry her with heat stroke, that’s for sure. Or, if we did, she’s got more brain activity than anyone I’ve ever seen to compensate for it,” he replies, sounding seriously geeked about it.
“Those things aren’t broken, are they?” Trey asks speculatively.
“No…here.” Jax pulls them off my face. “Wayra, come here.”
Wayra walks over and Jax puts the glasses on his eyes. “See! He’s normal, well, normal for him. See how it doesn’t light up in these areas?” he points out to Trey.
“Now watch this,” he says, taking the glasses off of Wayra, he places them back on my face. “See? It’s like Christmas in Chicago with all those lights,” Jax says proudly.
“So that means she’s smart?”
Jax beams. “Yeah, she’s smart! She’s brilliant! There’s no telling what she can do.”
“If she’s so smart, why did she run until she almost popped? Why didn’t she just tell us she needed to rest?” Wayra asks derisively.
“Personality flaw,” Trey replies. “She’s going to show us that she’s not weak.”
“She’s sitting right here,” I murmur, pulling the glasses off my face and handing them to Jax.



I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re  real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.


     1st place: KINDLE FIRE + ebook of Under Different Stars
     2nd place: Kindle Cover + $50 Amazon Gift Card
     3rd place: $50 Amazon Gift Card

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