Monday, August 12, 2013

Review: Hunting Lila & Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson + Best Friends Romance Week Giveaway!

This seemed to be the book everyone was talking about when I first started blogging. Alex was featured as many favorite book boyfriends so I knew one day I would have to read it.

Past Reviews
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker
Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy
Winter Town by Steve Emond
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Addicted To You & Ricochet by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Frigid by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hunting Lila (Lila, #1)
Hunting Lila (Lila #1)
by Sarah Alderson

Release Date: August 5, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 306
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Haunt Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

17-year-old Lila has two secrets she’s prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she’s been in love with her brother’s best friend, Alex, since forever. After a mugging exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust—her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they’ve found them. In a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone—there are others out there just like her—people with special powers—and her mother’s killer is one of them…

Lila, Jack, and Alex were always inseparable. Then Lila's mother was murdered when she was 13 and she moved with her dad to London. Lila's been keeping a secret that she can move things with her mind. Her dad is out of town on business when Lila uses her powers against a mugger. Afraid she might be losing control she wants to visit the boys she has always counted on so she heads to California to see her brother Jack and their best friend Alex. But they seem to not want her around. They are so busy with their new military job. Turns out they are hunting the people who killed her mother. And those people have powers just like her. Jack and Alex and their special military group, called The Unit, think all people with powers are evil. What's a girl with powers to do?

The beginning was a bit slow for me and it took awhile before anything major happened with Lila's secret and The Unit her brothers work for. Lila has an awesome power. Who hasn't wanted to be able to move things with their mind?! I mean what a time saver! I would probably never get up! LOL But also how scary. Lila has always kept it to herself knowing it will mean she is a freak and might get experimented on. Then when she finds out her brother and the boy she has been in love with all her life are working to catch people with powers like hers she really freaks. Will they still look at her the same? Or will they turn her over to their Unit?

Jack and Alex both obviously really care about Lila but at the same time they have been focused on revenge for so long they can't really see everything. There is a bit of a twist with the Unit and the people who murdered Lila's mother that I wasn't expecting. Jack and Alex have given up so much to seek revenge and it was a bit much but I also had a lot of respect for them to do that. Especially Alex since it wasn't his mother.

I can see why Alex is such a big hit. He is the sweet, protective, best friend and when he sees Lila all grown up he realizes he may care for her as more than a friend. I was a bit confused though as to what happened with Alex's parents and how he was able to be in this secret Unit without them ever calling or looking for him. It is safer to have no one close but I never really knew Alex's background. Jack stayed with Alex when Lila and her dad moved to London but I don't know much else besides that.

Jack was a great big brother. Super protective but completely out of love. He wasn't the happiest about Alex and Lila which was a bit understandable. Jack just wants to know that Lila is taken care of and as long as Alex is good to her then I think Jack will be fine with it eventually. Him and Alex have a lot of twists and lies thrown at them but through it all they protect Lila even though they are thrown about her secret. There was lots of on the run action and sort of a slight X-Men feel since there are groups of paranormal people that band together and all have different powers. I am glad I had the next book ready to go because it doesn't end on a huge cliffhanger but on quite a revelation!

"The T-shirt was lifting without me even touching it. Wonderful, useful power, I thought. And then my fingers were against the warm flatness of his stomach."

"I felt his other hand sear hot against my cheek. He bent his head, and in a voice that Jack couldn’t hear, said, “When you came down the stairs, and fell into me, that was the moment.” Then his lips pressed against mine.

"When I said I had no choice about helping you, I meant it. There was no other option because you are the only option. I don't trust anything at the moment. But the one thing I am sure of, the one thing I do trust..." he paused for a fraction of a second, "is the way I feel about you."

Rating: 4/5

Losing Lila (Lila, #2)
Losing Lila (Lila #2)
by Sarah Alderson

Release Date: August 2, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 322
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Haunt Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which is somehow tracking their every move. While Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila's only thought is of finding a way back to California so she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they're being held. Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the others she's come to think of as family, Lila plans not only to save her brother and mum, but also to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for. But the plan requires Lila to return to California alone, and to make friends with the enemy - and in doing so, she risks losing everything: Alex, her family… even her life.

I'm not going to be able to say too much about this one because a lot is revealed in the first one which affects the plot in this one but I don't want to give anything away. After some huge revelations in the first book, Alex and Lila are on the run. Jack was hurt and is being held at a hospital they need to rescue him from. Teaming up with some unexpected people they devise a plan to rescue him and put a stop to an evil group.

Alex and Lila's romance heats up but at the same time Alex holds back. He wants to wait until Lila is 18 to take things further which is sweet but leaves her frustrated. Lila also worries that Alex's need to protect her is why he stays with her and not because he loves her. Totally ridiculous but she just wants to be sure he is giving up so much because he loves her and not because he feels obligated. She doesn't want to hold him back or ruin his life. He has given up so much for her and Jack.

Alex and Lila are teamed up with an unexpected but very entertaining group. Some hilarious characters with interesting powers. Sadly as I said I don't want to say too much for those that haven't read the first book but the group dynamic is amazing. Some crazy plans are made and executed. Lots of action continues. A hilarious scene with Lila trying to sneak into Jack's room wearing a nurse costume and then someone catches her and she tries to pretend she was wearing it to turn him on. Love when humor is added into the action to keep things fun.
More revelations are made. Declarations of love. Explosions. Was a great dualogy! Also loved "The Moment" scene in Alex's POV at the end.

There is a short novella called Tormenting Lila that takes place after this and includes characters from Sarah Alderson's new book, The Sound. I haven't had a chance to read it yet. There will also be a Lila Shortcuts collection of short stories from different character's POVs released in October with a prequel story where I won a contest to be Alex's girlfriend! So cool! So his girlfriend is supposed to be named after me!

"What I'm trying to tell you, Lila," he said, his voice husky in his throat, "is that I've always been there, looking out for you, even when you didn't know it - even when you couldn't see me."
My stomach flipped. Alex took hold of my hands and squeezed. "Nothing's changed. I'll be right there, I promise. You might not be able to see me, but I'll be there."

He smiled, a little smile, but the sight of it made my breathing speed up. "I've always needed you. For my entire life," I said in a whisper," and I'm always going to need you."

"You're my sister," Jack growled. "He's my best friend. And he brought you back here. I'm going to kill him. He should have been looking out for you, not..." he struggled to find an appropriate word, "doing whatever the hell he was doing with you."

Rating: 4/5

To celebrate the week I bought some extra books for giveaways!
There will be at least 5 winners. 2 US & 3 INT.
To keep things open INT I am offering two of the eBooks that will be reviewed this week as well. May pick extra winners for eBooks depending on entries. 
You can comment every day for extra points! 


  1. Oh I have both of these in my TBR pile and I am so excited that you loved them both! It makes me glad I already have them and hopefully will enjoy them too. :)

  2. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    This is an awesome paranormal thriller!! It really sounds like a lot of attention is paid on character-driven issues, not just the action, even though the plot sounds fast too!!

    Lovely reviews:)

  3. You really packed together some great books and posts with this fun little event of yours. I am sorry I was absent most of last week, now I am desperately digging out. Glad to be back, I missed the blog and blogosphere. I have been wanting to read the Hunting Lila series since 2011. I need to get after it!

  4. Thanks for the awesome post! I'm definitely going to have to add this series to my wishlist ;)

  5. This is one of the series I have seen around and heard only great things about but still haven't read it. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and it sounds like a really interesting thriller. Great review :)

  6. Great post!! I've been seeing these around, and I'm definitely intrigued. They sound really great. And your 4 star reviews tell me that they are worth reading. :)

  7. I have had the first book in this series for a while but have yet to read it. I love that it's kind of like Carrie (everything that has telekinetic powers in it is like Carrie to me LOL) Also, it's awesome to see that the second book in the series continued to be just as good as the first for you. Great reviews Jennifer! Oh and I love that banner with the iPod and the milkshake, super cute!

  8. How did I not know there were "special powers" in this series? Gah. Now I have to read them because the books sound great. Should have paid more attention to them before! So, thanks for reviewing both. Also, HOW FREAKING AWESOME THAT YOU GET A CHARACTER NAMED AFTER YOU! That's so fun! Can't wait to read that story, too, now!

  9. Omg I loved Hunting Lila a lot and for some reason I never got around to reading book 2! I think I'll have to re-read book 1 first tough bc I don't remember very much. I do remember her massive crush on Alex though and I adored the guy. I'm happy the sequel was great, too! I really have to get myself a copy of that pretty, stat!!

  10. Wow, I can't believe I've never heard of these. Entering giveaway :)
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  11. I really enjoyed the first one in this series and I agree even though the beginning was a little slow for my taste overall it turned out really well. I LOVE ALEX!!! It was so much fin watching his and Lila's relationship grow! I still haven't picked up the second book, but I am very excited to see how everything turns out especially with all that happened in the first book. But I'm glad to see the second book doesn't suffer from middle book syndrome! I can't wait to pick it up. I'm glad you enjoyed both of these, Jennifer! Awesome reviews! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  12. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    Really like the paranormal twist here! If you like that couple, I think you'll really like Lincoln and Violet in Jessica Shirvington's series. They're really good friends, and that complicates their roles as angels but it also makes them stronger.


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