June 10, 2015

Out of Control Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Out of Control! Today I'll be sharing my review of the book - and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway! To check out the rest of the tour stops, click on the banner above!

Out of Control
Author: Sarah Alderson
Genre: YA Thriller
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse


A girl looking to escape her past in New York City ends up on the run from a dangerous conspiracy in this sizzling, high-stakes novel.

When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. When she's taken into police custody - supposedly for her own protection - she realizes something isn't right, but it's too late. Soon, bullets start flying, and Liva realizes that she is not just a witness, but the target - and she needs to escape before it's too late.

With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. Liva and Jay are living on the edge, but when you're on the edge, there's a long way to fall.

Out of Control is a fast paced and gripping young adult thriller that will have readers glued to the pages until the very end. The story follows Liva - our main character - as she prepares to begin a new part of her life living in New York with her father, who's a wealthy businessman that does a lot of work overseas - which is where Liva has grown up. Things get turned upside down when the couple Liva is staying with is murdered one night - with Liva as the only witness. After hours of questioning and giving statements, Liva is burned out and ready to go home - until bullets start flying at the police station and all hell breaks loose. Not knowing what else to do, Liva frees a hot guy who happens to be the only other person in the station, and they somehow manage to escape with their lives. The people who opened fire at the station find Liva once again in a random location - where there are more shots fired and panic ensues. One thing's become clear to Liva - these men are after her. Who they are and why they want to kill her or kidnap her remain a mystery - one that Liva, and her newfound partner in crime Jaime, must figure out before it's too late. 

Thrillers are one of my favorite genres and I can never get enough of them. I personally don't think there are enough YA thrillers out there, so when I read the description of this book - I knew I had to read it. I wasn't sure what to expect, without having read any of the author's other books, but I had high hopes. I'm incredibly happy to say that I was far from disappointed! The novel far surpassed my hopes and any expectations I might have had. It was everything a thriller should be and then some. The author did a fabulous job mixing several genres together to create this book - there's seriously something for just about everyone. It's a fantastic blend of twists and turns, mystery, action, suspense, romance, and it even deals with some serious contemporary topics - which I really believe brought a whole new level to the book. The author manages to sneak in difficult and important topics in our society - ones like human trafficking, racism, and the assumptions people make about one another almost automatically. These all made me stop and think for a while, especially the aspects concerning automatic assumptions and racism. After thinking on it, I realized how true this is in our society - it occurs constantly and basically subconsciously. Everyone does it - you see a stranger in a store and then automatically presume to know various things about them, as well as slapping on some labels. It's sad that we all do this - I'll be the first one to admit that I do it - but to have it become so natural that we don't even realize we're doing it? That's unfair and tragic. 

The main story line was original and well written. I really liked Liva as a main character - we get to see her character grow and change throughout the book, which is always something I enjoy reading. She starts out very straight-laced, serious, and follows all rules to perfection (except for twice in her life, which both ended terribly). She has no real friends because of her father's business and the fact that she's surrounded by bodyguards everywhere she goes. Liva has some serious issues that she deals with in the book - she's constantly reminding herself to not trust anyone but herself, to bottle up and close off all emotion, and - of course - strictly abiding to all rules. We learn why Liva's this way during the story, and we also get to see her change her thoughts and grow as a person. She learns to feel again, that it's okay to trust some people, and that love is something far more exhilarating and wonderful than she ever could have imagined. Speaking of the romance factor - we get to see a lot of the hot car thief Liva meets and later frees at the police station. Jay is such a sweetheart and I absolutely loved watching Liva and Jay's relationship change and grow - especially in the important aspects that change them as people. I can be a huge sucker for romance at times - and this was most definitely one of those times! I loved that they helped each other learn things about themselves, along with them saving each others lives - in more ways than one.

The plot was very fast paced with lots of twists and turns that had me guessing during the majority of the book. I always try to figure out what's really going on and who's behind it all before the main character - but it was really hard with this book. I would get a good theory going only to have a big twist happen in the story - and I'd have to start over again. This happened quite a bit. In my opinion, when an author can keep me guessing until the end - or really close to it - then I know I've found someone with true talent. That's what happened with this book. There are so many smaller story lines interwoven with the main plot that things got a bit confusing and mixed up - but it was meant to be that way in order to keep the reader on their toes. All the smaller plots merged throughout the book - so that by the end, all the pieces were put together and the truth behind it all was finally revealed. The writing was very well done with vivid imagery and lots of detailed descriptions that had me feeling like I was right there with Liva. The book is written from her point of view, so we get to experience everything from her perspective - along with getting to know her character on a very personal level. The first person POV allows the reader access to all of the character's thoughts, emotions, fears, dreams, hopes, memories, and so much more. This writing style almost always allows me to slip into the world the author created right from the start - and this book was no exception. Liva's world mesmerized me within the first couple paragraphs and I didn't come back out until I finished the book - which actually happened in one sitting because I couldn't stop reading. I enjoyed this book immensely and I definitely recommend it for fans of the genre, as well as for readers of several other genres including mystery, suspense, action, and romance. This is a tense and riveting novel that you don't want to miss!

Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb.

She finished her first novel, Hunting Lila (winner of the Kingston Book Award), just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel on the beach in India and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they had reached Bali.

A third book, Fated, about a teenage demon slayer, was published in January 2012.

The Sound, a thriller romance set in Nantucket, was published in August 2013 and this was followed by the critically acclaimed Out of Control in May 2014.

She also writes New Adult romance for Pan Macmillan (UK) / Simon & Schuster (US) under the pen name Mila Gray.

You can find Sarah on Facebook and at www.sarahalderson.com or follow her blog at www.canwelivhere.com

Author Links:
Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Tour Wide Giveaway (Open INT):
(2) Signed copies of Out of Control
$25 Amazon Gift Card 



  1. It sounds really good and I'm glad you found it original! I loved reading books by this author so I can't wait to read this one as well :)

  2. I think it's fascinating how many places the author has traveled to. I'll bet that is a great backdrop for many novels. This sounds like a fascinating book.

  3. Thrillers are also my fav reads and have been for a long time so this one has def caught my eye from the very start. It sounds like an awesome read overall, too, and original which is always a good thing (and so rare, now!) Great review, hun!

  4. Awesome review I absolutely love thriller books and this onle looks and sounds fantastic and right up my alley. Thank you for the great giveaway!

  5. Great review, really enjoyed reading this, thank you!