Monday, December 31, 2012

A Summary of 2012

I guess I'll start of with the beginning of my blog.  Only this February did I create this and since then, it's just been a whole bunch of fun.  I can tell you right now that my reviewing has greatly improved from when I first began (mostly because I had no idea what I was doing) and I've met so many great and amazing fellow reviewers and authors, as well.  It's been a blessing to be a member of this community and I cannot wait to continue this experience for many years to come.

So . . . in all of 2012, I have read a total of 128 books and gave 53 of those five-star ratings.  Maybe I just love books so much?  But, while all those books were worthy of the 5 star review, I do happen to have a few that really stick out in my mind.










And shall I list all my new book boyfriends I've acquired this year, as well?  I think I shall!

8. Galen from the Of Posiedon series by Anna Banks
7. Ren from the Tiger's Saga by Colleen Houck
6. Adrian Ivashkov from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead
5. Lucian from the Guilded Wings Series by Aimee Agresti
4. The Darkling from the Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo
3. Zachary Moore from the Shade Series by Jeri Smith-Ready
2. Kaidan Rowe from The Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins
1. Daemon Black from the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

And I can't forget about all the friends I've made this year!  I don't want to single anyone out, but if you're reading this, you guys know who you are!

Thank you to all of the people who have followed me around through the year and given me advice and reccomended me so many books!  You guys all rock and have a Happy New Year!  Today, I celebrate my birthday, so au revoir and see ya on the flip side!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Synopsis:
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

My Thoughts:
I'd heard a lot of positive talk about this book right before the pub date of it and I was really curious to read what it was all about.  Being that I love any historical fiction novel, it was already something that I wanted to read soon, but for some odd reason, I wasn't all that excited about it.  I've never read anything by Libba Bray, for one, and after reading the synopsis, I still wasn't sold on the idea for the book.  And people kept on saying in their reviews about how 'dark' The Diviners was and I was wondering how a book, set in the Roaring Twenties, could be dark.  I don't know.  Things didn't connect in my mind, I guess.

First off, I'll start off with the main character like I always do in my reviews.  Evie, I felt, was Iron Man.  She should not be a character that many would love, but yet, there is something about her that you can't help but relate to and empathize with.  She was smart-mouthed and witty, impulsive and sarcastic, feisty and bold, sassy and defiant.  She was the epitome of a true flapper of the time!  She surprised me because, in the beginning, I thought she was just going to annoy me with her troublemaker ways, but she had so much depth and dimension that would reach out to any audience member.  She surprised me in the most positive way and I'm happy to say that she proved me wrong.

The book in all its entirety was something almost unfathomable for me.  Being that it is in omnipotent third person, the point of view would change frequently, and yet it did not confuse me in the least.  The city is busy with people and energy and the way that Bray somehow included that into the story is amazing!  And somehow, by the end of the book, all these thoughts and actions from early on by all the characters start to tie together and my head just kind of went ". . . Whoa . . .".  It was incredible!  Ingenious!

And back to how I wasn't convinced in the least that this book was 'dark'.  I was wrong.  Like, seriously, how?  I'm not sure if I can really elaborate on the creepiness of the book without spoiling the story in one way or another.  It just was.  Also, if you haven't heard about it, this book is 592 pages or so.  That's a lot on any reader's heftiness scale.  And somehow, while it took me a little longer to read than the usual book, I didn't become bored at all during any of the parts throughout the book.  It was very engaging with all its surprising creepiness and darkness and overall amazing-ness. (that's a lot of -ness's there, might I add)

The Diviners is unlike anything I have ever read and wasn't anything I expected it to be.  It was not predictable and kept me on my toes all throughout its plot.  Not only was Evie such a different and dimensional character, but so were all the others.  There was a certain mystery that clung to all of them that made me want to learn more about them and see them interact with others.  I will say that The Diviners has made a huge impact on my--not life, per say--but reading experience, which so happens to be a large part of my life.  Fans of murder/mysteries, historical fiction, and of things that go bump in the night, I think, will absolutely enjoy and love this book like I do.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

The Synopsis:
It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.
His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.
Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.
Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

My Thoughts:
I don't know about others, but after finishing reading Anna Dressed in Blood, I was a little questionable about where Blake was going with the story.  I had thoughts such as "Was there even enough to spin the story into a second successful book?"  I had my doubts.  There just didn't seem as if there was enough meat to the story for a second one.  Honestly, I would have been content with just the one book.  Why did there have to be a sequel?

However, I was glad to return into Cas's mind.  He was sarcastic and kick ass as ever and wholly entertained me.  For a moment in the beginning of Girl of Nightmares, though, I was afraid I was losing him.  I get that with the ending of Anna, he'd be all depressed, but he was almost this--dare I say?--New Moon Bella Swan.  I get it, Cas, you were depressed.  But don't mope around like a complete dodo mush-head and expect me to be okay with it.  It was a little uncharacteristic, I felt.

For most of the book, I had no idea where the story was going.  Expanding what I said earlier, I wasn't sure what else Blake could do with the plot.  Keeping this in mind, I did find Girl of Nightmares to be unpredictable, which is a great thing, except that in the beginning--mixed in with Cas's depressing mood--I had a hard time getting wrapped up into the story.  I was extremely curious as to where Blake would bring the story, but things were a little dull for me at first.

What I super enjoyed was the fact that it still held a 7 on the creepiness scale!  It wasn't as scary as the first one (or maybe this is just because I've grown a tolerance to these kinds of books) but, especially at the very end, my interest level was sky high and I had a hard time tearing away from the book because it was just that sick and adrenaline-filled.  It was awesome!  If only I had started reading books like this earlier, because it was great!

While the book got off to a shaky start, Girl of Nightmares did not let me down in the end.  I've not read many books in this genre, so I can't compare the book to others, but I suppose this series will be the kind of standard I will look for in other books of this kind.  I jumped into this series being a doubter of all things scary and creepy, and with this series, I came out a believer and lover of all things that go bump in the night.  Thank you, Kendare Blake!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

The Synopsis:
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

My Thoughts:
Alright, so I might as well start off with saying that, while I read many gory or supernatural books, I'm not that big of a fan of anything scary.  I just . . . don't like them.  Even a little bit of anything scary makes me scream away in terror.  So then, while judging if I should read Anna Dressed in Blood, I thought, "Well, it's YA.  It can't be that bad."  And I'm so glad I told myself that and picked up this book, because, though it was scary and super creepy at times, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

I loved Cas.  I can tell you right now that he will definitely be one of my favorite heroes that I'll ever read about.  He wasn't like the normal bad boy.  He was bad and he was a boy, but he didn't put up this false cold front for everyone that wasn't his mother.  His chilliness to others was out of necessity and he wasn't on this mission to make friends or be accepted throughout the book.  He could have cared less, and I honestly wish that more characters in YA would show this example of just not caring about what others think or say.  However, he did create friends, and it was not something that he had planned, but it was kind of cute to watch him try to interact with people his age.  Cas was a natural-born badass and his confidence was infectious to me.  He also just had a great voice.  Cas was sarcastic and entertaining, making it easy for me to love him and enjoy the book.

Story wise, I seriously did surprise myself.  I handled the book pretty well, and I actually slept like a baby at night (prior to, I was taking all necessary precautions to make sure nothing was lurking in any shadows and I avoided my attic at all costs).  Anna was unlike anything I have ever read.  It was creepy, mostly, and explicit with gruesome details.  And those are not bad things at all.  I liked it.  Some books shy away from describing a violent scene, but I assure you, Blake has no problem with that--and it was sweet.  Besides it being a little predictable at times, I also enjoyed the story.  There's this whole trend for ghosts being good, harmless things that can't touch you.  I don't mind reading them because, while I don't believe in ghosts, it puts my mind to rest.  If you haven't read Anna Dressed in Blood yet, I suggest you throw away those ideas of good ghosts.

And expanding on how explicit the details were, I wanted to mention that the imagery in this book was spectacular.  Truly amazing.  I could see everything--could almost smell the air.  It was such a lovely experience for me as a reader and made conjuring up these wily, unpleasant, corporal ghosts a little easier.

Oh!  Have you ever read a book with cuss words in it and it just felt like it was all forced?  That it didn't fit the characters or kind of stuck out of the text like--whoa?  I don't mind cursing at all.  If anything, I think that it makes the characters more believable because I have not met a teenager who has not cursed.  A lot.  And in Anna, Cas does curse, but it doesn't feel out of context or odd coming from him.  I was extremely happy to read a book where I couldn't wait for Cas to curse because I knew it wasn't going to be a mental-cringe moment for me.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed a book that I thought I was going to hate.  Not because of bad reviews or that the idea sounded bad, but because I underestimated my ability to swallow a semi-scary book.  Anna Dressed in Blood was, as written in my review notebook, some "creepy ass shit".  It was extremely well written and definitely changed my mind on how ghosts in books are in general.  Blake brought to life a new and greatly disturbing (but in a good way) world with likable characters and a quick pace.  For those who enjoy books with gruesome detail, evil, killer ghosts, and a likable male MC, I suggest you read Anna Dressed in Blood!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck

The Synopsis:
With the head-to-head battle against the villainous Lokesh behind her, Kelsey confronts a new heartbreak: in the wake of his traumatic experience, her beloved Ren no longer remembers who she is. As the trio continues their quest by challenging five cunning and duplicitous dragons, Ren and Kishan once more vie for her affections--leaving Kelsey more confused than ever.

My Thoughts:
Alright, guys.  This is the last of the Houck books I'll be reviewing for a while now.  Honestly, I've never felt like this before where I really enjoyed the books, but the reviews are the same with the same problems and the reviewing task of my job just become arduous.  I've contemplated reviewing Tiger's Quest and Voyage or not because THEY ARE THE SAME.  While completely different with different adventures and characters and overall conflicts, underneath all that busyness are the same nagging problems that bother me.  SAME.  NAGGING.  PROBLEMS.

Kelsey, why do I want to strangle you so?  Get over this 'I'm ugly' nonsense because you wouldn't have TWO AMAZINGLY SMOKING HOT THREE HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD PRINCES wanting to get acquainted with your lips.  Because of this odd mindset that has been going on for THREE LONG BOOKS, you've become an extremely unlikable and flat character in my mind.  I've no attachment to you whatsoever.  I gave you a chance in the first book, figuring you'd come to change throughout the saga.  I became a little bothered how you've not changed in the second book at all.  But now it's the end of the third book and I'm ready to kick your butt to the curb.  You would have been a great and inspirational character to the YA genre if you weren't such a numskull.

And with the end of the third book, I've come to notice, that while the writing has greatly improved, the imagery is almost nonexistent.  Being that I've never been to India and went inside the Shore Temple, I have no idea how to picture the world Houck has brought readers to.  It is imperative that, when an author writes a book that takes place in an entirely different country than most of the demographic, the imagery has to be off the charts.  I assume that India is scorching hot.  But, never once does Kelsey complain about how hot India can get.  I mean, she goes from freezing Oregon to tropical India.  I better have at least a few clues that she is a little bit uncomfortable in this new country. 
This is what the Shore Temple looks like.  My mind did not conjure a somewhat similar image.

And Ren?  Seriously?  Memory loss?  After he came back, the cause of the problem was obvious to me and it bothered me how none of the other characters saw how predictable it was.  And Kishan?  Step back, man.  Step back.  You are deep in dangerous Team Ren territory.

That being said, I might as well mention that I greatly did enjoy this book.  I greatly enjoy the series.  But once these nagging problems stay constant throughout a number of books, they become hard to ignore and make me a little ticked off.  The adventure in this book was outstanding.  Being that I love and live right next to the ocean, I enjoyed being taken on this aquatic adventure that led me all the way to the abysmal depths of the ocean.  Jellyfish!  I was so happy to see them cuties included in the story.

And once again, while my review may seem like I am totally bashing the book to bits and pieces, I have to mention that I loved the book.  It's more of the action and adventure and Indian mythology/prophecy thing that sucked me in.  I can see why people have dropped the book--I just named all the reasons above--and maybe I'm being masochistic, but I will finish the series and hope that something good, at least, comes from all of those pesky problems.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck

The Synopsis:
Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. But danger lurks around the corner, forcing her to return to India where she embarks on a second quest--this time with Ren's dark, bad-boy brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the Tiger's Curse. Fraught with danger, spellbinding dreams, and choices of the heart, TIGER'S QUEST brings the trio one step closer to breaking the spell that binds them.

My Thoughts:
So while I was not exactly 100% infatuated with Tiger's Curse, I was very eager to get my hands on the second and third book in the series.  I don't know if it was because the series features big kitties or that there's a lot of action or maybe just a combination of the two, but all I know is that I was very, very, very curious to see what would happen next.

Honestly, I feel like this review is going to be almost exactly like my Tiger's Curse review.

Kelsey still got on my nerves a lot of times.  The book starts off with her coming home from India and she's all depressed because she left all Mr. Hot Man alone and rejected.  She was still so insecure about herself.  I mean, she gets home and goes to college and not even a few months into the semester, she's got three--no four, if you include Ren--vying for her attention!  Seriously!  I can't even get that many dates if I tried.  And she still feels like she's not pretty.  I don't know about you, but I call that thick-skulled.  That doesn't even qualify as denial because if she was just in denial, she would know deep down that she was wrong . . . but she didn't.  And she dates them all at once, and I just found that a little trashy, if you ask me.  I mean, she wasn't looking for anything exclusive, necessarily, but who juggles around four guys at once?  Also, I feel like she hasn't grown as a character.  Or, if she has, it has been this very imperceptible shift in character.

To my liking, there was plenty of action and adventure.  I get the feeling that it wouldn't be a Houck book if there wasn't action and adventure.  And plenty of violence and evil people.  Well, I wouldn't be reading a book, really, if it didn't have any of those characteristics, either, so . . .

For the love that is good and holy!  Must there be a love triangle?  I think that the book would have been plenty successful and just as enjoyable without the triangular romance.  I mentally cringed through a lot of the book because I could see it coming and I was not liking where things were going.  I found it unnecessary and if the one point of the triangle really cared (no, I am not giving away names) he would have backed off.  Just my opinion. 

Writing wise, it was great!  It was such an improvement from the first book.  There wasn't nearly as many awkward situations or sentences that would make me actually cringe.  That was a good sign, I imagine.  It was much smoother writing and had plenty of imagery.

For this review, even though it seems as if I totally bashed the book and hated it, it's actually the exact opposite.  I deeply enjoyed the book despite all of its many flaws.  It's mostly the story that really has me interested in the story.  It was masterfully woven and is a perfect example of what a little bit of imagination can do to the mind.  While I still wasn't feeling the Indian culture, I felt the surroundings, and while I did not connect with the MC, the characters felt like people, if a little out there and strange.

Tiger's Quest will have you turning pages faster than you can imagine with its fast-paced action and adventure.  The story is what will really suck you into the book and make you fall in love with it.  The writing was such an improvement from the first book and the imagery will have you almost smelling the wild jungle air.  For those who enjoy evil opposing forces, action and adventure, and Indian mythology, I would suggest picking up the Tiger's Curse Saga.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where bloggers like me get to gush about what makes their hands all grabby.

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her--East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

You guys! I cannot tell you how excited I am for this book!  I've heard nothing but awesome praise for this book, and guess what?  This pretty comes out on the 18th!  That's not so far away from now!  I mean, what is a 'dangerous one'?  What can this Ruby girl do?  It sounds like just the kind of book I'd like.  However understated the cover is, it's not what its physical presence has to offer; it's what's on the inside that does.  Well . . . as long as I keep telling myself that.

Sorry for being such a terrible blogger lately!  I promise that in the next few days or so, there will be more frequent posts.  For now, enjoy this gif.

And for those of you that don't know, Killian Jones/Captain Hook (aka, his real name is Colin O'Donoghue) is my love.

Cheers, everyone!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The Synopsis:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

My Thoughts:
Being that I wasn't too amazed by Bloodlines, I wasn't exactly dying to get my hands on this book, but I was pretty curious to figure out how things were turning out.  I mean, I was not happy with Adrian at all in the first book.  He was such a jerk, and I believe that while he plays this tortured bad boy role, there is a difference between being a bad boy and being a straight up jerk.  He was walking a very fine and dangerous line between the two in Bloodlines.  I have no problems with bad boys, mind you, but it's just gotta the right amount.  Secondly, I didn't really like Sydney all that much.  She just got on my nerves so many times.  And thirdly, I thought it was a little slow.  There was just so much muchness to it that I almost tossed the book aside and started a new one.

Good news!  I thought this one was so much better!
Let me begin with Sydney.  Alas, she still bothered me at times, but not nearly as much as she did in the first book.  Honestly, she reminded me of an emotionless robot in the first book.  She was a workaholic only living off of coffee, she never complained or stood up for herself and was overall just emotionless.  Mind you, I did not find her to be a flat character; just a very unlikable one in my mind.  After reading Golden Lily, I will admit that she has shown a little emotion in this one.  I could really see how much conflict she was feeling as she hung out with her vampire friends, but still had those nagging thoughts about how incriminating it was for her to be friendly with them.  She's in a tough cookie situation!  It's just that one moment she'll be all 'Yes, I'm going to have such a lovely time with these bloodsuckers!' and then within seconds, she'll be all 'No!  Stay away from me, Devil's spawn!'.  Either you like the friendly vamps or you don't, Sydney!  Make up your mind!  It was hypocritical of her, I thought.  (Plus, if she's already knee-deep in incriminating badness, why not take the plunge?  There's no way she could back herself out of the situation if she were ever to get caught.  Just my opinion.)

And could it be?

Yes I think it could be.

I, fellow readers, have the Syndrian Feels.  Oh!  Did I forget to tell you that I've kinda sorta forgiven Adrian?  I know!  Crazy, right?  I mean, here I was a few months ago telling you all that I was not sold on Adrian, and now I'm telling you that I've forgiven him!  I normally am not so quick to change my opinions about characters (Sydney, for example) but I feel that I finally got to see some of the real Adrian in this book and that was almost all I needed to go on Tumblr and create some Syndrian shipper post.  But I didn't.  I still do not forgive him for his reckless behavior, yet knowing that it effected Jill, too.  How could somebody consciously inflict vicarious states of intoxication on another?  HOW?!?

The story itself, I felt, had improved in this book.  While Bloodlines was extremely slow and monotonous with it's world building and long, descriptive paragraphs, this one moved at a much quicker pace and kept me interested.  I liked how we got to see different sides to the characters, including Sydney, who, might I add, scored herself a few dates!  It was nice to see this other, careless side to Sydney.  Well, as careless as she will ever be.  Also, more of an action-y plot I would expect for a book of the vampire genre was included in Golden Lily.  That was a nice improvement.  I can't tell you how much I need to read a book with blood, sweat, and tears.  If it doesn't have at least some of those three points, I lose interest.

While The Golden Lily wasn't exactly a five star for me, it was much of an improvement from the first book and left me wanting more once I was finished reading.  There are some definite Feels I am getting from the emotions between Adrian and Sydney and, while Adrian is no Will Herondale to me, he has definitely taken at least a small part of my carefully locked away heart.  I'm still feeling a little meh on the plot, but am more content on seeing more complexity and dimension in and between the characters.  Will I recommend The Golden Lily?  Yes.  That is, as long as you've read Bloodlines first.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Defiance by C.J Redwine

The Synopsis:
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

My Thoughts:
I was so super excited for the publication of this book.  I mean, that is one kick ass cover with Rachel wearing that billowing cloak and boots.  The cover was what had admittedly drew me into the book.  After reading that synopsis, then I knew that I would really enjoy this book.  And then there was just so much hype for it!  So much hype.  So then, of course, all I wanted to do was read the pretty.

Honestly, I was just a little let down.  Just a little.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved the book, but there were just a few things here and there that would irk me.

Rachel, for example.  I loved her fiery--not to use the title, but--defiance and stubbornness.  But I sometimes found her to be too childish and pouty.  I loved how impulsive she was and she would say how strong she was--and be able to prove it--but then she'd go on this catatonic breakdown, and I was just like "Whaaat?"  She wasn't as consistent of a character as I had hoped.  She certainly was still a great character, but she was missing that consistency that would have made her more believable.

Secondly, there is a difference between cute awkward romance and just plain old awkward romance.  I mean, I guess to some people what Logan and Rachel had was cute in that awkward, but to me I was all "Stop.  Just stop right there."  I am definitely a Rachel/Logan shipper, right from the very first page, but there were these uncomfortable situations that bothered me.

However, there were many things about I did like!  I mean, this is some fantasy/dystopian something that had so much action and adventure and awesomeness.  The bad dude, I mean, he was really bad.  Like super bad man bad.  It was crazy!  I had no idea what he was up to or anything, so I loved it!  And then there's this dragon thing?  Yup.  'Tis good stuff.

And the writing!  So descriptive!  I was enveloped in the imagery that was Redwine.  The streets of Baalboden came to life, every person, good and bad, striding along the way.  It was amazing how Redwine just created this entirely different and original world and made it almost like this breathing thing.  It was awesome!  The storyline was not what I expected it to be at all, and things just pretty much took me by surprise at almost every chapter.  Those are two great aspects I'm looking for in books and I'm glad that Defiance could give them to me.

Defiance was the ultimate package of action, adventure, and overall awesomeness.  Even though there were some little hiccups here and there, it was a great book with masterful writing.  I was introduced to a dark and dangerous world that kept me reading until the very last pages, where I then proceeded to put down the book and experience a lovely book hangover.  If you are a reader looking for something entirely different to read with an epic plot, I would highly suggest Defiance.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where bloggers like me get to gush about what makes their hands all grabby.

Haven Terra is still recovering from an internship that brought her literally to the brink of hell when a trip to New Orleans leads to more trouble. There, while taking part in a student volunteer program, Haven and her friends Dante and Lance run across an enclave of devils known as the Krewe.

These shape-shifting devils are more reckless and vicious than any Haven, Lance, and Dante have encountered. Yet the friends soon discover that their French Quarter housemates are also angels in training, and together they must face off with the Krewe in their quest for wings.

But Haven’s resolve is tested when Lucian, the repentant devil with whom she was infatuated, resurfaces and asks her for help escaping the underworld. Can he be trusted? Or will aiding him cost Haven her angel wings—and her life?

For those of you who have not followed my blog for that long, I had written a review a long time ago that was quite fangirl-ish and overall very entertaining.  I mean, this is what had written: "And then there was Lucian. Somebody fan me, please, 'cause he was steamier than chicken enchiladas drowned in the hottest hot sauce on Earth. So that is a bit of an exaggeration, but he was Mr. Smokey Pants in this book. He was rip-off-his-clothes, drool-worthy hot with a side of awesome." 


And Aimee herself still remembers this review!  Not only is that awesome, but then there's this part of me that just doesn't know what to think of it. 

Anyway, I cannot wait for this book!  I'm so excited for it!  And it takes place in New Orleans!  I absolutely love New Orleans!  And Lucian is back!  Oh, my sweet goodness--yes!

So what are you all waiting on this fine Wednesday?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cover Reveal!

You guys ready for this cover reveal?  Yes? 

*************Are you sure?*************
Publication date: February, 2013
Best friends since kindergarten, Adam and Christy have always been the perpetual outsiders in their small town in Texas. The other kids call Adam gay and Christy a witch.

On both counts the bullies are right.

Their junior year in high school seems destined to be the same old same old until Christy decides to cast a love spell for Adam at the midnight hour. The next day an alluring and mysterious boy enrolls at school and sets hearts a flutter, including Adam’s. Meanwhile, Christy’s mad crush on the handsome football player Ian seems to be going nowhere fast and her witch puberty is making her life miserable.

When a great evil arrives in town that threatens everything they hold dear, the best friends realize that finding a boyfriend is the least of their worries. Soon Adam and Christy will have to battle a force of darkness that has killed in their town before, and will again.
Author Bios:
Rhiannon Frater:
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to
Kody Boye:
Kody Boye was born and raised in Southeastern Idaho. Since his initial publication in the Yellow Mama Webzine in 2007, he has gone on to sell nearly three-dozen stories to various markets. He is the author of the short story collection Amorous Things, the novella The Diary of Dakota Hammell, the zombie novel Sunrise and the dark fantasy novel Blood. His fiction has been described as ‘Surreal, beautiful and harrowing’ (Fantastic Horror,) while he himself has been heralded as a writer beyond his years(Bitten by Books.) He currently lives and writes in the Austin, Texas area.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Did Ya Hear?!?

Jennifer L. Armentrout is giving away copies of Opal and swag!  Right now!  At this exact moment!  Click here to enter!

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

The Synopsis:
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. He’d give anything to have just one more glimpse of her. But when Cam visits the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees an apparition. Her name is Nina, and she’s a girl from a parallel world. When Cam follows here there and makes an unbelievable discovery, it’s as if all his wildest dreams have come true. But things are very different in this other world. Nina is hiding a secret, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with the truth, he’s forced to make a choice that will change his life forever.

My Thoughts:
Thanks, Epic Reads, for this advance copy of this book!

I was very interested in reading this book.  I mean, who wouldn't be interested in a sci-fi contemporary that includes alternate dimensions and such?  This sounded so much like the television series Fringe and I was so glad when this pretty arrived in my mailbox. 

Cam was not what I expected him to be.  He was pretty darn mopey to me.  The book starts off two months after the shocking death of his girlfriend Viv.  I get why he would be so depressed even though it's only been two months after her death, but Cam didn't have this desire to move forward.  It's not very often when the reader is in the head of a person that has no desire to do anything with their life.  Usually, the characters are driven and impulsive.  Cam was neither, and sometimes, his antics would really bother me.  His attitude was something I could fathom.  On top of that, he was thick-skulled and trying to get him to move on and understand things was a process.

My thoughts overall for this book was kind of meh.  It was good and very interesting.  It was a fast read and was suspenseful at times, but I thought it was a little too anticlimactic.  It all just went on at this very steady pace, but luckily, I didn't find things all too predictable.  I was surprised at many things that did happen in the book, but was not surprised by Cam's Debby Downer reaction.

One of the best things about Through to You was that it was a lot like Fringe.  The idea of alternate dimensions intrigues me, and on top of that, I really love watching Fringe.  So just imagine all this Awesome packed into a book that is only 272 pages long.  Alternate dimensions are not seen a lot in books, and I wish there was more of it because the possibilities are endless with this idea.  I mean, just look at Fringe.  A whole entire television show was created because of it.

Through to You, while having an overall dampening mood and sometimes infuriating main character, was thought-provoking and different, but in a good way.  The idea of having this inter-dimensional love is interesting.  In the end, who would you choose?  Would you rather end up alone or would you end up staying with the one you love?  While lacking in action and adrenaline-filled climax, this sci-fi contemporary had me hooked.  Fans of both romance and Fringe will definitely enjoy this book.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Post of Feels

It's been a while since I've posted anything here on the blog, and for that, I am deeply sorry.  Being away from my baby is kinda tearing me up to pieces.  It really isn't a good feeling.  At.  All.  It's been really busy in my life and there's barely been enough time to read and review.  Sad face. 

But in my absence, a lot of things have been revealed and all!  And that makes me super happy.  While I may not be on the internet much, I still find ways to keep myself connected, even if the news is a little delayed.

So now it's time for me to talk about the Feels.

First: There will never be another Twilight movie.  The thought really hasn't been as profound as it was for the Harry Potter movies, but there was still a twinge.  Mostly, that is because the Twilight movies were cheesy and the only casting role I agree with is Taylor Lautner as Jacob. (I love you, Jacob baby!)  But, there's still this nostalgic feeling I'm getting and I think it has to do with the fact that the Twilight series was what really got me interested in reading.  Of course I'm going to see the movie in theaters and possibly bawl my eyes out at the end because I lost Jacob to Renesmee.

So just think about it.  There will never be another Twilight movie.  Let that sink in.


Was I super excited to watch this trailer? Hells yes!  I mean, I'm still kind of reluctant to watch the movie because Jamie Campbell Bower looks like the druggie version of Jace.  I do not find him very attractive, either.  However, I am not familiar with his acting abilities, so I will give him a chance. 

But this is about the trailer here.  First I was like:

And while I was watching the trailer, I was all:

And then:


Third:  The breakup Glee episode.


Fourth:  Need I remind you that Clockwork Princess comes out in the spring and being that I am a Tessa/Will shipper, these teaser snippets aren't helping?


And that would be me as Joey Richter stroking the book with unrequited adoration.


Dear Daemon/Pepe,

And the way you kiss Katy/Sztella

And not to mention how gorgeous you are

All girls out there

I'm sure I've felt some other Feels recently, but those are the main ones that come to mind.  Obviously, I couldn't vent any of these Feels to le family or friends because they are no fellow fandom members, but I'm sure some of these Feels pertain to some of you out there.  Man, it feels really good to get that all off my chest.  Whew.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

The Synopsis:
Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

My Thoughts:
I had almost picked up this book a really long time ago when it first came out, but I didn't, and I'm not really sure why.  I think I vaguely remember my close friend, a fellow bookworm, had thought it was kind of meh.  I was still curious about the book--I mean, just look at the cover--but I thought that it could wait.  And then Jenna at Making the Grade had this 'Month of the Tiger' and it was all Tiger's Curse and Colleen Houck.  Being that I follow that blog closely, I thought that a month of recommending this series was plenty of nagging I needed to pick up the book.

I'm not sure that I fully understand Kelsey.  She wasn't a character that was exactly remarkable, but she was brave and courageous.  What I absolutely hated about her was the fact that she kept on trying to convince Ren that she wasn't as beautiful as he thought.  Um, EXCUSE ME. If there's an extremely hot, drool-worthy guy telling me that I'm beautiful and complimenting me REPEATEDLY, I think I'd be convinced that I'm probably not that ugly as I think I am.  Just saying.  But she never learned.  She didn't grow as a character.  Even though this series is, like, five billion books long, I expect there to be at least a minute growth in character.  She was also a little annoying.  She didn't think that she was worthy of Ren's love.  How could you think that, Kelsey?!?!

Another thing that bothered me as I read was the writing.  It was amateur.  Some of the situations the characters were put in was awkward at times, too.  Also put into mind that this book is a monstrosity.  It's long and weighs at least three pounds.  It's a hefty one.  So when it's full with this writing that isn't exactly right, it's a little off-putting.  However, this is Houck's first book, and I hope that as the series progresses, the writing will improve.

But those are the reasons why this book was not given five stars from me.  There were some things that I actually did enjoy about this book.  For one, the mythology.  Once again, I will mention how much of a history geek I am, so historical and mythological accuracy in books are key to me.  And it was great how Houck tied in all these Hindu aspects into the story.  Plus, it made me super happy when Mr. Kadam, the only character that I really connected to, would explain to Kelsey about the caste system and tell her stories about Durga and the other gods.  However, I didn't feel much of the local Indian culture in the story.  Since a majority of the book takes place in India, I would have expected more of the Indian culture to make more of an appearance in the story.

Another thing that I enjoyed about the book was that it was filled to the brim with action and adventure.  I can't fully enjoy a book if it doesn't have adrenaline-packed scenes or a scenic surrounding.  Besides the beginning, there really wasn't a slow, dull moment in the story.  I was glued to the book and I'm pretty sure I disappeared from the real world for a while when I was reading this book.

Despite the sometimes unlikable main character and weak writing, there was a lot to enjoy about Tiger's Curse.  Tying in an old curse that has turned man into tiger with Hindu mythology was almost intoxicating for me and very enjoyable.  I may not have enjoyed the characters at times, but the story was plenty of reason to keep me reading on.  If you're a fan of big kitties, ancient curses, mythology, and action and adventure, you should maybe consider putting Tiger's Curse on your TBR list.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator by Jill Baguchinsky

The Synopsis:
Winner of the Breakthrough Novel Award Contest--Jill Baguchinsky's quirky, creepy debut

Violet doesn't remember much about her late mother, but she is certain of one thing: she too can see ghosts and communicate with the dead. But when Violet discovers paranormal activity in the girls' locker room, she finds herself ill-equipped for handling the school's ghostly echoes. Through Violet's own investigation and with the help of some unlikely allies, Violet discovers there is a lot she doesn't know about her special skill--and more still that can stand in the way of its power. With sharp wit and determination, Violet sets out to uncover the truth behind her school's haunting, to finish the investigation that led to her mother's sudden death, and to learn why the only ghost she has ever wanted to see is the one that has eluded her forever.

My Thoughts:
I heard about this book a long time ago on Amazon and my curiosity was piqued, but I wasn't exactly motivated to read the book until I saw it at my local library.  It looked like a really cute and dark short read that would entertain me. 

For some reason, I didn't really find Violet to be very remarkable.  I did enjoy her jokes, some of them that probably shouldn't be funny because they were about the dead, but they were.  She was likable, but there wasn't exactly a characteristic about her that made her unforgettable.

Story wise, even though this was a short read, I was expecting more from it.  I felt that with all this darkness centering around this one house, there'd be more of a struggle.  Like, this house is supposed to be this terrible and dark and creepy place where people are afraid to even be within a mile radius of it.  And there was so much build up for the house throughout the book.  I don't know about you, but even if this book is kind of on the light and fluffy side, if there's a haunted house that the characters go into, I expect it to be mind blowing and memorable.  I would want it to be the highlight of the book, so when I think back on the book, that is what I remember most about it.

Another thing is that I thought that the bows were neatly strung by the end of the book, leaving the story all squeaky clean and a little too bright for a supposedly dark tale.  Once again, this book is supposed to be about a paranormal investigator.  That's some creepy stuff right there.  There was a whole lot of mystery and suspense, but at the very end, it was all neatly solved hastily and I almost expected rainbows and unicorns to start frolicking around.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind reading books that are short, but when things get resolved a little to neatly, even if the book is a standalone, it's off-putting for me.

One thing I did like about this book?  There was absolutely no romance for the MC.  I sure do love my romance in books, but it's very rare to find a book that has absolutely zero romance.  And for a teenager in real life, some kids, especially the social pariahs, do not have this epic love that not even the weight of the universe can stop.  Doesn't happen.  So when Violet did not hookup with some kid, and I wasn't even thinking about it in the book, I was happy about it.  I think that a romance would not have fit in for this book and would only have made the romance insta-love-like if it was and the story would have been even fluffier.

Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator was a short and entertaining read about a girl who works to help ghosts find their peace and lives in a funeral home with her father and befriends to goths that join her in her investigations.  It was morbidly funny and fast paced, always keeping me interested.  If you're interested in a short, different, and paranormal read, Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator could be a book you would want to read.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Soulbound by Heather Brewer

The Synopsis:
Tril is a world where Barrons and Healers are Bound to each other: Barrons fight and Healers cure their Barrons' wounds in the ongoing war with the evil Graplar King. Seventeen-year-old Kaya was born a Healer, but she wants to fight. In Tril, and at Shadow Academy, where she is sent to learn to heal, it is against Protocol for Healers to fight. So Kaya must learn in secret. Enter two young men: One charming, rule-following Barron who becomes Bound to Kaya and whose life she must protect at all costs. And one with a mysterious past who seems bent on making Kaya's life as difficult as possible. Kaya asks both to train her, but only one will, and the consequences will change their lives forever.

My Thoughts:
So let's all be honest here and regard the cover of the book with new found interest.  Appraising thoughts are floating through your head at the moment, yes?  I mean, just look at Kaya on the cover there holding a katana and wearing this chain mail mask thingy while she's got all this leather clothing on.  I didn't have to read the synopsis to know that I would be interested in this book.  And the font of the title!  Love it!

Being that I'm a girl and read way too many YA books with defiant and strong heroines, I've pretty much turned into this ultra-feminist.  I'm all for women's rights and independence and not having to have to have men to help sustain their lives.  Equality and all that jazz.  But it doesn't go as far as that; I think that the underdogs out there deserve the same chance as a person that would have that chance fed to them.  So when Brewer introduces this idea of Barrons and their Healers, I was about ready to tell some of those characters where they can shove that chauvinistic, superior idea.  But, I didn't.  I held it together.

With this is mind, it ultimately made me almost love Kaya instantly.  She's a Healer by law, but she's got this violent, determined undercurrent that made her face her fears head-on and never give up.  So, what's the only thing a girl's gonna do now?  She sneaks behind the backs of practically everyone and trains in secret with this particularly attractive, infuriating, talented . . . brooding . . . Darius.  Okay, so the name's a little off-putting, but yeah.  Darius.

Speaking of, I've gotta pick a bone with this romantic geometric shape that has three sides.  So Kaya comes to the school and she's told that her soulbound has died and Trayton, pretty boy jock-dude with lots of money, is supposed to be Bound to her.  Don't get me wrong--I liked Trayton.  He was cute, if a little too polished for my taste, and really knew how to charm a girl.  It was a little too insta-love for my preference, though.  Enter Darius.  He's all dark and brooding and mysterious, but  he's a total dickwad.  Not my cup of tea, either, which means I didn't connect with either of the boys.  In all, I wasn't really shipping either one of the boys.

Another bone, alas, that I have to pick is that I had no clue where the fak we were!  And I couldn't pinpoint a certain date, either.  Being the history geek that I am, it really bothered me that I couldn't pick out the date.  Basing on the katana usage and ethnicity of the girl on the cover, I assumed the book took place in Asia somewhere.  But when the storyline got all adventurous and the characters traveled, I was lost.  A map in the beginning of the book could have helped.  My sense of direction and time was down the toilet for this one.

However, I will say that I enjoyed the action.  Loved it.  I was sucked into all of the fighting would get really excited.  That's what I think really gave this book bonus brownie points for me.  I think I was having a few flashbacks to The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa.  Possibly. 

Overall, I thought that Soulbound was a good and interesting book.  I definitely did enjoy it a whole bunch and I read through it pretty fast.  I loved all of the action and and these creepy monsters things whose name alludes me at the moment.  I cannot wait for the second book because lemme tell ya, with the ending that was given, no sane person would not be okay with it.  Soulbound was different, but it was great.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where bloggers like me can gush about what makes their hands all grabby.

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood

I know this is probably making a certain someone very happy and possibly squee-ish (Ahem. Monica...) but I've actually found myself wrapped up in the story.  I think it's interesting and I wanna know what's going on between Adrian and Sydney!  Yes!  I want to know!  And having that I have to wait until February 12th, this is how it ended up on this week's WoW post.

Wait are all you of you guys waiting on this week?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Endlessly by Kiersten White

The Synopsis:
Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.

So much for normal.

My Thoughts:
Let me start off by saying that the Paranormalcy series has been a blast to read.  Just looking at the covers, I knew that I would somehow love the books one way or another.  I loved getting to know all about Evie and her insecurities and falling for Lend.  It has been a fun series with plenty of ups and downs for the characters, and once I finished reading Endlessly, I knew that the story and all of its characters were done justice.

Evie is one of the most alive characters I've ever read.  Even though she strived for some type of normalcy, never once did she ever doubt the decisions she made.  Sure, she had the entire race of supernaturals on her hands and a whole lot of stress that no person should never be put through, but never once did she give up and her determination for both a normal life and also a safe life was admirable.  And it was such a great experience as a write to see how much Evie's matured throughout the entire series.  I know I've put in reviews for the other books that I found her annoying and naive, but I can't even complain about that now.  She became such a strong character and I enjoyed being in her head throughout the series.

Things were a lot heavier than I expected them to be in this book.  It was deep.  The situation was a lot worse than I thought it'd be.  First of all, the Dark Faerie Queen?  I would not want to mess with that mama.  I didn't think that she was Queen Mab from the Iron Fey Series evil, but the DFQ had her own air of evilness.  And don't even get me started on the new director to IPCA.  Oh, how she got on my nerves!  You bad lady! 

And I might as well say this: Jack is back! *happy dance*

And is it possible that I cared enough for all of the characters that I had the FEELS?  The answer is: Yes!  It is possible!  They weren't like "AWWWWW, somebody hold me!  I have the FEELS!!" but it was more like a "Oh, how my heart flutters and my eyes get all misty!".  Those kind of Feels.

Endlessly had the right amount of spunk and fierceness that I could only describe as a work of White.  It was highly entertaining and the story was an original idea inspired by all the things that go bump in the night.  Endlessly was the perfect end to a series.  Be prepared to see a different side of Evie and all the paranormals and see a whole different kind of evil.  For those that love a book with the perfect balance of light and dark and paranormal influences, the Paranormalcy series is something I'd be putting on your TBR list.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

The Synopsis:
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.
Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.
Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.
These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

My Thoughts:
Being that I have a deep love for all things free and cheap, I jumped on the opportunity to download Sweet Venom after seeing it proudly advertised on Pitch Dark as free a few weeks ago.  Never mind that I loathe reading anything on technological devices.  Ironic, since I run a blog here and read other peoples' reviews all the time.  Call me a hypocrite.

I had downloaded it onto my phone, and I just expected that I'd pick it up and read it whenever I got bored and didn't have my current read on me.  At first, that's just what I did.  I think that lasted for only a day or two before I had a hard time putting it down.  I didn't have high expectations for this book because I'd never read up on it or anything, so I was happily surprised to become wrapped up into the story.

I was so surprised that I didn't even know there was a third sister to the group.  I'd read nothing of the synopsis!  It's so unlike me!
After getting acquainted with all three sisters, I found that I mostly connected with Gretchen and Grace, Gretchen being my favorite.  Gretchen was all badass ninja-like as she takes down Greek monster after Greek monster.  This is a regular walk-in-the-park life for Gretchen.  She was also pessimistic and untrustworthy, which made me like her even more.  And she named her car.  So when two other sisters stumble into her now not so walk-in-the-park life, she was believable with her reactions.

Grace was cute.  She had that very girl-next-door vibe, but I found her to be naive at times and too trusting and optimistic.  Too much sunshine for me.  But that's what made her her, so I can't complain much about that.  I did, however, like how she tried her best to keep the trio together.  She was fiercely determined and stubborn and knowledgeable.

And then there was Greer.  I'm not going to say much other than I didn't like her.  We did not have that connecting moment, but that could also be due to how little 'screen time'--if you will--she got during the book.  And I was not convinced about her by the end of the book.

Since I love Greek mythology so much, I thought it was really interesting to read where Medusa happens to be the good guy.  It was a different and original take on my beloved Greek mythology and I did enjoy it to the point that I couldn't wait to get my hands on the second book (this time in HB form, thank you).  There was action and the budding romance between some of the characters was extremely adorable.  Unfortunately, there were times in the story where I'd get confused about who I was reading about.  Maybe it's because all of their names began with a 'G' or the writing style got a little too consistent between characters.  I'm not sure.

Sweet Venom was an original tale that tells the story of three sisters destined to kick Greek monster butt while being sassy and fierce as they do so.  I was happily wrapped up into the story and was gladly transported to the sunny streets of San Fransisco, California.  And although Childs transports readers into the dark alleyways of the city and introduces them to the not-so-attractive monsters, Sweet Venom was a short and entertaining read with dimensional characters and great imagery.  If you're into Greek mythology or if you even like some monster butt-kicking, Sweet Venom would be a great read  for you.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

The Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa's talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation called AMRF threatens his life in no uncertain terms.

But what Noa and Peter don't realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who'd stop at nothing to silence her for good.

Fans of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" will devour the story of Noa, a teen soul mate to Lisbeth Salander.

My Thoughts:
I was so excited when I first caught wind of this book and my expectations for it did not fall flat.  This book was awesome!  Hackers!  Government Sekrit Stuff!  It's like this book had my name printed on it somewhere.  All I knew is that I had to get my hands on this book.  It's safe to say I devoured it.

Almost instantly, I liked Noa's character.  She was strong, mentally and physically, smart and cunning, and independent to a fault almost (key word: almost).  I love how she goes from this very non-confrontational-looking girl into a semi-less non-confrontational-looking girl.  Noa was hardened by her life in the in foster care system and on her own.  She was admirable and her determination was solid.

And can we just take a moment here to admire the cover?  I love it!  So original and creepy.

Every character, I felt, that was introduced were all dimensional.  Nobody was flat and they all brought different personalities into the story, making me connect with them.  And I will say this, that connection ran deep for me with some of the characters, fortunately but unfortunately.

Story wise, I also enjoyed it!  It was filled to the brim with mystery and bad guys with plenty of action to keep the book moving at a healthy pace.  And the position that Noa was put in would have made me break down and cry with all of the stress.  I don't consider myself a baby, but--geez-- I would not have been able to handle all the things that happened in the book as flawlessly as Noa.

My only issue I had with this book was the lack of romance.  Usually when a book doesn't have romance in it, I don't mind.  It's no biggie.  I think that YA needs some books that don't include romance in it because not all teenagers have flings or find their true love at sixteen.  But for some reason, I was shipping Peter and Noa--hard.  And nothing really went on.  What I'm really hoping for is that in the next book there be a little more something-something.  I mean, this isn't a deal breaker or anything, but it was just one of those things.

And I might as well add that I thought Peter was such a sweetheart.  I liked his character.

Don't Turn Around was a thrilling story about a boy and a girl trying to escape the grasp of evil hands.  Never a dull moment, the story was written, and the adventuring duo created.  Don't Turn Around was masterfully written, bringing readers into a world full of the Evil and the Underdogs.  If you're interested in exciting thrillers, Don't Turn Around is the one for you.
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