Monday, May 28, 2012

Cover Reveal of Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Woot!  Isn't she a beauty?  I absolutely loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  Surprisingly, I almost passed that one up until my very close friend of mine suggested it.  I LOVED that book and can't wait to see what happens next, so lookie here!  It's the cover of Days of Blood and Starlight.  Le sighh.  This makes me happy.
Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone — the first novel in a trilogy — centered on a blue-haired girl named Karou who encounters unusual creatures and dangerous angels as she travels the world on mysterious errands.
Now the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight, is slated for a Nov. 6 release. It picks up where the best-selling Daughter left off. From the official description: “In this stunning sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.”
Judging from Daughter of Smoke and Bone — which EW’s Sara Vilkomerson called a “smartly plotted, surprising, and fiercely compelling read” — the sequel is well worth getting excited about.

What do you think of the cover?  I loooveee it, obviously.  I think it's fierce.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Spell Continues

After reading the first book, Spellbound, by Cara Lynn Shultz, I knew that these books would be one of my favorites.  I love Emma as a character.  She experienced with taking care of herself and keeping her emotions in check.  And then there's Brenden, her boyfriend, who's absolutely smokin' hot and very protective of her.  They're such a cute couple that make up a great and interesting story.  And because of their curse--that was broken--people of the magical kind are attracted to the two of them, not all of them good.
Finding your eternal soulmate – easy.
Stopping a true-love-hungry evil – not so much…
After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although…it’s not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close….
But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan’s deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma’s crash course in ├╝ber-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

In the beginning, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of two teenagers being The Ones for each other.  I guess I'm an oldie in that sense, but I feel that two kids simply can't fall deeply in love and create this serious relationship with each other.  But that was the curse that did that to them, but they were still meant for each other even after it was broken.
I was glad this story didn't deal so much with school life, although they went there every weekday.  Now that Anthony disappeared, there was a sense of false calm in the beginning.  Nothing could possibly go wrong with them now that the curse was broken.  After I read the first book and discovered that there was another one soon to come out, I was confused.  I didn't really see where else the story could go.  The curse was broken.  Problem solved.  Unfortunately, the story doesn't come that easy to Brenden and Emma; a jealous, power-hungry dark witch is lurking in the shadows of Brenden and Emma's happiness, waiting for the right moment to strike.
Things got interesting after I figured that out.  Once again, Brenden and Emma have to fight to stay together.  Only now, they're relationship is stronger and the person after them has magical powers. 
Book Two here was an improvement from the first book, in my opinion.  Maybe that could be because Emma and Brenden's relationship didn't seem as far-fetched as it was in Spellbound.  I wonder what will happen next, but I can wait.  I did, however, give this pretty five stars.  Good book!

Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

You can thank the lovely Michelle over at The Passionate Bookworm for introducing me to this awesome book!
Love ties them together.
Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.

Like, wow.  This was an interesting twist to all those ghost stories we've all heard.  All kids sixteen and under have the ability to see ghosts.  Adults can't.  Some ghosts terrorize people who may get in their way while others are pretty contempt or maybe confused.  There's this entire branch of the government that deals specifically with the supernatural.  How is that even possible?  This was all made possible by the Shift.
I really liked how music and bands was apart of this.  As a music lover and performer myself, I could understand why Logan and his band mates were so excited and how hard it is to band together and create music.  It's not exactly a tough life, but it's not a glamorous one, unless you've got a record deal and tons of money.  Shift also showed its readers how dirty that type of business can be, too.  Drugs, alcohol, girls.  It's not pretty.
Then, because a book isn't complete without the hot guy with the irresistible accent, there's Zach (pictured below).  He's Scottish and happens to just pop into Aura's disastrous life.  He's supportive, patient (ahem) and really good at complimenting a girl when she looks like total crap.  Yeah, he's one of those guys.  A perfect combo once you throw in that accent of his.

Things really are a mystery in this book.  Why did the Shift start?  How did the Shift start?  Who is Aura's father?  Why is the ghost part of the government so interested in Aura?  And what does this all have to do with Zach?  Nothing is really answered, so I can't wait to get my hands on Shift, the second book in the trilogy.  Alas, my local library--nor the surrounding libraries in my county--have the book.  It's a completely mystifying situation since they have Shade and Shine, the last book.
Anyway, I gave this book four stars.  It was an intriguing idea and I can't wait to unravel the mystery.  Aura's a tough heroine that just happens to be completely clueless, but not in the dim way.  Readers learn things along with her.  I definitely suggest reading this book.  It was great.
Note: I don't usually read ghost novels, so this is saying something.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Someone Else's Fairytale by E.M Tippetts

The lovely E.M Tippetts sent this book to me herself to me.  I was so excited.  Being a newbie to the blogoshpere, this book is my first given to me directly from an author.  So, without further ado, I present to you my review of Someone Else's Fairytale by E.M Tippetts.
Jason Vanderholt is Hollywood's hottest actor. Chloe Winters is a college student who hasn't bothered to see most of his movies. When they meet by chance, she is underwhelmed but he is smitten. Chloe becomes the woman every other woman in America is dying to be, but it just isn't her fairytale.

This was certainly a book different than most contemporaries out there.  Chloe and Jason were different than most in books.  Jason wasn't some tortured soul and Chloe wasn't some damsel waiting to be swept off her feet.  This was a different story.
Instead  of the guy holding all the secrets, it's the girl.  Repeatedly, Chloe shocked me with her troubled past.  She wasn't open to swoon over the hottest celebrity of the decade.  Chloe had her priorities.  Like school and homework and hopes for a scholarship.  She was  a tough cookie to crumble.  Sometimes I wanted to yell at her for being so blind as to what Jason thought of her or how sometimes she had to let loose and have some fun.  But, this is a story of growth and hard relationships.  She had to learn things on her own, and she did.  At her own pace and time.  Luckily, this didn't bother me much.  Chloe might have been a bit hard-headed when it came to romance, but she had her reasons that she kept so dearly close to her. 
And then there was Jason Vanderholt.  He was a busy guy.  Jason has a ton of fans, not to mention a huge line of drooling girls in his wake.  But Jason doesn't have his eyes set on them.  He only has eyes for Chloe Winters, the girl that's just out of reach to him. 
Nothing can be expected from this book, except for a happy ending, but definitely not the way anybody thought it would.  It's a heartwarming romance with many ups and downs.  There are disturbing skeletons in Chloe's past that are surfaced.  Love, lies, and the paparazzi.  Nothing is ever what it seems, even in the spotlight.
I gave this book four out of five stars.  It was lovely and is definitely a great read when in the mood for something romance-y.  It was such an honor to be able to talk to E.M Tippetts and get to know her.  Also, it was an honor to be chosen to review it!  I hope everybody else will get the chance to read this book!
Happy reading!

Review: Croak by Gina Damico

I heard about this book a while before it came out.  Thanks to my serious Twitter addiction, I heard about Croak via Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked, ranting about it.  After doing a bit of research on the book, I knew I had to get my hands on this book.  And I did.  I mean, just look at the book trailer--it's awesome.

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.
Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her targets like a natural born Killer.
Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?

Wow, that's a really long synopsis.
Anyhow, I wanted to start this review with how dimensional I though Lex was.  At first, I thought she was an extremely bratty and angst-ridden teen with something to prove when she actually didn't.  But then, as the book continues, I realized there was much more to her.  She didn't always want to be bad, in a way, her violent and angry mind is woven into her blood.  It's who she is and she can't change that.  But she also happens to be a person who cares a lot about her family.  She loves them.  The problem is that she just can't express it the right way.
Okay, and I just thought I'd tell you all the Uncle Mort has to be a pretty handsome guy in here, only edgy looking.  Don't know why; it's just how I imagined him to be.
This tale put an awesome twist to Grim Reapers.  They don't take souls because they can and wear cowls.  Although, they do wear black hoodies.  Their job is to bring peoples' souls into a safer place, where they won't become ghosts and all.
And then things start getting mysterious and sketchy.  Innocent people die before they're supposed to and Lex and Driggs are determined to figure it out.  With the help of the junior Grims and Uncle Mort, they unravel the mystery only to be completely caught offguard and shocked.
Yeah, it was a good book.  I gave is four out of five stars.  It was very good, and like always, I highly suggest people read it.  It was a quick read that had the adrenaline pumping.  It was a very unique story and I can't wait to see what happens to our beloved Lex and the others in Book 2, Scorch.
Happy reading!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Importance of Books in My Life

Okay, so I don't want to make this all big and personal and all about me, me, me, but I want to get a point across.  And I'm sure I'm not the only person who's dealt with this.There will be those people who just aren't into books.  I get that because my sister, my twin, absolutely hates them and only very rarely will she ever pick one up.  And the occasion is even rarer if she actually finishes it.  I don't take it personally, though, and I don't expect people to go jumping over boulders and such just to read a book.  If you do, great.  But, I don't want to or mean to force people into reading it.  That's up for them to decide.
But then there are those people who throw the fact that you actually read for fun in your face.  Earlier this year, I was pretty much verbally assaulted by this one boy.  He thought reading was lame and said a whole bunch of things to offend me.  At the time, I did take it personally and was completely red with anger.  How could he say such a thing to me?  I never forced him into reading anything he didn't want to.  I never rubbed it in his face that I read a whole lot for fun.  It just didn't make sense to me how he could be so cruel to me.  What did I ever do to him?
But, I realized that I was wrong for thinking that way.  There really was no reason for me to be offended by his words.  I guess in a way that this was a type of bullying, but why would it matter to me?  I live my own world and I do whatever I please to because that's what I love to do.  And for me, that happens to be reading.  I love to read.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that what people say shouldn't effect what you do.  I don't know if this has happened to other people out there in the book-bloggingsphere, but this has been bothering me for a while.  People shouldn't have to be self-conscious about what they do.  Since I like reading, I'll read all the books I want and nobody has a say in it.  My love for books is stronger than the influence of the people around me.  I've got a few of my friends and my blogging buddies on Twitter to gush about books with.  And that's all the encouragement I need to read some more. 
Read on!

Review: Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Before I got this book, I heard a lot of good reviews on it.  Plus, the cover is absolutely gorgeous--and possibly is the most accurate when comparing it to the content.
Haven Terra’s soul is in danger, but only she can save herself. Brainy, shy high school outcast Haven can’t believe her luck when she’s recruited for a prestigious internship at a historic hotel in Chicago, under the leadership of powerful and alluring Aurelia Brown, dashing Lucian Grove and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons. But just as she becomes seduced by their glitzy and mysterious world, Haven uncovers the evil agenda at the hotel: they’re devils in the business of buying souls. And hers is the most valuable of all: she’s an angel in training and the devils aim to turn her to their side. Will they succeed in wooing her or will she battle back, summoning a strength she never knew she had? Helping her along the way: a mysterious book instructing her to believe in herself; and her budding friendship with soft-spoken classmate Lance, who has a secret of his own.

I'll start off by saying that I loved, loved, loved this book.  In my head, there's a bunch of floating and girlie hearts hanging around this book.  The love for it I have is strong.  It was amazing.  I'm having a hard time explaining how I thought this book was amazing.  There simply aren't words to describe.
I didn't at first know what to think when I heard it takes place in a hotel.  It was a weird and random place to house the characters.  But when I began to read it, I didn't really care.  Not only that, but the hotel was actually a good place for the book.  It suited it well, besides the whole this-takes-place-at-a-hotel.  Enough if this.
Haven was just an awesome heroine.  She was down to earth and smart.  She worked hard for what she wanted and she never gave up.  Her friend, Dante, was an absolute delight, and I couldn't help but smile every time he appeared on page.  He was my favorite.  And Lance, he was one I learned to love.  He was shy and nerdy and always was there for Haven.
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.  I must apologize for sounding like a complete and utter shallow, ditsy fangirl.  That's totally out of character for me.
A lot happens in Illuminate.  There's plenty of mystery and darkness and deceit.  There was swoon-worthy moments along with heart-breaking ones.  Also, I was glad it didn't make me cry.  And this hotel was, indeed, a dark and creepy place with plenty of secrets hidden in its bowels. 
It was nothing like what I expected it to be.  It was fabulous.  I gave it five out five stars, if you didn't already figure out that I love was deep for Illuminate.  I highly suggest all readers to pick this one up.  My attention never was adverted and I tried to finish it as fast as I could.  Love, it is strong for this one.
Happy reading, lovelies!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: Goddess Interrupted

The second to the The Goddess Test Series.  I bought this book along with its first at the same time and read them as soon humanly possible.  I was extremely pleased with the first book and couldn't wait to read Goddess Interrupted.  It was too tempting for me to wait and read it.  So here I am, reviewing some awesome book.

Kate Winters has won immortality.
But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.
As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

First off, this book had me turning pages faster than a dog dives for fallen food.  Everything about it had me gripping the book for dear life, the intensity of it was exciting.  And when I read that Persephone would be in there, I was all like 'Whoa.  Didn't she die over a hundred years or so!?!?  How is that possible?!?!'  And then I remembered that they travel to the Underworld and then things just kinda clicked.
When I read this book, I felt as if I was on a mission.  I needed to know a whole bunch of stuff like why are Kate and Henry not happy?  They're meant to be!  Didn't Kate pass all of those tests for him?  Why is this happening?  Why can't they have their happy ending?  WHY?  And then there was a Titan with super long fog limbs that could attack and kill gods on the loose.  What IS this?  It was creepy and very scary.  As Owen Meany would put it, it gave me THE SHIVERS.  That Titan dude was one thing you do not want to mess with.
And the ending!  For all that is good in this life, save me!  Just as a little BIG warning here: Super duper evil cliffhanger that wants to make you cry.  Not that it's sad or anything.  It's just a terribly good cliffhanger that makes me want to throw the book.  But I'd never do that and instead reread the last few pages to make sure I was hallucinating words on the page and then reminded myself that I could wait until next year for the next installment because I am a patient bookworm.  At least that's what I try to convince myself.
Overall, the book was awesome.  I give it four out of five stars and I can't wait until the next book, The Goddess Inheritance, comes out.  There was a lot of excitement and adventure and, well, since I can't leave this out, there was some brief steamy awesomesauce times in there.  It was lovely!  Just a great book.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Goddess Test

I've been wanting to read this book for a real long while and have only now just gotten to it.  The cover had me hooked immediately.  And besides my fascination for all things medieval or steampunk, I've always had a thing for Greek mythology.  I just love it for absolutely no reason at all.
Every girl who has taken the test has failed.     
Now it's Kate's turn.
It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.          
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.          
Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.          
If she fails...

So, when I read a good book that brings out those vulnerable emotions that you try to keep hidden to the public to save yourself from the humility, it's extremely embarrassing and I usually never forgive the book for sparking those pesky and extremely inconvenient things that people call feelings.  This book happens to be one of those books, but for some really odd and strange reason I will never understand the meaning of, I forgave the book and read on.  (Seriously, this book had me crying at, like, page ten.)  I felt really bad for Kate, not that I could exactly relate to her, but I just felt really, really bad for her.  What teenager in their right mind would want to give up their lives freely to take care of their dying mother?  I could never dream of such a thing.  But for Kate, that's her reality and she takes it all in one full swing and doesn't even bat an eye.  What else could she do?
And then things just keep getting worse and then she finally meets the dark, mysterious, hot, dangerous, and crazy Henry--some guy that promises her that he can keep Kate's mom alive.  So, of course she says yes and moves into his house, as promised for her end of the deal.  Okay, things are alright then, right?  Things couldn't be any worse.  Somebody unknown wants her dead and things just keep on getting worse.  At least there's still Henry for her. . . sometimes.
I gave this book four stars.  It was beautifully written and had a great plot line.  Like I said, I love Greek mythology and I loved the spin Aimee Carter put on this.  I was all over this book, my thoughts loving  each and every word on the page.  I suggest you all read this, guys.  Simply great book.  I'm disappointed I haven't read it any sooner and I can't wait to see what happens next.  Well, what happens after Goddess Interrupted, which I read right after I read The Goddess Test.  That review will come soon, by the way.
Happy reading!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Deus Lo Volt... Sort of

To start off with, the saying 'deus lo volt' is translated into 'God wills it' in Latin.  But, not the kind of god you're thinking about.  Just before the Crusades, the term was bandied about to help more people join the Christian cause.  And for Ismae, the main heroine in Grave Mercy, her god wills her to kill.

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

I heard a lot of rave about this book online and I couldn't wait to get my grabby hands on this book.  I mean, just look at the cover!  She's got a crossbow in her hand, for crying out loud!  The beautiful cover just about had me sold before I even read the synopsis.  But when I did, I knew I had to have this.  And it is one book that everybody should read.
It is the first in the His Fair Assassin trilogy.  Robin LaFevers brings to life the old and poor fifteenth century.  Most of the history in the book was, to my surprise, spot on.  I loved that fact that I could actually compare it to the history of the time and call this book historical fiction rather than fantasy.  But since this is a book review rather than an overview of the fifteenth century, I won't tell you all the particulars.
Ismae was a great character, possibly one of my favorites.  She's very tough and strong.  She doesn't ask a bazillion questions and instead looks for them instead of moping around, blindfolded.  And, she doesn't instantly fall in love with the first guy she meets outside of the convent.  So, let's just say she was an overall awesome character that kicked some bad guy butt.  Also, I loved her name.
I give Grave Mercy five stars because it was amazing.  There was a lot of action and travel.  Everything had me clinging to the very edge of my seat, the pages flying by as I read.  It was beautifully written and definitely an author to watch for in the future.  I look forward to what happens next in the His Fair Assassin Trilogy.
Happy reading, everyone!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Catching Jordan Review

All I have to say is, this book was great.  I'm not usually one for strictly romance and contemporary works, but when I read our main girl, Jordan, was the starting quarterback and captain of her football team, I couldn't resist.  I snatched this book as fast as I could off the shelf and couldn't wait to read it.  Let's just say I have a soft spot for football.What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though – she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

I could really relate to Jordan throughout the book.  Both she and I are Awkward, with a capitol A, when it comes to romance.  There's nothing more I dread than showing and telling what my true feelings are, and Jordan struggles to open up to the ones she loves and fight for what she truly wants.  Everything about her I understood.
And then things started getting complicated and I wanted to tackle Jordan myself just so that I could somehow knock some sense for her.  I hate it when the characters you like make the wrong choices and do incredibly embarrassing things you ever dreamed of.  So, when things started getting weird and complicated, I was a little less than happy.  But I stuck along with Jordan, knowing I could never hate her and also, curiosity got the best out of me.  I wanted to know what happened.  What college would she pick?  Is that really who she likes?  Why is Henry, her best friend, being such a butt?
Overall, I give this book four stars.  It was an entertaining and quick read.  There is a lot of football terminology that I thought added to the authenticity of Jordan's personality.  And even if you don't like football, read it.  The book had it's sweet and tender moments along with teenage drama that was all to real.  This would be my favorite contemporary of the year so far.
Happy reading, everyone!  Until later, au revoir!
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