Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rapture by Lauren Kate

The Synopsis:
The sky is dark with wings....
Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.
Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this — live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies...and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.
And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her — and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters.
In the fight for Luce, who will win?

Rapture is the astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

My Thoughts:
Earlier in the year, I started with the Fallen series, really curious about this idea of angels and reincarnation.  Right from the beginning, I was hooked.  This is not the first series of books I've ever read about, but it is certainly of my top favorites.  I instantly fell in love with all of the characters, Arriane and Roland being my most liked. 

This book picks up right where readers were left off in Passion, and the stakes are higher than ever now that Lucifer has decided to recreate the Fall again which would start time over essentially.  Daniel and Luce, as they always would and will, stick close together as they try to save the world and create and even deeper connection with each other (as if they didn't already need one since they've been together since the dawn of time).  All of the angels and demons band together to help, too, and then there you have Rapture.

Luce has always been the clueless one in the series, but I never thought it to be overbearing and annoying, and for that, I really loved her clueless yet fiercely determined personality.  She was smart and a lovable character in my mind.  It's no wonder why Daniel fell in love with her in the first place.

I feel that if I say anything, I'm going to ruin the story in one way or another for those who have not read this book or series yet.  Sorry for that, but I have a tendency to do that will books I love; I just babble about them for a really long time.  But I will say this: Kate's writing is poetic and accurate.  The story she has created is flawless with the history just dripping off of every page.  Never once was my attention broken from story.  It's safe to say that I could not put Rapture down.

I don't consider myself to be a big fan of the angel genre, but I find myself with a lot of angel books on my hands.  If you happen to be one of those people who has not read the Fallen series, I suggest you do.  I always love when books are mingled in with accurate history with plenty of action and adventure.  It's also a boost when the story includes a great and sweet romance.  Now that I come to think of this, the Fallen series has to have the most epic and heart-wrenching romance I've ever read about.  And for those of you wondering, it didn't bring me to tears like Unraveling by Liz Norris did, but I did get a little misty-eyed.

And what does this review mean? It means that this book was fantabulous and I suggest everybody reads it!  Yep!

Happy reading, everyone!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Something Strange and Deadly ARC Tour

I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to read this book.  For months I had kept my eyes on the book, just waiting for its release date.  I mean, when zombies and steampunk mix together I knew I couldn't miss out on it. 

The Synospis:
The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

My Thoughts:
First off, I'll tell you that the idea, I thought, was very interesting and original.  There's not many steampunk out there (the genre is growing, which is a good thing!) to begin with, and there's not many zombie stuff out there either, and if there is, the book is usually going to be apocalyptic.  This book overall was something very unique because there really is nothing like it out there.
Eleanor isn't like your typical Victorian young lady--though when is the MC ever typical?  She is very determined to find her older brother, Elijah, and bring him home after three long years.  She's brave and unmoving with her ideas and opinions.  I liked those qualities about her, but at times I would find it a bit unnerving.  Other than that, I didn't mind her quirks.  In a way, she was a very rebellious character for one that lives in the Victorian era. 
The other character, the Spirit-Hunters, were very interesting to read about.  There's Joseph, who is Creole and very gentlemanly.  He was intelligent and the leader of the Spirit-Hunters.  Then there was Daniel, who may be very charming, but also happens to have one of the most shortest tempers I've ever witnessed.  I didn't understand his emotions, but I kept with it, seeing if it kind of was like a Will Herondale facade.  Come to think of it, it kind of was, but that's bit of a stretch.  It turns out he just has anger issues.  And finally, there was Jei, but I'm not going to say much because Jei needs to be shrouded in mystery.
The story line was kind of to be expected in the sense that Eleanor tries all she can do to find her brother, but it turns out that people aren't always who they seem to be.  There were some twists and turns that kept me glued to the book, just waiting in anticipation to see how it would all end.  I thought it was a bit slow in the beginning.  Not slow enough for me to flip ahead pages to see what will happen, but just enough for my eyes to wander a little bit.  Luckily, things picked a lot in the middle and especially in the end.  And there was plenty of action, too!
Overall, I thought this book was fantastic.  I loved how original it was and was super happy to have its setting in Victorian Pennsylvania.  I was loving reading about all the bustling skirts mixed in with just the right amount of action.  Susan definitely did her homework on the Victorian era, right down to the manners and such of the people.  It was an entertaining read that had me finishing the book in one night (if I'm thinking about this right.).  I certainly suggest that people read this book because I thought it was very good.

And always remember: Aim for the knees!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rift by Andrea Cremer Giveaway

Hello, guys!  I know, I know.  It's been a real long while since the last time I held a giveaway on here, but here's the reason: I was saving up to giveaway something very awesome.  And that something that is very awesome happens to be a SIGNED copy of Rift by Andrea Cremer! 
If you haven't read my review of Rift, I'll just sum it up and say that I really loved the book.  I thought it was so good. (I still suggest you read my review)

This copy is given courtesy of Andrea's publicist, so I'm going to give her some special props here.

If you don't know what the cover looks like, it's looks like this:

And here are are the musts:
  • You must be 13 years or older.
  • You must live in the US (sorry international folks!)
  • And please, no cheating because that'll make me sad.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The Synopsis:
Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.
When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.
Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future.

My Thoughts:
There was a lot of hype about this book way before it even came out and I was really excited about this book.  I saved this book for last when I read all four of the Fierce Reads books. (You know the saying, right?  Save the best for last and all.)  And lemme tell ya, this one did not let me down at all.
Alina was more of your silent type.  She was strong in character and driven by her goals, but she, I thought, was more of a believable heroine in the sense that she wasn't quick with her retorts and all of a sudden has this ninja mojo going on.  No, she was not like that.  I loved her determination and love for her childhood friend, Mal.  Her feelings were true and understandable, which I enjoyed to watch throughout the story.
The Darkling certainly was a dark one.  As in dark, I mean mysterious and attractive.  I am not Team Darkling at all, but there was a certain charm about him.  And to top it all off, he saved Alina's life with his mysterious powers.  He had brownie points, but not enough for me. 
The story was something so creative and interesting, something I certainly have not seen anywhere in all of the books I have read.  It had the same idea where the girl who thinks she is completely average discovers something she never new about herself and this whole adventure begins.  For some reason, this storyline usually doesn't bother me as much as it does to others.  I prefer to look more at the originality of the plot and the dimensions of the characters.  And let me just say that there were a lot of dimensions to the characters.  There was growth between the characters and sides of others that I did not expect to see at all.  And the story!  It was something I have never seen before.  I used to be terrified of the dark and in this book, the dark actually is filled with your worst nightmares.  There really is something to that idea that I really like and was excited to read about.
The only thing that I didn't like all that much was how fickle Alina's feelings were.  Not in the beginning necessarily, but towards the middle and end, I felt as if she became quick to judge.  It didn't bother me all that much, but I felt that a little more of an internal battle would have done well, though I'm not sure it would have went well with the rest of the story because you know how the emotions and decisions of the characters affect what they do later on in the book.  And I liked how the story went in the end, so I'm not going to complain too much.
In all, this book was great.  There was plenty of action and adventure that kept me interested and at the edge of my seat.  I couldn't even put it down for a few minutes (I finished it in one day.).  I have never read something so dark and mysterious such as this book.  It definitely deserved that spot in the Fierce Reads book tour.  And I'm very glad that I saved it for last out of the four Fierce Reads books.  I can't wait to read what will happen next in the second book, but what I do know is that it will be a great book with even more action and adventure and I'm sure the stakes will be even higher in the next book.  All I have to say is that I probably should be more wary of the dark.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

As you know, this weekly meme is hosted by the lovely Breaking the Spine.  It is where bloggers can share what books they are looking forward to and spread the news about books.

I looking forward to reading:

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Kate from Blook Girl wrote a review for Cinder earlier in the year and I had read her review and was instantly in love with it.  As soon as I could, I bought it and read it as fast as I could.  I loved Cinder.  I thought it was so good and was so excited for the next installment to come out.  And Scarlet just so happens to be the next book in the series.  I am in love with remakes of every body's favorite fairy tales.  I really do enjoy them. 
So, this is my WoW this week!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

The Synopsis:
It starts with a whisper: "It's time for you to know who you are..."
On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice.
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, EMBRACE is a compelling novel of good and evil, seductive desires and impossible choices. A centuries old war between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity chooses a new fighter. It's a battle Violet doesn't want, but she lives her life by two rules: don't run and don't quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden.
LINCOLN: He's been Violet's one anchor, her running partner and kickboxing trainer. Only he never told her he's Grigori--part human, part angel--and that he was training her for an ancient battle between Angels and Exiles.
PHOENIX: No one knows where his loyalties lie, yet he's the only one there to pick up the pieces and protect her after Lincoln's lies. In a world of dark and light, he is all shades of gray.
Two sides: Angel or Exile.
Two guys: Lincoln or Phoenix.
The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...

My Thoughts:
This book along with Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen and Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris sat on my shelf for months.  I had bought this one months ago--sometime in the spring, I think--deciding that I would read it soon, but then it just sat there as a gazillion other good-looking books came my way.  I guess I must have ADD with books because it seems as if my attention to one unread book is blinded once I find another shiny book.  I really should stick to some type of list or something.
When I first picked up this book, I wasn't sure what exactly to expect.  The cover jacket didn't give me much to go on (it's not like the Goodreads synopsis) and I was just kind of relying on the recommendations from others.  Yes, so in all, I was taking a huge jump of faith for this book.  Though it's not like I haven't done something like this before.
Good thing I liked this book.
Violet Eden is like any normal shy girl.  She's determined with her studies and sticks to her goals and she also has a deep crush on her closest guy-friend, Lincoln, who just want to be Friends while Violet wants to be all over his hotness.  I guess girls can't have everything, right?  Then, she finds out that she's some type of half-Grigori person and things just kind of spiral from there.  That's also when I decided that I didn't like how unforgiving she was.
And then Phoenix got into the picture.  Yes he's absolutely gorgeous and has this amazing head of hair, but he should not have been there, in my opinion.  It's not that I didn't like his character because I kind of did in that he's-a-bad-boy-but-am-strangely-attracted-to way.  He was temptation waiting for Violet to take hold of.  He didn't make my eyes boggle like Daemon Black from Obsidian did, but Phoenix certainly had his moments. 
So here's the catch: I DO NOT LIKE LOVE TRIANGLES.  They drive me insane and usually I blame it on the MC for leading two guys on at once.  I do not like them or enjoy them and I don't think I ever will.  I didn't like it in Twilight and I will not like them now.  Sadly, this book has a love triangle and that made me sad.  Most of the time, I want to pull my hair out and scream when it comes to love triangles.  Whatever happened to relationships just being platonic?  Nope.  That doesn't happen.
Only upside to love triangles I'd say is that there is plenty of drama that leads to one person getting all sad and lonely and passion. *waggles eyebrows*  You know what I'm talking about.  Just think about it and you'll know I'm right.
I really like Jessica Shirvington's take on angel mythology in this book.  It really was unique and makes for a really great read.  Instead of it being religious in the sense that God banished angels from Heaven and Hell was created with Lucifer, she came up with a different idea where there's different dimensions and such, which I thought was cool.  And there also wasn't just a good side and the bad side, black and white.  There was that grey area, instead, where people weren't always what they seemed and it wasn't all about good versus bad.  In my opinion, I thought this was a more accurate take on reality now, thus making this book a good mind bender a bit.
Overall, I gave this book four out of five stars.  I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, Entice, which is scheduled to come out soon.  I think it is such a great idea for a book and I enjoyed all of the action and angel mischief in it. 
Happy reading, everyone!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

The Synopsis:
Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

My Thoughts:
This is the third book I had nabbed at the Fierce Reads book tour and got signed by the fierce and funny Emmy Laybourne. (Honestly, she's awesome and within seconds had given me and my accompanying friend nicknames and had the whole room in fits of giggles with some of the things she said.)  And surprisingly, the first time I had ever heard or even seen Monument 14 when I was looking at the Fierce Reads listings.  I was ashamed because this book sounded amazeballs.
It was, indeed, amazeballs.
Okays, so this book comes along and is all, "I'm going to be written in a guy's POV because I'm just that awesome, or amazeballs, as you put it, and I will blow your UK flag socks off."*  Instantly, you're drawn into this crumbling, life ending as you know it world.  Within ten pages of the story beginning, the skies open up and release hell with their icy fists (aka, hail), a bus blows up, and fourteen kids ranging from the ages of seventeen, eighteen to just about five and six get trapped in a supermarket.  Oh, and there's death, too.

My facial expression probably wasn't as girly as his was, but it pretty much sums up my emotions. 
Like, seriously, this was my kind of book.
And to further contradict that statement, I am going to tell you that I actually do not usually read apocalyptic, end of the world stuff.  Honestly, especially when I was younger, it creeps me out.  Who wants to picture their imminent demise in some kind of violent way?  Certainly not Younger Me.  But since I seem to be a masochist in that department, I still watch those ridiculous movies and read those books.
Dean was a little wimp of a character.  Sure he kept it kind of together for the sake of the youngins as the world began to crumble all around them, but he certainly wasn't you average I'm Going to Save the World and Kiss That Hot Girl Over There Passionately hero.  He was an introvert, a 'booker', as the book put it.  There seemed to be frequent moments where I wanted to throttle him because where I would have spoken up and did something, he stayed quiet and kind of held to the shadows of the group.  Yet, there was something likable about his character, admirable even.  He wasn't afraid to cry sometimes and show his true emotions, he was kind and patient with all of the little kids, and tried his best to stay close to his brother.  Yes, he had his flaws and yes, he wasn't a leader, but in his own ways, he was a great and interesting character to read about.
What I really liked about this book was that all of the character, all fourteen of those kids, had dimension to them.  I guess when you spend day and night with a bunch of people, even if you don't like them, you learn things about them.  Some happen to be very surprising.  Nothing was as it seems between any of the characters.
Story wise, the plot was a beastly little monster.  When I thought things couldn't get any worse, they did.  I don't even know how Emmy came up with all of this.  I'd love to spend a day in her creative mind.  Just imagine the wonders and the beasties you'd find!  It was all expertly plotted out and paced.  In other words, LOVED IT!
The only thing that I found that bothered me was the writing style.  It wasn't that it was hard to comprehend, but it was much different than what I'm used to.  But in all, Monument 14 has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars from me.  It truly was a fierce read with a lot of stuff that kept me turning the pages with fierce determination.  I know, I know.  I'm using fierce a lot here, but there are no other words I could use that would adequately describe how I feel.  So, I'm hoping after all that I have written here that I have persuaded all of you reading this to dash on over to your local library of bookstore and nab this book off the shelf as fast as your feet can carry you as if the hounds of hell are on your heels.  Okay, so maybe you don't actually have to run like a vampire, but I'm just highly suggesting you read this book.  Highly.

*I am guilty of wearing those UK flag socks.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

The Synopsis:
It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

My Thoughts:
I have never been one for contemporaries.  I guess it has something to do with the fact that I like my books with a lot of action and sometimes I find some of these romances too cliche and stuff.  I will, however, find myself occasionally in a very romance-y, mushy kind of mood.  And that is when I need a contemporary to fill in that need.
This book has to be the best contemporary I have ever read, though it's not like I can compare it to many.  But, it still happens to be a very good book in my mind, and I really enjoyed it.  There was no action or adventure, no deep and passionate romance or mystical powers.  However, Auden is the new girl.
Auden is used to be an intellectual introvert self.  She's used to being mature and silent, never voicing her mind or getting out there to reach some of her goals.  She's never been driven and when she comes to live with her father and her step-mother, she learns that it is nothing may never be the same.  Her character isn't strong at all.  She's quiet and lonely, independent and serious.  If anything, she's even a more subdued version of myself.  And that's saying something.
I loved how this took place during the summer.  Although I prefer the fall over the summer, there's something about a magical summer romance that intrigues me.  So then I became a giant mush ball as I read this book. 
Along for the Ride isn't a complete romance, I discovered.  I've read a few other books by Sarah Dessen and they all seem to have a similar story line.  But, I didn't really mind the fact of that.  This was more of a learning experience for a handful of characters rather than the romance.  Sure, there's a bit of romance in here or else this wouldn't be a Sarah Dessen, but it was more about discovery and new experiences.
It was all beautifully written.  The story was well planned and explained.  There was a sense of closure by the end of the book that made me very happy.  This is by far my favorite Sarah Dessen book that I have ever read.  This could possibly change my attitude towards contemporaries, but I think I'll need a bit more convincing still.
Overall, this was a great story that earned four out of five stars from me.  All of the characters were relatable in their own ways.  What I really loved was seeing that all of the characters were dimensional.  There was more to all of them that even surprised me.  Nobody was who they initially seemed to be and it was entertaining to watch all of them unfold during the book.  If you haven't read this book, I suggest you do.  It was just one of those books that you need to read at least once, and it even makes a great summer read.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

The Synopsis:
Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

My Thoughts:
This book has been one of my most anticipated reads of  2012.  I'd heard so much about it, such good things, even before it had hit the shelves.  And I wanted it bad.  I was never interested in mermaid books, mostly because they seemed too Aquamarine to me. (Remember that movie?)  But this book was different and after I had read Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown, I was more than willing to read this book.  Then, the best opportunity came when I ventured to New York for the Fierce Reads book tour.  Let's just say that I was very happy.
I really liked Emma's character.  She was very relatable and had a great sense of humor.  Her mind was sharp and witty, and not to mention she was very sarcastic.  I really like sarcasm.  If any of you guys know Sophie Mercer from the Hex Hall series, you'd also know that she is very sarcastic and I'd compare Emma's internal thought process to Sophie's.  Also, Emma was very stubborn and I found that to be a very entertaining trait to her.
I have no qualms at all with this book at all.  It was entertaining and interesting.  It was a different spin off of your average mermaid tale and I was left in awe with the creativity of it.  Galen was steaming hot and absolutely infuriating.  He wasn't exactly Mr. Bad Boy, but he certainly looked the part.  With those violet eyes . . . his looks . . . his awesomeness.  He will definitely be part of the YA Crush Tourney next year.  I just know he will.
Sadly, there's wasn't much action.  But, that was fine by me.  In it's own way, there was plenty of other things to keep me hooked on the book.  In a way, there was some adventure because the characters traveled back and forth from Florida and New Jersey, where this book takes place.  (My home state!  Woot!  Plus, Emma lived on the shore, where I live.)  So, as you could probably imagine, I was having some home state nostalgia. 
Overall, I was very happy with this book.  I can't wait to see what will happen next in the series, Of Triton, because readers were left on somewhat of a cliff hanger.  I was kind of one of those moments where I was left with one of those, Ooooo darrrnn kind of expression.  Thus the reason why I gave this book five out of five dazzling stars.  It was such an amazing read and I hope that most people have already read this book because it just was so good.  You can count this book as one of my favorite reads of 2012.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

The Synopsis:
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

My Thoughts:
This was one of those books where I was interested in it, but I kept on pushing it back on my TBR list because other books grabbed my interest.  It sounded cool enough, but then yet again, I wasn't that interested in dystopian at the time.  But things have changed, so I decided it was time to read this book and see what it was all about.
Rhine was your typical YA heroine.  She's accepted the fact that she's going to die in four years and she's used to the idea that she has to do certain things to survive.  She's used to the grime and the crime (seriously, no rhyme was intended here) that this futuristic world has to offer.  So when she's swept away from her brother and is sent off to live with this rich man named Linden, she does not have this.  She will not allow it.  She was strong willed and optimistic, which I really liked about her personality.
And then she falls in love with the house servant, Gabriel.  Okay, things are kind of fine and dandy until Rhine puts all her faith in this boy she barely knows.  I understand that it's kind of against the rules for any of the house wives to have an affair with one of the servants, but I didn't really feel any connection between Rhine and Gabriel.  Barely a spark.  And for some reason, I wanted some romance in here.  I mean, she does have this thing for Gabriel, but it's barely there and I wasn't feeling much with it.
Then there was Linden.  I can kind of understand where he's the sick and perverted kind of villain dude that picked three random girls to be his wives.  I think I would have wanted to bash in his head if it were me as one of the sister wives.  How could you ever love a man like him?  But then, Rhine and the other sister wives get to see who he really is, and honestly, I didn't find him to be that bad.  Yes, he was a bit of a wimp, definitely not the kind of strong and intelligent guys I usually read about, but he had a certain charm to him, and I preferred him over Gabriel.  And I don't exactly understand why.  It goes against all moral beliefs in society today to have more than one wife, so I'm not sure I was wishing Rhine would stay instead of want to escape the mansion.
Someone please tell me there is nothing wrong with me.
Story-wise, I thought it fell kind of flat for me.  Besides Rhine being a very strong character personality wise, she definitely wasn't strong in any other departments.  I didn't feel anything from her.  When I thought she would speak up and say something, she said nothing instead, and she also made infuriating mistakes that would almost get her in trouble. 
In all, this was nothing like I expected it to be.  The story has a lot of potential to it.  Lots and lots of potential, but I feel as if that potential wasn't used to the highest amount that Lauren could have used it.  Overall, I gave Wither three out of five stars from me.  I'm going to read the next book in the series, Fever, soon, but I can wait for it.  I'm curious to see what will happen next and see how it all plays out.  I'm hoping, just like Kelley Armstrong, that the second book will be a step up from the first.
I feel as if many other people have really enjoyed this book, so I kind of feel like the odd man out.  So, maybe you should check with other reviews before you decide whether or not you want to read Wither.  I don't want to prevent people to read this book because this is just my opinion out of many.  Just take this into consideration before you decide whether or not you are going to read this book, please!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Immortal City by Scott Speer

The Synopsis:
Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them.
He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect - everyone except for Madison Montgomery.
Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.
Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat & and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.

My Thoughts:
Wow, just wow.  This book was awesome.  I've read a lot of angel books out there.  Most of the time I enjoy them, but they usually don't make as big of an impact as this book did.  I'm not sure how to exactly explain it, so please bear with me.
In the very beginning, readers are swept up into an alternate Los Angeles where angels live in luxury and where only the rich people can afford the Guardian angels' assistance.  The system of the angels is pretty jacked up and Maddy wants nothing to do with them, neither does she see the wonder to them.  Maddy is pretty content living the life that she has.  She goes to help her Uncle Kevin at his diner and waitresses, goes to school, and tries her best to blend into society where all they can talk about are the angels, which she does not understand their infatuation.  On the other end of this, Jackson, also known as Jacks, is living the dreams.  He's extremely talented with his practice to become a Guardian, he's going to become a true Guardian in a week, and he has many girls and women swooning just at the sound of his name. 
Instantly, I felt as if I could connect to both of them.  Jackson wants to prove to Maddy that he can be down to earth and normal, that he's not like the others.  Meanwhile, Maddy doesn't want much to do with him.  Both of their ideas and thoughts were understandable. 
But this just isn't about a forbidden romance between an angel and an average human girl.  Oh, it is much more than that.  There's mystery and imminent danger.  Surprisingly, things got pretty dark, too.  It definitely wasn't something I was expecting from this book.  There was action and everything I could ever wish for from a book.  Although this book did not make me cry or anything, I felt emotions.  I would turn the pages wildly, gulping up all of the words, my breath would become short all because I felt Things.  It was great. 
I liked how the POV would change.  It wasn't a rough transition since it was in third person.  I enjoyed the moments where I would be in Maddy's mind and then travel into Jackson's.  There was also a third mind I read into, but I won't say much about him because he's part of the mystery, other than he's a detective dude.  They were flawless transitions between the POVs and they always left me impatient because there were the occasional mini cliff hangers.
In all, I was super happy about this book.  I pounced at the opportunity to read it when I saw it at my local library.  This book received five out of five stars from me because it was just so great.  I hope that everyone will get a chance to read this, not only angel fans or the romance, but for the readers in between.  It was one that I'm sure many people will enjoy.  I can't wait to read the next installment for this book!
Happy reading, everyone!

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme is hosted by the lovely Breaking the Spine!

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.
Something worse than the Arum has come to town…
The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.
But then everything changes…
I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?
No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…
I chose this one just because.  You know, just finished reading Obsidian on the 4th of July and the only thing I can think about since then is this book and Daemon Black.  I've got it bad.  I know.  No need to tell me.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

I felt really bad having this book on my shelf for so long and not having read it.  I would see it every time I entered my room and it would sit there in all of it's wordy defiance against me.  I wondered, sometimes, if it was mocking me.  Goading me with it's interesting and unique cover.  I'd finish reading one book and there it sat on my shelf, unread and not yet loved by its owner.  It deserved better than what I had offered it, so I decided that before I read any other deserving book on my shelf, I needed to read this one next because it deserved it way more than the others.

The Synopsis:
Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she’s opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, Janelle knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her reincarnation, and Ben’s possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI-agent father’s files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what’s right in front of her: Everything that’s happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben’s sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl’s fight
to save herself, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming.

My Thoughts:
I didn't know what to really expect from this book.  I don't think I ever even read the synopsis of it, even after I purchased it.  The reason why I bought it was because many people were giving it very good reviews and the girl is brought back to life by this dark and mysterious Ben figure.  Oh, and I really liked the cover model's outfit.  Gotta love tank tops and a kickass jacket.
So, when things started getting all FBI/Sci-Fy, I was diggin' it.  It was weird.  Completely strange and only left me with one thought by the end of the book:

*nuclear explosion goes off in mind*

Also, this is the first book, after many--umm, thirty-seven to be exact--that made me release those wicked and evil tears of mine.  I've always been told I cry a lot during books and apparently there's really no reason for it, but after thirty-seven books, I'd say that's not that bad at all.  I certainly can't be that much of a mush ball when it comes to books.
Okay, okay, this is all beside the point I'm trying to make here.  What I'm trying to say is that this book make me feel things.  It was emotional and definitely a gripping story with many plot twists and turns.
Janelle was a very strong character, not as strong as Tris from Divergent, but strong nonetheless.  She was very smart and nerdy and was accompanied throughout the book by her best friend, Alex, who also happens to be a complete smarty pants.  She's determined and never lost sight what she was aiming for in the long run: To save the world--duh.  I didn't really mind her flaws most of the time.  She was stubborn and didn't always make the right choice and sometimes I wanted to strangle her for what she would do, but everybody makes mistakes and you forgive.  Her character was understandable, and she would do anything for her friends and family.
I'm not going to say much about the story, because no matter how I phrase it, I know I'm going to slip and give away something you shouldn't read.  All I will say is that it was awesome.  It had plenty of believable emotions, action, and more.  Usually the feds get in the way of what goes on and it only annoys everyone, but not in this book.
Sorry for being a bit cryptic with all I'm saying, but I really want to save the experience for when you read the book.  I gave Unraveling 4.5 out of 5 stars, and I know it rightfully deserves that rating.  I can now say that this book has been read and loved by me and I hope that others will, too.
Happy reading!

Sidenote: I love the "Stop the countdown.  Save the world." phrase under the title.  Honestly, it makes me giggle each time I read it because every time I can imagine Janelle saying it all nonchalantly with the shrug of her shoulders.  You know, save the world.  No problem.  I got it covered.
Gotta love the small things, right?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

The Synopsis:
Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.
Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.

My Thoughts:
I heard about this book a while ago and have been meaning to read it, but Other Books kind of got in the way of it.  So, there went Paranormalcy all the way to the back of my brain until I picked it up at my local library.  The one thing that had me really curious about this book is the fact the the MC, Evie, wields a pink taser that she named Tasey.  There's also the fact that she works for this agency that tags a bunch of paranormals so that they don't do anything illegal, like drink peoples' blood.  Easy peasy.  So overall, you could see the natural appeal it had to me.
Evie is probably one of the most ignorant characters I've read about, and that's in the best way possible.  Her ignorance wasn't exactly annoying, but it could become tedious at times.  It didn't bother me much because I learned things along with Evie, but I did think that it was a tad overdone.  Though, if I want to contradict myself further, I could also say that it also made Evie the character that she is.  She's very pure in a sense that she hasn't been exposed to the true and harsh dangers the world has to offer.  I liked her for that, but then yet again it got on my nerves, but not by much.
The idea I thought was very original.  I cannot come up with any other book that has this idea.  Originally, she's an unmoving and loyal member of IPCA, but when Things Happen (A.K.A a nearly invisible hottie who goes by the name of Lend) she's not so sure who she should trust or what to do.
Let me just say that I really enjoyed the writing of this book.  There's a lot of sarcasm and humor which had me giggling at many points in the story.  The romance was pure sweetness and completely adorable and had me squealing like a little girl on the inside.  Evie's voice, I feel, sticks out than most others from other books I've read, and I certainly liked that.
Overall, I gave this lovely book four out of five stars.  It was a highly entertaining read that I read pretty quickly.  I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.  It's definitely a book I would recommend for those who love reading about vamps and weres and faeries, really evil faeries.  Hinty hint.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What's Next (2)

Okay, guys.  I'm in a serious predicament here.  After I finish reading what I've got now, what shall I pick next?

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

Or . . . .

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

What to read, my friends?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ARC Review of Rift by Andrea Cremer

Once again, I must give my special thanks to Jasmine over at Beneath the Moon and Stars for lending me this beautiful book.  She seriously has saved my sanity and I am forever in her debt.

The Synopsis:
Chronicling the rise of the Keepers, this is the stunning prequel to Andrea Cremer's internationally bestselling Nightshade trilogy!
Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother's life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.
With action, adventure, magic, and tantalizing sensuality, this book is as fast-paced and breathtaking as the Nightshade novels.

My Thoughts:
Just last summer, I was swept up into the Nightshade Trilogy.  Right after I finished reading Nightshade, I immediately picked up Wolfsbane and then I had to wait anxiously for months to go by for the release of Bloodrose.  Then I catch wind that her next book will not only be a prequel to the Nightshade Trilogy, but it will also be historical fiction, as in the story goes way back into Medieval Times.  After hearing that, I pretty much died and went to heaven because I love historical fiction, especially the ones with the strong heroines.
Ember isn't your typical teenage girl waiting to be swept off her feet by some rich nobleman.  If anything, she doesn't believe she needs a man in her life.  She craves adventure and freedom, knowledge and a sense of belonging.  Nobody knows what she really wants to do and what she does, besides her best friend Alistair, or else she'd have to face punishment, and not to mention the fact that it's culturally taboo for a girl to even think such things.  So when she gets the day comes when she will be taken away by members of Conatus, instead of being afraid, she's pretty darn excited.  It's her way out of the monotonous duties of being a noble lady.
Andrea really took a risk with this book because instead of it being written in first person--like in the Nighshade books--it's written in third.  But Andrea tackled the writing technique flawlessly; I found no inconsistencies in the writing. 
The story I found was extremely interesting and intriguing.  If you've read the Nightshade books and then read Rift, things start to make sense.  You're really reading the world that ended up creating the Keepers and the Searchers.  I found it all very fascinating.  And the history in the book was spot-on.  The Crusades and the Templars were mentioned and I almost did little happy dances every time.  Although, it all makes sense since Andrea was a history professor. . .
As always, I found the imagery pretty good.  She used beautiful similes and really knew how to use her sensory words.  I've never been to Medieval Time Europe, but I feel as if I have been there.  So, I was very happy about that.
Overall, I gave this book five out of five stars and probably two thumbs up, too.  This is another start to a series that shows a lot of promise.  I loved it from the start to the very end, soaking all of it in.  I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.  I really look forward to reading how Ember's story will unwind, and hopefully all of you will, too.
Rift comes out officially on August 7th!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cover Reveal!

Well, guys, it's the moment we've all been waiting for!  It's the cover of the Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare!  After an afternoon spent of making a whole bunch of tweets with the hashtag #ClockworkPrincess, all of us ID fans were able to reveal the cover ourselves, and with that, had the book TRENDING on Twitter!  Honestly, you guys rock!

Just look at it!  Is it not the most gorgeous cover you have ever seen?  The glowing book, her scandalous dress, and her clockwork angel pendent!  It is the Tessa that we ID fans have been reading about ever since the very beginning.  I'm pretty sure Jem is drooling over this somewhere while Will weeps in some corner.

And in other bookish news, City of Bones will be out in theaters in August of next year!  Woot!

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

First off, lemme give a shout out to Jasmine from Beneath the Moon and Stars for letting me borrow this book!  Let's just say my library system does not have Obsidian in there and I got a little desperate on Twitter.  Then, Jasmine swooped in to rescue me from becoming insane and lent me this pretty.  She has saved my mental stability and therefore think she is awesome.

The Synopsis:
Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don't kill him first, that is.

My Thoughts:
When I first read that this was going to be about a hot alien dude, my reactions were followed as such:

First reaction: *stares* Well, that sounds kinda weird . . . Alien . . . Movies kill aliens . . . Except for in Paul, but he could have died . . . But Paul was green . . .
Second Reaction: Give me the flippin' book right now!  Hot dude with bad attitude equals hell yes!  And, he's an alien, as in he's from a different planet.  WANT. O_o

As you can see, they weren't really intelligible thoughts.  One side of my brain did not understand the amazing-ness of this book while the other half was a little too excited.  And mind you, this was all before I even opened up the book to the first page.
Katy was the epitome of the new girl.  She was introverted and uncomfortable in her new surroundings, but also determined to make new friends and start over with a normal life--if that's even possible with the hottest guy in the universe living right next door to her.  So, maybe something a little less than normal.  One thing that I really liked about her character was the fact that she didn't take much crap from Daemon and stood her ground.  She was feisty and entertaining to read, along with Daemon, but that's for obvious reasons.
And then there's Daemon.  Daemon.  I'm not exactly sure what you want me to say about him other than he's an alien and he's hot. 
Okay, okay.  So, that's not the only thing I'm going to say about him.  Because, just repeating that he's hot and he's an alien sounds pretty shallow of me, and not entirely true about his character.  Just like any other bad boy in any book, he's got a certain kind of mystery to him.  Daemon was moody, and I'd wonder if it was his time of the month if he wasn't a jerk 24/7.  Jusss sayin'.  But, there were a few extremely rare times where he wasn't a butt head and was kind of a decent and relatable guy.  And because of all of those traits, my mind became Daemon and everything that he is.  I think it's safe to say that I now understand why many bloggers talked about Daemon like he was the God of Awesome and Sexy.  I get it now.
Going to the story, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  Alien invasions?  An intergalactic war?  Bowling?  But I was okay with that because I really wanted it to surprise me, and surprise me it did.  There was plenty of action to sate my hunger for violence and enough romance that didn't end up with me rolling my eyes about how unlikely it sounded.  The unlikely romance thing happens a lot to me with books. 
Speaking of romance, I decided that I actually wanted to talk about it here.  One thing I really look forward to is watching a relationship bud between two characters.  Sometimes, I feel that romances are hastened or maybe a little cliche, and possibly a bit too passionate.  The romances I look forward to are the ones where they don't kiss after two hours of meeting each other.  Although, I crave their first kiss, I'd rather prefer watching how they interact with one another before they get all kissy-face.  With that said, I'll just tell you that I really liked the romance in this book.  Jennifer L. Armentrout did a lovely job with it.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book.  It was everything I could want in an alien book--surprisingly.  It was nothing like what I expected it to be and I cannot wait for the next installment to come out next month.  I hope everybody gets a chance to read Obsidian if they haven't already because this book here is definitely one of my top ten favorites so far of this year.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wake by Amanda Hocking ARC Blog Tour

As a new fan to Amanda Hocking, I am thrilled to be apart of this unofficial blog tour hosted Sarah at Inklings Read, who also provided me a copy of the book.  I heard about Wake a long time ago and was excited about it, even though I hadn't read the synopsis yet.

The Synopsis:
Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.
Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

My Thoughts:
Once I actually read the synopsis of this book, I was instantly intrigued by the idea of sirens.  I've always been a fan of Greek mythology--any mythology, actually--and eagerly delved into the book, wondering what story Amanda Hocking would tell.
Gemma is not your average girl next door.  Her life and passion is swimming and her spirit for the most part is wild and free.  She's beautiful and smart and is everything the three sisters are looking for.  What I found to be super cute was the relationship that builds between Gemma and Alex, a geeky kid that lives next door.  They were both dorky and sweet at the same time, and a relief from most of the lusty and passionate romances that are becoming increasingly common in the book world.
The writing was not what I expected it to be.  Not only was it in third person, but it was also omniscient, letting readers into the minds of more than one character's at a time.  In the beginning I found it a bit confusing, but as the story wore on, it became easier to distinguish what Amanda was writing at times.  Not that it was very confusing or anything; I just had to pay closer attention to what I was reading.  However, I must give Amanda Hocking credit for tackling this kind of writing because it is a hard one at that.
And I do not believe that the synopsis gives this book the credit it deserves.  Yes, the story is all of those mentioned, but in no way does it give you the slightest peak into the world Gemma, her sister Harper, Alex, and Daniel, that hot guy that lives on a boat, live in.  In no way would I have imagined where the story led its readers to.  It was both creative and refreshing to read.  It wasn't a tale about mermaids and it wasn't about vampires or werewolves.  It was something new that had me enjoying every page. 
Wake, although I found it a bit predictable, was entertaining and surprisingly dark.  Mystery and secrets hung around the three sisters and all over the small town.  Amanda Hocking once again had me enjoying her writing and the world she created before my eyes.  I loved the connection Gemma had with her sister Harper, and my heart warmed over the love they both had for their family and friends.  Wake was also about the growth and strength of the characters.  I enjoyed watching the characters grow and admired it, even.
Overall, Wake was a great story that rightfully earned four out of five stars from me.  Amanda did not fail me with this new tale, and I certainly will be looking out for when the next book in the series comes out.
And with that, this is the end of the first stop on the blog tour!

Also, here's an exclusive clip of the Wake audiobook! Just click here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

The Synopsis:
Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.
As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

My Thoughts:
Earlier this year, I read the first book, The Body Finder, and was instantly hooked into this series.  I began and finished The Body Finder in one day--the mystery and suspense perfectly written and executed by the characters.  This series isn't a genre you don't usually see on the YA shelves, and I'm not exactly sure why.  I'm a total murder/crime lover at heart.  And I especially liked the first book.  I thought it was so cool to get into the serial killer's mind and see why he did the things that he did.  It made sense.
Violet is an interesting character.  Although she does not act out of character very ofter, she tends to do very stupid things and get herself in bad situations.  It's not that she can help it or anything, but it can be infuriating watching from the sidelines as she works out things for herself and solves mystery.  Sometimes, she even acted like a kid, but then I also have to consider she only is a sixteen year old girl with a fickle mind.  What I really admire about her character is how fearless she is, even if her fearlessness can get her into trouble sometimes.  And her fearlessness pretty much screwed her up once she attracts the attention of the FBI.  Yeah, that can't be good.
One thing that I liked about this book was letting Chelsea, one of Violet's friends, shine a little more in this book.  We don't see much of Violet's friends in this book, or even the first book, and I wish they were.  Chelsea, especially, is a riot.  I think it's partially because I have a friend that is pretty similar to her, but she's just one of those characters that I really enjoy to watch on the pages.  To break it down, more Chelsea = happier me.
Instead of a serial killer on the loose, there's more of a stalker hanging out in the shadows.  Although I found it a bit weird, I didn't get the very creeped out kind of vibe from Violet.  That could be because she's not easily scared by much, but I would have thought there would have been more of a creep factor.  And please don't get me wrong because it seems that Kimberly Derting is the queen of making mysterious and creepy books.  She surely is a master of it.  And, of course, there's more than just a stalker out there.  Something very dangerous, too.
In all honesty, I found the first book more interesting than this one.  I'm just choosing favorites here, mind you.  I mean, the first book had me at the edge of the seat with a killer headache.  I read that book with little to no disruption and had my adrenaline going on its own little roller coaster ride.  That book was awesome.  And so was this one.  I didn't find myself biting my nails or anything, but I surely was engrossed with its dark mysteries and a budding romance, full with its ups and downs.  Nothing like your average day teenage drama to throw in there, too, as Violet tries to hunt down dead bodies, even though how morbid that sounds. 
Overall, I gave this book four out of five stars.  I loved the intricacy of the plot, and the imagery wasn't that bad, either.  If one there was one thing that really put me off was that her parents weren't as commanding and strict as I'd think them to be since their daughter since to attract danger no matter where she goes.  Other than that, I thought Desires of the Dead was a gripping and thrilling read that I think would appeal to the inner detective in all of us.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

This would be one of the books I bought on the Fierce Reads Tour in New York at Books of Wonder.  It truly was a lovely affair where I got to meet so many amazing and talented writers, one of them being Jennifer Bosworth.

The Synopsis:
Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

My Thoughts:
I was really excited to read this book once I read that lovely synopsis and looked at the eye-capturing cover.  You can see the Lichtenberg marks covering her arms and you can see all the destruction around Mia, our main girl in this book.  It's one heck of a cover, if you ask me.
Mia Price is not exactly a natural introvert, but she's learned that people don't accept a person whose been struck by lightning numerous amount of times.  They think she's weird.  A freak.  So, to avoid the hurt, she's used to keeping quiet and covering up who she really is.  In all actuality, her character was very strong and courageous.  She'd do anything to keep her already loose family together, even if that means risking her health or making her brother or mother unhappy.  And after the devastating quake, she's been working harder than ever to scrape by.
I thought that the idea for the book was very original.  I mean, who's a lightning addict?  It's not something you don't normally see on the shelves nowadays.  There wasn't exactly a lot of action--what I normally enjoy in books--but there was plenty of action and danger that kept me hooked right from the very start.  Like, who really is Jeremy?  Where did he come from?  Why does he totally rock?  What's up with this supposed storm that's coming?  Is it really going to happen?  Questions like those.
Alright, here's the toughie I'm going to tackle here.
Jennifer Bosworth and I chatted a little bit before I read the book.  She told me that there was a religious controversy involving this book, and I made it my own mission to decide that for myself.  If you've read my review for Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman, you'd know that I also tackled the religion topic.  In BoBS, it's got a lot of history in it that ties into present situations.  I said that you cannot have an accurate talk about history, especially the Medieval Times without at least briefly discussing religion.  It's impossible.  But for Struck, it's a little different.
So, here's the deal.  A ginormous earthquake has practically eaten up all of LA.  People are dying, people are sick, people are dead.  There's no money, no food, no water, no homes.  There's no way things are going to be going back to normal for a very long time.  And in a time like this, people are desperate.  People have heard of this one man, Prophet, who predicted the major earthquake and also accurately predicted other events.  People originally didn't believe--I mean, who would?  He's a crack job, right?  But, when people are desperate, and Prophet has been right about many things, offers God's forgiveness, and you haven't been to Church ever since your parents stopped driving you there for Sunday School, don't you think you'd want to believe?  Believe that there is some type of larger force out there pulling the strings?
I'm not saying that this is what I'd do; I'm just making a point here.  But a lot of people, especially once they're desperate and think that they will be breathing their last breaths in the next few days would.  It's human behavior to act rash and come up with answers to things we can't explain, to solve the unknown, even if it the answer is outlandish and doesn't make complete sense.
In all, I do not believe that this book in any sense is religious.  If anything, you'd get more of a religious feel from books if they were about angels.  I'm not saying that they are all like that, but it is more likely for angel books to incorporate more religion.
I thought that Struck was a very beautifully written and thought out book.  Constantly, I was noting how knowledgeable Jennifer was on the topic of lightning and storm--other things, too.  She definitely did her homework on this one.  Plot-wise, I thought it was genius.  I didn't doubt for one second what might happen because I trusted Mia and the writing.  Especially towards the end, I was either puling out my hair or sitting at the edge of my seat.  It was great.  I absolutely loved it.  It was fierce.
See what I did there??
Overall, I gave Struck four out of five stars.  No, actually 4.5 stars would be more accurate.  I think the reason only being that I'm not one for end-of-the-world kind of books.  It was a bit out of my comfort zone, this book, but I don't mind, especially since I really enjoyed it.  So I suggest you all go hunt down this book and read it.
Happy reading, everyone!

Team Kilt, Baby!

Earlier this year, I was persuaded into reading the Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready.  So far--because of my small town library--I've only read the first book, which makes me kind of sad.  I loved the first book, and I would really love to read what will happen next. 
To learn more about the Shade series, go to Jeri Smith-Ready's website.
And check out Fictitious Delicious for more information about how to help Zach in the Tourney.

But that is not the point.  I'm here to tell you all that this year, as an active participant in the YA Crush Tourney, I will be fully supporting Zach in the competition.  Although I'd love to back up practically every single guy in the Tourney, it cannot be done. 

Reasons why y'all should vote for Zach:

1) He's patient.
2) He's attractive.
3) He enjoys listening to Death Cab for Cutie. (if you've read my About Me tab, you'd know I love all things Indie in the music department)
4) He cares for Aura.

Now here's the big zinger:
5) He's got a Scottish accent. *swoons*

Now if all of this hasn't sold you into voting for Zach in the Tourney, here' some eye candy for you:

Think of him as your friendly neighborhood knight in plaid.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

I've had this baby on my TBR list for a really long time.  I'd almost gotten it on numerous amount of times after discovering it on Amazon, but after all of the negative reviews written about it, I wasn't so sure if I wanted to read it.  So on the back burner it went until I won The Mephisto Kiss ARC in a giveaway.  So then, of course I knew I had to read it before I received the second book.

The Synopsis:
Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger--she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx's biggest threat.
A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant--God's promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he's finally found the girl he's been searching for: Sasha.
With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

My Thoughts:
This was yet another book I had borrowed from the library.  What had originally drawn me to the book was the cover.  I mean, just look at it.  Isn't is beautiful?  The big dress, the mysterious blue background; it had drawn me like a moth to a flame.  The idea I thought was interesting, too.  The girl being the uber pure daughter of Eve and the imminent danger of her losing that purity from a son of Hell. Sweet deal.  I could just imagine all of the conflict and the budding romance.  The idea held a lot of potential.
Sasha was quite a different character.  Not only was I able to not really connect with both her and Jax, and the other characters, but she wasn't a very stable one, either.  I felt as if her personality wasn't always in-character or believable.  There were moments where she would do certain things that would have me confused, and not in the impressed way.
As I mentioned, I thought that the story had a lot of potential.  I was imagining demons and other creepy Hell-bound creatures.  Then as I read the book, I changed my mind about that theory and thought that this creepy cult that worships Eryx would become a big deal.  And it did.  But I didn't exactly feel the danger about it.  Though, I was totally bummed with all of the people that joined, and I wanted to throttle them, shake them until they could see logic.  It's kind of hard to do that when the people are fictional and are only words written on a page.
On an even more positive note, I really loved the writing.  It wasn't poetic like The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wesserman, but it most definitely had it's own lyrical qualities to it.  It was my favorite quality of The Mephisto Covenant, so I have to give my props to Trinity Faegen.
Overall, I wasn't exactly thrilled with this book.  I read it all the way through, following the story to the very end because I had to know how it ended, but I wasn't content with it.  It's not that there was this huge cliff hanger, but I thought that the way it ended with a bit rushed and sloppy, almost like the end of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins in that sense.  I also found that some of the situations in the story were just plain awkward and also that others weren't very believable.
And with all of that, I gave this book two out of five stars.  I'm excited to read what will happen next in The Mephisto Kiss and see if maybe I will enjoy it more than I did this one.
Please don't let this review convince you to not read this book.  If you were interested in reading it before, by all means, go ahead and read it.  This is only just my opinion of The Mephisto Covenant, and I'd hate for this to prevent others from possibly enjoying it.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Thank you Harlequin Teen for letting me review this e-galley!

The Synopsis:
So wrong for each other...and yet so right.
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much
impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My Thoughts:
This wouldn't be one of my first picks, it being contemporary and all, but I decided to give it a chance because that's my book philosophy: every book deserves the opportunity to be read, no matter your thoughts.  It's kind of like not judging a book from it's cover, but I can't say that because I do judge books by their covers.  I know, a horrible trait of mine, but I'm human.
Echo and Noah were surprisingly very complex and dimensional characters.  But unfortunately, I didn't see many dimensions to some of the secondary characters.  Echo and Noah have had experienced some terrible times in their first seventeen or so years of their lives.  They both have some pretty messed up lives, ones not fathomable to my mind.  They truly were noteworthy characters for this year, possible my favorites. 
Noah, he's the crush-worthy hot guy in the novel.  I wasn't necessarily attracted to him, possibly because he's not my type--who knows--but he definitely was, according to the other characters, hot.  The reason why I wasn't really connecting to him could be the fact that he was part of the 'druggie' group in school.  It's not like you could totally blame him once you really got to know his character, but it was a turn-off for me.  What I really liked about his character was the fact that he'd do anything for his brothers, but for the majority of the moment, he was a hot-headed kind of guy, thinking he was pretty much invincible. 
Echo just blew my mind.  She was pretty much the exact opposite of Noah.  I almost found her character admirable.  She couldn't stand living under the command of her strict father, having to retake exams and only applying for certain colleges.  She hated her stepmother.  And she most definitely hated her life.  The scars that now mar her arms dropped her social status to just about zero and she now has to work with the insufferable Noah to get some money.  She just wants her life to be normal, but she can't live on until she can solve the mystery to her accident that ruined her life, just about.  She thinks she crazy--or at least turning crazy--as she suffers through night terrors and other mental issues.  And I couldn't help but love her strength through all of it.  She had her doubts, yes, but she has Noah and her determination to help her move on.
This book dealt a lot with growth and moving on.  It was about forgiveness and coping.  Tough decisions were made, not all of them the right decisions.  The plot at times was truly captivating, keeping me wondering what would happen next, who would do what. 
But, I'm afraid not all of the plot kept me hooked.  As mentioned, I couldn't really connect with Noah, and that kind of irked me a bit.  Also, I had a hard time keeping focus at times.  I would get bored and find my eyes wandering.  I wanted to get to the end of the story to ease my mind of Echo and Noah's pain and misery, but not all of it kept me hooked.  Once Noah and Echo inevitably hooked up, I didn't originally see a point to the story continue.  I liked how all of the problems were solved in a leisurely manner--just a little too slow for my taste, but I didn't see much point to some of Echo and Noah's relationship throughout the novel.
Overall, I gave Pushing the Limits three out of five stars.  I would suggest reading it to others.  It was an interesting read with an unpredictable plot line.  I'm not exactly jumping out of my seat thrilled with my book; I'm kind of 'meh' about it. 
Others have given this book great reviews; they absolutely loved the book, giving it five or four stars, so it certainly appeals to many people. 
Happy reading!
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