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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review: The Exiled Queen

Synopsis: Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.  Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.  The Exiled Queen is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

My Review: I have to start off by saying that Cinda Williams Chima writes one of my favorite trilogies (soon to be series).  Naturally I was psyched to hear about the Demon King and its sequels.  I was not disappointed!  I love this new world and cast of characters even more than the Heir books!  I about squealed with joy when I saw that The Exiled Queen was available for a book tour.   It definitely met my expectations! 

Cinda does a magnificent job (as always) of creating a world full of rich depth and unique history.  The Exiled Queen feels like you are stepping into a whole other world.   The reader is fully immersed in the story and makes the reading experience all the more exciting.   I’m fascinated by the history of the Demon King and Queen Hanalea.  I wish Cinda would pull a Beedle the Bard and solely focus on the story there.  That would make me entirely too happy.  XD   The Seven Realms, the Clans, and the Queens are all truly fascinating.  The story and background are so rich it’s hard to not be appreciative of it.  It is truly one of the reasons I adore these books so much.    The plot of The Exiled Queen, while pretty much being filler for the story at large, was still full of twists and surprises.  I loved the eventual meshing of Han and Raisa’s journeys.  It was beautifully done, and it wasn’t forced. 
Okay time for a bit of gushing.  I LOVE Han.  Probably my favorite male MC.  EVA!  Just ah!  I adore him.  Plain and simple; he is epic.   He is just an incredibly rich and diverse character.  He has such incredible depth to his character and personality it’s difficult to NOT love him.  One of the things I enjoy so much about Han is that he has many different faces, but no one truly knows the real him.  He may be known by many as Cuffs, or even Hunts Alone, but few know him as just Han; a young man who is more than just the former street lord and friend to the Clans.   People only glimpse at the surface, and that is definitely the case with Han.  Many people judge him on his reputation alone, and not for who he truly is.  While Han looks out for himself, he is always thinking of his loved ones as well.  Han can go from threatening to off someone in a dark alley to being a brilliant funny guy.  Han grew up in a rough world, where it was either kill or be killed and he doesn’t shy away from potential nasty activities that he thinks are necessary.  I loved that when Raisa and Han finally meet again at Oden’s Ford that it is Raisa who truly gets to see the real him.  Not Cuffs or Hunts Alone, just Han.  It was all too sweet and Han deserves a true friend who he can be himself around.  I love getting to know more of Han and honestly I’d rather be reading his POV the entire time sometimes.  I love Raisa, but I love Han more.  XP   I’m sure I’m not the only fan girl out there.  Haha. 
Raisa did a lot of growing up in this novel.  Raisa’s never been ignorant of the world, but she tends to be a bit naïve.  Especially in thinking that everyone in the Queen’s service is loyal.  It’s a concept she soon rectifies.  Raisa used to lump people into good and bad.  In The Exiled Queen Raisa realizes that there are degrees of both in everyone, including herself.  People are not inherently good or bad, it is what their actions do that defines them.   Raisa embraces her chance to learn more of the world beyond court politics.  She is a true monarch and wants what is best for her people.  She trains like any other soldier and has classes involving battle tactics, history, and learns cultures and political situations of the other Realms.  One of the things I love so much about Raisa is that she is highly mature.  Reminds me of myself actually.  Raisa is very rational and doesn’t judge people for what they do, but for who they are.  One thing that I really appreciated was her capability for self reflection.  She stopped and thought about what she was feeling and WHY.  Not many people do this, and more people should.  It is a quality I greatly admire and wish I did more of.  I enjoy reading from Raisa’s POV, but it just doesn’t compete with Han.  XP 
Cinda really introduced a lot of new plot twists that have me desperate for book three!  And the ending! AH!  Just as bad as Demon King!  I LOATHE cliff hangers.   I mean I’m just so depressed!  I get an ARC of Exiled Queen and I’m already desperate for the third!  AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! The world is just not fair.  :/  I assure you, any Cinda Williams Chima fans out there *cough*Mike *cough* will adore Exiled Queen!  And for those of you that have not experienced the awesomeness of her books…. *angry face* READ THEM! 

 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blog Tour Stop for Lucien Black!

Hey guys!  Long time no see! I put the blame on band, homework, work, and book tours.  O.O  Yeeash!  Anyway I've managed to crawl out of my little hidey hole in order to do some pimpage for a new book!  This is the current stop among many other blogs for Lucien Black's book tour.  I'm very excited to be apart of it, and hope y'all will enjoy my little stop.  Lucien has provided an excerpt of the short stories series Myth for you all to enjoy.

And here's a little message from Lucien before you all start reading.  ^.^

First I want to thank Ky for giving me a spot on her blog. This has been an awesome tour and
I am looking forward to sharing some of the new volume of No Vacancies with Ky’s followers.
For those of you new to the series, I want to give you an brief intro before we get into the
excerpt. The concept of No Vacancies started with a profound love for all things comic book
related. I had many comic book scripts written for original works and they sat around waiting
for me to break into the industry. Thankfully, my wife challenged me to adapt a different style
of writing to my scripts and convert them into short stories. I argued at first, but eventually
found myself slipping easily into this new routine. What I needed was an idea that would convey
the type of story I wanted to write, but for a while new medium. Taking some cues from the
old movie serials, comic books and the old pulp magazines, I developed the concept of No
Vacancies.

Two volumes of No Vacancies are released each year and each book contains four short stories.
At times, the stories are stand alone, or appear only in the one volume of No Vacancies. These
are ideas or concepts that I felt I needed to convey, but were not necessarily part of a bigger
series or story. The first volume of No Vacancies contains a story called “One More Sunday”,
which tells the tale of the events which led up to the death of the city’s primary superhero. In
this noir thriller, Detective Sam Arkwright finds himself wrapped up in a case that is beyond his
imagination and takes him to the edge and back as he uncovers not only how the Protector died,
but secrets hidden away long ago but the reclusive superhero.

The other stories contained in the series are serialized or episodic tales, told over multiple
volumes of the No Vacancies series. So, each volume of the series, contains a part or
episode of the titled story. Outcast, for example, starts in No Vacancies Volume 1 and
ends in No Vacancies Volume 4, with some heavy cliffhanger endings along the way.

So as a treat for the followers of Can't Find a Bookmark, I have for you the first part of a brand new, exciting series that premiers in the latest volume of No Vacancies. The story is called Myth and follows Nick Maverick as he learns that his lineage is a noble and glorious one…he’s the son of Zeus. To the dismay of the gods, Zeus has gone missing and so have the heroes of Olympus.
The gods call upon Nick to help and the story that unfolds is an amazing tale of adventure and
mythology. I hope you enjoy chapter 1 of Myth.




A blast of bright white electricity crackled as it flew through the night, hit Agrios against the
chest and knocked the giant into the air until he crashed into a marble column and thudded
to the ground. The old column crumbled under the weight of the nine-foot tall giant, but the
blast knocked him out cold. Zeus took the opportunity to escape so he turned and ran into the
ruins of the Temple of Hephaestus and stumbled on the crumbling stairs that lead to the interior
of the temple. Zeus had to find a way to get the high ground since he could not take on all
his assailants at once…at least not on Earth. As he entered the temple, long rows of columns
surrounded the exterior of the building and Zeus used them as cover, darting from pillar to pillar, eyes fixated on the black night.

As Zeus turned the corner and head to the innermost rooms of the temple, another giant,
Sykeus, reached in, grabbed the Lord of the Gods by the hair, and ripped him from the temple.
Sykeus was much taller than his brethren were; at least three feet taller and a few hundred
pounds heavier. As he pulled Zeus from the temple, the god bounced off two columns, which
disintegrated from the impact. Zeus was no slouch at nearly seven feet tall on Earth, but Sykeus’
strength was amazing. Zeus screamed in pain as he tried to wrestle free, but the Giant held fast.
With all his might, Sykeus lifted Zeus into the air and drove the God’s body into the ground.
Sykeus laughed and said, “You are weak.”

Zeus tried to stand, but Sykeus was too fast and with a swift kick to the stomach, sent Zeus
flying through the air. Zeus thought he landed against a tree, but to his surprise, he thudded
to a halt against the leg of Thoon, another Giant. Thoon drove both forearms against Zeus’
back and crushed him into the ground. Zeus was in trouble and he didn’t know what he
could do. Thoon reached down, grabbed Zeus by the throat and lifted him into the air.

“Stop,” a voice called out from the side; a voice that was very familiar to Zeus.

“We were just getting started,” Sykeus said.

“I said stop,” the man said stepping forward.

“You,” Zeus mumbled.

“Release him,” the man said and with that, Thoon slammed Zeus down to the ground with a
thud.

“It’s so hard to find good help,” the man said.

“What have you done?” Zeus mumbled.

“I have done what countless others before me have tried and failed to do.”

“You won’t get away with this,” Zeus said, climbing onto his hands and knees. “I am the Master
of the Gods.”

“On Mt. Olympus maybe, but on Earth you are far weaker,” the man said. “This is exactly why I
lured you here. Old Zeus…can’t keep his hands off the ladies. Your thirst for flesh will be your
downfall.”

“I’ll kill you first, you insolent,” Zeus tried to stand but Thoon slammed his fist against the back
of his neck and knocked the god to the ground. Zeus skidded a few feet and came to rest at the
feet of the man.

The man leaned down, pulled Zeus up by his hair, and smiled. “Tonight, your reign comes to an
end,” the man said and then dropped Zeus to the ground. “Make it slow and painful,” the man
said to the Giants.

Thoon cracked his knuckles while Sykeus and Agrios walked forward. The three giants
converged on Zeus and began landing blow after blow on the God.

The man walked away from the temple slowly and reached into his crimson robe. From it, he
pulled a small hand held mirror, which he opened. After a few seconds, an image appeared on
the mirror and the man said, “It is done.”

“Good,” a voice asked. “Are you certain he will be out of the picture?”

“The giants are having their way with him right now,” the man replied. “When they get finished,
there will be nothing left of the Lord of Olympus.”

“Good, then phase one of our plan is complete,” the voice said.

“What now?”

“Return to Olympus, they will soon realize Zeus is missing and we can’t afford to have you
found out just yet.”

“Very well,” the man said and closed the mirror.

Like bass rumbling through the countryside, the sound of the giants beating Zeus filled the air.
The man continued to walk away from the scene until a bright flash of light caught his eye. He
turned back and saw a flash of lightning rise up from the ground from where he left Zeus and the
giants. Before the bolt had a chance to touch the sky, the light fizzled out and darkness covered
the landscape. The man smiled and then to his surprise a wave of guilt washed over him. For
a moment, regret and fear filled him. What had he just done? He shook his head and pushed
those feelings aside. Zeus’ reign over Olympus was over and it was time for a new God to rise.

If you like what you read be sure to check out Lucien's website as well! 




Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

Synopsis: Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak. Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.  With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

My Review: When I came across this book tour it was only out of curiosity that I signed up.  Necromancy?  Sweetness!  I adored Garth Nix’s Abhorsen books and my only knowledge of necromancers stemmed from them.  I always wanted to read more stories about necromancers (because frankly raising the dead is bad ass) and I’m thrilled to say that I found a fantastic new story that everyone will enjoy.  I freakin adored it; even going as far as waving it in my friends’ faces and squealing “It’s so EPIC!” at them.  It was utterly fantastic.  I’m having trouble expressing my love for it.

Sam is your typical guy; college dropout, working the fast food scene, and enjoys skateboarding.  His normal life comes crashing to a halt when Douglas shows up (because Sam failed at making a slap shot with a potatoe)  Suddenly Sam is thrown into a world of necromancers, witches, vampires, werewolves, faeries, furies, and even satyrs.  And his wake up call to the real world isn’t pleasant to say the least.  Douglas, in an attempt to “send Sam a message” delivers his friends decapitated resurrected head.  Hmm, talking head or candy-gram?  I honestly can’t say which one I would prefer.   Douglas is disturbed, scary, and just altogether evil.  He gives all necromancers a bad rap to be sure.  He gives Sam a week to decide whether he wants to join with Douglas, or die.  Not much of a choice there.  

 While Sam is just trying to figure out what the hell is going on, the werewolf heir to the throne, Brid, wakes up in a nasty warded cage in Douglas’s basement.  Worst. Morning.  Ever.  Talk about an FML moment.  Half werewolf, half fae-hound, Brid is a hybrid.  Too bad for her, Douglas likes unique specimens to experiment on.  Sam and Brid’s fates eventually intertwine and they must work together to escape Douglas’s clutches.  
   
Despite the dark and disturbing plot twists, this book made me laugh so much.  HYSTERICAL! Granted, I’m easily amused.  However, if a book can make me laugh every few pages I guarantee it’s worth your time.  It was funny in that awesome sarcastic way that only true comedic genius’s can accomplish.  The dialogue, the narration, even some of the situations were just brilliant.  I mean I wasn’t belting it out or anything, but I greatly appreciated the witty humor.  It totally brightened my day whenever I read it.  Oh and the chapter titles!  Pay attention when you are reading!  They are all song lyrics!  About the third chapter I discovered it and started laughing my head off!  I mean come on “Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting” and “Back and Black” and “Sweet Dreams Are Made of These”?  Just made my day, plus it’s fun trying to figure out what song they’re from.  ^.^ 
   
The supernatural sect was also very unique, and I’m thrilled to learn more about the supernatural world in this book.  (There BETTER be a sequel! )  Or I think I might cry out of sheer disappointment.  I think the author did a magnificent job of re-creating and putting her own unique spin on supernatural YA, which is horribly difficult to accomplish to say the least.  I found it refreshing, hilarious, enthralling, and altogether just amazing.  Definitely check it out! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review: The Clockwork Angel

Synopsis: Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still. When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own. Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

My Review: I’m gonna start off by saying that when it comes to this review I’m going to be a bit biased.  Well, not horribly just a tiny bit.  Any of ya’ll who know me well will already know of what I speak, so I won’t take the time to go into it.    All I’m going to say is that the only reason I continued to read the Mortal Instruments books was to find out what happened with Magnus and Alec.  I love the two dearly and think they are adorable.  And one of the major factors of me reading the prequel is that I knew Magnus would make some appearances.  Plus I adore steampunk.  The prequels sounded much more my style.  Thankfully I predicted correctly. 

The beginning kind of took me by surprise.  I was rather expecting a gradual introduction to the Shadowhunter world since it is indeed a prequel series.  Since they were meant to be able to stand alone I was just rather taken aback that it STARTED with Will and Jem.   I guess I was also expecting Tessa’s account to start in New York as well, not on the steamship.  Not exactly what I was expecting, but I just kind of rolled with it.  I really rather enjoyed Tessa’s POV.  I liked her much more than I ever liked Clary.  Okay, A LOT more.   She was practical, strong willed, and not horribly emotional.  I actually really connected with her.  I think our personalities are very similar and she was very rational about everything that happened to her.  I don’t know whether that’s a product of the time period or just her personally, but I liked it.  I felt that she accepted people for who and what they were on a more personal basis and not just face value.  There’s a part in the book where she tells off a complete stranger, and a Shadowhunter at that, who was all in Will’s face being an asshole.  It wasn’t because she was defending Will, God knows that he deserved it, but rather she hated to see anyone behave so rudely to anyone, not matter what the reason.  She wasn’t selfish and when it came down to it, everything she did and endured was for her brother’s sake.  I thought she was a very admirable character and I’m glad I didn’t end up hating her.  It would have been bad if I hated the main characters in both TMI and the prequels.  Lol. 
I adore Victorian London.  There is just something about that time period that is just epic in my mind.  Maybe it’s because I fell in love with Victorian London after reading The Sally Lockhart Trilogy by Phillip Pullman in middle school.  The dark gritty streets, mood lighting, the accents, it is just epic.  I have to say I was kind of disappointed.  Not the atmosphere per say, but I felt it was out of time period.  The dialogue drove me nuts.  It was like Clare dumped some Shadowhunters in London and dressed them up to look like they were from the late 1800’s.  It just didn’t seem real to me.  Granted I know that it’s difficult to write dialogue that fits the time period.  I’m not asking for verbatim here, but some effort into it would have been nice.  I mean grab a Jane Austen novel and study the dialogue a bit.  Not too much to ask for, right?  It felt rather half assed in my opinion.  Maybe I’m being harsh because I’m a huge fan of the Alexia Tarabotti novels and they just rock with the dialogue.  Maybe I shouldn’t be comparing the two, but I just can’t help it.  I know it’s possible, so it just really bugs me that it wasn’t up to my expectations.  I’m probably throwing a hissy fit over something stupid that no one else cares about, but whatever. 
Oh and here comes the fun part.  Would you believe it’s possible?  I actually found a male character I hate more than Jace Wayland.  Shocking no?  And who may you ask is this unfortunate soul?  Will Herondale!  Good God!  *bashes head through wall*  I wanted to strangle him so many times!  I LOATHE those stupid “misunderstood, bad-ass hotties, with a dark secret, who treat their supposed loved ones like shit, but who are really awesome guys” characters.   And the MC falls for them anyway!  *bashes head again*  I mean come on Clare!  That was a one shot with Jace!  Now it’s just like beating a dead horse.   Will could be Jace’s twin!  Except he’s worse.  I can’t believe I just said that.  Will is more of an asshole than Jace.  I think I might have to take back one or two of my comments about Jace being an insufferable douche bag.   And you just know that Tessa is gonna fall head over heels for Will, despite his a-hole personality.  I mean where have I seen this romantic plot before?  Hmmm…. Oh ya!  Duh!  The Mortal Instruments!!! *bashes head yet again*  I need to stop headdesking… I’m killing brain cells here. 
Moving on!  I think I’m done ranting now.  Hopefully. Pray that I am done, or I feel a lot of you TMI fans are going to come hunt me down and beat me to a bloody pulp.  Bring it!  Jk.  XP  Despite my ranting, I actually did enjoy Clockwork Angel.  It was really only Will that bugged the crap out of me.  The dialogue was irritating but not horribly so, so I can forgive it.  Will I just cannot forgive.  Thankfully my love of Tessa, Jem, Magnus, and other awesome secondary characters makes up for my hatred.  I still have no idea what the Infernal Devices are… or if they are in fact actual objects.  I have a feeling it’s just referring to those strange clockwork people.  *shrugs*  Guess I’ll have to wait to find out.   Oh and just in case you are wondering what team I’m on…TEAM MAGNUS FTW!  *giggles*

 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

FI-CHAN!!! Congrats!  I will be contacting you shortly via email so be on the look out!  Thanks again to everyone who entered!  This was the most entries I've ever gotten for a contest so far!  Woot woot!  Glad so many people were interested!  I hope you all had a great time with BlogFest and I look forward to participating in the future.  I hope to have some more contests in the near future (though they will most likely be only one winner types) and there will FOR SURE be one for my b-day!  XD Luv ya'll!  And have a wonderful week! 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Review: Losing Faith

Synopsis: A terrible secret. A terrible fate. When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but. As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

 My Review:  First and foremost before you read anything I have to say about this book, I just have to say you will love it.  I don't care if you only like paranormal YA or sci-fi or what have you.  You will love this book.  I don't see how you could not.  I didn't have high expectations for this book when I received it, but boy am I glad I signed up for this tour.  


Brie is the complete opposite of her older sister Faith.  Faith is religious, is totally devoted to God, and is certain of her beliefs.  Brie by contrast is more concerned with having a social life, being a good girlfriend, and keeping as far away from her family's religious fanaticism as possible.  When it is discovered that Faith fell off a cliff, Brie's family is wracked with grief.  Never having been particularly close to her sister in the past few years, Brie isn't certain how she is feeling.  She is wracked by guilt because she asked Faith to give her a ride the night she died.  She can't talk to her parents who are dealing with their grief in the worst way possible, by ignoring it or completely withdrawing within themselves.  She is a sudden pariah at school.  Her friends won't look her in the eye, and nasty rumors of her sister committing suicide spread throughout the school.  She doesn't know where to turn and instead of finding solace after her sisters death, she only has more and more questions.  


Losing Faith clearly had a lot to do with religion.  You would think this would bother me, because I'm not religious in the slightest, but I felt that the religious aspect of this novel was the most wonderful part of it.  Brie's family could be described as overly devoted, especially Faith, and at first it was a bit of a turn off for me.  However, as I continued to read it really hit me that it wasn't about religion.  It wasn't about devoting yourself to God, or going to every church service and youth group twice a week.  It was about belief.  Faith especially made an impression.  It wouldn't have mattered whether or not she was Buddhist or Pagan.  Her faith, her utter devotion to something she truly believed in that she would try to help others even at the cost of her life, is what was truly awe inspiring.  It really made an impression on me.  I felt really connected to Brie because of this fact.  Brie was a bit jealous in the fact that her sister could believe in something so whole heartedly.  I feel rather the same way.  I'm a very logical and scientific person in the way I view life.  I have no hope for eternal salvation or an afterlife and am just happy to have the time on this earth that I am allotted.  I guess I'm kind of jealous of Faith was well, because frankly faith is something I lack.  If you interpret this novel as I have, then it truly is an eye opener.  I've always been sure of my beliefs, but I can't help but feel that this novel will truly wake some people up.  Losing Faith also reveals the danger of belief as well.  Belief and faith are a powerful thing, but with the wrong person they can become tools of self destruction. I won't reveal exactly what this deals with, but keep this in mind.  The author is not bashing religion, she is simply stating that faith goes both ways.  

I really enjoyed Brie as an MC.  Actually I rather enjoyed most of the main characters.  I loved them all and found they were all admirable people.  In the book, Brie tells a lie to another character.  Rather than deceiving him further, she comes clean.  This is soooo hard to do.  I really appreciated the fact that she was honest, even though the truth could be ugly.  The friendship that bloomed between Brie and the most unlikely of people was also sweet.  She makes a true friend, one that will stick with her no matter what, and likes her because she is simply herself.  The same can be said with the bit of romance as well.  I have to give huge props to the author.  It was probably the best written, most believable progression of being attracted to someone to truly loving who they are I've ever read.  So many romances in YA fiction feel so contrived anymore.  The author truly did a remarkable job, and that is saying something, especially from me because I am the harshest critic of believable romance.  

Overall, I completely loved it. Losing Faith has made my list for most meaningful reads.  Probably even one of my favorite books this year.  It wasn't about the action, the romance, or a huge adventure.  It was simply the content and message, and that is the most meaningful aspect of any novel.  More YA novels need to be like Losing Faith. It was truly a wonderful read that I'm sure everyone will adore. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's Blogfest Time!!!

Can I get a woot woot!  I'm so excited!  I have a feeling I'll be on my laptop all weekend checking out all the different blogs and contests!  This is going to be great! ^.^   Oh and just in case you blog stalk like I do here's the LINK to a full list of Blogfest participants.  Makes the going a little easier, right? So while my giveaway won't have all the  pomp and extravaganza that would be expected (tear tear) I'm doing what I can!  I'm making this clean and simple, because frankly I don't want to deal with a bunch of extra entries and crap and I know that I hate it when other bloggers do it so I'm not going to subject ya'll to that headache.  Quick rundown of my few rules. 

1. Don't have to be a follower, but it would be nice if you would.  If you follow me (old or new) you gain one extra entry.  And that's it.  No +5 for a blogpost, +3 for twitter, and etc. 

2. Tell me what book you would like to receive.  It can be already published or a pre-order.  Hardback or paperback.  Doesn't matter.  The only thing I can't promise are ARC's so pre-orders will have to do. 

And that's it.  Sweet and simple and headache-less.  See aren't I nice?  OH and this is international as well.  So you faux Canadians, Brits, and Aussie's or wherever the heck you are from can enter as well.  As long as the Book Depositry ships to your country.  And without further adieu here is the form!  Have a great time this weekend everyone!  And enjoy!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Tutored

Synopsis: Wendy Anderson and Hakiam Powell are at opposite ends of the spectrum—the social spectrum, the financial spectrum, the opportunity spectrum, you name it. Wendy lives in an all-white suburb of Philadelphia, where she’s always felt like the only chip in the cookie. Her dad, who fought his way out of the ghetto, doesn’t want her mingling with “those people.” In fact, all Wendy’s life, her father has told her how terrible “those people” are. He even objects to Wendy’s plan to attend a historically black college. But Wendy feels that her race is more than just the color of her skin, and she takes a job tutoring at an inner-city community center to get a more diverse perspective on life.

My Review: I went into Tutored expecting it to be a quick read with a nice short litte story.  Essentially that's what I got.  It is one of the few "real life teen" books I've read in awhile, and I found it kinda nice.  It wasn't particularly thought provoking, or unsettling, or at all amazing.  Just a nice story with some good life lessons. 

I really enjoyed Wendy's POV and found her really relatable.  She is literally the nicest and most caring MC I have ever come across.  She always puts others before herself and I find her compassion and willingness to do things for others very admirable.  I've never really been much for volunteer work, so it's amazing to me that Wendy does so much of it.  I would never volunteer to tutor those who are seeking their GED.  Heck I wouldn't tutor at all, unless it was for a friend.  Wendy genuinely wants to help people, not because she has to, or it's expected of her, but because she wants to.  She wants to be a doctor and you can tell that it's not for the paycheck.  I have a feeling she would be in Somalia or seeing patients for free.  She has that big of a heart.  While she is caring, she's not a push over.  In the case of Hakiam, she will only provide help if he puts forth his own effort to become successful.  She doesn't take any shit from anyone and is one tough cookie herself. 

Hakiam has a led a troubled life and he's just 17.  I can't imagine going through the crap he's gone through in one lifetime, much less my own 17 years.  Losing a sibling, being abandoned, tossed from foster home to foster home, and ultimately taking a bus to a new city hundreds of miles away.  Desperate times usually call for desperate measures, but Hakiam can't bring himself to steal like he used to.  Touched by Wendy's generosity and the fact that she really cares about his situation, he tries to better himself.  He's staying at his cousin's apartment and in return he looks after her premature baby girl.  While he may not be the brightest bulb, for instance lighting up right next to the baby, he still has a kind heart and truly cares for her. 

Hakiam and Wendy couldn't be more different, yet they surprisingly connect with each other.  It's hard to describe, but in essence they just "get" one another.  There is really nothing more to it than that.  Wendy doesn't expect Hakiam to change, and vice versa.  They simply accept each other for who they are, and a nice relationship starts to take shape.  There are some nice life lessons to be learned as well, but that message is likely to change for different individuals so I won't share.  Ultimately Tutored was a quick read that can be enjoyed by a wide audience. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Some Quick Updates

Hola!  I know I've been churning out reviews a lot lately and haven't really updated on new info.  Well, I'm finally being responsible and doing so!  *pats self on back*  First and foremost a quick update on my Blogfest crisis.  I decided that I am indeed going to still participate, but I'm going to severely cut back on my budget.  Since my parents divorce is getting closer and closer to being finalized money is in short supply and I don't want to get lectured at by spending money for prizes.  Soooo I decided that for Blogfest I am just going to do a "choose your prize" giveaway.  Only one winner (sorry guys it kills me to do this) and they get to choose what book they would like.  It can be published, paperback, hardback, ebook, or a pre-order.  Whatever floats your boat.  Sorry but I do not have any ARC's to give away so that's about the only thing unavailable for prizes.  So... yay?  Once again I apologize for not having a wonderful extravaganza giveaway, but I promise some fun ones in the future.

In other news, I have some exciting things to share!  I will be participating in two blog tours!  A huge thanks to Scott Nicholson and Lucien Black for contacting me!  I am super excited to be able to participate!  Here's a little info on both!

Author Scott Nicholson and Amazon are giving away two Kindles as part of his fall book blog tour from September through November, including a stop here at Can’t Find A Bookmark on Nov. 15. A Kindle DX will be given away through the participating blogs, and a Kindle 3 will be given away through the tour newsletter. A Pandora's Box of free ebooks will be given away through Nicholson's "hauntedcomputer" Twitter account. Nicholson is author of 12 novels and five story collections, as well as four comics series and six screenplays. His paranormal thrillers The Red Church, Drummer Boy and Speed Dating with the Dead have all hit #1 in the Kindle "Ghosts" category, and his new releases are the sci-fi thriller Forever Never Ends and the multiple-personality romp As I Die Lying.
Check out Scott's website HERE and be sure to check out the "Win Me" button on my sidebar!  

Lucien Black is the author of No Vacancies,  a short stories series.  No Vacancies offers readers various stories from different genres such as fantasy, horror, action/adventure, espionage, mystery, and science fiction.  For further information on Lucien's books be sure to check out the different sellers below, and check out his website HERE!   

 Be sure to stop by September 29th for Lucien's Blog Tour, and November 15th for Scott's! 


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Review: The Eternal Ones

Synopsis: Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was. In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

My Review: The concept of reincarnation has always fascinated me, so of course when I heard all the rave reviews of The Eternal Ones I was intrigued.  Granted reincarnation in YA novels isn’t exactly new, but The Eternal Ones was unique in the fact that it solely focused on it.  It wasn’t just a pit stop along the story line like Evermore and Fallen.  There were many aspects of this story I loved, and then just a few that made me want to punch a wall. 

I shall start with the wall punching first just to get it out of the way.  Haven grew up in a very secluded, very backwater, section of Tennessee; country, rural, Republican, and religious fanatics.  My worst nightmare.  O.O  Now, I have nothing against religion or religious people.  I just don’t subscribe to it.  However, strangely religious people who think that you are being possessed by demons of lust and then ultimately the devil?  Ya, not okay with.  Or that totally weird sect of Christianity that handles live poisonous snakes because they believe their faith in God will protect them?  Ya… just no.  Believe me I’m a pretty tolerant person, things like that just totally push me over the edge.  And boy was there a ton of it in at least the first half of the book.   I was ready to gouge my own eyes out to stop reading the nonsense!  I just wanted to take the whole entire town of Snope City and slap them in the face to give them a reality check! Granted, I think that was the point of it all, but it still drove me insane.  The whole entire town is what I like to call sheep.  Utter, complete sheep who cannot think for themselves and are spoon-fed ridiculous ideas that they don’t even question because it comes from a preacher.  *punches a wall*  Do you see why I was struggling not to throw this book across the room? Once again, I’m not here to offend anyone’s personal beliefs.  I am just expressing my personal opinion on the matter.  Okay, wall punching episode is over. 
Now onto the many things I liked about this novel, which is far more interesting than the wall punching.  I love, love, loved Haven.  I have a feeling that if she was a real person we’d be best buds.  She’s a very relatable MC and I only got annoyed with her a few times.  (Which is good because most of the time in these “true love” stories I want to punch the MC in the face)  She has passionate feelings for a man she’s only ever remembered in her dreams, and yet she is certain that she is meant to find him.  They are destined for one another, and yet she doesn’t fully trust her heart.  Rumors of her dad having an affair with another woman before he died made Haven cautious with her love.  When she eventually finds the man she is looking for she throws caution to the wind, yet there’s always a part of her that cannot fully let go and trust in him.  Though I believe that you can lose yourself in love and that you should trust those you love, I commended Haven for thinking through things and realizing that she may love him, but that doesn’t mean she can completely trust him.  Finally an MC with a brain!  In most of these “true love destined through time” plot lines the MC always doubts herself and thinks she’s not worthy and blah blah blah.  Haven had actual reasonable doubt to not love Iain.  She wasn’t doubting herself or whether or not Iain truly loved her, but it was Iain’s actions or rumored actions that had her concerned.  She realized that even though she loved him whole heartedly, that if he had in fact done what others had accused him of, she could not stay with him.  (I’m sounding real ominous aren’t I? )  Anywho, to find out what the hell I’m talking about you’ll just have to read.  XD
Someone else whom I adore?  Beau!!!  Could he just manifest into being real so I could hang with him?  He is the bestest friend eva!  I wish I had someone that close to me, kind of depressing that I don’t.  He’s loyal, no-nonsense, protective, hilarious, and well gay.  As much as I hate the token gay best friend role, Beau is still completely awesome.  I adored his character and only wish he was featured more in the thickest plot of the novel.  He kind of just got shoved off into the corner and was stuck in Tennessee.  : (   I also really liked Iain.  Okay so I kind of loved Iain.  Not for him necessarily but what he says and does.  One of my favorite lines of the whole books goes something like this, “ I’ve known you with dozens of faces and hairstyles.  They were all different, and as long as you were there underneath them, I liked them all.”   There’s another one that I loved, but after fifteen minutes of searching (glares at book) I still couldn’t find it.  It was something along the lines of “I love you even when you get jealous and angry” and so on and so forth.  It was just really sweet and usually when a guy says “I love you even though you have your faults” I tend to roll my eyes because of course the girl he says it to is a complete utter moron and doesn’t deserve that kind of devotion in the first place.  I felt that Haven deserved it and she loved Iain back for all the same reasons.   It’s just all very sweet and like the gushy romantic I am I loved it. 
If any of you follow my tweets (which is probably no one lol) one of them went something like this.  “O.O Okay Eternal Ones just won the prize for creepiest stalker character.  Talk about a ten on the creepometer.”  What was THAT about you may ask?  Well I won’t spoil it for you, but dear lord there is a character who is the creepiest guy EVER!  I went bug eyed and literally got a shiver I was so creeped out.  It was probably the most disturbing thing I’ve read in a long while.  You just have to read it to understand the depths of horrifying it truly is. 
Overall, I really enjoyed The Eternal Ones, wall punching included.  It was controversial in the religious aspect and will probably rub some people the wrong way, but I have to commend the author for being gutsy with it.  The plot was at times a bit predictable, I mean I guessed a major plot reveal way early in the book, but it was still good!  Oh and I gotta love the random shout out to Nebraska!  Though I discovered upon further research that the supposed town that a character was from is indeed actually in Iowa.  XP Believe me, I checked.  I’d never heard of it and I live in Nebraska.  Plus I trust Google maps.  Haha.  Though the last twenty pages of the book felt rather rushed, it was a good ending.  I just felt that the author was going “Omg I’m really close to my word limit!  Can’t go over!”  The Eternal Ones is a worthwhile read that will make all gushy romance lovers like myself happy.