Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: Changeless

Synopsis: Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Maccon, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears -- leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.  But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her into the backwaters of ugly waistcoats, Scotland, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only a soulless can.  She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

My Review: I am FINALLY FINISHED! So you know how I've been flooding your notifications with tons of reviews?  Well, all those wonderful books interrupted my reading of probably my new favorite series, while I was dead in the middle of it! And I can joyfully say that I am finished with it!  It probably took me almost a month to complete the damn thing.  I blame the book tours.  :/ 

If you haven't read my review of Soulless then you probably haven't deduced that I am in LOVE with this series (trilogy?) Love, love, love, love, LOVE!  I have been waving it in front of everyone and anyone's face telling them how epic it is!  Changeless  was equally engaging, hysterical, steamy (in both the steampunk variety and the more carnal) and all around just a fantastic story as Soulless.  As soon as I picked it back up, I just couldn't put it down!  I wish I got to devour it all in one setting like I normally do, but I loved it all the same.  

The story continues with a plague sweeping London.  A plague, oddly enough only affecting the supernatural, making them human once again.  Just as quickly as it arrives, it is gone and moving northward towards the barbaric Scotland.  With her husbands sudden departure from Woolsey Manor, and her investigative duties for the Queen, Alexia sets off to follow the trail of humanization to Scotland, where coincidentally enough her husband is as well.   

What I love so much about these books is the snarky commentary.  "Woe is me!" - "Did you really just utter that phrase?"  Alexia is the most aggresively blunt MC ever, but she is oh so hilarious about it all.  The dialogue had me giggling throughout the book and I was never in desperate need of comic relief because I was laughing every other page.  I think it's because most of the brilliant comments are said with such seriousness.   Just picturing the stoic expression of many characters and the words that completely contradict their facial expressions makes me smile.  And giggle idiotically.  It can't be helped, I'm easily amused.  Not to mention Lord Akeldama.  My dear lovely petunia.  I still want him to be my BFF.  I would never have a dull moment in my life ever again.  Plus who doesn't love someone who talks in italics?  He wasn't featured as much, but I was cheering him and Biffy on.  I adore those two, they are both equally brilliant and really add to the story.  Actually, now that I think of it.  I rather heart every single character in these books.  The major ones at least.  Okay.. Ivy is a bit of an exception but she provides so many jokes at her own expense that she is forgiven for her abominable taste in hats.  

The extensive knowledge on the technology of the time has me equally impressed.  If Miss Carriger came up with all that technical mumbo jumbo on her own I have to give her major props, because even if it is pulled from something else, it sounds legit.  So legit in fact ath I barely understood a word of any of it.  There would be a detailed explanation of how and why some machine would work and I'd just sit there, eyes round, and struggle not to let drool run out of my slack jawed mouth.  Changeless really kept me guessing, and of course I never figured anything out until right before it was revealed.  One little surprise in particular I thought of forever ago, but I never actually thought it was going to happen!  I should have been shocked, but I was having one of those "I SO called that!" moments.  Changeless was everything I knew it would be and more.  The ending however, PISSED ME OFF.  I was torn between wanting to throw the book and cry.  But since I had to change into my band uniform I did neither.  I cannot WAIT to get my hands on Blameless and devour it!   I need it.  Soon.  Of course I just figured out why I could never find it in the bookstores.  It isn't to be set to publish till the 31st of August (it also said the 12th so I don't know who to believe!!!)  Point being,  I am utterly dying for Blameless and can't wait for the story to continue.  Plus the cover is just plain gorgeous!  However I can't help but wonder why she is standing next to the famed gargoyle from Notre Dame when she not once steps foot in France (at least from the synopsis anyway) and in fact goes to Italy?  I would like to have this explained, or have a word with the cover arist.  Lol.  

And I am leaving you on a happy note.  I can sum up the amazing-ness that is Changeless in two words.  Bloody brilliant!  


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review: Manifest

Synopsis: When fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley moves to Lincoln, Connecticut, her mom's hometown, she assumes her biggest drama will be adjusting to the burbs after living in New York City.

But Lincoln is nothing like Krystal imagined. The weirdness begins when Ricky Watson starts confiding in her. He's cute, funny, a good listener—and everything she'd ever want—except that he was killed nearly a year ago. Krystal's ghost-whispering talents soon lead other "freaks" to her door—Sasha, a rich girl who can literally disappear, and Jake, who moves objects with his mind. All three share a distinctive birthmark in the shape of an M and, fittingly, call themselves the Mystyx. They set out to learn what really happened to Ricky, only to realize that they aren't the only ones with mysterious powers. But if Krystal succeeds in finding out the truth about Ricky's death, will she lose him for good?When fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley moves to Lincoln, Connecticut, her mom's hometown, she assumes her biggest drama will be adjusting to the burbs after living in New York City.

My Review: Going into Manifest I really didn't have that high of expectations.  And I was right to expect as much as it turns out.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't horrible . It was just a bit lackluster.  There wasn't anything special to Manifest that made it stand out in my mind.  While there were some aspects that I really enjoyed, others just rather killed the high points for me.                    

I have to say that Krystal annoyed the hell out of me.  Talk about the epitome of whiny teenager who doesn't appreciate anything in her life.  So her parents got a divorce.  Whoop de freakin' doo.  My parents are getting a divorce.  Hey, it's no walk in the park, but the way she treated her mother and new step father was completely uncalled for and there was no reason other than her being a little brat.  The way she treated others when they were only trying to be her friend was also annoying.  Krystal is probably the most snooty bitch of an MC I've ever read.  Okay well... that's not entirely true.  She's the most snooty bitch for the most stupid reason I've ever read.  There, that's a bit more accurate.  She just really annoyed the crap out of me, if you couldn't already tell.  While I, probably more than most people, can understand what she was going through, the reason does not justify her actions.  I would never act the way she did on many occasions.  Ne-ver.  I think my dislike of Krystal majorally inhibited me from enjoying this book.  Well... one of the major reasons at least.  However, she did get better towards the end.  I ended up not completely hating her.  Just for the first half of the novel at least. 

Since I'm being rather negative, here's some positives I liked about this book.  I love, love, loved the tie in to Greek mythology.  Mystyx?  My Styx?  The Styx River between the Underworld and the earth?  Coolio!!!!  I had a slight geek out  moment.  I completely loved that.  I'm a history nut, what can I say?  While their powers are not explained (yet) I still found it intriguing.  The "storms" that supposedly were going on at the time of each of the groups conception was also kind of a cool twist.  How do weird storms at the time of their birth correlate to their magical abilities?  I haven't a clue.  It will be interesting to see how that ties in.  I also really enjoyed the other characters.  Okay... well maybe just one that I liked a lot.  Jake was awesome.  Quiet, caring, and just an all around great guy.  Slightly baggy clothing, hoodies, long shaggy hair.  He's so my type.  Such a shame he's fictional.  Lol.  Sasha was so bipolar most of the time I can't really say I like her all that much.  However, I suspect there is much more to her character than I initially thought.  In the synopsis it's implied that Krystal falls for the ghost.  All I'm going to say on the matter is thank goodness for her rational.  I may not like the way Krystal acts in most circumstances, but I tend to agree with her logic most of the time.  Notice I say most of the time.  Lol. 

While I enjoyed the unusual story, it wasn't really all that well written.  Not that the writing was horrible, it wasn't.  It was simply that the plot could have been more... more....just well better.  I can't really explain it.  The most "terrifying" and "mysterious" part of the novel wasn't all that terrifying or mysterious.  It was like it was trying so hard to be scary and inspire fear and it just failed horribly.  Some parts of the story simply just weren't believable.  I just felt that it was trying so hard to be edgy and unique and it just didn't live up to it.  Perhaps further books will be necessary for me to like the story.  It's so incomplete now that I have a hard time trying to convince myself to give it a chance.  We will see how Mystify plays out.  The cover of which is below.  Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but I will say that I shall still give these books a chance.  I will see how Mystify goes, and then maybe I'll have a better idea as to whether or not I like the story. 


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Review: Firelight

Synopsis: A hidden truth. Mortal enemies. Doomed love.Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form. Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

My Review:  I've been anticipating Firelight  for what seems like forever.  I was overjoyed when I got the chance to read it!  A huge thank you to We Love YA! Tours.  I devoured it in record time for having been in school at the time.  XD 

Besides the gorgeous cover art, I adored Firelight for many reasons.  I have gotten so sick and tired of the traditional new boy at school/hottie/supernatural that I was overjoyed to have the tables turned for once.  Jacinda truly flips the tables on the usual plot.  Jacinda is a strong female MC that is truly admirable.  Forced to flee her childhood home with her mother and twin sister, Jacinda is forced into the human world.  When her mother moves them to the desert, Jacinda's draki formed is deprived of the energy it needs to thrive.  As she struggles against loosing her draki self forever, she is driven closer and closer to the very Hunter that spared her life.  

Firelight is truly a highly unique and original story.  And if you know me even slightly, then you know I value originality above anything else.  In traditional lore dragons are mythical beast; intelligent, vicious, and hoarders of great treasures.  I adored the fact that Jacinda and her family were "descended" from dragons.  Not quite full dragons themselves, but more of a hybrid.  And counter to traditional dragon stories, not all dragons can breath fire.  In fact, Jacinda is the first fire-breather in almost four hundred years.  The ability was thought to be long extinct, and it puts Jacinda in unwanted spotlight.  Her pride wants to control every aspect of her life, even forcing her to mate at the young age of sixteen.  Pride politics and protocol were truly fascinating. The different types of dragons and abilities had me geeking out.  I loved it!  I wish I got to read more about them before Jacinda and her family fled.  

While Jacinda was strong and tough, she didn't crave attention.  She kind of stayed to herself and wasn't overly outgoing.  Some of this was clearly due to her unhappiness of being forced to loose her draki self.  However, Jacinda as a person just wasn't that way.  She was very easy to relate to and very likeable.  She's far from perfect and has her faults like anyone, but she didn't do anything that I could have strangled her for.  Will was equaly likeable.  Of course he's the gorgeous hottie that every girl in school has the hots for.   *insert eye roll*  For once, just once, I would like the romantic interest to just be normal good looking, not drop dead gorgeous.  Will my wish ever be granted?  Probably not... but moving on.  I kind of tend to trend to slow relationships romantically.  That sooooo didn't happen in Firelight.  There was great tension and mutual attraction.  While I found their attraction to one another a bit unfounded, I suspect it's more like an "imprinting" kind of deal.  (It truly kills me to make a Twilight  reference here)  Both characters admit to an unnatural attraction and sense of each other, so I truly do think that's why they were so drawn to each other.  Though their relationship started out rather quickly, they did have a lot of things in common and I truly do think they are compatable with one another.  

I tend to think of dragons as fierce beasts that are great predators.  It was interesting to read a story where the predators are the prey.  While it was an interesting twist, I found that I didn't quite find it believeable.  The "Ekros," those whom hire the Hunters to track and kill the Draki, I found very underwritten.  There was almost no explanation for them, who they were, their motivation, anything at all.  It's guaranteed that we will find out more about them in later books, but it still kind of bothered me.  The lack of explanation made them seem like some vague distant threat to the reader, yet they were feared like the plague by the characters.  

And of course with any trilogy (at least I'm hoping it's at LEAST a trilogy) it ended with a huge ass cliff-hanger.  Total sad face, but hey, what can ya do?  Lol.  I was expecting a huge cliff-hanger so I wasn't all that depressed with the ending.  I'm still craving more though!  It was a wonderful and original read.  If you're looking for something new and thrilling then Firelight should definitely reach it's way to your dirty little hands. 


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review: You

Synopsis:  This wasn't the way it was supposed to go. You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place? There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them? Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late? Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen? You is the riveting story of fifteen-year-old Kyle and the small choices he does and doesn't make that lead to his own destruction.In his stunning young-adult debut, Charles Benoit mixes riveting tension with an insightful—and unsettling—portrait of an ordinary teen in a tale that is taut, powerful, and shattering. 

My Review: To be honest, I didn’t know what I was really in store for when I signed up to read You.  Insightful teen stories isn’t usually what I look for in a good book.  The excerpt doesn’t really give you a good indication of what the story is about other than it being the Life and Times of Kyle Chase.  And really, that’s about all the story is.  You, while it doesn’t sound all that thrilling and let’s be honest, it really wasn’t that gripping of an account, did have its good moments.  You isn’t something you pick up if you want a thrilling, action packed, romantic filled story.  If you are looking for something that gives you an honest and true account of a normal teenager and shoves uncomfortable truths down your throat, then You is definitely an excellent choice.  As previously stated I normally don’t go for these type of stories.  They’re usually not my thing, but I still enjoyed You.  Though I contrasted greatly with Kyle (haha my names Kyleigh) I was still able to relate to him.  There is teenage angst abound and I have to tend to agree with most of his observations on teachers, school, and life in general.  I can project Kyle onto many guys I know.  Guy’s who are intelligent but really couldn’t care less about doing homework or getting a job.  There’s even a few girls I could relate to Kyle.  While you can’t really peg Kyle as a good kid or a troublemaker, I think to the core he is an honest and sweet person.  It’s a shame that his decisions ultimately lead him to a tragic end.   
Something equally unique and annoying about You is that it is written in second person.  It drove me nuts and yet I understood the reason behind it as well.  Seriously though, at times it was like nails on a chalkboard for me.  I hate reading in second person.  Maybe it’s because for the last 7 years of my life my English teachers have beaten it into my head to never use second person while writing.  Surprisingly I managed to get over it.  No matter how much it drove me nuts.  I realized that it makes perfect sense for the story.  You is all about conveying the real account of just a normal kid.  While reading I’ll admit that I realized some uncomfortable truths about myself and my motivation for doing certain things.  That is really the most important realization for the reader when they read this story.  The story truly speaks to the reader.  Suddenly you are not yourself anymore.  YOU are Kyle.  This is YOUR story, YOUR life, and YOUR decisions.  So in a way, suffering through the second person writing is worth it in the end.  It completes the experience so to speak. 
If you are looking for something that is refreshing and has a new spin on YA then I would definitely recommend You.  It really surprised me, and in the end I was glad I signed up for it.  And if you’re a grammar freak like I am, don’t worry.  After about fifty pages you’ll get used to the second person narrative.  :P 


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: Sapphique

Synopsis:  Finn has escaped from the terrible living Prison of Incarceron, but its memory torments him, because his brother Keiro is still inside. Outside, Claudia insists he must be king, but Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don't even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique.

My Review:  First off, I have to start by saying that Incarceron was one of my top five favorite reads last year.  Sapphique definitely lived up to my expectations!  Fisher has truly captured the essence of a lost society.  So caught up with staying the same, not moving forward, and afraid of progress, that they shut out reality entirely.  They've deluded themselves into thinking that Protocol is reality, when reality is far from the perfect fantasy that society has built around itself.  Fisher builds on current societal urges to deny what is really happening in the world, and has blown it up into something truly tragic to behold.    Equally disturbing is the Prison.  An artificial intelligence that has mimicked it's own creators.  Meant to create the perfect Eden, it has been twisted by man's own flaws and has become a monster.  

The story continues after Finn has finally escaped the Prison.  Keiro and Attia have been left behind to seek their own means of escape.  Finn may have escaped Incarceron, but he's stepped into a whole new type of prison.  Plagued by guilt for leaving his friends behind, and the uncertainty of not knowing who he is has driven him to the edge.  Unconcerned with the political games of the Queen and the dangers of the court, he isn't the boy Claudia thought would help end Protocol for good. 

I was really nervous to read Sapphique.  There were SO MANY negative reviews!  I've ultimately decided that they're all haters of amazing sci-fi/apocalyptic society books.  If you loved Incarceron, I guarantee you'll love Sapphique. It was either they didn't like the story, or they had issues with the characters.  I'm not bashing on anybody else's opinions here, I just don't understand what's not to like?  I adore the uniqueness of the story.  There isn't anything else like it!  It is truly unique among the world of YA books and that alone is commendable within itself. I guess their main argument on the characters was that they didn't like their actions or something?  Who knows.  I agree that sometimes I completely hated what a character said/did, but what I think I came to realize is that their decisions are apart of who they are.   Take Keiro for example.  He's a self conceited masochistic asshole who thinks he's the greatest thing to walk the earth.  Do you not think his actions will reflect those characteristics?  Everything Keiro did, despicable or not, didn't really surprise me.  Doing the right or honorable thing doesn't even cross Keiro's mind.  If it doesn't benefit him, then it doesn't matter.  I don't know why anyone would expect anything else from him.  The same can be said for the rest of the characters as well.  The characters are truly themselves and their flaws make them even more realistic in my opinion.  

While Fisher tied up the story well, there were certain aspects that just begged further explanation.  Some loose ends I loved and thought really contributed to the effect of the story.  Others just drove me up the wall.  Sapphique really surprised me in a lot of areas like Protocol for instance.  I thought Protocol was more of "rules".  I had no idea that it was actually a false reality.  It actually made a lot of sense though.  All the talk of the great war that destroyed the moon and ravaged the planet?  A false reality totally makes sense.  I love the duality of the two worlds, both within the prison and out of it.  I was surprised at how much I loved Attia's narration.  She was really just kind of a side character in Incarceron and I love that she had a bigger role in Sapphique.   Plus I think that she brings out the non-jerk side of Keiro.  She see's past all the tough guy swagger and knows that he's insecure about the fact that he is a half-man.  I totally ship them now.  XD  

All in all the highly anticipated sequel of Incarceron definitely lived up to my expectations!  Maybe I'm alone in loving it out of the people who've read it so far.  Maybe I'm blinded by my love of the story.  Who knows.  All I can say is that I loved it and think it's a worthwhile read.  I have great hope for further novels from Catherine Fisher and cannot wait to read more!  Though the story of Incarceron is over (as far as I know...)  I have a feeling I will adore anything she writes.  :) 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Review: Low Red Moon

Synopsis: Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents--and the fact that she can't remember what happened to them even though she was there. She's struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn't like any guy she's ever met before. It turns out there's a reason why, and Ben's secret may hold the key to Avery finding out what happened to her parents... But what if that secret changes everything she knows about--and feels for--Ben?

Here come all the reviews that I promised!  Getting five books from tours in less than two weeks is not fun.  However, I discovered just how fast I can read when I need to!  XD

My Review:  If you hadn't guessed by the cover this is clearly a paranormal YA book.  More specifically a werewolf inspired one.  With all the werewolf/vampire/fallen angel/demon hunter books out there, what makes this one so special?  It's different, that's what.  Avery Hood is found clutching the butchered remains of her parents, covered head to toe in blood, and cannot remember a thing. My eyes literally bugged out while reading the beginning of this novel.  There might have been a few profanities as well . Low Red Moon  dares to take YA paranormal and blast readers with something dark, edgy, and terrifying to behold.  I won't deny that it contains the general cookie cutter paranormal YA plotline of late, but that's okay.  Why?  Because unlike a lot of generic novels being fed to the masses, Low Red Moon truly offers something different.  What I loved most about this book was that I got my romance, I got the paranormal aspect, and in the end got an ending I did NOT see coming.  What I wasn't expecting to get out of this read was to feel shocked, horrified, and as if someone had stabbed me in the gut.  

 Avery is a very relatable MC.  Struggling to remember what happened the night her parents were murdered, dealing with living in a house and with a grandmother she barely knows, and much less school?  You have to admire her strong sense of determination.  She thinks for herself and is firm in her beliefs.  She's rather timid to be sure, but her lack of a social life really isn't due to shyness.  Even when her fellow classmates start wicked rumors of her being cursed, she doesn't hold it against them.  She could truly care less what they think and I admire her for being able to ignore them without any bitterness.  

Low Red Moon also introduces a topic that I feel needs to be brought further into the light for today's youth.  I would call myself an out-doorsy girl.  I love camping.  And no, RV's and campers do NOT qualify as camping.  It's a tent or nothing!  I have a great appreciation of nature and people littering, cutting down the rainforest, and certain oil companies not having proper emergency shut downs on certain oil wells pisses me off to no end.  It's a miracle the human race is even here to begin with.  How can we possible destroy our own habitat?  The very planet that gave us our shot at life?  I may not be religious, but if anything I respect nature.  This theme isn't heavy throughout the novel, but it plays an important part.  Destroying a forest for the sake of land development?  Not cool.  Ivy introduces this theme subtly and has an excellent hand for it. I loved how she also brought in the idea of there being places on this earth that mankind will never truly understand.  Places so deep in the jungle, the ocean, the mountains, the forrest, where humans are not welcome.  There is so much mystery in this world and Ivy encorporates the idea of the unknown expertly in Low Red Moon. 

This is definitely worth your time!  It's short, gripping, terrifying, and leaves you wanting more.  I read it in a few hours, I just could not put it down.  Be on the lookout for it, because you will not wnat to miss it!

Leilani and Dija's Back to School Giveaway!

As I'm sure most of you have already heard Leilani and Dija two of my wonderful lovely affiliates have gotten together to host an awesome back to school giveaway!  Which in my opinion is greatly needed because the first week of school is already over and it already feels like an eternity.  I don't even probably need to say how awesome these two gals are but I'll reiterate the point.  Lol.  There are great prizes up for grabs and it's not labor intensive!  I hate having to do all those little extra entries and do blog posts and tweet and yada yada yada ( I  promise to NEVER do that to you guys again) If you haven't already entered go HERE!  And don't forget that BOTH of them are doing SEPARATE prizes.  So it's double the fun!  And Leilani is having a cover re-design contest.  As you probably guessed I put together a cover.  I'm addicted, what can I say?  Another thanks to Andrea for putting up with my begging and pleading.  XD Luv ya girl!  I don't know who's going to be the final judge for the cover redesign but who cares.  I have way too much fun doing this I don't even care anymore.  ^.^  I have to say though this is my favorite cover that I have redesigned so far.  Like I've impressed myself.  To say the least I'm patting myself on the back.  Not nearly as wonderful as I would have liked, but considering the sources available to me I am satisfied.  Hahaha.  Let me know what you think! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hola mis amigos!!!!

If you're wondering about the Spanish that's because I'M BACK IN SCHOOL!  Joy oh wonderful joy.  On the plus side I am a SENIOR this year, and it totally kicks ass.  My life is good right now.  For the most part.  Lol.  So of course with the start of school again my blogging time has been severely cut, not to mention the nights I close at work.  Between my Honors Spanish 4 (which I am severely lost in because I took a year off Spanish last year), printmaking, and work I'm a bit behind.  Not to mention all the books I keep getting in the mail!  I knew I'd regret signing up for so many book tours.  Two came in one day last week.  Then another one the following day.  I just received two more in the mail yesterday and sent another one off today!  *bangs head on wall*  What did I get myself into?  O.O 

So what is the point of all this blathering you may wonder?  Not much... just some random update stuff since I haven't posted in forever.  Numero uno on my list is that I have 3 reviews I need to write and they shall be up soon.  Promise.  No later than the end of the week.  Or Sunday... I'll get them up eventually...

Numero dos is that the first round for Princess Bookie's Losing Faith cover-redesign contest is up!  Now I'm not asking you to just vote for my design.  In fact, I voted for someone else's design.  Only if you HONESTLY like mine, then please vote for it.  I'm not expecting it to win or anything but it would be cool if it made it a few rounds.  XP  So please go vote HERE!  There are soooo many cool ones!  It was a nightmare picking!  Here's mine again!

Tres is some rather sad news.  So it's rather a long bit of a boring story but here's the short dirty version.  My parents are getting divorced.  Skipidee doo da yay.  Both my parents have been getting on me about spending money.  Don't know why since it's MY MONEY.  I have a job ya know.  I pay my own gas and yearly taxes on my car.  My parents hardly EVER buy ANYTHING for me.  Clearly they have good reason's for making sure that I don't go blowing money because we're going to be financially tight for a while.  I know this.  I'm not stupid.  That doesn't mean I'm going to go eat out every day for lunch and buy 50 dollars worth of books every week.  Soooooo I've been contemplating pulling out of Blogfest.  I REALLY don't want to.  Unless I can get my own separate banking account ASAP so my mother doesn't spy on my spending it's probably not going to happen.  I don't even want to THINK about the hour long lecture I'd get for spending money on random strangers for my blog.    So just wanted you guys to be aware that it may not happen.  I'd be horrifically depressed if I couldn't do it.  But well moola would be the major issue there. 

So sob story over, and I think that about concludes my little update segment.  XD  Oh oh oh!  And who else is going to go see Vampire's Suck!  If not tonight than I'll definitely be going tomorrow night!  Can't wait!!!! Tis going to be beyond epic! 

And.... I think that's it... yes.  90% sure... whatever.  Lol.  I'm off to do my spanish homework and draw a conch shell for print making.  That damn shell is being a pain in the ass.  Hate drawing from life and drawing in shade shapes.  >.<  Why can't I just shade?!!! And now I'm ranting again.  Lol.  Toodles! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Losing Faith- Recreate a cover!

Okay so I think I'm like addicted to these re-create a cover contests.  They're just too much darn fun!!!! Too bad they cause me such a headache.  A big huge gigantic thank you to Andrea for putting up with my pesky pleas for changing my little designs into jpegs.  You rock girl.  I know I'm annoying.  But thanks for putting up with me anyway.  ^.^ 

This time it's for Losing Faith by Denise Jaden and Cindy @ Princess Bookie is hosting!  I don't know how many times I've voted for these contests so I think it's time I really start putting my own entries in. It's way too much fun.  XD  No multiple covers this time!  Trust me I started out with like ten different ideas... but I narrowed it down to one!  Let me know what y'all think!  (and I know it's a little grainy.... technology hates me) 

Original Cover:

My Cover: 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Review: Dead in the Family

Synopsis: Sookie Stackhouse has finally settled into a relationship with the Viking vampire Eric, and her errant brother Jason seems to have his life in order, too. But all the other people in Sookie’s life – Eric himself, her former lover Bill, her friend and boss Sam – are having family problems. Eric’s maker shows up with Eric’s ‘brother’ in tow, the ailing Bill can only be healed by a blood sibling, and Sam’s brother’s marriage is about to take place... or will it? The furor raised by the coming out of the two-natured has yet to settle; some people are just not ready to sit down to dinner with a man who turns into a dog. And Sookie herself is still recovering from her last ordeal. She’s definitely improving, physically and mentally, but she’s always going to have some dark moments now. The werewolves tell her that there have been strange and ominous passers-by in the Stackhouse woods; now Sookie is about to come face-to-face with one of her more distant relatives...

My Review: The title certainly lives up to the plot.   Family problems is an all around theme in the latest installment of the Sookie Stackhouse Series.  I FINALLY got this from my public library after waiting for about a  month.  >.<  I hate waiting lists.  

Going into it, I wasn't sure how I was going to like it.  I had read so many reviews saying that it read more like a novella than an actual novel, and that it just seemed like filler.  Well I've got a news flash for those reviewers out there.  Hello?!  Of course it's filler!  It's the 10th book!  The last 9 have been filler!  Get over it! Okay, tiny rant done.  It just annoys me how some people review.  Like really?  If you're going to say that about Dead in the Family you might as well say it for the rest of the series because it basically applies to all of the books.  Why just pick on the latest one?  *shakes head*  

Anyway... I at least enjoyed it.  One of the best aspects about these books is that they're entertaining and fun.  The writing isn't particularly intriguing and the "mystery" aspect of the novels isn't all that gripping but I still like them.  I adore Sookie.  She is probably one of the most relatable MC's out there.  Another thing I love about these books is that they don't really follow a contrived plotline.  Maybe it's just me in thinking this, but when I read a Sookie Stackhouse book I feel like I'm reading about the life of a real person.  I don't feel like I'm reading about a character in a novel, but I feel as if Sookie is an actual person.  Events unfold naturally without a bunch of contrived tension and mystery and I find that refreshing.  I enjoy reading about Sookie's life and I don't need any cheesy plot-twists to satisfy me.  

I enjoyed a lot of aspects about the latest installment.  First and foremost... more Eric!!!! *drools*  All you Eric fangirls are hooting and hollering already. It's to be expected.  That man is way to fine for words.  I could have gone with more Sookie/Eric time, but it was nicely balanced with the rest of the story.  Another commendable event that occurred was that Bill was reunited with his "sibling".  And hopefully that will lead to him getting over Sookie.  I'm crossing my fingers, because I really like his "sister" and even though I still don't forgive Bill, I think he deserves some happiness.  Plus we get to see Hunter again!  That little boy is just so adorable!  Plus I like his father Remy.  He's such a good dad.  ^.^  Oh and another thing I didn't think I'd be too happy about.  Claude makes a huge appearance.  Yes he is a gorgeous asshole.  I usually hate those character types, but I find myself sympathizing with Claude and I really do think he's changing for the better.  Plus there is a lot more to Dermot than anyone thinks.  I knew it!  That is all I am going to say on the matter.  If you've already read Dead in the Family you'll know what I'm talking about.  *wink wink*  

And I shall leave you with my favorite line of the whole entire book.  Possibly the whole series.  I give you.... Pam!!!  "F--k a zombie!"  (I am so stealing that line)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

13th Chime Cover Re-Design Contest!

So I know I've been a bit AWOL lately.  Blame Band Camp.  And the fact that I have about a week left till school starts again.  Joyful oh joyful for me.

Onto more exciting news!  My good from Khadija @ Black Fingernailed Reviews is having an amazing cover re-design contest!

(Taken from Khadija's Blog) 

In the days leading up to the release party you can enter this contest by signing the linky and following the rules (their aren't very many rules) The contest will run threw August 11th at midnight. There will be three winners which will be chosen by Emma and myself.

Winners will receive:

Winner #1 will receive: A copy of The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels

Some awesome signed swag

Winner #2 will receive: A copy of The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels

Signed swag

Winner #3 will receive: 13th Chime signed swag

I will order the books the week of the release. Emma and I haven't gone threw the swag for the giveaway but when we do i will update this post and be more specific about what your winning.

Emma and I are going to announce the winners at the release party. Therefor if you enter this contest you must attend the twitter party which will be on August 13th from 4pm-10pm
For further rules and details check out the original post HERE!   I encourage everyone to post their own cover re-design!  This will be the first time I've ever done a cover re-design contest.  I am such an amateur photo manipulator and I lack all those nifty programs like Photoshop and even my Gimp won't obey my wishes so I'm stuck with Word and a crappy Paint program which hates me.   And because I'm psycho, I designed two different covers.  I felt that I could take the mood of the cover two different ways and I ended up with two completely different products.  Sooooo opinions?  I don't know which one I should submit.  So I'm going to let you guys decide.  Which one do you like better?  Please comment!  

Here's the original:

And here are my two designs:

Like?  Dislike?  Seriously guys.  Please comment.  I'm begging ya.  I'm so indecisive!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Review: The Deathday Letter

Synopsis: Ollie can't be bothered to care about anything but girls until he gets his Deathday Letter and learns he's going to die in twenty-four hours. Bummer.  Ollie does what he does best: nothing. Then his best friend convinces him to live a little, and go after Ronnie, the girl who recently trampled his about-to-expire heart. Ollie turns to carloads of pudding and over-the-top declarations, but even playing the death card doesn't work. All he wants is to set things right with the girl of his dreams. It's now or never?

My Review:  Let's get one thing very clear from the beginning.  Ollie is going to die.  Period.  There is no way around a Deathday Letter, it wasn't a mistake, he dies.  Did I just crush all your hope for a happy ending?  Good.  Now hopefully you won't cry, like I did.  It clearly states that he is GOING TO DIE in the intro, but still... I cried.  Maybe I'm a sap, well yes I am, but still.  Thanks so much to The Traveling ARC Tour!  I'm very happy I signed up for this tour.  It was well worth it.

The world in The Deathday Letter is much like our own.  Except for the fact that roughly twenty four hours before you kick the bucket you receive a Deathday Letter.  Everyone gets one at some point in their life and it's just apart of life.  Ollie is just a normal teenage boy concerned with girls, girls, and well more girls.  He never expected to get his Deathday Letter a few weeks before he was going to turn sixteen.  He handles it better than I would have.  Granted in the book, Deathday Letters are commonplace, but still.  I would have freaked.  Ollie is all for going to school, sitting through classes, and having dinner with his family like any normal day.  That is until his best friend Shane punches him in the eye and drags him out of school.  Shane grabs Ronnie, Ollie's best friend/ex-girlfriend (awkward much) and the three of them set off to make Ollie's last day his best.

The plot is mundane and just normal but the way it was written and the dialogue just made the whole experience hysterical.  I was laughing so much throughout this book.  Even when I wanted to cry (or was crying) I couldn't help but laugh.  Ollie truly has the best friends in the world.  They stick with him the entire day, doing crazy ass stuff like jumping off a bridge, getting high, and stealing clothes, just to be with Ollie.  You couldn't ask for better friends.

As hysterical as this book was, it still depressed the hell out of me.  In fact, if it wasn't for the humor I think I would have ended up bawling the entire book.  In the book, Deathday Letters are seen as a blessing.  You have twenty four hours to do all the things you wanted to do in your life.  You have time to say goodbye to your loved ones.  You can get closure.  Sounds like a great gift right?  I'm not so sure.  I can honestly say I would not want to receive a Deathday Letter.  I wouldn't want the warning.  I wouldn't want the knowledge that in twenty four hours I was going to die.  I would loose it.  As wonderful as it would be to say goodbye to your loved ones it would be awful as well.  I suck at goodbyes as it is, but saying "Well I'm gonna kick the bucket in less than ten hours.  I love  you!  Don't cry over me."  Ya, just couldn't do it.  I firmly believe that everyone should live in the moment.  To take chances, to do random ass things with your friends, to just have fun with life.  Maybe it's because I'm an atheist and don't believe in an afterlife, but I see life as the ultimate gift and to squander it on such mundane activities is a waste.  This book just really hit me like a punch in the gut.  Have I lived a good life?  If I was to die tomorrow, would I have any regrets?  This book really made me think about my life so far, and that is probably the greatest aspect of it.

The Deathday Letter was heavy to say the least, but it was so upbeat and humorous that I couldn't help but laugh.  It's a great story and I'm looking forward to more books by this author.  Truly a thought provoking and hysterical read.