Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: When the Sea is Rising Red

Synopsis: After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.  

My Review: When I first started reading this for some reason I was under the impression that this was a Victorian Era novel.  Which is halfway accurate, but I somehow missed the whole supernatural aspect.  Not to worry though, still loved it.  

Felicita is a member of the magical elite of Pelimburg, the city that was named after her esteemed family that has since fallen.  She is a War-Singer meaning that she can control the very air around her to do her will, but since she is a girl she is only thought of to be married off.  When her best friend Ilven, from a neighboring House kills herself to escape from an arranged marriage, Felicita can't help the idea that sparks from her friend's tragedy.  She fakes her own death and escapes into the city slums below.  

After falling in with a group of rag tag orphans led by the enigmatic Dash, it seems that Felicita has found a new home, until a corpse washes up on the shore.  As the body count grows, its clear that Ilven's death has risen a horrible magical being from the depths of the water, that will soon threaten Pelimburg.  Dash wants to destroy the social caste system of Pelimburg and is willing to do anything to do so.  Felicita must decide whether to stay by her new friends or protect the family she abandoned.  

What I really liked about this novel was that the author was so unapologetic about everything that happened.  Well...maybe unapologetic isn't quite the right word.  Maybe, nonchalant is better.  Oh those two girls are lesbians? Ok, that's cool.  Felicita just lost her virginity? What, it was bound to happen sooner or later. It was just refreshing.  Drama free.  It was like I was in this nice  happy little world free of overblown emotions.  It was nice, I gotta say.  I just felt like Felicita was so down to earth.  She realized that shit happens and that you can't beat yourself up over every little thing.  Sometimes you just have to move on and try to do better.  Dwelling over every horrible thing that happens gets you no where.  Once again, it was just nice.  

Though Dash was kind of the main love interest, I just liked Jannik so much better.  Maybe it was because he was a vampire...and well, vampires are just better, but I liked him as a person way more as well.  While Dash is a conniving little bastard with a hidden agenda, Jannik can actually relate to Felicita.  In a privledged house, but unable to do what you want because of your gender.  Vampire House's are matriarchal instead of patriarchal and so his idiot of a sister will have all the power of the House while he is basically her glorified servant of a brother.  He was just so nice too.  Maybe I 'm a sucker for those kind-hearted, sullen, black haired, mysterious guys but hey.  What can I say? Dash was a douche, and even though I say that I still can't bring myself to totally hate him.  He had his reasons, is all I can say.  

Truthfully though I kind of just wanted Dash and Jannik to just kiss and make up.  God.  Those two. So Iri and Nial and Lesley from the Wicked Lovely books? It was like one of their weird love triangles where they all love each other.  Weird, but somehow that always seems to work.  O.o

Anyway, I really enjoyed Felicita as well.  She was a very refreshing MC and I greatly enjoyed her narrative.  I really hope there is a second book, cuz I really want to know how it plays out.  The ending left me wanting more.  The only criticism I have on this was that I wish the story was a bit more fleshed out.  For instance, the elite magical caste.  You barely get to see them using magic.  It's there and all, but it's rarely used.  Same with the different caste systems.  It's explained, but I wish why they were so hateful towards each other was more fleshed out.  And especially with the vampires! Vampires are rather different in this world too, so I wish they had been explained more.  All in all, the background and information was just adequate enough to get you through the book. Just wish there had been more flushing out.  It would have moved this book from good to great.  I really enjoyed this book, but I feel like it was more geared towards my taste.  I like dark, unusual worlds and non-traditional characters.  Might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I greatly enjoyed it. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Balthazar

Synopsis:Haunted by memories from his first days as a vampire, Balthazar has spent hundreds of years alone—without allies, without love. When he emerges from his isolation to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, Balthazar has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Having learned of Skye’s powers and the remarkable effect her blood has on vampires, he plans to use her for his own evil purposes. As they stand together to fight the evil vampire, Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by Skye...just as Redgrave realizes that he can destroy Balthazar once and for all by taking her for his own.

In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.

My Review: Usually I don't like deviations from the MC's of the original series.  But I loved Balthazar so much in the Evernight books that I just had to read this, and I'm glad I did.  Honestly, I think I liked it more than Evernight.  Okay, not the first book of the series, cuz that was amazing, but all the following ones just weren't as good ya know? The plot for Balthazar was just as intriguing and fast paced as Evernight. 

Balthazar has always been one of my favorite characters.  He's kind and loyal and incredibly caring.  Coupled with the fact that he is one hottie hunk and is a bad ass vampire, you can't get any hotter than that.  He's always struggled with his vampire nature and his past has always been a big mystery.  I'm really glad that we got glimpses into what made Balthazar the man he is today.  Most of the chapters alternate from the present to different points in his past.  We find out what his life was like before he was turned, how he was turned, and consequently how he killed Charity. 

I really liked Skye as well.  It took me a bit to remember who she was from Evernight, but everything eventually clicked in my mind.  I really liked the fact that Gray wrote from Skye's POV as well.  It was refreshing to get a human perspective on all of the supernatural events that were happening.  After Evernight Academy burned to the ground, Skye went back home, however she wasn't welcomed with open arms.  The death of her brother a year prior still haunts her family.  Her parents are never home and refuse to speak about her brother and completely ignore Skye.  Her old school now thinks she's a snob and her ex-boyfriend is with the girl he dumped her for.  On top of it all, ever since she let Bianca possess her she's been having strange encounters with the dead.  Wherever a person has died violently she relives the experience.  Stranger still is what happens when vampires drink her blood.  Soon Redgrave, Balthazar's sire, is after her and Balthazar will stop at nothing to keep her safe. 

The attraction between Skye and Balthazar is electric.  Loved every second of it.  Skye knows what she wants and goes after it, that's for sure.  Balthazar feels just as strongly, but he is well versed in the inevitable break between them that will occur.  Balthazar ultimately breaks his "no humans" rule though, because Skye becomes the most important person in his life.  I really loved these two together.  I love Bianca and Lucas too, but so many things get between their relationship.  It was nice to have a relatively simple love story.

With all the vampires after Skye you don't really get to know much about her unusual ability.  The first book is just the tip of the ice berg, I can tell you that.  Now that the Redgrave threat is over, Gray can really explore Skye's ability.  I'm so glad this wasn't just a one shot type of book.  I loved the character's so much that I just NEED more.  A great addition to the Evernight universe that is for sure.  Can't wait for the second one!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sleepers Cover Reveal!

You all know how much I adore Megg Jensen's books.  And it's time for another great one! Megg is re-launching the first book of her Swarm Trilogy, Sleepers with a brand new cover.  I haven't gotten to read Sleepers yet, but boy am I doubly excited now. 

Isn't it gorgeous? Absolutely love! XD And it's only 99 cents right now! Don't miss out on the great deal!

Synopsis: An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she's filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.

Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?

Review: The Vanishing Game

Synopsis: Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason December"-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn's childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.

But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house's powers weren't just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light.

My Review: I have to say, when I first started reading this, I was severely creeped out.  Fifty pages in and I couldn't stay up too late reading this at night.  The author definitely plunges you right into the story.  When Jocelyn first receives the letter you can only infer from the synopsis as to what it really means. The beginning kind of jumps abruptly from the letter to Jocelyn trying to find Noah.  Everything is explained when Jocelyn tells Noah about what has been happening. Not a day back in her childhood town and her car has already been stolen along with most of her possessions.  Noah is her only hope of getting back on her feet and finding out whether or not her brother is still alive.  

Facing the horror of Seale House is more difficult than Jocelyn ever expected though.  Not only is she starting to hallucinate and black out while in the house, but some of Seale House's nightmares might be real.  When some troublesome kids run her out of the house she comes face to face with one of her childhood friends from Seale House.  Except it isn't a happy reunion, he wants to kill her.  But he is the least of her problems.  Someone else is out there stalking her, waiting for the right time to get to her.  

As Noah joins her on her search for Jack, they discover the first set of clues.  Their childhood games of hiding clues has now turned into a race to find Jack before whoever is chasing them catches up and finishes the job.  As the identity of their pursuer is discovered, the company Jack worked for is implicated in the whole mess.  Did Jack fake his own death to hide? Or does he have something the company wants? 

I have to say I was completely sucked in from beginning to end.  I couldn't say for sure what was going on the entire book.  I did end up guessing the plot twist, but I honestly didn't think I was right.  I was just throwing out completely ludicrous plot twists in my mind and ended up guessing it.  Though I have to admit I was NEVER for sure.  There seemed to be so much contrary evidence.  For one minute I was sure Jack was dead, the next that he was alive, and the  most of the time I just plain didn't know.  Definitely kept me on my toes the entire story.  

I really liked Noah too.  Despite all the shit going on around them, Noah and Jocelyn connect.  He wasn't your typical heart throb.  He was a very complex character and I loved his tough guy attitude and yet he was incredibly smart.  Usually computer programmer and taekwondo don't mix, but I liked it XD

I really liked the ending as well.  It wasn't picture perfect, if you get my meaning.  It still had a good conclusion and Jocelyn was trying to move on and live her dream.  I definitely would say the author left a possible opening for a second book, but I don't really know where she'd go with it.  I just think that Jocelyn's story isn't over yet.  This was definitely a refreshing read.  Haven't read something that got me this spooked in a while.  The clues were fantastic and clever and just really added to the mystery of the story. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: Dreaming Awake

Synopsis: She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.

Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.

And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…

My Review: When I first read Falling Under I was pleasantly surprised.  It took a turn that I did not expect and I highly respected the author for that.  It's not easy now-a-days to put a fresh spin on a YA novel.  As much as I ended up liking Falling Under, I have to say that Dreaming Awake fell flat for me.  As so many planned trilogies are, the 2nd book is filler.  

Theia has been altered by Mara's blood and has become part demon herself.  You'd have thought that this turn would have simplified Theia and Haden's relationship.  NOPE! I was so excited because I thought things were going to finally get REALLY heated between them.  It was a total psyche moment.  Turns out that Haden can't take her virtue because it consummate his demonic side and he'll loose his humanity.  Ya.  Exactly.  I know you're making a funny face right now as you read.  

As far as plot, it was okay.  Theia is struggling to hold onto her old self and integrate her new demonic side.  Wanting to eat your classmates souls isn't exactly easy to cope with.  Instead of being totally overbearing, her father is now just ignoring her.  Add to it her lack of a true love life and some of her classmates suddenly looking like the walking dead, Theia has far from escaped from Mara's influence.  Things get even more complicated when Theia finds out that Mara has been dating her father and eating away at his soul.  

I still love all the characters.  Though Theia pulled a dumb move with "I need to stay away from you, because I could never forgive myself if you lost your humanity because of me." I LOATHE Edward Cullen guilt trips! Ever notice that? Horrible logic! But Haden of course doesn't back down because he's Haden and he's awesome XD 

The final showdown in Under was very well done.  Theia finally stops running from her "evil" side, so to speak, and accepts all of herself, the good and the bad.  I liked the fact that the author switched POV's towards the end as well.  I thought it really added to the effect.  

The one thing I cannot forgive though, is the killing off of my favorite character.  I am not naming names.  However I will say I was utterly devastated and bawled my eyes out.  It was a pointless killing! I felt like it was one of those times where the author felt like they needed to make it more dramatic so they should make someone die.  It added nothing to the story, the rest of the characters' don't even dwell on it that heavily.  There wasn't even a funeral! See why I'm upset? It was just unforgivable in my opinion.  

Ok, rant over.  Overall, it was still decent.  Plotline wasn't too bad, I still like all the characters, and the conclusion of it actually went somewhere, so I was pretty happy.  Still felt like it was filler.  And some of the conflicts just felt like they were added for shits and giggles.  I don't know.  Maybe that's just me.  I'm excited for the third one though. With how this one ended, I am REALLY interested in seeing how things will play out. 


Monday, December 5, 2011

Severed Blog Tour!

Hey guys! Today I am happy to participate in a blog tour for Severed by Megg Jensen.  I've been an avid fan of Megg's books ever since I read Anathema.  Heck I read the second book of the series while I was in Europe.  They're that addictive! I am super excited to read the conclusion to this trilogy (soon as finals are over and it is MINE) To help celebrate the release of the concluding book to the Cloud Prophet Trilogy here's a little fun video.  Here is Megg sharing some of her secret obsessions!

Remember Anathema is free right now on Kindle and Smashwords! Don't miss the chance to get your hands on this awesome book! You can purchase Megg's awesome books HERE!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Truth

Synopsis: Nina Oberon’s life has changed enormously in the last few months. When her mother was killed, Nina discovered the truth about her father, the leader of the Resistance. And now she sports the same Governing Council–ordered tattoo of XVI on her wrist that all sixteen-year-old girls have. The one that announces to the world that she is easy prey to predators. But Nina won’t be anyone’s stereotype. And when she joins an organization of girls working within the Resistance, she knows that they can put an end to one of the most terrifying secret programs the GC has ever conceived. Because the truth always comes out...and the consequences can be deadly.

My Review:Truth pretty much picks up where XVI left off.  If Nina had a tough time before, Truth turned out to be just a total shit storm.  Sooo much happens and it is sooo hard to not give away spoilers.  Forgive me if this review turns out to be super vague.

After certain spoilery stuff happens *cough*Nina and Dee go to live with Wei and her family.  Meanwhile Nina's starting to have doubts about her relationship with Sal.  She loves him, but he keeps doing and saying things that Nina has a hard time forgiving.  Sal just wants to protect her, but Nina feels stifled and feels as though Sal thinks that she is incapable of contributing to the resistance. Then there's the fact that Sal is almost always gone on NonCon work.  Nina can't help but compare their relationship to that of her parents, where her mother ended up alone.  After a particularly bad fight, Sal stops communicating with her.  She calls and apologizes and yet still no answer. 

In the meantime Wei's brother, Chris, is making his own feelings known.  I think this is the first time that I didn't mind a little bit of a love triangle.  And truthfully, I liked Chris a lot more.  He believes in Nina and shows his support.  He's there for Nina when she just needs to talk to someone, and is an amazing guy for Dee.  He was really sweet and I just loved his character.  I honestly don't remember much of him in the first book, but he far outshines Sal in my opinion. 

Nina is confused of course.  She thinks she loves Sal, but at the same time she can't deny her feelings for Chris.  During all of this emotional turmoil, Nina is welcomed into a secret group of the Resistance made up of women.  Most of the Resistance has the same views as Sal, wanting to keep women out of danger and behind the scenes, but these women (or rather girls) are putting themselves on the line to make a difference.  Nina wants to help Joan get off the streets and find a place for her to start rehabilitation.  This becomes the Sisterhoods own small mission. 

Through it all, Nina is going through her own family troubles and is just trying to do right by her sister.  The ending was a total whirlwind of events.  The thing I love about these books is that so much happens in such a short amount of time.  Nina is successful in rescuing  Joan and also exposes a slimeball of a guy to the entire world.  It was pretty epic to say the least.  In the end she is reunited with her dad, but things are far from perfect in the world.  The GC is still running strong and they still need to fight against their regime of terror. 

I can't wait for the next one.  I really really really hope that Nina ends  up with Chris.  Don't get me wrong.  I still like Sal and think he's a good guy, but he just doesn't cut it.  He wont' be there for Nina when she needs him most and Chris will.  I have a feeling I am not going to get my wish, but hey, I can hope. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

And the winners are...

Alright everyone! Time to announce the winners! A big congrats to Alexa and Lisa Richards!  And the winner for Mike's contest was Amanda W! I'll be emailing you shortly to get your mailing addresses so I can send you your prizes! Thanks again to everyone who entered and spread the word! I'll be having another contest for my birthday, which is like in a week give or take so be on the lookout! ^.^ Hope everyone had a wonderful Turkey Day and no one got trampled on Black Friday. Lol. 

Last Day to Enter Giveaways!

Just a reminder, today is the last day to enter the Birthday Bash Giveaways! If you haven't entered yet just go to the links below!

Tyger Tyger and In the Forests of the Night
Infinite Days
Mike's Giveaway (Book of your choice)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review: The Faerie Ring

Synopsis: The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood. Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist. Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…

My Review:  You all know that I am a huge faerie fanatic.  I'm also a huge fan of Victorian era England.  The Faerie Ring just happens to combine both.  I loved the whole atmosphere of the story.  There is something about Victorian England that just makes a story so much better.  The twisting streets of London, the clever street urchins, and the era of royals just create such an interesting world.  I really loved the fact that the author incorporated the Faerie by means of a treaty with the royalty.  Somehow that reminds me of A Midsummer's Night Dream.  Don't know why, but it does.

I absolutely adored Tiki.  Gotta admire a girl who sneaks around as a boy and pickpockets.  Tiki was just the biggest sweet heart.  She's the mother of her little family of orphans and she would sacrifice anything to keep them safe and out of harms way.  Though she has a tender heart, she does whatever is necessary to survive.  She doesn't let anyone bully her or tell her how to live her life.  She's a gutsy little shit too.  If I found myself in Buckingham Palace I would have gotten the hell out of there, not stolen the Queen's ring! Granted, Tiki didn't know it when she stole it, but I definitely wouldn't have even attempted to ransom it.

Oh and boy did I adore Rieker.  He definitely made my top 5 favorite male love interests.  Disheveled dark hair and smoky eyes with aristocratic features.  And a thief to boot? Yep, in love. He had an endearing teasing personality that I just loved.  He pops up in the most unexpected times, just when Tiki needs him.   He watches out for her and provides unexpected insights into the world of the Fae.  And yet Rieker is much more than just a common thief.  He has his own story and even I had trouble guessing what it was.

I enjoyed Leo's occasional POV as well.  Though he was no Rieker he was still a refreshing perspective.  He'll definitely be more featured in the future books.  And those Fae.  Dang. I mean, I love evil nasty faeries, but they did some pretty nasty things in this book.  You barely get to "know" them so to speak.  Hardly anything about their world is revealed.  It's all pretty vague.  Which I'm assuming is on purpose lest it spoil future books.  The ending was pretty awesome as well.  As perfect as an ending can be when there is more books to come.  If it had ended in a cliffhanger I would have died, but the author wrapped it up very nicely.  I can't wait for the next book! Lots of interesting little facts were revealed towards the end and now I just have more questions! Really enjoyed this one!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And yet more Birthday Cake...

I'm back again with another giveaway! This time my good friend and fellow blogger is hosting the giveaway! Mike over @SubtleChronicler is giving away a book of your choice! And remember to enter in the two previous giveaways! Up for grabs is Tyger Tyger and In the Forests of the Night (together as one package) and then Infinite Days! Don't miss out on the fun and spread the word! ^.^ All giveaways end the 25th! Yes Black Friday *evil laughter*

The Birthday Bash Continued!

Alright guys! Time for the second giveaway! The next book I am giving away is Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel! This is U.S. only again.  To enter just leave a comment with your email! Also you get an extra entry for every way you spread the word.  Just leave a link if you do so! All Giveaways end November 25th!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: Cinder

Synopsis: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Review: I've always loved Cinderella.  From the Disney version to Malinda Lo's recent retelling with Ash.  I have got to say though, that Cinder is by far my favorite retelling.  Marissa Meyer did so much more than tweak the classic tail.  She literally created a whole new world.  New Beijing is a clash of the old and new.  Advanced technology where androids run amok in the city entwine with traditional Chinese culture seamlessly. Technology and a nearly magical race of Lunar's clash to still give the story that fairytale feel.  Meyer effortlessly spins a tale of a second class cyborg, an interplanetary struggle, and a forbidden love.  It's safe to say that I fell in love within the first 20 pages.  

Cinder is truly unique among MC's.  I loved the fact that she was a mechanic.  There is just something amazingly awesome about a girl being a grease monkey.  Plus she's a cyborg, which just added to the awesome-ness.  I really don't think I've come across cyborgs in other YA books.  Correct me if I'm wrong, I probably just haven't read it if that's the case, but I really loved it.  I know I always loved Cyborg from Teen Titans, so it was nice to see another venue for them.  Cinder as an MC was just fantastic.  I loved her no nonsense attitude and how she tries to be so stoic and down to earth in regards to Kai.  She definitely had some spunk to her and doesn't go down without a fight.  Her devotion to her step-sister was truly beautiful.  She cares for Peony so much and would do anything for her.  Despite her biotch of a stepmother and other step sister, she doesn't hold it against Peony.  Though others treat her poorly, Cinder takes the high ground and good to people no matter what.  

I really loved Kai as well.  (Does anybody else notice the new trend in the name of Kai for guy's in novels?) Even though he's crown prince, he's amazingly down to earth and has a great sense of humor.  He is truly devoted to the well being of his country to the point of self sacrifice.  He's able to see past the fact that Cinder is a commoner and a mechanic.  He get's to know her for herself and falls for her.  I was kind of disappointed with him towards the end.  Though I think it wasn't because Cinder turned out to be a cyborg.  I have a feeling he'll come around.  

The Lunar people were definitely an added spin.  Thank goodness I have a moderate understanding of quantum entanglement and knew what the whole bioelectricity thing was about.  It has a scientific explanation but the citizens of New Beijing just refer to it as "magic".  And damn those Lunars were EVIL.  I'm terrified of humanity ever colonizing the moon now.  Maybe Mars would be a better choice eh? The kind of side story to the lost heir to the Lunar throne was very cool as well.  I liked the concept and the ingenuity in the creation of the whole Lunar race.  

I loved every minute of this book.  It still kind of sticks to the classic plotline, but there are so many more twists thrown in that you will always be surprised.  I totally called a few things, but it didn't make it anti-climatic.  Cinder was a highly original undertaking that put a fresh spin on an old classic.  I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel! ^.^

Review: Slide

Synopsis: Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again. 

My Review: When I first read the synopsis for Slide I was highly intrigued.  Sliding into someone else when you fall asleep is a highly original concept.  And a murder mystery is always a good thing. So going into this book I was pretty excited.  While the idea was very cool I felt like the story needed a bit more fleshing to make it REALLY good.  

Everyone thinks Vee is narcoleptic, and Vee is glad for it.  The one time she tried to tell her father what was really happening he sent her to a shrink and pumped her full of meds.  Vee doesn't tell anyone of her unique gift, especially not her best friend Rollins.  She avoids physical contact with people or touching other people's things because they trigger her episodes.  And yet, her accidental slides reveal that her sister and her best friend are planning on "teaching a lesson" to one of their other friends.  When Sophie's body is found, a supposed suicide, Vee knows it isn't true.  Because she slid into the killer while holding the knife.  Vee is desperate to find who the culprit is through her own investigation.  She can't tell anyone of her suspicions because no one would believe her.  When another girl turns up dead, Vee is even more worried for her sister's safety.  She starts using her gift instead of trying to avoid it, and what she uncovers nobody could guess.  

Overall I really enjoyed Vee's character.  She was tough and sarcastic, but still had that big sister instinct.  The only thing that really annoyed me about Vee was that damn pink hair.  I mean really? What speaks more "rebel" than pink hair? You don't have to dye your hair an unnatural color to get the message of "leave me alone." It was just totally stereotypical and I didn't like it.  Otherwise, I really liked her character.  

Rollins was just awesome.  Maybe I have a soft spot for guys with dark hair and lip rings and artistic skills, but he was amazing.  Rollins saved Vee from a dick of a date who tried to take advantage of Vee during one of her episodes and they have been best friends ever since. Of course, Rollins cares for Vee more than just a friend, but Vee just doesn't want to acknowledge it.  It just frustrates me to no end that the best friend hardly EVER gets the girl.  And by the time Vee realizes her true feelings it's kind of a mute point.  

I thought I had the killer pinned from the beginning.  Ya, totally wrong.  About half way I started to suspect someone else and I knew something was totally fishy about him.  Once two separate things were revealed though everything clicked. Then I could successfully shout "I KNEW IT!" at the book.  

Overall it was a refreshing story with a very good murder mystery plot.  I really enjoyed it as a whole.  Totally wish Rollins got more face time, but *shrug* I'm hoping for a sequel.  I wish the whole plot twist would have been more fleshed out though.  It was explained but it still just felt really random.  Seemed like a very thinly planned motive.  Will be interested to see if there is a second book though.  I really like the concept. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blog Birthday!

Wow has it really been two years?  It's hard to imagine the first book I ever reviewed was Y: The Last Man and I've nearly read 200 books inbetween.  It's been one heck of a ride and I look forward to many further years of wonderful books and friends.  Needless to say, it is time to celebrate! As much as I would love to have a wonderful bash of epicness filled with tons of prizes etc the reality of the situation is that I'm broke and it's fast approaching finals week.  So this is going to be on a smaller scale than last year, but don't fret there will still be awesome books to be had.  ^.^

Speaking of awesome books it is time for the first ones!  Please give  a warm welcome to Kersten Hamilton author of Tyger Tyger and it's much awaited sequel In the Forests of the Night! Tyger Tyger is now on paperback and is available on Amazon for e-book!  Here are my reviews for Tyger Tyger and In the Forests of the Night. And without further ado, here is an interview with Kersten!

What made you want to write about Goblins as opposed to other paranormal stories? 

When I was a child, a goblin crept out of the dark and slipped her paw into my hand. The creature’s name was Lina, and she came to life in a book by George MacDonald. Lina was a dog–like beastie with green eyes lit by amber fire, and a huge mouth with icicle–like teeth. Curdie, the hero of the story, could feel the real hand of any creature inside its flesh glove, and when Lina put her paw in his hand: “a shudder, as of terrified delight, ran through him…instead of the paw of a dog, such as it seemed to his eyes, he clasped in his great mining fist the soft, neat little hand of a child! The green eyes stared at him with their yellow light, and the mouth was turned up toward him with its constant half grin; but here was the child’s hand!”
When I read those lines I felt it. I felt the child’s hand inside a rough paw glove, and I knew I wanted to pull a child out of a goblin one day.

The world of Tyger Tyger has an incredibly rich history.  How much is based on actual Irish myths/lore? 

All of it is based on actual Irish myth/lore and as well as snippets of history and Celtic world view—with my own twists tossed in, of course. That’s what happens to myth and lore—it is changed, born anew for every generation. 

Just out of pure curiosity, does Aiden’s fear of Elvis Impersonators stem from any real life person? 

Welllll…I think they are pretty scary. Don’t you?

What made you decide to name characters after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?  

I loved the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe not enough to name my children after them, but certainly enough to give them a nod and wink in my books.

I find the writing in Tyger Tyger and In the Forests of the Night to be amazingly witty and hysterical.  Would you say your own sense of humor makes its way into your writing?

Thank you, Kyleigh. I work hard to make it that way. It helps that I handle pressure with humor—and I was under lots of pressure when I wrote In the Forests of the Night.

Do you happen to know old Gaelic or does that involve some extensive research and translation? 

I don’t know old Gaelic—so I have to research like mad, and depend on people who know more than I do!

You’ve been writing from a very young age, which author would you say was your biggest inspiration?

George MacDonald is hands down the biggest influence on my writing and on my life. But then, he has inspired generations of writers.

Coffee or tea? 

Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. It is good for my inner editor:
Thank you for having me on your blog today, Kyleigh! 

A huge thanks to Kersten for doing the interview! And now time for the giveaway! Kersten has generously donated a paperback copy of Tyger Tyger and I'm giving In the Forests of the Night to one lucky person! All you have to do is fill out the form below! This is U.S. only! Sorry guys! There will be international giveaways I promise. 

Cover Crazy (35)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about.AH! All I can say is FINALLY! This week is Arise by Tara Hudson, the much awaited sequel to Hereafter!  I am PSYCHED.  I love the New Orleans grave yard in the background and do you notice how she seems to be more solid? *squee* Love it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Covery Crazy (34)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. This week it's the Selection by Kiera Cass.  Can I just say GORGEOUS?! Usually I tire of the whole dress thing pretty quickly, but this is just stunning.  I love the mirrored effect.  Just amazing.

The blogs 2nd Birthday is approaching!

Hey guys! Just wanted to let everyone know that it's the blogs 2nd birthday the 18th of November! My babies getting so old! And of course there will be wonderful festivities and giveaways galore.  My question to you all is what books you want.  I'm completely open to suggestions.  I feel kinda out of the loop from the rest of the blogging world so I have no clue what everyone's dying to read.  So if you have any suggestions let me know! I'll be more than happy to oblige.  ^.^

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Synopsis:Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is. She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

My Review: This was definitely an interesting read.  There were very intriguing and almost haunting aspects of this novel that I truly loved.  At other times I felt things got a bit cliched (at least with the love interest) and there were a few morality issues that I can't decide were good or bad. 

The writing was truly superb.  To be frank,  I got a bit freaked out just reading this.  Mara's state of mind is so chaotic and just so whacked I literally could not tell at times when she was imagining things or if some freaky shit was truly going on.  The duality of reality and her imagination overlapped almost constantly throughout the novel.  Then when stuff get's REALLY freaky there's the question of whether or not her thoughts manifest in reality.  I'd be reading and go "Ok, so that was all in her head." Then I'd read some more and go "Wait, was that in her head or did it really happen?" and then a bit later "Holy shit that actually happened!" It was a mental exercise to say the least.  And yet, it was all brilliantly done.  I'll admit, as confused as I was at times I loved every second of it. 

You know me and my biff for unrealistic love stories.  I definitely had a biff with Noah.  Hmm devishly handsome, British accent, speaks 5 languages (3 fluently), and is LOADED, falls madly and irrevocably in love with Mara, the reigning new loser to school who's crazy and sees shit that isn't there? What wrong with this picture? One, because guys like that don't exist.  Especially guys who have all that, are super witty, are a known player, and all of a sudden is totally supportive of their psycho girlfriend? Huh? I didn't really have a problem with his character in itself.  He was funny and I enjoyed his banter.  Kinda bugged me though that his speech didn't resemble any British nuances at all.  I couldn't even imagine a British accent because his speech didn't reflect it.  I just felt like the author tried too hard to make him amazing beyond any girls dream, and it rather annoyed me.  Sure he has character flaws, but as a whole, totally unrealistic character. 

That being said I LOVED Jamie.  He was totally undeveloped and you barely see him at all through the course of the novel, but he was awesome.  Would totally be my best friend.  The other kids at Mara's new school really annoyed me.  Not because I didn't like their characters, but because they were total stereotypes.  Mean, popular, beautiful, and unnaturally cruel? I'm sorry, just what? I just don't understand.  Am I one the only one who has never encountered such horrible people in high school? I've come to notice that these type of people only exist in movies and novels because guess what? People aren't like that! Snotty teenaged brats yes.  Vindictive bitches with no scruples? I think not. 

Then there is the moral issues I had with this novel.  Spoiler warning.  If you don't want to ruin the whole plot twist, don't read.  Mara can kill things by wishing it in her mind.  As original and twisted as that is, I take issues with it as well.  No matter how mad I am at a person (and believe me I can blow a fuse) I NEVER imagine them dying a gruesome horrible death.  I mean, what normal teenage girl does that? Sure I'd maybe think something bad may befall them, but death? Uh, a little extreme there.  It was pretty twisted.  And then there's the fact that towards the end of the novel, Mara intentionally uses that power to kill someone.  Before it was all just accidents, she didn't know what she was doing.  But when she intends to kill someone, that really crossed the line for me.  Who is she to be judge, jury, and executioner? It really put me on the fence with this novel.  I don't know if I can accept that and continue to read these books. 

In the end, the superb writing and the moral issues kind of canceled themselves out.  I can't say I liked this, and I can't say I hated it.  I'm totally middle ground on this book. I'll most likely read the second one, only to find out what the hell is going on, but if Mara pulls any more of that shit I'm done. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cover Crazy (33)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. This week it's Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin.  Maybe I just have a thing for dark and gritty covers that just have an overly creepy feeling to them, but I LOVE this cover! Sounds really interesting too.  (Yes I know it's Saturday but yesterday was crazy)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cover Crazy (32)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. *screams* OMG! I can't believe the cover for Girl of Nightmares is already out!!! I absolutely loved Anna Dressed in Blood and I am PSYCHED for the sequel.  I love just how bloody this looks! I also love the fact that Anna never looks like a photographed person. I love the artistic feel to it.  (well I'm an artist so I'm biased) it's just soooo awesome! *jumps up and down*

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cover Crazy (31)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about.  So this week is The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison.  It is just beautifully creepy.  The blood splatters with the butterfly is just a startling contrast.  Simple yet striking. I'm really excited to read this. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: In the Forests of the Night

Synopsis: Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have rescued Tea's and Aiden's father and have made it out of Mag Mell alive, bringing a few new friends with them. But The Dark Man's forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Teagan soon realizes that she is not the target of the goblins. In fact, the goblins call her princess, and call her to come out and play. Something is happening to her, and she suspects it’s an infection she picked up in Mag Mell. An infected cat-sídhe becomes her test subject, and Teagan is determined to cure it of the sickness that seems to rot its flesh. If she can find a cure for the cat-sídhe, then maybe there is hope for her. Meanwhile, Kyle and Isabeau, Teagan’s goblin cousins, show up in her school, disguised as a substitute teacher and a foreign exchange student. They are sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive. Once awoken, it will burn away every other aspect of her being, leaving her pure and solely goblin. When the process is complete, she will belong to Fear Doirich, the Dark Man. It is just a matter of time. In the meantime, Kyle and Isabeau are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Teagan’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn to be hunted to the death or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her, but as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.

My Review: So that synopsis is a little off.  First off not one goblin calls Teagan "Princess".  Second, she doesn't pick up anything from Mag Mell, someone GIVES her it more than halfway through the book.  And then Kyle doesn't show up till over half way through either.  Sorry, I just had to clear that up.  I read the synopsis and kinda just went "that is not how it happened." Now that that's settled...

I absolutely loved this! It has been ages since I read Tyger Tyger and I really just forgot how laugh out loud hysterical the writing is.  I was laughing through 2/3 of the book.  (The end was a bit more serious) Aiden and Abby are probably my two favorite characters.  They just make me laugh SO MUCH! I totally forgot about Aiden's hatred of Elvis Impersonators too.  My room mate looked at me really funny when I suddenly burst out laughing hysterically.  That kid is just too adorable for his own good.  And I probably will never look at garlic the same way every again. It will bring unbidden thoughts of Silvester Stalone and testosterone to my mind.  *twitches*

I really liked that Teagan and Finn are thinking their relationship through.  With Finn being the Mac Cumhail he's cursed to fight goblins until he perishes.  Teagan just wants a normal life and to fulfill her dreams.  It was just really nice that they weren't living in a fantasy world where everything just worked out perfect.  They're still taking things pretty slow, even though they've both said the L word.  It's just refreshing to see a slow romance. 

At first everyone is just trying to settle back into their normal lives, but Fear Doirich won't let that happen so easily.  I was pleasantly surprised where the plot led.  I didn't call that AT ALL.  I'm glad that Teagan is still remaining true to herself, despite her changes.  When they go back to into Mag Mell things get interesting pretty fast.  They run into phookas, giant Irish wolfhounds, and Fear and Mab themselves.  I absolutely loved the ending.  I was truly surprised that Mab inserted herself into the game.  Tricky little bugger to be sure.  And gah, the last line?! Basically Teagan's a badass.  "Then let there be war," *throws knife*. EPIC! Sorry, slight fangirl moment.  I want to know how to throw a knife now...

Anywho, just a few last things that I loved.  Uh, Jing?! Jing was freakin awesome.  Jing Khan= the Mighty Khan! And the fact that his full first name is actually an alternate spelling for Ghangis made me laugh SO HARD.  Parents in this book really have an awful habit of naming their kids after infamous/famous people/characters.  Abby's cousins' just make me laugh every time their names come.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... hehehe. 

So it's pretty safe to say that I really loved this.  It was a wonderful sequel to Tyger Tyger.  I cannot wait for the third book.  I have a feeling Zoe (the dance therapist) will be playing a major part.  And Thomas too for some reason.  I just have this awful feeling that he's going to sacrifice himself for the others.  I like Thomas :( Hopefully that doesn't happen. Can't wait for more! And be looking for any updates, because I'm going to be doing something with Kersten soon to celebrate the paperback release of Tyger Tyger! So stay tuned! ^.^


Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Tris and Izzie

Synopsis: A modern retelling of the German fairytale "Tristan and Isolde", Tris and Izzie is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until -- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school.

My Review: I have to say that I was drawn to this book solely by the amazing cover.  I've never read the original Tristan and Isolde or seen the movie, but from what I knew of it, it seemed like a classic love story.  Ya know the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover?" that none of us actually take to heart because lets face it, a pretty cover is what makes you want to read a book? Ya.  We should listen to those words of wisdom, because I have never been so horribly disappointed with a book as I have been with Tris and Izzie. 

In a word...awful.  I literally cannot find one redeeming quality to this book that would make it worth reading.   If you know me at all, you know how rare this is for me.  In the past two years there have been two books that I absolutely hated.  That's it.  I'm not hard to please, but dear god, this was just horrible on so many levels.

There was no characterization at all.  Izzie was so wish-washy to begin with, but add in the fact that the rest of the characters were horribly two dimensional, it becomes a blaring assault to the story.  Izzie was probably the dumbest MC I've ever come across.  For starters, what kind of friend would meddle with a love potion that is IRREVERSIBLE just to hook her best friend up with someone so she won't be alone? WHAT KIND OF FRIEND DOES THAT?! Not only that, but what kind of person thinks it is okay to make decisions for someone else without their consent?  And what kind of self absorbed idiot can't notice that her BEST FRIEND is in love with her boyfriend? Not to mention the fact that she treats Mark, (the nicest, sweetest, most timid boyfriend ever) like shit over a new hot guy?  She blames the love philtre the entire time, and just drags Mark along acting like she still loves him.  It's even worse when it's revealed that she didn't even drink a love philtre! Her awfulness was real and she has no one to blame but herself.  She was a self absorbed biotch who was made out to be an angel.

And dear lord, Tristan.  Meets Izzie, five seconds later "I love you!" Proclamations of undying love within the first five minutes? Really? There was no foundation for a relationship! It was just ridiculous.  I'll admit his magical sword was cool, but that was about it.  As for Branna, just gah.  I think she suffered from multiple personality disorder.  First she's sweet and shy, then she's a backstabbing bitch, then she's jealous to the point of revealing a huge secret of Izzie's, and then she's the loyal self sacrificing best friend.  What. The.  Hell? You confused? Ya, so am I. 

The story had potential.  Really, it did.  It was just executed so poorly that I can't even say the plot was okay.  It was overly dramatic, really random at times, and the end.  Gah! Oooh, we're only 18, will you marry me?  Huh?! I had trouble not just throwing down the book at that point.  The only reason I even finished this was because I had to read and review it and I didn't want any strikes against me for not reviewing this awful excuse of a novel.  It was literally almost painful reading this at times. 

So in conclusion, don't read this.  Don't be deceived by the pretty cover, because it will literally be a waste of a couple hours of your life. This is probably the most scathing review I have ever written.  Admittedly this is unfair to the author and any prospective reader, but I just can't help it.  If you go to Goodreads I guarantee you'll see harsher reviews than this.  I apologize for the non-objective review, truly I do.  I just really did not like this book.