Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Name a Character Contest!

Megg Jensen is once again having another sweet contest! For Anathema she had a contest to name the main character and she's doing it again for the sequel!  I really loved Anathema so I am PSYCHED to read Oubliette.  The character for Oubliette is another vital character to the story and anyone up to it can submit their own idea for a name. 

The character is the prophet who predicted Reychel's coming. He's been dead for six hundred years. His life is well-documented in his journals, but one journal is missing - the one that just might help Reychel unlock the key to understanding, and using, her gift. He's wily, cunning, and quite possibly a madman. Just a first name.

And the prizes you may ask? The winner will be thanked in Oubliette's acknowledgments,  win 5 Oubliette bookmarks, and you can win a second edition paperback of Anathema or you can wait and get a free copy of Oubliette (coming late spring/early summer).

And my name suggestion is..... Shariff! (Share-eef) For some reason I was stuck on R names for a while.  Roland, Rezo,....Renfield. Haha! JK but I just liked the sound of this name.  Mystical, more archaic, and can sound a little loopy.  I think it's a good fit. XD 

Contest ends tomorrow so if you're interested get in your name! Go and enter HERE!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (10)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb @Should Be Reading
-Grab your current book
-Open to a random page
-Share (2) teaser s
entences from somewhere on that page
-no spoilers!
-Share title and author
This week it's Entwined by Heather Dixon!  So I started this, and I'm really intrigued and then reality hit me with research paper.  And boy did it hurt.  8 days to write the darn thing.  Ugh.  The whole plan for writing it all over spring break? Ya... didn't work out so well.  :/ So ya! I have to have this in the mail by Thursday and I have a feeling I'm not going to finish it. Guess I'll just have to buy it! Haha.

"Azalea dreamed that night of drowning in torrents of hair, and woke up with hair on her face." 

"She vaguely remembered allowing Jessamine and Kale and Ivy onto her bed when they cried the night before, but she couldn't remember Hollyhock, Flora, Goldenrod, Eve, Dephinium, and even Clover and Bramble coming for comfort." 

Yes, that's right.  She has ten sisters.  All of them named alphabetically at from birth and all of them have the names of flowers! Well...plants.  So ya.  Enjoying it so far!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: Fins are Forever

Synopsis: On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mer girl, true, but signing the renunciation paperwork will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being human thing once and for all.  Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer-bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form, when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?  The seafoam on the surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up. Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her dreams?

My Review: So I devoured this in one sitting, and in just a few hours.  One thing I love about Tera's writing is her ability to suck you in and never want to look away from the pages.  I ended up having rather mixed feelings about this.  Maybe it's because I just finished it and haven't had time to process.  I just feel like this was filled with so much drama.  Tera was feeding the drama llama as I like to say.  It was a bit overwhelming to be honest.  Lily and Quince overcame the biggest obstacles in the first book, to finally reach their happy ending.  They love each other, Lily will be on land to be with Quince, and all without the bond.  They deserved some couple time.  Did they get it?  No. 

Dosinia's action for one were completely unbelievable to me.  Her motivation? Non-existent! I don't think I could ever forgive her actions just because of a little temper tantrum and a mediocre half-hearted "plan".  Plus with what ends up happening with Brody?  Selfish much.  She really is the spoiled little inconsiderate brat Lily knows she is.  However, Doe became likeable towards the end.  Doesn't really make up for her earlier blind hatred, but I didn't end up hating her.  Lily truly is successful in "reforming" her, but just the fact she had to to begin with was rather annoying. 

I was dealing with Doe in the plot just fine until Tellin came into the picture.  Tellin is one of Lily's closest childhood friends.  He also happens to be the crown prince of the neighboring kingdom.  See where this is going?  Exactly.  *bangs head on wall* While I found Tellin's character to be enjoyable, I didn't think he was a necessary complication to the plot.  He just complicated things and made them more pressing.  See?  The drama llama strikes again.

I still really like Lily and Quince.  I think they're fabulous together and have a great relationship. Yet, they're relationship doesn't shine through at all in this book and it kind of disappointed me. I just couldn't help but feel like this was all filler. And if the way this one ended is any indication, there will be further drama to come in the third.  And I just have this awful feeling that things are going to get beyond complicated in the most ridiculous sort of way. 

I've come to a conclusion about these books.  I greatly enjoy them. They're fun, entertaining, filled with romance, and something is ALWAYS happening.  But beyond that, they don't really endear themselves to me in the sense of "these are fantastic books" type of way.  They're cute.  If you're looking for a light hearted love story with spunk then these books are definitely what you are looking for, and that's why I continue to read them.  I'm hoping the third book will pull through for me.  I really enjoy the story and would hate to see them ruined by too much melodrama.  

Cover Crazy (10)

Covery Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. One of my all time favorite books last year was Nevermore by Kelly Creagh.  It was simply beyond words fantastic and I just felt like it got swept under the rug.  As you can probably guess, I am PSYCHED for the sequel, Enshadowed.  Though I have to say, I'm not loving the cover as much as the first one.  I SWEAR they changed models on both the characters.  I mean Varen I can see the resemblance, but just his expression makes him look different. And the girl? Hair colors not even the same! Or the skin tone for that matter.  Bugging me?  Definitely.  But my overwhelming joy for the sequel is outweighing my slight unhappiness with the cover.  If I'm completely off my rocker, tell me.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cover Re-design!

To kick off the dystopian celebration going 'round the blogosphere Andrea @ Loud Words and Sounds is having a cover-redesign contest.  And you know me.  They're like chocolate for me.  Well...maybe not quite as addicting but you get my drift.  This contest is for Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky.  And I am completely PSYCHED to read this!  Sounds absolutely fabulous!  Submissions are due by April 4th so get your creative juices flowing and work some cover magic!  Here's the original cover and synopsis followed by my entry! Opinions? 

Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her. Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking. In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.

And here's mine!  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (9)

So I decided to re-read the Mortal Instruments series in preparation for the release of City of Fallen Angels.  And I hate to admit it, no truly, it kills me inside to say this, but I find Jace and Clary less annoying.  Maybe it's the fact that I know that they're not really brother and sister so their actions don't seem as ridiculous to me.  Who knows.  I'm not going to think about all that much because I'm swallowing my words to the fact that Jace is an insufferable asshole.   Don't get me wrong, he's still a douche bag but I don't hate him as much for it anymore.  God so many people are going to be rubbing this in my face.  >.< Almas don't you DARE say anything to me! *glares threateningly* 
So I've already devoured the first one and I'm about half way through the second. I've impressed even myself I think.  I'm flying through them and enjoying the few sweet Magnus/Alec moments throughout. There BETTER be lots of Malec goodness in CoFA.  
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb @Should Be Reading
-Grab your current book
-Open to a random page
-Share (2) teaser s
entences from somewhere on that page
-no spoilers!
-Share title and author
"Next time he feeds," Raphael said calmly, "it will not be quite so messy." 
"She rested her hot face against the cool dirt and thought, for the first time, that maybe the dead weren't so unlucky after all." 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Born at Midnight

Synopsis: One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever.  Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.”  Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world. Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either.  Or does she?  They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason.  As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas.  Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past.  Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. 
Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

My Review:  I have to admit the reason I read this is that the MC has the same name as me. Silly, I know, but how many times does a character have the name Kylie? Though my spelling is way cooler.  ^.^ What really creeped me out though was how similar we are.  Same name. Same hair color and eye color (well I'm a natural blond, I just dye it brown) Our parents are recently divorced.  And we both suffer from the "too nice syndrome".  *looks around* Are there camera's I'm not aware of? Lol but really, it was kind of weird how eerily similar we are. 

A camp for supernaturals.  Not the most original idea in the world, but the story was still good.  Shadow Falls had interesting dynamics between all the different supes and their bickering were entertaining to say the least.  Miranda (a dyslexic witch) and Della (a vampire) were simply hysterical.  Their verbal sparring matches were just too funny.  I rather enjoyed Perry as well.  Most powerful shapeshifter in the world? Very cool.  Though his methods of trying to gain Miranda's attention always back fired, I thought he was adorable. 

While a lot of the secondary characters I found loveable, Kylie got on my nerves a little bit.  She gets on a bus and sees kids dressed in black, with multi-colored hair, and piercings, and she immediately labels them freaks.  Bothered me a bit.  Well, okay, more than a bit.  Kylie definitely went down a few notches in my book.  Then there's the fact that she's in firm denial.  Despite what everyone tells her, she will simply not accept that she's not entirely human.  That and she treats Della like a pariah every time she sees her drinking blood.  And the way she gets freaked out when Perry transforms.  Just gah.  Though she eventually does overcome her phobias and accepts who she is, it took her 7/8 of the book to do so.  A bit tedious?  Definitely. 

 Then there' the whole romance situation.  O.O I wanted to stab myself.  How is it possible to have that many feeling for so many guys?  I'd explode from emotional frustration!  She's hung up on her ex who happens to resemble the half-fae Derek.  She can't tell whether or not her feelings for him are stemming from his resemblance to her ex or if she is genuinely attracted to him.  Then there's the fact that she is still attracted to her ex.  And THEN there's Lucas.  The guy who she fears and yet is undeniably attracted to.  *rips hair out*  It was just ridiculous.  She eventually gets over her ex (who dumped her because she wouldn't have sex with him and then proceeded to bang another girl) but then is stuck between Lucas and Derek. She shares passionate kisses with both of them! I had to resist the urge to punch a wall.  Make up your mind girl! She is so indecisive! I can tell she's going to string Derek along and then hook up with Lucas.  Because you just know the "fiery romance" will always win out on the more stable relationship.  >.<

While I didn't find the story horrible, it was pretty average.  The climax of the novel, and the big reveal about what was causing problems for the camp was completely anti-climatic.  After it was over, I was just like "THAT was the climax? Oh...." The writing was good and it was a good story of self discovery, but otherwise it was rather blah.  It was over 400 pages and I felt like nothing of importance happened.  I'm rather on the fence.  It was un-impressionable, but at the same time not a bad story.   *shrugs* I just feel rather non-committal about this book.  I didn't like it, but I didn't hate it. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cover Crazy (9)

Covery Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about.  It's Friday! But not just any Friday! It's the start of Spring Break! Hallelujah! Well I'm going to be spending all of my break NOT reading.  Depressing right? Dumb research paper.  And I HAVE to get it 3/4 done at least or else my procrastination bug is going to strike again and I'll be stressing out the week before it's due.  Not good.  O.O And I'll be working of course.  Too bad I don't get a break from my job.  :/

Okay onto the pretty cover!  I'm a huge fan of Ellen Hopkins and her new book Perfect has me drooling already.

*cue drooling*  Isn't that just PRETTY! I cannot wait for this!  

Review: Hereafter

Synopsis: Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

My Review:  I usually stay far far away from "ghost" stories.  Especially ones that blatantly suggest romance between the living and the dead.  It just never works out, and it kills me inside to not have a happy ending.  That being said, I like very few ghost related stories.  Hereafter surpassed all of my expectations.  I was literally blown away and shocked at how much I loved the story.  This is the only afterlife romance that I actually like!  Well more along the lines of adore, but you get my meaning. 

I absolutely loved Hudson's interpretation of the afterlife.  Amelia doesn't have any perks to being a ghost like in the movies.  She can't make any contact with the living, can't walk through walls, can't even open a door.  She is literally stuck in her own personal version of purgatory.  She's spent years simply wandering around too afraid to look for who she was before she died.  Amelia doesn't remember anything from her life.  Her last name, what she looks like, her family, and how she died.  Amelia is living completely in the dark without anyone to guide her, until the day she meets Joshua.  When Amelia sees Joshua in the river unconscious, she can't bare the thought of someone else dying in the river like her.  She tries desperately to drag him to the surface, but the only thing she can do is will him to live.  By some miracle, after Joshua's heart stops beating he responds to Amelia's pleading and wakes up.  Joshua's brief glimpse of death allows him to see and hear Amelia. 

When Joshua seeks Amelia out, she knows any interaction with him will bring nothing but heartbreak.  When he finds out that she's dead, she'll loose the one person who has been able to see her.  However, her fear can't stop her from wanting to see his smile and stunning eyes again.  What starts out as a desire to simply be seen and heard turns into something Amelia hasn't felt since she was alive.  Their companionship quickly turns into something deeper even though the two of them are separated by an incredible gulf.  Their growing feelings for each each other are both quick and natural.  The way Hudson portrayed their growing love wasn't filled with cliche metaphors or twin soul non-sense.  It was very realistic, even if it did grow rather fast. 

I found Amelia to be a great MC.  She was strong, protective, and very emotionally relatable.  I found her attempts at levity in awkward situations very entertaining.  Her personality really came through, and I can honestly say there wasn't one single thing I did not like about her.  Joshua had equally adorable quirks.  The way he ran his fingers through his hair and the way he draws on his O's when he says "okay" were completely adorable.  He has a great personality as well and is very down to earth.  The two of them were just so RIGHT for each other.  Their relationship was believable and very sweet to read about.  You can't help but hope against hope that SOMEHOW it will work out.  Even though I'll feel like my heart has been ripped out when ultimately it doesn't, the two of them were so sweet to read about I don't mind for now. 

Though this is mainly a romance, the story is equally as good.  Amelia's struggles to remember her life, and her new awareness to another ghostly presence isn't making things any easier.  She worried that because she is a "lost" soul that she is evil or that she somehow deserved what she got.  As she grows more aware of her purpose in the afterlife, she comes to realize that there's more to her death than a simple drowning.  The river she died in is surrounded by an evil aura.  The darkness that lurks under the bridge hides another world that houses more than spirits. 

Hereafter was an incredible start to a new series (trilogy?).  I was hooked from start to finish, and the ending just left me wanting more.  Amelia and Joshua's love defies logic, but it just makes it all the more romantic.  Overall an excellent story and an even better romance.  I guarantee that anyone who picks this up will love it. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (8)

March 15... ya know what that means.  THE IDES OF MARCH! And don't scoff!  Seriously, it's bad luck.  I got  a ticket today for an "abandoned vehicle" because I forgot to put on my plate stickers from last year.  O.o I know. I'm a moron.  Don't let the dyed hair fool ya, I am a natural blond.  I went almost a whole year without anyone noticing (including myself) and TODAY I get a ticket.  It's cursed I tell yee!!! Anyway, onto this weeks tease!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb @Should Be Reading
-Grab your current book
-Open to a random page
-Share (2) teaser s
entences from somewhere on that page
-no spoilers!
-Share title and author
This week is from Hereafter by Tara Hudson
"While I waited, almost an entire day had passed without Eli's return." 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Review: By These Ten Bones

Synopsis: A mysterious young man has come to a small Highland town. His talent for wood carving soon wins the admiration of the weaver's daughter, Maddie. Fascinated by the silent carver, she sets out to gain his trust, only to find herself drawn into a terrifying secret that threatens everything she loves. There is an evil presence in the carver's life that cannot be controlled, and Maddie watches her town fall under a shadow. One by one, people begin to die. Caught in the middle, Maddie must decide what matters most to her-and what price she is willing to pay to keep it.

My Review: When I first saw this book I was pulled in by the cover.  It was so dark and the way the woman’s head is thrown back in ecstasy was just gripping.  I immediately picked it up, read the synopsis, decided I HAD to have it, and promptly bought it.  I am so glad I did.  It has to be the best paranormal related book I have read since Sunshine by Robin McKinley.  I immediately fell in love.  I’d even go as far as to say that this is my favorite werewolf book, hands down.  

This book was rich with historical content.  From what I gathered this either takes place in Ireland or Scotland.  The disdain towards Englishmen and reference to “the continent” leads me to think this takes place somewhere in the British Isles.  The author didn’t spell it out, rather she let us envision our own primitive world where monsters stalk the night. Dunkle weaves a world full of evil spirits and old superstitions that will leave you afraid of the dark.  The author does a fantastic job of making you feel like you’ve been transported back in time.  The practices of the villagers, their lives, their beliefs, was all wonderfully written and full of true understanding.  She didn’t just decide to set her story back in post Anglo-Saxon England.  You can tell that a lot of research and true knowledge went into writing this book.  I loved the book all the more for it.  

Maddie is the daughter of the village weaver.  She lives a simple life and is content with it.  When Travelers come to her village she is immediately drawn to the silent forlorn young man who accompanies them.  An extremely talented carver, the young man and his companion sell his wares to the villagers.  He speaks to no one and is content to carve his pieces in solitude.  However, Maddie can’t help be fascinated by his brilliant green eyes.  When his drunken companion gets himself locked up and forced to help bring in the villages harvest, he finds himself with no where else to go.  On the night of the full moon Maddie hears a creature outside her door.  In the morning the young carver is found by the loch, mauled by a great beast.  Maddie’s family takes him in and helps him recover.  He gradually starts to open up and talk to Maddie.  But the boy has his own secrets he is unwilling to tell.  The boy with no name is afraid to make friends, to share his past, and to fall in love.  A great fear haunts him that he will hurt the ones he cares for, and the looming threat of the full moon doesn’t go away.  

This story was truly beautifully told.  The growing bond between Maddie and Carver (as the villagers come to call him) was wonderfully done.  Their relationship is built on trust, not lust.  They confide in each other, and Maddie is there for Carver when no one else is.  Her loyalty and her determination to stay by Carver, no matter what happens and what he turns into, is truly inspiring.  They truly love each other and Carver is determined to keep her safe from harm, even if that means keeping her away from him.  Maddie is willing to sacrifice everything for Carver in order to keep her village safe and give Carver a life free from fear.  What was really surprising for me was that they didn’t even have a physical relationship.  Nothing happened beyond holding hands.  That just made it all the more perfect in my eyes.  Of course I wanted SOMETHING to happen, but in the end it was fine without.  The two of them don’t need to share an intimate relationship to show that they’d do anything for each other.  

Maddie’s complete willingness to face evil itself in order to save the man she loves truly sets her apart from other heroines.  Other YA werewolf books simply don’t compare.  The depth of true love, and the true horror of the beast that Carver turns into is nothing like the watered down version of werewolves that is rampant throughout most novels these days.  Werewolves are terrifying beasts that will kill anything in their path and tear them apart limb from limb.  I loved the more classic take on werewolves.  It was reminiscent of The Wolfman and An American Werewolf in London.  You just can’t beat the classics.  

If you couldn’t tell, I absolutely loved this book.  I can’t even fully express how awesome it was.  In comparison to other YA werewolf books out there, By These Ten Bones blows them all out of the water.  It was fabulous, plain and simple.  It might not be to some peoples tastes.  If you’re looking for a wild paranormal romance, you’re not going to get it.  However, if you’re looking for a story with both true love and a terrifying portrayal of what goes bump in the night you’ll definitely get it.  Loved it. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review: Darkness Becomes Her

Synopsis: Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.
She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.
Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

My Review: I am really on the fence with this novel.  There are a lot of things that I really thought were highly original and unique, and others that just annoyed the crap out of me.  So many things are just keeping me from liking it, and that sucks because I WANT to like it.  I just can’t.  

I had a supreme hate/like relationship with Ari.  I mean first off, two bail bondsmen for foster parents?  That was just a pathetic excuse for her to kick everyone else’s ass.  Her whole tough girl attitude just rubbed me the wrong way.  Which is surprising in itself because I adore kickass female MC’s, but the author was just trying so desperately hard to have Ari be a bad-ass that it was just annoying.  She also had a nasty habit of jumping to conclusions and cussing like a sailor.  I’m sorry, but dropping the F-bomb every couple of paragraphs got REALLY tiring after the first chapter.  I was reminded of other kids at my school who feel the need to add an explicative to every single sentence.  “We need to go to f-ing Wendy’s.” Like really? I cuss way more than I probably should, but I don’t do THAT.  All the cussing was uncalled for and was actually detrimental to the story.  Plus, Ari’s little crescent tattoo by her eye just bugged the crap out of me.  Facial tattoos are like Monroe piercings.  They don’t look good on ANYONE! I was at least expecting some relationship with what Ari was to the crescent, but no.  I would have accepted it then, but otherwise not a chance.  Pretty poor criticism I know, but that was just a personal thing for me. 

So with all my ranting about Ari and her many defects, she wasn’t really that bad of an MC.  She was strong and determined to do what she thought was right.  She doesn’t sit idle, but takes action when necessary.  I admired those qualities in her.  Okay so this really doesn’t have to deal with Ari as a character but it just really pissed me off with the author’s portrayal of the foster care system.   One of Ari’s particular foster mothers stuffed raw chicken down her throat and threw her in a cage and treated her like a dog?  WTF?!  I am sorry, but that was highly un-called for and a totally inaccurate depiction of the foster care system.  Granted some guardians in the system should not be, but come on!  That was just another poor attempt to depict Ari as a tough ass chick who could deal with any shit thrown her way.  I was just SICK of it.  

Okay I promise no more ranting.  For now…

As I should have expected the romance in this novel totally fell flat for me.  Sebastian was really cool and I really enjoyed his character.  However, Ari and his relationship was just a WTH moment.  Ari shows up in New2 for A DAY and soon they’re making out in a restaurant booth?  Uhm, huh?  Am I missing some integral information about being a teenager?  Sebastian is portrayed as the type of person that doesn’t give a shit and would rather be by himself.  They’re relationship just made absolutely no sense to me.  

All my complaints aside, I LOVED New2.  I spent time in New Orleans for New Years last year with my band and it was seriously one of the funnest trips I’ve been on.  It was awesome to have first hand knowledge of all the places that Ari visits.  The Garden District, CafĂ© Du Monde (their beignets are seriously to die for), Jackson Square, The Voodoo Queen, etc.  I absolutely loved New Orleans, and I think it’s because of my first hand experience of the city that really made me appreciate the atmosphere of this novel.  I’ll give props to the author.  It was an awesome setting.  Half destroyed and dilapidated New Orleans was infinitely cool.  

The final reveal of what Ari actually was interesting.  I was really surprised and really didn’t see it coming.  Though when Athena showed up in the story I should have gotten a clue.  I’m pretty well versed in Greek mythology and so I’d like to think that I know what I’m talking about.  Athena’s portrayal bugged the crap out of me.  Uh hello, Athena was not JUST the goddess of war.  If the author wanted a bloodthirsty deity who wore the skins of her victims then she should have picked Ares.  Athena was about wisdom in battle.  Goddess of BOTH wisdom and war.  Athena was just a plain psycho bitch in this book and from a mythological stand point it really bothered me.  Hey, it’s fiction, the author can do whatever she likes, but it just bugged me.  

Overall, the few admirable things about this novel couldn’t save it for me.  It was just a disappointment.  I can honestly say that I don’t know if I’ll even read the sequel.  Maybe if others have some good reviews I might consider it, but otherwise I’m done with this series. 

Cover Crazy (8)

Covery Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about.  So I know this is a day late.  You can blame my mother for taking the MiFi out of town with her.  :/ So I'm at my local coffee shop sipping a Goblin Mocha (oh man is it yummy) and making use of their free wifi.  XD And onto the pretty cover!

If you're familiar with the Body Finder and Desires of the Dead then I'm sure you recognize the author.  I haven't read them yet, but man do I want to read this one!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: Darkest Mercy

Synopsis: The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey. Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life. Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.
My Review: Amazing, fantastic, beyond epic.  You can be sure that I will be raving about how utterly fantastic this book was.  What’s going to kill me is not giving away any spoilers!!! This is going to be highly difficult but I’ll do my best to share my joy without ruining this for ya.  

Darkest Mercy picks up right where Radiant Shadows began.  Bananach is on the loose and growing increasingly stronger.  Ani and Devlin closed the gates to Faerie, and now Sorcha is completely cut off from the mortal world.  Keenan has up and disappeared and Ash and Donia are left to rule their respective courts alone.  Irial is dying from the poisoned wound from Bananach, and Nial is close to cracking.  Shit storm doesn’t even begin to cover it.  War is on the horizon and the separate courts will have to work together before they are all destroyed.  

It’s amazing to think that the past four books have been all build up to this big showdown.  Marr’s pure literary genius truly shines in the finale to one of YA’s most amazing series.  Everything is falling apart, yet at the same time everything is beginning to make sense.  So many are lost in the battle with War, and you are literally holding your breath waiting for the outcome.  

Since Ink Exchange Aislinn has really been thrown to the back burner for me.  I loved her in Wicked Lovely, but ever since she just pales in comparison to all the other characters.  Everyone else is just so much deeper and complex than Aislinn that I can’t help but dismiss her.  That isn’t to say however, that she is unimportant or that I don’t like her.  Aislinn is still struggling to do right by her court and her heart.  With Keenan’s absence she is finally able to make sense of her conflicting feelings and at the same time she has to rule her court alone.  She is incredibly strong and determined and completely kicks ass and takes names in the final conflict.  I’m all for girl power, and Aislinn definitely pulled through on that front.  I was glad she just didn’t sit idle.  She took action and finally became the regent she needed to be.  

I’ve always had a grudge against Keenan.  I know he did what he did for his court.  That didn’t excuse his behavior in my opinion.  However, I finally comprehend all the sacrifices he has given up in the name of his court.  He kept his court strong when he was a shadow of what he should be.  Spent decades upon decades having his hope crushed again and again of ever finding his queen and being free of Beira’s curse.  And when he finally found her, she is in love with someone else, and the woman he truly loves is out of his reach.  It just finally sunk in how much Keenan’s life sucks.  He has given up so much, and not once ever thought of shirking his duties.  He really gained a lot of respect in my eyes in this book, and I actually admire his character now.  The sacrifices he makes are truly inspiring, and he turned out to be one of my favorite parts of this book.  

Okay, so yes I’m basically going through the main characters, but what else can I do?!  So yes now onto Irial and Nial.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks that they should just stop bitching at each other and be together?  I love Iri to death.  Out of every single character in these novels he is my absolute favorite.  There’s just something about him that I absolutely adore.  I can’t even put my finger on it, but he is just epic.  Leslie, Iri, and Nial’s love triangle is probably the most messed up thing ever, yet it makes complete sense.  I know I’m completely contradicting myself, but you’ll understand what I mean.   Iri and Nial both love Leslie, yet they both love each other.  I can’t even begin to comprehend this complete oddness, but hey I accept it.  I like Leslie and Nial, and adore Iri so it all works out okay.  Personally though Iri/Nial just NEEDS to happen.   I about bawled when it was clear that Iri was not going to heal from his stab wound.  Nial’s grief was just torturing to read through.  His heart shattered and I felt like mine was too.  It was just emotionally exhausting.  

Donia used to be one of my favorites, but like Ash, just doesn’t shine as much anymore.  Seth, of course, is hot adorably pierced Seth.  Bananach is pure evil and a twisted psychopath, and Sorcha of course only cares about Seth.  I really loved two particular character additions.  Far Dorcha and Ankou were just plain awesome in my opinion.  The addition of the death-fey really added to the story, and I found both their characters fascinating.  

Despite the impending doom and destruction things ended on a good note.  I got my happy endings on a lot of fronts, and even though some of the more enjoyable minor characters died, I was still very satisfied with the ending.  It kills me a bit inside to think that I’ll never read about these characters again.  I’ve grown incredibly emotionally attached to a lot of them, and it’s sad to think that they’re stories are at a close.  It was a perfect ending to this amazing series.  Wicked Lovely rocked the YA world when it first came out, and Marr left us with a lasting impression with Darkest Mercy.  This has been one of my all time favorite series, and will remain so for many years.