Friday, August 31, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

5 comments:

The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test #3)
By Aimee Carter
Release Date: Late February, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen


Yup! It's here to intimidate you!
The final battle of The Goddess Test series!

My Thoughts: Kind of odd, having the author's title in red on the top, but I can handle it. After all build up, we will finally find out what happens to Kate and all of the other gods. The series is a bit cheesy and like a soap opera, but I've grown fond of the whimsical gods and goddesses who show their true humanity behind all of the showing off and pizzazz. I'm glad that Harlequin TEEN moved up the release date by a month, according to Aimee Carter's blog. Although there's no blurb yet, I can totally handle it with such a great cover and an intimidating tagline, "Immortality or Love. You can't have both."

Check out the giveaway of The Goddess Inheritance that Aimee Carter has posted right here!

Review: The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

1 comment:
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
Published: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Paperback, 256 pages

Welcome to a future where water is more precious than gold or oil—and worth killing for...

Vera and her brother, Will, live in the shadow of the Great Panic, in a country that has collapsed from environmental catastrophe. Water is hoarded by governments, rivers are dammed, and clouds are sucked from the sky. But then Vera befriends Kai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water. When Kai suddenly disappears, Vera and Will set off on a dangerous journey in search of him-pursued by pirates, a paramilitary group, and greedy corporations. Timely and eerily familiar, acclaimed author Cameron Stracher makes a stunning YA debut that's impossible to forget. --
Goodreads

3 Stars

Review
The Water Wars is a powerful story that has you reflecting on your usage of water and how our posterity will have to face the effects of our usage of water. I feel like it wasn't meant to be a story focused on Vera and Will's adventure to save Kai and his father, that instead an allegory to frighten the readers from overusing water. The author's idea was a wonderful one, but I just felt he could've done a better job of executing the story.


Basically, Will and Vera meet Kai. He wastes water, but they all become great friends. Somehow, Vera and Kai become more than friends. When Kai goes missing, Will and Vera try to save and rescue Kai. My problem here is that they have no idea what is going on besides the fact that buff guys with sunglasses invaded Kai's house. Let's just say, I'm still skeptical on how they are able to even able to conceive the idea that they, two teenagers, can save someone kidnapped by a major corporation.

Will, Vera and Kai were characters that lacked in emotion and depth, making them extremely dull to read about. Interestingly enough, the side characters were all vividly described and had fascinating back stories. I enjoyed reading about how everyone came to be against the dystopian system more than Vera's bland view on everything.

The storyline itself was dull to begin with, so I cannot exactly blame the writing for a ridiculous kidnapping turning into a journey for Will and Vera. Basically, Will and Vera are kidnapped multiple times and escape multiple times, then end up finding Kai. For me, the logic behind this weird turnabout is kind of sketchy. It was a little odd, but I went with it.

I found the ending to be a pretty satisfying round of defeat for the evil corporations and controlling government. Underdog stories always bring a cheer to me, and for everyone I bet. Although, the plan used to defeat the big guys were a bit exaggerated, I could live with that. Seeing an end to the vicious control of the water was a big plus. There was also a little voice in the back of my head nagging me about the rest of the world and their water because the ending only tied the knots for Will, Vera and Kai's town, but I was more concerned with the fact that the author was able to end The Water Wars on a solid note.

All in all, The Water Wars was a fascinating dystopian that explores a world where the most important resource in the world plays a more significant role in society. Having some kids and a rescue mission thrown in the mix made it a little funky, but the messages presented in The Water Wars is a powerful one that will force you to never take water for granted again.

Purchase this book: Amazon/ Barnes&Nobles/ The Book Depository





Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)
By Laini Taylor
Published: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Paperback, 448 pages

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself? --
Goodreads

4 stars

Review

What drew me in to read this book was probably its cover. The shocking blue mask against the black and white picture of the person is just so memorable. Yes, I am one who judges his/her interest of picking up a book based off of the front cover. What can I say? It just looked cool, darn it.

I think this may have been the first YA books that I've read that takes place in Prague with characters that speak Czech. You'd think there'd be more YA books that have characters that speak Czech....actually, there probably are a lot more, and I just haven't looked hard enough. The descriptions of the scenery were nice -- you know, descriptive enough so you know where the characters are, but not to the extent where adjectives fill up a whole entire page. Check plus for the scenery.

So, onward to the characters! I quite liked Karou's character and her best friend, Zuzana. I think it was Zuzana's snarky, yet hilarious commentary and her boisterous personality was enough to keep me going. Now that I think about it, Zuzana is probably my favorite character. I liked Karou because, to be put simply, she's a girl trying to find out about her past, and herself in general. She's an artist, a dreamer, and is just like any other ordinary girl with bright blue hair. Most characters were very likeable. Check for characters.

Although I thought Karou and Akiva (the heart-stealing-sexy-angel-love-interest-of-Karou-slash-Madrigal) would make a nice couple (*siren* WEEOOOWEEOOO , SPOILER that you could already predict from reading the summary off of GoodReads), I thought that there was something cliché  about their relationship. Too stereotypical for a relationship of a YA novel for me to deal with. Like, if Bella's and Edward's (cite from Twilight) relationship is a sparkly sticker, then Karou's and Akiva's relationship would be the Sun -- so sparkly it blinds the hell out of your face, let alone your eyes. I dunno, maybe it's just me, but I felt their interactions were too superficial. (Except for the part where they can't really be together since their relationship is technically forbidden...) Personally, I've had enough of that crap about "soul mates" and falling in love in a past life and whatnot.

Another disappointment for me about their relationship would have to be that their relationship progresed waaaaay too fast to be normal. Probably about after 3 times Karou meets him (mind you, all being times where Adrian tries to kill her), Karou unexplicably feels herself being "drawn" to him, so she decides to help him out. What moron would do something so idiotic? If there was some psycho chasing after me going for the kill, I would hit the road running as soon as I could a whiff of that dude, let alone HELP him. Soooo, check minus for Karou's romantic relationships.

The writing style was very fluid, smooth, and consistent. It wasn't awkward at all, and things moved at a pretty even, appropriate pace. The tone and feel of the book was very fantasy-ish, which is good, since this happens to be about an angel and a demon. :)

Overall, I felt that this book was very likeable, but was lacking in something--which, specifically, I know naught. I think it might be that it was too far from reality for me. But this story is definitely worth picking up. I really liked this book, so I sort of critiqued it quite strictly. I'm sure many other reviewers would easily give this badboy a 5. Pick this one up, I'm sure you'll like it as much as I did.



Purchase Daughter of Smoke and Bone at: Amazon/ Barnes&Noble/ The Book Depository










Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Free: Fall Fierce Reads eBook Sampler

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The time is here again! Check this out!!!
(Click on the big banner for link to sellers)
There seems to be no link to Amazon on the link below, so here's the Amazon Kindle link

 

Waiting on Wednesday 8/29

7 comments:

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event that features the books that we (the bloggers) are highly anticipating. "Waiting on Wednesday" was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Angie is impatiently dying for: 
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
Release Date: September 4, 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul. --
Goodreads

Pre-order now: Amazon / Barnes&Noble / The Book Depository


Jenny is "Waiting On":
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Release Date: January 29, 2013 by Balzer+Bray/ HarperTeen

London, 1894. Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true. 

Juliet is accompanied by the doctor’s handsome young assistant and an enigmatic castaway, who both attract Juliet for very different reasons. They travel to the island only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: he has created animals that have been vivisected to resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape the island, even though her horror is mixed with her own scientific curiosity. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood. --Goodreads


Pre-order now: Amazon / Barnes&Noble / The Book Depository

~M is eagerly anticipating:
 
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Release Date: October 16th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux  

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
--Goodreads

Pre-order now: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository 

Sadly, Rosie is not currently "waiting on" any books, for she is struggling to finish reading her dreary school-required reading books. (Because she procrastinated too much over the summer, and this is what she gets for it.)

What are YOU waiting for? We'd love to hear what you're waiting on in the comments below!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

6 comments:
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1)
By Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 5th, 2012
Publisher:  Henry Holt and Co.

Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.

When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.

Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future. --
Goodreads


Review
This book is pretty much the perfect epitome of what a lot of YA books should be like. It brings together known elements that are reworked, and though it may not be the most creative or innovative book, it doesn't need to be because the writing is just that good. The premises are not very original, but Leigh Bardugo makes it into something fresh and new.

I absolutely love the world that is created. I picture a map of Ravka, and I see that terrible slash of darkness that is the Shadow Fold (Unsea). There is also the backgrounds, from the royal palace to the deepest part of the wilderness. The social and political setting is also set, how the Grisha are feared, how the king is laughed at behind his back, and how the nation is like in a time of desperation and war. Everything is so detailed and lush, it is really brought to life. 

Alina is someone who I can definitely relate to. She is intelligent and strong, and grows throughout the book. That is one of my favorite parts, Alina's growth as a person. Letting go of the past is hard, but Alina is able to do it and move on, finally able to come into her true powers. She is the poster girl for girl power, powerful, yet humble, ingenious and reliable.

The love interests, Mal and the Darkling. The Darkling is dangerous and mysterious, someone intriguing and totally swoon worthy (at least at first . . .). Mal is the nice best friend who Alina falls in love with, but he isn't some flat boring character, he is really human. He makes mistakes and can be mean and hurtful, but underneath all that is someone who really cares about Alina. It seems like Mal is everything that is comforting and familiar, while the Darkling is new and exciting. 

This book is a must read. You will get swept up in the story and fall in love with it. The pacing is just right (not too fast, but not too slow), and the climax is timed perfectly. The romance, action, and fantasy is also blended impeccably, and I could not put this book down. Major thumbs up for this book.


Purchase this book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Torn by Amanda Hocking

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Torn (Trylle Trilogy #2)
By Amanda Hocking
Published: February 28, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Paperback, 324 pages

When Wendy Everly first discovers the truth about herself—that she’s a changeling switched at birth—she knows her life will never be the same. Now she’s about to learn that there’s more to the story…

She shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined—and they’ll stop at nothing to lure her to their side. With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to master her magical powers—and marry an equally powerful royal. But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who’s strictly off limits…and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction.

Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate. If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything, and everybody, she’s ever wanted…in both worlds.


As a special gift to readers, this book contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, “One Day, Three Ways,” set in the magical world of the Trylle. --
Goodreads

3.5 Stars

Review


After the shocking events in Switched, Torn begins right after the cliffhanger that Switched was torturing us with. I can say that I was not expecting Torn to be the novel that it was because Switched was definitely a disappointment. Instead of finding myself banging my head against a door because of Wendy (I still did that, but less frequently), I found myself cheering on Wendy and the rest of Trylle.

Let me just say that Wendy is finally maturing. Yup, that's right. No longer is she as irritatingly whiny and reckless as before, Wendy has decided to become the heroine we always knew she was supposed to be. Of course her decisions are still somewhat immature and ridiculous, but now she does those recklessly for the sakes of others. Wendy is blossoming into the heroine that everyone can cheer on without hesitation and I cannot wait to see how she turns out in Ascend.

Despite the fact that Torn exceeded Switched in terms of character development, the plot was still out of whack. The cohesive flow of the book was not as smooth as it could have been. Things just went along as if there was no problem with anything, when there should have been. It felt like everything was engineered to show off Wendy, instead of being realistic. I do not mean that paranormal should be like contemporary, but the emotions and decisions should follow the same basic guidelines that normal decisions are made with. Decisions shouldn't be made with a somewhat random idealism without any thought, which is how Wendy and her friends made decisions.

There was also many references to current pop culture in the book, which doesn't make much sense in a society where human culture is looked down upon and there is no television or computer. Now that I think about it, what's the point of money if they don't even interact with humans beyond changelings? Gah... this is all going screwed up right now. This world does not make any sense, but I admit, it's enjoyable to read about.

Torn was a fun, exciting sequel to Switched. There is just so much danger and adventure that they are facing, it's impossible to not be enthralled by Torn. The stakes are so high, I can't imagine how Ascend will be able to tie all of the loose knots that are left off in the this book. Even with all of the flaws, Torn will leave you panting for the next book in the series.

You can check out my review of Switched right here.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review: Eve by Anna Carey

4 comments:
Eve (Eve #1)
By Anna Carey
Published: October 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Paperback, 352 pages

Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

After a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth's population, the world is a terrifying place.

Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a bright future in The New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school's real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her.
Fleeing the only home she's ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. But when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life. -- Goodreads


3.5 Stars

Review

Eve is the start of an action-packed dystopian series that will keep the reader holding their breath until the end. With surprising plot twists and a pleasant romance, Eve does a great job in spellbinding the reader from the very beginning to the final page.

The book begins with Eve in her controlling school. She lives her life like a valedictorian would in her school. At the top of her class, great things are expected of Eve and Eve knows this. That is, until the day, Eve soon learns that there is something wrong with her school. She is told that the school and society are built on lies, so she runs away to escape the future her teachers are planning for her. Along the way, she joins up with others, Arden, the school snob, and Caleb, the mysterious boy. The journey Eve, Arden and Caleb goes on an adventure fraught with peril and excitement that will shake the reader to their very bones.

Words cannot describe my thoughts as I rushed through Eve. From one moment to the next, I was holding the very edge of my seat as danger crossed Eve and her friends. Anna Carey writes Eve with unpredictability, so one can not guess as to what will come next to torment the trio. It's a tale that one can easily be immersed in.

The romance between Eve and Caleb is one that starts out as distrust and blooms into one that I rooted and cheered for. Caleb is such a devoted guy who clearly cares for Eve. Meanwhile, Eve was the one who tended to cause the problems, but she did them all for the sake of her love for Caleb. Separately, the feelings Eve and Caleb have mirrored Romeo and Juliet's moaning. Together, their love is a powerful force in Eve.

There are many things that Eve executes wonderfully, such as presenting the evils of the dystopian society, keeping the reader engaged and having a sweet romance. Still, at times I found Eve flat and over-the-top with characters. Eve, the protagonist, is one of those heroines who you want to bop on the head to tell her to shut up or to be less naive. Her actions and thoughts are reckless and cause the death of many others. She does everything without thinking, to the point that it would probably be better for everyone to have her shot dead. Despite being an extremely flawed character, I cheered and supported Eve the whole way through.

If you are a fan of dystopian, you will surely enjoy reading Eve, which follows the rules of dystopians faithfully. There are flaws within Eve, but they will not destroy the reading experience you will have with Eve. It's nothing spectacular or unique, but Eve is definitely a read worth trying.

Purchase this book: Amazon/ Barnes&Nobles/ The Book Depository


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Must-Have Bookish Goodies

4 comments:
Obviously we are all book fanatics, but what's almost as cool as books? Bookish goodies!

In this post I'm going to show y'all some of my favorite bookish things from Etsy.com. For those of you who haven't heard of Etsy, it is basically an online store where people make things and post them on there for sale. You can find tons of really cool products on Etsy, where you can't find elsewhere.

Hunger Games Mocking Jay Brooch/Pin:

OMG! Is this awesome or what? If you loved the Hunger Games book(s) or movie like I did, then this is perfect. Plus this item happens to be on sale for 77cents! Yeah you heard me, cents man cents! Click HERE for the Etsy Store. Roxanne from DollarJewelry is the Esty store owner and creator of this amazing pin.

HP Deathly Hallows Necklace:
Any HP fans out there? Harry Potter is super awesome. That is a fact, therefore this necklace is awesome.  Click HERE for the Etsy Store. Roxanne from DollarJewelry is the Esty store owner and creator of this awesome necklace.
The Giving Tree iPhone Case:
Is this not adorable? Because this case is totally adorable! Now I want an iPhone, so I can have this case. All you iPhone owners out there, I am jealous of YOU! Click HERE for the Etsy Store. Smartor Huang from SweetHeartEveryone is the Etsy store owner and creator of this too-adorable-for-words iPhone case.

 Jedi Bracelet:
I love dorky things! I also love the Star Wars movies so this bracelet is awesome (there's no other words to describe it). Click HERE for the Etsy Store. Annie from SpiffingJewelry is the Etsy store owner and creator of this spiffy bracelet.
HP: Snape's Patronus Necklace:
The last HP movie was definitely the best, but sad because it is the last movie ever. It also made me like Snape. Click HERE for Etsy Store.  Annie from SpiffingJewelry is the Etsy store owner and creator of this Harry Potter awesomeness.
Awesome Bookmark:
This bookmark is super cute as well as affordable. I have a lot of bookmarks, but they are all made of paper and after a while they eventually get bent and worn down, but this bookmark doesn't look like it does that. Click HERE for the Etsy Store.  Sian from StageAppealCrafts is the Etsy store owner and creator of these cool bookmarks.
Wrap Up With A Good Book Scarf:
Gahhh. People are so creative! Look at this scarf! If you have one of those days where you have nothing good to wear, you can always put on this scarf and people won't notice your awful outfit at all because they will be too busy reading the words on your fancy scarf. Click HERE for the Etsy Store. Tori from Storiarts is the Etsy store owner and creator of this super cool scarf. 
All of these items would definitely be awesome gifts for book lovers. I think I know what I want to ask Santa for Christmas this year :P

What bookish goodies do you think are cool? I love to see a picture of the product(s).



Disclaimer: I have never brought from these stores listed here, so I do not know if the quality of the product is good or not. The purpose of this post is just to share some cool things I saw from Etsy. This post is not sponsored or anything. Everything said in this post are just my opinions.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: After the Snow by S. D. Crockett

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 By S. D. Crockett
Published: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan) 
Hardcover, 304 pages

Fifteen-year-old Willo was out hunting when the trucks came and took his family away. Left alone in the snow, Willo becomes determined to find and rescue his family, and he knows just who to talk with to learn where they are. He plans to head across the mountains and make Farmer Geraint tell him where his family has gone.


But on the way across the mountain, he finds Mary, a refugee from the city, whose father is lost and who is starving to death. The smart thing to do would be to leave her alone -- he doesn't have enough supplies for two or the time to take care of a girl -- but Willo just can't do it. However, with the world trapped in an ice age, the odds of them surviving on their own are not good. And even if he does manage to keep Mary safe, what about finding his family? --Goodreads
1 Star

Review
It really depresses me to give a book a negative review. However, this book depressed me as well as I read it, so After the Snow kind of deserves its negative review. Notice, my reasoning behind disliking this novel is not because of its monotonous nature. It's a longer and more complicated story that I will be brief on.

After the Snow is one of those novels that one finds hard to connect to. Willo narrates the story, and has a strange dialect when he speaks. A majority of the time, Willo mixes up his grammar and wording, which is hard to get used to. I was fine with the quirky narration, but I found the narration inconsistent. There were points in the story when Willo actually starts describing events as a normal person, but would eagerly switch back to his vernacular. There, I was lost. One moment would have a Willo with faulty grammar, then the next moment showed Willo speaking fluently, and finally switch back to funky talk Willo. 

Willo, the protagonist, is a character that will definitely raise eyebrows. In addition to his inconsistent talking, Willo also believes that a dog will talk to him when he wears a dog skull. It is probably supposed to represent something if After the Snow is an allegory, but like Willo's language, the dog skull appears and reappears often throughout the book for no reason. It is as if the author wanted Willo to be a weirdo for no reason, without any purpose or plot development.

The plot line of After the Snow follows Willo's journey to rescue his family. Sorry to spoil this to anyone, but this is not the primary focus of the book. Instead, S.D. Crockett chooses to explore the relationship of Willo and Mary. Of course, even this isn't really explored much either. The plot is erratic and has random events occur without any reason beyond causing chaos between Willo and Mary. It boggles my mind to try to comprehend the author's true intention when writing this book. Not to mention, the deux ex machina ending will not bring anyone to the table eager to praise this book.

I was really disappointed by After the Snow. There was so much that could be achieved with a world plunged into an Ice Age. The author just did a terrible job in executing this story. Characters are not well developed, there is no real flow to the story and writing is puzzling. I am incredibly thankful for the fact that After the Snow is a standalone, so I will not convince myself to give this kind of book another go.

Purchase this book: Amazon/ Barnes&Nobles/ The Book Depository




Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

2 comments:
By Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Published: July 3, 2012 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Hardcover, 352 pages

Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn't mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It's up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity.

On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching. Acclaimed authors Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan team up to create a witty and poignant story of cool vampires, warm friendships, and the changes that test the bonds of love. -- GoodReads


3.5 stars

 Review

Hmmm...what can I say about this book? It's not amazing, but it's not boring either. Personally, I felt a bit irritated with some of the characters in this story, but that's just me. I was really only annoyed at the side characters. I liked the main character--Mel.

An American-born-Chinese, which is really not a heroine you see so much these days, she speaks her mind and kicks-ass when neccessary. I liked her because she's waay different than most heroines in vamp books. What I mean is--she isn't moony-eyed over a sparkly vampire *cough* *cough* Bella. In fact, Mel HATES vampires. A YA heroine that hates vamps in this day and age? Why wouldn't  I pick this up!?! Also, I loved Kit! He is DEFINITELY waaaay better than stick-up-the-ass-Francis.

The only two characters that I really couldn't stand were Cathy and, you guessed it, kill-joy-Francis. It's really just a personal tick of mine--I don't really mix well with people of their personalities. I suppose I'm similar to Mel? Dunno, but yeah. That's just me. In the end, I wasn't so pissed, especially once I reached the resolution.

The plot was definitely different, but it still wasn't totally original. I felt a bit of déjà vu and been-there-done-that feeling from reading this story. Don't get me wrong, it was still pretty good. It's like one of those stories that you can predict the ending, but you still like it anyway because of the main character. Honestly, there were a few times in this story where I could set it down and stop reading it and still be satisfied. That's why I give it 3.5 stars. Above average, nice caracters, pretty good plot, yet lacks the addictive juice and thrill of a 5 star.

I'd recommend this to anyone who likes, or hates vampires. (If you hate 'em, you'll love Mel.) I'd also recommend this one to people who enjoy reading realistic fantasy books. Other than the fact that there were vamps mixed into society, this reality wasn't all that different from ours. Also, one more thing. Get ready for some friends, fun, and vampy romance.

(Yeah yeah yeah, I know, the ending of that review sucked, but whatever. Have some great reads, kiddies, and see YA (ha, ha, get it?) next week!)




Purchase Team Human at: Amazon/ Barnes&Noble/ The Book Depository

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 8/22

5 comments:

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event that features the books that we (the bloggers) are highly anticipating. "Waiting on Wednesday" was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine


Reads Rosie Is Itching To Get Her Hands On:
a.k.a. RRITTGHHO

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Release Date: August 28, 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself. --GoodReads

Pre-order The Lost Girl at: Amazon/ Barnes&Nobles/ The Book Depository



Angie is impatiently dying for:

Starling by Lesley Livingston
Release Date: August 28, 2012 by HarperTeen

"Love is just the beginning... of the end"
 
Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.

As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?

Readers who fell in love with Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange trilogy and those who love Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series will be captivated by the sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action of Starling.
-- Goodreads

Pre-order Starling now: Amazon/ Barnes&Nobles/ The Book Depository



 Jenny is "Waiting On":

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Release Date: September 18, 2012 by HarperTeen 

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t…

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.--GoodReads


  Pre-order What's Left of Me now: Amazon / Barnes&Noble / The Book Depository



 ~M is eagerly anticipating:

Release Date: October 9th, 2012 by  by Harcourt Children's Books 

The vivacious Jacky Faber returns in the tenth tale in L. A. Meyer’s Bloody Jack Adventures, a rip-roaring young-adult series applauded for its alluring combination of adventure, romance, history, and humor. Once again under the thumb of British Intelligence, Jacky is sent to Spain to spy for the Crown during the early days of the nineteenth-century Peninsular War. She finds herself in the company of guerilla freedom fighters, poses for the famous artist Goya, runs with the bulls, is kidnapped by the Spanish Inquisition, and travels with a caravan of gypsies...all while hoping to one day reunite with her beloved Jaimy Fletcher. -Goodreads 


Pre-order Viva Jacquelina! Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away now: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository

What are you waiting on? We love to hear what you are waiting on in the comments below! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

2 comments:
Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1)
By Aimee Agresti
Published: March 6th, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, 528 pages

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.
-Goodreads

4 Stars


Review
My thought process behind deciding to read this book: Soul stealing, huh. I think I'll read this. 

Illuminate opens with Haven, and explains what her life is currently like and how she came to be where she is. Haven is a nerdy, shy girl who has no social life and only one friend. Although she may be a cliche, I think that many people can relate to her in that they are also smart and work hard to get into a good college. Haven is nice, but my favorite character is definitely Lance. He started out shy and quiet, but he evolves into someone else while creating new friendships, and really steals the scene at the end. 

When they start working at the hotel, I love the lush descriptions that really bring the hotel to life. I can picture everything, from the opulent and grand building itself, the stunningly perfect employees, to the dark and electrifying club. It is seen through Haven's eyes, and really shows all of the glitz and glamor.

 Eventually though, I noticed how slow the plot moved. It became slightly boring, especially since we find out all of the secrets bit by bit, in a slow and leisurely manner, which isn't very exciting. It was interesting, but not exciting, I was just waiting to learn the good stuff. 

Generally I quite liked the plot, but there were some questions that were left hanging. For instance, what happened in Haven's childhood, how was she abandoned and what happened to her before that? Also, what are her actual abilities besides soul seeing, can she do anything else? The reason why I'm not very annoyed about it is because I expect to learn more in the continuing books. 

Overall, Illuminate had wonderful writing and beautiful scenery. I didn't love it, but I definitely liked it, and will continue on with the series. 


Purchase this book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository 
  




Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/20

6 comments:
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is a meme brought to the blogging world by Sheila from Book Journey. With this meme bloggers can show their readers what they read this week, what they are currently reading, and what is happening on their blogs.

Last week: 
~M read: Endure by Carrie Jones

Rosie read: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Angie read:Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
                   The Shadow Cats by Rae Carson
                   Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent
                   The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Jenny read: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Shout-Out to Angie! Whoo 4 reviews this week! You go girl!

Currently Reading:
~MShadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo












Jenny:  Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Angie: Every Day by David Leviathan













Happenings on YA Novelties: 
Our Welcome to Our Blog Giveaway is still going on! Enter HERE!

8/20 Posts: Cover Reveal AND Giveaway Derailed by Alyssa Rose Ivy! Enter HERE!
         Cover Reveal AND Giveaway Conjure by Lea Nolan! Enter HERE!


What are YOU reading? We would love to know in the comment section below!
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