Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 2/27


"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.

Jenny Can't Wait For:

All I Need by Susane Colasanti
Expected publication: May 21st 2013 by Viking Juvenile

The last night of summer is only the beginning.

Skye wants to meet the boy who will change her life forever. Seth feels their instant connection the second he sees her. When Seth starts talking to Skye at the last beach party of the summer, it’s obvious to both of them that this is something real. But when Seth leaves for college before they exchange contact info, Skye wonders if he felt the same way she did—and if she will ever see him again. Even if they find their way back to each other, can they make a long-distance relationship work despite trust issues, ex drama, and some serious background differences?

Teen favorite Susane Colasanti returns to the alternating-voice style of her beloved debut When It Happens in this Serendipity-inspired story about summer, soul mates, and the moments that change our lives forever.--Goodreads

Pre-Order All I Need at: Amazon / B&N / TBD

Rosie Obsessively Awaits

Imposter: A Variants Novel by Susanne Winnacker
Expected Publication: May 23, 2013 by Razorbill


Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. 

When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again. Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. 

As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself. --Goodreads

Pre-Order Imposter at: Amazon/ Barnes&Noble/ TBD

Angie is impatiently dying for:
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare
Expected Publication: March 19, 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy. --

Pre-order Clockwork Princess here: Amazon/ B&N/ TBD

What are you WoW-ing for? Comment below!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Double Star by Cindy Saunders

1 comment:
Double Star
By Cindy Saunders
Published November 28th, 2012
Publisher: Book Baby
Paperback, 268 pages

When Cepheus, a dark god, forces seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth off an isolated overlook, she has no idea she's falling into his world, or that the necklace she’s wearing is actually a key - one with the power to ignite the next world war. But she’s carried beyond his reach and into the one place where he’s powerless ... the forest of Gilgamesh.

Ally’s never been Miss Popularity, but her outsider status takes on new meaning when she’s rescued by Liam Cheveyo and his peculiar friends. After seeing them shape-shift into their freaky humanimal counterparts, Ally smacks hard into a few truths: magic really does exist and, although getting here took no effort, finding her way back might be impossible. Feelings between her and Liam begin to grow along with the realization that, in this world, she’s stronger, better ... until she’s caught in a trap set by the creepy spider-boy Cepheus sends to retrieve her. But Ally’s not going down without a fight, not after learning the horrible truth about the passageways.

The survival of both worlds depends on it.


I have to admit it. When I first saw Double Star, I wasn't very interested. The cover just wasn't that appealing. However, I couldn't judge a book by its cover, therefore I had to read it. Double Star definitely turned out to be better than I expected, however it did have some drawbacks. 

The main character, Ally, is a normal girl who leads a normal life, until she (literally) falls into a parallel world. In this new world, people are born with a mark behind their ear, which symbolizes their ability to change into a certain animal. I have to say, Ally's personality is kind of blah. She is nice and has her own special powers, but is also boring and doesn't make me want to really root for her. Her character is flat and one dimensional.

The love interest, Liam is a little more interesting. He is kinda like the tortured guy who blames himself for his mother's death, and is lifted out of it by Ally, whom he originally doesn't like. The thing is, love is actually very close to hate (not that he hates her), and you can just totally tell they're gonna end up together.

With that said, I feel bad for the other guy, Corm. Although he also likes Ally, it isn't quite a love triangle. He is attracted to Ally, but quickly realizes that Ally and Liam are deeply in love, and he can't come between them, which is more than I can say for most third wheels in the love triangle (they continue to fight for the heroine's love, but we all know who will end up with the girl). It may start out as a love triangle, but they don't really end up competing with each other for Ally's love. Although I can't help but feel bad for Corm (I always feel bad for the loser), I'm glad that this book didn't make it into a full blown love triangle and have him struggle along. 

My main problem with this book was it predictability. I have read many YA novels, and this one is very similar to others I have read. I could predict everything that was going to happen, which took all the fun out of it, I like to be kept somewhat guessing. That and it was really cheesy. Some cheesiness in a story is good and can make it cute, but this one had a little too much. Also the characters need more development and back story to them, what makes them unique and different from all of the other characters of YA books I've read? Sadly, not much.

Even though I've mentioned all of this negative stuff, I generally liked the book. It had a good concept, and just needs to find its own voice to stand out, that and more character development. Otherwise, everything else was good. The writing was very descriptive, I could picture everything in my head, and it seemed to flow smoothly (the only problem I had with writing was the speech of the characters from the parallel world, they would flip flop from 21st language to ye olde english). Double Star is started in the right direction, and just needs some improvements to make it even better.

Purchase this book at: Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / The Book Depository

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fractured Soul Blog Tour: Fractured Light Review and Giveaway


Fractured Light (Fractured Light #1) 
By Rachel McClellan 
Released: Feburary 8, 2012 
Publisher: Sweetwater Books 
Hardcover, 304 pages 

I’m dying, I thought. This was unexpected and not at all how I envisioned my death. I was supposed to die gardening in a flowerbed as a hundred-year-old woman, not as a seventeen-year-old trapped in a lake beneath inches of ice.

Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. She can’t take any chances. But when she starts to make friends for the first time in her life, she gets careless and lets her guard down. Big mistake.

As an Aura, Llona can manipulate light and harness its energy. But if she wants to survive, Llona will have to defy the Auran Council and learn to use her power as a weapon against the Vyken whose sole desire is to take her light. Now she’s caught in something even bigger than she can understand, with a power she can’t wield, and no one she can trust, except, just maybe, a mysterious stranger.

In this breathtaking and romantic adventure, Rachel McClellan delivers a truly mesmerizing story that will keep you guessing to the very end. --Goodreads

3 Stars


With all of the paranormals out ready to be judged by reviewers and readers, it is extremely difficult to create an original masterpiece that readers can enjoy. When I first decided to try Fractured Light, I honestly didn't have high hopes for it. It seemed to be like every other paranormal that hit the market, but there was something that was intriguing about the the whole light manipulation. It's true that the whole superpower thing was more of the reason I wanted to try this book out, rather than its content.

From the very start, we are whisked off to the stereotypical land of a girl who is abnormal and the creepy stalker guy who seems to know everything about her. Hm... Where have we not seen this before? This is a rhetorical question, so I let me answer this for you: every frikkin' paranormal. This was probably the part of the book that was the rockiest in terms of unoriginal content and somewhat oddball character introductions. Christian, the creepy stalker guy, has one of the more dashing entrances in the novel, yet it tops the list of awkward moments in history probably.

However, as things gradually move along, Fractured Light is able to keep the reader engaged with its somewhat formulaic paranormal plot with girl having powers learning how to control them. Meanwhile, a sinister enemy enters the midst ready to destroy everything the girl, Llona, is fighting for. Along with some chummy friends who are clueless and an enemy who can disguise himself as anyone, Llona and Christian have a lot of butt kicking to work on to receive the happy ending they deserve. The work and effort that they put in was cute and it made the romance seem more natural and appealing because the insta-love thing that paranormal books obsess over should really be executed in disgrace.

The strongest aspect of this book would have to be all of the characters. Of course they are all generic, but each of their quirks and idiosyncrasies are what make them stand out among the whole light shebang and the romance tagging along. Characters that one would normally find dislikable turned out to be the ones I rooted for, such as Christian's grumpy father and Llona's irresponsible uncle, Jake. My only complaint was the image that Llona portrayed of them was so negative. All she could say about any one person was something wrong with them in appearance or personality. Annoyance with a person's personality is understandable, but being nitpicky over how a person looks is just downright irritating. Yes, I understand he is not as hot as this guy, but that does not make him less cool. The characterization of pretty people being the more focal people in the book made it seem as if only pretty people deserved attention at some points.

In spite of its predictability, Fractured Light was a promising start to a series literally bombarding the light channels (ha ha, I know... it's so bad). The most important thing to pull off for a book is to keep the reader engaged and excited to read the book. Fractured Light excels at this task, making it one of those fun pleasure reads, rather than book that a reader seriously plans to delve and completely immerse one's self in. Regardless of the number of faults that I am being a little aggressive on, I cannot deny that this book was beast when it came to the flashy (this is my last light joke) action and adorably sweet romance.

Purchase Fractured Light here: Amazon/ B&N


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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review: The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2) 
By Jennifer A. Nielsen 
Release Date: March 1, 2013 
Publisher: Scholastic Press 
Hardcover, 352 pages 

A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!

Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?

The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King!

4.5 Stars

Thank you very much Scholastic and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to review The Runaway King!

One of the greatest problems that comes with anticipating for books, aka. ‘Books to Die For,’ is when those books are major disappointments, not to mention the waiting. For The Runaway King, I was fortunately surprised to discover that Jennifer A. Nielsen has continued her spellbinding middle grade series with more at stake than ever before. With so many risks, there is always a chance of the story falling off the cliff, but instead we are left teetering on the cliff, always breathlessly at awe of the finesse of this cleverly written adventure.

This time around, Jaron being the king of Carthya is responsible for the problems that his father had timidly pushed off during his reign. War, a frivolous Council of Regents, and assassination attempts are just the beginning to a tumultuous reign for Jaron. To save his kingdom and his life, Jaron will have to sacrifice more than ever before to ensure his country and his own tomorrow.

Let me start off saying that Jaron has grown on me. He’s still the same cheeky brat from The False Prince, but we see some growth and maturity from his old days. His impetuous, sarcastic nature is always amusing and humorous to read about, and so are his enemies’ reactions to his insults and obstinate nature. However, it really makes a person wonder whether or not Jaron is really 14 years old. Can you imagine a 14 year old planning and intruding as deviously and irrationally as him? There are some traces of immaturity when he risks his life and his friend’s lives on some plans that have probably been in his mind since day 1. Somehow they still manage to work despite all of the crap that has happened. It is somewhat intimidating to have to read without having a heart attack when Jaron’s there to magnify the trouble a hundred fold. For such a young guy, Jaron really has so much going for him that it really makes you wonder how can a teenager like exist.

Besides Jaron, there doesn’t seem to be much emphasis put on the other characters. Sure, they are present, but there is not any development of their personalities. We see characters characterize as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but only a minor few have been shown to be middle ground like Jaron. However, that is only the surface that one penetrates. As we delve further into their actions and motives, we see that each character is their own enigma that threaten to outshine Jaron at many points of the story. I do wish that there was a greater focus on these supporting characters, but Jaron alone is enough to carry the book with all of the nefarious schemes he has in mind.

After barely surviving the adventure of The False Prince, The Runaway King was one of the reads that I was most looking forward to this year. Thankfully and somewhat annoyingly, The Runaway King comes with more dares, risks, and adventure, making this book the ultimate middle grade adventure. If you have not yet read The False Prince, I’m begging you to read this as soon as possible because you need to pick this one up now!

Pre-order The Runaway King here: Amazon/ B&N/ The Book Depository

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Last Witch by Debbie Dee Blog Tour: Review

1 comment:

The Last Witch 
By Debbie Dee 
Released: September 12, 2012 
Publisher: Dolce Books 
Paperback, 246 pages 

For generations the Incenaga Witches have been forced to use their power to fulfill the wishes of others until they are drained of their magic and left to die. Desperate to protect his infant daughter - the last surviving witch - Emmeline’s father escapes with her to the forests where he vows to keep her hidden from the world and from the truth.

Sixteen years later, Emmeline is discovered and finds herself in the grip of a traitor who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if it means abusing her power until she dies. As she fights to regain her freedom she is faced with a choice between a prince who offers a lifetime of security and a common gamekeeper who has no idea of her power, but offers his heart.

But who can she trust when her power can be used against her? --Goodreads

3.5 Stars


Basically, if you are a high fantasy that is well built in world building and can hold a reader's interest until the end, you get my positive ratings. High fantasies are the genre that I adore so much because it's almost impossible to find one that cannot execute itself properly. Writing one of these books is hard work, and since almost all authors put their best efforts into developing the realms of magic and royalty, it's nearly impossible for them to be bland. 

The Last Witch picks immediately a few pages in where Emmeline finds herself running away from a force that severely injures her father. Unlike most high fantasies that slowly build up to an epic confrontation, this book takes a huge risk with this unconventional plotting. It wasn't necessarily bad, but definitely could have been a smoother ride in. Fortunately, things smooth over from here as Emmeline, essentially a prisoner within the castle, yearns for her freedom and falls into a love triangle.

Hearing the word 'love triangle' is bound to elicit some groans. It's totally understandable when this plot device is used so frequently and blandly that the best compromise would be for everyone to die. It is how Romeo and Juliet solved its problem, and frankly, I don't blame Shakespeare. The whole romance between Emmeline, Erick, and Prince Weldon was nothing too serious or focal in the story, thankfully. It definitely was not one of the strong points of the novel, but managed to capture the bittersweet feelings of loving someone that you cannot have. 

The explanations for the mechanisms of the magic of Incenaga witches was a plot device that was exhilarating and irritating at the same time. While at many points I loved how the antagonist attempted to control Emmeline using the power of her heritage, it became infuriating when the very same girl who was so resilient and fierce toward her captor was ridiculously weak when it came to people attacking her. Her excuse for the reason why she was helpless actually made sense, but was still aggravating when she fell into the role of a damsel in distress. It was as if the very source of her power was a hindrance to her becoming a strong heroine that most high fantasies feature. 

Although nothing special or revolutionary in the genre of high fantasies, The Last Witch is a short, sweet story of a girl finding her soul mate within the walls of her prison. The plot is easily predictable and will not rock a person's socks off. Unfortunately, there are traces of noble idiocy (the main character sacrificing themselves to save or protect whoever they love), and they happen many times throughout this book. Despite this all, The Last Witch is a read that you will not stop once you have started and will make you cheer with its ending.

Purchase The Last Witch here: Amazon (Kindle)/ B&N (Nook)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

YAN Banner Tribute!

Just wanted to show you guys the latest banner I've designed! Here it is:
Images used to create this badge were found on Google Images and were labeled "free." This banner was created by YA Novelties, and it is our property. Please do not use this image for your own purpose without our permission. Thanks!

Soooo, instead of writing a suuuuper long review like I usually do, I decided to show you guys our new banner! I'll be replacing our old green "tea banner" as I like to call it, with our new and improved bamboo version! As you can see, our website theme is bamboo. As loyal panda lovers, we find it is our duty to respect the creature and its food source by stamping them on our site like there's no tomorrow! I think I'll replace the old banner in the sidebar with the new one sometime soon.

Now, as a tribute to the old banner before it gets taken down as well as other replaced models:

Super old one. First one I created, actually. It wasn't so great...

This was after I discovered transparent backgrounds! It's still quite full of colors, busy, and, in general, quite horrible.

I think this one's a keeper. Try not to YAWN at our YAN. Ha ha. I know, it's quite boring, but it does its job.

Hey, our old one! Good bye, old banner. Goodness, my centering is waaay off and the colors don't work together at all....

Hopefully any new banners will be even greater and more attractive! Bear with me folks as I teach myself Photoshop. Well, I hope this applies to our website design as well as our banners as stuff. Actually, I was thinking of redesigning our name banners to something simpler, and more uniform. I feel like the current ones are really busy.

If you're interested in seeing the name banners:

BTW- I ordered them by date of creation, oldest to newest.

They will forever reside in my heart, for they took me about 3-4 months to complete. ( I kept on getting distracted with other things.) My favorite has to be Angie's. I'm jealous of her panda. I love my tiger, though. Hers [Angie's] was the original design I based everyone else's off of. The new design I was thinking of creating was to have the name of the person resting on top of a piece of bamboo, like it was carved into it. It's going to be interesting!

See you guys next time & hopefully by then I'll have finished some reviews,


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 2/20


"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.

Jenny Can't Wait For:

My Name is Rapunzel by K.C. Hilton
Release Date: 2013 (if anyone knows an exact date, please let me know below!)

My tale has been told again and again, and I’ve heard each one. Except for my hair, I barely recognize the pitiful renditions. Muddled versions, crafted to entertain laughing children…but the children wouldn’t have laughed if they’d known the real story. It wasn't their fault. They didn't know the truth. Nobody did.

My name is Rapunzel and I will tell you my story. I will tell you the truth.

Ahhh this sounds like such a good book! It BETTER not let me down! I have such high hopes for this book.

Sadly this book is not available for pre-order, but you can add it to your Goodreads! I need to stop picking WoW books on books that can't be pre-ordered yet...

~M is Eagerly Anticipating:

Mila 2.0 (Mila 2.0 #1) by Debra Driza
Publication Date: March 12th 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence. Mila 2.0 (Mila 2.0 #1) by Debra Driza

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

Pre-order MILA 2.0 at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository

Rosie Obsessively Awaits:

Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White
Expected Publication: February 19, 2013 by HarperTeen

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost. --GoodReads

Pre-order Mind Games at: Amazon/ Barnes&Noble/ TBD

What are you Waiting on Wednesday for?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Review: Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George

By Jessica Day George
Published December11th, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Hardcover, 336 pages

When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse.

The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all. --Goodreads

4 Stars


Let me start this out saying that this is the third book in the series, and it would help to read the other two books first, but to enjoy this book you don't have to read them (although it is suggested as it would make things a bit clearer). When I started reading this book, I myself had not realized that this was the third book, but it turns out that I had actually read the first in the series a while back, but didn't remember it until now. Even though I missed reading the second book in the series, I still loved Princess of the Silver Woods, and thought it was a cute and quick read.

I personally am a fan of fairytale retellings, and Princess of the Silver Woods was no exception. Petunia, the youngest of the twelve dancing princesses, has grown up to be quite a spunky and brave person. She even dares to point a pistol at the bandits who try to rob her. Of course she isn't scared, or at least hides it well, showing a brave exterior when she might be quaking underneath. With that however, Petunia doesn't always think things through. I just wanted to smack my head when she fell for the trap (it was  so very obvious). Sigh. Oh well. Also, the love between her and Oliver was sort of annoying. It was kinda like insta love, much as I don't want to admit it. They barely see each other yet fall in love so quickly. Ok, Petunia may be a great person whom you could fall easily in love with, but still.

From the beginning, Oliver was quite taken with Petunia. I guess having a pistol pointed in his face by her may have made quite the first impression. Indeed, he is also a dashing hero in disguise. His earldom was given away by King Gregor after the war, so he was left as an earl without any land. Not only that, but he still had to provide for his people, resorting to robbing coaches for money. Of course, predictably, he will be redeemed by Petunia.  

Also, I got very annoyed at how many times they mentioned the nine princesses of Russaka and their connection with the King Under Stone. It seemed everyone made that revelation on their own and had to keep repeating it as if they couldn't get it through their heads. Yes, everyone understands, now can you quickly do something about it? 

Overall, Princess of the Silver Woods was a great little book that provided some lighthearted fun at a fast pace. If you are looking for a book that is a quick read and something you can just sit back and enjoy, I would definitely recommend this book. However, I would also suggest reading the other two books in the series (although it isn't necessary).

 Purchase this book at: Amazon / Barnes and NobleThe Book Depository

Excerpt and Giveaway: Ten Days of Perfect by Andrea Randall

No comments:
Ten Days of Perfect (November Blue #1)
By Andrea Randall
Published: September 21, 2012
eBook, 254 pages

This is the first book in the November Blue series.

Scars from her first love and the reckless lifestyle of her parents force Ember Harris to chart a new course. She favors practicality over spontaneity and rules over a broken heart.

An encounter with a musician at a local pub forces Ember into making a decision to let go or hold on for dear life as passions are unlocked and deceptions revealed. --Goodreads


“Adrian Turner, please.” I held my voice steady on the phone. Monica watched me. She looked like she was boiling with excitement.

“May I tell him who’s calling?” the unsuspecting secretary responded.

“Of course, November Harris from The Hope Foundation.”

“Seriously?” Monica whispered. “As opposed to the November Harris from the ‘Girls You Sexed Up foundation’?” I threw my pen at her.

"Just one moment, Ms. Harris.” I was clicked to hold.

I mouthed to Monica that I was on hold but in an instant, I wasn’t.

“Adrian Turner here.” His voice hadn’t changed at all. It purred through the phone and headed straight for the recesses of my brain. No! You don’t live there anymore, Turner

“Adrian, hi!”

“November? How are you?” He did his best to sound surprised.

“Oh, listen to you, acting all surprised that it’s me when your secretary took my name,” I teased while Monica shot me a ‘thumbs up’.

“Witty as ever, I see.” Adrian’s voice retained its purr.

“Listen, Adrian-” I was ready to attack, but he cut me off.


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Monday, February 18, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Blood, She Read by Sara Hubbard

1 comment:
Blood, She Read
by Sara Hubbard
Published: November 2, 2012
Publisher: Etopia Press 
eBook, 351 pages

Keeping secrets from a psychic can be murder.

Petra Maras lives a charmed life, but only in the magical sense. Her absentee father is a criminal, her mother is emotionally dead, and everyone at her new school knows she comes from a family of witches. All she wants is to be normal, but that’s impossible, given her family. And given that she’s psychic.

When the police request help with a murder investigation, Petra reluctantly agrees. Which isn’t such a good idea since the prime suspect wants to date her, and she really wants to say yes. Her gut says he’s innocent, but since she can’t get a read on him she can’t know for sure. And when she discovers he’s been keeping secrets, she wonders if maybe she’s been following her heart instead of her head… --GoodReads

4.5 Stars

Blood, She Read was a fantastic paranormal full of humor, bittersweet nibblets, and a romance that stands out among all of the other YA paranormal's love stories. Although it was a read that took me a while to finish, the reading experience I had while reading this book was the best so far this year. I know only been a month and a half of this year will have passed by the time this review is posted, but out of the dozen of books I've read so far, this is the one that stands out the most. 

When Petra helps the police with an investigation by using her powers to give clues toward the murderer of a girl in town, she knows that she's going to have to face consequences. Sadly, this turns out to be a threat from the suspect and his family, not to mention even more ostracization from the people in her town. With a mystery she has reluctantly begun to piece together and deciding between her new friend and the boy she's attracted to (Finnigan), Petra has to face a conflict that trumps the hazards that are plaguing her life.

As we are introduced to Petra and her realm, everything is revealed slowly, methodically, and unconventionally. Instead of becoming a flaw, this unconventional pattern of slowly revealing the layers of the characters is captivating and mesmerizing. The characters that we're introduced to first appear to be skewed on the good or bad meter, but as time goes on, the complexities of each character are exposed, causing them to be seen a completely new light . For example, we meet characters that seem deranged like Gina, Petra's sociopathic mother, and Tommy, the anger-prone brother of Petra's crush, that are both hateful toward Petra, but are exposed as normal people who received the bad end of the stick. The incidents behind their anger and malice may seem like excuses; however, they're not when the revelations are revealed without any exaggerated confrontation. Somehow through the course of the book, many characters are able to hide secrets that slip out so easily without any awkward disruptions to the story. There wasn't a troublesome scene where the antagonist just spill the humongous pile of secrets that the author couldn't manage to explain quickly enough.

Well part of the reason why there wasn't an idiotic revelation scene was because there wasn't much to the actual climatic mystery itself; the whole mystery of the murder was a bit obvious. The problem lied with the fact that there were only so many suspects that were offered up as an option. There will be no spoiling who was the murderer because thankfully, the focus of the story seemed to be the fiery relationship between Petra and Finnigan. This messy relationship is one that is surprisingly very convincing because there isn't any fluff between the two. Although there are lies that cause conflict, the key factor, empathy for each, exists between the two of them, which is enough. Unlike most paranormals that have a somewhat refined, a little too polished romantic connection between the main couple, Petra and Finnigan give everything to each other in a realistic manner. Rather than trying mold into the other's model of a perfect boyfriend or girlfriend, the two cuties learn to accept each other for what they are. This is what I hope is in the waiting for future romances.

With basically everything a book can have going for it, it's really surprising that Blood, She Read doesn't receive more attention. This is what a paranormal should be! No noble idiocy or any of that bull crap that forces the reader to need to strangle someone, nothing of that sort. Just pure heartfelt moments with the bits and pieces of twisting plot that slowly entrap the reader, never letting them go. Although hastily concluded with a somewhat generic ending, Blood, She Read is a read that will give you the good kind of tingles while you read it (I don't mean those kind of tingles).

Purchase Blood, She Read here: Amazon (Kindle)/ B&N (Nook)

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review: Dented Cans by Heather Walsh

1 comment:
By Heather Walsh
Published November 2nd 2012
Kindle Edition, 150 Pages

A family secret is revealed during an ill-fated—yet hilarious—trip to Disney World.

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Sampson knows her family is not what you would call normal. Her father compulsively buys dented cans and has a particular fondness for cans without labels, which are extremely discounted because their contents are a mystery. Her mother takes countless pictures of her family and then glues them down into the pages of her scrapbooks, but does not allow anyone to look at them. Ryan, Hannah’s mischievous fourteen-year-old brother, is headed straight for the remedial track at the local community college, if he’s lucky. Ben, her eight-year-old brother, is a walking sound effects machine, who prefers to communicate with noises rather than words. While Hannah is focused on escaping her working-class Connecticut suburb, she also finds herself being tugged back home as she worries about her brother Ben.

Hannah’s parents inflict one last family vacation on the Sampson children, a trip that goes comically wrong almost from the get-go. Hannah is forced to confront her family’s past in Disney World, of all places, when an emotional argument prompts her parents to disclose a secret they have been keeping from the children for sixteen years. Ultimately, she must decide whether to leave her hometown and not look back, or to focus on helping her family.--Goodreads

4 Stars

Such an odd title, but I enjoyed it. But for most of the novel, Hannah, the main character, seems to be rambling. The events in the book keep jumping around it's hard to tell what Hannah wants us to know. Maybe she wants us to know everything or maybe she just wanted to make her case that her parents deserve the weirdest-parents-of-the-century award.

Her parent are definitely odd balls, but for most of the novel they didn't seem like parents to me. First off the way they treated their children. It was like the mom and the dad never stood up for their kids. Second, why were they so against Hannah getting a car? She was going to pay for it herself. It all worked out in the end, but still. And when Hannah asked if she could buy a car, the mom was all like "I have a headache" seriously? A headache just from one question? Third, I thought they were suppose to be poor, so why did they splurge on a trip to Disney? I get that their youngest child, Ben, is special needs, but they don't need another trip to Disney. Shouldn't they be saving for their children's college funds or their retirement fund or something? Parents in YA novels just piss me off... In the end, the parents kind of redeemed themselves... Kinda.

Rant about YA novel parents aside, I really liked how Dented Cans talked about typical problems a teen might experience such as meaningless sibling quarrels, wanting to get out of your small town, and trying to get your parents to understand you.

The ending was unexpected... I really liked how this novel was about family. It's really refreshing compared to the dozen upon dozens of YA contemporary novels about people coming from broken homes trying to find love in this harsh, harsh world. There's nothing wrong with those novels, I love those novels, but it's nice to have variety in your reading.

Note: This was definitely the most out there book I read in terms of characters. Dented cans? Who would have thought?

Purchase this novel at: Amazon (kindle or paperback)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review: Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

1 comment:

Spark (Elemental #2) 
by Brigid Kemmerer
Published August 28th 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Paperback, 345 pages

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.

Sometimes he can even control it.

And sometimes he can't.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he's not doing it. And no one seems to believe him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. 

Because Layne has a few secrets of her own...--Goodreads

5 Stars!
Review: (Warning: Will have comparisons to first novel!)

Click HERE to check out my review of Chris' story from Storm.

In comparison to Storm, Spark did not have a confusing beginning. Since I read the first Elemental novel, I was familiar with the Elemental world, so if you are thinking of reading Spark, read Storm first!

The build up in Storm was a bit slow and boring, but the buildup in Spark was much more interesting. Maybe it's because Gabriel is a much more interesting person than Chris? (Hey just my opinion, we can agree to disagree :) Gabriel is a complete A-hole, but it's because he believes he killed his parents when he lost control of his fire element. The only person that knows Gabriel's secret is his brother Nick, who's novella I can't wait to read! The only friend Gabriel has is his (twin) brother, Nick. I found it really sad that Gabriel alienates people, but hey that's what's making this novel. I did not understand why Nick and Gabriel stopped talking in the first place. The conflict that broke them up was so small in comparison to other things that could've happened. If they are best friends and brothers, I felt that they should've/could've gotten past that conflict much quicker and easier than they did.

Layne's story was sadder than I expected. At first I didn't like her, but I didn't hate her either. I was annoyed with her though. I seem to be annoyed with characters that just want to blend in and because they have such low self-esteem, they are taken advantage of all the time. I just wanted to scream at Layne, sometimes. I mean come on! Stand up for yourself! I really did liked the kindness Layne showed her deaf brother, Simon. Gabriel was also nice to Simon! It was so sweet that Gabriel stood up to Simon's bullies for him! (Note: Guys can be really mean!)

The plot in this novel was wonderful! For some reason, I really like the idea of having an elemental power. (like in Avatar: The Last Airbender lol:)

Spirit (Hunter's novel comes out in May!) Can't wait for May! If you don't know who Hunter is, read the novels!!!

Purchase this novel at: Amazon / B&N / TBD

Friday, February 15, 2013

Talisman of El by Alecia Stone Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway


Talisman of El (Talisman of El #1)
By Alecia Stone 
Released: May 20, 2012
Publisher: Centrinian Publishing Ltd
Hardcover, 364 pages 


One Planet.

Two Worlds.

Population: Human ... 7 billion.

Others ... unknown.

When 14-year-old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again. This time he witnesses a brutal murder. He's afraid to tell any one. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died.

Charlie doesn't know why this is happening. He would give any thing to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home. He belongs with the others. --Goodreads

3 Stars

Talisman of El is one of those middle grade fantasies that has basically everything to make an action-packed thriller for a male targeted audience. The plot is extremely well thought out, there are extremely brief moments of romance for the guys who can just never get the girl, and characters that are enjoyable to read about. Unfortunately though, the book relies on dry plot devices and humor to pave the way into the action for a dreadfully turtle-paced read. Let's just say that there are more positive attributes for this book than negative, but the negative are so painfully obvious.

We begin with Charlie, a kid whose been bouncing from foster home to foster home for most of his life. Then he finally gets the perfect foster parent that all children dream of, right? Sadly, it is not to be when his foster father turns out to be a criminal and is basically destroying his already crummy life that is plagued with nightmares. Life's swell for our poor guy Charlie. The storyline of this book is stuck in this plot hole for a while, taking its own sweet time to finally move along with the action. Even though there is an extremely long waiting period for the answer to all of the questions that are asked, nothing happens. Charlie and his buds meet and greet a whole ton of characters that take forever to lead us to the realization of the two worlds. Notice: I am not spoiling anything. Read the blurb if you think I've done something wrong!

While one reads, it may come to his or her attention that there are a heap of characters in this book. That was one of the problems I had: all of the characters felt the same, so I had a hard time distinguishing one from another. It was as if they were all androids programmed with the same personality that just forced the reader onto a dreary slope up to a climatic realization that will fall flat because the characters have already drived the reader to the point of insanity. I felt absolutely nothing for any of them. Not Charlie, not one of his friends, nor the old guy whose actually young (long story). 

Like many books, this book has excelled with a fascinating and intriguing world development. The problem lies with the execution of the premise with shoddy character development, anticlimatic plot and somewhat weak writing. Surely the writing will improve over the course of the series, but there's a need for improvement soon. Even with so many faults, I found Talisman of El a cute read that stands out among the typical middle grade reads about kids going through puberty and an adventure of a lifetime because of their crummy destiny. 

Purchase Talisman of El here: Amazon/ B&NBook Depository
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins


Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) 
By Wendy Higgins
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Paperback, 453 Pages

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns? --GoodReads
4 stars

Hrm. This one is gonna be tough to review. It's great, but it's also not great. Bnaiovmaklfjopekmbko!!!! I am so not in a writing mood today. This is quite difficult for me to put into words, but here goes nothing.

Let's start with the cover and summary.

Cover: so cheesy, I can taste it. Seriously. Girls in long flowy dresses have become so overrated these past few years. Come on, especially with a creepy guy in the background!

Summary: equal cheesiness level. It tells us close to nothing and is so repelling. It's hilarious to watch my friends read it and ask me why I even bothered to read it. However, it's still really worth reading.

In this story, Satan is in charge of a committee of 7 Dukes, each representing one of the 7 sins. These dukes are "fallen angels" = demons. As Dukes, it is their job to influence humans to make bad decisions. Although they cannot directly make a person choose something, the Dukes can whisper into their ears. These Dukes can produce offspring by possessing human females, who usually die after/during labor from the strain of giving birth to a nonhuman soul. These half demon children are called Nephilim; it is their duty to continue their father's legacies by continuing the spread of the Duke's influence. If they don't follow their orders, they are killed (and unfortunately, they always end up in hell). Anna, the main female POV is born from a guardian angel mother and demonic father. Anna's father is the Duke of Substances (drug dealer) while Kaidan's father is Duke of Lust/Pleasure. Anna, as the female heroine, naturally falls in love with the kid that oozes pheromones and danger.

Not many others are too enthusiastic about the the two main characters - Kai[den], and Anna. It's really funny how stereotypical these two are. Anna is a goodie-two shoes girl who can't possibly do anything wrong in her life like, ever. She's a devout daughter of God, she gets good grades, she never lies and she always follows the rules. She's SO not the person you'd expect to fall in love with bad-boy.

An Ode to the British Guy Named Kaiden Who Also Happens To Be the Main Love Interest

Kai is a guy
Oh Me OH MY.
He's really quite English
Oh my gawd, he's delish
He's on the top rung!
With his proper tongue
He woos the gals
And loses his pals
He's outgoing - not shy!
He'd be a really nice guy-
But - (with that butt...)
He's just a man-slut

That's right. A half-demon boy that sleeps with other women on a daily basis to relieve his "needs." Yup, you heard me right. His needs. As a man. Er- Demon...thing. Ya know.

I really don't understand what's so attractive about a guy who JUST HAS THIS BURNING PASSION AND NEED to sleep with other women every night. Oh, Anna, where did yo' common sense go?

Tone: Was very dramatic. Uber dramatic. Like, kind of hilariously dramatic. But because this story is so captivating, it's really unnoticeable until you take a step back and really look at it.

I do have a confession to make. I love it when the main characters have super powers. I loved the fact that all Nephilim, induding Anna and Kaidan, had super senses and special abilities, which vary depending on their father's "sin." A big check in my book when it comes to the fact that Anna and Kaidan never get sick and are able to withstand high levels of alcohol, not to mention other harmful physical attacks. Nothing is worse than a super heroine defeated by a glass of alcohol.

Then again, Anna and Kaidan DO make some stupid questionable decisions here and there....but you'll have to read the book to find out. *wink wink*

Style: I really like Wendy Higgins' writing style, and it's so easy to get lost in the story [ good "lost" ] - no matter how unrealistic or fake the characters are. It's so natural and so easy to relate to. Sweet Evil is narrated, first person, by Anna. I love reading first person POVs because I like reading how the character feels and thinks at a certain moment in the story. It allows me to connect with the character on a deeper level than with an omniscient narrator. (Which is why Harry Potter should have been written in first POV!!!!) I kept flipping and flipping the pages, until, whoa! Am I finished already?! If only physical exercise time went that fast, amirite?

I did not, however, enjoy this book's conclusion. It was a job left unfinished. Obviously, not as much time was taken in the end of the story compared to the wonderful beginning of the story. It's really quite a shame, because Higgins was really going somewhere. She probably ended it so quickly in order to scrape up as many readers as she could to read the rest of the trilogy. There are more elegant ways you can end the first book of your trilogy! Find a conclusion that slyly leads readers in for more.

I'm really wondering how she will write the second book because I don't see where this book is leading. It got especially confusing in the last 100 pages or so when Higgins introduced 4 other characters. Clearly made to separate the two love interests, these poor characters just muddle the pile of who'sitsandwhatitsgalore even further. Love triangles that are comprised completely of Nephilim (the worst kind of relationships according to Dukes) are S-C-R-E-W-E-D with a capital SCREWED. There's no real plot line other than the fact that Anna has to survive being half angel and *gasp* half demon. Anna basically has to look like a bad girl in order to not get in trouble with the other demons. I found it equally ironic that Demons praise the mischievous, but punish the angelic.

Goodness I'm tired. Okay, time to wrap this up. Overall: it's okay. I would recommend it because I like the idea of angels and demons and Nephilim in the world that Higgins creates and I love it when female POVs have superpowers. Read it if you like fluffy LONG pleasure reads, but don't read it if you're looking for something really *cough* intellectual....or quick. The second and third books don't come out for quite a while.  So don't read it if you are impatient. Hrm. Well, that's a wrap.

Happy reading everyone!

Purchase Sweet Evil here: Amazon/ B&N/ TBD
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