Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jen's review of "The Selection" by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Keira Cass
Publication date: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Number of pages: 327
Format: Kindle
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
Description:  For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
My Review:
There was so much hype surrounding this book. Both positive and negative, but I, for one, like to test things out for myself and form my own opinion. And that is just what I did.

I think we can all agree, the cover is absolutely gorgeous. It makes you feel as if you are at some dance or ball. It even looks like someone might wear to a fancy event in the 1800's.
I have to applaud the publishers and artist designer for making this book look quite pretty. I certainly approve.

I quite enjoyed this book. It gave an interesting take on the dystopian world. Sure, there was similarities to other books, but when you are writing in a genre where a lot of books have been done over over, it's natural that things tend to get similar at some point. But it still managed to stand out on its own.

America was an interesting character. She believed in love, tough and stubborn. If there was something she didn't want to do, she wouldn't do it. But of course, if she thought by doing something it might help or benefit her family, who she loves dearly, then she would do anything to make sure they have the best life possible.
You see, America is a number 5, which means artists, singers, performers. And by that stands for food not always being there on the table. You have to work for it and work for their kind of talents just doesn't come easily.
When she enters The Selection, she never imagined she would get chosen. But when she does, she'll soon have to get real because not only is this a competition where some girls would do anything to win, but it's also an experience she could never have envisioned for herself.

Then, we have her two love interests. Yes, girls and boys, there is a dreaded triangle. I know, I know. It seems they are everywhere these days. But I suppose, it's what makes things interesting, although in most cases you can tell which way things will go. But that's not always the case, like in this example.
We have Aspen, who is from America's home town, but in a lower caste then her. So, in some cases it might seem like their love is forbidden, because he'll never feel good enough for her.
But then we have Maxon. Who is royalty and has the country's needs at his hands. That's a tough position to be in.. for someone so young.
When America is forced to leave  Aspen and meets Maxon, things aren't picture perfect. Hell, they don't even get along at first. Although, with everything, that take a little time.
And by the end, America will see that he is an option for her affections, and she won't be sure what she should do, or where her heart lies.

This book is more about the romance then it is about any rebellion, although I am sure that will come up before the end of the series. I don't think it will be as bad or horrible as other Dystopian novels, such as, The Hunger Games and Divergent, but I think it will be there nonetheless.

I would like to point out that while I do like Aspen, and things are about to get interesting, not to mention complicated, I am  FULLY TEAM MAXON!
I look forward to see how things progress in the next book of this series. At this point I can't see who she will choose and end up with. It could be either of them, although I do secretly hope for Maxon.

                                                           Rating: 4/5

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jen's review of "Whisper" by Alyson Noel

Whisper (Riley Bloom #4) by Alyson Noel
Publication date: May 2012
Publisher: Macmillan
Number of pages: 194
Format: Paperback
Description: This time, Riley might really have bitten off more than she’s ready for. After practically begging the Council for a more challenging Soul Catch, she is assigned an actual Roman gladiator—Theocoles, the Pillar of Doom. How is Riley, a skinny twelve-year-old, supposed to get through to him? Then she meets the beautiful Messalina, who convinces her that her only chance is to become part of this world. To accomplish this, Messalina helps Riley through a dramatic, mystical makeover, transforming her into the beautiful and mature teen she’s always wanted to be. Finally, Riley can experience her first boyfriend and her first kiss. With a dream this enchanting, will she ever want to leave?

First off, I would like to thank Pan Macmillan for giving me the chance to review this book in exchange for a honest review.
In what I believe is the final book of the series, Riley Bloom has always wanted to have a challenging Soul Catch, she soon gets that very chance.
After been given her assignment and being told that she has to get the attention of and bring over the soul of a man -- gladiator who has been stuck in the same time for possibly thousands of years, in the same place.

After catching the attention of another girl in the arena, Messalina, who helps Riley transforms from a 12-year old girl into someone older who would fit in with their time.
But in doing so, this young girl gives something to Riley that she never thought she would get. A magical makeover which makes her even more beautiful and older than she really is. Stuck at 12? I don't think so.

While Riley tries to convince her assignment, Theocoles to cross over. That he isn't in the time that he thinks he is, but nothing seems to work. It's as if he can't hear her and only sees and hears what he wants to hear and see.
After Riley meets a new boy and gets her very first kiss, she'll start to think that maybe she doesn't have to go back. What is back there that isn't here? She has friends and a boy who actually likes her. She isn't that little 12 yr old girl anymore. She fits in here.
But she then soon discovers that not everything is as it seems, and maybe she is being played as a fool.

There are betrayals, new discoveries and interesting developments in this installment to the life of Riley Bloom.
It's probably the best book in this series. Riley will get everything she wants and more by the time you reach the final page of this book.

I admit, I kinda always wanted Riley to end up with Bodie eventually, as I have always liked their friendship and thought there was more do it that he wasn't saying.
But I won't say what does happen, but I think there was a definite breakthrough in terms of their relationship.

                                                            Rating: 4/5

Jen's review of "Insurgent" by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Publication date: May 1st, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Number of pages: 525
Format: Hardcover
Description: One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
It all started with the initiation.... One choice. Tris's choice. That's what it all comes down to. In the thrilling second book in Veronica Roth's 'Divergent' Trilogy comes a action packed sequel to the book we all fell in love with.
The last time we left Tris, she had just lost both of her parents and fought a war that she did not expect to happen.
The story picks up pretty much where it left off in Divergent. Tris, Caleb, Four, Peter and Marcus have left and are slowly making their way toward safety. But things don't go according to plan, as expected.

The group have to rely on each other even though, it might be the last thing they want to do. Not all of them get along and that causes for some quite tension-filled silences.

This book was insane. It was full of action, shocks and surprises along the way. Tris is as strong as ever, but she is going through so much just to try keep things together. After all, at the end of the day, she is still a 16 yr old teenage girl and the things she has gone through make her stronger, but they also affect her deeply.

Her relationship with Four, or whom we probably should refer to him as Tobias, gets stronger after each passing day, but things arent perfect. They go through some heartbreaking stuff. I guess the question is, whether they are strong enough to withhold it and come out better on the other side.

Unexpected betrayals, newcomers and surprising revelations make this book so much better than the first book. I could not put this down.
In this story, you get to understand more about the Divergents, more about each of the Factions. It was interesting to see because we didn't really know much about them before now.

Of course we then have the all dreaded cliffhanger... and then you think.. "You leave us with THAT?" Yes... and the suspense builds.
I look forward to see how the final book brings everything together and closes this amazing series off.  It's gonna be one hell of a year until the final book gets released.

                                                           Rating: 5/5

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cover Reveal:: HOUSE RULES

The cover for the 7th Chicagoland Vampires book has been revealed, and isn't it just gorgeous?

This is the blurb::

In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.

At the tender age of 27, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal —tested like never before.

It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined.

Publication date:: February 2013

Jen's review of "City of Lost Souls" by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare
Published date: May 8th, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Number of pages: 540
Format: Paperback
Description: The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?
In what would be one of the most anticipated and talked about upcoming books for 2012, the hype for this installment certainly delivered in spades. Given the end of City of Fallen Angels and that all so dreaded cliffhanger which Cassie left us on, it's easily understandable how you'd want to know what was going to happen next and how would Jace separate himself from Sebastian whose lifeforce has joined with his. Not an easy prediciment if you ask me.

There had been comments about City of Fallen Angels and how it wasn't up to par to what the series usually was in the first 3 books, and I have to agree. Some parts of the book weren't that interesting. But it wasn't like it was the worst book either. Sometimes not every book has to be perfect. It had its flaws and that's normal.
But come this installment and I felt things were back on track. I was glued to every single page like there was no tomorrow. There was exciting and thrilling events that I had to know what was going on, and what would happen next.

What I found was interesting was we got multiple POV's, but it was refreshing and nice to see. We got to see more of the relationship between Alec and Magnus. Got to understand how it wasn't all roses and flowers. They do have problems just like any other couple, and there was tears shed, that is for certain.
We also go to see the progressing relationships between Kyle/Maia, and Simon/Isabelle. And I think I need to make it clear right here. I don't know what part it happened, but somewhere during the course of this book Simon & Isabelle became my OTP for this series.
Don't get me wrong. I still love Jace and Clary, and even Alec and Magnus to death, but my God... Simon and Isabelle -- I don't know what it was about those two in this book, but there is no doubt that whatever it was pulled me in line and sinker.

There was quite a bit of character development and relationship building probably more so than in any other book, which was great to see.
People made mistakes. There was tears, heartbreak and reunions. I'd say it was almost perfect.

Sebastian... Ah, what can I say about him? I almost started to like him in the early stages of the book, but then his real motives were revealed and he did... things, and I was back to being disgusted with him for the remainder of it.
I just had hoped there was a small amount of good in him even just for the fact he was still the son of Jocelyn. But no, I was fooled. I had hoped that he could changed.

This was a fantastic way to bring the series back. I even had developed some theories based on appearances by Brother Zachariah. About who he is... you tell me your theories and I'll tell you mind. Maybe we might match up and have the same thoughts on this topic.
And I got to admit, I couldn't help but almost die during a particular scene that happened that involved a TID/Will & Tessa thing in this book where it involved two core TMI characters. You will understand what I mean -- I hope?

Cassandra Clare did an amazing job working on this novel. I am constantly amazed at the amount of research and world building she puts into this series, and also TID. It's the kind of thing that keeps you addicted book after book. Page after all. It's the kind of work I aspire to.
I applaud you, Cassie.

To end this review off, I am not happy that we have to now wait TWO YEARS for the final installment. Yes, we might get Clockwork Princess early next year, but then it's ANOTHER year for the final The Mortal Instruments installment. But I suppose, being the final books of each series that they take extra time and effort to making sure everything gets tied up in the end and to make sure it's the best work you could do for your characters and story.

                                                           Rating: 5/5

Monday, May 21, 2012

Jen's review of "Dreamfever" by Karen Marie Moning

Dreamfever (Fever #4) by Karen Marie Moning
Publication date: August 18th, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Number of pages: 388
Format: Hardcover
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
Description: MacKayla Lane lies naked on the cold stone floor of a church, at the mercy of the erotic Fae master she once swore to kill. Far from home, unable to control her sexual hungers, MacKayla is now fully under the Lord Master’s spell.…In New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning’s stunning new novel, the walls between human and Fae worlds have come crashing down. And as Mac fights for survival on Dublin’s battle-scarred streets, she will embark on the darkest—and most erotically charged—adventure of her life.

He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought—and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.

As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V’lane vie for her body and soul, as cryptic entries from her sister’s diary mysteriously appear and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac’s greatest enemy delivers a final challenge.…

It’s an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth—about herself and her sister, about Jericho Barrons…and about the world she thought she knew.
Let me first say, when I first read this book I had just gotten into the series and read the first 3 books in an instant. But then, you know what? I had to wait over a year until this book and let me tell you --- I wasn't pleased at all. I was so very obsessed by that point that the thought of waiting so long displeased me to say the least.

This is the fourth installment to this amazing series by Karen Marie Moning. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, especially after that one hell of a cliffhanger that we were left off in Faefever, and boy was it insane.
The first page takes us back to the scene of the crime in Mac's POV, and the second chapter takes place with Dani -- since Mac is unable to respond at this present time.

When we come back to Mac, she isn't herself. We find out the damage that was done for her and just who her saviors were. There is one person in particular that will do anything to bring her back to herself, no matter what he or she does. It's something fans might swoon at, or some might just think and understand it's something that has to be done in order for Mac to get back to her super self, and the world the way he is... she is needed.

Mac goes through quite the journey during this book. If anything.. it just makes her stronger on the other side, and even she gains some interesting abilities that she might not have had before. The question is... where did they come from, and who or what is Mac turning into?

There are still millions of questions regarding Barrons, but we do find out some little bits of information where he is concerned, and it's one Mac didn't even see coming.

Mac soon finds herself involved with all sorts of people, including Barrons, Vlane, Rowena and the Sidhe-seers, Christian and even has an encounter or two of the mysterious Ryodan, who sounds mighty like Barrons does in the way he talks. Is there a connection?

Mac and Barron's relationship furthers along. Things change. Things progress, and when you get to the end of the book.. you feel like there is some sort of breakthrough between these two. Whether that's good or bad remains to be seen.
She still seems pretty in denial about how she feels about him.. We as readers could see it a mile off, but Mac on the other hand.. and even Barrons tend to be a little slower to understanding this.

There is of course a major cliffhanger and makes you crazy just to think this is how she chooses to end the book. 

This book is one thrilling adventure to the next. Non stop action and exciting events that roll around. The world you find yourself in just gets more dangerous and exciting by the moment. And you'll start to wonder whether it can go back to normal.

The end also sets up for the finale, being the last book in the series.. It's been one hell of a ride.

Rating: 5/5

Sunday, May 20, 2012

In My Mailbox #5

In My Mailbox is a weekly blog post hosted by Kirsti over at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

Not much these week only these two:
  Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic 

These are titles which I purchased this past weekend.

Black Dawn (Morganville Vampires #12) by Rachel Caine
Until I Die by Amy Plum

Friday, May 18, 2012

Follow Friday #6

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read, which is basically a way to follow blogs and make new friends.
It's pretty easy. Head over to the hosts page, check out some blogs and follow. Make sure you let them know you are following otherwise they won't know.

For this week's question:Summer Break is upon us! What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading and relax?

Hm.. summer? *looks outside* looks like Autumn to me, LOL Yeah.. the fact I am on the opposite side of the world might have something to do with it.
But in this case..I think somewhere quiet and peaceful. Maybe somewhere with a beach? My family and I used to go camping down by the border of this state and the next which was isolated and nice and peaceful. I think that would be a nice spot to get some relaxing and catching up on some reading, although I haven't been there since I was young.
Other than that...maybe down to Queensland where its nice and warm most of the time, and I think if you are anywhere on vacation you should be able to relax no matter what you are in the world.

Jen's review of "White Witch" by Trish Milburn

White Witch (The Coven #1) by Trish Milburn
Publication date: March 1st, 2012
Publisher: Bell Bridge Boks
Number of pages: 188
Format: Kindle
Description: Witchcraft Is Her Family’s Business.No One Quits The Family And Lives To Tell About It. “Jax” Pherson has power, enough power to know her future will end in service to the dark coven her father controls. Unless she can stay hidden in a small community in the mountains of North Carolina. She must find a way to live without magic and deny the darkness she feels welling up inside her—the same dark power that fuels the covens around the world. All she wants is a normal life. A boyfriend. Friends. Some place to belong, but all too soon Jax’s barely begun new life hangs in the balance when she discovers that the boy she’s attracted to is sworn to kill her kind. He’s a hunter with good reason to kill everything that goes bump in the night. Even the most fleeting use of her power is tantamount to signing her death warrant and will bring both hunter and coven down on her. But can she walk away when her friends are threatened by an old evil? Something created by the magic of witches? Jax’s only hope of survival is to convince the boy she loves to forget everything he’s ever been taught and help her find a way to fight the covens. To believe there is some good in her.
Thanks to Bell Bridge Books and Netgalley for allowing me to review this title in exchange my honest review and take on this book. It has been a pleasure. 

After escaping from her family controlled by her dark coven father, Jax runs toward a small town in North Carolina where she hopes will be far enough for her to start a new life without magic. All she wishes is to be normal and not be in the life that she was.
Things are easy said then done. Its not too soon that she meets a boy who she discovers is everything she has been taught to stay away from. A human. A hunter. It's the worst possible boy to fall for.
Her head knows that, but tell that to her heart.

Jax soon sees that she can't run from who she is. The closer she and the new boy in her life start to get, she suddenly realizes that she doesn't care. These two have this insane attraction that not even the forces would be able to keep them apart.

Everything is not all daisies and roses, because a newcomer arrives in town just as things are getting to normal. A blast from her not-to-distant past and the two join forces and discover certain things that make them see everything they had been told their entire life has been a lie.
They start to wonder whether they really know the truth about who they are, and their abilities. But one thing is for sure: they are about to find out even if it's the last thing they ever do in that town.

This was an enjoyable, if not short read. It was a nice story, even though I didn't feel a lot actually happened and when it did it wasn't until half way until the end.
I feel the story could have been executed better, but it was nice nonetheless. I enjoyed Jax as a character, but I do wish we could have seen when she escaped her father and the events that led up to it. I think it might have had more of an impact.

There was a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, and I guess it will spring into the second book to this series to see where Jax goes and what happens next.
I did like the interesting take Trish had on the Witch genre and her world that she created about Jax and her family and magic was not one I had read about before, so I would have to applaud her for that.
I definitely will check out the next book when it comes out to see if the story builds up with more excitement.

                                                          Rating: 3/5

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jen's review of "Faefever" by Karen Marie Moning

Faefever (Fever #3) by Karen Marie Moning
Publication date: September 16th, 2008
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Number of pages: 327
Format: Hardcover
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
Description: He calls me his Queen of the Night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him, too. When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

As All Hallows’ Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, as a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, not even Mac can prevent a deadly race of immortals from shattering the walls between worlds—with devastating consequences.…
In the third installment to Karen Marie Moning's Urban Fantasy "Fever" series, comes an exciting and packed full of adventure with twists and turns story. When we left off in the previous book, Mac didn't quite get to meeting Christian when she was stopped by the book which seemed to be going from person to person.

In Faefever, Mac battles more than she can take. From the other Sidhe-seers and Rowena to Barrons to the Lord Master, Mac goes through a specific journey where she will realize that people will take advantage of you if you let them.
New information gets revealed about Barrons, but to a point where it just brings up more questions and not enough answers. Christian provides to be quite an ally to Mac who discovers that he is more useful than she originally thought.

Out of the whole series I would think the cliffhanger at the end of this book is probably the worst there is. It's an event that I could not have seen coming and one that will affect Mac for the rest of her life.
We get to meet some of the other Sidhe-seers and see how they live at the Abbey.  Mac's friendship with fellow Sidhe-seer, Dani deepens while Mac's relationship with Barrons just gets even more complicated than before.
Barrons seems to give her what she wants, but yet.. doesn't give her the answers that she wants. It's one foot in and one foot out kind of situation and it's one that irritates Mac to a point where she doesn't know what she should do.

If you enjoyed the first two books in this series, then this third installment is of no exception.

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 06

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Want to play along?

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author
This week's teaser comes from City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. All I have to say is I love Magnus.

"Saint Magnus's Home for Wayward Shadowhungers," he said in a deep voice. "Welcome." He threw an arm wide. "Spare bedrooms are that way. Wipe your boots on the mat." 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jen's review of "Halflings" by Heather Burch

Halflings by Heather Burch
Publication date: February 1st, 2012
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing
Number of pages: 288
Format: Kindle - Thanks to Netgalley
Description: After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.
First off, I would like to thank Netgalley for allowing me to review this book, as it has been something I have wanted to read for awhile. Next up. This book I quite enjoyed, but I do have a few complaints which I will go into soon enough. Nikki Youngblood is a very strong and kickass heroine who will do as she pleases and doesn't care what is happening. She'll be one of those girls that do head first into danger, not because she isn't scared, but because she is brave and refuses to run away from what scares her.

Then there are her two heroes who have a job to do and that is to guard her. Mace and Raven, who both find themselves falling in love with the young girl. They aren't alone. Nikki finds herself drawn to their whole family, which becomes her family the more time they spend together as a group.

As expected the relationship between Nikki, Mace and Raven soon develops into a sort of love triangle, or at least, the makings of one.
As much as I enjoyed this book, and Mace *swoon*, I do have some complaints.

I kind of felt this book was very similar to other books I have read. I know, a lot of books in this genre can tend to feel similar, while keeping their own unique feel to it. But I guess I was kind of expecting something else.

But I do applaud Burch for the world that she creates and the characters, which I did enjoy, and I look forward toward the 2nd book in this series to see where the plot takes me and to see how the relationships develop between the characters.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

April's review of 'The Hollow' by Jessica Verday

The Hollow (The Hollow #1) by Jessica Verday
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Number of Pages: 544
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Description:  When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. It only makes things worse that everyone now treats Abbey like either a freak show or a charity case. Thank goodness for Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.
Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her -- one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

The story starts off at Kristen's viewing, and Abbey just doesn't want to be there. Still living in denial that her best friend is missing and has been officially pronounced dead, she hasn't given up hope that Kristen is still out there somewhere. I do have to agree with Abbey on her view on having a viewing and funeral when there is no body to be buried. A memorial service yes, but an actual viewing and funeral no. At the funeral is when Abbey first sees Caspian, and then he shows up at Kristen's house afterwards. Right away I could tell something was off about Caspian after their first conversation. And I'm surprised Abbey didn't write him off as a weirdo and stayed far away from him as possible. Especially after he had said that he was there for Abbey and didn't seem to know Kristen at all. If some guy I didn't know showed up at my best friend's funeral and tell me that he was there because of me, I would of ran far away from him as possible. 

At school isn't better. Abbey is sick of everyone "mourning" Kristen when they didn't even know her. I know that Abbey and Kristen were best friends and did everything together, but it seems like neither one of them had any other friends. I was surprised that there weren't anyone else that one of them were friends with, even if it was just a friendship that stayed inside school. She runs into Caspian again, at the bridge where Kristen disappeared, and has a conversation with him. Not only does she start to like him, but he makes her be able to deal with her grief. Abbey also befriends an old man she meets in the cemetery one day and his wife. When Abbey decides to try to figure out why Kristen was at the bridge, she discovers that she had a separate life she knew nothing about, and not anyone was whom that seem to be. 

Even though I've never read the legend, I love how the story is based upon The Sleepy Hollow Legend. The plot sounded amazing, but I was ended up disappointed in the book. The majority of the book I just wanted to finish the book. to me it only got interesting at the end. There were little details that I was surprised that Abbey never questioned. With how much she loves the legend, I'm surprise she didn't make a comment on when Caspian told her his last name was Crane. Or at the end when they ended up in the mechanic shop where his dad works, I'm surprised it never crossed her mind that it could of been the shop he works at. I just wanted to smack her half the time. Especially how desperate and pathetic she became about Caspian. I did enjoy her friendship with Ben, and wished we saw more. I was also disappointed when they found Kristen's body. And the fact that when they reburied her with the body, Abbey refused to go. I know she probably didn't want to go through it again, but that was her best friend, she needed that closure. I also thought there would be more revelation about her disappearance/death than what there was. 

I was also confused on a few details. The fact that the old couple said they knew what Caspian was a shade by the black streak in his hair, but he had that when he was alive. I also got the impression that White Plains, where Caspian said he lives, is close by. I would imagine that the car crash a few years ago would of been well known, especially since both seems like small towns. 

I'll keep reading the series, since I'm curious on how everything will pan out. I would say I give the book a 2.5 rating, but officially I'll make it 3. 

Rating: 3/5

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jen's review of "Spellbound" by Rachel Hawkins

Spellbound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins
Publication date: March 13th, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Number of pages: 327
Format: Hardcover
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
Description: Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
In the final installment to Hex Hall and Demonglass, comes a new and exciting story that takes us through Sophie's life one and final time.
When we left her in Demonglass, Cal had told her to go to the Brannicks, even though she has no idea why. She just wants to find her mom, but why would her mom be with the Brannicks?
We enter this story pretty much where the previous novel left off and Sophie finds herself on the floor of the Brannicks.
She soon discovers that things are worse than they anticipated, and that her whole life as a witch/demon she had been taught the the Brannicks, The Eye were the bad ones, not even realizing the ones telling them this stuff is the real culprit.

The journey that Sophie goes on in this story is one that will change her entire life forever. She finds love again, after so much time thinking it was wrong. There are tragic events that occur that shake the core of who Sophie is, and makes even more discoveries about her family that she couldn't have predicted even if it was the last option in the world.

While there was some moments I didn't like or approve of in regards to her decisions and actions, but I slowly overlooked it eventually.
I wouldn't really go as far as to say that she was torn between Archer and Cal, because it was obvious to me where her heart lies, but I think in some moments she might have confused love with  --  LOVE.
But I loved the way the book ended. It kind of felt like going full circle with the first book. And I couldn't imagine a better ending.

We also see some of the characters from Demonglass, and discover the true plan the sisters plan to do with Hex Hall. Their true intentions is something that takes you back to the first book and everything begins to make sense.

I was happy to see Archer again, as he is my favourite character after Sophie. Things did not look well for him in the previous book and had no idea what was going to happen to him.
I was pleasantly surprised by some of the events that happened, but it was the kind of things that I hoped would happen.

As we trail toward the end of the series, it gives you a sense of satisfaction, but some of the new characters has the potential to hit off a spinoff. It's all up to Rachel Hawkins.
I can't wait to see what she has planned next.

                       Rating: 5/5

Sunday, May 6, 2012

In My Mailbox #4

In My Mailbox is a weekly blog post hosted by Kirsti over at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

First, I would like to say that I will be continuing to do IMM here. While I would never condone the act in what happened.. the fact is I think Kristi has been punished enough, and I don't even know her. But I think everyone deserves a second chance.
This is my opinion, and while I do respect those that choose not to follow with this meme, please respect that I am.

Here what I got this week:

Bought -
Fury by Rebecca Lim
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

For Review -
Whisper by Alyson Noel
Every other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Jen's review of "Goddess Interrupted" by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2) by Aimee Carter
Publication date: March 27th, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Number of pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
Description: Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person whom she would really rather not meet. Henry's first wife, Persephone.
In the sequel to, "Goddess Test", Kate has just spent the past six months travelling the world with her friend, James who kindly decided to travel with her so that she isn't alone. As much fun as she might have had, Kate can't wait until she is back with Henry since they haven't seen each other since she left.

But upon her arrival, things aren't what she expected them to be. Henry is basically ignoring her, and she discovers that there is an enemy awakening that has the potential to destroy them all.
While Kate had sentenced Calliope down to the underworld to spend time with each girl she had killed before Kate, things don't stay that way. She soon finds a way to extract her own revenge. Not just on Kate, but on them all, since I guess she blamed them all for not stopping Kate and the punishment she dished out.

When Henry suddenly disappears, Kate has to try to find a way to find him, which means going down to the underworld and going to the one person she wish she didn't have to see.
Her sister.

This was a great installment to the trilogy. I always wondered what Persephone was like, and to be honest -- in the beginning I didn't like her at all. But then towards the end you could see she wasn't so bad after all.
I was glad that this introduction to her just resolved Henry's feelings for her, since he never got that in the past, so that there was always these lingering feelings for her which always there in his heart and mind.

There was a definite cliffhanger to this book, and one that just makes you hate Calliope even more than you might have before. It's a "OMG.. You can't leave it there," kind of ending, and it just makes you want the next book like NOW. Unfortunately we have to wait, but I am sure it will be worth it and all this heartache will have some kind of resolution.

I felt Kate's heartache when she felt that Henry didn't love her, and only married her because he had to. It didn't help that Henry didn't put her mind at ease very easily, which only just added to her doubts. It was understandable, because what's in a guy's head... well, wouldn't we all like to know. If he never told her then it's hard on Kate to really understand how he felt toward her.

                                                              Rating: 4/5

Saturday, May 5, 2012

April's review of 'Destined' by Aprilynne Pike

Destined (Wings #4) by Aprilynne Pike 
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Number of Pages: 320
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Description:  Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear.

He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face close to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful—and deadly—of all, and Klea plans to use her to help conquer and destroy Avalon. But Klea's reach extends far beyond one wild Winter faerie. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares to face what may be Avalon's final days, in the stunning conclusion to the Wings series

Destined picks up right where Illusions left off, with Yuki trapped in a chair, while everyone else tries to get answers. When I first heard that the whole book takes place within 24 hours I was a little weary, but Pike makes it work. When Klea shows up to rescue Yuki, it's finally revealed what and who she really is. And more surprisingly that Shar has knows her really well. I do have to admit that the nickname Klea calls Shar is pretty funny. Shar fights Klea, while Tamani escapes with Laurel. With Klea admitting she knows where the gate is, Laurel and Tamani has no choice but race to Avalon to warn them, taking along David and Chelsea, and for the first time in a thousand years humans are admitted to Avalon. What comes next is the biggest battle that even Laurel is afraid that not everyone will make it out alive. 

I'm trying to hard to keep this spoiler free, when I just want to shout what exactly happens in the book. Going into the book I knew there was a big death, looking back on who I thought I would be ok with dying, I was right on who it was, but I was anything but ok with it. And with it being near the beginning of the book, all I wanted to do was cry my eyes out through out the whole book. There were even a few more deaths, and one of them well I wasn't expecting that one. Laurel and Tamani even shares a few tender moments. I have a new fondness for David in this book. He risked everything to help Avalon, and by the end of the book even formed a one of a kind friendship with Tamani. Jamison was amazing throughout the whole book, and at the end we come to a full understanding of why he voted for Laurel for the scion mission, and even why he helped Tamani so much. Laurel does make her choice, and while I won't revealed who it is, but I was thrilled to no end. (Which if you want to know just look back at my reviews on the other books and you could figure it out) I did like the ending, it wasn't a definite ending. She did leave it open to your imagination, and if she ever decides to write more books for the series it's very possible. There's a letter at the end of the book, along with a note from Pike. The letter is the real ending that Pike had intended before she even wrote the first book, and is very bittersweet. More so with this book we see that the series is more about David and Chelsea, and how humans react and coop with learning there's real magic in the world. 

Rating: 5/5

Friday, May 4, 2012

Follow Friday #3

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Its a way to get out there and meet new bloggers and discover new blogs. :)

Q. What is one thing you wish you could tell your favorite author?
I would tell Karen Marie Moning (who I plan on meeting in October), how amazing I think her writing is and that her books have changed my life, made me want to be a better writer with the way she writes her stories, characters and the world she creates.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

April's review of 'Insurgent' by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Publication Date: May 1,2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Number of Pages: 525
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Description:  One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.  Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. 

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

 Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off with Tris, Four, Caleb, Peter, and Marcus headed towards Amity for safety. Even though the Amity decides they will stay uninvolved in the war, they offer a safe house to those who can follow their conditions, including you can't start a conflict. Which given the fact Peter is among them, it doesn't take long for Tris and Peter to get into a fight. The result of that is Tris being given a peace serum, which she was given a little too much. And honestly it was one of my favorite scenes seeing her on it. It was hilarious. But sadly Four was not amused. When the Erudites and the Dauntless-traitors storm Amity compound, they must again run for their lives. 

It's been about three hours since I've finished the book and I still can not find the words to describe it. My love for Four/Tris grew 200% in this book. Even though there were some heartbreaking scenes between the two. They spent the majority of the book fighting and on the outs with each other. I almost felt like they were playing tug of war with my emotions. They fight then they somewhat makeup only to start fighting again. Without giving much away, I will say there was one scene towards the end that will make your heart melt.

There were many twists and turns. At one point it was hard to tell who was on what side. And it's revealed that the Erudites attacked Abnegation for a different reason than what we believed, to prevent certain information from being revealed to the public. But they failed in that, in the end it was revealed and nothing will ever be the same again. I believe that Tris is more important than we thought. 

We see a lot of the characters from the first book, and even get to meet some new ones. The book was an emotional rollar coaster. There were even a few hilarious scenes, along with a few heartbreaking ones. There's only one word to describe the book: AMAZING. I simply could not put it down. I literally read it within 24 hours. I do have to say that it's much better than the first one, which I thought was impossible. Now {im}patiently waiting for the final book in the series next year. 

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #5: Biting Cold by Chloe Neill

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

Biting Cold (Chicagoland Vampires #6) by Chloe Neill
Publication date: August 7th, 2012

Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans.

Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed. No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.
I am waiting for this one, because after the last one... I just NEED to know what's going on.. and now Ethan is back, so is my sanity! :D What are YOU waiting on?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April's review of 'Wicked Lovely' by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely #1) by Melissa Marr
Publication Date: June 12, 2007
Publisher: Harper Teen 
Number of Pages: 328
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Description: Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries. Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.
Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries. Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention. But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires. Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything. Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21 st century faery tale

Aislinn or better known as Ash always followed her Grams rules when it comes to faeries, afraid of what they might do to her if they found out that she has the Sight. But now they are following her, and none of the rules seem to apply anymore. Learning that Keenan is the Summer King terrifies her. But getting rid of him seems to prove impossible.Turning to Seth, her best friend turned boyfriend, for help only puts him into danger. Keenan has been searching for his Summer Queen for the past nine hundred years. Until he finds her his powers are bound. Enter Donia. She had fallen in love with Keenan once upon ago. And believing that she could be with him forever and that she's his queen she risked the Winter Chill. Now she carries the chill with her and put warn every girl that Keenan decides upon not to trust him. Only way for her to be free is for another girl to take the risk, but they all decide to be Summer Girls; the faeries that make up the Summer Court. Keenan is sure that Ash is the Summer Queen and won't stop at nothing until he makes her his. 

I was surprised at some of the content in the book considering it's YA. Ash friends are all into the party scene, including drugs. Even though Ash stays clean, she makes a reference that she doesn't drink or get high to keep her focus on following the rules. Towards the end of the book, Seth and Ash engage in some sexual activity, while it was never told straight out what they were doing it wasn't hard to figure it out. My impression is that the book is on a very fine line between YA and Adult. 

The best part to me was the Seth and Ash scenes. I just wasn't interested in Keenan pursing Ash. I got the impression that Keenan was desperate to find his queen he didn't care who it was. Even though you could still see the sparks between him and his old love Donia. When Ash realizes she has no other choice but to accept Summer Queen she makes it plain and simple to Keenan she sees this as a job and there will be no love between them. What I am disappointed in is the fact that we learn Ash's mom, who was thought to die in childbirth, revealed to be one of the girls Keenan pursued in the past was the only one to escape the faery life by dying. I really thought that would of impacted Ash more, and even thought we would hear more about it. 

I wouldn't say this was the best book, or even I couldn't put it down. What kept me most intrigued and wanting to read more was Seth and Ash. All in all it was still a good book. And I'll continue to read the series to see what happens to them all. 

Rating: 4/5

Teaser Tuesday 05

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Want to play along?

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author
This week's teaser is from Illusions by Aprilynne Pike. I actually re read it last week, and in excitement for the last book, Destined, in the series being released today I wanted to share one of the more funny scenes from the third book.

"He has an iPhone," Laurel said to David. "My faerie sentry who generally lives without running water has an iPhone. That's. Just. Great."