Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jen's review of 'Burn Bright' by Marianne de Pierres

Burn Bright (Night Creatures #1) by Marianne de Pierres
Publication date: March 1st, 2011
Publisher: Random House Australia
Number of pages: 316
Format: Paperback
Description: Into a world of wild secrets and deadly pleasures comes a girl whose innocence may be her greatest strength. 
In Ixion music and party are our only beliefs. Darkness is our comfort. We have few rules but they are absolute . . .

Retra doesn’t want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn’t crave parties and pleasure, experience and freedom.

But her brother Joel left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him. Braving the intense pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she’s ever known, Retra stows away on the barge that will take her to her brother.

When she can’t find Joel, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?

Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures, but its secrets are deadly. Will friendship, and the creation of an eternal bond with a Riper, be enough to save her from the darkness?

Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark.
My thoughts -- I can't believe I took this long to read this book. I remember starting the book last year, but then put it down for some reason and hadn't had the chance to read it again since.
 And when I recently decided to pick this up again, I was so glad that I did.

The story takes place in the future. I am not sure when... as I'm not sure it says, but the world is different and  is separated into different areas. Where Retra lives, it's more like a compound where you are pretty much enclosed in like a community, but she especially gets monitored after her brother left her all alone. When he escaped to a 'fun' and carefree place called Ixion.

We follow Retra as she goes on a journey to somewhere she has only heard about but never been, in search of her brother. But when Retra does arrive, so soon realizes that not everything is as she thought it would be. It'll change her whole perspective forever, and she might never want to leave.

We see a sort of triangle... in a way. Retra likes a guy, who doesn't seem to share her affections, and then we have this other guy from Ixion who seems to be obsessed with her. he also protects her from the others who might want to cause her harm.
Its not your traditional triangle.

This book was quite different.  It was full of mystery and raw emotion. Of family loyalty and new friendship. It was about one girl discovering a new lease on life that she never thought she had before.

I didn't realize this author was Australian until I read that she was, nor did I know was this only available here in Australia. I do hope the US and other places manages to get this release at some point, as I can see this is the kind of book that would do well overseas, especially given the genre.

I look forward to reading the next book in this trilogy. I have heard many good things about it.

Rating:  4 out of 5

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jen's review of "Until I Die" by Amy Plum

Until I Die (Revenants #2) by Amy Plum
Publication date: May 8th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of pages: 358
Format: Paperback
Description: I wish there was only today, just right now, and no forever.

It seems fitting that I fell in love in Paris, the most beautiful city in the world. And if I pretend, I can almost believe that my life is normal and everyone I care about is safe.

But as long as I’m with Vincent, “normal” doesn’t exist. Gorgeous, charming, and witty, he’s everything you could ask for in a boyfriend—but his destiny is so much more.

Even more terrifying than his destiny are his dangerous enemies, enemies who will kill for immortality. How are Vincent and I supposed to be together forever if we’re always in danger?

I know I’ll do whatever it takes—even if it means lying to the people I love—to fight against a fate that is trying to tear us apart.
Until I Die, is the exhilarating and explosive sequel that we have been waiting for. Ever since the end of Die for Me, I know I have been anticipating on what will happen next for our favourite characters, Kate, Vincent and his family. 
One might think that what Kate and Vincent have has come quickly, but in a world like theirs, the bond and connection they have with one another is unique and really are each other's perfect other half.
There really is nobody else that will be able to understand them like each other. Their love just goes from strength to strength. 

Jules, is one of my favourite character. He loves to flirt and a playboy, but Kate doesn't take it seriously because they both know it means nothing just a bit of harmful fun.

Kate has been through so much, with losing her parents, and then having to battle all sorts of things since she arrived in Paris, but two things has kept her sane. Her sister, and Vincent. Without them she probably wouldn't be who she is today.
Vincent has made her a promise that isn't easy keeping, so Kate goes on a mission to find find a way for him to keep it and to help him in the process, but this journey isn't an easy one... and the consequences...  might be deadly.

I have been to Paris myself, but I didn't have the impression that Kate does of the city. I found a new perspective through her eyes than I did with me, and gave me a new way of seeing it.
I love the way she describes her life she has there. Its breathtaking and enchanting. I wouldn't mind going again someday with this new knowledge.

Die for Me was honest and full of life. Until I Die is beautiful and honest. I can't wait to see what the next book brings.
If you loved the first book... be sure to pick this one up, if you haven't done so yet.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jen's review of "The Girl in the Clockwork Collar" by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles #2) by Kady Cross
Publication date: June 1st, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Number of pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Description: Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade—the dangerous device Jasper stole from him…for the life of the girl Jasper loves.

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.

From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens with supernatural abilities is on Jasper's elusive trail. And they're about to discover how far they'll go for friendship.

More than ever, Finley Jayne will rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley…and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Sam, more machine than man, finds his moody heart tested by Irish lass Emily—whose own special abilities are no match for the darkness she discovers on the streets.

Now, to help those she's come to care for so deeply, Finley Jayne must infiltrate a criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much….
In the sequel to 'The Girl in the Steel Corset', Finley and the gang find their way heading toward New York City to help out their friend, Jasper who has been arrested for something he may or may not have done. 

Upon arriving, they soon discover that not everything as it seems, and nor are the people. Each one of them will have to navigate their way around the city to try discover the real truth of what went down and find a way to free their friend from this mess he has found himself in.

Meanwhile, Griffin and Finley's relationship takes an interesting turn, as they try to work out just how they feel about one another.
I have loved these two ever since she ran into him at their first meeting in the first book of this series. I knew, I was definitely Team Griffin back then, and I never swayed.
There is this push and pull factor with them. Either they don't think they are good enough for the other, or some other reason, so I was glad there was definite progress made in this book. I can't wait to see where things go next from here on out.

Sam and Emily also have an interesting relationship. She is into him. He is into her, but neither has had the guts to tell the other. Sam thinks he is into Jasper, and Emily just won't acknowledge her feelings enough to tell him.
It was nice to see some progress for these two as well, even if they are side characters. They are important ones.

Last but not least, Jasper learns some valuable lessons in this book, as he finally understands where his true friends life, the truth about his past .. along with some shocking deceptions that he won't see coming.
But by the end, I feel he is better for the things he discovers and knows, which will help him in the long run.

A great sequel, and I can't wait to see what is next.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jen & April' review of "Blue Bloods" by Melissa de la Cruz

Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods #1) by Melissa de la Cruz
Publication date: April 25th, 2006
Publisher: Hyperion
Number of pages: 302
Format: Hardcover
Description: When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?
Jen's review --

I have read this series many times, but each time I always find something I didn't know and brings a whole new perspective to the story.
I really loved the whole history of the Mayflower and the settlement, along with the mixture between angels and vampires. Melissa gives a whole new meaning to this genre and it's one of the reasons why this series is one of my favourite in the vampire genre.
We have three different girls from different background. Schuyler, Mimi and Bliss. They find themselves thrown together, and not always in the best way possible.

When Schuyler discovers that she is a blue blood, or at least half of one, she finds herself deep within a tragic and mysterious world she never thought possible.
Finding herself falling for a boy who is meant for someone else sure doesn't help matters either. With a deep lore of mythology, forbidden love and mystery to boot, this is a book you would love if you are into vampires, and even angels. A bit of both worlds and you can't go wrong.

With each chapter a different POV from each girl, we find ourselves into their thoughts and worlds as they discover new things, and dig into relationships and also finding rivals in each other.

I really loved the beginning of Jack and Sky's relationship in this book. It wasn't something that was OUT THERE, but it was subtle bits, but with some substantial things that will make you soon.
Mimi is someone who I love to hate. In this book, a little more hate then love, LOL But I do understand where she is coming from.
Bliss is someone who I adore. A girl moving from one place to another and trying to fit in, it's only natural she would want to impress the girl who could make you or break you in a school that is pretty much run by popularity.

There are boys of course. Romances along the way, and a series long mystery that involves the Silver Bloods, a creation that should not exist and are wrecking havoc amongst the Blue Bloods. 
April's review -

No matter how many times I read this series, it never disappoints me. It takes a very original and refreshing twist on vampires, mixing angels and vampires together.  The vampires or Blue Bloods are essentially the fallen angels cast out of heaven.  And then there’s the whole twist on the Lost Colony of Roanoke and Croatan. I’ve always been interested in it, and really do love the twist Cruz puts on it.

And of course with being YA it has to follow some predictable plot points; Sky and Oliver being outcasts and of course Sky being involved with the popular guy Jack Force. I did love how you can tell Sky and Jack are infatuated with each other, but don’t actually fall in love in this book. Sometimes I really hate how it seems like the next minute the person is in love. Even though I do love Sky and Jack, I think it’s kind of weird that he used to pursue Sky’s mom.  I couldn’t stand Mimi. Wait scratch that. It’s more of a love to hate her kind of thing. Very spoiled and selfish. At first glance it would seem like Bliss would be exactly like her, but pull away from Mimi’s clutches and befriends Oliver and Sky.

Just when you think you figured everything out there’s another small twist. The book keeps you on your toes and very hard to put down.  Instead of Sky being close to solving the mystery behind the Silver Bloods, the story is just only beginning.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Teaser Tuesday 08

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

Keeping with last week's theme, this week's teaser comes from Melissa de la Cruz Blue Bloods.

"It was her original sacrifice. He only followed out of his love for her. He gave up Paradise to be with her." 


Monday, July 23, 2012

April's review of 'Hallowed' by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
Publication Date: Jan 17, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Number of Pages: 403
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Description:  For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

I love reading books in series back to back. You pick up a lot from the first book. That being said, the person who died I saw the signs in the first book. But it doesn't make it less devastating. I didn't enjoy this as much as the first book, mainly because Clara and Tucker are drifting apart which makes my heart break. But at the same time it doesn't put me on Team Christian. I really though Christian was being an ass in the book when it came to Clara. He knew how she feels about Tucker and should of just left those feelings alone for the time being. 

Angela is still a little bit of mystery. Even though I get a kind of a bad vibe from her. She's a little too obsessed with the Black Wings. And her mysterious boyfriend from Italy. I have a feeling that he might be a Black Wing. And we finally get to meet Clara's dad, and everything seems to fall in place and start to make a little sense.

In the end we find out what Jeff's purpose is/was. And it's a twist. I'm still trying to work out in my head why they would want him to do that. It makes no sense. 

I can't wait for the last book to come out. There's so much that needs to be resolved. And I'm hoping/praying that Clara ends with Tuckers. 

Rating: 4/5 

April's review of 'Unearthly' by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand
Publication Date: Jan 4, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Number of Pages: 435
Format: Hardback
Description:  In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

I was a little weary about the book at first. It went very slow and at the first the writing almost seemed childish. I soon got over that. I ended up loving it. Switching schools can't be easy for any teen. But when a dye job goes wrong and Clara's hair turns out an orange color is going to make it much harder. Sticking to typical YA genre it doesn't take long for Clara to fall for Christian. I was wary about this pairing to begin with. I felt like I should ship them, but my heart was never in it. 

It didn't take long for me to fall in love with Tucker. Maybe it's the whole country boy appeal. While Clara was falling in love with him, I fell in love with them. There's nothing like first love romance, especially when it happens during the summer. When school goes back Clara has a hard time refocusing on her purpose. Her mom isn't all too please with her relationship with Tucker. But when it comes to fulfilling her purpose, Clara is faced with the ultimate decision, should she follow her destiny or follow her heart? 

Forbidden love, dangerous fallen angels, friendship, family, destiny. This book is mixed with it all. 

                                                                        Rating: 4/5


Sunday, July 22, 2012

April's review of 'Serpent's Kiss' by Melissa de la Cruz

Serpent's Kiss (The Beauchamp Family #2) by Melissa de la Cruz
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Number of Pages: 321
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Description:  The intriguing Beauchamp family, introduced in the New York Times bestselling Witches of East End, returns in Serpent's Kiss, with dizzying plot twists and spellbinding magic.
Joanna and her daughters, bookish Ingrid and wild-child Freya, are just settling into the newfound peace that has been cast over their small, off-the map town of North Hampton. With the centuries-old restriction against practicing magic lifted, casting spells, mixing potions, and curing troubled souls has never felt so good for the three witches. That is, until everything gets turned upside down--from Joanna's organized kitchen to Ingrid's previously nonexistent love life to Freya's once unshakeable faith in her sexy soul mate, Killian Gardiner.
When Freya's twin brother, Freddie, suddenly returns, escaped from Limbo and professing innocence on a long-ago crime, Freya should be ecstatic. The golden boy can do no wrong. Or can he? Freddie blames no other than her fiance Killian for his downfall, and enlists Freya's help to prove it. Now Freya doesn't know who to believe or trust.
And for the first time in--well, forever, really--Ingrid is also busy in love. Matt Noble, the handsome and charming police detective, has won her heart. But can romance work between a virgin witch and a mortal who doesn't believe in magic? Things get even more complicated when it appears Ingrid is harboring the prime suspects in Matt's police investigation.
To add to the chaos, a dead spirit is attempting to make contact with Joanna--but does it mean to bring harm or help? Joanna asks her sort-of ex-husband Norman to help figure it out, only to accidentally invite him to a Thanksgiving dinner with a dapper gentleman she's recently begun dating.
As the witches pull together to discover the serpent within their midst and the culprit behind Freddie's imprisonment, everything is thrown into peril. Will the discovery come too late to save those they love most?
Melissa de la Cruz weaves all this and more in a blockbuster sequel that is not to be missed by her fans, and one that is sure to enchant new readers of the series.
Praise for the Witches of East End series
"Move over, zombies, vampires, and werewolves, and make way for witches a juicy new franchise."--Entertainment Weekly "A bubbling cauldron of mystery and romance."--People "A magical and romantic page-turner."--Washington Post " De la Cruz] lets her repressed sorceresses rip."--New York Times "This tale of powerful women mixes mystery, a battle of good versus evil and a dash of Norse mythology into a page-turning parable of inner strength."--Self " I]ntrigue, mystery, and plenty of romance."--MTV.com "Casts a spell."--Los Angeles Times

The Beauchamp women are back, and while they think that everything is finally going perfect they couldn't of been more wrong. Freya is torn between her soul mate and her twin brother. Ingrid has discovered that dating a mortal, especially one that doesn't believe in magic, is more complicated than ever. And after years of being perfectly content, Joanna suddenly have two men in her life. 

I'm sad that we didn't get to see much interaction with Tyler. it was one of my favorite things from the first book. And I was kind of disappointed in Freddie, Freya's twin. He seemed more like a self center, selfish, prince.  

I really did fall in love with Ingrid and Matt and there was times when I wanted to slap both of them on how they both were acting. In the end I'm glad they had worked things out. While Freya is keeping her brother a secret, she's trying to prove the love of her life is innocent. But of course what kind of book would it be without casting doubt? There were plenty of times when I thought he was guilty, or even that Freddie was trying to set Killian up. When things get resolved everything kind of goes back to the first book. 

At the end, not only do they have a big problem to figure out how to deal with, but Freya has been yank back into time. And not just any time period, but probably the most dangerous time period for her to be in. I can not wait for the final book in this trilogy.

Rating: 4/5 

April's review of 'Witches of East End' by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family #1) by Melissa de la Cruz
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Publisher: Hyperion
Number of Pages: 272
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Description:  From the author of the highly addictive and bestselling Blue Bloods series, with almost 3 million copies sold, comes a new novel, Melissa de la Cruz's first for adults, featuring a family of formidable and beguiling witches.

The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

A very short and fast read. Although the story doesn't get that interesting until half way through the book. I was unsure of the book at first, but when I was through end up loving it. Those that are fans of Cruz's Blue Bloods series would enjoy to find that Mimi and Oliver makes a small appearance in the story looking for information. 

Each of the Beauchamp women find themselves facing their own problems. Joanna finds herself "adapting" her cleaning lady's little boy as her own, seeing how her own boy is lost to her forever. Freya finds herself in her own love triangle, even though she's in love with her fiance, she can't seem to stay away from his brother.  Ingrid fights to keep her beloved library open, while one of her co workers dates a detective that Ingrids keeps telling herself she's not attractive to. 

It's not too long before it seems like it's the Salem Witch Trials all over again. I loved all the references to that time period. The ending took me by even more of a surprise. When all the Norse mythology comes into play it's kind of hard to keep up, but it's not too bad.  And of course what kind of good book doesn't leave off with a cliffhanger? If you like a little magic, mystery, and summer romance than you should check this book out. 

Rating: 4/5 

Jen's review of 'Rapture' by Lauren Kate

Rapture (Fallen #4) by Lauren Kate
Publication date: June 12th, 2012
Publisher: Random House
Number of pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
Description: The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?
In the shocking and thrilling conclusion, Lauren Kate brings out all the stops to end this series as the best book to date. 

The end of Luce and Daniel's journey was revealing, shocking and heartfelt. We discovered things that I was even shocked about, and I didn't think there was anything this series could shock me.
I was wrong.
While this book might have started off slow, things sure picked up in the second half of the book. From that point forward, especially the last 100 pages, I could not put it down.
There was things that was discovered from the past, of Luce, Daniel and Lucifer's past that will throw you through hoops.

There wasn't enough Cam, and I wish there was more of him, and the side characters, but what we got was nice, and I think their stories in, FALLEN in LOVE proved to give some backstory to them that served a point.
Luce is no ordinary human..
The story between Luce and Daniel goes back further than even they can even imagine. Shocking reveals get turned inside out, and I can guarantee that there will be a point your jaw will be on the floor from absolute shock.

After everything these two have gone through, RAPTURE explores the rest of their history together and why they are important, not only to each other, but also to heaven and hell.
There are some things that can't be told to you. Sometimes, you have to discover them all by yourself otherwise the impact won't be as great.
Luce soon finds out that she stands in the middle of this whole war between each of the sides, and she'll have to make a choice that could change everything.

This is my favourite book of the series, because of how it reveals everything comes together and gets all out in the open.
If you loved the first 3 books, then you are sure to love this conclusion to an epic story.

Rating: 5/5

Jen's review of 'Fated' by Alyson Noel

Fated (Soul Seekers #1) by Alyson Noel
Publication date: May 24th, 2012
Publisher: Macmillan
Number of pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Description: Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.

There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it’s when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. Now Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she's meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.(
In the first book of Alyson Noel's new series comes an exciting and beautiful story of one young girl discovering her destiny.
Daire is quite the girl. She has grown up in the life of a daughter of a hollywood makeup artists, which means, on the road going from film set to another. But sometimes, and I felt this was natural, that as much as it was exciting, it would also be lonely. 
The secret that she discovers will change her life. She isn't an ordinary sort of girl. She comes from a long bred history bloodlines called Soul Seekers.

I really enjoyed Daire as a character. She was very relatable, where she wants what every girl wants. A normal home and happy. But some things just don't come easy.
She does meet a new and mysterious boy. His name is Dace, who she feels a connection to, especially when she realizes that she also has been dreaming about him.
He also has an identical twin brother, Cade. Who isn't as good as Dace, and sets his sights on Daire and its something that could have terrible consequences.

I really loved the mythology that Alyson has written for this story. I have never read anything like this before, and that's one of the things I liked about it.
I adored her previous, Immortals series, which I know not everyone did, so I wasn't surprised to see that I also fell for this book, story and its characters.
I felt the book set things up nicely for the series, and it sets up its characters and the plot to a point where it introduces you to this world.

I loved Dace. I love her imagary of him in her descriptions. I love that there is more to him than we knew, and what Daire knew. The connection between them is strong and honest and so down to earth. Not every boy needs to be bad to swoon over.  Dace is nothing like his bad boy brother who seems to have his own agenda, and it isn't a good one.

If you enjoyed a good mythology and liked Alyson's writing and previous series, then you might enjoy this book.
I personally look forward to see where the stories goes next.

                                                           Rating: 4/5

Saturday, July 21, 2012

April's reveiw of 'Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha' by Karen Marie Moning

Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha (Fever 5.5) by Karen Marie Moning, Al Rio (artist), David Lawrence (scripter), Cliff Richards (illustrations)
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Del Rey
Number of Pages: 184
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

An all-new Mac & Barrons story by #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning, marvelously adapted into a full-color graphic novel by writer David Lawrence and illustrator Al Rio

In Fever Moon, we meet the most ancient and deadly Unseelie ever created, the Fear Dorcha. For eons, he’s traveled worlds with the Unseelie king, leaving behind him a path of mutilation and destruction. Now he’s hunting Dublin, and no one Mac loves is safe.

Dublin is a war zone. The walls between humans and Fae are down. A third of the world’s population is dead and chaos reigns. Imprisoned over half a million years ago, the Unseelie are free and each one Mac meets is worse than the last. Human weapons don’t stand a chance against them.

With a blood moon hanging low over the city, something dark and sinister begins to hunt the streets of Temple Bar, choosing its victims by targeting those closest to Mac. Armed only with the Spear of Destiny and Jericho Barrons, she must face her most terrifying enemy yet.

If you haven't noticed, the new trend is creating graphic novels for your series, whether it's making the series into graphic novels or just creating a original storyline for it. I enjoy comic books when I was younger, and really love the graphic novels. It's bring the book and characters to life. This is the number one graphic novel I have been waiting for. The Fever series is my favorite series ever. And this graphic novel doesn't disappoint. 

The whole book is gorgeous. There is so much details in each scene. The coloring is beautiful. The story itself is short and I want to say cute, but not sure if that's the right word since there's nothing cute about this series. I found it interesting that Ryodan's whole face was never shown. And kind of sad that V'lane isn't in it. But at the end there is a behind the scenes section, where it has notes on various characters and sample drawings and V'lane is in there. I just can't get over how gorgeous this book is. If you are a fan of the Fever series this is a must have. If you haven't read the series, do it now! 

Rating: 5/5


April's review of 'The Golden Lily' bye Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Number of Pages: 418
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Description:  The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

I absolutely loved Bloodlines. But with this one, I didn't have the same feeling. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. Put it wasn't one of those were I finished in a day because I couldn't put it down. I also feel like the only one that didn't automatically start shipping Adrian and Sydney before the first book came out. I do ship them, and ended up falling in love with them by the end of the book. What he said at the end on how he feels about her is exactly how he should feel, and what Rose at told him he should feel at the end of Last Sacrifice in the Vampire Academy series. I couldn't help but laugh on how clueless Sydney is though. Especially when Jill started acting like she develop a girl crush on Sydney, and she knows that sometimes Adrian's feelings comes on too strongly through the bond. 

I did enjoy seeing Sydney and Brayden together. I think he's exactly what she needed for her first boyfriend. Even though after the dance I started to like him less. At one point I did get a bad feeling about him and thought he was some kind of evil after her.

I wish there were more interaction with Dimitri and Adrian. I wanted some witty banter between them. And I'm hoping soon we'll able to see Sydney interact with Rose again. I loved that Sydney's eating habits reasons were pretty much confirmed, and hope to see that she sees beyond that. There's some twists throughout the book that give you the wow factor. Overall the book is an awesome read. 

Rating: 4/5   

Friday, July 20, 2012

April's review of 'Ashes of Midnight' by Lara Adrian

Ashes of Midnight (Midnight Breed #6) by Lara Adrian
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Number of Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble 
Description: A woman driven by blood. A man thirsting for vengeance.
A place where darkness and desire meet...

As night falls, Claire Roth flees, driven from her home by a fiery threat that seems to come from hell itself. Then, from out of the flames and ash, a vampire warrior emerges. He is Andreas Reichen, her onetime lover, now a stranger consumed by vengeance. Caught in the cross fire, Claire cannot escape his savage fury—or the hunger that plunges her into his world of eternal darkness and unending pleasure.

Nothing will stop Andreas from destroying the vampire responsible for slaughtering his Breed brethren . . . even if he must use his former lover as a pawn in his deadly mission. Blood-bonded to his treacherous adversary, Claire can lead Andreas to the enemy he seeks, but it is a journey fraught with danger—and deep, unbidden desires. For Claire is the one woman Andreas should not crave, and the only one he’s ever loved. A dangerous seduction begins—one that blurs the lines between predator and prey, and stokes the flames of a white-hot passion that may consume all in its path. . . .

I've loved Andreas throughout the books, and was excited to finally reading his story and see him get his happy ending. I just couldn't get into the book. And I think it has to do with Andreas and Claire knowing each other, and Claire already being a breedmate. It just took the fun and mystery out of it. I'm not even sure that I even liked Claire. Plus this book almost felt like a filler for me. 

Even though I didn't quite loved this book or the one before it, I can't wait to read the rest in this series. 

Rating: 3/5 

April's review of 'The Iron King' by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: Feb 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Number of Pages: 363
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble  
Description:  Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

 This book had been on my TBR list forever. All I've heard how amazing and wonderful this series is. Don't get me wrong I liked the book, but I was rather disappointed. I usually always end up shipping the ship that you're "suppose" to ship. But I just couldn't get into Meghan and Ash. Don't get me wrong I loved Ash. Very intriguing character. But I found their romance very unrealistic. He had even told her in the beginning that he would kill her given the chance, and what does she do? She willingly goes off with him. The next thing you know she's in love with him, and she's barely spent any time with him and knows nothing about him. 

Now Puck on the other hand. *sighs* I fell in love with him immediately. He's amazing and by far my favorite character in the book. Not surprise by a love triangle between the girl, the best friend, and a new guy. It never ends well for the best friend. My second favorite character is Grimalkin. He was just amusing as ever. Reminded me very much of the cat from Alice in Wonderland. Now Meghan on the other hand, still not sure how I feel about her. I felt sorry for her. It seemed that her family always forgot about her. But at the same time I wanted to smack her. No matter how many times she was told not to ever thank a fairy or even make a bargain with one she just would not listen. 

I do like the concept of the Iron Fey. Very original. Overall the book was a descent read. Not the best, but not the worst I've read. Not completely sure if I'm going to continue the series though. 

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, July 19, 2012

April's review of 'the Girl in the Clockwork Collar' by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles #2) by Kady Cross
Publication Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teens
Number of Pages: 416
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Description:  In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous.

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves.

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.

Even though I loved the book, I didn't think it was as good as the first. Those who love Jack will be disappointed that he's not in the book. But there are mentions of him. Which makes sense since the gang is in NYC trying to rescue Jasper. To save their friend, Finley has to get close a man that is ten times more dangerous than Jack and would not hesitate to kill her. 

Even though my love for Finley and Griffin grew in this book, there were points where I wanted to slap them both. Griffin even broke my heart a few times. At the end they both come to an understanding and hope filled my heart for them. 

If you loved the first one, you will love this. A very quick pace book. And once again I found myself not being able to put this book down, and afterwards wanting more. 

Rating: 5/5 

April's review of 'The Girl in the Steel Corset' by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles #1) by Kady Cross
Publication Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Number of Pages: 473
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Description:  In 1897 England, 16-year-old Finley Jayne is convinced she's a freak. No normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch. Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special . . . that she's one of "them."

Only one word can describe this book. AMAZING. I just couldn't put the book down. I love books with kickass heroine, and Finley Jayne is just that. While she is learning to control and merge both sides of her in one, she can't help but feel a connection to Griffin, the duke who took her in, and has his own band of super heroes that has their own special abilities like Finley. The dark side of her is attracted to Jack, a very dangerous man. 
I was immediately on Team Griffin. Even though I do love Jack, and love that he makes Griffin jealous. Griffin is just the perfect gentleman. This book is filled with everything: romance, murder, mystery. Historical romance at it's best with a twist. 

Rating: 5/5

Jen's review of "The Immortal Rules" by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
Publication date: May 1st, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Number of pages: 451
Format: Paperback
Description: "In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.
In the first of a new series, Julie Kagawa brings out something different than what we are used to from her. It's dark. Full of mystery and suspense. It has a different feel than her Iron Fey series, and in such a good way. 
Hold onto your seats, folks, because you're in for quite the ride of a lifetime.

This novels is set in parts. I like to think of them as the "The setting - the before."  "The After the event." and "The aftermath".
You'll understand what I mean when you read this. The pace of the book picks up quickly, and you begin to say. O M G.. to a point where you can't believe what has happened and wonder what will happen next.

This is a beautifully written story. Allison is a really good protagonist, and we see everything and feel everything she is feeling. And boy was there so much happening to her. More than one normal person should have been able to handle.
The moment she is attacked and wakes up changed is the moment the story changes pace. It's when the story really starts, and from that point onwards is non stop action and suspense to the next.
I have to say my favourite male character was her mentor, vampire, Kanin. I know he will never be her love interest, but he is just too amazing not to love.
There is so much deep within him that yearns to be known. Allison doesn't get to spend too much time with him when he puts her on her two feet.

One thing that is forbidden to vampires are to fall for a human. Kanin tells her this, but that doesn't stop her from falling for a boy who she starts to get to know while she is in his company.
Zeke is a fun and interesting character, but if I was honest, after all the talk I had of him.. I expected to be wowed more than I was. It was kind of a disappointment. There is nothing wrong with him, that's true.. but there was something missing that I couldn't quite put my finger on.
Oh well, hopefully my opinion will change over the course of the series.. as I have a feeling this is not the last we see of him.

Julie does a great installment and introduction to the dystopian vampiric world. I feel there is still so much yet to explore, and I am sure we'll discover those things as we go through the remaining of the series.

                                                             Rating: 4/5

Jen's review of 'Glitch' by Heather Anastasiu

Glitch (Glitch #1) by Heather  Anastasiu
Publication date: August 7th, 2012
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Number of pages: 320
Format: Kindle via Netgalley
Preorder/Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
Description: In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.
I would like to thank Netgalley and St.Martins Press for giving me this chance to review this amazing title in exchange for my honest yet sweet review. 

It's interesting where there is a world where technology has cleared all humanity of any pain or emotion, and it has been working for them fine, until Zoe starts to 'glitch' out of nowhere and she has no idea what is happening or where it has been coming from.
She then starts to feel things and have her own thoughts, which is not something she is used to. When she discovers she isn't the only one this has been happening to... that's when the story really starts.

I really liked Zoe as a character. I felt she was relatable. Glitching isn't something she is proud of, nor does she understand all of what is happening to her..
And then there is hottie, Adrien. He is someone who knows more than she does about what is happening to her, but she isn't sure she can trust him, especially since her new boyfriend, another glitcher tries to get her to trust him instead. But does he has ulterior motives?

Heather builds such a great story that you can't help but feel compelled reading about the world Zoe and her friends live in. It's not a normal one, but it is one that has been normal for the for such a long period of time and they know no different.

I look forward to see what is next for Zoe and Adrien, especially with the way, Glitch ends. It sure makes things a little more interesting, and I can't wait to see things play out.

Rating: 4/5

April's review of 'The Finding' by Nicky Charles

The Finding (Law of the Lycans #3) by Nicky Charles
Publication Date: Feb 11, 2011
Publisher: Smashwords
Number of Pages: 442
Format: e book
Buy: Barnes and Noble
Description: She discovered a dark secret, witnessed a murder and fled into the night fearing for her life. Three years later, Cassie is still hiding from her past, haunted by a dream lover and fighting to control a terrifying beast that seems to grow stronger each day. When Bryan, pack Beta, appears to claim her, Cassie is forced to face the truth of her existence. Innocence, betrayal, greed and love collide with ancient werewolf laws in... The Finding. Third book in The Law of the Lycans series by Nicky Charles

The third book in the lycan series picks up three years after the second book. Cassie is living in the outskirts of Las Vegas hiding from the wolves she knows that want to find her. Even though it's been three years, Bryan hasn't been able to forget about her and finally tracks her down. Unfortunately to her so does her deceased uncle's attorney, Mr. Aldrich, who wants to make money off her being a werewolf. 

Cassie is determined to keep denying she is a werewolf, and refuses to go back with him to his pack. Especially after her boyfriend, Kellen, is kidnap by Mr. Aldrich to lure Cassie back to Chicago. Ryne and Kane, pack alpha brothers combine forces to save Kellen, and bring down Mr. Aldrich. 

I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did the first one. But it's still a good story. And better yet, the whole series are free on Nook books from Barnes and Noble. It was glad to old characters, and even left it open for another book in the series. If you enjoy werewolf stories you should definitely read these.  

Rating: 3/5


April's review of 'Spell Bound' by Rachel Hawkins

Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins 
Publication Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Number of Pages: 336
Format: Hardback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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?
 The final installment in the series pick up right where Demonglass had left off. All Sophie wanted to do was to find her mom. Cal had told her that she's with the Brannicks, which confuses Sophie. The Brannicks is an Irish family of women who hunt the supernatural. Putting her faith in Cal, she finds herself in the middle of the Brannicks compound. And the first big twist of the book is thrown at us, Sophie's mom is a Brannick and has been on the run from them all these years. 

Cal and Sophie's dad eventually find the way to the compound. And they set out for their long journey. And Archer isn't too far behind. I wouldn't say there's really a love triangle with Cal, Sophie, and Archer. Her heart clearly belonged to Archer. I just couldn't really hardcore ship Sophie and Archer. In this book everything comes to a full circle. There was a big sacrifice that just made me want to cry my eyes out. But other than that I was very satisfied with the ending.   

Rating: 4/5