Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Spellbound" by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellbound (Harlequin Teen)From Goodreads: "What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death? 

Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight. 

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else." 

This was one of those books that I don't think has really made all that much of a splash in the world of YA prior its release. I cannot recall having seen this book in any meme's like "On My Wishlist" or "Waiting on Wednesday"' - it hasn't really had any hype factor surrounding it- and after having read this book all I can do is shake my head and wonder why in the world this is so. This book was honest to goodness such a pleasure to read and dare I say it, I can't recall anything about it being cliched, even with it having a sort of 'insta-love' element going on in it.

Furthermore, this book is reincarnation done well and many authors could really learn a thing or two from Cara (*cough, cough, Lauren Kate). The reincarnation is done well because it actually provides the reader with answers (and as such the reader doesn't find themselves either wanting to scream aloud or throw the book across the room because they are so gosh darned confused as to what is occurring).

Emma and Brendan were such dynamic and multi-faceted characters. Not only did I love seeing them together and their relationship develop, but I loved seeing each of them individually. Emma's life was full of hardships yet she never let it drag her down, whereas Brendan's life was full of luxury but he never let it go to his head. As mentioned, the book did have an 'insta-love' (love at first sight or falling in love without really knowing the person fully) thing going on, but it didn't bother me in the slightest (which I must admit, is quite rare for me).

Aside from the fantabulous romance aspect to the book, the book also had a paranormal element to it, however I didn't find the paranormal element (ie. Emma being a witch) to be all that necessary. Had the book just stuck to reincarnation I think that it would be just as good of a book (if not better) than it was. I just don't see how this paranormal aspect is going to play out if there are any future books in this series (not that there has to be any future books in this series IMO, I think that it everything wraps up perfectly in this book and I would be a-okay with it being a stand-alone book).

All in all this is a great read! The pace and suspense of the book (alongside the very real characters) will grab hold of the readers attention and not let go until the book is finished.

Rating: 10/10

I received this book from the publisher/ NetGalley to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Altered" by Kimberly Montague

Altered: Setenid Blight Book OneFrom Goodreads: "Deep in the Sierra Nevada mountains there lies a cave that has been the source of local legends for centuries. Purported to be the home of an ancient deranged and vicious animal, many have gone in seek of it, but what lies within is far more dangerous than a mere creature.

17 year-old Piper “Evie” Kenley’s life has been anything but calm, however, the turmoil of losing almost her entire family is nothing compared to the difficulties she is about to face.

Robbed of all other alternatives, she moves in with her boyfriend of seven years and his family only to find that she has an intensely electric connection with the handsome and popular Devlin Vaughn- Captain of the football team. Try as she might, she cannot avoid this connection they share leaving her with a choice to make. But just as she begins to feel her life is in order, one camping trip and a testosterone-driven dare involving a cave with a deadly and contagious secret will send her entire world into complete chaos."

Move aside all book boys I have deemed swoon-worthy in the past! Dev may seriously be the most swoon-worthy boy I have ever read of before (save for Jace Lightwood, but he is another story as he is in a category all of his own). I think that Dev possess all of the best characteristics of all of my favourite book boys- Jay Heaton's super caring nature (from Kimberly Derting's "The Body Finder" series), Marc Ramos' over-protectiveness (from Rachel Vincent's "Shifters" series), and Jace Lightwood's arrogance/ cockiness (from Cassie Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series).

Aside from Dev, the other characters were all really great and loveable too! Even the parents! I feel that a lot of the time in YA the parents of the kids never really get mentioned (they just kinda randomly show up and say something like, "Oooohhhh, your boyfriend is a vampire? That's cool!", never to be seen again). Gabriel and Evelyn? Yeah, Sonya and Evie were extremely lucky to have them. My only complaint about the characters was Harm (Evie's older brother), she mentioned him so many times throughout the book and while I got a sense of who he was, I just would have liked to have actually seen him in the flesh (well as 'in the flesh' as you can get while reading a book), rather than just hearing about him.

I think that if Kimerbly Derting's aforementioned "The Body Finder" series and the recent film "The Crazies" were to have a baby (and maybe throw in a bit of Julia Karr's "XVI" or Lauren Oliver's "Delirium"), this book would be the result. On the one hand there is such a cute and totally SQUEE worthy romance aspect to it, but on the other hand there is an apocalyptic/ 'end of the world because the zombies are going to eat your brain' feel to it. That being said however, sometimes I felt that there was a disconnect between the two genres- it was so easy to get swept up in the romance, forgetting all about the sci-fi element and when the sci-fi element was once again introduced you couldn't help but be kinda grumpy because at that point you didn't care about it, all you cared about was seeing Evie and Dev's relationship continue to grow and develop.

All in all, I think that Beth Revis' description of her book "Across the Universe", "A sci fi for teens who don't like sci fi", fits this book perfectly! There is a nice medium between the genres, keeping the romance junkies like myself happy, and the hardcore sci-fi readers entertained as well! I cannot wait to see what Kimberly has in store for us in the next installment of her series, the "Setenid Blight" series!

Rating: 10/10

I received this book from the author to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

UnforgettableTitle: "Unforgettable"
Author: Loretta Ellsworth
Release Date: September 27th, 2011

From Goodreads: "Baxter Green isn’t like everyone else. While most people would forget about the little details of everyday life, Baxter never forgets—not pain, not hurt, not embarrassment. In fact, Baxter never forgets anything—not even a string of account numbers, flashed before his eyes by his mother’s criminal boyfriend, Dink, for use in a credit card scam. Years after his testimony has locked Dink away, Baxter and his mother are in a new town, trying to forget the danger Dink brought into their lives. Baxter wants to hide his unique ability, but it becomes increasingly more difficult when he reconnects with Hallie, a girl from his childhood who has lived on in his memory long after she has forgotten him. Can Baxter win Hallie’s heart? Loretta Ellsworth’s newest novel is one readers will never forget."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"The Lipstick Laws" by Amy Holder

The Lipstick LawsFrom Goodreads: "At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.   For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity.   But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?" 

Simply put I think that this is a fun and lighthearted read- nothing more, nothing less. I think that why I can't gush about this book as much as others have (seriously, a few months back when this book first was released on NetGalley there was a gazillion and one positive reviews about it) because I just can't relate to the young characters and their high school experience (I don't know about y'all, but my high school experience was nothing like the one in this book and that isn't because I was a popular girl or anything along those lines- I was totally one of those nerdy girls who would either hang out with her equally nerdy friends at lunch or read in the library- but there really wasn't a popular clique at my school who 'ruled the school', everyone genuinely seemed to get along quite well, the emo kids would hang out with the jocks, the nerds with the 'pretty' girls and so forth).

Furthermore, I haven't read a book with a moral at the end of it in quite some time this book definitely had one. It would have been one thing had it been more so of a moral undertone, one that the reader could interpret from the book after thinking about the book and processing it hours, if not days afterwards (because that would mean that the book was memorable in a way that would make you think about it after reading it and I just don't feel that it is), but it was anything but- I felt that it was really obvious and kinda hit you in the face (ie. "HEY GUYS! LOOK! I AM THE MORAL OF THE STORY!").

All in all, I think that this book would appeal more so to those occupying the younger side of the YA spectrum (13-16 year olds), rather than those older YA readers (18+) and that fans of the movie "Mean Girls" will love this book!

Rating: 7/10 

I received this book from the publisher/ NetGalley to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Farro" by Arreana

Farro (Farro and Sulfur)From Goodreads: "Khensa, a girl from the slums, is one of the last of a dying breed. Farro blood courses through her veins and for it she has suffered countless atrocities. Orphaned, kidnapped, imprisoned, and tortured, she endures without knowing if it shall ever end. For eleven months she endures…

Enter Bomani, her unintentional savior. Sent by his father to assassinate the high priest, he finds her, bloody, starved, and naked upon the floor. She is feral and half-crazed and yet still he takes her away. He introduces her to a whole new world – his own.

Together they navigate their way around a fragile society of kings, vendettas, and magic. Their story crosses deserts and mountains. It begins with fire and ends with water."

Less than a page into this book I knew that I was in for a treat. How did I know so early on? Right off the bat it was clear that author Arreana had a way with words quite unlike that I have ever read before. What this obvious talent lead to was an impeccably created world that was so easy for the reader to fall into. I find that with books of this nature (historical fiction/ paranormal) that the writing can be very heavy or unnecessarily convoluted but I didn't find that at all with this book.

A lot of the times I find that the female lead doesn't make all that much of an impact upon me because I find her to be much less developed than her male counterpart (males who are almost, in a sense, hyper-developed, seriously, we can recount the way that their hair falls over their eyes, or the coloured flecks in their eyes) in order to allow the female reader to easily occupy her place in the story, but Khensa wasn't underdeveloped in the slightest. She is by far one of the strongest female characters I have ever read of before- seriously what she endured in her life, it was unfathomable (physically, mentally, and emotionally). While at the time Khensa may not have always made the wisest decisions she always did so with the best intentions at heart. Though at first I loathed Bomani (thinking that he was an asshat- literally kicking a girl when she is down- not cool!), he really did start to grow on me over time and in my opinion he did show many redeeming qualities (and dare I say it? I am quite excited to see if a romance between him and Khensa comes into existence).

This was not the type of book where only the male and female lead shines, while all of the other characters take a back seat to them. Each and every character was so dynamic and multi-faceted. Everyone was given the opportunity to shine and whether they stepped up to the plate of whether they took the cowardly route, well that just shows the essence of their being.

All in all this is one of the best books I have ever read of this genre- Fans of authors such as Tamora Pierce and Christopher Paolini will gobble this book up in no time and desperately crave the next book in the series! Arreana is an extremely talented author and one to keep our eyes on and I truly cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next!

Rating: 5/5

I received this book from the author to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly post hosted by Kirsti at The Story Siren as a chance to share the books we've bought or received over the past week.

Bought (This week I came across some really good book sales- seriously, the top row of books cost me less than $20! For all of you Canadians out there, now this may sound funny seeing as the store's focus is home decor, but Home Sense sells books! Last week when I went there the top row of books were all priced at their regular price, this week they were marked down and were priced between $2-$5!). 
"Tiger's Curse" by Colleen Houck
"Monster High" by Lisi Harrison
"Mockingbirds" by Daisy Whitney
"Wish" by Alexandra Bullen
"Darkest Hour" by Meg Cabot
"Reunion" by Meg Cabot
"Shadowland/ Ninth Key" by Meg Cabot
"Royally Jacked/ Spin Control/ Do-Over" by Niki Burham
"The Dangerous Days of Daniel X" by James Patterson

Girl vs Ghost (Book 1 Misdirected Magic Trilogy)Altered: Setenid Blight Book OneThe Beginning of AfterAshes (Ashes (Hardcover - Trilogy))The Dead Kid Detective Agency
For Review 
"Girl VS. Ghost" by  Kate McMurry and Marie August (Thanks Marie!)
"Altered" by Kimberly Montague (Thanks Kimberly!)
 "The Beginning of After" by Jennifer Castle (Thanks NetGalley and HarperTeen!)
"Ashes" by Ilsa J. Bick (Thanks NetGalley and Egmont USA!)
"The Dead Kid Detective Agency" by Evan Munday (Thanks NetGalley and Ecw Press!)

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

On My Wishlist...


On My Wishlist is a great event that Book Chick City runs every Saturday. It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

The The Name of the Star (Shades of London)"The Name of the Star" by  Maureen Johnson

From Goodreads: "The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities."

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Spirit Storm" by E.J. Stevens

Spirit Storm (Spirit Guide)From Goodreads: "Let the spirits guide you, but never let them take you."

Spirits of the Dead are coming...

Yuki is about to face an army of lost souls on Samhain, the night of Halloween, when the spirits of the dead roam free. Yuki will need all the help she can get from her friends, but will Calvin be there for her when she needs him the most?"  

Well E.J. Stevens has done it again! Written a book which instantly hooks the reader and reels them in. Again, Yuki is a really intriguing character, Cal is swoon-worthy, and the tempo of the book is very fast paced, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat the entire time. What is even better about this book than its predecessor is that the secondary characters, Emma and Simon, make such a profound impact upon us. Their bantering back and forth was so entertaining and truly the cherry on top of this book (and dare I say it, though I know that there is a bit of an age difference between them, I wouldn't mind seeing them together together in the next book of the series).
One thing about this book that I did find to be a bit of a booger was Cal's condition, the boy is forever being beat up in some way, shape, or form. He really deserves a break (oh, and to be concious the entire book so that we can experience even more of his swoon-worthiness)! But then again, I guess that we have to consideration the fact that Cal is really stepping up as a Alpha and in doing so, one is bound to face some challenges and opposition.
All in all, this is a great addition to E.J. Steven's "Spirit Guide" series! It is evident that E.J. is really developing as an author with each installment of this series- I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the next book in the series (slated to be released this fall), "Legend of Witchtrot Road".
Rating: 9/10
I received this book from the author to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

PureTitle: Pure
Author: Julianna Baggott
Release Date: February 8th, 2012

From Goodreads: "A dystopian novel about a society of haves, who escaped an apocalypse in a futuristic dome-covered city, and have-nots, who survived the nearly destroyed outside world. The have-nots are almost entirely marked or mutated in some manner.

PURE centers around the story of Pressia, a 16-year-old survivor with a doll’s head fused into her left hand, and Partridge, an unmarked Pure who has escaped the Dome to find his mother, certain that she has survived the cataclysm."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"She Smells the Dead" by E.J. Stevens

She Smells the Dead (Spirit Guide)From Goodreads: "It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like on TV. SHE SMELLS THE DEAD. Yuki is being visited in her dreams and suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. Will Yuki be able to save the spirits and herself?"

When I first started reading this book I was instantly hooked- we have an extremely interesting premise with an equally interesting female lead, Yuki, but best of all, a totally swoon-worthy male lead/ best friend/ love interest, Cal.The fast paced nature of the book and its size (it being very concise and to the point) makes it easy to consume this book in one sitting, leaving the reader itching to read the next book in the series, "Spirit Storm".

If I had to criticize one thing of the book (which let me tell you, is no easy thing to do as so much of this book is done right), I would have to say that my biggest criticism lies with Yuki. I thought that she started out as a very strong female character but lost her resolve as the book went on (it appeared that she began to become more and more dependent upon Cal/ super clingy as the book went on). When Yuki does something at the end of the book she becomes, what I thought to be, extremely melodramatic (with thoughts like "He will never forgive me!", "He is going to hate me!", etc.), when the thing that takes place is clearly an accident and those around her understand it to be exactly that- I seriously didn't see the severity of the event at all- and in her being so melodramatic, well, I did lose a bit of respect for her.

All in all, despite the criticism I have of one of the main characters this is still a really great book, and dare I say it, a must read. I think that fans of Kimberly Derting's "The Body Finder" series and Meg Cabot's "Mediator" series will gobble this book up in a heartbeat, becoming instant fans of E.J. Stevens (and Cal, we obviously cannot forget Cal the heartthrob).

Rating: 9/10

I received this book from the author to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Passion" by Lauren Kate

Passion ((Fallen))From Goodreads: "Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever."

Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . .

Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.

Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever."

I was a really big fan of Lauren Kate's "Fallen" (the first book in her series of the same name). I thought that it was a really unique book because at the time of its release the whole fallen angel element had not yet been played around with much in YA pararnormal books (or not played around to the extent that it is today). Furthermore, not only did it have a completely original story line, but it had great characters to boot (Hello Daniel and Cam!). But when I read the next book in her "Fallen" series, "Torment", I was completely disappointed by it- I felt that it had so much potential but it fell flat. I thought that it deviated way too much from the original storyline (with all of the talk of Announcers, Outcasts, etc.) and the characters that we had come to love in "Fallen" did not play all that large of role in it (again, Daniel and Cam), whereas characters that we were only 'so-so' about played a massive role in it (ie. Miles, Shelby, and Callie). But I think that my biggest criticism of it was the main character, Luce, herself. I couldn't comprehend her thought processes at all, one minute she was all hot when it came to Daniel, the next minute she was totally ice cold.

Therefore, when I started "Passion", the third book in Lauren's "Fallen" series, I will admit that I was very hesitant to do so. I really and truly thought that I would think about this book (and series in general) what I did about Carrie Jones' "Need" series, that the first book in the series was super amazing, but that the later books in the series were huge disappointments, but that wasn't the case- well, not entirely...

I would say a good fifty or so pages of this book I was entirely turned off by it, I really hated the direction that it was headed (again, with the whole Announcers thing), but I also really disliked it because of a newly introduced character- Bill the gargoyle. Though I guess that you could argue that this series isn't realistic, it is by far not the most unrealistic YA paranormal series out there in my opinion- I mean the characters don't turn into dragons or anything of that sort (angels, especially fallen angels, have been chronicled pretty much since the beginning of forever therefore making it 'semi-realistic'), but once Bill was introduced, well my opinion of it being 'semi-realistic' completely flew out of the window. I thought that in the beginning Bill was such an unnecessary (and annoying) character, I really do think that I would have preferred to have seen Luce fall and pick herself up by herself and not with the help of a little sketchy critter.

I then decided to put aside my growing hatred of Bill to focus on what was really important about the book, the history of Luce, Daniel and their love. In doing so, I could not only start to tolerate the book (and the direction that it was heading), but actually start to enjoy it. I thought that each little world that Lauren wrote of was really interesting and quite well developed. I would very much be interested in seeing even more of their lives together (ie. months if not years, as opposed to the very short amount of time we did see pass in each of them, ie. days/ weeks). But what I was kinda confused about in their past lives was how Daniel was able to change his appearance (in one of their lives together he had skin the colour of hot chocolate with equally dark hair, the next he was his typical blonde haired, light skinned coloured self) when Lauren explains that very little about angels bodies change (well in relation to scars at least, but I think it would make sense to apply it to other parts of their bodies as well).

What I definitely liked most about this book was that it actually answered all of burning questions that we had from the previous two book (ie. How did Luce and Daniel meet? What started their curse? Can it be broken? Do they want it to be broken? etc.).

All in all, while this book is by no means as good as "Fallen", it is by no means as bad as "Torment". I am quite interested in seeing where Lauren takes the final book in the series, Rapture".

Rating: 8.5/10

Memorable lines from the book:

"I wanted to give Daniel hope... His half of our curse is so much worse than mine" (pg. 260).

"This was it: the moment that broke Cam's heart so that it rotted into something black" (pg. 317). 

"He wasn't afraid for her, not because she was walking into the darkness of another death. He didn't fear that it might cause her pain. Daniel was afraid of her" (pg. 347).

"And to think, she had almost given this up" (pg. 411). 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly post hosted by Kirsti at The Story Siren as a chance to share the books we've bought or received over the past week.

I didn't receive all that much in my mailbox this week, but they are both books that I have wanting for pretty much forever.

For Review 
"Sweet Venom" ARC by Tera Lynn Childs (Thanks so much Shannon and HarperCollins Canada)

"Passion" by Lauren Kate

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On My Wishlist...


On My Wishlist is a great event that Book Chick City runs every Saturday. It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

Fury"Fury" by Elizabeth Miles 

From Goodreads: "The first book in a paranormal teen trilogy featuring three beautiful, mysterious girls wreaking havoc on a small New England town.

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen"

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Tales From Frewyn" by Michelle Franklin

Tales from FrewynFrom Goodreads: "The Haanta Series is the longest, ongoing, online romantic fantasy series. Thousands of readers visit the world of the Two Continents to enjoy the daily short stories featuring all their favorite characters from the Haanta Series novels. In between the business of the books, the commander, Rautu, Otenohi, Unghaahi, Leraa, Kai Linaa and Alasdair enjoy some time together in Diras Castle, but as the stories portray, mischief lies in every corner of the keep where spiders, chocolate pies, petulant giants and grouchy cooks abound."

When I first started reading this collection of short stories I was quite concerned that I wouldn't fully enjoy it because I assumed that the two characters that I was most familiar with (and quite head over heels for), the Commander and Rautu, would make an appearance in only a few of the short stories and I would be left with a handful of characters who I wasn't accustomed to and as such couldn't connect to on a deeper level, however, I am glad to say that that wasn't the case at all- my darling Commander and Rautu played some sort of role in almost every story!

While I thought that I liked the Commander and Rautu well enough in in Michelle's full length novel "The Commander and the Den Asaan Rautu", I came to like them even more in these short stories primarily because I got to see completely different sides of them (ie. Rautu's completely caring side in "Leggings" and the Commanders true wickedness in a handful of stories). I also really enjoyed this compilation because all of the stories were quite short- two to six-ish pages in length a piece, therefore when I had only a few minutes to read I could easily get through at least one of the stories.

All in all, I think that this is a great addition to Michelle Franklin's Haanta series and fans of the Haanta series will gobble this book up in no time at all and be left craving more! 

Rating: 9/10

I received this book from the author to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Take Two: "Paranormalcy" by Kiersten White

We all do it, we read a book and we make an initial impression of it, whether it is a positive or negative impression it doesn't matter- just the fact that we make one matters. And sometimes the impression that we make can very well be impacted by factors outside of the book (ie. our mood while reading the book, other books we were reading at the time, etc.). We then reread the book (which I don't know about y'all, but I am totally a rereader) and notice things we didn't see the first time around, come to understand those characters who bothered us the first time around or just come away from the book with a totally different idea of how we feel about it. As mentioned, I am a rereader sort of person, whether I reread a book right after my initial time reading it, or months, if not years later, well, I don't think that really matters, what I think matters is that with time something about that book hooks us, reels us in, and forces us to once again pick it up. I thought that it would be interesting if I were to reread some books that I have previously read and/or reviewed to see if my initial impression of the book has changed, hence this new little feature I like to call "Take Two".

My original review of "Paranormalcy" can be found HERE.

Paranormalcy From Goodreads: "Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal."

I am not going to lie, when I first read this book I was one of those people who was more than a little turned off of Evie because I found her to be an entirely superficial individual. I think that why I was so turned off by her was because I felt that she went against everything that I stand for as a female (ie. she always seemed to be concerned about her make-up or how her clothing made her feel and things of that nature), however, after rereading it I came to realize that that wasn't the case at all. Because Evie was the only teenager living at the Center she hadn't really been exposed to people her age before. Therefore she relied upon popular culture, specifically her favorite television show Easton Heights (a trashy sounding TV show where all of the characters were always hooking up or breaking up with one another, similar to Gossip Girl or The Hills), to gauge how teenagers were supposed to act- it wasn't like she chose to act the way that she did, it was the only way she knew how to. When you think about it, it really is sad.

I just feel like I liked all of the characters more the second time around. Take Lend for instance, I didn't think that it was possible, but I loved him even more the second time around. The boy was just such a rock and really held Evie together when she needed it. And Vivian, well, maybe I didn't like her more per se, but I sympathisized for her even more- she was raised by people who didn't see her as a person, only seeing her as a weapon, therefore she hadn't truly experienced love in her life. And Reth, the first time I read of him I couldn't really stomach him at all, but this time around? Well, I found myself liking him more and more (not that I would ever want Evie to choose him over Lend)- I just found him to be entirely intriguing and a character I really want to know more about.

So what does this mean? I fully take back my earlier claims that this book was pretty superficial (if anything, the undertones of this book are quite sad). I highly recommend this book to those who have yet to read it (seriously, you are missing out- Kiersten is such a talented writer, especially when it comes to writing comedic situations and events)!

Memorable lines from the book:

"When I got to my unit, I went straight to my bedroom and dug around under my bed until I found the three-pound dumbbells I had stolen from one of Bud's training sessions. They were iron, the best protection against faeries. Or at least, I was pretty sure they were iron. Okay, I really, really hoped they wer eiron, because my only other option was to sleep with my knife on my chest. Images of impaling myself during a nightmare flew through my head..." (pg. 69). 

"According to Easton Heights, a fistfight over a girl should be breaking out at some point today, followed by a tear-streaked catfight in the girl's bathroom. Should I keep my eyes open? And, more important, do I join the fight, or just watch?" (pg. 241).

Best movie ever- no idea what it was, though, didn't really care." (pg. 250).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

Going UndergroundTitle: "Going Underground"
Author: Susan Vaught
Release Date: September 13th, 2011

From Goodreads: "Del is a good kid who’s been caught in horrible circumstances. At 17, he’s trying to put his life together after an incident in his past that made him a social outcast—and a felon. As a result, he can’t get into college; the only job he can find is digging graves; and when he finally meets a girl he might fall in love with, there’s a whole sea of complications that threaten to bring the world crashing down around him again. But what has Del done?"

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