Wednesday, August 31, 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...

Title: "Hollow"
Author: Richard Denney
Release Date: May 8th, 2012

From Goodreads: "Welcome to the house of Hollow. 

In a dystopian future, sixteen year old Leah Munro has been sold to a rich woman in a crippling mansion. Soon Leah discovers that there is something mysterious going on around the home, and with the help of three other girls, she attempts to uncover what is truly happening... what lies beyond all of the plexiglass windows and the hideous screams in the middle of the night? Leah will soon find out."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Bloodlines" by Richelle Mead

BloodlinesFrom Goodreads: "The first book in Richelle Mead's brand-new teen fiction series - set in the same world as Vampire Academy.

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood."

While Richelle Mead's "Vampire Academy" series is one of my most favourite book series of all time, I must admit that I was quite hesitant to read this book. Primarily for two reasons, Sydney and Adrian (AKA the main characters of this book). I personally found Sydney to be way too uptight for my liking in "VA" and as for Adrian? Well, I was Team Dimitri from the get-go and every time Rose was with Adrian? I wanted to rip my hair out. Piece by piece. Therefore, imagine my surprise when I read this book and enjoyed it more than the first two "VA" books- and had an even bigger emotional reaction to it than those same two books!

I think that while I was reading the "VA" books I did everything in my power to hate Adrian and in doing so, I never understood him as a character. However, after having read this book I have such a new found appreciation for him and I have really come to respect him. Adrian is flat out hilarious. And swoon-worthy! He almost makes me forget about Dimitri. And Sydney? I have come to understand that there is a method to her madness being extremely calculated and somewhat standoffish- she's had a tough life and it only stands to reason that said life would have a great impact upon her.

Now I must admit, typically when I read a book I try not to foreshadow, I like being taken by surprise and I like having that, "Oh my gosh, did author X seriously just do that?" moment, but in this book I think that what was going to happen next was pretty obvious and as such it was a bit of a bummer because I missed out on that heart-stopping (or heart-breaking) moment. BUT... The last four words of the book (which I will not divulge *laughs evilly*) more than makes up for the overall predictability of the book (seriously, when I read those last four words I squealed. Loudly. And I may or may not have caused my dad to swerve into the wrong lane as he was driving. And then swerve again when he tried to determine whether or not I was crying from the book- which I was- happy tears though). 

All in all, this is by far one of the best books I have read in 2011! Richelle completely exceeded my expectations and the next book in the series, "The Golden Lily", has shot up on my "Most Anticipated Books of 2012" list. 

Rating: 10/10

Memorable lines from the book: 
"Brilliant? You think I'm brilliant?" He threw his hands skyward. "You hear that, world? Sage says I'm brilliant!" (pg. 145).

'"Are you going to do the work and give me the paycheck?" Adrian asked hopefully.' (pg. 235). 

"Of course they didn't give us this much, Sage. But I had to make sure I nailed my first assignment. Takes a lot of tries before you hit perfection." He paused to reconsider that. "Well, except for my parents. They got it right on the first try" (pg. 333).

"My earlier point remains. You're a solid person, Sage. You're easy on the eyes, if a little skinny, and your ability to memorize useless information is going to hook some guy in" (pg. 409). 

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Blood Bound" by Rachel Vincent

Blood Bound (Unbound Novel)From Goodreads: "By blood, by word, by magic...

Most can't touch the power. But Liv Warren is special – a paranormal tracker who follows the scent of blood.

Liv makes her own rules, and the most important one is trust no one.

But when her friend's daughter goes missing, Liv has no choice but to find the girl. Thanks to a childhood oath, Liv can't rest until the child is home safe. But that means trusting Cam Caballero, the former lover forbidden to her.

Bound by oath and lost in desire for a man she cannot have, Liv is racing to save the child from a dark criminal underworld where secrets, lies, trauma and danger lurk around every corner...every touch...every kiss.

And more blood will be spilled before it's over..."

Though I have said it countless times since I started reviewing books I will say it once again. I love Rachel Vincent. A lot. I love the way that she isn't afraid to write flawed characters (and as such totally realistic characters), I love the way that she always creates strong-minded and independent female characters, and I love how she always writes of paranormal beings/ elements that no other authors have touched before (seriously, bean sidhes? Werecats? Contracts literally bound in blood? Who else writes about these? NO ONE!).

After having read this book I feel like Rachel took all of Faythe and Marc's (from her "Shifters" series) best characteristics (and then some) and mashed them together creating Olivia and Cam AKA perfection. Where Faythe is hotheaded and often does things without seemingly any thought Olivia is cunning and calculated and where Faythe is stubborn, well, Olivia is stubborn too, but in a more selfless way (ie. "I am only this being stubborn because I am doing everything in my power to ensure your safety").

However, I must admit that when I first started reading this book it wasn't all rainbows and sunshine. The first chapter is told from Olivia's point of view and therefore I assumed the second would be as well (as Rachel only stuck with Faythe's POV in her "Shifters" series). But that wasn't the case. When I started reading the second chapter and it appeared that Olivia was talking about herself in first person, I thought, "What in the world is going on. Oh, OH! Different character!" (the chapters switch between Cam and Olivia). While I did enjoy having multiple perspectives, as it showed us parts of the characters we wouldn't have otherwise seen, I think it would have been much less confusing as if each chapter was labelled "Cam" or "Olivia" a la  

All in all, despite my criticism, this book is amazing and totally exceeded my expectations (in fact, as much as it pains me to admit this, I might like this book more than the "Shifters" books)- I highly recommend it and I don't think fans of Rachel will be disappointed!

Rating: 10/10

Memorable lines from the book:

"Turning away from his this time hurt no less than the time before" (pg. 78).

"... I have a choice. I choose you" (pg. 225). 

I think that my Tweet perfectly describes my feelings for the following line:

"I realized I'd rather die with you than live with someone else" (pg. 231). 

"You think we'll die if we stay together, but I've been dying slowly for the last six years" (pg. 252).

And you can purchase the book HERE.


Sunday, August 28, 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.

Though I didn't get much in my mailbox this week I was a-okay with it because two of these books were amongst my 'Most Highly Anticipated Books of 2011' and the third is one that I have previously read and loved (and one that I know I will never tire of).

 Bloodlines The Candidates (Delcroix Academy, Book 1) Blood Bound (Unbound Novel)

"Bloodlines" by Richelle Mead
"Delacroix Academy: The Candidates" by Inara Scott
"Blood Bound" by Rachel Vincent 

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, August 27, 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!

Perfect Chemistry"Perfect Chemistry" by Simone Elkeles 

From Goodreads: "A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.  

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.  In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart."

Wednesday, August 24, 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...

Skyship Academy: The Pearl WarsTitle: "The Pearl Wars"
Author: Nick James
Release Date: September 8, 2011

From Goodreads: "A devastated Earth’s last hope is found in Pearls: small, mysterious orbs that fall from space, and are capable of supplying enough energy to power entire cities. Battling to control the Pearls are the Skyship dwellers—political dissidents who live in massive ships in the Earth’s stratosphere—and the corrupt Surface government. 

Jesse Fisher, a Skyship brat, and Cassius Stevenson, a young Surface operative, cross paths when they both venture into forbidden territory in pursuit of Pearls. Their chance encounter triggers an unexpected reaction, endowing each boy with remarkable—and dangerous—abilities that their respective governments would stop at nothing to possess. Enemies thrust together with a common goal, Jesse and Cassius make their way to the ruins of Seattle to uncover the truth about their new powers, the past they didn’t know they shared, and a shocking secret about the Pearls."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Possess" by Gretchen McNeil

PossessFrom Goodreads: "Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king."

The large majority of time the female lead of a YA book doesn't really do it for me- I find that they are too indecisive, they are ruled by the boys in their lives (yes, boys, as they are typically involved in a love triangle), or they just don't have a personality when compared to their male counterpart(s). There are very few female characters that make me think to myself, "Wow, she is so bad-ass, I wanna be just like her!" (in fact, I think that I can count how many female characters I consider to be bad-ass on one hand, Dru from Lili St. Crow's "Strange Angels" series, Rose from Richelle Mead's "Vampire Academy" series, and Isabel from Cassie Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series). But after having read Gretchen McNeil's "Possess" I finally have another female character to add to the ranks! Bridget is everything that I look for in a female character, snarky, an independent thinker, unwavering in her beliefs, and the likes of.

Now not only does this book have a bad-ass female lead, but it also has a pretty unique storyline as well. Storylines involving angel/ demon mythology run rampant in today's world of YA, but never has there been a book quite like this (or at least that I have come across and I believe myself to be a connoisseur of YA angel-related books ;) ). Furthermore, I haven't really ever come across a YA book before that has spooked me before, but there were a few times while reading this that I did find quite creeped out/ covered in goosebumps (*cough, cough, evil dolls and creepy cat running through house), therefore I thought it was really awesome that Gretchen was able to influence and impact the reader in such a way that they had a physical reaction to what they were reading.

All in all, I highly recommend this book (though maybe not to those who have a phobia of dolls- seriously, this book may just traumatize you ;) ) and I believe this to be one of the most unique debuts I have read to date! I cannot wait to see what Gretchen has in store for us next!

Rating: 10/10

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

Thanks to HarperCollins Canada and Shannon!

Memorable lines from the book:

"The green eyes narrowed on Bridget. "What are you staring at?" 
Could she be anymore of a Mean girl stereotype? Unbelievable. Bridget rolled her eyes. "A harpy, apparently." 
"A what?" 
"Seriously, crack a book once in a while" (pg. 67). 

"I have a bad back." 
"You have a lazy ass" (pg. 68). 

"... the last time that she checked there was no Most Likely to Banish Demons category in the St. Michael's yearbook" (pg. 32).

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Coffee At Little Angels" by Nadine Rose Larter

Coffee at Little AngelsFrom Goodreads: "Phillip, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Caleb, Maxine, Grant, Melanie and Josh grew up in a small town where they spent their high school years together as an inseparable clique. But high school has ended, and they are all living their own “grown up” lives, each under the impression that their group has basically come to an end. When Phillip dies in a hit and run accident, Kaitlyn summons the others to all come back home, forcing a reunion that no one is particularly interested in partaking in.

Coffee at Little Angels follows how each character deals with the death of a childhood friend while at the same time dealing with their own ignored demons after years of separation. Events unfold as the group tries to rekindle the friendship they once shared to honour the memory of a friend they will never see again." 

It isn't often that I read books outside of YA paranormal and almost every time that I do read books out of my comfort zone I am blown away by them (and typically kick myself for being so close-minded when it comes to other book genres), this book is no exception (it being what I would personally consider a contemporary adult fiction- a book which reads somewhat similar to "The Time Traveler's Wife" or "The Lovely Bones"). Everything in Nadine's book rings true, especially what it is like to live in a small town (Me? I live in a hamlet that constitutes less than 75 people- we don't even have a convenience store, the closet store one is to the south in a small town which has a population of ~1900).

While I read a book I always make note of memorable passages/ quotes and I must say that I have never come across so many before as I did while reading this book. I think that why I encountered so many memorable passages is because Nadine has a way of words unlike anything I have ever seen before- while you are reading her book it is near impossible not to visualize everything going on within it and it is near impossible to not connect to the characters as each is so entirely realistic- primarily because each and every one of them is flawed to some degree. 

All in all, if you are looking for a book that you can make a true connection with and one that will have you thinking about it days, if not weeks, after having read it, I think that this book is just for you!

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.

Memorable lines from the book: 

"Loving Sarah is like reading a particularly good book. That pressing and overwhelming need to just devour it as fast as possible is matched only by the need to savor it slowly and completely, lest it all come to an end too soon" (pg. 15).

"She loves me, I know, but not quite in the way that she needs to. Not in the way I do her... I still find it impossible to walk away from the possibility that maybe one day she will learn to love me properly" (pg. 16).

"Maybe you just feel love harder when you're still a kid. Maybe time and age jade you and help to cushion the blow of passion in favor of sanity or self preservation" (pg. 36).

"You don't get to choose your friends when you live in a small town. There are simply people in your general age group that you make do with because you don't have a choice. There are no strange clubs to join. There's no separation between the jocks and the nerds. There are no Goths or skaters. If anything, there's perhaps a small distinction between the popular, the sort-of-popular and the not-so-popular. And even those lines can be relatively blurry, in a "flavor of the week" kind of way" (pg. 37).

Sunday, August 21, 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.

"Wildefire"  by Karsten Knight

A signed ARC of "The Watchers" by Inara Scott (Thanks Inara!)

And speaking of "The Watchers", I must admit that I was somewhat confused as to why when August rolled around it wasn't released. It turns out Inara's publisher didn't feel like the titles of her books "Delacroix Academy: The Candidates" and "Delacroix Academy: The Watchers" fully conveyed to the reader what the book was about. Therefore they decided to rename "The Candidates" (it is now called "The Talents") and give it a new cover (the paperback copy which will be released in March 2012 will have the new cover). They also did the same for "The Watchers" (it is now called "The Marked") and it will be released April 3, 2012. So thankfully I won an ARC of it and don't have to wait until April of next year to find out what happens to my darling Jack! ;)

 What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, August 20, 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!

"Greywalker"by Kat Richardson

From Goodreads: "Harper Blaine was slogging along as a small-time P.I. when a two-bit perp's savage assault left her dead. For two minutes, to be precise. 

When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit ...strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring.

But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker-able to move between our world and the mysterious, cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift (or curse) is about to drag her into that world of vampires and ghosts, magic and witches, necromancers and sinister artifacts. Whether she likes it or not."

Friday, August 19, 2011

E-ARC Review: "Legend of Witchtrot Road" by E.J. Stevens

From Goodreads: "Surviving agitated ghosts, irritated witches, angry werewolves, and the horrors of high school has never been so hard.

The night of Samhain may be behind them, but Yuki and her friends have only begun to face the challenges of their paranormal gifts. Tensions are rising--in the pack, at school, and within their tightly knit group of friends.

The tragic death of Wakefield High student Dylan Jacobs has emotions boiling over. The J-Team, Yuki's arch nemesis, have turned the entire football team against her. They claim that Yuki is a witch and blame her for the death of their fellow teammate. Will Yuki be able to solve the mystery of Dylan's death, and the legend of Witchtrot Road, before tempers flare and things turn violent?

Emma is the friend that Yuki turns to when things get tough, but she's been behaving strangely. Emma has been acting distant and seems to be coming down with a mysterious illness. What will Yuki and her friends do if their healer is truly sick?

Calvin has become Alpha and wants the best for his pack. He is a dedicated and compassionate leader willing to do anything for the good of his people, but will Cal be able to hold the pack together when a fiery, young werewolf comes seeking revenge?

Simon may still be a roguish playboy, but he is taking his role as Calvin's second in command deadly serious. Will Simon be able to focus on his pack duties when he is forced to face his dark, emotional past?

Don't miss Legend of Witchtrot Road, Spirit Guide series book 3, coming Fall 2011."

I didn't think it possible to fall even more in love with this series (and the characters, oh the amazingly swoon-worthy male characters and the super snarky female characters), but after having read this book, the third installment of this series, I found that it is indeed possible. 

While I liked the majority of the earlier books, I liked everything about this one. While in the earlier books the characters were somewhat melodramatic, they were stronger and more confident in this book  and they showed up sides of them that we had to yet to see (Simon being more than a playboy? GASP!) and while the plot in the earlier books seemed dragged out at times, in this book it was completely entirely gripping and unputdownable. It becomes extremely evident that E.J. has really grown as an author.

All in all, if you have yet to read one of E.J.'s books, well, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? You are seriously missing out! Not only will her books suck you in with their unique paranormal elements, but also the humor (her characters are some of the most humorous I have read in the world of YA and dare I say it, she possess comedic talents similar to that of Rachel Hawkins and Kiersten White- my two all time favourite YA funny ladies).

Rating: 9.5/10

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

Wednesday, August 17, 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...

The Scorpio RacesTitle: "The Scorpio Races"
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: October 18th, 2011

From Goodreads: "It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

E-ARC Review: "Khantara: A Haanta Novel" by Michelle Franklin

From Goodreads: "“Khantara” tells the story of a noble and quiet conqueror from the Haanta island of Mharvholan. Khantara is blessed with the ability to command and summon animals at will, has unmatchable skill on the field, and has three commanders whom he treats like sons. When war comes to his lands, the giant along with his three commanders leads a massive assault against the Thellisian Empire, the Haanta’s ancient enemy situated directly south of their peaceful islands. The battle is won, Khantara gains a quarter of the empire in his people’s name and begins a settlement, allowing the occupied Thellisians to live there without fear of harm, offering them the enlightenment the Haanta can provide.

While Khantara is overseeing the construction of the outpost, he finds a strange Thellisian woman. He notices that she bears a brand on her neck and is ill-treated or disregarded by her people. After a short meeting with her, he discovers that she is one of the Marked, a lower cast of Thellisians deemed unfit for education who may only be sold as slaves or adopted as indentured spouses. Feeling that such a life is cruel for the forthcoming woman, Khantara frees her and places her under his care. He shows Anelta the Haanta way of life, and they, against Haanta warrior cast regulation, fall in love.

Their attachment is kept a secret until a violent rebellion suddenly breaks out and Khantara is called to fight, but how can he now leave the woman he has come to love and still lead his people to war without revealing their secret?"

With the release of this book, the third book in her ongoing "Haanta" series, Michelle Franklin has quickly risen to the top of my 'Most Favourite Fantasy (with a hint of Historical Fiction) Authors' list.

Now I must admit that I was a bit hesitant to read this book because I loved "'s" Rautu so much and I was a bit concerned that in reading this book, knowing that it was about his parents (and perchance him as a youngster), would perhaps alter what I thought about him. However, after having read only a few pages of this book all my worries were forgotten as I recalled how exceptional Michelle is not only at her world building, but also her character development- talents which completely draw the reader in, making them impervious to everything going on around them. I don't think it possible for the reader to not fall in love with Khantara, the most kindhearted and selfless giant EVER, and Anelta, the most gracious and eager-to-learn character I have ever read of before!

However, I did find the end of the book to be a bit rushed. I thought the last quarter or so of the book were somewhat anti-climatic and then all of a sudden (within the last 10 pages of the book) BAM! all hell broke loose. I would have preferred to have seen a some of the epic-ness of the end of the novel to have taken place a bit earlier on, allowing me to savor it more.

All in all, I highly recommend all of Michelle's books, I find them to be some of the most original and satisfying books I can ever recall reading!

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.

Sunday, August 14, 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.
Waking the Witch (Women of the Otherworld, Book 11)The Space BetweenFangs for NothingThin Air (Thin Air Saga)Brightest Kind of Darkness (Brightest Kind of Darkness series book 1)

"Waking the Witch" by Kelley Armstrong

For Review: 
"The Space Between" by Alexandra Sokoloff
"Fangs for Nothing" by Adrianna Ambrose
"Thin Air" by Lynn Seresin
"Brightest Kind of Darkness" by P.T. Michelle

What did you get in your mailbox this week? 

Saturday, August 13, 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!

Burned: A House of Night Novel"Burned" by P.C. and Kristin Cast

From Goodreads: "Zoey Redbird is the youngest High Priestess in House of Night history and is the only person – vamp or fledgling – that can stop the evil Neferet from raising all kinds of immortal trouble. And she might just have a chance if she wasn’t so busy being dead.

Well, dead is too strong a word. Stevie Rae knows she can bring her BFF back from her unscheduled va-cay in the Otherworld. But it’s going to take a lot more than hoping to bring Zoey back. Stevie Rae will have to give up a few secrets of her own..."

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