Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Title: Finale (Hush, Hush #4)
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 8/10 - Hush, Hush and Crescendo will always be my favourite covers of this series.

I almost threw the book across the room at a point near the end there, because holy bejeesus, my EMOTIONS!
As I understand, my head will roll if I let any spoilers slip, so this is a strictly spoiler-free review. Be prepared for emotional outbursts, however.

First of all, Nora. I can't express how much I admire her in this book. Sure, there was a moment about halfway through when I felt like strangling some sense into her, and I had to put the book down for an hour to calm down, but those were extenuating circumstances. On the whole, I really felt like she matured so, so much. Reading through her point of view was a pleasure, because (aside from those... circumstances I mentioned above), she has no sense of her own power and importance; she's the leader of the Nephilim, sure, and that gives her a hell of a lot of power, but she wants nothing to do with it. I loved seeing the hero (heroin, in this case) completely and most vehemently turn their back on their powerful task of saving the world that only they can do. It was so refreshing. I also felt that her relationship with Patch, which, let's face it, has always sizzled and sparked with sexual tension, and made me fan myself repeatedly, grew and expanded to so much more - without ever losing that inherent hotness that makes these books so addictive.
Patch... *dreamy sigh* what can I say about Patch that won't take me into an endless ramble about how amazing, hot and just all-around fan-freaking-tastic he is? Sure, I did say he was being an asshole. And he totally was. He was also being an asshole for all the right reasons - which doesn't excuse the asshole-ness, but it sure helps soften the blow. But I think the main thing about Patch is just how obvious his love for Nora is, and that makes me love him more than anything else. And while his protective streak might be a bit overwhelming, and controlling at times, he does know when to back down, and he trusts Nora enough to know that she can take care of herself, even though it's painfully clear he'd much rather she never had to even try fighting herself.
Vee... holy crap. That pretty much sums it all up. Just... holy crap. That came out of NOWHERE, and just hit me in the head and completely blindsided me. I knew Nora would eventually fess up to Vee, but I never, not in a million years, expected that sort of answer. I'm not sure what the deal was with that, exactly, though I get that it played a quite important part in the end (not the Epilogue, the end before that :P), though frankly, most of that could have been accomplished even without that little bomb dropped, so I'm really not sure. But hey, whatever. I also love her friendship with Nora. It's great that Nora has not only a real, steady (well... kind of) relationship, but also a true best friend.

A little quote from the book for my Patch ladies:
"'You dress to impress,' I said approvingly.
'No, Angel.' He leaned in, his teeth softly grazing my ear. 'I undress to impress.'"

You're most very welcome ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Opportunist

Title: The Opportunist (Love me with Lies #1)
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

First of all, fair warning: this book is not for the faint of heart. I mean it. I really do. My. Freaking. Heart.
No, seriously, though. The term 'heartbreak' doesn't even START to cover it. Why do I keep reading books like this? I mean, they're fabulous reads, but OMG books should have happy endings, not sob-your-heart-out-and-eat-a-pint-of-ice-cream endings. Ugh.

Olivia, Caleb and Leah are just so... so... so fucked up, I can't even explain it properly. First off, we have Olivia. She has been in love with Caleb since college. But to get him, she did quite a few not-so-cool stuff, like telling his then girlfriend who was pregnant that she knew for a fact that Caleb didn't want kids (he did - very much), and convincing her to get an abortion. From then, the lies just started piling up, until they became a very Tower of Pisa-like pile. Except, unlike that tower, this pile wasn't made of stone, and it eventually fell...
... but it only fell because Olivia found Caleb doing the dirty with a co-worker when he should have been going out to dinner with her. So then that's Caleb's not-so-cool deed. And then, a few years after the two broke up, Caleb has a car accident, and loses his memory for a brief period of time. But instead of telling people when his memories come back (while he was still in the hospital), he pretends to have amnesia and gets close to Olivia again...
... And Olivia is trying really hard to do the right thing and step back; she knows that Caleb is still with Leah, but she feels bad that he can't remember anything, and having been with him for so long, she can fill in many of the blanks for him, so she agrees to meet with him and they get to talking, which then gets her old feelings towards Caleb to resurface...
Enter Leah. Mean, red-haired bitch, she is the one who snapped Caleb up after Olivia broke up with him. And she is absolutely livid that her amnesia-ed boyfriend is going around to see his ex, because if he can't remember everything she lied to him about, then there's nothing stopping him from falling for her again - if he ever even un-fell for her. But to avoid them getting back together, Leah has a plan. And she has no intention of letting it fail. Because if it does, she will lose all the money and prestige that being with Caleb give her - something she is determined to never let happen.

The thing about this book is that there is no 'good guy' or 'bad guy'; frankly, they are ALL bad guys, and deserve to burn in hell for messing with my emotions so much. And yet we can't help being on Olivia's side, because despite all the horrible things she has done, she truly loves Caleb, while Leah mostly wants his money.

The Casual Vacancy

I'll be honest - I'm not done with the book. In my defense, The Casual Vacancy is a very large and very heavy book (theme-wise, I mean; it's actually quite light weight-wise, all things considered). However, I feel the need to address all these comments that are going around about how Rowling should have just stuck with Potter.
Now, as I said, I haven't yet finished the book, but even halfway through (hell, even one page in, if you ask me), it's ridiculously obvious that this is nothing to do whatsoever with Potter. I like to think of The Casual Vacancy as Rowling's version of what Daniel Radcliffe did when he took part in Equus: it's a statement, it shocked a lot of people, and many disliked that 'their Harry Potter' was taking his clothes off onstage. But just because some people disliked that Daniel decided to go nude onstage because it went against their views of him as the hero Harry Potter, doesn't mean that the play, or his acting in it for that matter, weren't good; it just means that people were so blinded by their shock at seeing a person they'd come to associate with children do something so scandalously... adult.
The same concept applies to The Casual Vacancy, but with a few extra complications. You see, Vacancy is very clearly an adult novel from the start, and Rowling had been saying so for a while, but it seems as if people didn't actually believe that her 'adult' would entail the normal things you'd find in an adult book: swearing, sexual situations, etc. Why, exactly, Jo Rowling's adult book was expected to be different from other adult books, is still a little unclear to me, as that is what I expect from adult books in general, regardless of the writer, but there you go. To add insult to injury on the wounds of the horrified Potter fans who were no doubt expecting a book perhaps about an adult rather than a teenager, but still a rather tame book, Rowling then throws in a heap - and I do mean a massive heap - of social analysis done with such great skill and precision, it's mind-boggling. But, see, social analysis tends to upset people, because the truth of human nature is far from pretty, and that is what The Casual Vacancy is all about: human nature, and how people react to other people, and the things around them.
There are so many reviews out there that say that Rowling 'tired too hard' to make sure people knew it was an adult book, and that some scenes with swearing and themes such as rape came out 'forced and unnatural'. I know. Shocking in a clearly labelled adult book. Who'd have expected it?  And yet those reviews generally end with the reviewer saying that they are disappointed that Vacancy wasn't more like Potter. I return to my previous point about Radcliffe and Equus, and will quote something my dad told me when I was discussing this with him over the phone the other day: 'I guess it makes sense, in a way, for her to publish it first [before the child's book she had previously mentioned]. She, just like the actors who played her characters in the movies, needs to break the tradition, and step out of the preconceived notion that people have of her as "the one who wrote Harry Potter". Publishing another children's book wouldn't do that half as effectively as an adult book would, and by what you're telling me, she's definitely succeeded in breaking that view that people had of her.' We all know that an actor's greatest nightmare is to be labeled as 'the guy/girl who played X' for the rest of their lives, and I think what people need to realise is that, after 7 books and ten years writing Potter alone, Rowling was faced with exactly the same dilemma.
I do realise that the topics touched in Vacancy can affect some people's delicate views on life and humanity; after all, what kind of monster rejoices in someone's death?
You'd be surprised. You really would.
My advice to anyone trying to decide whether to read Vacancy, is to first ask yourself if you truly know what the book is about, and if you have no expectations of it being in any way similar to Potter. Because if that's what you expect, then it is inevitable that you will be let down. However, if you're just looking for a new great book, brilliantly written, with an astoundingly spot-on review of the human psyche, then I say by all means, go forth and enjoy!

I would also like to make it extremely clear that I grew up with Harry Potter. Harry, Ron and Hermione were my best friends for a while, and I owe a lot of my childhood happiness, as well as a great part of who I am today to those books. However, upon reading that Jo Rowling was going to publish an adult book, I had no illusions that it would be any different from any other adult book out there in regards to language and themes. In fact, I was looking forward to seeing how Rowling would portray those aspects of an adult book, and was pleasantly surprised. I am therefore here just registering my confusion towards my fellow Potter fans who apparently haven't understood Rowling when she adamantly stated that she will not be writing any other books on Hogwarts. Sad as that is, I accepted that fact and moved on. I strongly suggest those people who are outraged by Vacancy to do the same. To quote our favourite headmaster, 'It does not do to live on dreams and forget to live.' A new Potter book is no more than a dream, so just drop it, and enjoy the new masterpiece Jo has given us.

Cover Reveal: Gameboard of the Gods

It's that time again! Richelle Mead, our favourite redhead in literature is gearing up to release her new adult series, and today we got the blurb and cover for Gameboard of the Gods, the first book in the Age of X series:

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised i
n an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

 Look for Gameboard of the Gods in bookstores June 2013.

Monday, October 08, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: YA
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 8/10

I feel like I have a certain amount of pressure to give this a 5, but in the end, it's a 4.5; sorry John Green fanatics.

See, thing is, when I started reading this book, I was mentally prepared to shed a hell of a lot of tears. I mean, these days, you mention cancer health centres and I tear up, if I'm having an emotional day. It's just a touchy subject all around. And yeah, not going to lie, it was heart-wrenching. I never, not in a million years, expected it to end like it did, but hey that's the nature of this damned disease, so I can't say I was too surprised - guess two family members who died from it kind of make me in the know as to how it just sneaks up on you with no warning. Once you've had it, it hovers over you forever, and it might decide to come back whenever it pleases, no advance warning so you can prepare to receive it. It just comes, and you best be ready for it, or else...
So, no, that's not what bothered me.
What bothered me was - and please let's all take a moment to realise that, despite being a highly emotional book that deals with something that cannot seem to get out of the news/public eye, it's still a book, and therefore there are certain things I expect to find in a book, and that is why I found this lacking - is the way the love story was developed. I get that this is a relatively short book, probably because that sense of impending doom, but I felt like the romance, which is, I don't care what you have to say otherwise, the main driving force of this novel, could have had more details. Love at first sight is all very nice and good, but I just wasn't feeling it, to be honest. Also, the whole she-looks-like-my-ex thing kind of freaked me out, as it never really shows any particular difference in Augustus' behaviour towards Hazel, so you never really know when he actually fell for her.

Now, I want to touch on something that has been bothering me for a while, and which is part, I think, of why this book is so popular. I'm not denying that Mr. Green is a wonderful writer; he most definitely is. But these past few years have seen a burst of attention towards cancer, and I think that this attention and focus helped a lot in the popularisation of this novel. Once again, though: it is not a bad book; I just found it to not be all that people had ranted and raved that it was.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Reflected in You

Title: Reflected in You
Author: Sylvia Day
Genre: Adult
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 3/10

That ending COMPLETELY blindsided me. Well, not the ending per se, but more like what led up to the ending. I just didn't think Gideon had it in him. And he annoyed the living daylights out of me in this book. There were times I just had to put the book down before I committed fictional murder through kindle death. And I love my kindle way too much to do that to the poor thing.
I felt that reading Gideon was like diving into a less serious happening of the Jackson Marriage Case in 1891 (don't ask; it's a long story, but damn that thing scarred me), in which, in a nutshell, the asshole husband, who left his wife with her sister exactly one day after the wedding and sailed off to New Zealand, got so mad when he came back and she told him to shove it, that he kidnapped her and kept her against her will in his house.
There is one scene in particular in Reflected in You that reminded me of this, and while no actual kidnapping is involved (though it does involve a car, and leads to a weekend with no communication... I'm sure you all know what I'm referring to), it still deeply bothered me how the matter was resolved and then later on just swept over, like it was perfectly fine. If my boyfriend ever did that to me, he'd be limping home -- a-freaking-lone.
Reading this book was like watching all of the feminist work crash and burn - double standards depending on sex, threats, and way too much control obsession, and yet... 4.5. I just don't even know anymore. And I suppose some people are into that sort of stuff. Truth be told, it's the rest of the book, the parts when Gideon wasn't being an overbearing control freak son of a bitch, that I just loved. The story has stuck with me, even though I've already started another book, and that, I think, is the mark of a good book. Still, I couldn't bring myself to give it a 5.

Also, what Gideon did at the end, though insanely creepy, and freaking illegal, I don't particularly care. That particular asshole deserved to be behind bars years ago; at least like this, some manner of justice was served.

To any of you interested: The Jackson Marriage Case ended after a drag through court, where Mrs. Jackson actually lost once, but when her friends appealed, she was finally allowed to leave her husband's house and live her life as she pleased.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Cover Reveal: Dark Triumph

Remember back when Grave Mercy came out and all I could do was rant and rave about the absolutely gorgeous cover? Book 2 in the His Fair Assassin trilogy, Dark Triumph, has gone for a less attention-grabbing cover this time, though not at all less striking.

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dun geons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.

I'm always a little wary when books change MC like this, but eventually always end up reading the sequels regardless, so I guess we'll see... Dark Triumph hits stores April 2013.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cover Reveal: Wicked Kiss

Wicked Kiss, the second book in Michelle Rowen's Nightwatchers series that started with Dark Kiss, now has a cover, title, blurb and a release date!


I used to be ordinary Samantha Day, but that's changed. Now, after one dark kiss from a dangerous boy, I can steal someone's soul...or their life. If I give in to the constant hunger inside me, I hurt anyone I kiss. If I don't...I hurt myself. 

Bishop is the one whose kiss I crave most, but if I kiss him, I'll kill him. Then there's another boy, one I can't hurt. One whose kiss seems to miraculously quell my hunger. They're both part of a team of angels and demons that's joined forces in my city to fight a mysterious rising darkness, an evil that threatens everyone I know and love. I just wonder if I'll be able to help Bishop - or if I'm just another part of the darkness he's sworn to destroy.... 

Look for  Wicked Kiss in bookstores Feb. 26th 2013!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Foolish Games

Title: Foolish Games
Author: Leah Spiegel
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 3/10

Joie Hall just wanted to get away from her mother. Now that high school is over, Joie's mom seemed to take far too much interest in what Joie's plans for the future would be - which would be frustrating enough if she actually knew what she wanted to do. Since she has no idea, Joie jumps at the chance to spend the summer with her two best friends, following a band, even though the idea of being a groupie holds zilch attraction for her. Even so, she agrees to drive Riley and Lizzie across the country for The Grimm Brothers Band's summer tour.
When Lizzie hooks up with the bassist, Warren, Joie finds herself stuck in an extremely awkward elevator ride with the two lovebirds and the lead singer, J. T. Hawkins - a ride that would change her life forever.  When Hawkins makes a snide remark about her to Warren, he sparks a flame of resentment that ends up spilling out the next day, when Riley asks for her help reviewing the concert for the band's official website. In a moment of driving despair, the full email with Joie's bitter words gets sent to the website.
That review started a verbal and cyber war between Hawkins and Joie that would drag in everyone they know, as they battle it out to find out who can be more stubborn, and come up with the wittier comeback.
Worst of all, it put Joie and her friends in the spotlight of a deranged, psychotic stalker of the band, hell-bent on destroying Hawkins... no matter the cost in collateral damage.

I could not put Foolish Games down. For such a good book, I was most pleasantly surprised at the low Kindle price, and pounced on it; only to find myself now, mere hours after starting it, feeling adrift and lost now that I've been kicked back into the real world. Joie's world is compelling, with heart-thumping, grip-your-chair-in-anxiety action and suspense, and a love story to make any fan of a good romance fall in head over heels. Most definitely recommended!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Size 12 and Ready to Rock

Title: Size 12 and Ready to Rock (Heather Wells Mysteries #4)
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Adult, chick-lit
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 7/10

I've always loved Cabot's writing for one reason: her writing is so light, so easy to read, it's really the biggest pleasure, and always makes me smile.
Heather Wells has been gone from bookstores for some time now, so I was thrilled to see her come back (not to mention that hilarious book trailer! Kudos to whoever had the idea), and let me tell you: she sure came back in big style.
When Tania Trace, wife of Heather's ex-boyfriend Jordan Cartwright is almost shot at, she ends up, along with Jordan, inside the closest building they found: Death Dorm. Neither Heather nor Cooper, Heather's fiancé and Jordan's brother, are happy to see the starlet couple barge in, especially when Tania announces she wants to move the filming of her new reality show into the dorm, claiming to be too scared of being out in the open again. She also contracts Cooper to protect her, which Cooper does quite happily, since it means spending his day in the same building as his fiancée.
Which is how Heather finds out that the shooting might not have been a stray bullet, like everyone has been saying... but rather Tania's ex-husband that no one, much less the media, know about.

Pulled kicking and screaming back into the popstar world, Heather resigns herself to helping Tania escape her ex, even if it means Jordan, along with the entire Cartwright family have to find out about her secret engagement to Cooper, the black sheep of the family - a fact that most certainly won't go down too well with some of them... But what's a girl to do? And popstar sensations have to stick together after all, even when it involves getting almost killed by a psycho ex. What is fame for, after all?

Dream Chaser

Title: Dream Chaser
Author: Angie Stanton
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 6/10

Let me start by saying I wasn't sure what to expect from Dream Chaser when I started it. The description made it seem similar enough to countless other romance novels out there: a girl and a boy who once upon a time were best friends, then something happens, they fall apart, years later their paths cross again, and BAM! love.
What I found was something so much richer, so much more compelling than just that. Oh, sure there are those elements (all of them), but Stanton took them, shook them around, and then twisted them in such a way that I just could not put Dream Chaser down.
Willow and Eli's story was funny, sad, exasperating, maddening, touching and, at times, just plain mesmerising. Willow is a cheerleader who used to dance. After a disaster during cheer practice, Willow clams up whenever she has to do her jumps, forcing her to quit the squad. But her problems really start when her old dance teacher, along with her choir teacher, decide Willow should be in the upcoming event of the town: a musical. But not just any musical; one directed by a Broadway man. Dancing has always been Willow's passion, and it takes is a while to find out why, exactly, she quit a few years back, because when she steps on to the stage for the audition, it's like she never stopped dancing. Wanting just a side part in the production so she can give her best friend a good excuse for not going back to cheer ever, Willow is stunned when the director tells her she has just gained the female lead in the piece.
Which is when things take a decided swing into 'disaster' land. Not only does the rest of the cast - along with her old cheer squad - now hate her for taking the place of the old lead after weeks of practice already, but the male lead of the musical is none other than Eli, her ex-best friend, and reason she quit dance to start with.

Eli isn't happy with the situation either, having to work so closely with the girl who crushed him. And it gets worse: the director insists on a steamy kiss onstage. Faced with the failure of the musical, which has turned into her new love, or facing her year-old guilt and resentment about Eli, both of them are forced into a situation neither expected to be in ever again. The only question is if their relationship will park at a wobbly friendship, or if they will have the guts to do what they didn't all those years ago.

52 Reasons to Hate my Father

Title: 52 Reasons to Hate my Father
Author: Jessica Brody
Genre: YA
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 10/10

This is what I imagine when I hear the term 'contemporary fairytale'. Because no fairytale is complete without a beautiful message in it, mixed in there with the drama, and seemingly-impossible love with the prince charming. Granted, Luke is no Prince, and for at least half the book, he is about as far from charming as a guy can get, and still I wished we'd seen more of Lex and Luke together, but the rest of the book totally made up for the lack of togetherness on their part.
Most YA books are in first person, and most of the time, we enjoy the narrator's voice (it's hard to get through the book otherwise...). But not Lexi. Oh, no. Lex's voice is the I-met-this-girl-last-weekend kind of voice. 
If you made a habit of meeting filthy rich heiresses during your weekends, I mean. But other than that, you can actually picture her throughout the book. 
The obnoxious, snotty girl from school? Mix that up with a healthy dose of living in a bubble, being forced down from the obnoxious and snotty horse to work as a maid and clean up horse poo, a sprinkle of romance, lots of humour and you get 52 Reasons to Hate My Father.
And for the first time in a long time, I wasn't rooting for the bad guy. Which turns out to be good in the end, of course, but it's a nice change of scenery, too. So yay to that ;)

Definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a light read.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Cover Contest

So you like reading (and if you don't, then I have no earthly idea what you're doing here...). And let's face it: who wouldn't kill - or die - to have their name in their favourite book? Say, if you were a character in Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings. Well, sadly both of those series are over, so that won't be happening any time in the foreseeable future, especially not with the latter, seeing as Tolkien isn't among us anymore; maybe you can convince Rowling to edit the books and add you in, I mean hey, you never know.
But while that doesn't happen, I know how you can get the next best option: your name in print in the same book as sexy-as-all-get-out Kaidan, the son of the demon of lust. If you need a reminder of just how sexy he is (it's in his very genes to be sexy, after all! The guy can hardly help it, poor thing... *ahem*), you can find my review of Sweet Evil here.

As I was saying before Kaidan distracted me, you have the chance to be a character in the next book of the trilogy. Just head on over to Bewitched Bookworms and read up on their rules and regulations, get out your artistic little fingers, and get to work on those covers, girls! Plus, even if you don't get to be a character in Sweet Hope, you might still win some signed swag!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Title: Almost
Author: Anne Eliot
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 4/10

I need to talk about the awesome that is this book. Fans of Beautiful Disaster (Jamie McGuire), Slammed (Colleen Hoover), Barely Breathing (Rebecca Donovan) and Thoughtless (S. C. Stephens), you're in for a treat!
Buckle up boys & girls, because Jess's past isn't pretty... but she doesn't remember it. At least, almost nothing of it. Not the night she revisits every time she falls alseep during dark hours, and not how what was meant to be rape was reduced to almost-rape. Everything about her life is almost. Almost remembered. Almost forgotten. Almost raped. Almost fine. Almost better. Almost dating...

It has many references to Pride & Prejudice, Titanic, Romeo & Juliet, and a few to Twilight. Because we all love popular references, and you know it.
But awesome references to gain (or lose... ahem) cookie points, Almost is a heart-wrenching tale of a teenage girl struggling to come to terms with the trauma in her past, while trying to convince her overbearing parents that she isn't made of glass, getting her younger sister to stop acting like the older sister for once, and falling in love - all at once. Oh, and she needs to fill in college applications, on the off chance that she can convince the parental entities that she's ready to move on - which is where Gray Porter comes in. Tall, dark and handsome with killer green eyes, he seems immune to Jess's death stares and not-so-subtle back-off hints. With an easy smile and the butterflies he gives her, she figures he'd be an okay candidate for number 3 on the list her sister made for her on How To Be Normal. #3 is getting a boyfriend. After some fast-talking and involuntary guilt-tripping, she gets Gray to go along with her plan... not knowing that Gray knows her deepest secrets, or that he's had a crush on her since freshman year, back when she was still a normal girl...

Almost is told in first person by both Gray and Jess, which I loved. Getting simultaneous intel inside both of their heads was wonderful. And let it be said - I love Gray Porter. And I want one of those BBB bumper stickers for myself! ;)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cover Reveal: Clockwork Princess

That's right, it's here! There was a mad scramble on twitter today to help unveil Clockwork Princess's cover, and I must say -- it's such a beautiful cover for what will, without a doubt, be a very painful book to read!
I just wonder what book it is that Tessa is holding. My first hope was A Tale of Two Cities, but since it's, you know, shining, I think I'll go with the Grey Book. Which pretty much confirms she's a warlock... and I love her dress.

In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it’s too late. As Jem’s health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves—even if it means never seeing the other one again?

Clockwork Princess will be out March 19th 2013.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Cover Reveal: Soulbroken

You can find my review of the first book on The Legacy of Tril, Soulbound, here. And today Auntie Heather released the cover for the second book, Soulbroken. Kaya is looking very femme fatale in the new cover, huh? I like it.
Beware of spoilers for Soulbound below.
In this follow up to Legacy of Tril: Soulbound, Kaya has learned that she is Soulbound to Darius, the Barron she secretly trained with at Shadow Academy. But he’s been sent away, leaving Kaya with questions about how he could be Soulbound to her and another Healer. Determined to find answers and prove herself worthy of fighting in the war against King Darrek and the Graplars, Kaya sneaks away, encountering a mysterious Barron named Gage in her travels. But Darius has shocking information about Gage—information that changes everything Kaya thought she knew about what it means to be Bound.

Soulbroken is scheduled for a late 2013 release.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Golden Lily

Title: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 8/10

Sydney Sage is back! Along with Ivashkov, Eddie Castile, Jill (Jailbait) Mastrano-Dragomir, Angeline,  Sonya and *drumrolls, please* Dimitri Belikov... along with a few other characters from Bloodlines. But yes, LOTS of Dimitri Belikov. I'll try not to focus too much on him, though, since this is Sydney's book.

The one main difference I see between the Bloodlines series and the Vampire Academy series, aside from the obvious, is that the plot twists in Bloodlines seem to be so much more predictable. I mean, remember that whole Tasha Ozera conspiracy? That was genius, pure genius (still hate the bitch's guts though).
Sydney's riddles seem to come undone much easier than Rose's. This doesn't mean the book isn't entertaining, it just doesn't make the 'favourite' shelf.
The Golden Lily follows the crew as they try to remain anonymous in California. Their anonymity is almost compromised when a group of vampire hunters starts trying to stake Sonya, thinking that she's still a Strigoi (which is when we get to see badass Russian god in god form again). With all that, plus all Alchemists, who seem to believe that Sydney Sage can do nothing wrong and is the perfect example of what a young Alchemist should be, that very same Alchemist can't seem to stop getting closer to her vampire and half-vampire comrades (Yeah, I went there...). Adrian seems to be walking an ever-thinner  line between spirit-madnes, and... well, Adrian-madness.
After getting used to liking Adrian in #1, I all but fell in love with him now. The man is truly smitten, and I'm happy for him, though his bond with Jill kind of creeped me out at times. Rose and Lissa's bond never made Rose look at Christian all moony-eyed, so that gave me the heebie jeebies. Plus, he's always had the best one-liners, even back when I wanted to walk him off a cliff. Angeline is my mini-Rose. Her training sessions with Eddie (who Adrian calls mini-Dimitri, wink wink, nudge nudge), and all her grouching and complaints just kept reminding me of Rose, especially in Frostbite. Not to mention her punch-first-ask-later policy. I kept wishing someone would call in Rose to train her, because man, that would be just too good.
And talking about Rose... Dimitri. I honestly thought we'd see him in two scenes, tops, and then he'd be gone. Instead, we got an entire bookload of Russian., and I want to take the opportunity to thank Richelle profusely. I'd missed him. And I do love his cell phone. He should use it more. And Sydney should learn to eavesdrop. Eavesdropping can be perfectly fine at certain times. That was one of them.

If you liked Bloodlines, definitely read The Golden Lily. If you read Bloodlines, but are still a little iffy at the lack of Romitri, READ The Golden Lily. I promise you, there will be scenes to make you happy. Fans of Sydrian, have at it.


Title: Broken
Author: Megan Hart
Genre: Adult
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 5/10 

"This month my name is Mary. My name is different every month—Brandy, Honey, Amy…sometimes Joe doesn't even bother to ask—but he never fails to arouse me with his body, his mouth, his touch, no matter what I'm called or where he picks me up. The sex is always amazing, always leaves me itching for more in those long weeks until I see him again.
My real name is Sadie, and once a month over lunch Joe tells me about his latest conquest. But what Joe doesn't know is that, in my mind, I'm the star of every X-rated one-night stand he has revealed to me, or that I'm practically obsessed with our imaginary sex life. I know it's wrong. I know my husband wouldn't understand. But I can't stop. Not yet."
The first thing that got my attention was the bizarre description. I mean "this month my name is Mary" made me think of a felon; someone on the run, or something like that, but it just didn't fit with the rest of it, so I bought it more out of curiosity than anything else.
Allow me to explain. Sadie is really only called Sadie. Her husband had an accident during a ski trip four years ago and lost all feeling from his neck down. Two years ago, Sadie met Joe on a bench during lunch. Every first Friday of each month, Sadie and Joe have sat at their bench and talked. After some time, Joe started telling her stories about his conquests. Starved for love she no longer seems to find in her husband Adam, Sadie listens to Joe's stories and imagines herself as those girls he seduces for one-nighters. That's why "my name is Mary". Not because she's convicted of murder. As time goes on, Sadie's conscience starts making itself known - after all, just because she isn't sleeping with Joe and betraying Adam, doesn't mean that her feelings aren't betraying her husband...
Sadie's is a heart-wrenching trip to discovery, acceptance, love, redemption, loss and affection. And she isn't the only one taking the road of self-disocvery. Joe, Adam and even Sadie's mother are all in the same boat as her. It's a truly powerful read, and I'd recommend it to anyone who asks.

The False Princess

Title: The False Princess
Author: Eilis O'Neal
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 7/10 I'm a little confused as to what the necklace is all about...

Sinda Azaway has spent the first sixteen years of her life believing she is the princess of Thorvaldor. When her entire life turns out to have been a ploy to keep the real princess safe from a threat that a prophecy about the princess, which said that she would die before the age of 16, Sinda is sent to live with an aunt she never knew she had.
Things don't go so well for Sinda after that. Without her best friend, Kiernan, son of the Earl of Rithia, Sinda feels empty and at a loss. Expected to help her aunt in household chores she hasn't a clue how to do, everything becomes even more complex when Sinda's magic, hidden because of the spell cast on her to make her look like princess Nalia, has finally bloomed, and she has no idea what to do with it, or worse, how to stop it from bursting out of her and burning things at random.
After she returns to the city to seek help with her magic, Sinda unravels a ploy deep within the heart of Thorvaldor, meant to dethrone the rightful princess. With time running out, and an uncertain hold on her magic at the best of times, Sinda will have to decide if getting to the end of the ploy is worth the price she'll have to pay.

Now, I need to say something here. This is one of those books. You know the kind. Fabulous plot, incredible characters (if a little transparent at times) and awesome pacing - even the down time is just right; not too long that you get bored, and not too short that it feels rushed. There were a few spelling mistakes that jumped out to me, but aside from that, The False Princess is, by all accounts, a wonderful read.
And it is. But... it's not one of those books that sticks with you after you finished, and that you keep thinking about, wondering about the characters, etc, which means it could have been even better. The ending seemed somewhat abrupt, and left a few strings still hanging. I felt certain there'd be a continuation, but I can't find anything that points to one, so I'll just assume it ends here. In that case, read it if you're looking for a good magical YA, with great humour, sweet romance and lots of intrigue.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Cover Reveal

If you haven't read Marissa Meyer's futuristic-with-a-hint-of-dystopian retelling of Cinderella called Cinder, you have no idea what you're missing out on.
And today, we got the cover for the second out of four novels. Scarlet is due for an early 2013 release.
Along with the cover, a snippet from chapter two has also been released, and can be found by clicking here. In that link, you will also find an interview with Meyer about the future of the series.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cover Reveal #2

Like I said, yesterday was a busy day in the cover world. What I have now is the provisional (meaning the tats & other cool stuff will be added later on, so no freaking out, please! Sydney is still an Alchemist!) cover for The Indigo Spell, due to be released on Feb. 14th 2013.

Richelle has already confirmed that the girl is Sydney, and the guy on the right is Adrian. Any bets as to who the guy on the left is? Miss Mead also informed us that by the time the cover is final, we'll probably have a good idea as to who he is, so I have a pretty solid hunch. I just can't remember his name *sigh*

Cover Reveal

As promised (though one day late, so I apologise for that), here is the cover, blurb and release date for Heist Society #3 by Ally Carter.
The covers for these books have been beautiful from the start, but Perfect Scoundrels' is just stunning - plus we get a look at Hale (that's him in Kat's glasses, if you're wondering.

"Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting—or stealing—whatever they want.

No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir—this time, Hale might be the mark.

Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy."

Perfect Scoundrels is scheduled to be released on Feb. 5th, 2013
And can someone please tell me when the hell Hale became Kat's boyfriend? Because either I REALLY need to re-read these books, or something is weird here... A friend just reminded me that they 'brushed lips' in Uncommon Criminals. Sorry, but I need a more sturdy base than that to go around calling guys my boyfriend. Though, honestly, I'd jump at the slimmest chance to call Hale that, so who knows...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sweet Evil

Title: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Genre: YA, paranormal
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

There are books, there are good books and then there are those books that get stuck in your mind, and you catch yourself thinking about them in the most random moments. Sweet Evil was the latter for me.
Breathtaking cover notwithstanding, the story of Sweet Evil is sweetly compelling with a most decidedly evil ending. Pun very much intended.

Be ready for the ride of your life. Anna Whitt is a good girl. She doesn't steal, she doesn't drink, and she most definitely does not do drugs. But Anna isn't normal. She remembers her entire life - right down to her own birth. Her mother died in labour, and her father was arrested soon after she was born. She has been living with her aunt ever since.
When Anna turns sixteen, very little of normal remains in her life. She can see people's auras, and now there are white things following everyone around, in addition to the auras. That is also when Anna meets Kaiden, who, instead of an aura, has no colour around him, and a most decided absence of the white figure - instead, he has a black shadow around him. It doesn't take Anna long to figure out that Kaiden is a lot like her, and to ask for answers, which is how she discovers that they are both fallen angels, sons of the great demons of sin. Kaiden is the demon of lust's son, so obviously the guy is smokin'. Anna, on the other hand, is the daughter of addiction. And she is expected to corrupt humans, following in her jailbait father's footsteps.
Anna and Kaiden are that kind of couple. You know the kind. The one that, when they kiss, it's not sparks flying; it's more like a nuclear bomb went off. Which is complicated, because Anna isn't a normal fallen angel; she's the daughter of a demon with an angel. With both good and bad in her, fighting for dominance, which side will win?

The ending, though. What is it with these stories with heartbreaking endings? As far as I'm concerned, this matter is not over, and they'd better sort it out in #2, or I will not be amused.

Cover Reveal #2!

We're full of covers today! Ally Carter has promised the Heist Society #3 cover for today too, but for now, I leave you with the beautiful cover of The Chemical Garden #3, Sever by Lauren DeStefano, along with the blurb. Sever is scheduled for an early 2013 release.

"What if you knew exactly when you would die? In the not-too-distant future, genetic engineering has turned every newborn into a ticking time bomb — males only live to age 25 and females only live to age 20.
In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out. When 16-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by "the Gatherers" to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Rhine has only one purpose after she has been married to her new husband, Linden: to escape and find her twin brother.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant to whom she is dangerously attracted, Rhine is desperate to learn the truth and protect those closest to her. But, as her sister wife Cecily keeps insisting, her role may be much bigger than that.
In the first two books of the Chemical Garden trilogy, Wither and Fever, Rhine struggles to escape the mansion and then to navigate the brutal world outside. Now in Sever, the third and final book, Rhine uncovers some shattering truths about the past that her parents never had the chance to tell her and the alarming implications regarding her own genes. She may be the one who can save the human race."

Cover Reveal

The entire world has been speaking about Fifty Shades of Grey - some hate it, some love it, some are unsure. If Fifty was too BDSM for you, or if you liked the books, then everyone seems to agree: Sylvia Day's Bared to You is the perfect book to soothe your Christian Grey withdrawals. And it comes with a bonus for those who don't enjoy BDSM: it has none.
Today, Sylvia released the cover of the second Crossfire novel: Deeper in You, with publication set for October 2nd this year, here is the cover and blurb.

"Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn’t stay away. I didn’t want to. He was my addiction... my every desire... mine.
My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful... except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity.
We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession..."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Title: Soulbound (Legend of Tril #1)
Author: Heather Brewer
Genre: YA, paranormal
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

Oh there's so much goodness about Soulbound, I hardly know where to start. It's just so great when a book we've been waiting for with so much patience turns out to be everything we'd hoped it would be!
If you liked Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy, be sure you'll like Soulbound. I felt like Kaya was a crazy mash between Mia, Lissa and Rose. So yeah, she's definitely a very interesting person lol

Kaya is a Healer. She knows that her life dances on the edge of danger. Her parents, two Barrons, broke the law of the Zettai Council to get married, and if anyone were to find out where they are, Kaya would be shipped off to school, to learn how to fight in a war she has no interest in fighting in, and her parents... they would be killed. So when Kaya's best friend is murdered by a nightmare-inducing beast called Graplar, and Kaya's father kills it, the family knows it's only a matter of time before the Council finds them... and sure enough, a letter from Shadow Academy soon comes along to Kaya, requesting her presence immediately. And if she refuses, her parents will pay the price.
Told by the headmaster of Shadow Academy that her Soulbound Barron died, and forced into a fight she doesn't support, she is Bound to Trayton, a Barron who, despite being gorgeous and incredibly kind, doesn't understand Kaya's need for freedom, or her hatred of the law that says that all Healers must be submissive to their Barrons. While trying to adapt to life in the Academy, Kaya can't stop wondering what got up even more gorgeous (and King of Secrecy), fight instructor Darius's backside, who seems to hate Kaya, and finds excuses to punish her for anything and everything.
As the danger from the Graplars only grows, intrigue inside the school grows too, and Kaya is left wondering just who she can trust enough to want her alive.
But Shadow Academy has even more secrets lurking behind its' walls than Kaya could ever guess, and one of them might just change her entire life... again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Barely Breathing

Title: Barely Breathing (The Breathing Series #2)
Author: Rebecca Donovan
Genre: YA
Rating: 500/5
Cover: 7/10

Okay, first of all, this book, and the one before it, Reason to Breathe... they are not for the faint of heart. Especially not Reason to Breathe. Yes, it's YA. Look out for f-bombs, and if you have problems with physical abuse, then go look somewhere else. Realise I said physical, not sexual. Big difference here. Now we're over the nitty-gritty stuff, let's get down to the good bit...

Holy wow. I'm still trembling a little. That's what these books do to me.
While Reason to Breathe was intense on an entirely different level - and a most disturbing one, too - Barely Breathing has left me so emotionally exhausted, it's like I was the one wrecking my life one little decision at a time. And the thing is, I can't even blame Emma. Her life has been hell, and the poor girl has never been able to trust anyone, not ever. So now that she has to, she balks. And while she's incredibly mature with most things, she's still just a seventeen year old girl trying to figure out her life. So yeah, while I yelled, cursed and screamed a lot in frustration at some of the stuff she pulled, I can see where she was coming from.
The best thing about these books is how utterly real they feel. Like in one moment, you're crying your eyes out, and in the next, you just can't stop giggling. I'm sure more than one person on the Metro thought I was delusional today, I couldn't keep that goofy grin off my face at times. I'm used to it by now, though. And that's what life is like, really - ups and downs, the goods and the bads, and then the horribles.
I'd say more, but from here, it's likely to spiral into gushing and/or moaning about the wait for the next one, so I'll take my leave by saying: READ IT! (or them, rather)

Friday, June 08, 2012

Cold Magic

Title: Cold Magic (Spiritwalker #1)
Author: Kate Elliott
Genre: YA, sci-fy
Rating 4.5/5
Cover: 8/10

Cold Magic tells the story of young Catherine Hassi Barahal, who, shortly before he twentieth birthday, is married to an arrogant cold mage, the haughty Andevai Diarisso Haranwy, who seems to regard her with as much happiness as one would a cockroach under one's shoe.
But then, why is it that, when Andevai's superiors find out that he married the wrong Hassi Barahal girl, and order him to kill her, does he refuse? Without answers, and faced with the question of who her real father is, since it would seem she has been lied to her entire life, Cat knows only this: she needs to warn her maybe-cousin, Bee, that the mage House who wants her killed is now after her cousin, to try to marry Bee off to Andevai in Cat's place.
But above all, Cat is faced with the question of whether or not she can trust her somewhat unwilling husband.
What follows is a race that will leave you biting your nails in nerves, cursing and laughing right along with Cat, Vai, Bee and Rory. Kate Elliott's world building is something to watch, it's so intricate and detailed, and, while that makes for an incredibly intricate and rich story, I found that the repetitive accounts about the story of how their world came to be the way it is tiring and unnecessary. It made the book, which is really absolutely great, drag, when it could have flowed so seamlessly, it would have been too good to express in words. On the other hand, the dialogue is so visceral, the characters so divertingly flawed, and the action scenes so good, I almost gave Cold Magic a 5/5. I can't pretend it didn't have this rather big fault, though, so 4.5/5 it is.
Cat's story is sure to ensnare you, and Cold Magic has it all: pig-headed heroins, haughty and seemingly indifferent heroes who turn out to be far too amazing for their own (and my sanity's) good, secondary characters with a depth that is quite remarkable, humour in just the right amount, family intrigue, lots of betrayals, and a romantic entanglement that makes me wish this wasn't a YA book... ;)
I other words, most highly recommended!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Under the Never Sky

Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Genre: Dystopia
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

Frankly, I have no idea what took me so long to pick this book up. I really don't. The cover is lovely, the title is intriguing... And while I am now glad that it took me longer to read it, because I have to wait less for the next one, it is also sad that I went on for all that time, not knowing what an awesome book it was.

*ahem* Yes. Under the Never Sky is the story of Aria. In Aria's post-apocalyptic world, society was forced into pods to escape the Aether storms - imagine super-frying lighting storms - which almost decimated the population years ago. Inside the pods, everyone lives through a computer mechanism, the Smarteye, which simulates being in different places, while your real body isn't actually doing any of those things. When Aria's mom, who is working in another pod, stops contacting her for a week, Aria gets desperate. She misjudges people's agenda... She gets kicked out of the pod.
Left to starve, die of dehydration, to be eaten by a wild animal, or worse of all, to be killed in an Aether storm, Aria is sure she won't survive to see her next day rise.

Can I just take a moment here to appreciate how amazingly this story was written? It's in two different POVs, so you get a very, very profound understanding of both Perry's - the outsider, tough, and somewhat mean guy who will fight till his last breath for those he loves - and Aria's - the insider, scared and sometimes whiny (though admittedly, she has her reasons) girl who finds herself alone in a place which, according to everything she's been told all her life, means certain death for her - backgrounds.
And it is true beauty to see both of them get over their prejudices, and their previous concepts of each other's worlds.
Plus, Under the Never Sky has it all. You want to see something heartbreaking? Check. You want to read action scenes? Check. You want romance? Check. Sexual tension? Double check. Character development? Triple check. Plot twists? Check again. Paranormal side? Check. Family intrigue? Check that one ten times, and then some. Whatever you're looking for in a book, Under the Never Sky has it, plus a few things you didn't even know you were looking for, but that complement the story flawlessly.

If you haven't yet, go read it. I promise you, it will not disappoint.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Touch of Power

Title: Touch of Power (Healer #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

Avry of Kazan lives in a world where some people have magic. There are eleven different kinds of mages in the 15 Realms, and she is a Healer. When she was fifteen, her powers manifested and she was sent off to be an apprentice to another Healer. While away from her family, there was an outbreak of a plague; a plague that no Healer could cure without dying themselves.
Shunned by the population, and accused of having started the plague, the Healers were hunted throughout the Realms, and hefty bounties were offered to anyone who handed over a Healer. After three years on the run, Avry makes a mistake and is discovered and sentenced to death.
Having accepted her fate, she is surprised when a group of travellers breaks her out of prison, and asks her to heal a friend of theirs of the plague. As she travels with this band of misfits, Avry re-discovers the power of friendship, love and loyalty. But will she heal their friend?

Touch of Power was, to put it quite bluntly, awesome. There really is no other word for it. And the amazing thing is you can't really pinpoint what makes the book so good, because everything is just so well-written, well-paced and the world is so well-built, there's just no way of saying 'oh this was good, but that wasn't so much'. And writing a review for a book like this is extremely hard. But I'll try.
There is not a moment of sleepiness in Touch of Power, and from page one, Avry draws you in with her witty thoughts, dry humour and jaded perspective of the world. She is hunted, and she is tired of it. But once she has five men helping her survive, and they all know what she is so she doesn't have to hide her real self anymore, she really comes into herself again, and you get to see an entirely different woman - albeit still hilarious, fascinating and compelling - from the Avry you met at the beginning of the book.
And the secondary characters are equally interesting. There is no lack of depth in this book's characters, which of course makes the entire experience a roller-coaster ride of crazy emotions flying all over the place as you alternatively grieve, cry, laugh, hurt, scare, love, hate and become stubborn with them.

A fascinating read; can't wait for the next one! Touch of Power has a winner ending, that will leave you aching for more.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Book Review: Underworld

Title: Underworld (Abandon #2)
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: YA, supernatural
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 7/10

In the sequel to Abandon, we continue following Pierce Oliviera's struggle to accept the truth about the nature of the boy she loves.

I'll be honest: Abandon didn't impress me all too much. In fact, the one scene in Abandon that I did enjoy, and felt it was more in tone with the theme of the book, was so close to the end, I'd almost given up hope of finding it by then. But Underworld surprised me nicely; not only did John, the present-day personification of Hades, act more like what I'd expect from a Death Deity, but there was hardly one slow moment in the entire book, and that always makes for a gripping read.
All that said, I've read every single book Meg Cabot has eve written, including the ones that are all but impossible to find these days (my school library was too good for words), and I just know she can write better than this. Which is why Underworld got a 4/5.

Underworld has a light feeling to it, that might not be the best image for a book that is, in its' core, a retelling of Persephone's myth, but while Pierce is in love with Death, she isn't Death; in fact, she's somewhat his opposite, caring so much for any living being, and doing everything in her power to help those who need it. Of course, opposites attract, but they also clash. A lot. Which makes for an interesting relationship, that's for sure.
But I saw a great deal of much-needed character development in Underworld. John was acting more like Death, but at the same time, as a man very much in love; it's a delicate balance to tread, but Meg pulled it off pretty well. As for Pierce, she really came into her own strength in this this book. It's like someone reached down into the book and slapped her a good one for her to wake up. I really enjoyed seeing her and John butt heads, two stubborn mules that they are.
And I loved meeting John's shipmates. I adored little Henry, and wanted to hug him every time he showed up.
All in all, a fun read, but nothing too desperate. And beware: it does end in a cliffhanger.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Book Review: City of Lost Souls

Title: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, paranormal
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 9.5/10

I understand I'd be killed if any spoilers left my fingers right now since so many people are still reading it, so rest assured this is a non-spoilery review.

First of all, I want to say that, out of Cassie Clare's books, my favourite series of hers isn't The Mortal Instruments, but Infernal Devices. I still rushed out to buy City of Lost Souls though, and was done with in under six hours. That has many reasons - and yes, one of them is because the story is great - and the main one is... William Herondale.
Don't look at me like that. I'm not crazy just yet. I know that Will, my dear, beloved Will, belongs to Infernal Devices. But you'll notice Jace is a Herondale, and so the legacy lives on. But that's off the point; the reason I devoured City of Lost Souls so fast was that is was absolutely FASCINATING to see so many parallels between Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. It just makes me want to read all the other The Mortal Instruments books again to see what other little tidbits of Infernal Devices characters I can find, and that, when I first read them, meant nothing to me.

There is a particular scene that had me shaking and sobbing like a baby. Suffice it to say that Herondale perfection is perfect. And I wish people would call Jace by his real surname. It's just that, while I get and appreciate the sentiment of calling him a Lightwood, it's not who he really is. And knowing the legacy that comes with the name Herondale, I'd really love to see it in print as often as at all possible.
Another reason I enjoyed City of Lost Souls was the character development. Or rather, Clary's character development, I mean. The others were way behind on that aspect, but it was beautiful to see the little girl we met in City of Bones turn into the fierce woman she is in City of Lost Souls. And, wrong as it, perverted, maniac, demonic, hurtful, bizarre, scary and just plain evil as Sebastian (Jonathan ?) is, I can't help but love his character. He's a very complex half-demon, and I really enjoyed getting to know and see more of him.
Alec and Izzy are just great. I can't bring myself to care overmuch about their personal affairs of the heart, but I love them to bits. I was extremely surprised (nicely so) by Brother Zacharias, lost count of the number of times I threatened to kill Jocelyn if she kept on blowing holes in my Jace/Clary ship, and spent each and every page in the expectation of catching another glimpse of Tessa. Not telling you if I did, either.
Long story short: read it. And if you've read Infernal Devices, keep a lookout for all the little things you'll recognise from there; I swear it's half the fun! ;)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Book Tour: Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

I have been lucky enough to take part in the Blog Book Tour for Lisa Burstein's Pretty Amy, with Entangled Publishing. Check out the blurb for the book, and an interview with the author, and be warned: Pretty Amy goes much deeper than just that beautiful cover; it's beautiful through and through.

"Sometimes date is a four-letter word

Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.
Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over."

BW (Book Worm): As a debut author, was there any particular author who inspired you to write? 
LB (Lisa Burstein): I write YA because I felt like I still had all these things to say from when I was a teenager that I never got a chance to say. I also feel like teens need books in a way adults don't. At least I know I did, I looked to books to help me make sense of what I was feeling. I guess I hope teens will use PRETTY AMY in the same way. In terms of a book that influenced in the writing of PRETTY AMY, I would have to say Catcher in the Rye. Not that I would even compare PRETTY AMY to the masterpiece that is Catcher in the Rye, but I wanted to write a book about a girl that *might* be a modern, funnier Holden Caufield. Writers I read today are: Courtney Summers, Sara Zarr, John Green and Deb Caletti, any author who is willing to be raw and real.
BW: How does your writing process work? Some authors like to listen to music while writing – does that work for you? 
LB: No way! I need total silence. Also I write with my laptop on my lap.
BW: How does it feel to have a blog tour for your book? When you started Pretty Amy, did you ever think you’d be in this place someday? 
LB: It is surreal and I am so thankful. I hoped I'd be here some day, but I had no idea I really would.
BW: I noticed something called Project Amy on your website – how does that work? 
LB: Basically I wanted to provide a safe place where teens who had read PRETTY AMY could share their feelings about the book and how they feel it relates to their lives and their experiences. I am asking them to tell me how they've felt like Amy. How they got over it. How they are getting over it. How they are embracing it. I am inviting them to tell anything they've been too afraid to tell before. I will be creating a blog to showcase the stories, teens can decide whether they want to be anonymous and or have their names listed. I am hoping it will let teen girls know they are not alone. That a lot of people feel what they feel: the desire to belong, to fit in, to have people who understand them. I was a lot like Amy. Just like her I had such adesire to belong, to fit in, to have people who understood me. I wanted that so badly and I guess I never felt like adults understood that. It was most of the reason I wrote PRETTY AMY. If I'd had it when I was in high school I feel like I would have been able to understand my feelings better. I wouldn't have felt so alone. That feeling was something I never admitted to anyone, not even my friends and I wanted to let teens know it's okay to feel lonely even surrounded by friends and family.
BW: We’re just a little under a week of the (original) official publication date for Pretty Amy. How are you feeling? 
LB: Excited, stressed, excited. :)

Thank you, Lisa, for taking the time to answer my questions, and all of you -- don't forget to buy yourself a copy of Pretty Amy!
And if any of you want to check out Lisa's next blog stops, or the ones that came before me, she has the entire list up on her website.