Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Review: A Kiss in Time

Title: A Kiss in Time
Author: Alex Finn
Genre: YA, historical
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

Let me start this by saying I'm usually weary of these fairy tale re-tellings. Many times, it seems the authors get stuck with the idea of the original tale, and can't seem to add much of original to the story.
That was not the case with A Kiss in Time, that's for damned sure.

I had never, not once, paused to think what would happen if you took a person from over 300 years back, and just dropped them into today's world. Well, you're about to find out. Remember, back then, they didn't have electricity, most purchases were made by exchanges, and forget cell phones. I can't even begin to explain the hilarity that ensues when you take good ole Sleeping Beauty, but skip the part where the prince rides up not too late after the entire country has gone to sleep, but rather when 300 years have gone by since the princess pricked her finger on a spindle.
Suddenly, you have an entire kingdom, still with their hearts and minds frimly back in the feudal times, trying to battle it out in the twenty-frist century. And to make matters worse, the princess isn't awakened by some prince's kiss, but by your common, everyday american boy, who just wants to get rid of the memories of his slutty ex, and if he can somehow figure out how to disentangle himself from the marriage prospect with the crazy girl who claims to be a princess, all the better.

I was needing a light reading, due to stress regarding the Hunger Games movie release (also why I didn't write a review sooner), and this fit the bill perfectly - it helped me escape into a world which was both belieavable and hilariously unbelievable at the same time; which, I know, makes no sense, but turns out to work great as a book!
Definitely worth the while to anyone looking for a good laugh.

Book Review: Fang Me

Title: Fang Me (Demon Underground #3)
Author: Parker Blue
Genre: YA
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 7/10 - I like the background, but the model looks nothing like what I imagine Val to be.

I feel like after three books, I should at least say something about the series, so here's my two cents -- I really, really, REALLY enjoy these books. The main character, Val, reminds me a little of one of my favorite heroins out there, which is always a plus.
Not to mention her dog. That dog is hilarious, and I want one for myself.
The only problem I can find in these books are the beginnings. The first one started out great, the middle was excellent, then the ending was a little lacking, so it got 4 stars. After that, both book #2, Try Me, and Fang Me, have had beginnings that have simply dragged. If I hadn't already gotten through Bite Me and expereince the awesome plot, butt-kicking and characters, I'd probably have given up on the book. I know it's hard to start a book already mid-action, because you need some background, but still.
However, it must be said that, once over the 7% of dragginess, the plot seems to take off, and there is no possibility of letting go until the book is finished.
Fang Me surprised me. I miss Dan Sullivan; I really liked him, and was hoping he and Val could sort things out. After the connection they shared in Bite Me, it feels... wrong, somehow, to have them simply part ways. It doesn't exactly help that, while I think Shade is a great guy and all that, all his mushiness, and lovey-dovey stuff just doesn't cut it for me. Still, while I wasn't thrilled about what went down between Val and him in this book, I have no stronger objections to the guy other than that he isn't badass enough for me, so I can't hate him for that.
I definitely recommend these books for anyone looking for some nice vampire story, filled with yummy supernaturals, hot guys, humor and a strong female lead.
4.5/5 for the slow start, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Golden Lily Excerpt

We've waited, we've begged, and finally... the time is getting closer to the release of The Golden Lily (in which, in Mead's own words, Dimitri will be around, doing what he does best: "being hot, kicking ass, and dropping words of wisdom with a Russian accent." *fans self*), out June 12th, and as the date grows nearer, little tidbits start popping up. Today, I give you... the first chapter!
The EW has released it, along with a great interview with Richelle about the book, so head on over HERE to read it all!

The Golden Lily is the second book in Richelle's spin-off series, Bloodlines, which continues in the world of best-selling series, Vampire Academy, but this time, told in one of Rosemarie's friends perspective, the Alchemist Sydney Sage (whom I love to death, but - and I mean no disrespect to Miss Mead - is sadly no Rose herself...).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Exciting news for Born Wicked fans! The second book in the magical series by Jessica Spotswood now has a title and a release date! All we're missing is a cover, and if it's anything like the one for Born Wicked, we're in for a lovely treat!
Look out for Star Cursed on the 7th of February 2013!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book Review: Out of Sight, Out of Time

Title: Out of Sight, Out of Time
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 3.5/5

I want to start off saying that of the two books that came out last Tuesday, I left this for last because all of the over Gallagher Girls books didn't impress me all too much. I mean sure, they were great books, but they didn't grip me in the I-cannot-stop-reading-this-I-need-to-keep-reading-and-never-stop frenzy. I was expecting much the same from Out of Sight, Out of Time.

Boy, was I in for a shock.

I loved it!
No, really, I did. Let's find out why...

Cammie Morgan is the Chameleon. The daughter of two of the best spies of their time, pupil of another, girlfirend of a spy, and best friend with the next generation of super spies, she has never known the true meaning of "normal". But even her notion of normal goes crazy when she wakes up in a cottage deep in the Alps. There is snow on the ground, but the last thing Cammie remembers, was leaving Gallagher Academy for summer holidays, to go after the Circle. Five months of her life have gone by, and she has no idea what happened to her during that time. She doesn't know what she did, who she spoke to, where she went, or even what went wrong.
The only thing she does know is that she needs to find out, because her friends don't seem to entirely trust her anymore, Zach has been spending alot of alone time with Bex, and Bex will hardly look her in the eye. To make matters worse, Cam's mom and aunt are determined that it would be best for her not to remember what happened - after all, sometimes ignorance truly is bliss.
But Cammie is taking no chances. She knows something big happened during summer, and she is determined to find out what it was, even if that drives her mad - literally speaking.

It already started off good, but seriously, as the book goes on, the plot thickens, and yet you're still going "ok, that's cool, but... what's the plot, anyway?" which just makes everything even more interesting. There is everything in this book: humor, suspense, creepiness galore, heart-pounding moments, and of course, lots of spying.
Who can you trust?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Review: Spell Bound

Title: Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

Once, I heard a comment about a particular piece of writing that called it "smooth and wonderful, like molten chocolate", which struck me as odd, when related to writing, no matter how good.
I've now come to understand what that person meant, because that was exactly what came to mind while reading Spell Bound.
Rachel Hawkins created a world that is easy to get lost in, aided by a chracter that is so lovable, that it is virtually impossible to not want to know what will happen next to her and her friends.
In this third and last book of the Hex Hall trilogy, we follow Sophie, Jenna, Archer (don't even get me started on Archer... lol), Cal and some new characters, as they fight to regain control over their world, before what's left of the Council decides it's a good idea to raise demons to keep everyone safe, and the road to safety is filled with good intentions, but then, so is the road to hell...
Sophie, as per usual, managed to pull out a good amount of giggles from me. Archer was... well, Archer. Tall, dark and handsome, and totally swoon-worthy, so nothing new there ;)
Of the new characters, I particularly loved Izzy. The girl's got some spunk, and much more personality than her sister. It's just sad she only showed up in this book; I'd have liked to know more about her
All in all, 5 for originality, for the humor and for the plot, although I sometimes felt some bigger depth of a few secondary characters might have made it even better.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Book Review: The Night Circus

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: YA
Rating: 3.5/5
Cover: 9/10

A while back, before The Night Circus was even published, I read an article saying how it was being sold to readers as 'the new Harry Potter' because of its' magic. Now, I know everyone and their sister wants some way to tie in their book with Potter, but the description of the book was enough to intrigue me, and so, after some time, I finally caved in and bought it.

I can't help but feel I was lied to.
The book takes ages to get anywhere interesting, and I felt it dragging horridly. On top of that, the way the story was presented often left me confused and trying to figure out where, exactly, I was in time, as it starts in one place, in a certain year, jumps many years ahead to another place, and then comes back to the first year, but in another continent... I found I had to keep going back to check where and when the previous chapter had taken place, which disrupted the reading.
Once the plotline picked up, however, it was easier to forgive the confusion, and easier to get lost in Marco and Celia's world of intrigue, questions, magic, lies and betrayals. It's because of the second half that this book got 3.5, instead of 2 stars as I would probably have otherwise given it.
An interesting read, if you can get beyond the beginning.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Book Review: Crossed

Title: Crossed (Matched #2)
Author: Ally Condie
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

At first, I have to admit I was a little miffed. The first half of the book just put me on edge, especially after Cassia really does get out there after Ky, and stuff just keeps on happening that kept making me swear her crazy plan was never gonna work out. It gave me a feeling of helplesness and anger, because I knew stuff she didn't, and I wanted to yell at her to hurry the eff up already.

Then... okay, sue me. I was - and still am, a bit. Like I said, sue me - too uncertain about the whole Ky and Indie shenanigans. It seems a bit far-fetched to follow along what Cassia said, and I did get a feeling, at times, like Ky (and maybe Indie too, though obviously since we don't see from her perspective, it's hard to tell) wasn't quite so certain of his love for Cassia as he himself thought he was.
And then all that build-up about this huge secret Xander had, and how it could change how Cassia saw everyone around her... and the reveal was totally anticlimatic. And speaking of Xander, I'm not entirely convinced he didn't know about the blue pills, either. Though I'm more willing to forgive him for that than to ignore that nagging little voice in the back of my voice that yells at me that Indie spells trouble in paradise for Ky and Cassia. Probably because that little nagging voice is usually right.

STILL, you'll notice I gave this a five-star.
I'm of the firm opinion that a book can be only passable all the way through, but by all the literature gods above and below, if the ending is good enough to make me itch for the next book, then the author has fully completed her purpose. The ending of Crossed didn't make me itch for the next book. It made me BEG for it. It's not one of those take-your-breath-away-OMG-what-will-happen-next? cliffies. It's the even worse kind: the kind of ending which could very well be the middle of the book. The characters are just going about their own business, off to meet a non-mentioned 'he' (my vote goes for Xander, but who knows?), and then... it's over.
I was literally left there with my chin sagging, unable to believe it had finished there. I hate open endings, because they drive me insane trying to figure out what happens next. Luckily for me - and my somewhat questionable sanity - this isn't the last book in the series!

Book Review: Clockwork Prince

Title: Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Historical, YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 8/10

I'd have written a review sooner, but I was still reeling with the ending. I don't believe I've felt so heartbroken with the end of a book since I finished Richelle Mead's Shadow Kiss, and goodness knows that almost killed me, though I had the next one to pounce on immediately.
In this case, I'm left with a broken heart, a thoroughly confused mind and no next book to ease the pain. Extremely frustrating, to say the very least!
And yet, despite the moments when I just stared at the book, shook my head in frustration, yelled at it, let the tears fall, and/or wanted to kill some characters, you'll notice I gave it five stars.
That's because I believe that what determines if a book is good or not isn't if the author paired who we wanted or not, but if the book is able to bring out strong emotions in those reading it. And Clockwork Prince most DEFINITELY did that. I was a sobbing, blubbering mess of nerves when I'd finished it, and had no idea what to do with myself.
Clockwork Prince has that very Cassie Clare feel to it: amazing plot, incredible characters, impeccable setting... in other words, a wonderful read.

Tessa started standing up for herself more, which I loved. I adored also seeing her friendship with Jem flourish. Gabriel and Gideon were interesting to me mostly because I was trying to see some similarities between them and Alec and Izzy. They're definitely there.
Magnus is always a welcome addition to the party; I love love him to bits, and some of the best scenes involved him (though his timing for interrupting is just horrible. HORRIBLE, Magnus!).
Will's story, on the other hand... that was the beginning of the undoing of my heart. I can't imagine what that poor boy had to go trhough, how much it hurt him to do everything he did for five years, only to find out in the end... I thought he took it quite well; I'd have gone on a rampage and smashed some things. And of course, his little monets with Tessa made me squeal with utter delight. That is one man who deserves to be happy and be loved heart, body and soul, and I believe Tessa can give him that.
It shocked me, though, how RIDICULOUSLY OBLIVIOUS both Jem and Will were about the other's feelings towards Tessa. I thought they were blood brothers; surely they'd have noticed? Well, apparenyl not. I am also incredibly mad at Tessa for what she did, and for what she said to Jem. Because of her, my heart is torn to smithereens on the floor.
I want both Jem and Will to be happy, but not if the happiness of one means sacrificing the happiness of the other.

Book Review: Possession

Title: Possession
Author: Elana Johnson
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 10/10

was, for the lack of a better word, different.

I loved the charcters. I've seen many people complain about the silliness of Vi and Jag, and all that rubbish of "Vi language for..." but a wake-up call: they're 17. They're adolescents, no matter how much their lives have matured them, that is their core, and no amount of grief can change that, which I absolutely loved.

Other than that, the fast pace and witty dialogue kept me hooked. Plus, that ending. Holy flying cows, THAT ENDING!
Can't say much for the beginning, though, but I'm glad I forced myself to pay attention as it takes an important role later on in the book.

Jag made me laugh. I think he truly is an amazing guy, even though I felt the romance between those two - which, thankfully, did not fall from the sky - was a bit... uhm, I don't know. Fake, I guess? That's not quite it, though. Just not right, I suppose.
While Zenn... Zenn mesmerized me. I have, it seems, a weird pull towards the characters with severe mental problems, but either way, I loved him. Everything he did, what he didn't do, what he said and how he acted... I absolutely adored the fact that, to very last page, I still wasn't sure if I should trust him or not; on who's side he is. And, masochistic that I am, I just love a well-written, complex, confusing character for me to try and figure them out, and Zenn was no different.

Gotta say this, though - the amount of non-deaths was kind of a let-down. In a world like the one in Possession, you expect people to die to be free...

Book Review: Thoughtless

Title: Thoughtless
Author: S. C. Stephens
Genre: Adult
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 8/10 - muted, subtle, but not too in-your-face.

What can I say about Thoughtless without going off on a ramble?
Every now and then, I get tired of all the paranormal books (much as I love them to death), and just need a nice, realistic novel, whith characters so truly messed-up due to their own choices. Sadly, good books like that are few and far between, but Thoughtless... wow. It was all that, and so much more.

Kiera isn't your Mary Sue. She's just like any other girl out there who is deeply in love with her boyfriend - reckless, sometimes cute to a fault, happy, and, when the boyfriend leaves her for two months for work after she moved state to be with him, understandably devastated.
Her boyfriend, Denny, is the typical you're-too-perfect-to-be-true kind of guy. He doesn't cheat on Kiera, not ever, nevermind that he's hot (which he is), and deeply, recklessly in love with his girlfirend.
Kellan is Denny's best friend. Beautiful, confident, and exuding sex appeal, Kellan hides a syrprisingly vulnerable and broken interior with his smokin' hot looks.
Denny was an exchange student from Australia in Kellan's house during high school, and the bond between the two boys never faded. So when Denny gets offered a job in Seattle and moves from Ohio to Washington with Kiera, Kellan offers his spare room to them for a low price.
Kiera never knew what she was getting herself into when she decided to transfer to Washington University to go with Denny to Seattle. What she finds when she gets there, is that her new roommate, Kellan Kyle, is not only the singer in a band called the D-Bags, but also "the hottest guy on the East Coast".

What happens when Denny leaves for Tucson for two months wreaks all three lives forever.

I'm not sure what exactly in this book had me so hooked. I guess it was the emotions, which run so rampant on every page here. The fights are vicious, the love is intense, and every scene in between is so filled with palbable emotion, the world around you fades into the background as you get sweeped up into Kellan and Kiera's hurricane of emotions. It's a rollercoaster ride, and worth every damn second of heartbreak, tears and anger.

Cover Reveal

Fresh out of the magicl Land of Beautiful Covers, is the one for REACHED, book three in Ally Condie's MATCHED trilogy:

REACHED will be out November 13th.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Book Review: Perception

Title: Perception (Clarity #2)
Author: Kim Harrington
Genre: YA, Mystery
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

I love the feel of these books. Now a days, most books that talk about the supernatural, and abilites, focus on how a girl falls in love with some guy who is so great because he has all these great traits that come with his "condition", and while I'll be the first to admit to loving some of those books, it gets old after some time.
Kim Harrington took the supernatural - ghosts, mind reading, the works - and... twisted into something so incredibly fresh, I read both Clarity and Perception in one sitting, bitting my nails the whole way.
I always enjoy reading mysteries of the likes of Agatha Christie, or Sherlock Holmes, because I have a kick out of trying to guess who the culprit is. 9 times out of 10, I get it wrong. I remember Clarity completely blindsided me as ususal, but with Perception, I figured it out about one second before Clare did, which is no use for yelling at the book, but great fun all the same.
I loved Perception. It went by too fast, but that's my own fault for being an incorrigible book worm who refuses to so much as eat or sleep during a good book like this.
It also helps that my ship ended up together, of course! ;)

Absolutely recommended!