Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they’re kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home. Plentiful action and romance in this second installment in the Darkness Rising series will keep readers enthralled to the very last page!
They fight to escape the bad guys and find the truth about who they are. But who are the bad guys? The St. Clouds? The Nasts? They can't even trust some of their parents. Like Kelley's other YA books, and The Women of the Otherworld series (adult books set in the same world), this story is a non-stop ride, full of action and adventure, mystery and suspense. We're reading through Maya's eyes, so like this skinwalker, we aren't sure who to trust or where to turn next. The twists and turns just keep coming. There are still many questions left unanswered and new problems have arisen.
I'm very excited to read The Rising, the conclusion to the Darkness Rising trilogy. And I'm even more excited to see Maya and Chloe's groups meet up. If you haven't read anything by Kelley Armstrong, you are seriously missing out. In addition to The Darkest Power and the Darkness Rising trilogies, she has short stories in The Eternal Kiss, Kisses From Hell, and Enthralled. Trust me, you won't regret it.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Someone Like Youis the first book by Sarah Dessen that I read. Several of my friends are huge fans of her novels, so I asked for book suggestions. But then I got to the book store and couldn't remember. So I read all the synopses and picked this one. My friends response? "I said pick any but that one. It's her worst!" Well... if that's her worst, then they must all be amazing. Personally, I loved it.
The main character is Halley. And her best friend, Scarlett, gets pregnant. Scarlett, who's always been the together one. But this time Halley will have to be the strong one. Because not only is her bestie pregnant, but the baby's father is killed in an accident, and Scarlett's mother is anything but supportive. This is the first book I've read that centered around a teen pregnancy. It's something that I can't even imagine. As if life isn't hard enough what with high school, applying to college, and trying to fit in. This was a very sweet story, and I absolutely loved it. It definitely made me want to read more by Sarah Dessen. In fact, I went out and bought everything else of hers that was out at the time.
My next Sarah Dessen book was That Summer.I chose to read this one second because it was the first book she had published. Someone Like You was her second. And even though Sarah's books aren't in a series, I like reading books in the order in which they were published. It's interesting to see the author's progress.
I really enjoyed this one. The main character, Haven, lives at home with her mother and older sister... who's about to get married. Her father is getting married to his new girlfriend. The teen years is a time when a lot of change happens, but Haven has to deal with more than most. I really connected with Haven. While my life was very different, there were enough similarities that I felt like I was right there with her. Being able to connect to a character like this goes a long way to me liking the book. I often have a hard time when I can't connect to a character.
In short, both That Summer and Someone Like You were fantastic contemporary YAs, and I can't wait to read more by Sarah Dessen. They are some of the lighter YA books I've read, but I definitely need that sometimes.
How to Deal (New Line Platinum Series)is the story of Halley, a young high school student who is disillusioned with love after seeing the many dysfunctional relationships around her. Her parents are now divorced and her father has a new young girlfriend she doesn't care for too much. Her mother is now always alone; and her sister is so overwhelmed by her upcoming wedding that she barely leaves the house anymore. On top of that, the shallowness of all the girls and guys at her school convinces Halley that finding true love is impossible. A tragic accident, however, leads her to meeting Macon, and suddenly Halley finds that true love can occur under unusual circumstances.
So when I heard that the movie How to Deal was based on a mash-up of Sarah Dessen's That Summer and Someone Like You, I ran right out to see it. The screenwriters took a bit from both and mixed them together. Both Halley and Haven were fantastic main characters and had a lot in common. This film was cute and fun, and my favorite thing was picking it apart. Finding pieces from That Summer and pieces from Someone Like You. I definitely recommend reading both books and seeing this movie.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
And the winner of
Sharon from Kentucky!
Congrats, Sharon. I'll get your book in the mail asap.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
Clockwork Prince is my favorite. We return to Victorian London, well... the steampunk version of Victorian London where Tessa, Will, and Jem are helping the Institute find Mortmain. In Clockwork Angel this creepy villain came after Tessa with his clockwork creatures, but then he disappeared.
One thing I love about this series are the characters. Tessa is a great heroine, and I absolutely adore Jem. Another thing I love is this world. While I love the modern comforts of my home, I wouldn't mind visiting this world for a few days. The third thing I love is how this story keeps me guessing. There are so many twists and turns that just when you think you know what's going to happen, Cassie Clare pulls the rug out from under you. I like The Mortal Instruments series, but I love this one so much more.
I could gush some more, but you all probably don't want to read that. Be sure to check out the shorts that go along with this series. You can find them on Cassie's website. We only have seven more months to wait til Clockwork Princess, and be sure to stay tuned for the release of the three-book manga series. Book one hits this year!
Friday, February 24, 2012
Sophie Cavanaugh is not going to let her freak of a cousin's strange psychiatric condition ruin high school for them both. Not after all the work she's put into cultivating the right look, and friends, and reputation. But then, Sophie sees something so frightening she lets out a blood-curdling scream—and finds herself stuck in a bizarre parallel world where nothing is safe and deadly creatures lurk just out of sight, waiting for her to close her eyes and sleep...forever.
Could this world be real? Or does insanity run in the family...?
Never to Sleep is Rachel Vincent's newest novella in the Soul Screamers series. I am sooooo in love with this series and Rachel's writing. It's one of my favorite YA series ever. So I may end up gushing a bit. Never to Sleep is narrated by Sophie Cavanaugh... Kaylee (the regular main character's) cousin. Kaylee, her father, and her uncle are all bean sidhes (banshees). Kaylee's mother was as well, but not Sophie's mother. And it seems to have skipped Sophie as well.
Sophie doesn't like her cousin. To her, Kaylee is a freak who screams uncontrollably for no reason. And she believes Kaylee has something to do with, or at the very least knows something about, her mother's death. The supernatural world is around her and close to her, and finally she's introduced to it. While at Eastlake High, trying to escape another instance of being embarrassed by Kaylee, she crosses over into Netherworld... with new hottie Luca. While trying to escape the crimson creeper, hellions, and more, Sophie and Luca grow closer. But who and what is Luca? And how did they cross into the Netherworld?
I wasn't sure if I'd like this one very much. I don't like Sophie in the series, so I was pleasantly surprised to find I liked reading through her POV here. If you haven't read the Soul Screamers series, definitely check it out. If you have and haven't picked this one up... what are you waiting for?
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them both legions of faithful fans.
The first Will Grayson, the one who narrates the odd-numbered chapters, was written by John Green. I liked him right from the start. (I've seen several of John Green's videos on YouTube, so I figured out right away which Will Grayson he wrote.) He's just a regular high school guy. His best friend is Tiny Cooper, an openly gay student, and he's introduced to Jane, who might be straight... he hopes... kinda... The other Will Grayson narrates the even-numbered chapters and was written by David Levithan. He's just a regular gay high school student, who is not "out of the closet". He's more crass than I enjoy reading, though he did have several good lines.
The even chapters are written without correct grammar and punctuation. Which made it very hard to read. So, instead, I listened to the audiobook. Due to the high number of instant message conversations, this was kind of tedious to hear. You see this: : ) : ) but then you hear "smiley-face smiley-face." And it made me laugh when I shouldn't necessarily be laughing.
I went back and forth on liking the Will Graysons. I found some of the story to be predictable. I'd love one part of the story, and then hate the next. I did, however, like most of it. Except the last few chapters. Which is unfortunate. As much as I enjoyed the book, the end was a let-down. I look forward to reading more by both authors.
And because it needs to be mentioned...
My favorite line in the entire book was in one of David Levithan's chapters, where his Will Grayson said: “rofl! what? are you really rolling on the floor laughing? well, please stay down there for a sec while I KICK YOUR ASS.” And the reason I love this quote? There is very little I hate more than LOL, ROFL and other initialisms. Reading them irritates me.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I forbid ye maidens all
who let fly your lovely hair
to go down to Carterhaugh
for young Tam Lin is there
Tam Linn is the perfect hero -- in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he's the only one who can help her.
WINNING IS EVERYTHING...
Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen... before it's too late.
I have to admit when I picked up Feyland: The Dark Realmby Anthea Sharp I was nervous. While I love books about faeries, I'm really picky about the use of folklore. Thankfully, Anthea Sharp knows her lore.
Our two main characters are Jennet Carter and Tam Linn. I love the names. They come straight from the Ballad of Tam Lin, an old Scottish ballad. In the prologue, Jennet is playing the final level of the new Full-D sim video game, Feyland. It's not available yet, but her father is a developer of the company, so she is the first person to play it. And, hopefully, to win it. But the final level brings her face to face with the Unseelie Queen. And... she loses. The dark queen takes a bit of her soul. Sounds interesting, yes? Only the energy the dark queen takes is real. But she has a chance to get herself back. But she needs to find a champion. On to chapter one. Months pass. Jennet and her father move after a terrible tragedy within the company where one of their own, Thomas Rimer (another name I love), dies. The game is off-limits to Jennet, but that won't hold her back. She meets Tam and invites him to game.
Another thing that caused my initial unease was the addition of gaming. I'm not a gamer. Well, I rock out like a fool with my Guitar Hero, but the sim thing is not for me. Also... technology and faeries... it didn't sound like it would mesh. But when Jennet and Tam sat down to play, they didn't just go into game. They entered Faerie. Puck was a great addition, and I loved seeing brownies, will o' wisps, and more faeries.
This story was interesting and beautifully told. It definitely surpassed my expectations. The use of folklore was fantastic. A lot of what happened I guessed, and knowing the Ballad of Tam Lin, I guessed the ending, but that didn't take any of the enjoyment out this wonderful story. Definitely check it out, and if you need more convincing check out Anthea Sharp's website to read an excerpt.
*lines at the top are the chorus of Tricky Pixie's Tam Lin, my favorite version. You can hear the entire song on the website, or buy it if you need it on your iPod. ; )
Friday, February 17, 2012
Straight-laced principal Kira isn’t looking for love, especially not right after getting dumped. Then a chance encounter leads her to Jesse, and damned if she isn’t drawn to the bad-boy with a heart of gold. A night of reckless abandon leaves her confused. Was there something there, or did she imagine the connection between them?
Jesse knows lying to Kira is a mistake, but she’s the first woman in a long time to see the man and not just the rock star. When his plan to come clean goes terribly wrong, Kira bolts, leaving Jesse in the dust.
Now Eros has to nudge the star-crossed lovers together and prove to Zeus that love does exist, even among the gun shy.
GunShy might be my new favorite Seleste deLaney novella. It picks up with Eros being banished from Olympus by the great god Zeus, and he won't be allowed to return until he reminds mankind of what love really is. His first "victim" is Kira, who is dumped by her boyfriend at a carnival and runs into Jesse that same evening.
I loved Kira and felt she was quite a bit like me actually. Most of the time, I find I don't really care much for characters who are like me. I'm not very exciting. I'm nerdy, a bookworm. Kinda dull. I wouldn't say Kira is dull, but she's got the shy, quiet, safe thing going for her. Which is very much like me. No risks, no chances... until now. Apparently, I need to find myself a Jesse to bring out that side.
This is a novella, not a full-length novel, but it is amazing nonetheless. Be sure to pick up your copy of GunShy (Cupid's Conquests) for your Kindle. And if you need more incentive...
As she staggered to a stop, the man peeled the card from his pants and held it out to her. “Lose something?” His deep, gravely voice sent a shiver all the way to her toes as she took in the six-foot-plus wall of muscle.
Kira wasn’t a small girl by any stretch, but in front of him, she felt tiny. “I… uh… dropped that.”
He read the card aloud. “Take a chance, huh?” Kira started, knowing those weren’t the words she’d read a moment before. With a shrug, he pressed it into her hand. “Better hold on tighter next time.”
When his fingers left hers, something pricked into her shoulder. She slapped her free hand against the pain and felt something. In her palm, she held a tiny golden arrow, but when she blinked, it was gone—replaced by a very dead wasp.
The guy in front of her, t-shirt straining against his chest as he moved, leaned close. His words belied the gruff tone of his voice. “That’s weird. Someone must have fucked with a nest. You aren’t allergic, are you?”
“N—n—no,” she stammered, staring at the arrow-wasp.
Gently, he gripped her wrist and tipped her hand until the insect fell to the ground. “Why don’t I take you to first aid anyway?”
The words on the card drew her gaze: Take a chance. They’d been different before; she was sure of it. Then Kira looked up at the man in front of her, his leather jacket and jeans such a stark contrast to Nolan’s polo and pressed khaki shorts, and the wasp sting burned. The strange, but not painful, heat traveled from her shoulder through her body to settle between her legs. She bit her lip, wondering where the feeling really came from. The guy in front of her wasn’t her usual type. Too big, too muscly, too rough around the edges right from his worn boots to the scruff along his strong square jaw.
In her mind, her teeth grazed that same jaw, and a shiver ran through her as she tore her gaze away. “Yeah. I think the pain is getting to me.”
Releasing her wrist, he rested his hand on the small of her back. The heat of his skin seared straight through Kira’s thin tank top. Her throat went dry within ten steps, and she had to swallow hard before she could speak again. “Thank you for your help, Mr.…”
He arched an eyebrow at her quizzically before answering. “Stanford. I prefer Jesse though. I killed the last guy who called me mister.”
Kira froze, fighting against the light pressure of his fingertips. “You what?” she squeaked.
He twisted his head and winked. “Kidding. Mister just makes me feel old. And you are…”
“Sorry. Kira Murphy.”
“Well, Kira Murphy, who needs to learn to take chances, consider yourself safely delivered to first aid.” He nodded toward the rickety trailer with the sloppily painted red cross on the side.
“Have a good night.”
His hand fell from her back, and this time she shivered from the loss of his heat—heat she very much wanted back. But Jesse had already melted into the crowd. “So much for taking chances.”
Read more of the excerpt here.
Monday, February 13, 2012
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...
Thanks to my friend, Catie, I have a signed hardback of Everneath to give away!
1. You must be a follower of my blog.
2. You must be 13 or older.
3. Open internationally.
3. Fill out this form.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.
Everblueis the first book I've read by Brenda Pandos, and it won't be the last. And that's not just because the sequel, Evergreen, comes out this summer. I'm definitely going to check out her vampire series. Everblue tells the story of Ashlyn, a high school senior and champion of her swim team, and Finley, the smexy merman next door. While Ash has a crush on Fin, it's awkward, because Fin's twin sister (Tatiana) is Ashlyn's best friend.
Ashlyn doesn't know her bff's biggest secret: that her and her family are merpeople. And one night, they disappear. They travel to their homeland of Natatoria, per the king's request. This story switches points of view. Ashlyn is just a normal teen girl, struggling through school and worrying about Tatiana's family, and their mysterious disappearance. And then there's Finley, who is trying to deal with being underwater 24/7 and missing Ash.
This story started off a bit slow, but it was wonderfully told. I think it would be amazing to live the life of a mermaid, and Natatoria is the first place I'd visit. The visuals Brenda Pandos created were wonderful. I liked many of the characters and hated the ones I was supposed to. Ash and Fin were adorable together, and I can't wait to read book two. Be sure to check out this light-hearted, fun mermaid romance. And with an ebook price of $2.99 how can you pass that up? Get a copy of Everbluefor your Kindle.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
From the gentle tones of a storyteller’s cadences to the terror of a blood sacrifice, tales of favorite characters from Marr’s Wicked Lovely novels mix with accounts of new characters for readers to fall in love with...or to fear.
Lush, seductive, and chilling, Melissa Marr’s stories revel in the unseen magic that infuses the world as we know it.
I am a huge fan of everything Melissa Marr has done. I think, regardless of premise, I will read it and love it. She is a fantastic story-teller, and her use of folklore is amazing. Faery Tales & Nightmaresis an anthology, so for this review, I will spend a bit of time on each story. I won't say much about each story, especially the Wicked Lovely world shorts, so as to avoid spoilers.
"Where Nightmares Walk" is an interesting opening. It's very short, but the visuals are amazing. It is followed by "Winter's Kiss" a tale of a girl and a polar bear. Nesha was a princess who's breath was like winter. She could create snow on a hot summer day. Until she journeyed with a polar bear. "Winter's Kiss" was my favorite in this anthology. Next came "Transition" which was previously published in Teeth, a vampire anthology, and "Love Struck" a selchie story from Love is Hell. These four stories show just how amazing Melissa's use of folklore is in that they are so diverse.
"Stopping Time" and "Old Habits" are two Wicked Lovely world shorts, both of which has been previously available as ebook only. Definitely don't read these until after Ink Exchange. They wouldn't be quite as amazing without knowledge from the series. "Stopping Time" is a fun, sexy short following up on Leslie and Niall. "Old Habits" tells the story of Irial... and his inability to break some of his old habits. The thing I loved about this one was Irial's interaction with High Queen, Sorcha.
"The Sleeping Girl and the Summer King" was an amazing addition to this collection. Melissa wrote this years ago, and it eventually evolved into Wicked Lovely. I knew it had been a short story first, so I've been wanting to read this for years. I was surprised and excited to find out it'd be here. This short was my second favorite of the anthology. It's so unlike Wicked Lovely, yet if you've read the novel, you can pick out which pieces trickled over.
"The Art of Waiting" was creepy, but "Flesh for Comfort" surpassed the creep factor. Both were interesting shorts, not set in a world Melissa has written before. These are two of the shortest works in this anthology, but also two of the most interesting.
The last three stories are also Wicked Lovely world. "Cotton Candy Skies" is a post Radiant Shadows story, revolving around Rabbit and his life in Faerie. "Unexpected Family" is a post Darkest Mercy story, starring Seth. For the first time in the series, we get to meet his parents. "Merely Mortal" is another post Darkest Mercy story. It was previously published in Enthralled, an anthology Melissa co-edited with Kelley Armstrong. And it tells the story of where Keenan and Donia are after the series end. These last three stories were my least favorite in this collection, but still amazing. Don't forget to read the Wicked Lovely series before these, or you'll be spoiled big time.
I highly recommend the Wicked Lovely series and Graveminder, as they are both amazing. And, of course, pick this one up once you finish Darkest Mercy. Melissa Marr has a new novel called Carnival of Souls coming this fall from Little, Brown. And if you're a fan of her works, be sure to check out the Wicked Lovely fansite and Rath and Ruins.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Werewolves Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers want to give their four-year-old twins, Kate and Logan, something their parents never had: a nice, normal holiday. No Pack responsibilities, no homicidal half-demons or power-hungry sorcerers to deal with – just the four of them, alone, at a chalet outside Ontario’s Algonquin Park.
Then a strange werewolf shows up at their door…while the town is buzzing about a young man, back from college, found half-eaten in the woods. And there’s the missing little girl …
With all the signs pointing to a rogue mutt with a taste for human flesh, Elena and Clay have no choice but to investigate. But are they the hunters – or the hunted?
Hiddenis a novella, the third that Kelley has written which was published through Subterranean Press. The picture above is the cover for the trade edition, but being the fan that I am, I have the limited edition, the cover to your right.
Despite me being a huge fan of Kelley's and the Otherworld, I am not a huge fan of Elena Michaels Danvers. And I say that because she was Kelley's first character and typically the most popular. Elena has narrated Bitten, Stolen, Broken, and Frostbitten in the past. And Hidden has been my favorite story revolving around the pack.
Elena and Clay have taken their kids on a Christmas vacation, and will spend Christmas, for the first time, as just the four of them. I love the twins. Kate and Logan are about four or five, but they act much older. They are much smarter than the average preschooler. Too smart for their own good. They're very inquisitive.
I think the twins may have been the biggest reason Hidden is my favorite Elena narrative. They make the entire story much more fun, and they bring out sides of the pack members we've not seen before. We've seen Clay, Elena, and Nick in action before, but now they're Dad, Mom, and Uncle Nick. Another thing I loved about this novel is Reese. He was introduced in Frostbitten and has a short story called "Chivalrous", and I absolutely adore him. So I was glad to see him included so much here.
If you haven't read the series, this novella may not be for you. It's definitely geared towards fans. And if you haven't read the book, you won't have near enough back story. But that's no problem, as this series is amazing. Thirteen, the thirteenth and final novel in the Women of the Otherworld series comes out this summer, so now is the perfect time to pick up Bitten and cruise right on through this amazing series.