Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: The Near Witch - Victoria Schwab

  • Reading level:
  •  Young Adult
  • Hardcover:
  •  288 pages
  • Publisher:
  •  Hyperion Book CH (August 2, 2011)

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

My Thoughts...
There was something haunting about this book. Something about the writing made me crave more. The story was terrific although a little slow in the beginning in my opinion. The characters we were written and all served a purpose to moving the story along. Lexi amazed me! In her shoes I would have fallen apart, but she for the most part used her head and held herself together. The stranger...he made me want to melt, I want my own personal "stranger". The story was quite compelling, at times I sat there routing and cheering Lexi on like a cheerleader, Other times I wanted to reach into the book and smack people. The village of Near and the "world" build around it really came to life for me. I look forward to more by this author. I give this one 4 stars, and highly suggest that you run out and pick up a copy of this book as soon as possible!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Mercy - Rebecca Lim

  • Paperback:
  •  288 pages
  • Publisher:
  •  Harpercollins Childs (October 28, 2010)

An electric combination of angels, mystery and romance, MERCY is the first book in a major new paranormal series.
There's something very wrong with me. I can't remember who I am or how old I am, or even how I got here. All I know is that when I wake up, I could be any one. It is always this way. There's nothing I can keep with me that will stay. It's made me adaptable. I must always re-establish ties. I must tread carefully or give myself away. I must survive.
Mercy doesn't realise it yet, but as she journeys into the darkest places of the human soul, she discovers that she is one of the celestial host exiled with fallen angel, Lucifer. Now she must atone for taking his side. To find her own way back to heaven, Mercy must help a series of humans in crisis and keep the unwary from getting caught up in the games that angels play. Ultimately she must choose between her immortal companion, Lucifer, and a human boy who risks everything for her love.

My Thoughts...
I think this might be love! I was sucked into from the first page.  Chapter 1 was haunting and beautiful! The story of Mercy seems complex and quite confusing. Even at the end of the book while I feel like I learned something about Mercy I'm still confused, but in a good way, in a way that makes me wish I had the next book sitting here to dive into.  But all the while we are trying to learn about Mercy, we are also learning about a girl named Carmen, and a family in crises. It is really quite a complex weave of the fates of many in this book. I loved the mystery aspect of this story. I wasn't expecting it really and it was well done.  I really loved the characters even the "mean girl" types", they all seemed to have so much life to them. I also think the pacing of this story was great. It never bored me and I was always guessing at where the mystery would eventually end up. I really looked forward to reading more about Mercy. I give this one 5 stars.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Forgotten - Kat Patrick

  • Reading level:
  •  Young Adult
  • Hardcover:
  •  304 pages
  • Publisher:
  •  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (June 7, 2011)

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.
Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

My Thoughts...
Let me start by saying, I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I know what I got and it was fantastic. I have heard great things about this book but was wary, I hated the movie Momento and this premise was very similar, yet so entirely different. London Lane is a normal high school girl with a weird memory disorder, I will call it for lack of a better term.  Yes, I know I said she is normal, but that she has a memory disorder, how can both these things be true you ask? Well it is simple she wants to get through school, do good, be happy with her BFF and her boyfriend, but London can only remember the future. Every morning her memory of the day before disappears. I loved the see the future thing. Basically if you have a place in her future she will remember you, like her mom, and bff, but if you don't then you will be a stranger to her every day. London left herself notes every night so in the morning she know what was going on that day. I thought her notes were pretty cool, but I'm not sure I could live that way. It amazed me how strong London seemed to be.  She seemed ok with her condition for the most part and found a way to make her life work.  Luke stole my heart, he was pretty stinking cool.  Jackie at times made me love her, and at others infuriated me. I don't want to get much more involved in the story for fear of spoiling something for you guys.  I'm giving this one 5 stars for being original and fresh with great characters and a very compelling story. If you haven't read this yet then go do so quickly!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: Blood Magic - Tessa Gratton

  • Reading level:
  •  Young Adult
  • Hardcover:
  •  416 pages
  • Publisher:
  •  Random House Books for Young Readers (May 24, 2011)

It starts off simply.
Draw a circle ... place a dead leaf in the center ... sprinkle some salt ... recite a little Latin ... add a drop of blood ...
Maybe that last part isn't exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents' horrific deaths. She's willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family—even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep ... and spill some blood.
The book isn't the only recent arrival in Silla's life. There's Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She's not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes this may not be Nick's first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can't deny their attraction. And they can't ignore the dark presence lurking nearby—waiting to reclaim the book and all its power.
Tessa Gratton's intoxicating first novel will keep pulses racing, minds reeling, and pages turning right up to the very last drop of blood.

My Thoughts...
I have had a great book year so far.  If you flip back through my reviews for the past few months you will see a lot of 4 - 5 star books.  I am adding this one to the list too! This story was original and fresh. Yes magic/witches have been popular but this story was different from all the others. Silla, I want a friend like Silla, she has dealt with things that she shouldn't have had to, and through out this story more just gets piled on her. Yet she still managed to get up and do what needed to get done. Nick was pretty cool too although at times his attitude put me off. Reese...I want one! He stole my heart. He came through as an amazing brother and overall good guy. I have to say there were a few things that happened that left me sitting there in shock. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book and I lost quite a bit of sleep because I just had to know what happened next.  This was an amazing ride that I didn't want to end. I do have to applaud the author for her amazing use of blood that didn't have a vampire running around bathing in it. This was a very welcome change. I give this one 5 stars and a very high recommendation.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cover Crazy (10)

Cover Crazy is a weekly mem hosted by Tawni over at The Book Worms

My pick this week is...

I am so in love with this cover, I like that they kept the swords.  But this cover makes me curious...I want to know if there is a reason she seems to be standing in the clouds next to a column, and I love the view of the moon.  This cover has me wanting to read the book so bad!  I also can't wait to have this sitting on the shelf next to Angelfire, I think they will look really nice next to each other.

Don't they look so nice next to each other!?! *Squee*

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: Born at Midnight - C.C. Hunter

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (March 29, 2011)

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams,  Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…
One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever.  Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.”  Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.
Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either.  Or does she?  They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason.  As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas.  Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past.  Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. 
Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

My Thoughts...
This book left me craving more! I need to know what happens next! This book focuses on Kylie, a normal girl who is just trying to deal with divorcing parents and the heartbreak of being dumped. After the cops raid a party where Kylie's only crime was being there her mother decides to send her to Camp Shadowfalls.  Kylie goes thinking this is a camp for juvenile delinquents. Quickly Kylie learns that everything isn't what it seems. Kylie finds out why she is really at this camp but is sure that someone somewhere is wrong and she doesn't belong there. While trying to figure out the truth Kylie meets some new friends and we get reintroduced to Della. Watching Kylie try to figure everything out while coming to terms with all the new things happening around her. We also meet Derek and Lucas. *Swoon* This is one triangle I can't seem to settle on one side or the other,. Now I said this book left me wanting more...We learn just enough about Kylie to resolve this book, but not enough to fully satisfy! I loved the characters, the setting, and the story was told very well. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I give this one 4 stars!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review: Ripple - Mandy Hubbard

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (July 21, 2011)

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

My Thoughts...
This was not at all what I expected for some reason I was under the impression that this was a mermaid book.  While it is not a mermaid book I wasn't disappointed! This was a great story. Lexi was a fantastic character, she just wanted to be a normal teenager, but all that gets taken away the night Steven dies. Lexi isolates herself from all her friends, trys to blend into the background. After 2 years of people ignoring her, or being nasty, Cole starts talking to her. Lexi slowly starts rebuilding the life she use to have while trying to keep everyone around her safe. Lexi happens to be hiding a huge secret...  Just as Lexi and Cole seem to be getting closer, enters Erik, the new hot kid in school. From there it is an emotional roller coaster watching Lexi fight against her secret, take back the life she lost, and try to improve her future. I really enjoyed these characters. Lexi was pretty nifty she tried so hard to do what she needed to do to keep people safe. I was rooting for her from the start. I fell for Cole, he was just great in ways I can't describe.  Erik seemed to rub me the wrong way for a while, then I was hoping that things would work out for him, but in the end I ended up really really disliking him.  The ending really caught me off guard, nothing quite turned out the way I thought it would.  I flew through this book, I didn't want to put it down! I give this one 5 stars and glowing recommendations. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Review: Turned at Dark - C.C. Hunter

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 132 KB
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (March 15, 2011)

Independent and strong-willed Della Tsang hadn’t believed in ghosts until she saw her dead cousin darting into the shadows of an alley. She hadn’t believed in vampires until in the dark of that same night she is turned into one. Introduced to a strange world of supernaturals, she struggles to accept this new reality. Unfortunately, the boy she loves senses something different about her and can’t accept her. Should she follow her vampire cousin’s lead–walk away from everything she’s knows and loves—and fake her own death? Or should she set her pride aside and ask for help from the camp leader of Shadow Falls—a camp where supernaturals go to learn how to cope with their powers. Either way, her life as she knows it, will never be the same.

My Thoughts...
This novella took us along for a ride with Della, a normal teenager, who is happy at home, has friends, and a boyfriend she is crazy about.  All until one night she thinks she sees the ghost of her cousin. She ends up in the middle of a gang fight and from there life gets really strange. She finds out that her cousin isn't dead, but a vampire and that he has activated the vampire virus in her, after a very sick few days she wakes up and starts to learn about the new Della, while trying to figure everything out she finds the phone number for Camp Shadow Falls. That is where we leave Della.  This was a cool short story, Della is pretty cool, and the whole take on vampires seems just different enough to be a fresh take on the subject. When I finished this I quickly jumped into Born at Midnight, and while this didn't feel like a required read to understand Born at Midnight I am glad I read it first.  I give this novella 4 stars!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

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

My picks this week are:
Someone's been a very bad zombie.

Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate!

She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town. . . and stay hormonally human.

I really can't wait to start this one.  I have just recently gotten into the zombie craze and can't seem to get enough!

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.

I LOVE this cover, and this story sounds very interesting, I can't wait to get it and get started!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review: Sirensong - Jenna Black

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Original edition (July 5, 2011)

When Dana is invited to Faerie to be officially presented at the Seelie Court, it’s no easy decision. After all, everyone knows Titania, the Seelie Queen, wants her dead. But Titania claims not to be the one behind the death threats; and her son, Prince Henry, makes the decision a whole lot easier when he suggests Dana might be arrested for (supposedly) conspiring with her aunt Grace to usurp the Seelie throne. So she and her father better do as they're told…
The journey through Faerie is long – and treacherous. Dana thought it would be a good idea to have friends along, but her sort-of-boyfriend Ethan and her bodyguard’s son, Keane, just can’t seem to get along, and Kimber’s crush on Keane isn’t making things any easier. When a violent attack separates Dana from their caravan, the sexy Erlking saves her just in the nick of time… and makes it clear that he hasn’t given up on making her his own.
Arriving at Titania’s beautiful palace should be a relief. But Dana is soon implicated in an assassination attempt against Titania’s niece, and is suddenly a fugitive, forced to leave her father behind as she and her friends flee for her lives. Will she be able to prove her innocence before the forces of the Seelie Court catch up with her? Or, worse, the Erlking? And will she save her father before he pays the ultimate price in her stead?

My Thoughts...
I am a huge fan of the fae, and I love how every author has a different portrayal of them.  Jenna Black happens to have a veiw of the fae that I really enjoy.  I have loved the other books in this series, but I think what really did it for me was that this book mostly took place in Faerie.  All the usual suspects were here, Keane, Ethen, and Kimber. There were also some new editions, we got to meet a faerie queen and prince.  This story kept moving and yelled at me every time I tried to put it down! Dana has always been pretty high on my loveable heroins list and this book moved her up a little higher!  Her need to help people while admeriable, has a tendency to get her in trouble. I thought her and Ethen were pretty cute throughout the book but I personally prefer Kean. All in all this was a great addition to the series and an awesome story that will have you saying "oh snap" as you read it.  I give this one 4.5 stars!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Review: Wildfire - Karsten Knight

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (July 26, 2011)

Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

My Thoughts...
Oh boy!  This book was magic!  I don't know where to start describing the awesome that is Wildfire.  I guess I will try starting with the mythology aspect.  This book wasn't solely focused on any one culture, there seemed to be a little bit of everything rolled up here.  I enjoyed that very very much.  While I do love story's that do focus on one culture or belief system it is nice to see something different and fresh.  Something else I have yet to encounter is Polynesian mythology, but from the taste I got here I want more.  Our characters were pretty great as well.  They kind of seemed like a group jumble, like if not for there commonality they probably wouldn't have become friends. But they did and together they were fun and great.  I'm not going to go into details about anyone but Ashline.  She was a nifty main character.  She came off as strong yet still incredibly vulnerable.  I'm not sure I can't discuss the plot without raving and giving stuff away so we will leave it at this.  this was an amazing story that I didn't want to end.  I need more, right now!  The ending had me sitting here saying "there better be a book number two".  I can't wait for the next book I want to hear more about these characters and dive deeper into this story.  I give this one 5 stars and raving recommendations!
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