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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey

Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Format: eARC
Pages: 287
Source: Netgalley

For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.

The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric-who may or may not betray them.

Goodreads - Amazon - B&N - Indiebound - Book Depo
I was not as enchanted by this book as I hoped to be. I hate to say it, but this book was far from spectacular.

There were a lot of parts where the book felt rushed. At first I thought that the author just wasn't including much detail in the story, but as I read on I realized that there was details that, as a reader, I really didn't care about. I think they were used to "set the mood", though it felt sort of like the author was just saying, "This happened, then this, and then that," and then describing what the clouds looked like and the precise color of the grass. But sometimes when something important happened, it would be wrapped up in a sentence and I'd have to go back and re-read the sentence just to realize what happened.

As a book about the Fae, I expected this to have a very vivid, very unique world that sucks me in and sweeps me away. The was not the case, unfortunately. I just couldn't see it all, couldn't picture it all. The world building got kind of confusing for me at times, and there was not enough depth for my liking, especially considering this is a standalone novel.

The characters were all right. I didn't really get to know them much. I understood their personalities, but they felt flat. The same goes for the romances. There was one case of extreme instaluv.And I mean extreme. She was ready to say "I love you" before she even learned his name. The other relationship was slower and slightly more believable, but I still didn't feel it. They didn't know anything about one another, really. They hardly even spoke. Thank the frackin heavens, though, there was no love triangle. I would have loved more of Devin, though. He was funny and nerdy, which, ya know, is awesomesauce. And Isadora. I loved her! She was fierce and sassy and only about 2 inches tall.

I didn't see the point in the alternating perspectives. Jo's part seemed all together unnecessary. I have a feeling I would have connected to this book much easier and even enjoyed it a lot more if we would have just stayed in Eloise's mind.

Obviously, I wasn't particularly impressed with this book, but it was definitely a quick read that was really fast-paced. The pacing was definitely what made this book so easy to read. Because even though I didn't exactly understand what was going on at times, it was still interesting and engaging, and fly-throughable. It was also very light. It's good if you are looking for a quick read that leaves you with no attachments to the characters or the world. I'd suggest it if you need something simple for a school assignment or for traveling. I'd say this is a book to get from the library.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cover Gush!

Clicking on the titles will lead you to the book's Goodreads page :)

Gravity by Melissa West
Expected publication: October 2012
Entangled Publishing

I absolutely, 100% adore this cover. I think that the blue is a stunning color and it's so refreshing to see a cover without a gorgeous model on it. This is simple and clear and just beautiful!

Expected publication: October 2, 2012
Simon Pulse

I'm not sure what I think of this cover. At first I thought it was a little fairy laying on a leaf, but then I realized it...wasn't. I'm still not sure, though. When I see it, I see a girl that got dumped and is having trouble coping. I know that's not what the book is about, but that's just what it feels like to me.

Expected publication: September 11, 2012

I'm not sure how I feel about this cover, either. The first two in the series had a more elegant feel to them and this seems a little more fierce to me. And kind of bland. I feel like anybody could have photoshopped this.

Expected publication: 2013
Orchard Books

For some reason, I love this cover! It seems mysterious. But I don't like that we can't see the girl's face. I'm not sure what's really going on up there. Is her hair covering it? It kind of looks to me like her head is on backwards, but I highly doubt that. Besides that, though, I love the eerie color scheme and the simple swish of the "K" in the title.

Expected publication: September 4, 2012
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

I LOVE THIS. It looks so epic. Nuff said.

Expected Publication: May 8, 2012
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

I like this cover. I love the bright color scheme and the girl's eye is gorgeous. I feel like she is looking at me. It's great.

What do you think of these covers?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Transcend Time Title Hunt!

*Initiate fanfare*

I am so happy to be part of the title hunt for the third novel in Michelle Madow's popular Transcend Time Saga!

Welcome to the Transcend Time Saga Title Hunt! The title hunt is the reveal of the title for the final novel in the Transcend Time Saga. Each of the bloggers participating in the hunt have been given a letter. Hop around to the blogs participating to hunt for the letters. (And remember that two of the letters are used twice, so the title is eight letters long.) 

Once you've unscrambled the title, go to Michelle Madow's blog and use the title name to enter the giveaway for a voucher for an advanced e-copy of the final Transcend Time novel! (She is giving away a voucher because the novel is planned to be released at the end of the year, and she hasn't finished writing it yet! This voucher will ensure that you will receive an advance e-copy once they are available).
You can now buy an e-copy of Remembrance for only 99 cents! But you better hurry, because this awesome offer only lasts until Michelle's USA tour ends in April.
I really enjoyed the first book, Remembrance, but I have not actualhad the opportunity to read Vengeance yet, though I hope to buy it soon! So, I have no idea what I hope to happen in the third installment. But I do hope everyone gets their happy endings :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quote Impressions

Quote Impressions is a feature where I highlight different quotes from different books that resonated with me and made a huge impression. The kind of quotes that made me pause in my reading and go, "Wow!" Now, without further ado...the quotes:

“I'd rather die on my own terms than live on theirs. I'd rather die loving Alex than live without him.” - Delirium by Lauren Oliver

“Our nights were filled with passion and long soft gazes and sweet words. We weren't behaving ourselves, and we didn't for one moment feel guilty about that.” - Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble

“The only thing better than imagining Dimitri carrying me in his arms was imagining him shirtless while carrying me in his arms.” - Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

“I never once cheated on you. I never even looked at another girl when we were together.” - We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

I just started with quotes from some of my favorite books. Have you read any of these books? If you haven't, do these quotes make these books seem like something you would enjoy?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Series: Partials #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Format: eARC
Pages: 340
Source: NetGalley

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.
Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them--connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.
Dan Wells, acclaimed author of "I Am Not a Serial Killer," takes readers on a pulsepounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question--one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival. (

That tagline is honestly what drew me to this book. I could just tell that this book was going to be full of tension, and then I read the summary and I was like, "Robots! Disease! Mandatory pregnancy!?" I knew I needed to read this book--and I was absolutely correct! Not only does it have the aforementioned epicness, but this book also includes guns, treachery, suspicion, and a crapton of explosions. You'd think with the drastic spike in dystopian books the concepts would just fall flat now, but if you enjoy dystopians, this is not a book to be missed.

I simultaneously loved and hated the plot. It was so messed up, yet so frackin interesting. There's this disease that prevents any baby from living longer than a few days, and the Senate thinks that the only way to eradicate this problem is to force women by law to get pregnant over and over again until a baby survives. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened for over a decade, and the Senate continues to lower the pregnancy age.

Kira, the protagonist, works in the maternity ward of the hospital and she watches multiple babies die each week. I felt so bad for her because I could tell that it killed her. She witnesses all these mothers, sometimes only a couple years older than her, losing their children and their hope, and in turn she begins to lose her hope--until she realizes that there is something she can do to turn this madness around. I loved that everyone wasn't all gung ho for her idea. It was reckless, dangerous, and stupid, and everyone told her that. They let her know that there have been scientists and medics studying this disease for a decades and that she was only 16. What I loved even more was that she didn' give a flying monkey's donk what they had to say. She was willing to die for her idea because obviously something needed to change, and just maybe great sacrifices have to e made for a great cause. I loved her unwavering dedication to the cause. She was willing to break laws, associate with the enemy, destroy her reputation, and even die, if that's what it came to.

The one thing that stopped me from being totally and one hundred percent wowed by this book was the biology- and medical-talk. I mean, she's trying to cure a disease. Obviously she's not just going to be like, "Oh! You mix thing1 with thing2 and then, viola! CURED." There's going to be a lot of thought and science and smartstuff that goes into finding a cure people have been searching for for over a decade. And you know, that's fine. I admire how much thought obviously went into all of it. It seemed as if Wells really knew what he was doing. But here's the thing guys: I barely passed biology. Throughout all of the science stuff, I got the gist of what was going on, but the majority of the time I was just like,

The world created in this book is creepy and sad and the best kind of horrible. I did, however, feel like there was something missing from the history. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I felt like maybe it needed more depth, because I wasn't completely convinced. The writing was great. And I loved the ending. Things were actually resolved and we weren't left with some infuriating cliff-hanger.

This book was fabulous, though, filled to the brim with intensity, gripping action, high stakes, and a tight time limit. Honestly, it might even make you look at your life differently and appreciate the world we live in. I'd say this is definitely geared more towards older YA and those that love science/biology/medicine. I cannot wait for the sequel.

Monday, February 13, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? (7)

This weekly meme is hosted by Book Journey.

~ Patials by Dan Wells (Review coming soon)
Okay, I only read one book this week. I didn't even read a single word of Between, but that's okay.
~ Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (ebook)
~ Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey (ebook)


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bookly gabbing: LGBT in literature

Bookly gabbing is just a feature here where I ramble about book-related subjects. And sometimes other-related subjects :)

LGBT in literature

Here's a confession: I'm straight. I know it's not exactly an earth shattering declaration, but it is a fact about me. That fact, however, doesn't define me. Just like the word "gay" or "lesbian" doesn't define a person who happens to like members of the same sex. Or books that happen to have LGBT factors in them. I'm not claiming to be an expert or anything. As far as I can remember I have only read 2 books with male/male romance, but you know what? I ADORED both of them. They were both 5 star books for me (HUSHED by Kelley York and DON'T LET ME GO by J.H. Trumble). I read DON'T LET ME GO first, and before delving in, I'll admit I was filled with trepidation. I wasn't, like, crossing myself and screaming, "OHMYGARSH THERE ARE BOYS KISSING!!!" It was more like I wasn't sure if I'd be able to connect to the characters or really feel the romance. But you know what? I did. I laughed with these characters and cried for them. I got lost in the romances and the stories. I devoured the gorgeous writing.

There's more to LGBT books than LGBT, and more people need to realize that.

A lot of people claim that LGBT in literature make them "uncomfortable." First of all, how does two males or females kissing make you uncomfortable? You know what makes me uncomfortable? Detailed descriptions of murder. Because murder is wrong and it's disgusting and it's horrible! But why would LGBT factors in a book make a person uncomfortable? It's not wrong, it's not disgusting, and it certainly is not horrible! You're not kissing a person of the same sex. Your simply reading about something that happens in the world. I've heard people say that they are not gay so they really don't enjoy reading about gay people.

You know what? I'm not a damn vampire. I don't talk to ghosts. I'm not on drugs. I'm not in love with a werewolf. But I still read about it. I don't want any of those things, but I still read about it. I mentioned earlier that I was uncertain if I would be able to relate to the characters and the best way I can think to sum this up is a quote from DON'T LET ME GO:

"The only difference between you and me is what makes our dicks hard."

I don't know if that is the exact quote but it is along those lines. Of course, I don't have a penis, but the point is that gay people are still people. They feel things, they deal with things, they love people, they have families and hobbies. Maybe they like to sing or write or read or play baseball or watch Spongebob. Maybe you don't even realize a person is gay unless they tell you and all of a sudden respect = lost. My point is that they are regular people and therefore just as easy to connect with as a straight main character.

I don't know if this makes sense to anyone besides me or if it was just incoherent rambling, but what I'm trying to say is nobody should immediately knock a book just because it has LGBT factors in it. A book consists of a plot, writing, characters, and so much more. The LGBT is only a part, and even if it plays a large role in a book, it is not everything.

These are just my thoughts. You don't need to agree. I don't care if you do or not. But if you leave your thoughts, I'll read them. Thanks for reading! :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

New Girl by Paige Harbison

Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Mystery
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Fromat: eARC
Pages: 314
Source: NetGalley

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect going into this novel. I knew it was a retelling of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, but I never read that. I was drawn to the title, because, well, I've been the New Girl before. Only, my experiences have never even compared to this one! Creepy, mysterious, and completely psychotic--New Girl kept me interested until the very last word. However, my thoughts on this book are sort of scattered, because I really enjoyed it but at the same time, it had a lot of flaws. So, I'm going to do this review a little differently than usual.

Plot: I liked the plot! It was mysterious and creepy. What happened to Becca? Why is everyone so crazy for her? And why is everyone so crazy to New Girl? Though there were a lot of petty problems it all fit together well.

Pacing: The pacing was decent. It wasn't particularly fast-paced, but there was always something going on to keep me interested and turning the pages.

Writing: The writing wasn't that impressive. It was actually pretty mediocre, but I feel like the concise style contributes to the mystery and creepiness of the book.

"...and they did it again." (ARC, pg. 61)

That was them having sex. I don't want an explicit description, believe me. I know this is YA, but there was not even feeling behind it. Just, "they did it again."

Romance: There wasn't much of a romance. For Becca, it was mostly just sex. And for New Girl, well, I didn't understand her obsession with Max. He just led her on and was like, "I can't be with you." And gave her BS excuses. However, I did LOVE how things ended between them.

Main Character: I could easily relate to her. She lived in the same place her entire life with the same people, she didn't know how to be the New Girl, and her circumstances were a lot more difficult than most. But I did not like her. She made herself miserable for stupid reasons. She could have easily left the school, but she didn't want to show that people were right about how she was nothing like Becca. Uhm....would you rather be miserable and have people trash talk you all the time, or be happy surrounded by people that love you and know that somewhere there are people you are never going to see again talking crap and slowly forgetting you? I also hated how she didn't really defend herself. I mean, I know that she snapped a few times, but she just sat there and let people tell her that she was TRYING to be Becca. But despite it all, she was tough. She kept her head up. She graduated and went to the college that she wanted. And that, at least, I can respect.

Secondary characters: OH MY GOD. They were crazy. With the exception of Blake and Johnny, every single one of them was crazy. And completely smackable. I mean, they all had issues. They kept going on and on about how hard the New Girl tried to be like Becca, and that no matter how hard she tried, she'd never be like Becca. They kept saying that Max and Becca were madly in love and that New Girl should stay away from her. And that if Johnny liked her, it was just because of this creepy thing he had with new girls. CRAZY. Psychotic.

Ending: It was a little predictable and didn't have that WOW effect on me, but it was still good. Things were tied up nicely, but not flawlessly.

So even though this book didn't completely sweep me off my feet, I still enjoyed it. Enough to read it in 2 sittings, which is rare for me with ebooks. If you like creepy, this is a book great for you. If you're looking for a story that will keep you engaged and make you fly through the pages, I definitely recommend this book! New Girl was an enthralling read.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Behind the Blog (1)

Behind the Blog is a feature I've created to allow my readers to learn more about me outside of the blogging and book world. My hope is to connect with readers outside of books, make friends beyond the blog. As far as I know, the title of this feature came from my own mind. I don't recall seeing it on a blog before, so if you have a feature with the same name, no copy intended.

For this post, I'm going to list 5 facts about me you probably didn't know.
  1. I'm a sophomore and I'm about to attend my 6th highschool.
  2. I'm really insecure about the eyelashes on my left eye.
  3. I can quote parts of Titanic.
  4. I have a creepy womancrush on Zooey Deschanel.
  5. I could live off of Ramen Noodles.
So those are some random facts about me! Seeing as the purpose of this feature is to connect with my readers, I'd really love if you'd comment with a list of your own random facts! Or leave questions/topics for my next Behind the Blog post! :) Feel free to tweet me and start up a conversation, or add my new Facebook page and we can have conversations longer that 140 characters <3

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My birthday!

I just thought I'd let you all know that today is my sixteenth birthday! :)

I started my blog last June and I never expected it to escalate to what it is now. Blogging has become a huge part of my life and has changed me in ways I can't even explain. I've met a lot of amazing people. I've had conversations with authors! I've discovered new, fabulous books. And most importantly, I've shared my love of books with hundreds of people! At my age, being a bookworm is looked upon as strange and it was always easy for me to feel like my love of books was a flaw. It was something I kept inside of me, even when I felt like I was going to burst from bookly love. But book blogging has showed me I'm not strange at all--I'm extremely special! As are all the other bloggers and booklovers I've connected with since becoming part of the community.

I haven't held many giveaways on my blog (there's no way I can afford them) and I've reached over 250 followers. That's such a marvelous feeling because it makes me realize that some people like and even care about what I have to say. It makes me feel like I'm doing as much as I can to support my favorite books and authors. Every time I get a comment, I feel accomplished.

Since I began blogging, I've attended four different high schools and experienced a lot of tough times, but blogging and books was something I could turn to. Times were never to tough to fall in love with words and gush about them. When I was feeling down, blogging and bloggers and books and writers could cheer me up without even realizing they were doing it.

Book blogging has opened up so many opportunities for me, unlocked so many feelings, and showed me so many personal values. All I wish for on my birthday is that bloggers and booklovers alike keep being awesome. Keep taking over the internet. Keep showing everyone that we are special and great for so many reasons. Keep showing the world that books are so much more than words on paper. I wish for authors to continue writing what's in their hearts, and that they keep making their way into ours. I wish that writers will continue to discover their story and bring fresh and original work to the plate.

And most of all, my birthday wish is for every single person in this world to realize that there is a book out there for them. And for them to find it. And for them to realize that there are more books out there for them.

So, thanks everyone. You've probably helped me in ways you could never even realize. Please just keep doing whatever you're doing, because I assure you, it's wonderful.

Book Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Series: Iron Fey #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Publisher: Hardcover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 363
Source: Borrowed from teacher

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

I tried reading this a couple years back, but I couldn't really get into it and I never finished it. But I've seen soooo much hype around this series and swooning for Ash and I had no idea why I was the only person who couldn't get through it. I'd been wanting to retry for a while so when my teacher was like, "You need to read this!" I was like "OKAY!" And I absolutely adored it!! I don't know if my head just wasn't in it last time or what, but The Iron King is a gorgeous novel interwoven with an intricate faerie world, enchanting characters, and a unique twist to your typical faery lore.

Immediately, I could tell Meghan was a character I was going to like. She wants to impress her crush, but she doesn't have anything nice to wear to school, so she decides that she is going to rock what she has, that she is just going to be herself and that she will wow him with her personality. She makes a really good first impression. She was really determined to save her little brother and she is unflinchingly loyal to the people she cares about. Sometimes her raw determination felt a little unbelievable, the way she was literally willing to sacrifice anything to save her little brother, because I didn't really get a strong feel for their relationship in the beginning. But that's just me. The other thing that I didn't like was that Meghan was not a fighter at all, and therefore throughout most of the book, she had to be rescued by Puck or Ash. It's not like she is completely helpless or anything. I mean, she does help out, and she does utilize whatever she can to save herself, but most of the time it was Ash sweeping in and saving her. I am certain that will be different in the next book due to certain events that occurred at the end if The Iron King.

As for Ash and Puck...I love them both. Puck brings humor and fun to every page that he is on, and Ash has that tortured soul thing going for him. I know the masses of Team Ash fans are going to lobotomize me for this, but I realllllly love Puck. He's always been there for Meghan. And he's totally misunderstood, just because a lot of his pranks go...wrong. I mean, I know Ash is the obvious selection for Meghan and that Puck isn't even really a romantic candidate, but I STILL CHOOSE HIM. I also loved Grimalkin. Not as a romantic option, of course. I just thought he was kinda sorta totally awesomesauce.

But my favorite part of the entire book was the world. We are sucked into an elaborate fantasy land, riddled with danger and tricks, and you just never know what to expect. It was so easy to immerse myself into Nevernever, to see all the unique creatures, to feel the tension between the courts. Julia Kagawa takes traditional faery myths and bring them to life, makes them her own. There are so many things Julie has to introduce to us, be it a creature or a concept, without overwhelming or confusing us and she does such a marvelous job! I was completely absorbed and one hundred percent convinced.

The pacing in this book is quick, but not too break-neck, always engaging. The action is literally made my breathing heavier and my heart rate quicker. And the writing absolutely screwed my mind in the best kind of way. And yet, something was missing. I can't identify what, but there is something that is preventing me from giving this a full 5 pawprint rating. I'm not sure, I mean this book obviously BLEW ME OUT OF THE FRICKIN WATER.

This is a book not to be overlooked, my fabulous readers. If you've been burned before by faery books, or you're just a faery skeptic--this is a book I'd recommend to break you out of that funk. If you think this is going to be like Tinker Bell, you got another thing coming. If you think faeries are all pixie dust and fluttering wings, PICK UP THIS DAMN BOOK SO YOU CAN REVEL IN ITS AWESOMENESS. If none of the above apply to you...well, you still want to read this. Trust me. There's a reason this series is wildly popular and I expect even greater things from the next books!

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? (6)

This weekly meme is hosted by Book Journey.

~ The Iron King by Julia Kagawa (Review coming tomorrow)
~ New Girl by Paige Harbison (Review coming soon)

Okay, I am perfectly aware that I have been slacking tremendously in the reading department. I'm not going to make excuses, I am just going to say that there are reasons. But I am trying to kick my butt in gear!


~ Partials by Dan Wells (ebook)
~ Between by Jessica Warman (physical)

I'm just going to start back small. If I read more than those two, fantastic!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cover Gush!

Boy, do I have A LOT of covers to gush about today! : )So sit back and enjoy the pretty pictures.

A Midsummer's Nightmare
Kody Keplinger
Other works by this author: Shut Out, The Duff

I haven't read anything by Kody Keplinger, though I want to. This is my favorite cover of hers so far. I love the mysterious aspect it has and the angst radiating from that girls face. This book sounds and looks absolutely fantabulous and I cannot wait to read it!

Blind Spot
Laura Ellen

I'm pretty sure this is a debut novel. I don't know why I love this cover so much. The eye is really pretty and dark and the tagline is mysterious. It's got a gritty feel to it.

City of Lost Souls
The Mortal Instruments #5
Cassandra Clare
Other works by this author: The other Mortal Instruments books and The Infernal Devices books.

OMG OMG OMG OMG. Fabulous. I cannot wait. It looks romantic and epic and OMG.

Darkest Knight
Knight's Curse #2
Karen Duvall
Other works by this author: Knight's Curse

I read the first book in this series, and though I wasn't absolutely in love with it, I am still looking forward to this sequel. I love this cover so much, it is absolutely stunning. Chalice, the girl on the cover, looks much more like a girl on this ne, though she is still really tough. I can totally sense the chaos that is going to be in this book with the dark colors and eerie tree branch in the corner. This is the type of cover I expect to be about gargoyles -- and what do you know? IT IS!

Deadly Hemlock
Hemlock #1
Kathleen Peacock

This is the UK cover to Kathleen's debut novel. I think that she was truly blessed with two gorgeous covers. Though I like the US cover better, this is still top notch. I love the wolf face in the trees and how the title just seems to jump out at you. This cover is kind of spooky and totally wonderful, and I really hope that the content inside is as great.

The Space Between Us
Jessica Martinez
Other works by this author: Virtuosity

OMG OMG OMG I absolutely adored Virtuosity, and I am so excited to see that Jessica Martinex has another book coming out. Honestly, I would have adored this cover even if it was nothing but a plain black rectangle, but it's actually really gorgeous. I can feel the tension seeping from both of them, along with regret and uncertainty, and I know that I will feel all of the same things from the characters.

C.K. Kelly Martin
Other works by this author: My Teenage Beating Heart, The Lighter Side of Life and Death, One Lonely Degree, I Know It's Over

I haven't read anything by this author, and I had never even heard of this book, but when I saw the cover I knew it was a book I have to read! This cover is my favorite of all of the ones I posted today. It's got a dark, eerie feeling to it, and it is just so frickin epic. It's very rare that books with all of these different details and sci-fi aspects is photoshopped really well, but this is absolutely fantastic!

So what do you think of these covers? Which one is your favorite, and which covers make you want the book NOW!?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Book Review: Beyond by T.P. Boje

Beyond (The Academy) by T.P. Boje

Series: Afterlife #1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: September 9, 2011
Publisher: Self-published
Format: Paperback
Pages: 265
Source: From author for review

Have you ever wondered where you go when you die?

Meghan is 16 when it happens to her. She wakes up on a flying steamboat on her way to a school run by Angels in a white marble castle. It is a school everybody has to go to before they are let into Heaven. On the boat she meets Mick who has been dead for more than a hundred years but still looks like a teenager. He helps her past the difficult beginning at the new school in a new world. One day some of Meghan's roommates find a mirror in the cellar of the school and they persuade her to go through it with them - well knowing it is strictly against the rules of the school. Meghan ends up back on earth where she meets Jason. But Jason is in danger and Meghan know something important. Something that is a matter of life and death. Soon she is forced to choose between the two worlds. The one she belongs to now and the one she left.

Beyond is the first novel in T. P. Boje's Afterlife series and is great for children and teenagers ages 9 and up. (

There's the age-old question "What makes a book, the writing or the story?" Most of the time, I say that both components are essential to creating a book worth reading, but sometimes elaborate prose that flow off the page and twist your mind are overwhelming and you just want to be told a good story. That's what it was my experence reading Beyond. The writing was not bad, please do not misunderstand me, but it wasn't particularly stunning. Some of the dialogue was stilted and there could have been a lot more details, but the book was quick and refreshing and told a story that was interesting.

The world was set up very decently. I still have some questions, but there are more books in the series and I can't expect (or even want, really) all the worldbuilding in the first book. There were a few things I found slightly unbelievable or inconsistent, but in the end, those things didn't matter. I also found a few things to be slightly similar to the world set up in Harry Potter. Not exactly the same, but just similar. That's not a bad thing, persay, but it subtracts from the originality, obviously.

Now the plot and main storyline were what I really adored. I loved reading about this whole new life after death and I liked how the characters in this novel didn't just turn into all-knowing being when they died. Instead they have to attend an academy, no matter how old, where they learn special things like how to fly or walk through walls. The religious aspects in this book are there, but not preachy or overwhelming. There are good spirits and there are bad, and the good must continuously fight the bad spirits' influence. There are hints and talk about an ancient war and Heaven and I'm hoping there are more of those things in the next books--in the same nonpreachy way, of course. Then here was the climax, which was my FAVORITE part. There were a lot of parts in this book that seemed sort of convienant or easy, but the climax was epic! There was a ton of anticipation that had my heart literally pounding and my mind frantically devouring each word! And then the ending! Oh my, it absolutely broke my heart! I did not see parts of it coming, and yet it didn't necessarily come out of nowhere. I wasn't crazy about the beginning because it directly addressed the readers and that's a feat that I believe to be difficult to pull off, but it only happens in the beginning, so it wasn't too bad.

This is a nice read if you're looking for something quick and creative and not too heavy. This book had many flaws, but I still enjoyed it. I definitely want to read the sequel. Also, this book is suitable for all ages and would be a good read for younger kids that are beginning to read YA and MG books!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassadra Clare

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
Genre: YA Steampunk
Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 498
Source: Purchased

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

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. (

HOLY FRAGGLEZNIPF. Why am I so surprised that Cassandra Clare has completely wowed me once again? But, uh, WOW! Three dimensional characters, stunning prose, and a swoon-worthy love triangle--Clare brings it BIG in the newest installment of The Infernal Devices.

So much happens in this book. A LOT. The Shadowhunters are trying to save the Institute, find the Magister and unveil why exactly he wants Tessa, and Will deals with some issues of his own. Seriously, guys, there are so many twists in this book. I could never figure out who to trust. The one little tiny quibble I have about the plot is that this book does not contain as much action as the predecessor. Instead, it focuses more on the romance. Not that the romance isn't fabulous, but I would have loved more of Clare's famous heart-pounding action.

Speaking of the romance, OH MY OH MY OH MY OH MY. Clare pulled my heart in, like, ten trillion and two different directions. My mental tug-of-war went a little something like this:


This is not your typical love triangle. Okay, it kind of is. I mean, you got the bad boy and the tender boy. BUT IT IS SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. There is legit depth in the character's feelings for one another.

AND MY GOD, THE CHARACTERS. They are what make this book for me.

You can tell that Tessa has really changed since the first book. Her skin has grown thicker. I liked how it wasn't as much about her powers and accepting the world around her as it was about helping the world she has come to love, and those in it. Then there is Will and Jem, and well, I can't even get into them. I love them both and I hate how there is an expiration date on Jem. I could feel his time ticking away, but this book also wasn't about Tessa coming to terms with his illness, it was about her realizing that there was ten times more to Jem than his illness. Will deals with a lot in this book, and we learn a lot about him and I have a feeling your opinion about him will be irrevocably altered. I always loved him, but now I see him in a whole new light.

I was so so so so so so happy for Henry and Charlotte. I love them and I am so happy to see that their relationship is more than everyone thought. I love that we get to see the Lightwoods, and we learn what their problem is. Some things happen with Jessamine that really surprise me, and as horrible as he is, I loved Nate.

This book was simply made of win. It's amazeballs to see the characters from the ID start to relate to the MI series. If you love the Mortal Instruments but aren't sure about starting this series, do it. I promise you, you won't regret it. My excessive capitalized words should indicate just how mind-blowing this book is!