Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

August 23, 2011
 Received from Publisher for Review

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

My Review:
Richelle Mead is one of my favorite authors, so when I heard that she would be doing a spin-off series to Vampire Academy, I was so excited! I knew that Bloodlines would be just as good as, if not better, than her Vampire Academy series! I was not disappointed! Bloodlines is an exciting, captivating, and nail-biting read that will leave fans begging for the next installment in Mead's new series.

Sydney is intelligent and determined, but because of her Alchemist upbringing, she is wary of the Moroi. She has been trained to look after the well-being of humans and to make sure that they never find out about vampires. After her crazy adventures with Rose, she has become a touch more sympathetic of the Moroi. She isn't totally comfortable around them, but after living her whole life thinking that they were evil, it is understandable. I really enjoyed reading this book from Sydney's perspective. She isn't as harsh as Rose so it was easier for me to relate to her. I got to watch as she grew into a better person after going through so much in Bloodlines. I can't wait to see what is in store for her in the sequel to Bloodlines, The Golden Lily.

I started this while I was on vacation, and even though I was really busy with activities, I still made time to read Bloodlines! Richelle Mead has written yet another captivating and engaging series that is sure to fly off the shelves upon its release. Fans of Adrian will yet again swoon over his flirtatious personality! I don't want to reveal too much, but let me just say that Adrian is back and he is just as much of his bad boy self as before. We get to know Jill a bit more in Bloodlines and I came to feel for her. Mead also introduces us to a few more characters who really made the story interesting. Of course there is also more than enough action to keep you on the edge of your seat!

Bloodlines is a fantastic start to Mead's Vampire Academy spin-off series. I have to say, I may like this one more than the Vampire Academy series! Definitely run to the nearest bookstore when this one hit shelves!

My Rating:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

In My Mailbox (30)

So I am still on vacation as I post this IMM! My aunt tells me I have some packages waiting for me at home so there will be more than just books I bought next week. =) Oh, and I did a vlog this time because I don't have the cord to hook the camera up to the computer. Hope you don't mind. ;)

Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt
Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt
Watch Me by Laure Barnholdt
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

What did you get in your mailboxes? Link me to your post so I can comment. =)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

August 2, 2011
Hyperion Books CH

From Goodreads:
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 Review:
The Near Witch is an eerie and fascinating tale set in a village where witches are just as real as other people. I got chills from Schwab's vivid descriptions of the Near Witch, and just how the wind can speak to people. I couldn't get over how beautifully written The Near Witch was. I could easily hear and feel the wind howling, and I got goose bumps from some of the creepier scenes. While I had a few problems with the story, the magnificent writing made up for some of my complaints.

Lexi wasn't my favorite protagonist but I did like her. I especially enjoyed her interactions with her little sister, Wren. Wren is such a little cutie pie! I also liked how she went against her uncle. He was a bit of a jerk, and though he had his softer moments, he didn't want Lexi doing certain things because it wasn't "proper" for a lady. How frustrating that would be for me if I was told that. Lexi was so determined to solve the mystery of who the stranger in town was, and where the missing children were going. It was great to solve the riddles right along side Lexi.

I really didn't know what to make of the stranger, or as Lexi names him, Cole. He is very mysterious and shy at first, but does open up later. I couldn't see Lexi's attraction to him though. It felt like their romance came out of nowhere and that it was a bit forced. There really wasn't any chemistry between them. Luckily, the romance isn't a huge part of the story so I was able to get past that.

The fairy tale aspect to the story was intriguing. I loved hearing the tale of the Near Witch, and how her death really wasn't what it was made out to be. The plot was so creepy! The children of the village are going missing, but their disappearances don't make any sense. When it all finally came together, I was shocked!

You definitely don't want to miss out on The Near Witch. Even though the romance felt forced, it was still easy for me to get past that and just focus on the mystery.

My Rating:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Falling For Hamlet by Michelle Ray

July 5, 2011

Meet Ophelia: a blonde, beautiful high-school senior and long-time girlfriend of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Her life is dominated not only by her boyfriend's fame and his overbearing family, but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go. As the devastatingly handsome Hamlet spirals into madness after the mysterious death of his father, the King, Ophelia rides out his crazy roller coaster life, and lives to tell about it. In live television interviews, of course.
Passion, romance, drama, humor, and tragedy intertwine in this compulsively readable debut novel, told by a strong-willed, modern-day Ophelia.

My Review:
Even though I haven't read Hamlet, the concept of this book intrigued me enough to get me to try it. I don't think that you have to read Hamlet to enjoy the story, but it probably would make more sense if you have read it before. After finishing Falling For Hamlet, I really wasn't sure what I thought of the story. It was a bit confusing at times, and I really hated the way Hamlet treated Ophelia, but I couldn't stop reading. I wanted to find out what happened next, and what the outcome of Hamlet's madness would be.

I went back and forth with Ophelia. During the times when she is telling her story, I really didn't like the person she was. She was easily manipulated by Hamlet, and I hated that she stuck with him even with the things he did to her. She was basically his plaything. She loses so many friends, pushes away her family, and makes her whole world revolve around Hamlet. I couldn't respect her for that.

However, I loved her attitude during the interrogation sections. She didn't let the officers push her, and it was interesting to see what she thought about some of the things she did. She has some hilarious moments! I also liked who she was during the talk show scenes. She barely gives anything away, but you can see that she is has many regrets.

I really don't like Hamlet at all. He is a playboy and doesn't respect anyone around him. I did feel bad for him when his father died. His father seemed like a great person, and I really felt for him. Hamlet's attitude gets much worse after his father is buried. He goes completely insane! He turns into a really mean person who doesn't care about anyone's feelings, even his beloved Ophelia's. I am really interested in reading the original Hamlet now to see what he is like in the play.

While I did enjoy reading Falling For Hamlet, I had problems with the characters. Maybe I would have understood them better if I had read Hamlet before, but I really don't know. I really don't think you should have to read Hamlet before reading this one.

My Rating:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (35)

December 8, 2011

Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page.

Why I'm Excited:

This one sounds like an exciting and emotional read that is sure to be a wonderful novel. =)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New YA Book Releases: July 26, 2011

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack—and the man—she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.
But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.
But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.
So much for normal.

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

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.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

July 26, 2011
Kensington Teen

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.
But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .

My Review:
WOW. Jennifer Estep completely blew me away with this book. It was so good that I even read it while I was in the car. This may sound like some easy feat, but let me tell you, it isn't for me. I get car sick so that Touch of Frost was so engaging that I had to keep reading while in the car is AMAZING. And let me tell you, I didn't even feel a "touch" of sickness because I was so distracted by all the action in this book. You are missing out on a phenomenal story if you don't pick up this one on its release date tomorrow.

I think I may have a girl crush on Gwen! She is some special qualities that you don't find often, if at all in YA. She isn't really a fighter, but doesn't complain about it. Even though she does need to be rescued sometimes, she doesn't complain about it. And if that wasn't enough, Gwen isn't afraid to reveal her feelings to Logan. Usually girls in books are all "I like him, but I don't want him to know. I will just yell at him and act like I hate him so I don't have to make a fool out of myself!". Not Gwen. When she starts feeling butterflies around Logan, she tells him, even knowing that she could be let down by him. That is something to applaud her for!!

Then there are the secondary characters, who are just as wonderful as Gwen. Logan Quinn is sooo dreamy. He is a total bad boy, but doesn't really act like a jerk around Gwen. He has a dark side and some secrets that I would just love to find out about!! Daphne acts like a real drama queen and mean girl at first, but as the story goes on, we get to see a whole other side to her. I loved that! Grandma Frost is a sweetheart and a mean baker. Estep's descriptions of her scrumptious desserts had my mouth watering! She is also a fantastic Grandma to Gwen, and is always there for her when she needs it. Professor Metis is quite the character. There is something about her that is unique that we don't get to see until the very end.

If the characters weren't enough to hook you into the story, the mythology would sure do it. I loved where Estep went with the myths. It was great to learn more about the gods and goddesses, and how different countries mythologies were connected. All of the mythical creatures are beautifully fleshed out. I enjoyed getting to see all the Valkyries, Spartans, and other mythological beings that reside at Mythos Academy. The plot is very engaging. I had no idea what would happen next, who did what, and why they did it. Estep reveals the answers to our questions at just the right times, leaving us thoroughly satisfied in the end, yet salivating for more.

My descriptions really can't do the story justice. It is complicated, mysterious, dramatic, and romantic all at the same time. Do not miss out on Estep's remarkable YA debut.

My Rating:

Happy Blogoversary to Me!!

Hey guys! Guess what time of year/day it is??? My 1 year blogoversary!! Cue the confetti and glitter throwing. =) I am so happy with all that I have accomplished on my blog in just one short year. I would love to give a huge thank you to my followers and readers for sticking with me through the process of finding my own way in the blogger world. Thank you for sticking with me, even when I had to go on a blog haitus at the end of last year. I am so glad that I made a comeback!

Enough about me, though. ;) It's time for a huuuuuge giveaway. I want to thank all of my followers by giving away 4!!!! huge and awesome prize packs. I know you are curious as to what is in each one of them, so why don't I show you??

Prize Pack #1: Middle Grade

ARC of Riddles and Danger by Bryan Chick (The Secret Zoo series #3)
ARC of Lights on the Nile by Donna Jo Napoli
ARC of Spellbound by Jacqueline West (The Books of Elsewhere #2)
ARC of The Sleeper's Moon by Jon Berkeley
ARC of The Dragon's Tooth by N.D. Wilson
ARC of Daniel X Game Over by James Patterson
ARC of The Goblin War by Hilari Bell (Last book in trilogy)
ARC of THe Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey

Prize Pack #2- Finished YA Novels

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti
Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
The Clearing by Heather Davis
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Vampire Academy Collection- Includes first 3 books in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series

Prize Pack #3- YA Novel ARCs

ARC of Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
ARC of Going Underground by Susan Vaught
ARC of Reasons to Be Happy by Katrina Kittle
ARC of The Jewel and the Key by Louise Spiegler
ARC of Dark Eden by Patrick Carman
ARC of You Are My Only by Beth Kephart
ARC of Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
ARC of Au Revior Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
ARC of Reel Life Starring Us by Lisa Greenwald
ARC of Family by Micol Ostow

Prize Pack #4: Adult

ARC of Everything We Ever Wanted by Sara Shepard
Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
ARC of Pure by Julianna Baggott

U.S. Only (International postage is really expensive)
Must be 13 years or older to enter for Middle Grade and YA Novels
Must be 16 years or older with parent permission to enter for Adult Novels
Must be a follower to enter

All you have to do to be entered in to the contest is fill out the form HERE. This giveaway will last until 2 weeks from now, August 8th. There will be 4 winners. Winners will be chosen using

I would really appreciate it if you posted my blogoversary button on your blog if you have one. You get extra points if you do! ;)

My Alter Ego Charlie

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

July 26, 2011

From Goodreads:
This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended-Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer-one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack-and the man-she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

My Review:
Even though I loved Nightshade, it really didn't blow me away. I was very reluctant going into Wolfsbane for that reason, and well, because of Shay. I have to say, I am so glad I gave this series another chance because Wolfsbane blew me away! There is so much at stake for Calla and the Searchers in this one. I found myself in tears during quite a few of the ending scenes because they were so heartbreaking and emotional. Wolfsbane is an astoundingly brilliant follow-up to Nightshade.

I liked Calla so much better in Wolfsbane. Even though she still loves Shay (which I totally can't see why with Ren in the picture), she has to reflect on her decision to throw everything away for him in this one. She feels awful for abandoning her pack and feels responsible for what has happened to them. She is bound and determined to save her pack and Ren, no matter the consequences for her. Wolfsbane gave me a whole different perspective of Calla, and I liked what growth I saw come out of her reflections and actions.

I have to say, I still do not like Shay at all. If anything, Wolfsbane made me dislike Shay even more. Now that Shay is a wolf, he acts like he is all mighty and powerful. Honestly, he was much more tolerable as a human, even though he acted so weak and pitiful compared to Ren. Maybe I would like Shay more if there wasn't a Ren in the story, but I really don't think so. *SMALL SPOILER* I was disgusted by his complete disregard of Calla's pack and Ren. He knows that horrible things are being done to them, yet he still doesn't want "his" Calla going in there to save them. That made me furious! *END SMALL SPOILER*

Sadly, there isn't much page time for Calla's pack and Ren in Wolfsbane. Even though I adore her pack and Ren, I think that Calla needed time away from them to see what her actions have done to them. I saw Calla grow into a much more respectable alpha.

So I should probably stop my review here before I give too much away. Let me just tell you, even if you were kind of meh on Nightshade, I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy Wolfsbane so much more!! I am dying for Bloodrose now! The ending is yet another cliffhanger that I have to know the answer to!

My Rating:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (29)

No vlog or camera picture this week! I am on vacation and I forgot to do my IMM before I left. =/ On the bright side, I did set up my 1 Year Blogoversary Giveaway post!! Check it on on Monday! =)

For Review:


Friday, July 22, 2011

Review: Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers

July 5, 2011
Tor Teen

From Goodreads:
Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.
Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.
Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.
And not everyone will get out of it alive.

My Review:
Original Sin is definitely a worthy sequel to Personal Demons. It is utterly riveting, and I was glued to the pages! I love how Lisa Desrochers switches between perspectives so readers can get a chance to see what each main character is thinking. I was thoroughly satisfied upon finishing Original Sin.

I got really frustrated with Frannie in this one. I can't believe how oblivious she is to some of the things that are happening around her. She has too many excuses for her brother Matt, who isn't in the right frame of mind when Lili pops up. I really hated how she couldn't see who a certain someone really was. I did like how she didn't make any excuses for what Luc did. It was unforgiveable and I really felt for her. While I do like Frannie, some of her choices and thought processes detracted from my enjoyment of the story.

And then there is the unforgettable and wickedly "hot" Luc. He is now human thanks to Frannie and he has to come to terms with what that means for him. He and Frannie have some really sweet scenes together. I did get really infuriated with him though, when he started thinking things he shouldn't have. And then what he did.... I know it wasn't entirely his fault but he shouldn't been able to see throough it.

For those Gabe fans out there, while he isn't an integral part of Original Sin, when he comes on scene, he sure shines. He is so important to Frannie, and truly cares about her. He is willing to do anything to protect her. Even though I wasn't a team Gabe fan going in, his part in the story did start to sway (;)) me to his side.

Original Sin is just as action-packed as Personal Demons. There was constantly something going on. Desrochers throws in some really shocking plot twists that change the dynamics of characters. And then she really hits you hard with the ending! It will be pure torture waiting for the next book.

Original Sin is an exceptional sequel to Personal Demons. If you read and loved Personal Demons, you do not want to miss this one.

My Rating:

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