Saturday, September 29, 2012

INTO THE WOODS by Kim Harrison

Into the Woods
Kim Harrison

Rating: B+
Release Date: 10/09/12
Fans have fallen for bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan. Through banishment and road trips, deadly supernatural duels and lost loves, they have avidly cheered her on, eagerly awaiting the next installment in her adventures. This collection of short works, published together in once volume for the first time, adds a whole new dimension to the Hollows saga, featuring tales involving Rachel and her coterie of friends and enemies. Untitled contains original works, including:

"Million Dollar Baby"-original novella about what happens when elven tycoon Trent Kalamack and Jenks the pixy team up to rescue Trent's daughter;

"Spider Web" and "Grace's Fall"-original novelettes set in brand-new fantasy worlds;

Here, too, are reprinted short stories, including:

"Undead in The Garden of Good and Evil"-an Ivy novella from Dates from Hell

"Dirty Magic"-a Mia the banshee short story from Hotter Than Hell

"The Bridges of Eden Park"-a Kisten/Rachel short from the mass market edition of For a Few Demons More

"Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel"-a Robbie/Rachel/Pierce novella from Holidays from Hell

"The Bespelled"-a Ceri/Al short story from the mass market edition of The Outlaw Demon Wails

"Ley Line Drifter"-a Bis/Jenks novella from Unbound

My thoughts on the book:
I'm usually not one for short stories, yet I keep requesting the collections of them. However, Into the Woods was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed each story, and this collection is a must-have for the millions of Kim Harrison fans out there! These stories will grab you and not let you go! There are some new and some old stories in here, and while you may have read some of them, you haven't read them all. Also, not all of these are Hollows stories, and it's nice to see Harrison branch out and create other worlds. You won't want to miss this anthology.

My favorite story was "Ley Line Drifter," mainly because I love Jenks so much. I really enjoyed getting to see Jenks and Matalina interact. It added a whole new level to the series for me. I also enjoyed "Million Dollar Baby," even though it also crushed my hopes a bit. I enjoyed seeing things from Trent's perspective, and I adored his interactions with Jenks. As far as the non-Hollows stories, I think I liked "Pet Shop Boys" the best, and not just because it reminds me of the band. I really liked learning about new vampires. These guys were extremely interesting, and I'd love to see her write at least one full-length novel about them. 

Overall, I'd recommend this to all Kim Harrison fans. I really believe there is something for everybody in this collection. I enjoyed each of the stories, and I hope to see Harrison branch out further into some of these new worlds in the future. 

Pre-order Into the Woods

Thursday, September 27, 2012

BREATHE by Sarah Crossan

Sarah Crossan

Rating: C-
Release Date: 10/2/12
Inhale. Exhale. 
Breathe . . .
The world is dead. 
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

My thoughts on the book:
Breathe isn't the best or worst dystopian I've ever read. The concept is interesting, and the plot is intriguing, but the characters are god awful. I also really did not like the ending. I realize this is going to be a series, but I felt very defeated after that ending. I was like, "wow, I just wasted how long reading this book for THAT ending?" Anyway, that being said, hardcore dystopian fans are sure to love this. As previously stated, the plot is enjoyable and the world-building is fantastic. 

I'm not going to spend much time on the characters because it will just be a rant. None of the characters were very complex or interesting. None of them were well-developed. They had spontaneous growth spurts, and since it was first person POV with the three narrators listed above, feelings were told more than they were shown. Also, none of the characters were actually likable. Alina was rude and harsh, Quinn was ridiculously useless and flaky, and Bea whined constantly. Not my favorite cast.

The plot kept me reading, though, and I did enjoy it until the end. Even though I didn't like the characters, I still felt a sense of urgency with the plot. I also wanted to know what was going on with Abel, but I don't feel that was really tied up for me. No one's fate was sealed, and no questions were really answered. That bothered me. It was just a depressing ending. Yuck. 

The world-building is fantastic, and I could clearly picture this world. I think that's what gave me the aforementioned sense of urgency. This world just seemed so real, it was hard not to care about the fate of it, even though I didn't care what happened to the characters. I'd say that the world-building and original idea were the two saving graces of this novel.

As I said, I would recommend this book for hardcore dystopian fans. A lot of people love it, and just because the characters bugged me doesn't mean they'll bug you. If you're unsure about it, check it out from the library. You may just find a book that you really love. 

Pre-order Breathe

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FULL BLOODED by Amanda Carlson

Full Blooded
Amanda Carlson

Rating: A+
Born the only female in an all male race, Jessica McClain isn’t just different—she’s feared.

After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.

But not everyone is on board. The werewolf Rights of Laws is missing text and the superstitious werewolves think that Jessica means an end to their race. It doesn’t help when Jessica begins to realize she’s more. She can change partway and hold her form, and speak directly to her wolf. But the biggest complication by far is that her alpha father can't control her like he can the rest of his wolves.

When a mercenary who’s been hired by the vampires shows up to extract information about the newly turned werewolf only days after her change, they find themselves smack in the middle of a war and there's no choice but to run together. When it’s up to Jessica to negotiate her release against her father’s direct orders, she chooses to take an offer for help instead. In exchange, Jessica must now swear an oath she may end up repaying with her life.

My thoughts on the book:
Wow. Just wow. Full Blooded blew me away! I had high hopes for this book, and it did not disappoint. Carlson delivers a unique twist on werewolf lore with this novel, and I could not get enough! This book has it all: nonstop suspense and action, steamy romance, a likable narrator/heroine, and complex characters. I have been looking for a series to replace Kelley Armstrong's the Otherworld series since it ended, and I think I've found my match! This is one book that fans of the paranormal cannot miss. 

Jessica is a strong and intelligent leading lady. She reminds me vaguely of Elena Michaels from Armstrong's series (the independence and strength), but at the same time, she is her own character. She is fiercely loyal and loves her family more than anything. She wants to fight, and sometimes she is stubborn and doesn't have the best ideas, but she's no idiot. She knows what she's doing, and she makes things work for her. Jessica, like Elena, wants to live a normal life, and that's where the similarities end. Jessica wasn't changed against her will. She was born a werewolf, but they thought she'd never change. She grew up at the Compound with other werewolves, and many of them hated her because she was different. The book begins with the intense scene of Jessica's first change. 

Speaking of her change, Carlson introduces Jessica's wolf to us early on as well. The wolf lives inside of Jessica and seems to be its own entity. It communicates with Jessica, though it is a lot more animalistic than Jessica's human side is. The wolf acts on instinct alone, and watching Jessica learn to balance her two sides is  entertaining to say the least. I really loved the wolf. She adds a lot to this story. 

The male characters are all interesting in their own ways. Each character is complex and has his own personality. There are many different types of shifters, but since Jessica is in a male dominated world, most of the characters are male rather than female. That doesn't mean Jessica is a skank, it just means that there are lots of men in her life. I enjoyed getting to know a little bit about each man Jessica knew, and I can't wait to learn even more about them. None of the characters were flat. Even the secondary characters stood out as unique and intriguing. 

The plot is intense and action-packed. I could not put this book down! Poor Jessica can't catch a break. It seems like everyone wants her dead. She doesn't fall apart, though. She holds it together and does what she has to do. As for who the bad guys are, Carlson kept me guessing. There are so many people sticking their noses in Jessica's business, that I couldn't figure out who to trust and who not to. Along with the mystery, there are tons of fight scenes and a few steamy romance scenes as well. This book isn't heavy on the sex or romance, but there are some hot scenes for the romance lovers. The ending ties up a few plot lines from this book (the main ones) and opens up some new ones for the sequel, which I can't wait for. 

Fans of Kelley Armstrong, Chloe Neill, and Patricia Briggs will love this series. If you haven't tried any of those authors and you're curious about this book, give it a try. You won't be sorry!

Buy Full Blooded!

Monday, September 24, 2012

CONCILIUM Book Blast!!

About Author Michelle Pickett:

Michelle has been an avid reader since a young child.  She began writing for personal enjoyment in college, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting.  Deciding sitting in a cubical all day was her form of cruel and unusual punishment, she decided to do what she really wanted to—share her passion for reading and writing with others.
She wrote her debut novel Concilium in 2010.  It was released July of 2012 by MuseItUp Publishing.  The sequel, Concilium: The Departure will also be published by MuseItUp Publishing with scheduled release date of November 2012.
Her Debut young adult novel, PODs, will be published by Spencer Hill Press and is scheduled for release in paperback June 4th, 2013.  Milayna, a young adult paranormal romance, will be released through Spencer Hill Press March 2014.
Michelle was born and raised in Michigan.  She now resides in a small community outside Houston, Texas with her incredibly supportive husband, four wonderful children, a 125-pound lap dog, a very grumpy cockatiel and a cat that thinks it's queen.
Michelle writes adult and young adult Sci/Fi and urban fantasy romance.

Links and Contact Information:

Concilium by Michelle Pickett

A tale of deadly creatures and forbidden romance...

Leslee hit a strange animal with her car. Now she’s marked for death.

It was a simple car accident – the animal didn’t even die – but it drew the attention of the Cruor Imbibo. Driven by their insatiable need to feed, the secret society of Imbibo has devoured the dregs of civilization for centuries. Afraid Leslee will expose them, and put an end to their meal ticket, the Imbibo want her dead.

The Concilium is Leslee's only protection. Guardian of the ancient secret and the protector of humans, the Concilium fights to control the Imbibo and end their feeding frenzy. Miller works for the Concilium. Keeping Leslee alive is his next assignment.

Now Leslee is on the run, and the only thing between her flesh and the snapping jaws of the Imbibo is Miller. He and Leslee quickly form a bond, but will falling in love make Miller’s job more difficult? Because if he fails, Leslee will be next on the Imbibo menu.

The Cruor Imbibo are coming, and they're coming for Leslee.

Buy Links:   

Book Blast Giveaway:
$50 Amazon Gift Code
Ends 10/2/12
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THROUGH TO YOU by Emily Hainsworth

Through to You
Emily Hainsworth

Rating: B-
Release Date: 10/02/12
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

My thoughts on the book:
This is a difficult review for me to write because I didn't enjoy the first 40% at all, but I liked the next 40%, and loved the ending. Now that I've read the entire novel, I understand why the first part was so angsty and depressing, but at the time, I did not like that. To me, this book is a perfect example of what happens when someone makes someone else their entire world. It's dangerous and unhealthy. Either way, the character growth in this novel was astounding, and the ending blew me away. I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something different. 

Cam and Viv had an extremely codependent relationship, and I got really sick and tired of hearing about Viv, let me tell you. However, once Cam began to grow as a character, I really liked him and was rooting for him. The secondary characters, other than Nina, weren't that developed. I wish that I had been able to get to know them a little bit better. 

The plot was unique and engaging. Even when Cam was whining, I still kept reading because I just knew something was going to happen. Of course, a lot of that was given away in the synopsis, but Hainsworth has a wonderful writing style that keeps you reading. I'm also very grateful that the author didn't try to explain the parallel dimension thing in great detail because that probably would have given me a headache. 

As stated previously, Cam's character development was excellent. He is a first person narrator, and I felt that he did a good job for the most part... once he got past his angsting. The ending tied things up nicely, but kind of let the reader create his or her own ending as well. I know how things ended up in my version of the world. Even with the open ending, I don't feel that a sequel is needed to wrap things up. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something different to read. This book has a more contemporary feel than most of the alternate dimension/sci-fi type books, so even fans of contemporary should enjoy it. Give it a try, you won't be sorry!

Pre-order Through to You

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #16

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by  Tynga's Reviews! This meme showcases the books received, bought, or checked out from the library over the course of the past week. 

For Review:

Skies of Steel
By: Zoe Archer
Release Date: 10/09/12
A big thanks to Avon and Edelweiss!
In the world of The Ether Chronicles, the Mechanical War rages on, and appearances are almost always deceiving . . . 

The prim professor
Daphne Carlisle may be a scholar, but she's far more comfortable out in the field than lost in a stack of books. Still, when her parents are kidnapped by a notorious warlord, she knows she'll need more than quick thinking if she is to reach them in time. Daphne's only hope for getting across enemy territory is an airship powered and navigated by Mikhail Denisov, a rogue Man O' War who is as seductive as he is untrustworthy.

The jaded mercenary
Mikhail will do anything for the right price, and he's certain he has this mission—and Daphne—figured out: a simple job and a beautiful but sheltered Englishwoman. But as they traverse the skies above the Mediterranean and Arabia, Mikhail learns the fight ahead is anything but simple, and his lovely passenger is not entirely what she seems. The only thing Mikhail is certain of is their shared desire—both unexpected and dangerous.

Two Ravens and One Crow
By: Kevin Hearne
In stores now
A big thank you to Del Ray and Net Galley!

Atticus O’Sullivan is back in an all-new, action-packed, laugh-out-loud novella from the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles. Two-thousand-year-old Atticus may have outwitted and outfought everyone from Odin to Bacchus, but in this eBook original, he’s about to discover what comes around when you go around messing with gods.

Six years into the training of his beautiful apprentice, Granuaile, a large crow swoops down and transforms into none other than the Morrigan, a goddess who insists that Atticus come with her at once. He must leave his apprentice behind, along with his Irish wolfhound, Oberon—and he must also leave his sword. The Morrigan has always taken extreme pleasure in pronouncing the Druid’s mortal danger and imminent doom, so the fact that she won’t reveal the purpose of their journey makes him very nervous. Of course, any time the Celtic Chooser of the Slain drops in unannounced, it’s never good. When she does let slip that she’ll be saving his life in the near future, Atticus is left to wonder . . . will he soon be giving his legions of enemies something to crow about?

Includes a preview of Kevin Hearne’s highly anticipated new novel in The Iron Druid Chronicles, Trapped!

Flash Point
By: Nancy Kress
Release Date: 11/8/12
A big thanks to Viking and Net Galley!
Reality TV meets a chillingly realistic version of America--and the fame game is on! 

Amy had dreams of going to college, until the Collapse destroyed the economy and her future. Now she is desperate for any job that will help support her terminally ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. When she finds herself in the running for a slot on a new reality TV show, she signs on the dotted line, despite her misgivings. And she's right to have them. TLN's Who Knows People, Baby--You? has an irresistible premise: correctly predict what the teenage cast will do in a crisis and win millions. But the network has pulled strings to make it work, using everything from 24/7 hidden cameras to life-threatening technology to flat-out rigging. Worse, every time the ratings slip, TLN ups the ante. Soon Amy is fighting for her life--on and off camera.

By: Corrine Jackson
Release Date: 11/27/12
A big thank you to Kensington!
Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll becoming for her—if Asher doesn’t kill her first.

This is Book One in the Touched trilogy.

Full Blooded
By: Amanda Carlson
In stores now.
A big thank you to Hachette/Orbit!
Born the only female in an all male race, Jessica McClain isn’t just different—she’s feared.

After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.

But not everyone is on board. The werewolf Rights of Laws is missing text and the superstitious werewolves think that Jessica means an end to their race. It doesn’t help when Jessica begins to realize she’s more. She can change partway and hold her form, and speak directly to her wolf. But the biggest complication by far is that her alpha father can't control her like he can the rest of his wolves.

When a mercenary who’s been hired by the vampires shows up to extract information about the newly turned werewolf only days after her change, they find themselves smack in the middle of a war and there's no choice but to run together. When it’s up to Jessica to negotiate her release against her father’s direct orders, she chooses to take an offer for help instead. In exchange, Jessica must now swear an oath she may end up repaying with her life.

By: Bethany Wiggins
Release Date: 04/02/13
A big thank you to Bloomsbury!
There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.

Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.

By: A.G. Howard
Release Date: 01/01/13
A big thank you to ABRAMS!
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong to bear, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Unless she fixes the things her great-great-great grandmother Alice put wrong, Wonderland will have her head.

Biting Cold
By: Chloe Neill
Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined.And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans. Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed.

No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.

Social Distortion ticket!!!

Okay, I know this isn't a book, but it's still a dream come true. I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS SHOW!!!

I've loved Social Distortion for a long time. 

This will be the best day of my life so far. I am sure of it. 

Do any of you guys like Social Distortion? 

I also get to stay on the beach while I'm in Myrtle Beach to see them. Doesn't get much better than that!

Grave Mercy
By: Robin LaFevers
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Origin swag!

Friday, September 21, 2012

AMBER HOUSE by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed

Amber House
Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed

Rating: A+
Release Date: 10/01/12
"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.

My thoughts on the book:
Amber House is a unique and captivating debut from the mother/daughter trio, Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed. According to their website, Moore was inspired by her own family history and began to write. Once her daughters joined in the venture, Amber House became an actual novel. Considering the story of the house and the women in it, I think it is perfect that this book was written by two generations of women. This is a beautiful story, and I cannot wait for the sequel (I was so happy when I learned this is part of a trilogy).

Every character in Amber House is complex and fully developed. I enjoyed learning about all of them, even if I didn't particularly like everyone *coughRichardcough*. I simply adored Sammy, and I love how the authors created an intelligent autistic character who is easy to relate to. With the history of the family's insanity and how people judge Sammy, these writers are opening up a dialogue about autism, and that is very important. I applaud them for taking a stand for autistic people. 

Sarah is also a fantastic character. She's not perfect. She's bratty and silly at times, just like any teenage girl, but overall, she is mature, strong, and likable. I enjoyed reading things from her point of view, and even though I wanted to smack her once or twice, she isn't an annoying character. 

Her mother, on the other hand, is a piece of work. However, the more I got to know about Anne, the more I understood why she acts the way she does. It doesn't excuse her behaviors, but it does explain them. I would have liked to have seen more of Sarah's dad. 

The two love interests are very different, but neither is broody or obnoxious. I didn't like Richard because he just seemed a bit slimy to me. Being a politician's son, he can't be the most honest kid around. Jackson is a dreamboat, though. I really love his character. He's extremely strong and caring, but not whiny and fluffy. I hate fluffy guys. You guys know what I mean by fluffy, right? Edward Cullen like? Crying at the drop of a hat? Yea, I don't like that. 

The plot itself is insane! I don't know how the authors kept track of what was going on. This book is fast paced and complicated. However, I was able to follow the events just fine. There is just a lot going on. The writers do an excellent job of explaining the time travely type stuff, though, and I actually understood it. Normally with time travel books, I just ignore the explanations and go with it because physics is not my forte. This story line doesn't have much action, but it has tons of suspense. I couldn't put this book down!I had to figure out the mysteries of Amber House and its inhabitants (both past and present). I was hooked from the beginning, and the ending simply left me wanting more. I cannot wait for the sequel. Yes, I know I already said that, but it needed to be said again. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a different type of paranormal story. Amber House focuses on a lot of different ideas, but they all come together nicely. I enjoyed the contemporary problems being brought into a paranormal book. The synopsis doesn't do this book justice. You have to give it a try!

Pre-order Amber House

OPAL by Jennifer L. Armentrout cover reveal!!!

Hey guys, as you know, the Lux series is one of my favorite series EVER! I am so excited to share the cover of Opal with you!

Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: 12/11/12
No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love. 

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

I cannot wait for this book! Isn't the cover gorgeous? SQUEEEEEEEEE

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

VELVETEEN by Daniel Marks

Daniel Marks

Rating: F
Release Date: 10/09/12
Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.


Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days. 

It’ll be brutal... and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules... or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

My thoughts on the book:
The cover and synopsis for Velveteen are amazing, so needless to say I had high expectations for this book. Those expectations were crushed within the first few chapters. I kept reading because I knew it had to get better. I'd heard some good things about it, so it couldn't be all bad, right? Wrong! The characters are flat, the plot is ridiculous (and the synopsis is misleading about what the plot actually is), the romance is not believable, and the world-building is terrible. I don't recommend this book.

Velveteen is the flattest narrator I've ever read. She is just boring. There's no depth to her at all. I really didn't like her simply because she bored me to tears. Nick, the love interest, was also boring. No characters felt developed, and none of them had their own voices. Being a big character person, this was a huge turn-off for me. Also, the romance is insta-love. No more needs to be said about that. 

The plot is about the Departurists, not revenge. The Departurists are extreme political activists who apparently are as angry about the lack of world-building as I am. They commit horrendous acts in the name of questioning their afterlife and the idea and existence of purgatory. So that's fine. I normally love a good revolution. I would have loved it a lot more had I known exactly what they were revolting against. Yea, I get the basic premise that I explained above, but I didn't understand purgatory or the ideas being represented in this world. Therefore, I don't know if I agreed with them or not. Whatever. 

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. If you want to try it, check it out from the library before buying. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy CURSED release day, Jennifer L. Armentrout! Imagined Casting/Giveaway

Cursed is out in stores today! I'm so excited! Not only is my blurb printed on the cover, but this is one of my favorite books of the year. You all have to check this book out NOW!

Here's some info:

Jennifer L. Armentrout
In stores now!

Read my review here.
Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?
But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

Here's a photo of all the awesome blogger and author blurbs! I am so honored to have mine among them!

Check out the trailer!

Since I think this book should be a movie, I am going to do an imagined casting of Hayden and Ember in honor of the release!

Ember - Mandy Moore 

Hayden - Taylor Lautner:

The Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 15, 2012


The Other Normals
Ned Vizzini

Rating: C
Release Date: 9/25/12
Given the chance, fifteen-year-old Peregrine “Perry” Eckert would dedicate every waking moment to Creatures & Caverns, an epic role-playing game rich with magical creatures, spell casting, and deadly weapons. The world of C&C is where he feels most comfortable in his own skin, so when his parents ship him off to summer camp Perry is sure he’s in for the worst summer of his life.

Everything changes, however, when Perry gets to camp and stumbles into the World of the Other Normals. Perry’s new otherworldly friends need his help to save their princess and prevent mass violence. As they embark on their quest together, Perry realizes that his nerdy childhood has uniquely prepared him to be a great warrior in this world, and maybe even a hero.

Bestselling author Ned Vizzini delivers a compulsively readable and wildly original story about the winding and often hilarious path to manhood.

My thoughts on the book:
The Other Normals is an excellent book for the male population. However, since I am female, I could not relate to the character at all. That being said, the writing is fantastic and humorous, the plot is interesting, and the pacing is perfect. It's a bildungsroman with a fantasy twist. I'd definitely recommend this book to guys of all ages. 

Perry was just too much of a teenage boy for my tastes. Since it was first person POV narration, I just couldn't connect to the story because of the male narrator. I do think that there needs to be more books out there for guys, though, and this one is perfect for that function. Perry is likable, awkward, and funny. Guys everywhere should be able to relate to him on some level. 

The plot is intriguing, but the world-building is a bit lacking. The fantasy aspect struck me as a bit unrealistic. That could be because I'm not into the heavy fantasy RPG stuff that is a running theme throughout this book. Or maybe the world-building just wasn't the best. Either way, I didn't feel like I was immersed in the world that Vizzini created. The pacing is spot on, though, and I was never bored. Also, the book ended nicely. 

As I said, I'd recommend this book to guys of all ages, and to girls who don't mind reading from a guy's perspective. This novel would also be a great and enjoyable read for video game lovers. For everyone else, you may want to check it out at the library before buying.

Want to buy The Other Normals?