Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review: "Paranormalcy" by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy

Author: Kiersten White

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis: Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shapeshifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamour, but still normal. Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there might be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. So much for normal. . . .

Paranormalcy has become my new favorite book! I loved, loved, loved it. My fairy wings are buzzing all around with excitement from reading this book. I literally read it one day, people. ONE DAY. (It was that freaking good) It was unique in characters, plot lines and overall grooviness. Evie, is a bad*** with an affinity for pink and teen soap opera's. Readers will empathize will her and the predicament of her life. She is spunky, sarcastic, tough, and vulnerable. All she wants out of life is to go to a real high school and get kissed, now really is that too much to ask? Luckily, she meets Lend, a shapeshifter, and a heart throb without being cheesy. He is sweet, and funny and best of all he can take on the face of hot t.v celebs. (SCORE!!) He takes Evie out of her world and into his; finally giving Evie has the chance to experience "normalcy." Together they are in the fight of their lives, they are taking on the IPCA and horrible but extremely powerful paranormal intent on getting her hands on Evie. It must be noted that there is a slight love triangle, but I am hesitant to mention since I personally think that Reth, (Evie's ex-boyfriend, who is a faerie) is quite annoying. He is fiercely protective of Evie and means well, but he is incredible obnoxious and conceited and GRRRR, I so didn't like him one single bit. Even if he did make for some good scenes. Read this book, I am even contemplating buying it so I can read it again, it is that freaking good!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review: "HALO" by Alexandra Adornetto

Title: Halo

Author: Alexandra Adornetto

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis: Three angels-Gabriel, the warrior, Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human-are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding human attachments. Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong. The angels' mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

You know that old saying, "never judge a book by it's cover?" Well, I did. I absolutely loved the cover and the title of the book. Everything about it called out to me like kid to candy. So you can imagine my disappointment when it took me nearly two weeks to read it. It was one of those books that you know while your reading it that it isn't that great, but you still have hope that it will get better so you continue to read. While the book wasn't horrible, it certainly isn't on my "to buy" list. Since I always try to limit my negativity, I will begin with what I did like about the book, aside from the cover and title. The plot line was a nice change, the girl was the supernatural being, and the boy was human. I always like a little change up. I am trying to think what else I liked, but am struggling. My greatest peeve with the book is the intensity of the relationship between Bethany and Xavier. (OH, another positive in the book, I LOVE the name Xavier) Anyway, the relationship between the two main characters borders, in my opinion, on obsession. Bethany constantly feels like being two minutes without being near Xavier is unbearable. I am a hopeless romantic just like any other girl, but I become concerned especially in YA literature when teenage love is portrayed in such an intense way that one or more of the characters thinks that life is not worth living without that person. I know that teenagers feel everything ten times deeper than adults and first love is intense and it does tend to be consuming. I just feel like that the whole "I can't live without you" thing should be saved for cheesy adult movies, and country songs. While I love a good love story, I feel this relationship was way overboard. The characters are predictable but well liked, well accept maybe for Bethany. For some reason the protagonist drove me nuts. The plot was as you might expect an angel book to be about good verses evil. While not one of my fave's I do think this book will resonate with younger readers who love romance.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Freak Out: Author Interview with Laurie Faria Stolarz

Hello Kiddies, I have a special treat for all you paranormal fantasy lovers out there. Laurie Faria Stolarz, author of Deadly Little Secrets, Blue Is For Nightmares, and Project 17 stopped by Tink's World and was kind enough to answer a few questions. You all know what a super gitty fangirl I am, hopefully I can mellow out and conduct a proper interview.

Tink: Thank you so Ms. Stolarz for taking time to answer some questions. I am super excited about this opportunity since I such a big fan of your books. I know you are a busy woman so let's get this show on the road, okay?"

Tink: "You have written many books, nine, if my research is correct not including, short stories published in Love is Hell and 666 or the newest Touch novel. Of all of your books which one was your favorite to write?"

LFS: "I loved writing Bleed because it was completely different in many respects to all of my other work. I'd just written a couple of books in my Blue is for Nightmares series when I started Bleed. I'd imagined writing it for adults, and so I broke many of the rules I had followed while working on my other titles. Bleed is also told from the perspective of ten different characters, and trying to get into all of their heads so that their language and actions were believable, was such a rewarding challenge. I also loved writing Black Is For Beginnings the fifth and final (and a companion) book in the Blue Is For Nightmares series. Black is a graphic novel, so once again, I got to experiment with something new, writing the book in screenplay format, and picturing all the scenes and characters like in a movie. I also got to work with an illustrator for the first time ever, it was an absolute thrill."

Tink: "Graphic novels are so my thing! And they have become very popular. I like when an author is willing to try new things and widen their fan base. Anyway, enough of my opinion, on to the next question. Your characters are original, yet readers are able to relate to them. Which character did you most enjoy writing about?"

LFS: "Stacey Brown from the Blue is for Nightmares series is my absolute favorite. She and I think a lot alike. We're both responsible; we both care deeply for our friends, and we tend to have a sarcastic side."

Tink: "Ah, sarcasm. It is an under appreciated art." (Sigh!) "In your recent series, Touch, you bring to light the gift of psychometry, the ability to sense things through touch. What inspired you to base your series around this concept?"

LFS: "I wanted to write a story where the main character has to struggle with the idea of falling in love with someone who could potentially be dangerous. I tinkered with this concept in the first three books in the Blue is for Nightmares series, as well as in Bleed. In Bleed, in particular, there is a young male character who was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend. His next relationship consists of pen pal letter he exchanges with a young girl while he is in prison. Without giving too much away, the relationship is briefly pursued once he's released, but I wanted to bring this concept to another level. Additionally, I wanted to continue experimenting with the supernatural, showing how we all have our inner senses and intuitions. I started researching different types of supernatural powers and discovered the power of psychometry(the ability to sense things through touch). The concept fascinated me and I wanted to bring it out in a character, showing how sometimes event the most extraordinary powers can also be a curse."

Tink: "Much like my power of beauty, it can be a curse." (Tink and LFS laugh!) "Given my love for reading, I have also dabbled a bit in writing. As an aspiring writer I am always intrigued by the process in which authors write. Would you mind sharing your personal writing process?"

LFS: "It took me two years to write my first book, Blue is for Nightmares. I spent another year and a half editing it. I learned a lot from that process. I now work with an outline and know where I am going and what my character needs to achieve, as well as what he or she needs to learn in order to achieve it. I draft a novel in six months time. I then spend another several months or so reworking it before I hand it to my editor. I still end up changing things along the way, coming up with new ideas and wanting to change paths. For my current draft, Deadly Little Voices, the fourth book in the Touch series, for example, I ended up throwing a good 80 pages away. But, I find that having an outline gives me a "home base." I can go back and reconsider. Always coming back to the basics of what my character wants and needs.

Tink: "I often use outlines as well, I chalk it up to all the college papers I wrote and had to submit outlines with. Great minds, huh?" (Again, Tink and LFS laugh!) "Some authors find themselves writing after they have already had another career. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?"

LFS: "I always wanted to be a writer, but I never thought it would happen. I'm so grateful that I am able to do this for work and never take it for granted."

Tink: "I love your attitude about your job, in my opinion, it is why you're books are soooo good! I try to absorb any and all advice I can from authors and other writing professionals. What is the most useful advice you have received as an author? What is the least?"

LFS: "My biggest advice is to persevere. There are many talented writers who give up after 5, 10 0r even 100 rejection letters. Be open to learning and getting better in your craft. If more than one person criticizes the same point in your work, chances are you need to look at that point again. Do your homework. Never pay reading fees to get published. Know to whom you are sending your query letter, who their clients are, what their track record is, and what they are looking for. Every letter should be personalized and reflect that you have done your research. And, lastly consider joining a writers group. There's nothing better than being in a group of like-minded writers who can help inspire and cheer you on, and who provide constructive feed back that helps to strengthen your work. The least helpful advice I've ever heard? Well, I don't recommend self publish their own work, unless the work is solely for them or a small circle of people."

Tink: "Wow, a hundred rejection letters. I don't know whether to be encouraged or cry. Since the query letter is quite possibly the biggest thorn in my side, I appreciate your practical tips and will definitely put them to use." (Tink gets up and gives LFS a big hug.) "Thank you for spending time in Tink's World, Ms. Stolarz. It was a pleasure interviewing you. Help yourself to some Hershey's Kisses on your way out."

Laurie Faria Stolarz's new book in the TOUCH series, Deadly Little Games will be released December 28, 2010.

Well, I am off to see what Sebastian has planned for us this weekend. Have fun.

xoxox, Tink!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Every Thursday is about my well documented fascination(I refuse to say obsession!) with vampires. They are sexy, strong, and immortal. SO HOTT!! Well this week I want to shed the bloody spotlight on one of my favorite adult vampire series.

The Midnight Breed series, by Lara Adrian, is a guilty pleasure of mine. The characters are not what we typically think of when we think of vampires, although they do have fangs, drink blood and an annoying allergy to sunlight. The Breed is a group of vampire warriors that have sworn to protect their kind, and the unwitting humans existing alongside them, from the threat of Rogues. Rogues are vampires who have given over to blood lust and have no control over their impulses. Each book in the series spotlights a different couple, a Breed member and a Breedmate, a special female descendant from the Breed who has the ability to create a Breed child. Yet, they still are a part of the Breed. They live at the compound in Massachusetts. The Breed warriors are as close as brothers. The action in each book makes the book hard to put down and the naughty scenes. . .hmmm, can you say chills?? With at least three really fantastic sex scenes in each book, it is a series I like to read before I go to bed.

The newest and 8th book in the series, Taken By Midnight, has just been released.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"What The...Wednesday!" Have you met Jessica Rabbit, yet?

Yes, you read that correctly, Jessica Rabbit. Last week I was looking at some new book review blogs and I came across one of the most awesomely original blogs I have seen in a long time. Jessica Rabbit's Corner is definitely for adults only. She is funny, blatantly honest and uniquely weird. I enjoyed her blog so much, that I actually e-mailed her to tell her, and she responded. Her blog is my new guilty pleasure, but at first it did make me say "What the. . ." So, ladies. . . take a stroll over to j-rabbits-corner.blogspot.com and meet Jessica Rabbit. You will not be disappointed. Those of you who enjoy her blog and become followers, leave a comment letting me know.
In the words of my new friend Jessica Rabbit,
"Pixie Stix and Vodka Kisses"

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Oh Maaan, Monday; Review of "Alpha" by Rachel Vincent and "Heist Society" by Ally Carter

It was a cold weekend in Georgia, and unfortunately I got a little sniffle and sore throat. Being the wimp that I am and because of the fact that I hate being sick (I mean really, who likes it?) I stayed in bed all weekend and got caught up on some reading. I read 2... count them 2 books this weekend, and it was wonderful. Of course I took a break to watch my UGA Dawgs lose, again, for the fourth week in a row. Considering that, I am glad that both of the books I read were really good and cheered me up. (well, only a little bit. Seriously, we are 1-5 and 0-3 conference!)
Anyway, enough with depressing football stats and on to the good things this chilly, October Monday has in store. First.....the reviews!

Title: Alpha

Author: Rachel Vincent

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Series: Shifter's book 6

Synopsis: The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and treason. Yeah, we've been busy. But now it is time to take justice into our own hands. We much avenge my brothers death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council. It's not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I'm heading for the final showdown that can-that- will change everything forever. A showdown I'm not sure I'm ready for. But life never waits until you're ready...But life never waits until you're ready.


I know that I have said over and over on this blog how much I freaking LOVE Rachel Vincent, and her Shifter's series. Seriously, Shifter's is my equivalent to "Twi-Hard's" Twilight series and Rachel Vincent is my Stephanie Meyer. I have read the entire series at least six times leading up to Alpha the final book in the series :( ! This week it came out, and I of course I dropped everything I was doing to read it. It was everything I knew it would be and more. I laughed, I cried, I got pissed off. It was PERFECT! And it ended the way I wanted it to. I am more than sad to see this amazingly unique series end, and to say goodbye to a bunch of character with whom I have fallen in love with. That being said, I also think it great that the series is going out while it is on top, instead of dragging it out and boring us to death, (ahem,... P.C and Kristin Cast). It is better for a series to end with the reader wishing it wouldn't than having the reverse be true, right?? If you have ignored my pleas, demands and guilt trips about reading the works of Rachel Vincent, STOP IT NOW! Pick up the first book in the series, Stray, I promise you won't regret it and you will be hooked. This is a must read for all Adult Urban fantasy lovers.

Title: Heist Society

Author: Ally Carter

Genre: YA Fiction

Synopsis: When Katarina Bishop was three her parents to her to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen she a planned a con of her own...scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately...leaving "the life" is not that easy. Soon, Kat is pulled back into the life when a dangerous mobster's valuable painting are stolen and the only suspect is Kat's father. Along with a motley crew of six of the best junior thieves in the country, Kat plans the biggest heist of her young life, and it is more crucial than ever that she pull it off. Since the stakes are high, and her father isn't the only loved one of Kat whose life in in danger.

I am big fan of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series so I wasn't surprised that I really enjoyed this book. I love a wholesome book, that has a lot of action and of course innocent romance. Carter has created a very clever plot. It is the Ocean's 11 of Y.A literature, at least in my book. The protagonist Kat is a fairly forgettable, although likable character. The majority of the characters are cliches, Kat, the underplayed beauty whom everyone loves and follows,. Hale, the hot but bored bad boy billionaire, who, of course, is in love with Kat. Gabrielle, the short skirted, obvious beauty. Simon, the geeky tech genius and of course the Bragshaw twins, Angus and Hamish, the goofy, trouble makers. Despite the cliche's the book is a light wonderful read, that keeps you guessing about who the mysterious thief is that framed Kat's dad. I recommend it for all ages and am happy to admit that most adults will enjoy it as well.

**Okay, now for my favorite part of the day. . ."Oh Maaan, Monday"

Today's hot man-candy from literature is. . .Jace Hammond from The Shifter's Series. He has been on my mind all weekend, since I read Alpha. Last Monday, I picked Marc, from the series, it is kind of fitting that I picked Jace this week, since he is the competition for Faythe's heart. Jace is a free spirited, playboy who's heart was tamed by Faythe. His has sandy brown, and piercing cobalt blue eyes. He is funny, sexy and best of all he shifts into a badass werecat. Reader's of the series, will love Jace.

The hot celeb that I have picked to play Jace in the Shifter's movie is. . . Jake Gyllenhaal!

Monday, September 27, 2010

"OH Maaan" Monday and Other New Blog Features!

I detest Mondays!!! Seriously, they are the bane of my existence. The painful thorn in my delicate side and an over pain in the butt! I'm sure I am not a lone in my hatred of the return to the real world Monday. So, I decided to stop complaining about Monday's and do something that might just help with the Monday morning blues. And nothing cures my Monday blues like some a HOT MAN! So here's my idea....every Monday I am going to pick a Hot Hero from a book and the pick a Man Candy Celebrity to play him if the book was turned into a movie.

And to kick it off, I am going to pick one of my favorite characters from my favorite series of all time, The Shifter's by Rachel Vincent. Sexy men run rampant throughout this series, so it is pretty likely that I will be selecting from the series again. Ladies.....and possible some gentlemen, let me introduce you to. . .

Marc Ramos: Werecat, Top Enforcer of the South Central Pride, quick tempered, but extremely passionate and overall hottie! Marc wasn't born a werecat he was scratched by the werecat who brutally raped and killed his mother when he was only 14 years old. He is a known as stray among the werecat community, but to Faythe, the only daughter of the Alpha of the South Central Pride, he is the love of her life and possibly future husband.

The Man Candy Celebrity that I picked to play Marc in a movie is....Nicholas Gonzales.

Nicholas is an an American born Mexican decedent. He is 34 years old. He starred in the movie Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, as well as t.v shows such as, True Blood and Ugly Betty.

You're welcome, for the Monday dose of Hot Man Candy! Take peeks throughout the day when you feeling down. A man like this is sure to help you perk up, and make you say. . ."Oh, Man!"
Other new features of my blog are:
Teaser Trivia Tuesday: I am going to post a teaser from an upcoming release and have survey to see if you followers can guess what book it came from.
"What the @#$%!" Wednesday: Things in the literary world that made me say "What the @#$%!" This includes, books, author quotes, or book to movies, and anything else that makes me curse.
Blood Thirsty Thursday: Since I have, what some may say, a sick fascination with vampires, it is only fitting that I have a day dedicated to it. Thursday's will feature anything having to do with Vamps.
Friday Freak Out: Is the the interactive part of my blog. Readers and followers can feel free to post anything that is on their mind. Maybe you just want to vent about your day or give a shout out about a book you read. Anything goes, except no curse words please!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Review: "Some Girls Are" by Courtney Summers

Title: Some Girls Are

Author: Courtney Summers

Genre: YA Fiction

Synopsis: Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard, falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, and all girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High...that is, until vicious rumors about her and her best friends boyfriend started going around. Now Regina's been "frozen out" an her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense day by day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past.whom she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend...if threats from the Fearsome Fivesome don't break them both first.

I read Courtney Summers first book, Cracked Up To Be, and loved it. Just like her debut novel, her second didn't disappoint. It is deliciously dark and heart wrenching. If you remember high school, you will relate to this book. I would compare Summer's writing to that of Simone Elkeles, author of Perfect Chemistry and The Rules of Attraction. Fan's of Elkeles will love Summers. Since the writing is so good and the subject matter so relevant to today's young adult society, the unorginality of the characters is forgivable. It is to the benefit of the plot line that the characters are so familiar to us. Everyone of us has known a Regina, a Michael, a Kara, a Liz or an Anna at one point during high school. In fact it is safe to say, that we were probably just like one of them. Anna, Kara and the rest of Regina's former friends are the epitome of mean girls. They bullying that Regina suffers at their hands is almost unfathomable to me, but not to a few of the high school students I have spoken to. Along with the serious subject of bullying, Summers touches on the horrible subject of rape. It is amazing to me, that in light of today's teen society, that more books about bullying and rape are not written. I know, I know, when we sit down to read a book, most of us want a fantasy world to escape that makes feel all fuzzy and warm. I am probably the leader you. However, I think it is important to take the time to read these darker books to better understand what today's generation is dealing with. I feel it is also important for teens to read these types of stories once and while as way to empower themselves against the many horrible things that they deal with daily. Some Girls Are is a book I highly recommend. Although with it's pervasive language and mature content, I recommend it for older teens or mature teens. Put this book on your must read list, and keep watching for more books by this brilliant and daring author.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Guy Wants to Ban Laurie Halse Anderson's "SPEAK" from a Missouri School!

Alright, I am going to get political here. I never get political on my blog but if I feel that something is relevant to the blog, I will address it.

Book banning is an issue that really gets my blood boiling. And now the idea of book banning has reached a new height of ridiculousness. An an associate professor from Missouri State University feels that Laurie Halse Anderson's award winning book, SPEAK, should be banned from the school because he considers the two rape scenes to be "soft porn!" Can you believe the absurdity of it? Who in their right mind would think that rape is pornographic? Anderson's book has helped numerous teenage girls deal with the issue of rape. And no matter how much we may not want to believe it, it is an issue!! And for too long it was a dirty secret that young women were scared to tell.

My opinion on books is this: If you disagree with or are offended by the content: DON'T read it! If you don't want your child to read it: DON'T let them! What is offensive to you might not be offensive to someone else! And who gives you the right to decide what is appropriate reading for someone else or their child? There are a ton of things in this world that offend me, like the Jersey Shore. Now, I am in no way comparing a great book like SPEAK to The Jersey Shore, but I am trying to make a point. That show offends me, but campaigning to have it taken off the air and trying to make sure that other people don't watch it because it offends ME is ridiculous. I simply choose not to watch it!

If you are as sickened by this as I am and want to do something to help, please browse over to Laurie Halse Anderson's Blog at http://madwomanintheforest.com/ or click on the link under the blogs that I follow. The full story is there.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Review: Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Deadly Little Lies

Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Series: Touch #2

Genre: YA Fiction

Synopsis: Last fall, sixteen year old Camelia fell for Ben, the mysterious new boy at school who turned out to have a very mysterious gift-psychometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Ben and Camelia's romance starts to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry and experiencing her own strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have rubbed off on her. Can the power of psychometry be transferred? Even once Ben returns to school, Camelia can't get close enough to him to find out. Despite the romantic tension between them, Ben remains aloof, avoiding contact. Then when a series of eerie warnings echo the threats of last semester and Ben withdraws further Camelia decides to let him go and move on. Adam, the new guy at her after school job seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't and seems to really care about her. But when Camelia and Adam start dating a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events turns up secrets from Ben's past and Adam's. Someone is lying and it is up to Camelia to figure out who before it is too late.

The second installment of Stolarz's Touch series was even better than the first. I loved Deadly Little Secrets the incredible twist at the end was captivating. I love surprises! I love when the ending of a good plot completely surprises me and makes me smack my forehead and say, "why didn't I see that!" Deadly Little Lies evoked that reaction out of me. It is going to be hard to review the book without giving away any of the plot lines. I hate spoilers! But I will do my best. I love the romantic tension between Camelia and Ben. Two characters who obviously belong together but aren't. Can you think of a more frustrating situation? Of course this normal for most series's, the two romantic interests breaking up. But even though it was expected, it didn't mean I had to like it. As much as I like Camelia, she is not my favorite character in the series. I love, love, love Camelia's best friend Kimmie. She is totally unique from her hair down to her vintage shoes. The description of her wardrobe makes me wish I was bold enough to wear her outfits. She loves to dress from different era's but mixes it up with a more current gothic vibe. Fabulous!! Oh, to be able to pull off a 60's pillbox hat....sigh! Anyway, I digress. I like how even though Kimmie is a secondary character, she is given a plot all her own which draws the reader to her. Often times, secondary characters are under appreciated but Stolarz brings them to light without letting them outshine the main characters. The multiple plot lines in the story are well developed and the main plot is well resolved. I am excited to see what will happen with Camelia in the next book of the series as to her possible gift. I recommend this book for all ages.

** Also be looking for an author interview with Laurie Faria Stolarz coming soon. I am super excited and honored that she has agreed to an interview!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Note About Author of the Month...

This month's author, Laurie Faria Stolarz, has become one of my favorite storytellers. After reading Deadly Little Secrets, I began reading every book Stolarz wrote because I liked her work so much. Her Blue Is For Nightmares series is an original urban fantasy work. She weaves spells and romance cleverly into a realistic plot that causes very little suspension of disbelief. Now, that I think about it, that is the way all of her writing is for me. One book that I came across in my quick Stolarz frenzy was Project 17. If you haven't read it, do so. Now! Go out and get it now. It is so good and spooky. It actually scared me a little. Actually, it scared me a lot, but I enjoyed it and it was nice to have a different reaction to a book of the fantasy genre. If you have not heard of this author or if you have only read a few of her books, I encourage you at least attempt to read her other works and visit her website. She is amazing! Be looking for the review of Deadly Little Lies the follow up to Deadly Little Secret. (The Touch Series)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Review: "The Six Rules of Maybe" by Deb Caletti

Title: The Six Rules of Maybe

Author: Deb Caletti

Genre: YA Fiction

Synopsis: Scarlet spends most of her time worrying about other people. Some are her friends, others are practically strangers and the then there are the ones that no one else even notices. Trying to fix their lives comes naturally to her. And pushing her own needs to the side is part of the deal. So when her older sister comes home unexpectedly married and pregnant, Scarlet has a new person to worry about. But all her good intentions are shattered when the unthinkable happens: She falls for her sister's husband. For the first time in a long time, Scarlet's not fixing a problem she is at the center of one. And ignoring her feelings doesn't seem to be an option. . . .


As you can see I have added to my rating system. Sometimes it is hard to classify a book as GOOD when it was not as good as the book I had previously rated GOOD. The Six Rules of Maybe wasn't a bad book at all, it just wasn't one of my favorites. Especially by this author. Caletti's writing is very similar to that of Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott. One of my favorite books is the The Nature of Jade by Caletti. Her writing is raw and resonates with teens today. In The Six Rules... the protagonist, Scarlet is the nice girl who never wants to hurt any one's feelings. She tries to take care of her friends, neighbors and family. The one person she doesn't take care of is: Scarlet. Until she falls for Hayden Renfrew, the cute boy living in her house. The only problem is that Hayden is married to Juliet, Scarlet's pregnant sister. (Any girl who has had a crush on a boy who was already taken, will feel Scarlet's pain. Especially, when we see how poorly Hayden is treated by Juliet.) For the first time, Scarlet is starting to think about herself and what she wants. As she and Hayden become better friends, Scarlet is convinced that Hayden deserves better than the selfish Juliet who is still chasing after a an old flame who no longer wants her. One night everything changes for Scarlet. She makes one of the biggest mistakes of her life, her sister takes off, her mom is late coming home and Hayden's beloved dog Zeus runs away. Scarlet realizes that trying to take care of everyone else and their problems is not her place. She also realizes that when you try so hard to be nice and not say what you really mean, you are lying. As Scarlet begins to take care of herself and speak the the truth, her eyes are opened to things about herself that she didn't know existed. She also opens up herself to a more appropriate boy to love. Fan's of Sarah Dessen will enjoy this book. I recommend it for older teens due to language and sexual content.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Hex Hall" by Rachel Hawkins

Title: Hex Hall

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father-an elusive European warlock-only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts to much human attention for a prom night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries shapeshifters. By the end of her first day, Sophie has angered three powerful witches who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag a long ghost and a roommate who is a vampire and the most hated person on campus. As a series for blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge. Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially, her.

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

This book was really good. I didn't have high expectations of it since I am always skeptical about stories about witches, but I was happy to be pleasantly surprised. Hawkins has created a creepy setting for Hex Hall. Although there isn't much that can be done with boarding school, the characters compliment the setting enough to keep the interest of the reader. Sophie, our protagonist, is hilarious, sarcastic, and someone to whom readers can relate. I love her. Probably because I feel like I can relate to her, in that I am always saying the wrong thing and getting into trouble. Her kindness towards her outcast roommate gives us full 360 view of her. Sophie is not just sarcastic and funny she is sensitive and caring. Ah, and the romance.....who loves the whole unrequited love thing??? ME! ME! ME! Archer, resident hottie and object of Sophie's (and every other girl's)affection. Of course, starts out being cruel to her, making her want him all the more. But then circumstances throw them into a setting where they get to know each other and the sparks fly. The budding romance is nipped by a terrible secret held by one them. Several mysteries unfold, like who is killing of the witches of the school? Sophie, being a witch herself is determined to find out the answer before she suffers the same fate. With one captivating twist after another, readers will be addicted to Sophie and her adventures. I recommend this book for more mature teens due to some content, and assure any adult lovers of YA fiction/fantasy that his should be on your reading list.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: The Dark Divine

Title: The Dark Divine

Author: Bree Dispain

Genre: Y.A Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: Grace Divine-daughter of the local pastor always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood. Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother. As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

I AM BACK!! And I am back with a bang. It has been a while since I posted, due to a very busy beginning of July. But I got back on track this weekend when I finally received a copy of The Dark Divine by Bree Dispain. And may I just say......WOW! I freaking loved this book. I have made no secret about the fact that I think the whole vamp/werewolf genre has become overly used and I have raised the bar exponentially in my own personal standard concerning vamps and weres and Dispain's debut meets my standard. The protagonist Grace is a your typical PK (pastor's kid) growing up in a religious family I understand a lot of where she is coming from. She struggles with her emotions and desires as they war with her standards and values. She is a kind person who seeks to live up to her name, Grace. Her desire to help Daniel, the boy who was at one time like a brother to her, puts her at odds with her biological brother Jude. The immediate attraction between Daniel and Grace is HOT! I love the bad boy thing, all women do, and Daniel is a hot bad boy who is of course, a werewolf....watch out Jacob Black you have competition. Grace doesn't know Daniel's secret, but Jude does. Jude is the golden boy, continually helping out his father's church and helping the community. Everyone loves and adores him, especially Grace. So when she is forced to choose between her brother and Daniel, Grace attempts to do the right thing and be loyal to Jude. Soon, their small Minnesota town is wracked with tragedy, and many members of the Divine family believe that Daniel is the source. Other's believe it is the work of a wild animal. As Grace delves deeper into a world that she thought was only make believe, she learns things about herself, her family and the boy she has begun to love.
With at surprising twist, that I should have seen coming but didn't and loved that I didn't, the story ends without an overly exuberant cliffhanger but still leaves us ready for the sequel. This book is appropriate for all ages and will be enjoyed by lovers of the genre.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review: "Some Girls Bite" by Chloe Neill

Title: Some Girls Bite

Author: Chloe Neill

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Series: Chicagoland Vampires

Synopsis: Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was Merit’s. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker—and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead. Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she’s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude— and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone’s still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood
Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY
I love adult urban fantasy series's that have a heroine who is around my age, late 20's to early 30's. Often times I feel like some books are written for women in their late forties and who have been unhappily married for years and has kids. Since none of that applies to me yet, I have only been married four years all of which have been relatively happy, I find it difficult to enjoy those types of books. I think this is partly the reason I revert back to YA fiction. That being said, when I find a protagonist like Merit, with whom I can relate, I am ecstatic. She is a single, twenty six year old graduate student, turned vampire. She lives with her best friend and has a pretty much non-existent social life....all things I could relate to until about six years ago when I met my hubby. Merit is a great character, full of spunk and quips. We are drawn to her plight and enjoy the intense sexual tension between she and Ethan. Ethan....hmmmm! Unfortunately, he is a fairly unoriginal character. Long hair, green eyes, egotistical, vamp. However, readers will be struggle between their desire for he and Merit to get together, and their severe dislike of the guy. He does some pretty crappy things, but hey, he is the 400 year old walking undead, not Edward Cullen, so really we shouldn't be surprised by his jerkish ways. Character problems aside, the milieu created by Neill IS original and very interesting. The series is set in a world where vampire existence is no longer a secret. And every vamp belongs to a certain House (a little like a fraternity) This the social structure of the houses is inventive, but also realistic. I enjoyed the action sequences, Merit is a real badass. Yeah Girl Power! Fans of Faythe Sanders (The Shifters series by Rachel Vincent) and Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead) will love Merit! I recommend this book for adults and older teens. I cannot wait to read the next two books in this series.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Review: "Beautiful Creatures" by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Creatures

Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis: Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone in the small southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens and murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever--Ethan Wate, who has been counting down the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by the dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything. " There were no surprises in Gatlin County. At least that is what I thought. Turns out I couldn't have been more wrong. There was a girl....there was a curse... and in the end there was a grave."

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

Even though I had grown up in the Northeast, I was often obsessed with the South and knew that I wanted to live there one day. Ever since I first saw the movies, "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Steel Magnolias," and of course my favorite movie of all time: "Gone With The Wind," I have been hooked on all things southern. Having lived in the South now for for nearly 11 years, (4 yrs in South Carolina and 6 years in Georgia) I am still captivated by the world of sweet-tea, pecan pie, and y'all. So when I find a book written about my beloved, adopted home, I am naturally drawn to it. With a little something for everybody, and everyone of my favorite things, Beautiful Creatures does not disappoint. Any southerner, whether native or implanted, will identify with the subtle details of southern living that can only come from experience. On top of the beautiful descriptions of small, historic, southern towns, this book has history, specifically Civil War history-which is nearly as important church on Sunday here in the South. Lovers of historical fiction will find pleasure with Beautiful Creatures. In the South, there is also a rich paranormal world, where nearly every building built more than a hundred years ago is said to be haunted. Garcia and Stohl, draw beautifully upon the superstitious traditions of the South with a wonderful ghost story, along with the familiar favorites of us Urban Fantasy junkies, such as witches...ahem, I mean Casters and wolves, and vampires although in this book they are given different names. On top of these wonderful layers is the readers favorite part of the story....romance. The romance between, the fairly popular but extremely deep Ethan and the eccentric, outcast Lena is unoriginal in a wonderful way. We always love to see the hero break the mold and fall in love with the unlikeliest of girls, those of us who rode the fringes of high school dreamt of a boy like Ethan Wate to notice us. Readers, young and old will fall in love with this multi-faceted, story. Though it is not a quick read, commencing at 561 pages, it is one that you will not want to put down. (I read it through the night finishing in a day and a half). This is a MUST READ!!!! And then be looking for the sequel, Beautiful Darkness, coming out in October.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review: "Hourglass" by Claudia Gray

Title: Hourglass

Author: Claudia Gray

Series: Evernight book 3

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas.... After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met. Bianca and Lucas take refuge with Black Cross, a fanatical group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at its hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend-the vampire Balthazar-hiding is no longer an option. Soon, Bianca and Lucas are on the run again pursued not only by the Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they travel Bianca can't escape her destiny. Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything...but can it survive what's to come?

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

How many times have I said that I love it when a series gets better with each book? A hundred? A million? Well, Claudia Gray has done it! She has made her third book in the Evernight series the best so far. Even though the gripping and shocking cliffhanger is going to drive me crazy until the next novel is released. We all know that generally the third book of the series is the best, or at least to me it seems that way. Um think of Shadow Kissed from the Vampire Academy series. Like Shadow Kissed, Gray's third book, Hourglass, leaves us with one hell of a cliffhanger. The love story between Bianca and Lucas is the stuff that good fiction is made of. They each accept the faults of the other and always put the other first. My heart melts every time Lucas does something to take care of Bianca...you know like, fetching her blood since she's a vampire and all. Call me old fashioned and maybe a traitor to my generation of Women's Lib and the N.O.W, but I like the idea of a guy taking care of the girl he loves and I love that Gray embraces this concept in her characters. Bianca is by no means a helpless character, it takes a lot of strength to leave your parents and the only life you've ever known to be with the guy you love, especially when the people he lives with are hellbent on killing your kind. I love how Lucas is still bad ass even when is crying over Bianca. Hourglass was an enthralling read that I read in one day. It is fast paced and has a great balance of action and romance--everything a good UF junkie like me needs for an enjoyable reading experience. Claudia Gray's portrayal of vampires is original, but it is the romance of between Lucas and Bianca that keeps the readers addicted. This is a must read for all fans of the vampire and UF genre. Be sure to read the first two in the series, Evernight and Stargazer before this one. I promise you will love it! Now, quick go get your fix.....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Review: Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog

Title: Fairy Tale

Author: Cyn Balog

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis: Morgan Sparks and Cam Browne are the perfect couple. They have been best friends since birth and have loved each other nearly as long. But a week before their joint sweet-sixteenth bash, everything changes. Cam's awkward cousin Pip comes to stay and Cam begins acting really distant. When Morgan confronts him about his behavior she is shocked to discover that Cam is from another world...a fairy world. And now their world wants Cam to return and take his rightful place as Fairy King. Determined to keep Cam with her, Morgan plots to fool the fairies. But as Cam continues to change, she has to decide once and for all if he is really her destiny and if there perfect love can weather an uncertain future.

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

This book was a quick, fun read that made me cry. If a book makes me cry it automatically gets a good rating...I am not a crier. Morgan is a fabulous character with a great sense of fashion, perfect grades and an even more perfect boyfriend. However, the more we get to know, Morgan the more we see how intertwined her life is with her boyfriend Cam. A dangerous temptation for any teenage girl. So when it looks like Cam will be leaving her to become the Fairy King, she can't deal. All she thinks about his how Cam "can't leave her." Instead of thinking that if Cam stays in this world with her (which he is willing to do because he loves her and doesn't want to leave her) he will not fit in anymore and will be miserable in a lot of ways, she is only concerned with not being with him. We don't dislike her for this because most of us can totally sympathize. She joins forces with Pip to trick the fairies into keeping Cam with her. But the closer she gets to Pip the harder her choice is. Without giving spoilers it's hard to give more information. The plot is well thought out and the resolution is rather original. The lesson learned is this...if you truly love a person you will do what is best for THEM regardless of how it affects you. Both Morgan, Cam and Pip learn this lesson. A sweet conclusion ties up the loose ends of the story up, but leaves the reader wishing for a sequel. I recommend this book for all ages.....tweens to adults.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Review: Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

Title: Bleeding Violet

Author: Dia Reeves

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home. But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

Okay...where to begin with this book. Well, have you ever watched a movie maybe the Twilight Zone or even read a book and by the conclusion you say "What the...?" (insert F-bomb or hell here) Let's just say that my first WTF (only the F-bomb was fitting here) came after reading the FIRST chapter. That has never happened to me before in all my years of reading. It also became my mantra throughout the book. Bleeding Violet is an entirely original book, that is not for the faint of heart. If you have been looking for a book that will blow your mind, look no further. If you crave the blood, gore and psychotic elements of which most YA urban fantasy lack, you will find satiation here! Let's start with characters. If you thought J.D Salinger's character Holden Caulfied was crazy, wait until you meet Hanna Jarvinen-crazy incarnate. Hanna is a bi-polar, manic depressive, bi-racial, bi-cultural, absolutely gorgeous sixteen year old who has grown up without knowing her mother. So a few months after her precious father dies she decides it is time to force her mother to man-up and fulfill her god-given role and moves to Portero, Texas. Hanna is so unlike any other protagonist in literature that you are immediately drawn to eccentricity and feel for her plight. She has not had an easy life, the majority of it due to her disorder. She is not a character to emulate, but to learn from. Parents will cringe at her antics and way of thinking, most teens will not relate to most of Hanna's problems, though unfortunately some will. It all boils down to the fact that Hanna simply wants to be loved and she will do anything to get it whether it means having sex with all the boys in her class, killing others or killing herself. The person from whom she desires love the most is her mother, Rosalee. The only character who really can match Hanna crazy for crazy is Rosalee. Like Hanna, Rosalee is beautiful and charming and evidently just as promiscuous. Rosalee doesn't want Hanna, she believes that love is a trap, and tries to send her away. At first, we are appalled by the way she treats Hanna. How could any mother treat the being whom she carried under heart for nine months the way Rosalee treat Hanna? Well, Rosalee has a secret. But fear not eventually Rosalee's maternal instincts kick in, I mean, who better to be loving and accepting of someone as crazy as Hanna than a mother who is equally as crazy. Your dysfunctional family has got NOTHING on this one. Along with finding love from her mother, Hanna also finds love Wyatt (I love that name...sigh) Wyatt is that typical guy from high school who makes your stomach flip, flirts with anything that has a pulse, and ends up being much deeper than you originally thought and best of all he is hot without having long hair. Wyatt and Hanna have a rather bumpy beginning. And a most unusual relationship what with Wyatt being Mortamaine, a group of well trained, special powered, fighters of the forces of evil that plague the town of Portero. Hanna truly falls for Wyatt, something we get the idea that she has never done for any boy, so when he does typical boy things such as refuse to call her his girlfriend in front of his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, or when he takes her on a Mortamaine hunt and uses her as bait, she is justifiably crushed. However, in the end, it is Hanna who breaks Wyatt's heart. As I said, the love that Hanna craves more than anything is her mother's and her own love for her mother trumps all...even the love of a wonderful boy like Wyatt.

The plot is a little confusing since it seems like there are different plots intertwined. The overall is Hanna's struggle to be accepted in a town that shuns her because she is an outsider and by a mother who has no use for anyone but herself. This is an enjoyable read for older teen readers and adults. I DO NOT recommend it for tweens. However, if a tween desires to read it, I feel it would be important to discuss the issues of Hanna's promiscuity (she lost her virginity at age 14 in a sauna with a random boy) Whereas, I applaud any other who is not afraid to address the issue of sex and teens, I am unimpressed with those who don't condemn sex as cure for boredom and acceptance. This is my only problem with the book. So, go ahead, get ready to suspend your disbelief a little more than usual, prepare for lots of blood and purple, (hence the title Bleeding Violet) tons of action and creatures that can usually only be found in nightmares or Twilight Zone episodes and a whole bunch of "WTF's" or "WTH's" which ever you prefer.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Review: Meridian by Amber Kizer

Title: Meridian

Author: Amber Kizer

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: Meridian has always been an outcast. It seems wherever she goes, death and grief follow. On her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her families house and though she is untouched her body explodes in pain. Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she is a danger to her family and is hustled off to her great-aunt's house in Revelation, Colorado. There she learns the secret her parents have been keeping from her for her entire life...And it's not even close to what she thought!

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

When I first saw this book on the shelf, I thought it looked good. When I read the inside flap I was even more curious about it but wasn't in a hurry to read it. So after two weeks on my shelf, I finally decided to give it a shot, needless to say it was GOOD! I couldn't put it down and spent all day yesterday reading it. I finished right before bed, WHOO!
This book was a different read from most paranormal romances which of course I love. The protagonist, Meridian, is an interesting character and fairly original. At the start of the book, we know she is plagued by something rather disgusting...animals go to her and die. She wakes up in the morning with dead insects and animals in her bed. YUCK. So from the very beginning readers are sympathetic and the sympathy increases by the seemingly bad treatment she receives from her parents. After a terrible accident she is shipped off to her Auntie's. Auntie is a great character and readers will love her instantly. She is quirky, spunky and lovable, all things we want in great-aunt grandmotherish type. Since Auntie possesses the same gift as Meridian, she is able to teach her how to harness her gift and use it the way she is supposed to. Because of their gifts, Meridian and Auntie have attracted the attention of the local cult leader, Reverend Perimo who has managed to get control of the town of Revelation and its people. The Reverend has convinced the town that Meridian and Auntie are witches and they are the reason God has brought judgement on their town. Between a war with the Reverend and a war with others who are like Meridian and Auntie, they have their hands full. Luckily they have the help of Tens. Tens is a young man who has a special gift and and even more special job... he is Meridian designated protector. Ten's is not a very original character even though we do like him. He is typically, tall, good looking, longish dark hair (what is it Paranormal fiction and guys with long hair? I am so not a long hair girl, so I always pretend the author wrote short hair.) and of course at first he is mean to Meridian, but as we know it is just a cover of his true feelings. Though likable, Tens is forgettable. The romance between the two is a little quick but I guess at sixteen that is the norm. My big issue with the book, however, is the portrayal of God. Yes, I know most UF books have evil connotations and deal with hellish things, but most don't blatantly refer to God and compare him to elements in the book. I don't know, some it just kind of made me uncomfortable. I like to read my vamps, wolves and demons without being reminded that God wouldn't approve. (Perhaps this is because of my Conservative, religious upbringing--a Christian guilt thing.) Kizer did a good job at showing how most cult leaders misuse the Bible by quoting verses that fit there delusions and use it to exploit hurting people.
Overall I believe that readers of this genre will enjoy the book. I am looking forward to the sequel due out in the fall. This isn't an OMG I have to read this book, but it is a "I have few days and I need a quick, fun read." With some strong language, the F-bomb is dropped once or twice, I wouldn't recommend it for tweens.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review: "Captivate" by Carrie Jones

Title: Captivate

Author: Carrie Jones
Series: Need book 2
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Synopsis: Zara and her friends thought they'd solved the pixie problem. And they did-sort of. The pixies are sill locked away, deep in the woods. But the king's needs grow stronger each day that he is in captivity, while his control over his people weakens. It is enough to draw a new king into town. Astley claims that he is different, that there are pixies that can live peacefully with humans. Zara wants to believe him...until Astley also claims that she is fated to be his queen. There is no way Zara will ever turn pixie. She's got good friends who will make sure of that. Besides, she and Nick are so in love they're practically inseparable. But when the very thing that Zara wants to protect most is exactly what's at risk, she is forced to make a choice she never imagined....

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

One of the things that draws me to this series is the setting. Having grown up in New England and spending time with family in Maine, where the story takes place, I am reminded of things I have sort of forgot about in my nearly ten years in Georgia. The description of bitterly cold Maine winters, getting "grinders" (sub sandwiches) from the deli, eating "home fries" (hash browns), using the adjective "wicked" for everything that is awesome., and most of all the environmentally friendly tree-huggers who will keep the planet healthy for us. I was drawn in immediately with the first book and I couldn't wait to read the second. One of the best things about Carrie Jones' series is that although it is younger teen friendly, it still has enough scare, blood and gore to keep the older reader's interest. I think that a reviewer got it right, when they described Jones' first book like this, "If you grabbed Stephen King and Stephanie Meyer and asked them to author a book, they would come up with need."( Justine Magazine) I wholeheartedly agree, I love this series. I enjoyed the second book, Captivate, as much as the first. The characters are unique. Zara, is most unusual she is pacifist, vintage t-shirt wearing, Amnesty International writing, fiercely loyal teenager. Nick is a handsome, macho, overprotective (in a good way), super sweet, jock-werewolf who madly adores Zara and would die for his friends. Issie is the hyper, chatty, ever supportive, always positive, absolutely human best friend to Zara, she is also madly in love with Devyn. Devyn is also a were-shifter. He changes into an eagle like bird. He is super nerdy, ridiculously smart, except when it comes to noticing Issie, he was in a terrible accident that left him in a wheel chair but hopefully not for long. His shifting is healing him slowly. These are some original characters, yet they could be your best friends and I so enjoy that. Big decisions are made in this book, huge plot lines are intertwined, and one big heartbreak brought tears to my eyes. This a fast-paced read that once again I couldn't put down. As usual, read Need first and then this one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review: Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Title: Spells

Author: Aprilynne Pike

Series: Wings

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: Although Laurel has come to accept her true identity as a faerie, she refuses to turn her back on her human life-especially her boyfriend, David-to return to the faerie world. BUT when she is summoned to Avalon, Laurels feelings for the charasmatic faerie sentry are undeniable. She is forced to make a choice- a choice that could break her heart.

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

WOW!! That is my reaction after reading the first book in this series. It was also the same reaction I had to this book. Pike has created a beautiful faerie world the likes of most movies couldn't replicate. I want to live in Avalon! Her descriptions paint a vivid picture of this perfect world. As I have said before I love when a series get better with each book and this one does. I can't wait for the next book since we were left with a frustrating cliffhanger. Pike's characters are multidimensional, although it doesn't seem that way at first. Laurel is a beautiful faerie who has been raised in the human world, and has only found out about her heritage in the past year. Along with her heritage, she found out about Tamani, a faerie sentry who has both protected her and loved her whole life. And Laurel can't deny she has strong feelings for him as well. However, she is also in love with her loving boyfriend David, who loves and accepts her for who and what she is. This is a great love triangle because both boys are absolutely wonderful and readers are left once again picking a "team" This book brought the love triangle to ahead early in the series, whereas most authors draw it out. However, regardless of Laurel's choice in this book, readers are left with the hope that she might change her mind later. I absolutely adore a good love triangle! We meet some new characters in this book and are curious about what they mean for the series. This is a must read, and I recommend it for readers of younger ages (tweens) and older ages alike. Be sure to read Wings before you read Spells.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Review: Intertwined by Gena Showalter

Title: Intertwined

Author: Gena Showalter

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: There's something about the the new guy at Crossroads High.... Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him. With no other family and a life spent in and out of institutions. Aden and the souls have become friends. But now, they're causing him all kinds of trouble when all he wants is peace...Then he meets a girl, Mary Ann, who quiets the voices. Well, as long as she is near him. They are total opposites and unlikely friends, but Aden can't help it, he's drawn to her. He knows he must stay away, for her own good, but it's too late because they both share an inexplicable bond of friendship. A bond that is about to be tested by a werewolf shape-shifter who Mary Ann for his own, and a vampire princess Aden can't resist. The four will enter a dark underworld of intrigue and danger-but not everyone will come out alive...

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

Okay, so I am kind of on the fence about this book. I was teetering between a GOOD rating and a BAD one. I chose GOOD because Showalter is coming out with a sequel in August and I think it could have real potential. I liked the book, it was fairly original and gripped me emotionally in some areas. However, some parts bored me and I would put the book away for a while and return to it later when I was mentally able to push through the boredom. Other parts like the the ten chapters or so made me not want to put it down, whether or not it was because I just wanted to hurry up and finish it or because is was that good, I still am not sure. What I am sure about it that though I probably won't read it again, I would recommend for UF junkies. What I did love about the series was the four main characters, Aden, Mary Ann, Riley and Victoria. They are complicated, and tough and vulnerable and best of all they are extremely protective of each other. The relationship of the four characters is the what keeps the reader interested in the book because these characters are fascinating, especially Riley and Victoria. Mary Ann could be your best friend at school, and Aden...well he could be the boy you have always dreamed about. The relationship of these characters override any qualms I have about the plot. I am looking forward to the next in the series Unraveled due out August 31, 2010, I can't wait to see what is going to happen to my four new fictional friends. Showalter is a great author and I enjoy many of her Adult UF books, and maybe I simply had too high of an expectation for this book. That happens quite often with me when I adore an author. As, I said this isn't a book I would rave about, but I think that lots of people would enjoy despite my opinion. So go ahead and pick it up and make your own judgements.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Review: My Soul To Keep

Title: My Soul To Keep
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Synopsis: Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee. Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them. . . until something does: Demon Breathe. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends-one of whom is hooked. And so is someone else. . .

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

Seriously, I really need to add a FREAKING GOOD to my rating system. I love, love, love when a series gets better and better. Usually the third book of a series is one of the best whether it's the last one or not. Most people have probably inferred from my blog that Rachel Vincent is probably my favorite author right now. I am absolutely addicted to her books. With her, each book in her series' is better than the last and you don't want it to ever end. I loved MSTK because it is the pinnacle of the series, as I think most third books are. And as usual it leaves you with an unbelievable cliffhanger that you have to wait six months until the release of the next book to find out what happens. GRR! I was worried before reading this book, because of the fact that Vincent had warned us that a lot of things would change for Kaylee and that her boyfriend was lying to her. Since I love the romance between Nash and Kaylee, I was concerned. It is really hard to talk about this book because I don't want to give anything away. I hate spoilers...actually that is not true. I am a very impatient person and usually always read the last page of the book first just so I know what happens. (Yeah, I'm a freak, but it works for me)
There are many surprises in this book, we learn new things about characters we thought we knew so well. Kaylee learns a lot and grows tremendously in this book. She has always been a relatively strong character, but her strength blossoms in this chapter of the S.S series. Without being preachy, she sets a good example for girls her age who might not have the strength to make the decisions she does. Since Nash is her greatest weakness, it is wonderful to see that her greatest growth comes from her greatest weakness.
I love it when a book grips me emotionally and I either weep with the character, or I throw the book against the wall in frustration. I am not going to say which emotion this book pulled from me, you are going to have to read it for yourself to find out. And read it you must!! BUT not before reading the first two: My Soul To Take and My Soul To Save. I am so excited for the next book in the series, My Soul To Steal due out in January 2011. That gives all you Rachel Vincent newbies about six and a half months to catch up on her two awesome series's: The Shifters and Soul Screamers. This book wasn't supposed to be available until June 1, but for some reason it was available at Amazon.com I ordered it Thursday and it came today, SCORE! I put Intertwined on hold for a few hours so I could read MSTK. It is a quick-I read it in about four hours-and exciting read. Both teens and adults alike will be satisfied with this book. I know I was.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Soul To Keep by Rahel Vicent...Coming Soon!

Hey Everybody!

I am superexcited! I just ordered my copy of third book in the Soul Screamers series. If you haven't read this series or any of the books in her other series the Shifters, I highly recommend you do so...soon. The Shifters series is just awesome. I have gotten all my friends and even my mother hooked on the series. The first book is STRAY, once you pick it up you won't be able to put it down. The Shifters series is Adult, Urban Fantasy and the Soul Screamers series is YA but is super good as well. Anyway, click on to Rachel Vincent's blog page, I have a link on my side bar, and check out this great author. You won't be disappointed.

Don't forget to register for the "Something Like Fate" by Susane Colasanti GIVEAWAY! It ends Monday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review: The Prince's Donor

Title: Prince's Donor
Author: Sindee Lynn
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Synopsis: Four years ago Jenna James signed up for the donor database with fanciful thoughts of lying in the arms of a vampire. Now she wishes she'd had never heard of it since no vampire has ever called on her for donation. As soon as she is ready to delete her name from the registry, a handsome vampire shows up on her doorstep asking for her to be his donor. She agrees to and then is taken on a wild sensual journey unlike any she's ever been on before. However, her vampire is keeping a secret from her, one that could put her life in danger....

Overall Review: GOOD BAD UGLY

Okay, so I got this book in the mail because I signed up to host a virtual book tour and Ms. Lynn was kind enough to send me her book for review. When I picked the book, I new it was about vampires, and since I love a good vamp story I wanted to read it. What I didn't know however was how much sexual content there would be. Now, I like a little sex in my adult fiction as much as the next red-blooded thirty year old woman, but I felt that there was a little more than necessary, with the book being only about 140 pages long. That being said, aside from that I really enjoyed the book. Lynn has created a world set in the future where vampires and humans live side by side. A world where humans sign up to be blood and sex donors for vampires since they require both for survival. The main characters, Jenna and Syrian, are both likable. Their love story is a little fast and solely based on sex, as they have only seen each other twice. As I said I loved the idea and the world that the author created, however, I wish there had been more to their romance than sex. I hate given any book a bad review, and I really had to fight to not to give an UGLY rating. Since I liked some parts of the story, and like the overall way the author writes, I felt that BAD was a appropriate rating.

I hesitate to say this because I am sure that it will have the opposite effect of my intention, but I feel I need to say it anyway since I review a lot of Young Adult books. THIS BOOK IS NOT YA! I do not recommend it for teen readers.

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