Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Source: Publisher
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.

Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?
Review: I love Alyxandra Harvey’s Drake Chronicles so I was eager to begin reading this book. Not only was it about ghosts’ but its set in Regency England! I love, love, love books set in that time. It was such a great book to read! It’s an historical fantasy with ghosts, mediums, and how to survive in the social classes of nineteenth century England. I’ve read a lot about how important the social classes of that time were, and I loved how well Ms. Harvey was able to incorporate it in her book.

Honestly, I think Alyxandra Harvey’s writing is superb in this book! Her writing gave me the feel of being in England during that time since it was so well written. There was a lot of suspense and drama and surprises to keep me on my toes and wanting more. Though the story begins off slowly, as soon as the ghost comes to see Violet, the story is a constant roller coaster ride, a ride that keeps going until the last page. The murder mystery only adds onto the suspense of this novel and guessing the murder is actually harder than it seems.

I really love Violet. She was such a great protagonist, with so much heart and determination. Though she’s got such a hard time, she saw the good in it all. I liked how she tried to make the best of everything. Her thoughts and little quirks show that she’s very amusing. I liked the secondary characters as they added to the plot line and make the story move. Elizabeth was a best friend that I wanted and Colin was a boy who I wanted to know. There is romance in this book and it’s my favorite kind!

The only thing I disliked about this book was Violet’s mother. she was obsessed with being rich and being in the upper classes and I’m sure that’s why Violet hates the upper classes. Overall, I loved Haunting Violet. The setting, the plot, the characters, the mystery, and everything about it made me continue reading.



Overall: 4.5/5
Cover Comments: 4/5 There's a creepy feel to this cover that goes so well with the story line. I love how the girl, the dress, the lilies, and even the water add to the story!

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Title: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvinile
Source: Library
It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.
Review:With her stunning debut, Gayle Forman had caught my attention with If I Stay. Haunting, precise, magnificent, I wanted more to know more about Mia and Adam! What happened to them? When I heard that Gayle was writing a companion novel, I couldn’t wait to read it. Now that I have read it, I’m happy with what I got in Where She Went. Honestly, though, it didn’t have the same captivating affect as If I Stay.

Again, Gayle Forman shows that she’s got a great writing style and voice. This time from Adam’s POV, I worried how she was going to tackle a boy’s find. She did really well, getting out Adam’s feelings with all the flashbacks, but I didn’t connect with him as much as I connected with Mia. I wasn’t sure what it was really but I just didn’t…get him…

I did appreciate all the flashbacks into what happened following the events in If I Stay. I understood better what had happened and why it had happened. The summary says “It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.” And I really wanted to know what the heck was going on.

I felt that If I Stay had ended in the right place and that’s why I guess I was a little disappointed in this book. The feelings are real and true in this book but some of it just annoyed more or made no sense to me. Sometimes I wondered if certain people or events mentioned were important to the plot line or not.

A thoroughly great read, I finished Where She Went once again happy. If anything bugged me about this book, Gayle Forman's writing made up for it.

Overall: 4.5/5
Cover Comments: 4/5 I like the meaning of it but I just didn't appeal to me. At all.

Review: Scat by Carl Hiaasen

Title: Scat
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Release Date: January 27, 2009
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Won
Bestselling author and columnist Carl Hiaasen returns with another hysterical mystery for kids set in Florida's Everglades.


Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, is missing. She disappeared after a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp. And, to be honest, the kids in her class are relieved.
But when the principal tries to tell the students that Mrs. Starch has been called away on a "family emergency," Nick and Marta just don't buy it. No, they figure the class delinquent, Smoke, has something to do with her disappearance.


And he does! But not in the way they think. There's a lot more going on in Black Vine Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see. And Nick and Marta will have to reckon with an eccentric eco-avenger, a stuffed rat named Chelsea, a wannabe Texas oilman, a singing substitute teacher, and a ticked-off Florida panther before they really begin to see the big picture.


That's life in the swamp, kids.
Review: People say that with authors who write mainly stand alone books, the author’s first book tends to be strong. Though I enjoyed his first two books a lot, I wasn’t sure what I was gonna get with Scat! I knew three things before I began: 1) Florida would be the setting 2) an endangered species would be the main focus and 3) people were going to help protect this species.


Scat, honestly, fell flat for me and I was super disappointed in this fact. The characters, like Nick and Marta weren’t there for me. They were rather flat with not a lot of emotions and actions. Unlike his other characters in his other books, I don’t think Mr. Hiaasen was able to capture their minds. Marta, actually, got on my nerves so much that I wanted to just go in there and slap her.


The dialogue didn’t cut it for me a times. It felt too forced and…unrealistic.
And what the heck was the whole Nick-and-Marta-might-be-in-love-and-they-share-a-moment-yet-nothing-really-happens? That made me mad and annoyed.


Another thing? Hoot and Flush, though they shared the three things I listed at the beginning, had differentiation but this book felt too repetitive for me.


I will admit that I fell in love with Florida all over again but not as much as I did in his previous books. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped to love it but I still say that people should give it a chance.


Overall: 2/5
Cover Comments: 1/5 I like the meaning of it but I just didn't appeal to me. At all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker

Title: The Liar Society
Series: The Liar Society #1
Author: Lisa and Laura Roecker
Release Date: March 1 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Library
Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.edu
Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
From: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.edu
Subject: (no subject)

Kate,
I'm here…
sort of.
Find Cameron.
He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell.
They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder...
Review: WOW.
I just finished this book and all I can say is WOW.

I really can’t believe how good this book was! I wasn’t expecting on spending my day reading this book because I couldn’t put it down. But that’s what happened. Lisa and Laura Roecker’s The Liar Society has to be one of the best books I’ve read all year! A 358 paged novel that caught my attention on the first page and latterly didn’t let it go until the very last page, The Liar Society was one heck of a murder mystery novel with so much more!

First, the characters! Kate was really awesome. She felt so real to me that I was astounded by the authors writing ability. Not a lot of authors can get a teen voice so accurate but Lisa and Laure sure as heck did. I loved reading all about Kate and her family and her friends and everything that had happened leading up to Grace’s death and the present time. Kate was a butt kicking, pear wearing, detective who got scared and mad and went swoony when a hot guy talked to her. Kate was real. Liam, Seth, Grace, Maddie, Kate’s parents and all the other characters really helped shape this story into the masterpiece that it is!

I guessed that Grace couldn’t be the one sending Kate the e-mails (though I did doubt this at one point; it could’ve been a ghost novel?) but what really happened was really unexpected. All the twists and turns and surprises in the plot made it so amazing. I could tell that it was really, really thought out because right when I felt I knew what had happened, something changed and threw my solutions in the trash. I literally kept guessing at what happened until I read about it. Basically, the plot was so good that you figured things out as Kate and her friends figured them out. Sure, there were some things that were quiet obvious but others, they just made you more anxious to find out more.

I really, really loved Pemberly Brown! It felt like a character of its own with all of the background information and the descriptions that the authors put in about this place! I would have loved to go to this school with all the different buildings and all the Latin messages, which, really, was such a great inclusion!

Overall, Lisa and Laura Roecker wrote a novel that I wasn’t sure I was going to like or not but I fell in love with it. They had amazing characterization, their plot was fantastic, and this book really is a masterpiece. I can’t wait to see what else these sisters have in store for us! Namely, The Liar Society Book 2!


Overall: 5/5
Cover Comments: 5/5 A girl with pink hair, pearls, and a uniform?! That's unique, unexpected, and awesome!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Title: Demonglass
Series: Hex Hall #2
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: March 1 2011
Publisher: Hyperion Books CH
Source: Library
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.


Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.


But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?
Review: I really loved Hex Hall but I hadn’t loved where it had ended. I had so many questions about the characters and what was going to happen next, and Archer Cross was a bad guy!? Demonglass pulled me in from the very beginning, but I was a little skeptical about the book. By the end of it, though, my jaws dropped at it’s unexpected ending.


Along with the new and old characters came the witty, funny, and sometimes annoying banter. I loved all of it though! Sophie came back once again with a mission on her mind. She’s in a new place and is having a hard time adjusting to her new found powers but she remained herself throughout.

The plot was really great, though repetitive at times, with new characters that are really mysterious and creepy, and the twists and turns that Rachel Hawkins was able to incorporate into this book.

I love romance in any book but it has to be good romance. Rachel Hawkins’s romance was good…but I felt that it fell flat sometimes. It would be really cheesy or really weird but I liked it overall. I was glad to see my favorite guy back BUT the one thing that made me iffy the most was the new guy in Sophie’s life (CAL). He’s been around for a while BUT she just throws in an unexpected surprise at the beginning that I was okay with UNTIL the old guy (okay, okay ARCHER) comes back in too. SO basically, there’s a LOVE TRIANGLE IN THIS BOOK. I really wish that there wasn’t and though I’m a sucker for them, I’m tired of them too. Now I really wanna know how Rachel pulls this off!

Back again with her witty, funny banter, Sophie’s newest adventure takes us to England where there are more bad guys and secrets than she can handle.


Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments: 4/5 I really like it but I don't like the black outfit that Sophie (if it's Sophie) is wearing. Besides that, I love the colors, the white dress, and the cat!

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2


17 DAYS LEFT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Stuff

I've changed up a lot on my blog:

1. The layout: Another change!
2. The Header: I made the header and I really love it!
3. New Button: The blog got a new layout and a new header and I've had the same button for goodness knows how long. So I changed it:




What do you think?
4. Favicon: I made a favicon to go with the blog. I dunno if you can see it yet but it should show up soon!
5. Blockquote Text: I finally figured out how to add an HTML to change the blockquote text from the rest of the post! So, everything in blockquotes will be a different text from the rest of the posts!
6. Tumblr: I finally decided to add my Tumblr site on here. You can look under the "Contact Me" to find the button for it!

2011 Beach Reads Summer Challenge!

It's the 2011 Beach Reads Summer Challenge!


I participated in the challenge last year and had a great time! I'm going to do it this year too!


Now, down to the details.


Timeline:
The challenge will run from July 1st - August 31st. Calendars will be put up weekly so show what is coming up in terms of games, guest posts and giveaways. It's important to note that all posts related to this event will feature the banner you see above.


How to sign up:
Create a post for this challenge on your own blog, sharing what level you're choosing to shoot for and what books you may read. These aren't set it stone! Link it in the Mr. Linky below to start playing along!


Levels:
Remember swim classes? Thus the reading challenge levels!


* Tadpole - Read 4 books in this challenge.
* Minnow - Read 8 books in this challenge.
* Dolphin - Read 12 books in this challenge.
* Shark - Read 16+ books in this challenge!


I'm going to be doing the SHARK LEVEL.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

POTTERMORE!

The big POTTERMORE announcement:
J.K. Rowling today, Thursday 23rd June, answered mounting speculation about the nature of her new project and announced Pottermore, a unique and free-to-use website which builds an exciting online experience around the reading of her hugely successful Harry Potter books, and is partnered by Sony.

For this groundbreaking collaborative project, J.K. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books.

Pottermore will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with J.K. Rowling’s publishers worldwide, and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans. As the Pottermore Shop develops, it is intended that it should include further products designed specifically for Harry Potter fans, offering a potential outlet for Sony products and services related to Pottermore.

In the new website, the storyline will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience.

As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.

In an announcement which will thrill fans, she described how she has
brought to life both the Sorting Hat and Ollivanders experiences from her books for the first time on Pottermore, by revealing the questions asked by the Sorting Hat – which places newcomers into their Hogwarts houses according to their characteristics – and the magic behind the Wand Chooser – which finds the right wand for each user from over 33,000 possible combinations. She also revealed glimpses of the new information she has provided on some of the best-loved characters.
Pottermore will be available starting in October, but register soon for a chance to see the site early!

PICTURES of Pottermore HERE.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday (46)

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


Title: Dreaming Awake (Falling Under #2)
Author: Gwen Hayes
Publisher: NAL Trade
Release Date: January 3, 2012
She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.

Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.

And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…
 I haven't read book one yet but when I saw the cover, I fell in love with it!
**********************************************
Title: Where it Began
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving and lacking a single memory of the accident that landed her there. What she can remember, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the accident.
As she takes us through her transformation from invisible girl to on-trend Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby herself does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why is Gabby left alone to take the fall?

Putting the pieces together will take every ounce of Gabby's strength. As she peels back the layers of her life, she begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex...and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.
This looks really good. I really want to know what happens in this book because waking up in a hospital after an accident and not knowing what (or how) it happened, is kind of scary.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Divergent # 2 Has a Title

I've heard excellent things about Divergent by Veronica Roth. I myself have not been able to read it BUT there is news! The title for Divergent # 2 is out:
INSURGENT
What do you guys think? I really like it! Read more about it at Veronica's blog.

Review: Reign Check (Demon Princess #2) by Michelle Rowen

Title: Reign Check
Series: Demon Princess #2
Author: Michelle Rowen
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Nikki Donovan, Demon Princess, is back--and stuck in a love triangle that's straight out of hell!

Fresh from finding out that she is a demon princess, fighting her aunt for her life, and rescuing her father from being poisoned, Nikki Donovan is looking forward to getting back to her regular high school life. But when Rhys, the handsome king of the faery realm, decides to show up at her school as a "foreign exchange student," Nikki knows this won't be possible.


Couple with this a whole host of other problems: there's a new prophecy that claims she will destroy everyone. Her conflicted feelings for Rhys and her boyfriend, Michael, are getting in the way of their relationship. Her best friend Melinda just might be a demon-slayer-in-training, and her old crush Chris might know of her demon side. Throw in a field trip to none other than Hell itself … and Nikki's going to be hoping for a rain check on more than just her homework!
Review: After all the surprises in Demon Princess: Reign or Shine, Nikki Donovan I still trying to get used to being a Demon Princess. She’s attending school now and while things are going okay, Jason is still acting weird and worse yet, a new boy has captured everyone attention. But this new boy is none other than Rhys, the king of the faery realm who also happens to be in her class. And then of course, Michael shows up, she meets the Queen whose brother wanted to kill her father, and things get a little more complicated.

I loved this book just as much as I loved the first book. While these books are about demons, they aren’t all dark and gory but fun and light. There’s humor and romance and some danger along the way, but then again, I did say it was demons!

The plot evolved more in this book from the first which saw to the development of the characters and exactly what’s going on with Nikki and her father. While she meets some unexpected people, like her aunt and her lover (who still wants something from her), Nikki finds out more about herself and who she is. She becomes stronger and more controlling of her powers.

I loved the twists and turns and secrets in this story even though the summary pretty much gives it away. There were some surprises and twists that do get you. Such as Jason’s secret.



Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments: 3/5 It's rather plain and I'm not the biggest fan of it. I like how there's the crown, the horns, and the tail but I think they could have done something else to it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: The Reckoning (The Darkest Powers # 3) by Kelly Armstrong

Title: The Reckoning
Series: The Darkest Powers # 3
Author: Kelly Armstrong
Release Date: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Library
My name is Chloe Saunders. I’m fifteen, and I would love to be normal.
But normal is one thing I’m not.

For one thing, I’m having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother–who just happens to be a sorcerer–but, between you and me, I’m leaning toward the werewolf.


Not normal.


My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us…permanently.


Definitely not normal.


And finally, I’m a genetically altered necromancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.


As far away from normal as it gets.
Review: The Reckoning begins right where The Awakening left off so it’s important to read this series IN ORDER. Don’t skip ahead because you’re going to get very confused. That said, I want to add that I think the people, especially Dr. Davidoff, in the Edison Group are creepy. What they do and say and experiment on is just like what the heck?! In this book, the final of the trilogy, I really felt that they were creepy people. All the people who died and for what reasons? Yikes.


There were some problems I had with this book and that would be the whole never-ending-cat-and-mouse-chase going on. I get that the Edison Group are the bad guys and everything but it wall all too repetitive for me. I wanted something new, something fresh to really capture my attention. My attention was lost quite a lot because the lack of newness.


The ending did not satisfy me at all. Chloe got the guy who I was rooting for and I loved that BUT after finishing the book, I felt like I hadn’t gotten a closure. People die and most of the main characters are safe but it still felt unfinished. More is supposed to happen from the feel of the end but I know that these three books are the only ones with Chloe narrating. I’m not sure if The Gathering will have cameos from Chloe, Tori, Simon and Derek but it still doesn’t, to me, finish their story. Does that make any sense?


I loved Kelley’s writing though and I kept reading on. Honestly, though, it was the romance that I loved about this book. I loved it all. There was so much sexual tension going on in this book that I could slice it with a knife. I loved all of it though because what I wanted to happen in the end FINALLY HAPPENED.


Overall, I didn’t like this book very much. The first two were my favorites. I also didn't feel that I got any closure with the characters and the plot line.


Overall: 3/5
Cover Comments: 4/5 I like the constant pendants and the model and the font for the titles.

Review: The Awakening (The Darkest Powers #2) by Kelly Armstrong

Title: The Awakening
Series: The Darkest Powers #2
Author: Kelly Armstrong
Release Date: May 1, 2009
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Library
If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.


Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.
Review: I’ve wanted to read this book for so long it’s not even funny! The Awakening begins right where The Summoning left off so it’s important to read this series IN ORDER. Don’t skip ahead because you’re going to get very confused. That said, I want to add that I think the people, especially Dr. Davidoff, in the Edison Group are creepy. What they do and say and experiment on is just like what the heck?!

The plot. The characters. Everything. I loved it! I didn’t have some problems, but fist what I loved: more explanations on the powers that Chloe, Simon, Tori, Rae, and (of course) Derek each have. This led to more complications, discoveries, secrets, and character development. I liked that a lot.

The plot itself moved along really fast and for the most part, I enjoyed it. But again, the Edison Group creeped me out and that I all I will say about them. The writing was great as ever and I loved all the quirky comments. ESPECIALLY between Chloe and Derek. I think they’re gonna get together. It was obvious in The Summoning, and I’m just stating it again. Either way, I am rooting for them. I also want to add that Tori was really annoying and even if she’s strong, she’s annoying.

The one thing I didn’t like was that I felt like there was a lot of repetition in the plot and actions of the characters. Through more things happened, I couldn’t help but feel that I had read this before in book 1.

Overall, I loved this book and this series and I can’t wait for The Reckoning.

Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments: 4/5 I like the constancy of the necklace and the model so I like it a lot.

Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth Interviews and A Conversation

Q and A with Lauren Oliver:


Q and A with Veronica Roth:


A Conversation Between Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth:


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Out for Blood (Drake Chronicles #3) by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Out for Blood
Series: Drake Chronicles #3
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: November 1, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Source: Won
Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends—or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?
Review: Alyxandra Harvey’s The Drake Chronicles are what I call my guilty pleasures. Much like the first one, it’s a nice, enjoyable read that’ll make you laugh and feel good.

This story is told through Hunter and Quinn’s point of views. Quinn is a Drake and honestly, most all the same, except he’s the ladies man. After all the vampires in the past two books, it was nice to read about the Helios-Ra, the Vampire Hunters. I recognized Hunter from Blood Feud at Helena Drake’s coronation and I wasn’t expecting to read from her POV, but it was a nice surprise. I really liked Hunter. She’s best friends with Kiernan and through she comes from a family of very strict vampire hunters, she’s open to accepting the alliance that the Helios-Ra have with the Drakes (and other vampires.)

Quinn and his womanizing ways are like what-the-heck? But I liked reading more about him and through his eyes. He’s a really nice guy and like the other Drakes, he loves his sister very much and is willing to do anything for her. I loved the romance between Hunter and Quinn and while I knew they were going to get together, I loved the story and the progress of their relationship.

I can’t wait for book four, come along Connor.

Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments: 4/5 It's Logan Hunter and Quinn! I love how each of these covers has the two main characters on them!

In My Mailbox (28)

Won:
None


From the Library:
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong


The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong


Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins


Old Magic by Marianne Curley


Shade by Jeri Smith Ready



For Review:

Populazzi by Elise Allen


Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Purchased:
None

Others:

Mercy by Rebecca Lim 
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Review: Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1) by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe
Series: Across the Universe #1
Author: Beth Revis
Release Date: January 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Library
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.


Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.


Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
Review:I just finished Beth Revis’ debut novel Across the Universe and it's not what I had expected, both in a good and bad way. I’ve read numerous good reviews about this book. After reading them, I was looking forward to reading it. I began this book knowing that it was going to be good but I was wholly surprised. First, it took me a good 80+ pages to actually get into the book. Even after I was pulled in, I continued to have issues with this book.

Amy one of our protags, begins this book off in a very interesting way. As the story continues, though, her acts like a little kid sometimes. I’m sure that if I wake up on a spaceship not knowing anything, I’d freak too. Elder, our other protga has a really bad introduction. Honestly, his introduction was really random. I would have liked more descriptions and thoughts before he began speaking. He makes a lot of mistakes throughout this novel that really bug me. His constantly disobeys Eldest but then goes right back to listening to him. I think Elder really needed to figure out where he stood. I did like reading from both of their perspective because while some things they did bugged me, other things weren’t so bad. I loved Harley though! He had real heart and a really sad story. He’s an incredible artist and I grew to respect him.

The twist and turns of this novel kept me reading on. At almost 400 pages, it's quite a lengthy book so finding something that kept my attention was important. The mystery of who wanted to kill Amy and everything else thats going on kept my wanting more. The overly controlled environment of Godspeed was kind of scary and weird. But then again, that's sci-fi. There was some dystopian in this book but it wasn't as pronounced as I would have liked. There was some romance in this novel but it wasn't the main focus and there wasn't much talk about it throughput the novel.
Honestly, though, Beth has amazing writing ability. It was hard to read this book but her writing surprised me. There weren't as many descriptions as I would have liked BUT there was a sort of lyrical feeling to her writing.
Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments: 5/5 I love this cover sooo much! It's probably one of the best of 2011!


Review: Blood Feud (Drake Chronicles #2) by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Blood Feud
Series: Drake Chronicles #2
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Publisher: Bloosmbusy USA
Source: Library
The action and romance continue as the Drakes face a new vampire with a 200-year-old grudge. It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.

The clans are gathering for Helena’s royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha’s reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.

This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles—told from both Logan’s and Isabeau’s perspectives—has all the same butt-kicking action, heart-pounding romances and snarky humor that readers loved in Hearts at Stake, as well as exciting new revelations about the vampire dynasties to keep readers coming back for more.
Review:Alyxandra Harvey’s The Drake Chronicles are what I call my guilty pleasures. Much like the first one, it’s a nice, enjoyable read that’ll make you laugh and feel good.

This story is told through Logan and Isabeau’s point of views. Logan is a Drake and honestly, most all the same. Logan, though, dresses nicer, more like he’s living in the 1800s. This fits in well with Isabeau who turned into a vampire 200 years ago. Isabeau is a guarded character since she’s been through qite a lot. I loved that we saw more into Isabeau’s past since she’s such a complex character. The flashbacks on her life were necessary to understand what was happening in the story. The plot was predictable but there were some surprises. I also knew that Logan and Isabeau would get together and thus, a guilty pleasure.

I like that Ms. Harvey has so many different types of vampires and in this story, we got to learn about the Hounds for which Isabeau is a Princess. They have quite a background and I was glad to not be confused!

Ms. Harvey’s writing is similar to that in her first novel and I loved it. Her characters have depth, feelings, and really, a personality.

Blood Feud was like Hearts At Stake in many ways: it’s fun, makes you laugh, and is a good story. Though have a predictable plot and knowing that the two would get together in the end, it’s a story that you want to read till the end!

Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments : 4/5 I like it well enough! They both really do have green eyes!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

YASaves and that WSJ Article

This article has set the blogging word a buzz. This article deals with HOW DARK YA FICTION IS. I'm not gonna say much about it. There's not much I can say except that fact that I'm a teenager, I read YA, and I think its the best thing out there.

Fiction is too dark. BULL CRAP. I think the author lives in a little, isolated bubble where nothing comes in or goes out. Who is this person to say that YA books talk about the dark things in life: abuse, sex, rape, drinking, smoking, suicide, and everything else. This author talks about how all these things are mentioned in YA. But why?????WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE BOOKS?

I suggest that this author walk out into the world. GET OUT OF YOUR LITTLE BUBBLE OF A WORLD AND COME INTO THE REAL ONE. I think this person will be surprised at what they see. And what will they see??? A world were abuse, sex, rape, drinking, smoking, suicide, and everything else IS REAL. IT'S REAL. Our world is full of all of these bad, dark things. Kids at school get hurt. They get into fights and I've heard some get shot. Teens are having loads of sex. Where do you think we get all these pregnant teens from? You tell your kids to not read YA books because they're dark and have bad influences on your kids? Then tell me why you let them watch a show like Teen Moms?**I just want to add that I am using Teen Mom as an example and nothing else. I am not here to offend anyone.**

And the whole Now vs. Then thing? First, the world's changed from when the author was a teen. People think more openly about themselves. It's a changing time. Technology makes getting things faster and easier. That contributes to all the things that are available for teens.

I give author's (and others, like Oprah who had a full audience of men on one of her shows who were sexually abused when they were kids...what do you say about that?) a lot of credit for opening my eyes to the real world. I'm going to admit this: I didn't know a lot of things about the reality of life until I began reading YA. For one thing, I'm Indian and living in America. I used to get bullied at school and it hurt; it really hurt because people made it a bad thing about being different. I began reading books to take away all the hurt and anger and that's when I realized that being different was okay. Now, I'm more confident than I've ever been. I stand up for myself and I don't let anyone treat me any differently. YA books, all the dark and scary ones, helped me grow up. So please, for a lot of teens' sake, don't bash them out. 

Oh, and that parent who walks to the YA section and see nothing BUT DARK BOOKS: ARE YOU BLIND???? Can you not see the happy, nice, bright books that there are? What about the fantasy books? I loved how Nicole of WORD for Teen used this quote in her post. It made me think and I realized that, I too could live with this quote:
"Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one remembers to turn on the light."
-- Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
Can I just say thanks to Nicole for brining up that quote. Seriously. Read it, and then re-read it. It's SO TRUE. In the toughest of times (in the darkest) we can always find something good.

I also want to shine light on one of the most recent events of the world: The death of Osama bin Laden. For the death of a human being (he was an evil one, I know, but still, he's human) people were celebrating. How many wars have we teens seen in the past years? How many cases of suicides? Especially the suicides where many of the homosexual kids were committing suicide because they weren't accepted for who they were?

Laurie Halse Anderson, you are made of awesome. People have talked crap about her books for so long I can't even count. Read this post by Nicole who says that Laurie's Wintergirls saved her friends life. What I love about Laurie is that she's pretty much fearless. She talks about all the crap that's going on in the world, especially the world of teens. She talks about rape and not eating and cutting oneself. Laurie brings out the reality of our world is some of the most amazing books out there. Don't you ever tell me not to read her. And if you censor her book, I'm gonna go out there, buy her book, and stick it in your face.

Ellen Hopkins is another author who is censored. She talks about teens who do drugs, because OMG teens do drugs. I know teens in MIDDLE SCHOOL who do drugs. Just because I read books where drugs are there DOES NOT MEAN THAT I'M GOING TO GO OUT AND TRY IT. I've never seen drugs. 

Just because it happens in a book, it doesn't mean it’s gonna happen to your child in real life. I think parents should worry about whether they taught their child the difference between right and wrong.

I'm not saying that parents shouldn't look at what their kids are reading, I'm just saying don't dictate what they're reading. And please don't tell me that YA is TOO DARK. Reality is dark and YA just brings out these realities that we humans don't want to think about. 
So please, don't dis YA just because you don't understand it. 

The people that YA is for? We understand it. We love it. 

Read these posts to see what others have to say:

Pam at Bookalicious talks about her hard experiences.
YA helped Julie not commit suicide. 
Amelia talks about WSJ article.



 
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