Search this blog

Monday, April 30, 2012

Follower Appreciation/ 400+ Follower Giveaway!


I want to take the time and thank everyone whose put time to make this blog what it is with their comments and participation! You all are amazing and I enjoy every one of your company, really I do. This giveaway is for all of you that have followed the blog and I hope you enjoy this giveaway, and also remember that I still have my 300 Follower Giveaway going on where you could win a highly anticipated novel and now we have this one where you have a chance to win one of two novels that I am very excited for their release dates!




One winner will pick 1 book
This giveaway is open Internationally as long as Amazon ships to you (Not sure if Amazon ships to your country? Click Here to check)
The title will be a pre-order
Images are clickable if you wish to read the synopsis
Ends: 6/1/12

This giveaway is for my followers so leave a comment below telling me how you follow me (GCF, Email, RSS) and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
Extra Entries: 
Follow me on Twitter and leave your name in a separate comment (+1)
Tweet about the giveaway and leave the link in a separate comment (+1)
Follow me on Facebook and leave your name in a separate comment (+1)
Comment on a review on the blog and leave the link in a separate comment (+2)

Links to facebook and twitter are located in the Contact section on the sidebar.


Review: Another Jekyll, Another Hyde by Daniel & Dina Nayeri

Publication Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Series: Another #3
Young Adult
Pages: 256
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

When his billionaire father marries French governess Nicola Vileroy, high society is all abuzz - but Thomas, the most popular student at Marlowe, is just plain high. Ever since his girlfriend Belle dumped him, he's been spending less time with old friends and more time getting wasted at clubs. But after someone slips him a designer drug one night - and his stepmother seems to know way too much about his private life - things really start to get scary. As Thomas's blackouts give way to a sinister voice inside his head, and as news of a vicious hate crime has students on edge, Thomas comes to the sickening realization that Madame Vileroy has involved him in a horrifying supernatural plan. How can he muster the strength and will to stop it? The pulse-quickening climax revisits Jekyll and Hyde as a current-day cautionary tale laced with a heady dose of paranormal intrigue.
*Galley provided by publisher for honest review*

Without reading the first two novels I must say that I was able to follow along with the plot without getting lost. I call that an accomplishment, though I should get my hands on the first two novels. For the moderate read it was, I had been able to finish in a few hours during my long car ride to my spring break destination.

-- "An elusive stalker is targeting Marlowe kids - and something unearthly has gotten into its wealthiest student - as the Another series builds up to a fiendish finale."--

It was a fun read, characters I was able to see brought or talked about back from previous books like the Faust children from Another Faust and Wendy Darling from Another Pan, so it was interesting to see them incorporated in Another Jekyll, Another Hyde. Vileroy's character development was extremely wicked and I loved it. But learning about her evil son Edward, I would have enjoyed some more development within his character. There was backstory: great! But, I wanted to know more about Edward Hyde, about his character.

Now some portions did take turns for the slow and steady that I felt could have been sped up. The occasional repetitive scenes, the chronic blackouts. The scenes without Edward in it dragged. The farther into the book I went, the faster it got and I enjoyed it. I also wanted to know why the drug of choice given to Thomas was named W, what it stood for. That would have been a nice little tidbit.

All in all, Another Jekyll, Another Hyde was a cute modern retelling and really could be played off as a stand alone novel because there was enough back story to keep me involved, and not really ask many questions about what happened in previous books. Sure reading them would have helped me with the characters in the novel but I still enjoyed it. 

First Line: “You’re Dr. Alma?  OK . . .  So do I  just . . .  talk for an hour?”
Story: A
Cover: C

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Follow Friday (4/27/12)


*Leave a comment below with you're post. Follow and I'll follow back*

Follow Friday (#16)
Q: Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then “broke up” with later on in either the series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.

There are so many characters that I've read that disappointed me so that I don't even think I can name them all. One character that I think disappointed me the most would have to be Bella from Twilight. She just killed the whole book for me. And mostly in manga I tend to hop around with characters like its a Chinese Buffet. 






 TGIF (#15)



Reading Blues: We all get them from time to time. What helps you overcome those reading slumps when nothing seems to grab your attention?


I usually just put a book aside and do other things like write, listen to music, do homework, play video games, hang out with friends, sit outside, swim. My list is practically endless. I usually get out of the slump and if not The Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother tends to captivate my attention.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Young Adult
Pages: 504
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.
*Galley provided by publisher for an honest review*

If there is one thing that I can expect from Julie Kagawa, it's a kickass story with the same qualities of kickass with a main protagonist and I love it!

--"In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."--

When faced with the choice of a human death or to remain alive but Turned into a vampire, the very beings that Allison has learned to hate for years on end, she chooses the one choice: to live. Struggling to keep her humanity straight, Allison journeys along the path as a newly born vampire in a society that shuns her and an old world that fears her while she tries to come to terms and accept who she's become or to dwell in her past human life and diverge from the demon she'd become.

Action. The one thing that will keep me interested in a novel and Ms. Kagawa doesn't fail to keep it short or sweet but fluid and long lasting. Every moment was a ride, progressing forward from Allison's point of view as she struggles within a world as well as within herself. That's what makes he wonderful, so complex, so riveting. I often feel bad for her, to hate the beings for stripping her mother from her and ultimately choose to become one in order to escape death. I feel bad for the friends that she lost and the fact that she has to hide who she has truly become in order to maintain that sense of humanity, a remembrance of her old self while masking the new one within. Allison is definitely a character to behold. Witty, crafty, sharp-tongued, and killer with a katana.

In the beginning of the novel there is quite a bit of an information dump as Allison begins her new life as a vampire and just the absorption of the information took me a little bit to space out and comprehend. That was the only thing that stood out for me as a kink in the novel. The world that Ms. Kagawa created was wonderfully scripted and destructive world. Not only that but after reading vampire book after vampire book I finally got to read the pure and evil essence of the creatures: the bloodsuckers that feed, hunt, defile. Not. Sparkle. And I loved it. Thank you!

The Immortal Rules is a wonderful first installment to the Blood of Eden series and something that everyone should pick up off the shelves because it does not disappoint. Not in the slightest.

First Line: They hung the Unregistereds in the wold warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see.
Story: S
Cover: S

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator by Josh Berk

Publication Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Stand Alone Novel
Young Adult
Pages: 240
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery

Guy Langman can't be bothered with much. But when his friend Anoop wants Guy to join the forensics club with him in the (possibly misguided) hopes of impressing some girls, Guy thinks why not.

They certainly aren't expecting to find a real dead body on the simulated crime scene they're assigned to collect evidence from. But after some girlish, undignified screaming, the two realize it is indeed a body. Which means they have stumbled across a real, dead murder victim.

Meanwhile, Guy has been looking into the past of his father—a larger-than-life character who recently passed away. He was much older than Guy's mom, and had a whole past Guy never even knew about. Could his father's past and the dead body be linked? Does Guy want to know? He's going to need all his newfound forensics skills to find out . . .
*Galley provided by publisher for honest review*

I got about 40% into the book and I just couldn't read anymore. I didn't really know where the book was actually going and the characters just bored me to tears. The attempts to be funny by the characters were hard to sit through or just make me cringe and look the other way. I had hopes for the book seeing as it had to do with forensics and I love those kinda things but I just couldn't sit and go through corny joke after corny joke or play Where's Waldo with the plot.

First Line: It's no coincidence that I got interested in forensics right around the time they put my dad in the ground.
Story: C
Cover: B

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Publication Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Stand Alone Novel
Young Adult
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Travel 


It all begins with a stupid question: 

     Are you a Global Vagabond? 
     No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path. 
     Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward. 
     But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back. 
*Galley provided by publisher for review*

When I saw this title up on Netgalley I just scrolled over it, not taken by the synopsis or even the cover. But after dwelling on a few reviews and reading the synopsis over again I decided to give the novel a shot. And I'm glad I did. Wanderlove has to be my favorite contemporary fiction novel of 2012 at the moment.

The artwork. It was a cute surprise while reading, when they just pop up and it look great on my Kindle! And definitely a nice reminder as to what things looked like or even a big help when trying to picture the people, the islands, the bugs. It was just adorable and always enjoyed looking at them when they popped up on the screen.

Bria as a character was adorable and easy to relate to, definitely a fun girl that I would love to hang out with from time to time. With the change to go backpacking around Central America with the zealous Starling and the beautiful Rowan, I was jealous at such an opportunity but happy that she had the guts to even get herself into that situation. Despite the constant reoccurring memory of Toby, her ex-boyfriend who was severely lacking in the caring department, Bria is a character that I would definitely look up to. Someone who acts on impulses and defies what is expected of her and looks towards what she expects of herself. Though she bottles up all these emotions and an shy away what she's truly feeling, Bria is a character that shines like a star.


There are so many feeling that I could write about but I don't even know if I could fathom the words for my adoration towards this novel. It's just beautiful. Even though I didn't give it the highest rating, I still deeply adored the novel to pieces. I can definitely see myself reading any other novels written by Kirsten Hubbard in the future. She definitely rocks!


First Line: As soon as I see the blond girl bouncing down the aisle, I know she's heading for the empty seat beside me.
Story: S
Cover: B

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blog Tour Review: The Hunted by Kristy Berridge

Publication Date: April 30, 2011
Publisher: Sid Harta Publishers
Series: The Hunted #1
Young Adult
Pages: 582
Genre: Paranormal



Elena Manory is by no means an ordinary teenage girl. Being born with the ability to heal herself from any injury, and with the knowledge that on her eighteenth birthday she will become a Vampire, Elena is aware that she is more than a little different from other girls her age. 

It isn’t until she meets William Granville, an alluring and impossibly handsome vampire, that she begins to question her destiny and what secrets the Institute of Magical Intervention and her adopted family have withheld—secrets that could change the fates of not only her own life, but of the lives of all the immortals.
As events spiral out of control, William may be the only person Elena can place her trust in. He, and Elena’s magical family, must fight to save her, joining forces to defeat a common, deadly foe. For William, it is his chance to save the girl that he has searched eternity to find.

*Kindle copy provided by the author for the blog tour*

To start off this review I am going to have to say that the cover is gorgeous! There's just some attracting force that I adore about it, the glance given by the girl, the blurriness of the male, the intensity and the mystery. Next thing that I'm going to say, and I've said it for the past few vampire books that I've read, is that the vampire genre has been bustling over the past few years and there just all over the shelves. The height of the paranormal monsters just sickened me and I always turned my nose to the newest popular trend that spiked within YA literature. It just became so cliched all the time. But I'm glad that I had the chance to participate in this blog tour because The Hunted was anything but cliched within the vampire genre. It was exciting, I kept craving, and the emotions swelled. The pace was set nicely, the characters were executed wonderfully, and the writing was captivating.

One thing that I always happen to enjoy is wonderfully written dialogue. Realistic, witty banter between characters that make me giggle or just throw my head back and cackle to myself while reading. Another thing that I happen to enjoy is nonwatered down fighting scenes. The one thing that interrupts the flow of emotions in battle is watered down, flaccid fighting that could only be taken towards the pansies. No, Ms. Berridge does not fail to vividly bring the battles to life, even better the characters to life, and the connections that could be made with the characters were strong throughout as they grew within the novel. The strength and hardships that are thrown to Elena throughout the novel and watching her grow into a strong, wonderfully built character definitely made the reading more than a journey through pages but a tale that stuck like a bee to honey.

I definitely recommend to those who wish to challenge their upturned nose to the vampire genre because The Hunted definitely made me happy to find another reason to like vampires again. And to all paranormal readers out there, pick the book up because it's worth the read.

First Line: Despite the fresh sea air, William could smell the scent of sweaty bodies, overpowering aftershave and cheap perfume, all mingled with the enticing scent of fresh blood.
Story: S
Cover: S

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review: After the Snow by S.D. Crockett

After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Young Adult
Pages: 304
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2012
Fifteen-year-old Willo was out hunting when the trucks came and took his family away. Left alone in the snow, Willo becomes determined to find and rescue his family, and he knows just who to talk with to learn where they are. He plans to head across the mountains and make Farmer Geraint tell him where his family has gone. 

     But on the way across the mountain, he finds Mary, a refugee from the city, whose father is lost and who is starving to death. The smart thing to do would be to leave her alone -- he doesn't have enough supplies for two or the time to take care of a girl -- but Willo just can't do it. However, with the world trapped in an ice age, the odds of them surviving on their own are not good. And even if he does manage to keep Mary safe, what about finding his family?
*Galley provided by publisher for honest review*

After reading different opinions of this novel, I decided to dive in a brace myself for the back and forthness that I'd read about from fellow reviewers. Within the first few chapters I began to feel that shove and awkwardness that slang-writing happened to emit within this novel. And the farther I went into reading, the more of a challenge it was for me to keep my attention drawn to the text rather than the sparse thoughts that circulate to the top of my mind every now and again.

"EVERYONE IS GONE"

Willo, our fifteen-year-old protagonist, is the only one left after his family, friends, and village are taken away. The whole novel is narrated by Willo so, as the reader, you see his stream of conscious and I wondered if the synopsis is misleading about his age. It was like reading Lord of the Flies, where the actions of the boys diverge their true age, but unlike LOTF, Willo seemed much younger than the book was letting on. Even with the encounter with Mary, I felt like the concept of age was very vague throughout and made it difficult to picture the characters within my head.

During most of the duration of the novel, due to the slang that Willo uses, I found myself skimming through the book, unmoved by the scenes that were being presented until the very end of the book when Willo and Mary make it to the city. Half the time I was confused as to the actions being presented, where Willo was going, who Dog was most of the time, and the premise that was trying to be presented to me. I ended up skimming though three-fourths until the very end, which is rare for me because I love post-apocalyptic worlds--take Ashfall for example--but unfortunately I did not enjoy reading this one since I barely could read it in the end.

Sadly, this book didn't hold my interest as I hoped it was going to. Though the scenery of never-ending snow did keep my somewhat interest, the other factors of dislike ended up proving that this book was not for me.

First Line: I'm gonna sit here in my place on the hill behind the house.

Only one target slayed

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blog Tour Review: Going Under by Georgia Cates

Going Under by Georgia Cates
Publication Date: March 10, 2012
Self-published
Stand Alone Novel
Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Jessie Boone is a self proclaimed bad boy and doesn’t march to the beat of anyone’s drum, but his own. Growing up in less than desirable circumstances has made him no stranger to the hard knock life and his determination to leave it behind is fierce. When he finds himself transferred to East Franklin High School, he sees his opportunity to use his athletic ability to snag a college football scholarship, but Forbes Henderson, the player Jessie means to replace isn’t giving up his spot willingly. In fact, Forbes is willing to go to extreme measures to retain his place as first string quarterback. When Forbes’ malicious plan to injure his replacement fails, Jessie is furious and determined to show him he messed with the wrong person; not only is he going to take the position of first string quarterback, he’s going to take his girl, too.

     Claire Deveraux is perfection at it’s best. She is beautiful, intelligent and unaware she just became Jessie Boone’s conquest as revenge against her boyfriend, Forbes Henderson. Like her flawless performance as the perfect daughter and student, Claire’s production of being the perfect girlfriend has everyone fooled, except Jessie Boone, and she fears this tattooed bad boy will see her secret desire to explore his crude threats and promises to rock her perfect world. If she decides to give in to one uninhibited moment with Jessie, will she learn too late that it was all an act of vengeance or will Jessie learn the taste of first love is sweeter than that of revenge?
*Copy provided for an honest review for the Blog Tour*

Definitely a nice light read with enjoyable characters, witty banter and comebacks that made me giggle to myself all night long. Georgia Cates wrote a wonderful piece of work! I didn't know how I was going to like it when I started reading with Jessie Boone entering as the typical transfer student, football star. But I have to say that I did enjoy his character and started to fall for him the more I read into the story. Even Claire I enjoyed reading, though, after reading the entire Clique series, was hard for me to separate the characters but I did it! And even the flaw of her character in regard to the "perfect" nature that was set in stone by family and friends was interesting and realistic and I just adored it!

One thing that pulled me straight into the story was the realistic nature of Jessie Boone and his witty comebacks against Forbes Henderson and I must say, that was what truly started my liking of his character. He doesn't back down, nor does he censor himself and I enjoyed that while reading. He can be romantic and sweet but also know's how to prick that thorn in your side, as seen towards Claire during the duration of the novel. He's definitely a strong character from his background and I respect Jessie through and through and loved reading his sides of the story.

The drama, the intensity, the lust, the love, the comebacks, the taboo, all of it was enjoyable, interesting, and fun to read from the normal contemporary YA that I happened to keep picking up and I love the realism from the characters!

First Line: It was two weeks until I officially began classes at East Franklin High as the new guy, but today I was getting a preview of my new teammates and competition on the football field.
Four targets slayed

Excerpt

We pulled into the parking lot of the school and Payton parked behind the sexy badass’ junked out truck. He was still sitting in his old clunker and I thought I saw a cigarette in his hand, then he confirmed my suspicion when I saw him raise it to his lips for a drag and the tip glowed fiery orange. Gross.

“Why did you have to park behind him?” I huffed as I felt heat rise to my neck and face.

“What’s your deal with him, Claire?” she asked, then looked at me and said, “Your face is beet red. What is wrong with you? Are you blushing?”

Getting out of the car at the same time meant walking into school next to him and that wouldn’t make Forbes happy. Payton didn’t understand the ruckus this would cause because she didn’t have a boyfriend and it didn’t help matters that she couldn’t stand Forbes. She thought I was weak and trying to please him, but the truth was that I just didn’t feel like hearing Forbes whine anymore.

“I want to avoid the need to explain to Forbes why I’m walking into school with the guy he hates. It will just start an unnecessary argument I don’t want to have first thing this morning.”

“With the risk of repeating myself, screw Forbes. I’m not parking in the back of the parking lot and walking an extra mile to spare his insecure feelings and if you have to explain that, then you should dump his ass.”

I knew she was right. I was a poodle jumping through hoops to keep the peace and it was ridiculous in addition to exhausting.

“I’m not arguing how ridiculous it is, but can we at least get ahead of him so I don’t have to explain why we’re walking in together?” I pleaded.

She huffed and said, “This is friggin’ ridiculous, you know that, right? Your life might revolve around what Forbes Henderson wants, but mine doesn’t.”

When Payton didn’t move fast enough to suit me, I scrambled out of her car, leaving her behind. I watched a cigarette butt fly out of the new guy’s driver’s side window and then his door swung open in front of me, preventing my escape. He stepped out of his truck, looked down at me and grinned as he said, “Pardon me, Princess. I didn’t mean to block your way.”

His voice was velvety smooth, but I didn’t mistake its coolness as his tone conveyed his contempt for me. His unmistakable disdain for me immediately raised my hellcat flag because he had nothing to base his aversion on since he didn’t know me.

This was our first time face to face and up close. The other times I saw him was when I stole a few glances during cheerleading practice over the last two weeks when I was certain Forbes wasn’t watching me.

I realized he was so much more handsome than I originally thought now that his face mask wasn’t obstructing my view. His hair was as black as I expected, and spikey, and his pale blue eyes were piercing. The contrast of their paleness against his dark hair was almost shocking and I had to force myself to avoid becoming lost in them.

I was angry with him for making assumptions about me, but I was more furious with myself for finding him so captivating. I tasted my bitter reaction as it formed on my tongue, but couldn’t stop myself from blurting out, “Asshole.”

He placed his hand over the left side of his chest where his heart would be and said, “I felt that straight to my heart.”

I watched him shut his door while he waited for my counterattack and I pushed past him as I said, “Screw you and my name is not Princess. It’s Claire, so if you’re going to insult me, at least have the decency to get my name right.”

“Hmm, I think I’ll stick with Princess. It seems to suit you better,” he said to my back as I walked away.

I couldn’t be certain flames weren’t coming off the heels of my boots as I practically ran away, but Payton managed to catch up with me and said, “I’m totally disgusted by you, Claire.”

“And why would that be?” I almost yelled.

“That was one of the best displays of underthinking I’ve ever seen. He bested you and I know I taught you better than that. You basically rolled over. How can I call you my best friend when you caved so easily? And by the way, you’ve got something on your ass.”

I spun around to look at the back of my dress as I pulled the skirt part around to look and said, “What is it?”

“Hot New Guy’s eyes.” She died out laughing and said, “Sorry, Claire, but you walked right into that one.”

I narrowed my eyes and pursed my lips as I said, “Maybe you’re the bigger asshole of the two of you. You should definitely be a couple.”

“That lacked creativity and it’s insulting to me as your slander master. We have to work on your comebacks because you are seriously letting me down,” she said, then added, “I wish you could see your face right now. Whatever he just did to you has you clueless. You can’t decide if you should be pissed off at him or hot for him.”

I turned to look at this crazy person I called a bestie standing next to me. “I’m jealous of whatever you are smoking because it has you completely reality challenged.”

“He got it all wrong when he called you Princess. He should have called you Queen of Denial because you’ll never admit what’s going on here,” she accused.

It was just like Payton to draw a conclusion with no real evidence to support her theory. “I have no idea what kind of nonsense you’re talking about.”

“I hope he got plenty of rest last night because his legs are gonna be real tired after he runs through your mind all day,” she laughed, making me livid.

I noticed myself stomping as I walked toward the school entrance. “You must have taken your sleeping pill this morning instead of last night because you are definitely dreaming.”

“When you look back on this moment months from now, don’t forget the one word I’m about to say to you, Claire Deveraux. Foreplay.”


Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Series: The Hunt #1
Young Adult
Pages: 304
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction


Gene is different from everyone else around him.  He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.  Keep the truth a secret.  It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood. 
     When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him.  He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?
*e-ARC provided by publisher for honest review*

Vampires. We've seen them all: ones that suck blood, ones that steal your soul, ones that sparkle. But then we have ones that harbor humans, termed hepers, and prepare them for a Hunt against ruthless and virgin hunters (vampires) unknown to the taste of human blood and ecstatic towards the very sight or smell. In a world where our main character must blend in and mask himself as one of these strange creatures, everything human about him is but a distant memory.

-- "Don’t Sweat.  Don’t Laugh.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them." --

A slow paced beginning, like that of a roller coaster ride, brings you up until the tippy-top, until that first dive over the edge. That's how the beginning half felt. Though most of the time the smooth travel up was hit with bumps and jolts of forcefully obvious things (i.e., Main character wins lottery to enter The Hunt, main love interest also wins lottery, and other things that I don't really want to spoil, but were very obvious during my stride of reading). The one thing that I noticed was you don't learn about the main character's name within the novel until the last half of the book. It was well thought out, you're so wrapped up within Gene's thoughts, so enveloped with his stream of conscious and the events that are taking place, that you notice that he doesn't explain what his name truly is; only pronouns or seating numbers articulate who he is.

While being in the head of Gene, the characteristics of blending into the society of these vampires was very bland--the mere crinkle of ones face, falling asleep in class, laughter, always scratching their wrists--it was an interesting concept but it was a boring start going into the novel like that. The flashbacks and thoughts of Gene's father, now those were interesting. Even when Gene wanders into the Dome and engages with the Hepers. Those were the parts that had me reading intently. The more human qualities Gene showed the more that I enjoyed getting into the novel, especially when the hysteria of Gene began to play out at the institution days before The Hunt, I couldn't stop reading. 

Besides the obvious bumps in the road within the novel from all the cliched inferences, the novel was captivating with the action and the mystery as to how things were going to play out in the end. The word building was beautiful, definitely diverse to say the least. These are the things that I enjoy in a novel. Give me some awesome fight scenes and diverse word choice and you're my new best friend.

With a new take on Vampires, a male point of view to suck you in, action scenes that have you wanting more, and a dystopian world where the ones hunter becomes the cattle, The Hunt is definitely a book that should be check out once it hits shelves!

First Line: There used to be more of us.
Story: S
Cover: A

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Goddess Test #2
Young Adult
Pages: 304
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person whom she would really rather not meet. Henry's first wife, Persephone.
*Galley provided by publisher for honest review*

After reading this novel right after finishing The Goddess Test it was a smooth transition into the novel, remembering the names of the characters, which god and goddess was who, and just the overall gist that summed up the basis of the first. But for a reader who had waited a year to begin this story the recapping of which god and goddess was who could have made things much easier in terms of matching up who is who rather than just regarding Ava as Aphrodite and Henry as Hades. Some gods for me were difficult to remember like Calliope was Hera or Philip was Poseidon, or Nicholas was Hatsheput. Moving the "Guide to the Gods" list in the novel more towards the front would have helped the reader before starting to help distinguish who was who. 

-- "WHAT IF IMMORTALITY ISN'T FOREVER?" --

The story line for the story takes place after the Kate's tests and the summer in Greece (the novella The Goddess Hunt) we find Kate still distraught with the absence of love between her and Henry in their marriage and the overwhelming shadow that Persephone cast over her. The struggle of their relationship takes a shine more and more while reading until I wanted Kate to make a decision on the matter rather than just whine and moan about it, or even do something about it, thankfully she does more towards the middle half of the novel. But when you have the Titan of all Titans, Cronus, dangerously close to breaking free and Calliope's vendetta against Kate swiftly increasing like an exponential graph, the lack of emotions and love reverberated from Henry and the thought of being cast off in Persephone's shadow seemed to be more of a big deal to Kate during the novel and, with my thoughts growing rigid, I kept wondering WHY? 

The Goddess Inheritance give off at a slow pace. I found the beginning very dreary especially with the whining from Kate about her relationship and with everyone trying to prove her emotions wrong, the Henry does love her. It was back and forth with that up until the middle portion of the book where emotions clash and the plot deepens and becomes so much more interesting. The growth of Kate from the end of the first novel drops from the beginning of the second and finally started to climb the staircase once more near the halfway point. But the intensity of the final half of the novel made he enjoy the story once more, especially when Kate finally finds and resolution and the cliffhanger! I am highly anticipating the third book! 

First Line: Calliope trudged through the sunny field as she ignored the babble of the redhead trailing behind her.
Story: S
Cover: A

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Publication: April 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Stand Alone Novel
Young Adult
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Thriller

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark. 

     But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

     Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.
*Galley provided by publisher for an honest review* 

In perspective of what type of reader I am--fast or slow-- I know that when I really enjoy a book, I take the utmost time to sit, relax, and glide through the pages with ease. Having read previous books of Robin Wasserman and enjoying them, I  knew that I would grow to love The Book of Blood and Shadow and let me tell you that I was not let down. A slow beginning that ultimately expands upon interesting plot twists and cliff hangers. Character development was wonderfully displayed (Eli was one definite piece of eye-candy and professor of snarky remarks) and the divergence between Nora's vanish point and Elizabeth's letters happened to be my favorite of the whole novel.

Nora, a intellect when it comes to translating Latin and a profound girl whose curiosity takes her into the world of an ancient woman whose secrets divulge sinister plans. With her best friend killed, his girlfriend in a catatonic state soon to awaken with a hole in a certain part of her memory needed to fill in the title of "That person did it!" and Nora's boyfriend MIA with the notorious caption of murder over his head. Visiting her brother's grave and finding an encrypted note from Max for a meeting in Prague, Nora, Adriane, and Chris's cousin Eli set off to find out what they are truly up against.

As I said before, the notes of Elizabeth Weston happened to be my favorite thing about this entire novel. Not that Nora's story wasn't grand, because it was, but the mystical and ancient past of Elizabeth and the whole regard to the Lumen Dei was fantastic and captivating beyond words. I am a history buff and enjoy learning about myths and different cultures, so reading about the adventures and hardships that Elizabeth went through just blew every inch of me away.

But I always happen to ask myself: What's so great about Prague? I've read a few novels based upon it or talked about it. If anyone can answer the interesting value of Prague I'm all ears and would love to learn!

This book had everything I needed to qualm the anticipation for a novel containing a succulent mystery, cliff hangers that made me attack pages hungrily needing to know what happened next or read more into the story of Elizabeth, the eye-candy Eli was definitely a contributing factor for my lust towards this book. I recommend this to anyone seeking a thrill and a satisfaction with hanging off the edge of your seat as you indulge yourself deeper into the mystery that Robin Wasserman maps out for you.

First Line: I should probably start with the blood.
Story: S
Cover: B

Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Publication Date: April 19, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Goddess Test #1
Young Adult
Pages: 293
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

    Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
    Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess. 
*Finished copy provided by Harlequin Teen for an honest review*

Let's get this straight: I adore mythology. From whatever culture. In whatever country. So reading The Goddess Test gave me the tingles that Percy Jackson gave me the first the I started reading and I began craving the myth all over again. 

--"EVERY GIRL WHO HAS TAKEN THE TEST HAS DIED. 
NOW IT'S KATE'S TURN." -- 

With a dying mother's last wish, Kate Winters is subjected to wander back to her mother's home town of Eden, a series of unfortunate events takes place. As a prank, Ava, the girl from school that invites the main protagonist to a party in order to scare them into submission for even peeking a glance or batting an eye towards her main interest, ends up succumbing to her downfall and bashes her head open on a rock when jumping into the river to get away. Plot deepens when Henry, the mysteriously handsome, midnight-eyed Dane steps into the light and offers Kate a deal in order to bring Ava back from the afterlife. Kate makes the deal and the story begings! To Eden Manor!

Notwithstanding my snarky introduction to the tale, I adored The Goddess Test from cover to cover. It was a nice take on the myth of Persephone that kept my interest and had me wondering what would happen next. Kate as a character was strong through and through from beginning to end and even grew a little more during her time at Eden Manor. Intelligent, cunning, and during the final moments of the book captivating. There was never a dull moment around Kate, and the way she executed actions and dialogue ceased to amaze me.

Definitely take this book of the shelves of your nearest library or bookstore. And for the mythological lovers out there, get your hands on this right now. It's cute. It's a quaint read. And definitely perfect to sit outside in the warm sun and light breeze because it just adds to the magic.

First Line: "How did it happen this time?"
Story: S
Cover: A

Sunday, April 8, 2012

In My Mailbox (34): Spring Break

Happy Spring Break everyone! I had mine start on Thrusday so I am well into my wonderful 11 day break from school and I'm loving every minute of it. This break will be my time to begin studying for the AP tests I need to take in May as well as all the review books that I need to read and complete (especially since I need to catch up on the titles from last month as well as this month!) but I am determined to do it! Let's get to the wonderful titles I received this week and I would love to make a huge shout-out to the people over at Random House and NetGalley for accepting my requests! You all are amazing :D


Just click on the covers to add them to your Goodreads lists:

REVIEW:
Ashen Winter by Mike Mullen (Ashfall #2)
Bad Hair Day by Carrie Harris (Kate Grable #2)
The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab
Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Touched by Cyn Balog
The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman
Yesterday by C. K. Kelly Martin 
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson


Don't forget to check out my 300 Follower Giveaway to win some anticipated 2012 novels! It's international, be sure to check it out! :D