Current Giveaways

Click on the book cover to head over to the giveaway page for these books! None right now :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Discussion: The Long Lost Fairy Princess Plot {told in gifs}

I'm hear to talk about something that's become pretty prominent in fantasy YA books: The girl that's a long lost faerie princess.

You know what I'm talking about, right? You have this average girl, and she's just going about her life when BAM, somehow the presence of the faerie world is revealed to her. It's then revealed to her that she's a faerie princess that was stolen away at birth, or given to human parents to raise, or something of that nature, and that she's very powerful and the heir to the throne. And then she's all like, '' I DON'T BELIEVE YOU YOU'RE LYING FAERIES AREN'T REAL! *twitches*"

But, eventually she comes to terms with her new life. From there, she starts realizing her true powers, and coming into her own, while still harboring doubts about whether it's all real or not.... until one day she's just like BOOYAH, I'M A FAERIE PRINCESS BEETCHES.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this story-line. Some of my favorite series are based on this premise (Wondrous Strange anyone? Or how about The Iron Fey series?) I'm just pointing out that it's been done a lot lately.

My favorite part of these story lines is when the girl finally realizes that, yep, she's a faerie princess, and nope, those wings sprouting from her back are not just a big butterfly trying to eat her. At that point, she's all like:

And yeah, she usually IS fabulous.
Tell me, what do you think of the Long Lost Fairy Princess Plot? Have you read any books that use this story line?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

600 Follower Giveaway WINNERS!

I decided to end the giveaway a bit earlier then originally planned, because I was just too eager to pick the winners! I always get the fuzzies in my stomach when I have giveaways, I'm always super excited to mail stuff out to people. So, I have our 5 winners!

Prize Pack #1, the first four books in the Soul Screamers series:
Ashley O.

Prize Pack #2, the ARC of The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle:
Anna D.

Prize Pack #3, the ARC of Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal:
Nora D.

Prize Pack #4, the Epic Swag Pack:
Kat C.

Prize Pack #5, choice of book from Book Depository:
Daphne B.

That's it folks! The winners have been emailed already, and have 48 hours to get back to me. Thank you to everyone that entered, I really appreciate it! :)))

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A look at my TBR!

A few months ago, I posted the books in my TBR pile, with the hopes that it would motivate me to read a bit more and trim down my pile. Fast forward a few months, and guess what? It's GROWN.
  1. The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
  2. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
  3. Entwined by Heather Dixon
  4. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  5. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
  6. The Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roecker
  7. Shade by Jerri Smith Ready
  8. Jealousy by Lili St. Crow
  9. Defiance by Lili St. Crow
  10. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
  11. Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
  12. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  13. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
  14. Everlost by Neal Schusterman
  15. Daughters of Darkness by VC Andrews
  16. Banished by Sophie Littlefield
  17. Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney
  18. The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn
  19. Sword of Fire and Sea by Erin hoffman
  20. Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith
  21. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
  22. Old Magic by Marianne Curley
  23. The Red Queen's Daughter by Jacqueline Kolosov
  24. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
  25. Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
  26. The Season by Sarah Maclean
  27. Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendelin Van Draanen
  28. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
  29. The Otherworldlies by Jennifer Anne Kogler
  30. Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley
  31. Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz
  32. Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
  33. The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
  34. The Immortal Realm by Frewin Jones
  35. Soulstice by Simon Holt
  36. Splendor by Anna Godbersen
  37. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  38. Sovay by Celia Rees
  39. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  40. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  41. Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  42. Mockingjay by Suzanna Collins
  43. Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  44. Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
  45. Death Cloud by Andrew Lane
  46. Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
  47. The Hallow by Jessica Verday
  48. The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan
  49. The Goblin Wood by Hilari Bell
  50. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
  51. Vacations From Hell by Various Authors
  52. Kiss Me Deadly by Trisha Telep
  53. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
  54. Witch and Wizard by James Patterson
  55. The Musician's Daughter by Suzanne Dunlap
  56. The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
  57. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  58. Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
  59. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  60. Vixen by Jillian Larkin
  61. Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi
  62. Warrior Princess by Frewin Jones
  63. Captivate by Carrie Jones
  64. The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
  65. Ghost Town by Rachel Caine
  66. Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz
  67. Hourglass by Claudia Gray
  68. Elevnth Grade Burns by Heather Brewer
  69. Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer
  70. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  71. Fallen by Lauren Kate
  72. Torment by Lauren Kate
  73. The Eternal Kiss by Various Authors
  74. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  75. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Magaret Stohl
  76. Falcondance by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
  77. Wolfcry by Amelia AR
  78. Wyvernhail by Amelia AR
  79. Dark Secrets 2 by Elizabeth Chandler
  80. The Forbidden Game by LJ Smith
  81. Dark Visions by LJ Smith
  82. Night World 3 by LJ Smith
  83. Gone by Michael Grant
  84. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
  85. Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
  86. Black Rabbit Summer by Kevin Brooks
  87. Alyzon Whitestarr by Isobelle Carmody
  88. Cat Calls by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  89. Fallen From Grace by M.J. Putney
  90. The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross
  91. Turned by Morgan Rice
  92. Switched by Amanda Hocking
  93. Raising the Dead by Mara Purnhagen
  94. Reborn by Ley Mesina
  95. The Arrival by Nicole MacDonald
  96. Helper 12 by Jack Blaine
  97. Beautifully Broken by Sherry Soule
  98. Moonspell by Samantha Young
  99. Abandon by Meg Cabot
  100. Still Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
  101. Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  102. Summer’s Crossing by Julie Kagawa
  103. Elixir by Hilary Duff
  104. Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers
  105. Sister’s Red by Jackson Pearce
  106. Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
  107. If I Die by Rachel Vincent
  108. All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin
  109. Rift Walker by Clay & Susan Griffith
  110. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  111. Lightbringer by K.D. McEntire
  112. Darker Still by Leanne
  113. Destined by Jessie Harrell
  114. Soul Thief by Jana Oliver
  115. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  116. Lost Voiced by Sarah Porter
  117. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
  118. Wildefire by Karsten Knight
  119. Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
  120. Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter
  121. Descended by Blood by Angeline Kace
  122. Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
  123. Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
  124. Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
  125. Dream Dark by Kami Garcia and Magaret Stohl
  126. Fallen from Grace by MJ Putney
  127. Haunting the Night by Mara Purnhagen
  128. My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent
  129. Raising the Dead by Mara Purnhagen
  130. Remedial Magic by Jenna Black
  131. Stopping Time & Old Habits by Melissa Marr
  132. Winter’s Passage by Julie Kagawa
  133. Reckless Magic by Rachel Higginson
  134. Diamond in the Rough by India Lee
  135. Unveiled by Trisha Wolfe
  136. Retro Demonology by Jana Oliver
  137. Beasts and BFFs by Shannon Delany
  138. Lore by Kimberly Spencer
  139. Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis
  140. Lure by Stephanie Jenkins
  141. Limerick by Kimberley Spencer
  142. Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
  143. True of Blood by
  144. Beautiful Demons by Sara Cannon
  145. Marked by Kim Richardson
  146. First Frost by Jennifer Estep
  147. The Witches of Santa Anna by Lauren Barnholdt
  148. Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergen
  149. Inferno by Holly Hook
  150. Black Waters by Maija Barnett
  151. Crushed by K.C. Blake
  152. Guardian by Gillian Joy
  153. Flame of Eternal Surrender by Rhiannon Paille
  154. Something Witchy This Way Comes by Veronica Blade
Are there any books on here that should be pushed up to the top of my list?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly meme where we show books that we're eagerly awaiting their release.

The book I'm super excited for is Wander Dust by Michelle Warren!

Ever since her sixteenth birthday, strange things keep happening to Seraphina Parrish.

The Lady in Black… burns Sera’s memories.

Unexplainable Premonitions… catapult her to other cities.

The Grungy Gang… wants to kill her.

And a beautiful, mysterious boy… stalks her.

But when Sera moves to Chicago, and her aunt reveals their family connection to a centuries old, secret society, she is immediately thrust into an unbelievable fantasy world, leading her on a quest to unravel the mysteries that plague her. In the end, their meanings crash into an epic struggle of loyalty and betrayal, and she’ll be forced to choose between the boy who has stolen her heart and the thing she desires most.
I found this book by 'liking' Michelle Warren's page on Facebook. She had it as the profile picture, and it's such a beautiful cover that I had to look it up, and the summery sounds really interesting. I think it comes out in November. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell

Author: Lisa Ann Sandell
Pages: 416
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA Historical/ Re-telling
Source: Purchased
The year is 490 AD. Fiery 16-year-old Elaine of Ascolat, the daughter of one of King Arthur's supporters, lives with her father on Arthur's base camp, the sole girl in a militaristic world of men. Elaine's only girl companion is the mysterious Morgan, Arthur's older sister, but Elaine cannot tell Morgan her deepest secret: She is in love with Lancelot, Arthur's second-in-command. However, when yet another girl -- the lovely Gwynivere-- joins their world, Elaine is confronted with startling emotions of jealousy and rivalry. But can her love for Lancelot survive the birth of an empire?
I am an immense fan of Arthurian legend, and The Lady of Shalott is by far my favorite story from that. So when I saw that Song of the Sparrow was a re-telling of The Lady of Shalott, only with a happier ending (in the original poem she dies because Lancelot is a major d-bag, how depressing is that?), I immediately snapped it up.

It's deceptively short--while it may be 416 pages, Song of the Sparrow is written in free verse with very short fragments of sentences on the page. I read it cover to cover in slightly over an hour. It's not written in an overtly poetic way or anything, it's just looks like Sandell hit 'enter' while she was writing way too much. It reads normally, so if you can get passed the weird format, it's fine.

The story itself was utterly fantastic, I thought. For me, Elaine has always been one of those characters whose story is just brushed aside. But as Lisa Ann Sandell wonderfully portrays, there is much more to Elaine than just a love-struck helpless maiden. In Song of the Sparrow, she's brave and protective of those she loves. Of course, if you're familiar with the original version, Song of the Sparrow still follows that basic structure of that, so there are some intense moments.

Overall, I really enjoyed Song of the Sparrow. I don't think it's for everyone though. But if you enjoy Arthurian legend, or any kind of early historical setting with a sweet romance, then this is definitely for you. 4 out of 5 stars.
Buy the Book

Monday, October 24, 2011

Epic 600 Follower {GIVEAWAY!}

Hey guys! I am so excited to say that I've reached 600 followers! I'm SO grateful to everyone who has followed my blog, so to say THANK YOU to all of you, I've decided to have an epic 600 follower giveaway. I scoured my bookshelves and came up with 5 prizes for you guys to win! Here they are:

Prize #1

The first 4 books in the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent!

Prize #1 Includes:
• My Soul to Take
• My Soul to Save
• My Soul to Keep
• My Soul to Steal

Prize #2

Prize #2 Includes:
• An ARC of The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
• Some extra surprise swag :)

Prize #3

Prize #3 Includes:
• An ARC of Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
• Some surprise swag :)

Prize #4

Prize #4 Includes:
Soul Screamers poster

*signed* A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford bookmark
The Dark Days of Supernatural bookmark
Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter bookmark
*signed* Head Games by Keri Mikulski bookmark
*signed* Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey bookmark
*signed* Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton bookmark
*signed* Forget-Her-Not bookmark
We Hear the Dead by Dianne Salerni bookmark
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys bookmark
*signed* Moonglass by Jessi Kirby bookmark
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin bookmark
Released by Megan Duncan bookmark
Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep bookmark

Post Cards:
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard post card
Abandon by Meg Cabot post card

*signed* Angelfire by Courntey Allison Moulton sticker
*signed* A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford sticker

Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder magnet
This Is Teen USB drive (with exclusive author interviews already uploaded!)
"Lost Girl" Beauty Queen by Libba Bray pin
Prize #5

A winner will be able to choose ONE of the novels below to be sent to them using The Book Depository.


Rules & Guidelines:
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winners will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.
Since there are 5 prize packs and 5 winners, I tried to up your chances of winning by coming up with as many ways as I could for you to get as many entries as you possibly can. There are lots of ways to enter, so have fun and good luck! :)


Blog Tour {Review +GIVEAWAY}: Savor by Megan Duncan

Savor by Megan Duncan
Pages: 453
Publisher: Createspace
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Warm Delicacy (#1)
Source: E-book
When Claire Miller turned eighteen all she wanted to do was celebrate her birthday, but after a night on the town with her best friend she awakes to a visitor she never expected. The rulers of her region, a vampire royal family, have chosen her to be turned as their new heir and vampire princess. Claire quickly discovers the royal family is not what they seem and that she has secrets in her past, she never knew existed.
I was all too happy to join the blog tour for Savor, having read and enjoyed Megan Duncan's first book, Released. But I have to say, I loved Savor much more than Released!

I haven't read any vampire books lately, and so I jumped into Savor with a clean slate and was thoroughly surprised. Megan Duncan's writing style has vastly improved from Released, transforming from 'good' to great! Her prose flowed nicely, and Claire's narration was distinctly hers. Plus, the vampire world that Megan has created is really different than most vampire books I've read. It's a bit reminiscent of the Morganville Vampires series, but the comparison is relatively small. I do think that fans of the Morganville Vampires series will enjoy Savor quite a bit.

There were a lot of great characters in Savor. Claire was faced with the difficult decision of whether or not she would become the new vampire princess, and eventually inherit the throne from the King and the Queen. At first, she agonized over the issue, but then, too quickly in my opinion, she came to terms with it. She made a complete and total life-altering decision, which uprooted her from her old life and threw her into a strange new one, and I felt as though she settled into her new life much too quickly. That was really the only thing that bugged me about Claire, that she could so easily forget her old life, and the people she loved. But other than that, she was a strong girl, who didn't back down from a challenge, and handled everything with maturity and rationality. Robin, a vampire girl around her age that she meets at the royal palace, and becomes best friends with, was also a really great character. She was funny and I could tell that she really cared for Claire. She added a bit of spice to some of the scenes.

There was a dash of insta-love, but it wasn't too bad. Claire meets Dmitry, a very handsome vampire that lives in the palace, and their connection gradually builds from the first day they meet. Claire and Dmitry are a sweet couple, I just wish their relationship had more time to grow. Towards the end, there was major hinting of a love triangle, but the book ended before that could be built upon more, so I guess I'll just have to wait for the sequel.

Speaking of the ending, that was one of the two thing that I really just didn't like. It ended in a place that felt like the middle of the plot. I feel like there should have been just a bit more story added to the end, with more explanation of what was going on, because the last 10 pages or so really threw me for a loop. There was a major explanation that's important for the whole series, but it was so abrupt that I couldn't even fully digest and understand it. There's always the sequel, which is great, so the ending isn't too bad because even though it left off in a weird place, the story will continue.

The other thing (or things) that I didn't like were Ana and Luke, who were two vampires that lived in the palace and hated Claire with a passion because she "stole Ana's throne", which Claire didn't, not really. Their evilness was a bit too campy, especially Ana. Sometimes subtly is a million times more menacing than outright disdain, and Ana definitely could've used some menacing subtly.

On the whole, though, I really did enjoy Savor very much. Whatever problems I had with it are minor details in the grand scheme of the whole novel, which I thought was well written and unique. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel! I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars.

I have 2 prizes up for grabs today to 2 lucky winners!

  1. A signed paperback copy of Savor
  2. An ebook of Savor

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (39)

Destined by Jessie Harrell
Descended by Blood by Angeline Kace
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Soul Thief by Jana Oliver
Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Also, be sure to enter my giveaway for the Sirenz Back in Fashion Cover Reveal! It ends tomorrow, so hurry! :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut
Pages: 174
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Paperback

For centuries, rumors have abound of a lowly caste of supernatural beings known as the Terrae Angeli or Earth Angels. Armed with the power to control Earth, Fire, Wind and Water, these warriors clandestinely serve as guardians for mortals in danger.

Yet for one young angel-in-training, Griffin, life is hell as a cruel master makes his apprenticeship a nightmare. On the verge of failing, a new mentor, Basil, enters his life and changes it forever.

Masquerading as the average teen next door, Griffin struggles to learn his trade under the tutelage of his strict, but kindly Mentor, navigate the ups and downs of modern life among humans (including falling in love with the girl next door), and prepare for the ancient trial-by-combat every apprentice must pass at sixteen or become mortal.
I had never heard of Griffin Rising until I got it in the mail as part of a prize I had won. I was very intrigued by it, and once I picked it up and started reading it, I really couldn't stop. I haven't read too many angel stories, but Griffin Rising was definitely a unique spin on the angel mythology.

It's a very quick read, only 174 pages, and story-wise it's pretty light. Griffin Rising isn't so much about Griffin the angel-in-training, but more about Griffin the teenaged boy that's trying to balance that with his life as a protector. Unlike most YA angel novels right now, there isn't some huge war being raged between heaven and hell in Griffin Rising. There aren't demons popping out of the ground and trying to kill Griffin, or Basil, (Griffin's awesome mentor). It's just Fin striving to pass his final test, and become an earth angel. It was nice to read something more subdued, more about the characters than about a flash and bang plot.

This book is written from Griffin's point of view, which is a definite plus. There need to be more YA books from the male perspective, because they're just so fun to read! Guys think differently than girls, so it's fun to get inside a guy's mind as things are happening--like his first kiss, and going on dates, and all that. It's the other side of the coin that we rarely get to see.

I really enjoyed Griffin Rising, and the ending left me really wanting more. I wasn't expecting that ending at all, so I need to sequel asap! 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shrink That Pile [READ-A-THON!]

My TBR pile is just getting WAY too out of hand, and I wanted to go on a huge reading splurge to try and shrink it down a bit. That's when I decided--hey, why not include everyone else, too? So, I made the Shrink That Pile read-a-thon as a way to just readreadREAD books for a whole week, without worrying about anything else.

The goal of the Shrink That Pile read-a-thon is to just read. Have a massive 'to review' stack that's just killing you? This is definitely your chance to go at it and hopefully make a dent in your tbr.
  • Shrink That Pile lasts from 12:00 AM on November 1st, through 11:59 PM on November 7th.
  • Anyone can join in! Make posts about it with your progress, if you'd like. 
I've never done a read a thon before, so I don't know much about them. But I do know that I plan on spending this week reading like crazy! :)

If you want to participate, just leave a comment!

Review: Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe

Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe
Pages: 322
Publisher: Createspace
Genre: YA Romance/Supernatural
Source: Paperback
Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day. High school is hard enough; imagine rapidly aging from seventeen to seventy in a matter of weeks, with no logical explanation, and with prom, graduation, and the state championship basketball game on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a mischievous pretty boy who has never had to face a day looking anything but perfect. It starts with a slowing metabolism, followed by gray hair, wrinkles, and heart palpitations. Within days his girlfriend dumps him, his plastic surgeon father forces him to get a facelift, and his terrifying high school librarian seduces him to have sex with her. All he wants to do is go back to normal, but no one, not even the best doctors, can diagnose his condition. When he finds love with a young woman who may or may not be an all-powerful witch, he realizes that the only hope for his survival might be with the one person who instigated his condition in the first place...
Happy Birthday to Me is basically a mix between The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (in reverse), and Beastly by Alex Flinn. I thought I would enjoy it quite a bit, because it seemed interesting, but, honestly, I'm not that impressed.

Brian Rowe is definitely a talented writer, but his style wasn't consistent. I think it could use a bit of polishing, and it'll be really good. He just wrote with these little quirks that bugged me--like his overuse CAPITALIZING WORDS. ENTIRE SENTENCES WOULD BE CAPITALIZED, AND IT JUST MADE EVERYONE SEEM LIKE THEY WERE HARD OF HEARING AND SHOUTED ALL THE TIME. You see how that starts to lose its potency the more you read it? Also, there were just some grammar mistakes regarding the dialogue that bugged me too. But Brian does have a talent for writing, with nice descriptions and a pretty quick moving pace. Things didn't take long to build up, which was good.

I also had issues with a lot of the characters. They were just so... cold. I've seen a lot of people complain about Cameron's dad, and with good reason! Cameron's father was a plastic surgeon, and he was so preoccupied with superficial looks and things like his son getting a basketball scholarship that he didn't seem to care that his son was pretty much on the fast track to death. I really hated him, and he never really redeemed himself in my eyes. None of the other characters really stood out for me, either. Cameron annoyed me for a good majority of the novel, with his arrogance, and his girlfriend and 'best friend', Charisma and Wesley fell flat.

I found the concept of the novel pretty cool though. The fact that there is actually a disease called Progeria that causes rapid aging is really fascinating. I thought Brain Rowe did really well in describing the subtle changes in Cameron's appearance, leading up to the more dramatic changes of his growing old.

I'm undecided as to whether I want to read the sequel, because I feel like Happy Birthday to Me ended in a good place, and could definitely be a stand-alone novel. I give this novel 2 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 416
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mythology
Source: ARC from publisher
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
When I heard about The Scorpio Races, it was just after I had finished Forever (which is the last book in Maggie's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy) and I was immediately extremely eager to read it. But for some reason I thought it was some sort of dystopian, which it wasn't at all. It was a beautifully written and constructed fantasy about killer water horses.

I know, right?

When I first read the killer water horse part, I immediately thought "Oh, it's a kelpie!" And, technically, it is, only in the book it goes by the Irish name of capaill uisce. (Don't even ask me how that hell to pronounce that, because I haven't the foggiest.) So if you're a fan of the kelpie lore, then you'll definitely enjoy this one.

Maggie's writing is, as always, poetic and just lovely. She wrote with a very realistic Irish cadence, which added to the overall atmosphere of the novel and the realism of the characters. Maggie's writing style is no doubt one of my all-time favorites.

My biggest problem with this book is that the entire thing is pretty misleading. Take the cover, for example. It's Puck galloping away on a horse. The book is called The Scorpio Races, and the description makes it sound pretty intense and action-y. Put that all together, and my impression was that, unlike Maggie's Shiver series, The Scorpio Races would be more of an adventure. But it wasn't. Of course, Maggie writes beautifully, but the novel wasn't really about the scorpio races at all. It was about Puck coming into her own as a woman, and Sean and her slowly growing to love each other. It almost seems like the race is an afterthought, because it happens at the very end, and it's a very brief scene. There were quite a few superfluous scenes that I'm not sure what purpose they served for the story, and I honestly think the book could've done without them.

Puck aggravated me at times--she had quite a temper about her, and would snap at people that were only trying to help her. That put me off of her in the beginning. But she was up against a lot, and she held her ground when any other girl would have given up, and that's what I admired most about her. Sean was the silent, brooding type, and his life was the water horses. He was the man on the island to see about the horses. He's won the races 4 years in a row, and if he can win this next one, he might have a chance at getting the one thing he really wants: a water horse named Corr that he's grown to love over 6 years of training it. He and Puck had a sweet relationship. It built slowly, and at times I wasn't actually sure if anything would happen between them. But I really liked Sean, even though I feel that his intense introversion made him not only distant from the other characters, but also from me as a reader at times.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Scorpio Races. If you're a fan of Maggie's, then most definitely pick it up. 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: Swear by Nina Malkin

Author: Nina Malkin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Source: ARC
Buy the Book
A promise broken. A bond betrayed.
It’s been six months since ghost-turned golem Sinclair Youngblood Powers confessed his love, stole Dice's heart, and disappeared from Swoon, perhaps from existence. Despite the hurt, Dice has been moving steadily toward ordinary. Dreams of Sin still plague and pleasure her sleep, and the mark of Sin's love remains on her skin, still sore. But Dice has been throwing herself into music, finding solace in song and sometimes even in the arms of her band mate, Tosh. Life seems almost…normal. The last thing Dice wants is to mess with anything remotely supernatural. But when her best friend’s boyfriend goes missing, Dice has no choice but to become very much involved. She knows that his disappearance was no accident, and it somehow has everything to do with Sin. Because Dice can feel it: Sin is back. And the promises and deceptions he left in his wake have returned to haunt him.

What do you do when an oath of devotion threatens to destroy the one you love?
When I first read Swoon, the book that precedes Swear, Nina Malkin hadn't planned on writing a sequel. So when Swear was announced, I was eager and excited, and did a lot of fan girlish squeeing. :D I have to say that Swear definitely lived up to my expectations.

For the a good portion of the beginning, Sin isn't there physically, but his presence in Dice's life--and her dreams--is unmistakable. But Dice is also getting close to a boy named Tosh, a member of the band Bruise Blue that Dice is the lead singer in. When Tosh and Dice get too close, the jealousy causes Sin to manifest, and, as ever, he brings chaos in his wake.

This was as good sequel to Swoon, although I liked Swoon better. I felt like the plot took a while to pick up, and the ending was a little anti-climactic. I enjoyed reading it, but one of my biggest peeves with Swear is that the paranormal elements seem kinda random. In Swoon, we know Dice is psychic. But in Swear, her powers become something more witchy, and then later on, the Roman gods just pop in out of nowhere. I wish there was a more definite mythology to it.

Sin is still a total sex god. Even though he's a douche sometimes, he's just way too irresistible. And in Swear, he's actually making an effort to be a good man, and to have a relationship with Dice. But that all gets complicated when an old acquaintance of Sin's comes back into the picture, and is determined to have him.

I still love Nina Malkin's writing style. I know some people aren't too fond of it, but I love her vivid and almost poetic way of writing. It gives the story a different edge to it.

If you're a die-hard fan of Swoon, then definitely pick up Swear. There's more Sin goodness to sigh contentedly over. But if you weren't too fond of Swoon, then you might not like Swear. Maybe give it a shot. 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Out Today: Swear by Nina Malkin

Have you read Swoon by Nina Malkin? Did you fall in love with Nina's writing style, and, of course, Sinclair Youngblood Powers? Then today is your lucky day because Swear, the sequel, is now out and about for your reading pleasure!

Author: Nina Malkin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
A promise broken. A bond betrayed.
It’s been six months since ghost-turned golem Sinclair Youngblood Powers confessed his love, stole Dice's heart, and disappeared from Swoon, perhaps from existence. Despite the hurt, Dice has been moving steadily toward ordinary. Dreams of Sin still plague and pleasure her sleep, and the mark of Sin's love remains on her skin, still sore. But Dice has been throwing herself into music, finding solace in song and sometimes even in the arms of her band mate, Tosh. Life seems almost…normal. The last thing Dice wants is to mess with anything remotely supernatural. But when her best friend’s boyfriend goes missing, Dice has no choice but to become very much involved. She knows that his disappearance was no accident, and it somehow has everything to do with Sin. Because Dice can feel it: Sin is back. And the promises and deceptions he left in his wake have returned to haunt him.

What do you do when an oath of devotion threatens to destroy the one you love?
Buy the Book

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cover Reveal + {GIVEAWAY}: Sirenz Back In Fashion Cover Reveal Bomb!

First there was...

And now there's...

The Sirenz Back In Fashion Cover Reveal Bomb is ON! Sirenz Back In Fashion, the sequel to Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman  will be hitting the shelves in June 2012—but for now, enjoy the new cover! Natalie and Charlotte are having a SUPER-HUGE-MEGA-giveaway to celebrate. The Sirenz Back In Fashion cover is debuting simultaneously on SEVEN different blogs. Visit all of us to enter and win prizes—yes, that’s PRIZES as in more than one!

How will the adventures of Meg and Shar continue? Visit these blogs to see if you can figure out what happens next:

D for Darla's Definite Reads
Book Chic Club
All Things Books
Badass Bookie
Bea's Book Nook
A Story Untold

I loved Sirenz, I thought it was super cute and, being the Greek mythology lover that I am, I really enjoyed the  way the different myths were brought together! I can't wait to read Sirenz Back In Fashion to find out what happens with Meg and Shar.... AND HADES! *swoons*

Each blogger is giving away a very special charm necklace which symbolizes something from Sirenz Back In Fashion. It could be an important object, or represent a significant place or character… or god!

Want to enter the giveaway? Click on 'READ MORE' below!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review + {GIVEAWAY}: Altered by Aubrey Coletti

Altered by Aubrey Coletti
Pages: 272
Publisher: Escape Artist Press
Genre: YA Thriller with dashes of Paranormal
Source: Paperback
When Toni, Joseph and Charlie arrive at their new boarding school, they are glad to leave their families — and respective problems — behind. Isolated as boarders, they meet a handsome senior with a personality like iced snake’s blood, teachers with a penchant for physical punishment, and four other outcasts who reveal that their being brought to the Academy wasn’t random at all. When the arrivals discover that their new school is engaged in “behavior modification” through electric shocks, isolation, restraints, and an ever-evolving set of methods to “fix” them, they declare war on their Academy. During their campaign of sabotage, they fight, hate, scorn, love, and begin to uncover the reasons why they were brought to the school. But as their war against the school escalates beyond their control, will they become the very things the Academy believes they are: dangerous, delinquent — and mad?
Altered was nothing like I'd expected it to be--it was way better! When I started out reading it, I was a bit wary, because the perspectives jump between characters rather quickly, which confused me as to who was who for a while. But eventually, I got the hang of it, and the story started getting extremely interesting.

It's set in a school that is supposed to be a sort of reform school for kids that no one else wants, or kids that would have gone to jail. But all then, as we read on, we see kids being punished in very unorthodox ways--being tied down to a metal table and electrocuted to the point where it burned their skin, sleep deprivation, food deprivation, and then eventually having permanent shock wires placed on the kids, so that the teachers could shock them whenever they wanted. It was pretty sick what was going on, and sicker still that the teachers thought they were doing something good by torturing the children. Honestly, you don't 'cure' bad behavior with more bad behavior. It's like beating a dog over and over again; it might be submissive for some time, but one day it will have had enough, and it's going to turn around and bite your damn hand off.

Each of the main characters has a very distinct personality, even though there were quite a few of them and in the beginning it was hard to pin point who's perspective I was reading. I think that was one of the only flaws of the book, that the transitions from person to person weren't clear enough until a few sentences, sometimes paragraphs, into the section. But all of them shone through in their own way. Ann, my favorite character, was fiery and unafraid to speak her mind. Charlie was crazy, but not crazy at the same time (I know, but you'll get it if you read it.) Joseph was willful and wittily sarcastic, but also sweet at times. Toni was the more 'normal' of them, but she had her own problems too. But, along with their quirks and eccentricities, each of them also had something more, something... unnatural. (This is where a slight paranormal element comes in, but it's not so much as to make this a paranormal novel.)

I was on edge the entire time I read Altered. I kept wanting to just jump in the book and tear the school down until not a brick was left standing, that's how intense it was. One thing that did bother me though was towards the end, it mentioned that some of the characters were 14 years old, and that didn't really sit well with me considering some of what they did, and how they acted. I think it would have been better if they were older, especially one scene in particular that kinda made me cringe when I thought about how young they were. But the way they were written was really interesting, because they spoke pretty accurately for a lot of teenagers today, and that made them feel real.

I definitely recommend Altered to anyone looking for a really intense novel, and one that has constant action and suspense. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I have 1 paperback copy of Altered to give away! If you're interested in reading it, then definitely enter the giveaway below!

Rules & Guidelines:

  • Open US only!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
Pages: 287
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: YA Historical/Zombie
Source: Paperback

In this terrifying and hilarious prequel, we witness the genesis of the zombie plague in early-nineteenth-century England. We watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naïve young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. We laugh as she begins her first clumsy training with nunchucks and katana swords and cry when her first blush with romance goes tragically awry. Written by acclaimed novelist (and Edgar Award nominee) Steve Hockensmith, Dawn of the Dreadfuls invites Austen fans to step back into Regency England, Land of the Undead!
I loved Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so I was extremely excited to read the prequel. But, I was disappointed. One of the best things about PPZ was that it was a shameless zombie infested parody novel. It had so-bad-you-have-to-laugh puns and constant puking just for the sake of puking. It didn't take itself seriously at all. But in Dawn of the Dreadfuls, it's a different author, so of course, there are going to be differences in writing style and characterization. But it just wasn't as funny. There were some moments where I chuckled, but overall, it was more of a novel than a parody.

The fact that it was more of a novel wasn't bad, either, because I still liked it. It was fun to see how the Bennett girls got their zombie slaying skills, and there was still a slight romance for Elizabeth with two fine young men. Pre-Darcy! Ahh!

I have to say that Mr. Bennett is by far my favorite character in this series. He really is such a badass. And he really cares about his daughters, which makes him that much cooler. Plus, he can slay zombies like a boss. :)

Read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies first, and if you really like it and want more, then I'd recommend you read Dawn of the Dreadfuls. 3 out of 5 stars

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Books I Want SO Badly I Could Pee (9)

While lurking on Amazon and Goodreads, I come across so many books that I want SO badly I could pee. These are what I like to call my Pee-Inducing Books, or Urine-Triggering Novels. Below is my current list. Please peruse it while I go get a new pair of pants.

Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes
Pages: 336
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

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 liked Falling Under, which is the book before this one, but I wasn't crazy for it. Still, I'm dying to read this one because I really do want to know what happens. The first one ended in such a way that left it really open as to what would happen next. Plus, this cover is GORGEOUS. That dress is so beautiful!

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: YA Sci-fi Romance

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.
I haven't read any of Jennifer's work, but I've heard great things about her debut novel Half-Blood, so I'm really looking forward to Obsidian. Plus, I haven't read a straight up sci-fi in a long time, so I think I'm overdue. :)

Guardian by Gillian Joy
Pages: 164
Publisher: Smashwords
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Headstrong and determined, Hannah always knew that she would become the Guardian. She was the keeper and the protector of all supernatural beings. What she didn't expect was that it would mean she would have to endure the agonising death of her mother first hand as their supernatural connection brings her to her knees, or that it would mean that she could never be with the man she loved.
Blond haired, blue eyed Gabriel was her handsome childhood friend, but would circumstances prevent her from ever being able to explore her true feelings for him?
Jesse, the dark alluring but incorrigible vampire would give anything to be with her, but as the guardian Hannah is forbidden to fall in love with the supernatural.
With her life in turmoil over her conflicting emotions about Gabriel and Jesse and her frustration at being unable to exact revenge for her mother’s horrific death, Hannah flees her life in an attempt to start over. But can we ever really escape from ourselves?
There is no escaping destiny no matter how hard she might try and Hannah must learn to reconcile her commitment to her family with her responsibility as the Guardian and her duty to her heart.
I learned about Guardian after liking the author on Facebook, and I am super intrigued! I really want to read Guardian!

What do you guys think? Are you peeing too??

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn

Author: Suzanne Weyn
Pages: 304
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased
From prehistory to the present, theirs was a love for the ages. It starts with a fight in a cave over an elusive green jewel . . . and then travels over time and lives to include Egyptian slaves, Greek temples, Massachusetts witch trials, Civil War battlefields, Paris on the eve of World War II, America in the 1960s . . . and a pair of modern-day teenagers. For readers who believe that love is stronger than time or death, this is an unforgettable novel from a wonderful storyteller.
This is one of those books that I saw, thought the concept sounded interesting, and started reading without any expectations at all. I wasn't blown away by Reincarnation, but I thought the romance was very sweet and the way the story was executed was quite unique from other YA books out there.

Basically, the entire novel is comprised of shorter stories that take place at different times in history, spanning over several thousand years. It follows the lives of these two people that fall in love in their many reincarnations, but something always goes wrong and true happiness together evades them. How cool is that? You get like ten different stories all in one, but in reality it's just one story that's broken down into different parts with the same characters simply altered a bit in each reincarnation. I thought it was something completely different and interesting.

I found it a little difficult to connect to the characters themselves, seeing as every time they started to develop, something would happen and then we'd be in the next incarnation.

Overall, it was a good book. I liked it, I did, but I had wanted to like it more. Maybe if each of the incarnations were a bit longer, it would've been easier to connect to the characters and I think I really would've liked it more. But still, if you want a relatively quick read with a cute romance, definitely check out Reincarnation. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
Buy the Book

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Out Today: Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

If you're a fan of murder mysteries with plenty of comedy to balance out the darker themes, then Deadly Cool is your book! It hits shelves today, and I definitely recommend you read it! Happy book birthday to Deadly Cool!

Author: Gemma Halliday
Pages: 272
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Mystery

Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he's pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren't enough, now he's depending on Hartley to clear his name. Seriously? Not cool. But as much as Hartley wouldn't mind seeing him squirm, she knows he's innocent, and she's the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school's resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer's next victim.
Buy the Book

Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey
Pages: 332
Publisher: Flux
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Source: Paperback

Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but at the cost of horrible pain.

After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn. But everything changes when Braden learns that Jason is his father--and Trey, the enigmatic guy he's falling for, is Catherine's son.

To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—and risk losing the one he loves.
If you're looking for something different, exciting, and very well written in a YA paranormal novel, then Witch Eyes is it.

I blew through Witch Eyes in one night! Once I started it, I just couldn't stop. It's a relatively short novel, but it packs quite a punch. From the very beginning, the action is non-stop, and it never once lets up.

Normally, when we think of witches, our mind immediately jumps the conclusion that it's a girl. The great part about Witch Eyes is that it's a male protagonist. I haven't read many books where the narrator is male, so it was fun to read something out of the box. I liked Braden, although I felt like in the beginning he made a stupid decision. But he makes up for it as the novel unfolds and the mystery gets murkier.

Even happens pretty quickly, which is both a good and bad thing. Good because, well, it's action-y. Bad because I wanted more of Braden and Trey! I wouldn't call them an official couple quite yet, but they have strong feelings for each other, and I wanted to see more of the build up. Still, the ending killed me. They need to be together! Trey is a great guy, his heritage aside. I hope they can find a way to make it work!

I whole-heartedly recommend Witch Eyes! Loved it! 5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox (38)

Hey guys! No vlog this week, because IMM is coming a bit late. But I did get some pretty awesome books!

First, I got Dreamland by Alyson Noel for review. I haven't read nor do I own the previous books in this series, but I've been planning on reading it for a while, so this is good incentive to go out and get them. :)

Then I bought Savor by Megan Duncan for a blog tour that I'm participating in. My review and giveaway for it will be up on Oct. 24th! Be sure to check it out!

I also got Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber for review from Netgalley. SO EXCITED FOR THIS ONE!

Lastly, I got Guardian by Gillian Joy for review for Gillian. Very, very excited to start this one!

That's my IMM. What's in yours?

~ Current Giveaways ~
SO SILVER BRIGHT- Win an ARC of So Silver Bright, the third and final book in the Theater Illuminata trilogy by Lisa Mantchev! Open US only, ends 10/13!


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