Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WOW: Waiting On Wednesday Hosted by BendingTheSpine

I don't participate in this meme very often but as it's getting that time of year when I start to put together my gift ideas for my family, it's just a fun time to participate.


On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites;like fire and ice;Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.


Hardcover, 390 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by HarperTeen
ISBN0061990655 (ISBN13: 9780061990656)
http://jocelyndavies.com/
A Beautiful Dark #1 (Series)


I cannot wait to get a copy of this one, it's been on my wishlist for awhile, but hoping to get this one soon! It's been getting some great reviews on Goodreads
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10429025-a-beautiful-dark

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer


When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive

If you are not aware this is the 2nd book in the series, so there is always the risk of spoilers, beware.

My initial thoughts when starting this book was that it was going to rock my world as much as the first book did. It started off with great action and development in the plot and then fell back...a lot.
Most of this book (like 80%) is what I have heard refer to as an "info dump". The majority of the time I see this in the beginning books of a series, but this is my first experience with it being in the 2nd book. I really had a hard time getting through this one as there was not enough action scenes or even really eventful parts to urge me to keep on. I finally reached out to my twitter friends who encouraged me onward and that the end of the book would pick up. They weren't wrong.
I also had a harder time with Calla in this book. She was such a strong leader in the first book and I adored and rooted for her. I was proud of her and sticking by her decisions to help Shay. But in this book she is always doubting herself and depressing. Even when she made some very strong decisions she still felt guilty and wrong about it all. This is just complete personal opinion here but I just did not feel she was the same person we met before.
There is a lot of information about how the Guardian/Keeper/Searcher relationships became what they are. There is a lot of history and characters coming into this story that were not in the first. I can see how this book benefits us for the last book in the series, but I sure wish all the info had been spread out somehow more between the first two books. Just too much bunched into one for my taste, especially coming off of such a high-paced action packed first book.
Several of the characters introduced in the second book I did not like as well, I really wanted to punch some of them in the face. 8D
Overall thoughts are that I am still dying to see what the third installment brings. I absolutely loved the first book (5 stars) I think the pace of the books fell in this one but now I am anticipating some very interesting high action packed scenes to finish off the series in Bloodrose.

I do highly encourage you to pick these up, it was the best wolf/werewolf book I have ever read, and I loved the introduction of the witches and magical powers that some of the other characters can do, especially Adne.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

This is the longest review I have ever written, if you make it to the end, thank you.
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.


I read. A Lot. I consider myself to have a pretty good memory. I usually keep notes with post-its or a piece of paper as I read a book I plan on reviewing. I started out that way with Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Me, the book and a post it note. My notes filled up just into the first chapter, I started carrying around a pad of them instead, they got used up. I moved onto the computer and by this point I just felt like I wanted to quote the whole book for review. As I just sat and finished reading the last chapter I am at a loss for words of how I am to proceed here. This rarely happens to me. Words should come easily with things you want to share, but how do you portray so much in just one review without it turning into a novella of it’s own. I considered writing the author a fan letter, hoping she'd respond, needing to be inside her head. But talk about boundaries. So I tweeted her instead, told her I thought her book was amazing and tried not to be that creepy stalker girl who talks of crawling in her brain. Instead I will do that here. Get ready, and I hope I can portray my feelings as a fan and not a creeper.

Every once in awhile there is a book that is highly anticipated. This was one of those books for me. I started seeing chatter about it during BEA. I listened, and pre-ordered the book back in May 2011. When it arrived, I read it immediately and felt like it deserved every bit of hype that it’s getting.

Some people are turned off by the fact that it has similarities to xmen and it's just another book to jump into the highly popular dystopian novels this year. I feel that neither of these are justifications alone. There is so much more in this book than a young timid girl in a world she does not understand.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the writing style. I have never experienced a visual and descriptive way to get inside a characters head as this author does with Juliette. There are several times that writing is crossed out on the pages. I think that it made the points more poignant by not only letting the reader know that Juliette is confused, not thinking straight, imagining things and cannot choose the correct words of how she’s feeling. By crossing one thing out and using another in it’s place in some instances was a way to show two different ideas flashing across her mind as well as her indecision and insecurity of what is really happening and what she may be imagining. Juliette has been locked up for a very long time and before that she did not have interactions with people in fear of hurting them. Hurting anybody either physically or emotionally is the very last thing she wants to do.
Another factor about the writing was that it was very descriptive and visually poetic and almost demands the readers attention at all times. I have chosen some of my very favorite examples here.
“I’m spinning, stranded in the middle of the ocean of my own imagination.”

“ I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand, I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hands tick tick tick their final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I’ve been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind. “ What a masterful way of portraying an idea like “killing time.”

“He shifts and my eyes shatter into thousands of pieces that ricochet around the room, capturing a million snapshots; a million moments in time. Flickering Images faded with age, frozen thoughts hovering precariously in dead space, a whirlwind of memories that slice through my soul.”

“The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the word behind when it tires of us. The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do, Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections."


As the story goes on some of this imagery in the writing dissipates and we see less of it, but we also see less of the timid and indecisive girl we are introduced to in the beginning of the story as well. I saw as the story progressed there is less being crossed out and less of this descriptive writing into a more of the usual type of writing. I can only hope that the next books will still portray some of this writing style that I have come to love and we just don’t see enough of in Young Adult literature today.
I also have read that the writing style has put some people off from enjoying the story. I can also see why others may not enjoy it as much as I did, but nevertheless there is a fantastic story behind the writing as well.
The book has action, adventure, and super humans in a highly imaginative writing style. I loved the characters and how they interact with each other. Warner has more depth than just being the bad guy and Adam is more mysterious than just a love interest. Kenji brings humor and in the end the story just would not have been the same without him and hope that we get to see more of each of these characters in the near future.

As I was skimming the Amazon website I came across and advanced e-copy that stated it had audio and video. This made me very curious as what an interactive copy of this book would contain. I decided to ask the author what the “advanced audio visual” might mean for this book and she responded “ it has a bunch of bonus features, plus a piece from Warner’s POV” and I purchased this immediately and checked it out.
I loved the added documents and the piece of Warner’s POV, it also gave me a first chapter glimpse at the audio book (which I think the narrator is a little too soft spoken and I have to say I enjoyed the reading experience much more. I also did not see any visual additions to the advanced e-copy, just the sample of the audio which you can also get a sample of for free on audible.com just not as much as the ecopy offered.
I will still recommend the e-copy if you are interested in some extra info and Warner’s piece.

If it has not been clearly stated here. I give this book 5 stars. I loved every minute of it, cannot wait to see what this author will bring out next, and highly anticipate it to grab my attention just the same. If she by chance reads this review, Tahereh Mafi, your writing is beautiful, it touched my soul, please never stop.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sign Language by Amy Ackley



Twelve-year-old Abby North's first hint that something is really wrong with her dad is how long it's taking him to recover from what she thought was routine surgery. Soon, the thing she calls "It" has a real name: cancer. Before, her biggest concerns were her annoying brother, the crush unaware of her existence, and her changing feelings for her best friend, Spence, the boy across the street. Now, her mother cries in the shower, her father is exhausted, and nothing is normal anymore. Amy Ackley's impressive debut is wrenching, heartbreaking, and utterly true

Having a parent die at a young age can be really hard. Although it's quite different if it's sudden or if it's slow. In Sign Language Abby's father has been suffering for a long time. In the book we see bits and pieces of the real details, but enough to understand. What was heartbreaking is how Abby comes to terms with her fathers death. She's young, so she's given just enough info to let her know what's going on but not more than the family thinks she can handle. I appreciated the chapter in which they attend the funeral and she freaks out. I could feel her pain and her confusion and I think that she wasn't given more details more due to the family not wanting to acknowledge the truth more than what they thought she'd be able to handle.
It's really a coming of age story. Abby deals with her fathers sickness and death alongside her family. We get to see into each of the family members emotions and reactions to the loss. Each person deals with it in a different way, but Abby is young and her understanding of the loss is handled more as a learning process throughout the story.
Although the death and sickness of her father is not the only thing Abby has to deal with. There are decisions made in each of the family members lives to be able to adapt and move on. Abby's story continues to grow as she and her family deal with the loss, she must also still understand friendship and school, and boys.
Even though the story revolves around the loss in the family, there is not a huge focus on his sickness. We do get to see some parts of what Abby witnesses as her dad is sick, but as it's just barely viewed by Abby it's handled in the story with caution and just enough pieces to understand what is happening for the reader.
It was more of a coming of age story, with a girl who has to overcome several things and along the way learns a lot about life, family and relationships.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Demon Whisperer by Tawny Stokes



Awake after a year-long coma, where he literally spent in hell, Caden Butcher, 17, developed a special power. He can speak to demons in their own language. This new trick helps him take over the family exorcism business, from his broken alcoholic father. Having to take care of the finances, Caden makes a decent income getting rid of demons. He’s known as the young whiz-kid exorcist to the stars, obtaining most of his work in Hollywood. But what others don't know is the exorcisms are all staged with the help of his best buddy, a demon he met in hell named Dantalion (Dan).

When an exorcism goes wrong, Caden discovers the demon inside a teen girl is not the run of the mill malicious entity but an adversary from down under who is hell bent on Caden’s destruction. The International Order of Exorcists, an organization that tolerates Caden at best because of his respected father, starts their own investigation because of his screw up.

Now with the help of his demon buddy, and Caden’s girlfriend Aspen Spencer, a skilled necromancer, Caden must track down the rogue demon before he can expose Caden as a fraud and destroy everything that matters to him in his life, ending his reign as the one and only Demon Whisperer
.

Very intriguing story and I liked the idea of the whole reality/Hollywood scene being involved. I have only read one other book that involved that kind of concept. There is a very creative mixture of diffferent characters that are appealing and not overwhelming.
My favorite character was Aspen, even though Caden is not so bad either. He is struggling to figure out his future as well that transition between teen and adult. The twist that he had been in a coma for a year, lived among the demons and now uses their language against them (in a way) was a fun twist. There is some humor and sarcasim in his attidude.
Opening Paragraph " The skin on Alan Bigby's pock-marked face rippled as if something was alive underneath it. Something big and bad and nasty wanted out to rip something apart. Unnatural black veins popped out on his forehead and temples as he bucked and writhed against the iron shackels chaining him to the chair The fat rolls of his enormous ass hung over the sides and jiggled with each spasm. If it had been under different circumstance I would've laughed at that."

If you have read Static by this author than you will enjoy this book as well. She has a way with grabbing the readers attention and really keeping the pace and story flowing well. I found that I read right through her books at a fast pace and kept entertained.
4 stars

Monday, November 21, 2011

Static by Tawny Stokes


During the summer before her senior year, 17 year old band groupie, Salem Vale, has been following her favorite punk rockers, Malice, from gig to gig hoping that one night she might get backstage and meet the sinisterly sexy guys. She’s been saving her virginity for the lead singer Thane. One fateful evening she gets her wish. It’s a dream come true.

Except the dream turns to a nightmare when she wakes up in a dumpster, tossed away like yesterday’s trash, with no memory of what happened the night before. She feels strange, different, as if something is trying to get out. Soon she realizes she’s changing…turning into something not quite human.

Now a hunger deep inside claws at her to feed, to siphon energy from those around her. Before she can do just that, Trevor, the band’s roadie shows up and stops her from killing. With his help she learns to control the hunger inside, because he’s just like her. And in return he wants her help to do one little thing…

Help him kill the members of Malice


At first glance at the cover I expected I would be getting into a contemporary novel about a girl in a band, but when you read that synopsis, it's anything but.
I devoured this book when I started reading it pulled me in. I always tend to be on the side of the "bad guys" in the books. I love the dark side that challenges, overpowers and sometimes protect the main characters. It happened again to me here. I always find myself asking, if this (main) character cannot overcome and fight back from what is put upon them, how can I truly root for them? Why would I recommend this book to others if I don't appreciate what the characters are put through?
As she has become more than human (but I will not spoil you with what exactly happens)there is a lot of heavy make out scenes and sexual tension that pushes Salem to act on her desire, or urges. Now that kinda sounds dirty, but really the story does not go into explicit details beyond what can be found in other Young Adult novels.
The cover really starts to make sense a little more than halfway through the book. The characters in the band and Salem begin to really get intertwined and get more complex. I really liked the twists and the idea of "shadow ways" I cannot remember if she actually refers to it as "shadow walking" but that's how I remember it in my head. It's creative and intriguing.
The chemistry between Trevor and Salem was my favorite part of the story. How there was always an edge of uncertainty when they were around each other or figuring things out. I think Salem is a fantastic lead character that does fight back in her way and takes on new challenges, she is somebody I rooted for.
Great characters, twists and energy happening in this one, I give it 5 stars, highly recommend.


Goodreads Page Amazon Link 0.99 for limited time on Kindle!
http://tawnystokes.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tawny-Stokes-Author/202358929804134
http://twitter.com/#!/TawnyStokes

Hard to Get Series

As I live in the U.S. These books were the hardest or at least the most expensive to get your hands on recommends I will mention this week. The Nigh Creatures Series by Marianne De Pierres is THE most unique story I have read in years. I loved every bit of both of these books and highly encourage you to sign the worldwide petition here because they are definately something we are missing out on!
Into a world of wild secrets and deadly pleasures comes a girl whose innocence may be her greatest strength.

In Ixion music and party are our only beliefs. Darkness is our comfort. We have few rules but they are absolute . . .

Retra doesn’t want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn’t crave parties and pleasure, experience and freedom.

But her brother Joel left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him. Braving the intense pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she’s ever known, Retra stows away on the barge that will take her to her brother.

When she can’t find Joel, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?

Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures, but its secrets are deadly. Will friendship, and the creation of an eternal bond with a Riper, be enough to save her from the darkness?

Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark

http://www.strangemore.com/2011/07/interview-and-campaign-for-burn-bright.html
http://www.burnbright.com.au/
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/287923.Marianne_de_Pierres

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Another Great YA/Teen series

The Yara Silva trilogy has a great mystery and the main character, Yara can see ghosts. She comes from a family of Wakers and discovering how to come to terms with her powers while attending a new school Pendrell with her best friend Cherie. There are a great mixture of characters and humor as well as mystery. I have rated both of the first 2 books 5 stars.



Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist's attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Favorite YA Series

This week I have decided to talk about some of my favorite series. I have not included "series" in which only the first books have been released, but have included series that have more than available for sale right now.
Cate Tiernan
Sweep Series
A few years ago I picked up the first three books when they were still individually sold. It was different for me because I usually do not pick up books that are this small and had so many in a series, I like to read big chunky books that I feel are really worth the money to purchase. But these were different, as I started into the series I could not stop reading. This is the first time I ever experienced what I call Book Crack. I read late into the night, couldn't sleep and ran to the store the next day to purchase more of the books. I soon came to find out that the books were going into re-publication with the newer black covers and I had to go to several different stores to locate all the books in the series. I had no idea when the newer versions would be released and I did not want to wait for an order online to come in. I visited 3 different stores in the same day on my quest to find the next book. I eventually did read the whole series within just a couple of weeks (15 books total)
They are so full of adventure and fantastic characters. The amazing part about these stories, is that you can tell how much research and knowledge went into the wiccan background, the spells the events the rules.
Description of First Bindup from Amazon.com
The first three Sweep books bound into one gorgeous edition at a fabulous price! Morgan Rowlands never thought she was anything other than a typical sixteen-year-old girl. But when she meets Cal, a captivatingly handsome coven leader, she makes a discover that turns her whole world upside down: she is a witch, descended from an ancient and powerful line. And so is Cal. Their connection is immediate and unbreakable; Cal teases out Morgan's power, her love, her magick. But Morgan discovers too soon that her powers are strong - almost too powerful to control. And she begins to suspect that Cal may be keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that could destroy them both.

I could not be more excited about the fact that they have again started to be released in the newest form of Bindups. Even though I own all the bindups that have been released and my original set, I still have a hard time not picking up these books every time I go to the store. Highly recommended if you enjoy witches, magical powers and some sexy guys.
Also by Cate Tiernan: Balefire
There are only 4 books in this series and they also have recently been put into one bind up. The same story above also applies to this one, I read all 4 books in one weekend and own the books separately as well as the bindup.

Description from goodreads.com
The whole Balefire series by Cate Tiernan is now in one edition.
After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she's ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible — an identical twin, Clio.

Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into.
Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever

Cate also writes under a pen name, but I have not read any other books by her by that name.
Her newest venture in YA is Immortal Beloved. The first book is out already and the 2nd book is due out in January. You will be hearing more about that series from me later on.

Stay tuned, I will be discussing more of my favorite Teen/Young Adult series books throughout the week.

Have you read any of the sweep series? Which is your favorite book? Who is your favorite character? Have you read them all?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: Wherever You Go by Heather Davis



Description from Goodreads.com
Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely ever since her boyfriend, Rob, died in a tragic accident. The fact that she has to spend most of her free time caring for her little sister and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather doesn’t help. But Holly has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, reach out to help Holly with her grandfather—but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. Is his best friend really falling for his girlfriend?



As Holly wonders whether to open her heart to Jason, the past comes back to haunt her. Her grandfather claims to be communicating with the ghost of Rob. Could the messages he has for Holly be real? And if so, how can the loved ones Rob left behind help his tortured soul make it to the other side?


Told from the perspectives of Holly, Jason, and Rob,Wherever You Go is is a poignant story about making peace with the past, opening your heart to love, and finding the courage to move forward into the light.
If you enjoyed Gayle Forman's If I stay I recommend this book to you.
Holly is a hard worker, she gives all of her spare time giving to her family. In her poor household, she has the role of mother, caretaker, sister and daughter. Her mother is a very scarce character, she pops in randomly throughout the book. It seems that her mother is only available to ask Holly to do more things and take more upon herself emotionally and criticize her for the way she is currently doing things. I personally think that Holly would have had a more normal life if she had taken on a night job instead of having to play the roll of mother and caretaker. To add to the toll of her home situation, her boyfriend had just died 6 months ago in a car accident. They were both in the vehicle and luckily she survived, but Roberto died in the crash. She is still trying to get over his death and take care of her sister when her mother adds more pressure by one day springing it on her that grandfather who has Alzheimers is coming to live with them. Her mother has 2 jobs, she is cranky and never around and continually states how much Holly is needed to run everything adding to the pressure and stress. Holly never gets a break.
One day Roberto's best friend Jason takes an interest in Holly. Although it is very confusing on why exactly as Holly is very introverted and depressed. I kept wondering what the attraction was but as he was Roberto's best friend, maybe the only attraction he had to her was her past relationship with Roberto. They were both close to him and still have a lot of questions about how and why he died. Jason also comes from a rich family and all of his friends also question his attraction to Holly as she does not fit into their lifestyle.
Throughout the whole story each chapter contains rotating point of views so if your not paying attention and it shifts to another character you can get caught of guard, it took me a second or two to realize who's head I was in.
Roberto, who is a ghost now, he does not know why exactly he is still trapped on Earth watching the people from  his life carry on without him. When the grandfather, Aldo is brought into the house, he is able to see and talk to Roberto. During the sections where we are in Roberto's head he not only follows around Jason and Holly as they begin to bond, and he talks to Holly's grandfather Aldo. We also get to follow him to his own home and see how his death has taken a toll on his own family.
Overall I found the story very saddening. I did feel for Holly and think she's a stronger girl than me. I would have broken down and had a fit with all the stress she had on her shoulders. I liked Aldo the best because he added great humor and liveliness to the story. Without him I am not sure I would have gotten through the book. He made it all worthwhile for me. And while I had a love-hate relationship with the rest of the characters I think that this book really gets you thinking about duty and love, family and friends.
I suppose that this time of year is the best time to read this type of story. During the Thanksgiving and winter holidays we are surrounded by loved ones and giving to others. Holly is a great representative of pure selflessness and Jason represents help in a time of need and companionship. Something every body needs reminding of every once in awhile.

Other books regarding death and loss
The Beginning of After by Heather Davis
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shatter Me Trailer

This book has been on my wishlist since May when I started seeing it blogged about because of BEA. I have not heard one negative thing about this book, and pre-ordered it immediately when I heard what it was going to be about. I also follow the author on twitter and for those of you who do so, know how much this can hype up the book for you along the way. They sometimes give hints, do chats and teasers that will make you feel like you cannot fully live without their book. I have had this experience several times. It's finally here! Authors Website


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wanderlove by Belle Malory


Lola Moori is hiding a secret she doesn't know she's keeping.

She begins to remember someone. Someone important. His name is Gabe…and whatever they shared, she could feel that it was epic.

Yet it seems Gabe wanted her to forget him. Forever.

The curse that repressed Lola’s memories for the span of several lifetimes is coming undone. But unfortunately for Lola, she discovers that some secrets are better left buried.


When I started reading this book I was so excited to jump into something different. It begins with a very fast paced runaway scene, stealing cars, visions and gypsies. The first section of the book kept me really engaged. I liked meeting the characters and the different twist of adding gypsies and their powers and politics. The second section of the book, although still written very well I had a harder time getting through. It revolved heavily around the characters relationships with each other and their past lives. As soon as it progressed into the final section of the book I was happily surprised by the outcomes and results, it brought everything together again and everything fell into the right places.
My overall feelings about the book that as a whole it was very interesting read. I think for the price it is well worth giving it a try and the last page has me very interested to see where else the story goes. Plus the best thing about sequels is that we have already been introduced to the characters and the world so we can just jump into the new adventures and see where they take us.
3.5 stars
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005OBI8O0/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img
http://bellemalory.blogspot.com/p/wanderlove.html

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Author Interview with Catherine Austen



If the games and music on Max's RIG were available in the current day, name a band and an App we might find on his RIG?

Max would have house music and pop songs on his RIG, provided by New Middletown’s communications network, but his friend Xavier would slip him old protest songs and Gogol Bordello.

The games would be militaristic, us vs. them, with racist undertones pretending to be patriotic. Users would be part of a team but never leading it.

Max would check the weather App before looking outside, and if the App and reality told him different things, he’d think the world had some catching up to do.


The main character Max got excited at the fact that he got to fight, he seemed to want to stand up for those that couldn't just so he could show off his new muscles. What kind of mind-set did you have to get into to write those scenes?

I discovered my inner adolescent, pumped him up, and let him loose.

This was completely out of character for me. I often hear my teenage son and his friends talk about fighting in ways that repulse me. I can’t bear to watch things suffer. I can’t stand televised boxing or UFC games or anything violent. I like physical exercise but I am not aggressive – a karate teacher once told me that I swing a weapon like a paintbrush.

But it sure was fun to visit that mind-set. There was such primal joy in Max’s fight scenes. And in his whole arrogant character. He’s just so teenage. He is purposely annoying, he makes fun of people, he fights - things I would never do or even think about. Yet it was sheer joy imagining it all as him. (Maybe because he is a really “good” character despite not being so “nice.”)

I got so stuck in Max’s head while writing this book that I would look at my own middle-aged suburban life with disdain and think, “I am so old. How can I live like this?”


I always find it interesting when an author chooses to write from the perspective of the other sex. Why did you choose your main character to be male and did you have to do any research to get the perfect reaction from Max's perspective?

Does being around difficult teenage boys expelled from school count as research?

I never considered writing this story about a girl. I wanted a character who was the sort of kid adults would want to medicate, and a boy seemed the natural choice. (Boys are medicated for behavioural reasons at much higher rates than girls.)

My first novel, Walking Backward, was also from a boy’s perspective. I think that’s because I have sons and no daughters, so I’m around boys all the time.

But my other book released this fall, 26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6, is about girls, and it’s really girly, and it was just a joy to write.


I have found that several authors use tv and music to help with the writing process. Are there any movies/tv shows or music that helped you through writing this book?

I sometimes get fixated on a song to build the right emotion for a scene. This is completely embarrassing and inexplicable. I listened to Joshua James’s “Colby’s Song” about a hundred times while writing the end of All Good Children. It has nothing to do with the book, but it helped evoke the feeling Max has for Dallas.

For my first book, Walking Backward, which is about a grieving family, I listened to the Weakerthans’ “Virtue the Cat Explains her Disappearance,” which is about a lost cat. Go figure.

I’ve been listening to Matt Mays while finishing the book I’m writing now, and that’s a bummer because once I’m done the book I won’t be able to listen to him for about five years, I’ll be so sick of him. And he was one of my faves. Oh well. Art requires sacrifice.


Your theme is friendship. My favorite character was Xavier as I found him quirky and interesting. What character relationship was your favorite to write either because of the way they got along, understood each other or their conflicts and how they could not get along.

I loved writing Max and Dallas together. There are a few scenes, where they’re just goofing around talking, that capture the feeling of being young for me.
The relationship of Max and Xavier was so clear to me while I was writing it - the complex feelings Max has for Xavier, admiration and pity and being reminded of his father - but once I was done all the revisions and out of Max’s head for a while, it was so weird to me. I actually changed a line or two in the copy edits because I just couldn’t understand it anymore. Xavier is based on a real boy, so maybe once I was “me” again I couldn’t read him as his own character. I don’t know. The scene where Max says goodbye to Xavier is an incredibly sad moment for me, even now just thinking about it, and I don’t know how much that has to do with Max and how much that has to do with me.
Writing is such a strange thing, to have such intense feelings for people who don’t exist, to feel like they’re real people out there somewhere with lives that have nothing to do with me. What’s that about?!?


http://www.catherineausten.com/books_agc.html
http://catherineausten.wordpress.com/
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11872039-all-good-children
to see my review of the book : http://cubicleblindness.blogspot.com/2011/11/all-good-children-by-catherine-austen.html

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All Good Children by Catherine Austen


In the not-too-distant future, Max tries to maintain his identity in a world where the only way to survive is to conform and obey.

Wow I did not know what to expect going into this story but was completely blown away with this book. Ok so I admit that through parts of it I was wondering where the story may be leading, the side characters became a little flat for me. But after finishing the story I realized that of course when people are being drugged to "behave" that of course they are going to become flat characters. Once this realization hit and I looked back over the story, color me impressed! I really enjoyed the idea, I loved the characters and/or what the characters ended up representing.
For some reason my favorite part of the story was very close to the beginning when Max is explaining how due to a contamination in a town how the birth defects rose. The outcome of those defects truly sparked a lot of questions and interests inside of me. I found it facinating how all children are based on certain factors, like how well bred they were because of how rich the parents were. Ok ok I know that sounds like it could be set in todays world, but it's completely different here, a whole new level. I found it very interesting that the term "recall" was used for one of the lowest grades of people.
Altogether a fascinating twist on people, life, our world and interactions with each other. It was a fantastic mix of Science Fiction and Dystopian. It brought up several of the same feelings and ideas in me that Divergent by Veronica Roth did.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11280254-cinder-and-ella Description from Goodreads.com
After their father’s disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn’t long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself—the most dangerous place in all the kingdom for both her and Cinder. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other and one you'll never forget.

I began reading this after dinner, like any other day, and before I even realized it I saw it was 1 AM. I was still about half an hour from finishing but my eyes started to droop and I wanted to enjoy the ending. I dreamt a beautiful dream that night and found myself waking early to finish it before work the next morning. At still found myself thinking about it all day, and made it through that day just fine, even with my lack of sleep.
I found this story completely magical, it drew me in right at the beginning and had me hooked.
After their father is spelled and leaves the family Cinder and Ella take over the taking care of the household as the mother becomes lost in her spinning. They have awful selfish sisters that really are too much to handle even for the two older sisters. Cinder eventually takes a job at the castle and Ella no longer able to handle the household herself, finds herself a job outside of the home.
The Prince, upon finding the news that Ella is working elsewhere sends his knights to find her and bring her back to him at the castle. And from there adventure, spells, evil vs good all appears.
As I read I could not help myself from picturing this story as an older Disney cartoon playing out in my head. The description of the characters, land, castle and feelings where that good, it just all played out in my head. This story takes a darker turn than other retellings and overall I was really impressed with this story. I highly enjoyed it and it's more dangerous tone. After all not everybody can have the happy ending.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Protectors: Book 1 in the Protectors Saga by P.M. Dooling


Every 16-year old thinks they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. For Avery Kimball this was actually true…she just didn’t know it yet. Life for Avery was completely normal, attending school, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her family. Until the day she finds out that she and her four closest friends have a destiny that will take them far away from their comfortable and safe lives on Earth. Avery learns that she and her friends are actually a group of powerful warriors known as the Protectors, who were charged with protecting the planet of Orcatia, but were killed by the evil Emperor. To save their lives, their magical mentor sent them to Earth to be re-born. It is now their duty to return to the planet and life they have no memory of, and once again serve as its Protectors, fighting the very Emperor responsible for their deaths. Along the way, Avery must contend with battling malevolent creatures, her sometimes fragile relationships with her friends and fellow Protectors, her attraction to the mysterious King of Nightfell, and her own doubts and fears about who she truly is and who she can become

This story was different than anything I have read recently. Please excuse me for not knowing the right term here. But the story is told like the reader is on the outside watching the scenes play out. We are not really inside any of the characters heads' even the main one. There are parts where we are only following Avery, but we only really get to know what they are feeling through the words they use when talking to each other. There were a couple of places in the story where Avery is alone and thinking things over, but it's not written as if we are inside her head, but as if her thoughts are being narrated to us. (Avery felt she did the right thing, Avery was concerned about this, etc. ) I sure hope that makes sense, or that I knew the correct term for this.

I can't believe I'm going to say this but I missed having a little bit of teen angst going on. The girls don't argue at all about what's happening to them, and don't even question their parents on why they did not tell them. Avery is approached by Gumptin and he tells her she's a protector, she and the others just say ok and go with the flow. They don't even question their parents on why, they don't argue about having to leave their friends on Earth, nor do they have any problems packing up all their things and moving back "home."
I also was not quite sure why the parents did not try to help them during their time on Earth. They did not have them in sports groups, special classes or any kind of training. I would think they would have urged them to participate in those kinds of activities knowing what their future held. I think I missed not knowing more of the emotions that the characters were going through. By the end of the book we do get to see more about Avery's concerns and what would happen to them if she failed.
But I wanted to see what the parents felt, what her sister felt and the emotional hardships between the girls individually.

Final Thoughts: As I am rating this story 4 stars, I really did enjoy it. I found myself drawn in completely. If you enjoy stories with great adventure and world building, I think you will enjoy this one. It was a pretty fast read and the language used was very detailed and descriptive. There were just a few spots where things didn't go as smoothly as I wanted, which is why I did not end up giving it 5 stars. I look forward to seeing what happens next in the saga.

Sentence that stood out the most:
"She turned and looked at the poor man as if he had just spanked a chicken"
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/86376
http://www.smashwords.com/books/download/86376/1/latest/0/0/the-protectors-book-1-in-the-protectors-saga.pdf
http://paigedooling.blogspot.com/
Best part is that it's available right now for FREE

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Author Interview: Jus Accardo



Author Bio: Jus Accardo is the author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy fiction. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald. Her first book,Touch, is due out in November 2011 from Entangled Publishing. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Touch Blurb: "When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet,seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunityto piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blueeyes home. Except there's something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower,is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she'llturn to dust if he touches her. It's not until Dez's father shows up,wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dezrealizes there's more to this boy - and her father's "law firm" - than sherealized. Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation - an organization devotedto collecting "special" kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons -his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. Dez and Kale team upwith a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they'recaught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dezhas spent her life keeping safe. A secret Kale will kill to protect."



You can check out my review of Jus' novel Touch (A Denazen Novel, Book 1)

A book that I gave 5 stars to. Great mystery, romance and action packed novel. Today I had the opportunity through Jus' publisher Entangled Publishing to get a chance to interview her. As she has been touring for awhile I tried to ask her some more uncommon questions, during my research to find some new questions I came across some other really great interviews on other blogs. If you are interested in learning more I encourage you to google her as well and see what you find!

Hello Jus and thank you for taking some time to answer my questions!
Firstly the romance is so good in TOUCH! Kale is so swoon-worthy. Are youteam Kale or Alex? Well maybe I should ask which character was more funfor you to write?
Alex and Kale were both so much fun to write. Kale had so many firsts...And Alex is just such a fun character in general... I'm not sure. I loved them both. As to which team I'm on, that's a really tough call. Kale is sweet and loyal and fierce. Alex has this uber history with Dez and he cares deeply for her. His heart seems to be in the right place, but you know what they say about best intentions... In the end though, I think it's Team Kale.
I was lucky enough to do the cover reveal for this book on my blog and think the cover is HOT, did you get to help design it/pick out the final cover? Does it match your vision of Kale?
The cover Kale was all Liz Pelletier. When I was writing TOUCH, I pictured Kale as a young Ben Barnes. When I saw the cover though... That guy is perfect. He IS Kale.
The story is pretty fast paced with a lot of action and detective-like mystery happening. How were you able to keep up the same tone/pace throughout the novel? Does music help?
Music helps a lot. I can't write without it. I've got detailed play lists for all my characters, as well as most scenes. As for the action, I didn't really think about it. I was like a woman possessed when writing. I sat down in the morning and didn't leave until my husband yanked me away from the computer at night.
Do you think you'll ever right a novella or book from another characters perspective? Which one would you choose first?
Novellas are a big yes. There's one coming out between book 1 and 2 in Kale's POV and there's another scheduled later for another character. I don't think I'll tell you who ;) I'm evil. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts though. Who would you like to see a story about? Who do you think it might be?
Your main character Dez starts out the story with a skateboarding stunt, what is your favorite physical activity? Do you skateboard?
I used to skateboard--though I wasn't very good ;D
And lastly: You do not end the story with a cliffhanger (thank you!) What are your feelings about Cliff Hangers and why did you choose to not have one?
To be honest, I didn't really think about it. I have mixed feeling about cliff hangers. On one hand they're exciting--on the other... I'm the most impatient person in the universe. As for TOUCH, there's a teeny tiny hint at the end, some people are picking up on it, others aren't. It's not a cliff hanger, but it's kind of a teaser for book two.


Title: Touch by Jus AccardoGenre: YA Paranormal RomanceePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-44-2
Print ISBN: 978-1-937044-45-9Release Date: November 1, 2011
Buy Links:
Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Touch-Denazen-Novel-Book-1/dp/1937044459/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320098205&sr=1-1 Barnes & Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/touch-jus-accardo/1105812249?ean=9781937044459&itm=1&usri=touch%2bby%2bjus%2baccardo Website: http://www.jusaccardo.com/ Blog: http://www.jusaccardo.com/category/blog/

Thank you again Jus for taking the time to answer my questions.
I am so interested in reading the Novella's. You ask a tough question there. I would love to see novella's from Sueshanna, Alex, Kale, and especially Brandt. You have such a great combination of people in this story it would be hard to choose just one!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Touch by Jus Accardo


When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect


The first thing that was very noticeable about this story was the voice of the main character. She is very spunky, active and strong spoken. There was nothing about her that I didn't like. She meets the male love interest within the first couple of pages. Kale has just escaped from Denazen where he was being used by the company for the powers that his touch has on others. Since Kale has been raised in the facility and it is all he knows, the outside world is completely new and his character is very naive and because of his powers he is tip toed around like a ticking bomb. The contrast between the two and the relationship that they build together was as much based on friendship as it was companionship. Sure, there are some pretty heavy and hot make out scenes but no complaints here!
The story is action packed and takes on from the first chapter. Deznee is very much a dare-devil and emotional button pusher. ( I mean she does things on purpose to get a reaction from people.) She speaks her mind and does whatever she wants. Kale is her opposite, although he has the power to kill, because of where he was raised his emotions are very guarded scared. I got the feeling that Kale felt more emotionally as the protector in the relationship, even though Dez acted more like it. Hope that makes sense, Kale was guarded because of his past, but Dez is more carefree and willing to make sacrifices for what she believes in.
After Dez saves Kale she takes him home and he tells her a story about her father that Dez although thinks it's far-fetched believes him without too much convincing. Her father has been putting on a charade of being a lawyer but the firm that he is running has nothing to do with what she always assumed. When her father comes home armed with a gun ready to kill Kale, the two run.
This is one of those books where I used the term "I could not put it down" there were amazing weaved plot twists, unforseen adventures and something everyone wishes for in a series, no cliffhanger.
This is one of the most unique stories I have read in a long time. The idea of the Sixes (people with powers) and the abilities they have were very imaginative and well blended, they just seemed to make sense and really belonged in the story. I have read books this year with teens that have powers (White Cat by Holly Black) but it's a spin on the old concept of superhumans/superheros/villans etc. One that I think the Young Adult world could use more of.
Just when you think that the story is going to go one way, it goes another. Right when you think they are going to get away, they don't. Right when you think that they are onto something, they got stumped. And the best part of all, nobody is who you think they are.
I think this story was told masterfully and it's over long before your ready for it to be.
Touch (A Denazen Novel, Book 1)
Stay tuned, Saturday Nov 5th I have an Interview with Jus Accardo!

Ward Against Death by Melanie Card


Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…


This story was a great surprise for me. I went into it not knowing what to expect but it had me hooked within the first couple of pages. Ward wakes Celia after she has deceased to intend on just asking her some questions, she won't be awake for long, but when she wakes up and takes off out the window it was a fantastic way to really grab the readers attention.
This book involved a lot of traveling, adventures and a mixture of entertaining characters. the mystery behind why Celia thinks she has been murdered and the people she must find to answer her questions is really handled well. I was never bored or got distracted while reading. The pace was perfect as the mystery and answers were coming unraveled.
We get a combinations of Criminals, Assassins, Necromancers, Trackers etc. It has great world building.
There was only one thing about the book that made me twinge a little. It is that Ward describes her at one point as smelling of death and that she had lesions on her body (from being dead). But then to imagine them falling in love, kissing or anything of the sort grossed me out. Even when I tried to picture her as a beautiful girl, all I could imagine was this blue skinned stinky corpse. But she had a great personality and was really feisty. I would have loved her myself, if I wasn't introduced to her as I was. The first couple of pages really do set the theme for the whole book.

What really made the book for me was the pacing and the characters. Besides the above statement I wholeheartedly enjoyed reading this story. It was my first venture into necromancy and I see myself reading more about it in the future.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa


Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.
Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.
To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.
And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice


I love this series and it gets better with each book. I loved that this switched to Ash's perspective and I loved even more that the majority of the book is just Puck and Ash. I have been team Puck until I read this book. I am now completely team Ash, although Grim is still my favorite character, it's kinda icky to claim Team Grim. I enjoyed the addition of more creatures within the realm. This series is a great addition to any library. It's got adventure, romance and lessons that we can all learn from. These stories are funny, serious and entertaining.  Even though Meghan is now the Iron Queen, Ash will do anything to be with her, even find a soul. The struggles that he goes through to realize what that means for them is truly endearing. I think it's pretty obvious I recommend this series to everybody. It makes for the best type of reading for anyday of the week, any weather and any vacation. Plus I say " Loved" 3 times in one paragraph, I don't think I've ever done that before. Highly enjoyable, entertaining, humorous and endearing, the Iron Fey series is one of the best out there.