Monday, December 31, 2012

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater ReviewReading Level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 416 pages
Release Date: October 18, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Narration: First Person: Sean and Puck
Genre: Mythology
Series: Standalone Novel

Order on Amazon: Hardcover
Order on Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

( Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter ! Facebook )

Amazon Summary

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 choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience.

My Review

The story of a friendship between a horse and it's rider.This novel takes place on the small island of Thisby where everyone knows everyone and news spreads like wildfire. This story is told in the point of view of Sean Kendrick and Puck Connolly, which is almost the only similarity between The Scorpio Races and Maggie Stiefvater's best selling series, Wolves of Mercy Falls.

Sean Kendrick is a orphan and has won the Scorpio Races four times in a row, which is almost unheard of. His best friend and only friend is Corr, a water horse or capaill uisce as they call it. Water horses are extremely dangerous, bloodthirsty creatures and it seems like the only person who can truly control them and reign in the call of the sea is Sean. Puck on the other hand, was orphaned when her parents were killed on a boat by a herd of capaill uisce. Her principle is to never ride a water horse to honor her parent's deaths, but her principles start to slip when fate doesn't give her a choice to do so.

Both Sean and Puck aren't talkative but that doesn't matter, because they understand each other and know what the other wants or needs without even speaking. There connected to each other just like there connected to their horses. The horses! Each horse had a personality of their own. Maggie describes Corr and Puck's horse Dove perfectly, and the horses themselves are as much as a character as Sean and Puck.

The beginning of this novel wasn't very entertaining. I was skipping pages hoping to find something interesting on the next page, but when Sean's and Puck's stories intertwined the novel started to pick up a bit. And that ending!!?? It was such a beautiful moment that I had tears rolling down my cheeks.

Overall, this book wasn't my favorite, but I didn't dislike it either. It was thought provoking, but I found most of it bland until the very end. Even though The Scorpio Races wasn't the book for me, people who enjoy mythology and are fond of horses are sure to love it!

Rating- 3/5

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins ReviewReading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 336 Pages
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Narration: First Person: Sophie
Genre: Paranormal/Witches

Hex Hall Series:
Book One: Hex Hall
Book Two: Demonglass
Book Three: Spell Bound

Order On Amazon: Paperback
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Paperback and Nook

( Goodreads ! Website ! Facebook )

Goodreads Synopsis:

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend
is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

My Review:

Since I was being annoyingly persnickety on figuring out which book to read next, I decided to pick something randomly and hope for the best. Hex Hall was the prestigious winner! I loved the unique cover design which almost gave off a sort of Alice In Wonderland vibe. And since I'm absolutely dying to read Splintered right now (AKA a retelling of Alice In Wonderland), I thought Hex Hall would be an excellent way to curb my panicking until January 1st. However, as I'm studying the cover in the present, I'm still a bit perplexed as to why the publishing company decided to place a black cat on each of the covers when it doesn't correspond with the story.....

The premise of a school/camp of supernatural beings isn't an original idea, but at the same time, isn't overused to the point of exhaustion just yet. Hex Hall was fast paced and almost always had me at the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. In fact, I was so entranced by this book that I ended up reading the whole series within the span of a day and a half! Hex Hall being my favorite among them all.

Sophie Mercer was just like any other average sixteen year old girl, except for the fact that she's a witch of course. For three years she was able to keep her supernatural powers under wraps with the help of her mundane mother. But after a love spell gone awry, she had no choice but to leave her old friends behind and start attending Hex Hall, a reformatory school for fairies, witches, and shapeshifters who have similar problems controlling their powers. While in orientation, the new students find out that their two biggest enemies have converged in the hopes of destroying the Prodigium once and for all, and their biggest target? Her. By the end of Sophie's first day, she's managed to become the victim of a werewolf attack, befriend a vampire outcast, and piss off three of the most powerful dark witches on campus. And if that isn't bad enough, she also finds out who her real father is, and discovers that her magic might be far more darker and sinister than she ever realized....

The protagonist, Sophie, was my favorite character out of the whole book! Although she was gullible and naive at times, she learned from her mistakes and came out stronger, braver, and fiercely loyal to her friends. But even though she was confident, she wasn't perfect. She had her vulnerable moments when all she needed was a shoulder to cry on, and that helped me connect to her character better, because we all have those moments. The best part? Her inner dialogue and God given talent of sarcasm! This has got to be the funniest book I have ever read so far! Even beating out Puck from The Iron Fey series, which is seriously saying something, because he's freaking hilarious! Sophie's humor was NEVER corny or over the top, at least to me, and the jokes she cracked actually made sense! She's one of those characters who scoff in the face of danger as if to say, "Me? Scared? Ha!" Her jokes had me laughing so hard, to the point where I was on the verge of crying. My parents were giving me wide eyed looks throughout the whole book and probably considered committing me to a mental institution for a few moments there. xD

The friendship that Sophie and her vampire friend, Jenna, created was easy and natural. Yeah yeah at first Sophie was a little skeptical as to whether or not Jenna would try to suck her blood while she was sleeping, but she didn't let that get in the way! They both had the same sense of humor and always had each other's backs. And that one scene with all the dresses? For some reason, I thought that was brilliant and laughed until I could barely breathe!

Archer Cross. Don't you just love the sound of that name? It rolls right off the tongue! Archer Cross *Swoon*! He was the only love interest for this novel. Thank God! Suffice to say, that even I'm starting to get annoyed at those petty little love triangles. I used to look forward to them in every novel, but I have turned my life around and finally seen the light! I guess I don't mind them TOO much in debut novels, but 95% of the time, I hate the way they turn out. There so predictable. Either the unlucky guy gets stuck with another girl and they end up falling deeply in love, or he dies a bloody and heroic death protecting the love of his life. Well anyways, off of my rant. The romance from Hex Hall felt real! There was no Insta-Love connection. It was a crush feeling at first, which is totally understandable considering the hotness that is Archer Cross. Then they built a friendship that was made up of snide comments, playfully flung insults, and the rare, once in a while, heart to heart conversations. And Finally, that friendship blossomed into something a little more. I loved watching their relationship grow!

Overall, Hex Hall is a great novel for anyone looking for a good laugh. The humor made sense, and I understood most of the pop culture references. They talked like actual teenagers instead of using the annoying slang some authors think we use in real life. Hex Hall was a fast paced read, had a snarky, slow building romance, and a great story line!

Favorite Quotes:

“Let's just say you may regret that second piece of cake.'
Oh my God. Regret cake? Whatever was about to happen must be truly evil.”
-Rachel Hawkins, Hex Hall
“I was literally seeing stars, and every ragged breath I took felt like I was trying to breathe through broken glass.

On the upside, my crush on Archer was totally gone. Over. Once a boy has slammed his kneecap into your rib cage, I think any romantic feeling should naturally go the way of the ghost.”
-Rachel Hawkins, Hex Hall

Heroine- 4.5/5
Romance- 4.5/5
Comedy- 6/5
Action- 4.5/5
Overall- 4.5/5

Friday, December 28, 2012

Feature and Follow (19)

Feature and Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee!
Question: What book do you think everyone should read? If you could gift the entire population with one book?
Answer: I would have to go with The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I know I know, I picked one book too many, but I just couldn't help myself! These are two of my favorite books of all time! They would both be awesome and fast paced reads for guys and girls alike, because although they do have some romance in them (Shadow and Bone more than The False Prince. :P), their focus is really on the action and plot rather than all that lovey dovey stuff. Which you have to admit is quite refreshing in the world of YA!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoThe False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen


How about you? What book would you gift the entire population?

Cover Reveal: Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun

About The Book:
Release Date: March 15, 2013

Sworn To Raise by Terah EdunSeventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the kingdom. But beneath her kingdom’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.

Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companion’s Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.

But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.

This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.

Find The Book:
About The Author:
Terah EdunTerah Edun is an international development professional and author/lover of all things Young Adult Fantasy fiction. She is a native Georgian, adoptive Washingtonian, unrepentant expat currently living in South Sudan, brilliant dreamer, lover of dogs and not-so-closet geek. Her first novel, Red Madrassa, was released on November 8th and her second novel, Sworn to Raise, comes out in March 2013.
Find The Author:

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Trailer Reveal: Eternal Hope by Frankie Rose

Eternal Hope by Frankie RoseAbout The Book:
Release Date: October 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: The Hope Series #2

He loves me,
he loves me not,
he loves me

When your friends go missing and you don’t know if they’re dead or alive; when you tie your soul to the one you love; when you kill to protect and your family suffers, there’s only one thing you can do:

Move to Montana.

Farley Hope is special. She was prophesied to kill the forebears of her bloodline- a race of cold-blooded Reavers, men who steal the souls of the living to gain power. The Quorum had counted on Farley ending her own life in the process, but when Kayden came to her aid and helped save both her and Daniel, he undid their plans. Now the Quorum are displeased, not only with Kayden, but with Farley and Daniel too. Though her father is now dead, Farley’s troubles with the Reavers are far from over. An ancient Immortal, trapped for a thousand years, wants Farley for himself, and he will stop at nothing to claim her.

With secrets that lead to anger and pain, that turn friendship to dust, the group must overcome the problems within their own circle before they have a hope of fighting off the powers that threaten their lives.



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Shade Of Vampire by Bella Forrest

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest ReviewPaperback: 147 Pages
Release Date: December 17, 2012
Publisher: Self Published
Narration: First Person: Sofia and Derek
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Vampires
Source: Author
A Shade Of Vampire Series
Book One: A Shade of Vampire
Book Two: ????
Book Three: ????
Order On Amazon: Paperback
Goodreads Synopsis:
On the evening of Sofia Claremont's 17th birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.

An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?
My Review:
If I wasn't asked to write a review on A Shade of Vampire, I probably would've skipped right over it involuntarily. Why? Because covers are always the first thing to catch my eye, and this one just didn't pop out for me. It wasn't exactly unattractive, it just wasn't the type of novel to make me automatically want to read it. However, after I finished reading the novel and decided to take a closer look, I understood where the author was coming from and the scene she was trying to portray. The only thing I would've tried to change would be the font. Maybe into something more elegant and medieval looking, perhaps?
This novel was told from the perspectives of Sofia Claremont and Derek Novak. When I was reading from Sofia's POV, I pictured her as more of a quiet, sensitive, and delicate character. Somewhat like one of those furry little shivering rabbits you see in a pet store.
Exhibit A

Awwww, isn't she so adorable!? However, when we read from Derek's point of view, you see that she is, in fact, not a weak character, but instead a kind hearted soul who would try to comfort others even when she was scared to death herself.
Derek Novak, a dark royal vampire Prince, has spent his entire existence trying to escape from his prophesied reign. He was even desperate enough to ask a witch to put him under a deep sleeping curse so that he would never have to wake up again. However, Derek soon discovered that no matter what you do, you can't run away from your destiny forever. I really enjoyed Derek's character! Even though he's been surrounded by vampires for almost his entire life, he never once let them corrupt him. Derek was a walking paradox, as Sofia stated. He was a soulless being desperately searching for humanity like a shriveled up plant striving for sustenance.
The romance wasn't exactly what you would call an Insta-Love, since Sofia did something distinct enough to gain the young prince's attention, rather than a love at first sight thing. However, in my opinion, I still think that the romance progressed just a little too fast. But if you ignore that fact, then yes it was a pretty well written love story! The small things that Sofia did for Derek were so adorably sweet! And the way Derek tried his best to change his vampiristic ways for Sofia was beautiful as well!
Since A Shade of Blood is only about 147 pages long, it was a fairly quick read! I never once got bored with what was happening or skimming pages for something better on the next page. The ending was slightly on the cliche side of things, but that kind of epic and foreboding sort of conclusion never fails to make me want to read the sequel, so I guess it fulfilled its purpose well!
Overall, if your looking for a fast and exciting paranormal romance, then this is the book for you! I will definitely be looking forward to reading more about Derek and Sofia's adventures in the future!
Heroine- 3.5/5
Romance- 4/5
Action- 4/5
Comedy- N/A
Overall- 4/5 

Monday, December 24, 2012

2013 Mythology Reading Challenge

Welcome to the 2013 Mythology Challenge
The challenge is to read 10 YA or middle grade novels that incorporate any type of Mythology in the story line ( Greek, Norse, Egyption, Etc.).
• The challenge will run from January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013.
• You can join anytime by adding your name to the linky list here.
• Books must be read in 2013.
• If you are a blogger, please write a sign-up post that links back to this challenge page (Please use the image above in the post).
• If you are not a blogger, just leave a link to your account on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, LibrayThing, etc.
Not sure what to read? Check out the YA Mythology Challenge Goodreads List.
Books Read

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken ReviewReading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 496 Pages
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Narration: First Person: Ruby
Genre: Dystopian
The Darkest Minds Series:
Book One: The Darkest Minds 
Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Goodreads Synopsis:
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
My Review:
Since I'm sick and feel like absolute crap at the moment,
I apologize if the following review is not entirely coherent.

I have been restlessly waiting for The Darkest Minds for what has seemed to me like an entire millennium. Ever since I glanced at the cover in my recommendations bar, I knew that it was going to be a keeper. Ya know, one of those books that you buy in Kindle form, fall in love with, then rush off to Barnes and Noble to buy a physical copy just to stare at all day. Is that normal? Hopefully I'm not the only one who does this.... 

The simple black textured cover, adorned with an orange Psi symbol, and barbed wire to finish it off intrigued me endlessly! Of course I had no idea what the symbol meant before reading the novel, but when I finished, it made perfect sense! The cover was so different compared to other YA novels that usually consist of a pretty girl in a long dress looking off into the distance dramatically or a broody and mysterious bad boy caught in an intimate embrace with his soul mate or whatever. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against these covers if they actually coincide with the novel. But to be honest, they usually don't.

The Darkest Minds takes place in a futuristic world, when America is basically bankrupt and more than half of the younger generation (Usually 10-14) is infected with IAAN (Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration). Those who survive this life threatening condition come out stronger and develop abilities that the government deems dangerous and deadly. The parents of these children send their kids off to "rehabilitation camps," a place the government claims is helping to find a cure for these children, but instead is forcing them to work long strenuous hours and treating them like savage animals. In these camps, each child is sorted into five categories according to how dangerous their ability is.
Green: Mentally advanced children/photographic memories.
Blue: Telekinesis.
Yellow: Electricity.
Orange: Mind Control
Red: ability to create and wield fire.

The protagonist, Ruby, was nothing like I expected her to be! She was strong, brave, fiercely loyal, intelligent, and yet also had a tendency to be unconfident at times. She was afraid of what her powers were capable of, and because of this, she thought of herself as a monster, something that could not be controlled. Ruby constantly thought about the wellbeing of others and always put the lives of her friends, or even complete strangers, in front of her own. She was compassionate the majority of the time, however, there were a couple moments when her actions were at odd with her benevolent nature. One of the biggest reasons I loved Ruby was because she didn't hesitate to fight back. Even though she had no training whatsoever, she didn't cower in the corner like some annoying damsel in distress. She fought back with everything she had and didn't hesitate to risk her life to save others even if it meant the end of her own.

There were two love interests (sort of) in this novel, but it was far from what you would call a love triangle. Liam was the leader of their little gang, had a slight southern drawl, and was so cute! He was always brave and put together when it came to leading his friends, but when it came to talking to Ruby about...other things, he was just so adorably awkward! There were so many times that I let out an audible "Awwww!" every time he did something sweet. And the one thing I loved best about their relationship? It was NOT one of those despicable insta love connections! When Ruby and Liam first met, there was a slight attraction to each other, but it was realistic. It wasn't this out of the blue, "We were meant to be together." or "Your my soul mate, and I would do anything to be with you." kind of thing. It started off as a friendship and it grew over time into something more. They were each independent people and didn't let love change who they really were. It felt real. The other love interest (Don't want to say his name, because it's a huge spoiler!), made me a little wary as soon as he was introduced. He was just so.......perfect and slightly creepy.

The one point where this novel really shined, was the depths of the supporting characters. I have never, in all my years of reading, loved and connected to every single character in a book! Love you, Chubs! :D.

The action was well paced! In the beginning, I was kind of confused on what was happening, which resulted in me having to reread a few things over. But after I got a few chapters into the story, I was immediately sucked into the dark and violent world Alexandra managed to create. I thought I had everything figured out halfway through the novel, but I. Was. So. Wrong! I wasn't able to predict anything correctly, and that's saying something because since I've read so many books, It's become easy to know what's coming next just by paying attention to all the minor details. The Darkest Minds was an exception to that! There were so many times that Alexandra played with my emotions! One time, I literally felt my heart drop, and I was like no no No No! Then I read the next sentence, and I could finally breathe again. AND THAT ENDING!? WHAT? WHY!? WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO US!?

Overall, The Darkest Minds put a unique spin to the well known world of Dystopian novels. If you enjoy dark dystopians, unpredictable twists and turns, a strong heroine, and unbreakable friendships, you should pick this book up ASAP!

Favorite Quotes:

"They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were afraid of us-the ones who lived."
"I'm a monster, you know. I'm one of the dangerous ones."
"No you aren't," he promised. "Your one of us."
"The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces."

Heroine- 4/5
Romance- 5/5
Action- 4/5
Comedy- 3/5
Overall- 4/5


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Feature and Follow (18)

Feature and Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee!
Question: What have you learned from book blogging that you didn't know before about the publishing industry?
Answer: be honest, I'm still rather ignorant towards the whole book publishing business, because I'm still pretty new to the book blogging world as well. However, I did manage to pick up on a few things from watching videos via YouTube, by one of my fave book reviewers, AKA CassJayTuck. To think that the actual writer, the mastermind behind a novel, usually has no say whatsoever on what their cover will look like, is just mind boggling! Don't get me wrong, I usually love the covers that the publishing companies design....but I still believe that writers should have the final say on the end result, because they are the ones who know their novels inside out, what the fans want, and the picture needed to portray their book.


How about you? What have you learned about the publishing industry?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (18)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we can't wait to get our hands on!

Waiting On Wednesday

This week's WoW is Blood-Kissed Sky by J.A. London!
Blood Kissed Sky by J.A. London
Amazon Synopsis:
There's nowhere left to hide.
I thought vampires were our enemies—they controlled our lives, isolated our cities, and demanded our blood—until I met Victor. With Victor taking over as the new Lord Valentine, things were supposed to get better. Instead, they're worse than ever.

Day Walkers, a new breed of vampires who can walk in the sun, are terrorizing the city. Blood supplies are low, and if Victor's vampires don't get enough, they will become infected with the Thirst—a disease that will turn them into mindless killers.

To stop it, I must journey across the desolate wasteland to the very place where the sickness began. I can only hope that the answers that await me are enough to save us all . . . before it's too late.

My Thoughts:

Eeeek! Can't wait for this one! It seems like all I've been reading this month is Dystopian, Dystopian, Fantasy, Mythology, and so on. I haven't read a single paranormal book for a long long time, and lately I keep on getting these random cravings for some fast paced vampire action! Behold! Blood Kissed Sky! The answer to my prayers! xD The first novel in this series didn't get alot of great ratings, which was a huge shocker to me, because I thought that it was awesomely written! Not too crazy about this cover though. Seems a little on the blandish side.

Extra Information:
Release Date: December 26, 2012
Paperback: 368 Pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Paranormal/Vampires
Darkness Before Dawn Series:
Book One: Darkness Before Dawn
Book Two: Blood-Kissed Sky
Book Three: After Daybreak
How about you? What book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan RhodesReading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 412 Pages
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Narration: Third Person:
Cleo, Jonas, Magnus, Lucia
Genre: Fantasy

Falling Kingdoms Series
Book One: Falling Kingdoms
Book Two: Rebel Spring (2013)

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

( Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter ! Facebook )

Goodreads Synopsis:

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power--brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished--and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past--and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

My Review:

I had so many mixed feelings about this novel. When I first laid eyes upon it in Barnes and Noble, I was ecstatic! The cover, which spotlighted a cloaked assassin wielding two deadly daggers in front of a fog surrounded castle, intrigued and appealed to my curious nature. I was immediately asking myself, "What's this novel about!?" "Are there assassins in it?" "Why is he/she veiled?" "What's up with the hawk?". Sadly, the cover has little to do with the actual book. The only connection I made was the flying bird and possibly the castle, although the castle looks nothing like I would expect it to be.
Falling Kingdoms is told in third person via Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus. One spot where the novel really shined, was the switch in perspectives between these characters and some of the minor ones. Even though the author constantly interchanged between the people in one kingdom to the people in the next, I never once felt confused as to who was talking or where they were located. Some might have trouble distinguishing one character from the other in the very beginning, because there are alot of new characters that are introduced at once. However, as you continue, you'll discover that each person has a very unique personality and perspective of seeing things that set them apart from each other.
Cleo, the youngest princess of the prosperous Auranian Kingdom, came off as selfish, bratty, and spoiled at first. I immediately disliked her weak nature and her easy to bend will. However, as the story progressed she grew in strength, mentally and emotionally. The difficult and trying situations she was forced to face and overcome, prepared her for what lay ahead and slowly shaped her into the queen she was always capable of being. 
Jonas was a poor boy who resided in Paelsia, a gradually dying kingdom. He had a revolutionary mind and wanted nothing more than to crush the Auranian royals beneath his feet. He was quick to anger and instead of thinking plans through, he went along and did them. Even if they were idiotic and suicidal. He was also quick to jump to conclusions (that didn't make any sense whatsoever...) which didn't bring me to like him anymore than I already did. However, near the end, we also see a little bit of character development. Instead of blindly following orders from a bloodthirsty king, he stops and thinks about the possible outcomes of the current situation.

Lucia made the best impression on me in the beginning. She was sweet, kindhearted, yet still had a little bit of bite to her. But after a certain event takes place (Can't say without giving away spoilers! D:), she acts unrealistically. Something that drastic happens, by your hand, and you just forget about it and never bring it up again? Not even have the slightest amount of guilt for what you did?

Magnus, the son of the notorious Limeros King, was always living in his older half brother's shadow. He never felt loved and was abused as a kid, which made him a little dark. Understandable. But even though he was badly treated growing up, he was still merciful and had a good heart underneath the rough exterior. Although as the novel progressed, Magnus slowly started to become more and more like his evil father. 

*SPOILER ALERT* Sorry I can't hold this one in. When Magnus stated that he was in love with his sister, I literally had to put the book down and find myself something else to do. Even though I subconsciously knew that they weren't siblings, it still grossed me out. There are a couple novels out there that spring the big "Your brother and sister" card, but in the back of your mind, you always knew they weren't. For example: In the Mortal Instruments, Clary and Jace discover that there "brother and sister" unbeknowest to the fact that they really aren't. However, despite the fact that they think there siblings, they still have feelings for each other. In my opinion, that's not too bad because they grew up SEPARATELY and never knew each other up until that moment. Magnus and Lucia grew up together, wholeheartedly believing that they were siblings born from the same mother. It just.....rubbed me the wrong way.*END OF SPOILER*

The action was mehh. When I started this book, the overzealous details and the over the top worldbuilding made everything seem rather tedious and slow. I felt like it kept on dragging on and on and kept waiting for something exciting to leap up at me. However, in the last 20% of the novel, the pacing picked up noticeably! I loved the way Morgan intertwined the stories of four very different characters from three warring kingdoms together in the end.

I didn't think that the romance was all that believable. The love that sprang up between Cleo and her guard, Theon, seemed sudden and veered towards the Insta-Love category. But....since this story jumps from four different perspectives, it might be possible that significant amounts of time have passed, but we just don't know it.

Overall, Falling Kingdoms was a bit too slow paced for my tastes. The characters each annoyed me in their own ways, and either surprised me towards the end or disappointed me altogether. However, even though I never fully connected with this story, I still enjoyed the way Morgan wrote the four different POVs and how she intertwined their stories in the end.

Main Characters:
Cleo- 3.5/5
Jonas- 3/5
Lucia- 3/5
Magnus- 2.5/5

Romance- 2.5/5
Action- 3/5
Only giving it a three
because it picked up near the end.
Comedy- N/A
Overall- 3/5


Teaser Tuesday (15)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading.

To participate all you have to do is:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give to much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
"Good fortune will find those with pure hearts, even when all seems lost."
Kindle Ebook
Even in the darkest and most cruel person, there is still a kernel of good. And within the most perfect champion, there is also darkness. The question is, will one give in to the dark or the light? It's something we decide with every choice we make, every day that we exist. What might not be evil to you could be evil to someone else. Knowing this makes us powerful even without magic."
Kindle Ebook

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: Redemption by H.D. Gordon

Title: Redemption
Author: H.D. Gordon
Publisher: ShareARead
Release Date: December 21, 2012
Formats: E-book
Cover Artist: Regina Wamba
The Alexa Montgomery Saga
Book One: Blood Warrior
Book Two: Half Black Soul
Book Three: The Rise
Book Four: Redemption

Goodreads Synopsis:

The final test is here. The war is no longer a worry of tomorrow, but a reality of today. Turning back is no longer an option. Maybe it never was. It is time for Alexa Montgomery to look fate in the eyes. Death waits there for certain. The only question is... for who?

My Thoughts:

I love the covers that there redesigning for this series! Although I prefer the previous cover for Blood Warrior, the new and improved covers look alot more professional and unique. The red and black cover theme is perfect, and the designs in the center embody the themes of the novels.

Throne Of Glass Novellas by Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin and the Desert, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, The Assassin and the Underworld, The Assassin and the Empire, Throne of Glass Novellas Sarah MaasReading Level: Ages 12 and up
Page Number: 70-104 Pages
Release Dates: January 13-July 20, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Narration: Third Person: Celaena
Genre: Fantasy

Prequel Series:
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
The Assassin and the Desert
The Assassin and the Underworld
The Assassin and the Empire

Throne of Glass Series:
Book One: Throne of Glass

Order On Amazon: Kindle

( Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter ! Facebook )

My Review:

I have always disliked novellas. It doesn't matter if it's written by my favorite author or the author I loathe the most, I treat them all the same. However, after reading a glowing review that promised that I would love the novellas if I enjoyed the original book, I decided to give them a chance before I automatically threw them in my not interested pile. I was so happy that I did! Sarah managed to entrance me with her plot, her story, and her characters. It takes a truly talented author to make me feel so many strong and overwhelming emotions within the span of 100 pages, or less.
Celaena Sardothien (Bless her heart!) is definitely on my list of top ten favorite heroines of 2012! All of the actions she took were true to her character! She was headstrong, brave, and unable to be broken. But even though she seemed so untamable and resilient on the outside, she was still human. And being human meant that she still had faults. Her most prominent ones being arrogance, vainess, and vulnerability when it comes to feelings. Even though I can't wield a dagger as deftly as Celaena or even have the guts to do what she was forced to do at the young age of eight, those faults helped me connect and understand her character better. It was enlightening to read about Celeana's background story and how she came to be "The Spirit Who Could Not Be Broken" in Throne of Glass. Every hardship she went through, from defeating the Pirate Lord to earning the Mute Master's respect, made her stronger and braver.
I was looking forward to Sam's character the most! In Throne of Glass, we see little snippets of information on who Sam was and still is to Celaena. At first, I was confused while reading The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, because they seemed to hate each other with a passion. And rather then be madly in love, they were at each other's throats every single second of the day. However, as the story progressed, my eyes were opened to the connection they had built over time. Instead of seeing Sam as her competition and enemy, she starts falling in love with him little by little. Sam was thoughtful and always payed attention to her wants even when she was just joking around. There were so many moments when they each sacrificed something for each other, which induced so many "Awwww!" reactions from me.
Every single one of these novellas were well paced! Sarah managed to include just the right amount of action and romance. There was NEVER a dull moment when I was wondering if there was going to be something more interesting on the next page, as I usually do with other novellas. The humor was funny as well! Sam and Celaena start off with a hate relationship that resulted in alot of snappy comebacks and witty conversations (Hilarious by the way!) and even when they did finally admit their feelings for each other, Celeana didn't let her love get the best of her. She still remained the strong, capable character she was, and argued with Sam every time something didn't go her way.
Overall, I'm going to agree with the previously written statement. If you read and loved Throne of Glass, you'll love the novellas as well! Each novella consists of a quest or mission that either Celeana alone or Celeana and Sam, work to overcome. Every task she encounters, she undoubtedly succeeds. Every hardship she's faced with, she overcomes. Every time someone knocks her down, she gets back up again. And that's why I loved these novellas so very much! :D

Heroine- 5/5
Romance- 5/5
Comedy- 5/5
Action- 5/5
Overall- 5/5

Friday, December 14, 2012

Undeadly by Michele Vail

Undeadly by Michele Vail ReviewPaperback: 272 Pages
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Mythology/Zombies
Source: Netgalley

The Reaper Diaries
Book One: Undeadly
Book Two: Unchosen (2013)

Order On Amazon: Paperback
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Paperback and Nook

( Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter ! Facebook )

Goodreads Synopsis:

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath.

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble....

My Review:

Finally got enough time to squeeze in a review! To be honest, I should be studying trig right now, but ehhh procrastination does seem to be my specialty. xD So in the past week, I was fortunate enough to receive an ebook version of Undeadly by Michelle Vail from the awesome people at Netgalley! When I first read the synopsis, which was a long LONG time ago, I was practically jumping up and down in glee. Why, you ask? Because I'm a HUGE mythology buff, and after reading Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles (Based off of Egyptian Mythology, if you don't know. :), I was practically salivating to glean more information about the mysterious Egyptian legends and gods. However, after reading more than a couple of not-so-great reviews, my excitement slowly dwindled. In fact, it diminished to the point where I was literally flinching, when I finally psyched myself up enough to open the book.

Undeadly both proved my expectations wrong and right, simultaneously.
Here's a detailed description why......

The protagonist, Molly Bartolucci, was immature and annoying in the beginning. Her sense of humor, at times, was amusing. But 80% of the time, it made absolutely no sense or was so cheesy, that I was fighting the urge to set the book down and vow to never open it again. I believe that the author was attempting to give Molly a more teenish attitude and outlook on life, but she wasn't able to hit the nail on the head. The slang that Molly and her friends used were not things that normal mentally sound teenagers would say, at least not in my opinion.

Aside from her corny jokes and annoying style of speaking, she also took alot of TSTL (Too stupid to live) actions. There was this one particular scene near the end of the book, when I had to fight the urge to strangle the living daylights out of her. For example, lets say someone points a gun at your head and threatens to kill you if you don't do what they say. Would you A. Panic and run away screaming. B. Keep your composure and silently plot your escape or C. Fall to your knees and beg for mercy. In Molly's case, she chose D. None of the above. Even after everything that her attacker did to her and all the questionable actions she took, Molly still didn't know if that person was friend or foe. Really?

However, even though she was a few fries short of a happy meal, she still grew in character.....a little bit. Near the end, she learned to stop, force herself to stop talking for a minute, and listen. She learned to take in her surroundings, keep a calm expression on her face during stressful times, and think of a way to solve whatever messed up situation she got herself into. Although I didn't really like or connect with Molly's character in this novel, I'm hoping I'll grow to like her more in the next installment.

Wow. I think that's the most I've ever written on a protagonist. Moving on to the love interests. In Undeadly, we have an almost there, but not quite, love triangle. We have Rick, the golden boy who always does what's right, and Rath, the dark, brooding, and mysterious bad boy. Sound familiar? Before reading the novel, I already knew that I wasn't going to like Rick, and my guess ended up being correct. Why didn't I like him? He was a bland character to me. There was nothing mysterious about him. I never had questions like, "Who is he really?" or "What's his real motive?" swirling around in my head. ***Minor Spoiler to those who haven't read summary*** And the way that Rick died? He just happened to turn around, trip, and crack his head open? It sounded so....unrealistic and hard to believe.***End Spoiler*** Rath I liked more. He had the cryptic and dark vibe thing going on, and being the total girl I am, I couldn't help but be drawn to it. Don't ask me why girls tend to gravitate toward bad boys, because I honestly don't understand it either.

The action was the only saving grace for this novel, besides the cool Egyptian facts of course! I never got bored with Undeadly and the premise was interesting as well. I was expecting the necromancers and zombies to be more hidden and secret. Something mere humans wouldn't be able to see. However, this was not the case! Zombies and necromancers, in this world, are common knowledge to everyone. Zombies could be anything from slaves, pets, or maids. Although they could still eat you whenever they had the sudden craving. I'm not a huge zombie fan, in fact I usually despise zombies with a passion, but this novel made me enjoy them more.

Overall, Undeadly had great potential but fell flat for me. It reminded me of my first feelings towards Jennifer Estep's Touch Of Frost series. However, since those novels progressed into the awesomeness they are today, I'm more than likely going to read the next installment in this series. Who knows? Maybe Michelle will follow in Jennifer's footsteps. If your a huge fan of both zombies and Egyptian mythology, then you might enjoy this novel more than I did.

Heroine- 2.5/5
Romance- 3/5
Action- 4/5
Comedy- 2.5/5
Overall- 3/5

*An ebook copy was provided by Netgalley
in exchange for a honest and thoughtful review.*