Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the UniverseAcross the Universe by Beth Revis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mind blowing... Holy frex...

There are very few books that simply blow me out of the water. Very few. I can count them on one hand.

And to be perfectly honest, I didn't even like this book when I first started it. I thought that it was getting off of the ground way too slow and there wasn't much going on-- add that in with the fact that I already don't have a taste for science fiction so much (especially spaceship voyage kind of science fiction) NOR mysteries, and I thought I had a complete dud on my hands. For my personal tastes anyway. By the 50s to 100s each hook kept pulling me back. It took a while to get to the end, simply because I kept wanting to give up, but the story wouldn't let me forget about it completely.

The thing about mysteries that I hate is that I usually can predict who the killer is... or at least when I can't, everything adds up pretty flawlessly. But ACROSS THE UNIVERSE had a dozen or so surprises even AFTER we find out who's behind this... It's like opening up one door, simply to find another. And it does this in dominoe fashion to the very last page.

I still wouldn't have liked it though, had it not been for the love story. "Brave New World meets Titanic" is correct, back cover. I am sold, Revis. Completely and totally sold. Keep writing your science fiction/mystery/romance trilogy and I will bow down to it's utterly captivating prose!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

While I have not posted any reviews for the previous books in this series, I absolutely adore Vampire Academy. Last Sacrifice didn't change that for me.

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6)Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The final book for Rose...

What can I say? At first glance, the Vampire Academy series really didn't allure to me. I figured it was just another vampire fad on it's way out. It wasn't until I'd ran out of books to read and a friend thrust them into my arms, that I actually started reading them... and strangely enough, liking them.

Following Rose and her friends for the past year, I've delved into such a journey. And honestly, such a good story. I was fairly satisfied how things were left off. While some characters are left with loose ends, I seriously believed that Mead ended things very well with the main character in question. Rose's ending couldn't have gone any other way. She ended up with who I thought she was meant to be with. Even Lissa's future took a surprising, yet satisfying turn.

But this book isn't an ending... It's a perfect segue into a new beginning. And I can't wait to see what comes next in Mead's upcoming continuation of Rose's world. And with an intriguing new point of view in third person, hopefully we'll get to see even more happy endings for the other characters that we love in BLOODLINES.

LAST SACRIFICE is enticing, romantic, and full of fast-paced action that will satisfy all of your genre needs. I'm very happy that my friend made me read these books. Very happy.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Long Time Coming...

Alright, I know I suck at keeping up with this thing lately. The truth is, I just haven't been reading. For the past three-ish weeks or so I've been working, writing, and getting my holiday groove on. And when I say I've been writing, boy have I EVER been writing. Ironically, more so than during November when I entered for NaNoWriMo. Which is kind of sad. I've actually been co-writing a new project with my best friend, which is to say... VERY exciting.

But no worries! I have returned to reading and will be posting a new review very, very soon. Hopefully by tomorrow or Wednesday. Anyway, just thought I'd check in and explain my very boring absence. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas week! Happy reading!

Suspiciously yours,
Apt Katie.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some books are so good that you can ramble on and on for days about every little thing inside of them. All of it's information has been poured into you and you are overflowing with such intensity to share it with someone. Anyone.

Other books are so powerful that you can't say a word. It's very pages have sunk deep into your heart and mind and will continue to sit there until it is etched into your soul. It whispers to you. There aren't any words good enough to describe what you have just experienced.

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver happens to be one of the most powerful books I have ever read.

And the only words I can seem to come up with are...

More than amazing... More than five stars... Beautiful in every way.

It comes out in February of 2011. Read it.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jane by April Lindner

Surprised myself by finishing this in a storm of two days. Eh, technically 24 hours. Truly amazing.

JaneJane by April Lindner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've never read Bronte's JANE EYRE. It's a classic. And they're usually awesome for a reason. But I've never had the opportunity. We didn't read it in school.

Now... I wish I had.

JANE by April Lindner is a MARVELOUS retelling of what I know is one of the greatest romances of all time. She completely revamped it for modern standards too. Mr. Rochester turned into a world famous rockstar? Yeah. I believe it now.

The character of Jane Moore was just so relatable and... fresh. It was nice to finally read about an OLDER and more mature young adult, versus the usual onslaught of sixteen year olds who are stuck in the high school rut. Jane's basically an adult. She thinks about adult things like money, jobs, where she's going to live, how she's going to pay for college, why her family treats her the way they do. I mean YES! Someone I can relate to! Not that I don't love a good high school fiction once in a while, but now that I'm 20, it's nice to read about someone my own age. It puts me back in that head of mine and lets me relate to the character and say "yeah, I'm going through that too" versus "yeah I kinda remember that".

And I just loved the relationship that grew between Jane and Nico. It felt real. Sure when they finally revealed their feelings for one another it felt just a smidge rushed, but yet believable. This is a rock star! Why would he be patient? Just awesome. All I can say is that if Lindner continues on like this, she just found herself a very loyal and enthusiastic fan!

How I wish that there could be a sequel for this one...

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

UnearthlyUnearthly by Cynthia Hand

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, I'm actually going to try and put into words how awesome this book is.

It's been about a month or so since I read it, sooo forgive me if this review lacks in details.

I would also like to start off by thanking HarperTeen for sending me an ARC so that I may review this amazing book before it hits stores.

UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand is undefinable. Debut? Yes. Really freaking awesome debut? Yes. First part of a trilogy? Yes. Can't wait a whole year for book two? Of course I can't! It's a new take on Angels (or Angel-bloods in this case) and if you're a sucker for romance, well here you go. A chance to get weak in the knees and laugh at the same time because of it. The story itself is quite a journey. Clara is our main character. She has a purpose to fulfill. She must save a mysterious boy from a forest fire. This purpose relocates her mother and younger brother to the town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. And thus, we meet Christian. The boy she must save. Of course Clara has a crush on him right away. Who wouldn't when he's a handsome, popular skiier who plays a part in your own destiny? But alas, he is dating Miss Popular Kay. Insert some epic drama there. But it's not just about Christian these days. Clara's mother can't help but hold back a lot of important information from her daughter and there are loads that Clara has to figure out on her own, or with the help of an angel-blood that she meets in her new school. Add in a plot-twisting cowboy with the intention to either irritate Clara to death or finally get her on his side and I am completely and totally signed up.

It surprised me how much I liked this book. Not only did it have the heart-ache and mystery that I love- both subtle and yet complex in their own rights- but it provided a well-rounded debut with a character that any girl can relate to. I really loved the humor that Hand uses and there were plenty of down right embarrassing moments that would make any reader 'face-palm'. I would also like to add that I lived in Boise, Idaho for two years back in elementary school and it's nice to finally find an author who lived around that same place. The scenery up there is just down right gorgeous and I think that Hand really captured it well.

Waiting impatiently for the sequel and totally completely Team Tucker,


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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Ha! Finally got one done! (Just don't expect another review soon, unfortunately. I'm behind on my NaNoWriMo writing.)

Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

CRESCENDO was everything it lived up to be. There was action, heart-ache (popular with most YA sequels these days), and mystery. The characters developed just as they should have in this sequel. I was very surprised to find that I liked Nora and Patch much better in CRESCENDO than I did in HUSH, HUSH. I mean, honestly I wasn't that big of a fan of the setting and mystery in the first book. I'm just not a mystery fan. However, I will say that Ms. Fitzpatrick executes it wonderfully. She deserves props for this genre, folks.

For some reason, Patch's bad boy image wasn't sticking too well with me from the first book. Like others, I felt that he was more of a jerk. But then again, he was sort of the bad guy in the plot. In CRESCENDO however, this image was as bright and vivid as the summer sun. Completely believable. I loved that he and Nora wouldn't compromise in their relationship. It proved that they were strong characters and not just paper cut-outs stuck in a book.

The Marcie Millar factor and the story behind that was also beautifully done. Though I will say that I'm a little tired of hearing how the rich cheerleader in school is such a witch with a capital B. It would be nice if the sixteen year olds in YA would grow up a little bit.

And with that, I found another issue I have. Sixteen year olds in serious relationships. Sure, it can be done. But it's hard to make it last forever. The undying romance and maturity of this genre forced upon a budding junior in high school just seems a little bit of a stretch to me. But of course, Nora is no ordinary girl!

All in all though, I give CRESCENDO 4.5 stars. It was interesting, it kept me turning the pages, and after that cliffhanger of an ending, I am SO ready for TEMPEST. I just hope that it gets here soon enough so I don't forget major plot points again.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November's Not for Reading...

Hey everyone!

I just thought I should let y'all know that I won't be reading as many books this month. I have two reviews that I plan on writing for books that I finished in October. Delirium by Lauren Oliver and Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. They are amazing and I couldn't quite put into words how much so- hence why there are no reviews about them on this blog currently.

You see, I joined NaNoWriMo AND NaNoWraMo (See Sara McClung's blog for that second one mentioned). Which means I need 50,000 words by November 30th. Of my own writing. In my own novel. Yeah. I can barely write 40,000 words in two years sooo we'll see how this goes.

Anyway, this is why I won't be posting many reviews this month. I'm currently reading Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick, but I've been on that for about a week now which is really, really slow for me. I'll try to post as many as I can, but writing takes priority this month.

Wish me luck! And happy reading!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

This one was an action-packed thrill ride. It was different from a lot of YA books out there.

Angelfire (Angelfire, #1)Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alright. Now I'm ready to review ANGELFIRE.

First thing I should say is, this book was good. It really was. If you're a fan of heart-stopping action, forbidden romance, the search for self identity, and a little bit of teenage angst all rolled up into one... well, this is your book right here. I think my only problem was reading it after finishing UNEARTHLY. It's like reading Shakespeare and then picking up a Where's Waldo book. It wasn't really fair to ANGELFIRE. UNEARTHLY was everything I could ask for and more with a dash of surprise. And in comparison, ANGELFIRE was good, but not when another book was still running through my head.

The pace was intense. It seemed like in every chapter, someone was getting head-butted or decapitated, or impaled. Which is nonetheless awesome! But I would've liked a good breather once in a while. It seemed like Ellie, the main character, learned and accepted her purpose in life a bit too quickly. But then again, with all of these reapers swooping down on her, trying to end her life, I guess that's forgiveable.

Ellie was cool. She's like an action hero that still shops for designer clothing. I just felt that some of the things she was upset about, and wanted to lament over, were all complained about before in other books. Every young adult novel has that character that "just wants to be normal" "why can't I be normal?" spiel. It's understandable, given each of their circumstances, but after you've read these lines over and over again in previous novels, it gets a little annoying. Ellie wasn't all about complaining though. She learned to accept things and move on. She had a lot of strength, which was admirable.

Will was pretty awesome as well. It was refreshing to see a guy REALLY try to put distance between himself and the love interest. He didn't succumb to Ellie's every whim, which gives him a lot of points in my book. And I really loved that they had a strong friendship.

The reapers were just a bit too generic for me. Like the demons in The Mortal Instruments series, they just didn't scare me. These are supposed to be monsters. Hell spawn. Apocalypse worthy soldiers. And yet... I find myself yawning at them. Oooh! You have two rows of sharp teeth! Scarrrry! I liked that Ellie still felt guilt over killing them though. It proved that she had a shred of humanity left.

Overall though, I really liked it. It was nice to read a book with this much action. A breather would've been nice, but it was not without it's breathless moments, and that's what makes a good book in my opinion. I'm excited to see where these characters go in the sequel and will definitely be picking up a copy!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

A refreshing look at angels and a good read. I might elaborate on this review more later.

Halo (Halo, #1)Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

HALO was good.

I hadn't expected much if I was being perfectly honest. When I first stumbled across the cover on Goodreads, I'd been jittery with excitement! I mean it's about angels and the cover art is just stunning. And who doesn't love a good love story, right? But then as the release date loomed closer, I started reading some bad reviews. Many people seem to hate this book or dislike it because of the religious themes and the over-exaggerated romance. I can see where they're coming from, but would like to make a note to all future readers:

Don't pick up a book about angels and expect christianity not to be mentioned!!!

I mean come on, folks... They kind of go hand in hand.

The religious aspect doesn't bother me at all. I'm a christian. I believe in angels. I thought it was brave and original to incorporate such strong points from this into the book. Especially for an author who is so young (eighteen) and has only published three books prior. It was refreshing to read about angels in a more traditional sense.

What I didn't like about HALO?

The romance was a bit much. I mean, I forgot how old Bethany is, but she's only around 16 or 17 I think and Xavier is only 18. At first, I was excited, because he seemed like a real guy. Not the Edward Cullen type that becomes overprotective, crazy in love with his girlfriend, and strangely generous in every aspect of their relationship type guy. It started off sweet. Bethany too- she seemed to be the angelic type of girl thrust into the world of humanity and dealing with all of the experiences and emotions that she had been barred from in the Kingdom of Heaven. But as soon as these two meet, and seemingly develop into an official relationship, things started becoming a little less believable.

For me, the romance in a story has to be sold right. If things are rushed, unbelievable, or over dramatic, I just can't get into it as much. And seeing as how this book is all about love, there were a few flaws in the romance area. Xavier developed into the Edward Cullen type. Bethany developed into the Bella Swan type. And the ladder really hurt the story in my eyes. Bethany is an angel. She shouldn't be as petty as she sometimes comes across in HALO. Overall, this subject and their relationship were just a little too ROMEO & JULIET for me.

Some things that Adornetto goes into detail about in this book seemed too trivial for me. These angels are on a mission to better a community. Why do I need to know what three or four brainless girls are chatting about constantly at lunch? Why do I need to know in accurate detail the prom dresses that they shop for, or Bethany's dream prom dress described right down to the beaded neckline? It just seemed petty in comparison to the bigger picture...

I liked HALO a lot, despite the fact that a lot of aspects were over played or even petty at times. And though the characters got a little out of hand for my taste, I was still invested in how their stories went. I will most likely be reading the sequel HADES when it comes out next.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

I read this back in July, almost immediately after it hit stores. This is one of my favorite books ever.

Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Linger has climbed it's way up to the top of my favorite books list. In some cases I liked it even better than Shiver, and it's very unusual for a sequel to out-do the original in my opinion. And the writing, oh my goodness, the writing! If anyone knows how to write directly to your heart, it has to be Maggie Stiefvater! Very few writers can make you feel for a seemingly heart-less character that constantly tries to lose himself and never opens up to anyone about it. But she proved that you could love Cole as you followed him in his transformation from shell of a man to wolf-man realizing he needs to confront his issues.

Grace and Sam. We all loved them in Shiver and there's no love lost there in Linger. Both Grace and Sam have this connection that every girl dreams of one day having with a guy. Both of them face challenges from the previous group, and let me warn you... you're not going to like Grace's parents. I hated them during this book, and let's face it, they weren't so great in Shiver either. Grace's parents are just the small challenge that Grace and Sam have to face though. In Linger, they have to face futures, pasts, and the present possibility of death.

One of the things that I love about this trilogy is that it's so realistic. I mean, if there WERE werewolves in the world, I think Maggie's theory in Shiver/Linger could be the highest probable answer. But the relationships, the dialogue, the thoughts that each character has. They feel like real people. And seeing them as real people makes it easier to fall in love with them :)

I'm warning you, this book made me cry buckets in the last 100 pages or so. But if a book can make me cry like that, I'll recommend it to anyone and everyone, including my cat and two dogs. If you loved Shiver... you're going to adore Linger. Read this book.

Now we must wait FOREVER for Forever to come out.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

PARANORMALCY is unlike any book I've ever read. It's delightfully weird. It's stupendously humorous. And it's downright cute as a button.

I've been following Kiersten White's blog for the past half a year now and haven't failed to read a blog post yet! The author herself is just so adorable and funny, when I found out that her debut novel was coming out this year I just absolutely needed to read it.

And I wasn't disappointed. Evie is so awesome. I wish that she was real so that we could hang out and be awesomely normal together, despite the fact that she is anything BUT normal. In a good way of course. Sooo let me say that she's a spaz, a great friend, a caring narrator, and simply cool beans. The relationship with Lend is strangely normal. It's not undying love and over dramatic passion, but real. Something any girl can relate to. The way Evie explains it and Kiersten writes it makes the whole thing feel like you're having a sleep over with Evie, gabbing away about she and Lend. It's just awesome and so not over rated. The best word for PARANORMALCY is, relatable.

The only thing that I felt was lacking in this novel was a little more substance. It was a light, cute read with tons of laughs, but I usually like something to chew on with my literature. I don't know that I'm going to ponder over what I just read or analyze it either which kind of disappoints me. But I'm not upset at all. This was a good book. Pick it up if you want a good laugh and something to float on.

Can't wait for SUPERNATURALLY so I can laugh and hang out in Evie's head some more!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Haunted by Jessica Verday

The Haunted (The Hollow, #2)The Haunted by Jessica Verday

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ummm... holy carp. That was good. And yes, I do mean carp. It sounds funnier. First off, I loved THE HOLLOW, it was unique and descriptive and haunting. (Why not throw in a pun like that for good measure?) In the end, I wasn't getting my hopes up for THE HAUNTED though. Seeing as this is a debut trilogy from an up-and-coming author I figured it would mostly be full of fluff. And that's when the buzzer sounded, ladies and gents. Telling me in a nasely tone that I was so totally WRONG!

In this stunning sequel, we follow Abbey back from her Aunt Marjorie's farm to the ghost-inhabited Sleepy Hollow. She adjusts. Hopes she's not crazy. Keeps making perfumes. Hangs out with Ben, yada yada, but can't get rid of Caspian. Yep... Folks, he's back! And better than ever! I can't believe how head over heels in love with him I am after I put down this book. His personality really came to life in this one. I mean, first off who wouldn't love a guy who sneaks into your room while you're gone just to stick glow in the dark stars all over your ceiling for you? Adorable, insert 'freaking' a smidgeon before said adorableness. But now I'm gushing, so let's move on.

Their relationship really grows in this one. Abbey knows what's going on around her for the most part now and has to come to terms with it all. It was much easier to read without all of my fingers pointed at the suspicious elements. In THE HOLLOW I kept trying to come up with my own answers before we got to the end and figured out some big plot points, but in THE HAUNTED there was much less pointing. Still an occasional narrowing of the eyes, but less pointing nonetheless. And we finally figure out who "D." is from Kristen's diary. And holy carp, he's creepy. Way, way creepy and suspicious.

I'd say I really loved this one. It has become a favorite, though at times it can come off a little cheesey, a little surprising, and even a little bit mature for Abbey's intended age group, but still! Such a great read. I'm going to have to reread soon. After I diminish my pile of unreads first.

And can I leave saying how big of a cliffhanger that was! Yeesh! Ms. Verday expects me to wait a whole freaking year for the next one?! Is she crazy?! I hope she writes fast... Still happy though!

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Friday, October 1, 2010

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

This is one I've been waiting for since I read the summary, but I'm just not sure about after reading it.

The ReplacementThe Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't know what to think of this one. It was good. It's not something I'm likely to read again soon. Too creepy for my tastes, but a perfect Halloween book. Mackie Doyle is pretty cool and Tate is freaking awesome. Finally! A girl who can kick some butt and do a pretty decent job of it. The whole faerie thing was dark and disturbing and left me feeling uncomfortable, but I think that's what Ms. Yovanoff intended.

The way she can describe a gorey scene with blood and grime is so accurately painful that I wanted to pass out with Mackie. It's gross and leaves me feeling shakey, but I'm a wimp when it comes to blood and all that.

One thing that I decidedly loved in this book? Roswell. He's an awesome friend. Truly. I think I have a crush on this guy. Mackie's not bad, but I like Roswell.

Over all, I liked it. It's a good book when it comes to self discovery and all that, maybe a little bit more mature than the genre it's for, but still a good book. Too creepy. Too dark. I'm just not into it as much as the next person. It's definitely something to read, but the whole disturbing plot line and mixture of gore and the added oddity of children in that mix. I'm not a fan of involving little kids in horror. It just makes my heart get all twisted up.

The characters were very cool though. I loved Roswell, Carlina, Tate, Danny and Drew, Emma, and yeah I even loved Mackie. I'll probably read the sequel, but I'm not gunning for it.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Torment by Lauren Kate

Just finished this one. I've been waiting all year to read it and now I have to wait until summer for the next one. Not fair...

Torment (Fallen, #2)Torment by Lauren Kate

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Did I like this book? Yes. Could it have been better? Probably...

When I first started TORMENT I was confused... At the end of FALLEN Daniel insists that she go to some cabin and stay out of the lime light for a little while, but in the beginning of TORMENT he decides to take her to California to some school called Shoreline where she'll supposedly be safe. Psh! When will they figure out that trouble doesn't just find Luce, but Luce constantly looks for trouble? That was one of the things that annoyed me the most. No matter how many times someone told her to lay low and stay safe that she'd only be at Shoreline temporarily apart from Daniel, yada yada, she still made sure that she constantly did the opposite. She wasn't extremely smart in this book.

Her relationship with Daniel was tested as well. Every single time they see each other in TORMENT it's make out session first, then just one more fight before he flies off again. You could feel how taxing that was for Luce, and you could definitely see how much it was hurting Daniel. While I am totally a Cam fan, I still think Daniel is the one for our Lucinda Price here. Instead of blaming Daniel for the curse several times over, I kind of wish she would've just had some faith in him. He's technically not a teenager anymore and he's been around infinitely longer than she has, sooo I think he knows what he's doing and all Luce can do is complain about his methods. If someone tries to tell you to stay out of trouble for your own good, it's probably best if you at least try for more than one day to do just that. But it wouldn't be Luce if she listened to someone else's orders.

I loved how caring Luce was. She didn't just forget about Penn, she mourned her. She was constantly thinking about her friends and their safety (though she could've done well thinking about hers a little more too). She thought about her parents and her past lives' families. She truly cared about them.

Which brings us to the whole mystery of her past(s). I was hoping that we would get more answers in TORMENT, but it seems like it was just another build up for the third book, PASSION, where the real discovering is about to take place. The announcers (shadows) are really weird, I never would've thought of them as puddy-like, murky goo that roll out into some projector screen and show you some distant memory from the past. But hey! It works... They were definitely a big part of this whole story.

The love triangle... seems to have become a square. Obviously Daniel is still in this, but add a new character to the mix: Miles. He's a nephilim kid at the new school that Luce opens up to. He's normal. He's way less complicated. And he makes her feel good. But I am completely confused. I thought we had a love triangle between Daniel, Luce, and Cam. But she just seems to despise Cam in this one and he only shows up for about four scenes through out the ENTIRE story. Which totally sucks! Cam is one of the most awesome bad a$$ characters out there! How is there NOT going to be a love triangle with him in it?!

Which is why ultimately TORMENT was just down right confusing to me. Instead of staying in Georgia, and figuring out her past like I was hoping would happen, she goes to another school in another completely different state and makes a whole other set of friends. It was like FALLEN repeating itself only in California instead of Georgia. The only part I got really excited for was the end when we go back to Georgia for Thanksgiving and we even get to see Sword & Cross one more time. Finally some action! And then I ended up getting all upset again when Luce decides to do something without so much as explaining herself or talking to anyone after they've just had this huge dramatic fight in her backyard. She just does it. Without thinking. How very Lucinda... I just want to get to PASSION, the storyline for that one at least goes somewhere.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer

Twelfth Grade Kills (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, #5)Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, look at the cover. If I hadn't been hyped after reading ELEVENTH GRADE BURNS there's no way I wouldn't have been after seeing this cover for the fifth, and final book of the series.

I'll start off with saying that I picked up Vlad Tod a little late in the game, and honestly wasn't too sold. I mean, he starts off at the end of middle school, so I expected cutesy right off the bat. Then NINTH GRADE SLAYS got a little better... and then TENTH GRADE BLEEDS got even a little MORE better... and then holy crap... I read ELEVENTH GRADE BURNS and was completely head over heels for the plot. I honestly loved letting Vlad grow on me. It was entertaining to watch him grow up and to see him develop into the Pravus. So, needless to say once I got to the end of the fourth book in the series, I was completely sold for the fifth. How was Brewer going to end this? How was it going to pan out for Vlad and his friends? I NEEDED to know the answers...

And now, after reading it I can honestly say that I'm a little disappointed. Brewer totally rushed it. It starts off with a bang, for sure, but then add in a completely unexpected, and let's be honest, completely unbelievably bogus twist! I couldn't stomach it. And what's more she barely develops it, barely glosses over the weight of what happens there! After that initial loop, it seemed like the rest of the story was falling into place exactly how it should have and exactly like I was hoping it would. And then... horrors... She rushes towards the end and patches everything up so haphazardly I was completely NOT sold.

I still love Vlad. And I think that this had the makings of a great story. Unfortunately it was butchered by the fact that it wasn't long enough. 325 pages is NOT long enough to cover what this series has been building itself up to since day one. I don't know what happened... I just know that it is extremely sad how off track this went. I only hope that my alternate ending- wait no, scratch that, alternate explanation for SEVERAL things leading up to the ending can overshadow what I just read...

I gave it four stars anyway though... ELEVENTH GRADE BURNS totally saved this one from becoming a three star burn out...

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

IntrinsicalIntrinsical by Lani Woodland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, we'll start with some backstory... Prepare yourselves, it's a little lengthy (And that's possibly an understatement).

I first stumbled upon this book by browsing through goodreads in a half-bored, cover-catatonic state. Skimming through lists of 'Beautiful YA Covers for 2010' and 'Most Exciting Upcoming YA Novels for 2010' etc. And who doesn't do that on occasion? Other than those of you who only go on your Goodreads accounts every six months (Come on people! Join us bookworms!). But the point is, at first glance, I immediately made a mental note of this book. I mean, come on... LOOK at that cover and tell me it's not downright gorgeous and all-around intriguing! I was convinced, after finding out that it was a debut novel and all, that I had found a gem. But of course, it was due to come out in August.

August... the month that every YA book seemed to want to come out on! I had made demands for books like CLOCKWORK ANGEL by Cassandra Clare, NEVERMORE by Kelly Creagh, THE HAUNTED by Jessica Verday, and PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White... I mean, there were some heavy-duty books coming out. Thus, the decision to wait. You see, I haven't quite figured out where to plant my money trees yet, hence the short supply of funds. Dang dogs of mine... always digging...

And then... as if by fate, I received a message in my inbox from none other than Lani Woodland. It was a simple reply about some contest information I had sent out in a mass message through my group GOODWRITERS for GOODREADS. And I was so shocked! I recognized the name because, honestly... how was I going to forget that cover (And interesting piece of information that I found out after talking with her, she took the picture for the cover... Yep! All credit goes to the author for making this book's cover so gorgeous! And may I add that it's underwater? Skills man... Skills)? Mental post-it slammed onto the forefront of my brain and all, I responded like a giddy fan girl, and most unconventionally at that "Hey! You're Lani Woodland! Author of INTRINSICAL" (Yes, you CAN call me by my other nickname Captain Obvious!) She responded, in that simple grace with which all authors seem to have when talking to tactless fangirls they have never met. I like to think it was my careful research from my first sighting of her debut where I stumbled upon her blog and found out that INTRINSICAL started out as a fanfiction for one of her favorite television shows! That alone was enough to get me to want to read it because I knew right then and there that she hadn't wrote INTRINSICAL for any reason other than because it was something fun to do! Perhaps something she HAD to write! I know how that is... But alas, at the time I was unable to get my hands on it because of depleted funds, as mentioned earlier. However, that did not stop me from reading the sneak peek on the book's website where the first two chapters are posted, which was enough to torture me! How I cursed my bank account that day!

The funny thing is, after much reading, and too much waiting, one glorious day, Lani Woodland messaged me again and asked me if I would review her book. And since you're reading this, I presume you know exactly what I said. Therefore any details about the manner in which I accepted, in all brilliant vocabulary I assure you, is unnecessary... But again, I must thank her for sending me a copy. I love books too much to pass up an opportunity like this! And how wonderful it is that INTRINSICAL turned out to be so much more than I had ever guessed!

Backstory over... So, onto the review of INTRINSICAL:

I'm going to break it down into two parts (Story and Characters), because I always admire reviews that can separate the main aspects of a story. It makes it that much easier to find exactly what I'm looking for and what I'm not looking for in a book.


There are several things that make this section work. One aspect that truly makes or breaks this is the writing style. INTRINSICAL is told in the first point of view, which has become pretty normal for YA literature these days. At first, I told myself not to look too closely at this subject because it is, after all, a debut, but there wasn't any need to cut Lani any slack. She really proved she can write! At times, I marvelled over some of her comparisons and the way that she described exactly how Yara was feeling. Even the dialogue was entertaining. Yara and Brent's snappy conversations, or I digress, more like snappy arguments and teasing, really had me laughing sometimes! Over all, I was pleasantly surprised by how well INTRINSICAL was written.

Secondly, the plot is another vital part of a story. If things don't add up, or become too painstakingly obvious, a book just isn't worth the read. But again, that wasn't the case with this one! I was thrown for a loop quite a few times in this book and quite happy about it! But let me break down the elements of this story a little more...

MYSTERY: Golden. I sure as fire didn't know how this was going to end and I was constantly guessing at who the murderer was. A+ for Mystery!

SUPERNATURAL FACTOR: Another win, win. Ghosts aren't the mainstream in YA today. Honestly there are only a handful in what is now a sea of vampires, vampires, werewolves, vampires, angels, vampires, and vampires AND werewolves. So a new story about ghosts is original and intriguing. A+ for something fresh!

ACTION: Definitely pulse-quickening. There were only a few times that I felt confused and those were usually in the short skirmishes between what is the mist and our lead characters. I still give this part of the plot a solid A.

ROMANCE: Perfect for Young Adult. It was sweet, longing, and something that developed over the story. It wasn't impossible to believe love at first sight and it wasn't missing anything. I wanted things to work out in this section just as much as Yara and I'm a total sucker for subtle romance in stories sooo A++ because this part totally rocked.

And that pretty much wraps up the story section of this review. It's hard to go wrong after that!


Yara: At first, I didn't really relate to Yara. When I started reading, I assumed that she was just like any other teenage girl- reading gossip magazines, crushing on cute boys at school, dealing with her school work and hanging out with her best friend Cherie... All of it normal and expected. Of course, this is excluding the Prologue where the whole story starts off with a bang! Or a slow mist trying to murder someone, you know, same difference! And she was admirable- jumping right in, without hesitation, to save the day! But after that, normalcy kicked in and I was still busy trying to peg her character down... Later though, Yara really proves herself and really started becoming relatable. I found myself sympathizing with her and even at times cheering her on. I always hate it when the main character is a whiney, teenage girl that can't see past her own problems or concerns. Yara wasn't one of these. She was brave, selfless, caring, and strong in her own right.

Brent: The confusing one for me. The beginning didn't have me warming up to Brent. I started off unsure about him at every turn, looking for the culprit in this paranormal mystery. Sure, he was the cute boy in the story... The crush! And I knew that Yara would like him, but that didn't mean I was going to be fooled! Props to Lani Woodland for showing me... After that initial plot twist that I was NOT expecting in the least, I couldn't get enough of this guy! That hook in Yara's gut that connects her to him, let's just say I was having similar sympathy pains... And he wasn't just the cute, overbearing, swoon-worthy male lead. He was real. He was relatable. He wasn't one of those guys that could never in a million years exist, save for a piece of fiction. Brent turned out to be believable and lovable!

Villain/Mist: Since I don't want to post any spoilers, I'm going to leave the villain unnamed so you can buy this book and find out for yourself! I won't say much, but I was surprised that I could feel any sympathy for evil, even at the end. What's more, it gave me the creeps! So more props! That's what a supernatural villain is supposed to do!

Supporting Cast: I won't make this list of characters TOO long, but the leads' friends like Cherie and Steve were heart-warming! I always enjoyed a good scene with those two, and was glad to finally read a YA novel where friends weren't stabbing each other in the back and/or hanging around on the sidelines in all their obliviousness. They actually played a part and behaved like living, breathing people!

In the end, I have to say that I'm sorry...

That it's over, that is. I really, really enjoyed INTRINSICAL. It exceeded my expectations and surprised me. I hadn't expected to walk away with new imaginary friends like Yara and Brent and Cherie and Steve. I hadn't expected to close the book and be sad that there was no more to read. But that's exactly what happened. While INTRINSICAL is perfectly capable of remaining a stand-alone novel, I actually do kind of hope that there might be a sequel. I would absolutely love to read more of these characters, and honestly the ending leaves this open as a possibility. If there is no sequel though, I just hope that Lani Woodland simply keeps writing and publishes another book to read! Because she has all the talent in the world to do so!

And now that I've exhausted everyone's mind with such an extensive review, if you think that you'll like a good story with ghosts, mystery, romance, and truly awesome characters, I suggest you buy INTRINSICAL. It is all of this and more!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

I read this book a couple months ago as well, but it is worth a post! Check it out!

Shadow HillsShadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While reading this, I had one thing on my mind. The Covenant. If you've seen this movie, and you liked it, even a little bit, then you're going to love Shadow Hills.

Though the Covenant was more about witchcraft in relation to Salem, MA and Shadow Hills deals more with Greek mythology and science- the two seemed very similar to each other. I liked the Covenant a lot, so I easily got into Shadow Hills as well.

The characters:

Phe is a genuine character that definitely knows how to get into trouble. Some people might find that annoying, but it keeps the plot moving in a story and that's all that's important. Her love for music and clear thoughts made for an interesting read.

Zach was definitely hot and I didn't mind reading about him at all. He's more of a nice guy than the dangerous type, but that's never a bad thing. I felt that the relationship between him and Phe was very sweet and I was invested in it almost as much as they were. The only complaint I have there is that I felt it moved a little more quickly than it would have in real life. But this isn't real life so I guess it works.

The Villain: I won't name him and spoil anything for those of you who haven't read this yet, but I felt like he was kind of obvious through out the whole book. I was kind of hoping for some surprise, but he was still perfectly evil enough to hate.

The story: Shadow Hills is a very good blend of mystery, thrills, chills, and paranormal romance. At times I'd get creeped out, the same as Phe. The mystery kept the plot moving. Though normally I'm not really a mystery kind of reader, I found that I enjoyed this one. I wasn't sure how much I liked the whole Greek mythology bit because it wasn't quite as developed as I was hoping it would be. Plus, when there's chanting and rituals I kind of get creeped out. As said above, the romance is pretty well developed, though it happens within a week and a half. I'm definitely Team Zach (are we making teams yet? :D). Then again, who isn't a sucker for a hot guy with paranormal powers and who treats a girl like she's his center of gravity? I'm all for it!

Over all, I really really liked Shadow Hills and I hope there's a sequel because I'm not done reading about this world of BVs and Phe's destiny. I'd recommend this book to anyone with a preference for paranormal romance and mystery!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Since I'm still trying to find more books to read, here's something I read about a month ago. More werewolves, yay!

Sisters Red (Sisters Red, #1)Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love werewolves. And this original take/twist on Red Riding Hood is DELECTABLE!

The characters were great. I was glad that the POVs switched between two sisters. Having a sister of my own, I could feel the connection between them and it gave me a sense of nostalgia. I am left wanting to call my sister after putting down this book, let me tell you. I also am left wondering where MY hot, axe-wielding woodsman is! Silas Reynolds is amazing.

The plot twist was pretty freaking cool, I might add. But a leetle predictable once I knew what to look for. The romance was sweet and well-developed. And the setting was very enticing and grungey enough to be believable. Pearce writes this urban fantasy as if she's lived in a run-down, crackhead-invaded apartment building herself!

Overall, I would read this book again. And I can't WAIT for the sequel!

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Sooo since I've started my job, I haven't been reading as fast. This book, however, is an exception.

Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves, #1)Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been trying to read Raised by Wolves ever since I bought it back in the beginning of July. It wasn't that I couldn't get into it or whatever, but that I never could start it in peace! Every which way I looked, another book that I had been holding out on would come out in stores. Books that I had marked for devouring, that is. And saving Raised by Wolves seemed like a good idea at the time. Like storing up for winter... or in this case, storing up for an empty buffet table. I was saving it in the hopes that when I DID get a chance to read it, it would blow me out of the water.

RAISED BY WOLVES didn't blow me out of the water. But it did make me happy.

Barnes has somehow found her own niche among the werewolf YA lit groups and I can say that she did it with a dash of originality. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters, including Bryn and the assortment of pack members around her were strong, well-built characters. I loved reading about their interactions.

The only thing that prevents me from giving this story another star and making it AHMAZING is the fact that I COULD put it down. I COULD step away from it. The plot was a slow build... it seeped into my interest and curiosity like molasses, taking it's time, but sticking with me after I turned the last page. And this is why I will be picking up TRIAL BY FIRE as soon as it comes out.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Just finished this one. I kept it nice and short since I'm both tired and can't give a very good explanation considering it was but 15 minutes ago that I closed this book.

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really, really liked this book. At first, I was worried that it was going to be just like the Mortal Instruments series, but it proved me wrong.

It does have a lot of similarities to Clary, Jace, and Simon's story, but there's so many new and different elements to it that the comparison stops short once you get about a quarter of the way through it.

Tessa- I think she's amazing! I give her two thumbs up, because she didn't annoy me as much as Clary did. She's more relatable in a sense- what with her bookishness and her dilemma of figuring out who she really is.

Will- Just like Jace. I really liked him, but on occasion I was just as upset with him as Tessa was. Since I found out that he's Jace's ancestor, it all makes sense.

Jem- is amazing. There were so many things that I could quote from him! Facing my own issues and questions, and hearing him answer not only Tessa's, but my own... Yeah, I really like Jem.

As for everyone else- hate Nate. Jessamine, Sophie, Charlotte, Henry, etc... They're all cool. Thomas- broke my heart. And the plot is twisted and dark in a completely cool way. Can't wait for book two! Need it now!

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

In light of my announcement today, I decided to share my review about this awesome book! Just to keep everyone satisfied until the next review. Happy reading!

Personal Demons (Personal Demons, #1)Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another 4.5-er! Personal Demons had me up late and early to finish it. I couldn't get enough of Luc! He was sexy, sultry, and hilarious! (Couldn't find a synonym for 'funny' that started with the letter S)Oooh! How about sinfully humorous? That seems to fit very well with this one! The only two things that upset me a little were Frannie and the stereotypes.

Frannie was a bit all over the place in this love triangle between the angel and the demon. At times, I wasn't even sure who she would end up with. But I desperately hoped it would be Luc!

The stereotypical versions of heaven and hell were a bit over the top at times. There was at least one pun in every single chapter. But at least they were funny most of the time.

All in all, this book is great! It's got everything from humor to love to lust to sin to angels to demons and the book itself simply has one of those amazing personalities! Read it when it comes out next month! It's a must-read!

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Update Uno

Sooo, this will be short.

I got a job! Hooray! I start tomorrow! Yay!

Yep, this means I'm gonna be reading slower. Not so yay. Not so hooray for that part, but I will try to get a book in at least once a week. No worries! I'm never going to stop reading!

In spirit of this good news with sorry side effects, I found this on Google:

I'm really thankful I found a job. Especially in this economy right now.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I just finished this one, and there's not a lot that I have to say. It was a beautiful, but tragic novel. And now, I must slink away to dry my tears.

MockingjayMockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well... I finally read this one. I was really scared to, after reading a few reviews that contained spoilers and even flipping to the back of the book myself to find that it was going to be bitter sweet anyway.

This book kills. In a good way, in a bad way... in every way. I'm not going to put any spoilers in here. I think there are enough out there in other reviews as it is. I'm just going to say that it hurts to read this book. But that's the whole point. It is up there as probably one of the deepest books I've ever read. If there is any piece of literature that can describe war and the effects that it has on someone who's been through every gorey bit of it, better- I haven't read it yet. There was only one death that REALLY got to me. And that's on page 347. Chapter 24... Which has been one of my unlucky numbers in the past.

Another word to describe this whole series, even though being fictional, is real. This book doesn't sugarcoat anything, it doesn't patch everything up with a nice happy ending, and it doesn't leave you with warm fuzzy feelings. But it is a gift. And despite the tears and all of the pain that it gives out, I love it very much. Even the end.

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One last thing. I just want to say thank you to Suzanne Collins for thinking up something so original and beautiful as this series. For the past two-three years or so, it's been one heck of a ride reading these books.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

I just finished this book last night. I literally could not put it down. Every five minutes I walked away from it couldn't even keep my mind from wondering what would happen next. My recommendation is that anyone who sees this book in a store, pick it up and start reading! Pronto!

NevermoreNevermore by Kelly Creagh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy crow! Or I guess I should say raven...

This book has been added to my list of favorites! The build-up alone surpassed my expectations. And honestly the whole goth boy meets cheerleader scenario... add in the Edgar Allen Poe twist of horrors... all of that didn't seem like it would fit together without coming off as some cheesy wanna-be-a-slasher-flick-morphed-into-literature type of book. But oh, did Kelly Creagh ever pull it off! I was hooked from the first chapter. I literally devoured this book within the first 24 hours that I had picked it up. And even now I am left wanting to reread it and dreading the fact that I have purchased other untouched books to be read.

The characters alone allowed for intrigue. Varen Nethers makes goth boys around the world seem swoon-worthy... A type that I had overlooked before, but that Creagh brings up close and personal in NEVERMORE. I was constantly texting about his schmexiness to one of my best friends through-out the entire afternoon that I spent reading this book. The most surprising character of all though... was Isobel. Whoever thought that a cheerleader that has everything in her life going right for her- and whom most bookworms would choose to ignore and/or despise, could be one of the most relatable, and admirable female leads ever written? Certainly, not I. But oh, how I admired her and related to her on so many different levels! I was swept away by her courage and her ability to step past stereotypes and social standards. Even in the face of pure, Poe-inspired horror, she stood her ground and proved that she wasn't just some cheerleader- she was a real heroine!

My only complaint about the book is it's ending. Because I need the sequel. Now. Like right now. The last 100 pages or so went by in a whirlwind of action after about a 400 page build up. And that last fourth or fifth of the book (I'm bad with math) was lacking a particular character of interest except for a few brief moments. So, it is DIRE and IMPERATIVE that I get hold of the sequel. Immediately. Oh, please Kelly Creagh! I really, really need the sequel!

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

So, since it's September finally! Annnnd I really want to kick start this new month with a cool, cool book that really rocked my world! I'm going to present you fine people with a review about Shade! I read it a while back, but it's still as good as any to reflect on!

Shade (Shade, #1)Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't know how to explain how amazing this book truly is. Anything I say won't be enough...

True, there are parts that are a bit shady for younger readers. There were quite a few lines in there that made me blush so scarlet I could feel the heat radiating off of my face, but... As shady as the parts that discuss alcohol, sex, drugs, and rock n roll were... the feeling that I was left with when I closed that book and set it aside was pure wonder.

Shade is an emotional roller coaster. From page 48 onward this book will cause you pain, heart-break, and the deadliest feeling of all... hope.

In the end, I was more than happy I read this book, and a little proud that I'd gotten through it all in one piece. I can't even tell you how many times I cried during this story...

Aura is a complex character, but very relatable. Everything she goes through will bring you closer to her and make you not only sympathize with her, but empathize as well.

Logan is the tragic one. The one you'll hold onto with that deadly hope, just like Aura.

And Zachary is the one that will lead you toward the light...

I won't say any more for fear that I'll spoil it, but just know that this book isn't a waste of time. It's one of the best books I've ever picked up.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Before I start in on this review, I must let everyone know... I am no longer waiting on Mockingjay! Hip, hip hooray! Just got my copy today!

*clears throat* Now, let us commence with a review on the wonderful debut novel of Andrea Cremer... Nightshade.

Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars. That's what I'll give NIGHTSHADE, for being an amazing read that held my interest and had me thinking about it through-out the week at least once a day.

I have to say that it was refreshing to hear Calla's voice. She was a strong character, but not without her weaknesses and it was nice to see that in a YA female narrator. I felt empathetic towards her during various scenes and wasn't the least bit annoyed with her at any stage in the story.

The love triangle was also nice. I could see how hard the choice would be for anyone in that position. Be with someone who has always been your destiny and you know you can learn to love over time? Or be with the one that you love and whom brings you freedom? I do have to say that I was Team Ren for the win through-out the entire novel, but right at about 3/4 of the story, I found Shay more and more worthy of Calla.

The world of NIGHTSHADE is very enthralling and mystical. I have to give Andrea Cremer mucho props for building a whole new world around the often-used werewolf niche. She really made it her own and it was believable.

The only two reasons that I didn't give this book a full 5 stars? One- I wasn't so completely enraptured the entire time. For instance, it took me a whole week to read it and I didn't mind putting it down. But I did want to finish it and I DID love the story. Reason Two- the histories of the Keepers and Searchers were a bit muddied. I would've liked some sort of wrapped-up explanation towards the end, but since this book is part of a trilogy I can put that aside and wait patiently for more to be revealed in the sequel.

I recommend NIGHTSHADE to anyone that loves werewolves and suckers for love stories. Also, I might add that if you love some good action sequences, pick this book up when it comes out in October! You won't be disappointed.

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I really, really love werewolves, people. No lie.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Waiting... Waiting... Still Waiting...

Mockingjay, oh lovely Mockingjay... Why do you taunt me so?

I'm still waiting on my copy that I ordered from Amazon. Darn standard shipping! Or as my nephew would say, "Oh, doughnut!" Of course, you couldn't arrive early for little ol' me. You had to wait until everyone ELSE read you a week ago. Lucky brats.

Still waiting as ever,
Impatient Katie.

P.S. You better get here tomorrow or I'm gonna throw a fit to Amazon! *makes angry face*

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

Since I've been particularly inactive this month. And this is supposed to be a blog about Reviews, and I've been sorely lacking in adding reviews, I decided I would post about another book on the same weekend. Matched is amazing. I am VERY envious of Condie's writing style. If you haven't read it yet, you need to pick it up when it hits stores on November 30th.

MatchedMatched by Ally Condie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't know quite where to begin with this book. It was a truly beautiful piece. Ally Condie's writing is so lyrical and fluid, I felt as if the words were flowing from my eyes to my brain and ultimately to my heart like a steady stream of clear, crisp water. The way she writes is so beautiful that it makes me envious, being as I one day hope to be a published author, myself. She has a gift. And I'm sure glad she used it on MATCHED.

The story itself was inspiring. I loved that it wasn't just about love at a young age. It surprised me that I loved a story so much that didn't have any supernatural elements. The world that Cassia lives in is described so clearly that I could see through it as clear as glass.

The characters and the struggles they had to go through really spoke to me. The way Cassia felt and her thoughts were something that I could really relate to. The triangle between Xander, Cassia, and Ky was believable and realistic. I'm probably more torn than Cassia is.

Another thing that I absolutely loved about this book, and that goes hand in hand with Condie's writing style, were all of the metaphors. YA fiction usually doesn't have a whole lot of them and MATCHED had very strong ones. Each metaphor resonated through-out the entire book and connected to the core of the theme like branches growing out of a tree.

5 stars. Without a doubt, I'd read it again and I really hope that there is a sequel. I can't wait for the sequel.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Finnikin of the Rock

I wasn't sure which book to blog about first. However, why not start with my favorite?

Finnikin of the RockFinnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sooo, I read this book a few months ago. I've been meaning to review it for a very long time, but as you can see, I haven't. The best word that can describe this book, in my opinion, and the way it made me feel, is "speechless". It is truly my favorite book so far.

The characters: What can I say? They're real. They're strong. They're all connected to one another and that in itself makes for an exceptional story. I fell in love with these characters. I lived and breathed them. Finnikin, Evangeline, Froy, Captain Trevanion, Sir Topher, Lady Beatriss, and everyone else! All of them have become my literary friends that I wish were real.

The story: It is one of the most moving, inspirational, and greatest stories I've ever read. The search for a lost identity and courage and hope; all of these themes are ones that echo in our daily lives. In this world, really. And the way that Marchetta uses them in FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK really brings them to light in our world. I loved it.

I found it a little funny, actually, because I wasn't so sure about this book when I first saw it. I figured it would either be epic or fall short. It took my about 70 pages to get hooked too, since I had come upon it with such uncertainty. But this book proves that you CAN find a gem among ordinary stones and I'm so glad that I gave it a chance.

I love this book. It is my favorite book so far and I hope that anyone that has a chance to read it will open it up and take the chance. It's a truly remarkable read.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Contest Number Two!

Okay. Sooo there have been some pretty amazing giveaways up for grabs. Anyone who gives away an ARC to a lucky reader is a Saint in my book. I don't know if I could do it... But anyway! The two I want to win are the signed copies of Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness! I am a HUGE fan of Kami and Margaret's! The way they can describe the southern setting so well... and the characters... *gush... gush*

Anyway, I know I've kept you waiting long enough. Here's the link:

The Saint Who Is Giving Away ARCs Galore!

There's an ARC for everyone over there. You can't go wrong. Hands off the Caster Chronicles! I wants... I really, really wants!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Contest! Win a Book for 2011!

Sooo there have been so many contests lately, it's hard to keep up. But I couldn't resist this one:

2011 YA Releases Giveaway!

It's very exciting! You can win any of 6 books that aren't scheduled to be released until next year! However, it is simply pre-ordered for you, but that means it's still free! Go enter! :D

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

For the Love of Words

Words are some of my favorite things...
Hence the picture:

Hello all! If you're reading this you either randomly stumbled upon it, or perhaps you know me personally, or even read my other blog The Author's Journey. In any case, welcome! If you're from the ladder, then you already know from a post on my author's blog that I wanted to differentiate the posts about contests and books to a blog specifically designed for that purpose. I'm still unsure about it. If this doesn't work, I'll probably just delete it.

Books! Obviously I love books! I love writing them. I love reading them. And now I'm going to love reviewing them for you fine people on blogger! In some cases, I might cheat and copy/paste a review from my Goodreads account, tee-hee. And that's why I'm not so sure that this particular blog will work out. However, I must try!

Katie's Suspiciously Apt Book Reviews will have, undoubtedly, a large quantity of book reviews, but also updates on other blog contests, and perhaps if I can manage it soon enough, contests of my own accord. Wouldn't it be awesome if I could get author interviews too? Ah, but let's not push the envelope too soon! This blog doesn't even have wings yet!

Thanks for visiting! I will post again soon.