Friday, April 29, 2011

Review: Elixir by Hilary Duff

Title: Elixir
Author: Hilary Duff (with Elise Allen)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: October 12, 2010
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 327
Series: Elixir
1. Elixir
2. Devoted

Synopsis:
Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. The daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington DC politician, she has grown to be a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world. But after Clea’s father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, Clea’s photos begin to feature eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful man—a man she has never seen before.

When fate brings Clea and this man together, she is stunned by the immediate and powerful connection she feels with him. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father’s disappearance, and they discover the centuries old truth behind their intense bond. Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fates, together they race against time to unravel their pasts in order to save their lives—and their futures.


Before you scoff at the fact that Hilary Duff wrote a novel, hear me out. Yes, I did pick this up because she wrote it and I was curious. And I’m glad I did. The story just drew me in from the get-go and I wanted to keep on reading to see what would happen next.

It’s been a year since Clea’s father disappeared in Rio, so when she gets contracted for a job in Rio, she jumps on the opportunity, dragging her friend and international guide, Ben, along with her. I loved the relationship between these two. To Clea they are just great friends, even though it’s blatantly obvious Ben wants to be more. Either way, he was a great friend to her and very protective. It was cute.

And then there’s Sage, the mysterious, random guy that’s been showing up in her pictures when it’s impossible he was really there when she took them. I liked Sage because I was never sure if he could really be trusted. As soon as we found out he knew something about Clea's father’s disappearance, I was on and off about him and his intentions. He was very hot and cold, but it really worked for the story.

In the majority of the book, Clea, Sage, and Ben are following clues left by Clea’s father, that are supposed to lead them to the Elixir of Life. They jet around the world, from Rio, to Clea’s home in Connecticut, to New York, then Japan. It’s a wild adventure and it’s fun to take with Clea and the two boys. The one thing that felt really unresolved for me, was Clea’s father’s disappearance. It was the reason she went to Rio in the first place. Sage said her father was still alive and could help find him, but once they found clues about the Elixir of Life, that whole objective kind of went on the back burner. Looking for the Elixir was exciting, and the ending was great, but I still would have liked there to be more about her father’s disappearance in the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was skeptical about Hilary Duff’s writing, and I have to say it’s not the best writing ever, but it’s not bad either. The story is exciting and new (I don’t know who else has written about the Elixir of Life), and I’m glad I picked it up. I can’t wait for the next book, because I definitely has some unresolved feelings.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (22)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




My Waiting on Wednesday this week:
Watched by Sharde Richardson
Publication Date: May 30, 2011

Synopsis:
Mikayla doesn’t want much: just to rock out to her favorite band, become the next Kwiki Stop video gaming champion, and keep her Q-tip habit under control. What she does want is the sight of the sudden inexplicable dark auras around everyone to stop. Problem is, those auras are demons and Mikayla is the last trait holder with the power to ban them. Which is a total buzz kill.

To make matters worse, the town folk of Sulphur Springs don’t look the same, and her classmates are a little dark in the eyes. There are murders, suicides, reckless skinny-dipping, gratuitous use of Q-tips, and newfound powers that Mikayla must learn to control.

Her past becomes present when a shape-shifter tells her what her true identity is, and how to keep the demons of Hell from nipping at her Converse. Through him she’ll discover who to trust, who to kiss, and how valuable her abilities are to the right beings. Because the evils of Hell aren’t staying down without a fight.

Or without her soul.


Why this interests me:
1. That cover is amazing.
2. Debut Author
3. Q-Tip habit?
4. Mikayla just sounds like a really kick ass character that doesn't give a crap what others think, and I'd really like to meet her :).

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to this week?

Easter Blog Hop Winner!


Thank you to everyone who stopped by my blog during the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop! I was thrilled to have many visitors each day! Also, I have many new followers, and so I just wanted to say a quick "hello" to all of you! I hope you enjoy my blog :)

Down to business, the winner of my giveaway is...
librarypat!

We have already been in contact via email and will get her book soon! She chose At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, a historical non-fiction book by A. Roger Ekrich (Goodreads).

I hope you enjoy your book, Pat!

Thanks again to all who stopped by and entered! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.

Teaser Tuesday (18)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

Technically, this week and last week are my summer holidays. On the 30th I start work and have a placement for my university program, so I’ll be busy for the rest of the summer. In honour of it being my vacation, I’m reading a summer book! The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy is a cute summer read so far! Here’s my teaser:




“What’s important about these nicknames,” I finish, standing in front of my fellow campers, reading my completed piece, “is that they were something we created. Us. Together. For and with each other. And while the names our parents gave us are still important, are still who we are, these names we call each other ring in our ears with a different - with a chosen - kind of power.”



This teaser is from Violet’s POV. She’s the middle child, between Daisy, the youngest, and Calla, the oldest. I really loved this part because it shows the reader the special connection that these three sisters have. She talks all about the nicknames they gave each other (like Cow, ZeeZee, Sissie, Vivi, and more) and how they came to be. So far, this is a really cute book and I think I’ll enjoy the journeys that each sister takes individually throughout the summer camp.

Feel free to share your teasers in the comments! I’d love to see what you’re reading.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: The Forest of Adventures by Katie M. John

Title: The Forest of Adventures
Author: Katie M. John
Publisher: Little Bird Publishing House
Publish Date: October 26, 2010
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: ebook
Series: Knight Trilogy
1. The Forest of Adventures
2. Immortal Beloved (August 25, 2011)
3. Untitled

Synopsis:
For seventeen year old Mina Singer, falling in love with an Arthurian Knight on a white horse was never part of the plan - especially being that she's an ordinary college girl living in the twenty first century.
As Mina finds herself catapulted into a land she believed only existed in the bedtime stories of her childhood, she soon discovers that Fairyland is not quite as innocent as she imagined.

The question is... who will come out alive?

Haunting, beautiful and sexy, The Forest of Adventures, is a dark romantic quest into the land of true and forbidden love.


Mina Singer is happy with her life: she’s got the perfect boyfriend, a great group of friends, and a great relationship with her mom. That is, until Blake Beldevier shows up in her English class. She is drawn to him and Sam, her boyfriend of two years, notices. Next thing she knows, Sam leaves angry and ends up in a car accident and then at the hospital in a coma. As torn up as she is about Sam, Blake is around and she still can’t deny her attraction to him. As she spends more time with Blake, it’s obvious that there’s something paranormal going on, and that she and Blake just might be part of an ancient prophecy that will tear her world apart.

This is the first indie book I’ve read and I enjoyed it. It was definitely a different experience, since the author is British and so her writing includes Brit slang and sayings. It was fun to read, especially when my nerd brain starting reading with a British accent :P. Other than that, it was like reading any other book.

This story was based on the legend of King Arthur and Arthurian Knights. Although I’ve read a lot of paranormal books, I haven’t read any like this. The setting of the story changes between the Real World and the Realm World, where people follow the old rules of England and Knights in shining armour exist, as well as sorceresses and magic. This was the world that Blake came from. Yeah, a real Knight in shining armour. Hot, right? Just nod yes, cause it is ;). I thought it was awesome the way the author took the legend of Arthur and made it come to life. I don’t know a lot about the legends of Arthur, so it was really fun to learn about it in the way that the author interpreted it.

I liked Mina and Blake as main characters. Mina was put in a very difficult position and she handled it really well. Even though she knew there was something between her and Blake, she was also respectful of her relationship with Sam and of his feelings. Even when she thought the mutual attraction with Blake was going to take over her, that was when Blake was a gentleman. Like I said, people from the Realm follow old rules, and so Blake wouldn’t let either of them acknowledge their feelings and blooming romance while Mina was still tied to Sam. It really put a different spin on the typical love triangle, and I loved the way it was done.

The climax of the story was really well written. I found myself really emotionally invested in Mina and Blake, and their whole situation. It was very suspenseful and emotional. I found myself thinking “Poor Mina” and “Poor Blake” a lot around the end of the story. But I don’t want to give anything away, so that’s all I’m saying! I will say that it set up really well for the next book, Immortal Beloved, which comes out in the Fall. I can’t wait to read it!

Buy it at Smashwords: $0.99 USD
Buy it for Kindle: $0.99 USD
Paperback from website: $12.49 USD

Saturday, April 23, 2011

On My Wishlist (10)


On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

On My Wishlist this week:
The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
Publication Dates: 2008-2010


I was just lucky enough to win a copy of Kelley's new YA novel The Gathering from @IndigoTeenBlog's Twitter. I figure it's as good a time as any to feature her first YA trilogy on my wishlist. I've read some of her adult novels, the Women of the Otherworld series, and really like her writing. Since I also love YA (clearly), I knew I wanted to read her YA novels, too. I just never got to them. I know that everyone says they're amazing, and I believe them, but I have so many books to read and never ended up picking these up. Thankfully for me, you don't need to read The Darkest Powers trilogy before reading The Gathering so I won't be confused. I do think it's cool how Kelley uses the same world for both series, though.

Since I don't want to give any spoilers (especially to myself) from The Darkest Powers Trilogy, I'll give you the synopsis of the first book, The Summoning:

After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either...


Sounds good, right? I can't wait to get my copy of The Gathering, and I think after I read that, I'll want to go out and by this instantly.

What's on your wishlist this week?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: January 1, 2008
Genre: YA, fantasy
Pages: 453
Series: The Mortal Instruments
1. City of Bones (review)
2. City of Ashes
3. City of Glass (March 24, 2009)
4. City of Fallen Angels (April 5, 2011)
5. City of Lost Souls (expected pub May 2012)
6. City of Heavenly Fire (expected pub Sept 2013)

Synopsis:
A murderer is loose in New York City ...

... and the victims are Downworlder children. Clary Fray and her fellow Shadowhunters have a strong suspicion that Valentine, Clary's father, may be behind the killings. But if he is the murderer, then what's his true motive? To make matters worse, the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, has been stolen, and the mysterious Inquisitor has arrived to investigate, with his eyes vigilantly targeted on Clary's brother, Jace.

Clary will need to face some terrifying demons and even more terrifying family decisions. No one said that the life of a Shadowhunter would be easy.


***WARNING: Spoilers if you haven’t read Book 1: City of Bones***

CITY OF ASHES takes continues with the confusion that we were left in at the end of City of Bones. Clary and Luke are trying to deal with Jocelyn being in the hospital in a coma, Jace and the Lightwood children are having problems with the Lightwood adults returning to the Institute, and Simon has his own personal demons to battle.

This continuation of The Mortal Instruments series was just as good as the first. I thought the beginning was better than the first because we just jumped right in rather than having to take so much time to explain about the world of the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. It was also really great to see all the same characters we grew to love come back for this book. It was also great to see some new characters, so nothing became too monotonous.

The emotions in this book are so raw and so easy to feel through the pages, that it is clear Cassandra Clare has a way with words. I don’t want to give spoilers to those of you who haven’t read it, but the chapter in the Seelie Court is a really great example of the raw emotions. It’s my favourite scene from this book, and I wouldn’t be surprised if others felt the same way about it.

There are a lot of new challenges and hurdles that the characters have to face in CITY OF ASHES. And even though they have to deal with these tough things, they still seem like teenagers, and not adults. Clare really wrote the characters well.

If you haven’t picked up The Mortal Instruments yet, or you’ve started but haven’t continued, pick them up. I went about 7 months between City of Bones and City of Ashes and now I don’t know why. It’s really great getting back to Cassandra Clare’s world and seeing what kind of adventure she’s going to take us on next. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this series.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (21)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




My Waiting on Wednesday this week:
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Publication Date: May 23, 2011

Synopsis:
Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.


This sounds like a really great debut. Not only is it a dystopian, but it’s about a world where people only communicate through technology, specifically the computer. Out of all the dystopians I’ve heard of, this one seems the most likely, and that’s kinda scary! I think it’ll make for a really great read, and maybe it’ll even be an eye opener. I can’t wait to read it.

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to this week?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop!


STOP #169!

This is my first time participating in a hop like this and I'm super excited. I thought it would be a great way to celebrate me finishing my 4th year of University (woot!).

This hop was organized by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Once Upon a Twilight.

Each participating blog is hosting a book related giveaway! There are currently over 200 blogs participating, so make sure you check out the whole linky list below and enter lots of giveaways! The hop goes from now until Monday, April 25 at midnight EST.

I'm doing a simple giveaway for my first giveaway hop. Here's what you can win:

One book of your choice from The Book Depository up to $15 CAD.

Yes, this is open internationally, as long as The Book Depository ships to your country (check here).

Giveaway Details:
Fill out the form below
Open to anyone 13 years of age or older
Open internationally
Giveaway ends Monday, April 25 at 11:59pm EST

The winner will be chose by random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will chose another winner. I will announce the winner on my blog on April 26.


Thanks for hopping on over to my blog! Make sure to visit the other blogs on the hop:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (17)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

This week I’m giving you a teaser from Katie M. John’s The Forest of Adventures (Goodreads). This book is pretty different from ones I’ve read before. For one thing, the author is British and there is no “US” version of the book, so some of the phrases and vocabulary are very different. Also, it’s based off of Arthurian legends. That’s right. King Arthur, sword-wielding knights, the whole shebang. Anyway, here’s my teaser for this week:





Blake Beldevier arrived at college on the first day of the January term. He came with the snow. Perhaps looking back this should have served as an omen; a warning that anybody who was foolish enough to fall in love with him ran the risk of having their heart turned to ice.




These are actually the first lines of the first chapter, after the Preface. So, yeah: Arthurian legends, sword-wielding, sexy knights, and heartbreak and love, too. I’m nearing the end now and can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Oh, and in case you were interested, you can buy THE FOREST OF ADVENTURES on Smashwords for $0.99 USD. You can also get it for Kindle at the same price. That’s just something to consider... a great book at a cheap price! Think about it ;)

Feel free to share your teasers in the comments! I’d love to see what you’re reading.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

On My Wishlist (9)


On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

On my Wishlist this week:
Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll
Publish Date: August 3, 2010

Synopsis:
When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is about to be turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, commissions her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to her by her deceased mother. Garet can’t believe her luck and this eerie coincidence until she opens the box and otherworldly things start happening...

That evening, the precious silver box is stolen. When Garet begins to investigate, she learns that she has been pulled into a prophecy that is hundreds of years old, and opening the box has unleashed an evil force onto the streets of Manhattan and the world at large. Gradually, Garet pieces together her true identity—one that her deceased mother desperately tried to protect her from. Generations of women in Garet’s family, including her beloved mother, suffered and died at the hands of this prevailing evil. Does Garet possess the power to reclaim the box and defeat this devastating force?

On her journey, she will meet the fey folk who walk unnoticed among humans and a sexy vampire who also happens to be a hedge fund manager that she can’t stop thinking about. But the fairies reveal a desire to overpower mere humans and the seductive vampire has the power to steal the life from her body. Whom can Garet trust to guide her? Using her newfound powers and sharp wit, Garet will muster everything she’s got to shut down the evil taking over her friends, family, New York City, and the world.


This sounds like a pretty neat urban-fantasy novel.  It's got all the paranormal elements I like and am used to like vampires, fairies, demons, and so on. I don't think it's really YA, but then again I think that the main character is still pretty young, like mid 20s. That cover is really pretty, too. I think it's the paperback cover, or the UK cover. It's not the original, but I like it better so that's why I'm using it :).

What's on your wishlist this week?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Review: Die For Me by Amy Plum

Title: Die For Me
Author: Amy Plum
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: May 10, 2011
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 352
Source: From publisher through NetGalley
Series: Revenants
1. Die For Me
2. Untitled (expected pub 2012)

Synopsis:
My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.

Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies . . . immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

While I'm fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart—as well as my life and my family's—in jeopardy for a chance at love?


Kate just had her life fall apart around her, and she’s coping the best way she knows how: secluding herself in her little bubble where she can protect herself, and her heart, so that she can’t be hurt again. She cuts herself off from her friends in New York, and spends her days wandering Paris museums or sitting at the CafĂ© Saint-Lucie reading her favourite classic novels. Then things start happening: she sees this handsome, mysterious guy in several different places, then she sees him rescue a suicidal girl, she almost gets crushed by falling building, she sees people sword-fighting in tunnels, and other odd and impossible things. And somehow, they’re all centred around this mysterious guy: Vincent. Even though her brain tells her to run away, her heart has other plans.

I really loved this book. It’s a totally different take on paranormal and I’ve never read a book like it before. Amy created an amazing paranormal world that’s just as mysterious and complicated as any other you’ve read about, but hers has sexy, French boys, too. There was heartbreak and danger and hope and fear all wrapped together, and it created the perfect balance so that I was never bored with it.

I liked Kate as a main character. Although she felt this constant pull to want to be with Vincent, she also knew how to use her brain. It wasn’t like she dropped everything to be with him, because she’d experienced a lot of loss recently and was guarding her heart. I think that made her more of a 3D character rather than the typical, flat, run-into-his-arms-even-though-it’s-a-bad-idea girl. Don’t misunderstand me, she wanted to run into his arms even though it was a bad idea, but she knew to be smart with her heart and be safe at the same time. This made her an awesome character for me.

The other characters were great, too. Georgia, Kate’s sister, was a totally different character from Kate. She was out every night partying it up and dealing with the loss of their parents in her own way. She was the popular girl who had lots of friends and was very outgoing, totally opposite from Kate. Then there was Vincent, the love interest. He was very secretive around Kate, which was understandable, given that he has a big secret. But when Kate asked him to be honest with her, he did his best to tell her what she wanted to know and let her make her own decisions from there. He definitely won brownie points with me for that. A few of the other characters also settled into a special place in my heart: Jules, because of his constant flirting with Kate and upbeat mood (once you get to know him); Charlotte, because she was a cute character who was a good friend to Kate when she needed it; and Mamie, Kate’s grandmother, because of her wisdom and faith in love, that helped Kate throughout the book.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes paranormal romances, but are looking for something other than vampires, werewolves, or angels. Amy puts a new spin on paranormal, and her romance is not so clichĂ© as some YA novels recently. DIE FOR ME really is a great adventure in a beautiful city, and you’ll finish the book content, but also hungry for more. It comes out May 5, 2011 in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia, and May 10, 2011 elsewhere. Make sure you grab a copy!

Preorder now!
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (20)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




My Waiting on Wednesday this week:
The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy
Publication Date: May 3, 2011

Synopsis:
Three sisters. One life-changing summer.

Calla loves summer because summer means Duncan. They’ve been best friends for years, but Calla has never worked up the nerve to tell him how she really feels. This summer, the summer before college, is Calla's last chance.

Violet isn't much of a rule breaker in real life. But this isn't real life, this is summer, and Violet is determined to make the most of it. Besides, a little sneaking out never hurt anyone. And sneaking out with James is 100% worth the risk... even though James is completely off-limits.

Daisy has never been the sister that boys notice, but when sparks fly with Joel at the first bonfire of summer, it seems so easy and right. So why is being his girlfriend so complicated?


This looks like a really cute summer read. I love how it's about three sisters, since I'm one of three as well, so I think it'll be relatively easy to relate to. I was lucky enough to get an egalley of this from NetGalley, and when my summer starts next week, I’m gonna pick up my Kobo and read it while I relax. Maybe over Easter weekend. I hope it’ll be a fun, quick read that I’ll enjoy. And if I like it, then when it comes out I can go and buy copies for myself and both of my sisters :).

What are you waiting on this week?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (16)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

I know I just finished City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare on Sunday night, but it was really good and I still want to share a teaser with you all. Even though you’ve probably all read it and I’m the only one drastically behind *sigh*. Here’s my teaser:





Alec turned away, shaking his head and muttering something about girls. Isabelle held out a hand to Clary. “Give me your stele,” she said. “It’s time you got some Marks.”





I’m hoping that’s not too spoilery for anyone that hasn’t read any of The Mortal Instruments books. These are really good books and I’m excited to keep going in the series until I catch up and get to read City of Fallen Angels, which just came out. I’m going to be picking up a different book before continuing onto City of Glass, because I’d like to give myself a chance to digest City of Ashes and write the review before I get all confuzzled with City of Glass in my brain, too.

Feel free to share your teasers in the comments. I’d love to see what you’re reading!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blog Tour: Review of Shades of Atlantis by Carol Oates


Hello all and welcome to my blog for the Shades of Atlantis Blog Tour! I'm so excited to be part of this tour since it's the first that I've ever participated in! I hope you are having as much fun as I am. Read on to learn more about the book and the author, and to read my review!

About the author
Carol was introduced to the world of supernatural books when, as a child, her family moved to a coastal suburb on the northern border of Dublin known as Clontarf, famous as the birthplace of Bram Stoker, the prolific author responsible for breathing life into the legendary story Dracula. This stirred in Carol an early passion for reading about all things supernatural. Combine that passion with a deep interest in the history and folklore of Ireland, as well as an active and vivid imagination, and Carol Oates the author was born. Carol's love of writing about anything not entirely "human" emerged, and the premise for her debut novel, Shades of Atlantis, was born.

Carol still lives in Dublin, but spends a great deal of time traveling though the counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland with her partner and son. When not travelling through the countryside, Carol spends her days at the office and her evenings immersed in the world of Legends and Mythical Creatures.

About the book
Title: Shades of Atlantis
Author: Carol Oates
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Publish Date: 2010
Genre: YA, paranormal, romance
Pages: 308
Source: From publisher for review

Synopsis:
Since the death of their parents, Triona Pryor and her brother, Ben, have lived with their aunt and uncle in Camden, Maine. Now in her senior year of high school, Triona loves her family and friends, but she has always felt that she didn't quite fit in...in Camden, or anywhere else.

Enter Caleb Wallace, the devilishly handsome man who has recently moved to Triona's small town. While their attraction to each other is instantaneous, it also proves to be dangerous...and deadly.

When tragedy strikes, Triona flees to London for solace and to start her life anew. It's there she discovers from an unlikely source that her family has been keeping secrets from her - secrets about not only her birthright, but her ultimate destiny as well. Armed with this knowledge, Triona finds herself thrown into a whole new world and into a battle to save the lives of everyone she loves.


Review:
I have to say that there is a lot that happens in this book. It starts out with Triona finishing up her senior year of high school, working as a waitress to make enough money to jet off to London after graduation. But then she meets Caleb, one of the young, drop-dead gorgeous new owners of the restaurant where she works. Neither of them know what’s going on, but there’s this undeniable pull of attraction between the two of them. When Triona’s life falls apart around her, she pulls herself together and moves to London. While in London, she tries to recover from the horrible memories she tried to leave behind in Camden. But eventually, stuff starts getting weird and Triona finds out she’s not who she thought she was, nor is Caleb’s family.

This book could almost easily be split into two books: Camden and London. The tone of the book changes completely between when Triona is living at home and finishing high school, and when she finally travels to London. They’re so different that I actually felt like I had finished one book and picked up the next. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, though, it totally works for the book.

I honestly don’t know anything about Irish myths. Like, totally clueless. So I really can’t compare the parts of Irish history that Carol used to create this world for Triona and her characters. However, I did recognize a few things: she integrated the stories of the lost city of Atlantis, and also incorporated Excalibur, King Arthur’s “Sword in the Stone.” The part that was really interesting for me was how she used these stories and the Irish myths and put them together to create this awesome, paranormal world.

The romance in this story is very prominent and very strong. Triona and Caleb are undeniably attracted to each other, an attraction so strong that she can sense when he’s in the room and feels incomplete without him. Their relationship is sexy and heartfelt, but also littered with mystery because of all the secrets Caleb keeps from Triona. I don’t want to say more because if I do, I will ruin a lot of things. So you’ll just have to read it in order to see what their secrets are and how Triona and Caleb try to make their relationship work.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Like I said, there is a lot going on, but it’s not too overwhelming because of the way it splits in the middle. It’s a fresh start. It allows for a great balance. This story is very imaginative, romantic, sexy, and exciting. I definitely recommend it.

And because I love book trailers, here's the one for SHADES OF ATLANTIS:


Giveaway:
Here's the rules:
- You must leave one comment on each blog participating in the tour. Please do not leave your email in the comments.
- You will have to complete the form on A Tale of Many Reviews on April 19, the last tour stop.
- Winners will be chosen by Random.org from the final form
- Giveaway is open internationally
- You do not have to be a follower of any participating blogs

Here's what you can win:
There will be 4 winners total: one will win this awesome prize pack, a second will win this prize pack minus the mug, and two more will win an ebook copy of SHADES OF ATLANTIS.

Check out my post from before the tour to get the full list of blogs participating, with direct links to their posts, and go comment away! Remember, you need to comment on each blog post in the tour to be eligible to win those awesome prizes.

Next Stop: Books and Shtuff.

In My Mailbox (15)




In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.



Here’s what I got in my mailbox this week:


For Review
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (from Josie)
{Goodreads | preorder from Book Depository}
Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson (from NetGalley)
{Goodreads | preorder from Book Depository}

Josie contacted me on Twitter and asked if I wanted a copy of her book since she noticed that I’m counting down to STARCROSSED on my sidebar. I was pretty giddy cause that means she visited MY blog and personally wanted to send ME a copy of her book. Notice how she also sent me 3 Dark Days bookmarks? I’m actually accumulating a bunch of extra swag... maybe I’ll have to do a swag giveaway sometime soon... ;)

I got ULTRAVIOLET through NetGalley. It sounds like a really interesting book about Alison, a girl in a mental hospital who is accused of killing the popular girl at school. The problem is that no body has turned up and Alison doesn't understand what happened. The two were fighting, then the other girl just disintegrated. It sounds like something I'm not used to reading, so hopefully it will be a different experience for me!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (19)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




My Waiting on Wednesday this week is:
Abandon by Meg Cabot
Publish Date: April 26, 2011

Synopsis:
Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.


Another mythology retelling! I'm super excited to read this one. It's a retelling of the myth of Persephone and Hades, and how he kidnaps her and brings her to the Underworld. It's a really good story, actually! I'm excited to see Meg Cabot's twist on it!

And if you don't know yet: I love book trailers. So here's the one for Abandon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (15)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

Like I said last week, I’m giving you a teaser from Amy Plum’s debut novel, Die for Me! I’m so in love with Vincent right now. Just... so in love. (translation: I’m really enjoying this book! It’s a great debut and the concept is awesome so far.) Here’s my teaser:





Just as I left my safe little nook against the wall and stepped around my table, a huge crash came from behind me, and I was knocked flat onto the ground. I could feel my knee stinging and lifted my head to see blood on the ground beneath my face.




What was the crash?? Well, Die for Me comes out on May 10, 2011 (just over a month!) so you’ll have to make sure you pick up a copy when it comes out. (Or you can preorder it here!)

I’m really loving the characters in this book, not only Kate and Vincent, but also Kate’s sister Georgia, and Vincent’s friends. I love Kate and Georgia’s relationship, which is clearly strengthened because they lost their parents. But they’re also closer than sisters, they’re best friends, and I love to see that in sisters.

Feel free to share your teasers in the comments. I’d love to see what you’re reading!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Lament
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Flux
Publish Date: October 1, 2008
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 325
Series: Books of Faerie
1. Lament
2. Ballad (October 1,2009)

Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind...

If you haven’t heard me gush about Maggie Stiefvater yet, then where have you been? I love her writing. I wish I had reviews gushing about how much I love Shiver and Linger, the first two novels in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, however I read them before I started up this blog and never wrote reviews for them. I’m hoping to have the time to read them before Forever comes out (JULY 12, 2011!!) and write reviews for all of them. But I was saying...

I love Maggie’s writing. I honestly don’t know how to describe it. It’s magic. It’s awesome. It just pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. That’s why I stayed up until 2 am on two occasions reading LAMENT. That’s not something I usually do. But, I love Maggie’s writing so much and she just wouldn’t let me go to sleep. She would whisper at me from the pages: “But don’t you want to find out what’s going on? Don’t you want to find out what Luke is? Don’t you want to see what’s going to happen??” and I’d say “OK fine, Maggie, but it better be good” and it always was.

Deirdre is a talented musician with a dysfunctional family. Her mother manages her life, her father barely seems to have any impact on it (I didn’t realize until halfway through that she had a father), her Granna acts weird and spews stuff about faeries and wearing iron, and her aunt is way too full of herself. James, her best friend, keeps her grounded and makes sure she has fun. He’s the light in her world until she meets Luke, who holds her hair back while she pukes before a performance (her pre-performance ritual so to speak). The story unfolds as Luke and Deirdre become friends and she starts seeing faeries. She eventually learns that they are very dangerous creatures and are trying to take her away from house and home. Then a whole bunch of crazy stuff happens and we learn about what They (the faeries) want from Deirdre, what is up with Luke and who he is, and more! But you’ll have to read it to find out what ;).

I really liked Deirdre and Luke as characters. Never while I was reading did I get frustrated or irritated or bored with them. They were both consistent and real throughout the book. I love how they were able to bond over music, with Deirdre playing the harp and Luke playing the flute. I have give kudos to Maggie for being so unique with her instrument choices for her characters (especially a male playing the flute!). It may have seemed sudden, but Luke and Deirdre practically had an instantaneous trust in one another. For a character like Deirdre who is shy and has few friends, seeing her make a connection with Luke was nice. Their relationship was complicated because Deirdre wasn’t sure what Luke was at first and, even when she found out things about him that should have sent her running, she still felt she could trust him. By the end, I was just rooting for them and their relationship, hoping that it would work out and everything would be ok.

I honestly don’t know what else to say about LAMENT. I mean, there’s TONS to say, but at the same time, I’m having a hard time pulling together words. I want to tell you about all these awesome parts so that you’ll want to pick it up, but I don’t know how to do that without spoilers. So… here: there’s fog and a graveyard; there’s a physical connection between Luke and Deirdre, although not in the typical, sexual way; there’s a bitchy aunt who I hate; there’s helpful, mysterious, funny, and scary fey; there’s action, there’s pain, there’s sadness; and there’s a bittersweet ending. If you want to see how all of this comes together or just want to read a dark faerie book with a subdued, but steamy romance, then definitely pick up LAMENT and give Maggie’s debut a try!

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In My Mailbox (14)




In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.



I just have a couple pieces for In My Mailbox this week! Check it out:

Won
The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black (from Simon & Schuster Canada's YA Blog)
{Goodreads | Book Depository}
Half-Blood swag (from Jennifer Armentrout)

To be honest, I'm kind of assuming that I won Poison Eaters from YA Simon Blog. I know I entered their contest, but I never got any kind of email saying I'd won it. I just came home today and BAM, there it was. Oh, no, I'm not complaining, just saying :). It looks really interesting. I haven't read any of Holly Black's stuff, but the stories seem interesting. Make sure you check it out.

And OMG I was so excited when I won that swag from Jennifer! It's so purdy! I actually won it from a random, spur-of-the-moment twitter contest that Jennifer did (you can find her on Twitter here). I can't wait until Half-Blood comes out so I can grab myself a copy to use my bookmark in :).

What did you get this week?

On My Wishlist (8)


On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

On my Wishlist this week:
Everlasting by Angie Frazier
Publication Date: June 1, 2010

Synopsis:
Sailing aboard her father’s trade ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a girl of society in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn’t love, or condemn herself and her father to poverty.

On her final voyage before the wedding, the stormy arms of the Tasman Sea claim her father, and a terrible family secret is revealed. A secret intertwined with a fabled map, the mother Camille has long believed dead, and an ancient stone that wields a dangerous—and alluring—magic.

The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar, a handsome young sailor whom she is undeniably drawn to. Torn between trusting her instincts and keeping her promises to her father, Camille embarks on a perilous quest into the Australian wilderness to find the enchanted stone. As she and Oscar elude murderous bushrangers and unravel Camille’s father’s lies, they come closer to making the ultimate decision of who—and what—matters most.

Beautifully written and feverishly paced, Everlasting is an unforgettable journey of passion, secrecy, and adventure.


I need to read more historical fiction. I always come across books like this and instantly think "Hey this sounds like a great book," but eventually I just forget about it because there's so many other books out there, too. But I really need to make sure I keep broadening my horizons and reading different types of books. That's why I chose this for my wishlist this week. Points toward reading this also include: part is set in Australia, magic, and romance. I don't think I can go wrong. And I LOVE the cover. The colours just mesh so well together, and the writing for the title is beautiful!

What's on your wishlist this week?