Monday, December 30, 2013
"Why would Villicus want that?
Why would parents be so willing to do that?...
This must be the hundredth time I've asked myself that very question. But it is the first time I've actually come up with an answer. And the answer changes everything."
Anne Merchant is weird, okay she isn't supper odd, she just happens to be the daughter of a mortician. It has been part of her identity for a long time. Another part of Anne's life? Her mother suffered from severe bipolar and died in a tragic and traumatic way, and Anne was the one that found her. Now, every time Anne closes her eyes she sees the last time she saw her mother replay over and over again. Anne has worried her father, enough for him to think a change of scenery is needed. So starts Anne's new life at a rich, secretive, creepy prep school named Cania Christy.
Cania Christy only caters to the uber-rich, every student looks like they stepped out of a fashion magazine, and they all are competing with each other to earn the spot of the Big V, class valedictorian. As Anne begins to attend this school, not only is she questioning how her father managed to get her into this super secretive, members only school, she is also wondering how he is swinging the payments and pondering the bigger meaning behind the Big V competition. In a place where no one is your friend, and rules are not meant to be broken, Anne must figure out what is happening and why she's at Cania Christy.
The writing really leaned to the creepy, dark and stormy aura going on through out the book, and had I kept that in mind I might have been able to determine the plot of the book; however, I was pleasantly surprised at the details that I would not have guessed at. Basically, this book looks, smells and taste like foul play/creepy secret society/parental secrets; however, the depth of the deception and weaving of the foul play is much greater. I am interested in seeing what happens to Anne next and what is really behind the character known as Teddy, and what really happened to her mother... does she some how have a hand in everything at Cania Christy with Villicus?
Thank You NetGalley
Publishing Date: 01/14/2014
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Prepare yourself for a disturbing crime YA drama, that will keep you guessing until it's too late.
“The cop looks directly at her for the first time, blinking. He starts to tell her that she called in a disturbance, not a body, but she keeps going.
‘Fancy red thread all through her lips.’ Her eyes are wide. ‘Straw coming out through some of the stitches. They tore apart our scarecrows and that’s what they did with the filling. From the looks of her cheeks, her whole mouth’s been stuffed full.’
The officer drops his pen.”
And so begins our story.
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale is set in the small rural town of Friendship, Wisconsin with a small population of 688. There has been a gruesome murder, and now no one feels safe. Kippy has lost her best friend Ruth Fried, and Mrs. Fried has given her Ruth’s journal to edit the sexual content. Kippy soon learns there was more to Ruth than she had thought. Ruth’s boyfriend, becomes the prime suspect, but since she was having an affair with an older main, Kippy is not too sure this is an open and shut case. Now armed with Ruth’s journal and the help of Ruth’s older, cute but suffering from PTSD from the war brother Kippy must figure out who in her town was sadistic enough to murder a young girl and stuff her like a scarecrow, before she becomes the next victim.
This was a great mystery/thriller. With so many characters and small population, almost anyone is suspect… at some point I considered Kippy and even Davey (Ruth’s brother). The shocker at the end isn’t so much of a shocker. It’s obvious, but again well played by placing the crime in a small town; it’s much easier to hide the obvious. It was also a very humorous book. Kippy isn’t an awesome person overall, there is nothing wrong with her, but she can be funny for sure.
3 out of 5 stars! Thank you Edelweiss.
The Lost Boys by Lilian Carmine was both charming and a bit strange.
Joe has just moved to Esperanza with her mother, two weeks before Christmas. The book begins with Joe becoming lost in the cemetery, as she twists and turns to figure her way out, Joe spots him sitting on a grave. “A boy, just a few feet away. And he was beautiful.” That is the beginning of Joe and Tristan’s friendship. The only problem? Tristan never wants to hang out anywhere but the graveyard, and since Joe just wants to be around him, she doesn’t really bother to think… for a minute… what this could mean. I mean you only need a minute to figure out why someone only wants to be in a cemetery, never wants to touch you (like, say, when you fall), or doesn’t really talk about himself much. Turns out, he’s a ghost.
This is a story of love, of witchcraft, of The Lost Boys (band of misfits and cuties who play in a…well, a band), and finally of growing into your own skin. I think the author tried too hard to do too much in this book. Not only is a ghost story, but Joe brings Tristan back with some hidden power she has. Now they both must escape from the thing that fixes mistakes and anomalies in life, and they both must run away from death, or is it run towards it? At the same time this is happening, Joe starts a new school, where she has to pretend that Tristan and her are siblings. Here it’s about her growing into her own person, meeting new people and struggling with a new love that must remain hidden. All the while the supernatural world is knocking on the door. The book was interesting but it was not light, it tried to be…
Thursday, December 12, 2013
The Offering by Kimberly Derting is the third and final book in The Pledge series. Charlie is still queen and she is still battling to remain herself, and not completely surrender to Sabara. Niko, Sabara/Layla’s soul mate, is on a mission to get back his love, even if it destroys countless of people. He bands together with Queen Elena, promising her the gift of immortality, but what she doesn’t realize is that she is just a pawn in a bigger game, one that she will not win. This book was a great closer, people died, people were freed from bondage, and some people were given the chance of a HEA. I do want to comment on the opening of this book: way to give me chest pains before the actual ride began. Better yet, thanks for not letting the readers know that they are getting on a ride on the first page, it was more exciting that way, granted I don’t know how I feel about the aftermath of that first scene. Sage, as character, was awesome… mainly because of the previously mentioned aftermath, was an amazing person through that. I am glad that the end turned out to be less than perfect, like a mentioned people died; however, there seems to be the hope for everyone that things will in fact get better, slowly. The ending made me giddy, but weirdly enough it had nothing to do with our faithful two lovers Charlie and Max. To mention the death, I will state that it was necessary and just awful. I mourned with Charlie and I mourned with the other characters who loved this character.
3.5 stars out of 5 because there wasn’t enough action until the very end. Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for an ARC.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine had the promise to be something amazing… but it fell short for me. About 40% in a realized that this was sensationalized fiction; the situations that the characters found themselves in were too ridiculous to be truthful, almost a 1 in a million story. There are two main characters, Wren and Grayson. Wren is on the verge of losing it, since she is “too quiet” and will possibly never get into a college like Harvard. Her issues are realistic for kids her age during senior year. Grayson on the other hand has done some bad things, the one I will spill in the review is the fact that he was part of a term paper scheme and was thrown out of his high school; however, Grayson has other issues and dirtier secrets. One pig in a blank is what unites these two, as Grayson almost chokes to death on one and Wren saves him, since she is the waitress at her family owned restaurant.
I don’t know how to fully explain my disappointment in the characters. Not only where the situations ridiculous but the characters’ reactions were beyond ridiculous. At some point I had to stop, because I was laughing too hard and just couldn’t deal with the issues unfolding in the book. I do have to say that I laughed and had fun, because it was so short I couldn’t hate it too much. I appreciate the author putting herself out there in her first novel, but my advice would be to try to reign in the ridiculous and make it more believable. For instance, Wren’s way of dealing with the situations presented to her during the book made her look like a weak character as oppose to a character that grew (which is what I felt the author was going for.)
2 out of 5 stars. Thank you Edelweiss and the Publisher for an ARC.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Control by Lydia Kang was uncontrollably good… sorry, I had to say it. The tag line on goodreads.com states “An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies.” I haven’t had the pleasure of reading that series, but I will tell you one thing; this is a thriller that is written by someone who knows their stuff. Remember when Harry Potter came out and everyone wished there was something magically special about them? Well, I have seen variations of this story spun countless of times, and there always seems to be magic involved. That is not the case in Control, there are a group of kids out there that are special, but their specialties come from variations of their genomes… or something scientifically smart like that. It is so nice to read something that sounds so ridiculously technical, it must be true (I googled some things, turns out most of it is true if there was a crazy geneticist out there… I’m surprised there isn’t, really).
Enough of the legitimacy of the fictional world created by Kang. Zelia and Dylia are sisters, and they just saw their father die in a terrible accident. Taken through the foster system, they are separated when Dylia is taken by some tough looking people. Zelia is taken by Marka, an old colleague of Zel’s father. What Zelia is not prepared for is the fact that her father worked with mutant kids, and that her sister is one of them. Desperate to find Dyl, Zelia slowly finds her way at Carus House, her new home and home to genetically modified kids. Here she discovers herself, her father’s real work, and something called love.
Love: I loved the love in the book. There was a moment when I thought there would an infernal triangle (which could still happen in the series), but thankfully the author spared us all a huge dramatic cry fest by not having a love triangle. At Carus House Zel meets Cy and boy is he something. Cy has the ability to heal all wounds, so every day as part of his self-torture he tattoos his whole body. The tension between these two is ridiculous in the beginning, especially since his hologram professor looks exactly like what Zel would look like, if she decided to wear a skirt and heels, coincidence, I don’t know. Cy also has dark secrets that intertwine with Zel’s predicament. Will he be able to help her? Why is he always trying to hurt himself?
World Building: Awesome world building in this book. Set in the future this is an obvious dystopian novel. To give some background of what is in store for readers, here is a small description of what the world for Zel looks like: “…after the country couldn’t agree on religion or politics or how to wipe your butt the right way, they divided into clustered States. Alms, Ilmo, Neia, Okks…each stewing in their happy ideals, all of them unified under a federal government weaker than my left pinkie.” It was exciting to see a future so hauntingly close to what could really happen. I am not comparing this book to 1984, but the realism of the changes to come was comparable.
Best Description Used for Character:
“He stands there, a pillar of ash and ink.” If you read the book and get to know Cy you will feel as if this is an accurate description of him. I love Cy J!
4 out of 5 stars. Thank you Edelweiss and to the publisher for an early ARC.
Angelbound by Christina Bauer was not the most amazing book this year, but it was pretty entertaining. It’s your classic (weird that it is now a classic…) Angel vs Demon vs Humanity vs Souls. Myla is a quasi-demon, meaning she is a mix of some of the previously mentioned groups. She lives in a world where everyone coexists in Purgatory, with issues of course, and she is the bottom of the totem pole. Have you read books with angels and nephilim? The whole time everyone is hunting down, or talking down to them because they show the greatest weakness of the fallen? It’s almost like that, but with a twist. “I am a quasi-demon (mostly human with a little demon DNA). I’ve spent all eighteen years of my life in Purgatory (…aka the most boring place in the history of ever).”
There is also a love story, and of course she falls for Lincoln, someone she shouldn’t want to be with because of what he is and what she is; however, there’s a twist! Myla isn’t what she thinks she is, and her mother has been keeping it a secret from her. Now Myla must figure out who her father is, where he is, what she is, what she feels for Lincoln, pass school, avoid being on Armageddon’s radar, and bring a revolution like Purgatory has never seen before.
Was it exciting? Yes, but sometimes I felt that it was too long, some scenes too unnecessary. What I did like was Myla’s personality… to a point; she really likes killing (FYI). There are some golden nuggets of conversations that were really funny. Overall the experience was not terrible, I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars, and I will most likely be reading the next book.
Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for an early ARC.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
These Broken Stars by Aimee Kaufman and Meagan Spooner has to be one of the most original Sci-Fi stories this year, possibly in the past couple of years. Not only was it sci-fi, but there were intense survival issues throughout the book, along with romance and social barriers being broken. I even love how the title just makes sense in the last scene. Tarver and Lilac’s little world eventually became broken stars, ones that I hope they will be able to see throughout time.
Sci-Fi: It probably looks obvious, but this is a Sci-Fi book all the way. You have a huge space ship cruising through space with rich, poor, and military. I have to agree with some responses to the book that it reminds me of the titanic, crash and all; however, this was much more electrifying (no pun intended) and at no point did I feel a sad lull, because there was too much action. By the time Tarver and Lilac descend onto the planet nearest the crash, no one is left alive. They are the sole survivors, and now on this new planet they must learn to adapt and also grieve their loss… that’s when the sadness comes on. It was easy to follow along during the space talks and the world building was phenomenal.
Lilac: Lilac LaRoux is the residential rich girl, daughter of the most powerful man in the universe. Her father is the owner of LaRoux Industry; they inhabit planets, make them into livable places and have colonies on those planets. Her father is feared, and that makes Lilac untouchable much to her chagrin. Many men fawn over her because of her status, and others steer clear of her because of fear of her father… that’s every man, except Major Merendsen.
Tarver: Major Tarver Merendsen is the new hot shot decorated soldier. Coming from a poor background, he will never fit into the rich life, however much they want to make him mingle. He knows he’s only on the upper class deck for photo ops, no one there really wants to get to know him, and it’s all a show… that is, until Lilac catches his eye.
The Planet: Holy creepiness. I think that is what made this novel the best Sci-Fi so far. Everything is creepy about the planet. It’s inhabitable, but there are no inhabitants. What there is are whispers, illusions, recreations of your thought, and rift from one dimension to the other. Something is on the planet; Lilac and Tarver are not alone. What they need to figure out is whether or not this something is a threat, or better yet what are they trying to communicate.
Bad Guy: Guess who the bad guy is… that’s right! It’s Lilac’s father. I have noticed that the upcoming books will be companion novels, following new star-crossed lovers… but the baddie is still LaRoux. He is dangerous, disturbing, and a bit controlling. Throughout the novel you never see him, or even scenes of him, it’s hard to know the man behind the villain, thus far. The closest we get is the end, when Lilac gives him a little bit of that hard earned LaRoux attitude and makes me so proud!
This was such an achingly sweet novel, with equal parts creepiness, romance, action, craziness, and heartbreak. I had to put the book down for grown up reasons like my job; however, I did wake up at 1 AM because I just had to finish the book! You will not be disappointed.
4/5 stars! Thanks NetGalley.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes is the second book of the Falling Kingdoms series. Much like its predecessor, it contains narratives from most, if not all of the major characters in the book, even if they only got one chapter. Last time we left Cleo, Jonas, Magnus, and Lucia Auranos had fallen in to the clutches of King Gaius. Lucia played a very integral part in this acquisition, as she is the prophesized sorceress. Cleo has lost her father and sister at the hands of King Gaius, along with her kingdom and freedom. Magnus is still his father’s, King Gaius, shadow; meanwhile Jonas is the leader of the rebels. Too much happened in this book and my head is still spinning. To summarize the main points: people will die in this book, people will marry in this book, there are a few surprise kisses (one will be extremely “ship” hot, while the other is so awkward and surprising it isn’t hot until a couple of pages, and then you will think… really, well I fancy those two together, Go Nic!), treachery and double crossing, weird alliances, more death, the Watchers are now making a big presence, new crazy villain, a resurrection, oh and more death.
Magnus really grew on me in this book. There was definitely more of him in this book than the previous; the first book really centered on Cleo and Jonas. Now that Magnus is the heir to the new kingdom of Mytica and Lucia is stuck in “The Sanctuary” since she is in a coma, they both seem to have bigger roles in this book. Lucia is also going through this crazy sorceress stage, while Magnus is trying to cut the umbilical cord attached to his father. The ending was too swift, almost as if you have been running a marathon for the past 2 hours and then all of a sudden some hand juts out to stop you. Now your defenses are up, your heart rate is askew, and you no longer have anything to keep running to. That is how it ends. The next book will most likely zero in on Cleo and Lucia, since one holds the key to the other’s power. That will be interesting to see:
“And you’re not afraid of me?”
Terrified beyond words.
“No, I’m not afraid of you.”
4 out of 5 stars. Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Pawn by Aimee Carter is her first book in her new series The Blackcoat Rebellion. After reading the Goddess Test trilogy, I was a small fan of Carter. I enjoyed the series about Hades, but if that is what you are after then you will be sorely mistaken. Pawn is a thrilling ride in a dystopian world.
“I’d seen the posters and heard the speeches. Everyone had. We all had our rightful place in society, and it was up to us to decide what that was. Study hard, earn good grades, learn everything we could, and prove we were special. And when we turned seventeen and took the test, we would be rewarded with a good job, a nice place to live, and the satisfaction that we contributed to our society—everything we would ever need to lead a meaningful life.
That was all I’d ever wanted: to prove myself, to prove that I was better than the Extra I really was. To prove I deserved to exist even though I was a second child. To prove the government hadn’t made a mistake not sending me Elsewhere.”
This is Kitty Doe’s story. All she wanted was to become a IV, with that rank she would be able to marry Benji and live an okay life; however, on the day of her testing she received a III and standing orders to relocate to Denver, where she would lead a life as waste management. Desperate to wait until Benji is assigned his number in a month, Kitty decides to work as a working girl. On her first night her virginity is bought by the highest bidder, Prime Minister Hart. But what he has in mind is something more sinister and dirtier than she could ever imagine. Hart gives Kitty a choice, she can remain a III and possibly die by his goon’s hands or she can agree to a deal that will make her a VII and give her the life she never thought she could have. The catch—Kitty will be remade into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s deceased niece, with plastic surgery and all.
Kitty is transported into a politically criminal family. Some believed in the cause that got Lila killed—the rebellion, while others wanted to remain status quo, hence her untimely death. Kitty must now navigate the Hart family and figure out what she must do, so that she can survive this ordeal and keep Benji safe. What she doesn’t expect is being transported into the biggest rebellion yet, or to be part of crazy identity fraud scheme. Where everyone is the pawn in the game, who will eventually call out checkmate?
4 out of 5 stars. Thanks NetGalley
Pushed by Corrine Jackson is the second book in the Sense Thieves series. Remy and Asher are trying to enjoy life following the aftermath of the previous book. Even with life starting to make sense for Remy and her powers of a healer and her love for her enemy, Asher, Remy is missing a maternal connection. When a letter from her grandfather arrives, Remy feels like she can finally understand more about her mother and the Healer community. Blinded by this, Remy decides to spend a month with her grandfather and Asher will be following her. There she meets her grandfather Franc, and a whole community of healers, but lurking in the woods is danger and other Protectors that what Remy. One night Asher and Remy are captured. Can they make it out alive? What will they do when they realize that Remy is starting to obtain Protector traits? Who will make the ultimate sacrifice for love?
Completely saw the twist at the end with Asher, Gabriel, and Remy… totally sucks for the characters, but I felt that it was handled well, at least in this book. It will be interesting to see what occurs now that Remy is on the run. Even with the predictability of the ending it was still a fun read, and it was nice to see more of Gabe in this book, he’s by far my favorite character. Franc is not what I was expecting at first, but slowly he reveals his true nature. Remy is still her annoying self, healing the practically dead and subject herself to their illnesses without thought of consequences. Asher is still kind of controlling… I know, many like him but can Remy just tell him to back off a little bit… perhaps things would have been different for him if he had backed off a little in this book.
Overall I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. Thank You NetGalley.
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry is the 3rd book in her Pushing the Limits series. If you have been following along, this is Isaiah’s story. Isaiah is the friend of Noah (Pushing the Limits) and also has just had his heart broken by Beth (Dare You To). I was so ready for this book. I love Isaiah because he can be so mean, but deep down he’s such a tragic character. Abandoned by his mother, for reason we find out in this book, Isaiah has never had a stable family home. Noah and Beth were the only family he had and with Beth falling in love in book two, he now is down to Noah and Noah’s girlfriend Echo. On top of all of this he is living with Noah, even though he still belongs to the state, and Noah might not be able to keep their family together much longer now that he has to concentrate in college and cannot work for rent money. Isaiah is determined to help Noah out, even if it means dealing with the street thug Eric, just one last time he will race for money.
Rachel Young is a rich, beautiful, young girl who has an affinity to cars but must bury her personal interests to keep her family intact. You see, Rachel is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t replace one child with a new child. After her sister died from leukemia, her mother had one other child and then became pregnant with twins, Evan and Rachel. Rachel gave her new hope, and she wanted her to be everything Colleen deserved to be, never realizing that she was just burying her other daughter in a life that would never work. Because of all this pressure from the outside and from inside of her, Rachel has kept hidden her panic attacks until one night it gets to be too much, she needs an escape. Rachel jumps into her Mustang GT and finds herself in an illegal drag race, with Isaiah.
These two had such a great bond and their ups and downs were entertaining and thoughtful. Isaiah became the person he wanted around Rachel and Rachel in turn could be herself. But like all love stories, this one is not easy. There is a debt to be paid to Eric, uncertainty from family members, car incidents that make you want to close your eyes while reading, and inner conflict that can get in the way of happiness. My only complaint is that the next book will not be about Abby… she deserves some happiness McGarry, you know it, your readers know it and I feel like Evan could have known it… just saying.
4/5 stars, thank you to the publisher and NetGalley.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher was a thought provoking book. Zoe, our main character, has started to write to an inmate in America named S. Harris. Her first letter is an introduction, but also a comparison of their situations. She relates with Harris, for his crime of murder. “I know what it’s like. Mine wasn’t a woman. Mine was a boy. And I killed him three months ago exactly. Do you want to know the worst thing? I got away with it. No one’s found out that I’m responsible. No one has a clue and I’m walking around saying all the right things and doing all the right stuff, but inside I’m sort of screaming.”—Yeah, that’s right, this is a murder mystery. When I first picked up this book I thought it was a coming of age story, where the main character grows through letters written to a prison because of a class assignment; when in reality this story is about a young girl who made some small mistakes, fell in love with the wrong boy and ended up living with the biggest secret.
Ketchup Clouds is the aftermath of Zoe’s life. Going from past to present, Zoe gives the reader a glimpse of what she experienced: drunken school parties, a popular boy crush, kissing, mistaken identities, popular boy’s hot older brother, and one act of betrayal to become the catalyst of it all. Pitcher made this story irresistible and heart wrenching by tearing each layer away until the shocking ending. Even though this is a love triangle it is still difficult to figure out who dies, and when it’s revealed I think I was more devastated, than if it had been the other one. This sure is not a “Happily Ever After” kind of a tale but it is one to keep you strung along until the very end.
4 out of 5 stars. Thank You Edelweiss.
Elvie is at it again in the sequel to Mothership. Elvie’s pregnancy has been pretty rough, but nothing could have prepared her for the actual birth… to a baby girl. According to her, just handsome, baby daddy it is impossible for her to have given birth to a girl, since he can only produce boys, and it seems like the rest of the Almiri clan feel the same. Immediately Elvie, Cole, Ducky, her father, and baby are shipped to Antarctica. Here they must assimilate with the criminals shipped out by the Almiri, oh and there is a new species of Aliens after Elvie and her baby.
Now Elvie has the care of her new baby in her hands, but she isn’t getting a break anytime soon. With the new Aliens as a threat, old secrets coming to light, and some strange feelings evolving and dissolving for her baby daddy, Elvie is in for a tougher time than most teenage moms. Will she be able to come to terms with her past and who she is? Will she and her family be able to leave Antarctica anytime soon? Is the leader of the Almiri really James Dean?!?! Keep tuned in because things have just gotten stranger for our heroine.
3 out of 5 stars, Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC.
Ready for a world full or frilly dresses, gadgets galore, proper etiquette training, and some nice romance mixed with a healthy dose of spying? Then welcome back to the world of mischief at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy, where our heroine Sophronia awaits for the next adventure, and what an adventure it will be: the school is off to London! That’s right, the dirigible school (floating school) will be arriving in London, but when the school rarely ever moves this trip starts making minds suspicious. There is something not right, Sophronia and her friends will have to figure out what is going on before the end results become worse for the humans and supernatural.
This sequel had a lot of adventure, more so than the first. The secrets were great, too. Being a fan of the Parasol Protectorate series, I really enjoyed this book. Some of the characters in that series are referenced to in this book; this includes one creative mistress of ridiculously fashionable hats/parasols. I also enjoyed the romance. I am not a Soap fan. I love him, just not for Sophronia; however, I like Felix. He was introduced in the first book during a ball, as a “rake-in-training.” There is something frustratingly charming about him and I really can’t wait to see more of him.
Overall I give this book 4 stars and I cannot wait to jump on the next fun installment of this series.Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC.
Monday, November 25, 2013
When time travel is an option, many think of going back to the past and eliminating a threat to the future. If you could, would you go back in time and end Hitler's reign of terror? If you knew some one's actions in the past could affect future generations, would you stop those actions? These are some of the questions asked in the book. (Where have a seen this before... oh yes, All Our Yesterdays, which is the best time traveling book of the year!)
Eden and Connor have been best friends, since forever. Connor is the smart one and Eden is, well she's Eden. What she doesn't realize is that Connor has had feelings for her for a long time now. As this is their last year in school Connor feels as though this will be his last chance to nab the girl of his dream, and best friend. Eden, could not be any more clueless, especially since there is a new boy in town.
Ryan is the classic new boy enigma. All the girls are raving about him and everyone is curious about him, including Eden and it seems like Ryan also is curious about Eden. After hanging out with each other one day, Eden finds a book that will change not only her life but her best friend's. Turns out, Ryan is from the future, a future affected by a discovery made by Connor... after a dance. Story goes that Connor's heart was broken at this dance, after he left he discovered a planet through a telescope--one that he named Eden. Ryan's role is to stop the moment or change the moment when Connor had his heart broken. What ends up happening is a lot of secret sharing, hiding and plenty of heart gushing moments. And of course, when there is time travel, there is always a glich.
3 out of 5 stars.
Thank You NetGalley.
Monday, November 18, 2013
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a world wind, intense novel, full of action and everyday crime. Does it have feel of the paranormal? At times it does, but overall it is about teens with heightened abilities, such as profiling. You also have teens that are good at reading lies and emotions. Together these teens form a group that the FBI uses on special cold cases.
Enter 17 year old Cassie, a natural at reading people. The FBI has caught wind of what a special nugget Cassie is, and they have come a knockin’. Cassie moves away to live with other teens in this classified unit. She meets a few teenagers and begins to train with them. On top of trying to fit in to a new program she has to deal with the attentions of two boys and the attention of new serial killer, who oddly enough resembles the killer of her mother.
I like the overall concept, and the fact that it was more realistic than other YA novels in the supernatural/sci-fi genre. With its ties to profiling and the FBI, this book would work well for mystery and crime lovers. The characters can be somewhat annoying, but overall not in a big way. The twists in the book were well worth the guessing game. Yay, for not knowing who the bad guy was until the end. My problem was the ending. Is this going to be a series? If so, I am all set to jump on the band wagon, but can someone release soon if this will be the beginning of a series?
Thanks Net Galley!
4 out 5 stars
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
“When Keirran went back into the Nevernever, I knew I hadn’t seen the last of him. Still, I had no idea how entangled my life would soon become with his, and how he would be the catalyst… for the end of everything.”—Iron Traitor
Ethan and Kenzie have just come back from their action packed adventure through the Land of Faerie. Kenzie is battling an infection, due to her visit and Ethan is fighting off jealous quarterbacks, a lawyer father, and the police. It almost seems like his life is back to normal, and he would really much rather prefer it that way. Ethan knows he has a nephew, Keirran, and he knows that people are trying their best to keep them apart but right now he wants to concentrate on Kenzie and staying away from Them.
Unfortunately, the forgotten are still having problems and Keirran is missing. The entire Iron realm is looking for Keirran, but he is on a mission to save Annwyl, the love of his life, from being one of the forgotten. No matter what Ethan does, he ends up roped into helping in this situation, along with Kenzie. There are forces trying desperately to keep Ethan and Keirran apart, to keep the prophecy from coming true; however, the only way to save Annwyl is by speeding up the prophecy.
With fairy queens that like to manipulate, an impossible task, some dark magic, a very very thin man out to collect the forgotten, and the Forgotten Queen wanting to cash in on Keirran’s promise these three will be running out of breath within the first 100 pages. Watch out for some favorites like Grimalkin and Puck to return. And yes, Meghan and Ash will make an appearance as well, which is weird now that they are full blown parents. If I were Keirran I would heed my father’s warnings. Poor Ethan, will he make it out of this series alive?
As a bonus there is an excerpt of The Forever Song, book 3 of the Blood of Eden trilogy.
Monday, November 4, 2013
"You don't ask around, because no soul alive in Los Angeles would ever admit to the organization being there and give President Gray an itch to scratch. Having the Federal Coalition was already bad enough for business. The people who could tell you the way would only cough it up for a price that was too big for most to pay. There was no open door policy, no walk-ins. There were standing orders to dispose of anyone who so much as gave an agent a sidelong look.
The League found you. They brought you in, if you were valuable enough. If you'd fight. It was the first thing I learned sitting next to Cate on my way in--or at least the first real thought to solidify in my mind as our SUV zipped down the stretch of freeway, heading straight into the heart of the city."
Never Fade is the second book in the Darkest Minds series. In the first book we left Liam, with an erased mind and Ruby going off with The League. Ruby is now fully integrated with The League and her first mission ends up being a rescue mission to save Liam's brother. This novel was just as action packed as the last novel and Chubbs even ends up back with Ruby. They must navigate the world outside again, with fears of running into Clancy Gray again. There are subplots to the subplots that were introduced in the first novel and even Clancy's mother makes somewhat of an appearance.
Ruby now has a new group of "friends," Liam comes back (more or less), and the whereabouts of Zu is still unknown. The ending was just as gripping as the first book, and I can safely say is that I am going to be anticipating the release of the next novel. Ruby can be annoying, but the other characters are strong enough to pull her through her annoying moments.
I gave this book 4/5 stars. Thanks NetGalley!
To read the review of the first novel follow this link Darkest Minds
"I'm the Kid you saw on TV. Remember the little freak who took a crap on his parents' oak-stained kitchen table when they confiscated his Game Boy? Remember how the camera cleverly hid his most private parts with the glittery fake daisy and sunflower centerpieces? That was me. Gerald. Youngest of three. Only boy. Out of control." --Reality Boy
Reality Boy was such a breath of fresh air. Instead of delving into a world of supernatural and paranormal mystery/romance, or even into a coming of age story about love, Reality Boy answers a question that disappears as quickly as it appears in our subconscious: "What happens to those poor kids that have had to grow up on Reality TV." King's novel shows us how one child, who happens to be the problem child, grew up and apparently never shed is "Crapper"image.
Gerald has been known as the Crapper, ever since the first time he released his bowels in protest on national television. He is an angry person, who can turn violent, without familial support. His mother is too busy giving all her attention to her first born, his father is busy appeasing his mother, and his other sister has left the nest and the craziness that is their houshold. Gerald has had to deal with other people's misconceptions of who he is as a person, and has to figure out who he really is, without other people's ideas including his mother, who treats him as if he has a learning disability and will go no where.
I really liked seeing Gerald work through the mess ups and hang ups in his life. He was an interesting character to delve into the mind of, and his little girlfriend was the right mix of personalities to compliment his character. They were both messed up, and this set the mood of a real young adult novel. They are both working through their hang ups, but through that they help each other grow. The ending was just right.
I gave this book a 4/5 for originality and for great characters (even the ones you want to kick).
Thank You Edelweiss.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Have you ever heard the phrase: “Verbal Diarrhea?” Well I think I will say this book reminded me of “Idea Diarrhea.” There was so much going on in this book it felt both too short for the information and too long for the story, does that make sense? I want to start off saying that I love Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It is by far one of the best books written on a dare/fun request, frankly I think it is sad that when we drink we end up with dumb YouTube videos, but when people got drunk centuries ago they wrote masterpieces… unfreakenbelivable. So anyway, back to John Skovron’s Man Made Boy.
Boy is the son of Monster and Bride (the originals of Dr. Frankenstein). They work in a theater, think of carnivals and attractions like “the bearded lady.” Boy just wants to get out, he wants to continue to learn and expand as a regular person, but he is always reminded of what a monster he is. Lonely, the only way he communicates with the outside world is through the internet with other hackers. Boy creates a virus… and the vicious circle of monster/creator continues. This novel follows Boy as he runs away with the girl he loves, realizes the grass isn’t always greener, tries to control a computer virus that now is out to get him, and meets Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s granddaughter Claire/Sophie.
The book was entertaining and never stopped, but again I cannot stress how much was going on in this book. You think it’s a love story, and then it switches to an “I hate my creator” story to going away to college story. There were great characters in the novel from the Invisible Man to the Bride of Frankenstein. It was fun to see all these legends tied into one story.
Thank You Edelweiss!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Resist by Sarah Crossan is the sequel to Breathe. We meet up with our heroes where we last left them, escaping from the riots. Alina and the gang are off to look for the other resistance cell, while Quinn, Bea, and Jazz are on their way to find the group. This book was cut into 4 perspectives: Quinn, Alina, Bea, and Ronan (the leader’s son). I would have to say that it is full of surprises, secrets, and redemption. Characters that were terrible in the first book look different in this novel, and characters that you do not expect to lose will go. Was I terribly please by this book? No, sometimes Bea was too annoying: I get it, you lost your family… but so did everyone else within a 40 mile radius. And if people didn’t die off in the first book, just wait because there is enough time in the second book for that to happen. Ronan was a nice change of pace, I forget if there was fourth person’s POV in the first book, but even so it was good to see the perspective of one of the elites during this revolution, and he working along with Quinn’s father makes things interesting.
Thank You Edelweiss! 3/5 stars.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Kami Garcia has been riding the train of awesome now that Beautiful Creatures is a major motion picture. So needless to say, I was highly anticipating her individual project, Unbreakable (The Legion #1). I won’t say I was blown away, but I will say that I felt the same safe familiarity of Beautiful Creatures. What I mean to say is that it was a decadent tale of mythology and legacies.
One night Kennedy’s cat runs out of the house, leading Kennedy on a chase into a small Jesuit cemetery. At the cemetery Kennedy sees a woman, floating. Nothing seems out of the ordinary after that, except her cat is acting weird. Then one night Kennedy gets home to her mother dead. And then her cat attacks her, trying to steal her breath. When it almost seems like our heroine is about to be killed off, the Lockhart twins come galloping to the rescue. Jared and Lukas confirm that there is a dark world out there, and it is controlling their lives. They confirm this by letting Kennedy know that her mother was a descendant of a secret society in charge of keeping the world safe from a vengeful demon. She, along with 4 others, protects and guards the world from the dark spirit world threatening to escape into reality. Those 5 members have been killed; all that is left are their children (those who have been selected to up hold a spot in the Legion). Kennedy must take her mother’s place and help the new Legion members combat an evil that should have never been stirred.
I really like the characters, especially Priest (I mean he’s a genius with an awesome music taste.) The twins are also a good ying-yang team, with clear dysfunction in the family. Yes, there is the inevitable love triangle, but it’s so minimal I don’t hate it. The end left me thinking, I have no clue what will happen in the next installment because the characters are left with unanswered questions and Kennedy is more or less right back where she started after her mother initially dies. What I do know is that I will be eagerly awaiting the next part of this fantastically dark urban series.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima is the 4th book in her The Heir Chronicles series. Usually each book introduces a new character with their own set of problems, and then these characters are thrust into the life of the previous books’ characters. For this particular installment Chima introduces Jonah Kinlock and Emma Greenwood. Both have a connection to Thorn Hill, a commune that existed when they were really young. Both also have ties to the infamous Thorn Hill Massacre. The basic concept is that in this commune some experiments were done on the children there, which caused ridiculous reactions: i.e. Jonah’s brother Kenzie becomes a human fireball and this messes up with his ability to lead a normal life. The other children have extreme issues like this.
One night, when Jonah was 7, all the adults died and some of the children did too. Those that survived were rescued by Gabriel Mandrake, a sorcerer, and placed in a school in Anchorage. Here is where Jonah has strived with his unique gift, as an assassin. On the other hand we have Emma, who doesn’t even know that she might be a sorcerer or wizard or healer or warrior or enchanter, leaving a normal life in Memphis. After she finds her grandfather dead in his own shop, she travels to meet the father she never knew and finds out that there is a terrible secret. She was at Thorn Hill, her mother was involved, and DeVries (super bad guy) is hunting Emma and her father.
With secrets, half truths, small connections, and a whole lot of awkward love this installment had me speed reading like it was my job. As a major fan of Chima’s Seven Realms series I have fallen for this series.
“Of course now I know for sure that test was total bullshit… of the fifty possible career recommendations, none of them were ‘undead fugitive’.”
Jake Stephens is your average senior trying to get through senior year, struggling to make time for more video games, and forgetting how to breathe at the sight of extremely hot girls. Amanda Blake is your average hot senior girl, until one day she locks eyes across the cafeteria with Jake and everything goes red! Jake and Amanda have become zombies and they have eaten a good portion of the student body. They go on the lamb together, avoiding the federal agents looking for them, while trying to figure out the warm and fuzzy feelings they are getting about each other.
Cass is one of those agents. Often referred to as “Psychic Friend” she is none other than the psychic hired to find rogue zombies. Apparently the government has been hiding the fact that zombies exist, and they have a hit squad just for this. Cass is able to go into the zombies minds and figure out their location, based on imprints that they leave. With Jake it is different; he seems more human, more like an average boy she wouldn’t mind getting to know.
This story is full of gross, flesh eating, vomit inducing scenes; I love it! But I do not appreciate the ending. Is it going to be a series? If not, what kind of ending was that? I wouldn’t say it was amazing but it was fun and zombies are my favorite.
3/5 stars. Thank You Edelweiss.
Monday, September 30, 2013
There once was a town, where two girls disappeared. One came back in only body, down the river. The other came back alive, missing half her tongue. All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry is a novel full of mysteries and bigger silences. Judith disappeared 4 years ago with half her tongue missing. Treated like a social pariah, she has remained on the outside of her community until the homelanders arrive and threaten the safety of the man she loves.
It is unclear what the setting and time frame is for this novel. I want to say it was dystopian but at the same time could have been set before the 1850s. What should be known is that a women’s maiden hood is still important and that there are many antiquities within the story. Also, the people of Judith’s village must have conquered the homelanders’ land, because at some point the homelanders want to take back what is theirs.
Four years ago Judith was a young lady in her town, best friends with Lottie, and in love with Lucas. Lucas’ mother had left them for another man, driving his father insane. One day there was a huge explosion, and his father, the Colonel died. Just around this time Lottie went missing. Judith knew that Lottie was in love with someone, and hoping to meet up with her Judith snuck out of her house and climbed a tree they both usually met at. What Judith didn’t expect was seeing her best friend die that night, or to be taken captive in the woods… by the Colonel. After two years missing the Colonel cuts out half her tongue (to keep her safe) and sends her back to the village (he was beginning to want to touch her inappropriately and sent her away instead) with her maidenhood intact. Once home Judith was alone, except for the constant stalking of Lucas, and her brother always talked to her.
One day the village announces that the homelanders are coming to attack. At this point Lucas will be involved and might die. Judith cannot stand to think of Lucas getting hurt, so she goes to the one place she hoped never to return, she goes back to the Colonel and begs him save Lucas and to supply the men with his arsenal… that he took from the village, and in return she would marry him. What occurs after is heartwarming, catastrophic, hurtful and healing all at once. New friends are made, hope begins to blossom for Judith, and the complete truth is finally forced out.
This was something different from many of the YA novels coming out this year, but it also resembled YA novels I grew up with 10 years ago. The second person narrative was also different and done pretty well, perhaps because it lacked passive aggressiveness towards the character being spoken to in the novel. Judith and Lucas are pretty solid characters and even the rude town’s people fit well into the story.
4/5 stars. Thanks NetGalley and Edelweiss.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis was such a deep book. It did not focus so much about the external changes one would go through in a world with no water, but focused more on internal battles a person would face. Do I kill everyone who poses a threat to my water supply? Do I care if I kill someone that meant no harm? Should I flee a city where the births are controlled as well as the water? In this book we get to see two sides of the coin, those that live outside of a policy driven city and those that escape the city policies to form their homes and laws. Very rich novel with both positive and negative outcomes for the characters, plus the surprise mystery bad guy was worth the wait at the end. I just have to say one more thing, Lynn is tough as nails and I like it! Yay, strong female character that doesn't make me want to hurl :)!
Ms. Sarah Rees Brennan has done a wonderful job at keeping us readers chomping at the bit for the next Lynburn Legacy novel. Last year Unspoken, the first book in the series, was released. Imagine having an imaginary friend who lived inside your head. You would never be lonely, but you could never have privacy, doesn't seem too bad. What if this imaginary friend is actually a real person, someone belonging to one of the oldest and weirdest families of sorcery, and that friend just moved into your town? That is the predicament our two main characters find themselves in; Kami Glass and Jared Lynburn have been in each other's head for all of their lives, because of a curse put on Kami while she was still in the womb. Last year that link between the two teens was severed and any romance or friendship between them ended as well.
For those that have read the first book and are dying to get their little paws on the second book, Untold, Brennan has been leaving snippets through the interweb. I know I was dying to see if Jared could ever be nice to Kami again, or if what they had was all in their head (pun intended). Let me just tell you, this one is so heartbreaking!!! Kami has this void that cannot be filled and Jared is off being a butthead... and can we talk about Ash. He is starting to be one of those characters that you need to keep a very close eye on because there is some serious character development; I am just not sure it's completely benign. I will say that fans will not be disappointed by what transpires throughout the novel. Kami is still trying to thwart Rob Lynburn's plans, and save her mother from his circle's clutches. Will Kami and her friends be able to defeat him? Is Jared really done with Kami? Does Kami want to be Ash's source... dun dun dun? Is that really how she ended this one? Really?!?!?! Come on! That ending was spectacular, if you want your readers to go crazy for a year and then trample on others to reach said 3rd book to figure out what will happen to......... and will.......... have enough time to save........? Where exactly is......... being kept? Oh the questions swimming in my head :)
Thank You Edelweiss 4/5 stars
Saturday, September 21, 2013
In a world where vampires are real and have become open to the public, Coldtowns have been raised. Here it is meant for containment sake, Coldtowns are destinations where people infected by the vampire-virus or wanting to be infected can go but they can never leave. These are the gripping treacherous towns of Holly Black's new novel The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.
The novel jumps immediately to our heroine, who after going to a party and passing out there wakes up to a disturbing scene of the corpses of the previous night's party goers. Instantly alarmed, Tana looks around the house and finds her ex-boyfriend, in the process of turning vampire, tied to a bed and a vampire chained up in the same room. Some where in the house there are other vampires, searching for the one chained. Tana decides that she cannot leave Aidan behind, so she finds a car and parks it as close as possible to them so that Gavriel (the vampire) wouldn't get sun damage... oh right, she saves the vampire as well:
"Maybe it was that nearly everyone else was dead and she felt a little bit dead, too, but she figured that even a vampire deserved to be saved. maybe she ought to leave him, but she knew she wasn't going to."
Our heroine has had some issues with the whole vampire virus, or going Cold as it is stated in the novel. Her mother had been turned and was no longer alive, leaving Tana feeling guilty for her death. Throughout the novel she tries to save Aidan from getting blood in order to stop the process (apparently if you lock yourself up for a certain number of days, there is a chance you might get better), and she will not stop helping or thinking about Gavriel. They are on their way to Coldtown, but with each passing step the journey becomes more dangerous and equally thrilling. There are twists that perhaps one can see coming, but towards the end. I really appreciated some of the humor and mostly the bantering between Aidan and Tana. Gavriel is the dark, mysterious, gorgeous character that has become synonymous with vampires in YA, but he also had the "I am a monster and that's my nature... I'm a killer and I'm good at it" persona. He's not an Edward Cullen, not a pretty little threat.
I won't say I love it, but I can't say I don't like it. I will say that I appreciate some of Holly Black's books and that if you do as well you will appreciate this one. Thank you Edelweiss.
3 out of 5 stars
Monday, September 16, 2013
Maggie Stiefvater's second installment of her Raven Cycle series, The Dream Thieves was the answer to all my hopes and dreams this year. I will try not to be bias, but I love Stiefvater's world in this series. The characters are rich and well rounded, the drama is crucial to what is happening, and the ever evolving stories of the Raven Boys is some what addictive and exciting. Why were there not any Raven Boys leaving near me when I was Blue's age?
In the first book, The Raven Boys, the reader is introduced to Blue Sargent, daughter of the local psychic and completely devoid of any psychic ability, except that she can make others' energy stronger, she's like an antenna. Thrust into this world of Virgina old money and magic, the reader learns of the Aglionby Prep School for all the old money sons. Not only do we have the dynamic of the Southern blue blood versus the everyday person, but also MAGIC!!!
Our main characters are Gansey (old money/leader of group/obsessed with Ley Lines), Adam ("white trash" trying to get a better life), Ronan (old money/shark like), Noah ("smudgy"/never hungry/cold hands/shy) and finally Blue (will kill her true love with a kiss/antenna for psychic energy/the missing link to the group.) Blue unwittingly meets Gansey in the cemetery during St. Mark's night, where the soon to be deceased march along and Blue's mother or aunt record the names of those that will pass away in the up coming year. This creates a catalytic journey in figuring out if Blue has something to do with Gansey's death or if there is something bigger going on.
The second book, The Dream Thieves, delves even further focusing on another one of our Raven Boys, Ronan Lynch. (I just smiled like a shark, or the Grinch just typing his name.) Ronan is by far the best bad boy character out there. He boxes, he looks like a shark, and he has a pet crow... named Chainsaw. Come on, you know you kind of love him too. Ronan has been hiding something from us, from everyone. Something that might have killed his father, that could be the reason why Ronan and his brothers are not allowed back home, something that could become very useful to Gansey's quest.
"He shuffled the keys from dream to memory and back again, and then he closed his palm around them. He felt teh soft leather and the worn edge of the fob; the cold metal of the ring and the trunk key; the thin, sharp promise of the ignition key between his fingers.
Then he woke up.
When he opened his hand, the keys lay in his palm. Dream to reality.
This was his thrid secret."
Bam! I just told you the secret... not the whole story, and that secret is delivered very, very early on, so don't fret. Ronan is an interesting character and the story behind his father and his family is positively awesome. As amazing as he is and his story, Ronan is not the only one with this capability so watch out for that surprise. Also, be on the edge of your seats for more Blue/Adam/Gansey drama. Blue still has the curse, thus far, but things are getting semi-serious with Adam, so why is she noticing Gansey in a new light? And who gets kissed in this book?... dun dun dun!
To repeat a sentiment from a blogger/reviewer on Goodreads.com,
"There isn't any way for a single review to do justice to this book, but this line from The Dream Thieves sums up its own story rather nicely:
Magic was real, magic was real, magic was real."
Nicely put Wendy Darling!
5 stars all the way!