Thursday, June 30, 2011

Books I Want SO Badly I Could Pee (4)

While lurking on Amazon and Goodreads, I come across so many books that I want SO badly I could pee. These are what I like to call my Pee-Inducing Books, or Urine-Triggering Novels. Below is my current list. Please peruse it while I go get a new pair of pants.

No one wants to be this teacher’s pet . . .

Everyone else is talking about Eastlake High’s gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck, but Kaylee Cavanaugh has bigger things on her mind. Kaylee’s a banshee—her scream is a portent of death.

But the next scream might hit too close to home. Kaylee’s borrowed lifeline has almost run out.

Yeah—it’s a shock to her, too. So to distract herself from her own problems, Kaylee is determined to defend her school against the latest supernatural threat. That hot new teacher is really an incubus, who feeds from the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend’s delinquent ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren’t quite human either.

But Kaylee’s running out of time, and those who love her will do anything to save her life.

Anything.

Soul Screamers: The last thing you hear before you die.


Bickering frenemies Meg and Shar are doing some serious damage at a midnight sample sale when they find themselves arguing over a pair of shoes—with fatal consequences. One innocent bystander later, the girls are suddenly at the mercy of Hades—the god of the underworld—himself. To make them atone for what they’ve done, Hades forces the teens to become special-assignment Sirens, luring to the Underworld any individual whose unholy contract is up.

But just because they have an otherworldly part-time job now doesn’t mean Meg and Shar can ignore life’s drudgeries (work) or pleasures (fashion!). Finding that delicate balance between their old and new responsibilities turns out to be harder than they expected, especially when an entire pantheon of Greek deities decides to get involved. Then there’s the matter of the fine print in their contracts . . .


A promise broken. A bond betrayed. It’s been six months since ghost-turned golem Sinclair Youngblood Powers confessed his love, stole Dice’s heart, and disappeared from Swoon, perhaps from existence. Despite the hurt, Dice has been moving steadily toward ordinary. Dreams of Sin still plague and pleasure her sleep, and the mark of Sin’s love remains on her skin, still sore. But Dice has been throwing herself into music, finding solace in song and sometimes even in the arms of her band mate, Tosh. Life seems almost…normal. The last thing Dice wants is to mess with anything remotely supernatural. But when her best friend’s boyfriend goes missing, Dice has no choice but to become very much involved. She knows that his disappearance was no accident, and it somehow has everything to do with Sin. Because Dice can feel it: Sin is back. And the promises and deceptions he left in his wake have returned to haunt him.

What do you do when an oath of devotion threatens to destroy the one you love?


Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.

Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.

Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.

And not everyone will get out of it alive.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My 2nd Blogoversary!

Today is the day that What's Your Story officially becomes 2 years old! This blog hasn't always been What's Your Story, it's had a few different names, and several different layouts and looks. But I'm happy to have gotten this far, and thank you to everyone that's been a part of my blog! :)
(I'm actually not in the country at the time this is going up, lol.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cover Loving (1)

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is what we always hear when it comes to deciding on whether a book is good or not. Well, in this feature, that's exactly what I'm doing. Here are some book covers that I absolutely adore!

Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter
The waterfall in this cover is simply gorgeous. It has me wondering, is she going to jump in? What will happen?

Taken at Dusk by C.C. Hunter
The colors scheme of this cover works so freaking well. That sunset pink sets the tone for the entire novel, I think. I really love all the covers in this series, but this might be my favorite.

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Oh my goblins. That dress. I wish I was the model on that cover, because that is one insanely gorgeous dress. Reminds me of The Luxe series covers, only The Girl in the Steel Corset's cover is a bit edgier.
A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
The intense gold and yellows, combined with the look on the model's face, and her gorgeous hair flying back makes this cover one of those covers that you just kinda stop and stare at for a few seconds, before picking it up and staring at it some more.

Everblue by Brenda Pandos
LOVE LOVE LOVE this cover sooo much! I love her hair floating out into the water, and the ripple effect it creates. Very ocean-y and mermaid-y.

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
Honestly, this doesn't even need an explanation. It just IS.
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
I just saw this one the day before this post was supposed to go up, and I decided that I absolutely had to add it in, because it is way too gorgeous to ignore. I don't even care that it's all awkward and alone, it's freaking gorgeous! Kind of reminds me of the Soul Screamers series covers, but Everneath is even more gorgeous. LOVE IT.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sex In YA

I read a really fantastic and thought provoking blog post by author Ramona Wray, called Let's Talk About Sex in YA Fiction. In this article, she talks about the different views on sex in YA, and also her own opinion on the matter, looking at it from a writer's perspective. I agreed with most everything she had to say. I decided to put my own thoughts in on the matter, using her article as a starting point.

To me, sex in YA isn't bad or taboo at all. On the contrary, I think there could even be a bit more of it. Sex in YA isn't crude or inappropriate, it's realistic. As a high school attending teenager myself, I can honestly say that sex plays a very major role in every single teenager's life. It doesn't mean that every teen is having sex, but a good number of them are. As a parent, there is no possible way to shield your teen from it. Sure, you can monitor what your teen does on the Internet, and what they read, and the movies they watch, but the moment they go to school, guess what? Teens talk. If one has sex, it gets around, and your teen is exposed to it anyway, only now it's worse, because now your teen has the added pressure of looking "cool" when talking about sex. Or maybe you're one of those parents thinking, "Well, my child goes to a Catholic/Christian/private school, so there is less of all that going on." I'm sorry, but all I can do is snort at that. I've been going to Catholic school for 8 years now, and trust me, there is just as much of 'that' going on in a private school as there is anywhere else.

Ramona wrote:
Teenagers have sex. It’s a fact. They either have it, or think about it — either way, it’s no secret. Whether they read about it in the books or not won’t make any difference. There’s the TV, the internet, their own friends who have stories and are eager to share them. They know.
That's really the truth of it.

Of course, there is a huge difference in how a 13 year old understands sex, compared to how a 17 year old understands it. Just as there is a huge difference between a 17 year old's understanding of it, and a 25 year old's, and so on. I guess that's where the tricky part comes in, because what's to stop a 13 or 14 year old from picking up a novel that is, ideally, meant for older teens? Nothing. Well, there is one way. In Ramona's article, she writes about having a friend who read every novel before she let her daughter's read them, and that worked for her. That is probably the only way, but really, up to what age can you baby your children like that? 15? 16? I guess it's up to the parents to decide, based on the maturity level of their child.

I was always allowed free pick of what I wanted to read, because I've always been very mature for my age. When I was a bit younger, I could always tell what was appropriate for me and what wasn't, so my mom never worried about me. Now I'm at the point where, even if she wanted to, my mom couldn't monitor what I read and what I don't. I'm old enough to make my own decisions, and mature enough to understand what I'm reading and the context that it's in.

From Ramona's post:
Here’s what I think the real danger is. YA books have and will continue to contain sex — it’s a fact. True to life. Almost overemphasized, when we take into account books like Jenny Downham’s Before I Die, or Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely that deal with oral sex. Or Tabitha Sazuma’s Forbidden — which takes it one step further, dealing with incest (the love between a brother and a sister). But the danger isn’t that these books allegedly put ideas into the young readers’ minds. No, I think the danger consists of how sex is portrayed. High-school couples who have sex and live happily ever after. The bad boy who is presented as ‘cool’ in light of his belittling attitude toward the opposite sex. The casual way in which kids ‘hook up’. The good girl who never ever kisses with tongue, let alone has sex, which paints all the other girls, the real-life, normal ones, as morally inferior. In a word, the clich├ęs at the extremes. The good and the bad.
See, I actually kinda disagree with this. Sure, extreme cliches are bad, and do paint a bad picture for sex with teens. But, the worst part isn't the cliches--it's that most of them are true. I know many 'bad boys' that could care less what a girl's name is, as long as she's willing to put out. And if she isn't? I've seen girls' reputations and names get slandered because they had some self-respect--by these 'bad boys'. Unfortunately, there is also quite a bit of casual sex with teens today. The problem is that a lot of teens want instant gratification, and they don't think of the consequences. I guess I don't necessarily see a problem with seeing these things in books, because I see them almost everyday in my real life high school. I'm not saying they're right, but they do exist. (Unfortunately.)

I will finish off this discussion post with this last piece from Ramona's article:
Sex should be part of YA books, because it’s a part of every young adult’s life, one way or the other. But I think it should be portrayed exactly as it is. A BIG DEAL. Messy. Wonderful. Confusing. Occasionally bearing STDs or unwanted pregnancies. LIFE-CHANGING. True to life.
YES. I agree with this a million times over. I guess my whole point with this long post was to say that YA author's shouldn't be afraid to include sex in their novels. Not pointless, slutty sex, just for the sake of it. That kind if just irritating and makes me instantly hate the book. But include it in there because it adds to the story. It adds to the realness of it. Sex isn't going anywhere--not unless you really want the world to end. So don't hide it because "teens can't handle it." We can, trust me. 


I'm not entirely sure if this post made much sense, I feel like I just rambled on and on here, but share your thoughts in the comments! What do you think of sex in YA? Are you for it? Against it? Why? I'd love to know!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Review: Possession by Elana Johnson


Author: Elana Johnson
Pages: 416
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: YA Dystopian
Reading Level: 14 years old+

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

I’m trying to get myself more into the dystopian genre, so when I received Possession, I saw the perfect opportunity to become more acquainted with the genre and hopefully fall as deeply in love with it as others. The verdict? I loved Possession, and I love dystopian.

What I loved was that from the beginning, Vi was a total badass. She didn’t have a high regard for the strict rules of her society, and was often in trouble with the law for things that would seem petty to us in our time. But one day, Vi is caught outside with her best friend, and future match, Zenn, and she’s taken to a sort of prison facility… and thrown into a cell with a very hot, and very Bad, Jag Barque. And on top of that, Vi is hearing a persuasive voice in her head that certainly doesn’t belong to her. Together, Jag and Vi break free and head for his home, but they’re being pursued, because both Jag and Vi have special abilities that the Thinkers would like to use very much.

It was great to get inside of Vi’s head (haha, pun intended) and read the story through her eyes. She was a perfect, totally strong and kick ass female protagonist. She had to face many hardships and tough decisions, such as whether the man she thought was her father really had her best interest in mind, or whether he just wanted to use her. And coming to terms with the fact that  yes, she did love Jag and wanted to be with him, but Zenn needed her just as much, and she couldn’t just leave him behind after the years they had spent together.

Elana Johnson had a fresh and detailed writing style that clearly built up her dystopian society. There were a few brief instances when I got disoriented in the narration, but they weren’t important and didn’t affect my reading experience. Overall, the whole novel flowed well and was very well thought out. I loved the concept of the Thinkers, and how they had the power to push thoughts into people's heads, basically enabling them to make anyone do whatever they wanted. Scary.

I became very emotionally invested with these characters, especially with Vi and Jag’s relationship, and I’m fervently hoping that there will be a sequel. I enjoyed Possession, and recommend it to anyone looking for a thrilling read. I give this novel 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: The Eternal Ones by Kristin Miller


Author: Kirsten Miller
Pages: 411
Publisher: Razorbill
Series or Standalone: 1st in trilogy
Genre: YA Paranormal
Reading Level: 15 yrs old+
Haven Moore can't control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother's house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

The Eternal Ones was much different than I anticipated, which is both a good and bad thing. Overall, The Eternal Ones fell a little flat for me, especially regarding some of the hype that surrounded it. I had seen it featured on several different blogs around the time of its release, so I went out and bought it, and then I finally read it about a month and a half ago.

The reincarnation concept is a very genuine and thrilling idea that Kirsten created, and that made me very eager to read the book. In the beginning of the novel, reading about Haven having dreams and flashbacks to her old lives were the best parts, because it was mysterious and intriguing. But once Haven and Iain finally met, I got annoyed with Haven. What self-respecting girl would possibly subject herself to that crap? I, for one, would have given Iain a good kick where the sun don’t shine, and left his sorry, lying, secret-keeping ass in his posh little rich house. The entire novel, Iain would do something really sketchy and sneaky, lie right to Haven’s face and do shit behind her back, and when she would confront him about it, he would say he was doing it because he ‘loved her’ and blah blah blah… and the worst part? HAVEN FORGAVE HIM. JUST LIKE THAT. She would resist for a moment and then she would melt in his arms again. I liked her much better when she was single.

That major annoyance aside, Kirsten Miller had a wonderful and fluid writing style that built the scene vividly. I just think she needs to work a bit more on her characterization. I did like Haven at some parts, and I loved her gay best friend Beau throughout the whole book, but other than that, none of the others stood out. The only other one that I was also invested in was the antagonist, Adam. But mostly because he was insane, and crazy people are always interesting.

I will be reading the sequel, because I’m slightly interested in what happens next. I’m hoping that the sequel will build more character, because I honestly wanted to really like this book, I really did. But I was just mildly interested as I read it. I give this novel 3 out of 5 stars

Monday, June 20, 2011

Author Interview: Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz's new novel Witches of East End comes out tomorrow! I got the awesome chance to interview her and talk a bit about the book, and how the novel also ties into the Blue Bloods series. Check it out!

1. You’ve become a very widely known YA author, with the bestselling Blue Bloods series. Why did you decide to venture into Adult Fiction now? What are the major differences between your YA novels, and Witches of East End?
I was on tour a couple of years ago and noticed that a lot of my fans were adults - or had grown up with the series and were now in college, or in their 20s, so I thought it might be fun to do a book that didn't have to be set in high school, that my fans would enjoy. I think the major difference is that the issues don't revolve around growing up, or finding your identity, in Witches of East End, the women know who they are, but adulthood comes with its own set of issues and heartbreak.


2. Who do you indentify more with out of your 3 leading ladies, Joanna, Ingrid, or Freya?

Probably Ingrid. I worked in a library in college, steaming architectural blueprints, and I'm pretty uptight. There's definitely some of Freya in me as well, as I went through a wild child phase, and I very much relate to Joanna, in her thoughts about motherhood. But my voice is probably the closest to Ingrid's. 
3. Witches of East End deals with Norse mythology, something new and not too common in most books today. Why did you pick it, as opposed to other mythologies, such as Greek, Roman, etc?
 

Since I was a kid I'd been obsessed with Norse mythology, I think i was in fourth grade when I discovered a book that had all the Norse myths and I just loved it. I loved it because they were more obscure, they're the "cult favorite" of mythologies, maybe. And I loved the story of Loki and Baldur, and all the tragedy in them. Greek or Roman mythology didn't excite my imagination as much as the Norse stories did. And of course I loved Lord of the Rings, the Ring cycle by Wagner, and all those are based on Norse mythology so that all made sense to me.
4. The characters from your Blue Bloods series can be seen in Witches of East End, and vice versa. Was this always planned, or did you simply introduce Freya in Bloody Valentine, and then later on decide that she and her family had a great story to tell?

Everything's been planned from the beginning, when I had the idea for Witches I was writing Misguided Angel, and I laid all the seeds in it for Bloody Valentine and Witches of East End.


5. Are there any songs that inspired you while writing Witches of East End, like a playlist that you listened to in order to set the mood?

I was listening to a lot of old school rock and roll, Guns and Roses, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, to get into the mood to write Freya's bar scenes. I spent a lot of my twenties dancing around in bars or when we'd have a party we'd blast music and everyone would dance -- somehow this goes away and you don't even notice it, that you have parties and no one dances anymore, which makes me sad. 

6. Lastly, if you could describe the book in only 4 words, what would they be?
Twisty roller coaster ride. :) 
Thank you so much to Melissa for answering my questions! I really like Witches of East End, as you can read in my review here 


Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (29)

Got one book this week, but it's a good one, so I'm excited! :)



Books for Review:

Swag:
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children POSTER! (will probably give it away whenever I review the book)

Weekly Recap

Monday

Tuesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

What did you get in your mailbox? Let me know in the comments! :))



Also, check out the cover I did of the song 'Gabriel' by Kai Altair. The song reminded me of Gabe from Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers, so I decided to do a cover for Gabe. :) Let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review: Wild Child by Mike Wells


Author: Mike Wells
Publisher: Self-Published
Series or Standalone: Stand Alone novella
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Slight Paranormal
Reading Level: 14 years old+
Buy The Book
Briana Fox is the wildest girl in school. She and Kyle have been close for a long time...almost lovers. Kyle is afraid that if he pushes her, he'll have his heart broken and lose his best friend. When Briana discovers a mysterious "power drug" in a cave, two government agents are desperate to find the source and turn Briana into a human experiment. Will Kyle risk everything to protect his love?

Wild Child was a surprisingly short read- it took me about 45 minutes to finish it. It tells the story of two friends/almost lovers, Kyle and Brianna. One day while swimming in a local lake, Brianna gets run over by a boat. She should be dead, but instead she’s even more energetic and strong than she was before. The boat had sliced Brie open, giving her a mortal wound that most certainly would have killed her… if she hadn’t found a cave with glowing green water in it. This glowing green water restored her, and even made her stronger. But will it last? And at what cost?

When I first saw the cover, I was very wary to read this. I know, I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but… I don’t like this cover at all, so that affected my judgment of the book. In any case, from the first page, Wild Child is a story that sucks you in. It was much different than I originally expected, and much better too. It was a riveting novel told in a point-blank writing style that is very direct with just the perfect amount of description.

Kyle and Brianna were an interesting duo. I didn’t get too attached to either of them, but they were still great characters. I was actually really annoyed with Brianna towards the end of the book, though. But her spunky personality was fun to read. And their relationship was interesting. They weren’t exactly dating, but they weren’t strictly friends either.

If you read Mike Well’s journey of publishing Wild Child on his website, you’ll see that this book was a long time coming and went through hell and back until it was finally made into an e-book. I  do actually think that at least a good 50 pages could have been added to this book, at certain parts in the story, that would have made it even better than it originally was. But, I think that Wild Child will do very well as an e-book, especially since it’s such a short and intense read. Many readers will be clamoring about this book in the near future! I give this novel 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Review: All Just Glass by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes


Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Pages: 256
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series or Standalone: Sequel to Shattered Mirror
Genre: YA Paranormal
Reading Level: 13 yrs old+

Sarah Vida has given up everything for love. From a legendary family of vampire-hunting witches, Sarah was raised to never trust a vampire, to never let her guard down, and to avoid all tricky attachments of the heart. But now Sarah IS a vampire—changed by the boy she thought she loved. Her family has forsaken her, and Sarah herself is disgusted by her appetite for blood.

Aida Vida is Sarah's older sister, the good, reliable sibling who always does her family proud. But when Aida's mother insists that Sarah be found and killed, Aida is given the one assignment that she may not be able to carry out.

Taking place over just twenty-four hours, ALL JUST GLASS tells the story of a game-changing battle that will forever change the world of the Den of Shadows. And at its center is the story of two sisters who must choose between love and duty. Dark, fully-imagined, and hard to put down, ALL JUST GLASS will thrill Amelia's fans—old and new.
I have read a good majority of Amelia’s work, including the prequel to this novel, Shattered Mirror. When I found out that All Just Glass was to be the companion novel to it, I was very excited to read it, as I enjoyed reading her other books and was eager to see where the story with Sarah went. But, I was disappointed.

All Just Glass was, in my opinion, very poorly thought out. The entire novel is told in only 24 hours, with a time stamp at the beginning of each chapter to let you know how much time has elapsed. This made the entire novel very unbelievable for me, as we were expected to believe that all of that happened in only one day.  I think, for me, that was what ruined the book. If the events had been spaced out over a few weeks, the novel would have been infinitely better.

The characters seemed dry in this book, as opposed to Shattered Mirror where they were more vibrant and interesting. The point of view switched so many times that it was hard to get connected to any one character.

On the whole, I was very disappointed with All Just Glass. But, I’m not giving up on Amelia and her work. I know she can do so much better than this! I give this novel 1.5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Author: Kady Cross
Pages: 336
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Series or Standalone: 1st in the Steampunk Chronicles
Genre: YA Paranormal Steampunk
Reading Level: 14 years old+
Buy The Book
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch…

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.
LOVE. That is what I have for this book. Just mountains and mountains of love. Kady Cross answered all of my prayers to the book gods by writing this book. Steampunk is one of my favorite genres ever, but it’s very neglected in the YA market. The Girl in the Steel Corset is just the novel to change that. This novel will most certainly help YA Steampunk realize its full potential!

Set in a richly described steampunk London, the story starts off with a bang as we see Finley fighting her would-be-aggressor, a very rich and powerful—and dangerous—Lord Felix. This is where we first see her ‘dark side’, and I was immediately intrigued. Strong female heroines are the one thing that is an automatic like for me in a novel; but Finley redefined the word strong! She was both tough in character, and tough enough to take on even the biggest and strongest men. Of course, she’s frightened by this side of her that she isn’t able to control very well. It’s almost like a dual personality—very Dr. Jekkel and Mr. Hyde, which was actually mentioned in the novel. Finley must learn to unite the two halves of her before her dark side does something everyone will regret.

When Finley runs away after beating Lord Felix to an unconscious pulp… she gets hit my none other than the Duke of Greythorne, Griffin King. Griffin is eighteen years old, orphaned three years prior, and he takes Finley back to his house unconscious so that he can be sure she’s unharmed. It’s there that Finley meets the ragtag team of misfits that all seem to have special abilities as well. There’s Sam, Griffin’s best friend, who is unusually strong… and not entirely human. Emily, a sweet young Irish girl who has much more ingenuity and intelligence than almost everyone else, and who has a strange affinity for all things mechanical. Jasper, an American cowboy that can move faster than you can blink. Griffin himself seems the most gifted of all, with the ability to tap into the Aether, the  world of the dead which rests like a layer of unseen film over the living world. I thought Kady’s quirky cast of characters meshed well together, even those that didn’t get along very well, such as Sam and Finley. They each had a defining personality, and each had their time in the limelight.

The novel was told in the perspectives of several of the main characters, which is a good and bad thing. It gives different little pieces of the puzzle and leads you to make your own conclusions, which is great, but at the same time, it takes longer to become attached to characters. But overall, the narration flowed well. I enjoyed Griffin’s voice the most, he just had a way of thinking that made me enjoy his parts.

Romance wasn’t a main part in the novel, but the way has been paved for a romance in future books. Finley is definitely attracted to Griffin, ever the gentleman, but is also mighty attracted to Jack Dandy, the most notorious crime lord in all of England, and the polar opposite of Griffin. I personally loved both men, but I swayed a bit more towards Jack. Even though he wasn’t in the book too much compared to Griffin, he still had a distinct personality, not to mention his distinct style of talking. He spoke in an awesome Cockney accent, and honestly, Cockney accents are hot.

I am so, so excited to read the next book, I can’t wait to see what happens! Even though the story ended off with a new problem for these friends to face, I can’t help but get the feeling that their old problems haven’t gone away like they think. I can’t wait! I give this novel 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Turned at Dark by C.C. Hunter


Author: C.C. Hunter
Pages: 32
Publisher: Free e-book novella from St.  Martin’s Griffin
Series or Standalone: Book #0.5 in the Shadow Falls series
Genre: YA Paranormal
Reading Level: 13 years old+
Dominant Themes: Vampires

Independent and strong-willed Della Tsang hadn’t believed in ghosts until she saw her dead cousin darting into the shadows of an alley. She hadn’t believed in vampires until in the dark of that same night she is turned into one. Introduced to a strange world of supernaturals, she struggles to accept this new reality. Unfortunately, the boy she loves senses something different about her and can’t accept her. Should she follow her vampire cousin’s lead–walk away from everything she’s knows and loves—and fake her own death? Or should she set her pride aside and ask for help from the camp leader of Shadow Falls—a camp where supernaturals go to learn how to cope with their powers. Either way, her life as she knows it, will never be the same.

This is a very short novella about Della Tsang, a main character from Born at Midnight, but takes place before that and shows us how she came to be what she is in Born at Midnight. St. Martin’s Griffin gave this away as a free e-book on the same day that Born at Midnight was released.

Turned at Dark was a very quick and interesting read, and I recommend it to anyone who has read and enjoyed Born at Midnight. It gives us more insight into Della as a character, and the reasons why she acted the way she did in BaM. We also get more insight into her cousin Chan, who made a brief appearance in BaM. I liked him very much, and I hope he makes a bigger appearance in the rest of the series.

In this short story, we get to see how her life was before she was turned, how she interacted with her family and the pressures put on her by her father to be perfect. And then we see her transformation into a vampire, which also gave us some first hand insight into how it works to be turned into one, in case anyone was confused from the description in Born at Midnight.

Overall, it was a good little story. Anyone who wants a little more of the Shadow Falls world before Awake at Dawn comes out, this is the perfect thing for you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Cabel's Story by Lisa McMann

Author: Lisa McMann
Pages: 32
Publisher: Free e-book short story from Simon & Schuster
Series or Standalone: Short story in the Dream Catcher series
Genre: YA Romance
Reading Level: 13 yrs old+
Dominant Themes: Romance, Dreams

A free online story by Lisa McMann. A companion to the first Dream Catcher novel, Wake, this is Cabel's perspective of the field trip that Janie and he took with their English class.


This online short story that Simon and Schuster offered is simply the retelling of events from Lisa McMann’s novel Wake told from the perspective of Cabel, the male love interest and main character. It was a short, but told in Lisa’s distinctive writing style that made it to the point and still managed to get a lot in.

Reading things from Cabel’s point of view adds depth to how he and Janie come together. We only got how Janie felt about things. Now we’re getting his anger at having his personal thoughts violated, and eventually his crush on her slowly burgeoning forth. All it took was a door knob to the gut…

If you’ve read Wake, I definitely recommend reading Cabel’s Story. It’s  a sweet addition to the Dream Catcher series, especially now that the series is over. I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (28)

I had a great in my mailbox this week! 4 books, and they're all great and I'm super excited to read all of them. Check them out!



Books Purchased:
Nevermore by Kelley Creagh
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Books for Review:
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Weekly Recap

Friday, June 10, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

My review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies went up yesterday, so I decided that I would giveaway a copy.

GIVEAWAY IS OVER!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith


Author: Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith
Pages: 317
Publisher: Quirk Classics
Series or Standalone: 1st in series
Genre: Retelling of Classic
Reading Level: 14 years old+
Purchase This Book:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy.

What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead.

Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.

The entire Pride and Prejudice and Zombies novel can be summed up in one word: GENIUS. The entire premise of it might make some people skeptical to read it, but I dove into it head first, anticipating a humorous and very interesting new take of Jane Austen’s classic. I sure as hell was not disappointed.

Seth Grahame-Smith managed to stick very closely to the original, while still making it his own. I’ve read about 3/4ths of Pride and Prejudice, and, for the most part, it was very spot on. I think people take this book too seriously, and judge it quite harshly. But you have to take it for what it is: a zombie filled parody! The zombies added a whole other element to the book. It wasn’t simply just copy and paste the original, and then add in a zombie here or there. No, this affected the whole novel; plot, characters, conversations, actions, etc. I really give Seth a hand for pulling it off. This could have gone terrible in so many ways, but he really made it work.

The book also features black and white drawings of the scenes throughout the book. It was a nice surprise when I would just turn the page and find one there. It really helped bring the story and characters to life, especially seeing things like the girls in action fighting against zombies. My favorite was of the zombies eating the cooking staff’s brains… but, you’ll see that for yourself.

The cover for this is certainly eye catching as well. I mean, if that doesn’t make you the least bit curious, what will?

I laughed, I gasped, I wanted to throw the book against the wall, but in the end, I loved it. It was one amazing zombie thrillride! I leave you with these final words: TEAM DARCY!! I give this novel 5 out of 5 stars

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