Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Darkness Falls by Jessica Sorensen

Darkness Falls by Jessica Sorensen 
Pages: 286
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: YA Dystopian Paranormal
#1 in Series
When the disease spread through the world, people had no choice but to go into hiding. The Colony is hidden deep underground, far away from the vampires—humans that were transformed by the disease. The vampires are hideous, starving, and they will kill any human they come across.
Seventeen-year-old Kayla is a Bellator, a warrior that protects The Colony. In order to survive, there are three rules she must follow:
Rule #1—Never go out after dark.
Rule #2—Always carry a weapon.
Rule #3—No matter what, never EVER get bitten.
But what happens when the rules Kayla has always lived by can no longer apply?
The Highers run The Colony and accept nothing less than perfection. One slip up can mean death. Kayla has always worked hard to follow the rules and strive for perfection. But during a moment of weakness, she lets her imperfections show. Her punishment is worse than death. She is chosen for The Gathering and is thrown out into a world full of starving vampires.
No one has ever survived The Gathering, at least that’s what Kayla’s been told. But when she runs into a group who insist they were once part of The Gathering, Kayla discovers the Highers have been keeping secrets. Secrets that could lead to a cure.
Review

I have to say, I really liked Darkness Falls. It's not my favorite book, but it was good. The only thing was, that I read it right after I had finished The Immortal Rules, and in some freaky coincidence, this is extremely similar to it! Darkness Falls was actually published a month before The Immortal Rules, though, so I know that the similarity wasn't intentional. I just think this was a case of two authors having like a psychic link and writing similar stories.

The opening of the book was very gripping. It just drops you righting on the craziness and danger of the world by showing us Kayla in a deadly situation with a vampire. I was definitely intrigued, although I feel like the writing was just average. I was really taken in by the story line, and the fact that the main character Kayla is this sort of superhuman, not quire vampire, but definitely not average.

I don't think I was so invested in the characters or story as a whole to continue it, but for this one book I did like it. The hints of romance didn't pull me in, although I must say I was really into the 'villain' of the story. I'm not going to read the sequel, it just didn't interest me enough to do that.

3 stars out of 5

Other Books by This Author


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

{GIVEAWAY} Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Saving June by Hannah Harrington 
Pages: 322
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: YA Contemporary


When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life.
Why Giveaway?

I'm not much of a fan of contemporary novels, but I know some people absolutely love them, so I figured I'd give someone who likes this genre a chance to read it. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday TBR Showcase (5)

This is just a fun little feature in which I pick random books off of my TBR shelf, and showcase them for your opinions on which ones I should push up to the top of my pile and read next.



Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers
I read Personal Demons a while back, when it first came out and everyone was raving about it, and I absolutely loved it. I don't know why I've put off reading the sequel for so long, but that's how it usually goes, right?

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
To be quite honest, I know close to nothing of what this is about. I know it's a paranormal romance, at that's about it. Someone enlighten me? It would be most appreciated.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzama
Okay, this one is a heavy one. It deals with an incestuous relationship between a brother and a sister, but I've read everywhere that it was done so well, and that the ending just tore your heart into a million pieces. So I'm really looking forward to this one.

Monday, July 23, 2012

YA Book Trailers (1): Steamy Kisses Edition

An often overlooked form of book promotion is the book trailer. I think, if well done, they can really give you a teaser for the book and make you eager to read it! Here are a few book trailers I found that not only make me eager to read the books, but have some pretty intense, steamy kissing, too!

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

I've been dying to read this book, I just haven't had the time! And this trailer is sooo awesomely made, that I'm pushing it up higher on my 'to buy' list.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I really love how they did this trailer! Sure, it's not exactly how I pictured the characters, but the actors were good, and the special effects were decent. I've read Under the Never Sky, so I feel like they portrayed it very well.

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I've read Obsidian, and I like this trailer. However, my only complaint is that the book is so much more than just hot make out sessions. This book is utterly amazing, I'd daresay it's my favorite at the moment. I wish the trailer had highlighted more of the superb plot of the book than just going right for the steaminess, especially since they had the immense opportunity of having the actual cover models be the trailer actors as well. I love Pepe and Sztella ( I hope that's how you spell her name!) they're adorable, and they're actually a real couple!


What do you guys think?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Ship That YA Couple: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


I Ship That YA Couple! 

First, to understand this feature, you have to know what shipping means. I know a lot of people do, but for those that don't, here's a quick definition.

Fandom Dictionary
Shipping: in the context of a fandom, it means that you support a romantic relationship between 2 characters.

Now, this ship can be canon, or non-canon.

Canon: basically anything that is already set down and accepted within the context of the actual story/plotline of the book. Any romantic pairings that are created by the author themselves.

For example, let's take Harry Potter. Shipping Harry and Ginny is canon, because they're romantically interested in each other throughout the books.

Non-Canon: Any pairing, any at all, that you ship which isn't created by the author.

You can ship anyone you like with this. If I were to ship Harry and... let's say, just for the heck of it, Professor Trelawney, that wouldn't be considered canon because they were never romantically interested in each other. Take Harry Potter again, let's say I shipped Snape and Professor Quirrel. Totally not canon, but hey, I ship it. (I actually don't.)

Lastly...

OTP: your One True Pairing. It can be either canon or non-canon, and it's the couple that you ship harder than any other couple in the book. You don't care what obstacles they face, or even if they've never met before. In your mind, they are soul mates, and that's the end of the matter.
Golden Rule of Shipping: NEVER CRITICIZE SOMEONE'S OTP. EVER.

Okay, now that we've covered that, let's get onto who I ship!

The book for today is:
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
And who do I ship?

Why, none other than Juliette and Warner. {OTP alert!}

And yes, this is totally canon.

I know, people say it's weird and sadomasochistic to like Warner, because, well, he's a bit of a sadomasochist himself. BUT BUT BUT:
Honestly, I just love how absolutely insane Warner is. (Which is a weird thing to say, isn't it?) I do love Adam, but there's just something about Warner that draws me to him. I know there's so much more behind him and his insanity.

Who do you ship? Do you have any OTPs?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes

Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes 
Pages: 336
Publisher: NAL Jam
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
#2 in Series
She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.

Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.

And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…
Review of First Book & Quick Thoughts

Read my review of Falling Under.

Thoughts of Dreaming Awake:
I liked it better than the first. It was a definite improvement plot-wise and for the characters.

Review

If you've read my review of Falling Under, the book that precedes this one, you'll know that I was massively torn in my feelings towards it. I loved and hated it at the same time, which is the ultimate paradox, I know. But I enjoyed Dreaming Awake infinitely more so because everything that annoyed me in Falling Under was gone. Theia and Haden are firmly together, so there's no more cat and mouse games going on. The obstacle of their 'forbidden love' is out of the way, so there wasn't as much unnecessary angst to clog up the plot.

I liked Theia's character so much more in this novel. She's changed due to events in Falling Under--that I will not spoil for you--so I felt that she took a stand for herself better, and grew so much more as a character. In Falling Under, she was little mouse, inexperienced in the world because she was trapped behind an oppressive father. But now she's changed, and her eyes have been opened. There isn't any going back. She doesn't allow people to make decisions for her anymore, and she puts her foot down when they try.

Haden also blossomed substantially for me. He came off as such a jerk in Falling Under, but now that he and Theia are dating, he's a sweet and loving boyfriend. A miraculous transformation, I know. Even though he's a half incubus-type demon, he has this cute boyish awkwardness sometimes. But then there's also the smoldering bad boy, which is hot too.

We lose a beloved character! Just going to say that. It was definitely a blow.

Is this simply a book and a sequel thing? Will there be another? I'd really like to know! These characters have grown on me, as has Haden.

3.5 out of 5 stars
Who Should Read This Book?

If you read and mildly enjoyed Falling Under, then I do recommend reading Dreaming Awake. It was worth it for me.


Other Books by This Author

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday TBR Showcase (4)

Books:
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
This is a retelling of the 12 Dancing Sisters fairy tale, which I recently read another novel that was a retelling of this same fairy tale, so I'm interested to see how this one tackles it. I liked the fairy tale, and it's always fun to read re-tellings.
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
This one has been sitting on my shelf for ages, I don't even know what it's about anymore, it's been that long.
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Seems pretty interesting, although terrible. I mean, a world without chocolate?
Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
I actually haven't even read Halo yet, which is the first book, so I need to get to it!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Heard SO MANY great things about this book, I'm dying to read it. I need to find time for it soon.

Have you read any of these? Which ones should I bump to the top of my pile?

Monday, July 9, 2012

If you like... YA Romance

If you like... is a feature in which I point you in the direction of more wonderful books that you're inclined to enjoy if you liked a certain kind of book or genre.

So this week, we're talking about romance!

Ah, romance, l'amour. Who doesn't love it? (Answer: robots) Most of the greatest novels ever written have romance in some shape or form. But YA romance is special, in that it's almost always that first love, the first kiss, the first time.... erm, knockin' boots, if you know what I mean. It's all about the thrill of young love, and all the angst and teenage hormones that comes with it.

I personally am a sucker for a good angst-y romance, because I like it when it's not so easy. A few nice tension-filled scenes are great to read. I also love sweet romances that make your toes curl in happiness, because what girl honestly doesn't dream of having that someday? I know I sure do!

If you like romance, then here are my recommendations to you.

Firstly, we have my favorite YA romance author ever, Veronica Blade!

All of Veronica's novels are absolutely bursting at the seams with great romance, but my personal favorite is From Fame to Shame. It's a novella, about 125 pages, and it's just pure romance with a guy that is smoking hot. Woo boy!

Here's the synopsis:
When good-girl Maddie switches places with her famous bad-girl twin Jackie, she has some pretty high stilettos to fill.
Despite the danger of tabloid drama if their identity swap is discovered, Maddie has to save her sister's butt. When Jackie’s ex-boyfriend shows up with a rekindled spark for “Jackie,” his deep gray eyes and sweet kisses make Maddie's heart thumpety thump. But dating the guy who dumped her sister is a no-no. Too bad Dallas isn’t used to girls saying no. What will happen when he discovers Maddie’s deception?
Let me tell you, this novella was fantastic! I couldn't stop reading, and Dallas was HOT HOT HOT!

Another favorite of mine from Veronica is Something Witchy This Way Comes.

It's a paranormal romance, but trust me, the emphasis is on the romance.

Synopsis:
Brainiac Tessa McClean’s newly discovered magical powers give her hope of an escape from her inadequate life. But the thrill of being a witch fades when she learns of a rival coven and begins to suspect her own coven’s objective. Evidence tells Tessa to trust one side, but instinct drives her toward the other. When Hayden Anders, the most delinquent kid in school — and the toughest — offers self-defense lessons in exchange for tutoring, the timing couldn’t be better. Though the idea of hanging out with a bad-boy that tempting is unnerving, staying alive amidst warring witches takes priority. She vows to hold onto her values and not surrender to the bad-boy she begins to secretly want. Together, Tessa and Hayden uncover the truth about the two factions — a truth that explains why the covens will stop at nothing to lure her to their side. Tessa has only a matter of weeks to form an alliance with one coven or the other, but the wrong decision could cost Tessa the lives of all those she loves — including Hayden.
Hayden is one of those deliciously infuriating kind of guys. He's a bad boy, a bit of a womanizer, and what I loved was that Tessa didn't give in automatically. That it so much better when they finally got together. If you want a sizzling hot romance, definitely pick up Something Witchy!

Another favorite of mine this year is Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. It's a dystopian, kinda sci-fi romance novel that really caught me by surprise just how amazing it was!

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.
The romance between Perry and Aria was slow-blossoming, but it was oh-so sweet and I absolutely loved it! Under the Never Sky is one of my favorite books of 2012, and such a great romance. Dying for book 2!

What are some other romance recommendations you'd give?
(Wow, I didn't notice until I after I finished that this post was a total Veronica post! Haha, spread the Veronica love!)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What's My Story? (2)

Books Received:

ARC of Reaper by K.D. McEntire
This is the sequel to Lightbringer, which is a ghost urban fantasy that I read a while back and enjoyed. I'm glad to have the sequel, because I really want to know what happens!

ARC of The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffith
This is the 3rd book in The Vampire Empire series, which I've only read the first book of, but I really loved it! So I'm excited to read the 2nd book soon, and then this one.

ARC of Wake by Amanda Hocking
This one came as a total surprise in the mail, but I'm looking forward to it. I mildly enjoyed Switched, but this is a book that's never been published before, so we'll see how it goes.

Posts this Week:

Discussion: The Nice Guy That is Under-Appreciated
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Call to Arms by Elle Casey
$0.99 Kindle Books
Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Books Read This Week:

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

To Be Read Pile:

Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick 
Pages: 391
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
#1 in Series
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
Quick Thoughts

No. That's all I have to say. No to the book, the characters, the plot, everything.

Review

I wanted to like Hush, Hush because I read from many bloggers that it was such a great romance, and the story was so original, ect. Unfortunately, I just did not like Hush, Hush, at all. I had some pretty major issues with it. Funnily enough, a majority of the people who disliked this book had a problem with Patch. He was actually the only redeeming thing in the whole novel for me... but more on that later.

Firstly, Nora. I'd like to just give a big resounding WHAT THE HELL, for her actions the entire freaking book. She continuously puts herself in this ridiculous and dangerous situations that no actual human being with two brain cells to rub together would put themselves in. Yes, if you go walking to dark alleys, bad things are going to happen, Nora. Another thing that irritated me was that she decided that she was just going to become little miss detective, going after a hunch that she has about some guy that she's known for all of a day, so she basically starts interrogating people in her spare time. Seriously? What teenage girl would actually do that? And how is it any of your business?

My BIGGEST problem with this story was Nora's best friend, Vee. Nora gets physically assaulted by one of the other characters--I'm talking thrown against a wall here--and Vee just brushes it off like "He was just drunk, he didn't mean it... HEY LET'S GO CAMPING WITH HIM BY OURSELVES!" I'm sorry for cursing, but what the actual fuck? No, that's definitely NOT okay that this dude just freaking assaulted Nora, no matter how much I disliked her. You don't just brush that off. And then she wanted to go somewhere alone with him? No, I don't think so. Honestly, every time Vee talked, I rolled my eyes. She was an absolutely terrible best friend.

Oddly enough, the best part of this book for me was Patch. I felt like he was the only character in the entire novel with actual substance, and dynamic. I've read reviews that stated they hated Patch because he was way too forward or whatever, but I actually liked that about him. My thing with Patch is that he was an honest to God bad boy. Those are severely lacking in YA. He was an actual bad boy, just like the ones in real life, that treat their women like crap and seduce their way into getting what they want, just because they can. I don't condone this kind of behavior at all, but what I'm saying is that, it's refreshing to see someone actually sitting down and writing a bad boy that feels no remorse for the way he is, and who isn't likely to change who he is just because he fell in love. That's how bad boys are in real life. And in this is where I find yet another character flaw with Nora. Here's what I wrote as my status update on Goodreads:
I do like Patch, despite what others say. He's a bad boy--a very literal bad boy, and that's how they act. It's up to the girl to put her foot down and not take his shit, which Nora isn't doing. So I don't have a problem with Patch, just with Nora.
Don't let Patch walk all over you! Assert yourself! I didn't like Patch as a love interest at all (just liked him fundamentally as a character), and I found his possessiveness and even borderline abusive behavior revolting, but what I found even worse was that Nora just took it. If you're in a situation like that, you get the hell out. But instead, she just kept falling more in love with him, and I didn't understand why! There was nothing attractive about him, especially when he just kept invading her personal space and manipulating her mind.

2 out of 5 stars 

Who Should Read This Book?

I can't in good conscience recommend Hush, Hush to anyone.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn

Just a reminder, For the Older Crowd reviews are meant, well... for the older crowd. Books reviewed under this feature are NOT YA, and contain mature themes that may not be suitable for younger readers. If you're not comfortable with this, please don't read this review.
Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn 
Pages: 172
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Adult Romance
#1 in Series
Madison Daniels has worshipped her brother's best friend since they were kids. Everyone thinks she and Chase Gamble would make the perfect couple, but there are two major flaws in their logic. 1) Chase has sworn off relationships of any kind, and 2) after blurring the line between friends and lovers for one night four years ago, they can't stop bickering.

Forced together for her brother's wedding getaway, Chase and Madison decide to call a truce for the happy couple. Except all bets are off when they're forced to shack up in a tacky 70’s honeymoon suite and survive a multitude of "accidents" as the family tries to prove their "spark" can be used than for more than fighting. That is, if they don't strangle each other first…
Quick Thoughts

Yep. Basically.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

$0.99 Kindle Books (6)

Books can get pretty pricey, which is why it's always exciting to find great books that are priced relatively low. And how much lower does it get than 99 cents?? I've come across these fantastic novels all for $0.99, so if you've been looking for something new to read, check out the books below!



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review: Call to Arms by Elle Casey

Call to Arms by Elle Casey 
Pages: 275
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
#2 in Series
Follow Jayne Sparks, the (still) potty-mouthed seventeen-year-old and newly changed elemental fae and her friends - an incubus, a daemon, a green elf, a water sprite and a pixie - as they struggle to find their places in the Light Fae community of the Green Forest and prepare for the upcoming battle against the Dark Fae.
Quick Thoughts & Review of the 1st Book

Read my review of the first book, The Changelings!

Absolutely loved this second installment to the series! I didn't think Jayne and her friends could get any funnier, but they did!

Review

The first thing I have to say about this series, and Elle Casey in general, is that it--and she--is one of my favorites simply because of how hilarious it is. Seriously, Jayne in my kind of girl. I can see the two of us hanging out. She is such a smart mouth, and she can cook up quite a sarcasm soup in any situation, no matter who she's talking to. She is one sassy girl.
The overall plot of the series is starting to take form in this book, which I'm excited for. In The Changelings, the scene was still being set, and when the book ended, more questions were posed than were answered. Now that Jayne and co. are actually living with the fae, they're learning the secrets of the trade, even if not everyone is completely truthful or particularly forthcoming with them. Jayne learns some things about her particular brand of faerie, such as exactly what she can do and what elements she has an affinity for. Some other things are mentioned about another fae that's similar to Jayne, only the inverse of her powers, which I know will become a massive plot point in the future.

I like how the other characters grew in this book. Chase--oh I love Chase! I admit to having a crush on him, and I sincerely hope that Jayne gets some Chase loving because he's just so perfect and cute. Love him! There's also a new addition to the group: Tim the Pixie! OHMYGOD, I absolutely adored Tim! He was just as hilarious and spunky as Jayne, BUT IN A TWO-INCH TALL GREEN PACKAGE. How adorable is that?

I do have to say that I'm not particularly a fan of how Elle Casey chose to end this book. As with the first one, she ended it right in the middle of a crucial scene, but it doesn't come off as a cliffhanger this time. These books actually continue on exactly where the previous one left off (I've read the beginning of the 3rd book, so the continuity is the same) and I'd much rather that Elle simply closed of the action for each book and then started up fresh in the next. That would, firstly, give us readers some closure upon finishing, and secondly, give us, and the characters, some time for a break.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Who Should Read This Book?

Fans of the first book should absolutely continue on with this one. It's got the perfect blend of a contemporary and believable teenage cast of characters, with some really intricate and deep-rooted fae mythology.


Other Books by This Author
(covers link to Amazon)

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