Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

4/5 Stars 
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: HarlequinTeen


Review:

I began reading The Immortal Rules with some very high expectations. I really enjoyed Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series and with all the vampire novels in the YA genre a vampire book has to be really special to impress me. I was pleasantly surprised with The Immortal Rules and can see why its film rights have already been optioned!

The Immortal Rules begins approximately 60 years after a plague has decimated the human race and created rabids a cross between vampires, humans, and zombies. The creatures reminded me a lot of the ones in I Am Legend. Actually, The Immortal Rules for me was a cross between the movies I Am Legend and Underworld, which is a good thing because those are two of my favorite movies! The story follows Allison Sekemoto through her life on the fringe of New Covington a Vampire city and chronicles her transition as she becomes a vampire herself.

I Am Legend
Underworld



I Am Legend + Underworld = Epic

I loved Julie Kagwa’s ability to create characters that are so relatable and endearing and so different from her other works. So often authors use a similar protagonist in many of their novels, Allison though was completely different from Meghan Chase in every way and I admire Kagawa’s versatility as an author. Allison was a really great female lead, strong, independent and exactly they type of girl I would expect to become a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world. I really felt for Allison’s loneliness and her sense of betrayal as the novel progressed. The end was something I both saw coming and broke my heart at the same time. 

The supporting characters in The Immortal Rules were also really great. I loved the entire Religious group that Allison joins, each of the individuals had their own distinct personalities and I came to like all of them in their own way. I also loved Kanin, Allison’s vampire creator; he embodied exactly what I think of when I think of old classical vampires. But by far my favorite supporting character had to be Jackal! I don’t want to give anything away because he doesn’t appear until almost the end of the story, but I am eagerly awaiting Jackal’s appearance in the next book. He was all kinds of awesome!

The one downside I found to The Immortal Rules was that there wasn’t enough of a love story for me. A relationship does develop between Allison and Zeke but I had a hard time rooting for them to be together. I felt like he was the only logical option for Allison and that they were only together because it fit with the story, not because they genuinely loved each other. I kind of wished Allison would have found a nice vampire boy for her to like...Well there is always the next book!

Overall, The Immortal Rules was everything I was hoping for in a good Vampire novel. The idea of Vampire cities and the virus were both very interesting and well done. Needless to say, I can not wait to see what happens in the next book.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Team Human


Team Human
Authors: Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected Publication: July 3rd, 2012

Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn’t mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It’s up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity!

On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching


My Thoughts:
So you may or may not know this but Sarah Rees Brennan is one of my author crushes. I absolutely loved The Demon's Lexicon series and Unspoken totally broke my heart and sucked me in. Needless to say when I heard that Brennan and Larbalestier were writing a Vampire parody I went crazy and started stalking this book. Now we are only about a month and a half away from publication and I am eagerly awaiting Team Human! If you have never read anything by Brennan I highly recommend you do so, her sharp wit and easy humor are not to be missed and I expect to see quite a bit of it in Team Human. 

So tell me, what are you waiting on this Wednesday?!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Betrayed Book Blast

Betrayed
Lil isn't just an average teenager. She's one of the Nephilim--the descendants of humans and angels--which gives her some serious psi skills and a mission for redemption. Just when Lil thinks she's found a balance between her normal life with human friends and her training to become a Guardian, she's warned that someone close to her will betray her. When the boy she loves starts acting strangely and one of her human friends acquires a supernatural ability, Lil begins to realize that someone is manipulating the people she loves... and won't stop until she's been lured to the dark side.




WEBSITE  BLOG  FACEBOOK  PAGE  YOUTUBE  TWITTER  
GOODREADS   GOOGLE+  AMAZON  B&N  BOOK DEPOSITORY 

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
Just like Awakened, Betrayed has risen above all the other books in this genre. She has created such an amazing world for her Guardians & demons where good and evil are not as simple as it seems they should be. ~J. Whitus (Book Junkies) Walking On Bookshelves

I just love a spunky heroine so I was excited to keep reading about Lil, the demon hunter I got to know in Awakened (book one of The Guardian Legacy series). Walters takes the story and world she built so well in Awakened and adds in an intense plot with lots of twists to make for a strong sequel.~ Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading)

Lil has her work cut out for her in this book and she never failed me once!
There is action in this book as well as a lot of emotional turmoil.~ Cathy Garcia
The review is found on goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/223502567
EDNAH WALTERS BIO:

I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy boys mysteries and fell in love with books
I enjoy good love stories, tingly mysteries and epic adventures. When I finished my college and decided to be a stay-at-home mother, I devoured books like they were going out of production, until reading just wasn't enough. So I started to write.

I've written picture books (unpublished), contemporary and romantic suspense (under the pen name E. B. Walters), and finally YA fantasy (as Ednah Walters).

AWAKENED (2010) is the prequel to the YA series about the Nephilim, The Guardian Legacy series. BETRAYED(book # 1) is now available wherever books are sold, HUNTED (book # 2) will be released in February 2013 andFORGOTTEN (later in 2013).

My adult contemporary with or without suspense is about a west coast Irish-American family series. I've published four Fitzgerald books: SLOW BURN (April 5th 2011), MINE UNTIL DAWN (June 29th 2011), KISS ME CRAZY (Sept 25th 2011) and DANGEROUS LOVE (Jan 29th 2012)

When I'm not writing, I do things with my family, five children and my darling husband of 18 years. I live in a picturesque valley in northern Utah, the setting for my YA series.



Giveaway Details:

$100 Amazon.com Gift Code

Ends 6/5/12


Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren

4/5 Stars
Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Bergren
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: June 1, 2012


Review:
Thank you Netgalley and David C. Cook Publishing for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this novel. 

I requested this book on Netgalley for the sheer fact that it has a gorgeous cover. So, I guess judging a book by its cover does work because I really enjoyed Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Bergren. Glamorous Illusions is a member of the New Adult genre, and while I have heard a ton about the genre (good and bad) this is actually my first New Adult novel. I really loved reading about a character that was so close to me in age and dealing with the same things I have been struggling with. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading YA but sometimes I have a hard time relating to the daily grinds of High School, just because it has been a while since I was there.

Glamorous Illusions take place in the early 1900’s and begins in Montana just as Cora is coming back from the New School for summer. Cora returns to a dying farm, and an ailing father. It is because of her Father’s health that coal king, Mr. Kingston, makes a visit to the Diehl farm and reveals that he is actually her biological father. It is then that Cora is swept up into this rich high society and is basically forced to go with her newly discovered siblings on a “Grand Tour”. Prior to reading this novel I had never heard of a Grand Tour. In short it is basically a big tour of Europe that takes place when rich kids come of age. At first I was bummed that these don’t exist anymore, but as I thought about it more I realized these do still happen! I had a ton of friends in High School and College that when they graduated their parents footed the bill for them to tour Europe. I was just not lucky enough to be in this richy rich category. (Maybe when I graduate Law School? *hint hint*)

My favorite thing about this novel had to be Bergern’s lush descriptions of all the lovely places in England and France that the characters visit. I really felt like I was right there with the Tour Party. I also really liked individuals in the tour party themselves. Clearly, Cora was my favorite but her brother and their family friends were all very likable and quite funny at times. I understood why her siblings would be reluctant to accept a half-sister, and actually respected the fact that they treated her differently. If I suddenly found out I had a half-sibling I would throw a fit! The characters actually handled things better then I would have.

I also really enjoyed the love interests in Glamorous Illusions both Will and Pierre were very distinct and different men, but I found myself liking both of them! Will is the nephew of the man leading the Grand Tour, and Pierre is a rich noble born Frenchman. I usually don’t enjoy Love triangles but this one seems natural and it doesn’t dominate the story, it is more of a secondary storyline to Cora’s journey of self-discovery.

The only thing I was really unsure about or that I wished someone had told me was that religion and Cora’s relationship with God play a pretty pivotal role in this book. I try my hardest to avoid secular literature just because I prefer to believe what I do in private. While Cora’s religion was a big theme in the novel it was not overly distracting. In fact, it was used mostly to reassure Cora that there was a big plan, and that she was loved then anything else.

Overall, Glamorous Illusions was a great novel and I will be picking up the second book and continuing my own Grand Tour right along with Cora!  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Chosen Ones



Chosen Ones
Author: Tiffany Truitt
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Expected Publication: June 12, 2012


Synopsis:
What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival?
Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger.

But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?


My Thoughts:
One of my favorite things about Dystopian novels getting popular is that I can now talk about the EOTW (End of the World) and no one looks at me funny. Chosen Ones will be another addition to the Dystopian catagory but I think the premise of artificial humans in a Post World War 4 setting will really mix it up and add something to a genre that is rapidly becoming over-saturated (not that I'm complaining). My only hope is that this novel is different enough from Dan Well's Partials. Needless to say with a cover and synopsis like that I am eagerly awaiting the release of Chosen Ones!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Existence by Abbi Glines

3/5 Stars
Existence by Abbi Glines
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing


Review:

This is my first Abbi Glines novel and I was really excited considering she has kind of a cult-like following. Luckily, I was not disappointed! Existence follows the story of Death, also known as Dank Walker, and Pagan who Dank is supposed to collect for the other side but can’t bring himself to.

So first off I will tell you I can’t stand the character names in this book. I think this sentiment is reflected in many reviews. Ms. Glines, have all the possible names under the sun and you name your characters Pagan and Dank. I mean I guess I would understand if the names had special meaning but they really don’t, at least not that I could see. Pagan wasn’t even a nickname as I had originally thought and hoped, and Dank was far from a stoner. I mean maybe you’ve heard that word tossed around casually as in “Man this food is dank” but I would do some research before naming my character something like that! I mean we are in the YA genre after all.

Getting past the names, Pagan is a teenage girl but she is more then meets the eye. Pagan can see souls and she happens to be in love with Death. Dank is Death, he is the Grim Reaper for all intents and purposes. But Dank is also a Rockstar, super hottie, and all around great male lead! Dank really made the story for me. If it had been just Pagan and her friends I would have quickly set the book down and moved on with my life but Dank really brought the story to life and I found myself relating to him more the to any other character.

I liked the pacing of the story it was fast paced and kept me guessing. But that same fast pacing made the plot a little jumpy and I found myself wondering at why certain things happened. (E.g. After a car accident where she freaks out her mother checks her into a mental hospital? I’m not sure why she did this or what purpose it served in the plot she just kind of went there). It was little things like this that made me give the book 3 stars.

Overall though I really did enjoy this book, it definitely kept me interested and I will be picking up the sequel. I hope in the second book we get more answers about what exactly Pagan is and of course we get to see more Dank!



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Love In Bloom Giveaway Hop



Featuring Lighthearted/Contemporary Young Adult Romance
& Sweet, Clean Adult Romance
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Portrait of a Book

For this giveaway I will be giving away:

Devoured
Author: Amanda Marrone
Publisher: Simon Pulse


Megan’s twin sister Remy died in an accident nine years ago, and she’s been haunting her ever since. Knowing how crazy that sounds, Megan keeps this secret to herself and tries to lead a normal life. But when she takes a summer job at Land of Enchantment to keep an eye on her new boyfriend and his lovesick best friend, Samantha, she meets fellow employee Luke who can see Remy, too. Things get even twistier because Megan’s new friend Ari is sporting a massive crush on Luke, who seems to be developing a massive crush on Megan…making for a love triangle that’s positively possessed.

Megan wants to keep her distance from Luke, but when Remy’s visions get crazy violent; she knows she needs his help. Because someone’s definitely in danger...the only question is who?



  • This giveaway is open to US Residents only!! 
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • Winner will have 24 hours to respond to the email or another winner will be chosen
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Something Strange And Deadly


Something Strange and Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Harper Teen
Expected Publication: July 24th, 2012


Synopsis: 
The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance 

My Thoughts:
I am so crazy excited for this one! Just look at that cover ^_^ and that synopsis! Really!? What more is there a girl could ask for in a book? Zombies, the 1800's. and a good potential love story. This is defititely on my short list TBR. I have also been seeing some very good reviews from bloggers for received ARC's for review, if you are one of these bloggers. FYI I am very jealous right now. 

So tell me now, what are you waiting on this Wednesday? 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

4/5 Stars
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperTeen

Review:
Insurgent has got to be one of the most, if not the most anticipated YA releases this year. I was one of those people jumping up and down waiting for the novel going crazy, doing anything I could to get my Four and Tris fix. So you can imagine my excitement when after driving across country my pre-order copy was sitting on my bed! I instantly dove into reading this novel and I was not disappointed.

Insurgent begins exactly where Divergent left off. Tris and Four are on the way to Amity compound to see if they can seek shelter or find an ally following Jeanine’s simulation attack forcing the Dauntless to kill the Abnegation. That is as much information about the story as I’m going to give you. This is one of those books where if I tell you just a little bit it will give something else in the story away and I want all of you to be just as surprised reading the story as I was!

Tris throughout the novel struggles with the death of not only her parents but the fact that she had to kill Will during the simulation. Her guilt is very real and you feel it right along with her. Unfortunately, it also felt never ending. I found myself getting annoyed at Tris a little bit. I understood why she was feeling what she felt but I wanted to see the strong Tris I had really come to love in Divergent, I wanted her to forgive herself.

Four *sigh and starry eyes* Oh Four, while he is mostly called Tobias throughout the novel my mind still calls him Four. I’ll admit it I’m smitten with him so it is a little harder for me to scrutinize his character the way I can Tris. In this novel though Tobias did seem a little more distant, although I can totally understand why! (I am trying so hard not to give spoilers right now).

The relationship between Four and Tris was one of my favorite parts of the story. It was so real. Not just your easy warm fuzzy romance. It had its ups and downs like any relationship, and both of the characters struggled with secrets. It made me love each of them just a little bit more. All of their times alone were exactly what I had hoped they would be. I hope in the next novel we get a little bit more Four and Tris time but as that has never really been the focus of the books I don’t expect a TON of love, just enough to keep my romantic side satiated.

The world building in Insurgent also greatly expanded on the foundation that was laid in Divergent. We get to see a little bit more into each faction and I felt like in this novel I got to better know not just Amity and Candor but the Factionless as well. That insight into what happens when someone doesn’t have a Faction and the way they have been living was really eye-opening and I can’t wait to read more!

Insurgent was a great second novel. I really enjoyed seeing all the characters again and the action was non-stop I don’t think I took a full breath until I was finished reading. I must admit though I liked Divergent better and the loss of the strong Tris I loved so much in Divergent made me give Insurgent 4 rather then 5 stars. This isn’t to say I’m not super excited for the third novel, which is slated for a Fall 2013 release date; I am really really really excited for it! Now to sit back and begin waiting impatiently!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

In My Mailbox 12+1


I had to skip IMM the last 2 weekends because of Law School finals so while it might seem like I got quiet a few books that is only because I'm making up for lost time! Also my bought section is a little bit deceiving because I got another amazon gift card from Lexis Nexis so I actually did pay for any of those books either! 

WON:

Beyond by T.P. Boje 

BOUGHT:

Alice in Exile by Piers Paul Read (Not YA)
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater (If you read the blog occasionally you know I have a pretty hardcore author crush on Maggie Stiefvater so I am crazy excited to read this one!)
Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney



From My Sisters Room:
Ok so some back story is needed. My sister is a freshman at University but her room is so out of control and messy. Like REALLY messy that my parents have pretty much cordoned it off and it is just there. But Bethany, the sister, and I read the same books so I'm going to brave the mess and get back some of the books she has taken from me and find new ones. This is what I found this week!


Gone, Hunger, and Lies by Micheal Grant
Grave Sight by Charlene Harris
Bloody Valentine by Melissa De La Cruz
The Mediator #1 by Meg Cabot (I think she has the whole series...)
Gathering of Gargoyles and The Pearl of the Soul of the World by Meredith Ann Pierce (These are books 2 and 3 of the Darkangel triology I read the first book a few years ago)

NETGALLEY:

Velveteen by Daniel Marks
The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee
Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Ingle
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Breannan (I ADORED this book and will post my review as release date gets closer)
Dead Time by Anne Cassidy
Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

2/5 Stars
Expected Publication: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Thank you Entangled Publishing for providing an ARC of Pretty Amy for review purposes. 

Review:

So I will just say it. I did not enjoy this book. I had to force myself to get through it and stop myself from banging my head against the wall repeatedly just because of how stupid Amy was.

The story revolves around Amy and her friends getting arrested on prom night and what happens to Amy when she is separated from them and has to learn to become her own person. There is also a good portion of the book in which Amy has to learn to navigate the legal system.  

I think my main problem with this book is that I could not in any way relate to Amy. I was never friendless. Amy has this crazy desire to fit in with friends who never even really liked her and I could just not understand! I found Amy to be pathetic and she really had no redeeming qualities. Amy suffered from rich kid with no real problems syndrome. The choices she had to make were SO SIMPLE but still she wouldn’t make any decision, it made for a slow moving and repetitive read that I kept wishing would just come to an end.

It wasn’t just Amy that I disliked though, her parents also never seemed to ask what was going on in her life they were around but never asked her any questions. They reminded me of some of my friends parents back when I was a teenager. The parents would just throw money at their problem kid and never actually take care of any of the real underlying problems. There were only two characters I really liked are Amy’s pet parrot and the lawyers Amy’s parents hired. The lawyer was funny, quirky, and he got the job done.

In sum, I did not enjoy this book the characters were lack-luster and a bit one dimensional and I could not relate to Amy. I would recommend picking this one up from the library if you really want to read it.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 25, 2010
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

Review:
I don’t read much YA contemporary but after hearing such stunning things about Before I Fall I Fall, and having absolutely loved Lauren Oliver’s Delirium I decided to pick this one up and overall it was a good story.

The novel centers on Samantha Kingston and her “mean girl” friends. The beginning really drew me in I enjoyed reading about Sam’s day and the events that lead up to her death. I found myself relating a lot to Sam because I was more like her back in High School then I care to admit. I was always ok with my friends treating others bad, so long as they included me and I fully admit to being an absolute bitch to those not in my social circle. There was actually one girl who I don’t even remember being rude to who told my younger sister what a bitch I had been to her. The worst part is I don’t even remember the girl, that just how I acted toward everyone. That is exactly how Sam Kingston and her friends are.

What I loved the most about this book is the transformation of Sam from “mean girl” to a strong independent individual who really grows up in the 7 days following her death. The character development in this book is so rich and heartbreaking that I almost couldn’t believe that this is Oliver’s debut novel!

I also really liked the layout of this book each chapter represented a day in Sam’s life following her death. Each day Sam tried to change what happened to her and her friends and the final chapter, I mean you knew what was going to happen but I didn’t stop me from wishing for a different ending.

Overall, this was a good read. I enjoyed it more then the other contemporary YA novels I have read but I still only liked it not loved it. I actually liked Delirium a lot more and will be giving contemporary YA a bit of a break for a while.