Friday, November 30, 2012

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin


All These Things I've Done 
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Macmillan 
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

Review:

All These Things I’ve Done suffered from a lack of action. The entire first 100 or so pages were set aside for world building but the author did not need that many pages to accomplish this goal. The world was simple and I felt like the synopsis explained the economic climate in a few words when the author took page after page to do the same thing. It wasn’t until Anya runs in to some legal trouble about a third of the way into the book that I even became moderately interested in this book.

Unfortunately, the legal trouble is wrapped up all too quickly and the book takes a different, once again boring, turn (*Spoiler: I would have actually like this book a whole lot more if Anya had spent more time at the Detention Center, come to run that place and then took over her family business to protect her brother and sister-but alas I am just a reader not the author*).

Anya lost both of her parents because of her family’s illegal chocolate business. The accident that killed her mother left her older brother mentally retarded. This leaves Anya to be the leader of her family. I liked how responsible and grown up Anya was. I also liked that the stress that is on her shoulders felt so real. At the same time though it made me stressed for her and reminded me a lot of my own stressors. I read to escape not to be reminded of all the things I have to manage and get done, so I both like and dislike this aspect of the story.

I also wasn’t keen on the love story in this book. The relationship between Anya and Win felt forced to me and I never got the vibe that they were actually in love. Anya had entirely too many other things to deal with to devote her energies to Win and despite them staying together after being forced apart multiple times. I kind of wished they would just break up so that the story would focus on something else. This is not to say I didn’t like Win as a character-he was actually a great guy, I just didn’t like the romance itself.

Overall, I just don’t think this book was my thing. I wanted it to be something more then it was (I wanted it to be more like The Curse Worker’s series) but it wasn’t. I don’t think I will be picking up the sequel but down the road if there is a really good deal I might give the second book a chance.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Deep Betrayal


Deep Betrayal (Lies Beneath #2)
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Publisher: Random House
Expected Publication: March 12, 2013

Synopsis:

It's been thirty days, two hours, and seventeen minutes since Calder left Lily standing on the shores of Lake Superior. Not that she's counting. And when Calder does return, it's not quite the reunion Lily hoped for. Especially after she lets her father in on a huge secret: he, like Calder, is a merman. Obsessed with his new identity, Lily's dad monopolizes Calder's time as the two of them spend every day in the water, leaving Lily behind.

Then dead bodies start washing ashore. Calder blames his mermaid sisters, but Lily fears her father has embraced the merman's natural need to kill. As the body count grows, everyone is pointing fingers. Lily doesn't know what to believe—only that whoever's responsible is sure to strike again. . . .


My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed Lies Beneath the mermaids from Lake Superior were unlike any I had ever read about. I'm excited to see what happens with these recent murders and what happens between Lily and Calder!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

4/5 Stars

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Goodreads  Amazon

Review:
This book was touted as The Hunger Games (without the violence) meets The Bachelor. I must admit to having never watched The Bachelor. It just isn’t my thing, terrible reality TV is my thing and so I have to confess to having watched all the seasons of Flavor of Love and I Love New York. I can’t help loving trashy TV and at times I wish this book had been less Bachelor and more Flavor of Love, it would have been a lot more entertaining!


The world building was interesting, the society is divided into caste’s ranked 1-8, I wanted more information as to how these castes formed and why they are ranked the way they are, but this is a planned series so I expect more information about the society in the upcoming books. I actually really liked the caste idea because it seems like something that could realistically happen. India is still operating in a caste society and it makes sense that under the proper conditions another similarly situated society could form in this fashion.

America, the main character, is a 5 which means she is toward the bottom of the caste society and her family works as artists. After the urging of her boyfriend, Aspen, America puts her name in to the selection. The selection is a way for Prince Maxon, who has never had the opportunity to leave the castle and date to find a wife and future queen.
America never really believes she will be selected until her name is called and her whole life changes.

I liked America overall, she was relatable and her voice felt natural but at times she got on my nerves. I wanted her to give Maxon a chance and I kept having the feeling that she was being selfish. When I was watching Flavor of Love I always hated the girls that weren’t actually there for love, why come on the show if you aren’t going to give the guy a chance? America was one of these girls and so I had a hard time really rooting for her.

The romance in this book was a love triangle *cue exasperated sighs*. But for being a love triangle I didn’t mind it all that much, in some weird way it made sense. I mean Maxon is dating 35 girls, why shouldn’t America have someone on the side? I have a feeling the love triangle will become more of an issue in the sequel, The Elite, and I think I will render an opinion on it then.

Overall, I enjoyed The Selection. It was what I expected it to be and while it could have used a dose of crazy Flavor of Love drama it still kept my interest and has me excited for the sequel.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stacking The Shelves 36


So I almost feel bad about saying this but I got ANOTHER $15 Amazon GC from LexisNexis Law School (That is like $60 this term). If their goal is my business following Law School I'm pretty sure they are winning! This week I also traded for my first book on YA Book Exchange with Krystal @ Live To Read and got Something Strange and Deadly ^_^

Bought/Traded:


Changeling by Philippa Gregory
Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (Thanks Krystal and YA Book Exchange for facilitating this trade!)
Wicked As They Come by Delilah Dawson (I know it is not YA but I'm a sucker for a cool title/good deal)
Waterfall by Lisa Bergren

Edelweiss:
How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Soul Thief by Jana Oliver


3/5 Stars
Soul Thief by Jana Oliver
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: August 30, 2011

Review:
Soul Thief begins right after the attack on the Tabernacle, Riley has just made a deal with Heaven to spare the life of her boyfriend, Simon, and is struggling with the changes that occur following the attack.

One of my favorite things about the last book was that the end was so fast paced and action packed. I expected this book so start out the same way. Unfortunately, the story begins slow and remains slow until the last third of the book when things finally pick up. That is one of the reasons I couldn’t give this book a higher rating I felt like I was always waiting for the action to come. When the action finally did come though it was worth the wait and I have to say the last third of the book was 5 star worthy.

Riley in this book has so much to deal with and still manages to remain just as strong as she was in the first book. Riley was able to get her job done while hunting down leads about her fathers re-animation, the bogus holy-water, and dealing with her unlucky love life. The fact that she can juggle all of these things and still remain a total badass show what a great heroine she is.

From the outset it is obvious something is not right about Simon. After his near-death experience he has a crisis of faith and Riley ends up being the one he blames. Ori is there waiting in the wings when Riley’s relationship with Simon begins to head south and I actually came to trust him and hope for a relationship between him and Riley (I think that is why the ending came as such a surprise to me).

That brings us to Beck. Oh Beck….he really pissed me off in this book. It is apparent to everyone but Riley how much he cares for her and yet still the two of them are constantly fighting over the stupidest things! I both wanted Beck to be in every scene and was angry when he was around. He just makes such poor decisions about both his personal life and the way he treats Riley. I kept feeling like one of the master trappers needed to shake some sense into him.

Overall, I enjoyed this book but the lack of action in the first 2/3’s of the story and all of Beck’s bad decisions stopped me from loving this story. I will definitely be picking up the third book though and I’m excited to see what Jana Oliver has in store for us! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: How My Summer Went Up In Flames


How My Summer Went Up In Flames
Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Expected Publication: May 7, 2013

Synopsis:
Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie just wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But with every mile marker that passes, Rosie discovers a new sense of self…and that sometimes the best revenge is moving on.


My Thoughts:
I saw this a while ago on Jennifer @ Some Like It Paranormal's blog and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since! I have been going through a bit of a contemporary phase and this seems like the perfect summer read. Now summer just has to get here! (Update: I was actually just approved for this title on Edelweiss! I am so very excited to start reading now ^_^)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Alice In Zombieland by Gena Showalter


Alice In Zombieland
Author: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: September 25, 2012

Review:
Originally, I had absolutely no desire to read this book. I may be in the minority but I actually don’t like Zombie novels. I think the last book featuring Zombies I read was Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey and that was a one Zombie situation so I let it slide. What changed my mind and put this on my TBR list was 1. That absolutely amazing cover (which I tried to ignore) much like a little kid going OwWw Shiny! 2. The blog tour (and all the swooning over Cole that went on).

A little forewarning is necessary about this book. It is NOT a re-telling of the classic Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland story with Zombies. It is more of an independent story that happens to have a few Alice elements. Alice or Ali has grown up with a father who can see monsters and so keeps the family in the house after dark. Following her families death Ali begins to see the monsters as well.

I was not overly fond of any of the characters in this book and I think that is one of the reasons for my low rating. While all of the characters seemed real to me (I really enjoyed the dialogue) I didn’t think they were fleshed out. It was obvious why Ali was sad and why she was attracted to Cole but I never really felt like I knew her and this book being written in first person I really should have known her. The only time I truly related to Ali was when she was conversing with her sister and this was because it reminded me a lot of the relationship I had with my own sister growing up.

The other reason for my lower rating is that I did not like the world building. Despite having large sections of information dumps cleverly designed as Ali asking questions and being curious there were still a ton of plot holes regarding the Zombies themselves and the spirit world. Showalter wanted to do something original with Zombies and I admire her taking that leap but there was just too much to learn about this new world and while she might have understood what was going at times, I had no idea. It sometimes felt like Showalter changed the rules of the spirit world when it was convenient to the story (**Spoiler Example: Ali’s Grandpa is bitten by a Zombie but he wasn’t in the spirit world and can’t see Zombies. I didn’t understand exactly how he was bitten or if he was bitten by one of the Hazmat Suits Zombies that are stuffed inside dead people. This section didn’t make any sense to me**)

The Romance in this book is insta-love. The second Ali sees Cole across the hallway they share a vision and while she does try to avoid him it is kind of impossible to do so (what with the Zombies and all). This actually didn’t bother me because the insta-love was explained later in the novel. What bothered me was the hot-cold-hot again-cold again relationship between Cole and Ali. I was never sure if they were going to be all over each other or were focusing on the Zombie problem. I also didn’t like that Ali was completely fixated on Cole’s ex, Mackenzie. I understand their situation was unique but if Ali truly trusted Cole she would have believed that things were over and let it go.

Overall, while I have given a few negatives of this book there were also some positive things about it. The idea is really original, the characters were interesting enough to make me finish the story and I enjoyed the sister relationship between Ali and Em. I am undecided if I will continue this series but if the cover is just a lovely as this one I may be enticed by the shiny-ness and continue.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Avow Cover Reveal


A V O W
 The Final installment in the Archers of Avalon series by Chelsea Fine




Synopsis: Scarlet remembers. Everything. Her past lives, Tristan, Gabriel, Nate: she remembers it all--including how to get to the Fountain of Youth. But time is running out. 

Heather and Gabriel have been kidnapped by Raven, while the curse that has plagued Scarlet and Tristan for centuries has shifted, putting the star-crossed lovers in more danger than ever before. Water from the Fountain of Youth is the only thing that can save Scarlet and her loved ones. But the water comes at a price.

With lives--and hearts--at stake, Scarlet leads her friends on a dangerous journey to the Fountain of Youth. Where eternal life is possible, but death is certain.

Available December 11th, 2012!

Don't miss the first two books in the Archers of Avalon series!

ANEW (book one)          AWRY (book two)
Kindle    Nook                  Kindle    Nook



Author Bio: 
I grew up (and still live) in the Phoenix, AZ area where I studied Design at Arizona State University. During college, I also took my first creative writing class, which is how I fell in love with writing. In 2007, I found myself working at a credit union, staring at a computer screen, and bored out of my mind. I promptly opened up Word and began writing a story...to kill time. (I know, I'm a terrible employee.) But eight pages and forty-five minutes later, I realized I was actually having fun. Years later, (after I quit the credit union and became a self-employed artist...because let's face it, I was no good at "being on the clock" what, with all the story-writing during "work" hours) I asked a publishing company to edit a short story of mine and before I knew it I was on the road to publishing my first book, Sophie & Carter. Now I spend most of my days writing, painting, and trying not to burn the house down when I cook.


Other than that, I'm an avid reader, a lover of music, a Battlestar Galactica fan, a coffee addict, a chronic texter, an obsessive teeth-brusher, and a shameless superhero enthusiast. Oh, and I have the best agent in the world, Suzie Townsend of Nancy Coffey Literary!

Website ♥ Twitter ♥  Goodreads ♥ Facebook 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stacking The Shelves 34


I only got two books this week and I actually won both of them so that is pretty exciting. I also have two giveaways going on which are linked at the bottom so if you would like to win some free books you better get entering! 

Won:

Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch (This came in the mail from Scholastic/Figment complete with a signed bookplate!)
Alice In Zombieland by Gena Showalter (Thanks so much Gillian Berry, I'm excited to have won your blogs first giveaway!)

Giveaways:
After Dark Blog Tour Giveaway

Dear Teen Me Giveaway


Friday, November 16, 2012

After Dark Blog Tour


Author Interview:

Q: After Dark has a very original take on the Changeling myth how did you come up with the idea?

It really came to me. Just hit me one day. I mean, in thinking about how often people change careers and don't really know what they want to do when they 'grow up', I thought ... well ... what if you had to pick right after you'd become an adult and never-ever-ever got a chance to change. Ever. Of course, that's not 'real' so I set it in a paranormal world in order to build upon this as a constraint. That's been very fun as I've written the series.

Q: Much of the novel centers around Mac making choices and having the ability to choose for herself what made you want to write about this topic?

That's right. It's all about making choices and decisions. One of Mac's main problems is that she doesn't want to think about it all. She just wants it to happen. She doesn't want to work for it, but she is committed. She'll do what she has to do without putting any real effort into it. Unfortunately, I see this in a lot of teens these days. There's no true 'effort' to many of their decisions. So in the end of the series, I hope to prove a little bit of a point with Mac, but also to have a lot of fun with her character. Truly, choosing so early in life is just so, so, so hard, so be happy you're human and will have the opportunity to change your mind.

Q: Mac was a very relatable heroine is she based on anyone in particular or is Mac a little bit like you?

Mac is a mix of a lot of people, though I realized, recently that my daughter (my eldest twin) is very much like Mac. Stubborn as all get out, not particularly curious unless it's about something she wants, does exactly what's needed but nothing else and is super-super smart but doesn't show it. I think, somehow, as I wrote Mac, I might have been channeling my 8 year old. :)

Q: How long did it take for you to write and then publish After Dark?

I wrote After Dark in just under 2 months. January-February 2011, actually. So at it's release, it'll be not-quite-two years old.

Q: Can you tell us anything about the sequel? Maybe a little spoiler? (please?!)

Ah ... the sequel. :) Well, well, well .. if you promise not to tell anyone I gave this to you (::wink::) try this PRE-edited opening. Here's 177 words for ya right from the first page. :)

Sitting in front of the twelve most powerful non-humans on the earth would have shaken a lesser guy. In my case, I’d almost thrown up. Twice.

Mackenzie Thorne, my girlfriend, had said ‘don’t worry, it’s just a formality’. She hadn’t known I’d have to go alone.

Only the intake and exhalation of air in the room made any sound. Eery light flickered from the tips of candles mounted along dark, oak-paneled walls.

I refused to look anywhere but ahead of me. To the long, wooden, medieval-length table.

Waiting.

Watching.

Holding my own breath.

For a moment, it seemed the walls began to close in on me.

Nearly midnight on the first day of the year, I prepared to accept a fate no other human had ever taken on, been given or even offered even as sweat pooled under my armpits as alternating cold and hot ran through me.

The scratch of wood against wood had heads turning. Mine included.

Nahir, the oldest of the twelve, rose from his chair. “Winford Richmond Thomas, please rise.”

Review:
The changeling myth is one of my favorites. I like the idea of mean things sneaking into rooms and stealing children, leaving one of their own behind. The whole thing just sort of creeps me out. Emi Gayle really takes this classic myth and completely turns it on its head and makes the story her own.

After Dark is about Mac who is a changeling. Only she is not a changeling in the traditional sense. Mac has been raised by a vampire father and a faerie mother and can change her form into anything she wishes, but only at night. One second she can be a vampire, the next, ghost, then witch, well you get the idea. At 19 Mac must choose one form to stay in for the rest of her life and take her place on the council which rules all of the supernatural beings. The problem is Mac is not ready to pick yet and the council is trying to force her to choose.

Initially Mac irritated me a bit. She was content just to go through the motions on life and not question her history, where she came from, or why she needs to choose a form. I am such a naturally curious and questioning person that I just did not understand her. It wasn’t until she met Winn Thomas that she begins to question where she came from, what happened to her birth mother, and the decision she must make. It was when she starting questioning things that I started to like her.

I liked that Mac did a lot of growing in this novel. When the novel begins Mac hates humans and disdains spending half her day as one. But by the end she has not only made friends with some humans (a feat she hadn’t achieved in 18 years) but she found herself falling for one of them.

The relationship between Mac and Winn it was a sort of slow blooming romance. It was extra sweet too because Winn had had a crush on Mac since elementary school but because Mac has always been so standoffish he had never been able to tell her.

Overall, I enjoyed After Dark and am excited for the sequel I have a feeling Mac is going to do even more growing and changing in the next novel and I’m excited to see what happens between her and Winn!

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


5/5 Stars
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
GoodreadsAmazon

Review:
I finished this book in two sittings and even though I was supposed to be making flash cards for finals I just could not put this book down and my mind kept wandering back to the story.

Celaena Sardothien is Ardalan’s greatest assassin, a sort of criminal celebrity after being betrayed she is serving a sentence in Endovier the salt mines where the life expectancy of those who goes there is less then a month. Celaena has been there a year when the crown prince makes her an offer, become his champion in a tournament hosted by the king and earn her freedom or return to the mines. She chooses the tournament.

The world building in Throne of Glass was truly impressive. In high fantasy I often have a hard to getting to know the world and locations of things. Usually my rule of thumb is if the book starts out with a map in the front I expect to be confused for the first half of the book. That was not the case with Throne of Glass. The book jumps right into the story but there are no information dumps or elaborate explanations. Events and places are just clear and I feel like that is the mark of a great author, when they can transport me into a completely different world and I am seamless integrated into that society within the first few pages.

Celaena, the assassin, was absolutely amazing, I have read so many books where I expect the heroine to be strong and she ends up being dependent on a man for protection or just being generally whiney. Celaena was not like this at all! She was an absolute badass! Strong, Independent, a great fighter, and despite her situation in life she still smiles and laughs. I could not have asked for a better character then her. It was clear how much time and thought the author had spent on developing Calaena and her back story.

I also felt like all of the supporting characters were really fleshed out and each had their own unique history. I especially liked the Crown Prince, Dorian, who does a lot of growing in this novel. He starts off being portrayed as privileged, with daddy issues but he comes to be so much more then that and I really liked the complexity of his character. I also like Captain Westfall, who gave up his title to live with Dorian at the palace and who is in charge of guarding and training with Celaena. I liked that he takes his job so seriously and that his character while it grew throughout the story did not change his personality or prerogative.  

I do have one minor complaint about the book though, and it actually has nothing to do the story itself. The back cover says something about two men loving her, this almost stopped me from reading the story. I am so tried of love triangles that I wanted to roll my eyes and put it back on the shelf. I am so very glad I didn’t because there is no love triangle in this book. There may be two guys interested in Celaena but I would not go so far as to say either of them love her, and there is definitely no love triangle. The romantic relationships in this story are second to the main plot and to Celaena’s total badass-ness!

Overall, I loved this book. The characters and story were so much deeper then I was expecting and the more I read the more pleasantly surprised I was. I highly recommend you pick this up right now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: Salvation


Salvation
Author: Anne Osterlund
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Expected Publication: January 10, 2013

Synopsis:
Salvador Resendez--Salva to his friends--appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He's student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.

Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she's also smart, and she has serious plans for her future.

Popular guy and bookish girl--the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever--because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes.

Then tragedy strikes--and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth's love be enough to save him?


My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund so I'm excited to see her latest work. This synopsis also reminds me of Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry which I really enjoyed so I'm double excited. Luckily if you are impatient like me the wait isn't too much longer, January is fast approaching!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Undeadly by Michele Vail

2/5 Stars
Undeadly by Michele Vail
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Expected Publication: November 20, 2012
GoodreadsAmazon

Review:

I was so excited when I began this novel. I love the entire idea of Reapers and the addition of ancient Egypt seemed like a really original take on the idea. Not to mention the cover of Undeadly is gorgeous so I really expected to love this book. Unfortunately, it ended up falling flat right from the start.

I knew this book was heading in the wrong direction when instead of careful world building Vail begins the book with vast information dumps. I wanted desperately to skip these sections but instead plowed on expecting a fuller and more in depth explanation later on. I never got this grand explanation and instead I was greeted by Molly, the main character, who was immature, flippant, and generally really bugged me.

 Molly has a dream on her 16th birthday about Anubis the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld. In this dream he asks if she will accept extra gifts from him. Molly accepts and then spends the rest of the book complaining about these gifts and not really learning anything about her new powers and what her purpose is. I think that was my main problem with this book. There was no clear goal or plot direction. There are a ton of different possible story lines and in the end only one of them is resolved leaving all the others never explained or even explored. I was disappointed with the direction the book took.

Molly as a character got on my nerves. I understand that she is 16 and is entitled to being a little immature, but she takes immature to a whole new level. Molly can not do anything herself, believes everyone at face value, and just kind of dances through life with no deeper thoughts then the mall and boys (even when people tell her she needs to think of something else). I initially thought Molly was portrayed this way in the beginning of the novel so that we could see her growth as she comes to terms with Anubis’s gifts. The problem was she never did any growing. She acts this way the entire novel which takes place in a week!

My other problem was that the one character, Rath, I thought might be able to make her grow up and see the importance of her new position disappears half way through the novel with no explanation and shows up toward the end offering some secretive answer about where he has been. I know if someone disappeared for a week I would not put up with the “Working for Anubis, can’t tell you its secret” answer. Multiple characters offered this as an excuse throughout the novel and it just did not jive with me.

I was also disappointed with the supporting characters. After a big surprise in her life and the Anubis dream Molly chooses to go to an elite boarding school, Nekyia. Her first day she meets a mean girl who instantly hates her for absolutely no reason. Molly then makes best friends with the first girl she sees. This portion of the story reminded me a lot of the House of Night series. That was not good and had me cringing. The mean girl (Aphrodite) who happens to be in charge of an elite club is never given a good reason for her dislike of Molly. And this new best friend, who also happens to be Southern and gorgeous (Stevie Rae) doesn’t really have a personality. I felt like she was just there to fill space. I actually felt this way about all of Molly’s Nekyia friends.

Overall, this book was just not my thing. The world building was not done well, the characters felt too young and immature, and there were far too many plot holes for me to enjoy the story. I am going to save myself the time and skip the next book but for those of you who enjoyed The House of Night series by PC and Kristin Cast or Evermore series by Alyson Noel you might enjoy this one and should think about giving it a try.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stacking The Shelves 33


I didn't get very many new books this week but I am very excited about Renegade. I also need to catch up on my out of control TBR list


Netgalley:
Renegade by J.A. Souders
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black


Ebooks:
Redemption by R.K. Ryals (My Goodreads Friend Jodie actually recommend this to me and it was free on Nook so I figured I would give it a try!)
Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole (Courtney was kind enough to send me a copy of her novel!)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare


City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
GoodreadsAmazon

Review:
This is the first book in this series that I could not bring myself to give 5 stars to. I usually love these characters and can not get enough of reading about them. Unfortunately, while this was a pretty good book I just didn’t love it the way I did the rest of the series.

City of Lost Souls begins with the hunt for Jace who after the defeat of Lillith mysteriously disappeared. After much searching Jace appears and it is discovered that he is now linked to Sebastian (or Jonathan whichever name he is going by these days) and Sebastian can not be killed without killing Jace. The story centers on finding a way to sever the ties between the boys and rescue Jace.

I think the main reason I did not enjoy this novel as much as the others was because for most of the book Jace is under some kind of Seabation mind control sort of thing. So While Jace is in the story he just is not the same. I missed his witty banter and fun self. The book really fell flat without him.

Without the real Jace to lighten up the story I had to find a new favorite character to read about. Maia and Jordan filled that void and I found myself liking them more in this novel then I had in any of the other books (in all honesty prior to this book I had kind of forgotten they existed). I also liked that Isabelle played a more pivotal role in this book and really got to do some soul searching about what she actually wants in life. It made her more of a real person to me.

Sebastian and his motives were more fleshed out in this book as well. I actually came to almost see things from his warped perspective. Don’t get me wrong he is still the bad guy, but I understand the reasons behind his bad guy ways and have a better understanding of his master plan.

I don’t want to give any spoilers but in this book Cassandra Clare really mucked up the lives of each of the characters. I am now excited for the next (I think Final?) book in the series to see how Clare fixes all of the problems created in this book and to see what happens with Sebastian.

Overall, this was a good book. It is the only Mortal Instruments book though that I had to push myself to keep reading. I found myself easily distracted and at times things felt repetitive. When the action in the second half revved up though I couldn’t put the novel down and it definitely left me excited for the next book in the series.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Chantress


Chantress
Author: Amy Butler Greenfield
Publisher: May 7, 2013
Expected Publication: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Synopsis:
Shipwrecked on an island seven years ago, Lucy has been warned she must never sing, or disaster will strike. But on All Hallows Eve, Lucy hears tantalizing music in the air. When she sings it, she unlocks a terrible secret: She is a Chantress, a spell-singer, brought to the island not by shipwreck but by a desperate enchantment gone wrong.

Her song lands her back in England — and in mortal peril, for the kingdom lies in the cruel grasp of a powerful Lord Protector and his mind-reading hunters, the Shadowgrims. The Protector has killed all Chantresses, for they alone can destroy the Shadowgrims. Only Lucy has survived.

In terrible danger, Lucy takes shelter with Nat, a spy who turns her heart upside-down. Nat has been working with his fellow scholars of the Invisible College to overthrow the Lord Protector, and they have long hoped to find a living Chantress to help them. But Lucy is completely untrained, and Nat deeply distrusts her magic. If Lucy cannot master the songspells, how long can she even stay alive?

Beguiling and lyrical, dangerous and romantic, Chantress will capture readers in a spell they won’t want to break.


My Thoughts:
I really like the idea of this book I've never read a story about a Chantress so I'm excited to see what the author does with it. I'm also excited to meet Nat and see what he is all about. Hopefully the story is just as good as that lovely cover! (Update: I was just approved for this title on Edelweiss so I'm not waiting any more but I wanted share it in case anyone hadn't heard of this title yet!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dear Teen Me Blog Tour


 At 16 I wrote a letter to my 21 year old self. I totally forgot about it until my sister found the letter hidden in my old room this summer. I thought I would share it as part of  the Dear Teen Me Tour because in the book Authors write letters to their teen selves this is sort of the opposite it is my 16 your old idyllic self writing a letter to the present me.

07/10/05
Dear Emily,
Purikara in Japan (I'm the Turtle)
     How is life at 21?! Good I suppose, bet you have a job or are at least close to finishing college! Good things! I'm writing this to make sure you haven't lost yourself or forgotten your dreams at 16. Remember you can change your clothes and your major as many times as you want but you better not change yourself! Don't do anything you don't want to and do! Do what makes you happy not what pleases others!

Okay so here are some of your dreams at 16:
  • Own a high end car, Ferrari Altezza, NSX, Skyline, Silvia
  • You better have taken the Lancer out to the track!
  • Also remember that although its not really realistic I always wanted to start my own magazine and be the editor ^-^
  • You better have a good job and make a lot of money
Miho, Me, Yuki, & Blake (2006)
     Emily...that world out there is a big place and we're gonna have to deal with it! Better make your life worthwhile. Oh! And take good care of the Lancer for me you know how much she means to us. And say "Hi" to Bethany, I know she's a pain but she'll be a help in the long run, she is our only sister and we love her. Say "I love you" to Mom and Dad they love us a lot. 


     Emmy...I hope that at 21 you are proud of what you've accomplished, remember regret is useless and find your place in the grand scheme of things. It can be so easy to get caught up in useless things, try not to. Lets find our place in the stars! We rock!
                                                    
♥ 16 year old Emily! We're #1

The Lancer
Reading this letter makes me smile I can't believe how completely positive and confident I was that my life would work out. I feel like as I have gotten older I've become more realistic and a little more jaded but this letter always reminds me to remain positive. My goals also give me a little bit of a chuckle, they are pretty random but not that far off from what I want now. I still want a good job (that is why I'm in Law School) and I wouldn't mind a nice car. I still love my family just as much in this letter as I do now, probably more in fact, my parents and my sister do so much for me that I don't know how I would survive without them. The only thing that is really different and that I'm sad is that I no longer have the Lancer. In 2010 I was in an accident and the car was totaled. I'm still really upset over it and know my 16 year old self is totally distraught over losing that car. 


 Synopsis:

Goodreads ♥ Amazon

Dear Teen Me includes advice from over 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder, to name a few) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really bad first kiss? Who found true love at 18? Who wishes he’d had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard? Some authors write diary entries, some write letters, and a few graphic novelists turn their stories into visual art. And whether you hang out with the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the loners, the class presidents, the delinquents, the jocks, or the nerds, you’ll find friends--and a lot of familiar faces--in the course of Dear Teen Me.


Author's Bio's: 
Miranda Kenneally is the author of the contemporary YA novels Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker (just published), and Things I Can't Forget (Spring 2013). Miranda is also the co-editor, with E. Kristin Anderson, of Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves (Zest Books), and is co-creator of the Dear Teen Me website



E. Kristin Anderson, in addition to co-editing Dear Teen Me and co-creating its eponymous website, is a writer and poet who has been published in dozens of literary journals. She is also an assistant editor at Hunger Mountain for their YA and Children's section.



Giveaway:


a Rafflecopter giveaway