Thursday, June 30, 2011

Starcrossed by Jospehine Angelini

By: Joshephine Angelini
Source: Purchased
Released: May 31, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon

 "Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history. As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart." (Summary from

Starcrossed by Joshephine Angelini is the captivating story of Helen who has spent her entire life trying to hide from standing out. When Helen begins to have terrible nightmares and visions of three women crying blood, it drives her into a complete fit of rage where she desperately wants to kill the new Delos kids, especially Luke.

I loved Starcrossed and was completely engrossed in the story that I finished it in a day. The plot is mysterious, dramatic, and suspenseful. Helen is a relatable character because she is shy and prefers to hide in the background. Helen develops as she learns more about her ancestry and who she truly is. The relationship between Helen and Luke is complicated, especially since at first they want to kill one another. I enjoyed the secondary characters as well, such as Helen's best friend Claire and the other Delos teens.

I have always been interested in Greek mythology and this story uniquely turns these classic myths into reality. The reader learns the myths along with Helen therefore, the information is carefully explained. The ending leaves off with many unanswered questions and I am going to be anxiously awaiting the next book.

My Rating: 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #5: The Last Echo

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

The Last Echo
By: Kimberly Derting
Release Date: April 17, 2012

"Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye...." (Summary from

I am so excited for The Last Echo, I love The Body Finder series and I can not wait to see what happens next to Violet. I love the cover and the book title as well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

By: Myra McEntire
Source: Purchased E-book
Released: June 14, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past. Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?" (Summary from

Myra McEntire's Hourglass is about Emerson who has had a difficult life after losing both of her parents and sees people who aren't actually there. Emerson's brother is desperate to try to help his sister after all else has failed and hires a consultant from the Hourglass organization. The consultant, Michael, is only a few years older than Emerson and believes every word that Emerson says. 

I really enjoyed Hourglass and finished the book in one day. I sympathized greatly with Emerson after everything she has been through, especially living for years thinking she was crazy. However, Emerson is a sarcastic, strong and fearless, but vulnerable protagonist. Michael is loyal, selfless, and vulnerable as well. The chemistry between Emerson and Michael is immediately evident and literally causes sparks.

The premise is interesting and the characters are strongly developed. I enjoyed the secondary characters, such as Thomas, Dru, Kaleb and Lily, as well. The plot is paced at a good speed and filled with many unexpected twists. McEntire's writing is addictive and I was immediately sucked into the story. Hourglass is an excellent debut that I strongly recommend and I can't wait to see where McEntire takes this story next.  

My Rating:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss
By: Stephanie Perkins
Source: Purchased E-book
Released: December 2, 2010
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?" (Summary from

Stephanie Perkin's Anna and the French Kiss is about Anna who is sent to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school. Anna does not want to leave behind her life in Atlanta with her best friend, little brother, and possible boyfriend. However, while in Paris, Anna makes new friends including the gorgeous St. Clair who Anna begins to develop feelings for.

I absolutely loved Anna and the French Kiss and devoured it in one day. I loved the setting, the characters, and the plot. The characters are realistic and developed at a steady pace. Anna is a well written female protagonist who is quirky and has a great sense of humor. Anna still has her flaws but grows a great deal throughout the story. St. Clair is Anna's gorgeous English best friend who I felt myself developing a major crush on as well. The relationship between Anna and St. Clair is realistic and filled with many ups and downs. I liked that the relationship developed slowly and they are first each others best friend.

The plot flows effortlessly from page to page which makes it difficult to put the book down. Perkins describes the streets and buildings of Paris in such great detail that it made me feel as though I was actually walking the streets of Paris with Anna and her friends. This book is filled with so many sweet, funny, and heartbreaking moments that I already can't wait to reread it. I highly recommend Anna and the French Kiss, this story does not disappoint.

My Rating: 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Forget You
By: Jennifer Echols
Source: Purchased E-book
Released: July 20, 2010
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"WHY CAN’T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET . . . AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER? There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug." (Summary from

Jennifer Echol's Forget You is about Zoey who has always likes to be in control but her life starts falling apart after her father gets a twenty-four year old pregnant and her mom has a nervous breakdown. It only gets worse for Zoey though when she gets in a car accident and has no recollection of what she did that night. The last thing she remembers is fighting with Doug who now acts like something else important happened between them. Zoey is also confused on why her boyfriend Brandon is acting differently towards her.

I enjoyed Forget You and found it to be a quick read because I couldn't put it down until I found out what actually happened to her the night of the accident. This is the third book I have read by Jennifer Echols and Forget You is definitely my favorite one so far. Forget You tackles issues such as a sex and depression in a honest manner.

The characters are complex and the problems they are facing are realistic and relatable.  Zoey develops a great deal through the book and learns to eventually accept the imperfections in her life. Doug is a great character, he is sweet and his past is a bit of a mystery which is why he is labeled a bad boy. Zoey and Doug are more similar to one another then they even realize. Overall I loved Forget You, and I can not wait to read more from Jennifer Echols.  

My Rating:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride
By: Sarah Dessen
Source: Purchased E-book
Released: June 11, 2009
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend." (Summary from

Sarah Dessen's Along for the Ride is the story of Auden who became an insomniac while her parents were going through a divorce. Auden spent the majority of her childhood studying to impress her parents who are both professors. However, Auden soon realizes just how much she has missed out on when she spends the summer in a new town with her father and his new wife. While out late one night she meets Eli who is also an insomniac and he helps teach her how to live life as she helps him cope with the death of his best friend.

Along for the Ride was a great and quick story about living life. Dessen vividly created the town in such detail that I could picture it perfectly as I read. Each of the characters are interesting and all develop at a steady pace throughout the story.

Auden is a character that I sympathized with because she has grown up working so hard to impress her parents that she does not know how to act around teenagers her own age. By the end of the story Auden has grown a great deal and discovers much about herself. Eli is a bit of a mysterious character at first but I instantly couldn't wait to learn more about. One of my favorite characters turned out to be Maggie who was surprisingly much smarter than she looked and became a great friend to Auden. I recommend Along for the Ride because it is a relatable story about discovering who you are.

My Rating:

Waiting On Wednesday #4: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By: Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27, 2011

"Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?" (summary from

Daughter of Smoke and Bone sounds really interesting to me and I am excited to read Karou's story and find out who she is.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Witch Song by Amber Argyle

Witch Song
By: Amber Argyle
Source: ARC
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*An advanced reader's copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

"The world is changing. Once, Witch Song controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons-but not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by a traitor. All but Brusenna. As the echo of their songs fades, the traitor grows stronger. Now she is coming for Brusenna. Her guardian has sworn to protect her, but even he can't stop the Dark Witch. Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the traitor. Fight her. Defeat her. Because if Brusenna doesn't, there won't be anything left to save." (Summary from

Amber Argyle's Witch Song is the captivating story of Brusenna who is a witch that uses her power through song. Brusenna is the last witch left when all of the other witches, including Brusenna's mother, are taken by the Dark Witch. Brusenna along with her guardian must find a way to stop the Dark Witch before she captures Brusenna and destroys the earth.

Witch Song is an original story that captured my attention from the first page and held it until the last. Brusenna is a brave but stubborn protagonist who will do anything for the people she cares about. Joshen joins Brusenna as her strong guardian who is devoted to protecting her. As the story progresses the chemistry between Brusenna and Joshen grows as well.

After finishing Witch Song I found it hard to believe that this was Argyle's debut novel. The story is paced well and has the right amount of action and romance. A great aspect of the book is that you also read about the bad guys on their hunt to find Brusenna. I strongly recommend Witch Song because it will take the reader along for a journey through an enchanting world with fascinating characters. 

My Rating:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Passion by Lauren Kate

By: Lauren Kate
Source: Purchased E-book
Released: June 14, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever." Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . . Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last. Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever." (Summary from

Lauren Kate's Passion is the third book in the Fallen series and picks up right where the previous book, Torment, left off. Luce has left to go on a journey through her past lives to learn more about her history with Daniel. Meanwhile, Daniel is desperate to find Luce before something in their past changes their future.

I enjoyed Passion because it provides the history to Luce and Daniel's long love story. Throughout the book you get to finally see just how much Luce and Daniel love each other. It was interesting to see how both characters have changed over the years and how Daniel has dealt with losing Luce so many times.

An aspect that I loved about Passion is that the chapters alternate between Luce and Daniel as the narrator so I finally got inside of Daniel's head. I felt that the pace was a bit slow in this book but it did provide the much needed background history. The introduction to the new character, Bill, is a great addition to the story as well. Passion, however, leaves me with many questions so I will be highly anticipating the final book, Rapture.

My Rating:

Waiting On Wednesday #3: Silence

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

By: Becca Fitzpatrick
Release Date: October 4, 2011

"The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever."(summary from

I am looking forward to Silence because I really enjoy this series and the previous book, Crescendo, left off on a shocking cliffhanger. I also absolutely love this gorgeous cover. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Author Interview with Lisa Mangum

Lisa Mangum, author of The Hourglass Door series, kindly took the time to answer some questions about the series and writing.

1. Where did the idea for The Hourglass Door series come from?
    I was actually working on an epic fantasy story when I got the idea for Hourglass Door. I was driving to a writing conference for Young Adult authors and I thought, “What would I write about—if I was going to write a YA novel?” I knew I would want it to be a love story, so I started thinking about one of my favorite love stories in literature: Dante and Beatrice from Dante’s Divine Comedy. And then that turned my thoughts to Italy, and since I love fantasy stories, I thought about how I might be able to work in a touch of fantasy into the story. And then I asked the question, “What if Leonardo da Vinci built a time machine? And it worked?”
At that point, it was like Abby and Dante jumped in my car and said, “Oh, that’s our story!” It was like the story just downloaded in one big chunk, and by the time I reached the conference, I had mentally plotted out the series, sketched out the main characters, and started developing the plot. I knew where book 1 would end, where book 2 would end, and where book 3 would start. I scribbled down all my notes on the back of some scraps of paper I had in my car, and eight months later, I was done with my first draft of the book.

2. Did you base any of your characters on real people?
    Not directly. Parts of some of my characters are drawn from real people, but never a whole person. For example, the conversation at the beginning of Hourglass Door when Abby and Valerie are discussing nail polish colors was based on a conversation I had with one of my friends when we were discussing names for new crayon colors. I think Abby is a little like me, though she is braver and more self-confident than I ever was in high school.

3. Have you always wanted to become an author?
    Yes and no. Growing up, yes, all I wanted was to be a writer, but somewhere along the line I let that little voice in the back of my head convince me that being a writer was something “other people” did—not me. So I put that dream on the shelf and pursued other dreams instead. But in my heart, I still wanted to work with books, and if I couldn’t be a writer (or so I thought) then I could be an editor. I’d been working professionally as an editor for a publishing company for about ten years before I was finally brave enough to go back to my long-ago dream of being a writer, take it off the shelf, and open up that dream again. I kind of wish I’d done that sooner!

4. What is a typical writing day for you like and what inspires you while you are writing?
    Well, I still have a full-time job as an editor, so Monday through Friday, nine to five, I am in my office working on other people’s books. In the evenings (and on the weekends), I am able to work on my own books. I also write quite a bit during my commute to my “day job.” I take public transportation to my office so I have 23 minutes every morning and every afternoon where I can write uninterrupted on my laptop. I’ve been amazed at how much I can get done in a 23-minute session.

5. What is your one favorite book that you can read over and over again?
    I can pick only one? Hmm, in that case, it might be The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams. As far as classic epic fantasy goes, I find I pull that one off my shelf every couple of years to read and reread. (Of course, if you ask me this same question tomorrow, I might have a different answer. J)

6. What is the best advice you were ever given?
    “You can’t change it if you don’t have it.” My husband constantly reminds of this when I’m writing and get stuck. It gives me permission to write something—anything (even if it is stupid or silly)—because the truth is, I can’t change the story into something better if I don’t have it written down first.

7. What are you currently reading?
    I’m currently reading The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss—and loving it, I might add.

8. Are you working on any other upcoming projects?
    Yes, I am. Now that the story of Abby and Dante is finished, I’m working on another YA novel, but this time staring a pair of sisters. And after that, I have another fantasy story I want to do with faeries. Plus, I still have that epic fantasy novel that I set down to write Hourglass Door; I should probably get back to that . . .

Thank you so much Lisa Mangum for taking the time to answer some questions. To learn more about The Hourglass Door Series check out and watch the book trailer below. You can purchase the books at Amazon.

The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum

The Forgotten Locket
By: Lisa Mangum
Source: Received From Publisher
Release: June 9, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"The future is uncertain. The battle to control the past has begun. The final book in the riveting Hourglass Door trilogy begins when Abby steps through the black door, and she doesn’t dare look back. Though it means leaving Dante–wounded, bleeding, and possibly blind–she knows it is the only way to save her family and stop Zo from manipulating the river of time and throwing the future into chaos. In the end, Abby must face a final confrontation that will take her to the very origins of the hourglass door." (Summary from

Lisa Mangum's The Forgotten Locket is the final book in The Hourglass Door trilogy. The Forgotten Locket picks up where The Golden Spiral left off and Abby has gone through the door and forced to leave behind a wounded Dante. Abby is trying to find a way to bring her family back and stop Zo before he destroys the world.

The characters have developed greatly throughout The Hourglass Door trilogy. Abby has become one of my favorite female protagonists because she is not the damsel in distress type. Abby is strong, courageous, and will do anything for the people she loves. The Forgotten Locket is no exception to this because Abby is the one who steps through the door and is fighting to find a way to set things right again. Abby and Dante's love is pure and their relationship remains the constant in the mess that Zo has created.

The conclusion to this suspenseful trilogy does not disappoint. Questions left from the previous books are all answered and wrapped up. What I have enjoyed the most about this book, as well as the entire trilogy, is that the plot is paced well and unpredictable. Mangum vividly created a fascinating world with characters that I have grown an attachment to. I strongly recommend The Forgotten Locket and if you have not read it yet, The Hourglass Door trilogy.

My Rating:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Abandon by Meg Cabot

By: Meg Cabot
Source: Purchased E-book
Released: April 26, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back. But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid. Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most. But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld." (Summary from

Meg Cabot's Abandon is the story of Pierce who has returned to life after dying in an accident. While Pierce was dead, she met John who wanted her to stay with him in the Underworld but she ran. Now she has moved to a new town and is looking for a new start but John keeps showing up in her life.

Abandon is an interesting retelling of the Greek Persophene myth. Pierce is a strong and brave narrator. John is the mysterious bad boy with an important job in the underworld. The relationship between Pierce and John is complicated to say the least.

The story starts off a bit slow and takes a couple of chapters to pick up. A majority of the book was setting up for the rest of the trilogy which was good because it provides a solid background. The last few chapters were great and leaves on a major cliffhanger which is why I can not wait for the next book. I recommend Abandon because it is a great story with interesting characters. 

My Rating:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Die For Me
By: Amy Plum
Source: Purchased E-book
Released: May 10, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity. When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent. Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again." (Summary from

Amy Plum's Die For Me is the story of Kate who moves to Paris with her sister and grandparents after the tragic death of her parents. While Kate struggles to cope with the loss of her parents, she meets Vincent. Vincent has a dark secret and Kate eventually finds herself in the middle of his dangerous world.

Die For Me is a great supernatural and romantic story set in gorgeous Paris. I sympathized greatly for Kate, but she turns out to be much stronger than even she could of imagined. Vincent is the dark and mysterious boy that you can not help but fall for. Kate's sister, Georgia, is a free spirit and provides a great contrast to Kate.

I did feel that the story was a bit rushed and that caused Kate and Vincent's relationship to be rushed. Kate and Vincent's relationship did however face many obstacles and by the end I found myself rooting for them. The revenant mythology was interesting and I felt that the last few chapters really stand out and include a great action scene. Overall I enjoyed Die For Me and can not wait to see where Plum takes this story next.

My Rating: