Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #13: Two Truths and a Lie

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



Two Truths and a Lie
By: Sara Shepard
Release Date: February 7, 2012

"Sutton Mercer watches from the afterlife as her long-lost twin, Emma Paxton, takes over her identity to solve her murder. But after ruling out her early leads, Emma still hasn’t found Sutton’s killer. A lot of people wanted her dead—but one name keeps popping up: Thayer Vega. When the gorgeous and mysterious Thayer returns to town, Emma has to move fast to figure out whether he’s back for revenge…or if he already got it." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I am really enjoying this series and I can't wait to find out what will happen next.


*Also don't forget to enter to win a copy of City of Bones signed by Cassandra Clare

Monday, August 29, 2011

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Possess
By: Gretchen McNeil
Released: August 23, 2011
Source: Purchased E-book
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Gretchen McNeil's Possess is the story of Bridget who hears the voices of demons and has the power to banish them. When a local priests enlists Bridget's help in performing exorcisms, Bridget learns that the demons have a message for her. Soon Bridget begins to learn more about the demons and uncovers the truth about her father's murder.

Possess is an exciting, mysterious, and creepy story. I loved the character of Bridget because she is tough and strong, especially after everything she has gone through. However, she eventually learns to open up to others as the story progresses. I especially liked the relationship she has with her little brother, Sammy, who she will do anything for. I loved sweet and adorable Matt and how his relationship with Bridget develops over the course of the book. I also enjoyed going along with Bridget and Matt to solve the mystery of Bridget's father. Another character I really liked was Bridget's best friend, Hector, and I wish he was in the story a bit more.

I really enjoyed Possess and I especially loved the ending because it wasn't what I was entirely expecting. This plot is so creepy and the scenes with the exorcisms and the ending were freaky. It was interesting to learn about all of the demon history and about the exorcisms. I liked that McNeil slowly introduces the history in parts and repeats the most important facts because it prevents the reader from feeling overwhelmed and confused. I highly recommend reading Possess, it is an excellent debut.

 

My Rating:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hunger Games Movie First Look


Get More: 2011 VMA, Music

The first look at the upcoming movie adaptation of The Hunger Games premiered tonight during the VMAS. Although it is a very short clip, I am really excited about it and I think Jennifer Lawerence makes the perfect Katniss. I love these books and I want the movie to stay true to them. I can't wait for more clips to be released and I especially can't wait for March when the movie comes out.

Win A Signed Copy of City Of Bones

"When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...."(Summary from goodreads.com)

The Mortal Instruments is one of my top favorite series that I have read more than a couple of times so far. While at Books of Wonder, a great bookstore in NYC that I recommend checking out if you ever have the chance, I picked up a signed copy of City of Bones, the first book in the series, for myself and thought that I would also pick up another copy to giveaway here. The giveaway is open to only US residents and you must be over 13 to enter. The giveaway will end on September 15 at 11:59 pm (Eastern time) and the winner will be randomly selected and contacted by email. Good luck!







Friday, August 26, 2011

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines
By: Richelle Mead
Released: August 23, 2011
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning. Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Richelle Mead's Bloodlines is the first book in the new spinoff series of the Vampire Academy series. This time the story follows the alchemist Sydney as she is sent on a mission to help protect Jill, a Moroi princess after she is involved in an incident at the Court. Sydney poses as Jill's sister at a private school in California along with Jill's guardian, Eddie.  

I loved Bloodlines just as much as I loved the Vampire Academy series. Mead once again creates an exciting plot with strong characters. I was so excited to finally learn more about Sydney because she was a character who I always wanted to see more of. Sydney was raised to be an alchemist and I felt bad for her because she never had much say when it comes to her life. However, Sydney will always do what she has to do without complaint.

 I loved the return of many of the other characters from Vampire Academy such as Eddie, Jill, Adrian, and of course the few moments with Rose. I really enjoyed seeing more of Jill in Bloodlines because I always wanted to know more of her story as well. I also never really liked Adrian all that much in the Vampire Academy but, after reading Bloodlines I am definitely now a huge Adrian fan. I loved that I got a better understanding into his personality as well as actions and saw a different side to him at some moments.

The plot kept me on edge and just when I thought I had figured out what was going to happen there was a bit of a twist. I am so happy to have another book set in the Vampire Academy setting because it is one of my favorite series. I love how Bloodlines takes all of the elements I am familiar with from the previous books and puts a refreshing take on it as well as give a whole new perspective. I did not want to put this book down and I am already anticipating reading it all over again. I can not wait for the next installment, The Golden Lily. I highly recommend reading Bloodlines and if you have not already then definitely read the entire Vampire Academy series.

My Rating:



Enter to win a copy of Bloodlines in the August Giveaway

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Shut Out
By: Kody Keplinger
Released: September 5, 2011
Source: Purchased (My Barnes and Noble had it out early)
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention. Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Kody Keplinger's Shut Out is the story of Lissa who is sick of the rivalry at her high school between the football team and soccer team. Lissa's boyfriend repeatedly puts the rivalry before their relationship and Lissa doesn't want to see one more person get hurt. In an effort to end the war, Lissa gets all of the football and soccer teams girlfriends to go on a hookup strike. However, soon the boys begin to fight back and it soon turns into a war between boys and girls. 

I loved Shut Out and finished it in only a few short hours because I couldn't put it down. Lissa is a flawed protagonist but that is the reason why I like her so much. Lissa is a bit of a control freak but she learns a lot about herself by the end of the book. I loved Lissa's best friend Chloe as well as both teams girlfriends and the friendship that grows between them. Then there is the gorgeous and irresistible Cash who I have completely fallen in love with. I loved how his relationship with Lissa naturally develops. 

I really enjoyed how Keplinger places a modern twist on the play Lysistrata. The plot is paced well and I was instantly hooked on the story from the first page. Shut Out is filled with moments that made me smile and laugh but also infuriated me. One of my favorite scenes though included an Nysnc song. I think this book does an excellent job with the topic of sex and brings up so many points that I have never really read discussed in any other Young Adult book. This is the second book by Keplinger that I have read and loved and I can't wait to read what she will release next. I strongly recommend reading Shut Out and if you have not already, I recommend reading Keplinger's other book The Duff.


My Rating:

Waiting on Wednesday #12: The Night Circus


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


The Night Circus
By: Erin Morgenstern
Release Date: September 13, 2011

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead." (summary from goodreads.com)

The Night Circus sounds like it will be a good read and I have heard many great things about this book.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

Thank you Rachel at Rachel Reads for nominating me for the award, it means so much to me that someone enjoys my blog enough to acknowledge it!

The goal of the award is to spotlight up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.
The rules of the award are:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all- have bloggity-blog fun!

Here are just a few of the blogs that I really enjoy visiting, I think they each post great reviews and are worth stopping by:
1. Sophia The Book Basement
2. Laura Books Are Precious Gems
3. Naiche The Book Girl Reads
4. Andie From A to Z
5. Sarah Catching Books

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

The Lying Game
By: Sara Shepard
Released: December 7, 2010
Source: Purchased E-book
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"I had a life anyone would kill for. Then someone did. The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet. Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

Sara Shepard's The Lying Game is about long lost twin sisters, Emma and Sutton. Emma has grown up in foster care while Sutton was adopted by a wealthy family. When Emma goes to meet Sutton for the first time, Sutton has mysteriously disappeared and Emma somehow ends up pretending to be her sister.

The Lying Game is a suspenseful mystery that leaves you anxious to uncover the truth. I liked the protagonist Emma and how different she is from her sister. Emma is thrown into a crazy situation but she handles it the best she can. I sympathize for Emma because she wants to be a part of a family. I don't really like the real Sutton or her friends all that much but I do sympathize for Sutton and I am hoping to learn more about her in the future books that might persuade me to like her a bit more. One of my favorite characters is Ethan and I like how his relationship with Emma is developing. 

I really liked how the story was written and how it brings the reader even deeper into the mystery. The plot moves at a steady pace and the suspense left me on the edge of my seat. I finished the book fairly quick because I was desperate to find out who the killer was and what the real Sutton was doing before she died. I have so many questions still that I can't wait to start reading the sequel. I really enjoyed The Lying Game and definitely recommend it.

My Rating:

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch
By: Victoria Schwab
Released: August 2, 2011
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. And there are no strangers in the town of Near. These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Victoria Schwab's The Near Witch is the story of Lexi who lives in the small town of Near with her mother and little sister. The Near Witch is a story about a witch who controls the wind and has been passed on for generations to scare children. However, one night a stranger appears in Near and the following night a child disappears from his bed without a trace. As more children begin to disappear, Lexi hunts for the children as well as the truth to the new stranger.

The Near Witch is a captivating and exciting story that Schwab brings to life with vividly described characters as well as setting. Lexi is an excellent and well written protagonist who is tough and independent. She is not like most of the girls in Near because she likes to go into the forest like her father taught her. When the children begin to disappear she goes on a hunt herself to find the answers despite her Uncle telling her not to. I really liked the relationship Lexi had with her mother and sister as well. Her mother accepts who Lexi is and doesn't force her to change. Lexi is also completely devoted to her little sister and will do anything for her.

Cole is the mysterious new stranger in Near who Lexi wants to know more about. The town blames Cole for the missing children because he is the stranger that showed up out of nowhere and they need someone to blame. I especially enjoyed learning about Cole's past and completely fell in love with his character.

The Near Witch has many suspenseful moments that made it nearly impossible to put the book down. The plot flows smoothly from one page to the next and I was a bit disappointed when the book ended because I didn't want to say goodbye to the characters and Near just yet. I loved going on the hunt with Lexi to solve the creepy fairytale like mystery of the missing children. The Near Witch is an excellent debut that I strongly recommend and I can't wait to read what Schwab will write next.

My Rating:




Enter to win a copy of The Near Witch in the August Giveaway

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Information On New Michael Grant "Transmedia" Experience

I received even more information in an email to share about the new Michael Grant project as well as an interview to pass along which provides a bit more answers.


The missing son of a U.N. diplomat... the reemergence of a strange organization... a pair of society twins caught in the middle... this is just the beginning of "Go BZRK."
Michael Grant, author of Gone series, has a new “transmedia” experience. A transmedia story is an interactive narrative told through the written word, video, puzzles, and more. But most importantly, it encourages fans to become part of the action. 
You can begin by visiting societytwins.com and registering with nexushumanus.com to take your first steps in a strange and compelling universe. Filled with video, puzzles, community collaboration, and more, "Go BZRK" put YOU the player right in the middle of the action as you join Nexus Humanus and unravel a mystery that may hold the key to the fate of all mankind. 

What is “Go BZRK”? Is this a book or some kind of interactive story? 
Grant: Both. The book comes out this winter, but the interactive part starts now.  One leads up to the other, but they're part of a complete package.
Why “transmedia”? 
Grant: There are different approaches to transmedia.  Most people take a single story and reproduce it on various platforms.  My philosophy has been to make each element - ARG, app, web, book - a thing unto itself, each revealing some aspect of the world of BZRK.  I've been fascinated with this is as a new way to tell stories.  The book remains central, but now I can reach beyond the book and create a much more complete world.  I can tell stories that enhance the book, and stories that parallel the book, and stories that are offshoots of backstory.  I guess the answer to "why" is "because it's fun." 
 How long is this running? Is this part of a larger picture? 
Grant: We'll be running this in several chunks between now and the book release this winter. Because these things have a hard start/stop point, August is a ramp-up phase. There'll be a lot of content coming out, but the experience really gets underway at the end of the month… just in time to distract the kids from their schoolwork. 
What if someone wants to follow the story but doesn’t want to participate? 
Grant: You don't have to do anything.  You can do one thing and not another.  But the deeper you plunge the wetter you get.  I think every part of this is fun, I think people will enjoy the ARG, the app, the site and the books.   
What can you tell us about the story? What is “BZRK”? 
Grant: It's a battle for the soul and freedom of the human race carried out simultaneously in the world we know, and in a world that you're not going to expect. It's a world where if you make a false move, you're going to lose your mind. 
Insanity… is this something you have a personal familiarity with? 
The line between writer and crazy person is very thin.  Both go around holding long, involved conversations with people who aren't there. 


As I mentioned in my first post, I am really excited and interested in this new project. This new information has answered a few more of question but the more I keep learning the more anxious I am to see how it will all come together. I have visited both sites and I have already joined nexushumanus.com. I plan on doing various posts in the upcoming months as more updates come out about this project.

As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

As I Wake
By: Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: September 15, 2011
Source: ARC Won from From The TBR Pile
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is. Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Elizabeth Scott's As I Wake is the story of Ava who wakes up with no memory of who she is. She is brought home from the hospital by a mother who claims they share a happy life at home together. Ava returns to school to find she has a group of best friends and a crush who is suddenly interested in her. However, no matter how hard Ava tries she can't remember any of it and the memories Ava does begin to gain back put her in an entirely different world.

I enjoyed As I Wake and was immediately drawn into the story from the first page. I sympathized for Ava because she wakes up and has no idea who she is or where she is. She is only being told by other people who she is but she has a strong feeling that maybe they aren't telling her the truth. The memories she does have are set in a different world and include a mysterious boy. I really liked the character Morgan and learning about his relationship with Ava through Ava's memories.

As I Wake was nothing like what I was expecting but in a good way and it is hard to explain without giving away to much. I enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery to Ava's life and what happened to her memory. The more memories that Ava remembered the more I tried to figure out what happened and who she is but I was still surprised when it all started to come together. The plot can get a bit confusing at certain moments however and I still have a few questions left. Overall I enjoyed As I Wake and solving the mystery of who Ava is. 

My Rating:

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The Eleventh Plague
By: Jeff Hirsch
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Source: Won from From The TBR Pile
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new. Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time. Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost." (summary from goodreads.com)

Jeff Hirsch's The Eleventh Plague is about Stephen Quinn, a fifteen year old boy living in a world that was destroyed more than twenty years ago from war and disease. Stephen travels across a ruined America with his father and grandfather scavenging what they can. However, Stephen's life is turned even more upside down when his grandfather suddenly dies and his father is seriously injured in an accident. Stephen soon finds himself in Settler's Landing which is a small town that seems to be unaffected by what is occurring outside of it's gates.

I enjoyed The Eleventh Plague and finished it only a few short hours. I really like the premise and found it to be really interesting as well as realistic. I sympathized a great deal with Stephen because he has grown up never knowing any other life. He only hears stories about what life used to be like and when he goes to Settler's Landing he feels out of place. Jenny is a complicated character who I didn't like until the last couple of chapters. I did enjoy the other kids in Settler's Landing such as Jackson and Derrick and wish they were in the story a bit more.

The first page immediately captured my attention and I liked that the mystery surrounding the world Stephen lives in as well as what happened to his family slowly unravels in the first couple of chapters. The setting is definitely creepy because Stephen travels across a destroyed America where everything has either rusted or has weeds wrapping around it. The last few chapters were my favorite part of the book as well as the most exciting. The Eleventh Plague is an excellent debut and I enjoyed going on this journey of survival with Stephen.

My Rating:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Michael Grant "Transmedia" Experience

I received an interesting email about Michael Grant's new project and I wanted to share it.

Michael Grant, author of Gone series, has a new series coming out this winter that was conceived not only as a book, but also as a “transmedia” experience. A transmedia story is an interactive narrative told through the written word, video, puzzles, and more. But most importantly, it encourages fans to become part of the action. The tale has just gotten underway at societytwins.com and nexushumanus.com. Keep in mind that these sites are just the beginning… the intrigue unfolds from here.

I have yet to read the Gone series but it is in my to read pile and I hope to find the time to read it soon. I am definitely interested in this new project though and I have checked out both sites. I really like the whole idea as well as the mystery behind it all. I am excited to see where this is going to go next.

Waiting on Wednesday #11: Fateful


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

Fateful
By: Claudia Gray
Release Date: September 13, 2011

"It's about a servant girl named Tess in 1912, who wants to escape from the house where she works, and most particularly the lecherous young lord of the manor. But that's not her biggest problem. While on a voyage to America, where she plans to escape and start a new life, she meets Alec, who's ruggedly handsome, fabulously wealthy, intelligent and yet so clearly troubled that she'd rather not fall for him, but she does. That also is not her biggest problem. Alec, it turns out, is a werewolf ... one cursed to change every night, unless and until he surrenders his independence and joins the Brotherhood, a pack of violently misogynistic werewolves who have been tracking him for months. You'd think that would be their biggest problem, wouldn't you? But no. Their biggest problem -- though they don't know it yet -- is that they're aboard the RMS Titanic." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I am looking forward to Fateful because it sounds really good and I really enjoyed Claudia Gray's Evernight series.

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Chain Reaction
By: Simone Elkeles
Released: August 16, 2011
Source: Purchased E-book
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. But that didn’t stop him from taking risks—whether he’s scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can’t stop looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules—boys lie to get their way, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you,” and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor’s daughter, she has more in common with her north-side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex’s wedding, and suddenly, she’s tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis’s family, the youngest Fuentes finds himself questioning everything he’s ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

Simone Elkeles Chain Reaction is the final book in The Perfect Chemistry series and is the story of the youngest Fuentes brother, Luis. Luis is not like his brothers, Alex and Carlos, because he mostly stays out of trouble but he does still craves for an adrenaline rush. While at Alex's wedding, Luis meets Nikki who is the doctors daughter. After a previous breakup Nikki is left with a cynical attitude towards all men and Luis likes the challenge of trying to persuade her to give him a chance.

I enjoyed Chain Reaction just as much as I have enjoyed the other books in this series. Elkeles once again creates an excellent romantic story. Luis is different from his older brothers because he is completely determined to become an astronaut and tries to stay away from the gang. Nikki is pessimistic when it comes to boys after having a bad experience with her previous ex-boyfriend. I like that Luis and Nikki's relationship develops at a realistic pace.

Although each book in the series is fairly similar, I liked that Chain Reaction was a little more different than Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction. I was surprised by the last few chapters and the Fuentes family secret. I loved the scenes that included Alex, Brittany, Carlos, and Kiara from the previous books. I recommend reading Chain Reaction and if not already then The Perfect Chemistry series. I am sad that this is the ending to the Fuentes brothers but I am definitely looking forward to what Elkeles will be writing next.

My Rating




Enter to win a copy of Chain Reaction: August Giveaway

Monday, August 15, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By: Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Source: Won from From The TBR Pile
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"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 goodreads.com)

Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the captivating story of Karou who does not live a typical human life. Karou lives two lives, one where her friends think the sketches of monsters in her sketchbook are just her imagination, while in her other life those monsters are her family. She was raised in a secret and mysterious shop where teeth are collected in exchange for wishes and Karou has been sent on many errands to collect these teeth from all around the world. While on one of her errands, Karou meets an angel, Akiva, and she eventually finds out the mystery to her past.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a creative, dark, and exciting story. The characters are deeply developed and I have grown a strong attachment to them. Karou is an excellent protagonist because she is tough and independent. She secretly balances two completely separate lives. I enjoyed the mystery behind Karou's life and I liked that it was slowly revealed throughout the story. Akiva is the mysterious but gorgeous angel who should be Karou's enemy but he can't seem to stay away from her. I loved that the narrator's switched between Karou and Akiva because it gave a deeper understanding into each character. Another character that stuck out to me was Zuzana because I enjoyed her friendship with Karou.

The well paced plot picks up immediately and I was instantly captured by Karou's story from the first page. Taylor's writing is addictive as well as beautiful. She not only brings the characters to life but she describes many of the cities Karou visits in such great detail that I feel as though I am walking the streets with Karou. Taylor also creates unique myths and stories of angels, demons, and magic. I can't wait to read the sequel because I am desperate to know what will happen next. I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I don't think I can speak of it highly enough, it's definitely one of the best Young Adult books I have read all year. I strongly recommend it, you will not want to miss out on this book!

My Rating:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Lying Game

The Lying Game premieres tomorrow night on ABC Family. The Lying Game is based upon a book series by Sara Shepard who is also the author of the Pretty Little Liars series. You can purchase the first two books, The Lying Game and Never Have I Ever, on Amazon.

I am really excited for The Lying Game because I just began to read the first book in the series and I am really enjoying it so far. I am definitely planning on watching the first episode. I also love Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game is has the same creator.

"The show follows Emma, a kind-hearted foster kid who learns she has an identical twin sister, Sutton. Sutton, unlike Emma, was adopted by wealthy parents and is seemingly living an ideal life. After their initial meeting, Sutton talks Emma into stepping into her life for a few days while she pursues a lead on the mysterious identity of their birth mother.  After Sutton inexplicably fails to return to the girls’ designated meeting place, Emma must decide whether to come clean about her identity and risk her own safety in the hope of uncovering her twin sister's whereabouts, along with the truth about why they were separated in the first place." (summary from abcfamily.com)


Monday, August 8, 2011

Author Interview: K.C. Blake

K.C. Blake, the author of Crushed, has kindly taken the time to answer a few questions about her book and writing

"The Noah sisters rule Titan High with their beauty, brains, and magical powers. Each year they play a secret game: Crushed. The girls pick their targets carefully and blow enchanted dust into the boy’s faces, charming them, but this year Kristen makes a grave mistake. She chooses the wrong boy and almost dies that same day. Coincidence? Maybe. But something isn’t quite right about Zach Bevian. He doesn’t behave like a boy who’s been Crushed. He goes from hot to cold, from looking at her with contempt to asking her out on a date. She doesn’t know what to think. Does he hate her or is he truly falling for her? Is he trying to kill her, or is he trying to save her?" (Summary from amazon.com)

1. Where did the idea for writing Crushed come from?
  Then I asked myself what I would do if I was a teen girl with magical power.  The answer: I would have played games using my powers, maybe even bet other girls with power that I could do a better job.

2. Why choose to write about witches this time around when you have previously written about vampires?
   I knew that I needed something different.  My first book, Vampires Rule, has vampires (of course) and werewolves.  At the time, I had an agent, but she couldn’t find a publisher for it, so she suggested I come up with something that nobody had seen before.  Even though Vampires Rule has a different hook, that wasn’t good enough for editors to take a chance on it.

3. What is your writing schedule like?
   When I get up I exercise, eat breakfast, etc.  Then when I run out of things I have to do, I drag myself over to the computer.  Seriously, I love to write, but it is so hard for me to get started in the mornings.  I write for a while.  Then I go online and check my blog, Goodreads, etc.  Eventually I return to my book.  I try to write at least half a chapter a day.  Sometimes I don’t quite make it.  Usually because I get such a late start, I find myself writing late into the night.

4. What are the benefits to being an Indie author?
   Control.  When I wrote for Harlequin, they changed my title and had me rewrite my book to certain specifications.  If they didn’t like a word, I had to find another one.  If they didn’t like my character’s name, I had to change it.  Plus, you have no real say on your cover.  I remember holding my breath as I opened the box with my books in it, hoping for a good cover.  Now I make my own covers. 

5. What is one of your top favorite books?
   Right now I am re-reading Cassandra Clare’s City of Glass, and I love it just as much the second time around.  She is definitely one of my favorite writers.

6. What books have you read this summer?
   Right now I am re-reading Cassandra Clare’s City of Glass, and I love it just as much the second time around.  She is definitely one of my favorite writers.

7. What are you working on next?
   I am working hard editing Werewolves Rule (the second book in the Rule series).  Then I am either going to edit Shifters Rule (the third book) or Witch Hunt (the second book in the witch-game series).  At the same time, I am trying to put together an outline for the fourth Rule book.  Believe me, I have plenty to do.  I also have a hunter series that I am dying to write, but first I need to finish up the two series I have out there.  Several people have been pestering my friends, asking when I am going to put out another, and of course some people ask me on my blog, Goodreads, etc.

8. Where can readers find you online?
   I am on Goodreads under K.C. Blake (no space between initials), on Twitter under kasiblake, and I have a blog called Ghost Writer here: http://kasi-kcblake.blogspot.com/.  Also, I have a fan page on Facebook. 


9. Where can readers find your books?
   They can go to my blog and click on the book covers on the right.  That will take them straight to my books on Amazon.  They are in ebook form and also in print.  They can also find them on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble plus a few other online retailers.

Thank you so much K.C. Blake for taking the time to answer these questions. I highly recommend Crushed, you will not be disappointed. You can read my review for it here and you can purchase Crushed on Amazon.

Crushed by K.C. Blake

Crushed
By: K.C. Blake
Released: July 12, 2011
Source: Received from Author
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

"The Noah sisters rule Titan High with their beauty, brains, and magical powers. Each year they play a secret game: Crushed. The girls pick their targets carefully and blow enchanted dust into the boy’s faces, charming them, but this year Kristen makes a grave mistake. She chooses the wrong boy and almost dies that same day. Coincidence? Maybe. But something isn’t quite right about Zach Bevian. He doesn’t behave like a boy who’s been Crushed. He goes from hot to cold, from looking at her with contempt to asking her out on a date. She doesn’t know what to think. Does he hate her or is he truly falling for her? Is he trying to kill her, or is he trying to save her?" (Summary from amazon.com)

K.C. Blake's Crushed is about three sisters who are witches and play a magical game every year. The game is called Crushed and each girl chooses one boy and they blow a magical dust into their face. Once the boys are Crushed the girls will charm them and in return the boys will follow them around. However, this year Kristen chooses bad boy Zach and he isn't acting like the other Crushed boys at all.

I really enjoyed Crushed and finished it only a few hours. Blake's writing is addictive and I love how the story switches between Kristen's perspective as well as Zach's. Each character is well developed and Kristen is an excellent protagonist who is tough and brave. Kristen grows a great deal as the plot progresses and learns that everything in her life doesn't need to be perfect. Zach is the mysterious bad boy in the beginning and I enjoyed uncovering his secrets. I also liked Kristen's sisters, Brittany and Cyndi, and how different the sisters are from one another.

The plot moves at a steady pace and includes a great balance of drama, action, and romance. The Crushed game the girls play is creative and it helped that Blake explained the rules before the book began. My favorite part of the book was definitely the last couple of chapters because so much happens. Crushed is an exciting story filled with magic and I highly recommend it.

My Rating:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Wildefire
By: Karsten Knight
Released: July 26, 2011
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Every flame begins with a spark. Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Karsten Knight's Wildefire is the story of Ashline who moves to a private boarding school after her sister, Eve causes trouble at home. While at school, Ash has made some new friends while beginning to date a park ranger and feels like she is finally escaping her sister as well as her past. However, Ash soon discovers that a group of students are mythological gods and goddesses and she is one of them as well.

I enjoyed Wildefire and thought that it took a different and interesting take on mythological gods and goddesses. The myths used were fascinating and ones that I did not know much about so I enjoyed learning more about them. I particularly liked Ash because she was a tough and sarcastic female protagonist. All of the characters were well developed as well as exciting and I really liked Ash's friends. 

The opening to Wildefire captured my attention immediately and I loved the first chapter. There were quite a few great action scenes that prevented the story from ever slowing down but I felt that some parts of the plot were rushed just a bit too much. I enjoyed the ending the most though because it wasn't entirely what I was expecting and the last page was a major shock to me. Wildefire is an excellent debut as well as an enjoyable and interesting story that I definitely recommend.

My Rating:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August Giveaway

So many great books are being released this month and I will be giving away one of the following books below to one random winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 13 or older. The giveaway will end on August 31 at 11:59 pm (eastern time). The winner will have the choice of one of these books. To enter just fill out the form below.






Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Between by Jessica Warman

Between
By: Jessica Warman
Released: August 2, 2011
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Elizabeth Valchar --- pretty, popular and rich --- wakes up the morning after her 18th birthday on the yacht where she’d been celebrating with her closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, she finds her own drowned body is hitting the side of the boat. Liz is dead. She has no memory of what happened to her, and can only observe in horror the fallout of her death. She’s also soon joined by Alex Berg, a quiet boy from her high school who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The two keep each other company, floating in and out of memories and trying to piece together the details of what happened to each of them. In her regular life, Liz was a runner. It wasn’t abnormal for her to run 8-10 miles per day. But as memories from closer to her death begin to surface, Liz finds that she’d been running much more than normal, and that she’d all but stopped eating. Liz’s mother, who died when Liz was nine, had battled with anorexia as well, and those around her worried that Liz was following in her mother’s footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out..." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Jessica Warman's Between is the story of Elizabeth who discovers her own dead body after celebrating her birthday on a yacht with her closest friends the night before. Elizabeth can't remember how she died or how she spent the past few months leading up to her death. Alex, a boy who died a year earlier who also attended school with Elizabeth, joins her and together they watch the effects her death has upon others while trying to discover the truth about why she died.

I enjoyed Between and was immediately captivated by the mysterious plot that begins instantly in the first few pages. Elizabeth is a superficial popular girl who grows up as the story progresses. I didn't like Elizabeth and her friends for the first half of the story until another side to their personalities and a deeper understanding into their lives was shown. Alex is the opposite of Elizabeth and struggled to fit in when he was alive. It was interesting though to see how the relationship between Elizabeth and Alex grows.

I enjoyed how the story flashes back to moments in Elizabeth and Alex's past. Elizabeth has another chance to go back to certain moments and see something she had missed completely or how she could have made a different decision. It was interesting trying to solve the mystery of Elizabeth's death and the months leading up to it. Many clues are dropped from the beginning and all of the pieces fit together in the last few chapters. Between is a suspenseful and heartbreaking story whose characters will stay with you long after you finish. 

My Rating:

Waiting on Wednesday #10: Fever

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

Fever
By: Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: February 21, 2012

"Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but they’re still in danger. Outside, they find a world even more disquieting than the one they left behind. Determined to get to Manhattan and to find Rhine’s twin brother Rowan, the two press forward, amidst threats of being captured again . . . or worse. The road they are on is long and perilous—and in a world where young women only live to age 20 and men die at age 25, time is precious. In this sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price—now that she has more to lose than ever." (summary from goodreads.com)

I am looking forward to Fever because I really enjoyed Wither and I can't wait to see where this story goes next. I also really like the cover for this one although not as much as I liked the cover for Wither.