Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate
By: Jodi Meadows
Released: January 31, 2012
Source: ARC from Once Upon A Twilight Book Tour
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"NEWSOUL: Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
NOSOUL: Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
HEART: Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

Jodi Meadow's Incarnate is the story of Ana who is a new soul or as her mother calls her, a nosoul. Ana is the first new soul in thousands of years that has appeared in Range. Everyone around her has been reincarnated over and over again for centuries. When Ana appeared though another soul disappeared. Ana travels to the city of Heart in search of some answers about her existence. However while on her journey, Ana meets Sam and he doesn't believe that she is a nosoul.

I loved Incarnate and finished this book in one sitting. Incarnate is a well written and exciting story with strongly developed characters that I immediately fell in love with. Ana is the new soul and grew up separated from everyone else. My heart completely broke for Ana, especially when I would read about her upbringing with Li. However, Ana is tough, smart, and brave. She values life much more than anyone else around her because she doesn't know if she will be reincarnated once she dies.

Sam has been reincarnated for thousands of years. He doesn't treat Ana like she is a nosoul though or that it is her fault that another soul disappeared when she was born. Sam is sweet and gentle but also a bit of a mystery in the beginning. I love the relationship that grows between Ana and Sam. I also love the way that they can share music together. Then there are Sam's friends who I loved as well, especially Stef.

I have been looking forward to Incarnate for months and it was even better than I could have ever expected. Not only are there great characters, but the plot flows easily from one page to the next. Incarnate combines dragons, sylphs, and reincarnation to make an exciting and interesting plot. I absolutely love the fascinating world that Meadows creates. There were several unexpected surprises throughout the story, especially the ending. I loved it but at the same time I didn't want this book to ever end. I can easily say that Incarnate has become one of my favorite books of 2012 and I can't wait to reread it again soon. I will be highly anticipating the sequel to Incarnate because I can't wait to not only find out what will happen next, but to also read more about this world. I strongly recommend Incarnate, it is a captivating fantasy and excellent start to what will sure be an amazing series!

My Rating:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Incarnate Theater Treasure Hunt


Welcome to the INCARNATE Theater Treasure Hunt!

This week, 45 bloggers are celebrating the release of INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows by participating in a treasure hunt with clues, activities, and lots of prizes including signed books and handknit fingerless mitts. You've reached a CLUE blog, which means somewhere on this page is a clue to finding the hidden page and grand prize entry form on Jodi's website. Follow 26 clues to get there!

For more information on the INCARNATE Theater Treasure Hunt, check out Jodi's post: here
(Jodi Meadows knitted this character herself)

Author Jodi Meadows kindly took the time to share one of the songs from her Incarnate playlist: 


Nocturne No. 2, Op. 9 in E-Flat Major, by Chopin:
"When I first started working on INCARNATE, I knew I wanted one of the characters to be a musician and composer. While I'm nothing close to a professional musician, I've always loved classical music and knew I wanted to use that. I chose Chopin as a composer to base my character's music off, though it probably only makes a difference to me. iTunes informs me I've listened to this piece over 550 times."

My clue for the password is . . .

First word: c
(Remember, there are no spaces in this password!)


Make sure to visit all of the other blogs participating in the treasure hunt to finish collecting your clues. The activity blogs have a lot of fun stuff going on too, including ways to gain extra entries into the giveaway, so don't forget about them!
 
Also more importantly don't forget to pick up your copy of Incarnate out on January 31! I absolutely loved this book and can't recommend it enough! Check back January 31 to read my review
Here are your next three blogs:
Fire Star Books
Susan Adrian

In My Mailbox #3


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.
For Review:


Thanks Harper and Once Upon A Twilight!
(Please if you can help out Yara from Once Upon A Twilight, who recently lost her home in a fire, stop by TwilightMoms to learn how or stop by Reading Teen to donate books)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand


Hallowed (Unearthly #2)
By: Cynthia Hand
Released: January 17, 2012
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book:  Amazon

"For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Cynthia Hand's Hallowed is the sequel to Unearthly and picks up shortly after Unearthly left off. Clara's purpose didn't go exactly as she thought it would and she learns that there is much more to it. She also begins to have new visions and this time someone she loves is going to die.

Hallowed is an excellent yet heartbreaking sequel. Clara definitely grew on me much more in this book. She is beginning to have new visions about someone close to her dying. She grows up much more in this story and is beginning to learn more about herself.

I am a huge Tucker fan and have been from the moment he first appeared on the pages of Unearthly. He is my favorite character and I was thrilled to see more of him in Hallowed. He is funny, sweet, and loyal to Clara. I didn't like Christian at all in Unearthly but he definitely grew on me a bit more in this book. I was a bit sad that Wendy, Clara's friend and Tucker's twin, wasn't in the story all that much. I definitely missed her but I was happy to see a lot more of Clara's family and some other new interesting characters.

I really enjoyed Hallowed and surprisingly liked it even more than Unearthly. The plot was paced well and I finished the entire book in one day. The best word I can think of to describe this book is heartbreaking because it definitely got me choked up a couple of times. Days after I finished this book I still couldn't stop thinking about it. There were also plenty of suprising twists I was not expecting. I am already anxiously awaiting the next book in this series! I highly recommend Hallowed as well as Unearthly, it is a captivating series.

My Rating:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #34: Of Poseidon

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

Of Poseidon
By: Anna Banks
Release Date: May 22, 2012

"Emma and her friend Chloe are spending vacation in Florida. When Emma (literally) runs into a hot guy named Galen on the beach, little does she know he’s a prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel something strange – is it attraction? – and Galen suspects that Emma might well be the girl he’s heard of – a human who can communicate with fish. What follows is a deadly scene with a shark in which Galen witnesses Emma’s gifts. He must know more about her, and follows her back to New Jersey, and high school, to find out for sure if she’s the key to saving his kingdom. Soon, Emma can’t deny her feelings for him, but can’t explain them, either – and both she and Galen must learn more about where she comes from and what her powers are before they can trust one another and their feelings."(Summary from goodreads.com)

I am looking forward to Of Poseidon because I have been getting really into mermaid stories lately.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly
By: Cynthia Hand
Released: January 4, 2011
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . . Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy. Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?" (Summary from goodreads.com)
 
Cynthia Hand's Unearthly is the story of Clara who is part angel. She begins to have visions about what her purpose will be on earth and it is of a forest fire and a mysterious boy. Her visions eventually lead her to move to a new town where she meets Christian, the boy from her visions.

Unearthly is a captivating story that I really enjoyed. I admit I didn't immediately like Clara at first. However, once she was developed more, she grew on me. Clara recently learns that she is part angel and in order to fulfil her purpose, she moves to a new town. Clara doesn't immediately fit in at her new school but she keeps trying. She develops and grows a great deal over the course of the book as well and I am definitely looking forward to the next book to read what will happen to her next.

Christian is the boy from Clara's visions of her purpose. I just didn't like Christian at all. I kept waiting for that moment when I would finally like him but it never happened. On the other hand though, I did completely fall in love with Tucker. He isn't very nice at first to Clara but he does have this sweet side to him. The relationship between Tucker and Clara was one of my favorite parts of this book. There plenty of other side characters that I also loved as well. Tucker is Wendy's twin brother and Wendy is one of the girls who Clara becomes fast friends with at school. I actually wish there was a bit more of Wendy in the book. Another character I loved was Angela who Clara also becomes friends with at school. Angela is different and a bit mysterious at first. 

I have been hearing so many great things about Unearthly for months and it definitely lived up to my expectations. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it but once the plot picked up, I finished the book in a few hours. I loved how the reader got flashes of Clara's purpose throughout the story because it was interesting to see how it would all come together. I really enjoyed the mythology of the angels and found it to be really fascinating. I was definitely shocked by the ending and did not see that coming. I will definitely be rushing out to buy the sequel Hallowed because not only do I need more Tucker but, I am curious to see what will happen next. I highly recommend Unearthly, it is a captivating and romantic story.

My Rating:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder
By: Marissa Meyer
Released: January 3, 2012
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. " (Summary from goodreads.com)

Marissa Meyer's Cinder is the story of Cinder who is a cyborg. She works as a mechanic and lives with her stepmother and stepsisters. However, one day she meets Prince Kai and she soon finds herself developing feelings for him. Cinder also finds herself uncovering secrets that could ultimately destroy her world.
I loved Cinder and couldn't put this book down once I started it. Cinder is a cyborg and works as a mechanic. Her past is quite a mystery though because she has no recollection of any part of her life before she was eleven years old. Cinder makes a great and interesting protagonist though. She is tough, bold, selfless, and funny.

Kai is the young and charming prince. He cares greatly for his people and wants to do what is best for them. I loved how a relationship slowly develops between Kai and Cinder. Peony is Cinder's stepsister but also a good friend to her. Unlike Cinder's other stepsister Pearl. Adri is Cinder's stepmother and she is a cruel and vicious person when it comes to how she treats Cinder. I could not stand Adri and how she blamed Cinder for things completely out of her control.

I love the whole concept of a retelling of the classic story Cinderella and Meyer puts a unique and interesting twist on the story. I am a bit of a sci-fi fan and was so excited when I first read about this book and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Although the plot was predictable for me, I still really enjoyed it. I especially loved the interesting setting in New Beijing. The ending leaves on a cliffhanger and I am definitely excited to see where this story will go next. I highly recommend Cinder, its an exciting and unique story.

My Rating:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Fury
By: Elizabeth Miles
Released: August 30, 2011
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Sometimes sorry isn't enough.... It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems... Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend. On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed. In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. Em and Chase have been chosen." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Elizabeth Miles' Fury is the story of Em and Chase who are chosen to pay for the mistakes they have made. Em is thrilled that the guy she has liked for months is finally paying attention to her. However, this guy just so happens to be her best friend's boyfriend. Then there is Chase who also did something cruel and now the guilt is beginning to haunt him.

Fury is a dark and captivating story that I really enjoyed. Em and Chase are flawed characters that I didn't necessarily really like. I liked Em more than Chase though but, they both did something that directly hurt another person. I really liked that the chapters alternated between them because it helped move the story along. I also thought it was interesting to compare them and how they each interacted differently with the furies. 
The furies, Ali, Meg, and especially Ty were just creepy. They are three beautiful girls that show up in town to make Em and Chase pay. The only word I can think of to describe them is creepy. They just appear out of nowhere. I would, however, like to learn more about them. A side character that I did completely love was JD. He is Em's friend and is just really sweet.

Fury started off a bit slow for me but a couple of chapters later it picked up. I liked how the plot built up to learning what Chase's cruel act was. I loved the mythology of the furies and I loved how Miles incorporated it into the story. The plot had quite a few unexpected moments that shocked me. The last few chapters were definitely my favorite though. I can't wait to read what will happen next and I will be anxiously awaiting the next book. I recommend Fury, it is a thrilling and creepy story.

My Rating:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #33: The Savage Grace

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

The Savage Grace (The Dark Divine #3)
By: Bree Despain
Release Date: March 13, 2012

"A troubled soul. An impossible choice. A final battle. Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything. With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders. The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I am excited for The Savage Grace because I love The Dark Divine series and I can't wait to read how it will end.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed
By: Lia Habel
Released: October 18, 2011
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Love can never die. Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie? The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Lia Habel's Dearly, Departed is the story of Nora who lives in the year 2195 in New Victoria. Nora rather spend her time learning about war history than attending parties. However, her life is completely changed when she is almost kidnapped by an army of zombies and learns about a virus called "The Laz," which raises the dead. Nora also meets Bram who is a young zombie soldier and soon a relationship begins to develop.  

I loved Dearly, Departed and from the moment I opened this book, I couldn't put it down. The story and characters are well written and strongly developed. Nora is such a great protagonist. She doesn't like the things that most girls her age are supposed to be interested in. Instead of dresses and parties, Nora is interested in learning about war. She has been through much after recently losing her father and losing her mother years before that. She is tough though and puts up a fight when she needs to.

Bram is a zombie soldier whose body is still mostly in tact. I'm a bit of a huge zombie fan and I thought the zombies in this story were so interesting. Bram is also noble though and wants to do what is right. He completely stole my heart away. I loved how the relationship between Nora and Bram develops slowly and is strongly based on trust. There are several other side characters that I loved as well. Pamela is Nora's best friend and her family is not as wealthy as Nora's. Her character grew on me more much later on in the story though. Then there are Bram's zombie friends, Chas and Tom, who I adored and thought were hilarious.   

I feel as though Dearly, Departed was written just for me. It has all of my favorite elements; a dystopian setting, a Victorian setting, and zombies. I admit I was a bit nervous and hesitant about how combining these elements would play out but, it was better than I could have ever imagined. I'm completely fascinated by the setting and although it is pretty scary, I would kind of love to live there. Habel creates a great balance of action, drama, and romance. I really enjoyed how the chapters alternated between several characters because it helped move the story along. I loved the ending and although it doesn't leave off on a huge cliffhanger, I am dying for the next book. I can't recommend Dearly, Departed enough, it's an exciting and fascinating story that you won't want to put down.

My Rating:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Carrier of the Mark
By: Leigh Fallon
Released: October 4, 2011
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"From the moment she sets foot at her new school in Ireland, Megan is inexplicably drawn to the darkly handsome Adam DeRis. But Megan soon discovers that her feelings for Adam are tied to a supernatural fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that unites them could be their ultimate destruction." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Leigh Fallon's Carrier of the Mark is the story of Meg who moves to Ireland and begins a new school. From the first day she feels drawn to the mysterious Adam DeRis. However Meg eventually learns that her attraction to Adam is a part of something bigger than she could of ever imagined.

I really enjoyed Carrier of the Mark and finished it in one sitting. Meg's life is already drastically changing when she moves to a new country and begins a new school. However her life only keeps on changing when she meets Adam. The relationship between Meg and Adam develops a bit quickly which made it not seem very realistic. Although, the chemistry is strongly evident from the first moment they see each other.

There were several side characters that I immediately loved. Two of my favorites were Caitlin and Jennifer who quickly become Meg's friends. I especially loved the friendship that they share. Then there are Adam's siblings, Aine and Rian. I really enjoyed learning more about Adam and his family. I also loved the friendship that Meg develops with Aine.

The plot is paced well and it only took a couple of pages for me to get hooked. One of my favorite aspects of the story was the setting in Ireland. Fallon really brings the setting to life and at times I felt like I was walking right alongside Meg. A majority of Carrier of the Mark is used to build much of the background information for this series but I didn't mind it all because it was interesting. I loved the mythology that Fallon uses because it was different from what I have encountered in previous books before. It did get a bit confusing at times though and I was forced to go back and reread a couple of pages. I also still have plenty of questions left but I'm sure the next book will answer some of those. The exciting ending was definitely my favorite part and I will be looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I recommend Carrier of the Mark, it is an interesting and romantic story.

My Rating:
 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Bloodrose (Nightshade #3)
By: Andrea Cremer
Released: January 3, 2012
Source: Purchased E-book
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"The Ultimate Sacrifice. Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Andrea Cremer's Bloodrose is the final book in the Nightshade Trilogy. The final battle is coming and Calla is ready to defeat the Keepers once and for all. In order to defeat the Keepers though, Calla must keep Shay and Ren from killing each other. Then if she does survive the battle, she must finally make her choice between Shay and Ren.

I loved Bloodrose and was happy with how this trilogy ended. Calla is one of my favorite female protagonists of all time. From the beginning of this trilogy she has been a tough and strong alpha. Its clear in Bloodrose just how much she has grown. However, she continues to do anything for her pack. I also loved the side characters Bryn and Ansel. They have both been my favorites since Nightshade.

Then there is the love triangle between Calla, Shay, and Ren. Calla must choose one to be her mate however she loves both deeply but differently. Shay is the one that she was never meant to be with from the beginning because Ren was her arranged mate. I'm not usually a big fan of drawn out love triangles but this was one of the few exceptions where I could understand why it was so hard for Calla to choose. Although I admit I'm completely team Ren and have been from the beginning. Which was why I was definitely happy to see much more of Ren in this book than there was in Wolfsbane.

I tried putting off reading Bloodrose for as long as possible because I didn't want to say goodbye to this trilogy yet. I caved though after only a few days because I just had to know how it would end. I finished Bloodrose rather quickly because I couldn't put it down if I tried. This book was definitely an emotional roller coaster for me and that's why I love the series so much. The twists are never what I ever expected to happen. I also admit I cried through the last couple of chapters. As sad as I am to see the trilogy end, I'm pleased with how it ended and all of my lingering questions were answered. I truly enjoyed following this series from the beginning and I loved the world, the characters, and the mythology that Cremer created. I will definitely be looking forward to what Cremer will be writing next. I strongly recommend Bloodrose, as well as the entire Nightshade trilogy.

My Rating:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #32: Dreamless

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

Dreamless (Starcrossed #2)
By: Josephine Angelini
Release Date: May 29, 2012

"As the only Scion that can enter Hades at will, Helen descends to the Underworld in search of a way to overcome the Furies and end the cycle of revenge that has cursed the Scions. But she’s running out of time. Each descent weakens her both in mind and spirit. A mysterious stranger might be her only salvation, but the price may be her love for Lucas Delos." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I am looking forward to Dreamless because I loved Starcrossed and can't wait to read what happens next. I am a huge fan of Greek mythology and I love the twist that Angelini puts on it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us
By: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Released: November 21, 2011
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future. By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler's The Future of Us is set in 1996 and is the story of friends Josh and Emma. When Emma installs an AOL CD onto her new computer, she is logged onto her Facebook profile instead. Emma and Josh's Facebook profiles show what their lives will be like in fifteen years. However, they soon learn that the decisions they make in the present can change their future.

I really enjoyed The Future of Us and thought it was a fun readJosh brings Emma the AOL CD and together they discover what their future holds from Facebook. I loved the friendship that they share although it is a bit awkward, they still care about each other. I enjoyed that the chapters alternated between Josh and Emma because I could see how their opinions differed on their future. I did like Josh a bit more than Emma though and enjoyed the chapters from his perspective more. I also loved their best friends Tyson and Kellan, they were one of my favorite parts.

I have been looking forward to this book for months because I have been dying for another Jay Asher book. I absolutely love the idea of coming across Facebook in the 90's. Reading some of the status updates that the future Emma and Josh posted made me laugh. It did take me a while to get into the story though because I had trouble connecting to the characters at first. I did, however, appreciate that the plot picks up immediately in the first chapter. A few chapters later the characters are developed a bit more and I was completely hooked. I especially enjoyed the last couple of chapters the most.

My favorite part of The Future of Us was definitely the setting in the 90's. I loved the music and the trends that are described. I grew up in the 90's and this brought back so many memories including, unfortunately, the dial up AOL. I enjoyed that the story takes place over one week because it doesn't make it feel dragged on. Although there was much drama, there was still plenty of funny moments as well. I recommend The Future of Us, its a fun and enjoyable read.  

My Rating:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Deadly Cool
By: Gemma Halliday
Released: October 11, 2011
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he's pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren't enough, now he's depending on Hartley to clear his name. Seriously? Not cool. But as much as Hartley wouldn't mind seeing him squirm, she knows he's innocent, and she's the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school's resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer's next victim." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Gemma Halliday's Deadly Cool is the story of Hartley who finds out that her boyfriend, Josh, is cheating on her. However, it only gets worse when Josh is accused of murder and asks Hartley to help clear his name. She believes that he is innocent and decides to search for the killer with the help of her best friend Sam and bad boy Chase.

I really enjoyed Deadly Cool and finished the book in one sitting. Hartley is an interesting character who is determined to find the killer. She is mad at her boyfriend, Josh, for cheating but she firmly believes that he isn't a murderer. I like that Hartley doesn't let herself get pushed around and she sticks with what she believes in. I also thought it was brave of her to go and search for a murderer.

I love the relationship she shares with her hilarious best friend Sam. They are loyal to one another and Sam agrees to help Hartley even though their search is dangerous. Also helping Hartley is mysterious bad boy Chase. Chase is Josh's next door neighbor and works for the school paper.

The story picks up immediately in the first chapter. The plot is suspenseful and mysterious. I enjoyed trying to solve the murder along with Hartley and I was completely surprised by the ending. I found myself collecting clues and trying to narrow down a list of suspects. I definitely was not expecting what happens in the last few chapters. I loved that the plot wasn't all that serious too. Although Hartley is searching for a murderer, there are still several light and funny moments. I enjoyed Halliday's writing style and the dialogue. I am really excited to read the sequel, Social Suicide, and see what Hartley will get herself into next. I recommend Deadly Cool, its an exciting and captivating mystery.  

My Rating:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

The Alchemy of Forever
By: Avery Williams
Released: January 3, 2012
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again. Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

Avery Williams' The Alchemy of Forever is the story of Seraphina who has lived for centuries. Her boyfriend, Cyrus, first used alchemy to jump from one body to the next. However they end a human life each time they jump into that new body. Seraphina doesn't want to kill again and wants to escape the controlling Cyrus. When she finally does make her escape, she accidentally takes on a new body while trying to save a girl. Instead of running again, Seraphina decides to stay around and live in the girl's place.

I loved The Alchemy of Forever and couldn't put this book down. Sera is getting tired of immortality and she feels guilty for all of the lives she has taken. She also wants to escape from Cyrus who is dangerous, controlling, and manipulative. I loved that the story begins with the first time that Sera jumped into a new body. I was immediately rooting for her to make her escape after only a couple of pages. Although she has lived for many centuries she still has much to learn. Sera accidentally jumps into Kailey's body while trying to save her. Kailey is a bit of a mystery and there are still several questions I am left with about her. The moments where Sera is Kailey were so sweet because she finally has somewhat of a normal life. Sera does her best living as Kailey but she falls for Kailey's next door neighbor, Noah. Noah is so sweet and kind. He also has a great taste in music.

Cyrus was a creepy character that gave me chills. He controls every aspect of Sera's life, from what she does to how much money she has. He even chooses the next body for her to jump into. Cyrus doesn't physically appear dangerous but from the beginning he gives off a bad vibe. The more I learned about him the more I wanted Sera to get away from him and fast. However there are plenty of other characters that I did love such as Charlotte, Sera's immortal best friend, and Bryan, Kailey's brother.

I have been looking forward to this book for months and it completely lived up to my expectations. The story picks up immediately on the first page and the plot is paced well. There are several unexpected twists that I definitely didn't see coming. I thought I had figured it all out and then the final few chapters really shocked me. I loved learning about the alchemy and found it to be really interesting. The shocking cliffhanger ending has left me completely speechless. I got chills from the last page and I am still thinking about it. I am dying for book two now! There are several questions still left and I'm definitely interested in learning more about these characters. I highly recommend The Alchemy of Forever, its a suspenseful and surprising story.

My Rating:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
By: Jennifer E. Smith
Released: January 2, 2012
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Jennifer E. Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is the story of Hadley and Oliver and takes place over the span of one day. Hadley is heading to London for her father's wedding. Hadley hasn't even met her soon to be step-mom yet. While waiting for the next flight after missing her first one, Hadley meets Oliver. He will be sitting in the same aisle as her on the flight.  

I loved The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight from the first moment I picked up this book. I read it all in one sitting because I couldn't put this book down. Now though I kind of wished I took my time reading it because I don't want it to be over. Although this book only takes place over the span of one day, the characters are strongly developed and well written. Hadley is a relatable character who learns a lot on this trip. Hadley is flying to London for her father's wedding and she is still kind of bitter from her parents divorce. She feels as though her father abandoned her.

Oliver is flying back home to London because he is attending school in America. I immediately fell in love with Oliver. First he is British and second he is so sweet and funny. I loved how the relationship between Hadley and Oliver develops over such a short period of time. I especially loved the conversations they shared while getting to know each other.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight made me smile, laugh, and even broke my heart at times. The plot is fast paced and is so much more than just a love story. Although it takes place over the span of one day, it never feels slow or as though it is dragging on. I really enjoyed the setting from the airplane to the streets of London. I loved the ending and I am definitely planning on rereading it again soon. I have been anxiously awaiting this book for months and it was even better than what I expected. I highly recommend The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight! I also must add how much I love this cover. It is on my list as one of my top favorite book covers of 2012.

My Rating:
 

Waiting on Wednesday #31: Wake

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

Wake
By: Amanda Hocking
Release Date: August 21, 2012

"Lose yourself in the magic of Watersong, an unforgettable new series about two sisters who nearly lose their lives - and their loves - when they fall under the spell of three beautiful but deadly sirens." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I am looking forward to Wake because I am a huge fan of Amanda Hocking. I have read most of her books and loved them all so I am really looking forward to Wake. I also love the cover.