Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Article 5

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons!

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Publishing 2.14.12
Publisher: Tor Teen
Summary from Goodreads: New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Did I mention that I love dystopian? I did? Oh well, I say it again. I love dystopian! Especially when it involves romance, a hopefully strong heroine, a rebellious mother, and a guy! And daring to challenge what is fact and daring to be. Yup, just be.

I have this book on pre-order, and I absolutely can not wait! Why can't February come along already?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

I could review this books in four words if I really wanted to: This. Was. Freaking. Amazing. But then you wouldn't understand why... so I guess I'll have to review it as usual (even though I still haven't reviewed the Iron Fey #3 because it was just that good.) So out of its entire amazingness, 5 out of 5 stars.

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
the Iron Fey #4
5 out of 5 stars!
Oh, it's out!
Summary from Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Forgive if this review is slightly weird or off or crazy or droopy, but the Iron Knight was absolutely amazing. This book has affected me, as seen in the review, but I don't really care! I'm too in love with Ash. So yeah. Anyways, here's my review minus all the shrieking and the demented smiling:

The Iron Knight is an amazing story about Ash's journey throught the River of Dreams, the Wylde, the End of the World and the Testing Grounds. It's a story showing his love for Meghan, his struggles, his amazingness, and his amazingness again. It's definitely my favorite out of the whole entire series, and that's saying a lot.

The plot for this book was definitely unbelievable, in a good way. It's Ash's journey... with just a few twists. I can't reveal who, but let's just say Ms. Kagawa ties all the loose ends from novellas, the past and everything else. All the people/creatures you were wondering about before are brought back in for a final book, and I loved it! (That's part of the twists.) There was also the whole journey part that made me love the plot more. **********SPOILER ALERT******** The river? The Guardian? The trials? I loved it!*******END SPOILER*******

This book was basically for Ash fans, so I got a lot of Ash.:) Yay! I loved how Ash narrated almost the entire book. You struggle with him, cry with him, laugh with him, and smile with him. You fall in love with him a little more, and if you're Team Puck, then you end up falling in love with him. So, basically he's definitely my favorite male protagonist ever. I. Love. You. Ash.

And then there was the total Puck-Ash feud that been going on since who-knows-when. Ms. Kagawa clears that up, well kind of. Anyways, I love how they get along. It's so awesomely realistic and epic that I absolutely love it! Besides, Puck is an awesome friend for Ash. May they stop trying to kill each other...

But mostly, I love the epic beauty of this book. Everything about it was beautiful, well almost. I loved how even the river and the fey all seemed beautiful. Even the writing was beautiful! And also sometimes the End Of The World and everything else...

So, basically I fell in love with this book, and you should too.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Clockwork Prince Trailer!

The Clockwork Prince trailer came out today! If you want to see it, go here or for the full-length video.

And my reaction to it was somewhere between an excited shiver and a shriek of glee. I can't wait for it to come out! And less than two weeks!
Just counting the seconds to its release...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

I like angels. They're so awesome and pure and white and... angelic? Not to mention that they're so soulful and cool and amazing and selfless and kind and just praise-worthy. But unfortunately I felt like this book didn't really meet up to the standards. So 3 out of 5 stars.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
3 out of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: Three angels – Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human – are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They must work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.
Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong. Then comes the brooding and popular new transfer, Jake Thorn... who just so happens to be in Bethany's class. Something about Jake seems to be hiding something darker, something more powerful than expected. That thing, and Xavier, distracts Bethany to a point that Gabriel and Ivy are concerned.
The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

There were only two problems I had with this book that ended up in a deduction of two stars.
1. The Cheese
I absolutely hate it when books are incredibly cheesy. And unfortunately, Halo is one of those books. It was so cheesy that I started ranted about the amount of cheese to all my friends and made them all annoyed with me. But that's not the point. The point is that the cheesiness in this book was unbearable, more unbearable than most books.
2. The Pace/Underwhelmingness
In the first 400 pages, basically nothing happened. I'm serious! It was basically just describe all my days at school and that's it. And unfortunately that happened for 400 pages. When this happens, the reader usually gets either mad or really mad. And I was really mad. So in a nutshell, it was slow.

However, just like there were its weak points, Halo also had its strong points. For example Bethany. Bethany was a fairly good character. She was kind-hearted, sweet, nice and basically an angel. I wish I were as good and nice as her. She was a fairly nice protagonist and definitely worthy of praise. At least in my opinion...

I also liked Alexandra's writing style. It was definitely one of the only exceptions to my no flowers policy! Sure the writing was flowery and all, but I actually enjoyed it for once! She also had the ability to describe every single thing in the story yet still not make me bored. That takes skill, which I fully admire.

And then there was the whole entire moral of the story. Okay, it was a cheesy moral, but who cares? It's a good moral! Be kind and be good make me scoff and agree at the same time. I'm still kind of deciding whether or not I like it...

So this was an okay read with a read-at-your-own-risk stamp on the book, courtesy of me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Evernight by Claudia Gray

Evernight should have been the cheesiest love story ever. It wasn't. Evernight should have been the most poorly written book ever. It wasn't. In fact, Evernight should have been like all the other cheesy paranormal books. It wasn't. So, because of that and because it's just amazing, 4 out of 5 stars!

Evernight by Claudia Gray
4 out of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

Okay, to begin, Bianca was definitely your kind of average girl. Notice I said to begin. She's kind of shy, kind of smart, kind of normal, but then in the middle of the book, she's something else. In the middle of the book you get this sudden change concerning who and what she is. That did not change what I thought about her. Throughout the whole entire book, I thought she was just okay. Even with the sudden change.

Then there was Lucas. Unfortunately, I also thought he was just okay. Even though he's kind of good-looking, kind of charming, kind of amazing...
Okay, he's pretty awesome! I have to admit that. But he's still kind of your average Prince Charming, not that I minded. So he's definitely pretty high up on my list of crushable fictional boys. And that's saying a lot.

I almost started comparing Evernight's plot to Twilight's plot. But then I realized Evernight's plot is a lot awesomer! There are a lot more twists and turns. And plot-wise, Evernight's plot is nothing like Twilight's. Sure there are vampires, but that's basically the only similarity. This plot had me gasping for breath and tearing through my Kindle for more! That's how amazing it was!

Another thing I absolutely must praise is Claudia Gray's style of writing. It was definitely a good third person, not too flowery at all. So I was really glad for no extra frills or flowers! And that's pretty rare for third person! Yay for Claudia Gray and her awesome writing style! And the praise continues...

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Let me begin my saying that I love reading debut novels. I like to know how good an author is at the beginning of their writing career, the start of their writing journey. This was no exception, as I absolutely loved Robin Bridge's debut! It was fantastic, marvelous and magical, all in one book! Spellcasting and absolutely wonderful! 4 out of 5 stormy stars...

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
4 out of 5 stars
Recieved from Netgalley
Publishing 1.10.11
Summary from Goodreads: St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.
The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?

I absolutely loved this setting! You don't really get a lot of books set in historic Russia, or even Russia at all. So it was a nice refreshing change to get swept into St. Petersburg. I loved the descriptions! I truly felt as if I was dancing at balls and dining at feasts. Robin Bridges is so great at describing every single thing in a limited amount of words. Besides, Russia is so coldly awesome!

Then there was the whole love triangle thing. I have to say, this love triangle was more like the love triangle in Paranormalcy by Kiersten White...
not that that's a bad thing of course. But there was an obvious awesomer knight in shining armor, verses a dark knight with a growth spurt. (Note: this comparison is not accurate!) It was kind of an alpha and beta triangle, with you rooting for the obvious choice. But I still loved it anyways!
And did I mention I loved George? He was charming, thought-provoking, handsome and definitely my first Russian crush! And I love him! Also, Katerina and George have this hate-love relationship, which makes it even more interesting! I love hate-love relationships! So suspenseful! (He's the alpha here.)
Then there was Danilo. I'm pretty impressed by him. See, the thing is he has this whole you-look-so-good-that-I-automatically-want-to-kiss-you thing going on. And I'm not kidding! He seriously does have that thing going! (Katerina experienced it herself.) So I honestly loved him too! But not exactly as much... cause he's the beta.

Katerina was an interesting character. First, she can raise the dead. That's already pretty interesting. You don't really get a lot of necromancers. Second, she's kind of high up in the social food chain. It was pretty interesting that way. She's one of the few "popular" protagonists that I know of.

The only problem I had with this book was that there were so many characters. It was hard to keep track of them all, but other than that I really loved this book. It was so awesome and elegant and Russian! So read this book when it comes out!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving to day, so just wanted to wish you guys a happy Thanksgiving! This year I'm thankful for a lot, including my family, friends, books and turkey. Yes, turkey. Turkey is good and amazing. But that's not the point.

Yay! Go Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and everything else! Have a safe one and God bless you! (Be sure to eat a ton of turkey and read books like crazy. After all, what's a holiday without books?)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Tempest

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. My absolute favorite meme ever! Anyways, other than that, this week I'm waiting on Tempest by Julie Cross! Need. To. Read. This. Book. NOW! (Just pretend you didn't see me freak out...)

Tempest by Julie Cross
Publishing 1.17.2012
Summary from Goodreads: The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

I have two huge reasons why I absolutely really want to read this book and why I'm ranting about it.

Reason 1: It's a guy's POV! I read way too many YA books in a girl's POV (point of view). It can get kind of annoying, so that's why I want to read in a guy's!

Reason 2: Time travel! Who doesn't want to travel back in time...? My point exactly. Time travel is amazing and awesome and so unique, so you absolutely must read this book when it comes out! I can't wait until January!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Halo

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Summary from Goodreads: Three angels – Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human – are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They must work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.
Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.
The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

"Don't feel bad," he said. "I'm a guy, I'll eat anything."
-pg. 163

"You said yourself there was a chance." Xavier laced his fingers with mine. "That's all we need."
-pg. 245

And just cause I feel like it, I like angels! I have a collection of them! Angels are amazing! You should like angels too!

Monday, November 21, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I am completely blown away and speechless by this book. It's so beautiful, heartbreaking, unique, tragic and amazing. It's a book you can't and won't forget. It's a book that changes people for the good. It's reminiscent, well-worded and realistic. 5 out of 5 stars.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Out and Out
5 out of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make -and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Basically, after her family is caught in a car crash and only she survives, Mia's in a coma. She ends up with a choice to make: to die or live and face the sorrowful and tragical life she left. You go through past memories, the present and thoughts of the future. You watch as she makes her choice, with the help of Adam, and you can't help but fall in love. Each memory has a purpose, and each purpose brings her closer to her choice. Also, what Adam does is so sweet and loving! Now I love Adam!

I love the romance between Adam and Mia. It's so different, delicate and precious. It's serious and amazing and you really have to read it to understand. Even through the doubts Mia was having, Adam proves again and again that he really loves her. I absolutely love them together as a couple! I think they're my fave YA couple ever!

Then there was the absolute beauty of Gayle's writing. Oh, wow. I absolutely love beautiful writing. BUT it wasn't flowery! There's a difference between flowery and beautiful that's hard to understand, but Gayle Forman truly does. It's so awesome and heartstopping and amazing. It's like therapy. Anyways, if you like Maggie Stiefvater's writing, you'll love Gayle Forman's writing.

If I Stay is a true masterpiece. It's so moving that it will make you cry. It's so beautiful that it's purty (ha!). And it's so amazing that you absolutely MUST READ THIS NOW! But that's another story...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another Awesome Music Video

Alexandra Burke is awesome!!!!! She's a great singer!!! And get this: she's British! That's so awesome! (oops, already used that!) Anyways, just watch her sing and cry because she has such an amazing voice! Well, at least try to cry.

Nice, isn't she?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hunger Games Official Trailer

This is by far the awesomest trailer ever! It's even better than the awesomer of trailers (not naming trailers.) Anyways, it's awesome. Yes, it is awesome. Get the point?

I'm so excited for the movie to come out! And you only have to wait till next year! It's not that long... is it?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Anyone who at least half knows me knows that I like experimenting with different genres of books. And they also know that I happen to love all the books I experiment with. So I just happened to experiment with fantasy and The Girl of Fire and Thorns, and I fell in love with it! 4 out of 5 stars!

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
4 out of 5 stars
Out! Yay!
Summary from Goodreads: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

I desperately need to start off with Elisa. She is seriously the best example of character development I have ever seen. To begin, she is lazy and fat and spoiled and pampered. I'm serious! To quote Elisa, she is a "sausage bride." Anyways, throughout the book, she slims down, gets a backbone and becomes one of the strongest and smartest protagonists in the history of protagonists. So basically, even if you hate Elisa in the beginning (I did), you'll learn to like her by the end of the book.

Also, I have to say I was really intrigued by the setting. Or the settings. The settings in which the book take place in aren't always the nicest, but they are the most interesting. I loved how Rae didn't back down from scary and creepy settings. She wasn't afraid to make Elisa's world dangerous and ugly and certainly uninviting. I really admire that aspect in her writing. It makes the book believable.

Then there was the plot. I have to admit I was a little wary of the whole religion thing. I'm a Christian, so I thought I was going to be offended. But it wasn't that bad! I was not offended at all, so I guess all I have to say is keep an open mind.
Besides that, there were quite a few surprises and twists. I really enjoyed this plot. It was well-crafted and well-planned. Quite simply, it's worthy of my praise. Yes, it's that awesome!

I also love the author's ability to weave in lessons throughout the story. A lot of YA novels don't have a lesson or a theme. It's just a story. But this book has tons of lessons and things that really make you think. It's also really inspiring. I really, really like that. Not only is it a good story, but it also has good morals.

So here's to Rae Carson, her heartstopping novel, Goodreads and you adding it to your to-read list! Wait, you will add it right? You better! Or better yet, just read it now and you won't risk the wrath of me! Bwahahahahahaha! Hmmmmmmmm....... I think these evil cackles work better in the comfort of my own head.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Shattered Souls

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights books that have not yet been released, but ones that you should pre-order today! And this week I'm waiting on...
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey!

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Publishing 12.8.11
Summary from Goodreads: A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

This sounds so interesting! I love the idea of lost souls and Speakers and all. It's so unique and cool! I also love the steel gray eyes. I have this obsession with gray eyes! So awesome!!! Then there's the whole choose your life or you die thing. No pressure, right? Let's keep things this way...

I seriously can not wait until December 8th. I will die if I have to wait that long.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Okay. First, look at this author's name very, very closely. If you can recall, she's the author of Shiver, Linger and Forever, aka the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. I'm. Not. Lying. She seriously is. Which means of course this is a totally awesome book! Oh, and if you couldn't tell, 5 out of 5 stars! Just cause it's that amazing.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
5 out of 5 stars!
Out and out and published...
Summary from It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

I absolutely, absolutely love this book to death. But mainly because of Puck. Ah, Puck. She is one strong person. She's quick-tempered, bold, stubborn and everything in a person that you can't help but love. I absolutely love this combination of characteristics that shape Puck. You can't help it. You just get amazed by how steady and strong she stays throughout the book and its chaos. That's exactly what happened to me.

Sean was not expected. I didn't expect this horse-loving man of few words who can just take all the fun out of the room. I expected someone else, but I guess I didn't mind Sean. Okay, actually, I didn't mind him at all. He was definitely a change from the bad boys and all, but he's also more serious, more Dimitri like, and I LOVE YOU SEAN! (Sorry, just had to express myself in caps. It's addicting.)

Not to mention the water horses that are almost kinda faeryish. They're pretty awesome. So what if they kill people and bite them in half? I still like them... even though they're ferocious, moody, impossible and kinda death-like. They're just so unique, different, and purty! (Yes I said purty! And I mean it too!)

Then you have Maggie's trademark beautiful writing. Oh wow. I loved her writing. It's just so heartfelt, amazing, beautiful... and purty!! Major love in the air! I can't express how much I loved her writing. It. Is. So. Awesome. Just give me another book of hers and I guarantee I'll start squealing just so I can read another beautiful word of her writing. It seriously is that amazing.

So the question isn't how much I like it, but rather why aren't you reading this book right now? Just a thought...

Friday, November 11, 2011

East by Edith Pattou

I've always been that girl who has loved fairy tales and princesses and happy endings. So when I stumbled across East, which is a retelling of a fairy tale, I couldn't help myself. I just had to read a book about a polar bear and an explorer. But I didn't regret it! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

East by Edith Pattou
4.5 out of 5 stars
Published, Out, Buy it
Summary from Goodreads: Rose has always been different.
Since the day she was born, it was clear she had a special fate. Her superstitious mother keeps the unusual circumstances of Rose's birth a secret, hoping to prevent her adventurous daughter from leaving home... but she can't suppress Rose's true nature forever.

So when an enormous white bear shows up one cold autumn evening and asks teenage Rose to come away with it-- in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family-- she readily agrees.

Rose travels on the bear's broad back to a distant and empty castle, where she is nightly joined by a mysterious stranger. In discovering his identity, she loses her heart-- and finds her purpose-- and realizes her journey has only just begun.

To begin, I absolutely loved Rose. She's strong, beautiful, kind-hearted, smart, daring, couragous and anything you'd expect in a hero. I love how she has the heart of an explorer and knows it. I love how she tries anything and everything. She is truly an awesome main character, and she's definitely on my list for admired characters. I liked her bravery the most. It definitely affects a lot of people, especially me.

Then there was the writing. I loved how it was first-person, but it went from Rose to Neddy to White Bear to Rose's father. I experienced the thoughts of tons of people, so I got to know what everyone was thinking as I got through the book. It was nice to know how the Troll Queen felt at the same time Rose went through it. And very interesting as well...
Not only that, but it flowed really really well. I thought it would be choppy to have so many narrators, but it was the exact opposite. The writing was smooth, beckoning and wonderfully marvelous.

I can't say much about the plot because it's a retelling, but I still thought it was really cool. I loved the idea of a polar bear asking for a girl to journey with. When you find out the reason why, you literally will have a dropped jaw, with drool and all. Well maybe not...
But still.

I loved the settings! They all made me want to visit them, even though they probably don't exist. I loved the whole idea with the castle and the beautiful loom, the ice village with all its awesome food, and the Troll Queen's domain. (Okay the Troll Queen's domain was cruelly beautiful, but that's beyond the point. I still want to visit it!)

I had a problem with the insta-love though. I absolutely did not get it. For me, I did not see why you fall in love with a stranger at night, if you don't even meet them. What's the point? Or rather, why bother? It makes no sense how someone can fall in love if you only hear the rise and fall of their body. What's the reasoning behind it all?

Still, I absolutely loved this book! It's even better than another one of my favorite retellings, Ella Enchanted. You absolutely must read it. Even if you have to go to the extremes to get it, just read this book! I guarantee it's worth the effort!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Did I mention that I love creepy, crazy, cool books? That give you nightmares when you're awake? Well, I do. I like books that are slightly insane and different and totally awesome. This was no exception. So, without further ado, 5 out of 5 stars!

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Published 8.30.11
5 out of 5 bloody stars
Summary from Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

To start, I absolutely devoured this cover! It's so pretty, creepy, dark and absolutely influential. Yes, influential. I started drawing Anna on the backs of papers, complete with blood and all. Not to mention I used like 5 pieces of paper...
Yeah, I love this cover.

Then there was this plot. What can I say? I loved it! Part love story, part horror, my favorite type! I loved how it starts with Anna, well kind of, and how she spares him. I love their romance, if you can call it that. It was so cute!!!!! I love how it's kind of a hate-love relationship (aka slow) so it seems realistic. I loved it and devoured it to read it to pieces!!
The horror. The horror part of this plot had me shocked and mumbling unintelligible words under my breath. Literally. The truth of his (insert spoiler but I'm not saying what it is) _________ had me floored! Kendare Blake is really good with twists and turns and curves... just saying. Basically, imagine people with their jaws dropping. Yup, that's this plot for you.

I love Cas Lowood! I love his attitude, his name, his awesomeness, everything. I love how he's actually not dumb, pretty observant, smart, clever and just Cas! He's definitely going on my crush list! I absolutely love him! (and his amazing knife skills...) Then there's this whole I'm-going-to-avenge-my-dad's-death thing that makes him even more irresistable! I. Love. Cas. Get the picture?
Swoon, swoon, swoon, I LOVE YOU CAS!

And then there was Anna. Whoa... I was not expecting her. She's stunning, stunning and stunning. Or a goddess, as Cas says. I really loved her character. She was so amazing! Or as I should say, stunning! Be ready to be shocked by her awesomeness! She's creepy, scary, bloody, and just plain Anna Dressed in Blood! Not to mention that she is probably the best ghost in the history of the world...
history of the universe, I mean.

I loved the uniqueness of this book. You usually don't get ghost-killer at all in a story. Or kitchen-witch. I liked how Kendare didn't shy away from a totally different mind-blowing story. I loved how Cas killed ghosts and all! And how he has this freaky athame to do it...
I wish I wrote this book instead! That's how much I love the uniqueness.

Also, this ending was the ultimate ending. It was perfect. It wasn't satisfying, but no amount of Cas and Anna will satisfy me. I need more! I couldn't believe this ending. It's jaw-dropping, mind-boggling, and out of this world! Literally... (I think Anna goes somewhere else and it's not Heaven...)


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Catching Jordan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features books that haven't come out yet, but you really want to read now! And this week's book is Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally!

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Publishing 12.1.11
Summary from What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

I love the idea of a girl who's out of the ordinary, in this case leading all the male football players. Then, somehow, she turns almost ordinary, in this case falling in love. It just seems so cute how it happens! I really want to get my hands on this book! Besides, who doesn't mind a cute little love story with football? I don't.

I think the plot's also really very sweet. And it's a love story! Seriously, who turns away love stories? So I'm going to pre-order this book, or at least somehow get my hands on it. I can't wait to read it, and you had better read it too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: East by Edith Pattou

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Rose has always been different.
Since the day she was born, it was clear she had a special fate. Her superstitious mother keeps the unusual circumstances of Rose's birth a secret, hoping to prevent her adventurous daughter from leaving home... but she can't suppress Rose's true nature forever.

So when an enormous white bear shows up one cold autumn evening and asks teenage Rose to come away with it-- in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family-- she readily agrees.

Rose travels on the bear's broad back to a distant and empty castle, where she is nightly joined by a mysterious stranger. In discovering his identity, she loses her heart-- and finds her purpose-- and realizes her journey has only just begun.

pg. 12
"That's the trouble with loving a wild thing: You're always left watching the door.
But you also kind of get used to it."

pg. 470
"I should have been relieved that the journey was done, but I was not. For I did not know what was to become of me.
I have nothing to offer her. I don't even have a name."

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent

I usually love this series and all, but some things happened in this book that made it seem... a little... catty. Now, catty isn't bad, but this was stereotypical, unrealistic and just plain off. That's just my opinion though. You might have different thoughts about it all, but I think it just gets 3 out of 5 stars.

My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
3 out of 5 stars
Published 1.4.11
Summary from Goodreads: Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.

See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.

And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.

Just as a quick side comment, this cover is the UK cover. The US cover is blue with a girl and a boy on it. I just happen to like this cover better.

Anyways, the major problem with Soul Screamers #4 I had was that for the most of the book, Kaylee was just obsessing over how Sabine is here. And how she's got her eyes on Nash. And how Kaylee herself can't decide whether or not she wants Nash back. So basically, in a nutshell, it's kind of like Crescendo for the first half of the book. Just obsess over a guy forever, and let's not forget Sabine.
Sabine. She was annoying as she was intended to be and all, but still, she was definitely unrealistic. It was as if the author truly didn't know how to portray a bad girl. Bad girls aren't always like Sabine, so that was part of the problem. Then there was the whole mara thing. Really, why was that added? It doesn't exactly click, this whole mara thing. If anything, Sabine should have just stayed human to keep it nice.

Kaylee was unfortunately very annoying in this book. I know she wasn't the awesomest protagonist, but still, how low are we going to go? I never knew how annoyed I could get with her until now. She was just getting way too self-conscious for a girl who BROKE UP with her boyfriend, not the other way around.

I liked how it was written. Rachel Vincent is awesome at writing. Her voice is absolutely awesome (I mean the way she writes...)! I like how she does Kaylee, with amazing quotes and all. Even though I was annoyed with this book, the writing managed to kind of patch it up. I got through this book simply because of the writing. That's how good it was.

I still love Nash, no matter what he did in the past. I know Kaylee's kind of unsure about him, but I love him! (Maybe literally.... maybe not...). I really liked how vulnerable he was in this book. I saw a new angle of him now. Still, you don't get as much of his swirling eyes, but you still get some. I really like reading about his eyes, but anything Nash is awesome! Yes, I mean that.

So I'll be reading the next book, If I Die. And definitely any other Rachel Vincent book. Anyways, read the Soul Screamers series! It's definitely worth the read!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Normally my friends never read the style of books I read. My books are slightly different, a little more girly. So I was really surprised when they all wanted to read this book, my book. Not only that, but they actually begged me for it and tried to steal it from me. Yup, Matched is just that good. 4 out of 5 matching stars.

Matched by Ally Condie
Out and out and out
4 out of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

First off. Just look at the cover. Yup, just look at it. Don't you love it and absolutely want to gush over it? Don't you just want to cut it out and take it for yourself? I do. It's so amazing and heartstopping and pretty and unique. Yet it's still so much more. I absolutely will die if they get a different cover.

Anyways, aside from the cover, I loved a lot more than just that. There was the whole plot that needs to be gushed over. Ally really knows her plots. The surprises and twists had me flipping through the book and all. I loved how it began as a simple love story and expanded into a lot more. Something deeper, like with the Society. I like how the events weaved into eachother so it eventually made sense. I didn't have to wait for the next book to at least get some of the puzzle.
Then the twists. I was so surprised by them that I had to tell one of my friends. Of course, that kind of ruined the book for her, but it was just so unexpected! (Sorry, friend.)

I absolutely loved the love triangle. It was choosing between someone who loved you and someone you loved. Not to mention you knew who you wanted to choose, but you still couldn't bring yourself to say no. Cassia chooses in the first book, but still, I absolutely love this love triangle! Who cares if it's an underdog kind of triangle? It still needs to be gushed and swooned over!

Then there was Cassia. I really liked the development of her. Throughout the book you watch her become stronger and stronger. You watch her question the Society, her life and the rules. You watched her eventually form her own opinion and challenge the odds. I absolutely loved it! Plus, she liked poetry and running, so it kind of made me bond with her. She's really relatable because everyone faces the whole conflict between what you should do and what you want to do.

I absolutely loved Xander! He was so loyal to Cassia, and even to the end, he loved her. He loved her even when she made mistakes and all. He was so nice and charming too. I loved him even more than I loved Ky. Ky may be Ky, but Xander is one of a kind. (Of course there's the whole blond hair and blue eyes thing too, but not as much.) I will love him to the end as he has loved Cassia.

Of course there was the whole dystopian aspect to it. I have this obsession with all things dystopian, so I really enjoyed this book. There's this part about the author creating a whole world that I really, really love. This was no exception. As much as I hated the Society, I couldn't help but realize how well Ally crafted it. She really put her time into the dystopia, and it really paid off.

Overall: Loved the book, cover, and I really need to read Crossed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

I have this huge obsession over a genre called chick-lit, otherwise known as girly romance books that are sweet and thoughtful. It started with Sarah Dessen, and I won't forget her writing. Ever. So that's why I just had to read Along for the Ride and fall in love with it for life. 5 out of 5 stars!

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Published! Yay!
5 out of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

Yup. Sarah Dessen strikes again, this time with two lonely people who need a friend. But anyways, that's besides the point. The point is that I absolutely love her writing style, the almost poetic whispers that really can change people. She writes with a passion that makes you want to flip through the book like crazy. It's soft writing that makes you think and sometimes want to cry. But most of the time it makes me want to smile. This is the writing Sarah Dessen does in this book. It's amazing.

Then there were all the unique elements woven together. You have a regular teen yet at the same time she's not regular. Weave in biking, Shakespeare, food fights and pie to get this story yet so much more. I love how Sarah Dessen makes each book so unique so each character, each element is different in a good way.

Auden. She seems like the girl you never notice, the girl who's just there. When you get to know her, she's totally different. That's what I absolutely loved about her. She was thoughtful, nice, caring and sweet. Not to mention a girl with a great sense of humor. Then there was the whole broken thing to her that made her vulnerable, which was a great change in the books I've been reading. But most of all, she's real. We all go through problems, and Sarah really let you know she was too.

There's something about Eli that I absolutely love. He's a broken biker, a shadow of what he once was, yet he still notices Auden. I like how he was kind of broken too. It really made him meaningful, and not just another YA fiction boy. He's different, and you never forget that. Then there's the whole thing with pie and all...
I absolutely love it! Give me more of him please! Please!

I also really love the other characters. From Auden's friends to Eli's, there's always something wacky about them. They're all so different, funky and amazing. You don't forget that. Somehow they teach Auden something about life, and you don't forget that either. The world could shatter and you won't forget that. They change you, in at least one way. It's so, so amazing...

There's not much else to say. Just that Sarah Dessen is a great teen writer, so you must read her books. They change you for good. And for the better. That's all you need to know...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. BTW, this is my favorite meme of all time. Anyways, this week I am waiting on... (drumroll now!) Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins!

Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins
Publishing 3.13.12
Summary from Goodreads: Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Fine, I'll admit it. I'm kind of only reading this book for Archer. Now, Sophie is an awesome protagonist and all, but I absolutely love Archer with all my heart and have to get more of him. I'm not saying that it's bad without Archer, but still, Archer is just cake on the cake. If you get what I mean...

I love it. Love the books and Sophie and Hex Hall and of course Archer. Cal's cool too, but I love Archer!!! Yeah, you probably already knew that. Yup, the world will fall apart and I will still love him. No more swooning over him. Got it.

:) I love Archer! (Oops.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Once upon a time there was a girl. Her name was Valerie. She desperately wanted something at least half good to read. (Yup, just half good.) So when Goodreads recommended Daughter of Smoke and Bone to her, she was happy. It's rating was 4.39 out of 5 stars! More than four! And it was interesting! Yup, this is the true story of (wait for it...) me! Oh, and 4 out of 5 stars too.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
4 out of 5 stars
Published 9.27.11
Summary from 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 otherwordly 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?

I love this book! Especially the writing. It was dark and mysterious and third-person with just the right amount of flowers. At times it was dark and mysterious, at other times it was bright and cheerful. I love how smoothly and easily Laini Taylor made that transition. It was just pure genius! Or pure Laini...

And then there was Karou. I absolutely love her! She has blue hair, pale skin, and just an awesome witty personality. Oh, wit. I love how smart and clever Karou was. Unlike some protagonists, she wasn't a damsel in distress. If anything, she was the opposite. You have to respect that. I like how she was curious and just wanted to know. In short, Karou is a fabulous character that needs to be worshipped. Well, maybe not...
You know what I mean!

Akiva, if I didn't love you so much, I would go into the book and kill you. Why did you do that? And why were you so secretive? There's a difference between secretive and mysterious, and you crossed that line. I can't believe you! I'm so conflicted about you and your tiger eyes and your actions. To the reader of this post: Akiva does something you learn about rather quickly, but you don't really hate him for it until the end. When you learn how bad he was...

Oh this plot. I like it, but I dont' love it. It was surprising, I'll give it that, but there was the whole Akiva thing. It had all the elements of any good plot like twists and turns and all that good stuff. But what had me mad was the whole Akiva thing. I know that not all books have a happy ending but still, why Akiva? Why you? Please, please tell me this is a dream, and I didn't finish the book! I'm begging you! Well, if I am concerned, I must really love this book.

Then there was the one thing I absolutely despised: insta-love. I absolutely hate insta-love. It's fake and for utopias or fairytales. I hate how artificial it feels. Why couldn't you just have made it a nice slow authentic romance? Then I wouldn't be ranting as much! But still... I guess it wasn't that bad...

Overall, just read this book and love it! Or hate it! Or love it! Or... you get my point. Just read it.

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