Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Nightshade #1
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Philomel October 19, 2010
Pages: 452


Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

My Thoughts {bzzzzzzzzzz}:

  • The Scene
Well, oh, well, what do we have here? Werewolves, love triangles, giant spiders, creepy wraiths, keepers, searchers -- wait, GIANT SPIDERS?!? Actually, it was just one spider. But, still that was one giant mother of an arachnid. Huge freaky-assed spiders aside, the scene of Nightshade was comprised of kickass werewolves and, surprise, a complicated love triangle. Don't turn your nose away just yet though. This book has some buzz.
  • The Girl
Calla Tor's a Guardian which is just a fancy way of saying she's a werewolf, part of a pack that guards sacred sites for their "masters", the Keepers, to keep away from the Searchers. Oh, and Calla's also the alpha of her young pack, the Nightshade's, soon to be merged with the Bane's. Did ya get that? Don't worry just read the book and you'll get it. Matter of fact, you might just love it.

  • The Boy(s)
Holy love triangle! Ren or Shay? Shay or Ren? Who cares? They're both smokin' and awesome! (Did I just say smokin'?) No, but seriously for me I lean more toward Ren. Shay just seemed a little too insta-love between him and Calla.

  • The WTF?!
Calla and Shay's insta-love. Calla's switch between two boys like bam! she's with Ren so she's all over him then kaboom! she's with Shay and fawning over him. I mean, jeez pick one. But, then again that's the whole complicated love triangle thingy. Also, we're back to the big, giant, nasty frickin' assed spider. Yeah, and it's a brown recluse. So, not only it can kill you with it's huge size, but you also have to watch out for it's poison or venom or whatever too. Did I mention that I HATE spiders? No, like abhor, detest, cringe, shudder, loathe, dislike, repulsed, and revolted by these eight legged things. So, you can imagine my dislike when I read that scene. I'm totally like Ron Weasley with the "Why spiders? Why couldn't it be follow the butterflies?"

  • The Buzz
If your looking for a buzzy book then you've come to the right place! Nightshade has tons of buzz! It's full of action, romance, and supernatural foray. Personally, I loved it and can't wait to read book two, Wolfsbane!

  • My Favorite Quotes
"I've never really made friends, at least not close ones, I think that's why I read so much. Books have been my real companions."


"I belong to Ren," I said, hating the words, wishing Shay could kiss me and make the rest of the world disappear. "There's nothing I can do to change that."
"You belong to yourself," he said quietly. "And I can wait for you to figure that out."
--Calla and Shay

"Tell me you'll come back for the pack. For me." His eyes were bright with tears. "I don't want to lose you."
I couldn't speak. Tears welled up in my eyes and I stepped away from him. But Ren caught me in his arms.
"Do you love him?" His eyes searched mine.
"Don't ask that," I said, lips still burning from my confession to Shay, now stinging with deceit. "This isn't about love. It's about survival."
"No, Calla." His voice became hushed. "This is only about love."
And then he was kissing me. His lips moved over mine in a slow caress, hands running over my body, every touch begging me to stay. I could tell he believed he would never kiss me again. Part of me wanted to linger, clinging to him, knowing all the ways we were meant for each other, how well we fit. But another part tugged me away already running through the forest, chasing after a fate unknown. I choked back a sob when Ren released me and turned away.
The charcoal gray wolf paused and looked back once more before disappearing into the trees. From behind me, I heard the lone cry of a wolf. The howl echoed as it rose toward the full moon, a sound full of agony and irreparable loss.
--Calla and Ren
Ahhh, this last quote! The feels!
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Unearthly #2
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen January 17, 2012
Pages: 403


For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves 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.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

My thoughts:

There are spoilers in this review. You've been warned.

Hallowed is filled with a ton of emotions. Well, one particular emotion the most: sadness. No seriously, Clara feels sad, like, all the time. To be fair though a lot of stuff that happened in this book would make me sad too. Actually, I was sad a lot for Clara, especially at the ending.

After the events of Unearthly, Clara now is trying to live life with knowing she failed her purpose. Clara thinks she being punished because of her failed purpose but really she's not, it's just life. She thinks she's being punished because stuff like the evil fallen angel Samjeeza keeps following (more like stalking) Clara and her family. Then, she has another one of her visions in which someones she loves dies. Originally, she thinks it's Tucker who dies so she goes all angel overprotective on him. But, actually, and this is the really, really sad part, the person who's going to die is her mother. Yeah, you read that right, her mother. Yeah, 'cause apparently being a half angel means you only live 'till your 120. And guess what, Clara's mother was just about to hit that age milestone. I felt so bad for Clara about this.

The other sad part was Clara's relationship with Tucker. Oh, that ending. Why, oh why, did you have to break up Clara and Tucker Cynthia Hand? I mean, really? And the Christian thing. What, he's going to go to Stanford too? I like Christian, really I do. I just like Tucker better and I think Tucker is better off with Clara. Christian feels too much like it's written in the stars and stuff because of the angel stuff.

Anyways, Hallowed is a really good book. I can't wait to read Boundless!

How was Hallowed for you? Did you like the ending?

Favorite Quote:

"I know that when I think about my future, I'm usually overwhelmed, knowing how much will be expected of me. I know the odds are that I'll fail many of the things I try. And it's a big deal. What if I figure out what my purpose is, my reason for being on this planet, only to fall short? What if I don't pass the test? But then I think about what I've learned here in the last year, and I don't mean in my classes, but what I've learned from watching my friends face their futures and search for their purposes. I've learned that a storm isn't always just bad weather, and a fire can be the start of something new. I've found out that there are a lot more shades of gray in this world then I ever knew about. I've learned that sometimes, when you're afraid but you keep on moving forward, that's the biggest kind of courage there is. And finally, I've learned that life isn't really about failure and success. It's about being present, in the moment when big things happen, when everything changes, including yourself. So I would tell us, no matter how bright we think our futures are, it doesn't matter. Whether we go off to some fancy university or stay home and work. That doesn't define us. Our purpose on this earth is not a single event, an accomplishment we can check off a list. There is no test. No passing or failing. There's only us, each moment shaping who we are, into what we will become. So I say forget about the future. Pay attention to now. This moment right now. Let go of expectations. Just be. Then you are free to become something great."

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review: Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton

Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #14
Reading Level: Adult
Publisher: Jove June 27, 2006
Pages: 517


These days, Anita Blake is less interested in vampire politics than in an ancient, ordinary dread she shares with women down the ages: she may be pregnant. And, if she is, whether the father is a vampire, a werewolf, or someone else entirely, he knows perfectly well that being a Federal Marshal known for raising the dead and being a vampire executioner, is no way to bring up a baby.

My thoughts:

This will be a short review because Danse Macabre was a dull read and I really don't have much to say on it. Here are reasons why this book is sooo boring:

1. Nothing happens. Literally, there is no plot, no premise, you wouldn't even think it's an Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter book. Quite seriously, if you picked up Guilty Pleasures, the first book, read it and then read this boring mess you would be scratching your head, like huh? Is this even the same series?

2. All talk, no action. I mean how can an author write her whole book based on talking about nothing? It was just so boring. This is Anita and everybody else: oh, no I'm pregnant! What am I going to do?! Now we talk forever about the baby. Yadda yadda. Wait, now I've getting more powers! Now, we have to talk forever about said powers. Yadda yadda yadda. Oh, now someone's feelings got hurt. I'm Anita so I have to go console him and talk about meaningless things the whole time. It's goes on and on. It's like that teacher in Charlie Brown where she talks but you can't understand a word she's saying.

Now you see why it was like watching paint dry. I gave Danse Macabre two stars because it was just okay. Not horrible (although reading over this review, it sounds like its horrible) but nowhere near good either. Nevertheless, I'm going to give the next book, The Harlequin, a try and hope for the best. Besides, I've heard that later in the series Hamilton gets back on track so to speak to the Anita from the first nine books. Oh, and did I forget to tell you that it took me almost a YEAR to read this book. Yeah. That's how boring it was. Now that I read over my review, it seems that I had more to say about this book than I thought. Huh.

What did you think of Danse Macabre? Boring as heck or did you find it entertaining? photo b2signature_zps8268ed47.jpg

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review: Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton

Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The PSS Chronicles #1
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Ripley Patton November 30, 2012
Pages: 372


Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.

How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky. 

Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.

My thoughts:

I started Ghost Hand totally unawares. I had no idea I'd be jumping into a fast-paced, intriguing, and different world. By different, I mean that the idea of PSS and Olivia's ghost hand was something I've never come across in the young adult book universe. And yes, this different is good.

I found Olivia to be a great heroine. I loved her snark and strength and of course her cool ability. I'm all for superpowers, especially ones that can pick a lock and then lock it again. And that's not even the whole extent of it; that's like itty bitty compared to what else she can do. I don't know, I just thought that was really, really neat!

I liked the romance. It wasn't forced or instantaneous. It had that realness to it and it helped that Marcus is well, you know...Marcus. :)

The Lowdown:

The plot moved along quickly and was fun to read about. Also, there were some funny moments. I felt invested in the characters and rooted for Olivia, Marcus, Nose, and Yale. (I left Jason out on purpose because that dude's kind of an ass and he's a little trigger happy. I don't know, maybe he'll grow on me in the next book, that's assuming he is in the next book or just went and got himself killed or something first thing. What? It could happen. The boy's just looking for trouble.) The only thing that I would have liked to learn more about would be Nose and Yale. I like them so I hope maybe we see more of their back story in Ghost Hold.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go and read this awesome book!

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WOW = Waiting On The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead

Waiting on The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead

Release Date: May 29, 2014


The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Vampire Academy and Bloodline series returns with the second installment in her acclaimed Age of X series.

Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.

Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.

I am sooooo excited for this book. I love Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series plus the first book in this series was pretty good. And The Immortal Crown looks even better!
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

TTT = Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On

1. I loved The Lightning Thief so I can't wait until I read this one.

2. Two things: vampires and Katie Maxwell. 'Nuff said.

3. I thought Claudia Gray's Spellcaster was just okay but I'm hoping Steadfast is better.

4. I thought My Fair Godmother was such a cute and funny read. So, naturally I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel.

5. You can't really go wrong with Gena Showalter's books so I'm looking forward to Unraveled.

6. I haven't read the first Dark Guardian book in a long time but I still want to read Full Moon.

7. Blue Bloods was just okay but I think it has potential to be a good series. That's why Masquerade's on  my list.

8. I'm a little curious to see what happens in Captivate because honestly I thought Need was a little odd. 

9. This one's about Helen of Troy. I really like Greek mythology and liked the first book so why not?

10. Oooh, I'm so excited for The Immortal Crown. Let's just say I'm a HUGE fan of Richelle Mead's books.
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Divergent #2
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books May 1, 2012
Pages: 525


One choice can transform you, or destroy you.

Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. 

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

My thoughts:

Remember my review of Divergent? You know, the one where I couldn't form a coherent review? Yeah, well I think I might have the same problem with Insurgent. In that case, I'll keep this one brief. So, basically this is all you need to know about Insurgent:

It's a REALLY GOOD book. It's NOT boring. Tris and Four are awesome. (Notice how I say Four and not Tobias.)

Now here are my favorite quotes from Insurgent.

Favorite Quotes:

"Sometimes I feel like I am collecting the lessons each faction has to teach me, and storing them in my mind like a guidebook for moving through the world. There is always something to learn, always something that is important to understand."

"By the time the fight dies down, my clothes are more paint-colored than black. I decide to keep the shirt to remind me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free."

"I look at the mirror. It's not so difficult to pretend that I'm speaking to Jeanine when I speak to my own relfection. My hair is blond like hers; we are both pale and stern-looking. The thought is so disturbing to me that I lose my train of thought for a few seconds, and instead stand with my finger in the air in silence.
I am pale-skinned, pale-haired, and cold. I am curious about the pictures of my brain. I am like Jeanine. And I can either despise it, attack it, eradicate it...or I can use it."

"What did you do?" I mumble. He is just a few feet away from me now, but not close enough to hear me. As he passes me he stretches out his hand. He wraps it around my palm and squeezes. Squeezes, then lets go. His eyes are bloodshot; he is pale.
"What did you do?" This time the question tears from my throat like a growl. I throw myself toward him, struggling against Peter's grip, though his hands chafe.
"What did you do?" I scream.
"You die, I die too." Tobias looks over his shoulder at me. "I asked you not to do this. You made your decision. These are the repercussions."
--Tris and Four

"I read somewhere, once, that crying defies scientific explanation. Tears are only meant to lubricate the eyes. There is no real reason for tear glands to overproduce tears at the behest of emotion.
I think we cry to release the animal parts of us without losing our humanity. Because inside me is a beast that snarls, and growls, and strains toward freedom, toward Tobias, and, above all, toward life. And as hard as I try, I cannot kill it.
So I sob into my hands instead."

"People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them."
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Age of X #1
Reading Level: Adult
Publisher: Dutton Adult June 4, 2013
Pages: 448


In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

My thoughts:

First off, Gameboard of the Gods is very, very different from Richelle Mead's previous books. It's not like Vampire Academy, Bloodlines, Georgiana Kincaid, or her Dark Swan series. Don't get me wrong, I can see some similarities between her other series but overall the first Age of X novel walked a different tune.

That is not to say that this book was bad. It was actually pretty good (as I gave it a 4 star rating) but I had to warm up to it. I was fluctuating between giving it a 3 or 4 star but I ultimately chose a 4 star because I think it has potential.

Back to the warming up part. It was slow. At first, in the beginning I had to force myself to read it. I think it was slow due to these reasons:

1. The world, the build-up, basically the whole introduction of this new setting. To be honest, it was kind of confusing at first with all the gadget, politics, and religious talk. But, I understand it because, like most first books in series a lot of the stuff has to be explained in order to get the gist of the whole thing for later in the book and the next ones after that.

2. The characters. For some reason, I didn't really get invested in Justin, Mae, or Tessa for that matter. I think this was largely due in part to Mead's use of third person POV. It just felt really impersonal. Still, like I said before it got better in the last half of the book. I actually felt a little for Justin and Mae.

Despite the differences from her previous books and the slow start, Mead debuts a promising new series. I, for one, am going to read the second book in the Age of X series. Hopefully, it'll be good.

What are your thoughts on Gameboard of the Gods? Did you like it? photo b2signature_zps8268ed47.jpg
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