Whenever I finish a book that I feel really passionate about, it's bI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Whenever I finish a book that I feel really passionate about, it's bittersweet. On the one hand, I'm happy to have had the experience, but on the other hand, I'm sad it's over. And then I want everyone to read it, too, so the awesomeness can be shared. That's what makes reading as essential to me as breathing, and that's what Life Unaware has given me. Now that I'm finished, I want to spread its awesomeness.
Life Unaware tackles the topic of bullying - done not only in person but also on social media. There's a moment when Regan discovers a Facebook page where people can write nasty things about her, it was devastating not only for her but for me as well as a parent. It would be one of my worst nightmares if the things that had been done to Regan were done to one of my kids.
And it was devastating that Regan's own mother, who to me is supposed to protect and love her daughter, shared a large portion of the bullying, just in a subtler form. It saddened me when only a couple of adults recognized something major was going on with Regan, but even they didn't really do anything about it. They didn't delve far enough in besides asking if she was okay, and of course she said she was even though she was anything but.
I found myself liking Regan even though I know I wouldn't have if I were in high school with her. I think she had a poor role model in her mother, and having an anxiety disorder is hard enough without the pressure from her mom and the fact that high school can be hell. It really is a battlefield.
Nolan became a light in Regan's life - not as a knight in shining armor kind of way but as a beacon of hope. I really liked how their relationship unfolded and took its time developing. Nolan had secrets of his own, too, and I was impatient to find out what those were.
I think Life Unaware is a book every teen and every parent should read. I couldn't put this book down - I read it in one night and lost a lot of sleep, but it was worth it. Definitely. Tackling bullying and psychological disorders in one novel was a huge undertaking, but Gibsen nailed it. ...more
The Violet Hour's synopsis caught my eye because I thought it soundeI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The Violet Hour's synopsis caught my eye because I thought it sounded like a unique and mysterious read. I don't get into historical fiction a lot, but that aspect of the novel has much to do with what drew me into reading it.
I'm drawn to reading about characters who have lost a parent. I know that sounds macabre, but I've been through it myself and can relate. While The Violet Hour's main character, Allegra, lost her mom to suicide, I lost my mom to cancer. Throughout the novel, I always had this hope that maybe Allegra's mom wasn't really dead. Maybe it was all a mistake or some sort of twisted misunderstanding. I think my feelings about wishing my own mom was still alive bled into The Violet Hour. I really do.
Allegra is a bright, intelligent young woman, and for her time, well, she's ahead of it. It was incredibly brave of her to leave behind the comfort her father's wealth afforded her and go out into the world to live her own way. I couldn't have done it, and I admired that about her. Her father sounds like a horrible man, and it's no wonder she was determined to get away.
I definitely found Brighton interesting, and of course I wanted to know if everything the musicians whispered about him was true or not. I wouldn't say that Allegra and Brighton were victims of insta-love, but they were attracted to each other right away and I loved it! While Allegra was determined to try to spend as much time with him as possible, he was fighting his attraction to her. So they weren't instantly in a relationship, but one developed over time naturally.
The mood of the story was a bit spooky and mysterious, which I loved. Each layer of mysterious happenings was revealed at a good pace - not too fast, not too slow - and I was left wanting to find out more. I was right about The Violet Hour - this is a unique and well written story. The time period, right before the Civil War, made for an interesting setting.
The Violet Hour could very well make you want to grab as much historical fiction as you can if you aren't already a fan of the genre. Plus the spooky mood with hints of danger throughout makes for an engrossing read. I recommend The Violet Hour to anyone who can't resist finding out secrets and Allegra and Brighton are characters you're definitely going to want to get to know well. ...more
After loving Stupid Girl, I was excited to read Stupid Boy. With difI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
After loving Stupid Girl, I was excited to read Stupid Boy. With different characters as the focus, Stupid Boy can be read as a standalone, although I think reading Stupid Girl first will enhance your experience since the stories are connected.
This is probably going to sound morbid, but I do like reading realistic fiction where the characters are broken and need to work through their dark past in order to truly live. Stupid Boy makes me think about the saying, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." Kane sees that right away about Harper despite the outer image she's trying to project, and I think it's because he comes from a painful background, too.
Kane's experiences have given him the ability to see it in someone else, even someone he's just met. When both people have that in their past, they can understand each other in a way without words that other people may not be able to do. I think Harper was trying much harder and more desperately to repress the experiences she had been through, and that was why she didn't see past Kane's exterior shell right away. She wants to pack her pain in a suitcase and keep it in the back of a closet, away from her sight.
I wanted to know what had happened to both of these characters, and through bits and pieces here and there, you come to know what they went through. It's horrifying, and no one should have had to go through that.
I was happy to see Olivia and Brax from the first book in Stupid Boy. I really liked them and was hoping they'd be connected to the characters in this book, which they are.
The only thing that kept me from giving the book five stars was the story lulled in places. It might have been just me and my frame of mind at the time, but a few places were slow for me. Other than that, I really loved reading about Kane and Harper's story, and I'm looking forward to reading about new characters in the next installment. ...more
The Blast is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic young adult novel with a veryI received a review copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The Blast is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic young adult novel with a very young heroine, Beatrice, at the core of the story. After the blasts force Beatrice, her younger brother Henry, and their parents into their bunker, things are never going to be the same for them again. Lucky for Beatrice, her parents prepared for an emergency such as this and had made and stocked the bunker with all kinds of supplies.
The Blast had some major surprises in store. The grittiness of the world after it goes to crap is so realistic, it feels like it could really happen. In a situation like this, where your life changes forever, bad things are bound to happen, and Perlmutter doesn't shy away from from those kind of things happening. I knew life wasn't going to be pretty for this family, but I had no idea they were going to go through so much grief. What really helped them out was the preparation Beatrice's parents had done in case something like this happened.
The nuclear winter was really freaky. The description of what it was like when the family went out scavenging for supplies with ash surrounding them and completely frigid temperatures making it impossible to venture far from home was so realistic. It was just like I imagined a nuclear winter to be like, and it gave me chills!
As I mentioned before, The Blast was very fast paced, taking place over five years, but I wished the pace was slower, taking its time a little more. The story is so rich with so much potential it felt a bit rushed at times. I wanted more!
Beatrice is literally just a kid at eleven-years-old, yet she's had to kill people to protect her family. She isn't even a teen at the beginning of the novel. The things she's had to do for herself and her family to survive keep haunting her, and are things no kid her age should have to see let alone do. Though it was necessary, it changes her forever. There's no going back. She's forced to grow up quickly.
There's foreshadowing here and there of things to come, but the way those events unfold is what will keep you riveted. I couldn't put this book down! The Blast is the kind of story I read in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I was pulled in right away, and the suspense and grittiness of this new world post-apocalypse had me enthralled. ...more
I reviewed the audio book version of Incarcerated for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I've heard great things about author Inger IverseI reviewed the audio book version of Incarcerated for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I've heard great things about author Inger Iversen, and her books have been on my must-read list for a while now. I've been getting into audio books lately and really love them. Depending on the narrator, just by listening, you can lose yourself in the story in a different way than if you were reading it yourself.
Olivia Peppersmith does an excellent job narrating Incarcerated and has a pleasant voice to listen to. She gives each character his or her own distinctive voice, and I'd listen to any audio book she narrates.
Incarcerated gives you insight into what some of the men in prison could be like. Maybe there are guys like Logan in there who don't deny what they've done and who want to finish serving their time so they can get out and make a life for themselves. I didn't hate him, but I didn't quite like him either. I didn't know what to think about his racism. It didn't seem he had learned it from his parents, so it wasn't something that seemed to be deeply entrenched in his belief system. But I wanted to scream at him, you didn't know what Katie looked like or what her ethnicity was but you fell in love with her anyway!! So what does he think that tells him??
I think Katie was a weak heroine, but I think she was supposed to be shown as vulnerable. If she hadn't been, she probably wouldn't have started the pen pal program to begin with. She's dealing with a lot - the death of her mother, her overbearing father, pressure from work deadlines, her former boyfriend abandoning her right after her mother's death, and agoraphobia. I just wish she had grown and become stronger by the end, but to me, that never happened.
I didn't think Katie's friend, Teal, was much of a friend. I know she wanted Katie to break out of her self-imposed exile, but forcing her to go to parties is not the way to go. To me it was the equivalent of telling a depressed person to "snap out of it!" or "get over it!" The only time I liked Teal was when she tried talking sense into Katie when she found out about Katie falling in love with an inmate from the pen pal program. Everything Teal said to Katie at that time was true.
Incarcerated kept me riveted. I wanted to know how everything was going to turn out in the end. Would Katie and Logan be able to make a romance happen? Truth be told, I wasn't totally rooting for them but wasn't completely against them either. I thought Katie could do a lot better, especially when it's apparent Logan is racist, but also thought she was a better woman than I for not judging Logan solely based on his prison sentence, before she knew he was racist.
Realistically, they have a lot of work ahead of them if they want to make it as a couple. I don't know if I would want to make it work with someone like Logan who judges me based on my skin color even after getting to know me, but Incarcerated gave me a lot of food for thought, and for that, I'm grateful. ...more
I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Red's synopsis sounded intriguing to me, and that cover is gorI received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Red's synopsis sounded intriguing to me, and that cover is gorgeous! Alyxandra Harvey is an author who's been on my to-read list for quite a while, and I'm thrilled to say I'm a fan.
I really liked Kia right away - she's snarky (I'd snark right along with her any day!), clever, and oh yeah, can start fires with her mind. As you can probably imagine, that's a problem, especially because she can't control it - she gets kicked out of her school and sent to live with her grandmother, Abby.
One of my favorite television series of all time is Heroes, so when Kia decides not to tell the truth about things she's getting in trouble for even though they aren't her fault, I totally get that. She's afraid the truth could go one of two ways - no one would believe her, or she'd become a government experiment. In Heroes, the characters had extraordinary abilities like Kia, and they were hunted down by the government, so Kia's reasoning was solid to me.
I kept wondering why Kia calls her grandmother Abby instead of Grandma. They saw each other once a year before Kia goes to live with her, so they don't know each other all that well. But still, it seemed odd to me. I liked Abby.
Ethan runs hot and cold. At times I liked him, and other times I didn't. He can be kind and generous but also just plain rude. Because he's in the know about the mysterious woods from the start and Kia isn't, I guess he was going for the tough love thing? Maybe he thought he was helping her out? But he can see there's more to her than she lets on, and he's smart. There's much more to her than meets the eye.
Red is fast paced with plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested and turning the pages. You can feel Kia's struggle to control her ability, and I wanted her to come out with the truth but understood why she was hesitant about the idea. For me, Red is a quick read, and I was engrossed from the beginning. Kia had a lot to do with that. I just really loved her character from the first page. I recommend this to anyone who loves a good young adult paranormal read. ...more
In The Demon's Deadline, a teen girl named Nicki survives a car acciI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
In The Demon's Deadline, a teen girl named Nicki survives a car accident by making a deal with a demon, Azmos. He can show up anywhere, anytime, and she has to deliver the envelopes he gives her to their recipients. After several months of delivering these envelopes, Nicki starts to wonder exactly what she's doing and why she seems to be different from the others who've made deals with Azmos.
Cam is the kind of boyfriend I'd like to see more of in YA books. He's a straight A student and very likable. He *gasp* communicates with his girlfriend! I think he's mature for his age, and I liked that he knew Nicki's secret - it was great that she had at least one person she could confide in, especially when her job as errand girl becomes dangerous.
Nicki decided not to tell her father or her best friend, Melissa, and so she lies to them. That would have to be frustrating to lie to people you love and feel like there's nothing you can do about it because you made a deal with a demon. She's afraid they won't believe her and think she suffered brain injuries from the accident.
I related with Nicki because she lost her mom in the accident. I know what it's like to have a dull ache in my chest from the loss, and when Nicki would think about her mom and how much she misses her and feels guilty she survived when her mom didn't, I knew what she was feeling. I totally got it. I felt for Nicki's father and his grief, too.
Azmos is cunning, mysterious, annoying... everything I imagine a demon to be. I couldn't stop reading for the need to know what it was about Nicki that was different from the others. Why did he let her sign a deal with him before she turned sixteen? I couldn't wait to find out. I didn't have my own theories, not really. It was something I couldn't figure out.
The Demon's Deadline is a quick read with likable characters and a terrific plot. I'd love to see more characters like Nicki and Cam in YA books - they're smart, relatable, and strong on their own. Nicki doesn't rely on Cam, and their relationship is relatively drama-free (with the exception of a demon's demands). I recommend this book to anyone who loves YA paranormal with smart characters. ...more
Zombie-saurus Rex was a really cool zombie story. Full of originality andI received a review copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Zombie-saurus Rex was a really cool zombie story. Full of originality and fun, I cared about Rex. A lot. And I really wanted him to get a happy ending. I know, I know. He's a zombie. But he isn't like any other zombie I know, except maybe R from Warm Bodies. But Zombie-saurus Rex is completely different from Warm Bodies - in this novel, zombies can still do things like speak and go to school, but humans are leery of them, to the point where some in the military want to put them in internment camps or just go ahead and kill them all.
In a sense, I could understand people's trepidation, after all, what are zombies infamous for craving? But if Rex gets to eat his calf brain for lunch and has snacks here and there (snacks he's brought with him!) then there's no reason to panic about him coming after you. He just wants to graduate high school and maybe go to college. The problem is, Rex and his mother have had to move so many times he finds himself behind in school academically sometimes, plus it's difficult to learn when you have to deal with other kids harassing you.
I love Ariella! And I love that Rex does end up making a male friend, Howie. Ariella wants to be different, so much so that she goes out of her way to try to stand out from everyone else. I had forgotten she's the daughter of the Chief of Police, and so I cracked up when he knocks on Rex's door looking for her. Poor Rex had no idea! The two of them were what I thought of as the dynamic duo. I don't think there was anything Rex could have done that would've phased Ariella or made her stop liking him. Nothing. And that's the kind of friend you need at any age.
Zombie-saurus Rex does an excellent job of giving you an escape from the real world while at the same time giving you food for thought (pun intended) about dealing with the presence of discrimination and adversity. I highly, highly recommend this book no matter if you're a fan of zombies or not. If you aren't a fan of them, then you will be after meeting Rex. Promise....more
The Stillness of the Sky is a gender flipped take on "Jack and the BI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The Stillness of the Sky is a gender flipped take on "Jack and the Beanstalk" with originality. I ADORE Starla's Evolution series and her other gender flipped fairy tale, Shadows on Snow. I not only wish I had thought about this, too, but also wish for her to gender flip everything! XD
In this rendition, Jack is short for Jacqueline. Jack's mother is tired of dealing with her father so she tries to convince Jack to leave with her. Jack chooses to stay with her alcoholic father because she worries he won't be able to take care of himself. He's abusive to her and one day orders her to sell their cows to cover his debt. On her way to town, she stops to rest, falls asleep, and wakes up to find the cows are gone and in their place is a pouch of beans.
Jack ends up leaving, wondering if it would have been kinder to have left earlier so her father would have been forced to face his demons a long time ago. She doesn't have a clear plan or idea of where she's going, but that's what makes her departure so adventurous and exciting. Not to mention that she's finally free - away from her father's abuse and only has to worry about taking care of herself rather than someone who doesn't appreciate all that she does.
I was so excited for her! She's setting out on this journey this for herself, no one else. To me, the journey she embarks on was also symbolic of the kind young people take to discover themselves. Along Jack's way she meets different people whom she helps because she truly embodies kindness, and they recognize the quality in her. One stormy night, the beans are accidentally planted, and she wakes up to find a towering beanstalk. From there, everything becomes magical.
I love the characters, especially Jack, and the adventure and romance woven into this tale. Starla has the imaginative chops to take this well known story and make it her own. From now on, I'll look at "Jack and the Beanstalk" with a new and fresh perspective. Every time I think about it, I'll think of The Stillness of the Sky and how beautiful and uplifting Starla retold this tale. ...more
The mix of genres in Amaranthine: The Heart of Decompose is unique and creative.I received a copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The mix of genres in Amaranthine: The Heart of Decompose is unique and creative. There's fantasy with unicorns, dragons, and fairies, horror with zombies, science fiction with space travel and life on other planets, and a touch of romance. It's amazing how Schluntz had these elements all come together to make a unified story. Santa is even in there!
Amaranthine begins with finding out that several different planets, including Earth, have been infected with a plague that turns the inhabitants into zombies. The plague was created during a war between unicorns and dragons, and Dee also known as Decompose, carries the plague. The cure lies in his friend, Jhon, and the two end up getting separated. Dee must find Jhon in order to cure the inhabitants of the different planets ravaged by the disease.
The action and tension kept me on the edge of my seat. Dee and Jhon had an enormous task ahead of them, not only to find each other but also to cure people and stay a step ahead of those who wish to use the infection to control their people. And Dee straddles the line between life and death - he doesn't really belong to one or the other. I grew to like Dee, but it took me time to get used to Jhon. I wasn't sure about him for a while.
There are a couple of other characters who are as important as Dee and Jhon, but I don't want to say who they are or talk about them because I feel it would give too much away. I will say one character I liked quite a bit, and the other I liked but not quite as much.
Amaranthine is a novel I believe will appeal to fans of any or all of the genres it includes. It gives a fresh take on zombies - they aren't all like the zombies you're used to - and I loved the space travel aspect of the novel. I haven't seen a novel mixing these genres together before, and it's a cleverly written mashup of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. And there are unicorns! Did I mention unicorns?! ...more
It's been a long time since I've read a good YA thriller, and UnleasI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
It's been a long time since I've read a good YA thriller, and Unleashed is a great one. Although I haven't read Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I know the story and have always been fascinated by it. The way McClellan handles her re-imagining of this classic is clever and suspenseful. Unleashed takes you on a fast action-packed ride from beginning to end.
Claire is a high school student who's in a band and wants to get out of the town she lives in. She doesn't have a great home life, and she's had to protect herself because neither of her parents will. Once she accidentally overhears classified information at the medical research facility in her town, her life is in danger from a security guard who's been tasked to find out what she knows and a guy she runs into named Gage. Luckily, she has a father figure in her life who also happens to be a policeman. He looks out for her just like a father would his own daughter.
Soon it becomes apparent that one of two important people in Claire's life play a role in the information she overheard - she just doesn't know which one, and neither does the reader. That was one of my favorite aspects of Unleashed - not knowing and trying to figure out who Gage's identity before he could harm Claire. You only know Gage could be Claire's friend, Logan, or her boyfriend, Ethan. McClellan writes both characters in a way that either one could be the culprit, and you use clues and hints she drops to take a guess.
I really didn't know which one was Gage and was kept guessing until the end. The ending was spectacularly intense and kept my pulse pounding! McClellan did a stellar job with her re-imagining of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Unleashed. And what a perfect title for the book! I'd recommend this to anyone who is looking for a YA thriller with romance sprinkled in. ...more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.
Gah! I really, really wanted to like PurenetI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.
Gah! I really, really wanted to like Purenet. To love it. Sadly, that didn't turn out to be the case. The idea behind the story is phenomenal and creative, but unfortunately, the way it played out killed my excitement about reading it. Between the characters and the speedy plot, I wasn't able to enjoy reading it.
Skylier has some spunk to her, and I liked watching events unfold from her perspective. However, the other characters were one-dimensional, and characters really make a book for me. If I don't like who I'm reading about, then it's hard to read the book. In Purenet, they just felt flat with no personality. Two guys end up crushing on Skylier, but I didn't have a preference for either one because I didn't have a chance to get to know either one of them.
Purenet's plot was way too fast paced - so much was happening it was hard for me to keep up. Scenes changed quickly and made the story seem like it was on hyper drive. It's a short book, and at first I thought it was because the plot whirled by me. But it is actually a short read, and if more time had been spent on developing the characters, the plot, and the world they lived in, I would've loved it.
I wouldn't have minded the book being longer in that case. As a matter of fact, I think it should have been longer to achieve what I mentioned above. It's better to take your time and tell a fantastic story than to rush through it as though you're in a hurry to get to the exciting parts. Good things come to those who wait, right?
There was also a lot of telling rather than showing. I know this is hard to do, I really do. But I want to be shown rather than told about the world the author has built.
Overall, Purenet had a lot of potential to be a terrific and interesting sci-fi/dystopian novel. Unfortunately, the novel didn't reach up to its full potential.
Crossing the Ice is a book I've been wanting to read for a while now,I received an audiobook copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Crossing the Ice is a book I've been wanting to read for a while now, and so I jumped at the chance to review the audiobook. I don't have much experience with audiobooks - I borrowed one from the library quite a while ago and didn't like it. But listening to Crossing the Ice was a completely different experience and has made me a fan of audiobooks forever.
The narrator, Emily Stokes, has a pleasant voice, and it was easy to allow her to draw me into the story immediately. I'd listen to any book narrated by her. The only teeny tiny issue I had was the toddler voices. It was slightly jarring to me but didn't take away from my love for this book at all.
Crossing the Ice starts off rocky for Courtney and her skating partner, Mark. Things look bleak for them when they bomb in the free skate, and then they find out their coaches, Em and Sergei, will also be coaching their biggest rivals - Josh and his sister, Stephanie. It felt like a betrayal, and I'm still scratching my head over what the coaches were thinking with that decision.
I couldn't tell you what Josh looks like. I have no idea what his hair or eye color is, how tall or short he is, or any of the physical descriptions authors use to help readers picture a character. The moment I heard the character's name was Josh, I pictured Josh Hutcherson (like perfectly pictured him) and nothing can change my mind about that. ;)
Anyway, I liked Josh from the start once he was away from his stuck up sister. There's so much about him to love. One of his favorite bands is Muse, so when I heard that, I knew I was in love! It was cute how nervous he was around Courtney. I thought he was simply adorable. And there's a moment when U2's "Love is Blindness" plays as Josh and Courtney are both skating that I held onto because it was too sweet. I think there was a hidden message from Em in playing that song - it was perfect.
Stephanie is a terrible person and easy to root against. She's so bitchy and stuck up. I love how Courtney tells her off from time to time - it's nice to see a young woman stand up for herself. It's hard to believe she's Josh's sister!
Crossing the Ice is a sweet love story with all the ups and downs of young love. I ADORE this book, and I was so sad when it was over. I'm planning on listening to it all over again very soon, plus I bought a copy of the book to read. Five stars from me, hands down! ...more
I've done my best to keep spoilers out of this review in case you haI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I've done my best to keep spoilers out of this review in case you haven't read the first two books, but there may be a tiny detail or two I've forgotten. :P
Buried in New Orleans starts off with Jolie, Brit, and Drew heading to New Orleans so he can cross over. They search for April, Drew's girlfriend from when he was alive, to get answers as to why he hasn't been able to. They run into Jolie's old ghost hunting group NOSH (New Orleans Spirit Hunters), and she's less than thrilled to see them because Drew has been hanging around her for so long. Jolie's kind of been putting off helping him move on, and it's a huge no-no to allow a spirit to hang around.
I love these characters and this series! It's an amazing story line which gets better with each book. Each character has his or her strengths and weakness, but they all bring something to the table which makes them such a great team.
I truly believe Jolie was born to help spirits. She gets part of her talent through her mother and grandmother, but she also puts her heart into everything she does. Her downfall? Drew, but I can't blame her!
Brit is so spunky it gets her into trouble sometimes, but I like her spunk. She's completely fearless and a great partner in crime. Her downfall? The color pink. And money. ;)
Drew has been there for Jolie - helping her get ghost hunting jobs, supporting her on the move to Massachusetts and starting a new school. He's been her only friend until Brit. He's comforted her, and it's totally understandable why she wouldn't want to let all that go.
So when the mystery of why he can't cross over is revealed, it's a complete shocker. Never saw it coming! It makes it even more difficult for Jolie to help him because helping him means letting him go. I really empathized with her - I wouldn't want to lose my best friend either.
Buried in New Orleans is a fantastic addition to the RIPSTERS series! I love the modernized Nancy Drew-like paranormal mystery aspect this series has. Reading Buried in New Orleans was like visiting with old friends. I love the dynamics in Jolie and Brit's friendship. I highly recommend this series if you love young adult books with paranormal mystery, and romance. ...more
Gathering Frost is a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty with a twist onI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Gathering Frost is a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty with a twist on the story we're used to - instead of sleeping, the kingdom is in thrall to the Queen, including Jade, the main character. The Queen has frozen all emotions except for fear and dread to keep everyone under her control. Genius idea!
Jade is in the Queen's guard and the only female because she's so kickass. I love a strong female character, and it isn't just her frozen heart that braces her in the face of danger. She possesses true bravery and courage, the likes of which some of the men around her are sorely lacking. She's intelligent - always thinking one step ahead.
When she meets the Queen's son, Prince Asher, and is tasked with deceiving him, it's quickly apparent she's met her match in wit and strength. I was surprised by how different he is from his mother - he's warm and caring. I loved how he was more amused by Jade than threatened by her. I think it was because he could see something within her that no one else could, maybe something she couldn't even see for herself.
My only issue with Gathering Frost is that a couple of parts felt a little slow to me. My mind kept wandering during those times though I had no distractions around me. Something pulled me out of the story for some reason. It's a fast read though as in I read it all in one sitting and did enjoy it.
The relationship between Jade and Asher will probably seem like instalove, but this is a fairy tale reimagining and love happens fast in fairy tales. There are plenty of complex obstacles for them to navigate to make their story interesting. Jade is supposed to be deceiving Asher, but at what point does she stop, if ever? Or is she only deceiving herself?
I'm excited to find out what happens next! Gathering Frost is a book I'd recommend to anyone who loves fairy tales and strong heroines in YA fiction. ...more
I'm a fan of serial storytelling where parts of the story come in episodesI received a review copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I'm a fan of serial storytelling where parts of the story come in episodes spread out over time. The Chronicles of Steele #1 contains four episodes, and I'll be reviewing all of them here.
I really enjoyed reading the episodes and even better, I read them back-to-back. It would have been difficult to wait for each one, but I wouldn't have minded. My anticipation would have just built up, and all of this together means the wait would be worth it. After finishing The Chronicles of Steele, I know this is definitely true.
I love Raven. She's a reaper who wants to settle down and become a wife but an incident early on ends up sending her on yet another mission. Once she's on this mission, that's all she focuses on though she had been on her way to give up being a reaper and live a "normal" human life.
Reapers aren't magic, but they are highly trained to anticipate outcomes ahead of time and to fight and to be mentally prepared. They are so well trained they seem like they use magic. Raven was taught to save a life for every life she has to take, which keeps a reaper balanced and reminds him (with the exception of Raven, most reapers are male) all lives have meaning.
The plot is captivating and laid out well, and the steampunk elements are seamlessly blended in giving the world Creeden has built vibrant life. Captain Jack caught my eye early on. I remember thinking I hoped to meet up with him again sooner rather than later. Though he's the enemy, it isn't quite that cut and dry as you'll find out.
Jack and Raven are playing a game of cat-and-mouse. She's always one step ahead of him, and I couldn't help but be amused every time he realized that. He sees her strength and recognizes her vulnerability. There's more to him than just what you see on the outside.
I think The Chronicles of Steele might just be my absolute favorite book by Pauline Creeden now - it's that fantastic! ...more
I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I read the first three books in this series - Under My Skin,I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I read the first three books in this series - Under My Skin, Second Skin, and Skin of My Teeth. This review will cover all three books.
I love Judith Graves's writing style. The main character, Eryn, drew me into her world with her snark and her wit, and I didn't want to leave. It would be hard being the new girl, with everyone gawking at you shamelessly. But she handles it like a pro, not letting it bother her. She has bigger problems than a bunch of fellow high school kids anyhow.
She's half-human, half-wolven, and after something has happened to her parents (they disappeared without a trace), the Council sends her to live with her uncle. She starts going to school with her cousin, who's less than thrilled to have her living with them. The Council wants her to lay low, believing Redgrave is paranorm-free, but they couldn't be more wrong.
She soon finds herself in the middle of all sorts of paranorm activity (haha!) and becomes torn between her attraction to a hunter, Alec, and a vampire, Wade. All sorts of secrets are being kept - ones from her as well as the ones she's keeping from others. She struggles with keeping her wolven side in check and needs to find a way to reconcile both sides of herself.
"I pull the covers over my head and wonder what happens if you're both the beauty and the beast."
There's plenty of action and some romance sprinkled in. Sometimes I didn't like how many times Eryn would go back and forth between her attraction to Alec and Wade; however, I remember having feelings at that age for more than one guy. I was young, and it wasn't like I was looking to settle down for the rest of my life at the age of sixteen. :P It still could be annoying reading about it in Eryn's for me, though, because her feelings switched in mere minutes.
I was desperate to find out what happened to Eryn's parents - were they still alive or had something really awful happened to them? How did the council tie into everything? If her parents were still alive, then I really wanted to meet them because they seemed like good parents doing the best they could just from her memories. And I was surprised that Alec and Wade were both still in the picture as love interests by the third book. I do love both characters, so I was okay with it. ;)
Aside from that, I'm looking forward to the fourth book, Hour of the Wolf. I love the characters in this series, the paranormal aspects of the story, and the moments that make you laugh and cry at the same time. There are always surprises around every corner, and you never know how things are going to turn out until you get there. ...more
Getting ready to read Bridges Burned gave me an excuse to re-read thI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Getting ready to read Bridges Burned gave me an excuse to re-read the first book, Going Down in Flames, and I'm so glad I did. I really didn't need an excuse to read it again though - GDiF was just as awesome the second time around! Bryn is the kind of heroine you don't soon forget. In case you haven't read GDiF yet, I've done my best to make sure not to include any spoilers.
A couple of things stood out to me right away. It's interesting when an author can subtly shift your opinion of a character and even more so when it's achieved with multiple characters. That's exactly what Chris Cannon did in Bridges Burned. I found myself starting to feel differently about some of the characters than I had in GDiF, and it was surprising because I never would have thought my opinions could change that way.
I'm also super jealous that dragons can eat as much as they want without gaining weight. Like SUPER jealous. And it can be anything, even food that isn't good for you. Bryn could eat three or four pieces of cake after dinner! How can anyone not be jealous of that!
Like in the first book, I felt Zavien, the black dragon who is kind of Bryn's protector, is a jerk. I don't get his appeal. I can see it, I just don't get it. Nola, a black dragon and Zavien's friend, becomes super needy this time around, and of course he runs to her rescue at the drop of a hat. I was sad to see Bryn get left behind over and over.
I always liked Valmont, Bryn's literal knight in shining armor, and it was cool to get to know him and his backstory. He works at an Italian restaurant near the school in Dragon's Bluff. Bryn brought out the knight in him, so he really does protect her. There were definite sparks flying between them, and I think he's much more noble and caring than Zavien.
There was a lot of story around Bryn and her love life, which definitely kept me turning the pages. But I was also eager to delve into the politics of the Directorate and the ways in which Bryn could really shake things up. With conspiracy theories and the mystery of who would have gained what from trying to kill her, there was plenty of action and suspense to keep me reading straight through.
I love this series! Chris Cannon delivers once again with a heart-pounding and action-filled story with romance and heart. ...more
With that synopsis and that cover, I knew I had to dig into Blood and Shattered GI received an ARC for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
With that synopsis and that cover, I knew I had to dig into Blood and Shattered Glass and find out for myself what the mystery was all about. It seemed too twisted and fun to pass up, plus I love Tyffani Clark Kemp's writing. I've read the first two books of her LeKrista Scott, Vampire Hunted series, and I love it when authors branch out into other genres.
I'm going to have to be really vague with this review because too much can be given away if I start getting into specifics. And I definitely don't want to give anything away, not one single thing. There were so many surprises around every corner that I wasn't expecting, and the plot blew me away. It's fantastic. I want you to have the opportunity to be blown away by this book, too.
Trista and Jeremi depend on one another - I could tell that right away. At first it appeared he was the one taking care of her, but I think he relied on her almost as much as she did him. I couldn't wait to find out the secrets he was keeping - I had no idea what those could be. Plus I was looking forward to finding out if there was something fishy going on at the psychiatric hospital.
Blood and Shattered Glass is full of secrets waiting to be found out. There were just a couple of small issues I had with it plot wise where things happened a bit too conveniently, but it didn't detract me from enjoying the story as much as I did. I highly recommend this romantic thriller - it'll keep you up reading way past your bedtime and is totally worth losing sleep over! ...more