Friday, May 31, 2013

Storm (Review)

Storm (Elemental, #1)Book: Storm
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series:  Elemental, #1
Publisher: Kensington
Format: Paperback
Pages:  353
Source: Purchased

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys; all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

My Rating:
The idea of a group of people being able to control elements was a pretty new idea to me (I've only read one other book series where characters had control over the elements and that was Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead) and I have to say it was very interesting and I was pretty impressed. I liked that beside the fact that they had these powers they were completely normal humans.
The story had me drawn in from the very first page and I stayed up late reading this because I had to know what happened next. This was one of those books where I had to know what happened and yet at the same time I didn't want it to be over. After I finished the last page I almost turned back to the beginning and read it over again (though I had to restrain myself since other books needed to get read).
The whole time I kept praying Chris and Becca would get together. I definitely didn't see a couple things coming in this one but I won't mention them here since they are major spoilers. The action had me on the edge of my seat and when the revelations started I couldn't believe I didn't see these things coming.
I loved the Merrick brothers, each of them was so different. Michael was very caring and protective of his younger brothers even if they didn't see it that way. Gabriel was fiery, he did things before he thought about them and didn't really care about the consequences. Nick was the peacekeeper, he was calm and collected and seemed to be the most logical and rational out of all of them. Chris seemed to be torn between losing control and staying logical. He had moments of both where he didn't think and then other moments where he thought everything through and was very logical. Becca was an interesting character, she was vulnerable and yet at the same time she had a inner strength that really came out as the book went on.
I think everybody should at least give this book a try. It has a lot of action and fighting plus some pretty sweet romance. These characters all have flaws and struggles that make them easy to relate to and I can't wait to continue with this series to see what the characters have to deal with next.



Friday, May 24, 2013

A Bad Day For Voodoo (ARC Review)

A Bad Day For VoodooBook: A Bad Day For Voodoo
Author: Jeff Strand
Series:  N/A
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: ARC
Pages:  251
Source: Received through ARCycling

When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, "Trust me. This is gonna be awesome."

Of course, you probably wouldn't believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone's leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I've seen it. It can happen.

And when there's suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there—a doll that could be snatched by a Rottweiler and torn to shreds, or a gang of thugs ready to torch it, or any random family of cannibals (really, do you need the danger here spelled out for you?)—well, you know that's just gonna be a really bad day ...
My Rating:
This book was absolutely hilarious. I used those little colorful post-it tabs to mark off funny passages and lines throughout the book and by the end there were quite a few of them. This is definitely a fun read and not one to take too seriously.
Voodoo is always an interesting subject but throw in a couple teens and ridiculous shenanigans and it becomes even better. Some of the situations these kids got into had me cracking up. The FAQ's in the very beginning were even funny. And the book even has an intermission in the middle where the author tells you to go read The Hunger Games again. How cool is that?
I did have an issue with this however. The characters weren't too fleshed out and it made it hard to relate to them. They seemed kind of two dimensional to me, but I guess since this book was supposed to be pure humor it's not that big of a deal.
While this book is definitely humorous and is great for some laughs I do warn you against letting younger teens read this. There is a lot of blood and gore and if you aren't  into that then this book probably isn't the one for you.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #12

Alienated (Alienated, #1)Title: Alienated
Author: Melissa Landers

Series: Alienated, #1
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Expected Publication: February 2, 2014

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.
Why I'm Waiting:
Lately I've been really into alien novels and things to do with space. This sounds like a cute and funny book and I'm really curious to see what this secret is that Aelyx is hiding. This cover is absolutely gorgeous by the way.
What are you guys waiting on this week? Leave me a link below and I'll check it out!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

[Cover Reveal] Grounded

Grounded by G.P. Ching
Publication date: November 15th 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal/ Sci fi & Fantasy
All my life I've worked to be simple, but I can't pretend anymore. Nothing about me is simple.

In the year 2050, a secret government study nicknamed Operation Source Code injects eight volunteers with a retrovirus. The goal? To abate the energy crisis by reprogramming human DNA to power personal electronic devices. The experiment works but with disastrous consequences.

Seventeen years later, Lydia Troyer is far from concerned with the energy crisis. Growing up in the isolated community of Hemlock Hollow, life hasn't changed much since 1698 when her Amish ancestors came to America. She milks her cow by hand, makes fresh bread every morning, and hopes to be courted by Jeremiah, the boy who's been her best friend since she could walk.

But when Lydia's father has a stroke and is taken to the outside world for medical treatment, Lydia and Jeremiah leave home to visit him. An ordinary light switch thrusts Lydia into a new world where energy is a coveted commodity and her own personal history makes her the most sought-after weapon on the planet. 
Purchase links:
G.P Ching is the author of The Soulkeepers Series and variety of short fiction. She specializes in cross-genre paranormal stories, loves old cemeteries, and enjoys a good ghost tour. She lives in central Illinois with her husband, two children, and one very demanding guinea pig.


Monday, May 20, 2013

As You Wake (Review)

As You Wake (In Your Dreams #2)Book: As You Wake
Author: Amy Martin
Series:  In Your Dreams, #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Format: Paperback
Pages:  293
Source: Received from author for review
Zara "Zip" McKee and Kieran Lanier thought they had put the threats from Kieran's past behind them in the first installment of the In Your Dreams series. But when danger comes for them once again, Zip, Kieran, and their families find themselves on separate summer road trips that none of them had anticipated. When all paths converge in North Carolina, the two families are forced to deal with each other and the secrets they've kept out of love and fear.

But Kieran is keeping the biggest secret of all from everyone but Zip. He hasn’t had a dream—about the future, about anything—for months. And while Zip and Kieran are grappling with what the new twist in Kieran’s sleeping disorder might mean, a mysterious stranger reveals information that could change Kieran's life--or end it.

My Rating:

If you saw my review of In Your Dreams earlier this year you will know that I really enjoyed the book and was super excited to read this one. I can honestly say that I loved this one even more than the first and am now anxiously awaiting the third book. The ending that this book left off on had me wishing the next book was out.
I found the plot to be even more exciting in this one and I thought that would be hard to accomplish after the ending of In Your Dreams. It happened though and this one completely exceeded my expectations. I also found the characters to be even more fleshed out in this installment.
I still loved Zip, she's still the same funny girl who we were introduced to in the previous book and she really is becoming one of my favorite characters. Kieran is still the same lovable guy, but this time he's dealing with issues that are effecting his happy disposition. Kayla is the character that really surprised me in this one. You never really find out too much about her in the first book but a lot of things are revealed about her in this one and you really start to feel for her. She's sarcastic and witty and completely protective of her older brother. The newest character Cooper is the one I actually didn't like. He may have had the same sleeping disorder as Kieran but he was the complete opposite. I found him to be annoying and egotistical and he just gave me some weird vibes. I can't wait to see where things lead to with him in the next book.
If you like stories that don't include the supernatural plots that a lot of YA books contain, then you should definitely check this one out. The characters are so real and relatable and the issues that they deal with really make you feel for them. Plus there aren't too many YA books out there that deal with sleeping disorders.
Amy Martin is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and I can't wait to see where she takes this story next and any other works she comes out with in the future.
This copy was received from the author for review purposes and did not effect my opinions in any way. The opinions expressed in this review were mine alone.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #9

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews as a way to share all the books we got during the week!

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Purchased)
  • The Collector by Victoria Scott (Purchased)
  • Storm by Brigid Kemmerer (Purchased)
  • A Bad Day for Voodoo (Received through ARCycling)
  • Timekeeper by Alexandra Monir (Won from Random Buzzers)
  • Destiny's Flower by Linda Harley (Received from author for review)
  • As You Wake by Amy Martin (Received from author for review)
What did you guys get this week? Leave me a link in the comments and I'll be sure to stop by.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #11


The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle, #2
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Expected Publication: September 17, 2013

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...
  Why I'm Waiting:
Once I actually got into the storyline of The Raven Boys I found myself absolutely hooked. Now I can't wait to find out what happens next to Gansey, Ronan, Blue and Adam.
What are you guys waiting on this week? Leave me a link below and I'll check it out!

Monday, May 13, 2013

August is now the month of Middle Grade

If you guys didn't know this, I'm part of this completely awesome collab blog over at The Raven Readers and we've declared August to be the month of Middle Grade. We're going to be challenging ourselves to read Middle Grade books throughout the month and we'd like to invite you to join us. We're going to have interviews and a few giveaways (I'll be hosting at least one so be on the lookout for that) and there will be tons of awesome reviews.
I'm really hoping to shoot for Level 3: Movin' UP. This means that I'll attempt to (and hopefully complete) 15 MG books.
I'll update the books I plan on reading as we get closer to the event since I have to figure out which ones I'm going to go with but stop by this post to find out the rules and I hope to see you taking part in this awesome event!


Destiny's Flower (Review)

Destiny's Flower (Saldiora Book 1)Book: Destiny's Flower
Author: Linda Harley
Series:  Saldiora, #1
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages:  312
Source: Received from author for review

Doctor Lynn Davis is kidnapped by handsome Lord Kyle von Talion and taken to a far off planet, Saldiora. As she finds herself in this unfamiliar culture, she must learn to fight with a sword, ride a talking horse, and endure the politics of a royal court if she is to survive. Kyle has his hands full keeping Lynn from making cultural blunders and ensuring her safety. The Juntu's are plotting to take over Saldiora and consider Lynn to be a threat to their success. Will Lynn live long enough to fulfill her destiny and save the kingdom of Saldiora?

My Rating:
When I was contacted by the author and asked to review this book I was extremely excited. There  aren't too many books out there that combine science fiction with clean romance. I am also glad that this book didn't disappoint. It was enjoyable and fast paced. The characters were interesting and had a lot of depth and the story was definitely interesting.
I am a fan of novels that take place in space and have people from Earth taken to other planets. For a part of this book the story takes place on a space ship that is heading to a distant planet where a competition will take place to find a bride for the prince of the planet. I loved how the author combined futuristic elements with that of things that can be seen today (like a monarchy).
I loved the characters. Lynn was interesting and head-strong and she did what she thought was right even though it clashed with the customs on this new planet she was living on. Kyle was completely swoon worthy. He was kind and strong. Intelligent and caring. He was all around the perfect guy and I'm kind of hoping that if Lynn doesn't win the competition, that her and Kyle become a couple. We also see a lot of Lynn's "slaves", though this is what they technically are, she treats them as friends. They all have different personalities and really stand apart from one another.
I did have a few issues with this book, however. It took a while to get used to some of the items and words being used dealing with the other planet. Once I began to understand however it got easier. My other big issue was the grammatical errors and typo's. They weren't anything that made it impossible to understand the story by minor things such as using the word "suite" where the word should have been "suit".
All in all, I definitely plan on reading the next book when it is released. It was action packed and had some good edge of the seat moments that had me turning the pages desperate to find out what would happen next. I recommend this if you're a fan of sci-fi space travel stories.
This copy was received from the author for review purposes and did not effect my opinions in any way. The opinions expressed in this review were mine alone.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Tragedy Paper (Review)

The Tragedy PaperBook: The Tragedy Paper
Author: Elizabeth Laban
Series:  N/A
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Pages:  312
Source: Won in a giveaway
Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their love.
My Rating:
There was just something about this book that drew me in and kept me hooked. Maybe it was dual POV's or maybe it was the fact that we were hearing a story within the book. The book is in two different views: Duncan and Tim, and I found both boys to be wonderful characters.
The suspense in this book kept me going and had me on the edge of my seat. I had to know what happened. Throughout the book you get hints that something terrible happened the previous year and by those points you just can't put the book down simply because you have to know. When I got to the point where everything was revealed however, I didn't want to read it because I knew the book would soon end and I really didn't want that to happen.
Like Duncan I found myself hooked, needing to know exactly how things would play out. From the beginning I knew it wouldn't be good but I really was expecting the worst. When it came to that point I was expecting this whole disaster that Duncan is somehow the cause of since he blames himself throughout the whole book but in the end it shows us that we all make choices and we have to live with them, perhaps for the rest of our lives.
I liked almost every character in this book. That rarely happens. I think Mr. Simon was my favorite. Even though he's just the teacher who assigns the Tragedy Paper I felt that he played a bigger role in this story than any of the characters even realized. Then there was Tim, he was the outcast. He was intelligent and kind. Vanessa I wasn't really too pleased with. What was up with how she acted nice toward Tim one minute and then the next it was like she couldn't bother to be seen with him? She was almost as bad as her boyfriend Patrick who I did not like at all. He was self-centered, egotistical and just a complete jerk. Duncan had to be my second favorite character out of all of them. He was so torn up about what had happened the previous year that he felt like he owed it to Tim just to listen to his story, this went so far that it began to completely take over his life. All in all the characters all had surprising depth.
This is a book that will stay with me for a long time. As soon as I finished I wanted to go back to page one and re-read the book all over again. This book shows us that tragedies don't always have to have a tragic ending. They don't have to be bleak and foreboding, they can be full of hope as well.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #10


Title: 3:59
Author: Gretchen McNeil

Series: N/A
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Expected Publication: September 17, 2013

Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.

Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.

By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.
Why I'm Waiting:
I read Ten last year and really enjoyed it and I really like Gretchen McNeil's writing style. This book also sounds pretty creepy and sounds like something I will enjoy.
What are you guys waiting on this week? Leave me a link below and I'll check it out!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Venom (Review)

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1)Book: Venom
Author: Fiona Paul
Series:  Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #2
Publisher: Philomel
Format: Hardcover
Pages:  435
Source: Purchased
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and
surprising as the city of Venice itself.
My Rating:
The premise of this book sounded like something I would really enjoy. Secrets and murder in Renaissance Venice? That sounds cool right? Unfortunately, I really didn't like it. I had to force myself just to keep reading since it didn't hold my interest and the characters really bothered me.
Let's start off with Cass. She was supposed to be intelligent, but I thought the choices she made and the things she did were pretty stupid. She finds out that there is a murderer running around killing young women and she thinks it's smart to go running around at night with a guy she met like 2 days before. That doesn't seem like the brightest or safest thing someone could do. Then we have Falco. I'm sorry but I just found him creepy. I can't even talk about the things he does, it's extremely spoilery but I guess it's better than what I thought he was doing to begin with. He was secretive and Cass had to practically force information out of him, but he wasn't nearly as creepy or insufferable as Cass' fiancé, Luca. Luca is suspicious from the moment we are introduced to him. Everything he does seems to scream "I am up to no good", I didn't trust him at all and I found him to be quite controlling.
If the characters weren't enough to turn me off, the insta-love was. Cass met Falco and practically 2 days later she was "in love with him" and he was the exact same way. Even when all of the suspicious stuff with him started happening and she found out he was lying, she was still convinced she loved him. I'm sorry, but no. There is no way that you fell in love with a guy that you know practically nothing about. He could be a psychopath for all you know.
The one thing that did save this book for me was the revelation about who the killer was. I did not see that coming. I had been guessing throughout the whole book who it would turn out to be and I did not guess correctly.
In the end this book just wasn't for me. The writing style is very good but the book just didn't hold my attention. I was expecting more mystery than there was and I just had trouble relating to the characters. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #9

Doll BonesTitle: Doll Bones
Author: Holly Black

Series: N/A
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Expected Publication: May 7, 2013

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .
Why I'm Waiting:
I've been really wanting to read Middle Grade recently and this one sounds like a good start. Dolls are creepy add in the fact that said doll may be made from the ground up bones of a murdered girl and the story is bound to be freaky.
What are you guys waiting on this week? Leave me a link below and I'll check it out!